Today I would like to talk a little bit about a group of people. No one really trusts them or gives them a thought of day. You see, they are somewhat of a fantasy. Their cold, calculative, coffee hungry demeanor usually puts people off. Their lives revolve around death. Of course, I could say that these are lawyers, IT Support personnel, coroners, or even normal hunters. Nay. I am talking about Necromancers.
They have been around for ages, lurking in the background, sipping coffee and other narcotics, and having a jolly old time. In almost every culture, there is a reverence for the dead. Necromancers are more than just animators of dead tissue and bone. Their initial and primary purpose historically has been to communicate with the dead. In ancient Greece, for instance the dead were not omnipotent, but weak. However, they had knowledge and were tied to wealth unimaginable to mere mortals. Another important task that necromancers have had is understanding anatomy. For a long time, anyone working in field of anatomy were connected to a type of necromancy. While gaining access to fresh bodies was highly restricted, doctors learned what they could from old carcasses and naturally mummified corpses. Their behavior was not considered normal, but rather distasteful and unfit to most people.
When it comes to literacy and folklore, necromancers have always been painted in a somewhat unjust light. Usually they are the dark power roaming in the background negotiating with liches and raising "the new utterly undead skeleton army of the day" while sacrificing virgins on an altar to some dark entity. Some might abuse their power, that is true, but I fail to understand why necromancy is considered inherently evil. Old Greek tales mention men and women talking with the dead to convey the will of the gods to the people, future omens and events of the past.
Just to have a power does not mean that the power itself is inherently evil or bad. Necromancy is just another "art" along with Aeromancy, Pyromancy and many others. Having a gun does not make a person inherently a bandit or a robber. It is a question of control and the use of the power by the wielder that defines if it indeed is evil. The context means more than merely the type of art. Power is a tool. Tools do not kill people. Who pulls the trigger of a gun is responsible, not the gun itself.
I am currently plotting a Necromancer story for the upcoming NaNoWriMo. Meanwhile, I’ll return to my cup of coffee and give you a simple question, what are your thoughts on Necromancers and their art?
I am happily married to a wonderful woman, work in IT, and in my free time, I am designing a computer game project involving the undead. Check out my blog http://jormamakela.wordpress.com for tips on IT.