Necromancy is a very rare and ancient form of magic. Some practitioners of Life and Death Magic rather prefer the "death" side of things. Particularly, rather than restore life to the fallen, they prefer to keep them dead and use their magic to control the fallen corpse, creating a creature that is Undead. Necromancy refers to mostly the specific area of Life and Death Magic that deals with Undeath. This can be reviving only the body or only the spirit of a fallen individual or performing spells that can only affect the Undead. While this does fall under the category of Life and Death Magic, its true nature is disputed vigorously.
Origin of Necromancy
Its true origins are unclear, most assuming it stemmed from a botched resurrection or an incomplete death spell. Some proclaim that their great ancestor was the origin of Necromancy in the world. One of the most compelling arguments though is that Necromancy was bore from a specific Reaper: Metrion. It is said he came to the mortal plane and gave the idea and simple lesson of Necromancy to mortals. This is an unfavorable story for a lot of people-- allocating that Necromancy itself is a mortal construct and not force upon by a malevolent being.
Nature of Necromancy
Necromancy's nature and usage of the subsetted magic is varied and bewildering to most. Some tend to not even speak of the subject in fears of persecution.
Relation to Life and Death Magic
Necromancy refers to the magics that can affect only an individual that is either dead or Undead without reviving or "killing" them. Most practioners of this magical school tend to keep away from this subset of arcana due to its implications and malicious overtones. Some even go as far to say that is neither Death or Life magic, but a twisting of both into a gray area of magic.
It is known that one of the more famous areas in Orelisle of the practioning of Life and Death Magic, Amerale's House of Healers, does not mention Necromancy in their studies as a usable magic. They do not recognize it as a true Life and Death Magic.
Alignment of Necromancy
Many who are faced with or speak of Necromancy will immediately turn to saying that it is inherently evil. Though, no true evidence has been brought forth that this is indeed evil and has no other uses of it, a vast majority of notoriously evil persons favor Necromancy. Many have controlled and used armies and legions of the Undead to attack and control vast areas and conquer some lands, most famously the Undead nation of Galkador.
Another curious detail of the alignment of Necromancy is that most practitioners of Life and Death Magic do control Undead that exist at points. With that, the majority of these practitioners are of naturally good alignment. Thus bringing into the light of what exactly it requires to perform Necromancy to its fullest potential.
Morality of Necromancy
Many of the people who partake in the usage of Life and Death Magic will fall into the argument of the morality of Necromancy. They fight a never-ending debate over whether or not Necromancy is inherently evil and if it is morally sane to perform Necromancy.
Those who endorse Necromancy say one of two things:
Some will say that Necromancy is greatest joy that they can produce with magic. More so than any Bardic spell or Wizard illusion, Necromancy is the epitome of magical amusement. They will say how much it is to have the zombies produced perform hilarious acts for their enjoyment or slaughtering those they (the Necromancer) do not have a fondness for. These Necromancers will speak of the many hauntings that they produce with ghosts and will laugh loudly as the residents run for their lives.
Though, with this trickery also comes immense power. Many of the tricksters who perform Necromancy usually end up being full-blown Necromancers, drunk on power and slipped to a realm of destruction and chaos as they laugh at Death and scorn it. Those who do speak of Necromancy and its amusement tend to be evil, powerful Necromancers.
Other pro-Necromancy debators are those who utilize the usefulness of Necromancy as a tool in and of itself. They are those who use Necromancy on battlefields and in close-combat. While they themselves tend to not condone the prolonged use and abuse of Necromancy, these persons assume that Necromancy, like most magic, is a tool that can be used for good if used in the correct way. Most of these pro-Necromancers do not prefer using Necromancy over other things, but instead will use it if need-be. This said, most professional users of Life and Death Magic are capable of resurrecting themselves as an Undead when dead.
When debating Necromancy, the proponent against Necromancy tends to be its evil nature, its twisting of Life and Death Magic, and its overall ickyness.
Resurrection and Necromancy
With Life and Death Magic, the most impressive and desired ability is the power to reawaken the dead and return them to life. Many people covet this ability and pay those who can perform such feats handsomely for this. Though, Resurrection has its limitations and that is where Necromancy takes hold.
For instance, a long-since dead person cannot be Resurrected, such as a skeleton or incredibly decayed body. However, they can be necromantically revived into the service of the Necromancer. The actually time of which it takes for a person or animal to reach the point of no return is variable, though many highly-practiced Life and Death users say its about 8 minutes, or around 500 seconds, until the person can no longer be Resurrected.
Due to the nature of Resurrection, many infuriated persons plead with people to revive those who were lost many, many years ago. However, this is not possible, contrary to popular belief.
Another belief held by Resurrection is that with it, one can be immortal. This is wrong. Resurrection revives the body and soul to the point it was at before its death. This can Resurrect someone who had an illness or was murdered, it does not however fix the damage of time. Those whose time has come and die of old age cannot be Resurrected.
Necromancy varies from this. Necromancy is the unnatural revival of either body or soul through the use of sustaining magic. If one is brought back as a ghost or zombie, time has no grip on the undead's form and therefore they will continue to exist until the magic has worn off. With this, someone who has reached the end of their natural life can be revived as an Undead.
With the knowledge of the life-extending properties of Necromancy, many magic users have tried to perform such feats on themselves and become Liches.