Necromancy, Speak wi’ the Dead, Last Words

Art: Naming

Ruling Planet: Mercury, Pluto

Sphere: Common

Enables the caster to command the presence of any shade or spirit of any being of whom the caster has a personal artifact of some kind (valued personal possession, bone, lock of hair, etc.), provided the being whose spirit is being summoned has not been dead longer than (HRT x POT) years. If the caster is a blood relative, or has a blood relative of the one he wishes to conjure, the shedding of (POT of casting) drops of blood will be sufficient to guarantee the identity of the spirit appearing as surely as any artifact or personal item.

From the shade he summons, the caster may command the spirit to answer up to (POT) questions.

The player is cautioned that spirits summoned are not likely to be too terribly happy over having their rest disturbed, even if they are blood relatives, and are granted Encounter Reaction rolls as any other NPC on first appearing, which may directly influence the manner in which they deal with/answer the caster.

The spirit conjured brings what Lore it has gathered from the rest of the deceased and from what it has seen of events in the mortal world from Spirit which is equivalent to a general Lore SL equal to the (POT + caster’s MGA att. mod.) of the dweomer and caster who conjured it, in game terms. The shade may NOT answer anyone present who knows enough to pose a question except the caster himself – UNLESS it does so as a gesture of amity or good faith. Only answering the questions of the caster fulfills the terms of the magick and puts the spirit closer to freedom and a return to peaceful rest again.

Acts mark the soul, and the dead can see the spirits of the living as easily as the see each other, and so can also Read the aura, the heart and the past of the caster and any who might also be in attendance at their summoning. This includes being able to assess the most recent events the character has been through, his current situation – even to drawing his own conclusions about what it all means and where it may lead.

They may Read the state of their physical bodies also, including lingering illness and injury, pregnancies, disease and poison, acts of great passion such as indulging any Vice or exercising any Virtue in such a way as might have changed the subject’s score in it – as well as, identifying bloodlines, ties of consanguinity between the living standing before them, especially if tied to the deceased.

Time in a linear sense, the way it is experienced by mortals, is not something spirits deal well with. Past present and future may seem all jumbled up to them, along with the possibilities, the ‘might-be’s’ of the future and the ‘might-have-been’s’ of the past. Because of this, the dead can be tapped as another avenue from which to obtain warnings of the future, but these are verbal only, and secondhand from the spirit where the visions resulting from the “Soothsay” dweomer provide the shadows of things that may yet come to pass, but firsthand. The questions the caster asks the spirit of the deceased could just as easily be centered around the future as the present or the past, however.

If the spirit of the deceased does not react well to the summoner, it may well use what information it can gain from reading the living gathered around it to sow mischief or lash out as hurtfully as they may, taunting them with their pasts, their losses, their old failures and wounds.

Spirits of the dead are also free to interpret all questions as literally as possible. Even rhetorical questions may be seized upon and answered to fulfill the binding of the dweomer, if the caster should muse out loud, if it does not react well to being conjured. They may lie by omission, or give evasive answers if that was their nature in life, if a question broaches a subject uncomfortable to them, whose answer is embarrassing or shows a less-than-admirable side of them, so the caster must be careful. They must answer truthfully any direct question that can be given a “yes” or “no” (or “neither” or “both”) answer, however.

Spirits are free to carry on and converse with the caster if they react well to one another (GM’s discretion), even volunteering information it has that may be useful to save the caster from using up his questions as quickly, so long as the DUR continues and questions allowed the caster have not all been discharged. If the spirit is of one who has been deceased for longer than 3 years, it may well have left all worldly concerns behind, and wistfully request a run-down of current affairs out of nostalgia. One thing the dead will NEVER do is speak of the Spirit World and conditions regarding the afterlife. That is for each living creature or being to discover on its own on the event of its mortal demise. On the other hand, in order to coach the caster in using his questions most wisely when a spirit has had a good reaction to the caster, it may quiz the caster about his plans for dealing with his current situation. Being able to read the caster’s past and current situation the spirit may have advice or insights to share. If the spirit is not so cooperative and does not offer any such, the caster may always use the compulsion of the dweomer to frame a request for that advice in the form of a question (“what would YOU have done in such-and-such situation while you were yet living?”, “Would YOU trust such-an-person were you in my shoes?”, etc.) which it is then bound to answer.

IF the POT allows the caster more questions than he has to ask at the time of the casting, he may certainly maintain the DUR at his pleasure and keep the spirit bound until all have been used. As long as the dweomer endures, the shade conjured cannot pass beyond (POT + caster’s GA att. mod.) feet of the artifact or object or place where blood was used to conjure it (as applicable). If the object should be taken away or moved, the spirit must go with it. Once all questions that the dweomer requires the spirit to answer by POT have been dealt with, the dweomer expires and the spirit is returned to the Spirit Sphere.

The spirits responding to this magick do not actually manifest physically except as a misty, ectoplasmic visual image shining with a subtle silvery-blue light, and therefore cannot be harmed. The dead may appear to only the caster or to select individuals or all of the living in attendance as well, BUT the choice is up to the spirit’s own discretion if conjured by means of the Art of Divination. Only the Art of Naming magick may be used to make the dead appear to living on-lookers by the caster’s will.

Due to its insubstantial manifestation, the shade will be unable to touch or harm the living while it remains in the mortal world, though it may fly at or even through one it does not like, or adopt a horrific visage to cause fright or revulsion, in order to express its displeasure. Any magickal or magickally aided attack upon the spirit breaks the dweomer’s power, dismissing the spirit. Of course such an action might give the spirit cause to attempt to return and haunt any individual treating them in this manner (GM’s discretion).

IF the caster also has the Clairaudience Spirit Skill, its SL is added to the casting AV and ALSO to the effective POT of the dweomer, but AFTER it is cast (i.e., it does NOT raise the casting DV, as using a greater amount of POT normally would).

This dweomer may not be resisted.

Another aspect of this charm is the “Last Words”. So long as the flesh of the deceased has not rotted away, the practitioner can summon an animus appropriate to any deceased creature or being who had the power of speech in life to read the tale of the body for him and speak his last words for him, to tell the tale of his last days or hours or moments, to explain who he was in life, what he was if that is relevant to the questioner, and how, when and why he died. The deceased can only answer one of these questions at a time, and if at any point the deceased is interrupted in relating the answer, the animus ceases to speak and the remainder of that answer is forfeited. Questions can only be asked regarding the answer to the question immediately finished. Once the questioner has moved on to a new question or topic, he cannot return to it again. This aspect of the charm can only be used once by any given practitioner on any given corpse.

This charm may not be resisted.

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