07 Ask A Necromancer
This is, as of the minute, the next chapter at the end of the in progress material. It is not the actual 'next chapter' for the primary clean sweep story. This is just me going 'Oh, I don't have any idea what to do next, so here is where things lead.' It also gives me a chance at an in universe explainer and primer.
Yes it's low effort. However I need SOMETHING to keep some kind of SOMETHING going otherwise I'll have lost all momentum.
Q: Why are you doing this?
There are many misconceptions out there of what Necromancers can do now and could do during the War. I'm stubborn enough to try learning in spite of the legal issues and very real danger to my own life, as it is an affinity I was born with. Scholars who don't have the same affinity, or worse none at all, can come close but won't have the same understanding on how it feels to be told 'you must have one arm tied behind your back at all times or else we kill you.' Sure force magic can be used, but there's always this sense that there is so much more. Again, using a metaphor for those who know nothing of magic, it's like getting a cookie, or a single drink of milk and you know that there's a whole plate or pitcher of both and you can easily grab them but it'll cost you. All while you see everyone else freely have their fill no problems or questions asked.
It leaves you wondering why you're singled out, why you're born this way when the world seems to hate you for existing. It takes a strong support network for people to live with that, and sadly most are stigmatized or outright beaten, or worse, if you tell anyone. I'm one of the lucky ones and even I've had to deal with people who have known me my whole life walking away. I have no sappy 'I'm here for a Purpose' song and dance to make the home audience feel better. I'm being made to suffer for the sins of generations past, and that isn't right.
This is the only way and time I get to feel like I'm Me and not wearing a mask, and even with the strings attached and everything that's happened or could happen? That's... worth it.
Q: How are you alive?
Mostly because I live in a place that follows through on the promise of 'live and let live so long as you behave.'
Q: You could have tried to distance yourself by calling yourself a spirit seer, or some other title, so why Necromancer?
Because I see little point in distinctions that have no distinction so long as the general public views me the same as ye olden horror stories of cultists in the woods trying to raise up the dead for fun and profit. Granted there have been several instances of symbols and names being so tightly bound with Bad Things that any who survive have to distance themselves. For now I'm keeping the title as is. Maybe that will change, maybe not. I am only human after all and my mind is liable to change.
Q: How did you learn considering it's illegal?
Normally this is where I would be somewhat evasive. After all, if you know how and where a person does The Thing you can narrow down who it is, and even if I have a measure of legal protection? Doesn't prevent someone or a lot of someones from torching my home or shiving me in the street. So, experimentation? Due to Sancrest's closeness to star city I do get to, now and again, look at old texts that are then turned over for disposal after a few days. For those unaware; there is a grace period between acquisition and destruction as well as provisions for academic study, though that protection does get stretched to its breaking.
Also, getting a permit for said exemption is both difficult, and puts you on a very short list of primary suspects, and worse. Consultants that are legally obligated as part of that special permit to aid in any relevant investigations. Granted I would volunteer anyway if I felt I could be of positive use, but it's still an aggrivation.
Q: What advice do you have if confronted by a necromancer?
Apologies, but I had to reword this question from the dozens of variations on 'how do we kill you' since I very much don't want to die, but I have to face up to the fact that not everyone with my affinity will be non-violent. So here are some tips.
- They are just as human as you are. Set aside any stories you've heard, plays you've seen, and so on. Even if somehow they zombified their own corpse to linger on? It's still a human body with all the limitations that implies. Honestly, barring things that have survived from days gone by into the here and now, zombifying your own corpse and housing your spirit inside is too risky with too many downsides. You need help from someone you really trust to handle your literal spirit, and even if everything goes well? Zombies tend to have coordination issues, have problems feeling heat and cold, fine motor control, and the like. THese downsides can and in theory should go away in time, but I for one would get exceedingly bored waiting a few decades, and i very much doubt that anyone who has some sort of cult or coven or whatever can keep said group of rabid followers patiant while they flop around like a newborn horse.
- Anyone you face will be at best self-taught, or at worst trained by people who were themselves self-taught. For fairly obvious reasons there are no formal schools of necromancy, unlike every other affinity. This means they will have a few very basic tricks, try something that is theoretically possible but they can't pull off fast enough in a real fight, are all bark and no bite, or some combination of the above.
- Set your ego aside. For all the positives in facing some wet behind the ears wannabe with a hateboner for people? All it takes is you overestimating things. Take a realistic assessment of what you can do. Have you been in a fight? Is there a realistic chance of going and getting help? That latter is very important. If you can go get help? Take notes of... Everything you can. Leave. come back with help, preferably whatever local peacekeepers exist.
Let's take me as an example of a worst case you'll likely deal with. I have some training, some theoretical knowledge based on books I'd been lucky enough to skim before sending off to be torched. The danger in facing me would be which tricks do I have, and how badly am I going to exploit how much everything has played up the big bad undead monster maker spreader of corruption and disease image? Also like all magic users i can use pure force, which I have a far more comfident graps of as that is somethingI can practice openly. Also, I have a pistol, and have no real problems shooting people that want to kill me. Feel like rolling the dice on that one on one? Honestly, you'd be better off getting help and taking me in a rush and or when I'm in a position where I can't defend myself.
- As with any other fight? If you've got several opponents. Do everything you can to fall back and get somewhere safe, and preferably public. Naturally if you suspect you've been infected with something don't go clinging to people, but getting somewhere public will likely get your attackers off your back since if they're smart they've stuck to hiding at the edges of things, and if they're stupid enough to follow you into a crowd? let the guards take care of the problem for you.
- Lastly. Lets say you manage to win your wizard duel with Wannabe Overlord the First. You have a dead body on your hand and a lot of questions to answer. Self defense? Legal. Stopping a necromancer 'in the act' legal. Killing someone and branding them a necromancer. Not legal. That is Murder. So, make VERY sure you're doing the first two and not the latter. Also, as a reminder. I have a permit and am being watched by people with badges. I would appreciate the whole 'fight to the death' thing ... not... happen.
Q: What about zombies?
Y'know? From my experience modern media has done a pretty good job of showing what you're likely to come up against. From personal research War era zombies are a whole other sort of bad news, but your average shambler? Aim for the head and may the Saints look away.
Infection isn't instant nor is it a universal death sentence. Get prompt treatment from a trained healer and you won't have to risk losing a limb. However if you're out in the middle of nowhere and have nobody that can purge infections? Amputation can actually slow the spread of the actual necrosis, but it won't wholly prevent it, and you then have the issue of sudden very major trauma with potential for mundane infection and blood loss to set in along with the risk you didn't get the whole of the infected mass. Healers are your best bet.
Sadly no, once someone has turned they're gone. I have read anecdotal reports of a person possessing their own zombified husk, but those reports are rare and even if that happened, eventually the spirit would move on and you are back to being stuck with a life hating flesh hungry zombie that suddenly thinks your face looks delicious. If you somehow are in the position of meeting a zombie that has its wits about it enough to reason and not attack? Use that chance to let the person have some last words, learn what you can of how they got turned into a zombie so you can report details to professionals to deal with, and make peace with their own passing while leading them away from any crowds so you can put the zombie down with minimal risk of infected material splattering onto spectators.
Once put down, a corpse can't be re-risen as another zombie without a lot of invasive work magically filling in and stitching it back togehter. It's expensive and not really worth doing. The problem is, and again I have to give credit to modern media, Zombies tend to be pretty hard to put down in a permenent manner.
Q: What can you dothat isn't zombies and death?
Table of Contents