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Sorry if this is the wrong section for this sort of thing, as it is fluff for my Lahmian VC army, but it's quite long as I found how much I enjoy this aspect of the hobby. The following was my first attempt at writing fluff, basically a detailed overview of my whole army, whereas in the next fluff I wrote after it, I went into the history of one of the characters alot more. I think the next piece that I wrote after this one (which I will post in another post as well) is alot better, but just wanted to see what people thought. So any comments/suggestions/feedback would be great.
The Cult of Darkness Eternal
She watched the young knight toss and turn in the bed, in the grips of a deathly fever, struggling to hold onto the last remnants of life that still lived in his wrecked and broken body. "If he seems to have such a passion for life and to hold onto it, as he is showing me now", she thought, "then the promise of eternal life should be something he will be unable to resist", a smile curling on her lips.
"Watch over him Musette", she said as she turned towards her handmaiden, watching from behind her. "If he does not die, then he may prove to be an asset to us. Nurse him back to health, I will take Anita and go to marshall our force that will be required if we are to fulfil the duty that our Queen has bestowed upon us" an almost radiant smile forming on her face at the mention of the great Queen. How did she miss the court of the Pinnacle, and the Queen herself. It had been her home ever since she had been discovered for what she really was, forced to flee from the only home she had ever known, Gisoreux. But now, she was finally given the opportunity to exact revenge on the descendants of those who had made her flee the home of her original birth all those centuries ago.
"We shall return to see how our foolish young friend here is doing within a few weeks" she commanded. "I expect to find that if he is still alive, that his brush with death will make him quite amicable to our proposal".
Eno Desruc of Mousillon slowly awoke in his bed to find one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen, sitting there watching him. He moved to prop himself up, a sharp pain suddenly burning across his chest, his whole body contorting with pain. Opening his shirt, he saw the bright red scar stretching raggedly across his chest, still pink and scabby and weeping. Falling back on the bed, he searched his memory for something that would explain how he has come to find himself in this situation. Slowly the memories came back in bits and pieces. Tired of the curse of the land, his men and fellow knights having fallen to another accursed wave of the Red Pox, he decided that rather than wait for death he decided to seek it out, embarking on a suicidal crusade of anger and hatred against the other provenances of Bretonnia that have always treated Mousillon with such disdain and revulsion. However, he never made it out past the borders of Mousillon, coming across a group of beautiful women only miles from his castle. It puzzled him why they were here, and he had never seen a group of women that looked so beautiful but at the same time looked so pale, almost unearthly so. He shrugged it off, in Mousillon he had seen many strange and unusual things, and he had no time for this. His madness gripped him as he charged full flight at the ladies, he was already a dead man and cursed he thought, innocent blood on his soul is no matter to him. But as he charged at the group of women, one stepped forward from the rest and he felt drawn to her. She had pitch black hair flowing down over her shoulders, chalk white skin, and the deepest blue eyes he had seen. "Living death" he thought to himself as he watched her eyes turn into drowning pools of midnight blue, feeling all his will leave him as he pulled up his charging steed. After that all he can remember is the lady and one of the others moving in a blur of speed, too quick for him to see, and then great pain before darkness finally overtook him. His fresh scar ached with the memory.
"I see that you are finally awake. Good. M’lady will be pleased. She has been waiting to speak with you" he heard the beautiful woman watching him say. He watched as she got up from her chair in one liquid motion, as if she did not have any bones, so graceful was the movement. She disappeared out the thick oak door of the bedroom as Eno was still trying to come to grips with everything. He didn’t even know how much time had past since the events of that night had befallen him.
The woman shortly returned, holding open the door as another woman entered. Eno recognised her immediately as the one that he had thought of as ‘Living death’, the one that had seemed to have been able to take away all his will with only her eyes. Unable to help himself he felt himself involuntarily move backwards, trying to get as far away from them as possible. They were both two of the most beautiful women he had ever seen in all the lands of Bretonnia, but there was something else about them that chilled him to the bone, the unnatural parlour of their skin, so pale, a sense of foreboding about them, death.
The woman that he recognised as the leader of the two smiled seeing his reaction to them.
"Good" she smiled. "You should be afraid. When we first met you not far from here, you seemed to have a death wish. Charging something that looks innocent and harmless. Don’t you know that such a thing does not exist in Mousillon?!" she exclaimed, curling her fingers in her pitch black hair as she moved closer to the bed, causing Eno to try to back up further.
