The Art Of Necromancy On Shartak Island
Greetings to you who would follow this often avoided path. A warning from the wise, this path is not one easily travelled and in the past has often lead to persecution and violence against the practitioner. It also brings one into contact with the undead, not all of whom are benign. Yet this great art is not without reward, for mastery will gift one with near godlike powers and great riches...
With these warnings and incentives aside let us begin.
Tools Of The Trade
In this, our initial chapter, we will see some of the most basic tools a necromancer may carry. Namely their attire, for appearance is important in any art, and armament, which is vital for any magus dealing with death.
Most necromancers are traditionally garbed in black robes. Sometimes there is a bone motif but this seems to be optional. Tattered robes are also acceptable, though only for a necromancer on the run. Sometimes the guise of a beggar can be helpful for one of our craft; indeed a beggar sleeping in a crypt is not as uncommon as one thinks. On this island however there is another vital item that a necromancer should carry, a silver skull cross. It will help protect a necromancer from vengeful spirits seeking to possess them. Below is a small example of typical necromancer attire.
"The figure before you is shrouded in black robes. Their face is unseen but the dead around you whisper uneasily at their entrance"
A necromancer is usually depicted as carrying a dagger and, while this is useful for an urban practitioner, many find that twin machetes are much better for the necromancer on the move. Kills made with a dagger can be made into ceremonial killings via the following incantation:
"/me plunges the dagger into the heart of X and then moves the dagger through the surrounding flesh carving out a (symbol of choice) into their chest"
The Establishing And Running Of Lairs
When you have your basic tools of the trade at hand, you will need to consider a lair. In history most necromancers prefer villages for the ready supply of spirits. However, in this chapter we will discuss three alternatives as well as the traditional village. We will also discuss essential supplies for a lair and, Asmodeus forfend, abandoning your lair and taking flight.
A wandering necromancer is hard to find and generally safe from his/her enemies. However it can make them hard to find by their spirits and other allies as well. Supreme coordination will be required to make ones lair in the island’s Jungle
An interior hub far away from civilisation. Safer then making ones home in a village but more dangerous then the jungle. Ideally a necromancer should keep many followers around the ruin complex. This set-up is perfect for a novice as supplies can be found in the jungle or from wandering traders but it is generally far enough out to avoid persecution
Ideal for meeting people and spirits this lair will also be VERY easy to find and attack. It is probably best for necromancers under cover or those who wish to make a statement of power. Spirits in a village are plentiful but, sadly, so are exorcists.
An interesting choice filled with hostile wildlife. They provide safety when hiding from those would persecute you and also provide the means for a Necromancer to survive (on a very frugal lifestyle of course). Any necromancer seeking to settle in the tunnels would be well advised to bring many healing herbs, for trade will be nearly none existent and minions will have to fetch supplies.
So you have picked your location. No doubt it is adequate for your needs; however should you need to leave in a hurry there are certain supplies that should be close to hand. With these supplies you can travel lightly and be away before your enemies can find you.
- 10+ healing herbs
- 1 backpack
- 1 monkey claw charm
- 10 bottles/gourds of fungi juice
- 1 silver skull cross.
It is also worth noting that if a necromancer intends to settle in a lair for an extended period (greater then 2 weeks) then a larger supply of herbs and fungi juice is recommended.
Killed a few too many people with your spells, the mob out for blood with pitchforks and torches? Well here is how to make it all better and how to (hopefully) keep your hide. Begin by being prepared; make sure you keep the minimum supplies listed above. Make sure to stick to less dense jungle (less than D7) to maximise your escape potential. Zigzag and change direction often to avoid skilled trackers, making certain to avoid major roads. Have your minions “discourage” pursuit by providing distractions such as possession and wailing.
