Blizzard Gaming: Lord of Terror, Lord of Hatred, Lord of Destruction; Diablo, Mephisto,
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Dresden Files: ‘Storm Front’, Butcher’s writing debut came out in 2000 by Roc Books. The books are written as a first-person narrative from the perspective of private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago.
Butcher’s original proposed title for the first novel was Semiautomagic, which sums up the series’ balance of fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction.
Debuting on January 21, 2007, the Sci Fi Channel TV adaptation starred Paul Blackthorne as the eponymous wizard. Bob is the spirit of a medieval wizard who, in punishment for using black magic to resurrect his life’s love, is doomed to spend eternity inside his skull; he can manifest a human appearance outside the skull–but only within a short radius of the skull itself–and must return to the skull when ordered. In “What About Bob?”, it is revealed he was also Dresden’s primary magical teacher as a child.
Harry wears a magical “shield-bracelet” (and he also has the pentacle necklace, which makes an appearance in flashback scenes from “Bad Blood”) that once belonged to his mother, and was given to him by his father. As a private investigator, Harry… works as the world’s only “consulting wizard”, accepting supernatural cases from both human and nonhuman clients, as well as the Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit. As the series progresses, Dresden takes on an increasingly important role in the supernatural world at large, as he works to protect the general public, making getting by as a working wizard and private investigator difficult for him. He finds himself facing off against an increasing variety of creatures (including other wizards), while facing the realization that his various cases may all be tied together behind the scenes and that his role might be even greater than he is willing to admit.
Bob is a “spirit of intellect” who inhabits a skull most often perched on a shelf in Harry Dresden’s secret lab. He is bound to the skull and its owner’s commands. He is free to leave the skull if given permission by his owner, but he will die if exposed to significant sunlight without a host body. His usual vessel is Harry’s cat, Mister, who does not seem to mind Bob’s presence.
Karrin Murphy is a Chicago Police Department officer who leads the Special Investigations (SI) division, handling cases in which something unexplainable or supernatural is involved.
Jim Butcher has spoken openly about a pen and paper roleplaying game released in 2010 based on the Dresden Files universe. The game has been produced by Evil Hat Productions.
‘When Fiends and Warlocks Go To War’
-from the White Wolf Wiki
“Good evening, childer, Welcome to our old and blood-drenched soil. We have known the tread of the Hun, the Roman, the Magyar, yet we stand defiant, as we always have. Now, after sunset, cries of war and horror pierce the night. As the old ways crumble and Usurpers receive their bloody baptism, limitless power awaits those clever and brutal enough to take it. But beware: The Old Country is a harsh mistress, and those who fail greet the dawn on impaling stakes. So come, my friends. Enter freely, and of your own will. After all…you may never leave.
Vukodlak’s Cathedral of Flesh
In the World of Darkness inspired video game ‘Vampire Masquersde: Redemption’ the final stage, the final showdown, occurs within the bowels of New York City.
Vukodlak was placed in deep Torpor and the remainder of his loyal servants fled from the wrath of the Voivodes. Those servants took their dreaded lord along with them in a desperate flight evermore endeavoring to reawaken Vukodlak. At first they managed to conceal themselves within Vysehrad Castle located near the township of Prague. After a bloody battle ensued caused by the grievances and struggles between the various clans of Prague and after Vysehrad Castle was being set ablaze by the furious mortals of Prague, Vukodlak fled once more. Due to sabotage within his entourage of followers and having to suffer many failed attempts at resurrecting Vukodlak, Vukodlak decided to move to the New World, where the Tzimisce of Europe will longer hunt and haunt him.
This vast undertaking took centuries and it meant the procrastination of any attempt at removing the curse of the Voivodes that kept him in Torpor. Due to the clan curse of clan Tzimisce, they had to relocate vast amounts of native soil otherwise they could not slip into a recuperative dormant state or even revel in their powers as they would in their ancestral lands. The Setites offered their cargo-ships for the shipping of native soil and the Giovanni aided in the concealment of these shipments.
