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Nosgoth: world of Vampires and Humans

It has been millennia of conflict and hatred since Humanity began their first
crusade to eradicate the Vampire race, and even longer since Vampires were
cursed with immortality and bloodthirst. Down the ages, Humans have fought to
destroy Vampires and Vampires to dominate Humanity. It took the iron will of one
Vampire, Kain, to force a resolution to these conflicts, subjugating Nosgoth under
his rule and establishing his unassailable court in the Heartlands.
Those Humans not corralled as playthings, servants and fodder for the Vampires
were pushed out to the edges of the world, carving out an existence in the
mountains and deep forests of Nosgoth, or exiled across the Great Southern Sea
to the Hinterlands beyond.
Then, not long after executing his first-raised Lieutenant Raziel by casting him
into the Lake of the Dead, Kain disappeared. Gone, in search of a way to deliver
Nosgoth from the corruption that had overcome the land, Kain left the throne and
his Empire in the hands of his five remaining Lieutenants. Riven by jealousy and
conflicts, it was not long before their respective Clans began fighting among
themselves.
With the Vampires focused on their internal squabbles, Nosgoths Human
population seized the chance to grow stronger. Cities were rebuilt, skills
relearned and Humanitys power recovered to the point where they could launch
a devastating attack on their Vampire masters. This attack reunited the warring
Vampire Clans in the face of a common enemy. Now, each race is pitted against
the other.
This is a war for Nosgoth; this is a war for the survival of each race.

Humans from slaves to soldiers


The blood feud between Humans and Vampires has spanned the entire history of
Nosgoth. Indeed, it can be noted as its one immutable trait. Vampires have
preyed on Humans since time immemorial drinking their blood, violating
everything that it is to be Human. In Human eyes, every Vampire is an
abomination worthy only of extermination.

Thousands of years on from when their ancestors attempted to eradicate the


race of Vampires from Nosgoth, the remaining Humans have been paying the
price for that war ever since. Split into disparate communities, often without any
communication, Human communities developed their own identity. Accents,
fighting styles and skills varied from settlement to settlement.
Forced from warriors and Vampire hunters into being slaves and food for their
masters, Humans eked out a miserable existence. Generations of Humans were
reared by the Vampires in blood farms, the numbers tripling or more each
generation, and the ease with which each Vampire could feed grew. New-borns
were denied light, taken at birth from the breeding pens and drained until they
were near death before being allowed to recuperate.
However, as the Vampire civil war took more and more of the Vampires
attention, the Humans seized the chance to regroup. Growing in number,
stealing new technologies in alchemy and rediscovering lost techniques in
weapon making, Humans have now expanded from rough villages to retake and
rebuild their lost cities.
Those Humans who survived battle with their former masters passed their skills
and experience onto new generations. So it was that a new Human army came
into being, fighting for the same cause as those in eras past the utter extinction
of the Vampire race.
Vampires a legacy under threat
After centuries of persecution, the Vampires of Nosgoth now revel in their place
at the top of the food chain. Their dark gift grants them spectacular physical
strength and speed, and they see no reason to temper it. Having become the
undisputed masters of the land under Kains imperial rule, Nosgoths Vampires
see Humans as cattle. They prey on Humans for blood, but they also recognise
Humanitys potential to become extremely powerful warriors, having launched
numerous crusades against Vampire-kind in ages past.
With Kain having seemingly absconded his throne and with Raziel, his firstraised, cast into the Abyss, the Vampires are now ruled by Kains five remaining
lieutenants Turel, Dumah, Rahab, Zephon and Melchiah each having sired a
Clan of their own Vampiric progeny. Each Clan is named after its respective
lieutenant-patriarch; each is in possession of jealously guarded territory.

Over time, the Lieutenants and their Clans have developed powers and skills of
their own, changing and evolving to become different, distinct close-range killers.
Some of these mutations stemmed from the curse placed on Kains soul, but not
all of these changes occurred naturally, with some Clans forcefully inducing their
own terrible metamorphoses through eldritch magic and ritual self-mutilation.
These differences were one reason for the civil war that sparked between the
Vampire Clans, each claiming superiority over the other.
The other reason was pure decadence; this civilisation had everything, but
wanted more. Without Kain to command them, Vampire fledglings forgot the
deaths of earlier generation and focused on pleasure and power.
Kain had allowed the Legions their intrigues, even tolerating assassinations, but
he forbade outright warfare between the Clans it was wasteful and could lead
to Humans having dangerous ideas. Kain, as ever, had been characteristically
prescient.
With the Razielim now bereft of a leader, the other Clans fell upon their territory
some wanting to seek glory by mirroring their Emperors actions, others to
expand their influence by seizing precious land and resources, and a few simply
to settle pernicious old scores. Once hunting season was declared on Raziels
brood and in the absence of Kains vice-like grip on events, it did not take much
for the latent hostility between the self-serving Clans to erupt in full-blown civil
war.
Time passes fleetingly for Vampires who, in their arrogance, paid little attention
to breeches in the now poorly guarded blood farms and breeding pens. Only a
couple of centuries after escaping, new generations of Humanity had settled and
then flourished in territories outside of the Lieutenants direct control. Soon they
had raised an army. It took the devastating loss of a few outposts for the
Vampires to realise that Humanitys resurgence was no mere nuisance, but a
formidable threat to their civilisation.
And so the Clans have put their differences aside, at least for now, as the
Vampires fight to stop the bloody march of man and to re-establish their hardwon dominance over Nosgoth.

Tyrants disputed heirs to the throne

Turelim revel in the epithet of Tyrant to them, ruling oppressively through


force and fear is perfectly natural and they take pride in doing so.
As one of the most dutiful of all the Clans, the Turelim had their territory chosen
as the perfect site for constructing the first smokestacks. These huge volcanic
furnaces were erected to block out the sun and allowed the Vampires to shield
their fledglings from its poisonous effects.
Fledglings, over time, change in their physical appearance as the dark gift
overtakes them completely, slowly shedding the vestiges of their Human skin to
become distinctively Vampiric. This evolution would one day become monstrous
devolution with the corruption in Kains soul having been passed on to all his
progeny, but for now the effects were more benign. Even fledgling Turelim
subconsciously use their latent telekinetic powers to augment their already
impressive physiques, making them capable of truly inhuman feats of speed and
strength.
Their patriarch Turel, second raised of Kains Lieutenants, felt himself to be the
most important member of Nosgoths ruling Vampire Council following the
heretic Raziels execution. Little wonder then when Kain vanished, Turel
considered himself the rightful heir to the throne. Hed soon find his Council
brethren would not be so quick to agree.
Tyrants are only too eager to honour their Lieutenant-patriarchs orders,
particularly if it involves doing battle. After Kains disappearance, Turels was the
loudest voice calling for the execution of the Razielim, and the Tyrants saw it as
their sacred duty to carry out this purge.
Turel believed that, as Kains natural successor, he had the right to decide how
the spoils of the war against the Razielim would be divided. When the other
Lieutenants had the temerity to challenge this, Turel considered it an
unforgiveable offence. Soon the Tyrants were spearheading attacks against every
Clan who dared challenge Turels claim to leadership of the Council.
While other Clans called them arrogant, for the Turelim it was innate pride, being
especially proud of their role in building this era of Vampire domination. When
the true extent of the Human threat became apparent, the Tyrants readily called
a truce with the other Clans, including the remnants of the Razielim, and took
their renowned place in the vanguard of the Vampire legions.

Now, entirely focused on their ancient enemy, a new generation of Humanity will
tremble at the might of Clan Turelim.

Hunters sworn to exterminate the vampire scourge


From before their earliest recorded histories, groups of Human warriors have
come together and taken up arms against their enduring enemies, Nosgoths
race of Vampires. These ruthless men and women are known as Vampire
Hunters, drawing their inspiration and their creed from the Sarafan Order,
legendary warrior-priests who have long since passed into history but whose
influence has taken on an almost mythic status.
When all of Nosgoth fell to the Vampire legions, the remnants of Humanity would
comfort themselves by recounting legends of the Sarafan crusades. In this way,
the memories of Nosgoths early history a time when the Sarafan had won
many victories, bringing suffering to many Vampires and decimating entire
bloodlines were passed from one generation to the next.
With Nosgoth undisputedly under Vampire control, the last of the Vampire
Hunters were forced to flee Nosgoths heartlands, pushed to the edges of the
world to avoid Kains vengeance. Calling themselves the Ironguard in memory of
the massacres of the Iron Pass, they continued to train, sustaining their weaponmaking skills and preparing for the day when they could bring the war back to
their Vampire overlords.
When word reached their settlements that civil war had broken out between the
Vampire Clans, the Hunters seized the chance to resume their forefathers
mission. As Kains Lieutenants fought and squabbled, the Hunters began to
reorganise, rearm and mount a rebellion. They were the first to take advantage
of Kain's disappearance, successfully recapturing the mountain town of
Valeholm. By the time the Watchers of Dark Eden had freed the first Human
captives from the most vulnerable blood farms, the Vampire Hunters were ready
to take charge of recruiting and training these former slaves into new warriors for
the Human armies.
Once their strength and number had grown, the Hunters sent emissaries
travelling from outpost to outpost and to the edges of the world; recruiting those
they could while offering advice and training to others so that they could learn to

defend themselves against future attack. Each new recruit swore loyalty to the
Hunters cause, knowing that in doing so they became damned men, destined to
die on a battlefield far from home.
Now, the only home the Hunters know is in the midst of battle; living and fighting
for just one thing the slaughter of every last Vampire in Nosgoth.

