Necromancers, Caretakers of the Dead
Updated: Mar 1
The very name conjures images of feral, mad mages robbing graves and having undead legions spreading death and despair. This may be true in most realms and planes but not so on Watorial. Here they are nearly a priesthood saddled with the responsibility of finding restless dead and bringing them to peace. In ages past the art of necromancy was just as outlawed and had a stigma attached to any who dared delve into the art, one of its greatest masters was the Alfarian necromancer Malifaux, whose tower still stands in the city of Aluth'Azan in the Howling Woods. This changed with the coming of the first gatewalkers.
There are four known masters of the art of necromancy and only one who is given leave to teach others. These masters of magic are Talon Thanius his grandfather Sabrek Thanius, their one time colleague the mystical embodiment of the fractured psyche and soul of Chalice D'fir Deathcry, Ladonna D'fir Deathcry the literal spiritual sister of Chalice, and the lord of the Dead Isles, Dravilia Nacranau, the somewhat reformed vampiric werewolf. Together they had come to the conclusion that to help curb the devastation done during the Infernicus Wars they would teach others the art of Necromancy, control how many learned it, and guide them in a way that it could aid and benefit others and not as a way to garner power. They had succeeded in a sense but as with any path of power there are those that are corrupted either do to desire and greed or by the curse of their blood lineage, so in modern ages all liches are those necromancers that have fallen from their purpose and pursued power over wisdom. With the disappearance of both Ladonna and Sabrek, Dravilia withdrew to a remote island chain and volunteered to be the caretaker of Ehbon's unclaimed dead, with the regions sending those dead unclaimed upon magical white ships that wait to be filled with the dead of the lands before setting sail to the Dead Isles and deposit their cargo into the care of that lands lord, to find rest and in dire need to serve again as undead minions. It is Dravilia that taught his friend and rival Sabrek's grandson, Talon, the arts upon his coming of age who is one of the few to not take the pact that Dravilia insists on as part of his teachings.
The Necromancers purpose in the world is to help clerics lay to rest undead threats or to destroy them outright. They also help the various major cities in investigations if foul play is suspected like murders or assassinations to help uncover the cause or identities of assailants. They are most often employed by the rulers of various regions if of subsequent power to aid in war, going to the front lines and raising those fallen to either fight on in the defense of kingdom or to remove them from the field of battle. In either scenario, the necromancer brings the fallen home to be given last rights and put to rest at home, never to rot on a carrion field forgotten and alone as this is enough for them to come back as a restless dead.
Though the necromancer is mighty in his power that same power is itself a temptation that can easily twist to a dark and sinister purpose and can be a detriment when facing certain undead as their very power can be their weakness. Those undead that are singular or intelligent are not as suceptable to their powers of command. This alone has been the death of many a necromancer in the past.
The price of power is steep as Dravilia now in recent ages has declared a death pact to all he would teach. This is not to say that there are not others who have found the secrets of necromancy and flourish, but their power is weak compared to the knowledge Dravilia has at his command. Them having no more power than an average mage, and those same self taught necromancers are the same ones who become the monsters many imagine them to be, becoming liches in the end.
All in all necromancers are seen as compassionate souls burdened with the power of life and death, often living beyond normal years watching as all they love wither and die in the passing of time, such is the true price of their power and their curse....