Apparently, certain characters of mine would also like to blog. So here you go, internet. A discerning necromancer’s guide to different kinds of salt and their uses in the field against zombies and other undead.
The Little Urban Necromantic Guide on: Salt
Sodium chloride is the most important and commonly used ingredient in a necromancer’s kit. This mineral is used in exorcism, protective rights, purification, and also makes food delicious. A handful of salt in the face of most zombies will momentarily stun them and can even, depending on the quality of the necromancy animating them, completely dis-animate, though one should never rely on this or one will end up dead. Salt poured over a new grave can prevent the early onset of ghoulism. An unbroken circle of salt can keep back wandering spirits, though it will do little against shuffling zombie feet. And in the hands of a competent necromancer, salt will fast track dis-animating and returning the dead to their restful slumbers and ensure that there are no surprise risings of zombies after the necromancer has gone to bed.
But the matter of salt is not so simple as most assume. While the base chemical makeup of salt is always the same, not all salt is equal. The magical properties of salt can change based on where it is from, how it is procured, if it is refined, and what other minerals are present in the salt.
The most common salt, easily obtainable at any grocery store and in good sized quantities. Economic and effective in almost every situation that a necromancer will run into. However, there are a few areas where table salt does not cut it or comes short when compared to other varieties of salt.
Notable for its larger grains and lack of additives, kosher salt picks up the slack where common salt cuts off. Namely, in the area of ghouls. While table salt in an open grave stops three fourths of all cases of ghouls, it’s always the fourth ghoul that bites you in the ass. Kosher salt on a new grave has so far reported no ghouls raising afterwards. We used to believe this was because kosher salt carried the blessing of a rabbi to make it more powerful, but recently I was informed, by my rabbi contact, that no, kosher salt is not blessed and, in fact, table salt is equally kosher. Apparently kosher salt should be more accurately called koshering salt. This has lead us to question if the process of iodizing salt somehow makes it less effective against ghouls. We are still in the process of testing this by using natural sea salt to see if it has the same result as kosher salt, but there is not sufficient data yet.
Note: While we have made claims about ghouls not raising with kosher salt, note that kosher salt on a new grave, or any salt tested to date, has not stopped the raising of vampires, mummies, and jiangshi, so keep your guard up! Some types of draugr may also be immune to salt, but any Icelandic contacts have so far just told us to burn our dead in the first place and we wouldn’t have this problem, would we?
Note the Second: If getting odd looks for buying large quantities of kosher salt, tell the clerk that you are getting into pickling. Apparently kosher salt is superior for pickling, due to its lack of iodine. I’m beginning to wonder if iodine can be linked to the root of all my personal pains.
Generated by evaporation, sea salt has a coarser texture, forming large, flat flakes. It also tends to have higher mineral content than table salt which can add a complexity of flavors to dishes. In terms of necromancy, it mostly works like other types of salt, only more expensive. The down side of sea salt is that it often comes in flakes, which can get caught in a strong breeze more easily than fine grained salt, thus blowing away before it reaches your target. However, many necromancers swear by the effectiveness of sea salt for laying zombies to rest, and, while I do not know about that, I will admit that its about the only thing with even a chance of banishing a mummy. It does not, however, have any use against mummy curses, so keep this in mind when tangling with Ancient Egyptian necromancy. My advice is don’t. Ever.
Himalayan Pink Salt:
A rock salt out of Pakistan with a pleasant pink color, this salt has an above average effectiveness for banishing and dis-animating the undead and breaking spells. This is likely due to its high content of iron oxide, combining two of the most powerful grounding agents available. Fae also hate it, but this might also be because they find the color pink too twee.
Found commonly on most grocery shelves, this mixture of salt and garlic leaves has a strong scent and flavor. Garlic is, in itself, a powerful tool used for expulsion and warding against negative energies. Combined with salt, it can add power to a banishing or dis-animating spell, increasing strength and effectiveness. Sources have reported that a circle of garlic salt creates an even more powerful ward against dangerous ghosts. However, due to expense, I don’t keep bags of garlic salt on hand, so all of my warding circles get made out of plain kosher salt. I cannot argue for or against the added merits of garlic salt in use as wards. Not recommended for use dis-animating one’s own zombies, if only because the scent tends to get in everything and one doesn’t need to come home smelling of grave dirt, rot, and garlic.
Note: When buying garlic salt at the grocery, check the label and verify the salt is infused with actual garlic and not artificial garlic flavor. Artificial flavors, as I have said before, do not ever aid in magic.
Note the Second: NOT recommended for use against vampires. While considered a form undead, salt has very little affect against vampires and while at least two species of vampires have documented issues with garlic, it’s less of a weakness and more of a sensitivity. If going up against a vampire, use fresh garlic, or better yet, garlic extract. Even better would be holy water, stakes, and bullets, if accessible. I repeat, do NOT attempt to use garlic salt against vampires. They will laugh at you. Then go for your throat.
A recent addition on the American necromancy (and I suppose food) market, bamboo salt is sea salt that has been baked in a bamboo tube sealed with mud. The result is a heavily mineral fortified salt that is claimed to be exceedingly good for your health. It is also exceedingly expensive, at least compared to most salt. However, we have heard rumors that it is effective against jiangshi. Since nothing seems to stop a jiangshi except for fire and maybe, maybe mirrors, necromancers are hopeful to have found a method for laying this peculiar breed of undead to rest. As jiangshi are also comparatively rare and so is bamboo salt, this is still a rumor at this time. If you encounter a jianshi, RUN. Do not attempt to engage, even if you do have bamboo salt. Chances are good that, even if bamboo salt works, you will have to do something bizarre like stuff it in a particular orifice or dance naked with the salt in one of your orifices for it to have any effect.
Recently, I discovered artisan salt infused with rosemary. You can imagine my excitement to see the two staples of dis-animating brought together in one form. Due to expense, I cannot yet recommend this as a go to for most necromantic practices, but be assured that I am keeping the rosemary salt handy to see just how well it can de-animate problem zombies. I will report what I find when I have had a chance to study this salt’s effects. In the mean time, as the label reports, it is very tasty on chicken.