Reavers harsh masters of human cattle


Sired by their Lieutenant-patriarch Dumah, the Reavers are natural hunters.
Swift, silent and smart, these vampires can out-think and out-run their
designated prey. Not just experts in combat, the Clan territory of the Dumahim is
also home to the so-called eternal forges, where their blacksmiths specialise in
crafting the finest armour in Nosgoth.
Where the Tyrants of the Turelim are considered to be the shock troops of the
Vampire legions, Reavers are seen by the Clans as the professional soldier class,
sharing their skills and tactics with one another. Many a Human warrior has fallen
foul of the razor-sharp talons of a Reaver ambush, with only their eviscerated
entrails left to tell the tale.
Like their Turelim brothers, the Dumahim train by releasing Humans into
underground mazes before hunting them down. Reavers, however, are not as
shackled by notions of honour or glory as their brethren and have developed
more of a reputation for playing with their food, at times prolonging the hunt to
heighten their victims fear and sweeten their blood.
Their eagerness for well-executed slaughter should not be mistaken for
exuberance, however. Keenly aware of the aura of fear they strike in their
enemies, the Dumahim remain calculating, poised and entirely focused on one
thing the subjugation of the unruly nuisance that is Humankind. This Clan,
perhaps more vehemently than all others, want Humans back in their place as
slaves, food and playthings for their betters. Their kills are performed with zeal
only to break the Human spirit, so that Vampires can rule all of Nosgoth
unchallenged once more.
Like their patriarch, the Dumahim are confident to the point of arrogance. They
treat Clan Turelims claim to being the premier warriors of the Vampire race with
amused contempt, but are quite happy for their brothers to be first into the fray

and risk suffering the heaviest casualties. Reavers view Tyrants as blunt
instruments only capable of heavy-handed carnage, instead favouring attacks of
a more precise and dextrous nature. While perfectly capable of overwhelming
most opponents in a stand-up fight, Reavers are known to excel at ambushes
and hit-and-run raids.
For Dumah himself, this arrogance is a thin veneer masking naked ambition.
Following Kains disappearance, Dumahs resolute unwillingness to accept Turels
claims to the throne of Nosgoth came as little surprise to the Council of the
Clans. However, they hadnt reckoned just how far Dumah would go to secure
ultimate power for him and his progeny.
While Dumah was only too willing to join in the extermination of the Razielim,
eager to seize their lands and resources for his own, he reacted with furious
violence when Turel moved to control the division of the spoils. Dumah
challenged Turels dominance directly, seeing this not only as opportunity to fulfil
his ambitions, but also as the chance to prove once and for all which Clan
boasted the superior soldiers. Reaver fell upon Tyrant, and Tyrant upon Reaver,
all at the behest of their Lieutenant-patriarchs.
Once the Human insurrection began, however, with the Razielim bringing news of
the initial Vampire losses to the attention of the Reavers, Dumah was shrewd
enough to understand the need for the Razielims unique abilities and used his
immense personal strength to bring about a truce amongst the warring Clans.
With a common enemy before them and old allegiances renewed, Clan Dumahim
now fights side-by-side with their brethren, ready to prove their talents on the
battlefield and be the first to claim Human blood.

Scouts messengers, wardens, and warriors


From the mountains of the north, the Watchers have maintained a link between
Human communities in the northern mountains near the territory that has come
to be known as Dark Eden. Once a region twisted by corrosive energies, the
events surrounding the Pillars of Nosgoths collapse rendered it inhabitable by
mortals once more, an act of irony that would no doubt have brought a wry smile
to Kains face.

In the centuries that followed, certain brave remnants of Humanity fled to the
infamous region, desperate to find refuge from the Vampiric onslaught of Kains
legions. They discovered that more mature Vampires were less inclined to pursue
them in its rocky passes, eventually coming to realise that Dark Eden was now a
designated hunting ground for newly risen Vampire fledglings, with Humans
being their carefully cultivated prey. Despite their many losses, Humanity began
to raise new generations, permitted by their Vampire overlords if only so as to
provide them with sport. The name Dark Eden remained gruesomely appropriate,
with the Humans who called it home growing more cold-hearted with each mortal
life cut short.
Born and raised under such inhospitable conditions, the Humans of Dark Eden
became some of the shrewdest and most opportunistic that Nosgoth had ever
seen, these skills being a necessary part of their day-to-day survival. They set up
hidden camps high in the surrounding mountains, quick to erect and
disassemble, affording them early warning of a Vampire raid. Armed with
longbows well suited to picking off Vampire assailants from a distance, the men
and women who manned these posts became known as the Watchers. Famed for
their keen eyes and steady hands, the Watchers memorised every hidden nook
and cranny giving them any advantage, however slight, over their hated enemy.
Honing their skills across each passing generation, the Watchers became a link
between the Human communities in the northern mountains, eventually
establishing lines of communication with settlements belonging to the Ironguard,
far from the central Vampire cities. Watchers became renowned as much for
being messengers and path-finders as for being warriors the first to reopen
paths after the heaviest snows had fallen or to smuggle scarce supplies to those
in need. This is not to say their reputation was entirely benign. As the sole source
of news for Humanitys scattered communities, they were also seen as
harbingers of woe, appearing as if out of nowhere only to warn of an impending
Vampire raid seeking their destruction; or worse still, slaves for the construction
of smoke stacks to blot out the sun.
After some time, stories about the Watchers of Dark Eden came to inspire related
factions elsewhere in the hinterlands, from the secretive Assassins of the eastern
lakes to the resilient Desert Stalkers of the far south, their members swearing
loyalty to the Watchers as the originators of their creed.

When winged Vampires were first spotted exploring the upper mountain peaks of
Dark Eden, the Watchers first thought was that Kain had devised some new and
terrible way to terrorise them. It was not until they saw these desperate-looking
creatures being attacked by other Vampires that the Watchers realised conflict
had befallen the Clans and sent word to the Ironguard. It was clear that the
winged Vampires were coming from the direction of Razielim territory to the
south, pursued indiscriminately by the other Clans.
With the Vampires seemingly more interested in hunting their own kind, the
Watchers seized the initiative and sent a force of elite Scouts westwards, over
the mountains to spy on what was once Coorhagen for fresh intelligence. What
they discovered was a city turned into a farm for human blood, with pens
designed for the breeding and rearing of new-borns, overlooked by a gigantic
statue of Kain himself. Surprised to find only a scant few Dumahim and
Melchahim on guard, the greater number of forces apparently engaged
elsewhere, the Scouts marshalled their strength and mounted a daring raid.
Taking the Vampires by complete surprise, the Scouts liberated scores of
Humans, all whom had spent the entirety of what passed for their lives in
captivity.
Delivering many of these former captives to the disciplinarian care of the
Ironguard, the Watchers knew that the time had come to raise an army and turn
the tables on their Vampire masters. Hunters and Scouts joined forces and
headed south, away from the eye of the Vampire civil war, recapturing first
Provance and then Freeport. It was here that they first met with the mysterious
Alchemists, growing their confidence and swelling their ranks.
Now the Scouts have set their sights on a once unimaginable goal the return of
Nosgoth to Human rule and the total annihilation of the Vampire race, once and
for all.

