“Let us take tea in the garden,” Maravin offered, signaling the party into the manor. They passed into the gardens at the rear of the building, amazed that the reclusive sorcerer was so willing to meet with them. They sat at a small table and Maravin soon joined them with a tray of elegant dishes.
Maravin served them one by one and nodded toward a gardener as he emerged from the hedges to water the flowers nearby. “Don’t mind Shane. He’ll go about his work, but please don’t speak to him or he may be useless all day.”
Gilbren glanced toward the gardener, then took another long look. “He’s an undead?” He asked, keeping most of the disgust from his voice.
“Yes. He simply didn’t notice when he died and attempts to convince him of it only fluster him.” Maravin sighed. “But, he is still a good gardener, and he doesn’t mind his cottage falling apart.”
Praxist undead are the product of those who die in a life so routine they do not notice their own death and continue on their daily business. Usually this transition requires the creature of habit to die in their sleep, though other circumstances may allow it. Generally any interaction with people as part of the daily routine precludes transformation into a Praxist because of the dynamic nature of conversation and human behavior. However, if these conversations are rote the transition may still be possible.
Praxists, unlike many undead, retain the powers and abilities they had in life that are vital to their routine. A mage casting the same spells daily will retain the ability to cast those spells, a gardener will retain skill with plants, and a preacher who delivers the same sermon daily will still be able to speak clearly and turn the pages of his scriptures.
Praxists exist because of their routine. If that routine is broken or anything unexpected happens they will be disoriented, unable to troubleshoot, and may flee the scene of the change looking for familiarity. If familiarity cannot be restored or the change is significant enough, the Praxist may be destroyed by the shock.
For more information about Praxists, including examples of particular specimens, check out my collection of storied undead: “Whispers of the Dead.”