Skeletons are so common throughout Norrath, it’s pretty wasteful to spend much time studying them. The good thing about skeletons, though, is that they are so numerous that studying them is a breeze.
“Skeletons” by Trinni Mellosius — Taking them apart and putting them together.
If there’s a graveyard, there’ll be skeletons. The question is, what kind? The best way to figure out what you’ll encounter in any given graveyard is to look at what’s alive in the area. That’s because skeletons are simply reanimated dead. That puts skeletons into the category known as “undead,” which includes creatures such as ghosts, ghouls and zombies.
Pretty much every living creature has a skeleton. The nice thing about skeletons is that you can see everything you need to know about your enemy at a glance. Is it carrying a concealed weapon? That’s mighty hard to do when you don’t have any skin to hide it behind!
Let’s take a look at orc skeletons as an example. Once you are familiar with skeletons, you’ll know about the living orcs, too. Seeing them from the inside out gives you the advantage in battle — you will already know where the living orcs are vulnerable and tender.
First, look at the orc skeleton’s skull. It is thicker at the front top than it is on the temples or at the back. That means you’ll want to attack them from the side whenever possible to knock them unconscious. Although…it’s hard to say that an undead creature actually has a conscious state even without you coshing it on the head.
The skeleton’s neck is thin and much more vulnerable to a slashing attack. This is not always true of living creatures which may protect their soft fleshy bits with studded collars and coifs. The motto for the novice hunter is: look before you slash. If it’s covered, see what is left wide-open, and redirect your attack appropriately.
Many skeletons wield the same weaponry as they would in life. If the animated undead was a magic user, you can be assured that its skeletal counterpart is also a magic user. In this case, it’s handy to study the living creature instead to better know what damage skeletal creature is capable of doing.
For the most part, skeletons are fairly solitary. They will however band together from their separate funereal plots to do whatever thing a particular sorcery has called them to life to do. Or undead. It’s hard to know what to call them since they are clearly not alive, but aren’t necessarily dead!
Occasionally, skeletons are found beyond graveyards. You can find them haunting areas where they existed in life. For example, you can see any number of skeletons in places like Stormhold. These skeletons are likely bound to the last place their living self remembers and need to be re-killed in order to die. Except they’re already dead, which means you can’t kill them. Hmm. Anyway.
When you come across a skeleton and you don’t recognize what sort of creature it might once have been, imagine it covered in fat. Often, we’re surprised by how scrawny a skeleton is and forget that something like a giant may be big in the bone department, but lack some of the width its layer of skin and fat would cover. Keep in mind that not everything has a skeleton. You’d feel pretty foolish telling someone you were fighting a Coldwind octopus skeleton, now, wouldn’t you?
That’s all I know about skeletons. Hopefully, you’ll find this information useful. If not, go do your own study on skeletons. It’ll be easy; they’re everywhere!