The Undead

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The Undead

Post  Berserker on Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:44 am

NOTE: A good deal of information in this post has not yet been explained elsewhere, yet expands far beyond the topic of the Undead themselves. Those matters will therefore be explained at a later point, and will not be detailed in great depth here.

The undead are, by definition, creatures whose souls have been forced out of, or who willingly left, the great cycle of souls. Where most souls, after quite a while spent in the afterlife, return to life in a new body with blank memories, the undead have departed this cycle, instead keeping their bodies animated after death, or letting the soul linger in the living realm as a ghost. There can be a large number of reasons as to why one chooses to do such a thing, but the more common reasons, known among those familiar with undead, include such things as intense loyalty, be it to a man or to a country, or strong regrets that keep the dead from letting go and starting anew. Curiously, Adrila seems to have a particularly high concentration of undead. Just as men and women walk anew in death as they did in life, dogs and horses also refuse to leave into the afterlife. The phenomenon as of yet lies beyond the ability of wizard and cleric to explain, and many fear or shun the undead - even many of those whose mates return from the dead out of love and loyalty.

The undead mainly come in two varieties, and their natures are highly influenced by how their undeath came about.

- Free undead
These undead are in full possession of their intelligence and knowledge which they earned in life, as well as the ability to reason and learn. They are the kind of Undead most akin to the living in both form and function. Among their traits are their independance on nourishment, as well as their complete immunity to magic. However, as these undead slumber or go on for extended periods of time, their appearance will suffer, and they will gradually decay until their physical form is little more than rotten slabs of flesh dangling from a skeleton. Their forms can recover and appear almost as if alive, if the cursed one consumes enough food - but recovering from their most dried-up, lifeless appearance and back to regaining one’s flesh fully can take as much food as one can gain out of a large bull. Identifying such undead is therefore often done by inspecting their eating habits, as they eat twice as much as the living just to maintain their life-like appearance. 

- Bound undead
These undead lose much of their wits once they rise from the dead. Their common form is that of zombies and skeletons, often raised by necromancers and other wizards, and are to a far lesser extent able to communicate or interact with the living than their divine counterparts. Theirs is the constant hunger for flesh, an insatiable desire to feed upon fresh meat, perhaps in a futile attempt to mimic other undead, hoping that they too can restore their own flesh, and with it, regain the memories they’ve almost lost, drifting at the very edge of their consciousness and creating an intense craving for everything connected to their former selves. These are the cursed undead, as their existence is deprived of their sense of themselves, deprived of joy, and deprived of purpose - being worse off than slaves is their lot. It is therefore easy for wizards and individuals freed from such limit-imposing concepts as morals to force these undead to do their bidding, with a false promise as their only payment.

It is noted that all the current races can be subjected to undeath, but one seems to have a particular ability to control the undead - namely the vampires of Khaerum. They often use the bound undead as puppets and meatshields, and are also adept at controlling even the free undead, despite their otherwise free will.

Statboard (free undead):

Statboard (bound undead):

Notable (though, not necessarily wide known) undead:

The soldiers of Dreadwood Forest
These undead soldiers, driven by loyalty, now protect and patrol a forest in Ivellea's southern lands, eternally vigilant against those who sought the end of Chandeum.

The ancient knights of Adrila
As members of an order founded thousands of years ago, and steadily reinforced with time, these undead knights and warriors lie dormant, waiting for the time the Adrilan people needs their aid.

The Flying Skeleton Squadron
A notable, and very large, group of skeletal bound undead. Nobody quite knows where they come from, but they have been described in many inns across all of Kayre. Using their razor sharp arms as propellers, and constantly spinning around their own vertical axis at a speed far beyond the ability of living men, these rattling terrors descend from above, razing everything in their way and bringing wanton destruction upon unsuspecting villages. Only a burning wreckage remains after the flying skeleton squadron has finished its job, searching for new prey. Even so, their actions seem anything but random; they may pass by several villages and cities, only to attack specific ones without any other warning than their own numbers blotting out the sun, and their faint rattling carried on the winds.

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