Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Necrofacture

Even though magic-users whose specialty is dealing with the dead are called "necromancers," their primary focus is not on divination through or communication with departed souls but rather the creation of undead beings. Because the undead are creatures of Chaos and widely believed to have been brought into being by demons, necromancers are not well regarded, even when their intentions serve Lawful ends. Outside of the city-state of Yethlyreom, the willful creation of undead, called "necrofacture" by sages, is a generally a capital offense, with execution carried out in a number of unpleasant ways. The priesthood of Typhon in particular views necrofacture with distaste, seeing as aiding Chaos in its eternal war against Law.

It's worth noting that necrofacture is possible because, tall tales to the contrary, there are no incorporeal undead. All undead beings are corpses infused with Chaotic energy so as to animate them and, in some cases, give them an evil intelligence. Without a body, there can be no undead. Stories of ghosts, wraiths, spectres, and similar beings are just that -- stories; they do not exist so far as anyone knows and, even if they did, necrofacture has no power to create them. Most stories of incorporeal undead are based on the misapprehension that beings of living Chaos known as shadows are in fact the spirits of the evil dead.

The principles of necrofacture were first widely developed by the Eld but it was the Thulian Empire under the rule of the cult of Turms Termax that perfected this demonic art. Using corpses, magic, and alchemy, Thulian necromancers learned to create not just skeletons and zombies but also more powerful beings such as wights, mummies, and even vampires. And of course the Termaxians pioneered the processes by which liches and similar undead come into being. Thanks to the strong censures against it, necromancy has not advanced much since the fall of Thule, but, with the recent opening of Dwimmermount, there's no telling what sort of knowledge might be found within, ushering in a new age of experimentation into this dark art ...

5 comments:

  1. I'm hoping that Y is for Yethlyreom. :-)

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  2. Interesting variation on the noncoporeal "undead."

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  3. I've spent excessive amounts of time trying to find a suitable replacement for Necromancer as a name for the sub-class. I'm not sure yours is the one for me, but it is more accurate than necromancy or necrology.

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  4. "It's worth noting that necrofacture is possible because, tall tales to the contrary, there are no incorporeal undead."

    Wow. You just eliminated some of my favorite undead, though it is consistent with the mysteries youo set up regarding the nature of the gods (or if there are even any) and the afterlife.

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  5. A word I've always favored, as '-mance' specifically refers to divination, is 'necroturge' (worker of the dead) which would practice 'necroturgy' (the practice of working with the dead).

    Similar to the real world words:

    theurge (god worker)
    thaumaturge (miracle worker)
    dramaturge (drama worker)
    Metallurge (metal worker)

    But I really like your concept of the necrofacture. Very cool.

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