"Some will call it evil. A more enlightened sort will see it as it is: a tool. It is nothing more, or less. Arcana cannot be judged by such inadequate terms of morality." - Ellasin, Necromantress
Death has always stood as a barrier to the mortal races of Idalos. Vri and Famula hold the secrets to what comes after, but few ever learn of them and fewer still pass them on while alive. Necromancy began humbly, with the intention to create unliving servants to aid a mage in daily life or defend them as they slept. But what necromancy became was far greater. Ever pursuing the bleeding line between life and death, Necromancers consider themselves to be more enlightened on those states of being than any other mage. What some call constructs and corpse-play, Necromancers call the Great Experiment, ever searching for the revolving door at the end of mortality. Much of Necromancy has been shaped by its most famous practitioners, Ellasin and the Dead King, and their machinations have forever tarnished this practice in a darker light. Even so, there are some necromancers who viciously defend that necromancy is a neutral magic for exploration and biomechanics, understanding how magic and motion effects the living.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 BoneSong
- 3 Control
- 4 Well vs No Well
- 5 Thrall Menagerie
- 6 Fetches
- 7 Reference Guide (Knowledges for techniques required)
- 8 Legion (Guerriero)
- 9 Dangers and Overstepping
- 10 Initiation
- 11 Suggested Mutations
- 12 The Lich
- 13 NOVICE
- 14 COMPETENT
- 15 EXPERT
- 16 MASTER
- 17 LEGENDARY
Most unenlightened would consider Necromancy to begin with the corpse, the emblematic ghoul of the necromancer's arsenal. In reality, Necromancy begins with an understanding of life. A Necromancer who has never given thought to the movement of men or the rhythm of internal structures will inevitably fall short in their practice. A Necromancer first understands from whence they come, the living world around them. Then and only then do they learn to bend that power into the mimicry of life that so many see. Necromancy is not simply the manipulation of dead matter, it is the mimicry of life in unthinking constructs. Most necromancers do not have the time or resources to meticulously craft golems and so most have evolved through the use of the dead. After all, bodies are resilient constructs all on their own...requiring little design and building to be sound for magic.
Care must be taken when consorting with the thralls, however. Although Necromancy never imparts true sentience, it comes with an eerie hunger that haunts the base instincts of each construct created. Ellasin once commented that the dead devour the living because they vainly seek to devour life, a quality they can neither chew nor digest. In a way, all necromancers are looking for a way to transmute death into true life, but none have found the solution.
BoneSong is the practice of necromancy channeled through an instrument or vocal chords. No one is sure where the idea of BoneSong originated. The most popular theory is that, much like the life it tries to imitate, necromancy desperately works to maintain patterns in its casting. The body is a collection of sounds and rhythms, beats and creaks. From silence comes sound, the most basic concept of necromancy. Many necromancers can confuse it for 'From stillness comes movement' but there is a strong body of theory in the necromantic arts that life is the property of sound, not necessarily movement. Music, then, is the expression of sentient life. Music is an expression of civilization and the purest ideal behind the life a necromancer hopes and tries to emulate. Strangely, the magic seems to agree. In every thrall there is the faintest cadence of music within them. There is a tapping unique to each necromancer and their own magic...their own musical 'identification' that persists to each creation. Only the most skilled or daring would ever notice it, but the truth is in the magic itself.
BoneSong is an alternate form of Necromancy that can be channeled through an instrument or even one's own vocal chords. While those who practice this form of necromancy claim their creations are stronger and last longer, surprisingly little study has been conducted into the truth of that claim.
The truth is that there IS music to necromancy, but it is not essential to practice the craft. BoneSong, once learned, can augment a necromancer's skill but certainly is not required to be a capable and powerful mage. Given that BoneSong is a loud kind of magic, requiring instruments or vocals to be cast, a necromancer can certainly feel limited when attempting to use their magic covertly or without their instrument on hand. The terms presented all have secondary names, for the BoneSong equivalents. Consider BoneSong to be a different body of thought within Necromancy as a craft. There is Practical Necromancy and BoneSong. When a Necromancer begins learning the art of their craft, their teacher often defines for them which version they are learning. While these two methods can be learned together, separate knowledges are required for each. A necromancer will always prefer one method over the other and when taking this magic, must choose which style to emulate. BoneSong can be stronger, allowing two extra thralls at each level of expertise but lacks subtlety. Practical Necromancy is more easily cast, but doesn't pack the same punch. Either is a viable option but only one will be the main, and easiest, method of necromancy for a character. Using Practical Necromancy when dedicated to BoneSong tends to be much more draining on ether reserves and vice versa. A Necromancer must choose their style before competency and it is not an easy choice to make.
A Necromancer is only capable of controlling and puppeting a limited number of thralls. Each necromancer has a thrall total designated by their skill level of the dead they can control at any one time. This number can be modified by both overstepping and magical artifacts, but for most necromancers their number is what they live by. Some thralls cost more than one thrall to maintain or control, so a necromancer must always consider the type of undead and the number they intend to raise. Control cannot be stolen from a necromancer save by that of a higher skill level than the current practitioner.
Any thrall without a well that a necromancer stops controlling quickly returns to being an ordinary corpse. Most necromancers prefer this kind of casting as it protects them in the case their attention is shaken or they lose consciousness. If a necromancer is not consciously manipulating a thrall without a well, the magic on it immediately ends.
For those thralls with wells, however, the truth is a little more complicated. A Thrall with a well will persist without the necromancer's control. The well maintains the spell of animation over the corpse. Without a necromancer's control, the dead will seek the living to destroy, including the necromancer who gave them life. Many a terrifying lesson has been made of arrogant necromancers who did not consider that fact when making a welled undead. Many necromancers safeguard against this with protocols, encoded commands into the undead that will persist even if control is not maintained. That said, the undead are remarkably stupid. If they are told not to attack or kill the necromancer, they only know the necromancer by sight. Most of the thralls do not have specialized senses otherwise. If the necromancer is suitably unrecognizable, the undead will devour him or her whole, protocol or not.
Well vs No Well
The question on whether to use wells or not in Necromancy depends entirely upon the need. Given that a necromancer only need supply the ether for reanimation, so long as the thrall is within the necromancer's range, a well is not necessary for most of the basic and moderate undead types. As the undead grow more complicated and as the created undead grow more valuable, many necromancers will invest in wells to prolong the lifespan of their creation. A well is required to maintain unlife in the absence of the necromancer's will. The thrall will no longer require a fresh supply of ether as the well within it will supply that instead. The limit of undead controlled remains set, so one will usually see a welled undead in the care of a conservative necromancer or one interested in improving their creations.
