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Dennis
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  05:49:17  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic

It's been two years now since the cancellation of The Curse of the Chain Veil, a Magic: The Gathering novel featuring the planeswalker and mercurial necromancer, Liliana Vess. I'm very interested in following her exploits as she's not a typical necromancer, and her development as a character in Agents of Artifice left me asking for more. It is she that got me into thinking why are there so few female necromancers of note in the Realms (and in Fantasy in general)?

Outside FR, there is Anita Blake in Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series; Chloe Saunders in the Darkest Powers Saga by Kelley Armstrong; and Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy in Amanda Downum's Necromancer Chronicles, all claiming fame by their own rights. (I haven't yet read the said series, but they're in the top 20 of my To-Read).

In the Realms, I guess we can list Frodyne, Szass Tam's apprentice who got a fair amount of screen time in Red Ambition. And there is Anilya, the durthan in The Shield of Weeping Ghosts. I am not sure if we should include Zola Sethrakt, though. She was too weak that Nevron felt insulted by her very presence in their Council, prompting him to conjure a demon (not so powerful at that) which killed her during one of their Convocations.

Necromancry, while can be utilized as a neutral form of magic, is most often associated with evil practices. And it seems like in FR, the females (save of course the drow priestesses) rarely don the role of cold-hearted, wicked spell-hurlers. They are rather classified to the less aggressive, more subtle disciplines (though not by any means less important nor less powerful), like Divination, Illusion, and Abjuration.

Do you know other female necromancers of note? And why do you think they number close to nothing?

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Edited by - Dennis on 03 Jun 2011 05:55:33

Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  06:20:32  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Was evil Cassandra-creator-of-Alias a necromancer or just an evil mage?

I've played a number of modules which feature female necromancer opponents, including some quite accomplished and dangerous characters you'd think would've been featured in other Realms products.

I think I agree with you in that it all sort of falls under the usual D&D female stereotypes. My players routinely expect that any attractive/hawt female I describe is invariably some kind of monster, trap, illusion, or pet NPC ... the more "screen time" and depth the female character gets the more assured they are that she's some kind of threat. It's just one of those "Gygaxisms" which have become a subconscious part of the genre, I suspect.

[/Ayrik]
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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  06:29:55  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Maybe you mean Cassana. I don't think there is any mention as to her preferred or chosen School of Magic. But then again, I haven't read the trilogy, and my resources are rather limited. I suppose Wooly and Sage can answer that.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 03 Jun 2011 06:31:11
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The Sage
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  07:34:52  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Maybe you mean Cassana. I don't think there is any mention as to her preferred or chosen School of Magic. But then again, I haven't read the trilogy, and my resources are rather limited. I suppose Wooly and Sage can answer that.

I don't have the book handy with me at the moment, but I do vaguely recall that Cassana's 2e stats in the Villains' Lorebook don't reference any particular proclivity for necromancy.

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Dennis
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  08:32:08  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I checked her entry on Villains' Lorebook, and there is no citation there referring to Necromancy as her preferred School.

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Brimstone
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  09:00:43  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What about Shadowsil? Or was she the typical mage?

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Dennis
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  09:28:55  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Perhaps, given that most of the wizards who were affiliated with the Cult of the Dragon were necromancers. But in VL, there's no mention of her School.

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Kno
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452 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  11:33:31  Show Profile Send Kno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Morasha of Netheril, Zallanora Argentress

z455t
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6683 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  13:02:29  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ancient Netheril had "necromantic" magic?

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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  17:03:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Aye, Zallanora should be in the list as well. But it appears like her recent renown is mostly due to the efforts of Shoon, who took over her body.

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Lord Karsus
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3191 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  17:55:44  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

And it seems like in FR, the females (save of course the drow priestesses) rarely don the role of cold-hearted, wicked spell-hurlers. They are rather classified to the less aggressive, more subtle disciplines (though not by any means less important nor less powerful), like Divination, Illusion, and Abjuration.


-I disagree with this part. While sourcebook/adventure/novel/video game characters that we are exposed to might be, there is nothing anywhere that lends credence to the idea that, in Realmspace, women are more...docile, less 'evil' than men.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Kuje
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  18:15:11  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Going through my 2e file, I found a few that haven't been mentioned yet.

