The Misunderstood Art of Necromancy

Yes, I’m saying that Necromancy – the arcane art that brings dead things to life – is misunderstood.

“Isn’t it evil? Isn’t it vile? Isn’t it disgusting?”

Grim-Reaper-blueUm. Well, it certainly can be. But I would argue that it can also be amazingly effective at treating health concerns that are not being handled well through the other arcane and divine arts.

Let’s consider the case of Gimran Og, a half-orc hunter on the borders of the civilized world. He stumbled into the ruin of an ancient temple which is only now being investigated and mapped out by brave arcane scholars. Was he rewarded for his troubles? Yes, he gained a small fortune in gold pieces that he subsequently had to spend on his rising medical bills.

It seems he contracted some sort of flesh eating bacteria while at the bottom of that forgotten temple. Maybe there was a reason it was abandoned after all? He’s been to priests, arcanists, alchemists, and herbalists, but all he’s achieved is an empty purse of gold. His reward? Gone along with most of his left foot and three fingers on his left hand.

That particular problem (and his financial decrepitude) led him to the doors of the last place anyone would ever seek help – Abosian the Necromancer. His name is only whispered in the dark when you find yourself with nowhere else to try.

In fact, he’s a scholar of the highest order. He studied as a Magic-User for a time, tried his hand as an Enchanter, and eventually fell into the dark arts of Necromancy to help his sister come to terms with a disease nobody could cure. A creeping flesh-eating necrosis that eventually took both of her legs and an arm, but Abosian was able to find a way to stop it using the form of wizardry nobody can mention without hisses and boos.

zombieIt was this very same disease in fact that Gimran contracted. And Abosian was able to help him quite quickly. The hunter has worked with a nearby tinker who was able to fashion a prosthetic foot that allows him to continue his job as a hunter in the wilds. He may not be as fast as he once was, but he’s grateful to be alive and he thanks Abosian the Necromancer every chance he gets.

Necromancy understood how to speak directly to the defiled tissue slowly consuming the healthy parts of Gimran’s body. Priests bathed him in Holy Water and had him drink potions blessed by the gods. A half dozen wizards worked on him with every known Cure Disease and Remove Poison variation they could come up with. And even the best alchemists and herbalists were unable to find a way to stop the disease’s progression.

Whatever it was, it was beyond the scope of what they could accomplish.

But necromancy saved the day.

Now Gimran doesn’t talk about the legion of undead Abosian has working for him in his fortress. He doesn’t mention the four undead ogres that carry his sister on a litter anywhere she wishes. And he doesn’t mention the strange experiment Abosian wouldn’t talk about directly during his stay. But he knows that without it… he would be gone from the land of the living.

It wouldn’t be good to say anything bad about the necromancer, would it?

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2 thoughts on “The Misunderstood Art of Necromancy”

  1. You are correct in almost all respects, except that the magic in question is Necrourgy (or Necromagy), Necromancy is “magical divination by way of the dead” and has little to do with the animal of formerly living things. (See here:

    I figure everyone get to be pedantic about something, and this is where I plant my flag in fantasy games. 😉

    1. I see your flag Sean and appreciate the pretty colors and nice lettering. I need to ponder that a bit, but I definitely get your point about my incorrect usage of “necromancy” in this particular case. 🙂 Thanks for the food for thought!!

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