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The soul is the origin of everything living in Nym's Eye, as its creation and existence stems from the swirling Worldsoul that controls the flow of all souls and energy. A soul is used to describe the living core of a being, and often bears association to things not entirely living, but alive none-the-same. Aspects that control the world on a larger scale independently from general gods and Creators are known as Soul Aspects. Soul Aspects are immensely powerful souls, which control and nurture the more common lesser souls and the energies that flow throughout the world and Nym's Eye.

The majority of living things in the world possesses a soul, and it is not exclusively found in beings from Nym, as it is held by Creators and Celestials as well, who originate from beyond Nym's Sphere. It is believed that souls as a whole exist because of Creators when they infused their own energies into the Shard of Origin, which then carried on through the Worldshards, and the eventual awakening of the Worldsoul through Sol's warmth.

Souls are basically unique vessels of memory, purpose and energy: giving life to their hosts and sustaining that union for as long the body holds together. When a living being dies, its soul leaves it in search for a new host; carrying with it the memories, thoughts, energies and general sentience it gained from its former host. If it wasn't for the creation of Arkath's Divide, souls would travel outwards into the Dark Beyond and be lost, and because of Kelmora's Cycle souls are compelled towards the Great Fade, and can be reborn from the Cycle in a new body without the need to search endlessly.

Beings of greater sentience have the most vivid and powerful souls, as that sentience aids in feeding the soul with the energies it needs to survive. The union assists the body in nurturing its need for energy, and the absence of a soul often leads to an uncontrollable hunger that corrupts the body; seen in soulless beings such as Darkspirits, Netharime and Seraphime, as well as the Elemental Titans (and their elemental servants) before them. While their bodies possess memories,  the lack of a soul means that those memories are gone upon death, and can't ever be retrieved.

Mortal souls are merged with Aetherial spirits that become Mortal Spirits, which is essential to give mortal life. Exactly why isn't understood, but it is theorized that it might be an effect of the Soul Aspect known as the Mortal Soul, and that the spirit helps to maintain the soul in its mortal body.

A mortal soul travelling to the Great Fade must first enter into the Spiritual Realms through Nymshards. If a Nymshard is not nearby, a soul might become lost. Certain Orders and priests, such as Kelmoran priests, are tasked with shepherding these souls and bring them to the nearest Nymshard.

After going through a Nymshard's gateway, it is when souls reach Endomundo that they are in the most danger, as Darkspirits seek them out and try to consume them. Particularly strong souls, especially ones reinforced by aetheric energy, can withstand attacks, whilst souls that experienced troublesome deaths, such as violent ones, are more likely to be devoured by Darkspirits, or might flee back to the Physical World.

If a mortal's soul manages to get through Endomundo it will enter Aetherius. There it will move unhindered, and the spirit that latched onto it will separate to regain its depleted aetheric energy from the Spiritsoul. The soul will then continue towards the Great Fade absent the possession of a spirit.

 
 

S O U L    A S P E C T S

 
Greater souls that hold immense power and energy are called Soul Aspects. These souls control the flow of energy and can alter the fabrics of Nym's Eye or cause godlike effects, much like how Worldgods and Creators do. Nym's Eye consists of several Soul Aspects and most independently control different elements within it; maintaining those elements through the use of powerful energies.


Worldsoul:
At the very heart and core of the Nym planet lies the Worldsoul; the largest and most powerful of the known Soul Aspects. It is the source that began life on Nym, and its vast powers make the world's energies flow and thrive. It awoke from the Worldshard after Sol touched it, and along with Sol's warming rays the Worldsoul came to life and melted the ice that surrounded the Worldshard sphere; thus creating the Worldsea.

There is nothing more important in Nym than the Worldsoul; because it is the reason why the world exists, as the entire structure binds to it. Without the Worldsoul, energies and souls on Nym wouldn't know where to flow, and the world would become barren and lifeless. Ensuring its protection are the Earthen Gods, who encased it in a thick layer of hard rock and stone made from their own bodies. The realm within this layer is known as the Earthen Core.

Surrounding the Worldsoul is a layer of lava, which sometimes finds it way to the surface through earthquakes and volcanic activity that create momentary cracks through the Earthen Core's walls. Surfacing spouts of lava are sometimes called Worldscars, and can also bring with it precious minerals from beneath the earth. Outside of this sphere of lava and magma are the sanctuaries built by the Earthen Gods, where they made the eternal prison of Gaerdras, who has been bound and shackled in the darkness; always watched by the Earthen Gods at the request of the Creators.

The Worldsoul is the greatest source of energy in all of the world, and has often been the target of several hungering entities who sought to take the Worldsoul for themselves. Luckily none have ever succeeded, and the actual power of the Worldsoul is so immense that it is likely that no one entity can contain it.

