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Jun 26, 2021
43
So, i've done some digging through the archives of my old fluff pieces that have involved the Undead as a main focus.

First one I found was part of my unfinished story writing challenge, whose theme was the First Skaven Civil War. When Clan Pestilens returned from Lustria and tried to take over Skavenkind. This is the third part where the Skryre Councillor in this region of war attempts to converse with the sinister High Preacher of Clan Mordkin.


The Rise of Vriznk

Part Three: Whispers of the Dead

"What-what did you think-think about that?" whispered Lisspt Warpeye as he caught up to the heavily robed Moriskit. The High Preacher of Clan Mordkin slowed his pace and turned his sinister bone mask to regard the far smaller Skryre Warlock Engineer. Lisspt tried to keep his composure, Clan Mordkin were rightfully feared by most of Skavenkind; their wars against the great necromancer had unhinged them. With an exception of the Seer Order, Mordkin were possibly the most devout of Skavenkind, something that had made them little friends even in such times.

"About what?" hissed Moriskit, his red eyes seeming to glow ominously through the eyeholes in his mask.

Lisspt clenched his glands to avoid expelling his fear musk. In order to fight the terror of Nagash, the rats of Mordkin adopted that same terror. Some whispered that there was little that could frighten a Skaven of Clan Mordkin, others that their rituals robbed them of all emotion making them more akin to the undead they fought against.

"The meeting" Lisspt spoke at last, "the Warlord General seem-seems to be moving openly against the Seer-General."

Mordkin leaned on his scythe that acted as his badge of office. "Why-why is that such a concern?" he hissed, "Sure-surely our goal is above such...politics. We fight-fight for Skavenkind and the Horned Rat. We fight-fight the forces of dread Nagash."

Behind his own mask, Lisspt couldnt help but roll his eyes at such talk. "But mighty-great High Preacher" he began, making a point of flattery to soften the following blow, "Pestilens seem-seem to be very much alive."

The Mordkin High Preacher halted and slammed down the butt of his scythe angrily. "Fool" he growled, turning to face the Skryre Engineer, "fool, you do not scent-see the tendrils of the great enemy. Were it that Skavenkind were not so blind to reality."

Lisspt said nothing but ground his fangs in worry. "Surely you have fought-fought the forces of Pestilens?" Moriskit asked when he had calmed down slightly. Lisspt too eagerly bobbed his head despite having never actually faced any true Pestilens warriors.

"Then you should scent-know that many of their number exist in a state-state of decay. Their body-flesh falls away and withers, yet-yet they remain alive. The number of Pestilens Monks grow-grows daily...as do the number of death-deaths from disease; the same-same disease that these Monks bear. It is poss-possible that the dead are revived by these necromancers to act-act as Monks worshipping the Dread One. They eve-even wear corpse shrouds less-less like true Skaven but more-more in reverence to their true dark master-meat!"

"Necromancers?" Lisspt questioned, "What-what necromancers?"

The Mordkin Preacher seemed to sigh deeply, "the priest-meat of Pestilens, they have a grasp-grasp of magic, yes-yes? I am certain they are minor necromancers under Nagash's control, task-tasked with spreading disease and death to wipe out Skavenkind. They then resummon the dead-meat as mindless Monks. Note-note how un-Skavenly loyal these Monks are, throwing themselves on our blades for their leader-meat. It is not-not natural..."

Despite himself, Lisspt could see some possible logic to Moriskit's theory but his own pride dragged him away from such ideas.

"Yes-yes, crush-slay the undead. We must stop-stop the Dark One," he quickly chittered before making an excuse and leaving the heavily cloaked rat. He had to find a suitable leader for the attack, and there was one rat he had in mind...

Behind his mask, the corpse-like face of Moriskit worked against the death rictus that constantly pulled at his muscles.

He hefted his scythe and smiled.
 
Jun 26, 2021
43
The second piece I have dug up comes from the 2014 UE short story competition (the theme was Eshin and/or Time.) I combined the two themes into the following. I also am terrible at naming characters...

