View Full Version : Spooky Halloween Special: Vecna's Tome of Ordinary Necromancy

2013-10-31, 09:48 AM
Warning Warning Warning

The following is meant for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as advice on invoking the supernatural in the real world in any way, shape or form. Material in this thread is at times intended to shock, scare of disturb the reader and should not be read if one is not in a Halloween mood and looking for a bit of light horror mixed with gaming. Read further at your own peril.

2013-10-31, 09:50 AM

There is no master of the arcane art who does not at least in principle hold central the tenets of necromantic magic as a foundational science for his own advancement. Nor is the necromancer one who can truly shun the principles of any other school of sorcery, for this most complex of schools in its central praxis assembles in some fashion elements of each branch of high magic. Alteration of fundamental properties, the creation and application of pure negative energy, the conjuring of the Will Malefic and the imposition of directive and in some cases union with the unreleased soul, these are but a few of the components of the delicate art that animates and creates the state of undeath so central to this study. That the preceding describes just one of the most rudimentary processes dealt with in the study of the vital and anti-vital forces serves as a testament to the intricacy and subtlety of what must often seem a coarse act.

It is a lesser man indeed and no true wizard by any account who denies the study of necromancy its place at the heart of advanced scholarship in pursuit of magical learning. We do not waste time condemning such dismissal as mere squeamishness or social morality, for others have done and will do - it is of no account, and conceals the more pertinent truth that derision of the necromantic art exposes weakness and lack of intellect more than any moral bearing. Necromancy is neither simple nor of little cost; it requires that a magus stare death in its face daily, for years on end, not with daring but in its most rude and base forms. How exciting necromancy is not, how glorious it is not, how tremendous it rarely is. This is a study which requires commitment, will and a detail-oriented mind. To come to the borders of death with any less is to mock the significance of necromancy as a power and to reveal a shallow and ignorant opinion of magic generally.

This work is the result of a decade of personal study into the limitations and misconceptions inherent in prior study and praxis of necromancy. Moral concerns have been disregarded as a legitimate basis for introducing questionable and deleterious impairments into a purer science and art. There has been a pretense among archmages that the Will Malefic is a harmless thing if one is willing to sufficiently fetter oneself before calling it forth. Would one say of a flame that it is safe in a circle of stones merely because one form of risk has been contained? Ignorance is no excuse. One must understand that fire can burn and spread and know how to oppose and extinguish it. It will be found that the so-called "moral method" is inferior to that which has been herein devised and serves as the basis for the lessons and requisite praxis to follow. This new standard is the namesake of the tome you now hold: ordinary necromancy.


2013-10-31, 09:51 AM

Students are likely to have at least a passing familiarity with the traditional introductory methods for necromancy, which involve a pig's carcass. We dispense with this wasteful and backward exercise. You will begin by procuring a humanoid corpse, no more than two days dead. The humanoid corpse is central to the practice of necromancy, and no substitute will do, nor will it serve the aim of learning to have it handled out of sight and preparations made in the student's absence. Aid is permitted if it must be employed, but you must be both present and involved in the beginning preparatory work to fully grasp the fundamental principles of the necromantic art.

The most rudimentary components of necromantic practice must first be assembled, and your first corpse is key to this process. Prior to procuring it and beginning your work, essential base materials must be organized. You will acquire:

Gar of wine
Gar of spirit
Distillate of grain fermented (clear)
Fresh hearts of hen, cockerel, salamander, hound and calf
Flesh peelings of cow and pig
Leaves of basil (these to putrefy)
Leaves of borage and stem and roots of same (these to putrefy)
Leaves of cicely (these both dried proper and to putrefy)
Leaves of dreadleaf
Leaves of monksfall and root of same
Leaves of rue
Leaves of zereshk and fruit of same (these to preserve as paste)
Oil of acacia
Tincture of acacia
Naga scale (dark, spirit or water)
Centaury flower (true centaury only)
Moonflower and root of same
Pomegranate and wood of same
Cedar oil and wood of same
Juniper berry (these to putrefy)
Salt of sea and salt of yellow crystal
Bloodchoke pollen
Onyx dust (black)

Cubeb berry, last gasp, spidersilk, nightdark and grave dirt will be covered in subsequent lessons, as will more complex alchemical preparations and the various venoms. These are not essential for introductory purposes and their procurement by neophytes and the amateur is not to be permitted.

