Two Worlds Pacifist Run - Concerning Necromancers

Here we provide a more dubious side feature on pacifist challenge options when dealing with the many necromancers you'll find throughout the realm in Two Worlds I. The skill of necromancy tends not to feature very prominently as a preferred tool in most pacifist run RPGs for obvious reasons, and Two Worlds isn't an exception. However, the Two Worlds necromancers themselves are a decidedly mixed bunch of characters: At least a few necromancers you'll meet are cooking up some sinister scheme to slay throngs of people as part of their antinomian quest for enlightenment. Others, however, will offer you quests that fall into a much lighter "shade of grey," and won't require you to harm anyone at all to cash in on some more nonviolent yields of gold and experience points, as well as increased reputation with the necromancers in general.
Of course, even the best of necromancers aren't ideal allies for people who want to avoid involvement with questionable practices, and more than enough nonviolent experience is available if you prefer to skip dealing with them entirely. (In retrospect, there were also only a few necromancer quests that rewarded us with experience points, but we still found the encounters and dialogue entertaining.)

Nonetheless, with those caveats aside:

Starting on a practical note: One of the necromancers you'll find early on is just a skill trainer you can find fairly early on in the modest woodcutting and hunting village of Rovant, a distance over the mountain roads southwest of Covengor. He doesn't give a quest, but can teach you the powerful skill of Alchemy, and is probably the earliest trainer you can find for that particular skill. (He can also teach you necromancy and iron skin, though those particular skills were never a top choice in our pacifist challenge runs.) Note that you don't have to do anything involving Necromancy to learn the Alchemy skill from this individual: You'll just have to pay him for training you.
Rovant village alchemy trainer (who also happens to be a necromancer)

Along the roads east of Komorin village you may notice a slightly intimidating two-story house on top of a hill (north of a junction in the lower road near a teleport): This belongs to Basil Tylar, a necromancer who will tell you he has need of a "bold man" who can perform tasks for him, and preferably who doesn't ask too many questions...
Further conversation will reveal that he wants you to retrieve a rope that has been used to hang someone. If you accept this charge, you'll get the quests "The Hangman's Rope" and "Gallow's Hill," which won't involve any violence despite being decidedly dubious tasks: All you'll have to do is go visit the macabre hilltop site of Gallows Hill, where (as the necromancer suggests) many Grom raiders have recently been hung.

You'll have to evade some wolves (including one necromantic dire wolf), but otherwise will be able to just grab a rope on top of the hill when you arrive, along with some taint shoots that grow there, and return the rope to the necromancer for gold, experience, and increased reputation with the necromancers.
As you may have already guessed, Basil Tylar doesn't have wholly benign applications in mind for the use of the rope in his rites, but he won't ever actually do anything that harms anyone unless you also perform his second quest to test out his experiments:
You can consequently opt to bring him the rope secure in the knowledge that going that far won't ever result in his dubious plans advancing to the point where anyone is harmed.

If you talk to him again, however, he'll offer you another "simple task" to deliver a pair of Black Magic Dolls to deliver to some bandits in the Old Smuggler's Cave...
After some humorous dialogue between the protagonist and necromancer (who urges you to stop asking questions and "think on the money"), you'll find that this is where the fun stops on a pacifist run (unless you're diving into a truly murky grey area), since delivering the dolls would cause the smugglers to perish in a fluctuation of necromantic energy...
We didn't do that in our run, but admittedly created an alternate save file "to see what would happen," since the dialogues were too amusing to miss:
If you deliver the dolls and then return to Basil Tylar to report your success, the necromancer will be surprised and thrilled that his experiment worked, and reward you again. If you aid him in further dire tasks, however, the necromancer (and perhaps you) will get more than you bargained for:
This time Basil Tylar will confide that he's taken it on himself to use his dark powers to murder Erbat Skelden, who he considers a usurping tyrant. He's not alone there, of course, since many villagers feel the same— but as it happens he'll never get the chance to carry out his plans: After he sends you on a quest for more hangman's rope (which you'll never be able to collect and return to him), the quest will update itself after you leave, and if you double back and return to his house you'll find the necromancer has already been hunted down and killed by a Skelden soldier who found out about his plot...
The Skelden officer reports that the assassination plot is foiled, and that the culprit who aided the necromancer (you) will soon be apprehended as well...
At this point you could simply deny having any involvement and still receive some additional experience to bring this dire interlude to an end, but our choice was to instead reload our older saved game and restore everyone involved back to life again.
A theoretical alternative approach: We didn't think of this the first time during our run, but if you waited until you had the level 15 Air Magic spell "Resurrection" before talking to Basil Tylar a second time, you might be able to carry out his quest to deliver the black magic dolls to the smugglers, and then promptly resurrect both smugglers immediately after they are struck dead by the dire power of the dolls.
You could then try to go back to claim the rewards, get the final quest, come back after the Skelden soldier slays Tylar, deny involvement (to receive more xp rewards), and finally: Wait for the Skelden soldier to leave, then resurrect Basil Tylar himself. If this works as well as similar tactics in Ashos and elsewhere, it might enable everyone involved to live happily ever after. (Like Asmohar though, we don't know if you'll actually be able to find the slain Basil Tylar in order to revive him.)