The Overgod Tariel used the Worldsoul to create the Soulbind, which made the Creators dependent on the Worldsoul in Nym. By doing this he also made it so that Creators could communicate with their worshipers on the surface, and receive their powers directly from their worship sent through the Worldsoul as a substitute for astral energy, which the Creators could otherwise only receive from Sol.

Zirche also merged the Mortal Soul with the Worldsoul, which similarly bound all mortal life to it, and also made all life on Nym mortal, which included the lives of gods and Creators if they ever stepped foot within the Core Planes.

It is believed that the Worldsoul is a living entity, like a Celestial, who possesses some sort of sentience and intelligence. It is unclear if this is true or not, and those who dedicate lifetimes on studying the Worldsoul can only really do so based on its effects on the world. Vast amounts of energies travel to the Worldsoul, and it in return controls the flow of energy throughout all of Nym.


Soul of Solitude:
The Soul of Solitude is the Soul Aspect contained within the Solstree, which Tariel planted at the edge of Arkath's Divide after the War of Titans. It is believed to have been created from portions of Sol's and Tariel's soul, and it is the soul that binds all Creators to Nym's Eye through Tariel's Soulbind. The Soul of Solitude grants Creators immortal life; allowing them to be reborn from the Solstree's roots should they die. It also creates a connection between Solitude and the Worldsoul, which makes it possible for the Creators to communicate with their worshipers, and also feeds the Creators with deistic energy from worship. However, Tariel's Soulbind also ensures that Creators can't leave Nym's Eye, as their souls are anchored to the Soul of Solitude, and through it the Worldsoul.

Because of the Wildgod Zirche's merging of the Mortal Soul with the Worldsoul, Creators lose access to the Soul of Solitude when they are in the Core Planes. This essentially means that Creators can die forever should they perish on Nym. It similarly holds true if a Creator should die outside of Nym's Eye, as the distance from the Solstree severs their connection to the Soul of Solitude, and their dependency on it will see them fade away.


Spiritsoul:
Energies spawned from the Worldsoul help to feed the Spiritsoul; the Soul Aspect that gives life to most spirits, as well as sustains their needs. The Spiritsoul provides aetheric energy which helps to maintain the spiritual realm of Aetherius. In ancient times when Aetherius first wrapped itself around the planet Nym, the Spiritsoul was anchored to the Worldsoul through the Spiritstone, and later reinforced by the Nymshards. The connection was later limited after Elemental Titans rose to power on Nym, which reduced the amount of energy that passed through to feed the Spiritsoul, and has possibly made it weaker as a result.

As to how the Spiritsoul was itself created is unknown, and it is believed to have always existed within the Aetherius piece of the Worldshard; awoken when Sol shattered the whole Worldshard, similar to how the Worldsoul awoke from Sol's touch. The Spiritsoul once fed all spirits of the world, but the rise of the Elemental Titans led to a controlled isolation which created Endomundo; where Darkspirits are denied access to the Spiritsoul. Similarly spirits that remained on Nym can't easily feed off the Spiritsoul, and must find other means of sating their needs.


Elemental Souls:
The Elemental Souls were created by the Elemental Titans. They are Soul Aspects that control the elemental energies of the world, and were used by the Titan Kings to claim dominance over the elemental powers they collected before the War of Titans. After the Elemental Titans were defeated, the Creators took the Elemental Souls from them and passed them on to Tiral, who used them to create the first Planeworld of Elementum. She stored the Elemental Souls within Elementum's plane of Ascension, where they collect elemental energies and send them back to maintain Elementum and its inhabitants, as well as the Elemental Balance of the world. Elementals draw power from the Elemental Souls, and Elemental Titans, now shackled in Ascension, have their energies drained and fed back into the Elemental Souls.

There are Elemental Souls for each of the elemental aspects of the world, with some being larger and more powerful than others, such as the four major elements of Water, Wind, Flame and Earth.


Planar Soul:
Tiral created the Planar Soul by parting a portion of her own soul. By using the Planar Soul, she melted and expanded it between the Weave and the Veil, which turned it into the Planar Seas. The entirety of the Planar Seas is the liquidized form of the Planar Soul, and maintains the containment and flow of arcane and void energies found in that Planeworld. Everything that surrounds the Planar Seas, within and outside, is the Planar Soul's sphere. Its purpose is to draw in large amounts of void energy and store it within the Planar Seas, which avoids void corruption in the rest of Arkath's Divide.