Dust and bones

Necrilliach delicately turned another page of the ancient tome. Its title in ancient Nehekharian roughly translated to The Whispers of Usirian, the Khemrian God of the Underworld. The title itself was a parody, the God stood against everything laid down by dread Nagash and the wind of Shyish. As far as the wizened Necrarch vampire could ascertain, this book had been originally written by one of the first ancient vampires of Necrilliach's bloodline, perhaps W'soran himself. In either case obtaining the book had not been easy, though this paled in significance to the difficulty in understanding the potential and meaning of it. What the Necrarch had learnt in two hundred years of studying it had been groundbreaking and yet he felt that he had only scratched the surface of the genius that lay within the faded hieroglyphs.

The heavily wrinkled candles that lit the vampire's library flickered and the Necrarch gave a short tut before gently closing the tome. Outside a great storm lashed at the thick forest that surrounded the lone and hidden tower of Necrilliach. It was not the rain dashing upon the worn roof of his tower, nor the strikes of green tinged lightning that crept closer that held the venerable vampire's attention. Around him the shadows that had shied away from the candlelight now seemed to flow into the vampire and form an encompassing cloak. He retrieved his gnarled staff, a curious item that bore a gold encased skull for a head. Smouldering fires seemed to gleam in the staff's eye sockets.

The first throwing star missed the Necrarch by a hair's breadth; it would have been a fatal strike if the vampire hadn't smartly stepped to the side. A second and third star whizzed towards him, the first being deflected by a contemptuous sweep of his staff, the second striking the shadowy robes and imbedding itself in the mouldering desk behind him. A hiss of anger emerged from a corner and the vampire smiled as his dark eyes picked out his attacker.

"Grrzzzik? Must you always disturb my studying? I thought you knew better than that!" the vampire reprimanded in Queekish.

A look of confusion was etched on the Skaven assassin's face that the vampire didn't seem to notice. This was quickly replaced with frothing fury as the ratman withdrew a pair of venom covered blades and launched himself at the Necrarch. The vampire easily parried the blows impossibly with his staff, an aura of magic seemingly protecting it from harm. At length the Skaven leapt back and took a guarded position.

"Interesting, I would say your style this time was very much to the lessons of Fabris. However, your rashness counterpoints several of the Tilean's ideals. Last time we fought you used Alfieri's defence. Shall I see if youve improved, Grrzzzik?"

The assassin blinked for a moment as if unable to understand what his target was blathering about. His tail however lashed with concern as the vampire let his staff drop and withdrew a blade that seemed to apparate from the shadows surrounding him. The Necrarch, despite appearing withered and crippled, then launched a devastating attack that the Skaven struggled to fend off.

"More of a Marozzo style of parry, pacing slightly off. You are better than this Grrzzzik" the vampire said with another tut. "Still, I suppose like the last few visits you will not wish to enlighten me on that wonderful discussion on the nature of the soul?"

The Skaven growled a curse and leapt back onto a bookcase. Several more throwing stars appeared in his paws and flew at the vampire who gently weaved out of their way.

"The thing is, Grrzzzik, I...how do you ratfolk say it...ah...see-scent the world differently than when I was mortal so long ago. This world is so grey to me, the only brightness are the souls ready for the reaping. But where do they go?"

"The Horned One" the assassin hissed, launching an attack from the book case.

"Thats the sixty-fifth time you've said that. You Skaven really have that strange belief of this rat god. I have seen the otherworld, the spirit world. I have plucked choice lost spirits from this void. But you already know enough on that. Perhaps your god consumes your souls? Hmm perhaps a further study into Leeber's theories on the gods..."

The necrarch caught the poisoned blade with an outstretched palm and smiled a toothy grin as the venom ate away at his hand. With a savage twist he disarmed the Skaven. The Assassin leapt back clutching his last blade.

"But I tire of this, Grrzzzik. Tell-squeak your masters that I expect my payment of Warpstone for this quarter. Should they fail...well we remember last time, dont we Grrzzzik? Now go before I decide to kill you" he paused for a moment as a niggling memory wormed into his mind and he found himself adding an "again" to the end. Though he wasnt quite sure why.

The assassin backed away and quickly disappeared, leaving the vampire alone.


