Mulling over necromancy as I prepare for a new player to begin playing one in my saga's upcoming 4th year (very excited!), I am wondering...
I typically consider Bonisagi or Tremere magi to be the main choices, but do the unusual spell guidelines available to House Merinita make for a more interesting and possibly more flavorful take on the necromancer?
Spells with Target Bloodline or Duration Bargain or Until feel like they might find some utility with someone negotiating with spirits and shades.
So, I'm curious if anyone has seen a Merinita Necromancer in their games, or if anyone has any thoughts or ideas regarding such a concept?
With the perpetual focus on Necromancers bringing about armies of skeletons, corpses or ghosts, I've often wondered why more don't use Necromancy with the Art of Animal? The one form would include animal ghosts and animal corpses, and the form uses lower guidelines than that of Corpus or Mentem.
What's more, you avoid much of the moral hazard of dealing with human remains.
Seems like a good fit for a Merinita necromancer, and should good for a minor focus, too!
Imagine, a Merinita with a Haunted Forest, (perhaps using that admirable ritual) inhabited by armies of dead animals: ghostly birds watch those who walk the dark trails; spectral wolves stalk their every step and massive bears, risen corpses that neet not food nor rest, race through the tangles to satisfy their thirst for blood.
Sometimes they also put on dance performances.
Some could also be Anima, with their own special powers and dangers. Or you could go the "Nature Merinita" route and 'Awaken' them as guardians of your forest, and eventually learn Guardian of the Wild and become the spirit of the Forest of the Dead. What fun!
(Only downside: Personal Ward against animals is only ReAn5. Really easy to counter animal attacks. )
Animals can absolutely have ghosts! Ghosts, after all, are not souls; they're only spirits. Animals certainly have spirits! You really don't want to say otherwise to a Bjornaer
Seriously, though, the fact of the Bjornaer spirit-ancestors existence demonstrates the fact of animal spirits in ArM5. That should mean that animal ghosts are possible. Also, in HoH: MC (Criamon) we see clearly that even inanimate objects have spirits.
Everything has spirits. Which means, in a way, anything could have a 'ghost.' having non-living ghosts would require a special mystery though.
And don't some ghost armies ride ghost horses?
Finally, how could any SG reject something this awesome? They couldn't, that's how.
I'd say that animal ghosts (unless part of the "panoply" of a human ghost, such as the horse of a ghostly knight) would be really, really, really rare if they existed at all. After all, ghosts are the product of an obsession that does not allow someone to "let go" after death. Unintelligent animals seem generally incapable of this.
I also have to wonder how a mage theoretically interested in "the Realm of the Fae" turned toward "necromancy" - the two seem almost antipolar. The fact that they can (or even "can well") doesn't mean they would. I'd likewise wonder how their Parens condoned the interest, and/or why they didn't join a different House - or why they were inducted into the mysteries in the first place when they clearly had an interest in "other things".
Indeed. In fact, Tales of Mythic Europe has a scenario featuring revenant vikings who are actually Fae.
As for a Merinita Necromancer, I was similarly concerned until I realized that a fair number of Fae are not a happy, cuddly sort and have a darker side that might well attract the interest of one who has talents in necromancy. Even more, a necromancer focused on "things unseen" as opposed to "animated skeletons" might wish for interaction with those more shadowy creatures of the Fae that represent the boundaries between life and death, the seen and the unseen, etc.
I can definitely see a Translyvanian Merinita necromancer. Possibly with Dhampir blood (descended from a type of faerie vampire) for bonus Dark Secretness (the Tremere forbid the training of Dhampirs as Hermetic Magi. Unless it's made it to the Translyvanian peripheral code - by no means impossible - this is just an internal Tremere rule, but even so I don't see being a public Dhampir being a long-lived plan in Translyvania, regardless of house).
Vulnerable Magic (HoH:MC pg 87/88, magic automatically dispelled under certain uncommon circumstances) also seems like a good flaw.
Strong Dhampir Blood and Minor Focus: Faerie Dead/ Ghosts/ Animate Dead OR
Major Focus: Necromancy and Second Sight OR
Mythic Blood: Dhampir; can change into a bat or become invisible; minor focus in the Faerie dead; ghosts or the animate dead bodies, minor flaw: Nocturnal and Second Sight
Affinity Corpus or Animal
Inoffensive to Faeries
Spirit Familiar (If SG allows, to form a special/creepy relation with a faerie of death) OR Independent Study OR Skinchanger. All flavourful.
Book Learner - represents academic refinement/prowess
Unageing - duh.
Major Malediction: Direct Sunlight burns
Dark Secret: Dhampir (enemies: House Tremere; Church)
Vulnerable Magic (Crucifix or silver make good choices)
Nocturnal or Susceptibility to Divine
A great Dhampyr
Suggest Mystery path of the Line of Quelandron - Arcadian Travel (to, Anima (to Raise Dead Armies!) and Becoming (To become a Vampire! - Major Ordeal - Compulsion: drink human blood )
I was planning to play one of those myself, an ex misc of a recently converted cabal by pralixians:
Dhampir (major supernatural - "free")
Leadworker (minor hermetic - "free")
Affinity/Puissant Vim (can be of more use for non-magical ghosts)
Major Focus (necromancy)
Other virtues are taste/campaign or player preferences (in my case true love to my wife's char). This allows to refit the char to other houses, like merinita, with little work. Have you noticed how close is Irencilla to Transylvanian border?
Dark Secret (Dhampir - yes, the Tremere and the Church)
Restriction (consecrated ground - no spell in churchs and cemeterys consecrated to the One - christian, jewish or islamic)
Greater Malediction (crosses causes light wounds on touch, much like redcaps!)
Other Personality virtues, all flavorful to a guy like that.
That is one guy from a small cabal of faerie blooded necromancers, they are former worshipers of Marzanna (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzanna) and are in the process of reshaping his secrets to create a mystery cult.
Hrmmm - true enough. The Black Cauldron (the Celtic tale/myth, not the Disney film, ahem) revolves around necromancy, and the Celts were big into the seleigh and unseleigh courts. Works for me I guess.