Three Rooms of Necromancy

In the Auric Temple, just as three rooms carefully encode the greatest secrets of the First Age's Sorcerers, that such knowledge never be lost to their descendants... three other rooms encode the secrets of all three circles of Necromancy. Why do such rooms exist in the First Age? A good question, to be sure....

The Shadowland Circle

Hail the Conqueror Worm - 15 motes

The necromancer calls upon the Uulashtor, the mammoth worms that chew the Labyrinth, and one such beast bursts from the earth, swallow's the caster whole, and burrows back down again. Once the worm has reached the Necromancer's destination, she is spat back out onto the surface, none the worse for wear.

The necromancer may cast this spell anywhere in the Underworld, including any Shadowland; the worm that arrives will carry her, plus 200 additional pounds for each dot of her Essence, at a speed of 100 miles per hour towards her stated destination. The creature will travel entirely within the earth, keeping the necromancer safe from any who might seek to ambush her, but she can see nothing of where the creature is, and cannot halt its travel in any way but to end the spell early and be spit up wherever the worm might happen to be.

Oblivion's Chitonous Mail - 20 motes

The black bile of the end of all things pours forth from the Necromancer's mouth, nose and eyes, slithering over her skin before solidifying into a reflective, hardened shell. The armor of entropy does not impede the Necromancer's movement, but it does weigh her down terribly with the heaviness of death.

While under the effects of this spell, the character gains an additional +10B/+5L soak, and levels of hardness equal to the granted soak. The caster also deals an extra +4 damage with her barehanded attacks, which drain motes as per a Soulsteel weapon.

Unhallowed Fortitude - 20 motes

The Necromancer super-charges her frame with the Essence of the Underworld, granting her additional strength and endurance. While this spell persists, a shadowy symbol of unholiness hangs just behind her shoulders, burning with ghostly flame.

While under the effects of this spell, the Necromancer's Strength and Stamina are each increased by her Permanent Essence. In addition, all his wound penalties are reduced by one-half. In addition, the character does not bleed when cut; he suffers no mechanical effects from bleeding and cannot be subject to poisons or other effects that require contact with blood. This effect lasts until the next time Shadowlands shift from Creation to the Underworld.

Look Upon Me and Despair - 10 motes

The Necromancer wraps herself in a cloak of burning necrotic essence as black as night, causing the very act of looking at her to burn the eyes themselves. The shape of the aphotic curtain carves at the eye like daggers; any individual within 100 yards of the Necromancer who looks directly at her suffers blistering pain, and a cumulative-2 penalty to all spacial-oriented actions (including attacks) for each turn they continue to look, up to a maximum of twice her Permanent Essence. This penalty decreases again by -2 for each turn they look away or close their eyes. This effect lasts for a total of ten minutes.

Eminences of Dust and Ash - 20 motes

The Necromancer opens his mind to the whispered wisdom of the dead, and finds that many souls in the Underworld are all too ready to speak to those who are willing to listen. For the next day, a selection of ghosts from across Netheos may share in the Necromancer's senses, and converse with him mentally on any of the subjects they were experts on in life. The ghosts of fallen warriors guide her sword-arm, politicians of forgotten nations coach her in oratory, and dead savants reveal lost secrets to her, while the words of poets long dead are whispered in her ear. These spirits are bound by the spell not to share what they learn from this experience with anyone else, so the Necromancer's secrets remain secure. This arrangement provides bonus dice to the caster's skill rolls, on the following terms:

  • Her Valor is added to all rolls involving skills of the Dawn and Dusk castes.
  • Her Conviction is added to all rolls involving skills of the Zenith and Midnight castes.
  • Her Temperance is added to all rolls involving skills of the Twilight and Daybreak castes.
  • And her Compassion is added to all rolls involving skills of the Eclipse and Moon Shadow castes.

There is a price to be paid for the wisdom of the dead, however. The ghosts enjoy the chance to experience and influence the land of the living once more, but they are not without jealousy. The spirits contacted by this spell not only refuse assistance but actively interfere in the sorts of matters most likely to cost the Necromancer's life. When a misstep might cause the caster to fall to her death, or the slightest distraction might prevent her from noticing the ambush before it happens, or when throwing her weight in the wrong direction might force her onto an enemy's blade, or when misjudging the tension on a purse-string might alert the guard, or finally, when not to be noticed at all is of dire importance. In these cases, the constant chatter from the ghostly advisors picks up to an overpowering din. For this reason, the caster suffers a 3-die penalty to all rolls involving skills of the Night and Day castes for the duration of the spell.

