There are – or so it is widely thought – four immortal souls that give life to mankind, represented as three coloured dots encircled by a white line. What follows is a summary of the common wisdom on this subject, accumulated over millennia by sages and philosophers.
Anh – the alabaster soul. The soul that binds. This pale soul governs the vessel / physical body, and it is this soul that creates the body at conception. This soul is the lowest of the four, and is often considered debased and corrupting. The Pale Faith of Amun-Oh, however, hold this soul paramount of all four, as without the white soul to create a body, the higher three cannot cohere into a human being, and so their priests pledge never to harm a living body. Often connected with lust, loathing, and greed, the pale soul is thought to reside like a worm in the gut. Synths of course do not possess the alabaster soul. Some holy men submit themselves to terrible depredations in an attempt to drive the pale soul from their body, and rid themselves of its lustful urges and hungers. At death the Anh exits the corpse in the form of maggots.
Those who lack Anh are lily-livered, weak, indecisive, listless, cowards. Conversely, those who are overly burdened with Anh are said to be passionate and short-tempered, gluttonous, and lustful.
Ka – the blue soul. The soul that returns. Spirit, fate. The animating force and destiny of humanity. Survives death and returns to the universal current to be recycled. It is said the blue soul can be read like a book, and contains all possible futures that a being could have. The blue soul is enhanced by the consumption of various drugs found in Vaarn, the most notable being the Amaranthine Sugar that is produced in the bodies of mature sandworms. This sugar is necessary for the hypergeometric calculations that allow the aurum fleet of the Hegemony to sail between the spheres. The Ka is thought to reside chiefly in the lungs, and sometimes must be drawn from the nose with a special hook after death, to ensure it flies free of the corpse.
Those lacking in Ka are tradition-bound and uncreative, lacking insight and unable to perform augury. Those with too much Ka are crazed artists or babbling prophets, who are flooded with visions, plagued by nightmares, and speak in tongues.
Ba – the red soul. The soul that remains. Memory and personality. Remains in body after death. This is the soul that is sought by the monstrous Alzabo, and the ghoul cults that have grown around the imbibing of Alzabo liver and the brains of the dead. The Church of Eyeless Wisdom privilege the Red Soul, Ba, above all else, as it their belief that the soul which remains contains memories of the realm before this one. The Ba is believed to be housed in the liver and heart, and travels through the body in blood.
Those lacking Ba are disorganised and slow-witted, and cannot remember their lives or analyse complicated information. They may struggle to speak at all. Those with too much Ba are verbally dexterous, but emotionally cold and cruelly logical. They are tormented by memories they cannot forget and are paralysed into inaction by the desire to gain more information.
La – the golden soul. The soul that seeks. Governs ‘higher’ morality and religion, and can grow or shrink with enlightenment. Newbeasts are said not to possess the golden soul. Great prophets and sages are depicted with a golden soul that emanates from their body. Opinions vary on where the La goes after death. Some teach that a stunted and malnourished golden soul will prevent Ka from returning to the universal current for reincarnation, instead trapping the Ka and La in the material realm as an unquiet ghost. Therefore the exorcist must instruct restless dead as to how they might achieve lightness and unburden their golden La. The La is often located in the brain, and so may be reached through trepanation or the installation of a HeadPort.
Those lacking La cannot love or worship – they do not respect the divine and are nothing but beasts, killing and eating for no higher purpose. Most sages believe it is not possible to have too large of a La, but those in whom the golden soul is highly developed are sometimes seized with a kind of indiscriminate love that does not recognise friend from foe.
The configuration of souls in a being can be expressed via a simple formula, AnhKaBaLa. One may accurately portray the alignment of souls by adding or subtracting elements of this divine phrase, as follows:
Human = AnhKaBaLa
Newbeast = AnhKaBa
Animal = AnhKa
Synth = KaBaLa
Zombie = Anh
Mummified Corpse = AnhBa
Hungry Ghost = KaLa
2 thoughts on “AnhKaBaLa”
Really enjoying the Philosophies of Vaarn. You have made a loyal follower of me!
Thanks Josh, I actually haven’t written much that concerns the four souls in follow-ups but it’s an element I’m still fond of.