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Necromancy, sometimes also referred to as Fetish Magic or Black Magic, centers on communing with and raising the dead. Unique among practitioners of Low Magic, the masters of undeath bind their Numen inside a semi-corporeal object called a fetish with which they control their summoned creatures.

HistoryEdit

According to legend, the very first instance of necromancy occurred when Maia, goddess of Death, summoned the shades of fallen gods to fight alongside their living brethren against the Chaos giants. Her brethren were understandably disturbed by her display of power; forbidding the Grey Lady from ever practicing the dark art on her fellow deities. Their edict, however, had no purchase on the created races. Maia soon began rewarding her mortal worshipers with a measure of control over the bodies and souls of the deceased, trading worldly powers for sacrifices of luxuries and art to enlighten her dreary realm. While necromancy has slowly evolved away from its divine origins, many would-be necromancers are careful to work sacrifices to Maia into their spells.

Necromancy in the Kingdoms & BeyondEdit

Necromancy is forbidden by all seven kingdoms in Adylheim on pain of death. The wizard-lords of the Grand Barony of Teslan are particularly noted for the zealous persecution of practitioners of the darker art in the name of the “greater good”. Elsewhere, allegations of necromancy are commonly used by jurists and lords as a pretext for sanctioning the execution of a particularly troublesome mage. No university—at least no university in good standing—teaches spells of necromancy as part of their normal curriculum. True necromancers are rarity amongst the small fraternity of mages. Most operate in hiding or beneath a façade of normalcy, masquerading as mediocre practitioners of Low Magic while secretly pursuing their clandestine studies. There is a measure of hypocrisy in the seemingly universal distain toward necromancy. Powerful wizards and sorcerers frequently have at least a passing knowledge of necromancy; so much the better, they argue, to combat true practitioners. The worshipers of Maia also often work necromantic rites into their services. Paladins, priests, and the generally lawful are usually reluctant to interfere with the followers of the Grey Lady lest she extract a particularly unpleasant retribution for robbing her of her sacrifices. The prospect of an undying, utterly obedient army has frequently dwelt in the minds of power-mad nobles in the past. There are even rumors that several Dukes quietly sanction a handful of necromancers in case of an apocalyptic civil war.

Techniques of NoteEdit

Compared to the complex laboratory equipment of the alchemists or the magical machinery of the artificers, necromancers focus their spell-casting abilities on their fetish. The bound portion of their own Numen makes the spectral object a considerable source of power even when casting spells not directly involved with the raising and control of the undead. They also learn the ability to sacrifice living beings to power their eldritch magic; apprentices generally contenting themselves with farm animals while the most powerful necromancers can consume a small village for their dark purposes. Unlike more socially acceptable forms of magic, there is no single college or body of magic to formalise (inasmuch as one can formalise the teachings of a few hundred egotistical and generally antisocial masters) the study of necromancy. The rituals apprentices learns—and at what level—depends very much on their masters.

The FetishEdit

At the centre of necromancy is the fetish, a semi-corporeal object fashioned from such various objects as gems, hair, bones and the Numen of the necromancer. Through the fetish the necromancer is capable of controlling those undead he has raised or created. If the fetish were to be destroyed, the undead slaves would have their original minds returned and would likely revolt against their keeper, with predictably messy results, before returning to their graves. The fetish therefore remains both the greatest weakness and the greatest strength of the necromancer. The necromancer can also, through an advanced rite, create a secondary fetish which may render him immortal until the secondary fetish is destroyed. Naturally, even with the ability to return from the grave, even the most powerful necromancers avoid the rather unpleasant experience of a painful and often quite delayed death. For this reason, necromancers and those believed to be necromancers are often burned and their ashes scattered to prevent them from recuperating and seeking their vengeance quickly. Creating a fetish requires a lengthy and painful process wherein the necromancer permanently ties part of his Numen to an object which will act as the focal point for his control from there on out. The Numen will remain within the Fetish until such a time as the ethereal object is broken. When this happens the Numen will return, temporarily making the Necromancer appear more youthful. Keeping the minds of the dead controlled is, however, a very taxing and energy-consuming task. As such, most necromancers rarely keep more than a handful of undead active at any given time. More can be created in a pinch but at the risk of exhausting the power of the Numen and releasing a necromancer’s servant from his control.

