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Why? Why not?
When you ask a random Elanthian to picture what a Necromancer is, he envisions a member of the vast ideological camp known as the Perverse. The Perverse encompasses the "old school" of necromancy and the stereotypical image of the marauding Necromancer who rises a vast army of undead to defile all that is good and pure.
Of course, things are rarely so simple. The Perverse encompasses incredibly diverse groups and individuals, including most of the major names in necromancy. A Dragon Priest and a Bone Elf are both Perverse, yet they practice the discipline for wholly different reasons. The ideological tie that binds is rejection of any overarching moral dimension to necromancy. The Perverse are universally so broken and so distant from social norms that they cannot internalize any value difference between bringing the dead to unholy life as a mindless killer and learning to wield a sword.
While the Perverse suffer the most at the hands of society and the gods, they also retain the most temporal power. All of the major necromantic organizations, as well as every known lich, are Perverse. With the end of the cults at hand, the Perverse are gearing up to take as many Elanthians with them on the way down as they can.
The Perverse have no other binding characteristics, and rarely even consider themselves part of any ideological camp. The idea of branding all these diverse cults together due to their moral failing comes from the other two camps, it is not a product of the Perverse's own self-identity. The Perverse rarely refer to themselves as such, and only then in bitter irony.
The Perverse regard the other ideological camps as childish; weak and non-committal Necromancers playing at elaborate games because they cannot accept the brutal realities of life. The other camps, and most Elanthians in general, regard the Perverse as monsters in Human skin.
The technical term for a Necromancer who does not follow the Philosophy and is not Redeemed is Perverse, regardless of their individual loyalties. "The Perverse" is Philosopher short-hand for "not Redeemed/Philosopher." This has judgmental connotations, obviously.
Known Perverse Camps
Note: These are loose generalizations. Not all members or supporters of the groups/factions/cults listed are in fact Necromancers.
There is no love lost among the many cults of the Perverse, and most would chafe at the moniker (which, again, originates from Philosopher moralizing). To emphasize something, there's no Legion of Doom-esque quality to the Perverse. Jeihrem's lot wouldn't be welcomed at a Bone Elf party, Sidhlot doesn't exchange polite letters with Lasarhhtha, and nobody knows what the heck is up with the False Kir and even if the Bone Dancers are actually Necromancers or not.
Numbers for the Perverse vary wildly, scaling up to 1,000. Societies that are openly hostile to the Provinces, such as Sidhlot's Bone Elves, are not included in those estimates; would-be anthropologists leave with fewer organs then when they started.
Related Forum Posts
- The Bone Dancers are a cult based on the Arid Steppe. They may be performing necromantic rites, or just a particularly grissly form of Lunar divinations. Either way they tend to murder people dead.