Ezymite is the simplest and easiest well to find. Implanted in an undead it guarantees undead will remain animated even after the Necromancer has stopped supplying ether. It is most commonly found in basic undead.
Imedyte tends to be a little harder to come across and is nearly twice as powerful as an Ezymite counterpart. Imedyte is needed for the upper reaches of most moderate undead. Given the extra ether, installed in basic undead, Imedyte will always slowly repair the undead back to the state they were in when first animated. The process is lengthy, but it ensures a beginning undead nearly endless 'lifespan' so long as the Imedyte is not removed.
Emetyte is a much rarer and powerful well type and used for the upper reaches of undead creations. In competent and basic undead types, regeneration tends to be remarkably fast and their capabilities will easily be nearly double that of their counterpart. That said, it is rare to see Emetyte in a competent or basic undead type as Emetyte unlocks the potential of the upper limits of Necromancy's reach.
Obstimyte, the rares and most powerful of well types is necessary for the Revelation of a Necromancer and the transition to a Lich. Obstimyte unlocks alarmingly powerful regeneration, strength, speed, and durability in any undead it is installed within. Given its rarity, most Necromancers save such items to attempt the craft of their own Phylactory. Those who decide they can spare it on a creation often end up with beasts known around Idalos as terrifying and unstoppable nightmares.
With the power of re-animation at their disposal, necromancers have options to consider. Many necromancers will attempt to create their own kind of thrall (requiring an entry in the Development forum), but most are content with the thrall types that others have trailblazed before them. All Thrall types are limited by resource and skill level for creation, but near infinite variations can be made within those confines. Unless specifically mentioned, each undead type can use any corpse, human or animal as a base.
Marrows are thralls that are entirely rid of their flesh, the weaker tissue peeled from bone and discarded entirely. Marrows are thralls composed only of bone. These thralls have the benefit of being much harder to destroy than the average Husk. One would think that with only bones, a Marrow might be easier to destroy but it is surprising how resilient the bones become when a Marrow is created. Piercing attacks are utterly useless against it and only high impact bludgeons do any real damage. A Marrow inset with a well can repair itself on the go, or even tear bones from its victims to swell its own mass. Marrows tend to be the most well prepared of a Necromancer's basic thralls. As it takes time to meticulously decay or carve the flesh from the bones, Marrows are never thralls of convenience. Some Beginner Necromancers carry around a complete Marrow skeleton in a pack on their back, able to pour out the bones and animate them when in trouble. Marrows can also be the bones of animals up to the size of a man. Of all the thrall types, a Marrow is perhaps the easiest to transport, as it can be divided into pieces. A Marrow costs the equivalent of two thralls to maintain.
A Fetch is a small servant, usually no larger than a toddler. It can be made from clay, dirst, or fashioned wood as a doll. Fetches are always created in the likeness of a human being or animal and animated to mimic life. These are the simplest of golems to create and require only a single thrall to maintain. When uncontrolled, a Fetch is unique in that rather than truly murderous tendencies as all other thralls have, a Fetch seeks only malicious mischief. A Fetch seeks to scare, inconvenience, and sometimes injure those who have the life it so craves. While limited in their intellectual capacity, they reason with simple instinct and cruel intent.
Husks are corpses raised and untampered with, ordinarily bodies unearthed and rotted. Most Husks have a monstrous appearance and reek of rot and decay, many missing a limb or an eye, possibly with exposed brains or vital organs. Husks are sturdy and capable thralls that are difficult to destroy, however they are some of the weakest kind of thrall that can be created. Slow, luching movements are characterisic of this Thrall type and relatively unskilled attacks. Like all undead it has the characteristic hunger for living flesh, but that desire is easily surmounted by a necromancer's own will. It is rare that a Husk is inset with any wells. Most necromancers might consider that a waste of resources. A Husk can be any dead creature up to the size of a man and costs only one thrall to maintain or raise.
Mortal races are not the only bodies a necromancer can manipulate. Animals are also easily manipulated. Some necromancers have found that by dividing their entropic energy between many small creatures, they can create a fearsome foe in the form of a swarm. Granted, a Swarm isn't perfect. A true swarm is made up of individuals that can each make minute but important decisions. A Necromatic swarm imparts the swarm with one 'hive' mind that can take orders. The rats move and bite as one. The bees swarm as one. Some necromancers consider this an improvement. A Swarm cannot be any larger in mass than a Husk at novice, the typical size any beginning necromancer is able to animate and costs at least the equivalent of two thralls to maintain.
Haunts were created by a necromancer who had the bad luck of running into Famula's servants again and again. Haunts were the only way that necromancer felt he could adequately defend himself against the ghouls and ghosts a Zuuda could command against him. Haunts are a particularly curious Thrall in that they require no corpse to create. By that same restriction, no well can be implanted within them and so their existence only lasts as long as a necromancer directly controls them. A Haunt is a translucent specter, often shaped from the shadow of the necromancer. Unlike any other undead type, a Haunt can be shaped to the necromancer's whims while it is in existence, manifesting claws, teeth, or any manner of weapons and additions the necromancer needs. While relatively fragile, it can easily be reformed with a necromancer's will. When the Haunt is unformed, it acts like a cloud of Sap with a more defined shape. When it becomes more solid (at the necromancers command) it loses the draining effect but can lay waste with whatever weapons or additions the necromancer has added. While a Haunt can levitate, it cannot truly fly. It is draining each time a necromancer must reform a Haunt after being torn apart, but less so than repairing a damaged corpse. Haunts can do battle against Wisps and other ethereal foes. Only one Haunt can be created at a time and the Necromancer temporarily loses their shadow when they do so, this cannot be used on any other shadow. A Haunt is the equivalent of four thralls to control.
Necromancy is the act of mimicking life. While Necromancers more specialize in dead flesh and bones to create their monstrosities, they are by no means limited to that capacity. Golems are beings created from clay, wood, or stone that are imbued with specific instructions and sometimes wells to keep them active in a necromancer's lair. Unlike corpses they do not degrade or require refreshing (save for the ordinary wear and tear of their actual material). A Necromancer cannot use their own magic to repair golems as their purview of repair is limited to dead flesh. Golems tend to be clumsy and slow by dint of what they are made of, but some necromancers who fancy themselves engineers will design socketed joints and other apertures to make a golem a far more fearsome and quick opponent. Often these creations can be far more resilient than an ordinary corpse, but usually require more effort to keep animated or under control. Unlike other thralls, a golem has no desire to consume the flesh of the living, but if left out of control it will destroy anything that moves around it, as if in a jealous rage of life's existence in other beings. For golems of wood, clay and stone, however, the cost increases to three thralls to maintain control.
