Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Prologue

The Perfect Storm

Pieter van Toorn still laid semi-comatose on a straw bed in the derelict barn of Wörtbad. Unlike the Witch Hunter, Kalyustar had shrugged off his injuries in no time. It was as if the air of the Harrowmark itself was a balm to the wizard. The more he basked in the howling winds, the better he felt. And then, as the superstitious peasants started muttering of dark omens, the voices had come. Strange, half-heard wispers in the gloom. He followed them to places where the energies of Shyish run strong. The peasants of Wörtbad looked ascance at him as he made for the woods alone. There, he started to realise: no ur- and aether-gold, no elusive sigmarite would witstand the passing of time. No matter how the magic of Chamon could change and refashion them, they would eventually decay. Kalyustar was dwelling on such toughts when he heard a strange commotion coming from the barn. He rushed in and found Lucius Scopos, the only among his men he had been able to find in the tangled woods, pushing the Witch Hunter back onto his bed.
"Wizard, you... saved me?"
Kalyustar simply nodded, his white mask hiding his surprise as he felt a new kind of energy swelling from van Toorn.
"This is... unexpected. But it matters little, you are still being judged. And you, marksman, clear the way!". van Toorn rose, steady as rock, and started buckling his zwihander to his belt.
"The God-King sent me a dream. I saw a tide of skulls smoothering the lands. It is a sign, something is stirring and we have to stop it. Which side are you on, Kalyustar of the Gilded Hand?"
"Why, of the blessed forces of High Azyr, Herr van Toorn! Lead the way, I sure must serve in this time of malign portents".

As the trio made their way through the streets of Wörtbad, a light mist rose.

Gaunt figure coalesced out of the mist, the White Lady spurring them forward.

A foppish crew of orruk skypirates emerged from the woods at Follow's End as the mist started to lift and skulls to fall from the sky.

Pieter van Toorn drew his blade and with a prayer to Sigmar advanced towards the revenants. Kalyustar cursed the man's rushness, but knew better not to rouse his suspicions and charged to his side.

One of the orruks picked up a skull and started to yell at his mates. The brutes stared around for a moment and then, as quick as they had come, they retreated into the woods.

As Kalyustar swung his staff at the spirits, he recognised the familiar faces of men lost at the Freebooter's Tower. There they were, beyond the fragility of flesh, and still with all of their fighting spirit. The wizard retreated, as another skull fall from the sky and the voices came back. Could that be the answer you were looking for?

"Get it!" shouted Kalyustar, sending Lucius to the pumpkin field.

The spirits of his former men swarmed over van Toorn and reached for Kalyustar. A blaze of magic dispersed them. Are you sure they won't come back? Won't it be wonderful if you could command them again?

The White Lady drifted around Deathwatch Manor, her chilling screams stunning Lucius, while a skeleton crawled out of the ground to reach for another skull.

Kalyustar moved to intercept the White Lady before she could reach the pumpkin field. A wall of sound hit him, his horse reared and then the White Lady was upon him.

Grab the essence of the animal before is gone! Yes, you can mould it like iron, with your magic. There! Let the animal go, you don't need it. Come to the field, your man is still here. Come! What is he holding?
Kalyustar lifted the object. Greenish-black glass, in the shape of a skull. As he stared at it, he knew the voices were its. There is much we can do, Kalyustar the Soulchemist.


  1. The shadeglass skull speaks to him! Love it!

    1. Every bit of a model deserves to play a role in its story ;)