The Kinship of Cold

Some more stuff for you. Writing these magical schools is kind of overwhelming occasionally, but I rather like this one myself on account of too few games having too non-creepy necromancers.

The Kinship of Cold

The Kinship of Cold is a shadowy group of necromancers that have for years existed underground and just recently gained recognition as a legitimate school of magic, owing it to the patronage of the Queen of Denmark, Leonora II. While they have official recognition, they are still feared and loathed because of their rather unpleasant transformation rituals. The fact that they actually raise the dead doesn’t help, of course. The members of the School are colloquially called Corpses.

Their purview is the domain of the dead, fear and darkness. Unlike many other Schools, the Kinship of Cold absolutely requires a wizard to transform themselves permanently to be able to work magic, which is why most of the wizards in the Kinship tend to be the desperate and the hopeless who find power in turning to death. There’s of course a whole lot of people who join them for the off chance they might gain some power.

The Transformation Ritual used by the Kinship of Cold is in effect a ritual suicide. The wizard starts chanting a rhyme from a forgotten Germanic language and when the chanting ends, the wizard kills themself. The method used for the suicide varies, because whatever marks the suicide leaves, will stay on the wizard’s body permanently. The more vain ones prefer hanging or strangulation because the ligature marks can be covered up with a fashionable scarf. The practical ones prefer stabbing, though this leaves rather unpleasant wounds that keep seeping blood. There’s even a precious few who have burned themselves alive and now exist as half-burned monsters, to make a point about their mastery of death.

While the recognition of the Kinship means that the members are legally protected in all civilized nations, most Corpses do realize that their particular branch of magic is extremely unpalatable to most people and tend to avoid situations where they might end up burnt at the stake by vigilantes. The School employs a large number of bodyguards to protect its members who need to travel outside Denmark. This isn’t always enough though, because for instance the Norsemen of Hålogaland have a hard time respecting the status of the Kinship and tend to kill necromancers on sight. The School can’t do much to prevent this, because the Jarls of Hålogaland haven’t really given a second thought to recognizing the School.

The School itself is fairly loosely organized in various groups centered around more powerful Corpses. The current leader of the School is Archmage Count Lüttichau, who bartered the deal between Queen Leonora II and the Kinship. Lüttichau became a very rich man after this. His main assistant is an unnamed woman who is instantly recognizable because she burned all her facial features off during her transformation ritual. She is generally thought to be Lüttichau’s assassin in addition to being his right hand.

 

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