Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…
There lived a group. And they did not like how death came. They did not like death at all, truth be told, and each had sought, alone and with others, to bring an end to it.
But finally, they turned and looked and each other, and they saw that they were all old, and in the end, they could not find a way to make magic save people efficiently. They hoped other technologies might do that, given time, but theirs could not, not in their lifetime.
While the first laid on their true deathbed—“deathbed” had become something of a relative term in this group, as you might imagine—they gathered around and made one last circle. For there would be others, but this would be the last with all of them.
The Old One, now the Dead One, gave everything that was left in them. The others gave all they could. More than One died that night. We might call this a death curse, though at the time this group only knew each other, and would be much likelier to call it a death spell. They did not think much of death by battle; it did not occur to them that death spells might become most commonly offensive, rather than sustaining.
And in one moment, each gave all the magic they knew how to give, and each spread it, letting it ring through every place and every life they could touch.
And that is why, when you are very young, we tell you that magic cannot bring people back from the dead. It can. It does. Miraculous recoveries are made every day, people “die” on the operating table every day—not every spontaneous remission is because of their sacrifice, but many and much of them are.
But if you wish to bring back someone who has died anyway…it is often better to use technology other than your magic. For whenever someone finds a way to keep someone alive, or to bring them back, we focus the new spell through the Dead One’s bones and let it touch every place and life in calling distance. If you want to use your magic to bring someone back anyway, you must first discover something that no one else ever has.
If you do, I hope you’ll tell us. I’d love to lay those old bones to rest.