Thursday, April 21, 2011
First, there is a hard limit on how long Men -- and only Men, for the gods seem to favor no other race in this regard -- may be dead before raise dead proves ineffective. Theologians and metaphysicians disagree on the reasons for this limit, but they both agree that, after 30 days, no cleric, regardless of his power, can restore life to the deceased. Second, the deceased's own ability to withstand adversity comes into play, with some Men being constitutionally less able to survive the magical rigors raise dead demands of their bodies. Thus, this spell often has no effect on the aged or infirm, particularly the former, for raise dead can do nothing to restore life to those who died simply of old age. As the saying goes, "Even the gods bow to the authority of Time." Third, those whom raise dead does restore are often shattered by the experience, both physically and spiritually. They are weaker of body and prone to gloominess; some even claim that they can see the souls of the recently dead abroad in the world.
As noted above, raise dead is only effective on Men. Dwarves, being artificial constructs of living stone, may be returned to life by a magic-user using a stone to flesh spell. Elves, despite their immortality, cannot be returned to life by any known means; should their bodies die, they are truly dead. Goblins are also unaffected by raise dead, but their culture believes in metempsychosis and expects goblin souls to return to the material world in another form. They look upon the use of raise dead as further evidence of Man's cowardice and immaturity.