Range: Willpower Bonus yards to create or command, Willpower Bonus miles to remain active
Target: Creates 1 todschädel, Willpower Bonus skulls may be controlled
Duration: Special (indefinite)
Lore: Necromancy (Dhar)
Source: Inspired by The Grapes of Wrath by Carl Sargent
Warpstone is required to invoke this ritual (see Using Warpstone, WFRP p237).
The necromancer Bhareel was the first human known to raise a todschädel using this foul ritual. The ritual requires a recently deceased (1 hour per Willpower Bonus of the necromancer) human, beastman, or skaven corpse. The corpse is beheaded using a knife honed with warpstone, then laid upon a small slab or altar of warpstone while the necromancer intones the ritual over the skull. If the ritual is successful, the skull animates into a death skull. If the ritual is unsuccessful, in addition to other injurious effects the necromancy may suffer, the skull is destroyed.
A todschädel's initial condition is dormant. To achieve more direct control the necromancer must be within his Willpower Bonus yards of the todschädel and spend an uninterrupted action to concentrate on the todschädel to gain control over it. Once control is established, the todschädel becomes attuned to the necromancer. It can then be made passive by giving it instructions to follow, or active by continuing direct command. An individual may have up to his Willpower Bonus in todschädeln following passive instructions at any one time and one todschädel under active control. Active control of any of these todschädeln can be achieved after an uninterrupted action has been spent concentrating; a necromancer may therefore flit between passive todschädeln, making each one active as he does so, at will (once per round as his action).
In its active state a skull sends visual signals back to its controller. When controlling a skull the necromancer must remain completely relaxed and composed. Any physical movement will immediately negate control, as will gaining any Condition. The command range is the necromancer's Willpower Bonus in miles and command lasts for as long as the necromancer can maintain complete concentration. The necromancer may use the skull to follow direct commands or "re-program" the todschädel to carry out a new set of instructions (re-programming takes an uninterrupted action).
Any todschädel will become dormant if it becomes separated from its controller by more than the necromancer's Willpower Bonus in miles, or if completely shielded from its controller by a metal barrier for more than 1 round.
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