A group that wished to be 'ever-living' instead was cursed with 'never-dying'. Thier flesh rotted and fell fromthier bones but still they lived on. Now as skeletons they continue thier quest to remove thier curse. As skeletons they differ in that they do not need controlled or summoned. They are fully fledged NPCs with drives or ideas of thier own. Stabbing and slashing weapons would not affect them.
Magical curses are rarely cast, as if cast on someone for fun or purely maliciously and the person cursed has not done something seriously wrong, it tends to ricochet back on the curser. Therefore the few who do get cursed are shunned by most people as genuinely guilty,and few will help them.