Alchemists arcane cultists with a thirst for revenge


As Kains empire thrived, Humanitys shared knowledge of technologies such as
alchemy or forging weapons withered away. Experts died before being able to
pass on their knowledge, while libraries and universities were sacked or burned
to the ground. The legacy of pioneers such as Anacrothe, Bane and DeJoule was

lost, reduced to mere legends of how Humans had once mastered the elemental
powers of the land.
By the time Kains empire had reached its height, the ruling Vampires had begun
to experiment in new fields. The Zephonim in particular, eager to compete in raw
power with the elder Clans, attempted to artificially shape and force their
metamorphoses through ritual self-torture, alchemical engineering and twisted
breeding programs.
As with all aspects of life in Kains empire, the Lieutenants pushed their Clans to
conduct ever more dangerous tests as they jostled for attention and prestige.
Rival groups of Vampire alchemists vied to produce new compounds and
concoctions to act both as weapons and restoratives. Some lines of research
were focused on the individual methods of improving the flow or flavour of
Human blood, or keeping it fresh outside the living body while others were on
the massive scale of manipulating the volcanic furnaces, which were then used
to block out the sun itself.
Either by accident or sabotage, one group of alchemists from Clan Melchahim
committed a grave error, inadvertently poisoning a batch of prime Human
breeding stock in an effort to better preserve their fragile undead skins. Their
Lieutenant-patriarch, Melchiah, had been raised last and therefore received the
poorest portion of Kain's dark gift. Despite his immortality, Melchiahs soul could
not sustain the flesh, an affliction passed on to his Vampire offspring who had
already begun to show some signs of the underlying decay that would come to
blight them in the far future. Rather than waiting to suffer the wrath of their lord,
the errant alchemists fled to the far desert canyons of the southern hinterlands.
Wilfully isolated in these labyrinthine badlands, the exiles were unaware of the
civil war that came to consume their kind. Instead, after setting up a new
laboratory in secret, they desperately strove to make some new and potent
discovery with which to buy their way back into favour. This came in the form of
naphtha; liquid fire that was inert when stored but when excited could be used as
a devastating weapon, especially against their Vampire brethren. One Vampire,
Laderic, made the final breakthrough and kept the secret of its manufacture to
himself, intending to betray his fellows and blame them for their past
misadventures. His invention, however, would prove to be the catalyst of his own
demise.

The Vampire exiles required slaves as test subjects for their grisly experiments,
seizing any Human who strayed too far from the safety of their nomadic
caravans. All the men they captured were bled dry once the Vampire alchemists
had no more use for them or their seed, but the women remained incarcerated
Humans raised in captivity, after all, were more docile and less troublesome. One
such slave was Elustra, a local woman kidnapped by Laderic and held in captivity
for over two decades, who quickly came to realize that feigning madness gave
her the best chance of survival.
Underestimating his captives capacity for rational thought, Laderic left vials of
naphtha close enough to her cage for Elustra to burn her way out. In an act of
almost suicidal desperation, Elustra managed to murder her captor with his own
concoction, but not before herself suffering horrific burns in the process. Blinded
by pain and driven by rage, she made her way through the halls and alcoves of
the laboratory, slaughtering not just her Vampire captors, but every living being
in the compound all equally defenceless against this unknown liquid fire.
Barely conscious and close to death, Elustra staggered out into the surrounding
desert wastes, only to be found by a group of wandering nomads, drawn to the
area by the plumes of smoke emanating from the laboratory. While they tended
to her dreadful wounds, the nomads questioned Elustra about the fate that had
befallen her. When no coherent answer came, they suggested whether she had
slain her Vampire abductors in revenge for the murder of the other hostages
imprisoned within the laboratory. Elustra did not disagree.
Unaware of the truth, a sisterhood formed to venerate Elustra in remembrance of
the women tortured for decades by the Vampire alchemists ignorant of the fact
that they had been massacred by Elustra herself. Elustra spent the following
months recovering from her ordeal with a grim determination. She donned a
mask to cover her disfigured face and, as much in penance as in reverence, she
dedicated her life and those of her followers to Anacrothe - the last Human
Guardian known to have mastered the art of alchemy before all knowledge fell
into Vampire hands.
The first task of the newly inaugurated Red Sisters of Anacrothe was to ransack
the abandoned laboratory of its contents before razing it to the ground. Even this
small accomplishment was enough to swell their ranks. Now armed with
weapons and knowledge capable of exterminating the Vampire threat, Elustra

decided the best form of revenge would be to use the Vampires stolen
knowledge against them.
Journeying back to the heartlands, the Red Sisters brought with them exotic
supplies and materials previously unseen in other climates. Arriving in Freeport
only to discover it had already been taken by Human forces, the Red Sisters
joined forces with the Watchers and the Ironguard. They set up chapter houses in
nearby Meridian, once a prime seat of Human knowledge and long abandoned by
Kains Lieutenants as they focused their attention on securing their own
territories. Now referred to as Alchemists by the other Human forces, the Red
Sisters quickly put their new weapons of war into mass production. It was not
long, however, before this industrial activity attracted the attention of the
reunited Vampire Clans.
Now the Alchemists wage war with a single-minded purpose the immolation of
their former captors down to the last Vampire in Nosgoth.

The fall of the Razielim (I)


Kains rise to power was brutal and absolute. A mere century after bestowing his
six Lieutenants with the dark gift of Vampiric un-life, Humanity had been
thoroughly subjugated and a new Vampire civilisation came to reign over the
land of Nosgoth.
The six Lieutenants themselves were essential to Kains ascension, their
instruments of power being the Clans they each raised to form Kains Vampire
legions. Needing a place to rear fledglings in safety, the Clans constructed
underground compounds. Here newly sired soldiers could mature, away from the
deadly effects of sunlight. One by one, Nosgoths major Human kingdoms fell
mortal soldiers slain in battle were dragged to these dark places beneath the
ground, only to awaken with inhuman purpose, hungry for the blood of their
former comrades.
As Nosgoths hinterlands also began to fall under Kains rule, these complexes
expanded to become fortified subterranean cities. Prior to the construction of the
smokestacks that would come to blot out the sun from the sky, these cities were
used to house armouries, gladiator pits and hunting mazes, as well as
storehouses full of plunder. Thousands of Human slaves laboured and died to
build each cavernous metropolis.
As the fledglings matured, their bodies would undergo metamorphosis. Once
turned, their previously Human-looking bodies would change form and develop
certain characteristics of the Ancients, the mysterious forebears of Vampire-kind.
Fangs would replace eyeteeth, ears would acquire a distinctive peak and eyes
would change colour. By the point they had reached the status of Clan Elder, a
Vampire would sport cloven claws and hooves where once they had Human
hands and feet. Living side-by-side, a Clans younger, less altered Vampires
would often make up the legions lower ranks, while those further along their
path of physical evolution took on more trusted positions, providing council to
their Lieutenant-patriarch and ensuring the proper execution of his orders.
It was Kain and his Lieutenants, however, who would display the most marked
transformations. Periodically, Kain would enter a state of pupation and emerge
more powerful than before. His Lieutenants would follow a decade or so later
with each receiving ever more individual dark gifts, facets of which would in turn
go on to be exhibited by their Clan. Before each state of change, a Vampire

would need to gorge on vast quantities of Human blood to sustain them while
they

underwent

their

transmutation.

Eventually

emerging

ravenous

and

disorientated, Vampiric midwives would be on hand to supply even greater


amounts of fresh blood while they came to their senses.
Kain, now the sole progenitor of the Vampire race, would experience this
progress before all others, his enormous power remaining unchallenged. Until,
that is, his first-raised Lieutenant Raziel was gifted with wings. The most
talented and obedient of all the Lieutenants, Raziel was unmatched in beauty but
also in vanity and as Kains most favoured son, was respected and loathed by his
brothers in equal measure. When word first reached the Razielim that their
Lieutenant-patriarch had the audacity to evolve ahead of his god-like master,
grave concerns fermented amongst the Clans elders. Some took it as an act of
blasphemy, others as a blessing. While a schism threatened to divide those who
sided more with their Lieutenant-patriarch than their Emperor, all were united in
their concerns over how or even if Raziel should present this development to
Kain.
Raziel, either oblivious or unconcerned by his progenys fears, marched to the
Sanctuary of the Clans to present his new assets. For what everyone assumed to
be his impertinence, Kain struck Raziel down. His punishment was to be cast into
The Lake of the Dead, Kains execution ground for traitors and weaklings.
Shocked and bewildered by Raziels apparent execution, the elders of Clan
Razielim recognised that they too were now under threat. Taking precautions to
secure their future, they began to move those Razielim already pupating in their
state of change to a secret vault deep within an underground city beneath the
mountains to the east of Coorhagen. They would be safe there, for now.
Kains disappearance, however, was to change everything.

The fall of the Razielim (II)


Kains vice-like grip over Nosgoth was undeniable, the various Vampire factions
within the Empire held together by his iron will. Yet rule over an irredeemably
corrupted land destined to deteriorate even further held no interest for one who
had been elevated to godhood. Executing Raziel had merely been Kains first
move in his attempt to re-write the history so carefully laid out for him by fate.