The most basic necromancer's tool is the grimcandle, which this lesson's objective is to prepare. While a common tallow candle will suffice in many cases, it is vastly inferior and unsuited for any program of rigorous study or practice. The grimcandle's design and employ evokes Belcifre's first and ninth principles and demonstrates Tzozga's theorem on the sorcerous and utilitary applications of bloodchoke, as well as the methods of Yaska of the Black Herb with dreadleaf and Iusmer's work with rue. It is needed that you learn to cope with the fumes early on, to best avail yourself of the practical and mystical benefits that grimcandles afford to the necromantic practitioner.

To begin, prepare your corpse. It is preferable to acquire a humanoid of grosser countenance for this stage, though normal procurement affords few opportunities for a properly fatted corpse. The dead lining the gutter are to be a last resort; preferable are victims of recent murder or war. Some few diseases provide a corpse in ready enough state, though the wasting that comes on will likely result in unsuitable material. When in doubt, check the skin; a pinch should show Zilchus's wrinkles and a thick, lumpy texture. Elf corpses almost certainly will not do; halfling and dwarf may result in more success, or orc if it be available.

Flense the corpse, using a good knife and scalpel to peel the fullness of the skin from the red flesh beneath. Muscle and blood will serve in time, but are not needed in this process and serve only to lengthen the toil required of you. Ensure that the subcutaneous layer comes away full or nearly so; the fat under the skin is the stuff of value here. Spare not a part of the body the flensing, and note well to remove the hairs of the head before taking that flesh for the cauldron as well. Leave alone the abdominal cavity and the glut within; it would be a waste to dig into it without proper preparation. Similarly, do not pursue the marrow of the bone to increase your supply of fat; it has far more value in other applications. In future lessons you will observe proper practice and retain the outer skin while taking only the fat, but praxis demands simplification of that which can be made simple. Take up all of the skin and fat, with as little muscle and blood as can be managed, and dice it into small pieces, cleaning away gristle and ligament and the like. Deliver these bits into your rendering cauldron. Set it over a good but low flame - the fat must not burn if it is to make proper tallow. This will take much of the day to melt properly; observe it constantly for signs of smoke or catching and make ready to stir the fat on occasion, for there is no moisture in the cauldron to protect it. The desired state is a clear melt beneath with contaminants from the corpse's material remains forming a cooked scum atop. Employ a straining bowl and finecloth to divide away the good drippings from the waste, which may be disposed of however you wish.

Candlemaking is a simple process, but particulars must be observed to properly craft a grimcandle. There are two methods to the creation, one true and one substitutiary. Your task is to work the tallow properly rather than through ensorcelment. To begin, prepare wicks of haghair, six inches in length. The bristle is coarse and only four or five will do to be braided at a time. It is permitted to add cotton or linen strand to more easily braid the wick. Soak the wicks in solution of tea of rue and dreadleaf and salt of sea. Dry these before making to work them in the tallow. After every three dips of the wick, bloodchoke pollen must be applied by cast over the forming candle before dipping resumes. Remember to keep the tallow warm and not to let it catch. A proper grimcandle will be an inch thick across at least. When the work is finished, you will have your first supply of grimcandles with which to proceed to future lessons.

This crude white candle is faintly marbled with pink and discolored yellow. Made from tallow (usually human), a grimcandle is normally an inch thick and four to five inches long. Grimcandles are a fundamental component of the necromantic art and have many uses. They come in two varieties: the lesser grimcandle made from animal fat and the true grimcandle made from the rendered flesh of a humanoid corpse.

Both types of grimcandle shed light as candles, though the light they cast is cold and pale and the flame a pallid white. Living creatures within the grimcandle's light can be more easily unnerved; Intimidate checks are made against them with a +2 circumstance bonus. The light of the grimcandle is also conducive to necromantic study; working in the illumination of grimcandles provides a +1 profane bonus to Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft checks having to do with necromancy, plus an additional +1 bonus per ten grimcandles providing such illumination in the same area, to a maximum of thirty candles.

The true grimcandle is the better tool, however, for when preparing spells, a necromancer may ready them as though his caster level were increased by 1 provided he prepares them under the light of the grimcandle. A spell to be so enhanced requires a number of grimcandles burning equal to its level, and those candles cannot serve any use beyond empowering that spell. It is possible to prepare multiple spells at a time in this fashion, but the sum of their levels must be taken to determine how many grimcandles are required.