Dream Soul:
The Dream Soul is the embodiment of Malendii's Dream and was created from her own soul. It consists of two parts: the Wyldsoul and the Nightsoul. The Wyldsoul nurtures the Dreamworld and provides energy to Wyld Spirits through the Wyldtrees, and is in return kept alive through them. The Nightsoul is Malendii's darker dreams, and is fed by those negative energies that give her nightmares. The Dream Soul was created to contain the Worldblight and heal the world of the Worldblight's corruption. As a side-effect, the Dream Soul allows mortals to dream through transferring their sleeping minds to the Veil and in some cases to Malendii's Dream. Additionally the Dream Soul maintains the connection between the Waking World and the Dreamworld through the Wyldtrees, and gives Wyld Spirits and druids access to Malendii's realm.


Mortal Soul:

After the War of Titans, the Mortal Soul was created by the Wildgod Zirche to give life and sentience to certain animals, which in turn gave rise to the Evolved Races, who would eventually become what we refer to as the common, native races of Nym. Exactly why Zirche created the Mortal Soul isn't known, but likely it was a wish to create new life that could populate a world that had been ravaged by the Elemental Titans, and in the process heal it. To create The Mortal Soul, Zirche used living energies of the world, and also infused her own soul into it to empower it. Overall the Mortal Soul consisted of four main essences that are the core elements that build up a mortal's body and soul: 


The Flame of Life; which sustains the Mortal Soul and gives life a cage to contain the soul. In time the flame will weaken, until it is finally extinguished and the soul can leave; giving life its mortality. Zirche used her own, flaming soul for the process.


The Pool of Mind; which gives the Mortal Soul a connection to the world's energies, and created a basin for mana for mortal beings, as well as the capacity for intellect and wisdom. Zirche obtained this essence from the magically strong Worldsea.


The Body of Flesh gave the Mortal Soul a shape and vessel, and with it mortal life is given a physical form; with blood as its source of power. A fallen Earthen God was used by Zirche to contain this essence, though who he was exactly is unknown.


Finally, the Gust of Spirit, which gave the Mortal Soul purpose. Mortal life could now gain sentience, learn and feel the urge for existence. Most of all they were free to grow, evolve and act independently. This essence was willingly given to Zirche from the Kal'Mar, and completes the ability for Aetherial to merge with a mortal's soul, and become a Mortal Spirit.


After the Mortal Soul had been assembled and used to elevate the first Evolved Races, Zirche would later (as a result of the War of Eternity) merge the Mortal Soul with the Worldsoul, and made all life in the world mortal. This meant that no living creature could ever escape death, and even beings that live forever could be vulnerable. This included all the gods and spirits that reside on the planet Nym.


It is speculated that Zirche did this because it was the price needed to ensure mortal life could continue to thrive after the War of Eternity; by making all life in Nym mortal. Or it was a measure she made to protect the world from the Creators, to make sure that another War of Eternity could never occur again, since  the Creators could now be killed on Nym.



Dragonsoul:
Created by the combined efforts of the Dragonforgers, the Dragonsoul was used to give existence to the first Worldshaper Dragons, otherwise known as the Elder Dragons. The Dragonsoul empowered dragons with the power of worldshaping, and they would use it to create a paradise on Nym. Once their work had been done, the dragons were sent into the First Slumber, when the Dragonforgers used the Dragonsoul to put them into a deep sleep. The Dragonsoul itself was kept within the planet Nym, where it was guarded by Golmath's Metallic Dragons.

When the Confluence of Ar-Zhala occurred, the Dragonsoul was shattered by unstable energies. The Dragons awoke, and found that they no longer could worldshape. Only those who possess a shard from the Dragonsoul could now worldshape, and the Elder Dragons were quick to claim the shards for themselves. Not long after, the Dragon Gods would use the combined powers of three of the Dragonsoul's pieces to create the scaleshaped races.

It is said that each piece, save for one, is still held by one of the Elder Dragons, but no one knows where they are, or if they even still truly exist. The only known shard is held by the Ter-Khalan Empire, which allows their Shapers to mold and change the lands around them.


Necrotic Soul:
The birth of necromancy and undeath occurred when the Necrotic Soul was created by the former Earthen God, Naghulé. By the time it was discovered, its necrotic effects had already infected the world's energies and it had taken a foothold in Endomundo; defying the rules of the Mortal Soul in the Core Planes. Kelmora hunted down Naghulé and banished him to the Tearworld of Nagal'or.

Naghulé had made the Necrotic Soul a part of himself, and its defiance of death meant he couldn't be killed or easily destroyed. As such banishment and entrapment was Kelmora's only choice. The Necrotic Soul is kept on Nagal'or, but its energies can still reach the Core Planes, albeit in a lesser form. It is said that a piece of the Necrotic Soul was stranded in Nym after the Confluence of Nagal'or, which might explain the rise of undeath and necromancers in Nym after the Confluence had passed.


