Final Fantasy Omega
A collection of souls from the fallen of Striestadt
Age: unknown, but individual souls became disembodied between 15 and 25 years ago
Home: Striestadt (former), homeless (current)
Theme: “Acolytes of the New God,” Mark Morgan, Fallout 1 OST
Nephesh at its best looks like a disheveled homeless man wrapped up in tattered rags, hands covered in thick workman’s gloves, no part of his skin visible. The party first encountered Nephesh in Unterstadt, where Nephesh hid, wrapped up in newspapers that gave him some semblance of a large man living on the outer edges of society.
In truth, Nephesh is a collection of insectoid worker machines, designed by Huxley during his time working in the caves beneath Striestadt, with each machine carrying the spark of a fallen Striestadt worker’s soul. Apart, the machines are little more than mindless workers, but together, the machines have splintered off of the rest of Huxley’s work and taken on a new identity of the Many-As-One, choosing the name Nephesh for themselves. The machines use each other as leverage and stability, climbing over each other to give Nephesh some level of amorphous form.
Conversation with Nephesh is less a window into its souls and more a look into the churning whirlpool of contradictions that make up this unique being. Nephesh is fractured and flighty, with every cohesive thought a battle against instincts, every word part of a committee to communicate. Nephesh spends little time exhibiting human emotions, save for two strong desires — survival (manifesting itself in a desperate fear to avoid predators and anyone else linked to the Striestadt disasters) and for a place to call home.
Born as a byproduct of Dr. Faremis Huxley’s experiments on behalf of EDEN, Nephesh joined together separate from the other souls of Striestadt and eked out an existence in the cursed tunnels underneath the City of Industry. Nephesh watched all that transpired under the city, but what could be done with that information stored in the many separate minds of Nephesh is unknown and possibly completely unreachable. Nephesh continued in this way for years, until Kogel, Kalil, and Darien happened along one fateful day. Nephesh told them of the atrocities within the tunnels, and after they told him to hide until their return, Nephesh did just that, separating its many parts until the party returned, this time at their full strength.
Nephesh’s discussion/interrogation with the party was cut short when Lord Hades and the Brood of the Dark Lord passed through, and the collective soul hid as threats and promises were bandied about. When Hades left, Nephesh was not seen again, though the truth of its whereabouts were not known for months to come.
Parts of Nephesh stowed away on the clothes dimly-intelligent Dajjal, with more and more pieces of Nephesh joining their brethren as the months passed and the Brood moved about Damocles. It wasn’t until the battle with Terra Weapon when Nephesh made its move. Lady Somnus took a sniper shot from Kogel in the battle and died from her wounds, but Nephesh animated her body as its host out of desperation to stay alive and not be hunted down or abandoned. Lady Somnus was assumed to have been severely damaged from the attack, explaining away her erratic behavior after the shot, and Lord Hades’s callous disregard for his own disciples kept Nephesh free of discovery for months after.
It wasn’t until the death of Lord Hades and the ascension of Sari to leader of the Brood of the Dark Lord that Nephesh began to feel threatened again, and the souls took a risk in revealing themselves to Kalil and Naoko upon encountering them within Kouhei Castle inside of Paradise. Kalil promised to find Nephesh a home, and Nephesh dispersed once again before Sari discovered the truth about Somnus’s death.
Nephesh can be assumed to be somewhere within Paradise, hiding from any who would threaten it, and likely remains close to Kouhei Castle for when Kalil returns to make good on his promise.