The anatomy of the soul
The animus is the only part of the soul that I have any strong conception of, it is a swirling orb of positive and negative energy. It acts kind of like a spiritual heat engine and its linked to stamina and life force; some call it elan others vitality and still others chakara. The animus expends energy when you work, concentrate or use magic. When you sleep your physical, mental and emotional turmoil are stilled; this allows the animus to settle into the smooth lamina swirls of energy required for it to recharge properly.
Death causes the animus to unbind, releasing its bound energy in a spiritual and mystical shock wave (the one of the primary reason for human sacrifice). After death their is a vestigial animus that slowly fades from existence.
This is the seat of memory. It is effectively a static field of your memories, skills and experiences, thus it grows over the period of your life. The Logos acts as a reservoir and capacitor for the mental energies used to manipulate the arcane. The logos is closely linked to the senses.
This is the part of you that is actually you. The part that does the thinking and the feeling, the part that does the watching. It is the inner core of your being and its what separates people from animals or constructs. It is very ephemeral and hard to pin down but it is thought to be comprised of three spheres (though this is a controversial model); one given over to thought, one to feeling and last one is only very loosely understood.
Good and evil
The nature of good and evil?
That good and evil exist is an undeniable fact, that they are opposed is also undeniable, they attract like and repel the other. What this actually means is debatable at best. Philosophers, scholars, sages and scientists have long investigated the nature of good and evil. For every verified fact about the nature of good and evil there are a thousand hypothesis, base assumptions, ”self-evident” truths and outright fallacies. All that can be said with and degree of certainty is that good tends to deal with things as they might be and evil tends to deal with matters as they are.
Scattered though out the astral sea are fonts of both good and evil. These appear like liquid spheres of a sickly sweet radiant honey or a shimmering dark mercurial substance. These fonts are not an unlimited resource, eventually they run dry. New fonts are found to replace old ones and it is theorized that there is a finite amount of pure good or evil in the universe at any one time. These substances (ambrosia and ichor magna) are highly prized by celestial and mortal beings alike. They are used in a huge variety of application; in spells, rituals, enchanting, genesis, potions and poisons, mutagens and reproduction.
What does good and evil anyway?
I like the idea of the forces of good and evil being opposed by cultural and political differences, but not opposite.
The forces of good favor actions certain actions, they also approve of actions that favor themselves. In this they are no different than the forces of evil. Alignment is connected to morality by opposition and cultural convention only. Necromancy is evil because the forces of evil have a proprietary interest over it
The effects they cause and the rules they follow are subjective. If a being has access to a source of good or evil they get to define all of these things for themselves. However those who source this power through another are beholden to their rules, to their definition of what good and evil is and how it should work.
Good and evil feel good, feel euphoric. They have a highly addictive effect on mortals. Good feels like being loved, being a part of something bigger. Evil feels like the ultimate rush of power and excitement. Often mortals get a taste of it and are left hungering after ever more; they turn to celestial and infernal being to get their fix. Once they have their hooks in they are almost impossible to be free of
These beings are somewhere between gods, archangels, saints and avatars. An exarch is what happens when a demi human reaches beyond the pinnacle of mortal perfection. This can be achieved in life or after death and is often done with assistance (uplifting)
These elemental beings are uplifted by their association with the jhontus. The sustain and empower themselves by collecting a small personal “haream” of mortal soils to exploit. They are often associated with mages and are known to inflict wishes.
They are similar to dijn in some respects. These beings are closely associated with the genius loci of the world and with the forces of nature.
These are the spirits of powerful beings that are reincarnated after death under their own power. Few saints ever realise what they are in any given lifetime.
Fiends are made in the image of the hidden aspects of vice/virtue. They may be good or evil (or frequently both or neither), many are a lot more independent than archons though infernal legions do exists.
The government men. They make up the various pantheons and serve as the officer core and nobility of the same.
Ascendant goblins. Goblins as a rule understand people and the world in terms of stories. Berghaust are those goblins who achieve exemplar status.
The natural fate of the soul
1)upon death the standing wave of the animus blows out its current reservoir.
2)The soul is expelled from the material plains by the force of the death shock.
3) The soul is usualy weighted either positvley or negatively. This causes them to be drawn towards either the positive or negative energy plains.
4) The spiraling souls are dragged beyond the event horizon of these plains. Nobody knows what happens after that but the general consensus is that the soul is destroyed or consumed somehow.
a) The gods, daemons and assorted others claim souls on their long voyage through the astral sea.
b) It is easier for them to find and hold onto the souls of their alignment (as good and evil repel each other but good attracts good and evil attracts evil).
c) Divine beings can find the souls of worshipers very quickly as the act of worship is kind of like a distress beacon. The strength of faith and worship is directly proportionate to the strength of the beacon.
The Divine and souls
The Exarchs don't particularly need your worship or faith except as a means to an end. They want your soul; worship helps them get it.
When they get a hold of your soul they subject it to "reward" or "torment" (strong emotional stimuli). By doing so they harness the energy of your soul, sucking the power out of it until you are spent; where upon they eject you soul out of the celestial plains and if your lucky back down to earth to be reused.
Names are important, names have power. To hold somethings name is to own power over it.
This grants power over a thing; knowledge of it. Humans, man beasts and animals don't have true names. Fae don't share their true names beyond their immediate families and are extremely weary of people knowing them. Some fae like goblins don't get a true name until they reach adulthood and it is possible to strip a being of its name.
The names of gods invoked in preyer and ritual are parts of their true names. The most powerful of priests hold all of their gods name but because of the mark they bear cannot misuse or share this knowledge
This is a publicly known name of a person or being. It has some power over a person and can be used for tracking and targeting spells. Beings with a true name can change their given names on a whim, those without must earn changes.
With it can be used in lei of a true name but it is more effective with beings without true names. Fae won't deal with anyone who doesn't give them their given name.
This is given to a person with a spirit brand. Its harder to apply to someone with a true name, It overwrites and replaces the previous names but these must be known so they can be invoked and stripped.
Brand names allow the holder of the brand a similar level of power over the bearer as true names but also protect the bearer from its use by others.
Its a mark of power; a link between the physical fae gods and mortals. The symbols are keyed to individual gods and a person may bear more than one however one always takes precedent. One factor is that they cut you off from the celestial gods.
Normaly when a person dies the remaining life energy in the vital part of the soul (the animus) explodes ejecting the conscious spirit away from the material world and into the astral sea. When a person wearing a brand dies it channels this power though itself to the god (alfar/slaugh/giant ectra) where upon it eats it. The soul then drifts through the material plane until it encounters or is drawn into a sentient unborn child and thus reincarnates. Many races take steps to ensure their spirits are reborn into their own peoples.
The can be in the form of a permanent and intricate tattoo (as used by half elves) or a temporary bodypaint (as used by goblins). These allow the recipient to call on their god for aid as well as for the god to channel power though the bearer.
A brand is a similar kind of mark that is magically burned into the recipients skin using enchanted irons. A brand is subsidiary to the spirit mark of another person or group (often the brand wielder or holder of the iron itself). Brands are usually burned into slaves, humans and manbeasts.