The following spells are not strictly necromantic, but may be very useful additions for wizards with that inclination.
Animated corpses may also be a useful tool of reconnaissance, by making the animation a vehicle of remote exploration. An interesting similar canonical spell to start as a base is Arachne’s Tuition (Magi of Hermes, p 101) which allows the caster to assume control the targets body.
Assumedly the control allows the caster to perceive with the targets senses as well as control their fine motion; otherwise the caster is really going to struggle to perform crafting style activities with any degree of accuracy. This is the same desired effect, except on an animated corpse under the control of the caster which still should be a valid target. Corpus is corpus after all.
Assume the Dominant Sentience
Rego Corpus 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual
This spell allows the caster to directly control a target touched, and is designed for use with an animated corpse but will function with a living target as well.
To maintain control beyond their reach the caster should have an arcane connection to the target, so it can move beyond his presence and still be controlled. The caster can pause and resume the control of the target.
(Base 4, +1 fine movements, +1 Touch, +3 Moon)
I’ve altered the duration to Moon to a greater allowance for prolonged activity, and added a requirement for an AC if the corpse is going to be maneuvered beyond the casters presence.
This effect might be best either in a device using Concentration or via a Rego Vim effect to maintain it. It’s also possible that the spell could be invented as a Sun effect and recast even if the corpse is beyond the reach of the caster by using an Intangible Tunnel. Again this is one of many potential variations.
Magi may also wish to watch what a corpse does while animated without directly taking control, and maintain that view. Such a a spell would be:
Experiences of the Shambling Servant
Intellego Imagonem / Creo 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
The caster can see, hear, smell, and feel at the location touched. The spell is intended to be used with an Intangible Tunnel or on a target creature touched.
(Base 4 to use four senses at a distance, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)
Another odd effect for moving corpses around without raising suspicion or ire. Arguably the baseline to shrink a corpse is lower than to shrink a living target, due to the difference in other guidelines when working with living or dead materials. It seemed safer to keep the level the same as a living target and allow the spell to affect a body regardless of if it is living or dead.
The Diminutive Advisor
Muto Corpus 25, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
This spell shrinks a human down to a fraction of its normal size, down to size -11. This ensures unobtrusive transport is possible and makes the target almost no threat in ordinary combat.
The spell was designed with corpses in mind, but can also affect living targets.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 for shrinking 9 more sizes ranks)
There is a spell in Houses of Hermes: True Lineages which allows a Quaesitor to gain a visual impression of the target from a scrap of material. Here is a necromantic version which is essentially creating a specific corpse assisted by an arcane connection.
Semblance of the Trespasser’s Corpse
Creo Corpus / Intellego 20, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Individual
This spell uses a small amount of human remains to conjure a fresh corpse which appears as the person does.
(Base 5 to create a corpse, +1 Touch, +2 Ring)
After opening a grave it’s desirable to close it up neatly. A spell simple in concept but difficult in design as it could be achieved in several ways and is likely to be better used as an adhoc spont spell (I had trouble deciding how to get the right outcome for this spell).
An illusion with a longish duration might also achieve the same end.
Restore the Restful Earth
Rego Terram / Herbam 4, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual
This spell makes an area of earth smooth and clear from any signs of disturbance, including restoring the grass and topsoil in the correct patterns.
The spell can also be used to superficially transplant earth or plants into decorative patterns.
A finesse roll of 6+ is needed to properly conceal a significant event, such as a grave being disturbed.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 complexity)
Illusion of the Undisturbed Grave
Muto Imagonem 10, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual
This spell makes a large area of ground or flooring look unchanged and like its surroundings, and if cast before an excavation is performed will retain the perfect undisturbed appearance. The caster must succeed a finesse check, particularly to mimic a very specific appearance.
Intended to hide the nighttime activities of grave robbers, the spell will also conceal holes, traps, or significant markings.
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 size)
Lastly a spell intended to turn foes upon each other during a monstrous outbreak, potentially to be cast upon members of the same fighting force to incite panic.
Aura of Ghoulish Malice
Muto Imagonem 15, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual
The target appears rotting, horrible, and befouled; essentially appearing as if they are the walking dead. Many very obvious changes are made in the subject’s appearance, sound, and smell. This includes hallowed eyes, rotting or wounded flesh, pasty skin, gravely and broken voice, moaning, bent posture, and swaying gait.
It is impossible to gain a normal reaction while under the effects of this spell, as the changes are so gross and pervasive.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun)
These effects, like all the others I’ve pondered are part of a new spells compendium for Ars Magica.