Part One- The Concept of Cosmetic Necromancy
Although healing magic and necromancy are obviously different there are certain similarities that connect them. Healing magic returns functionality to beings by restoring their wholeness in it’s natural state. Heal limb, call the soul, raise dead, all of these function by returning scattered components of a being.
Necromancy however, is mainly concerned with returning the mechanical functionality of something. It is this principle that allows the field of necromancy to cover not only corpse reanimation but also armor animation and golem creation. Regardless of the wholeness of what necromantic magic is applied to, a certain cohesion is created with that functionality, in a way that disparate parts will not be rejected. This is the basis for Cosmetic Necromancy
Part Two- The Application of Cosmetic Necromancy
Cosmetic necromancy is often practiced amongst those who have embraced some form death, even if it may not be as obvious. Although numerous injuries are often sustained by those under such a condition, some simulacrum of outward conformity is maintained, such that visible changes often do not occur. Despite the massive scarring and deformation of limbs and appearance that should occur with a corpse put through the rigours of adventuring, a certain amount of unity is maintained by rejoining the injured parts.
At Feast of Eagle’s Rook I had the pleasure of engaging in a groundbreaking experiment. After finding a willing participant I removed their head and firmly reattached the head of a dragon like beast in its place. Despite the head having be removed from the beast for some time and having undergone treatment to be a trophy, when I animated the being as a greater undead, it became ambulatory. Unfortunately, the full functionality of the beast could not be ascertained as it was swiftly dispatched, and my necromantic formulas confiscated.
Part Three- Conclusions
Seeing as my experiment was prematurely ended, more research needs to be done. However, the implications of what I was able to observe are massive. Most undead are not created to be permanent but to function in the thick of battle. If one were able to remove the face of a member of opposing forces and graft it onto an animated undead, the potential for infiltration would be unparalleled if done well. There is also potential for specialized limbs from arcane opponents to be attached to undead to further increase their power. Even those who have embraced undeath could augment themselves with different components collected from specimens encountered on travels. The only drawbacks to this however are that as soon as healing magic is applied to the undead the foreign components would be instantly rejected.