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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:05:53  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

I'm unfamiliar with Expanded Universe material. All I really know is the movies, a handful of Lucas cartoons, and a cursory synopsis from Palpatine's wookiepedia page. He looks like dead and ghastly thing with red glowy eyes, he delights in ruthlessly pragmatic atrocities, he commands an undead minion who can strangle people from a distance, he zorches people with unholy lightning, he experiments with artificial "golem" constructs, and he's just clearly the sort of guy who spends a lot of time perverting things and bending nature to his will, he's even got an iconically stylish black cloak. So I group him into the Necromancer class along with all the other evil dark magic bastards.



I have to agree. Both Vader and Grievous (and later Maul) could be considered undead, or at least, unliving. Interesting parallels between golems and droids, clones and simulacrum. I think that puts Sidious in the running for Best Necromancer.

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

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:12:09  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azuth


Wouldn't Manshoon qualify as a necromancer? Being Elminster's bane and all that (no pun intended) his focus on... "clones" has always lead me to believe he is one of the greatest necromancers there is, but I welcome correction.



Nope. He's a generalist. His clones are not only powered by necromantic energy—they're formed through several wish spells and some other stuff (mushrooms, I guess).

Every beginning has an end.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:19:39  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 Arik

I'm unfamiliar with Expanded Universe material. All I really know is the movies, a handful of Lucas cartoons, and a cursory synopsis from Palpatine's wookiepedia page. He looks like dead and ghastly thing with red glowy eyes, he delights in ruthlessly pragmatic atrocities, he commands an undead minion who can strangle people from a distance, he zorches people with unholy lightning, he experiments with artificial "golem" constructs, and he's just clearly the sort of guy who spends a lot of time perverting things and bending nature to his will, he's even got an iconically stylish black cloak. So I group him into the Necromancer class along with all the other evil dark magic bastards.

Any doubts about Palpatine as a potential Sith necronmancer can be cast aside upon the reading of his story -- "Sithisis" -- in the Star Wars Visionaries graphic novel. It shows us the actual Sith ritual the Sidious uses to transform himself for the last time into "Palpatine," just before Revenge of the Sith. It becomes apparent, according to the tale itself, that Palpatine has had to make use of this strange Sith arcane ritual on more than one occasion over the many years of his life as a Sith Lord, likely due to the fact that his use of Dark Side powers had corrupted his form as well as the Force within himself, and had eaten away at the "healthy Palpatine" disguise. The story suggests that he performs this ritual immediately before his final appearance in RotS as "Palpatine." It's a very necromantic-like process.

In fact, I'd say it even stretches into the domain of lichdom, just without the vile-undead state being the result at the end.

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:20:48  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Azuth


Wouldn't Manshoon qualify as a necromancer? Being Elminster's bane and all that (no pun intended) his focus on... "clones" has always lead me to believe he is one of the greatest necromancers there is, but I welcome correction.



Nope. He's a generalist. His clones are not only powered by necromantic energy—they're formed through several wish spells and some other stuff (mushrooms, I guess).



Snails and puppy-dog tails?

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

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:21:48  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 Azuth


Wouldn't Manshoon qualify as a necromancer? Being Elminster's bane and all that (no pun intended) his focus on... "clones" has always lead me to believe he is one of the greatest necromancers there is, but I welcome correction.

Cheers,

Azuth


I'd say it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to suggest that one of Manshoon's clones has undertaken the study of necromancy to help increase his own individual power.

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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  04:25:24  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Azuth


Wouldn't Manshoon qualify as a necromancer? Being Elminster's bane and all that (no pun intended) his focus on... "clones" has always lead me to believe he is one of the greatest necromancers there is, but I welcome correction.

Cheers,

Azuth


I'd say it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to suggest that one of Manshoon's clones has undertaken the study of necromancy to help increase his own individual power.




Orbakh, the Night King, vampire overlord of Westgate.

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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  05:20:11  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
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Azuth


Wouldn't Manshoon qualify as a necromancer? Being Elminster's bane and all that (no pun intended) his focus on... "clones" has always lead me to believe he is one of the greatest necromancers there is, but I welcome correction.

Cheers,

Azuth


I'd say it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to suggest that one of Manshoon's clones has undertaken the study of necromancy to help increase his own individual power.




Orbakh, the Night King, vampire overlord of Westgate.