-----------------------

Rerkaz spat in fury. His contractor had told him he'd only be killing a weak human wizard. Instead he had found one of the spawn creatures of dread Nagash. It was quite clear that somerat wanted him dead. Only, he concluded, through his superior abilities had he managed to escape the cowardly vampire who had resorted to magic to best the assassin. In fact the more he thought about it the more Rerkaz decided that he had let the vampire live where a more foolish assassin would not have done. The vampire clearly had a hold over Clan Vorsqueek. Leaving him alive would weaken whoever had thought they could trick him. Perhaps he would leave out the message from the Necrarch to make it worse for the fools. He snickered at the thought, imagining the look of dread on their muzzles as the tunnels were filled with the walking dead.

The scent of the warren grew stronger as he crept through the tunnels, eager to collect his reward for completing the contract and more excited at the prospect of his enemies being destroyed by the vampire. The shadows were deep here, under the dim glare of warplanterns and plundered Dwarf light stones. For a moment the assassin thought he saw a shadow move as if to attack and moved to draw his remaining blade. He shook his head at his silly error when nothing appeared and carried onwards.

One thought however gnawed away at the back of his mind, who was Grrzzzik?

----------------------------

Necrilliach delicately turned another page of the ancient tome. It had been nice to have seen Grrzzzik again. He always seemed a bit different every meeting, but the vampire decided to put it down to his mind being distracted by his great work. He was close, he knew it. Once the Warpstone had been delivered he would be able to experiment with the incantation and once that was done there would be the exciting task of analysing, retesting, and recording the results.

He rubbed his charred claw across his forehead and then regarded it with a faint smile. Already the parchment-like skin was healing at an inhuman rate. As he stared at it he wondered how old the hand in front of him really was. Time had ceased to truly be a measurable phenomenon to him, the sun rose and the sun set quicker than he often realised. Had he been studying the tome for two years or in fact two hundred? Maybe the madness of his bloodline was real.

Age and dark magic had poisoned the mind of what had once been a man. The Skaven known as Grrzzzik had been dead for hundreds of years, forgotten by all but this eternal creature. A hundred or more Skaven had infiltrated the Necrarch's tower, some had perished, some rose to the ranks of deathmaster, and others lived long Skaven lives. All had become bones and dust. So long had there been calls to eliminate the vampire that sending assassins had been adopted as part of a trial by Eshin. To survive against the creature of the night was a great proving ground.

Of this Necrilliach knew nothing, there was always a Grrzzzik.

As inevitable as the rising and setting of the hateful sun.
 
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Jun 26, 2021
43
Thankies both. I think for that one I actually did a little research into Italian fencing schools to label off styles (sure he might be a corpse-like bookworm of a vampire, but that doesn't mean he didn't have a mid-unlife crisis and tried to emulate the Blood Dragon bloodline at some point... 😛 )

Anyway, from the Lustria Online archives i've found this piece I wrote for the Oct-Nov Story Competition (theme of: It Came From Above.) This was a bit more of a back to my roots story as I started fluff writing on the UE as a more light hearted/comedy writer...that has since crept more into psychological horror and Lovecraftian darkness. Well maybe this is more of a dark humour...


To Escape Fate

When death came to claim Star Priest Xarn it would come from above.

The Star Priest had lashed his tail angrily as the stars continued to show him the same future for the third night in a row. Several times he had considered consulting his fellow Skink Priests or even attempting to gain the attention of the City’s slumbering Slann. But despite his mounting fear, an unsettling feeling for the Skink who had always had such confidence in his abilities and duty, he decided not to. He would handle this fate.

If the star alignments to the winds of magic were to go by anything, he had a just over ten days before the prophecy was to come to pass. He had prepared a chamber sealed with potent magic and wards so that when the time came he would prevent such an event from happening.

Just as his final preparations neared completion a messenger arrived with summons to the Warchiefs. Xarn had resisted the urge to bite his own tail in frustration but went all the same, endeavouring to keep out of the open as much as possible and studying the ceilings around him with nervous worry.

