Animancy in the Modern Age

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Animancy in the Modern Age
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Animancy in the Modern Age is a book in Pillars of Eternity about animancy.

Description[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.

Animancy is a science both respected and reviled, sometimes by the same person. For all the research done on the topic, we still know so little. Control over life itself! Something animancers have been working toward for hundreds of years. There are no real records of how the practice of animancy was first discovered, but once the spark of knowledge ignited, there was no stopping its inevitable discoveries.

In 2260 AI, animancers - as a result of their extensive research - successfully contained and transferred a soul. The subject of the experiment, whose name is unknown, was young and wealthy, but infirm. The idea was to move his soul from the dying body and into that of a recently deceased man who had suffered an accident. The new body, bearing only slight decay, would house the soul - giving the man a much better life. The outcome of this experiment resulted in the condemnation and outlaw of animancy in the Aedyran empire.

Again, while we have no true records of what happened (as they were all destroyed after animancy was outlawed) a journal was discovered, a makeshift confession by one of the participants. Excerpts from that journal follow:

2260 AI, Fonprima, 16 It is done and the gods forgive us for our arrogance. I am not sure what I was expecting - certainly not...that. But what did any of us expect?

Still, behind the revulsion there is a sense of pride - something I can't deny. All the research. The studying. Everything we worked for. We thought we'd change the world. How it’s changed!

All was in place. The twisted form lying on the table next to its new vessel. The equipment had been prepared. The tinctures and potions all carefully crafted. Every detail painstakingly organized to ensure success. We most assuredly succeeded...

The procedure went exactly as it should. The soul... extracted from the old body... held... bound in place to prevent it from moving on. Then the next step - transfer to the fresh vessel. It was beautiful and terrifying. I listened as they spoke the words of binding. I watched the soul move - not the soul itself, of course, but the vapor we use to detect it - as it lowered into the vessel. A gentle luminescence covered the body and then... nothing.

Silence. Darkness. I held my breath, afraid that even the slightest disturbance would destroy all our hard work.

Then motion. Then...dear gods...then...


How did I survive? I do not know. The vessel rose from the slab and the room breathed. Every person crowded around the tables exhaled. Some cheered. We had made life from death. We had become eternal. The body closed its eyes and tilted its head, looking for all purposes to be listening for something - or to it. Then its eyes popped open and it moved. Its lips pealed back from its teeth in a horrible expression of fury. It fell on the nearest man, tearing his throat, knocking him to the ground. Then the room erupted into screams, shouts, and a flurry of bodies running, pushing, doing everything in their power to get away from the creature sitting on their colleague.

But right before that happened, in the split second before the chaos, when there was nothing in the air but a stunned, terrified silence, I heard it. Sitting there on his chest, face at his neck.

And it was feasting.