Shialla, 5th Female Human, LE, Necromancer, Daughter to Harther Ulmnar the leader of the Patient of Calimport, Empires of the Shining Sea

Varytha Gheldieg, 9th Female Human, CE, Necromancer, Lady of the Gheldieg family of Amn. She collects the bodies of paupers, Lands of Intrigue: Book 2

Ezira Gloomdelve, 14th Female Human Vampire, CE, Necromancer, Majordomo and advisor to Dalagaor the Cold. She also has 2 other male human vampires that are subservant to her, Skullport

Xundra Sharmhand, 16th Female Human, NE, Necromancer, Mage that lives in Urmlaspyr in Sembia, FR Adventures

Thabbys, 16th Female Human, LE, Necromancer, Serves Gauntather, Halls of the High King

Tasherra, 19th Female Huma, Necromancer, Twin sister to Terrance Trent, The City of Ravens Bluff

Phthta Thak, 24th Female Human, CE, Necromancer, Can be found at the Battle of the Bones, Elminster's Ecologies: Appendix 1

And in my 3e list there's:

Delphaeryn Leiyraghon of Melvaunt, 11th Wizard/1st Wearer of Purple Female Vaasan Human, LE, Necromancer, One of the leaders of the Wyrmsmoke cell of the Cult of the Dragon, Dragons of Faerun

Ellandra Tolbert, Lady, 14th Wizard Female Illuskan Human, TN, Necromancer, Financies the House of Pain in Waterdeep. Purchased Yolanda Shamat's release from slavery, City of Splendors: Waterdeep

Espera, 17th Wizard Female Earth Genasi, CE, Necromancer, Resides in the Boneyard, Underdark

Farkattle, Lady, 11th Wizard Female Hobgoblin, LE, Necromancer, Primary advisor to King Kardobbik of the Giantspire Mountains, Unapproachable East

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Kuje
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  18:18:35  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zallanora wasn't listed as a necromancer in 2e either, plus she was only "baby" wizard since she was only 3rd level. She has the same class and levels in 3e.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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Edited by - Kuje on 03 Jun 2011 18:22:20
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Ayrik
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Canada
6683 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  19:33:15  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Lord Karsus

I disagree ... While sourcebook/adventure/novel/video game characters that we are exposed to might be, there is nothing anywhere that lends credence to the idea that, in Realmspace, women are more...docile, less 'evil' than men.
Hahaa

I suspect - just putting this out there, off the top of my head - that the father of the Realms, master Greenwood, has probably been exposed to women of somewhat similar disposition to those I know. Which is to say that "docile" and "less evil than men" are not precisely the terms I would choose to describe them.

No offense intended to our eternally lovely, informative, and mysteriously sexy Lady Herald, of course.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  20:30:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can think of a female necromancer of note, one not mentioned by anyone else... Kiaransalee!

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 04 Jun 2011 :  21:14:33  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I can think of a female necromancer of note, one not mentioned by anyone else... Kiaransalee!



-That is a pretty obvious one, duh. And then, of course, there's all her priestess' and crones.

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1950 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  02:17:43  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Espera, 17th Wizard Female Earth Genasi, CE, Necromancer, Resides in the Boneyard, Underdark


Source, Kuje?

Misanthorpe

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The Sage
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Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  03:20:11  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When Kuje said Underdark, I believe he was referring to the 3e tome of the same name.

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Kuje
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Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  03:46:43  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Espera, 17th Wizard Female Earth Genasi, CE, Necromancer, Resides in the Boneyard, Underdark


Source, Kuje?



What Sage said, the 3e Underdark book. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1950 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  16:34:09  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys. Sounds like an interesting character. For some reason makes me think of Luvia from Baldur's Gate II. I think I will run with it, of course, no idea what i'll do with her yet.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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sleyvas
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7426 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  16:39:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lesperenza the exotic dancer / necromancer.... but she's only infamous for her work at some of the more kinky bacherlor parties.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  17:01:57  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Lesperenza the exotic dancer / necromancer.... but she's only infamous for her work at some of the more kinky bacherlor parties.



-You know, 'kinky' is an understatement.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Daviot
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Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  23:14:42  Show Profile  Visit Daviot's Homepage  Send Daviot an AOL message Send Daviot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Lesperenza the exotic dancer / necromancer.... but she's only infamous for her work at some of the more kinky bacherlor parties.



-You know, 'kinky' is an understatement.


And here I thought necromancy and lichdom were unpopular with the ladies because it's hard to be a stereotypical Vain Sorceress when you're sporting that skeletal look. To each their own.

One usually has far more to fear from the soft-spoken wizard with a blade and well-worn boots than from the boisterous one in the ivory tower.
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Dennis
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Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  05:17:13  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, fellow scribes. Most of the aforementioned were unknown to me---thanks to my laziness, that even though I have nearly all those tomes/sources, I didn't bother perusing every page.

So the most powerful of them was just 24th level, while their male counterparts were/are 30th+? Hmm, seems to imply something.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 06 Jun 2011 05:22:54
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Brimstone
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Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  05:38:46  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's not the Realms, but isn't Iggilwiv(sp?)(Tasha) a necromancer?

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  05:51:10  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Doesn't ring a bell. Where did she appear? Movie? Novel? Game? Comics?

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