I'm likely going to be playing a human necromancer in an upcoming return to our Out of the Abyss campaign. My character is morally "scrambled" at the best of times, and has no qualms about raising the dead. In particular, skeletons are useful because they:
- Weigh significantly less
- Have a ranged option when reanimated
- Can be neatly stored, in a bag of holding or even a regular backpack
- Usually don't smell as bad, although that's more for the pleasure of my party members.
- Can squeeze through smaller spaces than a Zombie.
However, bones are often encased in flesh, and so the titular question presents itself - how can I get rid of all that unwanted meat?
The text of Animate Dead makes it fairly clear that a pile of bones is reanimated as a skeleton, but a whole corpse is a zombie, and I'm pretty confident that my DM will rule that way regardless of however you might interpret that spell, so let's operate on the assumption that I must debone a corpse if I want it to be a skeleton instead of a clumsy shambler.
I'm starting as a Wizard at level 8, so any spells I have will be 4th level and below. Assuming I have access to any wizard spell of 4th level or below, and some typical adventurer gear (no magic items), what would be the quickest way to get the bones out? Quick is important - imagine I want to get those bones out, put them in a bag for later, and split before some less understanding guards show up.
My DM is open-minded, but for the sake of improv, you have to provide some kind of hook. Your answer may assume that you are working with a permissive DM, but RAW answers are also welcome. Spells are preferred, since they have rules-affecting text, but tools are welcome so long as it can be reasonably argued to be quick.