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TES - Skeletal.jpg
Type Animated by Bloodsealing
Abilities Tracking, unlimited stamina
World Sel
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Emperor's Soul

A skeletal is a construct created by Bloodsealing that magically brings the bones of a person or other creature back to life.[1] Skeletals are terrifyingly effective, they are skilled warriors that ruthlessly pursue their targets and never tire.[2]


Creation and Appearance[edit]

Skeletals are created from the bones of the dead, using a process known as Bloodsealing. This magic originates in the nation of Dzhamar and is similar to Forgery.[3][4] A version of a soulstamp (typically made from bone)[5] is inked in fresh blood and pressed into the forehead of a skeleton's skull; the blood reanimates the bones and gives the creature life.[2] Human skeletons are highly preferred; animal skeletons can also be used, but the resulting skeletals will not be as adept at following commands from the Bloodsealer.[6] The bones do not have to originate in Dzhamar.[1]

Weedfingers and his skeletals


The magic of animating a skeletal is quite similar to a Lifeless. The skeleton is "tricked" into thinking it is alive through the use of Investiture. However, unlike the Lifeless, the corpse does not retain any of its original soul.[7] The skeletal instead becomes attuned to the person whose blood was used to ink the seal, and can sense them from anywhere.[1] When a Bloodsealer stamps the skeletal's skull, the source of the blood may feel pain in the their open wound.[2] The stamps must be periodically renewed with fresh blood. It is not strictly necessary to renew them as often as other types of Bloodsealing stamps,[8] but their ability to track the source of the blood wanes after twenty-four hours.[2]

Once reanimated, the bones do not have muscles or connecting tissue, and are presumably able to move through the magic of the Dor.[9] Skeletals can be reanimated multiple times, but the skeleton must remain whole for the animation process to function. If bones are removed or broken, particularly critical bones like the skull or vertebrae, the creature will collapse and not move until it is repaired. If any bones are broken beyond repair or lost, wooden carvings of the bones can take their place. Weedfingers sharpens the bones of his skeletals to make removing them difficult.[2]

The Bloodsealer maintains a connection to the skeletals while they are active, and is able to somehow give commands to them.[6] Bloodsealers can animate at least five skeletals simultaneously. If the connections to their skeletals are suddenly severed, a Bloodsealer may go into shock.[2]

Abilities and Uses[edit]

Skeletals can receive different types of commands,[6] but their primary use is in battle. It is unclear whether skeletals are truly sapient. They are able to perform very complex tasks and seem to act independently, but they only do so in service of the command given by the Bloodsealer.[2]

They are skilled fighters, and are capable of working in teams and wielding weapons. They are nearly impossible for normal people to defeat in melee combat; they cannot be stabbed, they have unlimited stamina, and their bones are difficult to remove or break.[2] If directed, they will relentlessly track the source of their seal's blood without any known limitations; they can track someone through walls and over a great distance.[1][2] Their tracking ability is not affected by the use of Essence Marks.[2]

Skeletal wielding a sword (second from left)

Cultural Perception[edit]

Bloodsealing is seen as an abomination outside of Dzhamar. Strikers are rivals of Dzhamarians and have contempt for their "unnatural" magic,[3] but people from other nations also view Bloodsealing as horrible and frightening.[1] Skeletals are often referred to pejoratively as a Bloodsealer's "pets"; most people are terrified by them and will flee if they believe that any are nearby.[2] People are so afraid of skeletals that even the threat of their use is often sufficient to intimidate or coerce someone into complying with the Bloodsealer's demands.[1]


Weedfingers was hired by the Heritage Faction to ensure that Wan ShaiLu did not escape the Rose Palace while she worked on Ashravan's Essence Mark. This included the use of skeletals; Weedfingers asked for Shai's bones as payment.[1] When Shai did attempt to escape, Zu drew her blood with his sword, allowing Weedfingers to send five skeletals to track her down. However, Shai transformed into Shaizan and defeated all of them. She then found a stupefied Weedfingers hiding in a closet and informed him that she would be taking the skulls so he could not send the skeletals after her again.[2]


This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
Big Smooth (talk) 23:39, 23 February 2023 (UTC)