A class you can choose in the MMORPG game EverQuest (also called EverCrack.)

Necromancers are evil wizards who specialize in the art of death. Not known for their powerful direct damage spells, Necromancers are designed to take back life from the attacking party. In EverQuest, all Necromancers are equipped with a pet, which is a Skeleton who is usually just about as strong as you are.

I think it would be cool to be a necromancer in real life.

"Messing with Death"

Necromancer is a common name for wizards using magic that is related to death. The most typical interpretation of this is to make them able to anime dead as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights and other icky creatures. However, it is not they only thing they can do. Although necromancers are typically thought as evil (likely because they mess with the dead; that's a Bad Thing. The reason for this, essentially, is that corpses are unhygienic, no matter what excuses religions offer), necromancy can also mean its opposite, messing with life; helping life is blocking death, so healing spells could be as well necromancy. At least, this is the interpretation used in Baldur's Gate.

Also, the possible offensive spells they possess are almost always about cold and death and such, for obvious reasons.

While the above nodes do give a general idea about Necromancers and their field of magic, I feel it is not completely detailed enough. Of course, the term is easily explained: Necromancers are people who deal with magic involving the deceased. The root of the word is 'Necro' which means black or death. According to Websters College Dictionary, a Necromancer contacts spirits to predict the future. However, like my other node about the Grim Reaper, I shall go in more depth about the lore and magic of the Necromancer.

Strictly and rationally speaking, there is no proof that Necromancy exists. However, they have a long history and their mysterious power can fascinate many, especially Goths. Their ability to harness the power of death and decay is certainly impressive, even if not very attracting.

Necromancers are in effect, Wizards. They are said to be male only (but there is talk about female Necromancers in some very credible accounts) and are not to be confused with Undertakers, Embalmers, Morticians, Warlocks, or Graveyard Wardens...although they may interact with them more than with others.

The Necromancers as we know today (the kind portrayed in games like Diablo or Warlords, are part of European/Norse legend. They are shown sometimes as lone wizards, corrupted by the easy, yet costly power of Necromancy...and sometimes as an entirely secret Brotherhood. They were mostly confined to the Dark and Medieval ages although some still exist today, but their magic is easily confused with that of Witchcraft. One thing remains straight, Necromancers interact with corpses, and some are practically corpses themselves. Their magic includes raising dead armies, invoking ghosts, resurrecting corpses for brief periods of time, asking ancient spirits for knowledge, sapping the life force out of living things, and healing. They are efficient in convoking, summoning, animating, binding, healing, and other spiritual/physical skill. Their mental skill leaves something to be desired. Their defensive spells include summoning dead from their graves to hold a person in place, raising skeletons to serve as personal bodyguards, and creating an illusion of darkness around them. They can be helpful in their knowledge of reanimating dead tissue, increasing bloodflow, and other general arts of healing, and they can be utterly devastating and deadly when they summon armies, create zombies, drain life force, and command the forces of death and coldness.

While Necromancers aren't always entirely evil, their magic is and most likely forbidden by Christianity and other major religions. The art is not directly linked with the Devil but treads dangerously near. Powerful wizards can control the magic but lesser ones can become corrupt by the power. Skilled and patient ones will learn to harness the power of death, while a brash youngster may trade in his own life in learning the arts of taking another. Unsuccessful Necromancers (or sometimes too successful) end up becoming liches, death mages, or wights.

"They're probably the ones you'd be most likely to see in the graveyards with a shovel, and least likely to invite to your fancy dress ball. While all wizards know the potency of dead things, and have a certain familiarity with certain 'bits', the necromancer is the only one who enjoys the company of the dead." Terry Pratchett.

Disclaimer: The following node contains dark Occult information and/or rituals. It may be considered morally innappropriate and may even be illegal where you live. I do not neccessarily believe the following information to be factual, however it is believed so by Occultists and/or mythological texts. What you do with this information is your own choice, and if you choose to follow these ritual(s) and you hurt yourself, you do it at your own risk. You have been warned.

According to www.dictionary.com:
1. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.
2. Black magic; sorcery.
3. Magic qualities.

Necromancers are an age old myth dating back to the days of Cleopatra and her Egyptian Empire (one of the earlisest documented practises of Necromancy is The Witch of Endor). Necromancers, put simply, are people who practise the art of Necromancy. I shall cover the areas where the above nodes have left open.

The Origin of Necromancers and the art of Necromancy:

It still is unknown as to precisely when the art of Necromancy, or the tale of it, arose. This is so because in the early 16th Century the church banned the practice of all Dark Arts, including Necromancy, and a great many documents were burnt. The earliest mention that is found, however, dates back to Homer's "The Odyssey IX", where there is an evocation of souls by means of various rites indicated by Circe. After this, there is mention of Necromancers in Chaldera, Babylon and Egypt. There is Christian documentation that states Moses warned the Israelites against imitating the Chanaanite abominations (the Chaanite are believed to be the Egyptian Necromancers). The Necromancers as we know them (in our games and books) did not occur until Gaelic times. Among the time when Wizards and Warlocks were supposedly abundant, Necromancers were said to be taking to war their undead armies in an attempt to conquer parts of Britain for themselves.

The Aspects of Necromancy:

There are three main aspects of Necromancy:
1. Seeking answers from the dead in order to find riches through treasure, or to gain wisdom from those who have passed onto the next world.
2. Prolonging ones mortal life span by sapping life from others and utilizing other dark incantations.
3. Raising undead minions to fight for ones gain.

