The Skell

I think it is time to step back and describe the commoners of Urbe Mortuus. These folks form the (pardon my pun) backbone of the society. The numerous fleshless are the miners, scribes,troops, and builders of Urbe Mortuus.

Communication– Lacking vocal cords or tongues the skeletal denizens have developed a form of language involving the clicking together of knuckle bones. A few of them have the ability to communicate vocally, this gift seems to have no pattern.

Society– With all of their memories intact they pretty much continue to live as they always had. They have their families, try to pursue their goals, work their jobs, in short they live. They have a fascination with the flesh of the living, sometimes this manifests as a benign interest, a sort of pity towards the fleshed. Others are covetous of those with flesh, particularly if the person is attractive or the skeleton was especially vain in life.

Music is a very big thing In Urbe Mortuus.  competitions are held weekly for such things as composition, originality, instrument building, and playing. The streets of every village and town are full of beautiful, if sometimes haunting, music. If a living flute player comes through they can expect to make a fortune and leave behind a legion of fans.

Also popular is theatre, as Skell play-writes via for coin and renown.  Actors mime a lot, sort of like Noh…with clicking. The partisans click back their accolades. those with the gift of speech are highly sought after for lead rolls.

Contest of martial skill are displayed in a sort of sword dance, although any weapon may be used.

When the enchantment hit those who had been consecrated were effected as well, as their spirits were pledged to their deities all that came back were mindless automatons. The mindless skeletons are herded from place to place, can only follow simple one sentence commands, and are prone to fits of mindless rage.

Military– They don’t sleep, don’t tire, and don’t need to eat. Their motto is simply “Relentless”. They have archers, heavy cavalry, knights, and foot soldiers. All organised and drilled to precision. In between training exercises and patrols they have two main past times; gambling and playing music. With lots of time to kill they are very skilled musicians with string and percussion instruments and admire those who play well. Every unit has a band and standard bearer.

The Ladies  guard is a step above, comprised of champions and given enchantments and magical equipment. Including their suits of black platemail that only reveal the pale blue glow of their eyes. It is said they are the spirits of Templars who changed their vows from god to their new mistress. They escort the Dark Goddess and attend her when she is in court, but are otherwise employed in travelling the realm to root out threats to her and protecting the citizens from assault by bands of fleshies.

Future posts on Urbe Mortuus will be written from the point of view of one of these champions. To better describe the landscape and people.


2 responses to “The Skell

  1. Interesting. I like that it’s more than mindless skeletons following simple orders. The fits of rage bit was good too. The fact that they have developed their own language is really cool too. 🙂


    • The challenge with this is to make the undead as human as possible. I want to push against the idea of necromancy (as used in gaming and fantasy fiction) being evil or immoral.


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