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Hi all! I just wanted to share the fluff for my new Bretonnian/Blood Dragon force. I wanted a change from the standard old-world setting and overused Mousillon, so I settled for a crusading feel. enjoy!
When the Errantry War of 1449 was declared against the Arabyan despot Jaffar, countless knights flooded to the cause. Not least among them was a reckless knight errant of Carcassonne. Taking only his Birthsword, armor and charger with him, Chatould of Carcassonne made his way to Araby.
He arrived in the exotic land and espoused his banner with that of the greater cause, further embolded by the promise of full knighthood should he win glory in the campaign, and joining into the company of several other errant knights.
Slowly, over time, Chatould made a name for himself. Many of the sultan's prized warriors were slain by his gleaming blade. Steadily the Brettonian and Imperial forces sweapt the Caliph's men aside. First they freed the lands of Estalia, carving bloody trails between the cities of the land. But when Caliph Jaffar fled, Chatould was first in the vangaurd to assault the Arabyan's land.
In the scorching desert wasteland of Jaffar's home, the battle was much different. Jaffar's soldiers dispersed and launched daring raids upon the encroaching knights. Chatould and his fellow brettonians were enraged by such cowardly tactics, as they felt the sting of the black shafted arrows. Such was the bretonnian's rage that they assaulted to Arabyan temple-city of Magritta in blood-mad frenzy, happy at last to draw the Caliph to a pitched battle.
Magritta was nearly a horrid defeat however, as the despot turned the battle into a vicious street fight. The ornate stairways were slicked with blood, and the streets ran red. Chatould and his companions slew their way to the very gates of the city's palace. Here, the Caliph led his black-cloaked bodygaurd in a desperate counter offensive. Though the cost in life was tremendous, Chatould and his fellow Errant's won great honor in the battle, cutting down Jaffar's gaurd and deigning never to retreat. Chatould himself met the great Caliph in man to man combat.
The two men traded blows round and round over eachother's horses, Jaffar's wicked scimitar meeting every stroke of Chatould's Birthsword. The two fought tirelessly, heedless of the all-or-nothing melee swirling around them. At last the Caliph unleashed his horrid magicks upon Chatould, stopping the blood in the viens of his sword arm and crippling him with blinding pain. Dropping his blade Chatould fell unconcious to the stairs of the palace.
Legend says that when Chatould awakened from his fevered sleep, his cry could be heard echoing throughout the desert. His Birthsword was gone, swept away in the tide of battle. To lose the blade that they knew from birth was the greatest dishonor that a knight of Carcassonne could know. Chatould swore by the Lady, and all of the gods of Arabya that all the people of the land would feel his suffering as their own- Jaffar first among them.
When battle was closed on the plains of El Haikk, Chatould was likened to his forefather Duke Lunbard- slaughtering the foul men of the Caliph as though they were children. Astride his charger he laid about himself until his armor was smeared crimson with gore. He could not reach Jaffar however, and even after the despot fled and his armies scattered, Chatould's sword remained lost.
For his bravery however, Chatould was given a knightly retinue and keep of his own. He scoured the land for the next 5 years, fighting first the Ork, then the scattered remnants of Jaffar's fanatical followers. Chatould was known as a scourge among Arabyans, butchering entire tribes in his fits of rage.
On one dark night Chatould found himself separated from his vangaurd, having pursued a lonesome warrior over the plains for nearly half the day. The warrior turned and drew his blade, stepping from his steed to fight Chatould man to man. Immediately Chatould recognized his birthsword, and leapt upon the foe with such fury that his first stike laid bare the man's ribcage. The warrior seemed ignorant of the wound however, and struck back at the astonished Chatould. The battle continued for several hours as the two fought up and down the drifted desert sands. Chatould's enemy seemed impervious to wound or fatigue, and every blow left the vengeful knight weaker and more exhausted. Just before dawn he succumbed, and was struck down by a mighty thrust that pierced his heart.
But Chatould was not dead. He lay upon the sands in a nightmarish state, until he arose once again. Fate would not see such a vengeful warrior pass so silently. Of the knight he fought, nobody is certain what happened, save that he granted Chatould the gift-curse of the blood kiss.
