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<noinclude>{{Trail|Magic}}[[File:OB-npc-Noveni Othran.jpg|thumb|right|A necromancer (Oblivion)]]{{TOCright|limit=2}}</noinclude>
'''Necromancy''', oftenalso called the '''Necromantic Arts''' orand the '''Dark Practice''', is the manipulation of the {{Lore Link|souls}} or corpses of the dead.{{ref|name=TBAOT|{{Cite book|The Black Arts On Trial}}}}{{ref|name=UL|{{Cite book|Unhallowed Legions}}}} {{Lore Link|Dragon}}s know it as '''alok-dilon'''.{{ref|name=DBDurnehviir|[[Skyrim:Durnehviir (dragon)|Durnehviir's]] dialogue in [[SR:Skyrim|Skyrim]]}} ItDifferent isgroups theand bindingcultures ofhave soulsvarying topositions aon physicalwhat formexactly which has beenconstitutes prepared by the conjurernecromancy.{{ref|name=TLOV|{{Cite book|The Legend of Vastarie}}}} In its broadest sense, necromancy can be understood as any form of soul manipulation.{{ref|name=TTAAYQ|{{Cite book|Telenger the Artificer Answers Your Questions}}}} ItSome ismight sometimesconsider consideredit a subset of the {{Lore Link|Conjurationconjuration}} school of {{Lore Link|magic}}, as both involve the summoning of spirits,. thoughHowever, necromancy is more specifically associated with the manipulation of sapient mortalthe souls of mortals and the reanimation of their corpses.{{ref|name=UL}} Typically, this soul manipulation is accomplished by binding a soul to a physical form which has been prepared by the necromancer.{{ref|name=TLOV|{{Cite book|The Legend of Vastarie}}}} Necromancy has generally been considered immoral and illegal in most cultures, though there have been significant exceptions, and various disreputable groups have employed it as a tool of war throughout history. Much of the knowledge of it is often attributed to {{Lore Link|Daedric}} influences, specifically {{Lore Link|Molag Bal}}.{{ref|name=UL}} Molag Bal is also the father of {{Lore Link|vampire}}s, undead creatures who often practice necromancy or work alongside necromancers.{{ref|name=BOTWQ|{{Cite book|Biography of the Wolf Queen}}}}{{ref|name=AJ|{{Cite book|Aldimion's Journal|ns=Online}}}} Vampirism is often understood to be a form of necromancy.{{ref|name=UL}}{{ref|name=BR|{{Cite book|Blasphemous Revenants}}}}{{ref|name=VOV1|{{Cite book|Vampires of Vvardenfell, v I}}}}
 
Masters of necromancy can reanimate long-dead subjects, though most practitioners require a fresh corpse, typically someone who has been dead for no more than three days. Attempting to raise minions without proper knowledge and training can result in an incomplete binding of the soul, leading to a break in the master-minion relationship and allowing the reanimated corpse to turn upon the necromancer.{{ref|name=TAATM1|{{Cite book|The Art and the Madness v.1}}}} The power which necromancers can bring to bear against their enemies can be overwhelming, and the potential rewards from pursuing the study of soul manipulation are incalculable, which entices many young mages to experiment with it. Throughout history all over {{Lore Link|Tamriel}}, protectors of the people have been forced to seal off and abandon crypts rather than contend with the hordes of undead which necromancers have raised within.<noinclude>
 