Hungry Shadow Curse - 16 motes

To cast this spell, the Necromancer must have line of sight to her target, and must spit blood in her direction (though it is not necessary that the blood actually strike home). The curse partiallyreleases the target's lower soul or P'o, allowing it to take control over the target's shadow. While in this state, the P'o shadow has statistics as they would be if calculated for the target's Hungry Ghost (see Abyssals, p. 61-62), but suffers one key restriction: though the shadow may move and bend regardless of the ambient light, it may not actually detach from its host. The target's P'o, a creature of basest instinct, yearns above all else to be free, and for this reason, wants nothing more than to kill its host and make good its escape. Once the spell is cast, the P'o begins to attack the victim immediately, usually by grappling, since its lack of manueverability offers few other choices. The victim is free to fight back, and others may attack the P'o shadow as well, with the usual complications for attacking someone in a clinch. If the victim of the Hungry Shadow Curse slays the P'o shadow, he suffers no further ill effects: his lower soul is restraining and normalcy is restored. Should the P'o shadow succeed, however, or if the victim dies for any other reason before his P'o shadow does, the creature is immediately loosed as a Hungry Ghost.

This spell affects all humans, mortal and exalt. It does not affect little gods, elementals, demons, the Fair Folk or most known types of Hundredfold, as none of these creatures have a dual soul nature. It has no effect on Hun or P'o ghosts, as those spirits have only one soul, but it may effect Shadeborn, preying on their particular status as two-souled spirits.

The Teeth Below the World - Shadowlands Circle - 15 motes

The infinite hunger of Oblivion hangs below Creation ready to consume it whole. With this spell, a Necromancer offers a tiny piece of theworld up to Oblivion, speeding on the destruction of all things. The only advantage is that the offering may be of the Necromancer's choosing, and it need not be a willing one. Pointing to her target and invoking the Void, the Necromancer exposes her enemy to an emptiness that can never be filled. The target disappears for an instant, seemingly replaced by a sillouette devoid of color and light: a cut-out in space. The target is returned without being physically harmed, but his will suffers terribly from exposure to the malevolent nothingness of the Void. Make a resisted Willpower+Essence roll bewteen the Necromancer and the target. If the target meets or excedes the Necromancer's roll, he loses one point of temporary Willpower, but loses nothing else. If the Necromancer obatains more successes than the victim, however, the target's permanent Willpower is halved (rounding up) for the remainder of the scene. Temporary Willpower equal to the permanent value lost must be put aside and cannot be lost or spent for any purpose until the scene ends and the victim's mind resettles. This cannot reduce a target's effective temporary Willpower below 0.

The Labyrinth Circle

The Yearning of the Damned - 40 motes

Wrapping a single bone, taken from any living being, with a sigil scrawled in black ink upon soot-blackened paper, the Necromancer casts it to the ground and speaks four syllables in a language known only to beings that live no more. At once, all the bones of every creature that ever died within one hundred yards of the caster's position forcibly dig themselves to the surface, smashing through even stone and metal to answer the caster's call. Once they reach the surface, the bones begin to join together with one another, in whatever impossible and unholy combinations present themselves most immediately, into jagged, writhing parodies of life that seek to drag down all that lives to join them in the earth.

This spell assembles a number of undead automata equal to the caster's Permanent Essence, plus one for every fifty creatures of human size or larger who died within the spell's range in the last week, to a maximum of [3 x Permanent Essence]; each creature has Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina, [Permanent Essence], plus one for every fifty creatures who died within the last week (to a maximum of [3 x Permanent Essence]). They have a Martial Arts rating equal to the caster's Occult, a base soak of 15L/20B, a hardness of 10L/15B, and base attacks of Speed +5, Damage +10L.

These creatures act on the Necromancer's initiative and can do nothing but mindlessly attack the nearest enemy; they may not split their action and are unaffected by mental effects. They remain until the sun next rises or sets (or until dismissed by the caster), but cannot be commanded to move beyond the spell's initial range.

Summon the Greater Dead - 30 motes

With his greater mastery of Necromancy, the spellcaster moves beyond the ability to call the lingering hun souls of the departed, and instead becomes capable of calling upon a far wider array of deceased beings: plasmic entities, powerful hungry ghosts, and even spectres from the edge of the Abyss. Unlike the Shadowland spell Summon Ghost, the caster need not know the name of his target: he may choose a category of dead creature, though this eliminates his ability to target a specific, individual ghost or plasmic.

To summon such a creature, the Necromancer must perform a ritual at precisely midnight in which he decorates a carefully prepared altar with blood, from a vessel filled with at least ten gallons. Once she calls the ghost to her presence, the contest of wills begins. The two engage in an opposed Willpower + Essence contest, with the ghost's die decreased by 1 for each additional 6 motes spent by the caster. This continues until one accumulates three successes more than the other. If the ghost wins, it may choose to stay and attack the caster, or be whisked back to its previous location; if the caster is victorious, the ghost must serve him for either a year and a day, or a single specific task of indefinite duration.

