M is for: Muses

Muses. Ghosts. Cybersouls.

Muses are extremely advanced AI programs, bonded to an individual. In theory, they become an unconscious extension of the individual, a filter for the overwhelming amount of digital information accessed by an individual.

 

With enough use, the intelligent algorithms can extend beyond consciousness, allowing a person to never fully sleep, as their muse maintains their digital presence whilst they rest.

With an always-on muse able to continue the interests of the individual whilst they would be otherwise engaged, billionaire stockbrokers continue to get rich, engineers can maintain a watch on their nanofactories, and soldiers can maintain a greater awareness of their surroundings.

 

Generally, muses adopt a similar personality to their user, acting only as an extension, however in some cases they form antithetical behaviours.

Several punishments for criminals involve the deletion of their private muse, and the installation of either a fresh software iteration or one preconfigured to act as a counsellor and later as a parole officer.

The Dead Nights

The high holiday of Lady Death, the Dead Nights see the moon disappear from the night sky, and angry spirits manifest across the world.
Powerful witches are able to dream travel to the shores of the dead with ease and without ritual, and the spirits of departed relatives sometimes appear in mortal dreams.
It is also the time when the Undeath curse is most powerful, and the bodies of those who die are most carefully watched.