Home > Vampire Counts > Vampire Counts Prelude Part II

Vampire Counts Prelude Part II

Winter, Mousillon

Heavy snows were falling on the land, turning the grim swamps of Mousillon into treacherous death traps as the snow lay carpeted on the grasses and outer layer of slime, concealing the swampy nature of the land. One wrong step and a stray traveler plummeted through the snow into the murkiness that lay underneath. However, Terion Klosz had no fear of death; every encounter with death made him stronger. He eyed the city of Mousillon, Damned City of Bretonnia, with a cold stare worthy of the land surrounding him. The von Carsteins knew which chord to strike to lure the Blood Dragons to war and Terion Klosz’s insides turned with anger at the blood pact, yet a challenge had been issued to take Mousillon and turn it into a fortress of the undead. The Blood Dragons were too proud to turn down a challenge, and now he was marshaling a host full of his heinous brethren – decrepit necrarchs and feral strigoi.  A month prior foul magics and cruel fate had reasoned to bring Mannfred von Carstein back to life. In all his pride and arrogance the Count had called for a meeting of the Bloodlines in Castle Drakenhof. Never before had the bloodlines all met, not since the times of the fall of Lahmia. The Blood Dragons despised their knightly counterparts in the east. The von Carsteins craved land and power; the Blood Dragons only longed for a worthy challenge, a way to improve their skills. Where the von Carsteins held the eastern edges of the Empire, the Blood Dragons were predominant in the western part of Bretonnia. They were, in Terion’s mind, opposites and no plot hatched by the von Carsteins was worthy. But the other Bloodlines were attending, the Blood Dragons could not sit out this meeting due to pride. Walach Harkon, head of the chapter of Blood Dragons at the Blood Keep, sensed a trap and sent his lieutenant Terion Klosz in his place. The meeting was a spectacle. For four days the Bloodlines bickered and fought.

The von Carsteins wanted to lead the unified vampire hosts in a war against men, a war starting in Bretonnia. Unfortunately the von Carsteins were situated in the far east of the Empire, no where near Bretonnia and needed the other lines to fall under their command. No one trusted Mannfred’s intentions. He preached joining the alliance with the forces of Chaos to rid the world of men and establishing a vampire empire in its stead. The Lahmians demanded the right to rule over such a host as the mother of all vampires Neferata was a Lahmian. The Necrarchs sought utter destruction of the land, a vision that did not leave anything to rule over. The strigoi weighed down by centuries of being ostracized sat quietly in the back, snarling every now and then at a comment to show discontent. And the Blood Dragons upon whom the concept of war against Bretonnia rested, could not stomach working with the von Carsteins, let alone falling under them.

After days of infighting a solution was reached. The only Bloodline everyone marginally liked was Lahmians, and after all Neferata was their Queen. With their soothing words and cunning language the Lahmians convinced all the bloodlines that for the purpose of the war the von Carsteins would lead in the east, and the Blood Dragons in the west. When the empire of the vampires was established rule was fall back to Neferata and the Lahmians. The Necrarchs could pursue destruction in the lands to the north and south of the realm of men so long as their destruction did not threaten the vampire empire. The strigoi would earn their honor back on the battlefield. The solution was tenuous at best. Mannfred von Carstein deeming himself the supreme commander instantly issued a battle plan. When arguments erupted over his battle plan he concluded it in the simplest way he knew – he challenged the skill of the Blood Dragons. Having revealed the alliance with the forces of Destruction to the other Bloodlines he gave the Blood Dragons his ultimate challenge – prove their worth and skill by decimating the Bretonnian country side and allowing the Beastmen to pass to Athel Loren. If the Beastmen host of the Drakwald was halted by the Bretonnians then Mannfred said the Blood Dragons would have failed, it was as simple as that. The challenge was issued, and Terion Klosz accepted with seething anger.

Early winter saw massive migrations of vampires and their feral beasts over the Grey and Black Mountains as they amassed in Bretonnia. Lahmian Covens made their presence known to the Blood Dragons across the realm of knights, revealing a vast network of infiltrated cities. Terion delivered the challenge from Castle Drakenhof to his master, Walach Harkon and the battle plans were laid out. Desiring no land or titles, simply military prowess, the Blood Dragons would lead the undead hosts in the conquest of Bretonnia, but the von Carsteins would have to see to maintaining what was captured and the administrative duties. The Blood Dragons were warriors, not sentries and mere patrol officers. The question was a matter of how to bring this full scale war to the gates of Couronne, but that would have to wait for later, the immediate matter was the challenge of bringing the knights of Bretonnia to their knees in the dead of winter. This task lay in Terion’s hands.

If the vampires were to lead a host of undead in the conquest of Bretonnia, they would first need to raise this host. The Blood Dragons did not dabble in the art of necromancy and thus had no undead minions. Even with the Lahmians inside the cities and their ruling bodies a full scale war could not be waged. No for this they would have to use the strigoi and necrarchs, and the best place to raise this host was the accursed swamps of Mousillon. The province had long been shunned by Bretonnians. It was a dark and cursed place with no reigning duke. The humans who stayed there, stayed because they had no where else to go. It was a place of the forlorn. During warmer seasons the province was lightly defended; in the heart of winter it was hopeless. Not a challenge worthy of the Blood Dragons, but it was a necessary step to raise an army for the greatest challenges that lay ahead.

Terion stood in the forest on the outskirt of the town gazing down on the fruit ripe for picking. A grim keep lay in the middle of the town, darkened by the climate and centuries of neglect. Wind swept through skeletons of houses creating an eerie hum. Low lights flickered in the houses around the keep, hoping that their proximity would protect them from evil. The keep itself had but a few lights lit in its small windows. Once the sun began its descent the people barricaded themselves in their houses, only the fools took to the streets at night. It was said that skaven and the undead ruled Mousillon in the hours of the moon. Gallant knights on their Grail Quest would venture to Mousillon in the dead of night to prove their valor; a reckless deed that usually cost Bretonnia another gallant soul. But it was of these gallant souls laying sunken in the marshes and buried in the cellars and tunnels of the city that Terion would raise a host, a host of Bretonnia’s own undead knights to fight the living.

As the moon began to rise and light the weary town Terion put on his helmet and cast a glance at the host of Blood Dragons at his side. Never before had such a host united to fight, this would be a slaughter worthy of Abhorash. He smiled to himself savoring the coming days of blood. Soon the white snow that blanketed the kingdom of Bretonnia would be awash in the blood of her knights. He finally broke the silence of the cold snowy night,

“The Blood Dragons will assault the keep. The strigoi will clear out the houses and cellars around the town. The necrarchs can do their foul dark magic in the swamps and work towards the keep. Anything living in the town dies. As for those living in the keep we shall see…”

  1. September 19, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    I really enjoyed reading the prelude, thank you. 🙂

    And although vampires joining Destruction is very very iffy imo, it may work. Hope we can see some playable Blood Knights in the future!

    • September 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

      Yeah it is iffy, but since a third faction doesn’t exist and they want to destroy the world of men, I lumped them into Destruction. I tried to ‘reason’ their joining the alliance with my fluff prelude – how convincing I am is up to the reader =P

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