Chapter 1: The Acquisition Of The Corpse
While the art of Necromancy is not limited to the Forsaken or The Scourge few others practice it as openly as we do.
Soon after the Forsaken joined the Horde Thrall allowed the worse criminals and traitors to be raised as the undead so long as they are paraded before the people from time to time as a deterrent to those crimes. He has also allowed this so that they may regain the honor they had lost in life fighting for the Horde as an undead servant. The Orcs and Trolls have allowed this but the Tauren refuse such practices.
A delegation is currently in Orgrimmar trying to convince Thrall to allow all the Orc and Troll dead to be raised.
As you may know Orc corpses are among the most sought after for the durability of their skin and the strength of their bones.
If Warchief Thrall will listen to reason, we will offer the services of our art in defense of his young nation in exchange for disposing of the dead. A mutually beneficial arrangement, as im sure the war council will agree, but he may not allow this until the threat from the Lich King and the Burning Legion becomes more real.
He would be wise to allow it now so that his young nation will have a better chance at surviving.
If you are not as lucky as I to hold a position where fresh corpses are given to you I will give you advice as to where to best find them.
Finding suitable corpses in The Swamp Of Sorrows, The Wetlands, Stranglethorn Vale, and Dustwallow Marsh is nearly impossible due to their rapid decay. There are also many flesh eating animals in these locations that will eat a corpse, bones and all, leaving nothing behind.
I know of only a few swamp necromancers and even they stay close to the hills and mountains.
While few in the Horde pre form the rituals of the light on the dead, thereby protecting them from being raised from the dead, the Trolls still practice cannibalism upon their enemies which reduces the number of available corpses. I will explain why the flesh is wanted later in this book.
The Alliance has only a few Mages that are allowed to study the dead. Their research, however, is centered on finding ways to extend the humans short lives rather than on the more piratical use of our art.
Any member of the Alliance found studying the or raising the dead who is not involved with the life extension research can expect the worse possible punishment.
Necromancers of other races or rogue necromancers will find it hard to find corpses to raise from the Alliance as the worship of the light is strong with them and the dead are almost always subject to the law of the light and are protected from being raised. There are exceptions after large battles, mass deaths from sickness or in remote areas where death occurs far from meddlesome Priests.
In Northrend the cold weather and isolated terrain allows few Necromancers to operate successfully. While the snow of this area and other snow covered areas is preservative it also makes finding the corpse difficult. More research dedicated to the magical detection of corpses would be invaluable to the Necromancers of these areas.
Little is known of Goblin necromancers. It is said they only practice necromancy on other races. It is uncertain whether this is true but it would explain the rumors of Goblin airships carrying loads of corpses. It might be possible to buy corpses from these Goblins as they love to sell anything.
The best places to find good corpses in my experience are the deserts. The dry air preserves the corpse and if the dead are buried it is normally done by just piling rocks on the body because the baked ground is too hard to dig into. This makes the location of the grave obvious and easy to uncover.
The difficulties of finding a corpse may sometimes lead a necromancer to create their own corpse. While many prefer to work with those have died a natural death, a more expedient approach is sometimes needed to further the study of the art.
While the art of necromancy can be practiced on animals, such experiments rarely produce interesting results. The servant's ability to follow directions seems to be related to the subject's intelligence in life. While raising the corpse of a man, elf, or orc can produce a useful servant, the corpse of animals produce mere guard dogs at best.
Often a raised animal is unable to distinguish it's master from the rest of the living and many young practitioners have been torn apart by the animal servants they created. Let such stories be a lesson to you.
Chapter 2: The Preparation Of The Corpse
When raising a skeleton servant, it is most important that the body of the skeleton be complete. If the skeleton is missing crucial bones, the results can be frustrating. One should only attempt to raise skeleton when you are sure that all or nearly all of the bones are present.
While the magic involved in raising a skeleton will assemble the bones in the proper order, skeletons may be strengthened considerably by the addition of supports on their joints.
The most simple are leather straps. Novices often make the mistake of binding the bones too tightly, limiting the skeleton's movements and making it useless. Only practice can give the necessary experience in these matters, though it is best to err towards tight bindings as one may always loosen them at a later date.
Though more expensive and time consuming one may buy specially made metal ball joints. These ball joints have screws at either end that are drilled into the bones. These ball joints protect the servant where it is weakest.
One more note to the student: while most undead can be raised again and again, skeletons are often damaged in ways that make raising them again impossible. This is another reason that care should be given to the skeleton's preparation . Too many young necromancers raise every skeleton they see with little or no preparation at all. Given the difficulty of obtaining corpses at this time, this kind of inefficiency cannot be tolerated.
Fresh and decayed corpses are those that still have flesh upon them. If their decay is advanced or you wish a skeletal servant instead, place the corpse along a coast or in a swamp. Be sure to check the corpse regularly to make sure the bones are not eaten. Animals are the necromancers greatest allies when it comes to stripping the flesh from a corpse.
The ravenous crabs near Booty Bay can strip a corpse down to it's bones in a matter of days. Lesser crabs in other areas can do the same in a matter of weeks.
If you wish to create a zombie servant, one only need bring the corpse to a suitable site and enact the proper rituals. However there are a few tips a young necromancer might want to know.
For instance, a decayed servant may be raised many times, even if they have been dismembered by those who do not appreciate out art. If your servant comes to an unfortunate end, you may raise the servant again by carefully gathering as many parts as you can find, and sewing the flesh with catgut.
If the flesh is too decayed to sew you will have to use a metal spike if the cut is at a bone. If the cut is at a joint a metal ball joint spoke of before should be used. Even if the flesh can be sewed you may want to use a metal ball joint while the joint is exposed so that your servant will be stronger.
Your servant may be weaker each time it falls in battle, but with care and maintenance, one may raise zombies dozens of times.
However, creating a mere zombie is a method best left to lazy or desperate practitioners. With only a bit more time and effort, one may create a far more useful mummified servant.
The first step to creating a mummified servant is to soak the corpse in a bath of salt for at least one month. This will halt the decay and if the corpse is fresh enough to have an unpleasant odor, the salt will remove that as well.
In a moist climate, such as Dustwallow Marsh or The Swamp Of Sorrows, you may have to apply more salt if it becomes saturated.
Deep rock Salt will do the same job as regular salt but in half the time.
Some necromancers remove the vital organs before or after this process. But I have never found any practical reason for doing so.
The next step is to wrap the servant in cloth or linen. This will further preserve the body against decay and, if done properly, will offer some protection as well.
Any cloth can be used and higher quality cloth will offer more protection but Felcloth is the only cloth that reinforces the magic that animate the servant.
Do not worry if the corpse seems too stiff or desiccated to be a useful servant, the proper rituals will imbue the mummified corpse with the power to move itself.
Most importantly, you will have a much stronger servant who will follow your commands with more independence and understanding.
To boost the power of your mummified servant and it's intelligence you can have a banshee posses it if one is available.
As a young necromancer you have much to learn so I am hopeful this book will help reduce the frustration many young necromancers have with the first few servants they raise.
Special thanks to:
Sorkvild The Raven
Dread Lady Beth