Soul system

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The Soul system reflects the fact that the Paladin's soul has been sanctified by a divine agent. The level of a Paladin's soul in turn reflects the size of the soul pool that powers a Paladin's abilities. The size of a Paladin's soul pool is directly related to the Paladin's circle, charisma, and state of their soul.

Nature of the soul

All creatures that have any degree of self-determination have a soul. The soul is an incorporeal organ of the body -- sort of like a spleen but made out of ephemeral material called spiritual energy. Though it cannot be directly detected outside the use of divine, demonic, or holy magic, the soul is real, and its health has an immediate impact on the health of the body.[1]

The soul is the seat of consciousness. If the soul is separated from the body, the individual's awareness and sense of self remains with the soul. Souls without the protection of a corporeal body "ablate" over time and diminish, doing damage to the personality trapped within and eventually becoming so rarefied it stops existing on this plane entirely. (Although necromancy can animate the remaining corpse and even bestow it with a sense of intelligence, it is not the same consciousness as the former individual.)

A Paladin's soul

During the initiation process, a Paladin's soul is sanctified. How this is done is a holy mystery the Guildleaders keep to themselves, but it's either within mortal means, or there's something Upstairs that is very decidedly active in the process of inducting a Paladin.[2]

The sanctified soul is the source of a Paladin's divine power. Unlike the Clerics, who call down divine attention through their rites, the Paladin grounds divinity into the mortal world directly through his actions. While Paladins often think of themselves as servants or vessels of particular Immortals, this distinction has no functional value: the Paladin as a magician and wielder of holy power is wholly defined by the spark of divinity that has set his soul on fire.[3]

What this means to the Paladin varies wildly. While there is a very well known and institutionalized approach to being a Paladin, any path that does not sully the divine soul can be said to be to be a right and proper path to being a Paladin.

A Paladin who allows the divine fire to gutter is not an anti-hero; he is even less than a human, having opened his soul up to a greater reality and found himself wanting.

Soul state

The benefits of a pristine soul are:

  • larger soul pool (powers Paladin abilities)
  • more potent Sixth Sense
  • more potent soul-dependent abilities (such as Smite)
  • eligibility for guild quests

Possible soul states

A Paladin can check his soul state by rubbing a soulstone or walking through a soulstone arch. The soul states from best to worst are:

  1. gleams brightly with a pristine luminescence!
  2. pure white light
  3. steady white hue
  4. chalky grey
  5. pallid grey
  6. cold and lifeless, tainted darkish grey with sinister black streaks
  7. stunned by a soulstone arch

Improving soul state

The following deeds purify a Paladin's soul:

  • praying to Chadatru at the Shard, Crossing, or Mer'Kresh Chadatru altars and tracing the Glyph of Renew on your holy weapon. (This is the biggest soul boost available.) Timer: 1 hour
  • praying on a pilgrim's badge, the greater the number of altars and shrines on the badge, the greater the boost to your soul. Timer: 31 minutes
  • playing a hymn or psalm at a devotion-capable altar or shrine. Requires 100+ in your chosen instrument for hymns and 200+ in your chosen instrument for psalms
  • listening to a Cleric read the entire Book of Chadatru in Theren Keep.
  • praying in the meditation pool in the Hibarnhvidar Guild Hall.
  • cleaning an Anloral pin of a non-dark aspect from Soulful Trinkets.
  • protecting someone against a creature that is a danger to the Paladin. Timer: 1 hour
  • tending a non-Paladin's wounds. Timer: 1 hour
  • tracing the Glyph of Mana in a room that has a Cleric and a corpse in it
  • tithing at an almsbox. You will get the maximum boost to your soul by tithing 5 silver. (Giving a larger amount does not result in a larger boost.) Timer: 4 hours
  • feeding a starving caravan
  • killing Undead/Cursed creatures, so long as the Paladin gains experience and lands the killing blow. (The effect is random; you will not experience a boost in your soul every time you make a kill.)
  • successfully ACCUSING someone of necromancy or theft.
  • obtaining a favor from Chadatru or Rutilor will give a soul boost.
  • starting an RPA
  • using a Holy Icon (clean it three times, hug it, then focus on it).

Reducing soul state

Passively

Known as soul drift, as time goes on, the Paladin's soul will gradually become darker. However, the soul will never naturally fall below the chalky grey level. This is slow, gradual process, so as long as the Paladin perform "good" deeds somewhat regularly, he or she should have little trouble maintaining a pristine soul.

Actively

The following deeds harm a Paladin's soul:

  • attacking, advancing, or retreating while hidden or invisible
  • hiding during combat with other adventurers
  • handling, making, or using poison or poisoned weapons
  • FLEEING from combat
  • attacking first in combat with a fellow adventurer (removed on 2/20/2017)
  • killing another adventurer (removed on 2/20/2017)
  • grave-robbing
  • stealing or listening to a class on stealing (requires penance)
  • being charged with a crime
  • using Smite with an empty smite pool
  • throwing dirt
  • spitting

Penance

Attempting to steal or even learning about stealing will cause you to lose standing in the guild. You will not be allowed to circle or learn new abilities until you complete a specific quest of atonement. (You must atone even if you only listened to one pulse of a stealing class before joining the guild.)

To repent, you must PRAY CHADATRU. At this point, you will pray for forgiveness. (Do not interrupt your penance. The timer does not tick down unless you wait out the entire penance without interruption.) After the prayer, you will be restored to good standing, and any stealing ranks that you gained will be erased.

The length of penance depends on how many ranks you have in thievery. At 1,750 ranks, it takes 29.2 hours.

>ASK VERIKA ABOUT CIRCLE
Verika glances at you sadly, "Stealing by Paladins is not permitted. Even learning how to do it is forbidden. To return to good standing in the guild, you must perform the following penance. Take a journey up to the northwest to Therenborough, and in the Chapel of Chadatru repent of your wrong doings! The length of your penance will be up to the gods."

When you are at Theren Keep, Chapel (Genie #goto 83):

>REPENT
You kneel and begin meditating upon your sins.
>PRAY CHADATRU
Showing true repentance, you pray for forgiveness.
[Your penance will take X seconds.]


As you complete your prayers, a brilliant flash of white light blinds you! Searing pain lances through your soul as your sins are cauterized by holy fire! When the light subsides, a soft voice whispers, 'Go forth free of guilt and sin no more.' As the voice trails off, you are left with a wondrous sense of your own well-being.

Soul pool

The size of a Paladin's soul pool is directly related to the Paladin's circle, charisma, and the state of his soul.

A Paladin can check his soul pool by exhaling on a soulstone. From lowest to full, the soul pool levels are:

  1. You believe you catch the faintest flicker of light. You might have imagined it.
  2. You catch the faintest flicker of light.
  3. It briefly flickers with an inner light.
  4. It flickers with an inner light.
  5. It pulses briefly with an inner light.
  6. It pulses with an inner light.
  7. It pulses rapidly with an inner light.
  8. It brightens with an inner light, which lingers for a few moments before returning to its normal state.
  9. It brightens with a powerful inner light, which lingers before returning to its normal state.
  10. It brightens with a powerful inner light that, somehow, manages to not cast shadows.

References

  1. Post:Death and the Soul - 5/11/2009 - 1:39:41
  2. Post:Backlaaaaaaaash - 06/17/2014 - 14:06
  3. Post:The Sacred and the Profane - 2/15/2010 - 22:16:03

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