Finally, the true grimcandle may be used to reinforce undead created with the animate dead spell. Those corpses or skeletons to be animated must be marked with humanoid blood or the residues of a spent grimcandle. 100 grimcandles burning when the spell is cast provide the newly-created undead with +1 turn resistance; up to 400 candles can be burned in this fashion to provide a cumulative bonus of +4 to each undead's turn resistance.

Faint necromancy; CL 1st; Create Wondrous Item or creator must not be good, creator must be able to cast at least one spell of the necromancy school; Price 20 gp. Cost to create: 10 gp + 0 XP

2013-10-31, 09:54 AM
Preparations, continued

Of the remainder of your first corpse, we are most concerned with such blood as remains and the bones. The bowels and viscera may be removed and attended to in such way as you prefer; while several have value in alchemical preparations of a latter complexity, it is not expected that you at this level of study yet possess sufficient skill to profit from such an expenditure of your time. Remember to contend with the viscera only once the useful elements of the skeleton have been removed, lest valuable components such as the skull or vertebranche come to damage.

Withstanding moralistic prohibitions on early study involving humanoid blood, the standard methodology involved in the preparation of blackclot (coldclot or bloodfaet among some amateurs) remains fundamentally intact and correct. It is most crucial to have care to know blackclot from that foodstuff of superficial similarity which is known in farmers' mornmeals, and to recognize likewise the distinction between the improper blackclot - what one shall know as apothecarial blackclot - and blackclot proper, rarely presented for procurement outside the better circles of the great arts. Whereas the former both employ the bowel as a skin for ease of compaction, the latter requires more care and delicacy in its preparation and is thus more potent.

We shall not list here the many theorems and works regarding the properties of blood with which you should be completely acquainted, for a student lacking such knowledge is squandering the value of this tome. Instruct yourself in the writings of Tzozga, Kuthuman's four fundamentals and Mazaliin's study on harnessing the dual nature of zereshk in mystical practice. Lastly, ready your basins and find a means by which to suspend the corpse through force or tension. Damage to the musculature is permitted for this lesson, but future work will likely require manual suspension rather than permitting the use of hooks.

A portion of the fluids will have been squandered through prior work flensing and rendering the tallow, but the majority will remain in the deeper and more essential vessels of the body. Suspend the corpse head downward and slit the carotid arteries and exterior jugular veins with cruciform laceration. This will increase efficient flow, reduce loss from compression streaming and minimize requisite damage to the throat structures. When the flow has ended, reposition your basins and repeat the process with the major arteries and veins of the arm, working upward from the lowered hand. Despite previous fluid losses to flensing and postmortem decay and dessication, you should procure sufficient blood from the corpse to prepare an initial decanting of blackclot.

Pour the collected blood into a large cauldron over a low flame. This you shall stir two times each hour, no more. After the first hour has passed, apply Ulistrege's rigorous equation to determine the amount of bloodchoke pollen required. One quarter-ounce to the gill is Ulistrege's standard recommendation; halve that amount should you be employing blood of dwarf. Stir the bloodchoke pollen in with great vigor, for the curds will begin to form almost instantly and it is too soon for the black to appear. If the pollen is not mixed sufficiently, your blackclot will spoil. Mince heart of calf or the heart of the corpse or another humanoid provided it has not spoiled. Add these mincings to the fluid on the third hour. Stir now widdershins lest spoilage occur. Do not add monksfall root; that reagent weakens the bloodclot and thickens it through artifice. Instead, on the sixth hour, apply a generous ounce of zereshk paste to a leather strand and dip it into the mixture, pressing it against the wall of the cauldron and rubbing along the circumference. Now the fluid will begin to make sounds like the gag of a hanged man, if the blood was proper and not attainted with leechspittle, vampire's kiss or any of the many toxins or diseases that afflict the composition of the vital humor. The liquid will clump along the wall of the cauldron to form long dark polyps of clotted blood. If these polyps resemble stalactites more than spiders' legs, let the cauldron continue to sit on the flame until jointing begins and the clots knot off from one another. At the time that the spiderleg pattern forms, remove the cauldron from heat and pour over with gar of spirit, then pour the contents over finecloth. The solute that results should be a vivid purple in color, while the precipitate shall be blackened, clotted and irregular of shape, though the polyps shall have broken apart to form so-called "hairy globes."

Your properly-made blackclot can be stored in glass in its own solute or in solution of equal parts blood, water and gar of spirit. A single clot serves for most purposes; the amount that you have prepared should suffice for your first several lessons until your tasks escalate in assembly requirements.