Considering that he's the only Manshoon clone left in the 4e Realms [excluding the hints from past Ed-replies that suggest many more still exist], I'd expect he would be undertaking many new fields of research in order to maximise his now, unique, position.

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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  05:30:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by Arik

I'm unfamiliar with Expanded Universe material. All I really know is the movies, a handful of Lucas cartoons, and a cursory synopsis from Palpatine's wookiepedia page. He looks like dead and ghastly thing with red glowy eyes, he delights in ruthlessly pragmatic atrocities, he commands an undead minion who can strangle people from a distance, he zorches people with unholy lightning, he experiments with artificial "golem" constructs, and he's just clearly the sort of guy who spends a lot of time perverting things and bending nature to his will, he's even got an iconically stylish black cloak. So I group him into the Necromancer class along with all the other evil dark magic bastards.



I have to agree. Both Vader and Grievous (and later Maul) could be considered undead, or at least, unliving. Interesting parallels between golems and droids, clones and simulacrum. I think that puts Sidious in the running for Best Necromancer.



What's undead or unliving about Vader? He was a living dude with cybernetics bolted on and stuck in a self-contained life support unit. He wasn't undead or unliving any more than people in the real world are when undergoing certain medical procedures, like dialysis or having their breathing done by an iron lung.

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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  05:31:45  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kel'Thuzad.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  06:48:54  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Wooly Rupert

What's undead or unliving about Vader? He was a living dude with cybernetics bolted on and stuck in a self-contained life support unit. He wasn't undead or unliving any more than people in the real world are when undergoing certain medical procedures, like dialysis or having their breathing done by an iron lung.
Your argument does have merit, Woolyman, and it even touches upon more profoundly disturbing questions which I won't at all mention here. I've already derailed this thread enough, my apologies.

The wookiepedia page for Darth Vader's armor essentially describes the suit as being just what you say: a life-sustaining cybernetic prosthetic. His body was so damaged and weakened that he could not survive long nor exert himself outside the confines of the suit or special controlled environments. Maybe intense electrical overload burnt out critical components, failure of the "delicate" life-support mechanisms (and blinky lights) being followed in short order by inevitable death of the occupant.

Yet the same page also notes that both Vader and his suit are advanced products of unnatural Sith Alchemy. Some technological manipulation or perversion of nature which altered Vader's essential biology and possibly even provided some sort of mystical-mechanical interface with the power of the Dark Side ... it might very well be that Vader's life force was sustained with infusions of mystical energy; his voluntary decision to release the feelings of fear, anger, and hatred which served as the conduit through which he accessed his magic rendered him incompatible with the suit thus leading to his impending death.

The issue seems complicated by the fact that Vader completely encapsulates and exemplifies the hybridized magic-and-machine theme which defines the Star Wars setting, not to mention the fact that Vader has evolved across technological and narrative developments spanning a third of a century. It's pretty evident (to me) that Anakin died and was "reanimated" as Vader, essentially an entirely different individual who remembers his past life but now "lives" only to obey the will of his necromantic master and the evil they both serve. Until a few moments before his death.

Some less ambiguous examples might be Frankenstein, RoboCop, Replicants (from Blade Runner), Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica), I, Robot, Marcus Wright (from Terminator 4), and countless zombie flicks. They're all still basically necromancy, even though the methods by which they are reanimated are usually explained in more technologically appealing terms (genetic engineering, cloning, cybernetics, nanothingies, viruses, artificial intelligence, etc). Indeed, flesh golems run rampant through D&D (especially Ravenloft), Manshoon is a clone of a clone, Alias is an automaton, and magic users make heavy use of all sorts of "prosthetics" manufactured from "technologies" they understand. In every example (except maybe the zombies) some sort of malevolent entity acts as the "necromancer" who gives life to unliving (or reanimated dead) things to do it's bidding (ie: killing, harvesting, replacing, or eating humans, for the most part), even when these stories are not presented as fantasy genre.

[Edit: Well, The Modern Prometheus was really more about a brilliant but misguided doctor/scientist than about an evil necromancer. Yet Doctor Victor Frankenstein serves as the prototype and as a cautionary tale for necromancers everywhere. Even though he was in many ways substantially more monstrous than his flawed creation.]

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 30 Aug 2011 07:39:55
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1755 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  07:17:23  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did not read the Nagash novels. The Tomb Kingdoms is a very cool place, I placed it near Mulhorand. Leso Varen-Sidi, he's most of the time in the background, crazier than Sammaster.

