Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 194,910,685 Issue: 752 | 7th day of Collecting, Y18
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Make Your Own Undead Army with F.V. Shmoobenduffle!

by parody_ham


Good afternoon, ordinary and uncultured readers. I am the famous Fabio Von Shmoobenduffle, author of critically acclaimed novels and articles that are rife with high culture and sophistication. I am oft to assume the reader is blissfully unaware of these accomplishments. It’s true almost 95% of the time, the peasants.

But wait! Why am I writing for the “Neopian Enquirer,” a curator of all things plebeian? In short, a “brief” period of monetary strife. With that, I come to all of you with this beneficial guide… and a lack of consistent pay from a freelance career.

In this guide, you too can learn the essentials of crafting and holding your own army of the awakened dead. Each section breaks down arduous rituals and cryptic formulae into segments so simple, even someone of your standings can handle this. And if not, well… I’m sure someone will clean up the mess.

A Basic Framework

Even high-class Neopian citizens such as myself require a framework. We will first begin with definitions: Undeath, Reanimation, Necromancy, Shadow Magic, and Super-Science. Try to keep up with me and I’ll make sure to speak slowly.

Undeath is the state of perpetual life. The grave cannot save these Neopians from a piteous existence of shambling about, mouths agape, drool pooling from their mouths. They are plucked from their earthly homes and returned to a state that mocks the heartbeat and taunts the finality of life. For others, their banal existence is repurposed into ectoplasmic mush or perhaps medically revived lumps of twitching flesh. To be fair, this is probably more than they’ve ever accomplished during their lives… which isn’t saying much.

Reanimation is the restoration of the basic functionality of a once deceased body. For those of you who require simpler terms, the brain is still—how do the uncouth say it? Swiss cheese?—while the movement of the muscles is retained. Some of the readers of this magazine may already share in this catatonic state, I dare say. But unlike other dark arts, reanimation techniques are works of science and not superstiti—I mean, magick.

Necromancy is the process by which foolish Neopians use “dark magicks” to completely restore the life of a once removed individual. It is a type of arcane art in which the user makes contact with the realm of the dead. What they get can range from an innocent house spirit to a reality distorting abomination. When rituals are performed incorrectly, it can lead to ghastly consequences. What kinds of consequences? Suffice to say that the last known incident lead to a bit of a… pest problem. But as the cultured Neopian says, “Mistakes must be made before progress can be attained.” It is the price they pay, as they say—the bumps in the road.

If reading from tomes with faces on the cover isn’t to your fancy, perhaps manipulating shadows is better suited for you, ever attentive reader. Shadow magic or “nethermancy” (a phrase I have copyrighted) is exactly that. For those who think they can put on an adequate show, one could even use their own shadow for a variety of tricks. One can command their shadow from a distance, even give it a life of its own. But take heed, this gift is a rare one. Foolish practitioners (like yourself) don’t understand that once freed from a spell, a shadow yearns to become a dominant life form. Some shadows have been known to eat their former masters! It doesn’t help that shadow crafters are often a lonely sort, so few known disappearances have been recorded. In hindsight, it’s sad if your only friends are quite literally your shadow, which may as well equate to no one.

Rarely, foolish nethermancers willingly merge with their abominations and transform themselves into darkness incarnate, assuming themselves strong enough to maintain willpower or composure. The ninnies. Even gifted Neopians like myself know the limit of shadow control. The so-called “Great and Powerful Xandra” learned this lesson the hard way when she tampered with the Wraiths. For those of you who need a refresher, look to when the high and mighty fae folk turned to stone and their floating island crashed into the ground; a new era of wraith emergence arrived--—they still haunt some of the regions around Faerieland seeking new victims. Personally, I rooted for the shadows; I never much liked the pompous fae.

Methods of Undead Summoning:

For those of high culture with a taste of unrefined insanity, there is “super-SCIENCE.” Enter exhibit one: Doctor Necrotic, my former, ehem, colleague. Some consider him to be a master craftsman, science and artist. I know, for a fact, he is none of these things. Nonetheless, his knowledge of reviving the dead through mysterious reagents and electricity is mildly impressive. Granted, I have no idea where he gets the funding for this research from… or why the Enquirer invited him as one of our interview guests. Nevertheless, let me briefly humor you with the arts of “super-science” and soul binding.

