Necromancy is the magical school pertaining to the soul and The Veil, allowing for direct contact with the souls of others both living and dead. The practice is widely respected and encouraged as a therapy, particularly for those suffering grief due to the loss of a loved one. There have also been experiments in using Necromancy as a form of high speed long distance communication, although this is not recommended for sensitive or private information (spirits are terrible gossips) or when perfect accuracy is important. More advanced necromantic practices allow for direct manipulation and even relocation of the soul, and is therefore controlled under more stringent requirements.
Necromancy allows the caster to break through The Veil as a messenger, conduit, or vessel. The practice itself is encouraged both as a therapy and a gatekeeping method to maintain the balance between both sides of the Veil, although as with all magic it does have its more sinister uses.
CommunicationCommunication with the dead remains the most common and useful skill classification of necromancy. Contacting a spirit usually requires an item or individual who was close to the deceased to serve as a calling card to request an audience with the spirit. In cases where the deceased wishes to initiate communication and merely lacks the power to cross The Veil, however, this requirement is waived. Grief Walkers assist both the living and the recently deceased through the grieving process. They help bring closure to families and friends when possible, and help the dearly departed adjust to their new phase of existence. Ghost Hunters typically utilize Communication in their preliminary efforts to remove vengeful spirits, as well. Sometimes negotiation and diplomacy can provide the deceased with the closure they need to move on, after all. Other times, it can show their weaknesses, and provide the key to their destruction.
Plane PhasingIn its simplest form Necromancy requires a mastery of the abilities to alter the spiritual resonance of individuals and objects. This allows the caster to lower the spiritual frequency of those who have passed on to the higher planes of existence, so they can interact with the lower planes. This same skill can be used to allow the practicioner to phase objects through other objects, by temporarily adjusting the spiritual resonances to noncompatible frequencies. This skill is occasionally utilized by those inclined towards engineering and the arts, allowing for unconventional reinforcement methods or impossibly intricate designs. Creatures can also be phased through objects with this skill, although the repercussions of failure are quite devastating to the phased creature. As a result the fearsome Necromantic assassins known as the Shadows are the only known organization to regularly phase living individuals. Experts in Plane Phasing are also able to visit the higher planes not typically accessible to those with a lower spiritual resonance. This requires a large amount of control and will quickly drain the Imperium resources of the caster, so such trips are necessarily short and only available to powerful Necromancers.
Soul MagicLegal practice of Soul Magic requires a license, which certifies that the Necromancer has not only completed a rigorous education in the uses and risks of Soul Magic but is also bound by the International Rules and Ethics of Soul Magic. When used according to these guidelines and processes Soul Magic allows the caster to directly interact with and influence the souls of the departed. Advanced Grief Walkers can help the departed ascent to the higher planes of the afterlife, while Ghost Hunters can help guide vengeful spirits towards peace or bind permanently lost souls to items in an effort to limit their opportunities to harm others. Specialized Healers have also successfully used Soul Magic on the living, to help their patents heal from severe emotional trauma. Used incorrectly, Soul Magic may result in Soulsunder of the victim, shattering their soul into multiple pieces. There is no known cure for Soulsunder, with none in development due to the risk of causing the disease in the hunt for a cure. Those afflicted are doomed to an eternal shattered existence, in life and in death.
ResurrectionThe practice of Resurrection remains taboo in most cultures since uses of the skill tend to dip heavily into Vitriol Magic unless the subject is willing and the purpose remains free of the lust of revenge or personal power. The majority of Necromancers shun the few who display their willingness to walk this path of study, while the Great Library of Arcana holds many Necromantic secrets safe from the prying eyes of the curious. Resurrection involves phasing the soul of the departed, lowering their spiritual resonance from the higher frequencies from beyond the Veil. Weaker practicioners are forced to bind this soul into the deceased's original body or into a sacrificial host body, while more powerful Necromancers can even phase the deceased's current body to align with the resonance of the lower planes. These effects are typically temporary, lasting as long as the caster channels the spell, although Rune Magic can be used to extend the duration almost indefinitely.
Access & Availability
Most inhabitants of Fillimet have access to a Grief Walker if they find themselves in need, although in more remote areas the sessions may need to occur long distance. As the Veil itself does not exhibit the concept of distance this is no trouble for the Grief Walker, and so typically in these cases the deceased will make the initial request for family counseling. Expert Necromancers for more specialized practices utilizing Soul Magic must undergo extensive training and certification prior to earning their license. This also requires repeat testing and recertification, including character references, to maintain their license to practice.
Basic Communication practices of Necromancy are surprisingly simplistic, requiring an almost meditative mental state and the ability to emotionally empathize with another's soul. The safe practice of Necromancy requires the practitioner to emotionally isolate the core of their own soul when channeling, as they otherwise risk losing themselves to their channeled soul either physically through possession or emotionally via an alteration to their own core beliefs due to overempathizing and adopting the soul's goals and beliefs as their own. Those who choose to study more advanced Necromantic practices must learn additional safeguards and rituals, to protect not only themselves but also the souls of those they contact. At its worst, Necromancy can cause Soulsunder, an irreparable shattering of the soul leading to the victim's eternal loss of core portions of themselves.
Ok, that was great! Everything about it: the messaging through the spirits, the no resurrection if you want it for vengeance, the ghosts asking for family counselling directly... Every idea helped reinforce the overall theme and how necromancy works and is viewed in your world. I had a great time reading it :) * small typo: rigerous -> rigorous
M H Biscup
Thank you so much! I wanted to step away from the whole "good/bad magic" tropes and emphasize the nuance of choices, that it's the intent and the consent behind the magic that really matters. I'm glad it comes through in an enjoyable way. And thank you! I fixed the typo.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
I love how wholesome necromancy is in Fillimet. I really love the idea of the Grief Walkers, and I desperately wish that was a thing in the real world. Can you imagine how much comfort that would bring a person? Really lovely article. <3
M H Biscup
Thanks so much! I am having a lot of fun determining how a world with magic everywhere would view and use each type magic.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.