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Alternative Progressions – Necromancy

July 6, 2010

The third and final alternative progression for most characters is Necromancy, the Underworld version of Sorcery.  When the first Primordial was slain, and the Underworld came into being, it, like Creation, had rules.  The now-Neverborn understood those rules, and they functioned in much the same way as Sorcery did in Creation.  After the Primordial War, a group of Celestial Exalted traveled down into the Labyrinth and poked and prodded at the slumbering Neverborn, ripping the secrets of Necromancy from their tomb-bodies.

Necromancy follows most of the same mechanics as Sorcery, in that it takes Willpower to cast and multiple actions to shape the spells.  However, while Sorcery shapes the fundamental rules of Creation, often producing elemental effects, Necromancy shapes the fundamental rules of the Underworld, dealing with ghosts, shadowlands, the walking dead, and the like.  Its effects are much less potent in Creation, but in the Underworld can make a simple necromancer as powerful as any mortal king.

Dragon-Blooded cannot learn necromancy, save for a very few individuals somehow touched by death.  These “Dragons of a Different Color” lose their ability to cast Sorcery, but can instead learn Shadowlands Circle Necromancy, the first circle of the descending trinity.  All Celestial Exalted can learn Shadowlands Circle Necromancy as well, binding ghosts and animating “simple” war machines, though for most, this is as far as their mastery goes.  Infernal Exalted can learn this step, but the initiations are painful and difficult, and only then through the magic of the Ebon Dragon, whose nature it is to overcome boundaries and limitations.

Labyrinth Circle Necromancy is the second level, and of the Exalted, only Solars, Abyssals, and Infernals can learn this tier.  These spells create more potent war machines, ease travel between the land of the living and the land of the dead, and conjure horrific spirits from the Underworld.  Like Celestial Circle Sorcery, Labyrinth Circle Necromancy spells begin to move out of the realm of immediate, practical effects, and into jaw-dropping displays of necromantic might.

Finally, Void Circle Necromancy is only available to Abyssal Exalted and the Deathlords that empowered them.  These spells shape the very fabric of the Underworld, binding the ghosts of Third Circle demons (called hekatonkhire), turning entire nations into shadowlands, or even transmuting Solar Exalted into Abyssals.  While less potent in Creation than Solar Circle Sorcery, in the Underworld, these spells are comparable in scale.

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