In D&D my favorite is the factol Skall of the Dustmen. In the Realms Myrkul, post the Time of Troubles with the Crown of Horns, after him Ambuchar Devayam of Solon.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  08:09:59  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Quale

Leso Varen-Sidi, he's most of the time in the background, crazier than Sammaster.


Sidi is THE craziest necromancer in all settings.

Every beginning has an end.
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BARDOBARBAROS
Senior Scribe

Greece
569 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  08:14:53  Show Profile  Visit BARDOBARBAROS's Homepage Send BARDOBARBAROS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Szass Tam

BARDOBARBAROS DOES NOT KILL.
HE DECAPITATES!!!


"The city changes, but the fools within it remain always the same" (Edwin Odesseiron- Baldur's gate 2)
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  08:28:47  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading Nagash the Sorcerer, I couldn't help but compare the gods of Nehekhara to the Mulhorand pantheon, and Nagash and his minions to the Imaskari archwizards... Even some of Nagash's views resemble the Imaskari's.

quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

Kel'Thuzad.


I shouldn't have forgotten one of the most famous necromancers.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 30 Aug 2011 08:32:48
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Thelonius
Senior Scribe

Spain
726 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  10:01:55  Show Profile  Click to see Thelonius's MSN Messenger address Send Thelonius a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

quote:
Wooly Rupert

What's undead or unliving about Vader? He was a living dude with cybernetics bolted on and stuck in a self-contained life support unit. He wasn't undead or unliving any more than people in the real world are when undergoing certain medical procedures, like dialysis or having their breathing done by an iron lung.
Your argument does have merit, Woolyman, and it even touches upon more profoundly disturbing questions which I won't at all mention here. I've already derailed this thread enough, my apologies.

The wookiepedia page for Darth Vader's armor essentially describes the suit as being just what you say: a life-sustaining cybernetic prosthetic. His body was so damaged and weakened that he could not survive long nor exert himself outside the confines of the suit or special controlled environments. Maybe intense electrical overload burnt out critical components, failure of the "delicate" life-support mechanisms (and blinky lights) being followed in short order by inevitable death of the occupant.

Yet the same page also notes that both Vader and his suit are advanced products of unnatural Sith Alchemy. Some technological manipulation or perversion of nature which altered Vader's essential biology and possibly even provided some sort of mystical-mechanical interface with the power of the Dark Side ... it might very well be that Vader's life force was sustained with infusions of mystical energy; his voluntary decision to release the feelings of fear, anger, and hatred which served as the conduit through which he accessed his magic rendered him incompatible with the suit thus leading to his impending death.

The issue seems complicated by the fact that Vader completely encapsulates and exemplifies the hybridized magic-and-machine theme which defines the Star Wars setting, not to mention the fact that Vader has evolved across technological and narrative developments spanning a third of a century. It's pretty evident (to me) that Anakin died and was "reanimated" as Vader, essentially an entirely different individual who remembers his past life but now "lives" only to obey the will of his necromantic master and the evil they both serve. Until a few moments before his death.

Some less ambiguous examples might be Frankenstein, RoboCop, Replicants (from Blade Runner), Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica), I, Robot, Marcus Wright (from Terminator 4), and countless zombie flicks. They're all still basically necromancy, even though the methods by which they are reanimated are usually explained in more technologically appealing terms (genetic engineering, cloning, cybernetics, nanothingies, viruses, artificial intelligence, etc). Indeed, flesh golems run rampant through D&D (especially Ravenloft), Manshoon is a clone of a clone, Alias is an automaton, and magic users make heavy use of all sorts of "prosthetics" manufactured from "technologies" they understand. In every example (except maybe the zombies) some sort of malevolent entity acts as the "necromancer" who gives life to unliving (or reanimated dead) things to do it's bidding (ie: killing, harvesting, replacing, or eating humans, for the most part), even when these stories are not presented as fantasy genre.

[Edit: Well, The Modern Prometheus was really more about a brilliant but misguided doctor/scientist than about an evil necromancer. Yet Doctor Victor Frankenstein serves as the prototype and as a cautionary tale for necromancers everywhere. Even though he was in many ways substantially more monstrous than his flawed creation.]



