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- For the Warcraft III unit, see Necromancer (Warcraft III). For the mob, see .
- "That is the good thing about necromancers--we never let anything go to waste."
Necromancers are practitioners of necromancy (also called the dark arts or the black arts) the study and use of magic to raise and control the dead. Necromantic magic (or death magic) has many functions beyond simply raising the dead. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. Necromancy can also be used to reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed. Necromancers are the enemies of life itself, and all hands are raised against them. Some of the worst evils in Azeroth's history have been perpetrated by necromancers, and they deserve their malevolent reputation. Few things are as abhorrent and horrifying as necromancy.
The Burning Legion
During the War of the Ancients, the Burning Legion started to experiment with creating an army of unliving, but Kalimdor was probably not the only place that they've been attempting this. The nathrezim, also called dreadlords, were found animating the dead by the orc . When found out that the eredar warlocks could raise the dead, he actually found himself admiring the audacity of the demons.
The troll Zanzil was exiled from the Skullsplitter tribe for using his necromantic poisons on several of his unsuspecting fellow trolls, but his exile has not been the punishment that his kindred had hoped. Indeed, since that time, several witch doctors have joined Zanzil. With their assistance, he has built up an undead army that is loyal to him alone. It is well-known that his toxic elixirs can rouse even the dead from their graves.
The Shadowpine troll priests must have been trying to bolster their numbers through necromantic means (they were raising mummies). Juju is an object that that is derived from a life force, a spiritual power, called E'ko and houses an unknown power source. believed that Shadowpine troll priests used the unknown power source within to animate the dead.
The ogre magi were originally a small band of extremely loyal ogre enforcers, transformed by into scheming and malicious sorcerers. By warping and twisting the elf-magiks of the Runestone at Caer Darrow, Gul'dan was able to infuse the magical abilities of long dead warlocks into the bodies of these unsuspecting hosts. Once hulking simpletons, the transformed ogre-magi can direct their death magiks as easily as their lesser cousins would deliver a crushing blow to any foolish enough to stand in their path.
Gor'voshThis section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
The Gor'vosh ogres found on alternate Draenor practice necromancy as well, where they raise the dead in the Ashmaul Burial Grounds. Their connection to the Shadowmoon clan and the Shadow Council is unknown, so it is not known if they were influenced by either group or if these ogres discovered necromancy on their own.
Rise of the Shadow Council
Ancestral worship has long been at the heart of orcish religion. While nearly all of the orcish Horde believed that their dead elders watched and guided them from the depths of some lost realm of chaos, believed this notion to be a product of ritual and not reality. Within the Twisting Nether, Gul'dan discovered that the spirits of the dead do linger on, floating on the astral winds between the worlds. Gul'dan knew then that these spirits of the dead would be a useful tool for anyone who could bind them to his will.
Knowing that the time had come to claim the mantle of power that Gul'dan had so long neglected he quickly gathered together the few warlocks who had shown some spark of passion and desire to rise above the petty quarreling of the clans. To these warlocks Gul'dan bestowed the knowledge of the dead by leading them in secret rituals and communing with the spirits of the Twisting Nether. Those who were incapable of channeling this power were destroyed. After a time a pact was forged between the members of the warlocks' circle and the dark spirits whose energies they had learned to invoke. Gul'dan would use his place among the warlocks to shape the thoughts of others while, cloaked by a veil of secrecy, they would be immune to the caprices of the bloodthirsty masses. Thus did the Shadow Council come to be.
In pursuit of furthering the Shadow Council's magical resources, Gul'dan opened a new school of magical discipline that became known as necromancy. The Shadow Council began training young warlocks in the arcane mysteries of life and death. Again, with tutelage from the demon , these necrolytes delved into the dark arts, eventually gaining power enough to animate and control the bodies of the newly dead.This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
Necrolytes of the alternate Shadowmoon clan employ necromancy by using the power of the Void. Ner'zhul, chieftain and elder shaman of the Shadowmoon clan, sacrificed the heart and soul of his tribe in an attempt to join the Iron Horde. After failing to use the dark naaru K'ara to destroy Karabor, he retreated to his clan's ancient burial grounds, venturing ever further along a dark path, embracing the power of the Void and the necromantic arts.
