Does it come as any surprise that, when I start looking into death symbolism (thank you Wikipedia), that most of the animals commonly associated with death are nocturnal? Admittedly, it wasn’t until after I got quite a bit into it that I realized that cats, owls, bats (with another helpful hint from Wikipedia) were all nocturnal. Then a couple things started to come together in my head.

I went down the list and made some quick notes on animals that I thought could serve as the basis of, say, a themed mage — let’s say we want a death mage with cat powers, a death mage with bat powers, a death mage with snake powers (not listed as nocturnal, but you can bet snakes are associated with death) — in my head, I saw a basic suite of death-based powers which got handed out as part of the standard death mage package, plus you got a scoop of animal-based death powers.

Somehow, during this process, I started thinking about ice cream. I blame Megan.

Anyway, you have thirty-one flavors (figuratively) of death mage: cats, bats, rats, snakes, scorpions, wolves, owls, etc. It isn’t difficult to see how there would be some pretty clear-cut differences between schools of necromantic practice: cat-based necromancers might be aloof and uninterested in everyday affairs, instead attending to immortality and exploration. Owl-based necromancers might act as observers, advisers, and badass old dudes. I’m still trying to work out sloths and wombats. :/