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Should mental illnesses or direct mental damage be included here? I lean towards no, but have no hard opinion on the matter.
Not every injury is visible on the body. Some injuries may not be of the body at all. These are injuries that have been made to the soul
, the spirit, the life essence, or whatever metaphysical construct a work uses together with someone's living body.
Note that for purposes of this trope Depression
, psychosis, and other mental illnesses are not included.
See also Our Souls Are Different
and Anatomy of the Soul
. Compare Emotion Bomb
and I'm Having Soul Pains
. A Soul-Cutting Blade
is a weapon that inflicts this type of injury, or someone with Soul Power
can inflict it. Can be the cause of Death of Personality
Anime and Manga
- Hercules has the scissors with which The Fates cut the "thread of life," a cord they cut to send the soul of a mortal being to the underworld.
- In Demon The Fallen the titular demons harvest faith to fuel their angelic powers. Typically they do this by creating cults or forging relationships with mortals; however the most heinous way a demon can do this is to literally rip the faith off of a human, which metaphysically scars them and makes them anything from an Empty Shell, Extreme Doormat to just extremely cynical. Repeated uses can make mortals catatonic or outright kill them.
- Changeling: The Lost has Arcadia note ) and the border between it and the real world is The Hedge. Any human traveling through the hedge, specifically if they get cut by the thorns therein, has pieces of their Soul torn and ripped off. Humans who are kidnapped by the fae and become Changelings can escape Arcadia and recover most of these pieces. All changelings come back missing a piece, and it's usually used by the fae to create an Evil Twin (or a good twin, it's messy). Anyone looking at a Changeling's soul or aura notices it's kind of torn and flimsy, a bit insubstantial and incomplete. A Changeling who reconciles with their fetch (the above mentioned evil twin) can effectively heal their soul.
- The Cipher class in Project Eternity specializes in damaging the enemies' souls (with a consequence of reducing their Hit Points, as well).