January 14, 2013
Regeneration is a potent ability, but exactly where does it come from?
Souls, due in large part to their attachment to sentient minds, are able to take numerous forms. Generally, these forms don’t extend very far into particular talents, for example whilst a soul might be within a genetically-talented spellcaster like a sorcerer that soul likely does not inherently grant them special magical abilities. However, other creatures are more fortunate, and their souls tend to have abilities akin to magical spells ingrained into their souls.
This happens because, as we already know very well, the sentient brain can influence how the incarnum of a soul flows, causing specific effects. Particularly potent minds can even cause the soul to hang around in one form or another after the physical brain has been destroyed (ghosts being the most popular form of this phenomenon). If you work at it very hard, you can make your soul take on certain traits, and these are described as soul abilities (of which there are precious few on record).
Regeneration is one such soul ability. It is typically forged either by species (different brains are more adept at ingraining certain abilities in souls, hence the aforementioned spell-like abilities) or extreme hardship. The former is the most pleasant of the two origins, because the latter has a deep and long-lasting effect on the soul. If willing oneself to act beyond your own death can produce a sentient, incorporeal, soul like a ghost, then torture in the hells can traumatise your soul so much that it tries very hard not to go back. This is assuming your soul does not simply dissipate, returning to the plane of incarnum and ceasing to exist in any recognisable form. Acquiring regeneration is not an easy feat.
As we already know from the qualities of incarnum, it has restorative and energising powers on mundane matter, particularly the organic compounds present in living things. This is why those with souls tend to be selected for in evolutionary processes, because it makes them more likely to survive when they can produce “mind over matter” events. If your soul never leaves your body, either through some very powerful magical effect, physiological wiring of its structure, or because your soul is fundamentally traumatised, those recuperative effects still remain. Or in simpler terms, if your soul never leaves, you can eventually heal just about any wound.
Greater harm takes longer to heal, of course, as a traumatised soul though very motivated is still only as strong as most others and can only heal damage so quickly. A cut might take a few minutes to heal, a limb might take an hour, and a decapitation might take a day, depending on the individual in question. Nonetheless, it takes quite an effort to actually kill someone with regeneration, because their soul simply refuses to let them actually die. In law enforcement situations, where such an individual is to be executed, the general method is not to try to kill them, but instead to injure them routinely such that they cannot regain consciousness as their soul tries to repair them. This in turn is not a pleasant end, spending the rest of eternity in a comatose state as your body is regularly stabbed or bludgeoned.
Other soul abilities exist, regeneration being simply one of the most powerful and difficult to obtain, and perhaps you can find some of those other abilities scattered amongst the vast cast of Remember.