A Giant is a thrall type of any creature or person exceeding 6’5 or weighing twice that of an ordinary human (Roughly above 300 lbs). It is double the base cost to apply Giant to a thrall. So long as the mass of the thrall does not exceed that of a baseline human (Taller species are possible given body types) they will not apply for Giant.
An expert application of necromancy, a Gaunt tends to be a more skilled necromancer's thrall of choice. Gaunts require time and application, reshaping bones and toughening skin. A Gaunt is more resilient than a Marrow, much faster than a Husk, and tends to have the most versatility and combat prowess of any non-welled thrall. Gaunts tend to be much like their namesake, with unnecessary fat and skin removed. Most necromancers choose to reshape finger bones into claws, give them wider jaws with jagged teeth, and lend an element of inhuman that could not be overlooked. Gaunts are fast, merciless, and dangerous...easily contending on the level of speed that most operate on. While a typical Gaunt can use a weapon, most necromancers choose instead to fashion their bodies into weapons. At this level they still use only one corpse to create the Gaunt, but begin to be creative in how the Gaunt actually looks. Some truly inhuman models with spear-like jutting ribs or bone spikes have been seen before. While a Gaunt does not necessarily need a well to be operated, many necromancers would consider their efforts wasted if the Gaunt were to fall beyond their control, given the amount of work a Necromancer goes into to create one. It is not recommended to use ezymite for a Gaunt, as the low mana draw can slow them down and does little more than preserve their current state. It is recommended the next class up of wells be used to maintain speed, ferocity, and regeneration. A Gaunt can be made from any corpse, including animal, although anything larger than a man will also need to acquire the Hulk classification in addition to being a Gaunt. A Gaunt is the equivalent of four thralls to control.
Not so much a Thrall type as it is a thrall size. Hulk can be applied to any undead thrall template in order to denote the size. A Hulk is an undead up to the size of an elephant. In terms of control, a Hulk counts as triple the base value of the thrall type controlled.
As flesh decays, it putrefies. Necromancers know this best and take special precaution when dealing with the dead. Foolish Necromancers have contracted diseases or illnesses from working with the rotting remains of others, forgetting that the art of necromancy does not make them immune to the plagues any carrion can produce. As a necromancer comes into their own at expert, this aspect becomes a dangerous new weapon. Blights are similar in appearance and movement to a Husk, but few could confuse them. A Blight is swollen, grotesque, and its flesh crawls and writhes with motion. A Blight is another undead that takes some time to develop, pouring necrotic energy into the corpse while creating this special kind of undead. The energy bonds within the Blight and accelerates the production of disease and deadly parasites that riddle the body through and through. It can take upwards of ten trials to create a Blight, but the most dangerous ones are sometimes created over the course of cycles. Those who come in contact with a Blight are likely to become infected with all manner of carrion-born contagions and disease. A Blight vomits and bleeds an acrid bile-like substance that burns like acid to the touch. Writhing within them are also flesh-hungry carrion worms, grown to the thickness of pythons that erupt from their skin to clamp grasping maws onto anything with a heartbeat, eager to devour and grow. In addition, a miasma of choking smell surrounds the Blights, making it difficult, if not impossible to breathe while within three feet of them. Those outside that range up to fifteen feet risk vomiting and intense nausea (counteracted by meditation, Resistance, or Discipline) when these creatures approach. Some necromancers cruelly use Blights to poison water supplies, or leave disease in the wake of an attack. While not particularly quick, the Blight has surprisingly resilient skin to piercing. Each Blight has at least seven of the python-thick carrion worms within them. These worms do not live longer than a break outside their host and it is hard to say they are actually alive at all. A Blight costs three thralls to create or maintain.
Another modifier that can be added to any other undead type, a Pestilent undead carries a necrotizing disease and hundreds of small, carnivorous carrion worms within their bodies. When destroyed they release their toxins into the air around them and the small carrion worms spread from the body looking for fresh flesh for up to a break before expiring. These carrion warms can break through the thrall's flesh if they sense life around them. Pestilent undead also have the remarkable ability to sense life. If one is within thirty yards of a Pestilent undead and is 'alive', the Pestilent undead will close on them almost regardless of whatever method is used to conceal them. While not exact, the sense is potent and can shatter through any obscuring powers at competent level or expertise in magic. These thralls take a minimum of ten trials to prepare, but they are far more effective and the worms far larger if their development is stretched out over an entire Cycle. This modifier doubles the cost of the Thrall it applies to.
A Metalborn is a quality ascribed to a golem that triples its base cost. At Mastery a Golem can be crafted or animated from metal (although the body must be prepared ahead of time). Weaker metals retain a based cost but metals beyond accrue additional penalties depending on their construction. Steel adds an additional 10% (rounded up) in point cost and various metals have a different cost depending on the metal used. Please PM a Prophet for clarification if attempting to construct out of additional metals.
Revenants become available at the same time Soul Traps do. Converting a well into a prison for the soul is no easy task, but when completed the soulstone is the necessary component to Revenants. Revenants are their own class of undead and cannot be a template truly added to any other kind. While a soulstone can be used to increase the amount of protocols a thrall can maintain, a true revenant is dedicated from the moment of its creation. A Revenants is the soul of the body, trapped in a well, and placed within the body the soul belongs to. The necromancer usually painstakingly restores the body as best they can before placing the soulstone within. While the soul is actually trapped with no will of its own to enact, the body remembers the skills it had in life. A Revenant is not sentient. It does not think for itself. While a Revenant is capable of speech, any basic conversation with one will reveal its true nature. Most Revenants, in fact, quietly whisper snatches of the last things they've ever heard, names that are important to them, and phrases they habitually uttered. A disturbing side effect of creating this kind of creature. A Revenant can be given many complex protocols by dint of its creation, but inevitably will fail at attempting to pass for alive while in conversation. Like all other thralls, Revenants are emotionless and merciless, with no mind to influence. If a necromancer's control wanes or is taken from the Revenant, it will seek out those who it once knew in life, viciously murdering them for reasons it cannot begin to comprehend, while the soul watches on in mute horror. Sometimes, rarely, a Revenant has temporarily 'remembered' itself, the connection to the soul trapped inside it temporarily renewed. While these moments of freedom are brief, most Revenants use it as a chance to attempt their own destruction, or the destruction of the one who made them. A Revenant's skills tend to be fairly firm (the physical ones) up till expertise, but a thrall can never exhibit more than one skill at mastery and no skills at legendary. The process of capturing the soul makes too weak a connection to the Revenant to reliably maintain the mastery they once had. Mastery level skills will always be just at mastery, regardless of the skill held before. Three physical expertise skills can remain, and at least three competent. If there were additional mastery skills, the Revenant may only be able to manifest them at expertise or lower, depending on the number needed. Additionally, a necromancer should take care that the more powerful a soul, the more likely it will wrest control. If the soul wrests control, a Necromancer must temporarily find a way to shut it down or immobilize it to resume control. All skills the soul had in life, at their levels, will manifest. A Revenant who escapes this way will always feel the deep bone gnawing sorrow of their condition, living like a StoneHeart and fading in and out of remembering who they are. Finally, trapping the soul of an Immortal's marked is dangerous, as the Immortal can easily find any soul they've so marked without the intervention of an artifact or other magic. A Revenant with competent skills at their highest mastery costs three thralls to maintain. A Revenant with expert skills costs six thralls to maintain and a Revenant with master level skills costs twelve thralls to maintain. Magic is not a skill that can be used by a Revenant.
