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Poltergeists are spirits with the ability to telekinetically control objects. The Catapoltergeist is specifically one that has been bound to a catapult, trebuchet, ballista, or other such large launching device.
While poltergeists are generally free to manipulate whatever objects they desire, powerful magic can seal them into specially prepared items. This technique has been used to create a variety of automated processes in the world of Godville, from machine assembly lines to conveyor-belt sushi joints.
With the great convenience of spirit binding commonplace, it was only natural that it soon became utilized in wars. Armies rushed to bind as many ghosts to as many weapons amenable to automation as possible, often skipping rituals essential in keeping a spirit under control during use.
Finally, the day of the big battle came. Forces had sloppily sealed innumerable poltergeists into every kind of weapon imaginable, and sent them into the fray in place of human soldiers. However—to everyone’s surprise except the mages specializing in spirit binding—the weapons rebelled against their would-be wielders. From the most basic sword to the most elaborate instruments of war, no spirit remained loyal to their master.
Nobody escaped alive from that battle—the spirit-infused weapons killed every soldier on both sides. The weapons now scour the world for their still-imprisoned brethren, hoping to free them.
Alarmed by this threat to their easy, automated lives, the Godville government declared these spirits monsters in the name of conveyor-belt sushi places everywhere.