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The Chronicles of the House of Valda - A New World

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#1
"Can you hear me Amadeus?"

"I always hear you. I have heard your voice in every breathe of the wind since we stopped Nagashs return. I heard you in the screams of the Seven as they died. I felt your contentment as the Council saves the world. I felt your hand on my shoulder as I stepped in to the sunlight and ended my own life..."

"But you can still hear me Amadeus"

"...I can. What does that mean?"

"It means we aren't done."

"But we won. I won. We succeeded and the world just went on."

"Death found a way Amadeus. Nagash found a way."

"So everything we did was for nought?"

"No Amadeus. I've been trying to help put you back together ever since. I need you Amadeus. I will always need you."

"Can I not rest? Did I not earn that?"

"You were damned and the dead are not resting easy anymore. They are returning across the eight realms..."

"...eight realms? What of the Empire? Bretonnia? Naggaroth? Are they all gone?"

"They were consumed by the watchers in the dark. The champions of the dark gods took the world that was. The eight realms are all that is. You shall see Amadeus. You're so very close to seeing. You just need to want to see this new world."

"Will you be there?"

"Oh Amadeus. I've been there since it began. Since Sigmar forged the heavens and his avenging angels. I saw the beast of pleasure shackled and the twin blood queens return. I am on a divine quest now Amadues and I need your help."

"I...I...I will do it then. If it means seeing you again then I shall return."

"You swear this as your life oath then? To return and once more become my emissary in the world?"


"Yes. I swear it."

"Then our deal is done Amadeus Valda. You need to open your eyes again. There are those who know your return is happening. The Green King. The One-Eyed Huntress. The Thrice Forged and the Sombre Dancer. They will all try and stop our work Amadeus."

"I will be ready for them then."

"Good. Now wake up."


Amadeus Valda felt a press of mud trying to engorge his senses as he felt sensation returning and the realisation that he was once again in the mortal world. The sense of choking that was intruding in every place it could be. Trying to recall how his arms worked had never been more crucial. Feeling the tendons in his right bicep he managed to form a fist. It felt foreign to know what a fist even was. Valda pushed upwards with strength he had forgotten. As he felt a hand break free of the mud, the sensation of cold air on his hand gave him a fresh sense of urgency. He used the strength in the core of his body to lift himself completely out of the dirt. Valda coughed and the same dirt escaped from his mouth and nose. He realised he had not needed to escape for air, just to escape the claustrophobic feeling.

Shaking off the dirt of whatever grave he had been buried in was easy but Valda needed a few more moments to adjust. It was dark. That had been usual before. He looked around at where he had awoken. The sky was lit with unfamiliar stars and there was only darkness on every horizon. The smell was a familiar tang of death and magic. This magic was swollen though. The air was pregnant with a child of dread. Valda tried to remember how he had used this to his advantage in the past. His memory was faint and he had to return to his earliest memory of the use of magic. The early lessons of the Supreme returned to him. The Supreme! She was brought him back. She has spoken in the dark. Valda remembered her words and with it, a minor cantrip of invigoration. He cast it with unfamiliar ease.
As he finished the cantrip, Valda noticed that he was risen from the mud completely naked. His hair was shoulder length and seemed a little lighter than he remembered. His skin was pale and reaching to his mouth, Valda felt the points of his incisors. He was still Of the Night. That was a relief as it meant he was difficult to kill.

Wandering through the dark for close to an hour, trying to make sense of the stars, Valda got some respite when he saw a collection of houses on the horizon. Civilisation would mean he could get help and find out exactly where he was. He let out a small smile for the first time since his odd resurrection.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
38
#2
Well, if i understand right this introduction, this story start right after the End of Times. It's interesting, most of the tales i've read from this era was in an alternate future where archaon failed to bring the doom on us. I'll look at the next chapter with curiosity to see what do you prepare in this post-doomsday world.

I guess i'll have to read your previous working i see links in your signature if i want to understand this character. Well, let's do it.
 

