A play generated race/class for my HMS Apollyon game - the creepy mostly undead Draugr. This class is the result of a party of adventurers undertaking a mission on behalf of a lunatic lich they met and befriended within the hull. In exchange for wealth and magic the party smuggled a pair of the necromancer's "children" into Sterntown, allegedly for the edification and education of these undead thralls.
There is no crime in Sterntown greater than the practice of Necromancy. While murder, theft, racketeering and fraud are all conditional, depending on the victim and the perpetrator, necromancy is forbidden to all and punished harshly with mutilation, exile and death. The reason for this draconian rule rises from the history and fears of Sterntowners, both the Upper Deck’s elite and the masses of crew struggling to survive in the ship’s rusting bowels. The risen dead a force to be feared aboard the Apollyon: The Ash Plague and its Ghoul Kings, the spirits of Sterntown’s unquiet dead and even the revenants that rise unintelligent and obsessed from bodies left to rot in the cursed waters within the ship’s hold. All undead are dangerous, and over the ages they have tirelessly worn down humanity’s hold on the vessel. The War Amidship and retreat to Sterntown is still a fresh memory, with its loss of most human industrial capacity, the decimation of the Marines and the deaths of at least 60% of the population, but it is only the most recent victory in a slow war between living and dead.
Yet necromancy has a long history amongst Sterntown’s magic practioners, and was one of the most widely practiced magical arts amongst the sorcerous class when the ship was lost, before the Passenger cabals arose blending their blood with that of strange outsider entities to assure their progenies’ magical potency. Some echoes of these times remain and there are still necromancers hidden amongst all classes in Sterntown, as the art is both easy and seductive compared to some other forms of magic. These renegade necromancers create servants, but are careful to hide their existence; each necromancer thinking they are clever enough to avoid detection and gain power as the madness of their craft slowly takes hold. Likewise the Ash Plague does not rest, and amongst its Kings and Queens the more sane and crafty have raised spies, assassins and agents that can easily pass for living men and women.
These undead parodies of life, whether agents of the Ash Plague, servants of hidden magus’, or undead thralls who have slipped their bonds and outlived their masters are known as Draugr, and exist hidden amongst the population of Sterntown, concealing their nature and eking out a marginal existence. Many of these dead find their way into Scavenging gangs, as their natural abilities make them useful for dealing with other undead and the largely unregulated world of scavenging provides a chance to avoid official scrutiny, explain their odd appearances (scavengers always end up a bit off, being exposed to the horrors of the hull), and potentially contact their handlers amongst the Ash Plague.