In this unashamedly queer, paranormal fantasy, manipulating the dead is the status quo of the living.
In this necromantic noir, all narratives are interwoven, but the truth that binds them is elusive.
For nearly a century, the Rex Morti and his Vocchi, progenitors of necromancy, protected the populace of Sylkine from threats both living and dead. Twenty five years ago, however, the Althian Revolution began, sparked by the idea that the necromancy practiced in Sylkine is not coexistence with the dead, but subjugation.
After a year and a half of incredible violence, the Althian forces still stood resolute. The Rex Morti withdrew his forces, content to have built an impassable boundary of blood and bone between the two nations, ripe with the unresolved hatred of the dead. But the rebellion of the Althians has left Sylkine reeling, as many have begun to question the true price of freedom. In the war-torn aftermath, denizens of both countries will come together to disseminate the truth and forge a new future, laying the mysteries of the magic to rest.
Play as one of three characters who must navigate Althia and the mysteries within. Master the Three Principles of Necromancy and understand the wishes of the dead before they become Forsworn—beings of unrivaled darkness and destruction. Uncover the true intentions of militaristic kings and beloved pariahs. Shape the future of magic, nations, and your closest allies in Into the Gray!
Replay Value: each protagonist of Into the Gray comes with their own vices and virtues, skill sets, and matters to settle with the living and dead. Fight to reclaim your body as Juna and Aylward, understand the origin of your powers as Gray, or master canting as Vanki and soothe the restless dead.
Explore the relationship between the living and the dead as a necromancer. This volatile skill always comes with a price, but what is gained may make your pain worthwhile.
Amidst a backdrop that blends post-medieval innovation, gothic decadence, and punk aesthetics, explore questions of agency and free will. These pervade the stories of the protagonist you choose, the discourses between the living and the dead, and the tensions between the military and church.
Consider making a deal with the devil—a friendly, mysterious fiend named Bead who jumps at the chance to join your party.
For nearly a century, the Rex Morti and his Vocchi, progenitors of necromancy, have protected the populace of Sylkine from threats, both living and Forsworn. Twenty five years ago, however, tensions sparked by a splinter faith rose to a blaze, and the Althian Revolution began. The Althians believed that necromancy was not coexistence, but control, and they were willing to die for their beliefs.
After a year and a half of incredible violence, the Althian forces still stood resolute, and the Rex Morti withdrew his forces, content to have built an impassable boundary of blood and bone. But the Althians believe themselves to be the victors, as the Sylkine population has begun to question the true price of freedom. Those who lost brothers to the military now send their sons to the Church. Those who fought for the rights of the dead now battle in secret against them. They were promised peace would emerge from the ashes, but have discovered nothing but a simmering flame, ready to rise again and engulf their new home. In the war-torn aftermath, denizens of both countries must come together to disseminate the truth and forge a new future, laying the mysteries of magic to rest.
We shall provide for you in life; You shall provide for us in death.
One hundred years ago, the Rex Morti discovered the secrets of necromancy. He and his inner circle, the Vocchi, ushered in a utopian era of peace and prosperity for the people of Sylkine. They would provide for your family in life, so long as you promised your service to their militia in death.
Twenty five years ago, the Althian Revolution began, led by insurgents Sorrel Woodrose and cantor Briar. They now head the Althian Church, the Featherless Flock, and teach what they believe to be a more equitable approach to interacting with the departed.
The Althian Revolution ended at the Battle of the Broken Blade, and the resulting deaths created a necromantic minefield known as Dead Man's Land. Only the most skilled cantors can navigate the land without losing themselves to the Forsworn.
May death find you well.
Into the Gray is an unashamedly queer, necromantic noir that primarily takes place in the newly founded country of Althia. Think 16th century, post-medieval Europe, with some holypunk twists. Players will choose one of three characters to follow through the wandering Althian countryside, the gothic capital of Ashammer, and beyond. Though all of the story’s narratives are interwoven, no one story contains all of the truths, and each explores a different, underrepresented perspective.