This foul substance superficially resembles a piece of blood pudding; however, it is in truth a polyp of congealed and clotted blood, heart and necromantic reagents that is fundamental to many basic practices of that art.

Blackclot is used alongside dead man's tale to scribe scrolls of necromantic magic. When the two are used in tandem, the resultant scroll has a caster level 1 higher than normal without an increase in creation costs. One piece of blackclot is sufficient to scribe a single scroll.

Ingesting blackclot results in infection with a stronger form of filth fever (DC 14). Creatures that hunt by the smell of blood get a +4 bonus on checks made to detect those carrying blackclot if it is improperly contained or handled. Applying a piece of blackclot to an undead creature has the same effect as inflict minor wounds. Finally, blackclot smeared on an object or creature leaves an aura of faint necromancy that fades within an hour.

Price 10 gp.

2013-10-31, 09:56 AM
Preparations, concluded

The final stage of preparatory work concludes the assembly of the necrophernalia that introductory lessons shall require. Now you will conclude your work with your first corpse and receive a proper introduction - for all extant works on the subject are dreadfully lax - to bone magic and the mystical properties of the various components of the humanoid skeleton that can be made useful in ordinary necromantic practice. We shall assume that the corpse with which you are working is human; independent study on the dwarven claviscute, elven mediacarpus and other unique structures of the humanoid skeleton may be undertaken by particularly ambitious students, but this work sees no purpose in seeking to encourage the exceptional among the untried and amateur.

Your previous lesson instructed you to protect the major bones of the skeleton while procuring blood from your corpse; if any of the gross structures have been damaged, you will need to avail yourself of a new corpse immediately. Measures to be taken at this stage vary; traditional methods remain the best practice in this instance; even the clumsiest and most constrained traditions of the necromantic art understand the fundamentals of working with bone. Be mindful of the foolishness of practitioners of other schools of magic, however. Ignore all counsel to boil the skeleton; a boiled skeleton is a thing of soup, not of magic, and he who counsels making a soup of your necromantic training should be made the key ingredient. Sever as much of the muscle as is possible using good knives; a butcher would be ideal to assist in this task, though a disappointing degree of squeamishness is oft present in that trade when it comes to this sort of work. Dispose of all tissue and take up the bones for cleaning. The most traditional of all methods is of course that which is otherwise most alien to necromancy: permitting nature to have its way. Natural decay is by far the most effective means to clean bone, though not the most efficient. A burial in dragonblight will shear all stain from bone within a day, though the neophyte student is not likely to have access to a sufficient quantity. For the most expedient method, immerse the skeleton in lukewarm water and simmer for several hours. Natron in solution will hasten the cleaning but is not required for a proper job and may not be desirable given the subsequent processes to which the bones will be subjected.

Regard the assembled bones once clean. Separate with care the skull and mandible together, the pelvis, the long bones of the arm and leg (the radius, ulna, femur, humerus and tibia), the tarsal and carpal arachne, the vertebranche and the ribcage. Sternum and scapulae must also be separated out. Examine the epiphyses of the long bones for damage; red marrow is of less value in the preparation but severe cracking and exposure will spoil the process. The bones that remain may be discarded for your first preparatory lesson only.

Refer to Yaska's Mareritt, Calric's treatise on sorcerous derivations of dragon's blast, Thnaan's principle of induced spontaneous generation and in particular detail the fundamentals of materialized ephemera entrapping as laid down by either Gothmalor or Leuvaxis - Gothmalor's approach is simpler and will no doubt be preferable to you, but the true student of necromancy who seeks to excel will examine Gothmalor's theories and differentiate them from those of Leuvaxis to identify the principles that set apart the superior methodology. We shall proceed under the assumption that you have only studied Gothmalor. Prepare a tea of rue and hemlock with flower of wormwood. This may be set aside and warmed anew when required. Concoct as well a slurry of equal parts minced salamander's heart and putrefied leaf of basil to twice as much dragonash or dragonblight (though dragonash is preferred) and a like portion of gar of spirit.