Embracing his new immortality, and finding his thirst for bloody revenge to be unquenchable, Chatould renewed his hateful purge of the Arabyan tribes. Over time, other bretonnian lords came to face him, other errant knights came to join him, and generations of men at arms were sacrificed in the madness of his roaming, hopeless war. It is rumored now that Chatould leads an entire house of vampiric knights, with ranks of living skeletons serving as his foot troops. The truth of such tales is uncertain, but it is known that when the sun finally falls below the horizon, the sons of Araby tremble in fear of the Blood Prince.
Over the ages, Chatould did draw a powerful retinue to his side. As his powers grew, he brought more and more warriors into his dark enclave. First he added his trusted steward and champion. The knight had served faithfully under his delirious master for no less than a decade, and the brave warrior was growing old and tired from the constant warfare. Initially, he refused Chatould’s proposition- though it was not a knightly act to turn against one’s master, neither was it a knightly act to refuse the Lady her due and horde your mortality to yourself. Chatould would not hear such religious doggerel, and under cover of dark and an impending siege by a band of roving mercenaries, the somber warrior slipped from his hold to make his first foray back to the Old World.
Chatould arrived at the borders of his great homeland with remarkable speed. The green fields and pastures of Brettonia stretched before him, but the burst of vibrant, lively colors made him nauseated. He was so used to the scorched sand of the desert, and the blue-gleam of his marble walls in the moonlight.
Following a trail laid down in Castille’s own journal, Chatould tracked down the man’s family. Crawling through a window in the dead of night, Chatould set upon the family and killed each of them in a silent, gory feast.
When he returned bearing the birthsword of Castille’s own –then adolescent- son, the old knight was driven to the very brink of madness. With a smooth, alluring voice, Chatould wove a tale of deceit that saw him returning to the family to ask them to pray for his soul, and to share with them their wayward father’s bravery and resilience to the promise of life everlasting. When he arrived at the homestead –he claimed- he found the village burned and pillaged, the women ravaged, and the children crucified in the fields. It had been a work of the vicious Norse raiders, whom Castille had fought against many times as a young man. Castille took the blood kiss then without question, vowing to use his life of immortality to avenge his slaughtered family.
Fooling the newly undead Castille into travelling north, Chatould and the gloomy knight struck out to do battle with the Norse and more importantly, to locate the lair of a powerful dragon that legend claimed made it’s home along the unforgiving northern coasts. Castille protected the reckless Chatould as he had in life, wreaking undeserved vengeance upon many of the Norse tribes to keep them from interfering with Chatould’s fool’s errand. Tales of the northmen still speak of a raven haired old man who came down from the mountains to slaughter the warriors and decimate their villages. It was not long before Castille was besieging the village of Borvald the Fell, a leader among many of the scattered Norse tribes. Held inside was the beautiful Christobel, a fair-haired maiden with piercing blue eyes and a fiercely independent personality. Every morning, before dawn, she would come to an unguarded parapet and call Castille to murder her father, who was preparing to marry her to the son of a rival chieftain. Castille waged his personal war against the stronghold while Chatould hunted down the great wyrm. At last Chatould found his prey, and began his battle. When the dragon was defeated, Chatould returned to the lowlands to claim Castille.
When Borvald heard that Chatould had finally brought low the dragon who had been preying upon his longships, plans were changed. Christobel was to be betrothed to the new hero. To Castille’s despair, the young woman was instantly, hopelessly attracted to the dark, younger looking Chatould. Several times Castille tried to steal the beautiful Christobel back as his own prize, but it was a lost cause- the fire of her free will had been extinguished by Chatould’s sinister charm. On the anniversary of his own turning, Chatould gifted his young bride with the blood-kiss, and separated her from Castille entirely.
Even as Christobel swooned in his arms, Chatould heard a sound outside on the battlements. Crunching bones and clattering armor rattled along the parapets and fell to the courtyard. Reaching for his weapons, Chatould raced to the yard to defend his earnings. He stumbled into a vengeful Castille, dark with rage and despair, and the two nearly struck blows against eachother until they saw the true cause of the disturbance.