Fernecombe: A small Althian hamlet just south of Dead Man's Land, where two of the three stories begin. The town is staunchly anti-necromancer, bearing constant witness to Forsworn outbursts. Fernecombe offers a lore-rich introduction to the themes of the story, as well as to the setting itself. This lumber town borders a forest of slowly dying evergreens and is haunted by the ghosts of the veterans in its mausoleum.
The Althian Countryside: Primarily used in travel sections as a way to introduce additional variance in runs and highlight the differences in perspectives the characters hold, the Althian Countryside harbors a series of potential encounters ranging from a father trying to hide his child's prowess from the church to a necromantically infused bear cub.
Ashammer: The Capital City of Althia is a town of innovation and progress where the living and dead work in tandem to create harmonious life for all. This main set piece of our story is home to Gothic Baroque architecture.
The Featherless Flock: The Church at the heart of Ashammer, where spirits tend to the grounds as young pupils learn the ways of necromancy. In exchange for promises of adhering to a cloistered life, the Church pays each student a stipend for their families.
The Silver Tongue: A less-than-reputable tavern in Ashammer that acts as a home base for investigators as they explore the city and the mysteries within. It is eventually revealed as the original meeting place of the Althian secessionists.
Dead Man's Land: The border between Althia and Sylkine, ripe with the unresolved hatred of the dead and seething with otherworldly influence. It is nearly impossible to cross without being torn apart. Nearly.
The Ilvar Estate: The Ilvar Estate is explored only in fragmented flashbacks in Gray's path. It is regal, sanctified, and sacrilegious. The Estate is the true beginning of all of the stories, though this is not apparent until the end.
Sylkine: Sylkine, the largest country in the world, is ruled by the Rex Morti. Its compatriots are the progenitors of necromancy, so they say, and they live in a relative “utopia.” People can sell themselves into one (or two) terms in the military in exchange for setting their family for financial success and security. In Sylkine, there is a carefully controlled balance between giving people purpose and comfort to prevent the Forsworn, restless spirits that rival the forces of nature. Cantors don’t really exist here, and the necromancy practiced primarily focuses on using Spirit and Body as weapons and armor. The military is currently undergoing an expansion campaign.
The Necromancer – Gray Ilvar
Gray Ilvar was a sheltered wisp of a child born into wealth they would never know the comforts of. Despite their status, their father's work (which they never understood) branded their family as eccentrics, and were it not for their monetary influence, very few would look their way.
From a young age, they became highly fascinated with the concept of necromancy, but were expressly forbidden from studying it by their strict father. Still, they stole books from his study when they could, and would spend hours by candlelight reading the texts their father had deemed profane before sneaking them back in the dim of dawn.
At the age of 10, Gray awoke to the smell of smoke. Their memory of the next few minutes is foggy, but they emerged unscathed, somehow, with their parents nowhere to be found. Confused and alone, Gray remained in the ashes of their home, sifting through what was left of their life, before the Rex Morti came to make it anew.
They were brought to the Sylkine capital to start a new life in the Church, but for months, they remained silent as the grave. When their interest in necromancy was discovered, they were placed in classes as an effort to break them out of their shell. When their ability to see and speak with the dead—something no other student could do—came to light, they were quickly placed in advanced classes.
The more their unique abilities taught them about necromancy, the more they began to realize the grim truth. Priests were not communicating with the dead. They were not bargaining. There wasn't even a conversation between them. necromancy, as it was taught, enslaved the dead. They brought this information to the Rex Morti, who had become the father they never had, only to be exiled and excommunicated for speaking out against the Church.
Over the next two years, they wandered aimlessly away from the capital, finding work as a mercenary necromancer wherever they could, often at the request of the dead rather than the living. Their travel eventually took them to a small village at the Althian border. Here, they met Aylward and Juna, and, fascinated by their unique situation, promised to escort them across Dead Man's Land. Our story begins shortly after they arrive in the hamlet of Fernecombe, across the border.