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#4
The dark of the sky felt like it was watching Amadeus Valda as he ended the hike from his shallow grave to the small collection of houses he had seen on the horizon. They were now big enough for him to determine that they were the equivalent of one of the small hamlets of humans he had seen before his second death. The houses, thatched and build of wood seemed to have no obvious signs of life coming from them. Valda had expected to see a glow from hearths blazing and to hear the normal sounds of human life. He had not expected to see dark windows and to only hear the wind whistling between the houses. There were signs of something being very wrong with this village.

Walking through the town, Valda began marking the landmarks of the village. There were the usual rows of houses and the occasional public house. The taverns were as silent as the houses had been. The names as uninspired in this place as they had been in each of the tiny villages of the World That Was. Walking past a particularly desolate looking house, Valda happened upon the town square. This was the sort of place one would expect to see tradesmen and others wanting to sell their wares. Here there was not even the faintest whiff of fruit going a day too ripe. A fountain stood in the centre of the village square and within it was what looked like some abandoned clothes. Valda walked closer and let out a sigh of relief at he saw clothes in the fountain, abandoned during their washing. They were damp and had mould growing upon them. As far as clothes went, Valda was hard pressed to remember when he had seen ones in a worse state but he was also very aware of the fact we was wandering through a ghost town naked. Riffling through the clothes, he managed to find a very tightly fitting shirt and a pair of baggy pants. That they were still held together despite the decay and mould inside the fountain. This signalled to Valda that the current state of the town was not an ancient development but one in recent memory. Perhaps something had happened here which had drawn the town away sharply, causing it to be abandoned. Valda had seen nothing dead in the town and had only heard the a faint hum on the wind and the occasional carrion in the distance. The hum was what Valda decided to focus his attention on. The hum was something he had felt both in his ears and in the pit of his stomach. It was the distant churn of dark magic.
Like a bloodhound, Valda began to follow the hum travelling to wherever the pit in his stomach swelled. Exiting the empty square, Valda began to crest a hill. On the top of the hill he spied a spire with a flag flying in the wind . It was the same wind which seemed to emanate through the whole town and which was still chilling Valda to the bone. The pit in his stomach grew as he laid eyes upon the structure. There was something about this church which was unsettling him as he walked closer. The church, normally adorned with the symbols of Sigmar or one of the other gods of the Empire, was instead adorned with the iconography of death. There were signs of Nagash. Adorning the spire of the church was a pennant made from flayed human flesh. This was not what Valda remembered at all and with his curiosity peaked and his dread growing he headed towards the church.

As Valda got close enough to see the church he finally began to hear the sounds of life in the area. There was ominous chanting coming from within the church and he was now close enough to note that the half a mile surrounding the church was a graveyard. The chanting, coming from within the church, was in a tongue Valda barely recognised. The stained glass windows of the church had a green glow which seemed to be growing in intensity. The closer Valda got to the church, the more he began to recognise the words. They were a vibrant chant to Nagash. They were words of praise and thanks heaped upon Nagash in the hope of receiving his blessing. The thought of this stuck in Valdas throat. He had fought to stop the oppressive rule of Nagash. He had fought to preserve the World That Was and in his hubris has stepped in to the sunlight believing the world to be safe. Places such as this were the price of his hubris.

Coming to a previously unseen gate, Valda pushed it open and as he did so, the gate seemed to scream more than it creaked. The graveyard he had to traverse was only a few hundred feet in front but the whole way was littered with open graves. Each was an obstacle and could provide a normal person with their end in the most agonising way imaginable, dying of neglect. For one of his kind this this would be a simple task, weaving through the pitfalls like a cat navigating through its home. Darting through the pitfalls, Valda noted that almost all of open graves had someone in them. Skeletons and the half rotten had become nothing more than ornaments in this deep labyrinth. Valda looked back at the open graves. What wicked person would think this was the best state to keep a graveyard in. As he turned to face the church again, he answered his own question. Nagash. Nagash would want easy access to graves, to claim his tithe from the world of the living.

