- For other uses, see necromancer.
They developed their magic in 461 YSD and have clashed many times with their brethren and their allies. They have developed their own branch of Primordial magic, which they call Necromancy, that focuses on the erosion of the body and domination of the spirit, so that they can manipulate the dead and are able to let them rise again as undead.
The Necromancers also use other schools of magic in their works, their favored being Dark Magic, Water, Earth and Fire, giving them unique forms of combinations in their spells.
Necromancy was first invented by the renegade angelic magician, Archon Belketh, student of Sar-Shazzar, one of the disciples of the Seventh Dragon. "Discovering" one of Sar-Elam's manuscripts, Belketh and his followers began their own house of magic, House Eterna, within the Seven Cities. Their first Undead servants (ghosts and animated corpses) rose from the grave and were immediately pressed into service to help suppress the revolt of the Orcs, Beastmen] and, later, against the Demons during the Second Eclipse. From that point on, House Eterna grew steadily in power and influence. But after the discovery of the avatar of Death known as the Mother Namtaru, House Eterna started becoming less of a magic school and more of a religious cult dedicated to the worship of the “Spider Goddess” aspect of Asha, much to Belketh’s dismay. The Angel eventually left House Eterna to pursue his own research away from Al-Betyl, yet he maintains great influence, respect and power over the Necromancers, normally returning when needed or to teach new students.
The other houses of wizards started to grow fearful of the growing Spider Cult’s fanatical beliefs coupled with their ever-increasing strength and numbers. The leaders of the Seven Cities initiated a large-scale persecution, ranging from the seizing of their properties, to banishment, to the spectacle of public executions. They originally thought this strategy would solve the problem, but they were wrong. Necromancer sympathizers within the Seven Cities, aided by their exiled allies, launched a revolt. This brought about a long and gruesome civil war that ripped the Seven Cities apart, destroying some of the fabled seven cities of magic. Unfortunately for the Necromancers, the wizards won the war and forced them to settle in the eastern valleys of Heresh, where the Necromancers declared their independence, using the city of Nar-Heresh as their base of operations to plan their revenge.
Their revenge came as a new war against the Wizards of the Silver Cities, survivors and "successors" to the Seven Cities, thus began the horrific War of the Broken Staff. Despite their dark powers and undead armies, the wizards with their allies in the Holy Falcon Empire crushed their armies and drove them back to Heresh.
Now they remain in their deathly realm to continue their research and plan for another chance at revenge while others try to infiltrate or make secret deals with the Holy Empire's nobles.
Belketh's teaching emphasized the third aspect of Asha, the Face of the Crone, who ends life and fulfills destinies. In his teachings, Asha was depicted as a gigantic spider, sitting in the web of life and administering death and rebirth. Death alone is seen as a way to enlightenment and the senses and desires of the flesh are depicted as flawed and misguided. The only way out of this is to become undead, who aren't bound to their senses and are able to see the full truth of the sacred cycle. All necromancers strive to become undead liches, or Asakkus, and then further transform into vampires, or Akhkharus. The Mother Namtaru has a central place amongst the Necromancer culture, serving as a prophet of some sort and turning their followers into new generations of vampires and liches.
The Necromancers believe that life energy is nothing but a resource that should be used for the protection of the sacred cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth. Souls pass on, and Asha uses all.
Necromancer life is ascetic in the extreme. Sensual pleasures are frowned upon, as is any sort of gaiety, or celebration. Citizens speak in whispers and low tones, nobody hurries anywhere, and there is little change on the streets from day to night. Those who have tasks do them quietly, and then go home to the generally childless social groupings called "families" for lack of a better term. Necromancers spend their birthdays in seclusion and penitence. Procreation is generally frowned upon as a distraction from the greater work.
The Necromancers do not seek to convert all the nations of Ashan to their morbid belief, nor to kill them all and raise them as undead, but rather to have a dominant place in the world as protectors of the equilibrium between the worlds of life and death. They believe that the pursuit of magical knowledge without reverence to the Dragon Goddess will lead to the ultimate destruction of Ashan.
How the Necromancers wage war is different than that of the other nations of Ashan. They take their time strategizing; masters of attrition warfare, the Death Lords will generally press an attack for hours. Their troops, after all, never get tired. Naturally led by Death Knights and Ebon Knights or even actual Necromancers, their armies are made up of undead skeletons, spirits, ghouls and giant spiders. Even the animated corpses of the enemies they defeated on the battlefield become part of their forces. Although those soldiers are mostly sword fodder, their ranks only ever seem to be grow without end. The elite of their forces are the bloodthirsty vampires, which serve as field commanders and are the necromancers' greatest warriors, and the liches which act as sorcerers of dark magic, raise the dead to replenish their numbers and drain the life of their enemies. The feared grim riders and reapers, bone and spectral dragons, and even the fate spinners are used as their best and most powerful troops. To the Death Lords of Heresh, fallen enemies are seen as resources to be exploited, their ghosts and corpses raised again to serve the Necromancers.
- Markal: Well, I guess you'll have to kill me; send me to the afterlife. You know, that's the best news I've had in weeks.