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 The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)

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MasterSpark
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PostSubject: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 3 Apr 2015 - 3:43

It was the night of a full moon when a coach and horses approached the remains of Mordheim,  burning fires raging and noxious fumes billowing from the ruins ahead. It was a scene which would lure no ordinary person. This traveller was not ordinary, however.

The carriage was opulent and heavy, and inside it sat its unmoving passenger. Her name was Helena and she was a child of the darkness. She was a vampire, one of the immortal undead. Her reasons for coming to the city of the damned were her own and likewise it was unknown if she were in league with the count von Carstein of Sylvania, someone else or only herself. Regardless if she were acting on another's desire or her own it was likely a bid for power that had drawn her. That was after all the only reason why anyone would ever decide to come to such a place.

The coach had begun the journey alone but around it there was now an odd gathering of creatures. They were all of them human but far from the same as one another. There was a disgraced knight, Gynt, who had taken to the road after a great personal tragedy. Whereas a truly righteous knight would have charged a vampire without hesitation this man had instead bent his knee and offered his service. Then there was the pitiful Gavotte, deformed and misshapen, who had been overcome with affection by even the cold welcoming he had been given. There was also the cryptic Notturno, a necromancer of an undeniable evil bend. There was even a seemingly regular young man - Bergliot, he had introduced himself as - who had just recently approached the group and offered to be their scout in return for merely a little coin. Then, lastly, there was of course the degenerate ghouls who would always flock to a vampire's power.

For her own part Helena had little regard for any human around her. The warband had been formed like moths drawn to a flame but the agendas of her followers, which she knew their kind always had, were not to her interest. She would tolerate them even if they were disgraced, downtrodden, misshapen, wicked or any other way for as long as they were useful. Indeed, despite their filth the ghouls were perhaps even held above the others since they were at least true to their nature and intentions, having shed all petty forms of human bondage.

As the carriage continued on its way to the edge of the ruined city the night grew darker, the rising black smoke blotting out the moon. In Mordheim it is always night, it was said, and the night belonged to the undead.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The above is an introductory blurb to the warband I'll be running in our new season which starts on Sunday. We came to an agreement in the group to not have an overarching narrative and as such the game itself would not be influenced by fluff but we encourage all participants to write things up at any point during the campaign. My piece was made with the intention to remain mysterious and leave lots of open-ended threads which might be expanded on as the season progresses. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 3 Apr 2015 - 3:55

nice fluff Smile
will we be seeing reports and pictures from games?
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Sat 4 Apr 2015 - 5:57

Great background story. thumbsup thumbsup

Quote :
will we be seeing reports and pictures from games?

It would be great to see some photos of your games.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Sun 5 Apr 2015 - 2:12

Thanks for replying. Smile

I will be taking pictures and such, yes, but I won't be making any reports. That's a whole bunch of work that I'm not feeling up to at the moment. Depending on how things play out I might write up some more short bits of story as the playing progresses.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 24 Apr 2015 - 11:53

Part 2 - Foothold

Outside the rain was pouring down. It was tainted rain, the falling water mixing with wyrdstone dust to create an acid downpour. The ghouls could be heard as they huddled together under what cover they could find for they were not allowed to enter the dwelling they were flocking to. No one was allowed to enter it.

It was a solitary stone house in the north-eastern part of Mordheim that the warband had found and made their camp. It was a tall and decorated building, the only within some distance to still be untouched by the city's corruption, perhaps by the protection of some spell or merely by pure luck. Either way it was the only fitting residence for a vampire, one of those aristocrats of the night.

Inside there was only a single occupant. Thinking back to the time between now and when she had first arrived in the city, Helena felt satisfaction. The first ventures into an unknown territory were crucial to establish a foothold and they had succeeded. Plenty of wyrdstone had already been unearthed. More was to come and with it Helena knew that she would, in time, be able to achieve her goals. She would not let anything or anyone interfere; so far they had encountered bands of dwarfs, beastmen and even elves. Strangely, she had not seen many humans so far but Helena knew that they would not be long. Humans were forever unable to resist the lure of power, and power was what Mordheim offered.

