Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #2-12: Too Doe Nakotae

To life immortal. Necromancy need not only be relegated to the raising of zombies for the continuation of a body. Often enough this dark school of magic is used in the efforts of seeking immortality. The results of necromantic longevity rituals tend to break into two different categories. The first results in a form of vampirism. The second results in a type of revenant. Where horror magic is concerned vampires are not always created from one descendant, or by some kind of virus, unless of course the virus was created by magic. Necromantic vampires also do not necessarily need to feed on blood or on flesh. Some feed on the spirit or essence of their victims. Some feed on emotions, usually with fear being the best tasting if not actually most nutritious emotional food.

When a Necromancer extends his life as a revenant--whether corporeal or not--he does not require exotic ‘foods’ and may not require any sustenance. Such living dead magicians continue to exist by will alone or driven by hatred and other strong emotions, though love may keep him going, which isn’t very horrific unless his undying form is rotted or rotting. A Lich is created when the Necromancer gains his immortality at the cost of continuing to exist in a dried husk of a body or a skeleton. The ritual to turn the Necromancer into a Lich requires storing his spirit in some kind of object that is kept safe from harm, for should the spirit be released the Necromancer can then die. This shares some semblance of the Voodoo ritual where an enslaved person’s intellect is kept in a special jar.

Necromancy is not the only path to immortality. The ultimate goal of alchemy is to discover the secret to ever lasting life. This immortality often includes remaining young and vital for the entirety of their extended life. The act of extending ones life by bathing in or feeding on blood can be either necromantic or alchemical depending upon how things are done. Certainly if a magician is extracting bodily fluids--blood, adrenal secretions, etc--and changing them somehow, concentrating them, then this is alchemical magic. The item or material known as the Philosopher’s Stone is needed for these alchemists to achieve their true immortality. This pinnacle of alchemy transmutes the body so that death never comes and is indeed not necessary.

Music: Black Rose Immortal by Opeth and Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen.

Opeth: Morningrise
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Queen: A Kind of Magic

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