Oh the horror! This illustration is of a semi-corporeal ghost-like undead creature for Call of Cthulhu role-playing game setting. Sometimes intrepid investigators need to enter shunned or abandoned locations – such as derelict mental institutions waiting for their own demise – in hopes of securing some obscure tidbit of information. Sometimes the locations are not that abandoned after all.
The Wailer from Beyond by Kimmo Mäkinen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Name: Baron Benedikt Zolov
Race: originally human (presumed deceased and is now some form of undead creature)
Location: Zolov, Zarnova
Not much is known about Baron Zolov as few mortals now dare enter the once-bustling trade town of Zolov that has been turned into a maggot-infested hive of undead abominations under the relentless rule of the baron. Located deep into the mountains in a hard-to-reach location almost 2 miles above the sea level, the town is not only remote, it’s positively secluded. The trade town was once an important way point for trade routes going over the mountainous regions between Zarnova and Gruenroth, but two decades ago things rapidly changed as baron Zolov simply took over the region backed up by Zarnova’s vampire queen Anya Voorish.
As Zolov’s residents were converted from living beings into hideous undead creatures, trade caravans no longer considered it a good idea to stop there and currently most of the trade routes using that region have faded into oblivion. The area still has good routes when one wishes to cross the mountains, but anyone familiar with the area would warn any and all travelers to simply avoid those routes and should anyone be fool enough to ignore those warnings, they most certainly would not rent their services as guides.
The exact nature of the former residents of Zolov is under debate and no reliable witness statements have been made in several years. In Gruenroth the whole idea of those undead creatures crawling on their borders is an unsettling one but so far the creatures have not expanded their influence westwards of the bordering mountains. Baron Zolov maintains a stone fortress right in the heart of the old town – in a location that used to house a bustling marketplace. The fortress was built using the undead creatures as slave labor and much of the building materials originate from other buildings of Zolov rendering most of the entire town’s buildings as mere ruins further ruined by neglect and the harsh climate.
Baron Zolov is one of the vampire queen’s advisors in her ruling circle known as The Roskov Ring.
Name: Lady Anya Voorish, the vampire queen of Zarnova
Location: Castle Roskov, Zarnova
The country of Zarnova has been under vampiric rulership ever since the fabled Theocracy of Phylar ceased to exist some 300 years ago. Phylarian remnants still remain scattered around the country and a number of Phylarian locations are still shunned by the undead leaders of Zarnova who – as the legend goes – can not enter those areas without burning to ashes.
Lady Voorish is the third undead monarch of Zarnova and her reign has lasted since the feared Lich Lord Tomas Vladovych mysteriously disappeared some 80 years ago. It is uncertain whether Lady Voorish had anything to do with the disappearance, but she was extremely quick to seize power and forcefully succumbed the entire elite of the nation under her rule in just under a week. Her rule essentially is just a direct continuation of what her predecessor set forth – albeit not as harsh and brutal.
Lady Voorish’s seat of power is at Castle Roskov some 15 kilometers out of the city of Wila, which is the capital city of Zarnova currently. The ancient castle is built in the deepest of forest away from the city itself and it is reachable by a single road only. The forest around the castle is unnaturally thick and menacing and many locals actually claim that the forest is not only unnatural but alive in that every soul claimed victim by the vampire queen grows a new twisted and ever-branching tree in the forest.
Lady Voorish has no grand illusions of world domination, but she also actively pursues a policy of border aggression in order to gradually extend the undead influence. While on good terms with the overseas countries of Nica and Zarkoi, Zarnova has no longer open diplomatic lines of communication with Gruenroth and Groam. Things have been steadily on the decline the last 20 years or so for the people living in the borderlands of Groam. Gruenroth and Zarnova had established trade routes over the mountains between the countries earlier, but Zarnova has not kept the routes safe for years and nowadays only the most daring of trademasters dare test their luck on those routes (the profits are phenomenal, of course!). Lady Voorish controls her country through a tyrannic ring of barons called The Roskov Ring. The barons are mostly of different undead varieties.
Anya Voorish is a powerful necromancer and mentalist herself – although probably still a has long ways to go to match that of her predecessor Tomas Vladovych. As a vampiric entity, Anya has seemingly easier access to necromantic magic and she openly wields her foul power to do her bidding. In fact she has reanimated corpses by the hundreds to form a daunting defense guard army keeping the Castle Roskov safe for her and rumor has it that there are rotting piles or corpses underneath the castle in secret chambers just waiting for the day that an actual undead army needs to be raised.