The Soul Engine

2012-12-26 20:45:00

Of all the fabled monstrous unholy weapons the mages utilise against the faith, none is more terrifying nor evil than the Soul Engine.

Disagreements of principle aside, not a one major religion denies the existence of the immortal soul. Even those most rigidly demanding purity and obedience from its followers knows that any punishment for transgressing ends with the soul. Whatever torment awaits sinners, whatever retribution rains down upon heretics... when it is over, if it is ever over, what remains is the immortal life force, a fundamental fragment of the universal energy. When the gods themselves are laid to rest, still will there permeate the grand reality an aether, a framework, an all-pervading ore of spirit from which life and death, joy and sorrow, youth and age can all be wrought. Each one of us remembers our life and those lives that have touched ours, and those lives remembered the lives that came before. Nobody is truly lost, no piece of their essence truly destroyed... except within the Soul Engine.

To rip that spectral organ from the body is of no moment to even the palest grey of Dark Wizards. To blacken a piece or a whole of a being's spirit with unspeakable acts does nothing to lessen its potential. To die is simply to move on. To live is simply to be reborn. To transcend, to redeem, to condemn, all just states of existence of some part of us. When the Gods came together to make the world, They knew it would be fleeting, fragile. Even our bodies age and die in but the space it takes a God to blink. But They chose to make our mortal bodies vessels for immortal spirits, so that They may come to know us as They know One Another. We feel Their touch when we pray for courage. We feel Their absence in nights of blackest despair. The power They use to share Their Divine Grace works through our souls. And that power is being destroyed.

The magician is sinister. He is vile. He is an abomination before the Gods, both Dark and Light. He craves power outside the natural order, outside what is bestowed upon us by the keepers of that power. They use their black spells to suck our prayers out of the air and forge them into hateful creatures and flaming wrath. They steal away the shining remnants of the gift of creation to twist unto their own ends. Why is it that a wizard is unable to heal the sick? Why has no sorcerer cured a child's fever, no mage restored a blind beggar's sight? It is because their power knows only destruction. They steal the light of creation and undo the fabric holding this world in its divinely-mandated balance. And they must be stopped.

But this is, of course, why you are all here. The Aurac Inquisition does not indoctrinate. The Aurac Inquisition does not snatch children from their homes and put them though "Aurac school" like the wizards do. The Auracs seek not to fill new Auracs with daemons and cavort with unholy powers. We seek to stamp out the magician plague. We free their thralls, we burn their tomes, we smash their orbs and their staffs and their wands. We burn wizards with our holy fire and undo their heinous work. And we will not stop until the scourge has been eradicated.

Their blackest art, fellow Inquisitors... their greatest threat to us — not our bodies, but our immortal souls — is the Soul Engine. Nobody knows when it was made. Every history we have mentions it, and every history we have documents it as a ruin. But we who study these matters know that it is not a ruin. We who study the ancient magical debris littering the jungles know that the Engine is active. It is the powerhouse of the most evil mages, those who would take our very souls and destroy them, ground up to fuel their insatiable desire for power and dominion over both man and god. It is a great machine in the deepest, darkest valley of our green land. Surrounded by trees so tall as to obscure it from sight, and jungle creatures so vicious as to repel all intruders. It will be the privilege of the highest-ranking Auracs to venture into this dread vale and bring down all within. By safeguarding our immortal souls against the magicians' vile intentions, those chosen to undertake this mission will not only aid the eradication of magic, but also accrue the favour of all the Gods and whatever boons They may see fit to grant.