Friday Lore Post: A Brief History of the Necromancers’ Leystone

Once, amid a war that was just a front for a much older conflict, a small army approached a forest called Te’nekla, in order to kill its inhabitants, who were thought to be supplying the other side with weapons and magical armour. As they prepared to enter the notoriously untraversable woods, a young soldier paused to use a tree and found a small stone that he thought looked like his friend, and he put it in a pouch with another stone he’d found a few months before. Later, his army burned the forest to the ground it its entirety, not allowing a single survivor to escape.

After a peace summit nearly killing every living thing on his planet, the soldier carried the stone and four others with him on his journey to save his species. He died on the floor of a tower that nobody had built, coated with his blood as the Web shattered. The stone became the anchor for the binding thread of power that kept the Web stable, a power of souls and potential and life and death, which later became known as necromancy.

A century later, at another summit to decide what should become of the stones that now housed the Web, the stone from Te’nekla was given to the spring goddess Meryan Gendan Do’Rovva, whose precognitive powers were only growing stronger as time went on, and who was perceived to be the only person at the summit who didn’t have a secondary agenda or seek power for herself. This was only partly true, of course, for Meryan did have a secondary agenda, which was to prevent the apocalypse from happening in some four thousand years.

While the others who had taken stones studied them or attempted to use them, Meryan merely waited. She had already been told in a dream when to release the stone, and rather than holding onto it and risking it being stolen, Meryan took advantage of the stone’s nature as being connected to the anchoring point of the Web—and therefore the part of the Web that was not entirely present in the universe as it was understood—to allow the stone to briefly disappear from the world for a period of two thousand years until it would be needed again.

The stone reappeared just in time for it to be found by one Dorothy Highquail, a necromancer-queen descended from the usurped House of Highquail. Dorothy was the last apparent survivor of House Highquail, a wizard who had sought additional power in necromancy in the hopes of returning her family to their place on Dolovai’s throne. As more and more of her family were killed in the war she’d started, Dorothy used the stone in an attempt to make herself immortal, styling herself Dorothy the Deathless and using a series of powerful necromantic spells to render herself ageless and to rapidly heal her from all wounds. This spell needed constant maintenance and influx of power, and Dorothy stole the souls of more and more people to power it, raising more and more corpses to fight in her armies, before finally exhausting even the power of the stone and the limits of her own body and dying on a hilltop as she fought for the capital. The stone, which she’d had put in a necklace, was put in a ven Sancte vault with the other spoils of battle, where it vanished.

The stone next appeared seven hundred years later in the city of Cold Head, where a plague was killing the residents rapidly. These residents began to return to life as shades, ghosts and occasionally the undead, prompting the quarantine of the city even from other afflicted areas. Several necromancers snuck into the city in order to find the source of the problem, and a secret battle known among necromancers as the Whispered War played out in the dying city for the next five years as different necromancers and different factions tried to find and control the stone. In the end, the stone ended up in the hands of Richard son of Roland, a young boy who’d come to the city with his father, and ended up fleeing alone.

Richard never told anyone that he had the stone, but because his father had bonded it to him, it also never left his possession. The two of them had been Blue Clan witches who’d turned to necromancy, but Richard wasn’t interested in his father’s plans to reform the Grand Coven, instead focusing on helping people with his magic. In so doing, he became renowned and also wealthy, changing his name to Richard Faran. He performed a series of spells to ensure that the stone would be bonded to his son once he died, and to the magically talented members of their family forever after that, because one thing he’d learned in Cold Head was that the stone was exceedingly dangerous if not bound.

Three generations later the Faran family was officially recognized as a noble house, and House Faran continued to guard and be bound to the stone, observing careful rituals to keep it bound, for five hundred years until a mage-turned-necromancer named Matthias the Mad showed up one night and killed the entire family, having learned from a shadowed voice that that was the only way to break the binding spells on the stone. House Faran was wiped out and Matthias made off with the stone in a bid to become a god, fleeing to the eastern swamp at the edge of the Blackwoods. He was pursued there by a stableboy named Toby, who stole the stone from him and died in the process, unwittingly taking advantage of the stone’s power to hide it in a spot between worlds where Matthias and his ally couldn’t obtain it.

One hundred years later, the stone was recovered from Matthias, the shadow and Toby by a young relic hunter, who promised it would be kept safe. Unfortunately, he sold the stone to someone with shit security, and it was subsequently stolen and is now in the possession of an actor whose intentions for the stone are somewhat dubious and unclear. Whatever they are, the stone is currently unbound, which means it’s currently dangerous. If nobody does anything to bind or control it, it may well start raising the dead once again.

From “The Past and Present of the Leystones,” author and date unknown, found in Clay Bear’s celestial archive in “Section 9: A List of Magical Artefacts Ranging from Knick-Knacks to Devastating Weapons.”

6 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: A Brief History of the Necromancers’ Leystone

  1. “This was only partly true, of course, for Meryan did have a secondary agenda, which was to prevent the apocalypse from happening in some four thousand years.”

    Does this really count as a secondary agenda? If anyone else knew about it, I’m pretty sure they’d agree that preventing the end of the world is in everyone’s best interests. With the possible exception of assorted greater demons, nihilistic lunatics, and eschatological fanatics, and their opinions don’t count.


  2. Is that “actor” as in “stage performer”, or in the more general sense of the word? Because if the former, it’s almost certainly either with Sylvester or someone we haven’t met yet, and if it’s Sylvester there’s a strong chance it will pass to John.


    1. “Actor” as in “stage performer” for sure. Sylvester stole the stone from Theodore when he last saw him and still has it. You’re definitely right that there’s a strong possibility of it ending up with John. 🙂



      1. He’s an excellent candidate for it, being the single most skilled necromancer on the planet and lacking any nefarious ambitions.


        1. Yes, that’s very true! The other serious candidate that we know of would be Gus, but he lacks John’s technical skill and of course we know he has other commitments as well, so John is the clear frontrunner from our perspective.


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