"We don’t choose to be reapers. It’s inherited, a recessive trait that barely manages to live on into modern times."
The reaper gene is a recessive gene that causes a human to become a reaper on death and also makes it possible for them to be turned into an aberration as a fetus.

Prevalence Edit

Though the reaper gene was once fairly common, it seems to have become increasingly rare in modern times, meaning that most reapers are very old, despite increasing birth and death rates providing more chances for any particular human to become a reaper. Eventually, if the gene dies out completely, the number of reapers will not be able to replenish at all and the occasional war deaths will make it permanently harder for the current reaper population to keep ferrying souls.

Carriers Edit

Carriers (people with one copy of the recessive gene) are generally indistinguishable from non-carriers except by DNA testing. They exhibit no physical or magical abnormalities while they are alive and become lost souls that can be ferried or taken as servants by reapers like anyone else without a full set of reaper genes. Depending of the knowledge and moral views of their families, they may be pressured to fall in love with another person with the reaper gene in order to produce reaper children, but this is rare.

Reaper families Edit

One curious effect of the fact that the reaper status is genetic is that some families will have several generations of reapers who frequently take servants from their carrier and normal descendants. Because of this, families with the reaper gene are sometimes very influential.