"Why else do you think our Queen sent us here to assemble an army? Mousillon, the cursed land, is full of nothing but those black of heart, vicious, hateful, both alive and undead". With the last an evil smile curled on her lips, finally seeing understanding forming on the young knight’s face.
"Yes, you are in the presence of servants of Queen Neferata, the great Queen of the Lahmians, vampires. Surely you have realised that by now, though perhaps why you are still alive is what puzzles you so. In your mind when you set out that fateful night weeks ago, you had decided that you would welcome death" stated the woman. "But when it found you, I think you had a change of heart and realised that you would do anything to try to hold onto life. The way that you fought for your life in here was wondrous. The wounds that myself and my handmaiden inflicted on you were enough to kill a normal man thrice over" she said smiling, remembering the battle. "Yet here in this bed over the past few weeks you have fought for your life, clinging to it, dragging yourself back to the land of the living. You have proven yourself worthy of my proposal".
"My proposal?" thought Eno Desruc, wondering what it could be, not daring to hope. He had heard of the Lahmians in the past before, deceptive, manipulative women that pulled the strings behind the scenes of many a royal court, with a general disdain of men. But he had also heard of some men who through offering their servitude and lives to these vampires, had eternal life bestowed on them themselves. He dare not let himself believe that he himself could be offered such a proposal.
"Firstly though", the woman said quietly, "we should introduce ourselves. You must forgive me. My high born upbringing in Gisoreux was centuries ago before I was granted this wondrous existence. At times, I do forget my manners". "I am Belle Morte, once a daughter of Gisoreux and the Dukes court under a name I have long since forgotten, now the servant and hand in the world of the great Queen Neferata!" exclaimed Belle Morte, again the mere mentioning of Neferata’s name bringing great joy to her face.
"Belle Morte". Eno said the name over in his head. "Beautiful Dead" he said as he translated the name in his head, thinking of how appropriate the name is for this beautiful woman.
"This is my handmaiden, Musette, she has served me well for over a 100 years now since I first found her in a Bastonne court" said Belle Morte with some pride as Musette curtsied towards Eno.
"Musette will help you into your armour, Knight of Mousillon" Belle said with respect to the young knight. "You will meet us outside in the courtyard where I have something else to show you to help you to decide in regards to the proposal that we have for you".
Eno Desruc made his way down the stone steps to the courtyard, the handmaiden Musette following behind him. His pitch black armour made him hard to see for a normal human in the moonlight, for Belle Morte it was no trouble with her vampire eyes to watch him as he came down the stairs. She watched as his feet padded against the hard stones of the courtyard as he came near her. "Follow me" she commanded, leading him out of the courtyard and out through the castle gates outside.
Eno drew in a sharp breath as he spied the army that Belle Morte had amassed while she had been away. Standing before them were a heavily armoured unit of knights on foot, skull visages staring back out at Eno, their blades glowing with an unnatural blue light.
"This would be your vanguard, Eno Desruc, should you choose to accept my proposal" Belle Morte said. "In life they were some of the finest warriors that Mousillon had to offer. Now in death, they have been made only better, with the ability to decapitate a man with a single blow."
Turning to the right, Belle Morte drew Eno’s attention to a group of Knights on horseback, though the steeds were now just skeletal remains, balefires filling where their eyes used to be, the Knights silently sitting on top, lances held towards the sky, the moonlight gleaming off the bare bones of their faces.
"These are your Templars. They will accompany you in battle and follow your command as I have instructed. You have led such knights yourself before when they were alive, you know their skill and the crushing power of their charge’.
Eno heard a growling emanating from his left, turning to see a large, rotting wolf nuzzling the hand of Belle Morte.
"Ahhhhh ma loups non morts" murmured Belle Morte. "Whilst growing up in Gisoreux, I always remember my father warning me never to go alone into the Arden Forest" said Belle Morte as she remembered fondly. "He was afraid of the great wolves that roamed the forest, and what they would do to a girl like me. He sent out great hunting parties every year, in attempt to drive the wolves from the forest, and perhaps to wipe them out completely. Somewhat ironic now that having been the hunted for so long, they are now to be the hunters".
Eno heard the flapping of great wings, turning his face skyward he saw bats, both large and small circling over head in great numbers, almost blocking all the stars in the night sky. "More friends that serve us" smiled Belle Morte. "You will find my army to be most accommodating I believe, we’ve even managed to recruit one of the longest residents of your castle".
