Anatomy of a Risen
Mix of both. Some of the risen (Reza) have souls bound within their rotting corpses, while others (Romke) exist as ghosts asking us to put their bodies to rest. It’s been theorized that it might relate to power- Reza was the most powerful of one of Zhaitan’s most valued kinds of risen- but nothing conclusive is known for sure.
There are only two known cases of souls trapped in risen – Reza and the Keeper of the Shrine during Cathedral of Silence story mission. Both were powerful minions in their own right. We have not just Romke and his crew of about 5+ but also a vigil crusader in Mount Maelstrom that exist as ghosts while their bodies are out and about as risen, but all of them are weak risen.
Usually, when an undead has intelligence, it has retained its soul – this may or may not apply to risen and even other dragon minions as well – which would imply that Risen Knights may retain souls as after Zhaitan’s fall they seem to be the only intelligent risen left.
But as Aaron said, nothing is conclusive.
Stop treating GW2 as a single story. Each Season and expansion should be their own story.
Thanks for the responses. I’d played through the story once in 2012 and remember feeling waves of emotion related to the Risen and the lost souls. On a replay recently though, I didn’t get the same feeling. Perhaps due to different story paths in the Orders.
I personally believe that risen have no soul, but rather just the memories, since thr brain is still inside the body.
Im personally more intriqued by Risen death; at one point does the body stop animating?
In the book we see risen broken to pieces while contuining to fight, beware a cut of hand. But in the games the risen eemain intact, and just drop dead after the body sustained some damage.