The Thirsty Dead

Author: Necromancer Marilia Relarys
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Insipid fools would say that necromancy is the art of animating skeletons and binding bones together. Their lack of imagination and respect for this ancient and tragic art form is apparent from the start. True necromantic rituals require far more than dusty bones and sacked graves. The most effective necrotic conjurations are those that are fresh: ones whose beating hearts have bled out before the summoner, soaking the ground in their viscera and life force.

It is precisely this precious spillage that calls to the dead who have been long buried. Necromantic adepts must remember this, as sometimes a graveyard must be awoken, regardless of the age of the bones. In these cases, an offering should be made to the dead. A taste of that vital energy their bones no longer carry.

Skeletons, after all, have their uses. More advanced constructs can even channel magicka and perform magical tasks on behalf of their master. But there is a carnal force carried in the flesh, borne on the breath, and saturated in the blood that all skeletal remains crave. The bones seek what they no longer have.

When resurrecting more than a few skeletons, or more than the most basic constructs, followers of the dark practice should whet the appetite of long-dead bones for the living world. The taste of blood and the release of vitality is irresistible to spirits that have otherwise been dormant. Like water to a person dying of thirst, once the dead remember the taste of life, they cannot go back to sleep.

Sourcing the offering is another matter entirely, generally a more personal choice among practitioners. For some, the forceful taking of a life is part of the art. Stealing a life to reawaken the dead has a certain poetic beauty. Others prefer willing sacrifices, both for practical purposes and the ability to choose the precise time and place of the bloodshed. Still others hold that their own blood should be offered to the dead, but this is a fool’s errand. Even the largest and most hardy necromancer cannot offer more than a few drops, and giving the deceased a taste of one’s own blood is highly ill-advised. After all, the dead are thirsty. They will take what they can get.

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