About Necrotales

ecromancy, n [alter. of ME nigromancie, fr. MF, fr. ML nigromantia, by folk etymology fr. LL necromantia, fr. LGk nekromanteia, fr. Gk, nekr- + -manteia, -mancy]. 1: conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events 2: magic, sorcery -- nec•ro•man•tic.

So are you nuts?
We can see what the real world definition of Necromancy is, but I'd bet that most people have a radically different concept of it, thanks to multitudes of movies(Night of the Living Dead), television(Buffy the Vampire Slayer), fiction(The Monkey's Paw), and gaming(Dungeons and Dragons). In this media-induced variant, Necromancy usually involves animating corpses into dreadful abominations to terrorize mankind.

Let's not kid ourselves. There's no such thing in real life as Necromancy, regardless if you fancy it as the blackest, most foul, zombie-raising stuff of Return of the Living Dead or the romanticized 'cleanly evil' magic of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. No matter how much you may want it to be so, there is simply no such thing. Hunt your unicorns if you want, but you'll never find one.

Meanwhile, you can pretend you're talking to long dead relatives (or strangers, if you so like), but there's absolutely nothing to indicate that this is anything more than, at best, some psychological way of coping with loss, or at worst, insanity. We won't even discuss the legitimacy of the 'Crossing Over' style of shows.

So that aside, why the theme? What's the allure of the Necromancy and Undead thing?

For one thing, it's creative license, certainly. It's a mixture of allegory, story telling, and literary parallel. All of us self-aware beings realize, even if this knowledge is buried on a subconscious level, that life is fleeting. Thus there's something appealing about the concept of eternal life, no matter what form it may take. Fame. Children. Cryonics. Religion. So on and so forth.

We want to feel that something will linger after our consciousness ceases to be; we want to think that our essentially insignicant and transient existances will mean something in the great scheme of things. There's nothing wrong with this. We want to be more than the sum of our parts.

Necromancy, in any form, is fantasized control over that very thing we have no control over: the certainity of death. Naturally, it intrigues us in a fictional sense -- the charming, burdened-by-undead vampire; the magic-wielding master of obedient minions; the channeler of past lives. What makes this package even more attractive is how it so beautifully and naturally draws in questions of ethics and religion -- and what we learn in answering these practical questions serves us far better than any dreamt automaton of flesh and bone.

Necromancy, thus, incorporates entertainment with fantasy, fiction and media; wish-fulfillment, it touches our base desires of immortality and desire for control; it sparks discussions on ethics, morality, religion, and ultimately, our reason for being. Necromancy is not some universal truth or keystone to life; it's just a handy vehicle for exploring ourselves.

Plus, zombie miniatures are just too damn cool.

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