Physical Description: 23, They/Them, 5’4”. White hair in the present, black hair pre-house fire. Blue eyes.
Core Virtue: Very few can truly help the dead. It is my responsibility to do so.
Core Vice: I am alone among the living.
Objective in Main Story: Lay Margery to rest. Uncover the truth behind the Featherless Flock.
Objective as Character: Find their purpose outside of helping others. Discover anything about their missing parents. Understand the origin of their unique powers.
To Be Learned: Family is what you make it.
Misc: Anarchist, outsider. Autistic. Helps ghosts, looking for nothing in return. Often seen as lucky, the little boons they come across are often a “thank you” from the departed.
The Devil – Bead
Hello! Bead is here. Bead was previously described as a “companion” because Bead is only visible to Gray, and you are... some strange reader? Bead does not understand.
But Bead will.
But you are not Gray, You do not get Bead's description... yet. Gray does not remember Bead's contract, but Bead is also the reason Gray is still alive and not burned to ash crisp. Bead did not mean to grant Gray devilsight, but Bead's power is so great that Bead cannot always contain the side effects of deals. Bead looks forward to meeting you and this “party” some day!
Perhaps there is something you want in your life? Bead is happy to help!
Physical Description: ???, Bead/Bead, ???. ???
Core Virtue: Bead is a friend to all!
Core Vice: Bead is too generous! Too kind!
Objective in Main Story: Wait for Gray to die.
Objective as Character: Make more friends!
The Ghost – Aylward
Aylward was the daughter of a decorated tactician working in the Rex Morti's militia. As such, she was raised with the prospects of becoming a Blackguard, a Necromancer's dedicated protector. Despite her father's insistence, she didn't want to be assigned to some stately, government drone; she wanted to do something with her life that mattered. And so, at the age of 18, she found herself on Sylkine's frontlines during the Althian Revolution, protecting a prodigal young Necromancer by the name of Wincent. This was, by all means, a ceremonial position; Wincent's talent was in his multi-faceted approach to necromancy, being skilled in both Spirit and Body magics. Aylward had often sparred with him, and she knew he needed no real protection.
Unable to partake in the glory of combat, Aylward was left as an observer, and very quickly realized that she had been misled. The Althian forces had been painted as zealots, as religious martyrs, but their cries of an equitable faith rang true, and Aylward found herself questioning what she knew. There was no honor, no valor in this war. Only a violent and sudden end to a differing opinion. At the next opportunity, she deserted, fleeing across the border into Althian territory.
But she did not make it unscathed, suffering a crippling injury in the process. Days later, barely conscious, she limped into an Althian camp, collapsing to cries of “medic!” After a time, she awoke, her wounds being dressed by a young doctor by the name of Juna. She nursed Aylward's wounds over the next few days, and the two quickly fell in love. When the camp fell under siege, Aylward rose to its defense, time and time again. Eventually, her identity as the child of a general was revealed, and she became a rallying cry among the Althian forces. If they could persuade someone so close to the heart of their opposition to their side, nothing was impossible.
Word spread, and Wincent set out on a warpath to bring the traitor to justice. Within days he had located the camp, and he began to rain hell upon them. The heat of war rose to a boil and eventually Aylward and Wincent found themselves once again face-to-face. His magically infused might was formidable, but Aylward had always held a few secrets close to her chest in their sparring sessions. Even still, she knew she could not hold out against his onslaught, and saw only one path to victory. She couldn't help but smile, thankful for the perspective she had gained.
With a sudden flash of steel, Wincent impaled Aylward, ready to rip the grin off of her face. But no victory could be claimed, as he looked down in a desperate rage to find her own blade embedded deep into his chest. As she lay dying, she scanned the Althian forces surging forwards, inspired by her fervor and sacrifice. Her eyes found Juna's before closing for the last time.
