Necromancy on Terramar
Open necromancy, and openly being an undead, are legal in one particular province of the Empire and illegal in most other places.
The Church’s Law is very clear. You cannot cheat death or allow others to cheat death. People were made to be mortal, and immortality in the flesh is forbidden. Any lich can expect to be cast into hell upon final death. Demons can’t tempt them into further sin, but they will wait patiently to ensure the lich’s soul does not escape or try some new trick, from phylacteries to reincarnation, to survive. They do not always succeed. Liches are very cunning.
Necromancers are outlawed and outcast wizards. Their profession is a curse; their very name a byword for unholy acts and blasphemous deeds. Yet the necromancers persist on the fringes of society. They provide a relatively safe channel between the living and the dead, and someone will always pay – one way or another – for information only the dead can provide. In Foreign Parts (primarily the Province of Drakonheim), the necromancer’s art is celebrated and sometimes even revered. One of the standard list of charges brought against foreign kings and corrupt leaders is “consorting with necromancers.”
Curiously enough, necromancers who only speak with spirits are fine. The law says nothing about asking questions of the dead – whether it’s to saints or the damned. Very few necromancers are content to act merely as seers.
In some areas, particularly the province of Drakonheim and the city of Nocturnus, undead need not hide their status, but may become open members of society. In fact, in those areas, undead are a part of society to such an extent that they are completely integrated. Undead merchants sell their wares in the shadowed end of the market bazaar, undead councilors hold positions of authority, and undead adventurers seek gold and glory alongside (or instead of) living thrill-seekers. The dead partake of the society’s beneﬁts, and all the needs of the society are addressed. Farms on the outskirts of large cities do not grow grains, but instead produce living creatures (often humanoids) that feed the undead masses that require life essence, blood, or ﬂesh for sustenance.
For example, in a ward of the city called Nocturnus, undead rule. While living citizens from other parts of the city can enter the ward and conduct their business, only undead can claim residence in the ward, and therefore gain the dark beneﬁts provided to ward residents. The living can petition to take up residence in the undead ward, called the Pale, but they must submit to a supremely painful process called crucimigration, which transforms them into deathless, but intelligent, versions of their former selves.
In addition, some other Imperial cities are cosmopolitan enough to grant limited citizenship even to undead, presuming that those undead follow all the rules of polite society.
The rules of such societies generally include, ﬁrst and foremost, no predation on other members of that society. Even in such open-minded cities, undead must often submit
to a process of authorization in order to have unrestricted legal access to the metropolis. An undead with recognized feeding requirements (notably vampires, but also other undead) must obtain an authorization for a given length of time (which varies by locale or even precinct, but usually must be renewed at least once a year). This authorization requires the undead to show, in detail, how it will meet its feeding needs for the given period in a way that does not involve harm to other citizens, visitors to the locale, or citizens of other locations that could ﬁnd fault with the city’s harboring the undead in question. Most such
plans revolve around the purchase of livestock from which the undead obtains sustenance.
Living citizens are usually presumed innocent of predation until proven otherwise, but for undead, whose natures are often impossible to suppress, the presumption goes the other
way. Undead that are openly part of societies that tolerate them must go a step farther than the average citizen to maintain their civilized nationality. They must be very careful not to break any rules or overstep any boundaries, or their citizenship may not be the only thing revoked.
Locations in the Necromantic Provinces:
The White Kingdom
The Ghoul Imperium