Nocturne of the Chiropteryx - 20 motes

The haunting notes of this spell summons forth the spectre of a Chiropteryx, a species of gangantuan bats that met extinction in the early days of the Primordial War. The plasmic creature serves its temporary master with disinterested obedience, a terrific carrying capacity, and a flight speed far beyond almost anything else in the Underworld. This spell must be cast within the boundaries of Netheos, or a Shadowland during the night.

Once summoned, the creature can be commanded to lift any vessel or container and carry it high above the earth at speeds of 100 miles per hour through the Underworld, or through Creation as long as no rays of light shine over the horizon, to a single destination specified by the caster. When the destination is reached or the Necromancer requests it, the spell ends and the vessel is placed gently on the ground. If the caster should perish or sunlight touch the Chiropteryx, however, it will become intangible and the vessel plummet to certain doom.

Animus of Wailing Souls - 30 motes

The Necromancer creates a spiritual vortex around her body, pulling in a host of mundane spirits, hungry ghosts, and minor plasmics, even across the barrier between the living world and the Underworld if necessary. These drifting souls swirl together into a storm of spectral energy that fits the caster like a suit of terrifying, ungulating armor. Besides adding to the Necromancer's strength and defenses, individual spirits may be cast off to strike at opponents before returning to the storm, effectively extending the caster's reach.

While under the effects of this spell, the Necromancer receives +7B/+7L soak, as well as 7 hardness against all attacks. She also increases her Strength by 4. When he wishes to attack, he may reflexively solidify the swirling spirits into ethereal weaponry of any appearance. Treat these as a weapon with Defense +3, Speed +6, Accuracy +2, and Damage +7L; they are also considered Piercing. Attacks made with such weaponry may be at a range of yards equal to the caster's Permanent Essence.

This spell cannot be used in conjunction with any other form of armor or weaponry.

Foundry of Smoke and Clay - 10x[target's Permanent Essence] motes

This spell, which requires an hour long ritual to perform, soul-forges any willing ghost into an artifact of a rating equal to their Permanent Essence. Unlike most forms of soul-forging familiar to the Underworld, this transformation is not permanent - instead, a term of no more than one year, and no less than one day must be specified at the time of the spell's casting. Ghosts may sometimes freely enter into arrangements with a Necromancer to serve as an artifact in exchange for some payment or boon. Summoned ghosts may also enter into such agreements, in exchange for a slight reduction in their period of service.

While a ghost is forged it retains all of its faculties and senses, and may converse mentally with any who touch it. The Necromancer specifies what sort of object the ghost becomes, but in the case of high-Essence spirits it is impossible to know in advance exactly what qualities the ghost-as-artifact will possess: inevitably, the ghosts Arcanoi and other abilities will show through somehow in the final product. Note that artifacts made through Foundry of Smoke and Clay which are composed, in part or in full, of Magical Materials are uniformly made of Soulsteel.

Correcting the Doomed Register

[This spell is the mechanical opposite of the Onyx Circle Necromancy Spell "Joyless Spirit's Corruption", transferring any willing god of the dead into a god of the living.]

Nectar of Sweet Ending

[This spell is the mechanical opposite of the Onyx Circle Necromancy Spell "Black Vial" (listed under "Silent Master's Pollen"), sending ghosts to Lethe, rather than Oblivion.]

In casting this spell, the Necromancer hurls a ball of syrupy golden light at the earth. The mouth of every being within range of the impact fills with a sticky sweetness: the taste of Lethe. For the living, this has no effect beyond a very mild intoxication, but any ghosts nearby may be carried into Lethe.

Self-Destructive Soul-Scourge - 26 motes

This spell afflicts every viable target within [Permanent Essence x5] yards, besides the Necromancer herself, with the effects of the Hungry Shadow Curse.

The Void Circle

Separating Light From Darkness - Obsidian Circle

[This spell is the mechanical opposite of the Obsidian Circle Necromancy Spell "Dimming the Light", transforming a willing Abyssal exalt into a Solar exalt of equal power.]

Rightful Solitude Restored

[Mechanically equivalent to the Adamant Circle Sorcery Spell "Cleansing Solar Flames" (sidebar in Book of Bone and Ebony).]

By means of this spell, a Necromancer unmakes a place where the living world intrudes on the realm of the dead. At the completion of the lengthy prayers to Pluto required by this spell, the Shadowland is put to an end, restoring the original status quo of two unconnected regions: one in Netheos, and one in Meru.

Nightshade and Honeysuckle Kiss

[This spell is the mechanical opposite of the Obsidian Circle Necromancy Spell "Empty Night Future" (listed under "Silent Master's Pollen"), sending ghosts to Lethe, rather than Oblivion.]

This spell sends a wave of soft golden light pulsating out from the caster, washing over the ghosts that he designates, and calling them home to rebirth.