See also: Mortalitasi

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My tenure as ambassador to the Nevarran court began, appropriately enough, with a death. I arrived to find my predecessor and intended mentor, Sifas Carrenter, had died in his sleep. Not unexpected, given his age. Instead of a cremation, the Mortalitasi were summoned for him, those grey-robed mages who seem to be everywhere in the palace.

I was warned of the Mortalitasi in Starkhaven. Some cautioned me about their political prowess, learned from sitting at the king's feet for generations. Others talked about the Mortalitasi like they were ghoulish surgeons in leather aprons, exhuming bodies by moonlight in their Grand Necropolis.

The Mortalitasi who spoke to me was a polite, tawny-haired woman who smelled strongly of soap. She explained that Carrenter had earned the honor of being preserved and interred in the Necropolis. It seems a barbaric practice, but I knew that demanding a cremation would have made me—and, more importantly, Starkhaven—lose face in Nevarra.

Instead, my thanks seemed to please her. She described some of their rites. Though she wouldn't speak of the greater mysteries, even a glimpse into their arts put my hair on end. But I held my peace. The Mortalitasi are linked to the throne by blood. If I die in my office, like Carrenter, my body will be in their hands. In a land where death and politics are intertwined, one should be polite.

—Galen Vedas, Starkhaven ambassador to Nevarra, 9:6 Dragon

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