Transfiguration Tradition / Ritual in Pathfinder: Crusades | World Anvil


Transfiguration is a ritual within Necropolis that any undead wanting to live within its walls must endure. With the widespread corruption wrought on the world by necromancers, avoiding this ritual could compromise the settlement as a whole. Once rehabilitation is complete, they're treated to a days long celebration by their fellow undead. It's a chance for them to meet everyone and find a comfortable place among their society. With new bonds forged between them, they have a support system that can watch over them and aid them if their mind starts falling back into a corrupted state.   Lucky Kociak takes the time to get to know newcomers on a personal level. To help them keep their grip on reality, they give them a gift of sentimental value that acts as a lifeline of sorts. With these trinkets, the undead residents of Necropolis are protected against outsiders who wish to control them and use them to harm others. Once the celebrations have quieted down, the rehabilitated undead is given a home to call their own, though with the size of the town, it's a shared space with other undead. They're free to go about their life as they see fit whether that be taking on a job that's necessary to the upkeep of Necropolis, joining scouting parties to find other undead or mortals in need of help, or opening up their homes to mortal children that have been displaced by war and famine.


Transfiguration is a rehabilitation process that can take anywhere between several weeks to several years. Lucky and Morticia are at the helm of this operation due to their friendliness and willingness to endure the heavy emotions such a process brings out. Transfiguration attacks both the emotional and magical aspects of someone's corruption. The ritual leaves cracks within their current persona, revealing if there's enough of their soul left to salvage. The process is similar to traditional talk therapy, which is used to build rapport with the subject and try to coax their humanity to the forefront of their mind.   Corruption within undead is deep rooted, usually by no choice of their own, so the process isn't easy by any means. It's not uncommon for subjects to lash out violently and give in to their primal urges, at which point, they're returned to their room in the compound to settle down before the ritual is attempted again. Once a subject is able to get past this point, they reach a sense of clarity that makes the therapeutic parts of transfiguration much easier on both them and the one handling their case. Several powerful spells are cast upon them, breaking the magical seals that bound them to their former masters.   For the first time in a long while, they have complete control over their minds and bodies. This can sometimes lead to an undead going mindless. It's not an error or mistake in the ritual, just another end result that may be startling to some. The spirits that are released by transfiguration have made the choice to move onto the afterlife, whether to leave behind a life of painful memories and trauma or to reunite with loved ones on the other side. In this case, the ritual is considered a success and ends with the soul's departure. The husk that once housed it is put down humanely and given a proper burial outside of Necropolis' walls.   For those who decide to remain on the material plane, their rehabilitation continues and moves onto behavioral training. They're taught basic social skills, along with literacy as most of them have lost the ability to read or write centuries ago. Talk therapy continues for several more months, even once they're integrated into society, to prevent them from relapsing into old habits that their former masters forced on them. After every step of their recovery process is finished, the corruption that once clutched them tightly is washed away, allowing them to find a new life for themselves within Necropolis.
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Cover image: by Kal V, derivative work created with the Canva Content License


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6 Aug, 2021 13:49

This is really unique! I've literally read hundreds of "coming of age" articles now and there's been nothing like this. Good job.

Check out my Planning For WorldEmber 2023 article. Also check out my challenge winning article on Ghost Boy.

Frankie Valentine
6 Aug, 2021 22:19

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

Eternal Sage LauraVAB
Laura VanArendonk Baugh
10 Aug, 2021 17:41

I love that we can help reclaim those raised and exploited by necromancy. Great concept!

Frankie Valentine
10 Aug, 2021 19:15

Thank you! I love the idea of undead settlements, so it was nice to finally write one for our campaign.