Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V is for Van Hal

More than a millennia has passed since the Great Plague swept across the Empire in 1111. Millions perished and were buried across the land in great pits. Geheimnisnacht, the night of mysteries, would reveal however that the dead did not rest. Following a great meteor storm that grave night the dead begin to walk in the County of Sylvania. Clawing out of the loose ground and over each other to soullessly return to the streets, temples, and homes across the land; many naked, all rotting, and each murderously determined.

It was this night that Count Frederik van Hal (some spell it Hel), a secretive necromancer, saw opportunity and seized it. Binding the listless dead to his command he started a campaign that sought to purge Sylvania of Skaven that had invaded in the wake of the plague. The campaign a success evolved into one of terror. Refugees poured across the borders of neighboring duchies and diplomatic efforts to send Empire troops to deal with the undead and Vanhal, as the necromancer came to be known, fell on deaf ears. Sylvania was ceded to Van Hal's reign.

Vanhal, following his "civil war," used his undead army to build Vanhaldenschlosse, or Castle of Vanhal. He ruled from Vanhalenschlosse and built large rooms and studies dedicated to necromancy. Van Hal was assassinated by his greatest apprentice, Lothar van Diehl. Van Diehl controlled the armies of undead for a short time, but Vanhal's spirit haunted the land and soon led a band of Sylvanian Knight's to Vanhaldenschlosse driving Van Diehl to exile. The armies of undead, leaderless--Vanhal's spirit was too weak to bind them--dispersed across the land in witless bands. The people found them easy targets and soon retook the land from the undead, if for a short time.

Scholars, some courting the heresy of not accepting official historical accounts, speculate that Vanhal was a pawn of a mysterious and manipulative Prince Vladimir. These heretical scholars say that Vlad von Carstein, first Count of Sylvania, is the same Prince. Vanhal lived over 700 years before Count Vlad is first mentioned in historical tomes in 1797. It is not a stretch to see the heresy, at the very least a libel. These same scholars suggest the truth lies in tomes hidden in the ruins of Vanhaldenschlosse near the Grim Wood in the heart of Sylvania.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:01 AM in d10

 

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