Noticing the Dead

First and foremost, necromancers easily interact departed spirits. While some supernaturals and a massively small number of humans can see the after image of a ghost or lingering spirit, and some feel that chill when there is a ghost in the room, only a necromancer is gifted with the ability to interact with the ghost on all levels. For a necromancer, a ghost is not a faded image, but appears as a solid individual, and can sometimes be mistaken for a real person. What most people think of as mediums and spiritualists are the most basic, weakest and/or skill limited of necromancers.

Noticing the Dead is an inherent ability and requires no ritual; necromancers are not spellcasters. However, necromancers have been know to use herbs and relics to enhance (or quiet) their abilities. As well, some may use incantations, but these are frequently not so much power words as something carried from generation to generation, and born out of a mantra or mediation that allows the necromancer to clear their mind and connect to (or disconnect from) the spirit world.

When I see ghosts they look perfectly real and solid — like a living human being. They are not misty; I can’t see through them; they don’t wear sheets or bloody mummy bandages. They don’t have their heads tucked under their arms. They just look like ordinary people, in living color, and sometimes it is hard to tell who is a ghost.
— Chris Woodyard, Invisible Ink Interview

Calling the Dead

More powerful necromancers have the ability to summon the spirits of the deceased. Depending on the strength of the necromancer, it may only be a spirit recently dead, or one many centuries past. The more recent the death, the less of a toll it takes upon the necromancer.

Summoning a spirit is usually done at the graveside, other place where the body rests, or in some cases, where the person died. Because summoning is not as straightforward as hearing and interacting with those spirits who purposefully linger, many times necromancers require an item the person owned in life, or the close contact of someone associated with the deceased.

Very powerful necromancers can summon a spirit from a distance, without needing to visit their grave site or place of death. However, this show of power exhausts the necromancer for a few days, and possibly up to a full a week, rendering them incapable of using their abilities during that time.

Raising the Dead

"Raising the dead" is a misnomer. Once a person has died and the spirit has cut ties to the mortal coil, they are not restored. Necromancers do not bring back to life what has died, and therefore a better description of this ability would be re-animation.

The most powerful of necromancers can summon a spirit back to the dead flesh that it once inhabited. Depending on the strength and skill of the necromancer, if the body is missing or destroyed, the spirit can be summoned to a different vessel, or body, for habitation.

Different from the other skills, re-animating a corpse does require training, preparation, and a bit of ritual.1


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