Arcane Formulae For The Interaction And Manipulation Of The Dead
Within this chapter we shall explore basic necromantic incantations, it is notable that only a Shaman may learn all of these talents and thus make the perfect candidates for Necromancers. Below are the six basic spells:
- Sixth Sense
- Psychic Recognition
- Spirit Summoning
These 6 skills are the ones any budding necromancer must master if they hope to amount to any real position in the craft. Already many will turn away since they do not possess the ability to learn these arts. Now for more details on each of these powerful talents;
The art of seeing and hearing the dead. With this skill you may already exert a minor influence on the dead by listening to them and offering them targets.
While there is no gain for you in terms of power there is a good chance that the spirits whom you aid will be well disposed towards you later on when you can more directly utilise their powers. It is important to note that one must speak the language of the spirit in most cases to be able to understand them and as such these skills are vital for one who seeks to coerce spirits into aiding them.
The dead are hard to identify but it is not impossible. With this skill one can put a name to a spirit and learn more about them and their abilities should the spirit take any action. Should a spirit make contact and, should you wish to ally with them, adding them to your contacts tome is much advised.
There are several types of spirits and these will be covered later in more detail so that they may be better used to further your cause.
This spell allows a small group of practitioners to identify every spirit in the area without having to wait for the spirits to act. It is very useful in uncovering spirit spies and spirits that mean a practitioner harm. The cost to the practitioner’s stamina is minimal (5ap) and is well worth it for there is no other way to identify spirits not within your contact tome.
An art used to counter all necromantic spells and your main defense against other practitioners. This spell purges the location of all spirits and scatters them throughout the ether. This spell is a certain way to earn the ire of every spirit, some spirits refuse to even consider aiding one who uses this spell too often. However in the right circumstances it can save many lives and as such is an art to be used with caution, for a necromancer without willing spirits is almost completely powerless. Its cost to a practitioner's stamina is minimal (4ap) and as such it can be used freely and easily.
A spell much used by those of our craft, this spell summons spirits from the surrounding location for a minor cost to a practitioner's stamina (5ap).
Its range is unknown at the time of writing but is expected to be reasonable (10 squares max). It is also known that this spell can sometimes fail (50% of the time at current estimate at maximum range) and result in no spirits being summoned. However it is possible to summon every spirit in the area and unleash hell when combined with the malevolence spell. It is worth nothing that many spirits dislike being summoned without their permission and may take offense at the practitioner's presumption.
The necromancers weapon of choice, and the reason we are feared so. This spell draws the wrath of the dead in the form of their ghostly wails at a relatively minor cost to the practitioner's stamina (2ap per spirit present up to 6ap max).
Of course such magic has it's limitations. The spirits must first be able to wail and it is considered a very evil act (removing your peaceful flag). As mentioned above, if used with spirit summoning this spell can take many lives. It is notable that little can be learned from such powerful magic (the spirits gain the experience, not you), however this does not reduce it's usefulness. Though it is again worth noting that many spirits despise being used to kill others without their permission and may seek vengeance against the practitioner for blackening their souls with murder.
Often considered the most powerful of all spells until its true nature is understood. The elder gods of Shartak, whomever they may be, long ago declared that a body cannot be re-animated to cause harm to the living. So while it is possible to create your own manservant it is quite impossible to get them to do anything harmful to others without much difficulty.
To begin one must first speak the following incantation, note that the parts in brackets are optional.
"/me reanimates the corpse (of X)"
To give your minion an instruction one then must utter:
"/me orders the zombie (of X) to"
To end the spell one must simply enter this final incantation:
"/me releases the zombie (of X) from the spell and watches as the corpse falls lifelessly to the ground"
These incantations can be modified of course, however this is the most effective form I have found. Making zombies chop firewood, while more traditional, can be rather dull. Be creative and see how far you can push a corpse's limits! Make it wander around, make it attack someone (raise it and attack with the blunt weapon of your choice and then use "/me orders the zombie to strike at X" before each attack), make it do a little dance with flowers in its hair for all I care!
A simple spell requiring one spirit and your legs. It will allow the caster to vanish in a cloud of locusts and cause minor damage to all surrounding the caster.