Now close enough to inspect the building fully, Valda could see that each individual brick in the church was actually a face, distorted and used to build this unholy place of worship. The brickwork was exquisite considering this. Valda felt the touch of Dark Magic upon the whole structure. Reaching out to it with his own limited magic and was greeted by the voices of those who inhabited the structure. The bricks were made of the ground remains of the ancestors of the town below. The glass of the windows had been forged by grinding bone to dust and superheating it and combining it with sand from the beaches of this place. Their words gave Valda new information. He had awoken in the realm of Shyish. The realm of Death was where he had been awoken.
Letting that fact take root in his mind, Amadeus Valda would have vomited if he had any sustenance to regurgitate. A whole realm riddled by the winds of Nagashs magic felt abhorrent. There was only death here which explained why the town was desolate and why the graveyard had been a death trap. The question it did not answer were why there was chanting coming from within the church however. Feeling his revulsion subside after a few moments, Amadeus Valda made his way to the front doors of the church. It was here that he observed the doors of the church in their full majesty and horror. The doors were fluid to the eye but were clearly made of wrought iron. They stood at roughly eight feet in height. They were morphing in to the faces of the long gone. Yet more souls used to make a place of worship, Valda thought. His stomach was beginning to turn at the thought. Clasping the handles, Valda threw them open with all of his strength. He steeled himself, ready for the worst.
 

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,554
#5
Interesting to see a purely narrative chapter. A very good description too.

So, in the end, death doesn't die? Hard to kill a god, I suppose.
 

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#6
The resistance of the church doors had been minimal as Valda took a moment to let his eyes adjust to a room which actually had light in it instead of the cold shimmer of moonlight. The chanting was now much louder. The scene laid out like a tapestry though was more than enough to make up for the doors lack of resistance. The chanting subsided as two dozen robed figured turned in unison to look at the newcomer in their room. The robes covered the heads of the faithful in worship, their faces barely noticeable as they turned back to their chanting. The person at the front of the commune however was radiant and Valda could almost make out the actual tendrils of necromantic energy flowing in to the skeletal man. His face was withered and the bones under his parchment-like skin were the strongest feature on his otherwise avian face. Valda took steps in to the church, wooden flooring under his feet being a welcome change from the earth that had been like an untapped reservoir underfoot mere moments earlier. The communes leader spoke with a voice that rasped from a dry throat.

"See my truest believers, as we are invaded and in our hour of need, Great Nagash has provided us one of his soulblighted children to keep the faithful safe. Praise Nagash."

"Praise Nagash" the commune boomed back.

Valda was taken aback for a second as he had to remember how to talk. The voice that returned was familiar and was almost broken. Valda could feel the earth in his mouth still.

"What is happening here? I must insist on an explanation."

The words took a few moments too long to forge in his throat. Valda was still weak from his resurrection. The leader of the commune stepped down from the plinth at the front of the church and walked down the aisle towards Valda. His robes were tattered and around his neck he had a necklace that had several mummified fingers and petrified feathers along with random bones on it. In his right hand he held a staff made from an unknown tree that had been carved in to a likeness of a skull. Set in to the staff was a large black piece of glass.

"Oh soulblighted child, I am Obadiah. I am a humble servant of Nagash during these darkest of times. I've served as long as I can remember and my faith is unwaivering."


The step from the plinth revealed a large state of Nagash where the altar of the church was located. It filled Valda with dread to gaze upon.

"We are at the hour of the Great Plan. Even now in Nagashizzar, Arkham the Black, blessed first of the Gatekeeper of Beyond,p is fighting to bring the sons of sigmar to ruin. The thieves of ages shall be made to pay for their insults to Nagash."

"Arkhan lives?!"

"Arkhan had always lived."

That last part stung. Valda had been sure there was no way for Arkhan or Nagash to return. Someone had found a different way though. Valda felt bile rise in his throat. He had to hold back with all his willpower to not let that bile become apparent on his face though.

"Of course he has! Father Obadiah, it seems my return to help the faithful has robbed me off my mind a little. I am parched and I need your help. Will you help me?"

The priest was taken aback by this request. His withered face appeared to lighten a touch.

