Whispers of Persephone: a tome of the dark arts
There are necromancers, and then there is the Necromancer.
The difference between the two is most profound. While a necromancer devotes himself to the mastery of the magics of death and the undead, the Necromancer is the mortal master of death, the keeper of profane secrets, and the dreaded lord of powerful minions.
"I will take one hundred brave men and we shall storm his bastion of profane evil! We shall return his restless dead to the peace of the grave! His servants shall surrender for trial, or meet death at the end of righteous steel! We shall strike their master down, destroy his unholy works, burn all he has created, and erase his memory from history so that no other shall be inspired to his depths of depravity! Onward to VICTORY!!!!"
~ Rallying speech of the heroic paladin Oswin of Berean; his last known recorded words.
The Necromancer is the authority on the dark arts. This master of magic unlocked secrets of necromancy that had never before profaned the lips of mortals. Those secrets came at a great cost, which the Necromancer paid for with the blood, and lives, of innocents sacrificed to dread entities of the lower planes. Powerful rituals, exotic rites, searing spells, and the screams of terrified victims fueled the the Necromancer's rise to arcane power.
The Acolytes of Death, that inner circle of the most powerful and trusted of the Necromancer's minions, lent their power and will to aid in the darkest of rituals. Thirteen in number, the Acolytes of Death are each magicians of certain power, skilled in the dark arts, and proficient in the arts of ritual sacrifice. These men and women studied at the knee of the Necromancer and drank deeply from that well of profane power. Their skill in the arcane arts are as finely honed as their skills in ritual murder.
Among those students of the Necromancer and Acolytes are a number of dedicated, and frightening, disciples. These dark magicians are the favored among those misguided souls who seek knowledge and power from the Necromancer's teachings. Other aspiring necromancers recognize these disciples as people to respected, and feared. These magicians rarely exhibit the warmth and compassion of typical mortals. A thirst for knowledge and arcane power is a common trait among these sociopaths.
A wide array of practitioners of the dark arcane arts flock to the Necromancer and his acolytes in search of knowledge. Many flee, or attempt to, as the profane practices of the followers of the Necromancer strike horror in the hearts of all but those steeped in the darkest of evil. Those who are not successful in their escape are used as ritual sacrifices or as subjects of study in the vivisection labs. Their screams are heard, for days on end, before death is allowed to embrace them.
The Necromancer assembled a dread tome of necromancy for his students, describing the practices, rites, rituals, and spells of his tradition of the dark arts of necromancy. His book, Whispers of Persephone describes his arcane tradition: Stygian Necromancy. Woe be unto those who would practice these fell arts, and woe unto those who fall victim to them.
Whispers of Persephone collects secrets of the necromantic arts that the Necromancer gleamed from entities of lower planes. The Necromancer, with aid from his Acolytes of Death, purchased this unholy knowledge with the pain and death of their victims. This knowledge was assembled and provided to those who follow the Necromancer and adhere to his profane practices.
"Whole villages have been abducted, the people murdered. The only sign of what horror befell them being their lifeless bodies wandering the land. What monster has brought this horror upon us? Who will save us?"
~ Plea of Adam Wrightson to the Duke of Berean. From a page found in the records room of the ruins of Berean Keep.
Whispers of Persephone is a role-playing aid written for the 5th edition game mechanic. It is designed and formatted in spell book style, to give it an authentic look, as if it were a horrific tome of the dark arts. It contains a new magical tradition, Stygian Necromancy, for use in your game. Containing new spells, optional rules for ritual sacrifice, and feats used by those characters who practice Stygian Necromancy.
This hauntingly beautiful book is being illustrated by Christian Martinez.
Look for the our crowdfunding campaign on KickStarter (coming soon) for your chance to pick this book up as a backer reward. Available backer rewards will include pdf copies, printed copies, signed copies, and mention in the book (as one of the 13 Acolytes of Death). One backer will be illustrated as the Necromancer and will have the book dedicated to him or her.
Stretch goals are dedicated to improvement to the book.
Watch this page for updates, including the addition of art from the book, and launch day information for the KickStarter campaign. You can also follow me (W.S. Quinton) on KickStarter to be alerted to the launches of my projects.
February 2nd, 2018 :
I've been working on the ritual sacrifice mechanic. The idea is that it is not only beneficial for the Stygian Necromancer's advancement but is also a terrible necessity for them to grow in power. I'm making a great effort to maintain game balance while making this dreadfully evil arcane tradition a great deal of fun to play (for those who enjoy their dark arts DARK).
Working on the mathematics of the Kickstarter goal is mostly done. The art costs are the final piece and are awaiting final calculations of remaining costs after surplus funding from other projects are applied to help lower the goal. I would like to do an offset print run for this project, but current calculations (with art wholly funded through the Kickstarter campaign) would mean a goal of $8000. I would like to get that goal number down. I've ran the numbers on conducting the KickStarter using pdf and POD redemption codes (where the backers get a code that lets them order a print on demand code and only pay the print costs plus shipping). The PDF and print codes would be a little cheaper for the backers but I wouldn't be able to do the faux leather print version. More updates to come!
*If you have questions please comment below.
Copyright Notice: Whispers of Persephone is copyright 2018 by W.S. Quinton
This blog entry is made as an introduction to the subject matter of that book, and no rights to the copyright of Whispers of Persephone are conveyed, implied, or otherwise transferred or commuted to any other person or entity.