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OK, I have no idea how this is going to be received, as I'm kind of sketchy on the way things work in the Fantasy World, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to pust the fluff for my Vampire Counts army that I am working on as part of the Tale of Painters.
If you want, you can see the WIP thread here: http://www.librarium-online.com/foru....php?p=1016240
With that out of the way, on with the fluff! Let me know what you think (and especially let me know if there are any glaring errors in it).
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Lady Thalespa was a young noble living in Erengrad, a Western city within the nation of Kislev, before she was granted a vampiric life, bestowed on her by a vampire who attacked her as she lay asleep. Thalespa’s first instincts were to hide her powers, but once she was sure that no-one suspected she had become a creature of the night, she found her curiosity beginning to gnaw at her. She began to read as much as possible about Vampires, about their lore and their history, and her studies soon led her to a fortunate encounter.
It did not take Thalespa long to befriend an eccentric woman known as Madame Blaché. Thalespa was truly surprised by the older woman’s knowledge of Vampiric Lore and Necromantic arts, and it did not take long for them to become staunch and loyal allies. They began to study together wherever possible, pooling their knowledge so that they may both reap the benefits of their research.
Both women were careful to keep their studies silent and subtle, and Lady Thalespa was even more cautious to keep her secret from those around her. It became increasingly harder for her; her standing as a young noble soon saw her rising to a position of power within her family, and her beauty and wit saw her rise quickly through the ranks of nobility within the city. As her station and her power grew, she garnered the attention of many suitors, and eventually caught the eye of Daanhale, a young Kislevite noble who clearly stood out from the others and pursued her with all his heart.
She knew she could not return his love, for her very nature prevented her from feeling such an emotion. But despite her cold heart, she felt something; she remembered love from her human life, and she wanted to love him. Thalespa tried to find that love in her heart, but could summon nothing more than a shadow of emotion. Nevertheless, Daanhale was convinced that the object of his desire loved him, and he continued to pursue her with all his heart. Thalespa eventually tired of her charade and tried to turn him away, but Daanhale was incorrigible and would not be refused.
Eventually, Thalespa realised that she couldn’t hold back forever. Daanhale’s devotion was strong but she realised that if she continued to deny him she would break his heart. Realising that Daanhale could cause trouble for her if she did crush his dreams, she decided she would have to take matters into her own hands. She began publicly courting another man, Sanchev, who quickly responded to her charms. Then she arranged for Daanhale and herself to be alone one night so that she could reveal her true nature to him. She hoped that he would either flee in terror, or attack her thus giving her reason to could kill him. Thalespa thought she was prepared for any eventuality; if Daanhale fled and attempted to tell others she was a vampire, she could claim he was simply jealous and spreading rumours out of spite. If he attacked her, she could claim he had either tried to force himself upon her, or flown into a jealous rage and tried to kill her.
But there was one eventuality Thalespa had not counted on. When she revealed her nature to Daanhale, he was initially shocked, but to her surprise he only reaffirmed his love for her. Angrily she told him he was a fool and ordered him to leave, but he would not be discouraged. He swore he would never betray her and Thalespa, finally swayed by his loyalty, made her decision.
She ended her relationship with Sanchev, allowing Daanhale to take his place in her life. She did not tell Sanchev why, but the man was clearly disgusted by this turn of events. He left Erengrad soon after Thalespa turned him down, and for a while Thalespa was content with her life. She had a close confidant in Madame Blaché, and a loyal friend in Daanhale.
However, Sanchev refused to be forgotten. A few months later, he returned to Erengrad with a vampire hunter and retinue in tow.
Sanchev led an attack against her manor, and although Thalespa instructed Daanhale to flee he refused and stayed by her side, fighting with her against the hunter’s minions. However, while she was a vampire, he was only human, and the numbers against him were simply too great. Even as it seemed as though they had a chance of escape, Lady Thalespa could only watch in horror as the one man with whom she had shared her deepest secrets, the one man she had almost learnt to love, was struck down before her.
Despite being a creature of few emotions, Daanhale’s death deeply affected her. In a tearful rage Lady Thalespa destroyed the hunter, taking Daanhale’s body away with her. She stopped by the residence of Madame Blaché in case her mentor was also under suspicion, and the two women fled together and forged a new stronghold. There, Lady Thalespa begged Madame Blaché to resurrect Daanhale so that they might be together for eternity, despite the necromancer’s explanations that Daanhale as a Wight would not be the same, and would never again remember or love her.