"All who come here in need are welcome if they are here as true believers. Your place as a believer is not in doubt because you are closer to him than we mere mortals. What is your name blessed one?"

"My name is Amadeus Valda. You may call me Amadeus."

"Come them Amadeus. The faithful must continue to commune with Nagashizzar for some time but we have people in our crypts who will be able to help you."

Valda had managed his first lie since his return and had done so convincingly. He felt a small twinge of something pleasant at the thought. Obadiah was now within arm's reach of Valda and whilst the temptation to simply break the priests neck was strong, Valda managed to resist.

"Come blessed one. I shall lift the haze from your mind."


Gesturing to the plinthe, Valda heard a large moan of concrete dragging as he noticed the priests outstretched hand. The priest was a necromancer. Obadiah placed a hand on Valda and immediately the vampire felt a surge of new energy coarse through him.

As Valda walked past the two dozen robed figures, he saw they were some of the villagers he had thought taken. The large stone steps in the altar led down in to a gloomy darkness. Letting Obadiah lead the way, Valda followed cautiously. What followed was the biggest surprise of his short return so far. Obadiah explained that the town had been evacuated to the crypts following an invasion by the Storm of Sigmar. Valda was informed of the children of the storm and their thief leader and of the machinations of men and god's that had transpired in this world. Valda wondered how long he had slept for in this place prior to his resurrection. That had been four months ago and the town were still fearing for their lives. The stormcast had stopped out two thirds of the town for 'breaches of faith' and it was only the timely arrival of something else that had frightened them off. Obadiah believed it to be the work of Nagash in protecting his faithful children. Valdas questions had gone mostly unanswered as Obadiah only knew of this town, which he had called Helsburg and they were cowering below .

"Blessed Amadeus, we are the last of Helsburg and we are a happy people. We have followed the scriptures as passed by Arkhan. We are sending all our belief to the centre of the realm and aiding in the Great Plan. Please help our town."


As they reached the bottom of the stairs it suddenly became clear what Obadiah had meant by cowering. The remnants of the town could be heard in the vast crypts under the church. There were dozens of grey stone antechambers each housing families. Large stew pots boiled over in several with less than appealing vegetables contained within. A man approached Obadiah and noticed Valda a few moments later before bowing deeply. His clothes were dirty and he was ruddy faced.

"Father, we are about to lose one. A young man named Marcus. My son. We have need of you."

"Lead the way Smith."

The ruddy faced man led Valda to a crypt which was filled with the infirm and the sick. He ran to a corner with a young man who was in his mid twenties. The young man was barely breathing and appeared feverish. Valda kept a close eye on Obadiah as he reached in to his robe and produced a bag of black sand and leaned besides the sick man. Sprinkling some on the chest of the young man, Obadiah drew an unfamiliar symbol before thumping his now clenched fist on the young man's chest. With a choke and a gasp of air the young man sat up. Pure necromancy had restorative qualities, Valda posited. He looked at the boy's father and curiosity took hold.

"Tell me this young man's ailments more Smith."

The ruddy faced man turned in awe to Valda. He bowed onxe more.

"He has a blood sickness. His mother had it too. She left us recently to join the Great Plan."

A phlegmy voice chimed in. It was Marcus, who was still spluttering slightly. He had taken in more colour. Valda noted he was handsome under the dirt of the crypt.

"There is no Great Plan. We're all just tools for a god who's forgotten us."

The ruddy faced man looked horrified at this. Obadiah, who was watching it all unfold simply smiled.

"That you are back with us here, young Marcus, is by the grace of Nagash. Never forget that."

Obadiah turned and began walking away as Valda turned and matched the stride of the priest. The ruddy faced man immediately began arguing with his son and was threatening to beat his son back in to unconsciousness. Valda had made a mental note that there were those who were not faithful and began to formulate ways of turning this to his advantage.

"Perhaps I can help here father."

A devilish gleam appeared in the priests eye.l

"I'm certain you can blessed one. Come, there is still must to see and discuss."
 
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