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Faction Profile: The Resurrectionists

Tags: #Vargr Build  #Faction Profile  #Roleplaying 
  • July 17, 2015

    The Resurrectionists

     The Resurrectionists are a secret fellowship whose members come from all walks of life and can be found all over Skyrim.  The one common factor they all share is an interest in necromancy.  This is an interest that they have to keep secret since necromancy is strictly forbidden and seen as a crime against nature itself.  Any practitioners who are discovered are put to death on the spot, presumed to be too dangerous and too depraved to allow any explanation or justification for their actions.  This is probably an inherited fear, passed down from the time of the tyrannical Dragon priests, whose tombs still crawl with the animated remains of their servants.  Therefore Resurrectionists practice their craft in secret but otherwise live normal lives.

    Forbidden Necromancy

    To role play as a member of this faction we have to act as if necromancy is outlawed.  Some NPC’s in the game comment on necromancy being unsavory and seen with distrust, and many will respond negatively if you have an undead summon with you saying things like “stay away from me with that magic,” or “keep your distance.”  However, the practice isn’t actually outlawed in the game.  This means the Resurrectionist role player will have to follow certain rules.

    Rule 1:  No necromancy in cities, settlements, or in sight of other non-necromancers.  This includes followers who are not already members of the fellowship.  There is one exception; you plan on killing the witnesses anyway.

    Rule 2:  Never allow yourself to be arrested.  If you can’t bribe the guard or pay the bounty then you have to fight or flee.  Imprisonment is game over; it represents your necromantic practices being discovered and you being executed.

    Rule 3:  If you are seen practicing necromancy by an NPC who is not a member of the fellowship you must kill them.  It’s the only way to keep your secret safe.   This is for when you run into a travelling farmer or one of the Thalmor/Imperial patrols while you have an undead summon active.   If they prove to be too powerful or essential then you will have to flee this will raise your local wanted level and may make entering cities problematic since the guards may be tipped off to your necromantic practices and attack you on sight.

    The Resurrectionist Player

    No two Resurrectionists practice necromancy in the same way.  They each approach the subject from different angles and with different motivations.  Perhaps grief over the loss of a loved one has sent them down this dark path.  Or maybe it’s greed and the promise of power.  Perhaps they suffer from a physical ailment and practice a necromantic fleshcraft on corpses in the hopes of finding a cure, or maybe they are just insane.  The reasons are many and varied.   Below are some examples of Resurrectionist characters.

    The Fleshcrafter:  The focus of this necromancer is improving upon a reanimated corpse to create a truly monstrous and powerful minion.  The Fleshcrafter uses alchemy to create beneficial poisons that improve the zombies he creates. This represents surgical improvements being made in the lab and chemical stimulants being injected into the zombie for temporary boosts in resilience and combat effectiveness. 

    Requirements:  Alchemy 




    The Dread Lord:  Quantity over quality.  The reverse of the Fleshcrafter, the Dread Lord isn’t interested in making a more powerful undead creation but instead is focused on binding as many undead to his indomitable will as possible.  He uses an ancient and almost forgotten necromantic power.  The Dread Lord looks just like any other noble in Skyrim dressed in his finery.  However at any moment he could extend this power calling all the dead nearby to aid him.  The Dread Lord is an equipment based necromancer who uses the Aetherial crown to gain infinite uses of the Ritual Stone’s daily power.

    Requirements:  Ritual Stone, Aetherial Crown



    The Madman:  A maniacal serial killer who keeps the corpses of his victims as trophies.  This Resurrectionist is skilled at staying unseen while stalking his prey from the dark alleys of Skyrim’s cities.  With a single blade thrust he quietly dispatches his victim then raises the “lucky” target to serve him in death.  The Madman avoids most conflict and when dungeon delving relies on his zombie followers to do all the combat.  The only time he gets his hands dirty is when he “acquires” his next servant.  Make sure you find a good hiding place for your collection of corpses. 

    Requirements:  Sneak, Reanimation Staves to prevent losing your trophies until you get the Dead Thrall Spell




    The Medium:  This Resurrectionist is skilled at communing with the spirits that haunt Skyrim, and is able to pull them through the veil to manifest in the physical world.  The Medium is focused on the undead summons rather than reanimation.  This represents the ghosts that the Medium can call upon for aid.  Starting with the spirit of a wolf (conjure familiar) and working our way up to the ghosts of ancient nords (conjure wrath man).  Other good ghostly summons are Arniel's Shade and the Spectral Assassin.

    Requirements:  Soul Cairn summon spells



    The Lucid Zombie:  Something went terribly wrong, or amazingly right when a vampire reanimated this bloodless corpse.  The reanimated body somehow retained all of its previous memories and identity and possesses a will of its own.  First the appearance of your character needs to be adjusted to the skinniest setting with a gaunt, wrinkled, and dirty face, the goal is to make your character look like a dead body, and contracting vampirism is also recommended for the glowing eyes of an undead abomination.  Second, never reveal any part of your body, remember to always wear masks or closed helmets to hide your rotting face.  Third, carry copious amounts of flowers to represent fragrances that the zombie uses to hide its stench.

