During the events of Realm of Magyk, Kael can find a lore entry entitled A Treatise on Necromancy by Archmage Kurd Gyllengarn of the Order of the Raven. Each individual section is fund separately and combiled in the lore entry.
The lore entry, as indicated by the title, deals with necromancy.
A Treatise on NecromancyEdit
Introduction to NecromancyEdit
by Archmage Kurd Gyllengarn of the Order of the Raven 4E 247
Before you begin reading this volume, you are warned. Do not attempt to learn the necromantic arts. Necromancy is prohibited by both the High Council and the Order of the Raven for good reason. Necromancy is a dangerous art which brings death, and worse, to both its victims and its wielder.
One of the many things I have noticed during my time as archmage of the order is the lack of knowledge among members of the general public, even members of the order itself, with regards to necromancy. Many see it as taboo and have a simple understanding that necromancy is used to raise the dead. This is where the knowledge ends for most people. I, an effort to inform the public, am writing this volume.
A History of NecromancyEdit
Necromancy is prevalent throughout the world and therefore almost every culture in existence has its own mythology and legends surrounding the topic. These will be covered briefly. Most cultures deal with necormancy having been given to men by a god, usually an evil god. The Gratharian Leros, the Laurentian Morsinius and the Nyrdic Lomat are all examples of such a deity. Malarian mythology dictates that the first mage learnt the art from a serpent. Many cultures, such as the Irians, maintain that Kativa brought about necromancy, although this has been historically disproved.
While impossible to completely disount legends and folktales, one must look at histroy to provide a clearer picture as to the origins of necromancy. The earliest documented mention of necromancy comes from the autobiography of Morgh Khaz, emperor of Jhal'Khaz, an ancient pre-Kativan empire in the Nomad Plains, who claims he learnt the art of necromancy from a witchdoctor in the Malarian jungles. While this cannot be confirmed, there is little doubt about this.
When Morgh Khaz emerged from the jungles with a large army of undead, it was the first documented case of large-scale necromancy. Using this army, Morgh Khaz quickly established the grand city of Shanak'Khaz, now a ruin still haunted with 5000 year old undead. From Shanak'Khaz, the empire spread out to conquer the Nomad Plains, Zakos, Iria and parts of Kelgrimen, Zenothar and Malaria. By the end of the empire, necromancy had spread to all of these dominions and beyond. Trade soon brought it into Laurentia and Grathor, but not into Nyrdland or Baya.
Many link necromancy to Kativa and the first Kativan War, but necromancy was not used by Kativa until the second war, rather being used against Kativa in the first war. When the first war broke out in 3E 4793, it was necromancy that won out against Kativa. By utilising the fallen, nations could raise unbeatable armies which, combined with the efforts of the Xilaskar, drove out Kativa. After the war, however, the undead armies remained. Between 3E 4832 and 4875 hundreds of kingdoms existed, ruled by Liches who commanded undead armies and wielded the darkest and most powerful necromancy. The Age of the Lich Kingdoms, as it is known, tore apart the world of men and forced the Pact of Nations to take charge. By the beginning of the second Kativan War, the lich kingdoms had either destroyed eachother or had been brought to their knees by the Pact, now known as the High Council. Necromancy, although the most powerful weapon available against Kativa, had brought too much suffering and was therefore banned. The ban exists to this day, but so too does the art, practiced by those who are willing to break the law for power.
Capabilities of NecromancersEdit
Necromancers are capable of many magyks which fall under the school of Necromancy. The most obvious application of necromancy is the raising of the dead. While the mechanics behind this are hotly debated, recent research conducted by the order has led to the formation of a theory.
It is believed that, upon death, part of the soul remains behind in the body while another part leaves the body into an afterlife. This concept is known as soul duality and is usually disregarded by many theologians and mages, but embraced by many eastern religions (particularily that of the Zenotharians) and by necromancers. It is my belief that necromancers use their magyk to bind the soul left in the body under their control and, through a connection which connects the two souls, the necromancer gives the body enough energy to function. The connection between souls allows the necromancer to control the raised soul and its body, but also dilutes the soul of the necromancer. Many experienced necromancers spread their souls so thin as to change themselves and the world around them drastically.
Other theories maintain that the raising is nothing more than the infusal of one soul into another body through a similar connection. While this is not only possible but highly utilised, especially in the creation of constructs such as flesh golems, it does not explain the ease with which a necromancer can raise a body as well as soul duality does. Regardless, necromancers have the ability to raise the dead and use this ability to great effect. During the Age of the Lich Kingdoms, it is documented that a single Pictian Lich controlled an army of around ten thousand undead, although this number may be due to exaggeration.
Necromancers have many other lesser known magykal masteries. Some necromancers, for example, have affinities with a variety of creatures, such as wolves, ravens and bats. Bat souls especially are unusually compatible with humanoid souls, making them extremely easy to control, both alive and undead. Necromancers may make use of raw souls around them to attack a victim. This type of attack can often be deadly. More experienced necromancers can even slip into an ethereal form, transforming their very flesh into soul. In this form they are nearly invulnerable and all of their necromantic powers are heightened. In this form, however, their greatest weakness is necromancy itself. A fellow necromancer could bind the soul form of a living necromancer and use it to extreme effect.
The most terrifying of all the lesser known necromantic magyks comes with their strong connection with death. Some necromancers, through a number of curses, can turn living flesh into dead flesh. At the very least, this mortification can bring about severe bleeding, crippling or serious disability. At the most, it can bring about death. Some necromancers willingly perform this on themselves in order to achieve even greater necromantic powers. When a necromancer kills himself to become an extremely powerful undead, he is known as a lich. The practice is first documented with Morgh Khaz and his circle of necromancers, but has continued to this day, with the most liches ever recorded during the Age of the Lich Kingdoms.
Dealing with NecromancersEdit
It is often very difficult to deal with necromancers as one must first take down the undead protecting a necromancer and, once this is achieved, deal with the extensive offensive magyk a necromancer can hurl at an attacker.
Undead are difficult to overcome as they are completely immune to the mind altering effects of illusion and are not weakened by any physical damage until they are completely destroyed. Brute force is usually innefective against the undead. The best way to deal with undead is to use the holy magyks of many Paladin orders and Divine Avengers. Even if you yourself cannot access these magyks, you can still make use of the products of these magyks, such as Holy Water and enchanted weaponry. One could also ignore the undead and kill the necromancer directly, but this is not a surefire method, as there are many documented cases where undead outlive their master. Once a necromancer is defeated, the undead may either simply drop dead, go into a frenzy and attack both friend and foe, or simply continue to perform their last order. In extreme cases, undead have been known to gain sentience and, in some cases, become extremely powerful and independent in their own right.
When coming face to face with a necromancer, undead aside, one must be heavily defensive in order to avoid the plethora of offensive spells a necromancer wields. A strong defensive strategy is recommended as, once undead have been dealt with, a necromancer has little defence and, if his offensive and debilitating spells are neutralised, he can be defeated.