This macabre structure serves as a nexus of necromantic magic, it is used by apprentice necromancers before they learn how to control their powers, but it is also employed during larger scale necromantic rituals. If struck by magic, it emanates fog of necromantic energy affecting any corpses and piles of bones nearby, turning them into mindless skeletons and zombies. The transmuter itself can create only lesser undead, but it enhances necromantic spells required to raise greater creatures.
Viviene’s body was shaking with anticipation as she finally placed the last piece of bone upon the grim structure.
The beating void that replaced her heart shall be filled again at last, hope and joy will envelop her very being once more, for the star of her universe will rise from his breathless slumber.
The book spoke clearly, this necromantic miracle, if filled with enough magic, would bring anyone back from the dead. Yes, he won’t be able to leave it for long, but when they have each other again, why would they want to leave ever again, she will stay at his side for the rest of her life.
Before she started preparing her incantations, she had taken one final gaze upon her husband’s lifeless body. The body of Avelas Springleaf laid there as if in a peaceful, calm rest, adorned in velvet clothes as green as the meadows of Sindovaer.
With renewed purpose she touched the bone structure and recited a simple magical formula, and as the magic energy coursed from her body, black shadows and tendrils started forming around it. It unnerved her, for necromancy was still new to her and she still felt a tingling sensation of guilt and despisal, but she mustered all her courage and determination and kept on supplying magical energy to the macabre monolith.
Suddenly a malevolent black fog started roaming towards her lover, enveloping his whole body, so that even her elven eyes couldn’t fathom what he was succumbed to.
Finally after a moment that seemed like eternity, the fog dissipated and before her was standing her husband. There was no blood nor expression on his face, seeming dumbfounded and apathetic. He wasn’t standing proud and tall as he would in life, more crooked and hunched than anything. But none of that mattered to Viviene at that moment, she rushed towards him and hugged him in a almost violent outburst of emotions, tears pouring from her eyes, but he wouldn’t move, he stood there as he did before and no display of emotions changed it.
“Embrace me my love.” she said, and the raised body complied, wrapping it’s arms around in a manner more akin to that of a marionette than a living being.
“I missed you so much, I was afraid I will never be with you again.” She continued with her joyful sobbing, clenching Avelas even stronger to her chest.
“Why aren’t you saying anything? I know what you must have been through was surely a lot, but you were always most witty and eloquent, aren’t you happy that we are together again my love?”
Again, no response ensued.
Viviene slowly started to back away from the raised elf, but he was still holding her in a firm caricature of a hug.
“No, no, no, no… This cannot be! the book said clearly… how can this…”
“Let go of me my dear.” And the undead did as he was told.
Viviene’s world was crumbling under her fingers, this was her last resort, if even this didn’t work then what would.
She was so shaken, that she didn’t even notice the door opening behind her.
“Is everything all right my lady? I have heard some noises and wanted to make sure that everything is fine.”
She turned around and saw the servant gifted to her be the former owner of her manor, he was wearing his usual servant suit and top hat, and his eyeless skull and moustache were polished as ever.
“Everything is ruined Crassius, this didn’t work, I thought that… I should have known that wouldn’t work, but I…”
“But tell me mistress, isn’t everything as you envisioned, he is alive after all, isn’t he?”
“This is not alive Crassius, this is… he is but a husk, there is no soul, no mind, this is…” Then a thought suddenly came to her mind as she glanced at the skeleton servant.
“Crassius, how come you are so sentient, were it not for the appearance, one couldn’t distinguish you from a living being.”
“I’m afraid I do not know my lady, I have never asked my creator and I’m afraid he wouldn’t tell me anyway. However, since I am so perfect, I assume it took many trials and errors.”
“Then that is what you suggest, find more corpses and try to improve?”
“I wouldn’t entirely suggest corpses, my lady. After all, I believe there may be other ways how to give life, and my laboratory in the dungeons hasn’t been used for ages, and if my experiments fail, there will be no shortcomings of corpses.”
Viviene was taken aback by this proposition; disgusted and horrified she wanted to deny the creature’s suggestion, but then she looked at the shambling body of her lover and with renewed determination said:
“Very well Crassius, find me some lowlifes no one will miss; our work has just begun.”