To cast simply make sure a spirit is present, cast malevolence and utter the following incantation:
"/me vanishes in a cloud of locusts"
This spell is simple and effective, it may also be used as an entrance by using the following modified incantations:
"/me enters the room as a swarm of locusts which gather together into a dark pillar"
"/me steps out of the dark pillar as it vanishes"
As can be seen this kind of spell is very versatile, it need not be locusts. It need not be just one spirit. Again, take the initiative and see what you can do.
Your Allies, The Undead
There are many varieties of undead and this text will now explain them and their powers to the practitioner.
A Shadow is a spirit without any skills, it is harmless and drifts around aimlessly. It cannot talk but it can listen. They make for ideal spies, especially if they are later revived to report to their master.
A Whisper is a spirit with the Ghostly Whisper skill, it may speak but is otherwise the same as a shadow. They also make good spies as they can report even while dead.
The Shade is a spirit with the Haunting Scream skill and is the first of the undead capable of harming the living. The perfect spirit for novices of the craft in other words. They cause little harm and are generally less jaded then older spirits.
The Spectre is a spirit with the Shocking Shriek skill, they may cause more harm to the living than shades, but are not as loud in their attacks. They are also useful to a novice for their attacks are heard over a much smaller distance and generally are more effective.
The Banshee is a spirit with the Banshee wail skill, they may cause much harm to the living and, as such, must be handled with care. Only masters of the craft should be comfortable with controlling such spirits as they are wont to unleash their rage in random bursts.
The Poltergeist is a spirit with the Possession skill, it is notable that they may also be able to wail like the banshee and should be handled with the same care. Usually hey are tricksters and will take any opportunity to make a fool of you. Luckily your silver skull cross will help you resist their jokes.
The Wraith is a spirit with the Forceful Possession skill, they are death incarnate for those unable to defend themselves and should only be bothered by masters of the craft. The angering of such spirits will lead to death, maybe not instantly but eventually.
The Talents Of The Undead
This chapter explores the talents of your undead allies, quite a useful thing to know if you find yourself struck down in your lair with a full host of ghostly minions at the ready.
- Ghostly Whisper
- Haunting Scream
- Shocking Shriek
- Banshee Wail
- Forceful Possession
Allows a ghost to communicate with the living, while seemingly a minor skill it can be used to great effect in planning attacks on your foes. A weak spirit is often ignored and as such can see much of what goes on in a building. Correct use of spirits with this skill can lead to devastating strikes with your more powerful companions.
This skill does little damage to the living (1) but alerts other spirits, as well as those who have trained their sixth sense, of the spirit's approximate location. Again, a skill that, if used well, can act as a signal to your more powerful ghosts. It is notable at this point to mention that organising the undead can be tricky around exorcists and is better done at a distance (15 away from the target) from them.
A ghost with this skill can cause double the damage of one using Haunting Scream (2). It need not be said that these spirits are useful in attacks and are valuable allies if bound correctly. Spirits are individual entities with individual agendas; remember this and make sure you take it into account when dealing with them.
A spirit possessing this skill is a mighty ally indeed. Capable of inflicting considerable damage (4) on everyone in the area they are your most powerful attack spirits for large groups. Their cries will still the living quickly; a practitioner is advised to carry healing herbs if they intend to use these vicious entities in their spells. The effort required to use these varies with the number of people in the local area (2ap for 1, 4ap for 2, 6ap for 3+)
Possession A skill used by the more playful spirits or those seeking to get a message across to the living. One possessed by a ghost will act strangely and should be avoided unless the ghost is acting on your orders. However, It takes a minor amount of effort for the spirit (3-4ap)
Ghosts with this skill make for excellent assassins, for the victim does not know where the strike will come from. Commanding these beings is not easy for they can strike you down just as easily. This takes a great deal of effort for a spirit (10ap).