The debate over necromancy has been raging in magical circles for centuries.{{ref|name=NTGD|{{Cite book|Necromancy: The Great Debate}}}} Advocates of the Dark Practice decry its censorship, lamenting the sacrifice of knowledge at the altar of public opinion. One argument they've been known to give is that attaining a proper understanding of necromancy is vital to best combat the menaces who have given the practice such an infamous reputation. They downplay the dangers associated with it, and criticize what they see as the fictional divide between necromancy and some other schools. Conjuration, {{Lore Link|Enchantment}}, {{Lore Link|Mysticism (skill)|Mysticism}}, and possibly others have some link to necromancy. Opponents emphasize that it is not censorship, but caution and ethics which demand that necromancy be prohibited to all but the wisest and most trusted mages, and then only to combat the exercise of the Dark Practice by others. They also highlight that any institution of magic risks its own survival by disregarding the overwhelming public sentiment against necromancy, and that it is simply impossible to "dabble" in the practice without corrupting one's own soul, as even the simplest of spells require the spilling of blood. Thus, despite the intertwined nature of the schools, any study of necromancy is inherently too extreme to be wise, and delving into it virtually guarantees the destruction of the practitioner.{{ref|name=TBAOT}}
Throughout history, necromancers have sought to refine their skills and find new ways to utilize their craft. How necromancy is practiced is ultimately determined by the practitioners' goals, capabilities, and morality. Many simply want power. Skilled necromancers can summon whole armies of undead, given enough resources.{{ref|name=AJ|{{Cite book|Arondil's Journal|ns=Skyrim}}}} It's typical for necromancers to have specific scientific experiments and objectives they are pursuing (at the start, at least). Necromancy also attracts sadists who are simply seeking the thrill of inflicting pain, and many necromancers who do not start out this way eventually give in to the soul-corrupting effects of the Dark Practice.
 
One of the driving motivations behind necromancy is the pursuit of resurrection. Many necromancers take up the craft because they are desperate to bring back the people they loved.{{ref|name=MJ|{{Cite book|Mercano's Journal|ns=Online}}}}{{ref|name=JOMP|{{Cite book|Journal of Master Pellingare|ns=Online}}}}{{ref|name=LJ|{{Cite book|Lu-ah's Journal|ns=Skyrim}}}} While tales suggest some necromancers have delved into resurrection with a small measure of success, achieving true resurrection is not within their ability.{{ref|name=TE|{{Cite book|The Exodus}}}}{{ref|name=ON|{{Cite book|On Necromancy}}}}
 
===Necromantic Minions===
Working with subjects who have died a natural death is preferred by many necromancers, if for no other reasons than it takes less effort and attracts less attention.{{ref|name=CP|{{Cite book|Corpse Preparation}}}} It seems that Vastarie, though, actively sought to avoid tormenting or permanently binding souls, and her aim seemed to be to benefit society rather than accrue power for herself. She could not abide Mannimarco's goals for the Dark Practice, but she also found that Galerion would not tolerate her experiments in the Mages Guild, despite the safeguards against abuse she had developed. She managed to gather a small group of students, but Mannimarco's burgeoning underground network and promises of power proved much more effective at recruitment. Vastarie eventually disappeared, and her former friend's cruel brand of necromancy continued to spread through Tamriel.{{ref|name=TLOV}}
 
The treatise ''{{Lore Link|On Necromancy}}'' seems to encourage a brand of necromancy that is more considerate thanof mostthe welfare of the souls being imagineaffected. While most texts on necromancy encourage novices to begin on fresh corpses,{{ref|name=CP}} ''On Necromancy'' discourages this because the "original owner" remains tethered to the body for days, months, or even years after death. This "spiritual umbilicus" weakens over time, but the stronger it is, the greater the fight the original owner can muster against the necromancer. EvenThe assumingnecromancer thecan necromancertypically winswin this battle, but regardless, the original spirit will suffer greatly aswould abe resulttormented.{{intnote|nb3|[nb 3]}}
 
==History==
Although reanimating the dead has been practiced in some form since before the advent of written history, most of the earliest laws regarding necromancy banned it upon pain of death. This did not prevent various independent mages from studying it, however. It was banned by the {{Lore Link|Psijic Order}}, who considered it both dangerous and heretical. Later, the {{Lore Link|Mages Guild}} would also ban the practice. This ban technically remained in place for the Guild's entire history, though some archmagisters of the Guild over the years were satisfied with ignoring it, while others were even suspected of practicing it in secret.{{ref|name=TBAOT}} And regardless, various independent mages have explored necromancy throughout history.
[[File:OB-npc-Mannimarco.jpg|thumb|right|Mannimarco (Oblivion)]]
The Dark Practice as it is known today started with one {{Lore Link|Mer|elf}}: Mannimarco, the King of Worms. He considered most necromancers to be "fools and weaklings", and only lauded the abilities of his servants: the {{Lore Link|Order of the Black Worm}}. The only obstacle he feared was {{Lore Link|Arkay}}. Arkay's blessings serve to inhibit and thwart necromantic perversions, particularly Arkay's Law, which provides a corpse with unwavering protection from reanimation when it is bestowed properly via a ritual performed by followers of Arkay. Mannimarco directed his followers to undermine Arkay at every opportunity, hoping to one day eradicate his influence altogether.{{ref|name=ATE|{{Cite book|Arkay the Enemy}}}}{{ref|name=TCOA|{{Cite book|The Consecrations of Arkay}}}}{{intnote|nb4|[nb 4]}}
 