Helping Orm Varagor is arguably the least controversial way to gain some good reputation with the necromancers, but it will first require getting rid of some skeletons in the Thieves' Cave, to help out the hapless thief Tyco Thorn:
See COVENGOR GUIDE for additional details.
In short: Thorn was ousted by his own skeletons, who he hired a necromancer named Orm Varagor to summon for him, naively hoping they'd serve as bodyguards in his cave. After giving you a ring he stole so you can give it back to its owner Ash Lorus outside, he'll also ask you to clear the hostile skeletons out of his cave.

We skipped it on our purist run, but doing this is the only way to ever make Orm Varagor appear. We tested this out just for fun and found that Thorn is actually more than a match for the skeletons despite his timidity— though you'd better keep a paternalistic eye on his health if you want to make him do all the dirty work. You could also cast Chaos Rage on the skeletons to make them fight each other, and resurrect any fallen skeletons with the Resurrect spell to revive them and tip the balance if your favor. (All this will also exclude you from "cheating" by acquiring any xp from the dispatched skeletons, which you'd receive if you went with a direct solution like casting "destroy undead" or just clubbing at them with a blunt weapon.)
If you decide to go in for this fiasco, your reward will be xp and gold from Thorn, and also a new quest to go speak with Orm Varagor...

Up the steep mountain paths north of Covengor, you will find a noteworthy hut with a necromantic spellbook placed in a lecturn inside a fenced-in yard. If you didn't clear Thorn's cave of skeletons, it will remain empty. But if you did help Thorn, then the necromancer Orm Varagor will be found outside in his small fenced courtyard.
As necromancers go, Varagor is pretty benign as far as we could see: Rather than pursuing concepts like assassinating people with hexes using hangman's rope and black magic dolls, poisoning wells, or raising legions of undead orcish ghouls, Varagor only wants to escape the worldly sphere. To accomplish this, he is preparing a rite to transport himself into a netherworld which he believes will be more suited to his tastes— but he needs a large quantity of Taint Shoots (plant shoots infused with necromantic taint) in order to accomplish this.
This initiates four different quests, but all simply involve picking various quantities of glowing taint shoots in haunted graveyards, and bringing them back to Varagor. These taint shoots are very easy to spot, since the taint causes the shoots to illuminate like flares which are easy to spot from a distance, often being visible even in broad daylight when passing by the walls of a graveyard...
The first of these quests is called "Bring Me Some Taint" in the Questbook. The other three have titles something along the lines of "Bring Me Some More Taint," or "Bring Me Even More Taint,"  and conclude with "Bring Me Some Taint One Last Time."
Completing these quests will reward you with increased reputation with the necromancers, and various necromantic spell cards— and, of course, will enable Orm Varagor to complete his rite and vanish into a supernatural gateway to the Netherworld in which he wishes to retire.

Society Mage Seloth Brotun's quests in Quidnar might have been included here, since he'll give less-than-subtle hints that he is developing a consuming interest in necromancy as part of his research, and wants your to bring him a skeleton spell and senior necromancy staff. However, on checking our results, it seems this will actually reward with you Society reputation: After you learn that Brotun has rebelled from the Society and become a lone wolf necromancer himself, he'll have already become hostile, so there's no reputation to gain with the necrolytes in his case.

The dead forest is found in the same blackened wastelands as Fire Claw Tower and Gor Gammar. There is little or nothing to be gained here for a pacifist run, but if you're curious (like we were), you will find an unsettling "Old Abode" in this fearsome place, inhabited by a necromancer named Asmohar...
Asmohar is one of the most memorable necromancers in the game, but also one of the least suitable people you could ever get involved with in any pacifist run in which the preservation of lives is a paramount concern:
Asmohar will claim that he can use his powers to grant you a powerful weapon to use against the orcs of Gor Grammar. In order to grant you this weapon, however, he'll demand a scorpion's poisoned gland, requiring you to bump off one of the monstrous scorpions found nearby, after which he'll also ask you to slay all the octogrons lurking near the ancient stone temple in the forest.

