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Sello de alma

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Sello de alma
Soulstamp.png
Creadores Forgers, Bloodsealers
Mundo Sel
Universo Cosmere
Aparece en The Emperor's Soul

A soulstamp is a tool used in Forgery, a manifestation of Investiture in MaiPon on Sel. The most powerful kind of soulstamp in Forgery, one that works on people, is called an Essence Mark.[1] The resulting mark is also referred to as a soulstamp[1] or simply a "seal".[2] Bloodsealers from the nation of Dzhamar also use crude versions of soulstamps to track people and reanimate the dead.[3]

In Forgery, soulstamps are used to stamp an object with a seal which can magically change the object's past. The alternate history is created by the Forger and dictated by the intricate design of the stamp.[3] If the new history is reasonable compared to the object's actual history, the stamp will "take", meaning that it will physically (and spiritually) transform the object as if it had experienced the alternate history. If the new history is too fanciful, the seal will fail after an amount of time relative to the similarity of the histories. A highly plausible stamp will stay nearly permanently.[3]

Use

Forgery

Soulstamps can be made of any material that can be carved and hold its shape.[4] Well-designed stamps are works of art, but even poorly trained Forgers can make relatively basic stamps that are effective for a simple purpose.[3] The material affects the quality of the stamp, with harder, finer mediums being more prized. Soulstone is preferred by Forgers because it is soft and easy to carve in its natural state, but can be easily hardened with a flame to make the stamp very durable.[3] The ink used to stamp the seal also has an effect; only fresh, organic inks will function, though they can be mixed with other compounds such as wax for convenience. Animal inks are superior to plant-based inks, with squid ink being well regarded.[3] Seals are usually bright red in color.[5][6]

As always, the stamp sank slightly into the material. A soulstamp left a seal you could feel, regardless of the material. She twisted the stamp a half turn—this did not blur the ink, though she did not know why. One of her mentors had taught that it was because by this point the seal was touching the object's soul and not its physical presence.

Shai's thoughts as she Forges a table[5]

When a soulstamp is applied, the stamp sinks slightly into the surface of the object. The Forger "locks" the stamp by twisting it a half turn before removing it, although this does not blur the ink.[5] If the Forgery is unsuccessful, the seal disappears immediately, and the ink can be easily wiped away.[4] If the seal is successfully applied, it begins to glow faintly.[6][7] The seal remains indented with a noticeable texture, regardless of the material being stamped.[3] When a living thing is stamped, the sinking sensation is a bit disconcerting, and the stamp gives off faint wisps of red smoke as the soul resists the change.[4] Soulstamps can be intentionally broken in order to end a Forgery. The seals actually resist being destroyed, but if they are, the object immediately returns to its former history and the seal becomes mundane ink.[3][7]

Essence Marks are a type of specialized soulstamp that can change a person's history, soul, and personality. They are attuned to a single individual; the stamps are incredibly detailed and complex, and typically take years to create.[1] Essence Marks can have a wide range of effects, including changes to a person's physical appearance, beliefs, athletic skill, and their level of knowledge of particular subjects.[8] They are only intended to work for a short time, although they can last indefinitely if renewed daily.[4][6]

Bloodsealing

The mechanics of Bloodsealing are not well understood, but they use tools that are identifiable as soulstamps. Their stamps are commonly made of bone, and are considered unrefined and unnatural by Forgers.[3][4] The stamps only work when "inked" in fresh human blood.[3][9] Seals created by Bloodsealers also glow red, and can be applied to various materials.[3] Like Essence Marks, Bloodsealing soulstamps only last for about one day; they dim and then visibly pulse before fading completely.[10][9][6] When used to reanimate the dead, the seals are applied to the foreheads of skeletons that become the Bloodsealer's "pets".[6] The fresh blood allows the Bloodsealer to attune their seals to their subject. When they create or renew a soulstamp attuned to someone, the affected person feels pain wherever the blood was drawn.[3] The Bloodsealer and their pets can also track the person's location as long as the seal is active.[3]

Realmatics

Each object sees itself as something. Connection and intent are vital.

—Shai[5]

The effectiveness of a Forgery soulstamp is dependent in part on the plausibility of a stamp. This includes both how the object views itself (the object's history) and how others view it.[11] Wan ShaiLu exhibits a notable awareness of Realmatic Theory and the relationships between the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realms, presumably because this knowledge is directly relevant to skilled Forgery.[5] The ability of Forgery to rewrite an object's Spiritual nature is congruent with other concepts in the cosmere such as Soulcasting, although Forgery's changes are inherently temporary.[12][13]

Soulstamps have a glyph of MaiPon on the back of a stamp, and like other Selish magic, the Forgery gets weaker the further you travel from MaiPon.[14][4][15] It is not possible to simply change the glyph on the back of the stamp to correspond to a new location, it is necessary to be born in MaiPon or have a bloodline connection to the area.[16]

Soulstamps have a fairly low amount of Investiture, and Forgers would have significant difficulty soulstamping an Invested object.[17][18] Shai notes that she cannot Forge a Bloodsealed object.[8]

Trivia

  • During the novella's development, the seal left by a soulstamp may have been referred to as a "soulseal", but this did not make it into the published book.[19]

Notes

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