Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

New Schuyler Hernstrom Vignette: “Varal”

This might have gotten past you, but last week Scott Cole dropped a little Schuyler Hernstrom into his Wargame Wednesday post. Check it out!

Upon of throne of broken tombstones he sat brooding. Arrayed before him were his courtiers. They perched atop moss covered markers, wings folded against bodies covered with a layer of silken fur. Their red eyes looked here and there, while their ears twitched in the cool air, always listening.

He on the throne unfolded his wings and sat back. He pondered there, pointed chin rested on clawed hand. His own name came slow to his mind, always difficult to remember after waking….

Varal.

His fanged mouth spoke the name aloud, softly. He was Varal. He was a duke of the realm. He had once lorded over other lands. But now he ruled a place of graves and damp earth. The silks and brocade that once clothed him were now reduced to rotted rags. How had this happened? He could not recall. When the memory seemed close the owl would hoot, the rat would skitter, the toad would croak, and the images would slip from his mind.

There had been a woman. A dark haired beauty, forbidden to him for reasons he could not recall. The ache of her absence had driven him to dark deeds. Again the memories fled his clouded mind. Shadows of the past whispered meaningless words. The place where poetry had once lived in his noble mind was filled with an overpowering hunger. It was his curse.

Night was as day. Death was as life.

A flap of wing and rush of air and he sat atop a noble’s tomb green with mold.

His slanted nostrils supped the air and his eyes glowed with feral joy.

A living thing walked at the edge of his realm.

His courtiers took flight as Valar stood to his full height, feeling the moonlight against his body, a cruel parody of man and animal. Graceful and strong, yet woeful to the eye.

The Duke of the Cemetery took flight on leathery wings, following the scent of warm blood.

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