vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
[personal profile] vaecrius
Most necromancers can ill afford the luxury of being guarded by an army of stinking, disease-ridden, animal-eaten, rotting ambulatory corpses. Much work goes into cleaning, preserving and repurposing the dead tissue to serve the magic-user's purposes, and only the wealthy have the manpower to maintain more than four or five in constant operation at a time.

Samaelle's permanent undead minions (excluding things that were intended only for a single engagement or which have since been lost or destroyed) are as follows:

The first minion was a man she briefly served under who became infatuated with her. He bought her many things (mostly donated to charity or eaten now) and abandoned his own family to try to elope with her, over everyone's objections. He left his body to her in his will, on the condition that she have sex with the construct once it was complete. She completed the construct and promptly sent the remaining scrap tissue - including genitals - to the rendering plant. The minion now stands motionless collecting dust somewhere in the attics of Kirikaazi Manor, decommissioned for want of an operator or the will to pay for a licence. Resembling nothing more than a crude doll of sticks and leather and twine, the minion walks with a disturbingly noticeable limp and cannot perform fine motor functions, making it utterly useless for serving drinks. (Lord Kirikaazi has yet to claim his 200-credit refund.)

The second minion was the pickled head of a Qoduz commander she received as a gift from another officer she had saved from assassins infiltrating their camp. The incident having attracted a full investigation, the customary war trophy could not be readily taken, and the officer had offered one of her own as a consolation prize of sorts out of gratitude. (Nothing official, obviously.) Once wrapped in its cured face, now only the skull remains, rapidly skittering about on padded chicken bones wired together for the purpose, occasionally flapping its jaw as a tail to right itself. It has lamps attached to the eye sockets, and can be used to light a path, scout out an area or deliver something in a hard to reach place.

The third minion is the Dead Horse. In life it was a nameless and unloved brute, raised for its meat; Sam could not convince the butcher to leave the bones intact until she formally made it a point of honour whether or not he had the skill to do so. The skeleton was cleaned and assembled and the chassis completed in Kirikaazi Manor in the months before the effective date of her exile; since then, numerous additions, repairs and modifications have accreted. It is a matter of time before the underlying structure either breaks down or is too degraded to retain the essence-identity needed to respond to necromantic magic; no longer having such a lavish base of operations to rebuild, she dreads the day it must be replaced.

From a distance, only the head and neck, covered and sealed in pitch and bearing an etheric receiver in place of a forelock and a wooden human head-shaped speaker tucked away inside the mouth, are clearly skeletal in appearance. The leather cuirass surrounding the body (and the top of which is the integrated saddle) is also lined on the inside to protect the contents, the barrel-like girth now used to store provisions and gear where organs once were. The legs have seen numerous repairs and reinforcements, and the construct has long been able to achieve no more than a slow canter.

The fourth minion was the first of an unusually large number of bandits that had plagued Sam's travels early in her time in the south. Seven times she would agree to bury it and keep the stink from tormenting her caravan-mates, and seven times she was interrupted while searching for a burial ground and the Black Fire had been called down to her and the complainants' defence. (To this day she maintains the smell was not as bad as they said - much of the flesh was stripped early on in an incident that also resulted in one of the more tolerant caravan-mates, a novice beast-speaker from Tocanno, acquiring his first large-animal familiars.) Only its cranium and eye sockets reveal its skeletal surface, the rest covered in an ever-rusting, ever-cracking patchwork of crude armour and blades. Attempts to convert to a ranged weapons platform have been ineffectual, though it can on occasion be made to stay still long enough to rest a gun on.
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if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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