Before the wheel was created there was some kind of natural way the souls moved from in-between to beyond and then back to "here". The wheel created by Engwith redirected the souls so they feed Gods on their way through in-between. During the conversation with Berath she explains that it acts as an artifical damn and the "river" was redirected for too long to be able to return to its previous course. Braking the wheel doesn't mean that the world automatically comes back to the way it worked before the wheel - once the wheel is broken souls can't pass to beyond: can't get reincarnated, gods don't get fed.
As I understood:
Before Engwithans have altered THE WHEEL:
- none from the living really knows how it worked exactly. Be it because noone ever knew, or because all information about this was destroyed.
- but we know that people were born and that people died.
- most likely it was an unmanaged process of BORN->LIVED->DIED->traveled to IN BETWEEN->got moved by WHEEL to THE BEYOND->was born again.
- iirc Thaos also made a remark how you could be knowledgeable and have a strong soul in this life, but get randomly reborn as a hare.
After Engwithans have altered THE WHEEL:
- the cycle was generally the same: BORN->LIVED->DIED->traveled to IN BETWEEN->got moved by WHEEL to THE BEYOND->was born again
- but gods now are feeding (by chipping little bits) on souls that pass through IN BETWEEN. Although it doesn't look to be because of alterations made to THE WHEEL, rather because they are gods and if they want - they can.
- additionally gods can now deny a person it's reincarnation, for example by sending it to soul prison (Breith Eaman).
- additionally gods can control (if they wish so) in what body will a soul get reborn (e.g. Berath reborns you as an animal, if you deny her request). Josh also mentioned a thing known as Lottery of Souls
- also gods can awaken a soul or keep it from splitting (e.g. Woedica awakening Thaos on each reincarnation).
- and ofc, gods can bring a soul back to an unhoused body (e.g. Berath sending you back)
- edit: and they can also create godlikes as noted by OEI_Alex below
There is something which I have been curious about, but it is something that hasn't been explained fully as far as I know - there seem to be soul degradation in process - they split into pieces and eventually wear out into nothingness (Rymgrand's entrophy). It doesn't seem like new souls are being born. Does life in Eora run on a finite resource? Rymgrand's belief would suggest that. If yes the God's seem like a pretty big waste of souls, considering how many they require to live.
According to Eothas - it looks so, IF gods feed too much.
According to Rymrgand - yes, even if they don't. As he considers that entropy is inevitable in either case.
But my current understanding is that Rymrgand lies.
Because it looks that there are 3 sources of degradation:
- Gods chipping on some souls passing through the IN BETWEEN.
- Ondrites. According to definition "A soul is the essence of an individual's consciousness, memory, and personality.". Ondrites destroy all three of these during their ebb and flow rites.
- Shadows. According to Shadows bestiary entry, when a creature with heavily fractured soul dies, it's soul might not be able to enter the cycle of rebirth. "Because these souls are damaged, they drain essence from other creatures in a futile attempt to repair themselves. The more essence they steal, the more powerful and dangerous shadows become.". So what do we have here?: they try to absorb spiritual energy, but can't repair themselves. Hence: either the energy is lost completely, or is used for their corporeal form and is released only once they are killed/dispersed.
Btw, this looks partially the reason why Galawain likes to strengthen souls so much - it could be as a counter-measure to fracturing.
And now there is also a source of soul consolidation:
- The more a soul has to endure, the more memories and experiences it has, the stronger it becomes. That's per soul definition itself.
And this plays nicely with monks' view in general and Zahua's in particular. Galawain again... Even the character levels-up when he gets more experience ^^
Edit: just noticed OEI_Alex's post
about soul growth above))Shoulda read the whole thread first, to avoid redundancy)
Does life in Eora run on a finite resource? Rymgrand's belief would suggest that. If yes the God's seem like a pretty big waste of souls, considering how many they require to live.
Eothas believed so, and wanted to break the current state of things, where gods chip on the souls that pass through IN BETWEEN.
As I understood his idea was: that passing mortal would decide himself - to give a part of his essence to a god or not. This would force gods to be more... willing and helpful towards mortals in general, and not just lose time in endless quarrels.
On the other hand... gods would rather be in position where they can take what they want and when they want, without being dependent. So they are likely trying to figure out how to guide mortals to the outcome they want.
With machine being broken, souls currently are not passing from IN BETWEEN to THE BEYOND right? If so, THE BEYOND will get empty after awhile and hollowborn get born. And it looks that, in a short-term perspective, this will pressure mortals more than the gods (who have the souls of mortals in IN BETWEEN to feed on). So perhaps they aren't telling everything they know about THE WHEEL to the animancer builders, because they wait to strike a deal on more favorable terms? Or perhaps infiltrate their own agents into machine-rebuilding team and keep all shady?
Edited by MaxQuest, 07 January 2019 - 04:50 AM.