As the small group of mercenaries settled down for the night, they failed to notice that some small pieces of barbed wire sticking out of the ground nearby were moving like tentacles.Until it was too late and they woke to feel it clutched around their throats and squeezing hard. As their blood spilled upon the ground the Barbed Arms had claimed yet more victims.
A possible answer to what happens to spells when a mage dies. If the spell is strong enough, say and enchantment or other permenant effect, part of the mages spirit may become lodged in the magic. It may be a way for items to gain some kind of intelligence, but a mage who has knowledge of this fact would be very hesitant about enchanting anyone or thing. He might have other plans for his afterlife than counting the change in your bag of holding.
Preists, I think, would have this sort of thing covered.