Physical Description: 43, She/They. 5’9”. Shoulder length hair, ashy brown. Green eyes.
Core Virtue: Indecision means death. I will protect those I love, no matter the cost.
Core Vice: There is no greater enemy than Death, and even they could not best me.
To be Learned: There is more to life than what is grand.
Objective in Main Story: Keep Juna safe. Keep Gray safe. See the fruits of her sacrifice.
Objective as Character: Discover/Regain independence, and rediscover what it means to be alive.
The Host – Juna
Juna's home life was not kind to her. From a young age, her intuitive empathy was nurtured by her parents, but when the revolution began, she was met with harsh rejection. She voiced defenses of the merits of the Sylkine social programs, suggesting that perhaps there were some aspects worth saving. This brought judgment and stigma upon her parents, and they quickly grew ashamed of the kindness they had once nurtured.
War was brewing, and she saw only one way to truly stand for the pacifism she believed in: she apprenticed herself to both a midwife and a cantor, and began to learn how to soothe both the Body and Spirit. Canting was a novel concept at the time, using songs to affect the deepest memories held within the Spirit, to calm the roiling waves of anguish within. It was being taught in secret as a means to counteract the blighted souls utilized by the Sylkine forces and neutralize their necromancers. It was meant to be used as a secret weapon.
Juna intended to use it as a shield.
When war finally erupted, Juna quickly found herself placed on the frontlines, not only for her proficiency in surgery, but also for her ability to quell the traumas soldiers faced. The lullabies she canted gained incredible renown, and at times, she was even visited by Sorrel and Briar, the leaders of the Althian Revolution. These visits became regular as they learned not only to value her magic and medicine, but her insight as well. She did not know it at the time, but her approach to canting would eventually become the standard among the Featherless Flock.
Eventually, a Sylkine deserter wandered into her camp, on death's door. As she tended to this stranger's wounds, she would learn to call them Aylward, and the two would quickly fall in love. When Aylward's debts were due, Juna rushed towards their falling form, desperate to save her partner. She rushed them back to her private tent, but no amount of medicine could right this wrong in the world. She began to sob, and in dulcet tones sang to Aylward, hoping to bring them a final moment of peace before the two were to be separated. She sang of their love, of their joy, of all of the odds they had overcome to find one another. She promised to find Aylward in death as Aylward had found her in life.
She sang of their unlikely and impossible union.
And then they were one.
Physical Description: 40-43, She/Her. 5’7”. Curly red hair. Hazel eyes.
Core Virtue: The world does not exist in shades of black and white.
Core Vice: There can always be compromise.
To be Learned: Compromise does not mean sacrificing your boundaries and beliefs.
Objective in Main Story: Provide Aylward with a vessel. Reunite with parents and seek counsel with Sorrel and Briar.
Objective as Character: Reclaim her body from Aylward.
The first thing the Lovers did was bury Aylward's body. The war ended shortly after Wincent's death at what would come to be known as The Battle of the Broken Blade. The Lovers found themselves in a wholly surreal and isolating experience; Aylward witnessed their own passing through Juna's eyes, and yet knew no grief, as the two had not become separated, but closer than ever.
Yet, the world only saw Juna. Aylward had disappeared. But Juna could no longer perform intricate surgeries, and they had forgotten the words to the spiritual cants. Their Althian comrades claimed they understood. But this experience was not heartache, more akin to being a stranger in familiar skin. They retained all of Aylward's knowledge of war, but Juna's body had not been sculpted for violence. Juna's voice could guide Aylward, but they were not a doctor and didn't know what it felt like to carry a tune.
They hid themselves from Sorrel and Briar, afraid of what they had become, terrified that they had discovered some forbidden magic. Their time passed delivering grievances to strangers, families of other cantors they never knew.
