Does anything ever really die?
Bodies or vessels may be destroyed, minds may be obliterated, and 'stable configurations of Forces' may be disrupted, but nobody has ever split a Force (although Vapula's sure that he's worked out the trick this time). Of course, Forces may be recycled, and often are, and the general consensus is that the act of recycling means that Humpty Dumpty, indeed, may never be put back together again. Something just gets lost in the process.
Some people find it impossible to accept that.
Collectors come in many flavors, from every side of the War. They have many motives for their obsession, but all of them want somebody back, for whatever reason (love is a common theme, but so is a thirst for justice and/or revenge). Most Collectors never get past the first, almost impossible step of somehow managing to identify, locate and acquire a lost entity's specific Forces, of course. Those that do are faced with the hopeless task of isolating and nurturing the strands of a specific soul to the point where the lost entity is returned to the Symphony. There's never been a documented success - but Collectors are universally certain that they'll be the first. If nothing else, it's something to do to fill up the lonely years.
Needless to say, some ethereal pantheons are very interested in this practice. Isis is probably the most famous Collector: it is rumored that she has nearly collected all of Osiris' Forces by now, and is spending her free time practicing by trying to reconstruct some of the Forgotten Gods. It's also rumored that she's aided in this by the nearly-faded Babylonian ethereal Marduk, who has managed to keep the remains of his lost pantheon safe for thousands of years.
Oddly, neither Heaven nor Hell forbids or even discourages the practice of Collection (although it's treated, at best, as a somewhat macabre hobby). This may be due to the fact that the average Collector is actually quite good at treating celestial damage. A Collector, thanks to his or her specialized study, has the equivalent of a variant of the Medicine skill, which may only be used to help recover Soul Hits (add the CD of a successful roll to the number of Soul Hits recovered per week). While the Celestial Song of Healing is faster, treatment by a Collector does not cause disturbance: this is can be useful at times. In short, there are pragmatic reasons to permit Collectors to persist in their obsession.
Or, perhaps, Superiors permit the practice because one never knows. Perhaps someone will succeed where everyone else has failed, and bring someone back from the ultimate death.
Everybody misses somebody.
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