Monday, April 27, 2009

Nemesis Crown Campaign: Battle 5

Vampire Counts
Having dealt with the Elven menace, Byron Manfred was free to continue his search for the crown. Finding it would be his only chance to regain some measure of his former life, whether it be the power to bring back the one he loves or simply being allowed to return to his home.

Byron continued to travel with Duke Tepes, a blood dragon vampire thrall who is out to prove himself in combat. Byron has also become the apprentice of a more experienced necromancer who had heard of his exploits. Under this new dark wizard's tutelage, Byron's skills in the dark arts began to improve.

Their search brought them to an ancient burial site where Byron could sense some powerful ancient magic. Shortly after discovering the site, they came upon a Bretonnian force in the area to clear out any threats to the local populace. The Bretonnian's, led by the noble Sir Edwin Hammel of Parravon, formed up to attack the band of undead. Byron prepared his shambling troops to defend themselves.

Seeing an opponent that might actually be worth his time, Duke Tepes immediately led his small unit of black knights charging right across the middle of the battlefield toward Sir Edwin, the magic wielding damsel with him, and the unit of peasant spearmen they lead. The sudden onslaught greatly unnerved Sir Edwin and his men. Edwin bravely accepted the challenge of Duke Tepes to face him in single combat, and was wounded by the charging vampire. The damsel was slaughtered by the black knights, but the peasants held their ground.

More peasant soldiers joined in the combat, as did some hungry ghouls. The single combat continued between Duke Tepes and Sir Edwin. Due to Sir Edwin's powerful magic armor and the obvious favor of the lady of the lake, the Duke was unable to finish him off. Sir Edwin managed to strike back and wound Tepes, enraging the proud vampire. The knights continued to cut down the peasants until they could take no more. They all broke and ran for their lives directly into some fell bats waiting to finish them off. In the chaos and confusion of the rout, Duke Tepes lost sight of Sir Edwin. But he will not soon forget the insolent human who managed to harm him in combat.

Meanwhile, Byron's undead forces were successfully outmaneuvering and defeating the rest of the Bretonnian army piecemeal. Byron and his new master were able to raise many new allies from the corpses in the ancient burial site. But Byron stretched his powers a little too far attempting to cast a powerful spell he was trying to learn. This nearly cost him his life, as a demon ravaged his mind. It was an important lesson in the dangers of trying to gain power too quickly.

After driving off the attackers with fairly minimal losses, Bryon set about searching the ancient burial site. It did not turn out to contain a magic crown. Byron did, however, discover a different magical artifact with considerable power, which may aid him in his continuing quest.


Blessed Lady, I pray to you from a grave I have dug with my own hands. Sir Bertrand, my loyal standard bearer, struck down by an evil cursed weapon. The plan was good. I was to lead the peasants through the clearing, bring the undead hordes to battle, and hold the line as Sir Betrand led his knights around the left flank, and even more brave knights sped around the right flank. When this trap was sprung, no one could stand before the might of Bretonnia. The vile creatures of the undead seemed to be playing right into the trap. Blasphemous knights of the undead thundered down upon our line, a mighty vampire amongst them, his lance pointed directly at me as he bellowed a challenge. The dead began to rise from the ground just before the impact of the charge and, Lady forgive me, this sight filled me with fear. Despite my moment of weakness, the line held. The first strike from the vampire’s lance struck me with unholy power, knocking me to my feet. As I stood up to face him I saw the Lady Arianna struck down from an evil knight. I turned to face the vampire…I knew I must defeat him to quell the fear of my men. More peasant joined the battle, hacking down the walking dead where they stood, though more appeared faster than they could be killed. Still more peasants joined the line as the battle raged on between the vile vampire and myself. Shambling creatures stumbled from the forest and joined the battle as the vampire hacked at me. Desperately trying to ward of the blows, he finally caught me off guard. I was out of position to defend the killing blow, and my eyes happened upon the dead body of the Lady Arriana, and I knew the blow would not harm me. The Lady protects. Rejuvenated by this blessed event, I launched myself at the vampire and struck him. He roared in terrifying anger, as if I was not worthy to wound him. The rest I do not remember. The line broke. I was caught in the rush of peasants running from the battle. Giant bat creatures swooped down upon us, killing as we ran. I was dragged down to ground.

“He’s alive!” were the next words that I heard. The few surviving peasants pulled dead bodies from on top me. The survivors had managed to get away from the battle, and where back looking for survivors. Many of the knights survived, but almost all of the peasants were killed. The messengers have returned. They have located some fellow knights of Bretonnia. I have taken into my care Sir Bertrand's warhorse and we are riding to join some fellow knights of Bretonnia. When we meet them I intend to rally together an army to hunt down these vile creatures and end their reign of terror on this world. Blessed Lady give me strength, for I turned in the face of fear. Blessed Lady give me guidance, for my mind is a sea of fear, confusion and rage. Blessed Lady forgive me, for I have failed.

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