Aylward trained Juna's body as best as they could. They took Juna's war stipend and moved to the countryside, disappearing from history. They settled down as the guard captain in a city near Dead Man's Land, finding peace in a quiet life. The world would never know their secret, but they could always share it with each other.
But as time passed, Aylward began to miss the life they once knew.
“We're 40 now. My father, he... if he's still alive, he won't have long. You have taught me forgiveness, Juna. I'm afraid I'm running out of time to make amends.”
And so, the pair found another cantor from Juna's service, and shared their secret. Under careful guidance, they crossed Dead Man's Land and entered Sylkine once more, seeking Aylward's father. Upon their return, they were devastated to learn that their betrayal had led to the destruction of his reputation, and found him begging on the streets. Filled with shame and a story too impossible to tell, they could do little other than offer him recompense for a meal.
They left quickly, then, returning to the Althian border once more, but with no way to cross it. They stayed at a local tavern, until one day, Gray arrived. They commented on The Lovers’ situation, claiming to see Juna's lingering spirit, and with newfound hope, The Lovers resolved themselves to no longer linger on the past, instead attempting to discover what the future could hold for them.
Physical Description: 43, She/They. Appearance fluctuates somewhere between. Juna’s body, but with Aylward’s styling. The shadow of a military presence, humming things out of tune.
The Aspirant – Vanki
Vanki was a child of war. One of her parents was a cantor, called to the battlefield. The other was a soldier, fighting for her freedom. When she was two, she was left on the doorstep of the Featherless Flock with nothing more than a bundle of letters to be opened each year on her birthday from parents she would never know, but come to one day worship.
At least, this is what she has been told.
25 letters, she was given. And each year in the cloister, as she learned of the heroes her parents were, she only wanted to be more like them. Riddled with anxiety, they became her closest friends. She developed a fascination with cantors, and became determined to become one. But despite her arduous studying and prime education, the magic never took. Only two people in the Flock knew more theory than she: Briar and Sorrel. But when it came to the application, she was left wanting, only furthering her self doubt.
Her 25th birthday lingered over her like a shadow, looming on the horizon. She had failed as a cantor, struggling with even the most basic of hymns. She had earned a reputation in the Flock not as a legend, but as a librarian's aide.
On her birthday, she would be allowed to take the canting exams once more, in a final attempt to earn a place among the ranks of the exalted. As our story begins, on the eve of the day prior, Vanki holds in her hands the final letter and swears a silent vow. This letter will not be opened, not until she has lived up to the legacy of her parents. In her words, “Until I'm a cantor, I cannot lay the dead to rest.”
Physical Description: 26/27, She/Her. 5’4”. Locs, black hair. Wears an oversized robe.
Core Virtue: No puzzle cannot be solved. I hold all the pieces, and merely need the time to arrange them.
Core Vice:Others can solve this puzzle faster. Others can solve harder puzzles. Others have parents who they love. Others have parents who love them. Others know what it's like to be hugged. Others know what it means to succeed. Others aren't disrespecting the legacy of the dead.
To be Learned: Do not just question what you know. Question what you don't.
Objective in Main Story: Break free from the church, reconnect with family history, overcome self doubt.
Objective as Character: Understand Gray's mysterious powers and gain mastery over her field.
Major Supporting Characters
The Martyr – Sorrel Woodrose
Very few know the truth of Sorrel's origins. Some hypothesize that he's a prodigal bastard of the Rex Morti, basking in divine irony. Others see him and they know that there is no world where Sorrel comes from such privilege. He carries himself too humbly, bows his head too low in reverence of others. To others still, his bow reads as weight, and they ponder the heavy guilt he is making reparations for.
What is known is this: Sorrel is a powerful Necromancer, unrivaled in his practice of Will. Sorrel is a peaceful man, and leading a war effort took a great toll on him. Sorrel is a lonely man, and he is rarely found outside of the company of Briar or other members of his Flock.