Lady Thalespa accepted this and the resurrection went ahead. But Thalespa quickly found that having Daanhale reanimated was a foolish idea. As Madame Blaché had assured her, he did not remember her, and having him seemingly alive only served to remind her of what she had lost. Still reacting to Daanhale’s death, it took several months for Thalespa to recover; for a time she alternated between swinging into an uncontrollable rage whenever she saw the Wight, or collapsing into distraught sobs. She grew to hate the Daanhale who had refused to obey her and had thus been slain, but at the same time she could fondly remember the Daanhale who had cared for and loved her.
Eventually Lady Thalespa went to confide in Madame Blaché, asking to be taught whatever necromantic arts the older woman knew. She did not tell Madame Blaché why, but secretly she hoped she could one day learn enough so that, should another dear friend ever be taken from her, she would be able to resurrect them completely.
Soon, Madame Blaché had taught her all she knew, and Lady Thalespa began to venture forth from her fortress home, seeking new knowledge that they could share. She was challenged as a vampire wherever she went and called into many skirmishes and small-scale engagements. Although she tried her best, Lady Thalespa simply did not have the tactical knowledge to lead their small army. It fell to Madame Blaché to coordinate their defence, and the necromancer proved to be far more proficient. However, Lady Thalespa was a keen student and began to study battles of old, and she also took a keen interest in watching Madame Blaché lead their battles. Soon her leadership skills had vastly improved and with renewed confidence Lady Thalespa once more began searching for the forgotten knowledge that she wished to learn.
It did not take long for the pair to begin assembling a vast collection of arcane items, forbidden tomes and long forgotten knowledge. Both Lady Thalespa and Madame Blaché were able to greatly improve their respective skills, and soon their names became well known and rightly feared across a great many regions. But not everyone feared them - a young woman soon approached Lady Thalespa, fascinated by the vampiric way of life, but even more enraptured by the dark secrets of necromancy. Over time, Madame Vichette studied with both Madame Blaché and Lady Thalespa, with her powers soon rivalling those of her mentors.
Now, together with the ever-faithful Madame Blaché, the Wight-form of Daanhale and their new apprentice, Madame Vichette, Lady Thalespa scours the world looking for more knowledge of the vampiric and necromantic arts, still faintly hoping that she may one day be able to resurrect Daanhale entirely and be with him once more. Although the knowledge Lady Thalespa seeks has so far eluded her, there are many other scraps of forbidden lore that are now held within her fortress, and both she and her assistants continue to grow in power.
I like the idea, it is very unique and pretty cool. There is only one major flaw that i can see in your fluff:
You established that Vampires do not feel love. That is true, GW states it in thier army book. Victorian Gothic never really says a vampire cannot love, but typically they don't seem to want to.
The trouble is that you take your Vampiress and have her become emotionally attached to this human. vampires do not think on equal terms with humans. They are egotistical supremecists, who have deemed themselved unerring in their ways. For your lady to 'want to love' the man, she'd most likely just want to maintain a physical/material relationship and eventually take a bloodbath. So she wouldn't have tried to drive him off- vampires aren't bound by religion, they take multiple "companions". She likely wouldn't hope that he doesn't turn vampire, or hope that he isn't hurt, or really even care if he died unless she was hunting him as personal property.
Maybe rewrite it so that in his professed love, he lets her turn him and his BROTHER comes after them, slaying him as a vampire. Perhaps she kills her 'lover' and raises him as a wight. Perhaps another vampire seduces him, but before they can turn him into a vampire, she claims her prize in the form of a wight. Who knows? But to claim that she is emotionally distraught over this is not the best method.
just my opinion though, fluff is not set in stone, so you could have her fall maddenningly in love with him if you like
Thanks for that, CaptainSarathai!
I was a little concerned that this was going to be a point of contention, but I left it in there as I sort of have some form of explanation.