A grotesque example of Necromantic mastery, a Stichborn is a thrall created of two or more corpses fused or shaped together. Stitchborn types and appearances vary wildly. A necromancer no longer needs the entire body to animate. Utilizing a well, they can truly let their creativity bleed through their craft. Some necromancers fashion furious gnawing heads to wings, or cut a cavernous maw in the chest cavity of their thralls. By the time a necromancer reaches the ability to create Stitchborn, they usually settle into a stylistic element in their thralls that identify them from other necromancers. A Necromancer is always seeking out new bodies, new monsters for ideas on how best to modify their thralls. Any small Stitchborn costs the equivalent of 2 thralls to maintain and command. Any ordinarily sized Stichborn costs up to five thralls to maintain. Hulk and Behemoth can be applied to Stitchborn, sometimes to horrific effect.
A specialized kind of Undead created by Ellasin, only a legendary necromancer can hope to master the appropriate casting to bring one of these denizens to their thrall. Most necromancers will insist on putting a Soulstone within the body of the RotKnight to better help it understand complicated Protocols. A Rotknight is best described as a kind of general to a Necromancer. Not only are they quite physically sound, fast, and likely well shaped against damage...but a RotKnight can do what no other construct type can...channel its own necromantic spells. A RotKnight is capable of almost any ability the necromancer is at their own level, save raising thralls with wells. Sap, Wither, Preserve, Restore are all powers the RotKnight possesses. Additionally the RotKnight can raise Husks and other terrible things of its own accord. Requiring a powerful well, Emetyte at least, the RotKnight channels on that renewable power to cast its own abilities. While usually well below the necromancer in the amount of magic it can bring to bare, it does not require drawing on the necromancer's own ether manipulation to operate. Consider a RotKnight to have roughly half the ability of the necromancer who raised it. Not nearly as powerful, but just as deadly and varied. A RotKnight has no soul and no emotions. It cannot be manipulated, it cannot be reasoned with, it only follows instructions. Sometimes that makes the RotKnight unimaginable and somewhat stupid, but its power more than makes up for its shortcomings in intuition. A Rotknight is the equivalent of ten constructs to control and can only raise as many constructs as the necromancer has available. A Necromancer can naturally control any thrall raised by a RotKnight.
Plaguemen were originally crafted by Nolan Dasker, an exalted of Lisirra and prominent member of the coven. While physically not much different from Gaunts or Husks, a Plagueman has a very special purpose. Those a Plagueman wounds will quickly contract a virulent and devastating sickness. High fever, convulsions, and hallucinations are the hallmark of the illness, Grave Touch, with a tell-tale purple-black bruising under the eyes. Most cannot last more than a few days in the throes of the sickness and the weak can barely last one. More horrifying than the simple disease is what follows. A Plagueman is an advanced construct due to the amount of entropic energy a necromancer must imbue within. A high quality well is necessary to make a Plageman feasible. Those killed by the Plagueman or by the diseases it carries, Grave Touch, will rise from death as Husks, bent only on devouring the living and bringing the bodies to the Plagueman for infection. While the range of a Plagueman's power depends entirely on the necromancer's ability, usually even one unchecked Plagueman can devastate a village or badly infest a city. A Necromancer is not able to control the husks created by a Plagueman and very rarely stays in the same area much past initial infection. Plaguemen are meant as demoralizing tools, released in cities to shatter the morale of the population and create a devastation from within. Plaguemen made from a Husk are slower and more fragile, but an easier investment than a Plagueman made from a Gaunt...but few can argue the results a fast, terrifying Gaunt can deliver. By dint of the magic, the Husks made from a Plagueman degrade at an accelerated rate. A Husk Plagueman's creations fall apart within a trial or two. A Gaunt Plagueman's creation lasts at least four or five trials, long enough to do some considerable damage before completely rotting away. A Plagueman is equivalent to seven constructs
Stonehearts, among Necromancers, are the only undead who retain their intellect. Sacrificing a necromancer's ability to control them, a Stoneheart is a mortal being with a soulstone in place of their own heart. Some consider the Stoneheart to be a sort of protolich, and the Coven has made use of this power to promise a kind of immortality to its members without needing them to ascend to the level of lich. It is a reward and not one taken lightly. A Stoneheart cannot be killed without the destruction or removal of the well that holds their soul, however certain injuries like the removal or significant damage of the head will incapacitate one while it regenerates. That said, a Stoneheart, unlike a lich, cannot remove and hide their soulstone. It is placed at the core of them and constantly keeps them renewed and regenerated. A Stoneheart no longer needs to eat, breathe, or sleep but does have a strong desire to devour the warm flesh of the living. While most Stonehearts can keep this hunger under control, those who have overstepped too far with their magic lose that control and can sometimes become dangers to themselves and those around them. A Stoneheart has a much more difficult time becoming a Lich, but Ellasin likely created that fail safe by design to maintain her power.
Behemoths, like Hulks, are a size template added to the undead being animated. A Behemoth is anything larger than a Hulk up to the size of a whale in terms of size. While the truly gargantuan are beyond a necromancers skill, unaided, Behemoth creations strike terror into the hearts of those fools who would seek to stop it. Behemoths cost roughly five times the value of a thrall type to control.