The latest raid had been a great success. There had been a great deposit of wyrdstone uncovered over a large area to the east and when she arrived there Helena found that it had also drawn in both dwarfs and elves but what had looked like the start of a bloody contest was reduced to childsplay when those two races' hatred for one another blinded them to the greater prize, letting Helena's minions capture much of the wyrdstone without opposition. If this fortune lasted she would soon have what she required.

Helena broke free from thoughts as green-coloured thunder clapped over the dark skies of Mordheim. The journey ahead was still long with no room for mistakes, and in the candle-lit gloom of her abode she began devising plans for the coming nights. Come what may she would not let anything stand in her way.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 24 Apr 2015 - 12:50

Your background material is EXCELLENT. I think you've capture the ruthless nature of The Vampire quite well. FINE WORK!   thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 24 Apr 2015 - 14:32

Very atmospheric zombie
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 24 Apr 2015 - 17:05

Thanks guys. I hope to be able to produce something spectacular in our ongoing campaign soon. I've had a good start and should be able to cause some trouble soon... clown
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Mon 25 May 2015 - 5:41

Part 3 - The Mist

The screeching of ghouls echoed together with warcries of dwarfs through the narrow streets and alleys of Mordheim. The undead had laid in wait to ambush the company of dwarfs as they passed and the attack had been sprung. Stout warriors held firm but the enemy seemed endless.

Holger Holgerson, a proud clansman of the company of runesmith Thori, had just finished off one of the ghouls with a strike of his great hammer. He looked around the street for his next opponent, ignoring the thick mist that had been creeping from the doorway ahead. Its tendrils began to envelop the area around him but he thought nothing of it; this city was full of strange weather phenomena and this would be just another one of them. Over the din of combat could be heard the dreadful chanting of a necromancer and Holger saw one of his comrades overcome by a spell as ethereal hands and claws burst from beneath the street to drag the dwarf down underneath. The evil magic threatened to overwhelm them all but there was little they could do as the wizard's minions would not relent. The dwindling number of dwarfs steeled themselves to fight to the bitter end, back to back with one another.

Then, suddenly, a mighty crack of thunder sounded from above the skirmish. A bolt of green lightning pierced through the smoke and clouds and struck the area just nearby. At once the chanting of the necromancer had been silenced, as if by an intervention of the dwarven ancestor gods. Cheering loudly together with his kin, Holger chalked another thing up to the bizarre weather and again hefted his weapon. He brought it down on the back of another ghoul, crushing it without mercy. However, it was not long before a new ominous feeling crept into Holger's mind.

Looking back towards the doorway where there had just previously been nothing but mist he now saw a small form shrouded in its last remaining traces. It looked like a human child but somehow more unsettling; she was pale and motionless as if she was in shock but her eyes were unnaturally piercing. The mist lingering around her seemed like it was being consumed by her presence. Holger's grip on his weapon loosened slightly as he looked closer at the figure in front of him, his mind momentarily leaving the battle to piece together anything that could explain what he was seeing.

What are ye doing 'ere, lassie?!” he shouted at her, violently gesturing for her to run away from where they were. ”This is nae place for children!

There was no reply. With a sudden pang of clarity it hit Holger what he was looking at. The colour was drained from his face until he was as pale as the being before him.

By my beard! It's a vamp-!” was all he had time to cry before he was cut off and cast into darkness.


Last edited by MasterSpark on Mon 25 May 2015 - 8:04; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Mon 25 May 2015 - 6:37

This is a very atmospheric story. Well done It is aliiiive!
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Mon 25 May 2015 - 7:34

You do spin an eerie tale. VERY WELL DONE!  thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Mon 25 May 2015 - 12:27

Thanks, guys!

