Lore Question: Souls vs Shades of the Dead

Are souls and the spirits/ephemera roaming the Blue Kingdom supposed to be the same thing? If so, how does that mesh with the fact that in Fallen London and Sunless Sea, you could part with your soul without much in the way of deleterious consequences, and your consciousness and personality seemed quite apart from it. Death seems to work the same for the soulless (not even getting into where the heck the far shore fits in with the Blue Kingdom). There’s also the question of how all these souls keep ending up buried in rocks and sitting in vaults. What’s the process from death masked shade trying to find their death door to glowing ball in a bottle?

It makes me strongly suspect that shades and souls are different things, but then there’s bits like finding souls between the teeth of defeated eaters of the dead. Or the glimpse behind Death’s Door matching up with what we know about judgements and their dietary relationship with souls.

So what exactly is going on here with regards to souls and shades? Trying to sneak the latter out of the Blue Kingdom is highly forbidden, but nobody bats an eye at a few crates of the former.

Alright, this seems to have been mostly answered when I encountered the event to trade petrichor to the dead for souls. Specifically their souls. I guess souls are still distinct things that the dead can possess, just like the living.

I guess that just leaves me wondering what is up with that glimpse behind Death’s Door.

Are the spirits just being cracked open to get at the crunchy souls inside, with any soulless dead being denied entry in the first place? If so, it seems like there’s rather easier methods to remove souls from their hosts. Maybe it’s just cleanup so they don’t have trillions of soulless dead clogging the place up? Or are spirits actually being dismantled for some purpose?

edited by Scienceandponies on 5/12/2019
edited by Scienceandponies on 5/12/2019

It seems to me that shades appear to be convient bindings to carry souls. It’s possible Big Blue uses its light to manifest these shades around it, explaining why you only see them in the BK.

Yes, this whole business confused me too.

I suppose that it may be similar to, for example, Egyptian animism, where souls consist of many independent parts, and those related to personality and consciousness even aren’t the most important/vital ones. With deeper concepts such as &quotthe soul of a soul&quot, etc.