A Tzimisce's View on Necromancy: Black Science vs. Black Arts

by: Desiato Vosch, tarantulos@mechazombie.com A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae @ Kismet's World of Darkness, http://wod.kismetrose.com/

     Necromancy is one of the more misunderstood and needlessly reviled extrapolations of the vampiric condition. To the Giovanni, it is a utilitarian tool for achieving mundane goals. To the Samedi, it is almost a religious necessity. To the Tzimisce, it is a means of further understanding the undead state. In this treatise, the writer will attempt to give a more coherent and concise view of the necromantic arts as seen through the eyes of the Tzimisce in general.
     We will first compare and contrast the three main practitioners of Necromancy, the Giovanni, the Samedi, and those Tzimisce who follow the Path of Death and the Soul(henceforth referred to as Necronomists). We will first attempt to describe how each differs in their methods, in their motivations, and in the basic underpinnings of their practices in the necromantic arts. Then, we will attempt to describe how these differences affect the day-to-day workings of Necronomist necromancy.
     The most (in)famous practitioners of the so-called 'black arts' are the notorious Giovanni clan of vampires. To the Giovanni, necromancy is a means to an end, merely the most useful of many tools to achieve material gain and power in both this world and the next. As such, they utilize the means and methods of the ceremonial magician, whether by using meticulously prepared rites and rituals or by using the power of the natural revulsion at 'playing with dead things'. Their use of necromancy will either be extremely formal in nature, or extremely perverse, and will always have a motivation that can be based either in the individual or in the clan's needs and desires for power, wealth, and influence.
     The Samedi, on the other hand, are almost at the polar opposite end of the spectrum. This rare bloodline's use of Death-magic is oriented far more to the spiritual nature of existence, with respect being paid to the assorted loas and spirits known as the Ghedes, the animistic death-gods of Vodoun belief. As such, they place a great deal of reverence and communion with the dead, and do not abuse them for the purposes of simple material gain.
     To the Tzimisce, such a simplistic splitting of the art into such dualistic terms is wasteful. The Necronomist follows a much more holistic path. Rather than focus on material gain alone, the wise necronomist knows that there is much to be gained from spiritual study as well. On the other hand, passing over the many utilitarian uses of the spirits of the dead out of some form of placating 'respect' is similarly foolish. This viewpoint affects the use of necromancy on many levels.
     The primary level that is affected by this is the basic use of ritual itself. Both the Giovanni and the Samedi are almost hindered by their need for ritual. The Giovanni must assert their dominance and exhibit control, whereas the Samedi must show their willingness to co-operate with the spirits of Death. To the Necronomist, it is all merely a part of a larger process. Necronomists do not need to dominate and control a portion of their Being, anymore than we need to supplicate another portion of it.
     In Giovanni ritual, there will be a wide use of ceremonial circles, holy or unholy names, and the desecration of the remains of the dead. In Samedi ritual, there will be long chants and sacrifices made to the assorted loas and ghedes. The Necronomist has no need for either of these methods. As the saying goes. . 'We have no need for the rituals of religion. . we have the far superior rituals of science to replace them. ' The Necronomist does not perversely desecrate corpses to manipulate the spirits of the dead. Instead, it dissects remains to extract the knowledge it seeks. Neither does a Necronomists ally itself with the gods or spirits worshipped by humans. Rather, it aligns itself directly with the elemental entropic energies of Death and dying.
     Hopefully, this essay has shed a little illumination on what is one of the more obscure corners of the dark world we all share. Thank you for your time.

D. Vosch, Necronomist