The gargantuan new Cathedral of Flesh consisted of the bodies of many hundreds, if not thousands of mortals and ghouls. Vukodlak took up residence in his new Cathedral of Flesh, eagerly awaiting the dawn of the new millennium. He would rise and bring about the destruction of the Third Generation, he would devour at long last the Antediluvians.
This Cathedral of Flesh was located in the city of New York. Within the lower levels of a desecrated church, limestone was subtly replaced by a more carnal form of building material, mortar transformed into blood, bones formed the paneling. The pedestrians of New York could see the ruins of the church. But they were blissfully ignorant of the existence of the Cathedral of Flesh.
Should one survive the guardians, one would walk in the Cathedral of Flesh. Pillars consisted of bodies, banners of entrails, walls of skeletons, floors of bellies, roofs of decomposition. Even more guards can be encountered, sounds of flesh and agony could be heard and the smell must be indescribable. Finally one would reach the most inner sanctum, a tomb. Within this tomb the two most notable features: an ancient sarcophagus containing the body of Vukodlak and a gigantic circular window, glowing with a ghastly red light.
The very bowels or foundation of the Cathedral of Flesh consist of deep rivers of blood, vast walls of corpses, pillars resembling veins and everything seemed to resemble the insides of a human being, occasionally there was some form of twisted architecture. Also there is a mysterious alcove containing the memories of Anezka, a nun ghouled by Vukodlak himself.
Embraced: Unknown, stated before the Deluge (possibly around 2350 BC). Died in the year 2000 AD.
Clan: Tzmisce. Allegiance: Voivodes and clan Tzimisce, later he pledged fealty to himself. Rank: Voivode of Vysehrad.
“Serve me. You do not really have any love for the Antediluvians, have you? The day of Gehenna is coming, and they intend to consume you, and Wilhem, and Lily, and all other vampires. I will prevent that! I will give you eternity! Life everlasting! We will greet the awakening grandsires with another flood, a deluge of their own blood!”
Vukodlak means “Werewolf” in some Slavic languages.
Vukodlak dwelled amongst the Antediluvians before the Deluge and commenced to defile and twist the fabric and essences of all that was good and fair in the now cleansed Earth. He desired to overindulge himself with the vitae of the Antediluvians and conceived a diabolical plot to find and eventually destroy the members of which the Third Generation consists. His contemporary Voivodes regarded the pursuit and the execution of his ambitions dangerous to the Voivodes and their holdings, they found it to be revolting and essentially treacherous to clan Tzimisce. Thus the Voivodes unanimously retaliated and purged the entourage, servants and legions of what they deemed to be a wayward Voivode from the ancestral Tzimisce lands. Vukodlak was cursed and placed in a deep Torpor that would last eons. His remaining obedient servants carried the body of their dreaded lord across eastern Europe, persecuted and bereft. But they left destruction in their wake and they embraced many new sentient beings, that they might serve as soldiers or provide flesh for the creation of monstrous entities. But while Vukodlak mustered strength, so too do his followers become evermore powerful and proficient in their unlife as vampires. Eventually the servants of Vukodlak found a safe haven in Prague and Vysehrad Castle became their new dark demesne.
He kidnapped Anezka and turned her into a ghoul in Prague. A great amount of tension in Prague culminated in a fierce conflict. A battle ensued in which the Ventrue Prince Rudolf Brandl was slain, the Tremere went to war with the Tzimisce and the mortals of Prague besieged Vysehrad Castle.