Understanding that the keys to deliverance from this ignoble destiny ultimately
lay in Nosgoths distant past, Kain vanished into the time-stream, leaving his
domain in the hands of the five remaining Lieutenants.
The motivations for Kains disappearance were as misconstrued by his
Lieutenants as his reasons for casting their brother into the Abyss. But theirs was
not to question their masters intentions, theirs was to ensure Kains will be
done. They took Raziels latest evolution to be an act of blasphemy in the eyes of
their Emperor; one they assumed threatened to undo his work.
It was Zephon whose first impulse was to call for the eradication of the Razielim.
There had been no love lost between him and his elder brother, a mutual
resentment that had festered and grown over many centuries. Eager to exact
punishment but lacking the strength to act alone, Zephon approached Turel,
advocating that Kain would only have wanted them to finish what he had started.
Calling a meeting of the Vampire Council, Turel set forth the plan to exterminate
the Razielim, believing not just that it was his noble duty, but also his right to
determine as first in line to the throne. Dumah agreed to lead the assault, eager
to demonstrate his might before a legion now missing its figurehead and fully
aware of the position of power this would put him in when they came to divide
Clan Razielims territory. Melchiah needed little convincing, having long
harboured jealousy over his elder brothers beauty in the face of his own
degeneration. Rahab, who venerated Kain perhaps even more highly than his
brothers, was the most uncomfortable about this proposed act of genocide, yet
fell in line after being convinced they were merely fulfilling Kains wishes.
First, Razielim ambassadors to the other Clans were rounded up and executed,
with any Razielim stationed outside their home territory the next to perish. Some
Razielim had been tasked with delivering the much needed care and sustenance
to their pupating Clan-mates, who - in their defenceless state - had been locked
away in a secret vault under the mountains for their own protection. They were
ambushed and slaughtered before they had made it further north than
Vasserbnde, the last to die refusing to give up the secret, even in death
maintaining that their supplies had been intended for Coorhagen.
The attack on Clan Razielims home territory was similarly sudden and
devastating. Their first line of defence could not withstand the collective force of
the other five Clans. The combined legions made short work of the fledglings,

outnumbering and overpowering their former allies. Adult Razielim, too, proved
to be no match, their bodies burned so as to ensure there would be no return
from the afterlife. Much to the surprise of the troops, the Clans elders had
already developed wings of their own and fled with great haste in the direction of
the underground city in which their sole remaining Clan-mates were interred.
However, this was an action already anticipated by the Lieutenants, who had
instructed the lookout posts positioned within the heartlands to report and
destroy any winged Vampire they spotted.
Followed too swiftly by the combined legions to escape unnoticed and terrified of
giving away the position of their remnant brethren, the elders of Clan Razielim
carried on to Dark Eden, seeking refuge among the upper mountain peaks of
their old hunting grounds. But this was familiar territory to their numerous
pursuers separated and frightened, those elders not hunted down by other
Vampires were picked off by Dark Edens resident Humans before they could
escape. In a matter of days, the sightings of winged Vampires had ceased
altogether.
Back at the Sanctuary of the Clans, the Vampire Council met to discuss the
division of the spoils. As the artisans, philosophers and blood-bankers of the
Empire, the Razielim had possessed many riches, now impatiently sought after
by each of the Lieutenants. Turel moved to take the lead in these discussions,
allocating himself the greatest share and postulating that it was his right to do so
as Kains heir. Dumah countered that they were all Kains heirs and that while
they all had equal standing on the Council, he alone commanded the greatest
number of soldiers still stationed within Clan Razielims former home territory.
While Turel paused to consider his response to this threat, Zephon put forward
that the originator of this most successful of plans ought to be afforded the right
to have first pickings. Melchiah jumped in quickly, arguing that assets ought to
be divided by need, with the greatest portion being set aside for those that
required them the most. Only Rahab pleaded for restraint, his requests falling on
deaf ears.
Dumah lunged at Turel, only to be fought off and restrained by his brothers. No
one yet knew that the first blow had been struck in a dispute that would come to
last centuries. The intrigues that had once provided amusement for Kains court
now erupted into open warfare a weakness that Humanity would come to
exploit.

Meanwhile, beneath the mountains to the east of Coorhagen, locked in the


darkness of a secret vault hidden in an underground city, the lost Razielim began
to awaken.

The fall of the Razielim (III)


Vampiric evolution is beyond anything any mortal could endure. Through force of
will, Kain alone had been able to influence the nature and direction of this gift, a
skill not shared by his progeny. The process can take days, or it can last years
the greater the advancement, the longer the time spent in gestation and the
stronger the bloodthirst upon revival.
When the last of the Razielim lost for so many years inside the Vampire
underground city completed their metamorphosis, they awoke to strange
surroundings and a deep, voracious thirst. This was not the familiar Clan territory
in which they had entered their quiescent state, nor were there blood-bringers
ready to provide them with the sustenance they so desperately needed.
Numbering in the mere hundreds, the forgotten Razielim had no way of knowing
that they now represented all that the remained of their once proud Clan.
Overwhelmed by their primal urges, the Razielims sole thought was to feed.
However, the means of their salvation from the purge on their Clan now proved
to be their undoing - the hidden vault in which they had been interred could only
be opened with keys belonging to their now dead Clan elders. Trapped inside and
deprived of the fresh blood they sorely needed, their latest physical development
the gift of flight could not save them from their confinement nor bring them
any closer to nourishment.
Away from the eyes of the world, the Razielim festered in the darkness for
decades. Starved of blood and sapped of life, the beautiful forms with which they
had emerged from their pupation began to warp and degenerate. Once fair skin
became hardened and chitinous, digits became disjoined and bone came to
protrude from their new wings, lending them an appearance more demonic than
Vampiric. Fearful that their mental faculties would deteriorate along with their
physical form, the Razielim were left with but one recourse they would have to
claw their way out.

Slowly, resolutely, inch by painful inch, the Razielim scratched through the heavy
door to the underground city beyond, their bodies growing more hideous along
with their need for blood. Such was the thirst driving them that when one among
their number faltered and gave in, his brethren collectively eviscerated him,
eager to suck out whatever passed for blood lying in his veins. However, nothing
edible was to be found within, so the Razielim sharpened his bones for use as
tools. No others attempted to break rank; all were focused on the task at hand.
Time passed sluggishly there in the dark, but for an immortal time is the one
resource that can always be relied on in abundance. Eventually, the last of the
Razielim emerged into the gloom of the Vampire underground city. Lost,
desperate and ravenously hungry, the ravages the Razielim had suffered in
isolation left them in no condition to fly far, much less do battle. Nearing their
wits end and consumed by the need to feed, the decision was made to send out
a reconnaissance party to determine their whereabouts and plot a course home.
This group was led by one Razielim known as Eskandor, a high minded individual
who had been looking forward to the benefits of joining the ranks of his Clans
elders, now humbled and sullied by the cruel hand dealt to him by fate. Leading
his small group of followers out into the open air for the first time in centuries,
they flew away from their mountain prison. Drawn by the scent of Human blood,
they slowly, falteringly approached a large settlement overlooked by a giant
statue of Kain himself, immediately recognising it to be Coorhagen.
What the Razielim scouts did not recognise, however, was the condition in which
they found it. The town was deserted, its blood farms and breeding pens stood
empty and unguarded. Swooping down to investigate further, they came across
small numbers of decapitated Dumahim and Melchahim their heads on pikes
and arrow-riddled bodies burned to a cinder. Upon closer inspection, it became
clear that whatever had occurred here must have happened recently, as vital
juices still oozed from the severed necks of their former brothers-in-arms.
Bewildered, bereft of nourishment and with strength failing, Eskandor led his
small band back to the underground city. Now, with a familiar location from which
they could navigate, they unanimously agreed to journey south to their Clans
home territory surely there they would find answers and slake their thirst.
Under cover of darkness, lest whatever befell Coorhagen spell doom for them as
well, the Razielim made their way towards their Clan territory and the promise of

a safe haven. As they journeyed over Nosgoth, more gliding than flying so as to
preserve energy, they spotted fires littering the landscape where lookout posts
had once stood clearly all was not well in Kains court. Just as their strength
was about to finally give out, the Razielim finally reached their ancestral home,
falling unceremoniously from the sky into the central courtyard.
Climbing to their feet, the Razielim were surprised to find themselves surrounded
not by the familiar faces of their kindred, but rather scores of Dumahim Reavers
and, towering over them, none other than Dumah himself.
Fate, it seemed, had one last hand to play against the children of Raziel.

The fall of the Razielim (IV)


The territory of Clan Razielim now received the last members of its all but extinct
native faction. Yet Dumah, patriarch of the Dumahim, could not quite determine
exactly what manner of creature stood before him they smelled of Vampire and
possessed wings like the annihilated Razielim Clan elders, yet the rest of their
form was so abhorrent that surely they could not have been sired by his apostate
eldest brother.
Even in their sorely weakened state, the Razielim observed proper protocol such was the impact of a millennium in servitude to Kains empire. Before Dumah
could issue an order, Eskandor composed himself, kneeled before Dumah and
swiftly divulged all they had witnessed in Coorhagen the decapitated Vampires,
the burned bodies and the empty cages lacking Human cattle.
Dumah stayed his hand. He had harboured suspicions when Reavers stationed in
Willendorf had failed to dispatch their regular missives, but now they were
confirmed - this must be the work of Humans. In that moment, Dumah
understood that the Vampires civil war had proved to be the distraction the
troublesome Humans had needed to stage an uprising one that must be
quelled quickly and ruthlessly.
Eskandor, still ignorant that he and his Clan-mates were surrounded by hostile
forces, continued his account. He explained how the lost Razielim had awoken
from their state of change only to find themselves interred and forced to slowly
claw their way to freedom. With no trace of their Clan and their home territory in
the hands of outsiders, Eskandor pleaded with his assumed allies for the fresh

blood they so desperately needed, lest they succumb to the madness scratching
at the edges of their psyches.
Dumahs face betrayed nothing of the thoughts and questions teeming in his
mind. Were these really the last remnant of the most beautiful and favoured of
all the Clans? Truly, Raziels pride had come before the Razielims fall.