That's a real nice explanation and a wide and correct array of examples, yet I wouldn't say that Annakin really "died". If we follow Obi-Wan's bunch of lies Anakin died, but he didn't he is just a man who choose evil. So we could say that, although, he was in the "nick" of dead he never really died. I would go for Wooly's point of view and say that he was a man with loads of prosthethics that hurt him a lot; thing he deserved though. That would make him some kind of mix golem-human, yet not "undead", in my opinion of course.
P.D. Loved the Robocop mention. I think he is clearly the best "Vader-like" example.

"If you are to truly understand, then you will need the contrast, not adherence to a single ideal." - Kreia
"I THINK I JUST HAD ANOTHER NEAR-RINCEWIND EXPERIENCE"- Discworld's Death frustrated after Rincewind scapes his grasp... again.
"I am death, come for thee" - Nimbul, from Baldur's Gate I just before being badly spanked
Sapientia sola libertas est
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  16:33:40  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis



quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

Kel'Thuzad.


I shouldn't have forgotten one of the most famous necromancers.



What I like about Kel'Thuzad is he's a tragic figure; starts off as a man turning to dark power for noble purposes, gets ostracized and exiled for it. Finds himself completely overwhelmed by the forces he's allied himself with and, faced with no other option, hands himself over to them. He's charismatic, efficient, manipulative, and most importantly, he's loyal. One of my favorite aspects of evil characters who are part of an organization or are subservient to a greater power is loyalty. The scheming, plotting Starscream character became a bore for me a long time ago. The dutiful, loyal servant shows that evil can have its admirable qualities without indulging in every little pettiness, and if they do end up at odds with their master, there's much more weight behind it because they weren't obvious about it.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  22:01:50  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Servile duty and unflagging loyalty get tiring eventually, not to mention restrict the characters. That's why I like my characters (necromancers or not) to have more independence.

Every beginning has an end.
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  22:47:29  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say that Vader could not possibly survive, despite all his prosthesis, without the Dark Side to sustain him. It is that negative energy more than his life support suit that maintains his existence.

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


Edited by - Fellfire on 30 Aug 2011 22:49:37
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  23:37:10  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Servile duty and unflagging loyalty get tiring eventually, not to mention restrict the characters. That's why I like my characters (necromancers or not) to have more independence.



Loyalty doesn't have to be absolute nor does it have to define their character. But them being loyal adds a level of conflict; when their own needs or views conflict with those of their master, there's actual turmoil and weight in that conflict instead of a simple treachery.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
http://theroleplayersgazebo.yuku.com/directory#.Ub4hvvlJOAY
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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  00:37:20  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thelonius

quote:
Originally posted by Arik

quote:
Wooly Rupert

What's undead or unliving about Vader? He was a living dude with cybernetics bolted on and stuck in a self-contained life support unit. He wasn't undead or unliving any more than people in the real world are when undergoing certain medical procedures, like dialysis or having their breathing done by an iron lung.
Your argument does have merit, Woolyman, and it even touches upon more profoundly disturbing questions which I won't at all mention here. I've already derailed this thread enough, my apologies.

The wookiepedia page for Darth Vader's armor essentially describes the suit as being just what you say: a life-sustaining cybernetic prosthetic. His body was so damaged and weakened that he could not survive long nor exert himself outside the confines of the suit or special controlled environments. Maybe intense electrical overload burnt out critical components, failure of the "delicate" life-support mechanisms (and blinky lights) being followed in short order by inevitable death of the occupant.

Yet the same page also notes that both Vader and his suit are advanced products of unnatural Sith Alchemy. Some technological manipulation or perversion of nature which altered Vader's essential biology and possibly even provided some sort of mystical-mechanical interface with the power of the Dark Side ... it might very well be that Vader's life force was sustained with infusions of mystical energy; his voluntary decision to release the feelings of fear, anger, and hatred which served as the conduit through which he accessed his magic rendered him incompatible with the suit thus leading to his impending death.

The issue seems complicated by the fact that Vader completely encapsulates and exemplifies the hybridized magic-and-machine theme which defines the Star Wars setting, not to mention the fact that Vader has evolved across technological and narrative developments spanning a third of a century. It's pretty evident (to me) that Anakin died and was "reanimated" as Vader, essentially an entirely different individual who remembers his past life but now "lives" only to obey the will of his necromantic master and the evil they both serve. Until a few moments before his death.

