Souls & Spirits
What Is a Soul, But a Miserable Pile of Secrets?
The mechanics of the soul are little understood by the common man of Savarra: it is a mysterious source of power, considered to be part of what makes you human (in the metaphorical sense).
Souls in the Corruption of Champions multiverse are best described as a mystical organ. All thinking beings are born with a soul, but it is not an intrinsic and immutable part of you -- as the human mages that colonized Mareth found out to their horror. The soul is what gives you your ability to empathize, your compassion and moral compass. It is also what binds the body into the shape of, well, you. When lost, that essence -- what some might call your humanity -- is lost. The body and mind remain, but are irreversibly changed by the loss of the soul.
In extremis, it is possible to have your soul torn free of your body, or for you to ejaculate it during moments of ecstasy that break mind and body alike. If this happens, you become a demon. Demons lack empathy and struggle with ideas such as compassion, consent, and friendship; they are driven by pure and unrestrained ego and lust. The idea of resisting urges, especially sexual ones, is nearly foreign to demons; it takes a truly strong-willed demon, such as Kasyrra, to focus on long-term gains over short-term pleasures. A demon has continuity of persona and memory, though a sudden loss of all empathy inevitably changes their personality for the worse. The demon's body changes even more, becoming a reflection of the demon's desires in any given moment. Many demons learn to master their shapeshifting ability, learning to grow or remove sexual organs at-will, or even disguise themselves as other individuals.
The Difference Between Soul and Ki
If a soul isn't what makes you you, scholars have long argued, what does? The Kitsune of The Old Country call this phenomenon Ki, the spiritual aspect of a person -- their heart, mind, memory, and emotions. When you die, your soul and ki typically mix together and then evaporate, going off to whatever the afterlife is -- nobody has ever come back to tell us what that is. On rare occasion, though, someone's Ki may remain behind on the mortal world, held back by some tremendous magical force. This creates what most folk would call ghosts, spirits, haunts, and the like.
Ki can never inhabit an unliving body, so once death strikes, your Ki is permanently severed from your body. Similarly, unliving things cannot be given Ki: golems and other facsimiles of life are mere shadows of true life, possessing neither Ki nor soul.
Fun With Enchanting
Vivienne explains the details of enchanting, but importantly, mentions that an echo of a creature's life force -- its Ki -- may linger in the moments after death. A canny wizard can harness this Ki to help in the creation of magic items.
It was speculated by the Marethian mages that crystalized souls -- Lethicite -- can be used in the creation of far more powerful magic items than those created through conjured Ki, but whatever research may have been recorded by these venerable sages is long lost to history.