What

should he make of these wretched beings in front of him? Clearly their wings
would provide the Clans with a unique advantage against the Human rabble by
means of death from above. If only they werent an abomination in the eyes of
Kain but hadnt Kains chief pursuit been the subjugation of Humankind?
Perhaps, if they could be brought to heel, there would be room for them yet
amongst the legions. Moreover, they could doubtless be disposed of once they
no longer proved useful or biddable.
With a gesture, Dumah ordered his troops to stand down. Beckoning for one of
his aides, Dumah gave instructions for the Razielim to be kept under close guard
and for Eskandor to be brought to his personal quarters. Upon his arrival,
Eskandor was offered a meagre supply of blood rations. There, before his captor,
Eskandor at last slaked his thirst, noisily and messily revelling in his Vampiric
appetites. But Dumah knew he was far from having had his fill this had been
merely a taste, Eskandors loyalty would have to be tested before he and the
Razielim could be allowed to return to their full strength.
As he recovered his senses, Eskandor asked Dumah what had transpired in the
years he and his Clan-mates had spent in captivity. At once, Dumahs personal
guard raised their hackles and bared their teeth for the first time, Eskandor
realised that he and his Clan-mates lives were in peril. Dumah recognised the
fear in Eskandors eyes the Razielim were in no fit state to flee and well they
knew it.
Ordering his guardsmen to leave them in private, Dumah proceeded to reveal
this hitherto untold history. How Raziel had betrayed their lord and master, Kain,
by daring to evolve beyond him. That this act of blasphemy had been an affront
tantamount to rebellion in the eyes of the Vampire Council and how, in their
Emperors absence, they had been compelled to complete his holy work. Raziel
had been a traitor, aided and abetted by the members of his Clan, and the
Council could not risk their civilisation on this upstart inheritance. The purge had
been the will of Kain himself and who was Eskandor to question the will of his
god? The last of the Razielim, he explained, should count themselves lucky to be

alive; their scant numbers could not possibly withstand the combined threat of
both the Vampire legions and the Human armies presumably mustering as he
spoke, especially not in their weakened condition.
To Dumahs mind, all of this was true. He felt no qualms about neglecting to
mention that it had been he and his brother Turel who had personally cast Raziel
into the Lake of the Dead. So too, he described the civil war that had engulfed
Clans as nothing but lawlessness that had occurred in the wake of Kains
absence. None but the Lieutenants had witnessed Raziels execution or the
meetings of the Vampire Council, so none could say otherwise. He impressed
upon Eskandor how the danger now posed by Humanity was the present threat,
one that must command the sole focus of Vampire-kind.
Dumah understood the value of honour; loyalty was the impetus that bound each
Clan together. An order from him even under pain of death would not be as
well-founded as if it had originated within the Razielim themselves. Goading
Eskandor, Dumah asked him what exactly the Razielim could offer to save their
wretched hides.
Aware that his Clan-mates were at the point of madness, Eskandor swore fealty
in exchange for sustenance and safety. Dumah demanded he prove his
trustworthiness and ordered Eskandor to gather intelligence on the Human
armies, with the rest of his Clan kept hostage and hungry until he came back.
Before the day was out, Eskandor had returned with word of Human forces
assembling in the infamous mountain settlement of Valeholm.
Dumah was troubled. He sent word to Turel and relayed Eskandors findings if
such events had overcome Coorhagen and Valeholm, as inconceivable as they
were, then what had befallen the hinterlands and beyond? Turel called a meeting
of the Vampire Council, the first in centuries, stressing the gravity of the situation
they collectively faced. While the younger Lieutenants were loath to entertain
such an invitation, Turel was able to appeal to their sense of duty in spite of
everything, Kain would never have countenanced open conflict between the
Clans while Humanity stood to make a mockery of all he had accomplished as
Emperor.
At the Sanctuary of the Clans, Zephon pushed for the instant assassination of
these wretched excuses for Vampires, but could not deny their value as specialist
troops. Melchiah suggested their numbers be thinned even further, but the

scarcity of viable warrior Razielim could not allow the Lieutenants such a luxury
at least for the time being. Rahab suggested the Razielim attack the Humans
Citadel, unassailable as it was to ground forces, but Turel was unwilling to send
such untested troops on so precarious a mission. After all, they could rely on the
Humans, scattered as they were with their short lives and feeble frames, to be ill
prepared for an aerial assault when the time did come.
A truce was immediately called. The Clans would unite and move against
Freeport, securing Western Nosgoth and cutting the Humans off from any
supplies reaching them from beyond the Great Southern Sea. They did not
expect what a crucial role the Razielim would come to play in this mission.
So it was the lost Razielim re-joined the ranks of the Vampire legions, with
Eskandor as their sergeant, who made it clear to his Clan they now owed their
lives to the clemency of Dumah and Turel. Dependent on their mercy for any
blood not won in battle, the Razielim soon grew loyal to the Lieutenants, despite
scurrilous murmurs of reprisals once the war was won.
The Razielims vanity had not deserted them as they battled side-by-side with
their once hostile brethren, so they covered their now hideous faces with a
variety of fearsome masks to frighten the pathetic Humans even further. The
Razielim came to relish their place on the battlefield over time, those who fared
better in the slaughter would regenerate certain aspects of their once beautiful
physical appearance as they drained extra Humans of their lifes blood.
Now, with Humanitys resurgence having united the Vampires of Nosgoth once
again, the Razielim must prove their place amongst the Clans while waging war
against their common enemy.

Sommerdamm crown, or tomb, of human civilisation


Meridian, capital of Nosgoth's Human civilisation - a vast city, home to
craftsmen, thinkers and warlords. While most Human settlements could boast
populations in the hundreds, Meridians paved streets were trodden by hundreds
of thousands. Its fresh running water, gilded monuments and numerous
columned bridges were alien to visitors more accustomed to Humanitys isolated
towns built of straw and wood. More than just a living space, the city of Meridian
cultivated learning at its universities, training philosophers and architects,
alchemists and generals to shape the world in their image.
Such wonders can inspire, but they also breed arrogance. So it was that great
thinkers of Meridian conceived the idea that the Humans of Nosgoth could
possess the world for themselves; that they need not share it with the Vampires
who lived beside them. With Vampire-kind extinct, Humanity could walk this
world alone. From amongst the ashes of the world, they claimed Humanity would
rise, the embers of the fire, ready to burn forth again. So, the forces of Humanity
conspired to rid Nosgoth of the Vampires.
Humanitys gamble failed, for in their way stood Kain, whose leadership swept
the Vampire armies across the land until they reached Meridian, pierced its walls
and fell upon the terrified population. In place of a world dominated by mankind,
Humanity found itself herded into the blood farms to face a life of oppression,
hopelessness and terror. Broken and smashed, the city of Meridian was now
nothing more than a scar on the landscape, a monument to the arrogance of
mankind.

Stone by Stone - Rebuilding


Meridian, and the forts that protected its approaches were all but forgotten by
Vampire kind. For Humans, penned, chained, staring at nothing but servitude and
death, Meridian was a place of legendary splendour. It was no surprise then that
those few people to escape the blood farms found themselves making their way
to Meridians ruins. Year by year, the numbers of survivors in the ruins grew.
From flight and survival, the dreams of the survivors who made their new home
here began to change to a desire to rebuild all that had been lost. Stone by
stone, the defences of Meridian were raised once more and when the Vampires

did return to the city seeking those that had escaped, they found the gates shut
against them, the walls stout and defended.
With Kain missing and a civil war brewing amongst the Vampire Clans, there was
no appetite amongst the Vampires for raising the army necessary to conquer the
city and take it back from the Human rabble there. Meridian was just ash and
ruin, what dangers could there be when a few Humans who had escaped the
blood farms began to clamber over the shattered stones and blackened timbers
to hide among its shadows?
So, Humanity remained and as the city grew back from its very bones, it was not
only the walls that climbed upward, but also the aspirations of those that lived
there. A desire that had once been kindled in Meridian, of a world where
Humanity had driven the Vampires from Nosgoth began to grow again. First they
would rebuild Meridians walls, then they would stretch out to strike back.
Meridian is now the biggest Human city in Nosgoth. Whilst Freeport has been
rebuilt, by comparison it is a collection of huts and hovels sheltering behind the
city walls, whilst Willendorf has still not swelled its population to the numbers
found here. Meridian has recovered many of its past glories - stone towers,
houses and forges, a home to research where new weapons are designed and
forged. The recently arrived Alchemists have here found fertile ground for their
experiments. Other cities offer shelter and soldiers Meridian offers a future.
With its districts split across islands linked by delicate bridges, it is defensible at
many points. A city of waterways, the approaches to Meridian are defended in
depth by walls, forts and deeply cut channels. Each entrance has its own
causeway fort which together make up a formidable layer of defences a full half
mile from the city walls. Named after the seasons, each fort has its own garrison
and supplies to allow it to withstand assault unaided. Of these forts
Sommerdamm was one of the last to be repaired as it broken bridge and fallen
walls had blocked the way in. Only half its defences were thus rebuilt when the
new war for Nosgoth began.