    Requirements:  Aesthetic choices for role playing the walking dead.



     The Fellowship

    The natural order of all creation is to transition from life to death.  Necromancy is devoted to reversing this natural order.  Most see this as a crime against nature itself and see the practitioners as criminals, abominations, and dangerously insane.  Often times they’re right.  There are orders that have been founded with the express purpose of weeding out and exterminating these individuals.  For this reason the Resurrectionist must be ever wary, and must strive to not draw undo attention to themselves or their experiments.  Some choose to live as hermits shunning all society and devoting themselves wholly to the necromantic arts.  Others have chosen to hide in plain sight, even rising to respected positions, while practicing in secret.  All Resurrectionists are necromancers, but not all necromancers are Resurrectionists.  Below is a list of other members of the Resurrectionists.

    Phinis Gestor:  Phinis, the master wizard of conjuration at the College of Winterhold, is also a member of the Resurrectionists.  He will share his knowledge in necromancy but advises caution and secrecy when practicing such techniques. 

    Arniel Gane:  Another member of the College, Arniel is an adept mage who is seeking to breach the barrier between the world of the living and the realm of the dead.  He understandably keeps this research very secret and will only confide in you when you have proven yourself a trustworthy and more importantly discrete friend.

    Sybille Stentor:  Court wizard, Vampire, and Resurrectionist.  Sybille is the epitome of hiding in plain sight.  There is much you could learn from her experience.

    Falion:  A master wizard who “left” the college due to his dislike of the Arch mage.  The truth is that Falion fled the college when his experiments in vampirism and the limbo state of undeath where almost discovered.  He now resides in Morthal as the court wizard.

    Eola:  A member of the Resurrectionists and a follower of Namira, Eola is a mystery.  Her patron is known to hate the undead yet Eola regularly reanimates corpses to serve her, and is a willing apprentice to the Resurrectionist player. 

    The Guild Hall

    Skyrim is full of great places that can be used as secret labs and storage facilities.  Probably the best house is Hjerim which actually has a necromancer’s lab hidden behind a fake closet.  Choose to leave the Butcher’s mess to maintain that morgue feel with piles of bones and pools of blood.   Anise’s Cabin is another great hidden lab and storage site that can be acquired right out of Helgen. 

    You may decide that you want to build a guild hall for the Resurrectionists in Skyrim, a safe haven where techniques can be practiced and shared without worry of persecution.  The best place would have to be Windstad Manor on the edge of the Morthal Swamp.  It is the most remote of the three player built houses and with no major roads passing nearby.  The houscarl Valdr is the perfect guard being the only magic wielding houscarl in the game, and make a great inductee to the Resurrectionists.  Make Eola your steward to add another Resurrectionist to the grounds.  It’s safe to say that if you choose a spouse he or she would be understanding of your “hobby” and willing to travel the path of necromancer with you.  Nearby Morthal is home to Falion a master trainer in Conjuration who make’s the perfect mentor.


    This faction was inspired by the tabletop miniature game Malifaux.  The game contains multiple playable factions one of which consists of necromancers who call themselves Resurrectionists.  In Malifaux necromancy is seen as an abomination against the natural order, and as such is strictly forbidden and punishable by death.  My attempt with this profile is to translate that idea of illegal necromancy to the game world of Skyrim.  


  • Member
    July 17, 2015

    This is way cool! Awesome work!

  • Member
    July 17, 2015

    I see so much potential to this Faction! I will definately be keeping watch on this Faction for the ways you have displayed the use of Necromancy.... Who knows... I might even pull a "Darth Bane"  actually attempt to "Destroy and Rebuild" the order in Skyrim with something I have in mind! Awesome work and a +1 from me.

  • Member
    July 18, 2015

    I liked this page but totally forgot to put a comment! Sorry! I love this and you show some really awesome creativity with your write up. Definitely like the artwork you put in, too.

  • Member
    July 18, 2015

    Also... I THINK Vampire Lords spell "Raise Dead" doesn't turn a corpse to ashes either...

  • Member
    July 18, 2015

    What types of quest should be done.

  • July 20, 2015

    I've been in this Faction since day one apparently xD 

    Necromancer are the master race!

  • Member
    June 1, 2016

    Vargr, you should make this into a Vault-dweller join able faction. If you did that I'd be more than happy to pledge my allegiance.

    Also, question on boundaries. If my thrall is something like Ser Robert Strong from Game of Thrones, then would that be ok to bring into public? (If you don't watch GoT, it would basically be a reanimated thrall who is wearing a full set of plate so his face isn't visible, and I removed the death thrall sounds so he's silent.) He'd just seem like a mute mercenary to the unobservant.

  • June 1, 2016
    If you can justify it from a RP point of view then by all means have at it. As a pirate once said these are more guidelines than hard rules.
  • June 1, 2016
    Though I have to admit I really like the idea of hiding the body in some bushes on the outskirts of town whenever I need to sell off some loot.