Franz glanced over his shoulder. This place was really playing
tricks on his mind. He heard another grim sound to his left and
gripped the hilt of his sword even tighter. He had been in many
places of death but none had affected him as much as this one
did. As a witch hunter he had journeyed to far off places and
seen things which most mortal men had not, and would not want
to have seen. The promise of gold had drawn him to Masala, this
small town on the outskirts of Syldavia. Streets were dark and
murky, and the buildings were in dire need of repair. He had not
seen a living soul in the town yet but he continued to patrol.
Grasping his leather bound book of witch-hunter lore by his side
he murmured a prayer to Sigmar. The peasants on the outskirts
of the town had warned him of the perils of Masala but the mayor
of the town was offering him 1000 gold pieces for cleansing the
cemetery at the edge of town. He ventured there now, his trained
eye aware for any surprises.
Out of the fog, emerged the entrance to the graveyard. The mayor
had given him a crude plan of the area and he knew that if there
was any evil in this place then it would be near the tomb at the
back. Wiping the moisture from his brow, he strode into the cemetery.
Franz paced carefully along the overgrown path ways. He kept an
eye out for any quick movements. The only sound he could hear
now as the crunch of dead leaves and plants under his feet. Slowly
and carefully he made his way for the tomb in the distance. A
light sparked in the distance near the tomb. Franz grabbed his
sword and heaved it from it’s sheath. He strode forward confidently,
unaware of the skeletal hand emerging from the ground behind him.
He walked in a hunched position with his sword held tightly. That
was funny. Franz was full sure that he had heard something behind
but when he turned to look he could see nothing. He peered into
the distance, his hand guarding his eyes from the drizzle. Satisfied
that nothing was there he turned back and almost walked into the
foul form of a ghoul!
The ghoul lashed out with it’s razor sharp claws at the astonished
Franz. Years of training and instinct enabled him to raise his
sword in time to parry the sweeping blow. The blotched face of
the ghoul contorted into a furious visage as he clawed at Franz’
face. Franz had got over the shock of the attack and used his
superior swordsmanship skills to cut the ghoul deeply in the side.
Dark blood oozed out as the ghoul scampered off into the surrounding
gloom. Franz drew breath heavily and lowered his sword to his
side. Now that he thought about it he realised the attack was
strange. Ghouls rarely attack alone, which means that there must
be…Franz turned…more! A pack of at least ten ghouls were crawling
towards his position. He sheathed his sword and ran, knowing the
mob of horrors would easily drag him down. He darted in and out
of the pathways and eventually hid behind a large monument covered
in dewy moss. He gasped at the stale air and listened for the
ravaging ghouls. He could hear the slavering monsters grunting
and moving in quick spurts. It soon subsided and Franz enjoyed
a moment of respite. Suddenly he heard shuffling and the clink
of armour. Jumping up to a crouch position he peeked over the
headstone above warily, his sword at the ready. He watched in
disbelief at the daemonic creatures in front of him.
Skeletons! They were marching for the hill and others were clawing
their way from the damp earth. If the dead were rising then there
must be a necromancer here somewhere to do it. Franz guessed that
the necromancer would be on the hill near the tomb, drawing on
the strong current of dark magic there. He had to get to the foul
sorcerer before the skeletons did or else he would have no chance
of defeating the evil that was residing in this graveyard. Keeping
a crouched posture, he ran for the tomb on the hill. Beads of
sweat rolled down his forehead and he peered into the distance.
A subtle glow was emanating from the hilltop and Franz drew his
sword as he neared the tomb. He was now at the foot of the low
hill and he rested beside a grave momentarily. He glanced back
to see countless muddy skeletons moving in unison towards the
tomb. Time to end this horrible evil.
Franz crawled to the top of the hill and stopped when he could
hear a monotonous chanting in an unknown tongue, laden with centuries
of evil. He could feel the flow of dark magic gathering over the
hilltop. As it washed over him his mind became filled with maddened
images of death, sickness, violence and war. Fighting off these
dire images, he inched closer and caught sight of the heart of
the evil, the necromancer. He was standing in front of the tomb,
arms raised chanting incessantly. His skin was a pallid white
and an ancient tome lay at his feet. The dark magic was being
drawn down onto him and then being dispersed out across the surrounding
area. The air twisted and warped around the necromancer, and faces
of demons and creatures of nightmare formed and dissipated in
the dark, roiling cloud. Franz looked back again, saw the undead
host marching towards the hill and decided now was the time to
act. Hopefully the necromancer would be taken by surprise and
would be weakened by the effort of incantation. Franz clasped
his sword, muttered a prayer for his safety, and charged the necromancer
with his sword held aloft.
The necromancer’s concentration was broken. He whisked around
and whispered a few syllables in the Dark Tongue. Bolts of raw
dark magic leapt from his eyes towards Franz. He was stopped in
his tracks, transfixed by the beam. The blessed amulet on his
neck glowed with an intense inner light and the rays of light
from it dissipated the bolts of death. He regained his composure
and made for the necromancer once again, who drew his sword and
prepared to engage the oncoming Witch-hunter. Franz brought his
weapon down in a fiery arc, slicing through the night air. The
necromancer managed to side step the blow and struck out with
his blade cutting Franz’ leg. Franz renewed his attack and drove
down on the necromancer who stumbled under the sudden onslaught.
He muttered a quick few words and a bony hand pounced from the
earth to grasp Franz’ leg. He turned and cut through the frail
bone in one sweep and turned just in time to knock aside the slash
of the necromancer. In return he lunged forward, stabbing the
necromancer in the arm. The necromancer fell to the ground and
held his injured arm. Franz had him where he wanted him now and
readied to finish him off.
The injured ghoul was unaware of the things happening around
him. He was hungry and had a throbbing pain in his side caused
by his earlier encounter. He was also aware of the immense yearning
for the taste of blood in his mouth. His beady eyes gazed around
and settled on the figure in front of him. He had his back to
him and the cowardly ghoul knew by instinct it was meal time.
He scuttled up behind the figure, bringing his clawed hand down
on its head.
The necromancer rose holding his wounded limb and watched the
ghoul devour the contents of the witch hunter’s skull. He grinned
evilly before concentrating his mind again. A nimbus of power
played around him and tendrils of darkness snaked there way towards
the corpse. The ghoul yelped, and crept back into the recesses
of the shadows, hungrily gorging down the handful of entrails.
Franz’ body rose, an eerie witch light in his dead eyes. He turned
slowly and paced down to join the ranks of the undead horde, now
a Zombie in the control of his former adversary.