Dark Elixirs And Poisons
For those in our craft and hiding out in the wilds the art of alchemy can be truly useful. A necromancer on the move must always be aware of nature’s bounty. In this chapter we shall explore poisons and potions most commonly used by necromancers. To create any of these recipes one will need a dagger (or a knife) and an empty gourd or bottle. Firstly, the Reagents for such potions should be explored.
Fungi can be found in caves and tend to grow on the walls. They are clearly visible and thus easy for even a novice practitioner to spot. If consumed raw they cause cramps (2 damage) and are thus better avoided raw. They are relatively easy to harvest (30 – 40% chance) and, again, should present no problems to a novice practitioner.
Bunch of Poisonous Berries
These berries can be found on any poison berry bush. Outsiders often have trouble telling which berries are poisonous and which are not. Necromancers are strongly advised to invest some time learning the location of poison berry bushes as they have proven to be a very useful reagent. If consumed without preparation they cause dizziness and vomiting (resulting in 2hp of damage) but should be prepared for maximum effect. Their harvest is simple (50% chance).
Bunch of Tasty Berries
These berries can be found on any tasty berry bush. Outsiders often have trouble telling which berries are poisonous and which are not. These berries represent an easy source of healing for a necromancer living in the wild. If consumed raw they give a feeling of overwhelming health (healing 2hp) but should be prepared for maximum effect. Their harvest is simple (50% chance)
This foul smelling plant can be found only in grasslands and swamps. Their rarity makes them a much sought after commodity as they are the only form of yeast that seems to survive in the tropical conditions, and thus are the only method a necromancer can use to produce many of their elixirs. It is worth noting that untreated yeastweed will cause extreme stomach cramps if consumed (resulting in 2hp of damage)
These herbs are quite efficient when used by advanced members of the craft (those with Natural Medicine). It should be noted although that, alas, they lose all medicinal properties if prepared and thus are best consumed raw (resulting in 5hp healing without Natural medicine and 10 with natural medicine). It is notable that, unlike all other reagents and elixirs, they can be used upon others by salving the pulped herb over open wounds.
Now we move onto the potions themselves, a more useful collection of elixirs and poisons does not exist in any other text on the island.
Poison Berry Juice
This little drink can quickly destroy ones health. At first one may think of it as something to avoid, however when a practitioner is more advanced in the craft the spirit world can be as their second home and a quick death is often useful (and less painful). This particular recipe severely reduces the health of a practitioner (8 damage) and can be created from 4 bunches of poisonous berries.
This potent drink is the necromancer’s dream, if combined with other potions or herbs. Upon drinking this elixir, a practitioner will be racked by horrible pains (resulting in 4hp damage) but will feel invigorated (gaining 6ap for a net gain of 5ap). There is a drawback however, namely that after the recipient has imbibed this potent potion and exhausted themselves (used all 5 gained ap) they will find themselves lethargic. It is notable that drinking more fungi juice will delay this effect but the overall period of lethargy will be longer. To create this wonderful elixir one requires 3 pieces of fungi.
Tasty Berry Juice
This potion is a useful for healing if healing herbs are not available. It is simple to prepare, requiring only 4 bunches of tasty berries, and efficient upon consumption (restoring 8hp). It is notable that untrained practitioners will find that this potion restores far more health then healing herbs when used.
Tasty Berry Wine
The most powerful restorative item on the island, it requires 2 yeastweed and some tasty berry juice to prepare. Even then the process can go wrong (% uncertain) due to the unstable nature of yeastweed. The end result, though, is capable of closing up even the most stubborn of wounds (restoring 12hp). A valuable aid for any necromancer seeking to travel light.
Poison Berry Wine
Of all the toxins upon the island this is the most deadly. It's preparation requires 2 yeastweed and some poison berry juice. Such is the complexity of this poison that even if all the ingredients are prepared correctly the process can still go wrong (% unknown). This potion is best used for those seeking to ferry themselves swiftly, for any necromancer will tell you that, while deadly, this wine is also the most sweet.