SigilsEdit

Necromancers find numerous applications for sigils in their spells. Some use the carefully drawn geometric designs to contain and direct the power of their fetish, using the dark energies to bolster and alter their minions. Others use basic sigils whist summoning the undead which are the staple of their craft. Whether for containment or for protection depends very much on the mage.

SacrificeEdit

Other mages employ animal sacrifices as part of their spells; the death-throes harnessed to power their eldritch rituals. Necromancers, too, use sacrifice. Apprentices learn far more quickly than normal students to harness the lifeblood of animal sacrifices to aid in raising their undead servants. More experience mages commit one of the greatest taboos in magic: sacrificing human life. There are whispers among the orders of magic of even more forbidden forms of sacrifices practiced by the greatest of necromancers. Ones that consume the very soul to empower their dark sorcery.

ScryingEdit

Long before they solidified their grasp over the undead, necromancers served the ancient tribes and empires as scryers and soothsayers. The raising of spirits for interrogation is one of the oldest facets of the discipline.

SpellsEdit

The following is a description of common Necromancy spells as well as examples of the rituals and techniques used to cast said spells.

Creation of the UndeadEdit

Summon Zombies Edit

Power Source: Prime Word (or more advanced power source), Fetish


Effect: What many refer to as zombies are souls bound to their decaying flesh. Newly deceased bodies (or those preserved through magical or alchemical means) generally move faster than their more decayed relatives.


Ritual: Sigil drawn around the necromancer for protection. Soul bound to obey the fetish.

Summon SkeletonEdit

Power Source: Prime Word (or more advanced power source), Fetish

Effect: While zombies rely on the animation of the physical body, skeletons derive their strength and speed from the power invested during their creation. Unlike their shambling relatives, skeletons can remain ‘active’ almost indefinitely.


Ritual: Disinterment of the grave and placement inside a sigil.

Control Ghoul Edit

Power Source: Fetish


Effect: Ghouls are cannibalistic sub-human monsters that are, most commonly, associated with the grisly aftermath of battles. No one knows the precise origin of these creatures, but the ability of necromancers to claim their obedience hints at their magical origin.


Ritual: Ghoul-speech ritual while holding the fetish.

Create Wraith Edit

Power Source: Sacrifice, Prime Word, Fetish


Effect: By sacrificing a living person, necromancers can create an undead spirit forever hungering to return to the warmth of flesh. They are largely impervious to physical harm except for silver weapons and, conversely, enjoy tearing and ripping at the living in a vain attempt to regain their form. Wraiths are naturally afraid of light and fire and, thus, are active almost exclusively in the night.


Ritual: Slaying of a guard on an obsidian altar.

Create Phantasm Edit

Power Source: Sacrifice, Prime Word, Fetish


Effect: Like wraiths, phantasms are created through the sacrifice of the living. However, while wraiths are generally slain with the full knowledge of their fate, the unfortunate victims destined to be phantasms are lulled into the final sleep. After awakening, they use their powers to create illusions and images as commanded by their masters.


Ritual: Slave drugged with alcohol and herbs before sacrifice at the intersection of crossroads.

Create Vampire Edit

Power Source: Sacrifice, Prime Word, Fetish


Effect: Vampires are undead constructs not unlike wraths and phantasms. While undead, they do not decay and maintain an unholy strength and vitality even as their bodies grow pale and gaunt. Most are feral and hard to control; skeletal phantoms using stealth and speed to close with a better armed opponent to rend and tear with their fangs and bony claws. As a note, the popular misconception of vampires drinking blood is due to their tendency to, literally, go for the jugular with their sharp fangs.


