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Playing With / Soul Jar

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Basic Trope: A character, usually the villain, has placed their soul in an object outside of their body, granting immense strength or power and possibly immortality.

  • Straight: Evil Mage Vile has placed his soul in a small jar he keeps guarded. Without a soul, he is immensely powerful and nothing seems to hurt him. Bob must first destroy the Soul Jar to actually defeat Vile.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Before removing his soul, Vile was just as powerful as everyone else. After placing it in a sacred jar, however, he has become a Person of Mass Destruction with an unstoppable Healing Factor.
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    • Soul jars are common, so common that even Vile, a poor mage, can shop for one the Shadow Bazaar.
  • Downplayed: Vile is a powerful and immortal Lich who hides his soul in a secret jar, but claims he was just as powerful when he was a mortal.
  • Justified:
    • Vile discovered an ancient tome that holds great power, but he must first place his soul in an object to protect it from the corruption the spells cause.
    • Vile wishes to learn all there is to know about magic. To do so, he removed his soul to grant himself immortality, and the time needed to master all spells.
  • Inverted:
    • Vile infuses himself with something else's soul to grow even more powerful, effectively holding two souls at once.
    • Half of Vile's soul was taken by the Overmaster, who uses it to ensure the lich's obedience and punish him should he step too far out of line
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    • Vile keeps his body preserved in a People Jar to grant him immortality and continuously restore his soul while his soul carries about his business.
  • Subverted:
    • Dark Mage Vile is simply very powerful due to years and years of studying magic and the dark arts, and scoffs at the idea of removing his soul and placing it in something.
    • Bob and his allies find a strange pendent that many believe holds the Dark Lich Vile's soul. When they destroy it in front of him, Vile reveals that he never placed his soul in something to begin with.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Vile did study magic and grew more powerful, but only after placing his soul inside a small statue that he keeps in his study.
    • It turns out that Vile DID have a Soul Jar, but it was a ring, not a pendant.
  • Parodied:
    • Vile places his soul inside a small glass sphere that laughs manically and plots to take over the world once it figures out how to grow arms.
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    • Vile creates a Soul Jar in an attempt to gain power, but removes it when the Soul Jar starts to argue who's more evil.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Bob finds a glowing orb that holds a soul, but it's not Vile's, it's actually a royal knights, but the knight is actually one of Vile's past lives, but Vile doesn't remember it so it doesn't hold any power. Then Vile reveals he has split personalities. Or does he!?
    • Vile has no soul, because he placed it in Soul Jar. Except it's not really his soul, but his heart. Then Vile reveals he's part of another species that are immortal so they don't have actual souls so they must use their hearts instead. But Vile somehow created an artificial one using his magic, and now must place his soul in his heart in his jar.
  • Averted: It is physically impossible for anyone to survive removing their soul from their body, and so Soul Jars are impossible.
  • Enforced: Vile is a fan-favorite, so at the start of season 2, it's revealed that he created a Soul Jar shortly before he was killed by the heroes.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "The most dangerous thing about Vile is his power. He no longer has a soul in his body, and thus attacking him directly will be futile."
    • Or...
    Alice: "You monster! Do you even have a soul?!"
    Vile: "I have a soul... Just not with me at the moment"
  • Invoked: Vile reads about how ancient mages could increase their power by placing their soul in an object, so he attempts the same thing. It works wonders for his magic ability.
  • Exploited: Bob, an aspiring villain himself, gets ahold of Vile's Soul Jar and uses it as leverage to force the lich to do what he wants.
  • Defied: Vile learns he can place his soul in an object to increase his magic and strength, but decides against it as he values his soul more than power.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Vile's Soul Jar grants his immense power, but Vile finds himself devoting more time to protecting his new Achilles Heel than his world domination plans.
    • While his power increases immensely, without a soul, Vile's body becomes little more than a walking puppet, requiring him to stay close to his Soul Jar to retain control over his body.
    • The Soul Jar was just a way of making space for something else to move in and alter him to his (and its) liking. In fact, the Soul Jar is more akin to a trash can than a vault, and destroying it does nothing; Vile was able to remove his soul in the first place because he no longer had any true connection to it.
    • A Soul Jar comes with the Logical Weakness of turning his old body into a puppet and his jar into his true body. Vile is defeated not by destroying his incredibly well protected Soul Jar but by adding /another/ magical barrier around it, causing his body to go inert and be trapped within his own jar forever.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Vile places his soul in the castle itself, knowing that to kill him it would require the utter destruction of the entire building, not leaving a single brick intact.
    • Vile learns to hide his soul on a smaller object, granting him immortality, power, and portability of his soul so he wouldn't have to continuously remember to stay close to it.
    • After throwing away his soul, Vile no longer has a conscience, and no longer feels "nobler" emotions such as love or sympathy. The longer it goes, the more he forgets such things, and the less accustomed he is to tuning them out. But if his soul is found and put back in place, all the "weakness" he discarded with it will return, with him no longer ready to suppress it.

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