Copyright © 1988, 2000, 2001 Chris Gonnerman
Distributed under the
Open Content License version 1.0
World of Nevermore: Albrecht, Sword-of-Saviare
The Tale of Albrecht, Sword of Saviare
As told by Captain Lars Larson to the Bard Allan
After the Battle of Saviare, we [the Army of Parth] remained in
the swamp to clean up the last of the Ophidian armies. King
Albrecht decided to explore the ruined Castle, for he intended to
annex the Swamp. Long ago Saviare Swamp was part of Parth, you
know, and the Treaty of Saviare allowed the reclaiming of former
holdings by the reformed nations.
Ah, what do I know of treaties, anyway? King Albrecht called for
his finest soldiers, and I was honored to be among them. There were
six of us: Major Kavon, Captain Zane, Leftenants Bohl and Garvon,
Sergeant Lowren, and myself. With King Albrecht we descended into
the dungeons beneath Castle Saviare.
Someday when you need an epic, good Bard, I'll tell you the
whole story of our descent; suffice to say that we fought many
creatures, some I had seen before as well as many which defied
description, and had reached the seventh level underground when we
It was a torture chamber, and though it was ancient and decrepit
it yet held many a metal implement of suffering. One whole wall was
fitted with shackles, and at one end there was a woman. She was
covered in dirt and wearing tattered garments, and yet she was the
most beautiful woman any of us had seen.
With mighty blows of his warhammer Captain Zane shattered the
chains which secured her, and we carried her out of that room of
horrors to the suite we had cleared for our camp. Leftenant Garvon
was a medic, and so he saw to our guest's health. She seemed to
have no major wounds, but was pale and a bit emaciated. As he was
wiping the dirt from her face she awoke.
Her eyes were large, clear, and blue, and captivated us all. She
said her name was Gloria, and that she had been captured by a
horrid vampire which meant to consume her as it had consumed her
husband Thaddeus. King Albrecht offered her rations, but she said
she was too sick to eat; but she did drink some water.
We should have seen the signs, my friend, but what man could
Late that night, or actually early the next morning if the truth
be known, I awoke suddenly. I lay there confused, wondering what
woke me in the silence of the dungeon darkness. I opened my eyes
slowly, and looked around, and I saw her... biting Leftenant Bohl's
throat, while he leaned against the wall in a daze. Beside them lay
Captain Zane, pale as a sheet and not breathing.
A Vampire! What fools we were, I thought, as I cast about the
room quietly, looking over my sleeping comrades for a suitable
weapon. Then I saw it... the broken handle of an axe one of us had
brought. I quietly leapt to my feet, grabbed the handle in one hand
and Zane's warhammer in the other, and before she saw me coming I
drove the stake between her shoulder blades. I stood there panting,
from the stress more than the exertion, when I realized that Bohl
was doomed also. I hammered again, and drove the axehandle through
her and into his chest also.
My grisly work completed, I turned to my remaining comrades, who
had awakened at this commotion. They all were apparently well, and
I explained as best as I could; but the evidence spoke for itself.
We were unsure whether Captain Zane would become a vampire also, so
to be safe we crudely made another stake and drove it through his
Safe, or so we thought. Did I mention that we camped in a suite
of rooms? King Albrecht slept in the inner room, alone; by the time
we remembered him and checked, it was too late. She had taken him
first, and he had already made the change.
Garvon opened the door to the darkened room. I handed him a lit
torch, and he stepped inside; a moment later he came flying out,
knocking the rest of us down also. I was just getting up when I saw
His Majesty's crazed red eyes. He hit me, and that's the last I
knew for a time.
When I awoke, I was in a different room, a large room appointed
as a throne room, ancient and dusty. A few candles burned in
sconces across the back wall, and sitting on the throne was King
Albrecht. I stood up slowly, sore and reeling still, and he
I'll always remember what he said to me.
"Captain Larson. I'm happy to see you are well, for I owe you a
favor. If you had not slain Gloria, I would be her slave now. Bad
enough that the King of Parth should become this dread thing, but
worse yet if he were also slave to one who was once a common
"She told me many things as she held me in her dark spell,
sipping at my lifeblood between sentences; how she had come past
the castle at night with Thaddeus, her procurer, and several other
girls, on their way to Parth from a Gaultic colony where they were
no longer welcome; how an ancient, blood-starved vampire had slain
all but her, being sated before he reached her; how he made her his
vampire slave; how at last he was slain by a questing paladin, from
whom she hid. Meals for a vampire are few here in the midst of this
swamp, for they... we... cannot cross open water; yet somehow she
"Major Kavon was the last man I slew. By then my bloodlust came
under my control, and as he breathed his last he plead for your
life, telling me that you destroyed Gloria and thereby secured my
"I owe you, then, and I will grant you your life. Go from here
quickly, and tell all who ask that I was slain by an ancient
vampire, and all with me save you were likewise slain. Do not tell
them that the King of Parth is now a vampire, for it is an unseemly
end and I would not have it known. Say instead that my last living
act was to tell you to flee, and give warning; none will think you
So I left that place, as quickly as I could, in fear the whole
time until I crossed the bridge east of the Castle.
Why have I told you the truth, and not what my King bade me
tell? Because if I lie, all would believe a nameless vampire of
some distant age haunts Castle Saviare, and warriors would hasten
to slay it. If instead I tell the truth, all will know that one of
the seven greatest warriors in all the world has become undead, and
rightly fear him. Who indeed can destroy him now?
Warn all who hear or read my tale, go not to Castle Saviare, nor
pass it by night, nor even risk the afternoon lest you become
trapped there, and surely die.