Some less ambiguous examples might be Frankenstein, RoboCop, Replicants (from Blade Runner), Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica), I, Robot, Marcus Wright (from Terminator 4), and countless zombie flicks. They're all still basically necromancy, even though the methods by which they are reanimated are usually explained in more technologically appealing terms (genetic engineering, cloning, cybernetics, nanothingies, viruses, artificial intelligence, etc). Indeed, flesh golems run rampant through D&D (especially Ravenloft), Manshoon is a clone of a clone, Alias is an automaton, and magic users make heavy use of all sorts of "prosthetics" manufactured from "technologies" they understand. In every example (except maybe the zombies) some sort of malevolent entity acts as the "necromancer" who gives life to unliving (or reanimated dead) things to do it's bidding (ie: killing, harvesting, replacing, or eating humans, for the most part), even when these stories are not presented as fantasy genre.

[Edit: Well, The Modern Prometheus was really more about a brilliant but misguided doctor/scientist than about an evil necromancer. Yet Doctor Victor Frankenstein serves as the prototype and as a cautionary tale for necromancers everywhere. Even though he was in many ways substantially more monstrous than his flawed creation.]



That's a real nice explanation and a wide and correct array of examples, yet I wouldn't say that Annakin really "died". If we follow Obi-Wan's bunch of lies Anakin died, but he didn't he is just a man who choose evil. So we could say that, although, he was in the "nick" of dead he never really died. I would go for Wooly's point of view and say that he was a man with loads of prosthethics that hurt him a lot; thing he deserved though. That would make him some kind of mix golem-human, yet not "undead", in my opinion of course.
P.D. Loved the Robocop mention. I think he is clearly the best "Vader-like" example.


I'm not sure where the idea that Vader is undead is coming from. He is alive. His suit is keeping him alive. He still needs to breath, and all the other bodily functions. I could see half golem maybe. Kind of like a more extreme version of Dorn from the Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy.

If anyone wants to read up on it, check out Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. He is clearly burned to a crisp Anakin in a life support suit full of self pity until he focuses his anger and hatred onto his new life's goal, killing Palpatine. For anyone interested, the other two books that provide surprising insight into Vader's psyche are the novel adaptations of The Force Unleashed I and II. It comes mainly through musings by The Apprentice, but it provides interesting insight.

Vader is loyal, to a point. He wants the Empire to remain, just listen to what Anakin says in AotC when he is talking to Padme and what he tells Obi Wan in RotS. But, he wants to rule. He has every intention of killing Palpatine once he believes he is able. He is not a mindlessly loyal subject under Palpatine's control, he has plans all his own (including taking on apprentices, which is a step towards trying to kill Palpatine). He and Palpatine are locked in the Sith Rule of Two relationship. They both know it will end with one of them dead and they both are just fine with that*.

As for what killed Vader, I would say that was the massive dose of lethal lightning that Palpatine intended to use to kill Luke didn't do his electrical life support any favors. Watch the scene where he is getting zapped and you can see his skeleton more than once. Even without him being dependent on an electrical system to keep him alive, the odds of him surviving that aren't great. Mace sure didn't. I think after that it was the will to live that kept him alive long enough to talk to Luke.

There are some Sith that are undead though. Darth Andeddu managed to put his soul into a holicron, and later back into his corpse and reanimate it. Several of the ancient Sith Lords survived as spirits (similar to Yoda and Obi Wan) to later spread their evil and corruption. Freedon Nadd guided the events on Onderron (which he ruled while still living) well after his death by teaching his heirs the dark arts (and I think he posessed at least one). Exar Kun locked his spirit into the ruins on Yavin 4. Darth Sion remained "alive" through sheer anger and hatred well past the point his body should've died.

*As a side note, Palpatine planned to change the rules. He was after immortality and mused that he and Vader could rule together for thousands of years. He also had clones as a back up plan.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  01:11:47  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But Vader's a model for the undead in my Realms! He adds the final touch to my Gygax-based Ravenloft-influenced undead creations.

All my slack-eyed zombies love to scream out the Big No while defying their pitifully unnatural plight; although of course it tends to come out sounding more like some kind of predatory moaning noise hungry for brains, sometimes like a wet gurgle, sometimes like an abrasive dusty wheeze. My ghasts and ghouls and mummies tend to make disturbing Vader-like "breathing" noises whenever they choose to speak. My liches are fond of emulating Vader's trademark strangling gestures. We sometimes joke about a (nonexistent) powerful necromantic artifact known as the Hand of Vader.

I'd personally rather argue about necromancers than argue about Vader's medical records; it really doesn't matter here if Darth Vader is alive, dead, undead, or something in between.

