The Courtesan: A Reflection on Necrotic Energy (essay)

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: The Courtesan: A Reflection on Necrotic Energy

Author: Lord Silvean Rashere

My Dear Greganth,

I hope you will not mind a written response to your inquiry concerning the new art of ensorcellment. I have been detained by my work over the last week and it has become increasingly difficult to find time for conversation. You wish to know if ensorcellment is comparable to the enslavement of souls associated with Luukos? I do not share your scruples on this point but it is my belief that you can enjoy the advantages of ensorcellment with a clear conscience.

When I was a young man in Ta’Faendryl, it was my custom to visit two of the local booksellers each day. One shop carried the finest new selections in philosophy and history. The other shop was worthless except for its location on the same street as a house of leisure. This was well before my marriage, of course, and there was one courtesan in particular who held me in fascination. You cannot imagine how many hours I wasted flipping through the same poorly translated copy of Meachreasim while craning my neck to catch a glimpse of those starlight eyes. For two years I resisted the urge to reach out to this woman because of the dire warnings from so many of my teachers. It is said, “A scholar with a wife is like a ship with a hole in the bottom.” This courtesan threatened to ruin my discipline and end my career as a sorcerer before it began! Can you imagine what happened? In the end, I gave up on trepidation and quit the shabby bookstore for the more intimate setting I desired all along. Ah, Silvean, and then what? Nothing. My discipline remained intact and my future eminence assured. My point, Greganth, is that sometimes we build up scruples in our mind that have no connection to reality. Do you not trust in your own intentions and willpower? You know that my strange magic holds no corruption for you. And you know that knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Dwell not on the means, think of the good service ensorcellment will provide.

Still, I can offer two points that will soothe your conscience. Luukosian soulcrafting seems to work with whatever essence survives the fleshy body of a sentient being in its totality. The necrotic energy used in ensorcellment is just a sliver of something else. It is sufficient for my purpose here to note that the process of death and decay carries an energy all its own. Consider that the weakest permanent ensorcellment of a weapon requires energy drawn from the death of hundreds. If their souls were bound up by our hands, it would be a much faster process than this stitching of tiny threads. Additionally, some may label the resulting enhancements unnatural but they err by failing to develop their point further. If it were not for the unnatural, our ancestors would have died out in the forests long ago.

For every three sorcerers, you will find four opinions. You know that my opinion is sound, however, and it will provide you sure guidance as you seek ensorcelled weapons and armor. You will soon know the power of sorcery in a small way and this experience will not leave you as you were before. I look forward to discussing your experiences with this magic further.

My regards to you and all honor to the Patriarch,

Silvean Rashere