A land is reigned by a circle of powerful men who control every aspect of the citizen's life. This cabal changes members often. In reality, the spectres of a small necromantic covent possess and control the people in power. Since they simply possess the bodies, they can leave when old age overcomes their shells and possess a new up-and-coming noble.
A culture believes that souls are recycled. One child gets half of a soul, another child gets the other half. However, this means that with each passing generation, the amount of soul in the child will become less and less (Through division)until their culture will die in the future because of their soulless offspring.