The Siege of Sommerdamm


Meridian has regained its status as capital of Humanity. Once more it offers
shelter, industry and education. A birthplace for ideas, this is Humanitys crown
jewel, the centre of their world. For Vampires, it is the ultimate prize. Capture
Meridian, drag its population back to the blood farms and the rest of Humanity

will scuttle back into the shadows. To take Meridian, first the causeway forts that
stand guardian over its approaches must be seized.
Several Vampire armies have been besieging the forts that defend the way into
the city. Their best chance lies at Sommerdamm. Though strong, this fort is a
weak link in the chain of defences that protect the city approaches. Should the
Vampires capture Sommerdamm they will have opened a chink in Meridians
armour and, perhaps, a first step to destroying this Human uprising. Breaching
the outer gates and accepting that many of their clan would fall in the attempt,
the Turelim forced a way into the city and across the causeway.
Now a battle rages within the fort and whichever side triumphs will hold the keys
to Meridians gates.

Freeport central to the human rebellion


A coastal city on the Great Southern Sea, Freeport was the richest Human trading
port in the Heartlands before the Vampires crushed their civilisation. Central to
the Human supply convoys that fed and clothed its cities and soldiers, Freeport
sent out goods to either side of the sea and onwards to the Hinterlands. The
citys garrison trained and dispersed troops across Nosgoth and served as a base
from where to plan the extinction of their Vampire enemies.
Income earned by the port allowed the troops in Freeport to build strong
defensive walls, fortified Guild Houses and expansive market places. Aside from
protecting the trading routes that fed the city, Freeports soldiers doubled as
Vampire Hunters, trained to help drive back Vampire incursions, or hunt down
individual Vampires who threatened Human interests.
A thorn in the side of Kains forces, it was inevitable that the city would one day
feel his wrath. When Freeport fell, half its population was slaughtered by a
Vampire army mad with bloodlust before Kain ordered that all survivors be
rounded up and sent to Blood Farms, camps set up close to or even inside
Vampire cities to provide them with living food and entertainment. With
Freeports walls shattered, the Vampires hoped the city had been consigned to
history.

Freeport Reborn

Freeport had been a proud city, one that had boasted the liberty of its people in
its very name; more than a settlement, this place had been a symbol for a free
city meant free trade and free people. As Human forces took advantage of the
Vampires civil war and moved back across the land, Freeport was an obvious
place for Humanity to start again.
The citys ruins were reclaimed to house first soldiers then merchants, and then
all the trades needed to feed one of the biggest concentrations of free Humans
in Nosgoth. Freeports accessibility, via the Southern Sea, helped it become a
beacon for any Human wishing to escape the Vampires; a once potent symbol of
Humanity, it now stands proud as an expression of their return from the brink.
Whilst the city offers safety, it is no paradise. Rushing to flee their Vampire
masters, most of this desperate tide of Humanity started their journey to
Freeport with nothing and arrived with less. This ever increasing outpouring of
the terrified and the despairing needed shelter, and so the sprawling slums that
compose most of Freeport today began to spread across all open areas within the
city walls.
Escaping the nightmare of Vampire oppression, these refugees found that
freedom gave them a life of poverty, disease and semi-starvation. Deaths were
inevitable and it took the arrival of the Ironguard to prevent a symbol of hope
turning into one of catastrophe.
Seeking to bring order, the Ironguard has provided labouring jobs to build and
extend Freeports defences, food for those who help service the city and training
for all those willing to join their ranks. Out of the chaos that confronted them, the
Ironguard has forged a city of strength that supplies trained soldiers to the
battlefronts of Nosgoth. They have given Humanity discipline, protection and
hope.

The Battle for Freeport


The sheer numbers of people flocking to the security of Freeports walls, and the
columns of troops sent out from there to fight all across Nosgoth, meant that it
could not be long before the Vampires attention turned to the city. Now their
armies are seeking to destroy it once more.
Arriving only in small numbers, the Vampires initial attacks were easily repulsed.
Badly informed and overly certain of victory, these small bands stood no chance

against the defences that had been raised against them. It took the arrival of a
group of Sentinels to give the Vampires their first break in the battle.
Flying above Freeport, the Sentinels carried weapons captured from the Red
Sisters and began to rain fire down upon the wooden slums of the city. Trapped
between attacking Vampires and burning houses, the population panicked.
Freeports Ironguard defenders were divided between stopping their city from
burning, manning the walls, and controlling a terrified population. Something had
to give.
It was at the Gate of the Lost that the Vampires broke through Freeports
defences and poured into the city. Now, the battle for Freeport has dissolved into
a thousand individual fights as Vampires hunt Humans, and Humans seek to end
those who have invaded the city.
Freeport must be destroyed or freed for the war to be won.

Provance home to raiders and rebels


Looming, sheer, impenetrable mountain faces block the land to the East of the
town of Provance, whilst to the West roll the treacherous rivers that feed the
great Southern Sea. Protected by its geographical location, Provance presents a
small defendable enclave nestled directly between the Vampire controlled Pillars
of Nosgoth and Nachtholm on the one side, and the Human cities of Freeport,
Meridian and Valeholm on the other.
Pinched into this corridor of traversable land, Provance has long been a strategic
prize. As Kain conquered Nosgoth, his forces moved through the area to capture
the Human cities beyond. Cut-off, their resources dwindling, the Humans had no
choice but to abandon Provance. This remote settlement was immediately reoccupied by the Vampires as a place to process supplies and prisoners. It offered
a place for the Vampires on this front to indulge in their hedonistic pleasures.

The Humans Return


On the fringes of Kains court, beyond the centres of power and of little
importance now that Humanity had been crushed, over time the Vampires
stationed at Provance came to see the town as a posting for the out-of-favour. Its

streets were left deserted as Nosgoths Vampire masters returned to the cities
closer to Kain and their Clan leaders.
When Humanity began the long creep back out into the Heartlands they returned
to Provance, recognising that if they were to secure the cities they were
rebuilding to the South then Provance would also need to be resurrected from
the neglected ruins it had become. Slowly the town was reclaimed, back on the
map as a place for travellers to shelter and resupply.
Where once Vampires had cursed their luck, marooned in a town garrisoned by
the un-favoured, now Human soldiers shiver at their posts, huddled against the
blasting mountain winds as they stand guard, protecting the approaches to the
major Human settlements in the lands to the south. To the Humans who have
returned here, the town is a stronghold against both the Vampires and
marauding Human bandits who prey on the unwary; to the Vampires a town to be
conquered in the quest to reclaim the lands to the South.

Provance in Peril
Whilst Provance has strategic importance, the town is yet to see a major assault
from either side. Instead, the war around Provance has been fought in a series of
guerrilla engagements. War bands from both races scour the mountain paths and
fords, searching for the enemy and sending raiding parties into the town to
disrupt and destroy the other sides bases of operations. It is a cold and lonely
place to die, but glory awaits those who can endure.
Control Provance and you open a clear route to advance on the enemy cities
beyond.

Valeholm birthplace of the Ironguard


A high valley in the mountains, known as the Iron Pass, was one of the piercings
in the granite walls that stride across this corner of Nosgoth. A place where men
and women hardened by the winter winds clung on to a harsh existence, free
from the rule of Vampire and from the laws of the Human cities of the plains.
Tribal in makeup, the people here controlled both the mountain region and their
independence.

When the Humans started the great war of extinction (as it was called by the
people in the mountains), the inhabitants of the Iron Pass wanted none of it. They
had lived in peace with the rest of Humanity and avoided all conflict with the
Vampires. They wanted to continue this solitary existence.
With the coming of the war, the people of Valeholm had increasing pressure
placed on them to join the Human cause. Their resistance to it and refusal to
help in the war saw them gain no mercies though, and when the war turned
against Humanity they were engulfed by the wrath of a Vampire army bent on
revenge.
It meant nothing to the Vampires that Valeholm had sought neutrality, here were
Humans denying Vampire superiority. Kains lieutenant, Zephon, had those who
did not flee brought to the citys religious centres and burnt alive with their
priests in their own pyre churches.
The warriors of the Iron Pass who did escape to the Hinterlands swore they would
never again be victims, and so was formed the Ironguard. This army was to stand
as protectors and teachers of Humanity, and carried the hope that one day they
would be able to strike back at the Vampires and reclaim their mountain home.

