Tier Five: Replicant
“The final stage; perfection.”
Legends tell of a final and nigh unattainable form of homunculus- the Replicant- which is born of a rare and paradoxical conjunction of alchemy and holy magic. Building upon the soul shadow within higher tier homunculi, a divine magic user is able to form the facsimile of a soul template from soul essence- effectively granting the homunculus the ability to experience true sentience. As most Holy Orders denigrate and hunt homunculi as a general rule, to find a willing participant for such a creation is almost impossible. While other methods may be possible, one must obtain raw, pure soul matter and have the means to bestow it upon the Doppelganger to achieve the evolution to Replicant.
A homunculus gifted in such a fashion will bear the same wealth of feeling and purpose as a mortal man- for, in practice, he has been given that which all other homunculi lack- a mortal soul. The Replicant would be capable of feeling higher emotions- love, empathy, friendship- and would appear almost entirely indiscernible from the mortals around them both in physical and emotional presence. They will retain the personality which they developed in their time as a Doppelganger, as well as any memories, skills, and emotions. Due to the nature of the soul material used, their soul is fresh, and unhindered by the curses that normal Descendants bear. This allows them to live significantly longer than any of their predecessors, with the true extent of their lifespans yet unknown.
The possession of a soul also allows the owner a connection to the void. Due to the unnatural state of their being, Replicants do not possess the full range of magics that a normal mortal would. They are unable to learn any diety magic whatsoever. (3 Slots) Any attempt to modify or change the fragile soul of a Replicant will cause the soul to fracture and fade. Replicants are unable to possess a new fully formed soul, and thus if one were to try and make use of the patchwork version they did have, the soul would simply be lost, and the Replicant would return to their previous Doppelganger form, retaining any scars or maims acquired along the way.
Despite the addition of a soul into their body, the ability for it to function normally has long since past. Their internal organs remain in stasis, and they have no blood. They continue to lack the necessity for air, food, and sleep, however they gain the ability to go into a trance like meditative state to rest and dream. This meditation is required for the Replicant to regain lost energy and mana, and to prevent fatigue. A Replicant should go into this trance for at least four hours a day to fully rest their body. Their previous replacement of blood remains, and depends on their symbol. Death is again similar to that of a Doppelganger. Once a Replicant has received a mortal amount of wounds, their body will begin to break down. Particle by particle, their form disperses, leaving only their internal symbol. Unlike Doppelgangers, though, a soul is present. This will cause their body to be reformed as other mortals do, within the Cloud Temple, and not the Abyss. This also means they retain scars upon death, as their bodies did not rebuild themselves in the same fashion as before. In the same sense, any lost limbs or body parts will remain lost to them permanently. While a mortal would be able to seek out a potion of regeneration, Replicants do not possess the blood necessary to create the concoction, and thus are unable to make use of this feat of alchemy. Similarly, healing potions and poisons do not affect Replicants. It is said that the only potion that can affect a Replicant is the potion of unmaking, the brew that kills homunculi. It is important to remember that things like acidic substances still hurt Replicants however.
The regeneration that the Doppelganger possesses is completely lost to a Replicant. They will now begin to heal at the same rate as a mortal being, with broken bones needed to be set and deep cuts needing to be stitched. This is due to the presence of a soul, and their closer link with mortality. As well, they will experience normal, physical pain much more vibrantly. A blow or cut that was easily shrugged off before is now felt in full. A Replicant is far from the berserker fighting style of their previous form. With the use of magics, they will also find themselves fatigued due to exerting their mana pool, something all beings with a soul must endure. However, due to the nature of their body, voidal poisoning does not affect their muscle mass or strength as it would a mortal. They will also now experience fatigue in normal, melee combat instances. They will have a hard time adjusting to this change at first, but as with any soldier or athlete, they can eventually learn to utilize their stamina throughout a fight.
Their bodies are still of unnatural construction, thus they remain vulnerable to aurum weaponry and most holy magics. The single exception to this rule is the magic of the Ascended, Aeriel’s followers. Due to the nature of their new found soul, being pure and untainted, Ascended magic will not harm a Replicant in any way. They remain weak to their opposing symbol.
The most important thing to remember about a Replicant's soul is that it is extremely fragile. One might imagine a this patchwork soul as a glass object which has been carefully and meticulously pieced back together. The slightest bump will send it crumbling again, and the object itself is far from useful. Replicants will never have a full grasp on magic, their connection to the Void is barely stable and difficult to maintain. They can in no way whatsoever alter their soul, not for magic or any kind of transformation. They risk themselves to gain the soul and sacrifice much to maintain it. Acquiring a soul is far from becoming perfect. If a Doppelganger does manage to receive a soul, they are trading off certain aspects. The soul is difficult to acquire and easy to lose, and should never be viewed as some small thing.
Must be created from a living Doppelganger
Retains the strength and speed of a Doppelganger, as well as their memories, personality, and skills.
Retains the racial buffs from when they were a Doppelganger (necrolyte).
No blood. Instead, they will excrete whatever liquid/solid they are formed from.
Gain the full emotional range of mortals. Possess the ability to form a moral compass.
Extreme length of life. Lifespan extends tenfold.
Having acquired a soul, they are now able to practice magic and possess a mana pool. However, they are unable to learn any diety magics. (3 slots; 1 T5, 1 T4, 1 T3) No limit on feats or artificery.
Weak to holy magic (excluding Ascended), aurum weapons, and their opposing symbol.
Healing is done at the speed of a mortal. Scars are retained permanently. Loss of limb or other body parts is permanent. (Regen potions do NOT work on them due to the nature of the potion’s required ingredients.)
Connection to the Void for extended periods of time is difficult.
Replicants must go into a meditative state for at least 4 hours a day to regain energy and mana.
Replicants become fatigued after excessive exertion of the body.
Cannot be transformed into anything else (lich, shade, etc) that would change or affect their fragile soul. Attempting to do this will result in the fracturing of the soul, and subsequent loss of it, reverting the Replicant back into Doppelganger form.
Thanks go to Fid for helping me start this lore and PurpleCola for helping me finish it.
9/7 - Lore Posted