What GW games do you own or play?
Warhammer 40K
Epic 40K
Battlefleet Gothic
Blood Bowl
Warhammer Quest

Die and Let Live

By Geoff Sheehan

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.

[contact] [submit material] [advertise]
© 1998-2001 The Vault