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A person died long ago and their soul went to Heaven/Hell/Some ethereal plane.

Somehow after years of struggle they find an escape back to the Material World.

What allows that soul to have a new material body?

Is it created somehow? Can it only possess another body?

The world in question has magic to some extent, tho its very scientific. I want to avoid simply saying "Magic" or "Just because". Ideally it will be the "same" body as before death as far as looks and so on, but I'm not opposed a very clever possession or something.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site oxide, interesting question, unfortunately this falls under the idea generation portion of off topic. Generally you can ask how something works if its a real thing, in this case the method would be up to the author as its fantasy. $\endgroup$ – James Oct 15 '15 at 20:54
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First, you need some method that keeps all the information about the material body available. Maybe it's "imprinted" on the spiritual soul. Or maybe there's enough information to form the body at any stage of life. Second, if you have the supernatural power to reenter history from the afterlife, you might have the power to assemble the material from anything that happens to be around. You'd need sodium, potassium, carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, and a few other trace elements. Of course, you might be able to use more sophisticated components like decayed meat and plant matter. An interesting twist would be if you had to incorporate things that would be better left out, like strontium 90 and arsenic or lead. So maybe you reappear at a garbage dump rather than appropriate someone else's body or remains.

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To start, you will need to create a temporal paradox. A suicide device with a tachyon trigger should do the trick. The character in question died a long time ago, but tricking a living character into using it should put them into some sort of schrodinger's cat, quantum uncertainty that would open them up to a hostile take-over. It would probably help if the victim were either an ancestor or decendent of the escaped soul, linking the two through causality. Then you'll need some blood magic and a whole lot of pain and suffering, and maybe a bit of mis-direction, for good luck.

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