Narokki Werukeya's Will Document in 13 | World Anvil

Narokki Werukeya's Will

Even apprentice bards and clerics know of the document that changed necromancy in Bastelia'hu forever. The document in question is Narokki's will, in which he states his willingness to have their body used for necromantic purposes, rather than interred in a cemetery.
Before Narokki Werukeya's will, corpses found in the wild (aside from those subject to lion's funeral) were considered fair-game for necromancy purposes. Those buried in bones temple, on the other hand, were off-limits. People from Bastelia'hu believe that the spirits in bones temples are helping their descendants through guiding clerics and bards with their divination. However, unburied corpses' spirits are thought to be lost or gone feral. Thus, people were ok with using them for necromantic purposes
However, the abundance of unburied corpses was always very limiting, which meant that the practice of necromancy never advanced as much as it could. Narokki was married to a budding necromancer, so he knew this. He saw no difference in Bastet's clerics using the spirits to divine the future than in necromancers using his body. So he decided to try and change things.
Narokki wrote his will in his 30s and never changed it. His husband didn't even know of its existence until his death, almost 30 years later. When the contents of the will became known, the rumours about what it contained spread like wildfire.

A contentious will

Narokki did this behind the back of everyone in the clan and the city. He knew this would possibly not stand! I'm sure he had hopes that we would be forced to listen to his words now that his spirit is freed. He was wrong! And we would be wrong to accept his will! We do not simply make a contract with the living to use them when they die.   Think of the repercussions!   Tradition must stand.
— Enkar Ko'in, an elder upset about the turn of events
Heated debates were held for weeks on end; Narokki's corpse was preserved by cleric's magic. In the end, and to the surprise of many, Narokki 's will was accepted, and his body was not buried at a bones temple, but rather left for his husband to raise.
He could never do it, however. The thought of raising his husband turned Sal's stomach. So he had a necromancer friend from a different city come to raise Narokki's corpse. Sal only put one condition to his friend: to make sure everyone could see the good that could be achieved from using zombies.
His friend, true to his word, had zombie-Narokki undertake simple, menial tasks, such as repairing the city's walls and collecting waste. He did this first in Narokki an Olosa's city, and then in his own. In a few generations, creating wills to donate one's body to a necromancer became a normal occurrence.

Cover image: by Gabriel P


Author's Notes

The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's flagship Summer Camp 2021 event, specifically for prompt #19:
"Somewhere in your setting,
describe a famous letter or message
      You can view my other entries from the competition here.   All images are sourced from pixabay, pexels, or unsplash unless credited otherwise.

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Grandmaster PBE
William Belley
20 Jul, 2021 16:01

Digging the idea. Feels like there could be a lot of ethical questions or similar that could enhance the aftermath of such approved will.  

  • Does necromancer offered money to more reluctant people to get the rights of their corpse ?
  • What happens to the person's rights and belonging if they are brought back as sapient/sentient undead, if it is possible in your setting ?
  • Does maintenance by clerics is heavy on ressources to avoid the zombies to rot/cause disease/go feral ?
  • Happy Summercamp !

    30 Jul, 2021 07:41

    Hehehe, the ethical questions and problems that may arise was precisely Enkar Ko'in's fear. Thanks for your questions :D   1: Could happen (it would be frowned upon, but it could definitely happen)
    2: Good question, I had not thought about sapient undead, but they do exist, so I'll have to think about it!
    3: Basic zombies don't go feral or rot, so that shouldn't be a problem

    20 Jul, 2021 22:50

    I like the idea that people can choose if their body will be used for necromancy or not, jus like with organ donations. It’s a cool detail that provokes a lot of worldbuilding questions to be explored.

    You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
    30 Jul, 2021 07:42

    Exactly! I wanted a region where necromancy is allowed, and this prompt allowed me to develop exactly how that got started :D

    3 Aug, 2021 12:31

    Nice take on "leave my body to science"... in a world of magic, this is the same thing, I guess! I like it.

    Check out my latest efforts:
    Laurels & Loot is a new, lightweight TTRPG rules system that hearkens back to the early days.
    The Forgotten Academy is a mega-dungeon being created for the #Dungeon23 Challenge
    Eternal Sage LauraVAB
    Laura VanArendonk Baugh
    5 Aug, 2021 02:48

    Intriguing concept!