Each aspect increases in evil, and depending on the alignment of the necromancer, were not all followed. For example, a truly evil Necromancer would do all three, whereas a Necromancer only seeking to extend his life without regard to karma, would carry out the first two only. Most necromancers would not be truly evil, and hence most only carried out the first aspect. All three procured bad karma as they were inherently evil practices, and they were only done for personal gain. Hence a necromancer could not be good, but they could be only mildly evil (or Chaotic Neutral if defining by D&D alignments).

The Art of Necromancy:

1. Raising the Dead - To raise the dead, the Necromancer must first be wearing clothes from a corpse, and to help the process go smoothly must adorn himself and the ground around the grave of the subject with items of death (such as bones, skulls, blood, daggers etc.). Often, the flesh of a dog was consumed to pay patronage to Hecate, the patron goddess of Witchcraft (as the dog was her earthly animal), and to hope that she will ensure the process goes smoothly. Next the Necromancer would begin reciting his incantations - if the corpse was newly buried the Necromancer would return the spirit to its body; if the corpse had been there for a long time the Necromancer would call the spirit to Earth outside of its body. If the Necromancer was carrying out the first aspect, he would ask the questions required and then either burn the corpse or bury it in quicklime so that it could never be disturbed again (and the spirit would return to the other world). The necromancer would then finish the ceremony by feasting on some of the flesh (if any) of the corpse. If, however, the Necromancer was planning to use this spirit for his army, he would bind the spirit to the body and enslave it with Dark Magic so it obeyed his every whim. The Necromancer would now have a skeleton or zombie. If the corpse was too far decomposed the Necromancer would call the spirit and then bind the spirit to Earth and once again enslave it. Depending on the intelligence of the spirit, the Necromancer would have either a Ghost, Banshee or Wraith (Ghost being the least intelligent and Wraith being the most intelligent).
2. Prolonging Life - To prolong life, the Necromancer uses Black Magic to sap life from others. There were a great many curses and spells that Necromancers cast on unwitting victims. The victim would eventually fall ill and die, and as the life seeped out of the victim the Necromancer absorbed it. As one would imagine, this made Necromancers hated and they were often hunted down and killed. If the Necromancer had a strong enough will (which he did more often than not), his soul would refuse to leave this world and he would return as a Lich. The Lich was the ultimate step for a Necromancer for he became immortal from age, though he could still be slain, and his Necromantic powers increased three fold.

What religions practice Necromancy?

Despite common misconception (thanks to a great deal of propaganda put forth by the Church), Necromancy is not practised in Paganism, Neo-Paganism, Witchcraft, Wiccanism or Satanism. It is a standalone art, although it is practised in Voodoo, though that does not mean it belongs to that religion.

What became of Necromancy?

It is said that in the early 16th Century the church banned the practice of Necromancy (along with all Dark Arts, Paganism etc.) and in doing so they burned as many documents on the subject and killed as many Necromancers as they could find. It is still banned today and is actually illegal, in the sense that Grave Robbing is illegal, and so is killing dogs (and more importantly, Humans). For good reasons, Necromancy is considered a disgusting practice, even by those who practice other Dark Arts (such as cursing and Satanism). Necromancy is not common these days, however it is still practiced and taught.

An land-based spellcasting unit available to the Undead in the hit 2002 game Warcraft III

Physical Description: Once powerful wizards, these secretive men deck themselves with a long, horned skull and flowing orange robes with piping of the teams colours, and carry a forked staff that glows yellow when casting their spells. Their attack is a hurled bolt of death, greenish and trailing vapour.

Requirements: Built at: Temple of the Damned, requires: Halls of the Dead, allows: Skeletons

Spells and Abilities: Necromancers start out at Novice rank with the powerful but disabled autocast spell, Raise dead, which turns a nearby corpse in to two Skeleton warriors that last for 40 seconds. This time limit can be further extended by 15 seconds through the Temple upgrade Skeletal longevity. Necro's also gain the adept spell of Unholy frenzy, where a traget unit increases its attack rate by 75% but takes 4 HP damage for 45 seconds. At Master rank, Cripple becomes available. Cripple makes a unit/hero, for 30/5 seconds move 75% slower, reduces it's attack rate by 50%, and causes 50% damage reduction! It has quite accurately been descrived as the UBER slow spell, and can make even the strongest army as weak as kittens, or creeping that much easier.

Gameplay: Necro's are some of the most popular troops in Warcraft III. Teamed up with a meat shield, they can create an instant army out of almost nothing - ANY deaths that occur become two more tenacious warriors for you! However, their usefulness is greatly extended when you use all three spells in unison - cripple your enemies, frenzy your troops and make skellies out of their corpses! Used in conjunction with Banshees, they make potent (if under-skilled) spellcasters. Traditionally starting with Ghouls, but can work surprisingly well with the larger, tougher Crypt fiends, where the natural transition is abominations. Try a few of their other spells - you'll be surprised!

Warcraft III Undead Guide

<<< Gargoyle -- Necromancer -- Skeleton >>>

Information gleaned from:
  • My own lovingly played copy of Warcraft III
  • www.battle.net/war3
  • www.warcraftiii.net
Copyright information is the property of their respective owners.

Nec"ro*man`cer (?), n.

One who practices necromancy; a sorcerer; a wizard.


© Webster 1913.

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