When he finally arrived at the Warchiefs’ Council his heart sank as the scarred faces of Skink and Sauri turned towards him expectantly.

“Star Priest Xarn. News has come that dread Harkon is seeking to expand along the coast. Lord Yixix of Axlotl requested that you lead our forces to stop Harkon’s expansion.”

Xarn quivered. “I cannot go, the stars tell me that I shall die if I go. And I fear my death shall mean defeat for our army. Surely there is someone else better suited to cast back the undead threat?”

One of the Skink Warchiefs, and old warrior long missing an eye, glared at Xarn. “You question the wisdom of the Slann? You believe your own life is worth more than the Great Plan? It is decreed that you will go, even if it is to your death.”

Xarn gulped as the chamber filled with the eyes of killers stared at him with anger.

“Then...I shall go,” Xarn said at last.

With his army, the one-eyed Warchief, and a heavy heart, Xarn travelled for over a week until they arrived at the coast. Xarn had been particularly wary of all potential disasters that might befall him, but the jungles seemed quiet. Too quiet. Moving to meet the Vampire’s forces took a further two days before they came in sight of tattered sails and shambling figures in the near distance. It was on the tenth day that the two armies met.

Booming cannons and roaring guns tore through ranks of Lustrians, the stamping claws of Cold One riders smashed gangs of piratical zombies to smithereens, great undead leviathans of the deep tore at Carnosaur and Stegadon alike, and above the battle great tattered winged bats duelled with Terradon Riders. Xarn channelled the fury of the heavens time and time again, great forked lightning casting flying horrors from the skies, gusts of howling winds to snatch bullets from their course, and shouted warnings to the Warchief from hesitant glimpses into the future.

It was then that the battle turned. Upon leathery wings a humanoid figure dived downwards with a coterie of winged corpses. The one-eyed Warchief gazed up in time to see a long blade pierce his remaining eye and sink into his brain. The Vampire turned her red eyes towards Xarn and flashed him a fang filled smile, not Harkon but one of his allies in death.

The Vampire cackled and leapt towards Xarn. As he stared up he saw his star fated death approach. For the briefest of moments he resigned himself to his imminent demise, but then cold resolve kicked in. He cried out, pouring all of his power past his limits into a blast of pure starlight. The Vampire shrieked as flesh sloughed from bone and then with a wheeze became naught but ash.

Half dead from his actions, Xarn slumped against a tree as the Lustrians rallied and pushed back the faltering undead. He had done it! He had thwarted the fates and saved the coastline from a grave threat.

He was still smiling when a coconut fell from the tree and crushed his skull.
 
Jun 26, 2021
43
From the Moulder Pitfighters campaign forum. The introduction of my namesake on this forum, a blood starved Skaven vampire (which must be awful given the issue with the Skaven Black Hunger...) You may note his mortal self had a name that appeared earlier (despite several years having passed since then) I think I carried it over as a kinda injoke rather than it being literally the same Grrzzzik. Ironically his speech patterns are probably closer to canon Skaven than my own are...

Sweet Dreams

How long I have slept, I do not know.

Grrzzzik? Was that my name? No-no. Maybe long-long ago, when I lived. Not anymore.

I am the shadow, the fang, I am Hissk.

I hunger.

The madness boils within me. I am trapped and I hunger.

I remember dead-things...bones and rot-flesh. Many-many. Kill-slay Clankin. Grrzzzik fight. No-no not Grrzzzik, not anymore. Hissk. Hissk.

Then pale man-thing, smelt like dead-thing but was quick-quick like Skaven. Grrzzzik screamed. Coward. Hissk would not scream. At least I do not think-think Hissk would.

Hissk woke dead-dead but not dead-dead. Hungered. Fed. Heard cackle in back of mind of pale man-thing. Hissk ran. Not scare-scared. No-no. Hissk not coward. Hissk needed to find bearings. Fled North, pit of Moulders. They could help-aid Hissk.

I hunger.

World broke and died. Evil bone-thing in Hissk’s head-meat, Hissk tried to ignore. Heard scream of pale man-thing in Hissk’s head-meat, pale man-thing dead-dead for good. Hissk sure of it. Coward man-thing.

