Vaul Krieger’s Origin
“LANCERS READY!” The call rang across the field, in perfect time with the other 3,000 knights in the formation I clapped down my visor and responded “LANCE READY!” The sound was deafening. LANCERS! A pause. CHARGE! As one entity, 3,000 knights in armor spurred their horses into a gallop across the plains, lances lowering to face the barbarian horde. We were the tip of the spear, meant to shatter the numerical superiority of the opposing army. Those that followed us were meant to overrun and obliterate the shattered formations.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is here. Now. 3,000 knights rushing across the plains. We close upon them, the horde rushes to us, eager to die. Impact, hundreds die in the time it takes my lance to snap, breaking off in the chest of a half-orc brute. I draw my battle axe, ready for the grim work ahead. But suddenly, looming out of the horde is a spear. Time slows down as I watch it approach. The spear grows larger in my vision, I see every last detail, from the notches in the blade its primitive wielder has allowed to accumulate, I know that I see my death approaching. In the eternity that follows, I commend my soul to my lord heironious. I raise my axe, determined to fell this creature along with me.
The spear lifts me off my horse, taking me in the gut, shoving aside my armor; I am lifted into the air before the spear breaks beneath my weight. …..
As I lay amongst the wreckage of the cavalry charge, I realize something…. Dying hurts…. A lot.
And then the pain fades, swallowed up by a blessed blackness.
I wake to paradise, the home of those who worship Heironious. Time is meaningless here, and I enjoy conversing with heroes of old who have fought and died valiantly before me. Here is one who died slaying a dragon, another allowing his allies to get away, leaving him to fend off a band of ogres. Truly this is glorious place, I am happy to spend eternity here.
Suddenly a figure approaches me. The figure tells me that my time in this place has come to an end…
I do not understand, what have I done to be cast out from paradise? How have I displeased my lord? The figure throws back its cowl and a woman of unspeakable beauty stands before me. “You belong to me now Vaul Krieger”
Her words cause the utmost drowsiness to come over me, why do none of my new friends come to my aid, they are RIGHT HERE! Do they not see my plight?
I wake to what sounds like … chanting? I don’t know, I am very disoriented. Who am I? I have vague memories of a beautiful woman and a wonderful place. A wonderful, amazing place where I was happy. I hear laughter, tinged with mania and an undercurrent of fear. The voice says something, I’m not sure what, and my ears seem to be stopped up.
I raise myself from my…
Where am I?
Who am I?
I look around me. I see
Tombstones? A mausoleum? I look down at myself and where I am. I do not see me...
I see bones. And earth. And a broken wooden box.
“I am in a grave” I realize.
I shudder with disgust. Except that I don’t, all that happens is that the bones in my field of vision shudder and clack together.
I cast my thoughts upon my faith, begging for the guidance of heronious. I had just entered the priesthood before me.
I am dead?
I look at my hands, no longer sheathed in muscle and clothed in skin they are only bones.
That voice says something again. Sounded vaguely like “rise”. I stand up and look about me. On the ground a few feet away from me, I see a suit of armor, I recognize it as mine. I look to the origin of the voice and see a man with greasy straggly hair, dressed in dark robes and holding a silver object, I recognize it as a holy symbol to nerull.
The man speaks “yes, rise my creation, rise the first of my minions, the general of my invincible armies”
“You raised me from the dead?” I ask.
“Of course, I have brought back your soul from beyond the grave to serve me in this world”
I raise my hand in front of my face “it would seem that you didn’t bring all of me back” I state flatly
“Of course I didn’t, I merely bound your soul to your bones.”
“Who are you, and why have you done this thing?” I demand
“Oh no. You belong to me now, and you will do as I say!”
I think not.
I clamber from my grave – I’M SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!- and rush the man, he proves no match for me and I sink my claws (for that is what my hands have become) into his chest and pull him open.
After I’ve managed to extricate my bones from his shattered remains, I contemplate my situation.
My head hurts.
I remember something, a woman a raven haired beauty telling me that I “belong” to her. Wee Jas? The Goddess of Death? What interest – WHAT CLAIM?! – has she over a knight of heironeous?!
Perhaps it was merely a dream, a fever vision brought on by being brought back by this incompetent fool.
Perhaps I do belong to her now… I no longer feel the presence of Valor within my soul.
I announce to the darkness “very well Lady, I will serve you with this life. No other god will have me now.”
I strap on my armor and take up my weapons, stalking for from the graveyard, seeking out where I may be of service.
Vaul Krieger stalks the land. I will not rest until I am destroyed.
Those who worship the darkness shall cower in fear at my name.
But first, I must find out where –and when- I have been buried.
The reaping may begin.