A Beginner's Guide to Necromancy(CYOP) (locked)

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The sounds of wood cutting, birds singing, and fur bartering that usually fill your village are replaced, today, by rain spattering on your roof. You haven’t owned this old house for more than a few days, and you haven’t looked through your home very thoroughly. You decide to take this opportunity to look up in your attic. What is your job?
(This is a medieval CYOP, so no software engineers, etc.)

 
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You peddle cheap ‘potions’ of yours, which are really just liquids coloured with various berries, for sums of cash too large for the minimal amount of effort you actually put into making them. Any effects these have are purely placebo, yet people always seem to want to continue throwing their money at you.

 
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You are a snake-oil salesman, masquerading as a physician. You have managed to buy a small cottage where you mix these ‘potions’. You look through the mundane items, boxes full of house-hold goods. Eventually you find a chest. It is locked, but you use a knife to pry it open. By the orange lantern-light, you see several journals and treatises. None catch your eye, as you look through them, slowly emptying the chest. Until you find a thick leather-bound text. It is strange, and very old. You lay it on the floor, and blow away the dust. You put your bare hand on a strange lock which binds it closed. The lock is extremely cold, but unsnaps when touched. It is pale white, almost like bone…Are you religious?

 
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No, the man is a cynic. He refuses to believe anything which does not have solid logical or scientific, although the meanings of the words aren’t quite the same as the modern day ones, proof backing it up.

 
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Originally posted by InfiniteExpanse:

No, the man is a cynic. He refuses to believe anything which does not have solid logical or scientific, although the meanings of the words aren’t quite the same as the modern day ones, proof backing it up.

This man seems lucky to have survived this far in life :P.

 
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You are a man of science. You ignore the sinister implications of the lock. You open the first yellowed page of the book, to see a strange old language. It is much like your own, and you can understand a few words. It too is a treatise, but on what you can only guess. That word looks much like your own for darkness. You turn another, to see a hideous beast. It is a terribly stitched together conglomeration of…corpses. Your eyes are drawn to its face. You shut the book quickly. You collect yourself, and open it again. It describes the monster as “Zed”. This page seems to be an introduction, and a picture of the final product. You realize the rest of the books are on medicine, anatomy, and the occult. The kindly old man who used to live here was a Necromancer. Will you read further into this terrible book, or will you pack everything away and forget it?

 
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It sounds like a good read so why not?

 
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Your sadism overcomes your disgust. You begin reading the book. It describes a few rituals early in chapter 1. You see a few scientific reasons behind several of them. Your perverse interest is brought to a halt by one problem. You have all the ingredients for these twisted experiments, but one. Dead bodies. Goats, birds, wolves, and human beings. You slowly shut the horrible guide, and think about this. What will you do?

 
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It is much like your own, and you can understand a few words.

Dang, he can read?


Kidnap poor peasants off of small farms in the middle of the night for science.

 
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You formulate a plan for gathering human bodies. You look at a cooking utensil in your kitchen. It is a particular knife you use for cleaning the fish you buy at the market. You have a source and a method, but where will you store the bodies? Your home has no basement, that you know of. How did the last guy do it? If only you had some kind of written record of his comings and goings, or you were able to speak to him. Where was the old man buried? Perhaps someone around town knows. Well, you have the rest of this rainy day to work this stuff out. Suddenly, there is a heavy knock at your door. You jump, but you know it is simply one of the townspeople, coming for a ‘potion’.

 
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Open the door and see if it really is just a simple villager.

 
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You shut your attic door carefully. You prepare yourself, then open your front door. Lars Alfredson, the owner of the village inn, is at the door. The large blonde man asks for his medication in a thick accent. You give the Northerner a mix of juices and non-toxic dyes, and he pays you. He pulls his coat back on, and stomps back through the storm, to his home. You sit down, and think. What are you doing? You might be a con-artist, but Necromancy? Do you see yourself as a very ‘good’ person, morally? Do you think a ‘good’ person would dabble in the dark arts?

 
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He’s never been a good person, morally. The only thing that could be considered good about him is his curiosity for the world. If the idea of stealing people’s hard earned money won’t deter him, necromancy won’t either. He’ll go through with his plan in the name of science. It would be a waste to just forget about it.

 
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How about I stab the man and use his dead body in my first experiment? Then start spreading a rumor that the woods you live in are haunted so everyone will assume the ghosts got him.

