Incense of the Dead

Incense of the Dead is a type of incense used in shrines to the dead and in necromantic rituals and spells, especially by the Drow Elvirim. It is made from bone ash, bile of the Savannah Wolf, Elvirim or Human blood, oil from Wax Rose flowers, asphodel flowers, red spider lilies, black roses, powder of malachite, and bark and resin from cypress trees. The ingredients are mixed in the proper proportions, and then sticks are made by coating reeds from Candleflower plants. Many of the ingredients are dangerous or difficult to obtain, so Incense of the Dead is expensive, if it is available at all. Among the Drow Elvirim, Incense of the Dead is made by Zhirzakto of The Night of Apopshe, as they are not affected by the poisonous ingredients.


Physical & Chemical Properties

The smoke from Incense of the Dead induces dark emotions, rage, hatred, jealousy, and so on, as well as heightened focus and awareness. Because of these effects, Incense of the Dead is often used by Magi, especially necromancers, in spell rituals.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Sticks of Incense of the Dead are most often burned in front of shrines to ancestors by the Drow Elvirim as a form of respect. They are also used in spell rituals by Magi, especailly by necromancers. Within Isolabirre, any use other than in shrines is strictly forbidden by the Yfeljang, and that stricture is enforced ruthlessly by the Interface, Sazzok Tygowriat'Zaquarn, Tygowriat of House Zaquarn.   Sticks of incense are often also used to keep time, as they burn at a relatively constant and well-understood rate. Sticks of Incense of the Dead are sometimes used in this way in important ceremonies, like those held for a Shadow of Apopshe.

Cultural Significance and Usage

Among the Drow Elvirim, burning sticks of incense, especially sticks of Incense of the Dead, signifies the passing of life.


Smoke from Incense of the Dead is psychoactive, strongly inducing dark emotions, as well as heightened awareness and focus. Breathing the smoke over long periods also negatively impacts lung and cardiovascular health. Several of the ingredients are poisonous or toxic, so those that make it must take care to avoid skin contact or breathing them.
Acrid and cloyingly sweet
Black; burns with a blue-green flame; smoke is thick and black

Cover image: by Peter Nelson (Zero Sum Games)


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