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Speak with dead, also seen as speak with the dead,[15] was a necromancy spell or exploration ritual that allowed the caster to ask a corpse questions and receive answers.[4][5][13][16][17][18]

EffectsEdit

The corpse being subjected to this "reading" had to be intact enough to speak and the questions asked had to be in a language that the deceased understood.[5][13][15][16][17][18] The corpse also had to have been of an intelligent creature in life.[4]

The more complete the corpse, the more complete the answers.[5] The knowledge stored in the corpse after death was only that which the deceased knew in life. Answers were usually short, truthful, and cryptic, like a riddle. More experienced priests could ask more questions for a longer period of time.[5][15][16][17][18] For the older version of speak with dead, the longer the person had been dead, the higher the level of priest was needed to cast the spell.[15][16][17][18] For the ritual version, a maximum of three questions could be asked, depending on the skill with which the caster conducted the ritual.[4]

If the deceased was of a different alignment to the questioner, the imprint of the deceased on the corpse could resist speak with dead and negate the spell.[5][16][17] This spell also failed if the corpse was undead[5][15] or if the same corpse had been questioned within the past week.[5][16][17][19]

RealmsloreEdit

Tessaril Winter, Lord of Eveningstar, acquired an arcane version of speak with dead[12], which she used to interrogate all murder victims.[20] Her version could extract up to ten questions from a corpse, but the corpse got a chance to resist answering each question.[citation needed]

The Red Wizards of Thay also created an arcane version of speak with dead, which allowed exactly three questions.[13]

ComponentsEdit

The post-1372 DR version of this spell required only verbal and somatic components plus the priest's holy symbol or divine focus.[5] The older divine versions required burning incense as part of the casting, as did the Red Wizard version.[13][16][17][18] The version known as speak with the dead required a flame from any normal source, a drop of the caster's blood, and the tongue of any creature in either whole, dried, or powdered form.[15] The later ritual version also required the burning of sanctified incense, costing 140 gp.[4]

The speak with dead that Tessaril Winter learned required a drop of the caster's blood, a sprig of mint, a sprig of parsley, and red or black gem worth at least 100 gp that had been crushed to powder.[12]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 277. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 312. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 281. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  6. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  7. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  8. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 28, 214. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  9. David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 39, 271. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  10. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  11. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 186, 187. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ed Greenwood (1992). Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-325-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  14. Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24, 48. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 94. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 214. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 271. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 48. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  19. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 281. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  20. Ed Greenwood (1992). Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 1-56076-325-6.

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