 
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Ways of getting human bodies race through your mind. You rethink your position. The book seems to be a beginner’s guide, and it starts with animals. You decide to start big. You decide that you will get a body tonight. Now you need a goal. What will you experiment in first? A few things from the book that can be done with a body are revival, seance, and summoning. You could bring the body back and stitch it up, using a ritual to revive it, temporarily. You could speak with the dead man, for a few moments. You could also reach any other dead person with a slightly different ritual. Possibly, you might get to talk to the old man after all. The last option needs many strange herbs. It could take days to collect them all. It might be worth it, though. You would get to speak with an ‘evil spirit’. Which will you do? Also, your attic is full of ‘evil’ books. Perhaps you should finish looking through them and put them back.

 
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He read the books he could, and mastered what he read.

 
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Go dig up a body at the local graveyard, and attempt to use him to communicate with the old man who had previously occupied the house in order to seek answers.

 
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You memorize the seance ritual, and pack away all the books. The suspicious lock snaps back into place easily. You grab a spade, and put on your coat. You march out to the small graveyard next to the chapel. You look among the overgrown crosses and gravel paths, finding an old mausoleum. You pull the huge stone door aside. By the daylight through the door, you see a few corpses. They are all nearly skeletal. You see one that looks promising. You cover it in rags from the tomb, and begin dragging it out. You place it in a wheelbarrow, disguising it as medicine. Soon, you are in your attic. You begin the ritual, burning some herbs that the old man left behind. You place the body in the center of a pentagram. You had some red dye already, and the shape is in the book. You do not know how to pronounce the old language, but you recite the incantations in your own.
“Let darkness fill this lifeless body, Let me see my old friend. I call upon you, spirit of this vessel.”
This was obviously meant to rhyme, but it does not in your own language. The mouth of the body moves slowly. The room darkens, and the creature coughs. Strange light comes from the being’s gaping mouth. Whispers fill the room. One voice rises above the rest.
“The Necromancer does not reside here. He is bound elsewhere. Only I rest here, never leaving. Will you speak with me? It is so cold…so, so cold…please…”
The light dies, and the pentagram disperses. Your herbs go out. You clean the attic and ponder what this might mean. The old man wasn’t buried here in the village. He was buried in a nearby town, with the rest of his family. Did he make some kind of terrible preparations for the grave? Is he a wraith now? What will you do?

 
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Find a book about the various kinds of spirits, and read up on wraiths specifically.

 
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You look back up in the attic. You read about ways that people can be bound to the physical world. Wraiths are undead spirits that reside where they are buried. While looking for more books on the subject, you find the old man’s personal journal. Will you bother reading his writings, or will you simply keep researching the occult?

 
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Read the whole thing, for his journal surely contains some, if not all, of the answers you seek.

 
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Read the whole thing.

 
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You begin reading the old journal. The first entry is very old indeed.
We made it. I have decided to keep a journal of my thoughts in our new home. The blacksmithing business might keep me away from it for a while, but I know Feidi will remind me once in awhile. she always keeps me on track. This village will be good to us, I know it.
That is from 20 years ago. The next is a few years later.
Oh, god, have mercy on us. Feidi is sick. The doctor won’t give me any straight answers. I can’t bear to thin
The bottom of this page is damaged. The next is a few days later.
I’ve looked everywhere. A mysterious man is offering a magic cure. I don’t want to get involved with witchcraft, and I can’t give up hope on medicine.
In a few more days, he wrote this:
The doctors can’t help us, Feidi. I have to take up his offer. I can’t let you go.
The rest details his necromantic work, having obtained the guide from a mysterious man. His wife died shortly after he began. You flip to the end, to see that he did, in fact, turn himself into a wraith. There is a basement, but you don’t like the idea of what it might smell like. He dug it out and filled it with the bodies he couldn’t use anymore. Perhaps it is time you prepared yourself a meal, if you still have your appetite. You feel scared and alone, somehow drained by the days work. The journal talks about how Necromancy drains your ‘soul’. Probably just the dragging bodies around wears you out, you think to yourself. The guide has another basic ritual, something like your word for a companion. It needs a body, but not a human one. It needs some kind of freshly killed animal. You don’t have the supplies, and you forget about it for now. What will you spend your afternoon doing?

 
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Sell some more snake oil cures, and go to the local butcher’s shop — for you have not the skills necessary to kill an animal yourself.

 
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You forget your hunger for now, walking out to the local butcher’s. You notice a crow that lands on the roof, and stares at you for a moment. You are probably getting paranoid, just like the old man used to be. You knock, and the butcher lets you in. You make polite conversation, and you come to the topic of why you are there. What did you come to get?