Necromancy: The Undead and Other Creatures

Return to Necromancy | Return to Magic in Lyran Tal

The Physical Undead

Mindless undead include, but are not necessarily limited to, skeletons, wights, zombies, ghouls and the like. These are the corpses of the living that have been raised to do as they are ordered. The necromancer draws on his or her own life energy (as with all created undead), twisting it to negative energy, which animates them and grants them their purpose, which is always to obey their creator. Always. They neither think nor act on their own, but always at the command of the master. As no great effort goes into their creation, they are easily destroyed by fire or sword.

Limited reasoning undead are the same as the above, but are crafted from newly or recently dead corpses, set with special preservative spells for durability and are used for defense, and specialized tasks around the keep or manor which require some thinking on their own. These include, but again are not necessarily limited to: Malcoven Guardsmen and other soldiers of the Region (before the bloody Regent), High Servants, messengers, etc. They can reason, they can even feel and have opinions, but their world view is different from that of the living because they are unable to move on to oblivion. They do not eat or sleep, but may go through the motions, a parody of life. They cannot procreate and their bodies do eventually rot away without a necromancer's regular, dedicated attention.

High undead or 'free-willed' undead: Also known as a lich. The free-willed undead are amoral. Whereas the other undead can be set to controlled purposes, either for good or evil (oh yes, necromancers can and do perpetrate good works!), the free-willed undead do as they please. They think, debate, reason, laugh or cry, but because the worst has already happened to them and they are unable to move on - whether by force of their own will and the wild magic that made them or the design of their creation - they are stuck in the world of the living. Many of them, the Sodality most notably, despise the living for this, and their necromancer creators - if they have one - most of all. Some high undead, like Irmaa Vep, are necromancers who have chosen death over life. (There's not much accounting for those sorts, really, what with the obvious degeneration of the mind over time after death; but power is power, after all.) The spontaneous generation of free-willed undead is a myth. Great power must go into the creation of such a creature; thus, the ironic dichotomy of the Sodality. In order to create more of their kind, they must become what they despise: necromancers. This does not prevent the degenerative mind of the free-willed undead from believing he or she was a spontaneous creation of negative energy, however.

One particularly nasty high undead is the Soul Culler*.

Soul Culler*: A soul culler is a rare form of undead. It is created by a vile rite that is performed over several cycles, slowly infusing the body with necromantic energy and consuming the souls of more than one living being. This 'life force' helps preserve the flesh against decay. Beyond a pale blue tint and slightly more feral features, the 'finished' culler retains the look of its original race. Becoming a soul culler is a voluntary and dangerous thing. The process may not be guaranteed and no known 'spontaneous' soul culler has existed.

Diet - Positive Energy or 'Life Force' sometimes known as 'souls.' Typically, contact is needed to take life force. Those with strong wills or magical protection or magical power (such as an archmage) can avoid having their life force drained from them. A soul culler needs to feed roughly once a cycle or so before they start to weaken. A soul culler can never truly 'starve,' but they can be weakened to the point of being a withered, slow-moving being, often mistaken for a zombie or other similar mindless undead. Gorging on souls will start to reverse this effect.

Weaknesses - Exposure to strong natural sunlight will cause the soul culler to rapidly weaken as if starved for tendays. A starved, withered culler is extremely flammable, due to its weakened flesh becoming dry and papery. Positive energy, light, however, will serve to feed the culler unless it comes in the form of flame. The pyromancer is the culler's nemesis. The animancer, sadly, tends to make the culler stronger.

Strengths - Increased strength, agility, and senses. Whatever a culler's race, they are better, stronger and faster than the original. Elves are the favored raw material for the necromancer who wishes to create a culler. The culler's body is extremely resilient when they feed regularly, able to shrug off normal blows of blade or war hammer that might otherwise smash to bits an ordinary mindless undead. The culler can regenerate rapidly. Ropey tendrils of iridescent purple negative energy will repair the culler's grave wounds. It is a sight to see. However, regeneration consumes their inner 'life force stock.' Most cullers will only do extensive regeneration (lost limbs, heavy wounds) when in the safety of their lairs with a full larder of living beings to consume.

Note: *Soul Culler contributed by the player of Anton Malcus. The Soul Culler is EXCEEDINGLY rare and the playing of such a character MUST be approved by Forum Administrators.

Footnote: It is widely debated among some necromancers (when they get together at all to debate things, which is a rarity) whether Irmaa Vep is a Lich or a Soul Culler. The enigmatic archmagess guards this information as zealously as she guards her age.

The Spiritual Undead

Spectre - The spectre can affect the material world around him but is limited in his ability and strength by the power the necromancer put into his 'raising.' If the negative energy is slight, the spectre will only be an angry irritant, pushing books off shelves, breaking vases - able to cause damage to objects but not attack living beings.

Ghost - spiritual undead, typically human, tied to a particular place (either as 'scarecrow' deterrent or guardian). Ghosts cannot touch the physical world, but they can be frightening. The living often run away from them to their own detriment, accomplishing the goal of the necromancer by falling into some pit or trap or other danger, preserving the guarded area from invasion.

Fetch - spiritual undead of elvish origin. These are particularly difficult to raise and to control, and thus are rarely used. Their character is such that they are capable of becoming troublesome for a very, very long time. They are highly intelligent, however, and thus the newly minted master necromancer is tempted to raise them -- with commonly disastrous results.

A note on Animancy: It is within the purview of the animancer to cast his spirit out of his own body to send it forth in a task as in dreamwalking. However, if a necromancer comes upon a person in such a state of outcast spirit, there is no reason he could not murder the person - with the appropriate spells, of course - and take control of their outcast spirit, warping it to his will. If the animancer is of sufficient power, however, or has previously bound his spirit to a place, person, or thing, the necromancer cannot control that spirit. It may be possible to trap it in a kanopas if the skill and strength of the necromancer is sufficient to the task.

Other Creatures

Wraith - a creature of darkness found primarily in Balthazor and Thermador. Viciously clawed and toothed in it's own form, it shifts shape to the form of its last victim, using this new form to Lure the unwary to their doom. Preying on young children, the weak, the helpless and the foolish, the wraith draws its prey into woods or other secluded areas to slay and devour them. Mages, such as necromancers, can sometimes control such creatures with the proper spells and bait - done improperly, the mage is likely to become the wraith's next meal...


For more information on Necromancy, contact:

The Balthazor Region Leader

Return to Magic in Lyran Tal | Home