Ritual: Drive a stake through a living person’s heart and bury alive inside a coffin. Construct sigil above the grave and wait for the subject to die.

Create Golem Edit

Power Source: Prime Word, Fetish


Effect: Through elaborate rites the Necromancer may create a shambling creature made of clay which will follow his every command. The golem is created around dead body parts which control the motions of the golem, but with far greater strength and power than ever known in life.

Ritual: Encasement of dismembered body in clay. Sigils and spells carved into the soft surface.

Create Abomination Edit

Power Source: Prime Word, Sacrifice, Fetish


Effect: Necromancers can sew together different parts of different corpses to create a truly perverse specimen of unlife. Rather than control a menagerie of souls, however, they usually imprison the mind of a sacrifice inside the sculpture of flesh.


Ritual: Sew together the abomination from several different corpses. Sacrifice bound to fetish.

Create DisplacerEdit

Power Source: Sacrifice, Prime Word, Fetish


Effect: A displacer is an undead created through an act of sacrifice. A displacer looks just like they did before they were killed, their mind is enslaved to the necromancer however and they require much nourishment, usually in the form of raw meat. Displacers will work to hide this though and not deviate from their normal behavior, displacers are the foremost spies of the necromancer. If not given raw meat or blood Displacers will quickly begin to decay. It should be noted that Dae’vol cannot be subjected to this rite. Displacers are possessed of inhuman strength, speed and endurance. Unlike most undead, Displacers can hide among the living with relative ease, their bodies do not decay unless they are kept from their blood and they also do not age, this has made some postulate that Displacers are trapped between life and undeath. Displacers cannot be detected by the same means as other undead, but they die as easily as a normal human, though they may take several days to die even though their heart is pierced or their head cut off.


Ritual: Victim chained to an altar and slowly and meticulously embalmed while still alive.

Alteration of the UndeadEdit

Bloated Zombie Edit

Power Source: Prime Word


Effect: The spell transforms a relatively fresh zombie into a bloated, shambling monstrosity. Upon command, the fetid gasses inside the body will explode and shower anyone nearby with gore, ichors, and viscera. While not directly damaging by itself, the bloated zombie can quickly spread panic among the tightly-packed ranks favoured by the kingdoms.


Ritual: Zombie(s) left in the noonday sun while ritual performed.

Bone ShapingEdit

Power Source: Prime Word


Effect: The necromancer uses a zombie as an incubator; moulding and shaping the bone to take a desired form from a sword to a dinner plate. More proficient casters can alter the material properties of the bone, forging swords of bleached white bone as strong as steel.


Ritual: One zombie cocooned inside a shroud and surrounded by a sigil. Life-sized model of object to be produced. The zombie isn’t actually killed during the spell leaving a Crawling Zombie.

Poisonous InfusionEdit

Power Source: Sacrifice


Effect: Infuses the blood of a zombie with poisons and toxins. The exact kind is heavily dependent on the ingredients of the ritual performed.

Ritual: While performing a spoke ritual, the necromancer swallows the still-beating heart of a venomous snake.

====Tunneling Power ====

Source: Prime Word, Sacrifice


Effect: Imparts the undead creature of choice with appendages suited for tunneling through the earth beneath their feet. Generally also imparts close-combat weaponry upon their creations.


Ritual: Ritual including the tools of a miner and the sacrifice of an earth-dwelling creature.


Mending Flesh Edit

Power Source: Prime Word, True Name, Sacrifice.


Effect: By binding the soul of the deceased inside their dead flesh, the necromancer can create a neigh-indestructible construct. Wounds simply mend themselves; broken bones are restored in a matter of moments. They, however, remain vulnerable to magical effects.


Ritual: Torture of the spirit until it reveals its true name. Ritual binding of the soul again to the flesh.