The Super-Scientist prefers to use the latest in technology to bring a corpse back to its former glory, or make an almost humorous attempt. Through use of stimulating chemical reagents, electrical shocks to the brain and constructed super-viruses, there is hope for absolutely bonkers scientists to feel smug in their abilities without resorting to the occult. Trust me, no self-respecting Neopian wants to work with the occult. They are frighteningly last decade.

Somewhere between magic and science, soul binding is a delightfully entertaining art for all. It seems like a parlor trick used by masters of conjuration, alchemists and other weirdos; I assure you, it is neither of these things. Soul binding is a powerful and highly dangerous ritual. Used incorrectly, it capable of causing untold harm to the caster. But knowing you, you’ll try it out anyway. Techniques used in the binding process merge alchemy, eldritch rituals and technology and extract a living soul from its vessel, permanently binding it to another object. If you were looking for a test subject, why not choose the wretched president of the Neopian Novel Review? He’s better suited as a waste bin than a talking Meepit with a monocle, but I digress.

Enough practice can make anything possible. That is, practice with moderate knowledge of engineering, a boundless library on the supernatural and an expansive alchemical laboratory. Of course, dearest reader, I’m sure none of you have the funds to obtain such knowledge and items. This art is absurdly complicated and prohibitively expensive. Such a price tag keeps the common rabble out of the picture.

During my days of untold wealth and acclaim I could have dabbled in such arts, but I chose not to soil my wallet with such frivolous investments. I’ve heard from one of my acquaintances that a particular dabbler spent his entire fortune binding his enemies’ souls to hideously crafted coconut sculptures. I don’t quite know what happened to him or how he’ll regain his fortune, but I hope that bumbling jelly-brain has a good night.

The most familiar undead for the contemporary era is none other than the Zombie. While some would assume I’m referring to obsessive fans of such screaming contests as the Altador Cup (or, you know, the literal zombie that play for Team Haunted Woods) I refer to a body brought back through so-called “strange and esoteric arts”. For the exceptionally illiterate among you, it’s another way of saying spellcraft. Zombies follow commands at the hands of their masters, sloshing and shambling with an uneven gait; ever ready to attack at the sound of their master’s command. Their obedience and determination is unrivaled, but so is their lack of free will and their nasty habit of randomly losing limbs. In addition, the zombie tends to be on the dumber side. You might ask (and you certainly ask a cornucopia of questions), what sort of Neopian would create a zombie? Why, someone who prefers the company of slack-jawed nitwits who reek worse than a Brightvale University dining hall, that is who. And as an alum (and a once top donor) of this institution, I must insist that the dining hall reeks like a musty sock left out to dry.

Cultists, rogue Order members, bored members of the aristocracy, terrifying twins, and unidentified ruffians, they are the source of these creations. Many of the above contenders fit the title of “zombie master” like my hands fit into this very classy silk glove (‘tis the wear of a true gentleman!) Perspective zombie masters should befriend catacomb cultists if you plan to pursue these arts—even if they smell like unwashed blankets and cheap perfume. Send your petpet in enough and they’ll know you just as well. Their knowledge of organs (the musical sort, you twit) implies that they are shockingly cultured, unlike yourself. You could learn much from encountering them more often! That or you could take a course in “Mastering Neopia’s Dark Arts” at Brightvale University, the university that did not slip 10,000 Neopoints into my home for mentioning their institution by name. Twice.

For reasons I cannot fathom, the Enquirer insists that I seek the opinions of other, less talented enthusiasts. I begrudgingly accepted, lured by the prospects of a financial bonus.

This bonus had better be worth it…

Until next time, dollop-heads. And if you read this far then perhaps you—yes, even you—can discover great literature. Believe me, you are doing yourself no favors by reading this periodical; why not read one of my critically acclaimed novels, I Shine in Radiant Brilliance: A Memoir or the novella, Self Discoveries in the Tea Room? I assure you, it has an author worth reading.

But until then, as the uncouth say, “Stay Tuned” for the wholly unnecessary interviews.

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