Vyr Shadowolf Zankorel by David Rife

Vyr Shadowolf Zankorel I will tell this story once, and perhaps in telling, can absolve me of guilt, and perhaps some of you will understand my actions to some degree. I was chosen to be a Sentinel. This was the highest honor my people could bestow upon a warrior. I was the youngest in three hundred years to be chosen as a Sentinel, and the envy of my peers to be sure.

The Warden’s were responsible for protection of the small communities in the borderlands and wilderness of Shou Leng. These villages were at the forefront and vulnerable to the depredations of wild creatures, malicious humanoids, and monsters of all sorts. The Sentinels were secret; we were shadows, myth, and legend. Once a community was chosen for defense, we would place our sigil upon the entrance, to let all who dwelled inside know that they were under our watch. Life was much easier for these outposts once they realized they had come under the protection of a Sentinel.

Once my training was complete, I journeyed to Cherry Blossom Crossing. The Crossing was a community of loosely associated farmers, fishermen, and traders who had begun to form a town by the Cherry Blossom River. Although lonely, my profession was fulfilling. I was responsible for stopping several goblin raids, stopped a filth fever outbreak, and rescued a lost child. I was confident that The Crossing would flourish and I would be responsible, although indirectly, for a portion of that growth.
One evening a caravan of wagons arrived at The Crossing, I sensed something amiss with the wagons, but could not pin down what was wrong with them. I smelled the decay of soil, and rotted vegetation associated with loam, but nothing more. The wagons were allowed entrance and I retired to my small shelter to prepare for the following day. I awoke with the dawn as per my custom and began my morning rituals, and a feeling of dread lay upon me. I made my rounds of the farms, and finding nothing wrong, went back to my observation post on a hill overlooking the town. I was greeted by carrion birds hovering over the town. It was forbidden for Warden’s to interfere with the daily lives of the townsfolk, but something was horribly wrong. I took it upon myself to investigate.

Inside the town, all was silence and a feeling of waiting was upon the cobble stone streets. The sickly sweet smell of death permeated the air of The Crossing, no one stirred from within their homes. I soon found out the reason for all when I came to the village square and found a pile of corpses in the village square. It was apparent that no one had survived this grisly attack. Choking back vomit, I went to inspect the corpses, only to have them shift and moan, as they arose as zombies with no other thought, but to feed! I heard high mocking laughter as I was forced to return these innocents to the grave. My inaction had caused this atrocity. Several vampires had gathered to watch my struggle against the mass of zombies. My rage fueled my sword arm, as I was forced to lie to rest those I had sworn to protect. As I cleared a path to the mocking voices before me, a mist closed in around me cutting my prey from view.

I warily surveyed my surrounding in the mists. I kept my sword drawn thinking it was some trick by the vampires, but even their cruel laughter had been cut off by the mist. I do not know how long I stood inside my fog prison, awaiting an attack from every side. The mist did eventually clear, and I found myself in a foreign land. I eventually learned the name of the land, Barovia, and found it beset with evil, far worse than anything I could ever imagine. I used my skill to become an Undead Hunter, putting to rest all manner of evil, in honor of those who I had let down so long ago. While on the trail of a master vampire, I once again found mists rising around me. I knew there was no escape, but hoped I would be returned to my home to exact my vengeance.

Once again, I found myself in a foreign land, and again in a time of great turmoil. This new land was called Darkon, and a great evil had befallen it, an ancient demon in the guise of a clown was attempting to rewrite the history of Darkon, and bring about darkness forever. The demon was thwarted and Darkon was saved! I traveled through the plague lands of Nurgle, the swamps of the Bloody Axe Mercenary Company, and one night in a drunken revelry, ended up in the camp of Ched Nasad and discussed fighting tactics for some time!
While traveling through this new land, I once again encountered a fog that surrounded a mountainous region. Steeling my courage I approached it, ready for battle, and again hoping to exact revenge upon the undead. After entering the mists, and found myself in the land of Asaheim. This was a proud land, full of warriors who I soon found had similar interests as my own. Warriors proud, a sense of justice, and prepared for battle regardless of the enemy at hand. They accepted me as one of their own, and I now stand proudly upon the fields of battle as a Felgardian. I Vyr Zankorel am now a Sword Brother to the noble people of Asaheim!