Reference Guide (Knowledges for techniques required)
The most basic of principles a Necromancer learns, Preserve is the simple cessation of decay in living matter. Necessary for the longevity of thralls, Necromancers can sometimes overlook the importance of this ability. Preserve has a multitude of functions outside the simple maintenance of a thrall. Food can be preserved for a prolonged period in a Necromancer's care, lending them a certain edge while living outside civilization or on long journeys. Similarly, a Necromancer's Preserve ability can guard against other powers that encourage rot, decay, or corrosion. Some headstrong Transmuters realize too late that a skilled necromancer can often guard against their powers, given that deconstruction is such a vital part of the magic. Necromancers are often admired and envied for their ability to defy age. While most consider this to be a practice of turning themselves undead, most necromancers passively preserve the youth in their appearance simply by knowing the magic. While this ability does nothing to actually extend a necromancer's lifespan, it often ensures they will have a youthful air to them up until their last breath.
A Necromancer's magic is heavy. Among all the different domain types, Necromancy spells tend to hold the heaviest concentration of ether. Early in a Necromancer's development they learn that their magic is more suited to have others fight for them than to join the fray themselves. While lacking the offensive prowess of Hone or Defiance, a necromancer quickly develops early methods to defend themselves when in peril. Sap is cast when a necromancer releases a miasma of black-tinged ether. The ether clings to whatever living thing it can find, stealing their strength, heat, and energy. This ability grows ever more powerful as a Necromancer progresses. Legendary Liches can sap the fight out of trained Knights in moments, only the most disciplined and powerful able to continue battling. Given that Sap only attaches to the living, some Necromancers choose to use this ability in tandem with their thralls, sapping the fight from their opponents while the undead tear a foe to shreds. A Necromancer is capable of manipulating this miasma within their range. Some have used the dark ether clouds as a means to cover escape. Sap can either be as easy or taxing as the Necromancer desires. The more ether they pour from themselves into the miasma, the more they risk Overstepping, but the greater the effects can be. In addition, Sap speeds up decay, allowing a necromancer to more swiftly strip a corpse of flesh than waiting for it in real life. Sap, when maintained, will degrade all nonliving flesh in its area.
When a Necomancer reaches into the competent levels of their craft, they learn to better tap into their thralls. Where before, a Necromancer was only capable of ordering a thrall to act within their radius, Link extends that radius for a single thrall and opens a Necromancer's power to a ranged component. Many necromancers are all too aware of their magic's limitations. They will never have the destructive prowess of more overt magics, instead they must evolve through their near unrivaled minion manipulation. Link allows a Necromancer to piggy-back on a thrall's senses, tapping in and riding along. This link is much stronger than a necromancer's ordinary thrall raising power and can only be used with one minion at a time at competent. When using Link, the Necromancer falls into a meditative trance and melds their consciousness with a chosen thrall. Once the link has been established, the Necromancer can keep their power flowing in a singular link and greatly improve their distance and range of control. While not perfect, the control allows a necromancer to issue orders based on new environmental threats to their thrall and send servants out much farther than their ordinary range might allow to fetch bodies, aid in assassinations, or scout. At competence only one thrall can be linked to. While Link is active a necromancer cannot cast any other necromancy spells around their body. Their senses extend through their creation instead. If a necromancer is disturbed while linked, their consciousness will snap back to their body, abandoning the thrall. A necromancer can only establish a link while a thrall is within their range. If the link fails while the thrall is outside that range, any active magic in that thrall will inevitably fail. If there is no well otherwise keeping it animated, it will immediately cease animation. The improved range of a necromancer using link at Competent is up to a few city blocks. At expertise that prowess extends to nearly an entire city. At Mastery that distance is doubled and a Legendary necromancer could maintain a link on a thrall in an entire region. At expertise, an additional thrall can be linked to...though this can be quite tiring to a necromancer who easily risks overstepping by engaging in two thralls at once. A Necromancer should also have a high degree of meditation or discipline to properly divide their attention between the two linked creatures. Mastery allows three linked thralls and a necromancer is capable of casting up to competent magic from any of the thralls as if they were there themselves. At legendary, the amount of thralls that can be linked increases to five and up to expert spells can be cast from any of the linked thralls while a necromancer is in control.
Another competent ability and the evolution of Preserve, Restore is a regenerative technique that undoes the damage of rot and damage to a corpse. Usually a fairly slow process at competence, this ability can be made much quicker at mastery and near instantaneous for a legendary necromancer. No amount of damage, save the complete annihilation of a corpse, is beyond the purview of Restore. Although depending on the damage to the body, the amount of effort, ether, and time can vary wildly. Most necromancers accept a certain amount of rot in their creations. Few have the time or the energy to painstakingly regenerate a body to the moment of death, but some perfectionists claim that the best thralls are kept in pristine condition. Given the necromancer's line of work is often going to be violent, this ability evolved from a need to regenerate limbs or speed along the passive process of an inserted well. For some necromancers, it was a means to make a corpse more viable as a thrall, rather than a fragile, rotting, mess. The more degraded a corpse is, the harder it is and longer it takes for a necromancer to renew it. Despite its power, restore cannot renew blood. Once the blood has died, no amount of restore can imbue life into it again.
Protocol is the process of encoding commands into the undead. As a necromancer grows in power they may not always be directly controlling their thralls. Some must be trusted to operate or defend on their own without the necromancer's intervention. Protocol is the magic for that. As long as the thrall remains under the necromancer's control, a necromancer can encode a new protocol every five skill points along his or her track, with two additional commands available as a Legendary necromancer. These protocols can be as general or specific as the necromancer desires, allowing them to become quite creative in the commands they ask their thralls to interpret. A Thrall can be commanded to attack any stranger that enters a domain as easily as it can be commanded to make a bed after the necromancer has risen from it. A Thrall can be commanded to follow and protect another individual, or stand inactive until a certain command has been called. Most necromancers find this easiest, as literally controlling the thrall to act on will alone can cost effort, time, and ether. Primarily of use to thralls that have wells within them (due to the more permanent nature of the thrall), a necromancer can also command a thrall animated by their will alone to walk out into an area to see if there is a trap, and observe it from a distance, or ask a thrall to attack anyone who might sneak up on the necromancer while they take their attention from the battlefield (although not taking their magic from the thrall). Any thrall with a soulstone can take double the amount of protocols as any other thrall.
While Restore quickly regenerates a corpse to its natural state, Wither does the opposite. After learning this ability, an expert necromancer can focus entropic energy around their hands which swiftly rots away any living matter that comes in contact with it. While primarily an expedited tool from Sap, Wither has become an essential part of a necromancer's arsenal in combat. Wither can only be conducted with skin on skin contact. When touched while a necromancer is using Wither, healthy skin will begin to quickly necrotize and rot wherever the necromancer touches. This ability can be fatal if maintained and becomes ever more dangerous after the encounter, as the wound will swiftly become infected without a physician's aid. The touch of a necromancer leaves craters in the skin, can rot the flesh from bone, and turn muscle into rotting slop. Usually a necromancer must maintain contact to maintain the worst of these effects, but any amount of contact while this ability is being used is inadvisable. Armor of any kind but that made of organic matter is effective against this attack. Paired with Lisirra's rotting touch, this ability can be terrifyingly swift and effective.
