Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chronicles of the Baron of Crows part 1

In the northwest of the province of Ostland, deep in the Forest of Shadows lies the burnt and crumbling remains of a manor house surrounded by a noisome bog. The destruction of the manor is the beginning of a tale of the fall of the last member of a doomed line of decadent nobles, Baron Mortimer Cavendish, the Bogfiend and the Baron of Crows.

Mortimer Cavendish was a baron in the northern province of Ostland. He was born to a wealthy political family that had developed sever, hereditary disfigurements over generations of intermarriage. His own mutation was a pair of goat horns sprouting from his head. Because of this he was never seen in public and those times when he was forced to travel he did so in an enclosed carriage and always spoke through an intermediary. The Cavendish family had long ago begun to worship chaos in various forms and Mortimer Cavendish was no different. Because of his numerous illnesses he became a dedicated worshiper of Nurgle. To show his dedication to Nurgle the baron and his followers poisoned the wells of seven towns in Ostland, spreading a different plague in each town. For this Nurgle eased the pain of his many diseases and marked him as his own.
The Cavendish Estate began to gain a sinister reputation in the surrounding villages, as far as the border of Nordland on the northwestern edge of the Forest of Shadows. Baron Cavendish began to be known as the Bogfiend, as his manor was surrounded by an impenetrable bog. The only access to the mansion was a single seldom used road in ill repair. As he became more bold in his worship of Nurgle his servants began to flee the manor in fear of their lives. Eventually the Order of the Silver Hammer discovered the baron's secret worship and sent witch hunters to arrest him for his crimes. In the ensuing battle the manor burned to the ground and most of the remaining servants were captured or killed. The baron managed to flee with several devoted followers into the bog that surrounded his estate.

Mortimer and his followers encountered a group of beastmen raiders a few days after their flight into the Forest of Shadows, beyond the bogs. Being outnumbered and low on weapons the Baron chose to follow the beastmen and wait until night, when they were so drunk they could hardly stand. He and his men crept down into the camp and slit the throats of those who had passed out and then quickly slew those who could barely hold their weapons. After the slaughter he and his men gathered the weapons and equipment they would need to survive. With profane rituals they gave thanks to Nurgle for leading them to the bounty the halfmen had provided for them.

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