Continuing on from yesterday’s post…
Character 2: Necromancer War Criminal
The Deadlands were one of the strongest members of the Nexus, a huge country with a huge populace, and – thanks to the Necromancers – an even larger number of walking dead. Necromancy is seen as one of the darkest arts, as animating corpses rips the soul of the deceased from their rightful rest, imprisoning them in a rotting unfeeling carcass to obey the orders of the Necromancer.
The animated dead are slaves – used for working in unpleasant locations or as front line warriors – they are trapped in their torturous half-existence until they completely break-down. In damp climates this could be a matter of decades as rot and mold take their toll on flesh and exposed bone. In dry locales the dead are trapped until they grind themselves to dust, and some are known to wander after hundreds or thousands of years. Some war-zones are now littered with ‘remnants’ – severed yet still animated bits of flesh and bone, crawling, grasping and biting mindlessly until the worms take them entirely. ’Grinder Squads’ are formed in towns where the fragmented undead are a problem, undertaking the dangerous job of collecting and disposing of the deadly ‘bits’.
After the surrender of the Deadlands and the breaking of the Nexus, the practice of necromancy was banned. Necromancers are hunted as war-criminals and imprisoned. They are not executed like other war criminals though, because killing the Necromancer will not banish the raised dead, they simply roam as the ‘untethered’ – murderous and uncontrolled zombies and skeletons.
An older woman, the Necromancer was born near the border of the Deadlands and an Alignment country – she was a true loyalist but spoke both languages fluently. She did her duty during the war, raising countless undead in the name of their Glorious Undying Leader. She raised the dead, and she sent them to war against the Alignment, and when the Deadlands surrendered she was devastated. She was then horrified when the accords of Surrender saw her sent – by her own government – directly to an Alignment Necro-prison. The conditions in the Necro-prison were expectedly awful, but worse was the attempts by Alignment and Ex-Nexus Wizards to ‘reverse’ Necromancy by reflecting the pain and torture suffered by the undead back onto the necromancers who raised them. The results were both successful and terrifying and she has nightmares about the resulting thing the Necromancer turned into.
She escaped the prison and ran, before settling in an Alignment city on the other side of the border of her home town, where she feels she can hide. She is terrified of being discovered and hauled back to prison and the experiments, but she is also haunted by the horrors created by the reverse-necromancy. She has heard rumours of huge bands of the untethered heading in groups towards the Necro-prison mountains – a level of cooperation that is unheard of.
What does she want?
She wants to be free, properly free and to stop feeling like she needs to always be looking over her shoulders. She worries about the necromancers she left behind, and what the experiments have done, and still might do.
Let me know what you think!