Researchers and adventurers alike recognize two major divisions of the undead: those built around physical remains, and those that are built around spiritual remains.
Spiritual or Non-Corporeal
The spiritual undead are, largely, academic for the purposes of discussing Necromancers. While some Necromancers have demonstrated an ability to conjure or create them, the vast majority of Necromancers are unable or unwilling to replicate the feat. While there is some confusion about what limits this practice, or why the obviously demonstrated technique has not spread, it is a fortunate fact that most necromantic cults lack power over damnation.
Spiritual undead range from Maeldryths to Pale Grey Death Spirits to Snaer Hafwa. They are invulnerable to mundane weaponry, since nothing tangible exists to receive the attack, but Blessed weapons can affect them directly.
Physical or Corporeal
The physical undead have been categorized in various ways over the years, typically by whatever system is in vogue among the Clerics at the time. For the Necromancers' own purposes, they define four states of physical undeath.
The first is the simple raising of a corpse, in whatever condition it was found, and setting it in motion once again with a burst of magic and crude thanatological rites. These are perhaps the "classic" undead as your average imagines them. The soul and mind escape the process, leaving a clumsy puppet of flesh or bone with no volition except what twisted instincts the tortured force of life has granted them.
The second is the laborious construction of a body. The most fearsome of undead monsters are a result of this process, literally cutting and stitching necrotic flesh into a form far different than the "donors" of the material. While often far more specialized and physically capable, these share the same supernatural and spiritual qualities as the first group. They are nothing but unnatural animals.
The third category of undead is rare, but among the most dangerous an adventurer can expect to encounter semi-regularly. While the soul is beyond most Necromancers, sufficiently advanced necromancy can ensnare the mind, preserving the personality and memories of the fallen. These undead retain some degree of the capacities they had in life. A magician raised in this manner still commands the mana streams, while a criminal will retain his devious skills. There are various exceptions to this -- for obvious reasons, undead priests are not useful without a conversion to Maelshyve --, but it holds as a general rule. Sinister Maelshyvean Hierophants are an example.
Though these undead can be described as people in a vague sense, it is impossible to escape that they are simply intelligent monsters. The mind and body lack an anchoring soul, and the monster faces utter destruction at death. While the Necromancer has no overt psychic influence on the personality -- unless he employs other magic to that end -- the undead's creator retains utter and unbreakable power of life and death over his construct. The minds and corpses of enemies are rarely treated this way, for the result is a devious slave.
- There are other pages that use the name "Lich." Follow the link for more details.
A lich is a necromancer who has turned his powers inward to become a self-animating, undead being. The most infamous lich is Lyras, who descended into undeath after her death at the hands of Vael. Lichdom is currently beyond the reach of PC Necromancers.
Lichdom should not be confused with merely raising a magician in undeath. The Descent, as it is often called, is a personal process. Only a Necromancer may attain the state, and he may only do it to himself.
The lich retains complete control over his faculties, and blurs the line between man and monster. Liches transcend their creations' risk of casual destruction and oblivion; in fact, liches are often notorious for the difficulty of keeping them dead. More than merely a shadow of life, the lich state often greatly expands the Necromancer's physical and supernatural capacities.
Though the line between man and monster is blurred, it is not wholly gone. The lich state lacks the physical capacities of life, and it heralds the destruction or abandonment of the immortal soul. Necromancers are aware that, in an essential way, the lich state is not "them" -- it is an animated body possessing their personality, but the spiritual center of their being is no longer present. Lichdom is often regarded as a last-ditch state, to preserve something of the self when age or exceptional conflict threatens to not allow the Necromancer to return from death. Only the truly Perverse, who earn the title for the rest of their brethren, see it as nothing but a road to power.
Undead Creature List
Quest, Event and Invasion Undead
|Mange-covered rotting Prydaen||60||100||Corporeal||Boxes||-|
|Mange-covered rotting Rakash||60||100||Corporeal||Boxes||-|
|Noxious flea-ridden beast||80||140||Corporeal||Boxes||-|
|Cracked bone warrior||150||0|
|Preserved zombified Prydaen||240||350|
|Muscular ghoulish slayer||250||550|
|Unctuous Rakash zombie||260||0||Corporeal||Boxes||-|
|Unctuous Prydaen zombie||340||530||Corporeal||Boxes||-|