For this process, the cauldron itself requires preparation. Rub the inner wall of the cauldron with oil of acacia using flesh of cow or pig. Inscribe the Pattern of Defied Complement with gypsum around the mouth of the cauldron, then take up salt of yellow crystal and crush it in hand above the cauldron while reciting Kuthuman's origination primer. Clean your hands and perform Kuthuman's eleventh rite of infusion and Yaska's vitiation of the dreadful herb. Ensure that you are burning at least six grimcandles around the cauldron at all times after the vitiation until the work is complete. Coat the bottom of the cauldron with dreadleaf and place the sternum and scapulae in the center. Add water to the cauldron until it is but half empty and add wormwood to the flame underneath. This cauldron is not to be brought to a boil at this stage, but must rather be heated to simmer only. In an hour's time, add the ribcage to the cauldron. The ribs shall begin to crack lengthwise and suppurate oily red fluid immediately if all steps have been followed appropriately. A light shall have come around the inscription at this time; if the gypsum runes do not shed their light, cast a handful of onyx dust into the cauldron and again perform Yaska's vitiation.

Now you will add the long bones. Count each bone as it is added precisely. You must keep the final count sure. When the last of the long bones has been added to the cauldron, add three naga scales, pour in the slurry and perform Kuthuman's thirteenth infusion. The fluid within should clarify enough for the bones to become visible. A competent necromancer in possession of bonedrinker's saliva would do well to add it at this time; in absence of that reagent, you shall have to wait. Attend the mixture left uncovered for the next three to six hours, never stirring and remaining away from the open cauldron. Eventually you shall hear splashing sounds and possibly small shrieks. This is merely their method of getting attention in an attempt to feed, so you must resist the urge to go near the cauldron at all costs. Instead, take up your blackclot and seeds of pomegranate. Count one seed for each bone in the cauldron, including the scapulae and sternum. Cast these in all at once lest a feeding frenzy spoil your work. Three pieces of blackclot, properly prepared, will again color the water and you shall hear a series of crackles as the bones shatter to free their tenants. Ideally at this stage one will have a spare arm to reach into the cauldron with, but if no assistants are available then the flame must be changed to terminate spontaneous generation. Apply cedarwood to the flame and add dried cicely. It will take between one and two hours for the worms to calm, at which time they can be killed by adding the tea of rue prepared earlier to the cauldron. When the marrow worms float to the surface, cast over a handful of salt of sea to check for signs of life. A marrow worm that twitches or attempts to avoid the salt is still alive and more tea will be required to kill it.

Remove the marrow worms from the cauldron and slice each along its length, pulling aside the fatty yellow tissue to locate the threadlike black organ within. Carefully extract the organ, then take the marrow worm and wring its corpse, collecting the effluvia. Two such organs must be taken and wrapped around a crystal or glass prism and the whole immersed in the effluvia to create the ephemeral trap. Return spent and hollowed marrow worms to the cauldron. The fluid within is dreadfully toxic and cannot be risked to contaminate one's own source of potable and workable water. See that it is poured into the ocean or another distant aquifer. When the cauldron has been emptied, strike through the Pattern of Defied Complement with the Transmaterial Cord runic line pattern. Leave it for an hour or more and then wipe the cauldron clean of all markings. The prisms shall have become clear and dry with no trace of the organs or effluvia remaining. Sequester these carefully, for they are vital to the collection of more delicate necromantic reagents.

Now we turn to the vertebranche and pelvis. Refer to the Serpentarium figure on the adjoining page for the intended configuration. A spell is required to properly mold the vertebranche into this shape, but basic principles can be applied to prepare the transformation by eliminating the spinal cord and joining the pelvis and vertebranche properly. Apply Belcifre's fourth principle and the rite of blanching and scouring, making the cardinal marks with blood and the semicardinal runes with gypsum. Cover the vertebranche in dragonblight and let it sit for a day until the circumscription is glowing and the dragonblight has taken on a mossy consistency. Be certain to check the diagrams and replicate them with absolute perfection; far too many prospective students have died to their own idiocy for scribing Theshk instead of Tsesk. You will hopefully by this point in your preparations be slightly more competent than they.

After one full lunar transit and past daybreak, prepare Calric's discriminatum et distributio and set up a brazier. Ingest one heart of cockerel and coat your hands with oil of acacia. Light the brazier with a grimcandle and put to the flame four fresh leaves of hemlock and a half ounce of belladonna root. Refer to the diagram opposite for the somatic instructions to the pattern known as Orlaith's paralytic primer. Exclude the directive kineme from the somatic phrase, leaving only the bind-clutch-grip-strike pattern in that order. No more than a foot above the covered vertebranche, perform three mirrored repetitions of the modified Orlaith's paralytic primer while reciting cotascus zor metafugi. The vertebranche should twitch sufficiently to dislodge much of the loose dragonblight. With an augur, make one hole at the center of the anterior superior cervical vertebra and a second in like position of the inferior thoracic vertrbra. Pack the upper hole tightly with centaury, then pour tincture of acacia along the length of the vertebranche. Within the next ten minutes it should convulse and a dark, odorous fluid should ebb from the lower hole. Take a knife and run it along the center of the anterior lumbar vertebrae down to the sacrum. The bone should part and turn yellow along the line of the cut, forming a narrow trench that connects to the lower hole. Ignore any popping noises during this process; they are meaningless.

