Histories of the Empire
Chapter XXIV
As penned by Frederich Rickenback

In this chapter of the histories of our proud land I shall speak of Farganesh, the self-proclaimed Ghoul king of Marienburg. This foul creature preyed upon the unknowing trad-ing city for over two centuries, his presence felt but rarely, if ever, seen. It is rumoured that the foul Strigoi vampire entered the sprawling city-port of Marienburg hidden within an earth-filled crate inside the hold of a trading ship. It is said by some historians that he was fleeing from the attentions of other breeds of vampire rivals, who had hunted him ruthlessly through Tilea far to the south. Farganesh crept through the city streets in the dead of night, though the trade in that bustling city, legal or not, continues at all hours. He skulked through the darkness aimlessly, keep-ing out of sight, wary of his surroundings and concealed deep within the shadows.

Eventually, he found his way to the ancient cemetery of St. Brigidine, located at the very heart of what was once the flourishing Garden district. He hid within the ancient family crypts, feeding upon the flotsam of Marienburg at night, fearing discovery. It is unknown how the ghouls that came to follow him entered the city, though it is believed that the vampire mentally called them to him from their depraved cannibal tribes to the north and west.

Regardless of how they came to be there, the ghouls that followed the foul Strigoi flour-ished, feeding well on the refuse of the city, the criminals and low life that no-one would miss. The corrupt and seedy city itself was perfectly suited to the flesh-eating ghouls as bodies were easy to find, usually the result of some drunken brawl, or a vendetta between business rivals. For a while Marienburg was regarded as safer than ever before, for the bodies that used to be found knifed in alleys or floating in the harbour were rarely seen anymore, taken as they were by the Strigoi’s ghouls.

Farganesh and his twisted followers, a hideous parody of a nobleman and his courtiers, spread their claws throughout Marienburg, a hidden sickness that ate away at the city from within, like a cancer. People began to disappear at a much higher rate, and it soon became apparent to the citizens that some foul presence had taken residence within their city, though what it was and where it was located remained a terrifying mystery. The fear within the city was palpable, and the city’s trade began to be affected, as merchants became reluctant to be present within the city walls after dark. The vampire and his follow-ers were careful never to be seen, except as shadowy forms in the darkness and it was later discovered that Farganesh’s minions had carved out a great cave beneath the graveyard, with hidden access points located within the various crypts and sepulchres. Here they enacted foul feasts and all manner and form of depravity.

For two centuries Farganesh fed upon the Marienburgers without being discovered, until a pale-skinned lady of noble bearing came before the Sigmarite priests, and told of this foul presence feeding upon the city while it slept. The histories do not mention the good lady’s name, though it was said she was of particularly pale complexion, and was renowned as a great beauty. Her fanciful story could easily have been laughed off, but her obvious nobility (and the substantial monies she apparently gifted to the temple) encour-aged the Sigmarites to investigate her claims further.

The horrified priests discovered that all the lady had said was true, and set about destroy-ing the foul coterie. By the light of day they assaulted the dread fiend within his dwelling, cleansing its foulness with fire and sword. It was said that a mountain of skulls and bones were found beneath the cemetery, the flesh chewed clean from the drying bones, and that great bats hung from the roof of the cave, falling upon those who disturbed their unholy slumber. More than this, I cannot recount, for the full horrors that were discovered are too much for me to bear.

The Sigmarites’ purge of the foul cavern was a costly affair, and many soldiers fell before the bestial might of Farganesh. It was said he fought like the demon he was, tearing men apart with his filthy talons in a furious rage. He roared his defiance, and the bodies of long dead Marienburgers rose in response, clawing through the black earth to fall upon the Empire soldiers within the great den of evil. It was only through the faith and belief of the Sigmarites that order was kept amongst the soldiers and that they were restrained from fleeing the horrific scene.

It is recounted in the annals of the Sigmarite priests that the pious Warrior Priest Thromstom engaged the foul Strigoi in lethal combat, calling upon Sigmar for guidance as he struck out at the creature with his great hammer. These accounts tell how the valiant Warrior Priest felled the vampire, although its body was never discovered. Regardless, the undead minions of Farganesh crumbled to dust. His ghoulish minions fled into the sunlit cemetery above where they were cut down by crossbow bolts and swords as they were caught between the righteous soldiers below and fear of the burning sun above.

So it came to pass that the reign of Farganesh, the Ghoul king of Marienburg, ended. It is my belief however, that he lives on, and is plot-ting the downfall of that prosperous city-port still, biding his time and rebuilding his prodi-gious strength. I pray that the might of Sigmar will be able to finally destroy this beast when next he surfaces.