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AABN:  16033
Title: Modern Necromancy

Modern Necromancy

by Resaech, Guildmaster of Mages

Two beings are credited with the advent of modern necromancy.  The first is
Count Tarrant of Merentha, a human wizard of immense power who later became
a demigod in the service of the God of Night.  The other is Gisco the
Necromancer, an orcish priest of ancient origin who apprenticed under Count
Tarrant and is often called the "Original Necromancer".  Gisco is one of
those rare clerics who can devote himself to multiple gods and is thus a
pantheist priest.

The catalyst event responsible for bringing the Great Update of 526 to pass
came about when Gisco and Tarrant discovered coldfire.  Tarrant later wrote
regarding experience:

"...my apprentice stood by, monitoring my health through every step of the
procedure.  Upon the ninety-first attempt, I was successful.  I made
contact with the void between the folds of the fabric of reality, and it
chilled me to the very core.  It was now a sensation familiar to me, so I
proceeded with the next step.  My mana clumsily enveloped a tiny portion of
frigid unreality, and I slowly drew it toward me.  I held it fast and did
not lose my grip as I had many times before.

Finally, the tiny fragment of void made contact with my outstretched hand. 
In that very moment, a bright light enveloped our clan's laboratory.  I
lost concentration.  The void fled from my grip, but I now had a more
pressing matter to deal with.  From the light, two figures stepped forward.
 The brightness faded, and I could clearly see the deities Dentin and
Draak.  Though not my first encounter with either, I had yet to be in the
presence of more than a single god at the same time.  To say that I was 
nervous would have been an understatement, and I wondered at what I had
done to attract their attention.

Dentin spoke first in his calm, androgynous voice, 'Greetings, Tarrant. 
It's been a while.'  He glanced around and added, '...and Gisco.  Thank you
for your prayers.'

Gisco bowed respectfully but remained silent, giving me license to speak. 
'To what I owe the pleasure, O Great and Merciful Gods?'

Dentin replied, 'I think you were about to break reality as you know it.'

Draak then spoke up, filling the chamber with his hoarse, raspy voice,
'This is my fault.  Gisco had been asking me about this spell.  I didn't
reveal any information about it, as per your Edict, but I didn't deny its
existence, either.'

Dentin turned to him and said, 'No.  It's all right.  I didn't expect
mortals to be able to get a hold of this stuff quite yet, but it shouldn't
hurt anything.'

Draak produced a fist-sized ball of whitish-blue flames and said, 'It'll
need a manifestation.'  He then handed it to Dentin and asked, 'Will this
do?'

'That's very nice,' Dentin replied, handling the flames.  'We'll call it
'coldfire'.'  He handed the ball of blue flames to me and said, 'I made you
lose yours.  Here you go.'

I thanked the gods profusely, but while in mid-sentence the laboratory was
filled with a bright light and a swirl of snow, and they were gone, leaving
me to ponder this new element that now resided in my hands."

Automatic monitoring spells maintained by our guild confirmed that a flurry
of changes occurred to the A-Layer on the date that Tarrant claimed to have
discovered coldfire.  Necromantic techniques were vastly extended and
empowered as a result.

(It is generally accepted amongst spellcaster communities that the universe
is governed by the rules of the A-Layer, but the writings of Gisco and
Tarrant made it clear that they were using a reference to a more ancient
set of academic understandings called the "S-List" for their research,
which cardinally assigned each magic spell a numerical term called an
"snum".  For example, the 'coldfire' spell is identified as "snum 250".)

Gisco and Tarrant invented the 'soulsteal' spell soon thereafter and worked
together for many years developing various necromancer spells, consulting
with various demons and the goddesses Byung and Schlyne.  These spell
groups evolved into the seven contemporary disciplines: Animation,
Demonology, Hematology, Occultism, Odontology, Reanimation, and
Spiritualism.

Tarrant then went on to develop shadow channeling (after which he ascended
to godhood), and Gisco became a full-fledged master necromancer in his own
right, greatly expanding research into blood magic and dental magic.  Gisco
delved into the intricacies of the demonic economy using soulstones as
currency, developing guidelines for the summoning of demons that are still
used today.  Gisco continues to labor in a secret location, every once in a
while disseminating portions of his research amongst the practitioners of
necromancy.
 

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