Take up the pelvis and wash it in solution of salt of yellow crystal. Pour distillate of grain fermented through the pelvic cavity and apply a paste of crushed gypsum, black onyx powder and borage putrefacte to the pubic symphysis and around the outer rim of the pelvic cavity. Apply leaf of monksfall over the paste and brush with oil of cedar, then leave for an hour to set. Repeat this process thrice more. After the fourth setting, position the pelvis such that the sacrum is behind the superior cervical vertebrae and apply a thick layer of paste to coat the two, wrapping the whole in monksfall leaf. Pour oil of cedar over this wrapping and coat immediately with salt of yellow crystal. Add wormwood stem, root of moonflower and dried leaf of cicely to the brazier and press blackclot to the joining point between pelvis and vertebranche. Wipe clear the Fal, Prokmesh and Tsesk runes from the cardinal marks, replacing Fal with Ilor. Cover mouth and nose with a wetted cloth and stand well clear until the fumes have abated and the gnawing sounds fade. The fusion point will be quite hot and still hungry for flesh, so take care to leave it be until the red streaks fade to a dull pink. Coat the interior of the pelvic canal with grimcandle drippings and allow to stand. The funnel structure is now complete and will be ready to use once you have learned the necessary spell to warp living bone.

Lastly, we turn to the skull. Your first corpse is a poor selection for a proper grimsophis, but you can at least go through the motions to learn how the thing is properly done. Some backwater traditions still use the skulls of dull beasts for the crafting of a grimsophis, which puts to question why one would bother creating the thing in the first place. Better to accept now that your work as a necromancer will involve staring into the hollows of a humanoid skull; putting it off is the desire of the weak and unfit. The well-enchanted grimsophis is a necromancer's best ally and you will be preparing several over the course of your career in the great art.

Boil the skull for a day and a night in gar of spirit. Anoint the boiled skull with oil of cedar, and with an implement of softwood or leather take up zereshk paste to spear inside the cranial cavity. This must be spread around thoroughly to cover all parts of the cavity. Mix a poultice of basil putrefacte and cicely putrefacte; to this, you will add precisely eight drops of your own blood, sourced from the base of the second finger of the left hand. Fill the cranial cavity with this poultice. Into each orbital cavity push a fresh blossom of moonflower and a smear of juniper berry putrefacte, then open the jaw carefully and insert a whole pomegranate, fresh or dried, such that it rests between the teeth. Take up salt of sea and let fall no more than a pinch upon the brow of the skull. Cover each orbital cavity with a naga scale or fresh leaf of dreadleaf; other leaves or scales will do for an inferior product, but we must take care to instruct the correct process.

We will be applying Belcifre's seventh and ninth theorems to precipitate the infusion. Set a brazier smoking using trimmings of cedar, and begin the ritual described under Mazaliin's Exsophis Dimidia Terasveridae. Take care that the "rum" phoneme from the sixth, eighteenth and twenty-second verses is intoned with the jaw lowered to its maximum distension. It is not likely that you yet possess the carpustome necessary for the invex kineme; it is an archaic gesture from Ur-Flan practice and is conventionally replaced with a cornata transvex kineme. If this is the case, ensure that your palm is bleeding from a shallow cut horizontally toward where your fingers would meet it. The cornata transvex is a simple cornata hand position making a motion laterally across the shoulder line. Some practitioners find greater effect in repeating the cornata transvex from the other side; magic is an art, not a science, so determine in due course which method is more successful for you. Mazaliin tells us that transpotentiated zereshk loses its properties very quickly in the absence of transition factors, so ensure that you have sufficient time to complete the ritual at a brisk pace. Those of faint heart should leave the preparatory chamber for the next eight hours and take care to ignore the sounds coming from the wakening skull. I am given to understand that many practitioners find the visible and auditory manifestations of the extrusion rebirth metemphysiosis extremely offensive. Nonetheless, I would recommend the experience to anyone serious about their commitment to necromantic practice; there are worse sights yet to see.