I re-wrote some parts of the last paragraph to make it a little more eerie. Did I make it apparent enough that what Holger saw was Helena? I was thinking about the best way to reveal her appearance as a child since that on its own doesn't portray the character. In her mind she's anything but a child. If I had thrown her physical appearance into a previous chapter from out of nowhere it would feel like I had forced it in there just to make it clear. Having it revealed through the eyes of a victim seemed more atmospheric.

Poor Holger was the first thing that Helena killed in the campaign, as in the first thing that actually died from her after the battle. I felt that was worthy of writing about. Smile

Let's see what else I can make happen...
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Mon 25 May 2015 - 14:47

The device was a great way to introduce Helena. I'm familiar with your warband so I was expecting Holger's discovery, but I was entertained by the build up of suspense.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Fri 5 Jun 2015 - 13:11

Thanks for the input, Von Kurst. Now let's see what new trouble that brews in the night...

Part 4 - The Shade

It was in the dead of night when the shadowy form was drawing close to the solitary building ahead of it. The moon was out and illuminated the tall structure against the ruins around it.

Stepping from the protective darkness out into the moonlit street the shadow revealed itself to be a man. Robed and hooded in black and darkest blue, he was the assassin known only as the night's shade. With weapons drawn he surveyed the last remaining distance leading up to the building ahead but upon sensing the heavy silence that hung over the place he sheathed both sword and dagger. He was here on business purposes but not of the killing kind; he had heard that a vampire had come to Mordheim and now he sought to find it before another like him did. Here he was hoping that he had.

Taking in the stillness of the surroundings the assassin knew that he was safe for the moment. Had he been desired dead he would not have been allowed this close. Likewise, if the master was out its guardian minions would surely have been upon him by now. One might question the sanity of a mortal man who willingly sought to bargain with a vampire but this man's long experience had taught him much about interacting with many different creatures. Interesting, perhaps, was the fact that the undead were usually the most beneficial to work with for a man of his chosen path. They rarely had much use for gold and riches, which he would gladly help unburdening them from, and their company offered great protection during the employment for as long as you could keep yourself useful. The important thing was to convince them of your use and then to swiftly disappear once it eventually runs out. The old saying 'the closer you are to danger, the further you are from harm' certainly reflected this odd way of things.

Upon reaching the building the assassin prepared himself for the crucial task of convincing the vampire within that his service was of use. He had heard all the gossip and the witness' stories from those who had faced it in battle. Just recently there had been a large scale skirmish over an abandoned wizard's mansion elsewhere in the city and rumor had it that the vampire was responsible for the destruction of a band of elves. Apparently, it also had the shape and appearance of a human child. A bizarre thought indeed, yet the assassin knew that whichever form a vampire took it was merely a shell for the unholy power within. He would need to keep his wits about him, as always.

He stood before the closed wooden doors now. They were nearly twice as tall as he was and very heavy. With his breathing focused and steady he stretched out his hand and gave the door a couple of hard knocks. There was a short moment of silence before a voice came from inside.

Who's there?” a woman's voice asked suspiciously. Now the assassin knew that he had found what he was looking for.

I am a fellow nightstalker” he said confidently. ”My name is forgotten but I am known as the night's shade. I have come to offer you my service.

There was another moment of silence before he started to wonder if he would be allowed entry and whether or not he should repeat himself, but the locks on the door suddenly rattled and became undone. With the short but critical first phase of negotiations completed the assassin cast a last glance back over the moonlit streets before he pushed open the doors and stepped inside.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 7:21

This campaign has unfortunately gone belly up and it's unlikely that we'll ever get to know what Helena's purpose was in the city of the damned. That is, until the secret karma serenade is sung again...
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 7:34

You have my condolences. I've never participated in a campaign that ran to completion. It amazes me that Von Kurst's Gang run one campaign after another without any problems...or relatively few.   Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 7:35

Sorry to hear that. Looking forward to her next foray into the city.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 8:41

Not to worry, I've got a new campaign lined up for just after the summer. I'm already in the middle of another one but I haven't written any fluff for it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Secret Karma Serenade (Undead)   Wed 15 Jul 2015 - 13:20

OH BABY!...there that about covers it!   thumbsup
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