Risen are the result of necromantic rituals. If a necromantic spirit is bound inside a recently killed human then they can have a second chance of life. Some people take this on willingly for the advantages that a second chance of life can give them and in some cultures it is seen as a great honour. Although a spirit does not age, the body that they are in will age at the normal rate .
The first risen were created by the Shadowkith. When the humans first landed on the kith’s shores they had a lot more military strength than the kith themselves. Snakeroot, a great Shadowkith necromancer, developed the first rite that would take the spirit of a dead human and bind it into their body. The aim was to allow them to create mindless warriors that would rise once more and be con trolled to protect their necromancers. The ritual was in many ways a great success, the humans did rise again and the rite was successful. The dead humans were much physically tougher than the living ones and more than a match for them in combat. Unfortunatly for Snakeroot, the risen kept all their memories and intelligence. They decieved the Shadowkith necromancer and pretended to be under his control, marching to protecting him in the great war against the human invaders. As Snakeroot stood high on a hill casting a spell to destroy the human warlord they turned, striking down the kith and taking their head on a pole.
Myths and Misconceptions
There are many stories of horror about the risen, comparing them with foul creatures from the Shadow Realms. The body of a risen is simply that, a human body. Restored to life before the soul has completly left it, they have been granted a second chance of life, but their bodies are still mortal. They age around the same rate as a human body, and can get ill or infirm the same as any other man. Poisons and diseases still take their toll on the risen and they .
Because of the peremenant link to the realm of shadows, the risen cannot use Spirit magic or Vitality. No risen may ever take innocence either – for once dead all innocece is lost. It is this inability to use the spirits of the magic of the realm of vitae that makes people see them as evil, for their actions are as individual as any other.
The risen’s culture depends on their homeland. The Ulidians believe that all warriors deserve a good death and raising a warrior is a great dishonour to them. The Varkarnans’ belief in reincarnation sees the risen as having their souls stolen from the great cycle of the gods. Solarian priests see the giving back of life a great gift from Sol himself and only given to the most honourable of warriors. The Hinterlanders also see the fallen as a divine blessing, but for them it is the Winter Queen that takes the souls back from the realm of shadows.
The religion of a risen is normally the same as it was in life, however it is often true that they will convert to the faith of the church that brought them back. A fisheman who primarily gave offerings to the god of the sea, if brought back by a church of the Winterqueen – would normally start to look to her for protection and give his offerings and tribute to her directly.
A risen will wear the same clothing and armourments as they did in life. Although the risen have a more military leaning they will often look towards that style of dress to be more useful to the nation that has brought them back.
The skin of a risen looks pale and gaunt , although they were only dead for less than a day, this takes a toll on their body. A risen’s skin should be paler and they will often bear scars of the wound that killed them. Sometimes this is worn with pride, other times hidden in shame.
Risen tend to have the same names that they had in life, however, often a nick-name or honourific are given to the risen. Sometimes the risen in question will see it as an act of rebirth and take a new name symbolising their new life.