Carrion Crown: Kyle's
Auren Vrood Prologue
Narrator: As before and before that, we begin with our Dramatis Personae:
• First we have me, the NARRATOR.
• Then we have ALEECE, a young woman with an incredibly shrunken deformed head. She is dressed in bright rags.
• Then we have AUREN VROOD, a very tall man clad in bone armour, with a skull helm, black cloak, and solid red eyes.
• Next is LURAMIN, a thin necromancer with a moustache.
• Next is AMADEUS, a necromancer with long lank black hair.
• Also BRUNHYLDA, a pale female necromancer.
We are in the forest, the twisting dark trees blocking out what little moonlight there is. A tall oak has crowded out the smaller trees around it, leaving a small clearing. The wood is silent, but for the sound of sobbing and crying. Four figures clad in black approach the tree. Two of the men (Luramin and Amadeus) are manhandling a small teenage girl – the source of the sobbing.
Aleece: <crys> Stop, you’re hurting me! Why are you doing this? <sobs>
Auren Vrood: Ahhh, a sturdy oak. This tree should suffice. Tie the freak to the trunk.
Luramin: As you command master.
Aleece: No! Let me go! What do you want? <she>
Amadeus: Silence, bitch. <he>
Narrator: The two male necromancers bring out some rope and lash Aleece to the oak. Initially she struggles, kicking and screaming, but Brunhylda steps in and whispers something in her ear, after which she stops fighting and just whimpers. A raven sits in the branches, watching the scene. Auren Vrood also watches in silence, like the raven. Once they are finished, the three necromancers stand back, sweating, and lower their dark cowls over their faces.
Luramin: It is done master.
Auren Vrood: <nods> Very good. And now we will observe. See as she shakes against her bonds. <he>. Watch carefully the fear within her eyes. Yes, little freak, I know you can hear me. See now, the hatred in her twisted tiny head. You see my acolytes, you see all her feelings like a fish through clear waters. This, THIS, is what we have come tonight to harvest. Not the pathetic twisted body that traps her spirit.
Aleece: <whimpers> Please… please don’t hurt me… I’ve not done anything to you. I don’t even know who you are!
Brunhylda: Hush child. Let the master speak. You should listen to his words.
Luramin: Hail to the master!
Auren Vrood: Who we are? Why, we are the inheritors. We are the bridge between life and death; we are the lords of the soul and the keepers of power. We are those without dogma, without shackles. Those that know what must be done, and have the will to do it.
Narrator: And with that, Vrood reaches into his robe with long thin fingers are draws a large glass vial etched with skulls and runes. Inside the vial a green swirling gas can be seen. The gas twists and billows in a way that makes it seem almost alive, and – wait – was that a face just seen in the gas?
Aleece: What… what is that?
Amadeus: Silence freak. That is none of your concern. Master, you promised me knowledge of the ingredient. My brother and I have served you well.
Auren Vrood: Yes, and you and he shall have your reward.
Narrator: Vrood unscrews the runed cap a tiny notch and brings the vial to his nose, inhaling just a whisper of the vapours within, quickly sealing the cap afterwards. The effect is striking, his red eyes flash green, and he convulses, dropping to one knee in coughing fit, before recovering and rising again.
Luramin: Are you OK master?
Auren Vrood: Yess… YESSSS! And this just the beginning. The power I shall wield when this is finished… it is… intoxicating. Amadeus, come forward and let me tell you of your reward.
Amadeus: Gladly master.
Narrator: Amadeus steps forward raising his cowl and Vrood bends over and whispers words in his ear. The faintest glow of green can be seen, fluttering on the air between Vrood’s thin lips and the ear of Amadeus. After finishing, Vrood straightens up again.
Amadeus: Such a reward! <dropping> Master, I am not worthy of your gifts.
Auren Vrood: Rise. There will be more such rewards, for you and for us all. Ours is the moment. And now we must begin the sacrifice.
Aleece: What? No! <to> You said you would let me go… you said you would release me. Please HELP!
Brunhylda: I lied.
Amadeus: Ha ha ha HA HA
Auren Vrood: Ah, but she told the truth. You WILL be released. Released from this freakish mortal shell, born again as a spirit, free of the grasp of the Gods. You WILL be let go, let go from the shackles that hold back your ignorant and worthless life. Begin the ritual!
<all> Ah, Necromancy Sweet! Wizard erudite! Unleash the skill
That I instil the pain, surgeons assuage in vain, nor Herb of all the plain can Heal
We are the bridge between life and death, we offer the Way this breath, ripped
From its mortal womb, such the bloom, of undeath may triumph.
Aleece: No, NO, HELP. Please… NO…. help me! Someone please help me! HELP! HELP!
Narrator: Starting with Luramin, the necromancers each draw a wicked looking dagger and take turns: they pace slowly towards the oak, and plunge their blade into the chest of Aleece as she screams. The last to act in this savage ritual is Auren Vrood who slits the throat of the poor girl with long, sharpened fingernails. The four cabalists then stand back, silent, as blood oozes from the body, around their feet and seeps into the roots of the tree. They stand this way for some time, their silence eventually broken by a “Caw!” from the raven.
Auren Vrood: It is done. Our Way grows strong by another soul.
Luramin: What will she be master? Will we have another ghoul?
Auren Vrood: No. Why would we perform the Rite of Amherst for such a weak creature? No, I have something … special in mind for this freak’s soul.
Brunhylda: What next master? I yearn for the future.
Auren Vrood: Yes… yes… we must seize the future. We must now travel to Lepidstadt, for we have work to do there. The details must be kept to the Whispers, for one can never be sure who is listening.
Amadeus: Master, I will stay here until the spirit rises then shackle it to my will. I will follow with my brother on our steeds; we will not rest until we have caught up with you.
Auren Vrood: Your diligence is noted, as is your brother’s. Brunhylda, you will ride with me and the flock. Luramin, you will return to Ravengro. Keep me informed if any questions are asked about our work there. If none are present, await further instruction.
Luramin: Yes, master. I live to serve.
Auren Vrood: Very good. Ride, ride, and ride thrice then, we are done here.
Auren Vrood: <in> Benedictus mortis perpetuum.
All (except Aleece): <in> Benedictus mortis perpetuum.