Basically, I felt that there would be some kind of crossover period between human and vampire, a time when you remember what it's like to be Human and yet at the same time are discovering your Vampiric side. So, the way she treats Daanhale at the beginning is due to this conflict - she's still trying to be human, perhaps trying to deny the fact that she's been turned into a vampire.
I'm not sure if that gets me off the hook, though...
When she's attacked and Daanhale is killed, she has her 'crossover period' where she comes to term with the fact she is a Vampire and there's no getting out of it, hence the turbulent emotional state at that point. Once she's over that, it's not so much the hope that "should another dear friend ever be taken from her, she would be able to resurrect them completely" so much as "I'm a Vampire now, I might as well become the most powerful Vampire I can be, Mwa ha ha" and all that Jazz.
So... you think that's enough of a justification to leave it as it is?
Well, it'd work for me. You're going to find that the audience will always complain about something minor, so let them toss peanuts and flap their gums! The fluff is pretty solid, like I said before.
That crossover phase is pretty cool. The old stories and GW fail to mention what "turning" is like, so we have to go to movies like 'Blade' and whatnot to get background. Seems to me that as you turn, it's like a nightmarish sickness- so i guess you'd have that 'gray area' where you are struggling with your inner demon.
I'd put Daanhale in the story earlier. Before she turns. It'd make her turning more painful al-la "he died because i was too weak to fight this", and would limit any chance of people saying "well, she was becoming a vampire and wouldn't stay involved for long". You're looking at what is supposedly a window of a few days where the transformation takes place. Perhaps she is exceptionally strong, or fueled by her love, and fights the curse for a period of several agonizing weeks. That'd actually be really cool- starving herself to try and fight away the inevitable.
Anyhow, just gotta keep plodding along at it. As you talk to more people (where the hell is everyone?!) you'll get more ideas and more points to brainstorm. Fluff is always a Work in Progress. Right now you've got a skeleton, you just need to make Daanhale (sorry bout that bad joke :z).
I dont really know wether this is waterproof or not, but vampires must have some sort of...unholy love, if so to speak.
In the case with the special characters, Vlad and Isabella von Carstein, they establish some sort of love. There are two major actions that indicates this.
The nearly fatal death of Isabella and the killing of Vlad.
Isnt that somewhat the same situation? More or less?
Sorry, I've been forgetting to check this...
Thanks King Alriks Bodyguard; now that you mention it I do recall reading something about this 'Unholy Love' thing. I'm not all that sure I want to use that as an explanation, though.
In my mind, there isn't any extreme devotion from Thalespa towards Daanhale. It's more that Daanhale is madly in love with her, and she's worried about a whole bunch of things. She's worried that he'll get upset if she doesn't acknowledge him and might do something dangerous (to himself, to her, to anyone really). She's worried that he could find her out if he gets too close. And, as I sort of mentioned in one of my earlier posts here, she still sort of feels some of her human side coming through, and feels that she should respond to Daanhale's devotion because it would be rude and/or unnatural to ignore it (and would only further serve to cast suspicion on her if she didn't respond to his courting)
Ergh, this is confusing though... I'm trying to put myself in her position and rationalise what I'd do. Not being a vampire, or living in a medieval like time that despises vampires, (and not being female, for that matter) makes it kind of difficult.
I guess it is a somewhat similar situation, though; it is Daanhale that first shows the strongest devotion. Eventually, Thalespa accepts that she won't get rid of him so allows him to think she's returning his affection, and then because he's the only one who she can trust (aside from Blache I suppose) they sort of grow to be friends. So I guess it's more of a 'relationship of convenience' that becomes a 'good-natured friendship' before becoming a 'tragic catalyst that seals Thalespa's fate'.
Hey, I kind of like the way that works out...
i for one don't mind such things, a story in itself really depends on the person reading it and for me, it's a really good storyline with one thing that is rare in Warhammer Fantasy/40k, and that is: Love.
Brett, your story has a sense of emotion that has echoed through other Vampiric stories like, Underworld, some Blade Films and even some of the older Dracula films.
though there is a huge difference between the two ways that the stories have been presented but, they still hold the same answer to the unemotional stress of a Vampire and the one thing that truly conquers all. and that is love 8Y
you see, nature can, and will have, a way to counter such flaws in one form or another. I'd say, great storyline.
*Smites Brett with Unholy Hammer of Reputation*