At the end of the metemphysiosis, the pomegranate should be a black, rotted husk and a miasma of gases should be rising like steam from the jaw and eye coverings of the skull. The next step requires great care. Remove one of the eye coverings and look into the socket. If you see any trace of red light within, flee. Check the other covering next. Both should reveal only empty sockets. Proceeding, cover your hand and remove the rotted pomegranate, discarding it. Listen carefully; any sound of whispering coming from the skull should be met with a spell of undead disruption followed by swift flight from the chamber. It used to be said among less scrupulous necromantic apprentices that "a failed grimsophis is somebody else's problem," a position you should take to heart.

If the skull remains inert, place your hands on either side of the cranium and complete the standard permanence of object enchantment with which you should be well acquainted. This grimsophis is inadequate for your future needs, but the procedure is functionally identical for most better starting materials, save those in which the corpse lacks a jawbone.

Should you have succeeded in all preparations heretofore prescribed, you have managed not to be a complete disappointment and have survived several procedures whose failure would likely have meant death or serious impairment. If you have reached the end of this lesson, you have earned the right to begin learning the basic principles of ordinary necromancy.

2013-10-31, 10:00 AM
Introductory Principles

It is a gross oversimplification to reduce the great art of necromancy, as the layperson must in his foolishness, to matters of the body. The realm of the coarse, the base, the physical, this is where necromancy has made its mark in the global consciousness. Even among your brethren who study lesser magics this association seems indelible. For the sake of a handful of corpsewrought servitors, necromancy has come to be identified with the rictus grin of a skull and all manner of depredations upon the body, both living and deceased.

While such crude matters are indeed already within your capability to manipulate, they are hardly indicative of true skill in necromancy, nor are they particular to this most challenging art. Those studied in alteration magics most certainly work more with the corporeal than you shall. The true measure of a necromancer's talent lies in the study of magics that interact with the soul. Here is the most foundational truth of necromancy: the soul is greater than the flesh. Everything of significance in the necromantic art arises from this principle.

In this lesson you will be instructed in the basic principles of necromancy generally and the expectations of our new praxis specifically. Ordinary necromancy will require a thorough understanding of both the fundamental mechanics it shares with the work of lesser practitioners as well as specific regard for the differencing factors which improve upon older traditions.

The most central difference between ordinary necromancy and subordinary necromancy is the first principle, the guiding body of study and methodology informing the arcane process itself. Ordinary necromancy follows Garlian principles instead of Larethine methods. You will already be familiar with both methodologies from prior arcane study, and for many of you this move to Garlian fundamentals will come as no surprise. It is true that most current arcane practice over the past few centuries has shifted away from Larethine theory toward the more pragmatic and intuitive methods of Garlian magic. This trend has been abetted by an influx of untried apprentices taken on by overly-generous masters, yet it is not altogether a negative development. Garlian magic has historical precedence, being the first true mortal magic of Oerth, and its rich connection to the Prime Material Plane does not discount its portable and adaptable nature. Larethine theory is often an esoteric matter when it comes to experimentation and retains too many moral standards to serve a useful role.

That is not to say that I have developed ordinary necromancy to bring this art "upon the bandswagon," so to speak. Rather, it is the intrinsic quality of Garlian theory that it offers superior control over energy conduction and complex magical phenomena. This work bases itself in that research and practice while diverging sharply from Garlian praxis in terms of the substantial role of the material and magical qualities thereof that Garlian theorists rely on. Necromancy can make just as much use out of gold and gemstones as any other branch of magic, but the true key to necromancy lies in mastery of somatic energy conveyance and verbal metasorcerous architecture. In brief, while traditionalists cling to stockpiles of silver and complex runic astrologiae, ordinary necromancy takes a much simpler principle and centers it in the methodology: the practitioner, not his means, determines the outcome. It is of course too much to ask that you demonstrate the requisite skill from the outset of your study; you have been far too contaminated by both the hidebound Larethine and facultative Garlian to easily adapt to instruction in nonsympathetic arcane manipulation. Nonetheless, you will come to learn quickly in this and subsequent lessons that material components have very limited and specific relevance within the context of necromantic practice.

