Z is for Zombies


When Magic & Death Intertwine

Spoiler: I’m not really going to talk about zombies here. This is just the best I could do for Z, ha!

Death is final… right? I’ve met very few people who actually believe that, to be honest, and in fantasy stories with magic it’s not common to see worlds where there is no such thing as the afterlife.

However, one concept to think about in a world where magic exists is how it coexists with death. Grief is a powerful thing, and if there is a way to console that grief, even if it’s unethical or dangerous, many people will find themselves seriously considering it.

In worlds where magic, destiny, the afterlife, etc. all exist, death will be something that someone somewhere tries to subvert. Whether this is because death is unnatural in your fictional world, or because grief is overwhelming, there are many questions that you must consider.

Worldbuilding Exercises:

  • Is it possible for magic reverse (or appear to reverse) the death of someone? How does this affect the soul/spirit of the person being resurrected? How does it affect their physical body?
  • All magic has a cost. What is the price paid for a magic as powerful as reversing death?
  • Is necromancy or resurrection something that is common or uncommon in your fictional world? How does a culture or society deal with it? Are there any laws in place dealing with the subject?

View 2019 A-Z Participant list here.


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