Mannimarco and Vanus Galerion met in the early years of the {{Lore Link|Second Era}}, when they were students of the {{Lore Link|Psijic Order}}.{{ref|name=GTM|{{Cite book|Galerion the Mystic}}}} They became bitter enemies when Mannimarco began to raise and manipulate the dead, which Galerion and the Order condemned, resulting in Mannimarco's expulsion. Mannimarco went to mainland Tamriel, where he began forming the Order of the Black Worm. It's suspected that the rise of necromancy throughout the continent is one reason why Galerion was allowed to form the Mages Guild in the first place. As Mannimarco spread his influence, so did Galerion, and the rivalry between the two former Psijics culminated in a battle near {{Lore Link|Ceporah Tower}} between Galerion's followers and Mannimarco's followers and their legions of undead. At the end, Mannimarco and Galerion were both thought to be dead, but Galerion's forces claimed victory that day. But it proved to be a pyrrhic victory, as Mannimarco had transformed himself into an immortal lich.{{ref|name=MKOW|{{Cite book|Mannimarco, King of Worms}}}}{{ref|name=EGT|{{Cite book|EGT}}}} And as a final disgrace to his rival, he had purportedly made Galerion his thrall.{{ref|name=Oblivion}}
Before the founding of the Mages Guild proper, there were only scattered institutions dedicated to the study of magic. In the early years of the {{Lore Link|Second Era}}, the boy who would become Galerion the Mystic, the first Arch-Mage and founder of the Mages Guild, went to {{Lore Link|Artaeum}} to seek training in the magical arts from the {{Lore Link|Psijic Order}}.{{ref|name=GTM|{{Cite book|Galerion the Mystic}}}} During his time there, he met a fellow student, Mannimarco. They became bitter enemies when Mannimarco began to raise and manipulate the dead, which Galerion and the Order condemned, resulting in Mannimarco's expulsion.{{ref|name=MKOW|{{Cite book|Mannimarco, King of Worms}}}}
 
Though they would disappear for decades at a time, Mannimarco and his followers inevitably returned to plague the Mages Guild and Tamriel with many nefarious plots for centuries to come. Their influence over the evolution of the arcane arts was considered pervasive.{{ref|name=ESO|Events of [[Online:Online|ESO]]}} Galerion suspected that the Order was responsible for soul trapping, a subset of necromancy, becoming a commonplace practice amongst mages across the continent.{{ref|name=GMOST|{{Cite book|Guild Memo on Soul Trapping}}}} AndOfficials evenin undervarious the {{Lore Link|Third Empire}}, necromancy was not technically banned by any province save Morrowind. While it was often banned by regions and magical organizations, local officialslocales have proven susceptible to turning blind eyes out of fear or greed.{{ref|name=CP}} Mannimarco was reportedly killed at the end of the {{Lore Link|Third Era}},{{ref|name=Oblivion}} though his followers believed that he had actually achieved divinity, and could not truly die.{{ref|name=NM|{{Cite book|Necromancer's Moon}}}} Regardless, necromancy has certainly lived on.
Mannimarco went to mainland Tamriel, where he began forming the Order of the Black Worm. It's suspected that the rise of necromancy throughout the continent is one reason why Galerion was allowed to form the Mages Guild in the first place. As Mannimarco spread his influence, so did Galerion, and the rivalry between the two former Psijics culminated in a battle near {{Lore Link|Ceporah Tower}} between Galerion's followers and Mannimarco's followers and their legions of undead. At the end, Mannimarco and Galerion were both thought to be dead, but Galerion's forces claimed victory that day. But it proved to be a pyrrhic victory, as Mannimarco had transformed himself into an immortal lich.{{ref|name=MKOW}}{{ref|name=EGT|{{Cite book|EGT}}}} And as a final disgrace to his rival, he had purportedly made Galerion his thrall.{{ref|name=Oblivion}}
 