The Artefacts Of The Island
There are many artefacts of power on the island. To us the ones of importance are the charms. Mastery of them will take a long time and is improved by having faith...
There are several types of charms, each with their own advantage and disadvantage. They are listed below with their effects, both positive and negative.
Silver Skull Cross
The basic talisman that should be worn by all necromancers. It will protect the wearer from spirits seeking to enter their body but will, sadly, open up their minds to the anguish of the dead.
Rabbit Foot Charm
A lucky charm with no noticeable effect.
Parrot Feather Charm
A brightly coloured adornment that seems to pacify nearby animals and, thus, is particularly useful to necromancers with a lair in caverns. It does, unfortunately, mean that animals are less likely to stick around and drop their trophies.
Tiger Tooth Amulet
This combat device will increase the chances of landing a killing stroke, or a "critical strike". It does however seem to make one's weapons unusually brittle.
Gold Hoop Earrings
These earrings have no known use.
Wild Boar Tusk Necklace
This wild necklace has no known use.
Bat Wing Earrings
These earrings have no known use.
Advanced Concepts Of The Craft
In this chapter you will meet with some of the greatest powers our craft has to offer. Indeed once you can claim to have successfully executed each of these advanced rituals you may call yourself a master of the craft.
The great invocation, researched and executed for the first time by the writer of this book. One needs the presence of 6 spirits to perform this terrifying ritual, all of which will need to be fully trained banshees. Once the spirits have been assembled the necromancer must begin this chant, and seal the ritual with his own blood.
“/me raises his hands to the sky, his/her eyes full of darkness”
“/me begins to chant, his/her hands in the air, his voice whispering like the spirits”
“/me lets loose a cry, his/her voice sounding like the collective voices of all the dead here. The temperature in the room falls till ice forms on <your name’s> fingers”
“/me pulls out a dagger and draws it across his other hand, blood dripping onto the floor and the spirits wailing in shared pain”
Use malevolence till everyone in the hut is dead, using healing herbs or tasty berry juice to keep yourself alive.
“/me lets his arms fall and surveys the carnage, his/her blood dripping from his/her wounded hand”
Make your exit.
As can be seen this ritual is devastating in effect and can kill everyone in the area if used correctly... However if the ritual is botched or interrupted by an exorcist this ritual will, most likely, lead to the death of the practitioner. Save it for your most hated foes and revel in their screams.
For this ritual one must have a trusted spirit companion, for it will require their intervention to ensure it is efficiency. The spirit must have powers of possession and forceful possession; the practitioner need have none for any fool can stab a doll.
“/me holds up a doll of <victim>”
“/me inserts a needle into <body part of choice> of the doll”
The spirit must use possession on the victim to say “/me cries out in pain and grabs their <bodypart of choice>”
The spirit must use forceful possession to strike the victim once.
This process can be continued until the death of the victim or until the practitioner is satisfied. It is notable that this ritual can be done in Wiksik to affect a foe in York.
A gifted necromancer with many spirit allies can create an avatar... The Avatar must be skilled in combat and open to the spirit world. The spirits must all be wraiths. To execute this ritual the necromancer must instruct the avatar and the spirits of his targets. An order of death MUST be agreed on. The avatar must then enter the place of the targets dwelling and begin to attack them. Once he is exhausted the spirits MUST begin to attack the targets using forceful possession. This can kill a good few people in a single day. It is notable that the necromancer responsible for the use of an avatar is untraceable unless betrayed by their spirits or avatar.
The final transformation... This secret is hidden for now. Only the writer of this book has attained lichdom and he is the one you must seek for the secret.
Thanks to all the NG members for making this book possible, especially Alicebeth and Cyadora for proof reading it. --Etherdrifter 23:15, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
2nd Edition, edited and corrected by Shadock --Etherdrifter 13:07, 21 July 2011 (UTC)