Markat

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Markat
Status: Alive
Guild: Necromancer
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Location: Zoluren
Associates: Zamidren, Xerasyth

Description

Markat is a lanky Human of indeterminable age -- in his early 20s at first glance, but the lines around his eyes and slightly off-tan skin hint at necromantic tampering. He is clean shaven and keeps his ashen hair short, while his pale blue eyes and perfect teeth contrast markedly against the rest of his body. He wears a well-cut robe of brown trimmed with burgundy accessorized with a steel belt knife.

Conversation Topics

  • Alchemy: Markat says, "We do not, par se, practice alchemy, at least no more than the average scholar. The mixture of chemicals and transmutation of inert matter does not interest us. Instead, we use the language of alchemy to describe necromantic rituals, conceiving what the Perverse practice as bombastic, demonic rites as a natural philosophy with a transcendent goal.
"This tradition started over a hundred years ago, when the original necro-alchemists discovered a manuscript called the Alchemy of Flesh. It continues to this very day, since we refer to our pursuit in necromancy as the Great Work."
  • Guild: Markat says, "Ah, yes. The Necromancers' Guild, with a nice little sign with a skull and bone motif sitting on Commerce Street, where we have tea-time every week with Ansphrav. Very pretty.
"The reality of our situation is that we are a small brotherhood that only now tip-toes away from a century teetering on the edge of annihilation. We have no currency among the public, nor do we propose to represent all Necromancers or even the entire pursuit of necromancy. We are not a guild, except so far as adventurers can't seem to think of any organization without appending "guild" onto the end of it."
  • Gods: Markat says, "There's not much to say. The gods exist; atheism is the pastime of naive scholars who are not personally damned by the will of the Immortals. We ascribe to them most of the physical, magical and spiritual qualities that the priests do, but we strongly reject the notion of divine right. The priests' own theology depict the Immortals as flawed, temperamental creatures as given to petty acts of violence as they are transcendent ideals. The Immortals have no right to dictate the behavior or moral compass of the thinking species, and, frankly, were it not for them actively interfering with us, they would be eminently ignorable."
  • Knife: Markat says, "The knife is an important symbol among Necromancers, used as both a weapon of calculated murder and the most fundamental tool for carving into the body to prepare it for undeath. For us, the knife takes on greater dimensions: it is the concealed weapon of last resort, calling to our persecution at the hands of society and the gods, and it figures prominently into the metaphors used to describe the ethics of necromancy."

Ideologies

  • Necromancer: Markat says, "A Necromancer is someone who practices necromancy and not anything more. There's a lot of Necromancers running around the world and you're a fool if you think you have common cause with them just because you both have an eye for good corpses.
"While there's countless little cults and factions that practice necromancy, we break them down into three ideological camps: the Philosophers, the Perverse and the Redeemed."
  • Philosophers: Markat says, "Us. We are Necromancers who subscribe to an ethical framework called the Philosophy of the Knife. In short, we pursue necromancy in an attempt to circumvent certain... restrictions that the Immortals wrote into the plane and the cycle of mortal life, rather than in service of a demonic patron or lust for raw power.
"We have existed in one form or another for over a hundred years and recognize three distinct generations. The first generation were unaffiliated necro-alchemists whose only tie were a manuscript called the Alchemy of Flesh and mutual persecution by the Hounds of Rutilor. The second generation were Necromancers who learned from or were converted by the works of Jonathan Kigot, who conceptualized our philosophy and the Great Work. Finally, Zamidren Book succeeded in calling together the Philosophers to pass on the philosophy to a young and much larger generation of initiates: you."
  • Perverse: Markat says, "Go-getters who are always doing something. The Perverse is a vague and dismissive term for every other Necromancer on Elanthia, though with good reason. Outside of the Great Work, necromancy is used for nothing but absurd games of self-gratification and slavery to demonic patrons that are even more violent and fickle than the gods they oppose. The framework of the Philosophy of the Knife is the only proven way to practice necromancy toward a rational end: any Necromancer that does not cleave to it is a madman, better off dead."
  • Redeemed: Markat says, "Pleasent people without moral faults, going to church every week and abstaining from sins such as vanity and zombies. Feh. The Redeemed are Necromancers who lost the stomach for the Great Work, or whatever they occupied their time with originally. They sought and gained the grace of the Immortals, so they can have the privilege of walking the Starry Road.
"The Redeemed have a patron on Elanthia who they simply call the Old Man. Can't say I've ever seen him."
  • Old Man: Markat says, "Hrmph. Never met him, doubt I'd like to. The stories surrounding him stink of manipulation, even more so because those ever-so friendly "Redeemed" are usually the ones telling them. Nobody is going to do you charity, let alone some seemingly omnipotent, kind stranger. Whatever his game is, it isn't going to be for your benefit."

People

  • Zamidren: Markat says, "The triumphant one himself, though he hates that title. Mr. Book is the first among equals and, at least for now, the Philosophers of the Knife follow his lead with pragmatic deference. Love him or hate him -- and between you and me, there's a lot more of one than the other -- he has the resources and a vision for our survival."
  • Markat: Markat says, "Me? Oh, I'm fine. Standing here in front of a scarred metal sheet, the dream of all men. How are you?"
Without giving you a chance to respond, he continues, "Among a few humble talents, I have a knack for spell preparations. I currently serve Mr. Book by instructing those students who are ready to practice out in the field how to prepare their spells using less obvious mnemonic systems."
  • Lyras: Markat says, "Don't know anything about her that the history books won't tell you. She's a good example of why we are what we are, and not what she is."
  • Xerasyth: Markat says, "Wicked sense of humor on that one. Did you know that little monstrosity up in Dirge was mostly his doing? I don't know exactly what Mr. Book sees in him, but he is a bonafide Necrolord that isn't quite mad yet and, as far as I am concerned, that's all the excuse he needs to walk around where he pleases."
  • Kigot: Markat says, "Jonathan Kigot was a... very interesting man. The Temple called him a Necrolord, but from what I hear he was more a scribe than a Necromancer. Most of those first-generation types were. Still, what he lacks in being alive he more than made up for in his writing. What little we know of the Alchemy of Flesh survives because of him, and each of us have made some variation of his Philosophy of the Knife our life's work."
  • Hounds: Markat says, "We don't know much about them, other than they are a cooperative of Clerics, Paladins and associated zealots who enjoy a good bloodbath. They don't seem to be active in modern times, or if they are they have taken on the trappings of an elite, secret society among the men of the cloth. Creepy, but irrelevant: does it matter what the zealot calls himself? Leave the theological implications to the priests."