The lineage of the de Mur family of Bretonnia can be traced back dozens of generations, to the days of Gilles le Breton himself. The line shrank over time, cursed in latter years by foul luck and premature deaths. Its last scion, Lady Ophelia, lived the life of an aristocratic socialite, a right she zealously defended even to her ailing father, who begged her to settle down and beget a son. She was known far and wide throughout court for her devilish humour, her daring nature and her dazzling beauty.
Everything changed several years ago, when she suddenly withdrew from society. Her absence was long enough to be noticed, but not long enough for her to be forgotten; she returned to the scene several months later, making her grand entrance at the Duc d’Etiên’s masquerade ball. She returned as though she had never left. When asked where she had been, she demurely replied that she had attracted the attentions of a ravishing foreign Count, and that he had whisked her away to his castle in the easternmost reaches of the Empire. She deflected questions regarding the strange pallour her skin had taken, and charmed her way past allegations that something within her had changed.
Lady Ophelia lived as a vampire in the courts of Bretonnia for several years, her reputation giving her excuse enough to avoid daytime pageants and tourneys. By night she charmed the courts, and who would tell if a few lesser members of the nobility vanished from time to time? Certainly, there were whispers that all was not well in the de Mur line, especially since the mysterious disappearance of her father shortly after her return, but most of these rumours were quickly silenced, one way or another.
Not every dissenting voice could be quietened, however, and in the deepest midwinter, word spread that a strange group of black-clad men had arrived in the area, asking questions about the aristocracy in thick Imperial accents. It was not long before they found the Château de Mur. Her doorman, a thrall to his Lady’s power like all the house’s staff, tried to refuse entry to the man at the head of the group, but he would not be held from his duty. His tall hat and heavy cloak gave him away for what he was, and word spread back through the servants like wildfire – Witch Hunter! By the time word reached the Lady of the house, the Imperial had murdered the doorman with a heavy pistol, and was fighting his way towards her chambers. Her personal guard, standing resolute against this foreign invader and his entourage, were slaughtered with sword and pistol, hammer and axe. Flames ate priceless tapestries and heirlooms that had been in the family for centuries.
Making use of hidden ways through the Château, Ophelia made her way past the encroaching party and to her front door, even as her home burned around her. Her way was barred by the hunter’s rear guard, a young Imperial priest; he held up a sigil of his god, presuming it would ward her off, but the influence of a paltry foreign deity was lost on her, and she tore his throat out with her teeth. She knew she could turn and flee into the night, but something stayed her. These idiot Imperials had invaded her house, and she would not let such a discourteous action go unpunished.
Mustering the dark power within her, she turned her attention to the slain forms of the priest and her doorman, imbuing them with her will and granting them the gift of unlife. She stalked back through the halls and corridors of her once-proud home, bringing death to Imperials she found and using corpses from both sides to swell her ranks. By the time she found the Witch Hunter and his retinue, they were tearing her bedchamber apart, searching for her. The man was heavily armed, accompanied by a retinue of hardened priests and mercenaries, and not unaccustomed to fighting the undead.
The battle that followed was swift, bloody and merciless. Mindless zombies pulled their former compatriots to the ground. Holy water and blessed steel granted death to those it had been stolen from. Within minutes, only Ophelia and the Hunter remained standing; he was better armed and well-schooled in battle, but she was stronger and quicker, and fighting on home ground. They each had their own tricks; his the product of research and invention by the Templar Order, hers the result of dark power and ambition. Finally, the man let his guard slip for an instant, and she pressed her advantage, grievously wounding him. As she moved in for the kill, he fumbled something from a pouch at his belt, and she was rendered insensible by a blast of light as intense as the sun she had come to fear.
When she regained her senses, the Hunter was gone. Knowing he would be back as soon as he could muster reinforcements, Ophelia swiftly raised an entourage from the dead around her, and fled her family home.
In the following weeks, she travelled as far as she could by night, hiding by day with her undead minions guarding her recumbent form. She took out her anger on any mortals she came across, slaughtering whole villages in a rage and using their lifeless remains to swell her ranks. On one particularly desparate night, she forged an alliance with a pack of foul ghoulish creatures, using their knowledge of hidden ways in exchange for the promise of slaughter and fresh victims to devour. However, running could only get her so far; she knew that it could only be a matter of time until she was tracked down, and realised her only chance was to make for the coast. She hijacked a barge on the river Grismerie, and quickly made her way out to Mousillon. Drawing further recruits from its damned inhabitants, she stole a ship and sailed for the open sea.
Since that night, she has plundered fishing villages and poorly defended ships, building an army with one goal in mind. She will have her revenge upon the Witch Hunter that drove her from her home. She will have revenge upon the foul country that spawned his kind. She will have revenge upon the mortals who fail to appreciate the true beauty of undeath.
In recent weeks, she has felt a change in the winds of magic, and has decided that the time has come to strike. Making port on the northern coast of the Empire, she has followed tales of a great power ascending in the province of Ostermark, hoping that she can harness it for her own ends and have her vengeance. If she succeeds, maybe she will be able to return to her homeland and reclaim her birthright; but until then, the death of her enemies is her only priority.