But folk who have tasted of death are only partly alive. In the dark corners of their souls and minds, death still lurks unconquered. By night the people of Dagon moved and loved, hated and feasted, and remembered the fall of Dagon and their own slaughter only as a dim dream; they moved in an enchanted mist of illusion, feeling the strangeness of their existence but not inquiring the reasons therefor. With the coming of day, they sank into deep sleep, to be roused again only by the coming of night, which is akin to death.
Strictly, necromancy was the telling of the future by summoning up the spirits of the dead and asking them searching questions. [...] Over the years, however, it became clear that necromancy, necromancer, and necromantic were fine words wasted on useless definitions, and the lexicological group consciousness gently slid them over a few notches so that they now pertained to something more interesting — i.e., magic involving the dead. This was far more satisfying: summoning up the ghost of Aunt Matilda for an insight into next week's lottery numbers was dull; a maniac with a pointy beard unleashing an army of skeletal warriors, however, was fun.
Seances and ceremonies Behind closed doors Abandoned words And ancient symbols covers the floor Singing songs And burning candles In the Graveyard We must eradicate This vicious killer at large Its not too late to stop this As we journey into darkness Where Gods fear to tread The time has come to be renewed And now before the night is through We'll wake the dead!
Power corrupts. Power over life and death corrupts absolutely. The power to raise an undying servant from the husk of the formerly living is darkly tempting - and certainly evil. Those who seek such unyielding obedience from the dead willingly tread the path of necromancy.
In that dread desert, beneath the moon's pale gaze, dead men walk. They haunt the shifting dunes of the breathless, windless night, brandish weapons of bronze in mocking challenge and bitter resentment of the life they no longer possess. And sometimes, in ghastly dry voices, like the rustling of sun-baked reeds, they whisper the one word they remember from life. The name of the one who cursed them to their existence, more than death but less than life. They whisper the name, "Nagash."
Life is temporary. Death is eternal. One who comprehends death, who makes an ally of it, can comprehend eternity... or at least, get a fair leg-up on other, squeamish mortals. The Necromancer takes the Reaper's hand and joins him in the dusty graveyards, exhuming corpses, lopping off bits of gibbet-fruit and building sculptures out of bone. Sometimes she whistles up a ghost or draws the essence of death into a living body. To master such arts, she auctions her soul to Infernal masters - demons or Spectres swimming in the Underworld. Sometimes, she even lets them enter her, channeling the spirits in her own living flesh.
Mastery over life and death was chief among my early pursuits. I began in humility, but my ambition was limitless. Who could have divined the prophetic import of something as unremarkable... as a twitch in the leg of a dead rat? I entertained a delegation of experts from overseas, eager to plumb the depths of their knowledge and share with them certain techniques and alchemical processes I had found to yield wondrous and terrifying results. Having learned all I could from my visiting guests, I murdered them as they slept. I brought my colleagues back with much of their intellect intact - a remarkable triumph for even the most experienced necromancer. Freed from the trappings of their humanity, they plied their terrible trade anew: the dead reviving the dead, on and on, down the years. Forever.
The career of necromancer is an excellent choice for evil-doers who are not a "people person." Though some might say there is not much point to turning the earth into one gigantic graveyard, these people are fools and will never understand anyway. Good career entry points for becoming a necromancer include occultists, dabblers in voodoo, grave diggers, morticians, possessed eight-year-old girls, and inheritors of scary books wrapped in human flesh.
Steve: You know, necromancers are like the only kind of wizard that wears a uniform. Evokers? Conjurers? Those guys all look about the same, but if you're a necromancer you've always got to strap on skulls and wear black robes. Zack: Yeah, but if you capture one you have to treat him according to the Geneva Convention. You can do anything you want to an evoker. Anything... Steve: I think it's just stereotypes. Just once why can't the necromancer be a really nice dude who dresses nice?
Tiny Attorney: Dr. Orpheus, could you tell the court what it is that you do? You're a type of magician? Dr. Orpheus: Well, if you must call me that, yes. But if you are after mere parlor tricks you will be sorely disappointed, for if I reach behind your ear, it will not be a nickel I pull out, BUT YOUR VERY SOUL!