Valek Karintos


Once a noble warrior of southern Khul, Valek patrolled the King's Highway. For may years he honourably served the Khullian provinces with his regiment – The Black Serpent Reavers, protecting the vast region from brigands, orcs and other such villainy. They had earned many commendations for under his leadership, and had become a force to be reckoned with for it was composed of the most elite troops of the region.

But one tragic day, all was to change for Valek and the Reavers regiment. An army was marching from the west. Its warriors were moving with the eery silence of the grave. At its head was a tall dark man astride a steed of immense size. It was covered with thick patches of dark fur stretched over knotted muscles and flayed flank. Its head was reptilian, with a maw of vicious fangs as sharp as tempered swords. This abomination looked as though it was stitched together like a sick perverted imitation of creation. Its eyes burned with flames of some otherworldly plane. Valek stood aghast as the snarling beast laid down to allow its rider to dismount at a mere whim of this mysterious stranger. 

The man stood before the horde of silent warriors. Their faces gaunt, and flesh riddled with rot and maggots. The man looked almost out of place with his lacquered black armour. His helm, a visage of a snarling demon of the beyond. As he slowly removed his helm, his long dark locks flowed over his shoulders like a flax waterfall. His skin pale as porcelain, and his eyes dark with mystery and guile. Valek was almost dwarfed by this mans stature. The man looked down at Valek and addressed,
"I bid thee greetings commander of the watch," he smiled jovially "I am to understand that this is my royal escort to my eastern provinces?" he chuckled darkly.
Valek gritted his teeth and snarled at the stranger's audacity. He bolted forward. His hand darting to his sword. Drawing it in a motion as smooth as silk fluttering in the breeze. His blade skimmed across the lacquered armour with little effect, only to feel the dark man's armoured fist plow into his stomach. The force threw Valek flat on his back. He rolled onto his side wincing, as the figure strode forth towards his regiment. Throwing his head back, the figure addressed them,
"You're leader has been beaten like a cur. I offer you a chance to join me willingly…" he smiled cruelly,
or face an existence worse than death" he jestured towards the horde.
"The choice is yours men of the King's Highway, but be swift… for my patience is fleeting" he added, bearing fangs sharp as stilettos. The man turned on his heel and strode back towards the horde. Valek coughed and spat a mouthful of blood on the floor as he forced his throat to speak. His body wracking with pain as his internal organs had ruptured from the blow.
"Who… are you… to… command the Black Serpent Reavers stranger?" he cried.
The man paused as he reached his mount. Then vaulted into the saddle and said in a voice of arrogance,
"I am Mordain Baelgrund, conqueror and soon to be supreme ruler of this realm!"
With that he threw his head back and released a high pitched scream. As it rippled through the air it burst Valek's ear drums along with all his regiment's. They fell to their knees as their ears physically bled from the sonic onslaught. He watched on in silent horror as his warriors were set upon and butchered in their moment of off-balance. He slipped out of consciousness as the horde lapped around him. He felt or remembered nothing after that battle. 

He found himself bound on a table in a room with stone walls. His hearing slowly coming back to the sound of small leathery wings of a bat fluttering past to a nearby perch.
"Ah… youre awake commander" came a familiar voice. It was laced with condescension and smugness that easily betrayed its owners identity.
"You've been torporous for many days," he paused as looked himself over as his pain seemed to have miraculously departed him.
"Yes, he continued, "You have completely healed from your injuries. For you see…" he added 
"I have bestowed a rare gift upon you… the gift of unlife."
"Unlife?! Valek spluttered, "You fiend!" he cried. 
"What right have you to rob me of an honourable passing?!"
Mordain rose and strolled towards the bound commander.
"You should have more respect for your sire, my fledgling spawn," he replied, brushing the blood and dirt mattered hair from Valek's face.
"Perhaps youll be in a more cooperative temperament…" he chuckled as he stood up and strode to the door,
"after your meal. I hear she is an eastern delight… should be most pallettable" he smirked as closed the door behind him.

From that moment Valek knew that his fate was sealed. A vampires blood-bond is only broken by the slaying of his sire. And the inborn predatory instinct instilled in his blood would not allow self-sacrifice. He was condemned to an unlife of sanguine thirst, to a master of the foulest cruelty. Over time the beast within clouded the once proud warrior's soul, twisting his mind to that of a cold murderer who's only remaining release was found in the reaping of those that opposed Baelgrund. And so it was the Valek Karintos became…
Valek the Doom-herald.   

Valek Karintos

A Fragment of Time gregmandu