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.
- 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?
Rebekah Loper began creating epic worlds and stories as a child and never stopped. She is the author of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding series, and has a fantasy novella published in Beatitudes and Woes: A Speculative Fiction Anthology.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (…ok, ok, they’re chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she is not writing, she can be found battling the elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.