Asmohar will then summon you to a meeting at the ancient temple, where he will give you an item with a truly memorable and distinctive title: the "Necro Orc Killer."
If you take this item to the Gates of Gor Gammar and use it there, it will cause an explosive blast of insalubrious magical energies that cause every single orc at the gates and inside the entire stronghold to drop dead within a few seconds, allowing you to walk in and take the Relic Fire Stone from their altar with no opposition.
If you return to the "Old Abode" to report your success, however, you'll find a paladin named "Paladine" there: He will have already slain Asmohar, who he says raised up an army of orcish ghouls with his necromantic arts. (If you returned to Gor Gammar at that point, you'd find some credence to this story, since it will now be full of shambling ghouls.)
One thing we never thought of at the time (and therefore never tested) though: Players whose sense of humor compels them to seek out Asmohar and use the "Necro Orc Killer" might actually be able to try using the Ressurection spell on all the dead orcs in Gor Gammar to bring them back to life "reformed," and also to then go back and cast Resurrection on our friend Asmohar back at the Dead Forest, if you can find where the paladins left his body...
If that doesn't work though, you can still do as we ended up doing on our "proper" pacifist run (after reloading our save game file to restore everyone to life), and make your journey into Gor Gammar a wholly non-violent walking tour by simply putting on the Orc Camouflage Armor. This causes everyone to remain alive and well, including Asmohar at the Old Abode.
Final note on the Dead Forest: If you travel all the way to the northeast corner of this place, you could also take the Relic Air Stone from a dragon's nest that you'd mysteriously find there, but a more rewarding way of doing this that includes the backstory will be presented to you if you first visit the Drak'Ar Desert and talk to a desert-dwelling hermit named Ari Aldamor "the Dragon Whisperer" first: See the section on the Drak'Ar Desert for details.

If you obtained enough reputation with necromancers by completing nonviolent quests for relatively harmless characters like Orm Varagor (who just wants you to gather some tainted plant shoots so that he can try to banish himself to the netherworld for a change of scene), your only real reward in the end will be to get let inside the necromancer's new cult "haven" in the wastelands, which they call "The Enclave."
As with all places in Two Worlds, there's plenty of atmosphere and interesting dialogues to read here, but the Enclave is more or less a flop when it comes to nonviolent pacifist run questing, since everyone here will ask you to kill someone or something. The only other quest we know of involving the Enclave would be Sygius Destrus' quest "Public Enemy" to go and assassinate The Flame, so we gave the whole place the miss on our latest pacifist run through the game.
The Enclave can be found in an inhospitable hilly desert environment some distance directly south of the ruins of Hadeborg Castle, in the war-scarred regions south of the River Gon. The first person you'll meet when approaching the gates of the enclave is the guardian Solvan. He'll only let you inside if you have a high enough reputation with the necromancers.
You'll be able to meet a number of interesting characters in here, but the quests unfortunately all involve some type of violence:
Xavo Wellmark will try to get you to go bump off his brother, who has (shockingly) been driven insane by necromancy, and is now inhabiting a less than cheery lair called "Blood Cave," where he is busy raising up various undead monsters. (Exactly why this behavior allegedly constituted "madness" compared with what the rest of the necromancer were doing has slipped our memory, but we declined to carry out the assassination request regardless.)
Another necromancer named Ito Tamaga has a grievance against some "beasts" (reapers, as it turns out), who he says have been defiling hallowed ground with their presence, and disturbing his experiments. We gave him a miss as well, even if we're not quite as fond of Two Worlds' Reapers as we are of Thief Gold's Burricks.
If you completed these two quests, however, the necromancer's cult-leader "The Flame" would appear at The Enclave. After holding forth for some time about her metaphysical beliefs, The Flame will try to get you to agree to go poison the well at Four Stones village, which she indicates will be a stepping stone toward bringing about some type of necromantic nirvana...
Our choice was to give this request a miss and leave our friends at Four Stones village alone, so this pretty much wrapped up our visit to the Enclave. (As far as we know, you won't ever have to worry about the necromancers wiping out Four Stones Village on their own either.)
In utilitarian terms, the necromancers turned out to be the least useful faction to deal with in a Two Worlds pacifist run, but many of the encounters certainly were entertaining. Now, at last, it's time to move on toward the conclusion of Two Worlds I...