Physical Description: He/Him. Mid 50s, short, wavy, salt-and-pepper hair, permanent 5 o' clock shadow. Amber eyes. 6'.
Core Virtue: Life is a blessing, and it should be cherished to the fullest.
Core Vice: I need to be loved.
Objective as Character: To expand the church, to maintain the power structures of Althia, to be needed by all. To create a world with codified individual agency for all.
The Scavenger – Cantor Briar
If Sorrel is the light of Althia, Briar is the shadow that follows close behind. Before the Althian Revolution, Briar was a Crow in service to the Vocchi. When it was discovered that he was researching demonology in secret, he was excommunicated from the church and fled to Ashammer.
By the time Sorrel arrived, Briar had become jaded, and carried with him a seemingly incurable sadness. Within a week, he found himself smiling again, and promised himself to Sorrel's service. There is little he would not do to further Sorrel's dream.
During the Althian Revolution, he acted as an advisor and military counsel, providing insight on the Vocchi's strategies. Unbeknownst to the world, he also played a critical role in defeating Wincent at the Battle of the Broken Blade.
Now, when he’s not trailing Sorrel, Briar wanders the halls of the Featherless Flock, lingering in shadows and observing the growth of all within from behind his vulture skull mask. He sees great promise in Vanki.
He is the true villain of our story.
Physical Description: He/Him. Late 60s, wears a chrome mask fringed with feathers that resembles a vulture's skull. Beady eyes.
Core Virtue: There is little in this world that I do not know, nor anything I shall ever regret knowing.
Core Vice: I will stop at nothing to know everything.
Objective as Character: To exact revenge upon the Rex Morti.
The Swordsman – Wincent
One of the greatest Necromancers in life, Wincent now acts as Sorrel's personal bodyguard in death. He is a colossus who utilized necromancy to strengthen his bones, ply his muscles, and halt the flow of blood so regularly that even without a Soul, his Body continues to do so. This is the warrior who killed Aylward, and was slain in return. A strictly physical obstacle in our journey, but one that is nearly impossible to overcome.
The Victim – Margery Thorpe
Margery was a young woman who dreamed of studying in the Featherless Flock against her parents' wishes. Wanting her to be happy, however, they did everything they could to see her dream come true. Briar's previous pupil, she now wanders the halls of the Flock as an unregistered and entirely ignored ghost, unsure of why the world won't listen to what she has to say. Once the humble daughter of Gaines the Groundskeeper, she is now a ghost on the verge of becoming Forsworn.
The Don – Briford Yond
Briford Yond was Ashammer's original mob boss and a powerful influence in the early days of The Althian Revolution, acting both as a recruiter and prominent source of funding. Nobody questioned where his money came from; they knew better than to ask.
In death, he is just as powerful as he was in life, if not more.
Effectively eternal, he harbors some secret unfinished business, a flock of personal cantors to keep him in check, and an entire family dedicated to being his hosts. His presence may not be acknowledged by the Featherless Flock, but he is still one of the driving forces of commerce and protection in Ashammer.
The mayor of Fernecombe, a veteran from the Althian War. She takes pride in her sensibility.
Gaines the Groundskeeper
An unkempt, hardworking man who values the practical. He serves as the groundskeeper for the Fernecombe cemetery and mausoleum, but is staunchly anti-necromancer. He is the first character the party encounters, as well as Margery's father. Ashamed to have been paid by the Church, he works hard despite not needing to, a mark of his good character.
The tavernkeep and rumourmonger of The Silver Tongue, Rasmus knows a little something about everything. They are a raucous flirt, but just for fun—they are ultimately aro/ace.
A dry-witted student in The Featherless Flock, and one of Vanki's only friends, Thoralf guards over the Flock's reliquary.
Body – The Physical. The ability to enact will upon the world.
Spirit – The Self. Existence without want. Many spirits exist without ever having been “alive,” such as the Spirit of the Forest or the Spirit of the North Wind.