Winging over the castle walls, a massive conglomerate of rotting flesh and burnt tissue bore a pitch-armored warrior through the skies. Immediately Chatould recognized his patron, returned after 100 years of torturing his mind and corrupting his spirit. As Chatould prepared for battle, the skeletons upon the ramparts steadily fell under the sway of this new foe and Castille thought of letting the unwitting Chatould be slaughtered by his own slaves. But when the skeletal warriors came to do battle with Castille, the knight drew steel and began carving a path first to Christobel, then to freedom. He was stopped however by the cloud-splitting duel taking place in the skies above the castle.
Astride his own massive dragon, Graum, Chatould was doing battle with the man who had cursed him so many decades before. The ancient vampire was strong, but Chatould was filled with revenge and vigour, and having just fed upon the youthful blood of the Lady Christobel, he was proving himself the better of his nemesis.
With a mighty blow the younger knight smashed his foe from the saddle, and as the dragons clawed and tore at one another above, Castille was shocked to see his master leap from his own mount and dive through the air towards the stricken foe. The two grappled- their blades torn away by the driving winds- and then crashed through the southern wall of the castle.
The elder vampire was first to his feet, leaving Chatould lying in heap of crumpled armor and smoldering flesh. The older was none worse for wear, his armor tattered and his life-essence bleeding away from uncountable wounds. He staggered towards the dazed young knight, and suddenly stopped. With a ferocious roar Chatould grasped the foe’s blade, his own long-lost birthsword, and dealt the other knight a fearsome blow. The arcing blade tore through the knight’s cheek, carving one of his fangs from his jaw. Standing over the other creature, Chatould was prepared to deliver the killing strike.
The sword never fell- Chatould stood hovering over his stricken adversary, and Castille struggled to hear the words that passed between the two. A bargain must have been made, for Chatould sheathed his returned blade, and lifted the other knight off the ground, to throw him over the back of the battered dragon. The beast flew off, skewing through the skies and into the inky blackness. Castille’s chance of reclaiming Christobel vanished with the mysterious knight, as did any hope of his freedom.
Chatould redrew his blade, seeking to cut down his once-faithful champion, shouting foul curses and crackling with rage and raw dark magic. Even wounded and battered, Chatould was horrifyingly powerful. Only the newly awakened Lady Christobel- her hair now jet black and her dark eyes more fierce than balefire- was able to stay his wrath. As Chatould retired to his chambers to rejuvenate, Christobel leaned close to Castille’s ear. With a twisted smile, she told him a tale that Chatould had once shared with her in their silken bed. A tale of a midnight feast in a small Bretonnian shire, of a weeping mother and her butchered children, and a powerful vampire who slept even now in the safe confines of his rooms.
It was true that Chatould’s power had never been greater. Drawing from the mass graves and bloody battlefields scattered about his castle, his army nearly doubled in size. Word of the powerful prince and his dark-haired bride spread as far as the Old World, and knights journeyed far to join his banner. Each of them was slain in single combat, and made an eternal servant of Chatould and his cruel mistress, or were turned away by a barely coherent and very distraught old knight, with tears of blood in his eyes and bitter hatred in his heart.
Worshipper of Dice
Last game: Victory Dark Elves vs High Elves & Orcs & Goblins
WDL: Dark Elves:37/6/8 Space Marines:7/3/3
I like the idea behind the fluff of your army. It has a certain resonance, a voice all of its own. I am curious is this a force you plan to play? if so how are you going to do this? just go with a counts as basis? anyways just wanted to find some answers and I must say you have truly given me an interesting inspiration. If it were no problem with you I think my lord my like to have once been an errant knight under your commander oh so many centuries ago.
anyways just wanted to give you some props
thanks for the cudos guys.
I have already started this army, a creation that had been stewing in my mind for about a year. My plan is to use the Blood Dragon special list whenever I can, with the Brettonian list as a fallback.
I'm okay with people saying thier lord served alongside Chatould, but I hesitate when it comes to people serving under him. It would be a perilous journey for a vampire to return alone to the old world after such a crusade, and Chatould's reaction to someone within his ranks turning away from his cause would likely be violent outrage. I'm willing to hear your ideas though, and I'm sure we can work something out.
I love stuff like this, as it allows VC characters to utilize the models of other races, and the Brets really have some good stuff for that. Great fluff, enjoy your army!