"Mention the name Pandgram to anyone with even a passing knowledge of animancy and you could find yourself in for a very long discussion. Publicly reviled but privately lauded as a hero and genius, Pandgram's history is at turns revolutionary, horrific, and mysterious.
Pandgram was fascinated - some might say obsessed - with the concept of animancy. It consumed his life as he dedicated everything to understand it. He would frequently travel to Eir Glanfath and the Dyrwood to visit the Engwithan ruins. There he would take notes and make sketches, bringing anything back with him that he could to help him unlock the mysteries. After years of study, Pandgram had reached the point where he could no longer conduct research on his own, and he took on an assistant - Helig of Thein. Soon, Helig was making trips to Eir Glanfath in Pandgram's stead, gathering knowledge while Pandgram stayed behind to experiment. This partnership quickly bore fruit and Pandgram made a breakthrough - one that would irrevocably change his life and the general attitude about animancy forever.
While the specifics of his experimentation will never truly be known, the rumors and stories that still circulate tell that he had sent out inquiries, asking for live subjects for help with a dangerous experiment that might change their life - or might end it. Those who were already dying were especially encouraged to apply. Response was overwhelming and Pandgram had his pick of numerous willing bodies. That is when he had his breakthrough. He discovered a way to fix a soul, anchoring it to its body so it couldn't leave at death.
He had discovered eternal life.
His research and life's work had resulted in the greatest single discovery that animancy could hope for. His findings were published and quickly spread through Vailia - and beyond. While some groups - the Woedican church, for example - decried his work as nothing more than blasphemy and heresy, many put it to practice. Everyone wanted the chance at immortality.
But everything comes with a cost. It quickly became apparent that simply restraining the soul, while keeping the person technically "alive," was doing nothing for the body, which continued to decay - devolving and warping the soul now trapped inside it. The creatures it created were dangerous - carnivorous beasts that killed brutally and indiscriminately. The backlash was ruthless. The practice of Pandgram's discoveries was outlawed. His works were collected and burned. He and Helig were branded heretics and hunted, chased from town to town until Pandgram simply vanished.
Helig was tracked down, captured, and brought to trial for the atrocities committed against Vailia and its people. The trial was barely more than a formality to bring charges against him as everyone knew what hand he had played in the disaster. He was sent to prison for years, but eventually released once public outrage died down. Not long after his parole, he disappeared as well.
Occasionally, talk surfaces that a copy of Pandgram's theorems has been found, untouched by the purging flames that destroyed its brothers. These rumors seldom end up being more than that. Many groups and wealthy individuals have formed sending out a call to anyone who will listen - find us a copy of the theorems. They offer gold, jewels, status, anything they can to entice adventurers to help them achieve their goals. For there are those who would give anything a chance at immortality - even become a monster."