Thursday, February 27, 2014

Industrial Necromancy, Husk Zombies and Live Nude Girls

Of the Scarlet Sultanate's peculiar institutions, one alone stands out enough to be capitalized, Industrial Necromancy.

Though roundly criticized by the priests of Ilmuqah the Third Moon, whose own divine words characterized the black art as that of “ahmoq” (which roughly translates to “the hardened excrement of an ocular bat”), it is a proscription roundly ignored due to its sheer profitability. Indeed though impossible by the metaphysics of Zem to pull off in the safe, dull confines of the corelands parts of Himyar, the entire economic basis of the satrapies bordering the Weird revolves around the zombie-worked, state-owned plantation system.

Due to the willful historical amnesia of that land's coreland inhabitants, who like many walled-off citizens in human existence prefer not to know how the metaphorical sausage is made, how this came to be is only murkily known. It is highly likely though that its time-misted origins lie in the macabre law from the suspected necrophile Sultan Eraam of the Twenty Pillars (who is said to have been a “colossal pervert” even by the standards of the Yellow sultans of that time) that deeded the corpses of all who die in the land to his personal estate.

It is also known that the inglorious smashings of the various Latter Hyperborean successor rump states by the (then) Pahr, Nemec, and the little-known Madeupname barbarian hordes, left those necromancer-kings who hadn't molted into space-god apotheosis without gainful employment. Carpet bags in hand many of the more fortunate such emigres ended up in middle-management positions as satraps of the Sultanate's outlying and entirely unprofitable marches.

Hoary old histories aside, the craft of the necromancer today has slumped away from the artistry that produced behemoth flesh-crawlers, trumpeting zombastadons and other fell wonders toward the more practical trade that primarily centers around the fast and large-scale production of the workaday undead, the Husk Zombie.

Husk Zombies
No. Enc.: 4d6 (6d6)
Alignment: Chaotic (Evil)
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (weapon, preferrably a khopesh)
Damage: Weapon
Morale: 12
Exp: 30
The most striking aspect of the appearance of the common Husk Zombie is the shriveled, dried-out parchment-like skin pulled tight over the bony frame. Though the brittleness of the skin gives a fragile look, the sustaining power of that railroad-verse called the Anti-Cantons imbues the creature with a surprising strength in its new existence.

Unlike your typical murderhole zombie, the husk zombie retains a flickering of its human intelligence and consciousness and can be ordered to maintain ranges of structured tasks such as bringing in harvest or marching/wheeling in formation.

Many a critical observer has noted a fierce, malevolent look of barely repressed resentment in the eyes of such tasked husk zombies and woe unto the unwary necromancer who is negligent in his warding and frugal in his spell components!


  1. Ooh! Didn't know they were former Necromancer Kings (and their descendants). That is awesome.

    1. Yes some of the washouts that didn't make it to the Cerulean Vaults.

  2. Reminds me of CAS's "The Empire of the Necromancers:"

    Dead laborers made their palace-gardens to bloom with long-perished flowers; liches and skeletons toiled for them in the mines, or reared superb, fantastic towers to the dying sun. Chamberlains and princes of old time were their cupbearers, and stringed instruments were plucked for their delight by the slim hands of empresses with golden hair that had come forth untarnished from the night of the tomb. Those that were fairest, whom the plague and the worm had not ravaged overmuch, they took for their lemans and made to serve their necrophilic lust.

  3. Hah ... this reminds me of my former long-running setting of the Green County, where nearby was the glassed waste of the old necromancer lords of Turalia, where they taxed the bodies (but not the heads) of their subjects, using headless zombies for day-to-day industry.