Garnet awoke in her new body, pleased that the risky ritual had worked. There hadn’t been any previously discovered way to do what she wanted: to escape from her dying body and into one that would live longer. She had spent many years focused just on that. It had occupied her from the moment she found her first gray hair.
She had always thought she would live forever: that if she learned enough, if she could control a large enough portion of the forces of life and death, that she could leave death behind as something for peasants and non-necromantic royalty. She had thought she could will her body into working forever.
That had proved not to be the case. No matter how fiery and sharp her mind still was or how many spirits bowed to her, doing whatever she told them to, her body still deteriorated, reaching ever closer to the earth, longing for the time when it could decompose.
So Garnet did what any self-respecting necromancer would do when faced with a problem: she studied the life out of it. She read, experimented, and invented, knowing that she would be able to find some way to keep from dying.
Half the beings on earth didn’t die; the non-human spirits and demons didn’t have a natural deterioration. If they stayed away from harmful spiritually magnetic areas and hexes, they could exist forever. It was the attachment to the physical world that was a problem; it was the physical world that beat against bodies like the ocean against stones. She had to master the physical world and keep it off of her without losing touch with it entirely.
She didn’t want to be a ghost. She didn’t want to run the risk of ascension or being unable to continue her work. She still wanted to be able to influence the physical world, to enjoy the physical world.
The process of coming up with just the right spell would have been quicker if Inu hadn’t abandoned her to do all the work. On her own, it had taken a decade. Finally, she had created one that would release herself from her present body and attach her to another one.
The risk, however, was that to do so, she would have to become a ghost, which meant she would have to kill herself; if her new vessel was in the right position, the summoning circle was drawn correctly—if everything was perfect—she would not ascend and would be able to take the new body. If something was wrong, she would remain a ghost, or she would ascend, thus doing to herself what she had given ten years of work trying to avoid.
The spell worked. She left her old, dying body and entered a new, strong one. But, oh, the gods of chance were cruel. So, so, so cruel. This new body, young and strong as it was, was injured and dying. Not just injured, it was maimed. It had had its eyes carved out, sometime between her death and her possession. And it was out in the woods, who knows how far away from her tower.
Garnet was so angry, she pressed her finger into the burn wound on her stomach, to cause herself more pain out of spite.
She couldn’t work in a body like this! She didn’t want to be blind! Garnet had to find a new body. Her mind went to work, wheels spinning at the speed of sound. She had to find someone to help her perform the spell again.
She had to find someone who had some kind of skill, but not so much that they would see through her plan and betray her. She needed a beginner-level necromancer. But to do that, first she needed to find civilization.
A/N: Choosing to become a Ponticusan, in the middle of the Mooric/Highlandic-Ponticusan war, probably wasn’t one of Garnet’s better ideas. To be fair, she didn’t count on the warlocks finding her and exacting cruel revenge (on her behalf, ironically). She just thought, “Hey, this is a strong-looking, desperate sort of person who might be susceptible to me.” Also, she’s always had a thing for golden skin. Not that it matters much anymore.