Necromancers of the Scourge are dark magi. Necromancy being highly illegal for the mages of Dalaran, the former archmage is perhaps the most notable example of a modern necromancer. He greatly contributed to the initial spread of the Scourge and the fall of Lordaeron. Many modern necromancers were trained by Kel'Thuzad and his agents in the Scholomance beneath Caer Darrow, otherwise known as the School of Necromancy. The school contains notable figures such as the lich , as well as the headmaster of the facility, . , the , granted these malevolent sorcerers true power over the dead in exchange for their loyalty and obedience. The necromancers continue to abound in the Plaguelands. Overseeing both the spread of the Blight and the construction of new Scourge installations, necromancers are most commonly encountered within and around the ruined city of Stratholme. An elite branch of necromancers, under the command of the dark master , refer to themselves as the Thuzadin, in honor of their lord and first of their kind, Kel'Thuzad.This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
The magically gifted mogu race practice "spirit-capture magic", allowing them to capture and bind willing or unwilling spirits in constructs, bend them to their will, and even summon spirits from beyond the grave. These mogu casters can also access a realm called the "Spirit Void", which is very similar to the Realm of Shadows used by the Scourge. While the schools of magic practiced by the mogu does not fall within the ordinary class categories, the deathspeakers and possibly the spiritbinders can be referred to as necromancers.
The mogu appear to have abandoned this practice at some point before the reign of , but have resumed it in recent times.This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
The Deadtalkers once tended to the sacred burial grounds of the yaungol tribes and held funerals for fallen warriors, but for unknown reasons they recently began using dark magic to defile the corpses of their former clanmates.
- The necromancer class was one of three front runners to becoming the first hero class released with Wrath of the Lich King, however, the ideas surrounding them were incorporated into the death knight. (The two other front runners being runemasters and monks.)
- The necromancer was a prestige class in the Warcraft RPG and an early part of the World of Warcraft RPG, but was changed to a core class in the later part of the World of Warcraft RPG.
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
Necromancers are spellcasters whose magics manipulate the power of death. In calling upon this power, necromancers risk being consumed by it — until eventually they join the ranks of the undead. Necromancers twist arcane magic to manipulate the power of death. Commanding the undead, generally in the service of the Scourge, they gradually take on the characteristics of the dead — hollow eyes, shambling gaits, pallid and sunken skin, foul odors and so forth. A few necromancers are uncorrupted. The most experienced necromancers become epic necromancers.
The Dark Lady, , realized how valuable necromancy was to their cause. Though Forsaken heal naturally, many go to the priests of the Forgotten Shadow for "repairs". Necromancers can also free enslaved, mindless undead and research powerful spells that might one day return the Forsaken to life. Sylvanas knew she needed necromancers to heal, strengthen and replace her people, and she set about wooing necromancers away from the Scourge, mainly by force.
|Abrakkar the Wretched||Role unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Independent, last seen in Silverpine Forest||Alive||Unholy|
|Nazaruul||Stationed at Plaguelands||Dead||Unknown|
|Leader of the Cult of the Damned||Alive||Shadow & Death|
|Ru'sad||In charge of the undead forces found in Zul'Aman||Unknown||Unknown|
|Toren Snapjoint||Role unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Leader of the Cult of the Damned||Alive||Shadow & Death|
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 138
- ^ Instructor Chillheart#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Exarch Maladaar#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Unit Descriptions", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 22.
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 21
- ^ a b The Schools of Arcane Magic - Necromancy
- ^ The Demon Soul pg. ??
- ^ Troll Compendium/Jungle Troll Tribes#The Atal'ai - The Atal'ai knew that they needed greater numbers to achieve their goal. Fortunately their unwavering loyalty to Hakkar had pleased him greatly, and he taught them further dark magics, including necromancy.
- ^ Troll Compendium/Other Trolls#Zanzil the Outcast and His Followers - Zanzil was exiled from the Skullsplitter tribe for using his necromantic poisons on several of his unsuspecting fellow trolls, but his exile has not been the punishment that his kindred had hoped. Indeed, since that time, several witch doctors have joined Zanzil. With their assistance, he has built up an undead army that is loyal to him alone.
- ^ Zanzil (tactics)#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual#The Rise of the Shadow Council
- ^ Shadowmoon Burial Grounds - Ner'zhul - Adventure Guide
- ^ Necromancer (Warcraft III)
- ^ a b c
- ^ Spirit Binders
- ^ BlizzCast Episode 7. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game Conversion Document, 3
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 35
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 60
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 14-15
- ^ Shadows & Light, 21
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 90