Corpse Molding (Fantasia)
Corpse Molding is the pinacle of a Necromancer's corpse manipulation. At this stage the necromancer can warp a dead body like clay, similar to what a Grafter can do, truly coming into their own as a creative power. Corpse Molding allows a Necromancer to easily manipulate all dead flesh and bone into the shapes and directions he or she desires. Stitchborn and Marrows are the result of Corpse Molding. In addition, a Necromancer becomes capable of Bonecraft, a subset of corpse molding specifically around bones. A Necromancer can use Bonecraft to fashion weapons from any bones they find and even flood their own body with their magic, strengthening their bones beneath their skin against damage. It is said few expert necromancers die from falling, strengthening their bones against breaking or damage even as their flesh tears from the force of their impact. There is lore of a necromancer fist fighter who could dent armor with the power of his blows and the strength of his augmented bones.
The final awakening of Sap and Wither, Siphon is necromancy's hunger made manifest. A master necromancer can choose to impart an extra effect to both Wither and Sap once they ascend to mastery and learn the technique. As all necromancy seeks to emulate life, there is an underlying desire for it. Necromancers crave life, need it, even if they surround themselves in darkness and death. Siphon allows them to draw off the healthy vitality of their victims, healing at an accelerated rate and renewing their bodies with vibrant energy. For an extra cost of ether, a necromancer can imbue their withering touch or sap miasma with Siphon. As an opponent becomes exhausted or injured, a necromancer will heal with their vital energy. Most describe it as an unparalleled rush. Even those necromancers who have passed into the ranks of the undead can feel temporarily alive in those moments they are Siphoning, making it an addictive technique for some of the eternals. For the undead, the life energy renews their bodies, fills their mind with energy, and flashes of the life they steal the energy from. While not as encompassing as Abberation's theft, Necromancers can sometimes see flashes of loved ones, important truths, and memories held dear when nearly killing someone with Siphon. The Undead become capable of life functions for a limited amount of time afterward, the greatest being a full trial by taking a full mortal life. Flaying can be used in conjunction with this ability although it is not recommended, even the safeguards against addiction that Abberation employs cannot save a mage from the combined addiction of devouring the power of a soul and a body.
Soul Theft (Funebre)
Perhaps one of the most abominable uses of necromancy, Soul Theft captures a soul at the moment of death in a well to be used by the necromancer in their own thralls. Soul Theft is the precursor to the eventual transformation into a lich and the necromancer, at mastery, can become enlightened to the nature of a soul and how to trap one in a prison of crystallized ether. When a necromancer kills someone, they can reveal a well on their person and usher the soul into the stone before Vri and the other Immortals show up to give the soul the choice to pass on. This process must be quick as a soul does not linger by the body for long. For most souls, those with up to expert skills, Imedyte is necessary to hold the soul...although Emetyte is recommended if it’s on hand to ensure there is no bleed or chances for the soul to connect to the body they're put in. Emetyte is necessary for a soul with master level skills or any divine marks, although the latter is heavily cautioned against. Soulstones can be used in the construction of particularly powerful thralls and Dustforge creations, although to engage in Soul Theft is one of the darkest and most morally corrupt actions a necromancer can take.
A Legendary necromancer becomes a wellspring of necromantic energy and power. Legion is an ability born from that in which a necromancer, for half a trial, temporarily transcends their limitations and no longer has a cap on the amount of thralls they can control. Instead, they control the dead within their area of casting, creating Husks and Marrows of any bodies that fall within their range of power. Legion does have a cap on that area, however. While a necromancer may be able to maintain control of their thralls across a region, Legion can only be used in the area of a city. For half a trial the dead walk and continue walking, puppeted by the necromancer's will and furious for the flesh of the living. The Necromancer can impart this horde with protocols like any other thrall, but the protocols will apply to the entire host of new dead they summon. After the duration of Legion has expired, the excess strain will force the necromancer into Overstepping unless they cease their magic for at least several trials thereafter. All the corpses puppeted by the necromancer, when this power ends, falls to ruin and rot. Accelerated decay will leave little trace but bones and horror just a trial after this ability has been activated. Legion can only be used if the necromancer currently has more than half their thrall count available.
A Legendary Necromancer becomes a Lich as their Revelation. More information on the Lich below.
Dangers and Overstepping
Nausea, Vertigo, Paranoia, Ravenous Hunger, GraveTouch
Extreme Nausea, The opening of old wounds, Temporary anemia, Rebellion, Ghost Call, Desertion (temporary)
Paralyzation, Temporary or permanent madness, DeathMarked, Desertion (permanent), Mutiny, Wilting
GraveTouch: Grave Touch is a minor effect of Overstepping. For a necromancer it means that some aspect of their work will follow them, even if they are no longer practicing it. GraveTouch tends to be temporary, but some brands and mutations have been known to make it permanent. GraveTouch usually manifests as the odor of decay that lingers around the mage or perhaps a frigid temperature of their skin. Some GraveTouch victims have noted a deathly pallor and others have found they no longer blink without effort, creating a disconcerting stare.
Rebellion: Rebellion is a moderate Overstep. When a thrall Rebels after moderate overstepping, the necromancer is helpless to reassert control. Until the thrall is destroyed or returned to being a corpse, it will buck the necromancer's control and sight the necromancer as its new target. For those the necromancer is controlling with magic and will, simply releasing the spell is enough to avoid danger, but for a welled thrall...depending on what thrall Rebelled, the consequences could be dire indeed.
Ghost Call: Another moderate overstepping effect. Ghost call afflicts the necromancer with a phantom chorus of voices that follows them day to day. Ghost Call, as a moderate effect, usually lasts several trials before abating, growing worse each time a necromancer turns to their magic. While largely harmless, Ghost Call can sabotage a necromancer's focus and both their spells, keep them from sleeping and can even drived the weaker willed to insanity. While the voices are not actual ghosts (usually), they tend to take on the voices of the corpses the necromancer has raised, and are always vengeful.
Desertion: Desertion, both temporarily and permanently, is when a Necromancer oversteps badly enough to permanently decrease the thrall count the necromancer can control. How many and for how long often depends on the level of overstepping that led to Desertion. Most Necromancers will try to avoid Major overstepping, feeling that the loss of control could accumulate, eventually rendering the necromancer useless.