Shadowsoul:
The Shadowsoul was created by Gaerdras before the War of Eternity, when he was still a member of the Pantheon of Solitude. It was made to control Endomundo, to ensure that the shadow energy of that realm didn't spread and expand. It also helps keep the Darkspirits from becoming too powerful; preventing them from evolving into new Elemental Titans. After Gaerdras was imprisoned for his actions during the War of Eternity, his brother, Akama, took possession over the Shadowsoul. It is now kept in Solitude, and it serves as Akama's personal Hall.


B O O K    O F    S O U L S

All living souls hold the memories of their former hosts; creating a long line of memories strung together that go back to the soul's original birth. The more distant the memory, the less likely it is to surface. Regardless, souls generally don't retain conscious access to those memories for current hosts, as those memories are locked away upon entry into the Cycle, when souls are eventually reborn in new hosts, and their former memories go deep into the soul and remain out of reach.

The Book of Souls makes effort to go around this limitation. Kelmora devised the Book of Souls as a means of keeping track of a soul's memories and births; recording every newly arrived soul's memories in the Book of Souls when it enters the City of Echoes. Those memories persist in the Book even after the soul has entered the Soulgate and been reborn through the Cycle.

Kelmoran and Shaarian priests carry magical copies of the Book of Souls; linked to the original and allows those priests to read upon the memories of a person's soul. Through blessings given by their deities, these priests are the only ones able to read those books, as the pages are otherwise blank to anyone not blessed.

In Shaar's case, the recording of a soul's memories in the Book of Souls is done to a living being, as a ways of removing memories from that being. Shaar is known among other things as the Goddess of Forgotten Memories, as she takes the memories of willing mortals and stores them away to be kept in the Book of Souls.


CYCLE OF SOULS
Before the Cycle, souls travelled outwards from Nym and into the Dark Beyond, and subsequently were lost forever in the darkness of the outer universe. Upon the creation of Arkath's Divide, souls still travelled outwards but were now trapped within the Great Fade, where they merged with the Stream and dissolved into pure energies at the far edge of the Divide.

Kelmora devised the Cycle of Souls, commonly only referred to as the Cycle or Kelmora's Cycle. Through her design, the Cycle involved the shepherding and care of souls of the Great Fade into Kelmora's Fadeworlds, where souls were led into the Soulgate from a great tolling bell known as the Final Chime. Once a soul entered the Soulgate, it would separate itself from its gathered energies and merge with the Stream. Kelmora directed the Stream, with the use of Final Chime, to travel back to the Core Planes, where energies and souls reassemble at the Weave, and are distributed to the planes and realms of Arkath's Divide.

Souls return to Nym and are reborn in new hosts, gathering energies and then travel again to the Great Fade once death occurs. The process repeats, ensuring a steady flow of renewed energies to be fed to realms within Arkath's Divide. This entire process is what creates the Cycle of Souls, and through it souls can be reborn and energies can feed Nym indefinitely.

In simpler terms, the Cycle turns as such:

1. The First Turn: The body dies and the soul leaves for the Great Fade. It enters through Nymshards or Kelmoran temples to come to Endomundo first, then Aetherius, where its spirit is separated from it and the soul is cleansed of Endomundo's energies.

2. The Second Turn: The soul reaches the Great Fade, where it is herded by Fadewraiths to the Fadeworlds, and awaits its time to enter the Soulgate.

3. The Third Turn: The soul enters the Soulgate, where its collected energies in life are dissolved into the Stream, then the soul merges with the Stream. The Stream carries it back down to the Weave, where the soul is separated from the energies, reassembled and sent back to Nym.

4. The Fourth Turn: On its way to Nym, the soul first enters Aetherius, where a spirit latches onto it and becomes one with it; allowing the soul to bypass Endomundo.

5. The Fifth Turn: The soul finds the unborn vessel of a mortal, and merges with it. Life is then born and the soul will help nurture and maintain the body during its lifetime.

If the Cycle should ever stop, souls will be forced to wander aimlessly, and energies will deplete until nothing remains. The continued turning of the Cycle is controlled by Kelmora's Final Chime at the Soulgate, which earns her the recognition as Goddess of Souls.

Some mortals' souls don't enter the Cycle, such as dwarves. Dwarven souls return to the Stones that first made them, where they remain until they are reborn again in a new dwarven body. Exactly why dwarven souls ignore the Cycle is unknown, although it seems to have no ill effects on their souls' integrity or well-being. It is likely some sort of design by their maker, the Archon Golmath.