For Magic Mondays today we give you the power over life and death, but dare you use it?
This week we show you the Dark Folly array.
Notation: Contain Human and apply the effect of Inverted Time.
Description: Conquest is no easy thing. The Westerners and Bythikans trying to colonise the southern continent have quickly found that out, while the Caels and Tolians have long since known that fact when dealing with the Uttosians. In a world where every man has access to the power of the gods, conquest and colonisation is a struggle at the best of days. When the Westerners discovered the southern continent they thought to find simple savages that they could do away with in a day or two. What they found instead were legions of the undead armed and armoured with the arrays and ready to fight. They may not have had the muskets and cannons of the Westerners and Bythikans, but they had the power of death itself.
And so for near on a century, Death and Conquest have waged war.
The Dark Folly is one of the few arrays brought back to the continent exactly as the dark southerners designed it. It was also the first array that gave the Jytohans the clue as to what the Invert rune actually did. As powerful as the Invert rune is, by affecting time it becomes perhaps the most powerful of all runes, because inverting time does exactly what it sounds like: it makes time run backwards.
Playing around with time is about as expensive as it gets when it comes to powering the arrays, and that is why it is so seldom done, but the southerners have found a way around this issue. They only invert time on and inside the human body targeted by this array. It is still costs more energy than turning a man to gold, but far less than inverting time entirely within the containment field.
The effect of this is that the human inside moves backwards and any wounds start to knit themselves as time flows backwards. Even musket and pistol rounds extract themselves as they are caught up inside this time distortion.
While you can use this to heal cuts and scrapes, the dark southerners use this to bring the dead back to life. That is why the containment field exist, because long after a battle has finished, the southern dead are collected and brought back behind safe lines where they are revived. Since time will flow backwards with this array, the dead would naturally move back to the battlefield before any wound closes, but with the containment field they are kept in place.
The result is that it is common practice for the southern kingdoms and empires to have legions they call “the Immortals”, consisting of men brought back to life more times than you’ve had hot meals. These men are killed time and time again, only to be brought back to life in a different place with no memory of the event. Their lives are spent cheaply, but with great effect against the Neoist and Bythikan conquests.
When the Jytohan forces discovered the use of this array, they were as appalled and disgusted as they were ready to use it. Militarily it is the most effective weapon one can have, but spiritually? Neoism, Prodigalism and Progenitorism all teach that the soul leaves the body upon death… so does it come back when the dead are revived? It is question for scholars and philosophers, but what can be said is that the few who have thus far been brought back (both soldiers on battlefields and footmen in Middelburg) were changed by the event. They are different now, more distant with less ties to friends and family.
To call them soulless may not merely be a metaphor.
Want to put your arrays to good use? Use them in The Ruined People, the new campaign book released just this month. Click the image above and see what the arrays can do in the grand city of Middelburg.