Undead

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Undead

Basic Information
Living Dead, The Undying Necromancy Varied, often tied to the spell animating them N/A Banshee, Ghost, Wraith, Poltergeist, Draugr, Ghoul, Lich, Mummy, Skeleton, Wight, Zombie
Physical description
Varied, depending upon species Often missing parts, do not blink or breathe, pale
Cultural
N/A Varied, depending upon species
Out-of-character information


Overview

Language

The languages of the undead, beyond the guttural growling and groaning of those raised by less advanced or powerful necromantic rituals, is entirely dependent upon who they used to be in life, retaining what knowledge they had. Because of this it is not uncommon for sentient undead to be completely unable to communicate without outside assistance, despite their shared nature. That being said, some of the more magically inclined of this 'species' may be able to communicate in the same manner that lesser necromancers command their more mindless cousins, understanding the meaning, if not the words, behind their comrades.

Appearance



Undead can vary heavily depending upon the species raised and the state of the corpse at the time. Freshly raised undead can look as lifelike as any other, albeit extremely pale and slightly off putting to any who spend time around them, while decades old undead can be little more than just a skeleton animated and held together using only magic. One notable trait is that undead that still retain their eyes commonly have their irises change to a deep, unnerving red. However, this has not been seen in all undead.

Habitat

Undead have no natural habitat that benefits them, but can find themselves quickly at a disadvantage when faced with adverse weather conditions. Due to their nature as deceased, environments with extreme temperatures can be damaging to them, freezing up their bodies or burning away at forms that cannot naturally heal. Swamps pose a threat to undead that still retain their flesh, as they would find it quickly eaten away by the local wildlife, and deserts would quickly dry out and snap any exposed bone under the sun's merciless gaze. To be caught in arctic temperatures unprotected would quickly lead to the undead being frozen, still conscious, and unable to move until they thaw out.

Traits

Undead come with a variety of traits due to their nature. They feel nothing, their nerves long since deadened and have a complete immunity to pain and other such effects. They are also unable to heal naturally, so any and all damage is permanent without the use of magical restoration or transplant surgery. They feel no need to breathe, blink or eat, their bodies having stopped working as anything more than a shell. In fact, they cannot breathe or eat, as their lungs and stomach would not work should they inhale or ingest food. Undead risen through advanced and powerful spellcasting (Most often Liches, but sometimes Wights or Banshees) can sometimes find their abilities amplified from when they were in life, whether physically due to their new lack of mortal limitations, or magically due to their new nature as a creature of magic in and of itself.

Undead can also find themselves susceptible to the will of those well versed in necromantic magic. Necromancers hold a natural sway over members of the undead, and while those with more powerful or advanced enchantments are more capable of resisting their will, all undead run the risk of having their will be subsumed by a skilled necromancer. The only exemption to this rule are Liches, who use a phylactery to store their soul and are thus immune to outside influence. However, if a skilled enough necromancer obtains a Lich's phylactery, the Lich in question is entirely unable to resist commands. Undead can also find themselves particularly susceptible to corrosive damage, such as fire or acid.

Unfortunately, while undead themselves are essentially immortal, they are still creatures that rely upon magic, and magic is always a finite thing. Because of this, the most ancient forms of undead may find themselves occasionally having to refill their soul power through another sacrifice and a similar ritual to the one that raised them in the first place.

It is to be noted that Banshees and Wights are gender locked to Female and Male respectively, as while essentially be the same subspecies, they go by different names and are capable of different things. Banshees gain the typical Banshee scream, and can often achieve a form of mild levitation and hair manipulation, whilst Wights experience a rather significant increase in physical ability.

History

Background

Undead are simultaneously both uncommon and a normal occurrence within the world of Arethil. Often found in their most basic, mindless forms, they are the staple use of necromancers for causing havoc or having servants, and can often be found in mass numbers. True, sentient undead, on the other hand, are few and far between, often the cause of overly ambitious or curious necromancers. Sentient undead are almost unheard of to the general populace, beyond tales of ghosts talking back to necromancers, and even to those magic casters who specialize in acts involving the dead they are considered something akin to a myth, a final goal, or a tragedy. A mastery of their art, but at the cost of one's life.

Lore

Little is really known about Undeath and those that suffer from it. For as long as the mortal races can remember, it has simply existed, a blight to some, a holy act to others. Within the records of each and every age there are mentions, almost all negative, of Undead activity, but nothing pointing to any sort of origin or specified cause. Because of this, the topic is divisive among different communities, however the majority see them as abominations. Unholy monsters that serve no other purpose than destruction and butchery, and should be purged the moment they are uncovered. Multiple orders, such as the Templars, dedicate themselves towards this goal and because of it the majority of undead capable of laying low within society do so, only exposing themselves when absolutely necessary. Those that are not capable of doing this live their lives secluded away, or constantly on the move, never settling down for fear of being destroyed. If there are undead 'communities', as unlikely as it would be given their scarcity, it is unknown to the rest of the world.

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