Humans return
As they sought to rebuild their cities and their civilisation, Human forces returned
to Valeholm to take control of the mountains.
Recognising that other cities would play a more important role in their bid to
rebuild a Human empire, the Ironguard have made Valeholm a garrison and a
centre for planning, but they hope that one day they can rebuild the citys glory.
One day the city will hear the ring of the bells from Valeholms towers, the sound
of these bells a reminder of each mans mortality and the need to fight for their
survival.
Back in the mountains, the Ironguard is determined to drive Humanity forward to
gain their revenge on Zephon, Kain and all their kind. To the Vampires, Valeholm
is a symbol of Human folly, home to superstition, religion and dangerous ideas of
liberty.

In the name of the Damned

The Vampires have now sent a spearhead force to destroy Valeholm and those
who would rebuild it. They have vowed that history will be repeated and that all
Valeholms defenders will burn. As the Vampires enter the streets, so Humans are
rounded up and driven into their own temples to feed new pyres.
Now, whilst the Humans pray to a vanished sun, the Vampires seek to make
Valeholm a bonfire built of Human bodies.

The Fane Lost city of the Razielim


Needing a place to rear fledglings in safety, the Vampire Clans constructed
underground compounds. Here newly sired soldiers could mature, away from the
deadly effects of sunlight. One by one, Nosgoths major Human kingdoms fell
mortal soldiers slain in battle were dragged to these dark places beneath the
ground, only to awaken with inhuman purpose, hungry for the blood of their
former comrades.
As Nosgoths hinterlands also began to fall under Kains rule, these complexes
expanded to become fortified subterranean cities. Prior to the construction of the
smokestacks that would come to blot out the sun from the sky, these cities were
used to house armouries, gladiator pits and hunting mazes, as well as
storehouses full of plunder. Thousands of Human slaves laboured and died to
build each cavernous metropolis.

[from the Clan

Razielim background blog]


While the existence and location of the majority of the original Vampire
underground cities were known to the other Clans, others were kept secret within
a Clan (although not from Kain himself of course). These latter locations were
primarily those sites used for the safe creation of new Vampires and the pupation
of existing ones to more evolved states, since both were vital to the continued
survival of each Clan. Missions of espionage and even sabotage were carried out
by every one of the Clans against the others, although any attempt to do serious
harm to a Clans birthing sites attracted swift and harsh punishment from Kain
there was only so far he would allow his children to squabble among themselves,
and this would not include allowing them to endanger their races dominance of
Nosgoth.

Once the hateful sun was obscured and Vampires freed to roam the surface of
Nosgoth at will, these underground havens lessened in importance, and for some
Clans became relics of a past existence which they had outgrown. Enslaved
Humans now laboured to raise the Sanctuary of the Clans at the heart of Kains
empire, and the territories around it were shared out at his whim among his
Lieutenants. Human settlements were razed to the ground and new strongholds
erected in their place, erasing Humanitys history and mocking their defeat.
Raziel in his pride ordered his Clan to abandon their buried cities and dwell
above ground to display their mastery for all to see.

The fall from grace


Centuries passed, before Raziels blasphemous evolution led to Kain ordering his
execution, and the world the Vampire Clans had come to take for granted began
to fall apart. The Elders of the Razielim struggled to cope with this
unprecedented situation for some, the idea of a world without their patriarch
was literally unthinkable and they fell into madness and despair. Others, more
resilient, dared to contemplate the future of their leaderless Clan and, fearing the
worst, took steps to ensure its survival. The almost forgotten underground cities
of their past were key to their plan. Two Razielim with close ties to this past were
instrumental in this: Lailah and Sarakiel. Lailah had been one of the last to
abandon the greatest of the underground cities of the north where she had
overseen the secret pupation vaults buried under the Erebus Mountains; Sarakiel
was once prime custodian of the Eternal Shrine built above those vaults.
Together they harangued and persuaded the others of their Clan to organize the
covert evacuation of their pupating siblings back underground. Whether any
such action could truly be hidden from Kain was something the Razielim barely
dared to discuss even now how could you hope to lie to a god?
Then Kain, emperor and god to his race, vanished from Nosgoth.
The Razielim were suddenly no longer the only Clan questioning what they knew
of the world, and while the others contemplated what their future might bring
the children of Raziel worked hard to safeguard their own. While Sarakiel began
to have doubts, Lailah was adamant that the danger had if anything increased.
However even her warnings were not enough to prepare the Razielim for the fate
that awaited them at the hands of their erstwhile allies. Lailah herself was among
the first to die. Travelling from the capital stronghold of the Razielim north

towards the Erebus Mountains where she intended to take up her old role as
matriarch of the blood-bringers to the newly evolved Razielim, Lailahs convoy
was set upon by a mixed force of Dumahim and Zephonim. As she saw the
oncoming attackers, Lailah is said to have despaired not only for the Razielim but
for the whole Vampire race. She swore with her dying breath that their actual
destination had been Coorhagen, and the hidden vaults remained undiscovered
by her interrogators. Her head was torn from her shoulders by the Zephonim
commander Jehoel and kept as a trophy while her body was reduced to ashes.
As the armies of the other Clans invaded their territory on every side, the
Razielim were swiftly overwhelmed. Sarakiel, one of the Elders who had already
evolved his own wings, looked down on the burning corpses of his kin from the
battlements of Raziels former capital. A flight of winged Elders took to the skies
and beat for the north, but everywhere they passed over the combined armies of
the other Clans seemed to already be waiting. Abandoning any hope of reaching
their underground bolthole undetected, Sarakiel led his colleagues north east
instead, into the inhospitable terrain of Dark Eden. Even here there was no
respite however, with hostile Vampires, feral Humans, and ferocious ice storms
combining to whittle down the numbers of the fleeing Razielim. Separated from
each other, hungry and increasingly despairing, the last of the Elders died one by
one. Sarakiels corpse was one of those never found, but the winged Elders were
never seen again. As the Vampire Clans returned to the heartlands only to in
time turn against each other, the Razielim were thought to be no more.

The changed world


In the darkness of the vaults under Erebus the pupating Razielim lay in their
dreamless shifting sleep. They eventually emerged to a world which had changed
almost as much as they had themselves, where Vampire Clans warred among
themselves and, neglected and overlooked, Humans had become capable of
fighting back for the first time in centuries. The surviving Razielim were no longer
a blasphemy or liability, but instead a weapon which could be used in the war for
control of the world. Soon the upstart Humans came to fear the sound of mighty
wing-beats overhead, but it was precisely their effectiveness which was to lead
to the Razielim facing a threat on their final home ground for the first time.
The Razielim, now serving as Sentinels in the combined armies of the Clans, had
deliberately not attempted to re-occupy their most recent birthplace. As the only

remaining intact part of their former glorious Clan territory it was too precious to
bring to the attention of the upstart Humans and so risk destruction. The
Razielim were deliberately vague about its precise location to the others of their
own kind too, wary of the past even as they sought to prove their continued
loyalty. Privately, their new leader Eskandor had his suspicions that the
Zephonim for one had sent spies to seek it out, but in public he said nothing.
What was not in doubt was that Humans from Dark Eden had begun scouring the
mountains separating their land from the Vampire stronghold that used to be the
town of Coorhagen. This is where winged Vampires had first been spotted by the
Watchers, and small bands of Scouts had since been searching for what they
believed may be a stronghold of these enemies hidden in this harsh region. It
was mere chance however that led them to find what they were seeking.
A trio of Watchers led by a veteran named Tychard were exploring one of the
remote high valleys of the Erebus range when they were caught in one of its
frequent avalanches. The others perished, but Tychard somehow survived. When
he dug his way out of the suffocating snow, the Scout found himself gazing up at
a cliff face swept almost clear of its previous blanket of snow, where a cave
mouth was now visible. Tychard dragged his bruised and aching body up the
slippery cliff, into the darkness of the cave, and along the tunnel that led inside
the mountain. Daylight faded but new light icy, blue, and flickering came into
sight ahead.
Tychard ventured no more than a few hundred feet into that eerie dead city, but
that was long enough for him to be sure it was indeed deserted despite the
sulphurous flames that still burned in sconces, and the un-melting blood-wax
candles nestling at the feet of images of the Vampire lords carven into the walls
or from the living rock. The air was still and cold but the city was untouched,
preserved by who-knew-what black art of its former masters. Tychard made the
sign of the lost sun over his heart, and crept back out into the suddenly
welcoming freezing fresh air. When he returned, it was to guide an army hauling
siege engines to crack open the mountain side and deny this remote fortress to
the enemy. Unsurprisingly, such a movement of men and arms did not go
unnoticed, and at the politely frantic urging of Eskandor the Clans dispatched
their own raiding forces back into the mountains of Erebus.