Over the centuries Vukodlak had to endure several failed attempts at resurrection and had to suffer the failures of his sorcerers in lifting the curse the Voivodes placed on him. Anezka, who sacrificed her purity and innocence for the sake of procrastinating the resurrection of Vukodlak, had often sabotaged the ominous plans of Vukodlak and she gained his trust by exploiting Vukodlak’s fear of losing power. This is revealed to the player in an alcove deep within the depraved Cathedral of Flesh, where Anezka concealed her memories and experiences of her existence ever since Christof seemingly perished the night Vysehrad Caste was besieged. Eventually Anezka realized she was unable to prolong the inevitable rise of Vukodlak. In her desperation she prayed that God would awaken the one man Vukodlak dreaded, she prayed God would restore Christof. Her prayer reached Christof directly, stirring him from his torpor moments after his arrival in London.
When the time of Vukodlak’s resurrection was nigh, Vukodlak had already amassed power and attained potency the likes of which was immeasurable in order to destroy the Antediluvians and feast on their blood. Christof and his allies believed Vukodlak was unable to be a vessel in which such power could be wielded without risking the devastation of a large part of the world. On the eve of the new millennium, the spell of the Voivodes was broken and Vukodlak reemerged. Christof battled the fiend and emerged victorious from the battle.
Vukodlak was a monstrous being, having forsaken all of his Humanity. His talents in Vicissitude were also exceptional, being able to modify his body to great extents. He could transform his entire body into a winged terror known as the ‘Chiropteran Marauder’. His undeniable presence and the apparent telepathic influence of Vukodlak, that resonated within his followers, suggests that he has mastered numerous mental Disciplines. His visage, devoid of any beauty, is also the result of reveling in the dark art of Vicissitude. He is quite impervious to melee weapons, and firearms inflict some physical discomfort.
He delights in corrupting purity and defiling noble traits and vestiges constructed by those who desire to do good. He is unable to feel pity or remorse. He even utters a word of genuine gratitude for Christof: were it not for him, Anezka would not be an ill-gotten gain that Vukodlak could defile. Vukodlak also fancies himself a savior, eliminating the Antediluvians and therefore preventing them from consummating Gehenna. Many vampires fear that the founder of each vampire clan, the Antediluvians, would reawaken and gorge on their descendants in a tidal wave of blood.
Jakob and Thurzo, continued.
16th Century, part 2.
“When Thurzo demanded a greater share in the profits, however, Fugger had no compunction about forcing him out, and because he controlled the financing of the operation, Fugger had the power to enforce his views. Thurzo was inexorably, if politely, pushed aside.”
“In 1508 AD a certain Hieronymous Tischler, who was in debt to the Thurzo family, attempted to foment a rebellion, but he was sentenced to death as a revolutionary. The Fuggers then used their new-found wealth to drive their competitors to the wall.”
“Thanks to the expansion of the Slovakian mining operations under the Swabian direction and the outstanding profits which accrued, Fugger could now contemplate the gradual centralization of the copper market. Success in the Tyrol alone was insufficient.
On March 12th, 1498 AD, Jakob Fugger signed a contract which brought the first copper cartel in German history into existence.
He then lost no time putting his new-found financial clout to work. By the fall of 1499, Jakob was able to destroy the Augsburg copper syndicate by using Thurzo’s name to sell Hungarian copper at dumping prices. Once the competition had been eliminated, the Fuggers had a monopoly and now could raise prices with impunity to “recoup the losses they had voluntarily incurred on tactical grounds.”
According to von Poelnitz, “The ruthlessness of these tactics was unusual for those times.” The resentment of his competitors manifested themselves as “anti-Fugger” politics, which Georg Grossembrot prosecuted at the court of Innsbruck.
The destruction of the Augsburg syndicate in 1498 was a low point in German business ethics, marking the beginning of alien thought in conventional trade practice. Jakob’s plan to lower copper prices, combined with a corresponding increase in production and inventory, in order to get better returns, remained incomprehensible to non-merchants, and seemed dubious to them.
The more production improved in the Neusohl mines, the more the Fuggers took over leadership of the Hungarian trade by predatory financial dealings. They understood that the value of the natural resources came not so much in mining but rather in smelting and marketing.
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