With that Belle moved to the side and let Eno see what appeared to be some sort of ghostly apparition. It seemed to be the visage of a woman, an ethereal blue in colour, old rags hanging off her, her face twisted and contorted in pain, while small dead lights surrounded her visage. With a start, Eno realised that he had seen her before, years ago in one of the wings of the castle when he was a boy. It had scared him to death and his long dead mother told him at the time the story of ‘the blue lady’, said to be the ghost of a woman that had murdered servant men of the castle many years ago. She had been executed, hung over the castle walls for all to see as a warning. In the years that followed, there were reports of a ghost like visage of a lady of blue being seen in various areas of the castle. It was said that if she spoke to anyone, it would freeze their hearts, the sound of her ghostly voice scaring them to death.
Belle smiled, seeing the recognition forming on Eno’s face. "Don’t worry, Eno" Belle said reassuringly, Maria cannot hurt you now, her will is mine to command. Eno looked puzzled at the mention of the name. "Her name was Maria La FÃ©e" smiled Belle. "A very evil woman that took quite a delight in torturing and murdering the servants of this castle many years before you were born. In death she has proven to be just as deadly as she was in life. I think she will prove to be a very useful acquisition indeed" beamed Belle Morte.
"You will find that the spirit world proves to be very useful if you have the power and will to make it serve you" stated Belle. "Such as these spirits of dark elf raiders that we found on the coast on our way here to Mousillon". Belle pointed to ghostly figures that shambled near the castle walls, dark elf warriors though some of them no longer had human heads, sporting skull-like visages instead. "We found them hovering over what appears to be the battlefield where they fell many years ago during a raid, seemingly unable to leave the spot where they died" shrugged Belle. "I simply used my dark magic’s and bent them to my will, tying them to me, and now they are mine to call as I wish".
Eno looked around at the whole army, amazed at what he saw. He should of been terrified, but he wasn’t. He did not see undead. He saw hope. A way out of the curse. A way to beat death.
Belle smiled seeing the look on Eno’s face. "I gather you are beginning to understand my proposal Eno, good" purred Belle. But I haven’t quite finished in showing you my grand army on offer here. Anita, if you would please do the honours."
Eno watched as out between Belle Morte and her handmaiden stepped another young woman, just as pale and beautiful as the other two women, but there was something different about her. Underneath her perfume, Eno could smell the rotting stench of death.
Belle smiled, as if she could read what Eno was thinking. "Yes, Anita, while very beautiful, is not the same creature as myself and Musette. Anita’s desperation to hold onto life has seen her life become filled with nothing but death. She calls to the dead, and they answer her."
With that Anita stood out in front of Belle and her handmaiden, her arms outstretched chanting, incantations coming from her lips. The ground around Eno started to rumble and shake as skeletal hands started to break through the earth, Eno moving quickly to avoid the grasp of a reaching hand, as long dead warriors of Mousillon pulled themselves out of the ground, rusted swords and armour gleaming dully in the moonlight.
Eno whispered under his breath having watched the dead warriors assemble into ranks in front of him. "Mother of god, what sort of magic’s is at work here tonight??"
The woman known as Anita smiled hearing Eno’s whisperings. "In life they served your Mousillon. In death, now they serve me!"
Belle moved in close to Eno, leaning in to whisper quietly into his ear. "I offer you a chance of escaping the curse, a chance of eternal life. To earn it, you only need to serve me, pledge your sword to me and serve me well and the blood kiss can be yours…" Eno felt his mouth go dry with anticipation as Belle continued. "Don’t you want to escape the curse of Mousillon, something your ancestors could never do?? Join my cult of darkness eternal, serve me, and help me in my quest to see a return of the cult of blood and our great Queen to the world that rightfully belongs to her! The rewards shall be eternal. I give you three nights to consider my proposal. You have seen the army that I can offer. I will return on the third night to hear your answer. It would not be wise to displease me".
With that Belle Morte turned and made her way though the undead ranks with Musette her handmaiden, and the woman known as Anita following behind her. The undead opened a passage to let them pass, letting Eno see through to what looked like an ethereal coach, two undead steeds pulling it while an unknown figure in robes holding a great Scythe sat at the helm.
Eno turned and went back into the courtyard, feeling like he had so much to consider before their return, but already knowing his answer. Life eternal… so many knights from the other provenances of Bretonnia go on their quests to find the Grail, for Eno it felt like the Grail had come to him!
What will your mommy sing when she finds your body....
Very, very good. You've fitted into the fluff all of your units, you've set the scene nicely, and it's been written very well.