Will – Want. Much stronger in sentient/sapient beings.
In Sylkine, necromancy means the manipulation of these three things. In Althia, however, all necromancy is transaction: something is gained, and something is lost. The dead are laid to rest, and the living gain peace. The dead have unfinished business, and the living gain forgotten wealth for finishing it. The stronger one's Will in life, the stronger they are in death. Most necromancers study all three principles as generalists, but some, like Wincent or Sorrel, express a preference and specialize.
All necromantic magic has a cost. Oftentimes, this cost is directly related to the desired effect. If you wish to raise a skeleton, you offer some blood. If you wish to speak with a spirit, you open part of your own.
That being said, speaking with spirits is no easy task. The only reliable way to do so is to act as their vessel, an incredibly volatile and temporary form of magic. Spirits in Into the Gray do not have a corporeal form, nor do they have the ability to actually speak. Oftentimes, communication with the dead is about translating impulse and emotional insight.
This is part of what makes Gray so unique; they can see and speak with the dead as easily as if they were still alive. This is also part of what makes Aylward and Juna so unusual; they have been bonded for two decades.
Not all necromantic magic has to have a sympathetic link (Body:Body, Will:Will, etc,) however. You can use magic to transmute one into the other within yourself, at a high cost, for example, becoming temporarily nascent to heal a broken limb. Similarly, you can sever someone else's connection between Spirit and Will with a profound offering of your own Body.
The short and simple premise is that any of the principles can be interchanged, but the further you stray from a direct relationship, the higher the toll the magic will take.
Necromancy as a skill comes from one of two places (and often requires both): studying, and proximity to Death. Oftentimes, the closer one comes to meeting Death themselves, the more likely they are to come out of it with some small necromantic insight, and often it is those who experience loss at a young age who become necromancers.
Spirit, Will, and Body. Everything in necromancy stems from these three principles.
Sitting atop the throne of the world in Sylkine is the Rex Morti. Beneath him are his closest inner circle, the Vocchi, and beneath them are Ravens, the heads of the country’s churches, and the Crows, who lead city-states and districts. Each title is representative of both the holder’s status among their faith and their prowess as a Necromancer.
In Althia, certain terminology has been abandoned (as is evidenced by the Featherless Flock), but not forgotten; those who harbor anti-Church and anti-Necromancer perspectives often refer to Necromancers as “Murderfolk.”
The Function of the Church
While necromancy is ultimately viewed by Sylkine as a weapon of war and Althia as a tool for progress, their religious foundation is built on more than just faith. The dead need help crossing over; this is an essential service that many set aside part of their life savings for. In rural areas, many novice Necromancers will provide what they can in exchange for a handful of eggs or a warm bed. As you approach larger population centers, the monetary toll grows.
Prayers and services take place at sunset and sundown, the times where the veil between night and day are thinnest. In this faith, life and death are sacred and deserving of reverence.
The holy texts of the Church are written in Mortem, the language of the dead. Most incantations take place in the same tongue. It is both a spellbook and a book of parables, but just speaking it does not make one a necromancer.
When the business of the dead is left unresolved for too long, they venture towards unrivaled darkness; they become Forsworn. They lose their love, their Will, and their person. They become a being of hatred and wrath, and the longer they fester, the more powerful they become. Forsworn have slaughtered families, ravaged cities, destroyed countless lives. Forsworn have been overcome in the past by brute force and raw necromantic talent. In recent years, however, the Althian practice of canting has gained popularity, and Forsworn attacks have become much less frequent as a result; in Sylkine, the opposite is true, as Forsworn attacks are becoming more and more common.
Sylkine is, in theory, led by a council of representatives. In reality, this entire council is hand-selected by the Rex Morti, and for all intents and purposes, the country is a functional monarchy.
In Althia, Sorrel heads the country from Ashammer, but delegates responsibility to a council of democratically elected representatives from the countryside.
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