William and Eleanor Piven
She was known as 'Moon Child' by her friends as she only came out at night, and whilst they loved to play with her, those who did so for too long would soon have cause to regret it. He was her father and the town undertaker, with a secret much less savoury role as the town necromancer.
William PivenÂ had a deep fatherly love for hisÂ five year old daughter Eleanor, a sweet girl who had no idea what her father really did. Legally, William Piven was an undertaker, in charge of of one of the largest funeral firms in the city of Pier Point. Well known as a man who even though a boss, worked on the bodies of the dead and treated them with loving care. Under the surface, William Piven was another person altogether, a Necromancer who only dealt with those he could be reasonably sure would not betray him.
But just because he was a Necromancer, it didn't mean that everything or even most of whatÂ he did was stereotypically *evil*. Thanks to him, the dead had been able to give messages to the living-messages such as where they had left their wills, how much they loved their living relatives and even, in one or two murder cases, who had killed them. Whilst evidence from the dead was not legally useable in a court of law, if told to the right person it could lead to evidence being *found* which was lawful in court.
Even on the few occasions Â when he did do something which most people would think very wrong, there was normally an important reason for it. A rich noble who in life had treated his servants like dirt, had his spirit summoned and bound soundlessly screaming into a chamber pot. A notorious gangster who escaped justice in life thanks to intimidation and powerful friends, had his Ring of Heaven replaced with an identical looking Ring of Hell to make sure he would suffer in the afterlife. As for the making of undead servants, these were few and far between and had normally been ruthless gangmasters when alive; in William's mind, they deserved to toil after death. He never knowingly punished the spirit of a person who had been good or neutral in life.
His wife knew of what he did, and made him promise that when she died he would allow her spirit to pass on rather then trying to keep her with him or reanimate her body. And when she died after she caught an illness whilst giving birth to their only child, a daughter, he kept that promise because of his love for her.
Eleanor grew up as a largely well behaved and sweet little child, but when she was five a mosquito bit her as she was playing outside at dusk. She scratched the bite until it bled, then thought nothing more of it, but an infection set in and within days she lay in bed at home, close to death. Having allready lost his wife to death, William was unwilling to lose his daughter too. As an accomplished Necromancer, bringing her back as a slowly decaying zombie or other such lower undead would be relatively easy but he didn't want that. He wanted her to be as close as possible to a living girl. So even as she was dying he drew out a pentacle to protect himself and cast the most powerful magic he knew of.
His spells prevented her from rotting as long as she stayed out of direct sunlight, and to power the magic and keep it going in the long term, he enabled her to draw small amounts of life energy from any living people, animals and plants. Short term exposure to her would cause no harm, but over a period of weeks it would start to leech enough energy to make people ill. When she slept however she leeched no energy at all, and he calculated that as she would be out playing a lot of the time, she would not take enough of his own life-energy to do him much harm. Even if she accidently did, healing potions would restore the damage. As there were dangers to be found in the night, from roaming thieves and muggers to rapists to nasty biting dogs, he wove in an automatic self-defence spell that would kick in if anyone but himself struck or otherwise harmed her. It increased the amount of life energy that she took within a close radius of herÂ to deadly or near-deadly levels, leaving the attacker dead or dying upon the ground.He considered that anyone who would harm a young child, let alone HIS young child, deserved to die.
Yet the spell was not perfect; it had several flaws. First, direct sunlight on her bare undead fleshÂ disrupted the part of the spell that kept it from decomposing. Second, she could never grow up physically and would allways look like a five year old child. He told the school that his child had died and now by day she mainly sleeps and by night she plays with those of her friends who sneak out to see her, whilst he tries to work out a way to get her properly educated without revealing her secret.
A very rich man, a member of the town council and the Vice MayorÂ no less, has been found dead in the street with no apparent wounds or obvious signs ofÂ poisoning. With a huge reward for the capture of the killer, the PCs are on the case. IfÂ their investigations lead to the second and final death of his daughter, William will send whatever Undead he can after them. Whilst hurting or killingÂ Eleanor close up will trigger her deadly magic and get whoeverÂ did it killed, shooting her with an arrow or other long range weapon/magic will avoid this. If that is the PCs can solve the mystery.
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Items • Jewelry • Magical
As Sir Uthman lay dying, after a long and not allways well-behaved life, his wife placed onto his finger a Ring of Heaven, to ensure that if his soul was indeed dammed, the demons could not take it and instead it would enjoy the blessings of it's own personal heaven for eternity.
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? Responses (5)
Nice. A good necromancer motivated by love and justice. Could she go out if she wore cloth over all of her body?
Most likely yes, but it could bring unwanted attention.
This is a really nice story, and a great break from the stereotypical necromatic role. The child is beautifully tragic, and I have a lot of sympathy for both characters. Would love to use this in a game.
This is very good! There are some unspeakable horrors just beneath the surface of this one.