The Wynne Tome or better known as The Soul-binding Codex is a text that details the practices required in order to transfer the soul from one mana circuit, onto another. Specifically, it details the creation process of a phylactery and the method by which a person may transfer their soul into said object. Since rediscovery, some years of deciphering later have revealed that the book with all of its runic inscriptions may also serve as a magical amplifier.
After rediscovery, it has oft been referred to by the discoverer as the Fatum De Hominis. Overall, the book has acquired many titles over the course of its history.
The Wynne Tome bears many enchantments along the surface, the papers have been refined by them to the point of having more sturdiness. They do not tear, or wear easily with age-- it is on the same level as a hard rock, as fire resistant as well. When submerged in water, they do not rot, it is impervious then to the natural hazards which the world presents. To destroy the tome would require a direct effort being made, this makes it easy to store and very resistant to accidental damage.
It is in a blue colour, it has motifs made with golden leaf, the majority of the runes glow in a faint and non-intrusive luminescent white-blue. When active, the pages will flip to act as a great light source with a whiter light, though still retaining a blue colouration to them.
The tome has contributed research from a rather secretive coven of individuals; their history lost to the ages. Where Ram discovered the notes on the alchemical circles worked on is not known, as it isn't written anywhere within the tome's pages. These group of people came about shortly after Azrael's first crusade, those who saw the idea of immortality but chose to support an alternative methodology in getting there. Unfortunately, their methods still resulted in depraved energies in what is believed to be, the very few who succeeded and are now lost.
The tome was first founded by Ram Wynne as a collection of notes on runecraft, later after the first recorded success it started to focus on the properties of souls. Mana circuits, their creation, intricacies, and the workings of a soul itself was the field of research thereafter. His idea was to find a way to create phylacteries capable of housing souls but also serving inside of functional bodies. His success rested on finding the archives of the before mentioned mysterious group -- with these in mind he had with him, an example of a working soul seal, created by runes of his own hand, and, the proof of concept provided for by discovered documents on an unmentioned island (probably to keep the obscurity of his work).
With the entire batch of markings at his disposal it occurred to the smith at some point it would take the average group of skilled runic artisans many years, or perhaps a lifetime to produce the required circle depicted. The design was to be followed, exactly, a single flaw in it will result in the failure and likely death of the participant using the sealing technique. The circle that he helped design in tandem with the old notes was to:
- Create a housing for the soul.
- Link the soul to the old body via an intricate mana connection that allowed the manipulation of the old body's limbs, and even allowed feeling to be conveyed between them.
- Reinforce the older body with properties that meant their lifespan was no longer finite.
This process required a very rare material that could come from multiple sources; a Phoenix feather, a Half-Angels feather, any Kraus-touched material, Fairy Powder, or a sizeable nugget of Arcanium suitable for any one purpose. Additionally, the ritual also required a single orb from each five elements placed upon specific points of the circle, before they attempt to activate it.
The book by all rights was a success. This sealing circle is capable of doing all of this, and it was designed to serve a specific purpose:
- The book copies the designs, and work, of everything that is depicted within via a method developed by the smith that allows the mind of a skilled magi to connect with the pages, briefly, so that their own will can be given the information needed to draw the mana circle.
- The book boosts the cognitive abilities of the user when given the specific incantation for this task, it is "Infinitas, Animas, Orbis".
- The book also acts as a very powerful magical amplifier to help increase the speed of the circle's creation, and can absorb ambient mana from the world with a radius that reaches up to an entire mile. It passively absorbs mana and charges the words within its pages over twenty-five years, whereupon any other channelled mana simply becomes excess that may be used for any other task. Once a circle has been drawn, it can only be used once, by a single person. After this, it will require recharging.
In his later years Ram Wynne was thought to have been on the brink of sheer insanity due to a strange curse placed on him -- from one of his very own creations. Before the first undead invasion lead by Samael, he disappeared into the northern seas, thought to have even sailed into the barrier from what reports suggested. Thus, with the book in his possession it was thought to have been lost.
The book was rediscovered by the band of mercenaries lead by Queen Eldor in relative secrecy, on year 774. By year 782, the holder discovered that it also acts as a very powerful magical amplifier, the runic sentences scribed within are designed not only to explain in detail the workings of seals, runes, and enchantment, but to also siphon ambient mana up to a mile in radius when the holder casts any spells. The rumours around the 'grail' of Victoria's adventures before she ascended to the throne of Tilandre were spread around by a scant few old salty sailors who earned their riches from the girl's exploits while she was alive. A fair amount of the crew did die, though the ones who survived surely lived quite the prosperous life afterwards.
After Victoria Eldor's death, the tome's location has become a mystery yet again. Rumours were passed around by the old, defunct crew of the Tilandrean Queen many years after her passing in the sea town's bar. They have become folklore now, the mysterious treasure of Queen Eldor, and after her death it was assumed that the book she once carried around with her has been misplaced as an ill-gotten gain to her killers.
Any clues to the current location of the tome would stem from first discovering these rumours, and to learning the identity of her killers. The legend of the book which can turn men to living stone and grant eternal life persists as days pass by, the artefact is assumed to be 'on Valmasian soil', but no specifics are available.
Traditionally the ritual has made use of mana lines, a specific, very precisely documented diagram is given within the tome for people to create; measurements must be meticulously adhered to. There are five 'circles' connected with symmetrical arms within the larger circle -- they form a pentagon at the centre, big enough to contain a person. The lines themselves have words written along them, which act as a means to give the mana a 'directive' much like people consciously have an idea when they cast, so that their mana takes form.
