“I am the void that swallows the sun. I am the death of hope. I am the end of all things and the eternal lord of what lies beyond.”
—written on flayed skin hanging from a tree beyond the razed village of Ainat
When the First Orc Invasion shattered the Known Realms, many fledgling Holds of Men found themselves surrounded and isolated. The ruler of one such minor Hold delved into the lore of the Western Elves, learnt from refugee mages fleeing their destroyed Citadel. He adapted their magic of spirit calling into evocations that tied a departed soul to its rotted body. The spells shredded the soul, leaving it able to animate a body but incapable of thought. And so this forgotten ruler became the First Necromancer.
These contingents of risen warriors turned the tide against the Orc horde. Each battle saw only death come to the Orcs, as fallen soldiers would rise again and again.
When the Orc tide was finally broken, the deeds of the Necromancer could no longer be ignored. Abductions and slaughters came with whispers of the Necromancer’s grisly experiments in search of some elusive knowledge.
The Holds of Men, led by Hawkshold, toppled The Risen Kingdom. The Necromancer was destroyed by an Emissary of the Holy Flame, and his dark lore was put to the flame. Or so it was thought...
In the centuries since, the scourge of undead has returned time and time again as grimoires of blasphemous lore are discovered. These new necromancers are all possessed by a similar maniacal vigor and visionary madness. They have no desire to conquer, merely to experiment and perfect some incomplete formula that will be their opus. Nothing matters but the Great Work.