The Deadrisers are the lepers of society–unwanted, despised, and rejected. Of course they have always lived on the fringes of society, more a whisper of truth than reality. This is because the world has often mistaken them for dark mages, for necromancers and liches that raise the dead to do their bidding. And while it is true there are those among them capable of such monstrous feats, they are not simply a collection of Magi that have taken a darker path.
What binds the deadrisers as a group is death and the idea of rebirth. Like the blood cultists, they see power in death, but unlike the Kantic religion, the deadrisers do not believe there is power to be gained in murder, but rather in the stages that follow the cessation of life. They are a conglomerate of cults bound by faith; only a small number are actually bound by blood. What makes them family are their beliefs and the oaths they have taken.
Society fears them because the deadrisers do not lament death; they do not bury their dead. Instead, they feed on them. They even dig up corpses that others have buried. Those who become ill eating the dead, eventually become immune to the sickness that follows eating rotting meat. If one should die, then they were never meant to belong, and they will become food for the others. The deadrisers believe that in eating the dead, they gain not only strength, but prolong their lives. And most important of all, it grants them the power communicate with the departed.
In order to become a true member of the deadriser society, one must learn to communicate with the souls trapped between realms. A select few of these members may even have the gift to bring back the dead. The power to bind soul and flesh is one of the most powerful abilities a mortal can master. But there are greater powers still–the power to create flesh, and the power to halt senescence. The most terrifying of the deadrisers may not only create armies of soldiers from the earth, but can even render themselves undead, immortal. They can stop the aging process, or transfer their soul from one body to another. Some of these dark mages have the ability to use the souls trapped between realms to wage psychic war against powerful beings, such as dragons, in order to gain control over them. Read about such powers from the mouth of Xydrikan Vyinkar, a member of the Obro Cult.
The power of soul binding and transfer, is why the deadrisers have been a target of war and genocide from nearly every nation and religion throughout time. Fear is one of the greatest motivations to kill. But so is misunderstanding. Learn first hand of these fears from an Acolyte of the Holy Order.
In truth, there are few deadrisers that have such power. The deadrisers are simply misunderstood. The name given to them is not one they embraced, since few can actually raise the dead. Instead, their society is about the connection with the departed, and their reverence for what comes after life. The souls trapped between realms are lost, unable to find their way. The deadrisers act as a medium to ease these souls’ suffering and confusion, and if possible, as guides to transition to the afterlife. The wise teachers and scholars of the Sagery have even said that the deadrisers have done just as much, if not more, than the High Church for helping the lost find their way. Of course, the Holy Order has been efficient in destroying all textual accounts of such blasphemy.
Some Vendrian scholars and theologists believe that the Nama, the blood cultists, and the deadrisers, all descended from a common faith long ago, because all three religions hold similar notions of the world’s moons. The green moon Mephador is the symbol of life, the red moon Zeladon is the emblem of death, and the blue moon Mephon is the representation of eternity and rebirth. It is no wonder then that the deadrisers worship Mephon, also known as Nesric, the Spirit Moon.
Much like the Nama, the deadrisers have been content being separate from society. They often reside in remote places, in regions of the world where no one else would willingly choose to live. In a sense, they are scavengers, eking out a meager life, surviving on whatever they can find to sustain themselves. Their faith has given them the ability to live on very little food, and their capacity to feed on spoiled meat has allowed them to carry on when other people would have died long ago. But in times of terrible famine, the weakest of the group will sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the cult. This is a natural part of their culture, and it is even a great honor to die to keep others alive. Besides, death is sacred, and he who gives up his life will be blessed by Nesric in the afterlife. The strong may rule the earth, but it is often the meek that rule the heavens. Perhaps that is why the strongest of the deadrisers try to live forever.
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