Similar to the spell animate dead, this spell reanimated the remains of a number of humanoids, depending on the power of the caster. The skeletal undead obeyed simple verbal commands as given by the caster until they were turned by a priest, or otherwise destroyed. The magical effect of animate skeletons could not be dispelled.
This spell required verbal, somatic and material components in order to be cast. The material component consisted of a mixture comprising a drop of blood and a pinch of bone powder (or bone shard) that was combined with a specific salve that cost at least 10 gp. Once the mixture was applied to remains, the skeletons could be raised within 24 hours upon the utterance of a single word.