the Faded

So if all your soul has been traded away (or fallen off, or been eaten, or you tore it all out, or it was burned up, or any number of possibilities really), and that didn’t just end you (because perhaps a body just might keep moving without a soul), what else might happen?

Nothing pleasant, honestly.

You might become a mindless creature, an empty husk driven by nothing but a nagging hunger and a wisp of memory. Far too many courts of aethera notables keep such wretches as guard-beasts and hunters, with the most sluggish considered suitable only for simple brute labour.

That’s a fairly common fate.

Or you might get to hold onto your sense of self. Your soul may be empty, you may feel — you may be — as fragile as a blown-glass bubble, and you may hunger for what you’ve lost, but you retain mind and will and you have choices. You can chase after what you’ve lost, for one, or you may become a scavenger — or predator — of soulstuff of your own accord, or perhaps you choose a path of agonizing asceticism, or …

Sometimes, that latter fate may even overtake one who still clings to some portions of their soul. Which does protect against becoming a husk, at least. Even if you lose the last remnants of your soul, you are assured to keep your awareness.

If you do become one of the Faded, what does that mean in practical terms?

– magic or other effects that target the soul no longer work on you, either because you no longer have one or because the scrap you have left is too withered to be affected
– you can sense the presence of loose soulstuff close by with a Psyche test (Wis check), unless it’s warded or protected in some way
– you may choose to cause soul-rending instead of physical injury when you attack a target, with a 1-in-6 chance of a recoverable fragment of soul lingering afterwards. (provided your target has a soul to begin with.)

That’s the neutral-to-positive points.

There’s more negative ones, naturally.

– first and foremost is the hunger. you are at -1 to all tests due to the emptiness inside your self, which you can abate for a time by devouring soulstuff; the more, and the more powerful, the longer you can last, from a few hours for the simplest shards to a month or more for soul portions drawn from an influential, resplendent, powerful being.
– even though your self is still intact, your memory has taken a beating; you’ve lost up to a quarter of your memories, and recalling significant events or knowledge requires a Psyche test
– your empty self is unnerving and offputting, giving your Disadvantage on social interactions unless with close confederates or those sympathetic to your plight
– you heal poorly; normal healing occurs at half the usual rate, while magical or other unusual forms fail half the time.

[there are no tests or percentages or the like given for becoming one of the Faded, for a very simple reason: some may want these fates to be a common sword to hang over soul-barterers’ heads; other may wish these to be rare birds indeed; yet others may wish to discard the idea altogether. as always, set the odds to your own discretion — and make sure everyone playing is equally comfortable with whatever is decided.]

Needless to say, the denizens of the Manifold Palaces are seldom pleased to find one of the Faded loose in their domains …

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