“As you fight your way past the undead minions and plunge your enchanted sword into the necromancer’s heart, you hear his final words amidst a coughing laughter: “Rest while you can…for you…have not seen the last of me…”
Origin and creation of the spell Edit
While many spells are devised by a lone spellcaster, the Clone spell is in fact an example of cooperative research. Drawing on the knowledge of experts in several disciplines this spell was first imagined by a wizard-cleric of Wee Jas. He gathered a circle of colleagues in his tower and set out to make a viable clone that could be grown properly, preserved for a long time and capable of holding a person’s soul.
The first obstacle was growing the body. At first their clone bodies were flawed, but they soon discovered that a sizeable chunk of flesh, gathered from the target’s body, was absolutely required to make the growing process a success. This suggestion was made by a sorcerous surgeon/alchemist hired shortly after the start of the project. The next big step forward was creating a growing chamber for the clone. While any tough and non-reactive material can be used, a glass front screen was chosen to better oversee the growth process. It is filled with a fluid containing all the nutrients the clone needs to grow. An arcane rune is placed on the flesh before starting the growth process to instruct it to reshape into a fully functioning body instead of some mutated cluster of meat. Failure to use the correct symbols will create monstrosities. The growing tank must also be marked with runes of restoration magic to guide and accelerate the growth, for without positive energy the process is destined to fail.
Once they had properly cloned bodies, there was a debate on how to store them. Some thought a simple anti-rot spell used to preserve corpses would do nicely, but they proved to be wrong as the bodies still rotted in time. Another solution was found in the form of special stasis pods. The effect inside was a combination of preserving magics and the actual slowing of local time inside the pods. This effect is a continual minor drain of magical power and the pod mustbe supplied with gemstones containing magical essence to keep on functioning.
Now, the part that binds it all together was devised by the aforementioned wizard-cleric of Wee Jas himself. It is a unique magical marker, tailored to the target. It is imprinted in the target’s clone body and the target’s very soul. This will allow the soul to find its clone(s) upon death and rise once more. This part of the process requires some knowledge of necromancy to execute properly.
Studying the spell Edit
How would one go about learning this particular spell? Most spellcasters wouldn’t have heard of this spell, unless they were interested in this topic in the first place. In all likelihood, you’ll encounter the appropriate spellbooks and components when raiding a necromancer’s lair or a lich’s hideout (many liches experiment with this before attaining undeath), That said, the instructions for the entire process have been spread widely since creation of the spell. The circle of creators has shared it with their most trusted apprentices, and they in turn have spread it further and so on. Those spellcasters focused on either restoration or necromancy are likely to have heard about this spell at some point, and if raiding a dangerous enemy’s hideout is not your cup of tea, seeking one of the masters of those schools of magic is your best bet. It is likely that you will have to earn their trust before they are willing to teach you. If no specialists are available, you should go and find the nearest Great Library and browse the ‘Forbidden’ section at your leisure.
This spell is not merely some arcane scribbles in a spellbook. The entire process must be studied extensively, often requiring cross-references with topics one has little knowledge of. Several books must be read for each and every step of the process. Luckily, there is little danger involved except for the final step, which I will touch upon a bit later in this text.
Although not horribly expensive, a venture such as creating a clone of oneself (or for a client!) does take a properly outfitted lab and some raw materials and components. Even if you have all of that, you’ll need some way to hide and protect your clone storage facility.
Failed casting and other unfortunate problems Edit
Remember that final step I mentioned? Performing it incorrectly can have dire consequences. It must be applied to the clone body and target soul perfectly with the appropriate ritual. An incorrect marker or a faulty application can result in total or partial failure. To be honest, a total failure might be better. When the failure is complete the target’s soul simply joins the afterlife it was destined for. When the failure is partial, the soul might wander around aimlessly for years before finding the body eventually, unless some other force can help guide it faster. And even when the soul has reached the body, a marker mismatch might make the soul to body transfer impossible. In addition, a wandering soul that carries such a powerful marker cannot be raised from the dead easily. Only a true resurrection or wish has a guaranteed chance of returning the creature to life, but depending on the marker resurrection might also be effective.
This is not the only danger when putting your soul on the line! Once your secret has leaked, your enemies will have several options available to them. One such tactic involves finding your clone body and taking measures to have it under control once your soul returns there. Of course, this shouldn’t be easy, but if they manage to do so and then kill you they can immediately kill you again. So hopefully you’ll have more than one clone stashed away to avoid such an embarrassing end.
A different approach is to simply erase the marker from your soul with a specially designed magical poison. Such research isn’t easy and your enemies will need time and some information on the Clone spell to pull it off, but if they manage you’ll be taken by surprise. Once they manage to defeat you, you’ll be subject to either wandering around aimlessly or going to the afterlife.
Perhaps the most sinister countermove to the clone spell is using a variation on the Trap the Soul spell. With enough time and resources at their disposal your foes will be able to create a trap that has a marker similar to the one imprinted on your soul. It is possible to lure you to a soul-trapping gem that attracts your soul, trapping you to be their plaything forever.
Yet another problem can occur, although this is not necessarily limited to the Clone spell. If you happen to count divine or otherwise powerful extraplanar entities among your enemies, there is a chance your soul will be taken away upon your death.