stasis island in online awardstasis island in online award

He was a law officer of sorts, a local guard out looking into the depraved handiwork of a crazed individual, the sort we seem to be seeing more and more of in these dark days. When the guard happened upon a mass grave dug by this sick fool, a massive, horned, disgusting behemoth was digging itself out. The dying traveler described this loathsome beast – or, as he termed it, the unburied – as being comprised of bloated parts from many fetid, rotting corpses, with a multitude of disfigured heads and slobbering fanged mouths.

 He was fortunate that day, but when he returned with several men to help him deal with the creature, they found to their horror that the undead spawn was too much for even their combined efforts. They fought valiantly to the last man, sacrificing themselves to keep the beast from rampaging across the countryside and taking who knows how many innocent lives. He was the last survivor, and before he passed on, he proudly told me that they were successful in eradicating the foul unburied creature

Being born out of pits of human misery, these beings feed on human suffering. Wherever bodies are dumped together unceremoniously, the unburied may rise. I cannot help but wonder if this be some sort of cosmic justice for our inhumanity to our fellow man. But what is the catalyst? What animates these things? What makes them so horrendously different from the run-of-the-mill zombies or “normal” skeletal undead? 

endless goal endless goal

traveler. He was barely able to spit out the tale of the cursed monstrosity responsible for his broken body as his life drifted away. He called his killer “the unburied”.

Months ago, when I wrote of the undead blight upon our land, I thought them the gravest of threats. But they are nothing compared to the new undead creature described to me by this poor fellow.

He was a law officer of sorts, a local guard out looking into the depraved handiwork of a crazed individual, the sort we seem to be seeing more and more of in these dark days. When the guard happened upon a mass grave dug by this sick fool, a massive, horned, disgusting behemoth was digging itself out. The dying traveler described this loathsome beast – or, as he termed it, the unburied – as being comprised of bloated parts from many fetid, rotting corpses, with a multitude of disfigured heads and slobbering fanged mouths. He was fortunate that day, but when he returned with several men to help him deal with the creature, they found to their horror that the undead spawn was too much for even their combined efforts.

 They fought valiantly to the last man, sacrificing themselves to keep the beast from rampaging across the countryside and taking who knows how many innocent lives. He was the last survivor, and before he passed on, he proudly told me that they were successful in eradicating the foul unburied creature 

stick fingure to actually lifestick fingure to actually life

 

If my aforementioned points do not convince the skeptic of the gravity of this issue, consider the case of the skeletal summoner. This advanced skeletal warrior is specifically created with a higher intelligence that gives it the ability to replenish the undead ranks as needed. Yes, adding summoners to the unholy, undead mix results in a nauseating recipe for a self-sustaining army, capable of renewing itself in perpetuity so as to fulfill whatever diabolical ends its master called it forth to pursue.

It should be apparent to all intelligent readers that any madman needs only the raw material of skeletal remains to create these armies of the undead. The obvious solution is to disinter the graveyards and begin burning the skeletons posthaste. Only then can we be certain that we have removed this deadly threat from the arsenal of those who would do us harm.

“Contrary to what I had assumed, a reanimated skeleton is actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one.”

 
 

  

the comparation and differentiate of skeleton undeadthe comparation and differentiate of skeleton undead

 

Contrary to what I had assumed, a reanimated skeleton is actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one. Their diverse composition gives them the ability to form and reform, and makes them easily summoned, permitted there is adequate raw material at hand. Still, this is not to say that a skilled necromancer could not call forth a cadre of skeletal warriors to do his bidding anywhere he chooses. He merely requires less effort to construct a skeleton army in a graveyard than in the middle of a forest.

Furthermore, I have come to believe that a skeleton’s intelligence is limited by the power and scope of the spell used in the creature’s creation. Theoretically one could have a single astute skeleton servant or a rather dense army of a hundred for the same expenditure of magical energy. I am at a loss to explain the average skeleton’s somewhat ludicrous mental predisposition, however. Perhaps the implausibility of its own existence makes the skeleton think it hilarious to hide in a barrel, cackling intermittently for some three hundred years until a victim happens by?

In contrast to the other undead horrors our world has been plagued with – namely the mindless zombies and the pack-hunting ghouls – skeletons are much more dangerous as a whole because of their ability to be organized and directed.

 Based on the evidence, it takes only slightly more energy to imbue skeletons with enough intelligence to use shields to defend themselves and their allies. These “shield skeletons”, as I like to call them, are alarmingly common, though not as numerous as a basic skeletal warrior. 

skeleton seems mischevousskeleton seems mischevous

 

Despite the fact that skeletons seem mischievous or imbecilic, they are nothing to scoff at. We should neither dismiss them from our consideration, nor ignore the problem they represent. It is far past the time for serious inquiry into their exact nature. Since I am overly qualified on many subjects pertinent to this area of inquiry, apparently it falls to me to rectify this lack of understanding. After completing many months of long, arduous study, I now present the information I have gleaned from my research into these unholy monstrosities.

Contrary to what I had assumed, a reanimated skeleton is actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one. Their diverse composition gives them the ability to form and reform, and makes them easily summoned, permitted there is adequate raw material at hand. Still, this is not to say that a skilled necromancer could not call forth a cadre of skeletal warriors to do his bidding anywhere he chooses. He merely requires less effort to construct a skeleton army in a graveyard than in the middle of a forest.

