Post:The Redeemed - 11/29/2018 - 15:06

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The Redeemed · on 11/28/2019 15:06 1188

O' blessed child, with the sun eclipsed
Does not the darkness reign?
But vengeance falls on blackened souls
The light will shine again
In a breath of innocence we shall walk the seas
Rest your heart on providence and know
That captor's kingdom shall be burned for all to see
And that flesh shall not be your home
-The Brothers Bright, "O Blessed Child"

The Redeemed are the wretched saved: forever marked by their betrayal of the Immortals' design, yet desperate for purity.
The Redeemed are the half-holy, wielding acid in one hand and cleansing fire in the other.
The Redeemed are penitents that seek nothing more than peace and seclusion.
The Redeemed are vicious vigilantes that lash out against anyone they deem evil and unclean.

All these things are true.

Like the Perverse, the Redeemed is an umbrella term that has historically covered a range of situations. In this case, redemption is often something pursued on a personal level. Unlike the Philosophers and the cults of the Perverse, there is no existing Redeemed organization. There is certainly nothing prohibiting individual Redeemed from making whatever alliances they wish, but what binds them is now something greater than mortal relations.

Redemption is one of the advanced states of being and on the face of it the most subtle. Compared to the sublime glory of Transcendence and the brutal mastery of the physical form that Liches acquire, redemption is something marked primarily by a spiritual turn in the Necromancer. It is a step away from the Great Work, recovering much of what the Necromancer lost due to the demonic influences that settled in his soul. A Redeemed Necromancer of any particular skill and advancement of his art is able to acquire favor with the gods, be healed by Empaths, is no more cursed, and is promised the final death of the faithful.

They are also marked by what they lose and how they must abide it. Redemption is the only advanced state that is not only impermanent, but damnably easy to fall from. Anything that invokes demonic power (or, divine outrage) will cause a Redeemed to fall from grace. This includes self-healing, most rituals, and any use of Animation or Transcendental Necromancy. Further, there is nothing that prohibits a Necromancer from slipping except for their own wisdom and self-control. The Immortals are judgmental parents and the Hunger is eager for its pawns to join the game once again.

What the Redeemed do with their redemption is wholly up to them, but if one has to make sweeping generalizations, they tend to be better people for it. The Redeemed like to view themselves as wiser and spiritually strong for turning back from the necromantic katabasis. And there is some reason to believe that this may be the case. When a Redeemed is moved to defend themselves, they do so wielding acid in one hand and cleansing fire in another. When an over-zealous priest or Paladin strikes out against the Redeemed, they find their holy maledictions blunted or turned aside by some lingering grace.

No one except the Redeemed themselves currently understand the nature of these powers; under duress they only speak of holy chains.

Beyond mere sanctified tricks, the Redeemed can be stereotyped, as a group, as psychologically healthier people. The damage of their Attunement is not magically undone, but a genuine redemption is predicated on some successful conclusion of the trauma that it caused and the drives that caused them to seek necromancy in the first place. Not even the Transcendi, filled with divine glory, can necessarily claim to have left their burdens at the door to the godhead. There is nothing that stops an insincere redemption attempt, but any redemption for mystery or power will inevitably include another fall.

It is, thus, possible for the Redeemed to lead stunningly normal lives, if they put their minds to it. But it is also possible for them to become hellish defenders of whatever they regard as truth and the Immortals' wills -- which is not, necessarily, what any organization has in mind. Demons and the undead are obvious targets for their anger, but just as often isolated Hounds have found themselves the object of the Redeemed Necromancer's catharsis. Fire, acid, and grace make a terrible combination when put together with enough wisdom or viciousness.

The social acceptance of the Redeemed is up in the air. The Temple does recognize that Necromancers can be redeemed, but the only evidence has (conveniently enough) been redemption in death. The Immortals have, in the past, acknowledged the redemption of a Necromancer who walks the Starry Road. While belief in living redemption from necromancy is still against formal dogma in the Temple, it is no longer so outrageous as to invoke censure.

"Perinthia's astronomers are faced with a difficult choice. Either they must admit that all their calculations were wrong ... or else they must reveal that the order of the gods is reflected exactly in the city of monsters." - Italo Calvino

This message was originally posted in The Necromancers / Necromancer Ideologies, by DR-ARMIFER on the forums.