The arcane basis of necromancy as you shall learn it eschews silver and celestial/astrological influences for methods involving gemcraft and Teleops's colorimetric universal principle. It eschews constant reliance on material sympathesis for direct control through verbal structure and somatic inception - very few of the spells in the basic canon that do not require the power of a Garlian lensing component employ materials at all, save that they channel the specific signatures of a particular undead creature. There are three basic necromantic principles that make possible the work of the necromancer at the early stages of study and which continue to be called into service by even advanced practitioners, for they underpin the very art itself and facilitate the verbal and somatic precision spellcraft for which the masters of this rare and difficult school of magic are known.

The first basic necromantic principle is the Fundamentuum Principium, also known as the transpsyche flux, the fundamental link, the corporeal bridging principle and several other equally foolish names concocted by idiots. The Fundamentuum is well-known even among the less creative of necromantic practitioners, for it defines the strict limit of one's personal control over the undead. A full study I have recently completed draws all relevant conclusions that can be reasoned out regarding the Fundamentuum, and although I have chosen not to share it for lesser minds to critique or fumble at replicating, the abstract is critical to understanding the principle. The Fundamentuum is a basic universal principle, not - as is often thought - a thing exclusive to either necromancy or negative energy. Instituted by the gods themselves if not more fundamental than even they, the Fundamentuum is the inherent harmonic resonance and tension between souls. This is not the tome for a digression into the serious components of metempsychologia, nor is your comprehension of the subject either expected or required. Understand, however, that the Fundamentuum is that basic resonance that attracts souls to one another and creates the sensations of interpersonal longing and social satiety that are known by such terms as limerence, loneliness, friendship or love. If one envisions the individual soul as a piece from a puzzle, there are many that will come along with souls of relative compatibility, "linking" them together. These links are imperfect but represent the inherent attraction between souls. The necromantic use of the Fundamentuum is to expose the open edge of the soul to the Will Malefic, for where two living souls comprised of positive energy must link up like the puzzle pieces of the analogy, a living soul and negative energy mimicking the same align as the poles of magnets. The one can draw the other, and particular configuration pales in relevance next to the strength of the connection and level of exposure. We can measure the Fundamentuum using the blackmote test.

The second basic necromantic principle is the Will Malefic. It is essential to understand, as much as one can, the nature of the Will Malefic. It is the force inherent to negative energy which creates animus and proto-sentience when combined with residues on which to structure its mimicry of life, or what is called "undeath." The Will Malefic is not in and of itself complex, for it is a simple directive that organically employs means at its disposal to accomplish its chief aim: the destruction of positive energy as embodied in living beings. Left in its base state, the Will Malefic is what directs undead entities and provokes them to hunt down and destroy life without rhyme or reason. When sentience is present, the Will Malefic corrupts that sentience, degrading the original thought processes with a constant drone of the primal urge to extinguish life. In some complex undead this takes the form of a particular methodology in feeding; it almost invariably results in a sensation of hunger for the undead, and must always at some level be resisted lest it overtake the original sentience of the undead creature.

It is important to note that the Will Malefic is neither. Although necromancy is associated in most cultures with evil and its practitioners persecuted as consorters with fiends and artisans of vicious and asocial horrors, our art is also known for many benign and constructive applications, gruesome though they might be, and although the Will Malefic permeates almost all manifestations of negative energy on the Material Plane, it is merely a hunger and impulse; it is not truly evil or malign and should be afforded better recognition than the fear and contempt it engenders. Neither is it truly a form of will; most base undead and even many complex forms are tremendously weak-willed, a consequence of metempsyche transmutation in the transition to the state of undeath. Even those who are strong of resolution owe none of said resolve to the Will Malefic; rather, it is the nature of the beast to endure and exist in perpetuity. The Will Malefic is best categorized as impetus, need and instinct where sentient undead are concerned.

2013-10-31, 10:02 AM
Brutal Combo!

2013-10-31, 10:08 AM
How many does he need?

2013-10-31, 10:09 AM
Yet another one get.

2013-10-31, 10:11 AM
Last one obtained.

2013-10-31, 11:49 AM
wow, that's amazing...

2013-11-02, 03:00 PM
Completed section "Preparations, concluded"

2013-11-02, 04:43 PM
This is excellent, I look forward to future sections.

[I]The next step requires great care. Remove one of the eye coverings and look into the socket. If you see any trace of red light within, flee.

2013-11-02, 11:52 PM
Yeah, that whole paragraph about the possibility of it animating when you don't want it to was brilliant.

No wait, the whole thing is brilliant :smallbiggrin: