The Living Spirit Spell is a spell within the Briarverse, which was performed during the events of the Secret Society in early 2019.
The Living Spirit spell was introduced to the Mountaineers by the user SpiritSeer, who had found it through her contacts in the Low and believed it might help the Mountaineers reach the locations hinted at in Woolie’s most recent riddle. According to SpiritSeer, the spell required dangerous wrought magic, and the Low had traced it back to a Japanese coven in the 12th or 13th century.
The story of the coven goes that they were dabbling and playing with all sorts of minor magic. But then they created or found a spell that changed everything in the coven. They began only performing this spell. And things went bad. No one’s sure if it was the power that the spell gave them or maybe it just drove them crazy over time, but the cautionary tale goes that they played with powerful magic and were good people who eventually went bad and paid for it.
The gist is that they found a way to leave their bodies while they were asleep. Sort of like dream astral projection? The more they did it, the farther (further?) they could explore, and the more they realized they could manipulate the physical world, as “spirits.”
They were “breaking” a lot of magic to do it, and with the power to see, hear, and manipulate without being detected, and without having blame falling back on them, they started misbehaving, to the point that people may have ended up dead. Also? The bodies of the coven members were eventually found in their beds, unable to wake up. Basically comatose until they died. So, it’s not the warmest and fuzziest of spells? But also, might be the best way to find the locations of these clues? And quickly before Woolie and magic and everything…
The spell required the fashioning of two items, one totem with “objects from far off places that you put with you in bed, or under your pillow, that frees your spirit or ‘essence’ from your body.” The second object was a box or a closed vessel under your bed, (or house, the translation wasn’t specific). Some sources mentioned adding a nail to the vessel for grounding, but most important was an item from the caster’s home that will create a tether to bring their spirit back safe.
The associated incantation of the spell read:
With this totem, I entrust the release of my spirit:
A remembrance to guide my journey with purpose.
An emblem of the unseen to lift my steps upon unfamiliar winds.
A symbol to illuminate my path and lead me where I want to go.
I place this totem beneath my head: my freedom, my friend, my hope.
Within this vessel, I entrust the safe return of my spirit:
A token from my home, to ground me should I wander far.
A relic of water, to bear me should I find myself adrift.
A vestige of flame, to warm my body should my spirit grow cold.
I place this vessel beneath my bed: my tether, my kite string, my home.
Many of the Mountaineers experienced adverse reactions to this spell beyond that of normal spell sickness, experiencing harmful entities reaching out to them and trying to convince them to leave their bodies while they dreamed, and reported feeling disturbed, uneasy, and ill upon waking. They believed them to be the spirits of those former dreamers who had traveled too long and had lost their bodies as a result.