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  • Jon Bolitho-Jones

Encyclopaedia Edimoria – The College of Necromancy

The following extract is from the Encyclopaedia Edimoria volume 73, 12th edition by Alberfungus Betswish Stunk. It is about the college of Necromancy and the controversy that surrounds it.



“The College of Necromancy is one of the largest magical schools found upon Goldensmorg. Necromancy, as most are aware, is the study of magic through the concept of death, rebirth, and undeath. The students that come from here are of a high quality and are very capable at bringing corpses back to life. Many a child has been immensely happy when they’ve resurrected a deceased pet, but unsurprisingly this college has quite low reputation amongst the rest of Goldensmorg’s populace. It is common to joke that the students of this school are all pale, morbid, and spend most of their time loitering around graveyards.


The current principal of the school is Lord Vectrillian DeGhast and he is a respected magic user. He is a Magi and is suitably small and old, recognisable for his gaunt, greyish skin, bald head, and piercing sunken eyes. During his tenure he has streamlined the running of the school and drastically cut costs. Most of his custodial staff are now undead and they conveniently require no pay, sick, or maternity/paternity leave. They are however given plenty of annual leave during the summer break where most spend that time looking for brains. He has also been responsible for the standardisation of body procurement – no more will random citizens disappear only to be found shambling a few weeks later in the halls of the college. He is recorded as being a very friendly and lively wizard, who adores his 8 adopted children.


The school, however, is shrouded in controversy, much of which started with Madame Christina de Morts, founder of the college. The greatest known incident is her deceased artist racket that filled her coffers with gold and flooded the market with lots of expensive but shoddy artwork. It is common knowledge that the work of artists is only really appreciated after their death. Surely any work produced after said passing would be even more valuable. As such Christina murdered a number of willing art students with the promise that she would make them famous. Their undead forms would then produce their first work which would be sold on the market under the title of “deceased artist”. It proved to be a remarkably successful venture and many other necromancers followed suit. People were always happy to pay more if they knew the artist was dead. Indeed a number of the older members of that community considered suicide as a way to restart their careers.


Before long though disaster struck. Around 60% of new artists were undead within a year, and the market was full of low quality art. The problem was that though the price went up, a zombified artist has nowhere near the skill and imagination of an alive one. Most of the work that was produced was little more than grey blobs or mounds of half chewed clay. Small wars started on the streets between bands of necromancers desperate to get hold of the best deceased artists. The demand eventually made the market crash, especially when the general population realised that the art that they had bought was actually worthless. Economancers (a group of magic users who base their skills on the whims of money and the galactic market) foresaw an economic collapse and a massive recession and to tackle this the Alpharian Confederation outlawed the practice and new laws came into place to vastly restrict its distribution. Every new piece of art would be labelled with a date and the author’s signature. This would then be crossed checked against the artist’s death certificate – if the publication date was more recent, then the art would be destroyed and those responsible would be imprisoned. Necromancers and their charges could receive incredibly long prison sentences as they had a knack for extending their own lives and the lives of others. This remedy proved successful and the market was almost completely cleared of this type of work. There are of course many who try and play the system, and still sell their art via dubious means. The Undead Rights Movement (URM) still campaigns against these restrictions, sighting that it impedes on the rights of the resurrected. These zombified artists however do not have much to say when questioned apart from “eeeeerrrrr” or bbrrrraaaaaiiinnnssss”.


As punishment for starting this disastrous trend, Christina De Morts was fired into a sun. No has heard from her since, though Alpharian officials are too tentative to officially mark her as deceased. It would be an administrative embarrassment if they were proven wrong at a later date.”


With that it's bye for now. I'll be back soon.

Jon

https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/young-adult/when-the-world-falls-down/





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