Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stone Falls - WHFB - A Master of the Black Arts

The next tale in the lead up to Saturdays game comes from Ryan, who will be my ally in command of the joint Vampire Count forces.

Ithric had always wanted to go one step further that his peers. He dreamed of a life beyond the horizon, going further, discovering more, experiencing everything that life would have to offer. It was unfortunate for him that the lottery of this world had drawn him as a farmer’s second son who would forever live under the shadows of his betters, toiling until the grave, or so was expected of him.
His curiosity with texts and arcane knowledge was piqued in his youth when a travelling nobleman was in the area. Though he was forbidden to interact with the entourage, he waited until night fell and snuck inside the carriage while it was empty. Discovering books of old sorcery and mystic science that he did not fully appreciate, he was immediately enthralled by the potential that was enclosed in the pages.
The theft of the books sparked an outrage that lead to a witch-hunt, and Ithric had to think fast. Not entirely sure of where he got the idea from, he framed another local child who was summarily burnt at the stake. That boy’s face would be present in many nightmares throughout Ithric’s early adult years.
While having to work on the farm during the day, his night forays into noble libraries near and far developed his roguish talents and further expanded his secret cache of knowledge. One night as he snuck out he unwittingly passed a pack of bandits who would later sack his town. Upon his return vengeance burned in his heart, the skies split, and the dead rose. The bandits were not expecting a follow up attack; and while many of their number fell, they were hardy men and Ithric was a novice in the practical arts of his chosen career. He was nailed to a tree and left for the wolves by the remaining bandits.
His sorcery, though amateurish in execution, had a raw power behind it that drew a nearby vampire’s attention. He found Ithric’s broken body barely clinging to life and gave him the blood kiss; one could always use young and talented followers. The vampire had underestimated the young acolyte though, and as is the way of their world the student eventually betrayed the master once he had learned all he could.
The blessing of vampirism had invigorated Ithric, and his necromantic arts had progressed dramatically. The winds of magic blow in strange directions however, and many years later his activates drew the witch-hunters. His library was raided and burnt to the ground. He was gravely wounded, and fled to the south. Vampires are hard to kill and they never forget.
Many centuries passed, Ithric learned many arts from both living and dead - knowledge almost never obtained willingly from the subject. Ithric always knew however that one day he would return to his home, a sleepy hamlet now known as Stone Falls….

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