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Sunday, 16 October 2005
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The Tale of Sir Orin, chapter i. Orin von Neuville
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Schloss Neuville stood on the lower slopes of the Grey Mountains, overlooking the wooded vale of the river Reik. The Baron Klaus von Neuville was not a rich man, but he was valiant and honest as too few are. He had served with the Knights Panther in his youth and distinguished himself on the battlefields of the Empire before returning to his ancestral home.

The land was not rich, but the last couple of years had been harder than most. The people spoke of an evil in the woods, haunting the high slopes and descending on their fields. Some farmers had left, others had just vanished without a trace, and there were rumours from the south that shadows had been seen moving around the ruined Blood Keep. That very night, things were to get much worse.The Baron had sent a message to a witch-finder he knew in Altdorf, Kapitan Jurgen Schmidt, asking him to investigate, and had received a message back saying he would be arriving in the next couple of days to investigate. The Baron would not live to meet him.

The enemy came under the cover of darkness, when the only light was the blood-red light of Morrslieb. A blast of magic destroyed the castle gates, and the tide of undead flowed into the courtyard beyond. There the battle raged, with the Baron's men being forced slowly back until they had to abandon the courtyard and take to the keep. The chapel of Sigmar was set ablaze, and the fire soon spread to the stables and the storehouse. The dark knights forced their way into the keep, until they gained the great hall, where their leader, a dread Blood Dragon, bellowed a challenge to the Baron.

Bravely the Baron stepped forwards, and crossed swords with the vampire. He was able to match him, much, it seemed, to the surprise of his opponent, but he could not make any headway against him. All too soon the Baron began to tire, he had been awoken by the attack and had had little rest, while his opponent was as strong as ever. His skill but prolonged his inevitable defeat, but when he did fall the Dragon granted him a swift death.

Their leader fallen, the humans broke at last, and were hunted down. It was only the imminent arrival of dawn that drew a halt to the carnage. The undead withdrew, firing the castle behind them as they departed.

Kapitan Schmidt saw the smoke from his camp the next morning. He pushed on, reaching Schloss-Neuville early in the afternoon. The rubble that had been the castle was still smouldering, dead bodies were scattered around the courtyard, one wall of the keep still stood, but the others had come crashing down as their interal supports burned. He recognised the work of the Blood Dragons in the planning and execution of the attack, and in the wounds shown by the dead.

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