DeathMarked: DeathMarked is a severe consequence of Overstepping and usually takes anywhere from ten trials to a cycle to recover from. DeathMarked amplified the effects of GraveTouched and gives the necromancer the waxy, sallow complexion and smell of a corpse. A Necromancer will appear to be one of the recently risen dead and unable to disguise themselves through any means but practical. This overstepping consequences is unique in that it exerts itself in some way over any illusion or magic a necromancer might cast or have cast over themselves to avoid this effect.
Induction into Necromancy is actually fairly simple compared to many other magics. Some would say that the induction is actually barbaric and brutal, but the practice has been in place for centuries and few are bothered to change it. First the teacher will find a crypt or an abandoned building. It is important that the student have room to move around as few are inducted swiftly. The teacher will animate a single Husk and while maintaining the magic to keep it mobile, will give it no specific commands. Some will speed up the process by specifically ordering their thrall to kill the student, but either method can prove effective...the thrall will seek fresh blood and flesh regardless. Next the teacher will cut his skin and the skin of his student, mixing their bloods to pass the spark. Necromancers believe blood to be a liquid of life and those particularly anti-theist consider it a special blasphemy against Famula. After the spark has been passed, the Student is locked in the crypt or building over the space of a single evening with the Husk. The task is simple.
The teacher will not resist the Husk being taken from their control. The student is to take control of the Husk over the space of the evening in order to take their first steps as a necromancer. If the student destroys the Husk, escapes the building, or is killed and eaten...they fail. The Spark that was passed to the student will perish with no soul to join. The spark's lifespan is only that of a single evening, the length of the test. Technically, a teacher could try to induct the same student again if this task is failed and they retain their life, but usually a teacher will abandon a failed student or, worse, turn them into the next husk they use as an example. Curiously, those who survive the Induction but do not manage to become Necromancers are forever touched by death. Ghosts and other souls will be drawn to them while, even more curious, the undead of the necromancer are repelled. While this protection is not powerful enough to resist the undead being given a direct command, no thrall will attack or injure someone who has survived initiation WITHOUT becoming a necromancer unless ordered.
Most Witchbrands in necromancy are fairly subtle. Often there is a whiff of rotting about the necromancer, as if afflicted with a very minor form of GraveTouch, sometimes the necromancer will gain an unusual hunger for raw meat. Many Withbrands tend to be a specific mark that manifests on each thrall a necromancer raises.
Mutations tend to be fairly sporadic, both beneficial and malignant without much rhyme or reason. A Mutation could easily be an inability to eat anything but raw, uncooked meat, or the corpse-like dried pallor of one's entire right arm (without losing any strength). They may find that they can only animate certain genders or races, although find that that limitation greatly increases the power of those undead. For BoneSingers, their ordinary song might impart a chill to those who listen, or turn their minds to think of death.
Few magics have a uniform Revelation. Necromancy sets itself apart from other Domain magic with the sheer audacity of what a legendary Necromancer becomes. Unlike any other Revelation, a Necromancer's Revelation requires a physical component. In order to transcend death, a Necromancer must find a material to make a phylactory. The few who have ascended to this level usually choose Obstimyte based on its resilience and capacity for magic. While Emetyte can technically be used, no Lich has ever had a phylactory made of Emetyte for risk of overloading it and leading to their own destruction. Only an Obstimyte well is capable of reliably withstanding Legendary magic.
A Lich experiences a rare increase for its capacity for ether manipulation. While a Lich can still fairly easily overstep, their spells and power tend to be frighteningly potent. Among other spellcasters, Liches are some of the most naturally skilled with ether manipulation, naturally drawing off a legendary well as an augment to their own ether. The process of becoming a lich is different for each necromancer, but it ends with their soul contained safely within the well, transfigured into a phylactory, and their former body the first thrall they raise, as themselves. A Lich does not count against the thrall total a necromancer can have and a Lich is only limited to being within the same region as their phylactory (Save for any area that neutralizes magic). As a true undead, a Lich can have their body utterly obliterated and still survive. As long as the phylactory is intact and within a mile radius of another body, a Lich can raise a new form a cycle later. A Lich can, of course, force the issue and raise themselves sooner, but a body must be delicately prepared with necromatic energies to serve as a proper vessel for the personality and power of a lich. A lich can raise a new body nearly immediately if necessary, but it will decay at an accelerated rate, unable to be preserved by necromancy as the force of the Lich's soul literally disintegrates it. Any body that is not properly prepared costs a thrall to produce and will turn to dust within a few trials of raising. Most liches who were unfortunate enough to lose their bodies will patiently await a new one to be prepared...after all, a lich has the time.
While a Lich does not need to look like themselves, the soul remembers its original appearance. Mostly, a new body chosen by a lich will shift during the preparation process to the likeness of the necromancer before they became a lich. As a master of necromancy and tied to a powerful well, a Lich has remarkable regenerative capabilities and rarely appears or smells deceased. Instead they are kept fresh. Only those who might notice the lack of breath that moves a lich's chest or their sometimes intense stare might guess at their true nature. As a lich oversteps or uses up their ether, this rot and decay will become more apparent. In cases of magic like Becoming, an undead cannot 'return to life' and will always take the shape of a deceased version of what they are Becoming. Death, it seems, permeates even the magic of Becoming. While a Lich, like all undead, feels the draw to devour the living, it is an easily managed condition when not Overstepping. The use of Siphon can temporarily 'fool' the body into appearing and acting alive, glutted on life energy, but the effects are always temporary. A Lich usually hides their phylactery in a place no one will find it. Putting their soul within the well hides them from the eyes of Immortals and cuts them off from Emea. A Lich and a Stoneheart do not dream. Their soul never reaches out to Emea. Most necromancers consider that a weakness anyways and are glad to be rid of it. A Lich cannot be marked by an Immortal unless they present their Phylactory to the Immortal itself. Most will not dare this.
A lich's phylactery is not easy to destroy. No single hammer blow or drop from a great height will destroy it. The power of an Immortal will usually get the job done, as well as any enchanted weapon brought to bear against the phylactery. Incredible force or phenomenal heat can also damage the Phylactery. For those who want to trap a lich, smearing the well with anti-magic substances or hiding it within a chest cut off from the world or with anti-magic properties can contain a lich to their own phylactery until a body presents itself to animate. Unfortunately for the lich, a mortal body is necessary for animation to work and some have dealt with a lich by hiding them in a stretch of desert away from any place someone might die. As long as no body exists within a mile of a phylactery, a lich cannot reconstitute themselves. A Lich must choose a humanoid body as well. No animal body will suffice.
