Emma Stewart's Husk
Once she was Archmage Stewart's beloved wife Emma, an acomplished which in her own right, now she is but a husk of what she once was, and yet the Archmage loves her too much to put her shell to rest.
Once Emma was a vivacious, voluptious, clever young woman, the only daughter of two eminent and well respected users of magic who brought her up to be an acomplished witch in her own right. She studied the magics of healing, revealing,and the binding of evil spirits to stop them doing harm, as well as a host of cantrips. Publicly she was beyond reproach.
She became one of only a few women to be accepted, such were her skills, as a well-paid mistress at the magical school of Magthere d'Faernen where she and Lord Edwin Stewart, the Headmaster of the School, fell in a deep and genuine love for each other.Tragicly, only a few years after their wedding, Emma contracted a deadly cancer. By the time she found out about it, it was too late for even the most powerful magic to heal her.
When she knew she had only days to live and nothing to lose, she revealed a secret to her husband-she was fascinated with necromancy and had spent years in secret trying to find a way to raise the dead, not as brainless bodies or highly evil beings such as litches, but as they were before they died. She begged her husband to cast the untested spell she had fashioned in secret upon her,telling him where she had hidden the nesscessary papers, not wanting to spend decades in the afterlife without him.
Lord Stewart hesitated, for to get involved with necromancy went against all that he stood by, but the alternative was to abandon his beloved wife to the flames of the pyre or the maggots and worms of the grave. Either thing was greatly feared by his wife. Reluctantly and driven by his love for his wife, he drew the pentagram and cast the untested spell, and to his surprise, the spell worked.
He asked her a few questions that only she would know the answer to, careful at first in case what he was looking at was a demon that had taken on the shape of his loved one, but she answered them flawlessly and when he saw that it was indeed his wife they embraced and went back to their normal lives, telling noone of what had happened. And for a few days everything was good again.
Until, that is, Emma woke to find greenish blue lines over her body where her veins and arteries were, and there was a foul smell in her nose, the stink of rotting flesh. She covered the lines with makeup and the stink with purfume, but her body continued to rot, four times slower then it would if she were truely dead. After a time she began to swell as if she was pregnant as the gasses built up within her. Healing spells and various other spells slowed the decay but it could not be stopped.
Within a matter of months her once clever brain had decayed to the point where she could no longer cast spells and many of her memories had gone. She still has a great love for her husband and shows it by doing household chores and the like for him. Her body is now a greenish black colour and he only goes out with her late at night so she can see the moon and stars, one of the few pleasures that she can still enjoy.
He cannot bring himself to end her undeath, partly because he fears that her soul might be sent to the infernal realms, partly because then he will be stuck with a dead body (which could lead to possible murder or at least necromancy charges if he gets caught with it) but most because he still loves her.
Not in a physical sense, that stopped long ago when the decay set in and could no longer be covered up. But in a mental sense in that there are still flashes now and then of the wonderful woman that he married, and whilst even a small bit of her mind and her love for him remains, he wants to keep her with him.Her dried vocal cords can still speak a little and every day the husk of what she once was tells him that she loves him.
Since it has been months since she has seen anyone but her husband, she does not recognise anyone else and might well mistake PCs for burglars or assassins. Whilst she cannot cast any complex spells, she retains the ability to shoot bolts of highly dangerous and potent magical lightning from her palms.
Should the PCs cut her to pieces mistaking her for yet another undead horror, Lord Edwin when he finds out will be furious and heartbroken and will attempt to use the full strength of his magical powers to end their lives.
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? Responses (6)-6
Sometimes the words flow strangely, spoiling the effect of the touching tale I recognize here. The right thing, of course, would be to let her pass on... but can you tear your heart apart?
It is a good lesson on the essence of necromancy... even when it helps, it seems to produce more woe in the end. What is missing here, are probably the plot hooks. Let me try to cook up some:
- A 'good friend' learns of the situation, and hires the PCs to dispatch a little spook on the wizard's property. "Alas, he is too busy to take care even of his own lands. It's just a little help, no need to mention it."
- Hearing of their latest exploits, the prominent magus visits the heroes, and would like to hear a tale or two of how they defeated their latest villain. But why is the decent man so much interested in necromancy?
- The news is out. The town is boiling in rumours, and the councilmen are debating, whether to politely ask what is the truth, send in the constables, or just a torch-wielding mob. Way over his head, the wizard asks his friends to do anything about the situation, anything!
Grotesque but good.
this has a great amount of potential for heart-ripping pathos.
Checka, could you read your own work out loud before you press that final enter? If you had done that, I think this piece would of been flawless. A little work on your writing craft and this and other pieces would be classics.
That aside, it has drama. It has plot hooks. It is really, really good.
PlotHooks I see
What happens if she waunders away?
What happens if an Evil Necromancer summons all undead in the land to him and she shambles on?
A small quest looking for an ancient spell to fix her undead status
Another small quest to find an item to catpure her soul, so they can end her half life and keep her spirit safe from being cast to the abyss.
Perhaps he will snap and kidnap someone and stuff his wife in her body?
Perhaps she gets smart for a brief time and creates another spell to fix her issues, but with side effects.
This could have been a 5/5 with some juicy plot hooks.
This is really good, I thought the story was interesting and, although brief, was well structured.
Nothing wrong with brief.