The war for secrets

Now the enemies fight over the outer area known as the Fane, a district of
temples and shrines dedicated to Raziel, the Clan Patriarch, and Kain the
immortal god-emperor of the Vampire race. Close to one of the concealed
entrances from the surface, the Fane was designed to impress new arrivals with
the splendour of these mighty Vampire lords, as well as provide a first line of
defence against potential attackers. Deeper in are the blood pens, the sorcerous
labs, and storehouses of plunder, while hidden at its heart are the secret Vaults
where the Sentinels were reborn. The Vampires battle to prevent the Humans
plundering this site of lost knowledge, with the Razielim especially determined to
eradicate their presence no matter what the cost. While the Humans may not
realize its true significance, they can nevertheless sense the opportunity to take
control of a valuable fortress, while the Prophets dream of the ancient secrets it
could be hiding. The long-deserted city of the Razielim now echoes again with
the screams of the dying.

The Crucible
The northern landscape of Nosgoth is dominated by mountains: the snowcovered slopes of the Erebus range; the active volcanos of the Tartarus; and the
life-devouring peaks of the Eumenides at the edge of the known world. Whereas
the Razielim hid their secret lairs under the remote Erebus Mountains, the proud
Turelim built their cities under the harsh landscape of Tartarus where survival
would hone their strength. Harnessing the elemental power of the very earth
beneath them, the Turelim were originally tasked by Kain himself with defeating
the one true obstacle to the Vampires domination of Nosgoth the sun itself.
Using a combination of engineering, alchemy, and geomancy, the Turelim shaped
gargantuan volcanic furnaces that belched forth smoke thick enough to block out
the suns deadly rays. Over the centuries of Kains campaign against Humanity,
Tartarus remained the heart of the Turelims expanding surface territory. Here
can be found countless forges and workshops, gladiatorial training grounds and
arenas, slave pens and birthing catacombs. Here the new war for Nosgoth brings
daring or foolhardy Humans to strike at the heart of the Turelims war
machine. Here a new generation of warriors will be forged in the crucible of
battle.

The Crucible Burnt offerings


The air here tastes of metal, of ash, of fire, of blood.
Generations of slaves have lived and died here before Andris and the other
prisoners of war are marched through the desolate landscape of Tartarus. Those
who fall by the wayside are drained by their captors, their desiccated corpses left
to lie in the endless choking heat. The city is on the horizon for days before it
registers on the stunned minds of the survivors, the chimneys of its countless
foundries and forges made insignificant by the inhuman scale of the Smokestack
itself. An artificial rival to the volcanos, the sheer fact of its existence is hard for
Andris to comprehend. It renders coherent thought almost impossible, the
instrument of the Vampires domination and the physical embodiment of their
power.
The prisoners are an infusion of new blood to the Human livestock of this place.
A new generation is forced into existence in the breeding camps. The stories of
the twisted experiments of other Clans are infamous among Humans, but the
indifferent brutality of the Turelim is not often mentioned. They do not delight in
torment and torture, they simply ensure their commands are followed with
crushing, unthinking and unstoppable force.
Pregnant slaves are exempt from work, as are those who have been fed upon
recently. The others are put to work in the quarries and mines, the warehouses
and the forges. Even though the Turelim try to keep the Humans alive for as long
as they are useful, the war requires their expenditure. Falling rocks, cave-ins, and
searing lava from cracks in the earth or the magma furnaces leave the fragile
Humans scarred or crushed. Vampire scientists read the treacherous terrain as
best they can, but their efforts are focused on the safety of their own kind first
and foremost. A Vampires existence is precious. There are always more Humans
to seize or breed.
Andris survived the march but is not sure he will survive the mines. He was a
Warden in his previous life, and at times the claustrophobia of the tunnels
threatens to overwhelm him. He was captured on a skirmishing patrol out from
the walls of Meridian, and when the darkness claws at his sanity he mutters
private litanies to remind himself that there is still a world of light and horizons
out there. The names of the causeway forts he had garrisoned: Hochburg, Tr
des Tages, Winternacht and Sommerdamm. The correct uses of different arrows:

bodkins to pierce chainmail and even plate if you held your nerve until the leech
was close enough; cruelly barbed arrows to tear at the flesh on the way in and
out of the body; and for the desperate the fire cage warheads that the Red
Sisters filled with vials of naphtha and explosive dust. Memories of home and
war, the two never to be separated now.
On the few occasions they are not so exhausted that they fall asleep at once, the
slaves mutter stories to each other. Tales of the past from the more recent
captives, although those can be too painful to bear. Myths and horror stories
have sprung up among the Human population of Tartarus like weeds in the
volcanic soil, thin and twisted things. Of how the Smokestack is fed not just by
the heart of the volcano but by sacrifices of rebellious slaves or the mundane
disposal of the dead. Of how the eternal flames are used to scour traitorous
Vampires, who writhe and burn in their admonishing fire, only to heal afresh for a
new interrogation before their inevitable ceremonial transport through the Doors
of the Dead from which no exile returns. Of how the Turelim in their lust for
conquest have come across a new hazard which threatens their immortal flesh,
some kind of otherworldly energy that Marked and twisted the Vampires who
were exposed to it.
Andris is close-mouthed during these whispered exchanges, does not tell of what
he has seen with his own eyes. Sent back underground at shifts end to look for a
missing workmate, Andris found the lost slave at the bottom of a quarried
workface, his broken body slaking the thirst of a hulking Tyrant with strange
burn-like scars and a seething glow in his flesh. The gaze of Human and Vampire
met, and though as he looked into the green fires Andris was sure his end too
had come, the deformed Turelim simply went back to his feast. Trembling and
silent, then and since, Andris crept back to the surface and shook his head when
asked if he found any trace of the lost miner. He has survived the mines for a
little longer, even though he has lost track of time in the fumes and the darkness
of this place.
Now comes a morning undreamed of. Woken not by the whips and blows of the
overseers, but a calloused hand over his mouth and an excited and urgent voice
hissing in his ear. Words of infiltration, rescue, escape. Soldiers creeping through
the ash-fields and obsidian-edged mountains to sabotage the Turelim war effort.
Unheard-of daring to strike at the Tyrants at the site of their world-changing
engineering. Many of the freed captives are too weak to fight, but whisper from

scarred lungs of the layout and weaknesses of the surrounding sprawl. Andris
now does speak up, his Watchers eyes having taken in the terrain of his
confinement and instinctively translated it into lines of sight, fields of fire, choke
points, and covered routes of advance or retreat. The rescuers listen carefully,
exchange glances, separate him from the others and take him aside to where a
cold-eyed captain waits. Andris bares his upper arm, where under the ingrained
grime can still be seen the wolfs head tattoo of his old cadre.
Andris watches the column of escapees file off into the pre-dawn murk, a handful
of soldiers escorting them, and knows something is wrong. How can these halfdead civilians hope to make it out alive through the city and the wasteland
beyond? Then the answer comes to him: they are not expected to. They will be a
distraction, a diversion. Their escorts too are a sacrifice the cold-eyed captain is
willing to make. Their gazes meet, and the captain deliberately turns his gaze up
at the Smokestack looming over half the horizon. Andris thought he had been
stunned by its presence before, but now his knees buckle at the enormity of this
new idea. What could bring these men and women into the heart of enemy
territory, knowing that they would never make it out alive again? What else but
the ultimate prize: to bring down the Smokestack and bring back the Sun.
Andris can see it in his mind as clearly as if he was actually airborne, looking
down on the landscape from high above like those men of the wild who are said
to be able to see through the eyes of their raptors. Looking down at the bands of
infiltrators and saboteurs creeping through the city to their assigned targets, at
the stumbling clusters of escapees moving off in deliberately opposing directions
to each other. Whoever planned this knew that discovery was inevitable, is
gambling on it, and is spreading the presence of Humans and the chaos that
they will bring. Somewhere the true strike force will be making their own slow,
secret way to the real target. Andris wonders if they are at the base of the
mountain-sized throne yet. He wonders what secrets of alchemy and witchcraft
they are armed with to have a hope of success, whether their own deaths will
somehow feed the ritual of destruction.
Then the alarm sounds, and with secrecy gone explosions and sounds of battle
echo from across the city as the saboteurs trigger their diversionary devices and
prepare to sell their lives dearly. Andris can hear distant screaming. He looks at
the warriors who will stand and fight here to buy time for those secret others. At
the Vanguards digging in behind their shields. At the Hunters with their box-fed

crossbows and the Prophets priming their multi-barrelled flintlocks. At the


Alchemists with their own flames waiting to be unleashed. At the Scouts with
their great war bows half drawn. His hands ache to feel the tension of the
bowstring, the flex of the yew wood and horn one last time, and he nods thanks
as an archer in Marksmans Regalia hands him a surplus composite bow and
quiver of barbed arrows. It feels like coming home, or as close as Andris will ever
get now. He hopes, briefly, that he might live long enough to see the Smokestack
fall, but he will settle for sending some of these cursed leeches back to the
Abyss.
For the Vampires of Tartarus, the time has come for the air to taste of metal, of
ash, of fire, of blood.

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