The mournful account of Anna Korlov.

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When the plague came to Talabheim, and the daemons of Nurgle’s garden rose in the streets, the people of the cratered city rose to its defence, well aware that this would be their death. The combined forces of the Maggoth Lords and the Tallyman were overwhelming the walls with pestilence and death, and as their patron deity Taal laid ill from the Lord of Decay’s foul contagion, the Eye of the Forest seemed doomed – certain death had come.

Yet not all of Talabheim’s people fell victim to the plague that night, for the city was ripe with corruption even before the arrival of Chaos. Criminals skulked many a street and corner, and entire areas of the city were not safe for the average passer-by, should he value his life and at the very least, his possessions. A mindset of callous disregard for the belongings of others, be it their coinpurse or their anatomy, was not at all uncommon in Talabheim’s darker parts.

On such a street lived a girl by the name of Anna Korlov. A sweet young thing, not the prettiest, folk would say, but a chamring and mannered young lady nonetheless. She would go far, people said, with a bright mind like her, should she ever find herself a husband to care for her. Truth was, however, that young Anna had little interest in finding a husband, or indeed, even go far. All she wanted was to read and learn, to one day leave Talabheim to see the world. She had dreams of seeing the Bretonnian monasteries, the White Tower of Ulthuan, perhaps even a dwaren mountain-town. Tending her days as a librarian in one of the city’s schools, she lived a happy life on her own terms.

Of course, such an occupation were not deemed appropriate by all of Talabheim’s inhabitants, and in particular her growing host of unattended suitors grew increasingly disgruntled by what was to begin with perceived as a little whimsical, and as time progressed, arrogant and pietistic. Word began to spread about her, rumour of the pettiest sort, labelling her as every lowly character imaginable, be it a witch or a whore, a thief or a simpleton. Anna paid it little heed, for she knew full well the workings of a city such as her own and the minds of men, and allowed people to believe what they may – she herself knew the truth, and she would bring it with her into the world while the hoi polloi of Talabheim remained in their crater.

One morning, in the spring of 2522, Anna did not arrive at work as normal, nor did she the next, nor the following day. The headmistress, more curious for gossip than actually concerned, took it upon herself to seek out Anna at her home, but no one was there. She had not come home the night prior to her not coming into the library, her father would say. Naturally, rumour spread like wildfire; she had ran away with a band of travelling gypsies; she had used her witchcraft to change her appearance and would walk the streets at night to feed on the souls of the innocent (if ever there was such a thing in Talabheim); she had been raped and murdered and her body thrown in the river to float downstream; some even claimed the Skaven had took her.

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Whatever the truth, she was not seen again until the plague came. As the daemons rose from the epidemic in the streets, festering and blooming with Grandfather Nurgle’s gifts, so too did Anna. Clad in a garb of flowing blood, she would be seen skulking the streets between her home and the library, cutting down every fleeing human in her path with a spectral blade, wreaking a tireless revenge on those that had wronged her.

Yet no word was ever spoken of her fate; only long, wailing growls of hatred and agony would escape her lips, in between the eerie chill following in her wake; those fallen of Talabheim that were risen  as zombies in the aftermath of the plague, would all seem haunted, almost as if in their mindless stupor, a memento of their deaths would remain imprinted on their being; they would shamble away in almost cowardous fashion, they would fight with conservative effort and they would, above all, seem almost like they longed for chill of true death.

After the Eye of the Forest fell, Anna Korlov has rarely been seen. It is, however, occasionally reported that she will manifest among the ranks of the Festering Orchard, tormenting the mindless undead and floating around with the hosts of spirits haunting the rotting trees and overgrowth of wines. Whatever lies within the fate of Anne Korlov, past, present and future, not even the Queen of Mysteries know.

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