I HUNGER!

Pit of Moulders shuddered and moved, rock breaks and smash. Hissk trapped. Yes. Hissk trapped. Grrzzzik whispered to Hissk. No-no, no Grrzzzik, not anymore. Grrzzzik dead, so I, so Hissk. Dead dead dead.

...I hunger...

Hissk slept. Hissk has awoken. I have awoken. Get out. Must get out. I hunger. I hear it calling again after this half dream...dear sweet dream. I hunger.

A crack in rock wall. I strike it. Paw barely hurts, crack a little bigger. I strike it. Again...again...again...forget how long.

I hunger...I hunger...I hunger...

Light, painful light. Hissk no like light. Sound-voice. Gribble? What-what’s a gribble?

...I hunger.
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Sep 29, 2013
1,623
New Zealand
We had a vampire skaven in a roleplay here years ago. Very funny. This one's good as well. Why would a vampire turn a skaven?
 
Jun 26, 2021
43
Honestly I like the concept, it was one of the old jokes on the UE that I was undead in disguise so when reviving/necro-ing a thread i'd often start the post with the invocation of nehek and end with a *swishes cape, bares fangs, jumps out of a window* :P

Ordinarily i'd say most scions of the bloodlines would be strongly opposed to turning a Skaven or other more bestial race into a vampire. The blood kiss is a rare and precious gift, as I recall most lesser vampires only get one or two. A more insane vampire might be moved to do so though out of curiosity, boredom, or madness (I could see a Necrarch doing this just for the sake of seeing how vampirism would affect another race, or a Strigoi either out of thier mind or deluded into thinking they were 'hiring' a spymaster might be another reason.)

Skaven already are ravenous, have often above human agility, and despite their short lives are able to invent/create some terrifyingly potent artefacts, weapons, and other such technology. Stack onto this the red thirst, the speed, strength, and stamina boost, more time for the inventive mind to flourish, and you've got a highly unstable but potentially brilliant individual. If properly held under thrall, a Skaven would be the perfect spy, infiltrator, assassin for the vampire who prefers to not get his talons dirty. A Von Carstein or Lahmian that is able to put cunning before pride and taste (so very very unlikely!) might find a useful if odious servant (until said servant inevitably betrays them, but that's usually part and parcel of vampiric politics.)

There is also the possibility that it was an accidental blood kiss as I believe seen with that ratlord vampire whose recently appeared in AoS. Though this would be circumstantial at best. There is also the potential issue that the Skaven race were potentially born through Warpstone mutation. Warpstone as I recall from the WFRP books can often disagree with vampires, so it would be debatable if a blood kiss could even be gifted upon them (not to mention it's vague as I remember in the lore that Neferata's elixir could be used by anyone non-human or not.)
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Sep 29, 2013
1,623
New Zealand
Yes, a Skaven vampire would be rather terrifying. Power and madness x10. That leads to another question - might a Skaven vampire make more? A whole clan of those things. Ugh,
 
Jun 26, 2021
43
Given the sheer level of arrogance and paranoia, I cannot see many Skaven willingly making more unless they were absolutely certain they would have complete control over their thralls.

From another perspective, Skaven are weird creatures, they are usually only comfortable in large groups but are all highly individualistic. A Skaven vampire/lich/necromancer would possibly suffer from isolation, sure they could have undead puppets but that's just not the same. Perhaps prolonged loneliness might give one cause to create more? Though they would both exist in a constant state of trying to murder each other.

The other option would be if a pack of Skaven consumed a vampire (Skaven or otherwise), that could potentially create more (if we go by the blood kiss only requiring the drinking of the vampire's blood and not the victim needing to be drained first)...though it would drastically thin the potency of the blood elixir.

A whole clan/bloodline of Skaven vampires...would probably not last long. Their own backstabbing infighting and ability to do something very stupid ('i'll scent-show them who is fang-thing lord, yes-yes! Collapse-open cavern-roof make-make sun burn-slay them all!' *cackle*) would wipe most of them out with perhaps one survivor on top and others slinking away to some dark corner of the underempire to lick their wounds.
 

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