is a rare and only recently researched spell that has yet to be practiced by any
mage outside of a very select few. The mindset of the necromancer sub-sect
within the realm of fire magic brought about the
creation of this somewhat horrid spell. Those of this curious sub-sect have
sought to grant an undead life to their
beloved pets, so as to not lose them to the icy hands of death. Bringing about
gruesome undead pets for them to travel
with upon their morose journeys through life.
This spell is also a stepping stone for many necromancers, as it is the first that allows them to create a semi-intelligent undead creature. In essence this spell is a learning faze for the mages as they begin to study how to apply these attributes to humanoid creatures. Later in their careers they will use a lot of what is learned through this spell to animate functioning bi-pedal undead.
Spell Effect. When casting this spell, fire ounia are gathered from around the target thereby enhancing the concentration of fire within the targeted pet. It should be noted that this spell is cast upon only one target that must have been a non-sentient creature in life such as a bird, dog, cat or other natural animal. No animal corpse larger than a horse could be affected by this spell as creatures larger than this would require far too much fire ounia to keep animated for any length of time. This gathering of fire ounia in the deceased body allows the mage to create a companion out of a specific animal corpse. The pet will behave in many ways like its living counterpart, basically a representation of how the caster perceived the animal in life. A physical effect is used to invoke a spiritual one in this case, which defines the complex art of necromancy. Even if the result might not appear very intelligent compared to a living version of the same beast - at least it has enough memory of its former self and therefore can act like it to a certain degree. Bringing a dead pet to a new morose life brings also alive an echo of remembrance of its former being, a relatively balanced existence, where body and spirit co-exist in a fruitful coordination - at least as long as this balance is guaranteed by the caster (see the Dark Stability spell, used to maintain undead beings).
Many tales have been told of a dark crow upon the shoulder of these mages or decaying mounts under them as they have traveled the lands. This spell is the leading factor to the spread of such legends. Due to the intense attention required to keep these pets, it is rare to find a mage with more than one such companion, yet stories of necromancers with a pair of them are heard often.
Casting Procedure. Preferably this spell is cast upon a fresh corpse of a favoured pet, as the pet will be animated in the state at which the spell is invocated upon it. A mage must have a blazing fire and the corpse of the animal to be animated; the mage via control of Sphere III brings fire ounia from the bonfire and concentrates it within the animal. The mage then begins to speak the incantation repeatedly as dashes of salt are cast into the air, this procedure taking near five minutes for the animal to become fully animated.
Magical Formula. To be defined at a later date.
Focus/Target. The corpse of the animal the mage wishes to animate. Mind you - only a single animal can be the target of this spell!
Reagents. Salt, representative of the desired lack of water within the corpse of the target.
Spell Class. Enflamement, Physical & Spiritual Representation of Sphere III.
Range. Since the mage must be in close proximity of the target this spell could not be cast at a distance of more than a single ped.
Casting Time. This spell is not meant for combative uses as its casting time nears five minutes. Though if cast in advance a mage could arm himself/herself with a plethora of various allies to suit many situations.
Duration. Ghastly Guardian can be cast from spell level 7 onwards with the following effects:
At this level the mage could animate animals of around the size of a greycat for about three days time. While animals near the size of a grassland boar could only be animated for 36-40 hours time. The largest animals achievable for animation at this level would be around the size of a large tirpanis and could be accomplished for no more than an hourís time. A mage could use enhancement measures to extend these durations but these are limitations of a single casting of this spell.
A magus of this level could animate a creature as small as a greycat for near five days. Animals the mass of a large grassland boar can now be animated for near three days with little trouble for the mage. Beasts as large as a full grown white bear can be animated, with a time frame of but an hour for its animation. One should also note that enhancement measures can extend these durations proportionately to the casters care and attention to their pets.
Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures.
These animals can be destroyed just as any other normal creature could be. Yet
they are immune to pain so could for instance ignore some wounds as they attempt
to flee back to their masters. Also an opposing caster or ingenious adventurer
could cool the fire that
animates the animal thereby rendering it inactive.
Mages can use Dark Stability as a means to extend their pets undead lives. This must be done before the expiration of the original casting of Ghastly Guardian. Yet a mage could maintain a specific pet for long periods by this practice. This also helps keep the dead creatureís appearance somewhat fresh as to not alert others of the beastís undead nature. Yet even with such efforts it is not long before others can begin to see that the pet is not natural. Fragments of protruding bone, teeth and an emanciated appearance often being the first signs of the creatures undead nature.
Information provided by Twen Araerwen