Being (un)dead has never stopped great necromancers before.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 31 Aug 2011 01:14:53
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Fellfire
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Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  02:31:04  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A nice segue there, Ayrik. I especially liked Darth Vader doing the Big No. You almost got me. I could have been there for hours. Be careful with that thing.

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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

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Edited by - Fellfire on 31 Aug 2011 02:35:04
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The Sage
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Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  03:47:18  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 Ayrik

Yet the same page also notes that both Vader and his suit are advanced products of unnatural Sith Alchemy. Some technological manipulation or perversion of nature which altered Vader's essential biology and possibly even provided some sort of mystical-mechanical interface with the power of the Dark Side ... it might very well be that Vader's life force was sustained with infusions of mystical energy; ...
After the horrific injuries he sustained as a result of his duel with Obi-Wan in RotS, Vader's biology was partly supplemented by arcane Sith sorceries, spells, and potions cast/applied by Palpatine during the journey back from Mustafar. [src: Star Wars Visual Dictionary]

Also, when Vader was essentially being transformed into his new armoured personae, we're told that his recovery was aided by his form being immersed in a Dark Force reservoir... a wellspring of evil formed from the combined energies of many Sith crystals and ancient artifacts. [src: Star Wars Complete Locations]

And we also know that he had to continue to draw upon the power of the Dark Side of the Force in order to partially maintain his biological healing. [src: Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook]

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  05:08:50  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting that D&D-styled Necromancers aren't really required to spend any time or resources maintaining their undead servitors. Most undead are viewed as disposable and easily replaced; it seems like you can just discard your slow-moving skeleton/zombie pack and simply assume control of another convenient bunch of dead losers whenever needed. Cast something like Nulathoe's Ninemen and your unrotting army remains ready to serve you for a thousand years. Most undead tend to be mindless, although many possess enough remnants of twisted will to instinctively and passionately hate the living, a few of the most dangerous species retain full sentience and might in fact have facets of intellect superior to their living counterparts.

Very little of the FR fiction (that I've read) explores the decaying nature of undead flesh. We all know that Szass Tam has been very conscientious and finicky about maintaining his appearance (and odour) so that he might interact more "naturally" with the living, with such success that the population of Thay was largely unaware of his undead status for centuries. I presume fellows like Larloch are somewhat unconcerned about their putrid flesh, having little interest in the living and generally utilizing other agencies to appear alive when necessary. Vampires appear to be immune to physical decay (when well-fed) although many are constantly tormented by the mental and spiritual decay they suffer instead, expressing anguish as their humanity gradually erodes away. Mummies are already preserved (in a horrifying way) yet are still ravaged by time. Notice the sorry physical condition of Captain Barbossa and his cursed crew in the first Pirates of the Carribean movie, or Imhotep in The Mummy. Why don't D&D Necromancers need to worry about keeping their undead pets in prime health? Are there necromantic doctors who specialize in healing cadavers? It seems to me that anyone who could fashion a flesh golem could easily repair hordes of maimed zombies or unwrapped mummies, salvaging and swapping and sewing together parts to keep the undead in prime form (subject to availability of spare parts).

Compare this against Conjurers and Summoners, Enchanters, Illusionists, Elementalists, and all the others whose minions will eventually gain or regain independance (and often direct their wrath against their former masters) unless the binding magics are periodically reinforced. Only a foolish wizard would subjugate a fiend or elemental without concern for the spell's expiration date.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 31 Aug 2011 05:44:23
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Dennis
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Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  06:56:42  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Servile duty and unflagging loyalty get tiring eventually, not to mention restrict the characters. That's why I like my characters (necromancers or not) to have more independence.


Loyalty doesn't have to be absolute nor does it have to define their character. But them being loyal adds a level of conflict; when their own needs or views conflict with those of their master, there's actual turmoil and weight in that conflict instead of a simple treachery.


Even the "master" experiences "actual turmoil," asks things like, "Should he continue to trust or partially rely on his "loyal" servant despite that he's seen a possible act of treachery just because he badly needs that servant? Or should he rid of him forthwith regardless of the consequences?" While the master enjoys absolute independence, he can't do everything on his own, and thus he needs servants to run errands for him. At times, he has to entrust very important tasks or mission to certain servants. And we know that trust is such a priceless commodity. He as the master can't just give it to any of his lackeys. But even if he's come to the point of finally determining who can be trusted, still he can't ensure that no future circumstances would derail his servants from the path he's carved for them.

Every beginning has an end.
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