The Wynne Tome itself is actually in the creation of these runes. The pages written throughout the book when given a certain command, which is "Infinitas, Animas, Orbis" act as a means to temporarily increase the cognitive abilities of the runewriter. The book gathers mana with a large radius, from all living things, from the air itself and channels this into the runes throughout the book; causing them the flip wildly from start to finish. In this time, the caster may become exhausted. It can outright drain the mana and kill those who aren't already adept magi.
The tome must be within the vicinity of the runic circle when it is activated-- preferably within the hands of the user. When one sits within the ritual circle with the book, they will find that the pages emit a light that does not hurt the eyes; it is one of the brightest, and, it is said, that one will see their own life within these pages flowing like a story. Each memory, each experience and feeling -- the lifetime of a soul... whilst they observe this, they will experience their final moments as a mortal, and if they cling to that life they will reject fate. They will step into the realm of immortality on their first step to becoming soulbound.
- The circle can be used by anyone. To activate it, only mana is required, the simple mental directive to commence the ritual is to exert all mana possible. Once the process begins, it cannot be reversed. It is highly advised for the participant to cling to their life, if by nothing but sheer force of will.
- The body you gain depends on thought processes prior. If you wish for pseudo-immortality as a human, that must be your object of focus.
- Becoming a soulbound requires a second circle being made, this time you'll focus on strengthening the bond with the same required materials as before.
The tome is not perfect. The fallibility of human creation leaves flaws, and in dealing with the arcane surrounding a soul, despite an immense amount of care taken in the book's creation; bad luck may strike. You may end up turned into and elemental, but have no infinite lifespan. You could simply lose limbs, for your hubris. There is even the possibility, if faint, of simply dying. There is much to be gained, and lost, in the journey:
- Elementals may have unstable bodies.
- You might end up a golem with all the working parts, but the body will crumble away with time like any other living creature.
- The amount of depravity you exert will be more than twice the usual, to the point people may detect you from very far away.
- You could end up as a skeleton, or have various skeletal limbs in place of the normal.
- You may end up an immortal, but unfortunately, all memories are locked away in the book -- lost to the Wynne Tome's pages, essentially total amnesia.
- There is a possibility you may age over ten years instead of succeeding.
- While you might not gain immortality, there's also a chance you may simply reduce your age by ten years or over, instead.
- Limb loss, with no benefits or other changes.
- You lose much of your will, strength, magical power and more from the unstable ritual process.
One or more of these may occur with failure. In all instances, there can only be one ritual circle in existence at any given time, and the book is permanently locked onto this until it is used.
There are three different rituals that take place, one for golem creation, one for pseudo-immortals, and one for becoming souldbound itself.
- Golems lose their human form in exchange for one that doesn't age, their body takes time to regenerate wounds as any other does. The phylactery is housed somewhere within, and often appears when they're defeated. Golems may be confused with elementals due to the way their body appears, they may gain a slight advantage in their element, permanently. A golem may not be able to integrate into human society very well, they cannot reproduce.
- Pseudo-immortals are merely humans that do not age. Their bodies may lose limbs that never recover, their form at the time of taking the ritual is the one that will be preserved in time. An example, a thirty year old may be perpetually stuck at that age, as would a forty year old and so on.
- Soulbound. The soulbound can have their bodies destroyed outright, as long as their phylactery is intact they're capable of regenerating the loss over a long period of time, lost limbs take a year or two, an entire body being destroyed could take up to a decade. They lose a fair amount of their power in exchange for this. A soulbound can only restore their age back as far as twenty-five years, and they become locked in that state.
The soulbound must first become a pseudo-immortal, which is a risk in itself. The 'upgrade' is considered optional, as it comes with its own benefits and caveats.
- Eternal youth. Those with a crystal phylactery are by no means immortal. Damage to, or destruction of their crystal will render their soul 'unanchored'. A soul with no connection to the mana circuit within this crystal, is identical to a soul that has lost a body, and will soon be swept away to be either reborn or purified according to the actions and current depravity of the soul.
- Damaged soul crystals will result in instability of the puppet body. A chip for instance in the crystal could cause hands to be reduced to their skeletal structure, skin may rapidly decay resulting in bone exposure on any area of the body. Outright limb loss is possible, based on the crystal being severely damaged. This damage is irreparable except in the case of the incredibly rare Divine Magic.
- It is not a weapon, however, it can itself act as a powerful magical amplifier by gathering raw, unused ambient mana in the world from any available sources. The range is approximately one mile. The influence of this book can be felt by experienced magi, it feels as if there is something softly tugging on their mana, akin to a breeze.
- Immortals give off depravity regardless of their personality. The life stream is unable to account for their bodies, as living creatures were never supposed to live forever. They'll emit a steady flow of this negative energy, and unlike Sin Magi, immortals can never subdue or hide it away.
- Infinitas, Animas, Orbis stands for "Infinite Life Circle", or may also be translated as "Endless Life Circle", animas represents the 'essence' of what life is, and typically refers to the will or soul of a person.
- The easiest way to imagine the circle is a pentagon within the circumference. Another easy way is to think of the transmutation circle from Full Metal Alchemist.
- Once used, the ritual markings fade completely. The circle is a one time use.
- The stored mana can potentially be used for other purposes with less risk involved. Time magi might be able to exchange the ten year charge to revert their body's age back 3-4 Years, they could even do what was otherwise impossible with lost limbs-- given they'd lost their limbs within the reverted time period.
The tome can only be used once every ten years(now 25) to create a circle, please document uses here whenever possible.