Furthermore, I have come to believe that a skeleton’s intelligence is limited by the power and scope of the spell used in the creature’s creation. Theoretically one could have a single astute skeleton servant or a rather dense army of a hundred for the same expenditure of magical energy. I am at a loss to explain the average skeleton’s somewhat ludicrous mental predisposition, however. Perhaps the implausibility of its own existence makes the skeleton think it hilarious to hide in a barrel, cackling intermittently for some three hundred years until a victim happens by? 

the resurrection of skeleton undeadthe resurrection of skeleton undead

Their diverse composition gives them the ability to form and reform, and makes them easily summoned, permitted there is adequate raw material at hand. Still, this is not to say that a skilled necromancer could not call forth a cadre of skeletal warriors to do his bidding anywhere he chooses. He merely requires less effort to construct a skeleton army in a graveyard than in the middle of a forest.

Furthermore, I have come to believe that a skeleton’s intelligence is limited by the power and scope of the spell used in the creature’s creation. Theoretically one could have a single astute skeleton servant or a rather dense army of a hundred for the same expenditure of magical energy. I am at a loss to explain the average skeleton’s somewhat ludicrous mental predisposition, however.

 Perhaps the implausibility of its own existence makes the skeleton think it hilarious to hide in a barrel, cackling intermittently for some three hundred years until a victim happens by?

“Contrary to what I had assumed, a reanimated skeleton is actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one.” 

reanimated skeleton from mythology reanimated skeleton from mythology

he undead are a pox upon our world, yet no one sees fit to look into their existence and find a way to rid us of them once and for all. How long until we are confronted by the terrifying specter of an undead army of skeletal warriors raised by some crazed sorcerer or would-be demigod? Do not let the scarce reports of skeleton attacks lull you into assuming we are safe; we are never safe from these unholy legions. They are coming, mark my words.

Despite the fact that skeletons seem mischievous or imbecilic, they are nothing to scoff at. We should neither dismiss them from our consideration, nor ignore the problem they represent. It is far past the time for serious inquiry into their exact nature.

Since I am overly qualified on many subjects pertinent to this area of inquiry, apparently it falls to me to rectify this lack of understanding. After completing many months of long, arduous study, I now present the information I have gleaned from my research into these unholy monstrosities.

Contrary to what I had assumed, a reanimated skeleton is actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one. Their diverse composition gives them the ability to form and reform, and makes them easily summoned, permitted there is adequate raw material at hand.

  

infuriated azmodan infuriated azmodan

 

As hard as it is to believe, the fallen ones were once exalted demons of the Burning Hells. They served as Azmodan’s hands, performing acts that he would not, could not involve himself in. They were the instrument of Azmodan’s first failed attempt to usurp power from Diablo and his brothers, and after that failure, the fallen were subjected to the full wrath of Diablo. They were twisted into small, ridiculous imps, in contrast to their previously powerful forms. Moreover, if they expected Azmodan to reverse their condition, they were sadly mistaken. The infuriated Azmodan held them responsible for the Prime Evils’ continued reign, and so he left the fallen in their new bodies, where their degradation would serve to amuse him for all eternity. Their failure provided him with the information he required to succeed in dethroning Diablo and his brothers – the event now known as the “Dark Exile” – but that fact did nothing to soften his heart toward the fallen.

When unleashed upon our realm by their master, Azmodan, these impish terrors display a tendency to swarm like flesh-hungry locusts, and they have been known to tear apart a sleeping village in minutes. Small of stature and simian in appearance, these creatures possess surprising strength and unnatural agility. Other than feasting on human flesh, the only act that gives these unspeakable horrors pleasure is breeding; hence the tendency to encounter them in large packs.

However, due to their small size, cowardice appears to be one of the chief features of this species. They quickly retreat when one of their brethren falls in battle 

the established face of fallen onesthe established face of fallen ones

 

the fallen ones are a unique breed of true demonic origin, one of the few that I’ve been able to conclusively verify through sources other than the ancient Vizjerei tomes in my possession. (How I came by said tomes will, of necessity, remain my secret.)

As my readers are well aware, early Vizjerei writings are often little more than self-serving propaganda aimed at whitewashing heinous deeds committed by the mage clan. For instance, we now know that the goatmen were unwitting human victims of an ancient Vizjerei power struggle (see entry 009 for more detailed information on the khazra’s tragic history), whereas the ancient Vizjerei texts would have us believe that they were actually demons – lieutenants of Baal, no less!

Through diligent cross-referencing with other manuscripts in my vast library, however, I have ascertained that the Vizjerei depiction of the creatures known as the fallen ones is factually correct.

Fallen ones display no obvious tendency towards greater organization beyond their predisposition to swarm. This is fortunate for humanity, for they are so numerous that if they were to band together in large numbers, they might easily overwhelm a small city. 

arrival of thresherarrival of thresher

 

I quickly (and quietly) moved back from the edge of the rocks. And then I heard the screeching. Burroughs had retrieved a large object, a cage of some kind, covered with a black tarp. This cage was the source of the hellish emanations. Thick ropes hung down from somewhere deep beneath its dark shroud. “That’s not far enough,” he said. As if to prove his point, he shook the cage he was holding. Ever viler screams shot forth, cutting through my head like cold, sharp blades. But they were nothing to the sound I heard next – the deathly churning of sand that heralded the arrival of the thresher.

Ever viler screams shot forth, cutting through my head like cold, sharp blades. But they were nothing to the sound I heard next – the deathly churning of sand that heralded the arrival of the thresher

“Their sound riles a thresher up something fierce. Better get them into the sand before we have company up here.” With that, he tore the cover off the cage. The shock of seeing what was contained within overwhelmed me immediately. Everything seemed to wash together in a kind of bland, sickening grayness, and my knees buckled