Most of the undead of Centas fall under the category of Sarks. Sarks are undead who are created through the use of necrotronics, the necromantic science of reanimation. Most Centasi necromancers are merely theoretical necromancers, who study necromancy simply for the knowledge; a smaller amount are oracular necromancers, who use various necromantic methods to contact the spirits of the dead for information. Sarks, however, are created by that tiny portion of necromancers who are devoted to the reanimation and use of the spirits and corpse of the deceased (sometimes called necrotronicists).
The etymology of the name “Sark” is uncertain. Studious gentleman hold that the most likely explanation is that it is a corruption of the name of the ancient and evil pagan god Lord Sarku, the Lord of Worms, God of the Living Dead, whose fearful Temple of Rising from the Grave is still known as a place of horror. Others say that it is a shortening of “Sarcomani”, an ancient term meaning “rotting ones”, which was used in Old Kingdom texts to refer to evil things.
In any case, Sarks are the creations of necrotronicists, and are pure evil. They are created almost solely to serve as killers (though there are notable exceptions; see upcoming Oracle Sark, Sark Advisor). The basic defining aspect of Sarks is the necrocolumn. This device is, essentially, a series of metal devices in the shape of a spinal cord. These are bolted onto each of the vertebrae of the selected corpse, so that large, heavy bolts protrude from every vertebrae up to the base of the skull. Copper wires are strung throughout the corpse from the necrocolumn into every extremity. When these basic procedures are done, the Sark is attached to a special frame in the labratory of the necromancer (think Frankenstein’s monster), with special clamps attached to each bolt on the necrocolumn. To animate the creature, a huge elyctric charge is transferred into the necrocolumn, and thus through all of the implanted wires, activating the necrotronic energy of the body, and bringing the corpse to hideous life (think Frankenstein’s monster).
The most basic and well-known form of Sark (one that features in many fairy tales) is the fearful…
The Sark-Hound is a basic form of Sark which is created for a very specific purpose, to wit, the hunting and killing of the necromancer’s enemies (in Centas, the place of the banal zombie is taken by these creatures).
The preparation of the Sark-Hound is a detailed process. The first job of the necromancer is to find a corpse which is not deprived of it’s musculature (fresh corpses are most preferred) and pickle it in foul sciochemical fluids which lend the Sark it’s characteristic withered, mummified appearance, peeled-back gums with animalistic grimace, and grey-black skin color. The corpse is then de-sexed. The newly preserved and neutered remnant is then augmented with machinery- after the implantation of the necrocolumn and associated wiring, sections of the torso are generally banded with metal, joints and limbs which have crumbled are replaced with clockwork or metal replacements, and, typically, the left arm is replaced with a fully mechanical arm which ends in a vicious blade.
Generally, the eyes and eye-sockets of a Sark-Hound (and the entire front of the skull sometimes) have a metal shield bolted over them. The rationale behind this is that while the eyes are very easily tricked, it is more difficult to decieve the ears and nose of the Hound, which are augmented with necromantic magic.
Sark-Hounds are charged with the task of hunting down and killing the enemies of the necromancer. They serve as dark, relentless assassins, who can chase a target for centuries across entire continents. They are stealthy, tireless, and vicious in the extreme, amoral, and completely without conscience. They live to hunt and kill. They hunt by sound and smell alone, and have noses more sensitive than those of bloodhounds.
Sark-Hounds are not perfect assassins; they can be decieved by sound tricks and baiting scents.
As with all Sarks, Sark-Hounds cannot truly die until their necrocolumn has been severed or disconnected from the spine.