The Crimson Keeper
Something I wrote, simply out of boredom and interest in the Vampire Lore of the Warhammer World. Inspiration Nathan Long's Bloodborn and the stories within the Vampire Counts Armybook.
My lineage is faded and blotted. It is frayed and unkempt. It is akin to a hefty tome shelved for nigh on centuries, be it millennia left alone to wither in the dark... Blotted and burned; its body scarred. My lineage is dust to time, and ashes to the wind. I have no recollection of it, nor even a want to do such. All I can remember, all I know, is that from whence I fell from the bosom of justice and righteousness, I arose from the palour of an evil incarnate.
Walach Harkon. ''The compiled Histories of known Vampires throughout the ages''
Upon a throne of blackest iron, He stirred. Ever restless, ever vigilant, was He. From His barbed mantle did He rein, his dominion absolute, a reign likened to His gauntleted fist - Shod in iron hooks and painted burnished crimson-hues. Tonight, his fist was balled, his opposite always atop the blood-jewel pommel of his blade. For His anger was never ceasing, albeit once He fed His predacious appetites. An ancient curse distilled from lifeblood, but only through this coppery liquid could it be sated.
Walach Harkon gazed out to the hanging of Morrslieb with a cold-hearted glee. He admired its pocked surface and sickly, necrotic colour, as if it were art. It drew his attention as a well would a weary horse. But tonight differed from many a previous night. The darkness was a desired harmony he so reveled within, conjured from the shadows that haunted his fortress-cum-chateaux. Even the puerile kiss of dawn could not wholly dissipate the evil that bred within his lair. However. He would be disturbed by an unwelcome visitor, soon. Unwelcome, but not unexpected.
A shuffling, followed by a grunt to his left prompted a sneer as His irritation boiled within. His pauldron shaped like a taut wing of a Dragon wyrm scraped across his breastplate. The noise hissed like souls escaping a crypt, reminiscent of a mortuary.
'You disturb your master at His desired hour? Please tell, your explanation shall be a prologue to the groveling of your life...' he intoned lifelessly. The Masters words bore no contempt, but reeked of omniscient dominance. '... I bid you to speak sooner, underling. My patience is not the equal of my lifespan, or my martialle skill.' He chuckled mirthlessly to the latter.
A figure, but no more than an extension of the shadow, emerged. Shuffling, it's tortured gait bore no resemblance to its species origin, only its Master's excruciations.
'You’re... Visitor shall be within the hour, my Lord,' it opened, hoping to pique Walach's interest; avoid bleeding out in his dungeons. 'And no. I tempt not your patience or question your skill-at-arms. Your life is prodigious, a boon for your service to the Gods above all, for you’re... cleansing... of these lands...' it pleaded in vain. To disturb his Master entitled a beating, even ludicrous amounts of flattery could not soften the blows. But still he tried.
Walach sniggered. 'My life is ever-spanning. Immortal. For a sole reason. My own sheer, incompetence, and a curse so vile it's replication requires means beyond this world now. I, too, was a rash young fool once. I, too, threw my naive self to the ground for another being. I, too, writhed within the filth of your species, before my ascension and likening to a God!' The Vampire bolted from his throne amidst the tortured squeal of iron plates. A pale hand unsheathed its bony fingers and clubbed the servant's face. The mortal struck the slate with a slap, whimpering all the while. Harkon assumed his full height, to clutch his mace within his right hand. A colossal diamond of iron, festooned with steel spikes forged only to sunder meat from bones; flense veins from muscle and flay the hide of any whom earned its Lord's ire.
Squirming within his own excrement, the servant begged, 'My liege, please! I beg of you... I ask only to be spared this night! My devotion is absolute, my mind unquestioning! I.. I offered my wife to you, you drank deeply of her, yes? S-surely that proves my loyalty? What offences have I foolishly committed?' his raucous voice rang from the stone walls, his sobbing husky from his ravaged throat.
Harkon -as if too draw out, no, savour the haplessness of his victim- strode forwards, his armoured boots clipping the cobbles in a booming, deathly staccato.
Thud-clink, thud-clink, thud, thud...
As if intertwined in symphony, the servant ceased his anguish. Intrigue, puzzlement, but overall a depthless fear enveloped his mind. His grimed hand slid forwards across the frosty tiles, towards Walach's steel boot. It only repulsed his master further.
'Do not touch me!' he roared, jarring his boot back to stamp down upon the servants quavering hand. Crunch. The bones of his hand barely had time to break before being pulped into the flesh of his hand. Tendons strained and snapped, culminating in the ruination of the servant’s already malnourished hand. The man screamed, jerking the pasty mess of his limb from beneath the boot. His sobbing erupted into long, shrieking wails. No longer caring for the wants of his Master his shrillness reached its crescendo, bludgeoning Walach's enhanced sense of hearing.
'I do loathe repeating myself, underling. I demand silence! My realm of shadow and steel will not be interrupted by your damned wailing! Pain... a mortal concept, something Abhorash beat out of me years before he even blessed me with this!' cursed Harkon, his hand furiously unbuckling his fanged gorget, to reveal his pasty neck. The sickly flesh gave way at two spots, and momentarily the servants sorrow was silenced by outright curiosity.
There were two holes, the results of punctures to the neck by something incredibly precise. Scarred, knotted tissue the tone of alabaster within the pustulent colour of his canvas-like skin was blatant to the eye. Even that of his servant.
Hastily, the Vampire threw forward his scarlet collar, frantically buckling his daemonesque gorget back once more.
'You see? Even your cloudy eyes can pierce the blackness. The Blood-Kiss the ultimate offering from master to pupil. The sign of trust from the former to the latter. It is not... inherently painful. Henceforth I would say it has no discernable connotations. Such said, what it lacks in pain, primarily, and amongst the boons the Blood-Kiss grants, it is, and shall always remain - a curse' He explained, taking much care in the crafting of his words; a worthy performance to entreat his favoured slave upon the stage of their death. Walach, was clearly one for theatrics.
He sighed, the noise like that of dry parchment or the rustle of leaves across a tombstone. 'Abhorash... My Master... What end did you meet? What bloody fate ensnared you? Did the champions of the Fickle Gods take your skull for their Dark Lieges? Or was your corpse spitted upon a human gatehouse? Nay, not even the greatest herald of the race of men could best you in combat; Did a Dwarf exercise his meady hangover upon your divine body with his axe, like dear, weak, Konrad...' He sighed once more, his reverie shattered, submerged beneath his ceasing memories.
'But then we come to you. Skip a millennia; several thousand winters, hundreds of Orcish riots and so-called ''Everchosen'' and my story comes to you. I do detest having to stain my less-than glorious life with an ape such as you. Your predecessors probably had not even crawled into the light of truth, whilst I and glorious Abhorash cut down a plethora of creatures from the five, known races. You are a stain upon my court of reapers, of Dragons'
'M-my... Lord. My absolute master.... Please-'
Walach Harkon swept forth, his cloak of mail jingling, like thousands of loadstones within the night, to hammer down his mace. For all its ornamentation, and crude, simple desire to kill, the impact crushed the servants skull with a jovail ease. Chips of bone scythed in all directions; clumps of greying brain matters cloying to the walls. And the blood. Blood. It was dank and rich, originating from capillarous vessels. Very strong in taste, more a wine to be supped, than a chalice to be feasted from.
Last edited by bobss; 09-01-10 at 11:31 PM.