Though they would disappear for decades at a time, Mannimarco and his followers inevitably returned to plague the Mages Guild and Tamriel with many nefarious plots for centuries to come. Their influence over the evolution of the arcane arts was considered pervasive.{{ref|name=ESO|Events of [[Online:Online|ESO]]}} Galerion suspected that the Order was responsible for soul trapping, a subset of necromancy, becoming a commonplace practice amongst mages across the continent.{{ref|name=GMOST|{{Cite book|Guild Memo on Soul Trapping}}}} And even under the {{Lore Link|Third Empire}}, necromancy was not technically banned by any province save Morrowind. While it was often banned by regions and magical organizations, local officials have proven susceptible to turning blind eyes out of fear or greed.{{ref|name=CP}} Mannimarco was reportedly killed at the end of the {{Lore Link|Third Era}},{{ref|name=Oblivion}} though his followers believed that he had actually achieved divinity, and could not truly die.{{ref|name=NM|{{Cite book|Necromancer's Moon}}}} Regardless, necromancy has certainly lived on.
 
===Morrowind===
Because of their traditional practices of ancestor worship, the {{Lore Link|Dunmer}} openly denounce necromancy as pure evil, and it was outlawed in their ancient homeland of [[Lore:Morrowind|Morrowind]] as a result.{{ref|name=CP}} However, the human populations of Tamriel often associate their ancestor worship and spirit magic with necromancy, which is at least partly responsible for the dark reputation of Dunmer throughout the continent. The Dunmer view this belief as an ignorant human misconception, for necromancy outside the acceptable clan rituals is considered abhorrent in Morrowind.{{ref|name=AATD|{{Cite book|Ancestors and the Dunmer}}}}{{intnote|nb5|[nb 5]}}
 
However, this distinction the Dunmer made was essentially meaningless to the human races, as the Dunmer considered them and some other {{Lore Link|Beastfolk|beast races}} to be little more than animals. While they considered the necromantic manipulation of ''another Dunmer'' abhorrent, they did not prohibit the practice of necromancy upon human remains, or on the remains of any animal, bird, or insect. The {{Lore Link|Telvanni}}, in particular, became renowned for their mastery of necromancy, though it is said even they will not defile the corpse of a fellow Dunmer.{{ref|name=AATD}}
 
Under the {{Lore Link|Third Empire}}, Imperial officials recognized the practices of Dunmeri ancestor veneration and spirit magic as a religion, and protected their freedom to pursue such practices so long as they did not threaten the security of the Empire. Privately, most Imperial officials and traders purportedly believed the Dunmeri practices were necromantic, or at least barbaric. Over the course of the {{Lore Link|Third Era}}, Dunmeri views on necromancy evolved. By the end of the era, the practice of necromancy upon any of the "accepted" races was generally viewed as an abomination.{{ref|name=AATD}} Circa {{Year|3E 427}}, Morrowind was the only province in which necromancy was outlawed. However, necromancy remained viable in the province for a time due to the Dunmeri practice of slavery, which had long allowed necromancers in Morrowind to obtain as many fresh bodies as they could afford.{{ref|name=CP}}
 
==={{Lore Link|Cyrodiil}}===
Long-standing tradition mandates the cremation of most Breton dead, especially in the north. People in the south, however, often follow the Imperial custom of having a burial tomb (hence cemeteries like Cath Bedraud), which can provide a source of corpses for necromancers. High Rock is prone to war, and many practitioners find their resources on the battlefields.{{ref|name=CP}} The sewers of {{Lore Link|Wayrest}} are also said to cater to the necromancy trade.{{ref|name=WSASH|{{Cite book|Wayrest Sewers: A Short History}}}}
 
Breton folklore does not attribute every spirit wandering their land to an act of necromancy. "Hauntings" are thought to occur when a person died and their spirit simply did not want to leave. They are consider common in some locales, such as the moors of Glenumbra.{{ref|name=GOG|{{Cite book|Ghosts of Glenumbra}}}}
 
===Hammerfell & Orsinium===
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