This does not, however, restrict a lich. A Lich can choose to reach out to Emea, although they do not dream. Their astral selves will enter Emea and some liches try desperately to influence dreamers to free them if they are trapped. This can open themselves up to exposure, however, as an Immortal cannot find their soul while safe within their Phylactery, but they can follow that soul back from Emea.
A novice Necromancer, just beginning in their pursuit of the discipline can only re-animate and control 4 thralls at a time. These thralls are usually Marrows, Fetches, Husks, or swarms and move fairly slow, sluggishly. A Necromancer at this level is not yet capable of installing a well and must painstakingly transport their corpses with them if they want to use them. The area of a Necromancer's control extends to 100 feet or the inside of a building before the link is broken. Preserve and Sap become available at this level. A Necromancer is only just beginning to understand the process of death. Many are drawn to study the process of decay and rot, making them skilled coroners. For those beginning to practice BoneSong, they will find the power of their voice or music is exciting, almost electric. BoneSong practitioners say that they become more aware of the 'music' in everyday life, from the creaking of muscles to distant bird calls.
Necromancers at this stage tend to be fairly open with where they find their bodies. Most learn to be amateur grave diggers or apprentice themselves to gravekeepers and doctors. A necromancer will jump at any chance to gain access to a new body to practice their abilities on. It is most dangerous for a necromancer at this stage as they don't have much combat prowess to aid them when caught in their grisly act. Many necromancers practice secretly or carry the bones of vermin or men on them to quickly animate a Marrow if the situation becomes dire.
A Competent Necromancer, has chosen whether they will be pursuing Practical Necromancy or BoneSong. Once this choice has been made at competent, it cannot be undone. The Spark will struggle to channel necromancy in the other method, resulting in much more effort expended when doing so. Up to 9 thralls can be controlled at Competence and a necromancer becomes capable of installing wells within their creation, leaving a necromancer with a great deal of opportunity concerning the type of undead they wish to animate and retain. Link and Restore become available at this level as well as both the thrall types Golem, Giant, and Haunt. A Necromancer's range for issuing commands and controlling has increased to a few city blocks. By now a Necromancer has enough choices for their kind of thrall to identify themselves as a separate necromancer. Some will stick to only one or two specific thrall types, learning the nuances of control and trying to excel over one type of thrall to set themselves apart from the others. Still others will push the edge of possibility. Submitting one's own undead becomes possible at this level through the World Development forum and necromancers constantly seek to differentiate themselves from their peers or to discover a new kind of thrall that makes their mark on the magic.
Competent necromancers begin to draw attention as their thralls grow stronger and more numerous. If a necromancer sets themselves in a specific area it is around competence that their reputation begins to grow. Around this period a Necromancer will begin to make improvements on their dead, be more discerning with the corpses they gather. While not yet capable of conjuring additional alterations to the corpse, a Necromancer tends to be a connoisseur of both decay and casualty.
An Expert Necromancer has reached a level of his art where he or she has become rightly feared. Up to 15 thralls can be controlled at once and a necromancer's area of control extends to nearly an entire city before the thrall becomes disconnected from the necromancer's magic. Hulks, Blights, Pestilent, and Gaunts become available for animation at Expertise and as a necromancer learns Corpse Molding, most adopt a signature style in the thralls they tend to raise. In addition to Corpse Molding, Wither and Protocol can be learned at this level of expertise, making a Necromancer a fearsome combatant in addition to the horrors he or she can raise from beyond the grave.
A Necromancer at this level often makes use of a base of operations, a charnel house or dungeon to work on their creations outside prying eyes. Many of their monstrosities are the culmination of years in research and development. Corpse Molding, while a wonderful ability, does not necessarily come easily to a Necromancer. A BoneSong necromancer must 'play' before engaging, using music to help develop the final product and a Practical Necromancer often turns to sculptors and artists for inspiration on how to manipulate their new medium. Few, if any, necromancers allow themselves to be caught without their servants near at hand and many start seeking a more reliable source of wells in order to customize the defenses of their dwelling with the undead.
Masters of Necromancy are feared and respected as a terrifying force to be reckoned with. A Master's number of thralls increases to 28 at any one time, although capable and recommended are usually not the same. The more thralls a necromancer controls, the easier it is to accidentally fall to Overstepping, especially if the dead are raised and controlled by the necromancer directly rather than welled. A Master Necromancer can learn the blasphemy of Soul Theft at this level and thus becomes capable of creating Revenants. In addition, a Necromancer learns the power of Siphon, strengthening themselves with each foe they drain of vitality. Stitchborn, Revenants, Metalborn, and Plaguemen also become available at this level of mastery as a necromancer's power truly awakens the creative potential of designing ones own perfect servant. A Master's range could extend the entirety of Rynmere before a thrall would risk falling out of a Necromancer's control. A Master begins to feel the call of lichdom and will inevitably be drawn to seeking out Obstymite to eventually aid in their transcendence beyond death.
If a necromancer has passed beneath Ellasin's notice, they cease to at this level. Most Necromancers who ascend to this level become a threat to Ellasin and even the Coven. Most of the time they are approached for membership... but some have been targeted for assassination based on their actions. Power of this kind leaves signs and the undead that can be made at this level are unmistakably powerful and dangerous. By this time the necromancer has likely garnered a terrible reputation, if they are known at all and start to push the barriers of their craft. The Majority of Necromancers never get farther than this and Ellasin often pre-emptively turns Masters into Stonehearts to prevent their ascent to legendary status and lichdom.
Of the necromancers in history, only the Dead King and Ellasin hold the titles of being truly legendary necromancers. Given the rarity of Obstymite, most necromancers never bridge the gap between master and legendary. In order to become the master of the dead, one must ever step away from its grasp. A necromancer becomes Legendary when they become a lich, a process that is slightly different to each necromancer who journeys there. A Lich is the pinnacle of the necromatic craft and one of the legendary abilities of a legendary necromancer. The location of their phylactery is often a perilously guarded secret, as it leads to the only known way a lich could truly be destroyed. Legion becomes available at this level, along with the power to create Rot Knights, Stone Hearts, and Behemoths. A Necromancer's control at this level would stretch an entire region before the thrall would fall away from the necromancer's control, and legendary necromancers are known for having undead spies far and wide. A Legendary necromancer can control up to 35 thralls at any given time, but attempting to do so might prompt them to overstep, severely, depending on the nature of undead raised and how many were welled or under direct control.
The Two best known Legendary Necromancers were the Dead King and Ellasin. While the Dead King is considered gone, Ellasin cautiously awaits his return. A Legendary Necromancer is a master of death and the puppeting of false life. Truest enemies to Famula, it is rare that a legendary necromancer is ever mentioned in a positive light.
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