Post by Morec0
(( I recently finished reading The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft and decided to take a stab at writing a similar narritive as a much needed addition to my The Ancient Terrors
collection. Enjoy the origins of not-yet-featured-all-that-much Timothy Vrote. ))
Timothy Alexander Vrote was born well before the fall of Lordaeron to the undead Scourge to the well-off Vrote family. While by no means nobles or even all that wealthy, the Vrote’s had what they needed to survive, a small farm in Hillsbrad and a history of soldiers serving the Lordaeron Armed Forces. As such, it was no wonder that when the Scourge first arose, Timothy’s older brother Kal Benjamin took up his aging father’s sword, shield and armor and fought alongside Prince Arthas Menethil during the early days and weeks of the campaign against the damned.
A continuing service, however, was not destined for Kal. Shortly before the purging of Stratholme, Kal and his patrol were attacked by a marauding group of Scourge ghouls. While Kal and his allies survived, the elder Vrote brother suffered a grievous would to his right arm which left him incapable of fighting and had him returned home for recovery. It was here that he and the rest of the Vrote family learned of the Prince’s purging of Stratholme and decided that Lordaeron had become a far too dangerous place. Thus they like many others chose to travel across the great sea with Lady Jaina Proudmoore to try and find refuge.
It was only after the final battle against the Burning Legion at Mount Hyjal that Timothy Vrote came of age to join the Theramoore military, a fact which kept him from suffering the same fate that his brother. Despite the lasting injury he had received during his service in Lordaeron Kal had been drafted to assist Lady Proudmoore in defending the World Tree. During the Legion’s final attack, which overwhelmed the human forces, Kal’s sword arm had given out in a battle against of the Legion’s undead minions and he was quickly slain. In honor of his brother’s memory Timothy also joined the military, however dark signs began to arise after a few years of service.
The first of these came in the form of a cryptic message by mail. A letter addressed to Timothy was intercepted by his father, it read as followsTo Lord Timothy Alexander Vrote,
We are glad that you have professed interest in joining our family as we are always willing to accept new members. Before we are to begin your initiation, however, we must take certain precautions to ensure that our knowledge does not fall into the wrong hands. We require proof of your dedication to our cause. We will send you another letter containing a comprehensive list of rituals and ingredients for said rituals that will prove your dedication to our cause. Should you survive these trials and not be apprehended by those in power where you dwell we will take your initiation into deeper consideration.
Ogthrod ai’f ai’y zhro,
Vyral the Vile
Worried that his son may have fallen in league with dark forces, Mister Vrote confronted Timothy and showed him the letter. Timothy merely chuckled when presented with the evidence and informed his father that the letter was simply referring to a guild of sorts in his barracks. The mention of rituals and avoiding apprehension, as well as the name Vyral the Vile, were all merely jokes on the part of his friends at the barracks. Having no reason to be distrustful of his son, Mister Vrote held him to his word and did not press the matter any further.
Timothy seemed to react more to the confrontation once it was over however. He became increasingly reclusive, being seen by his parents only when leaving for training and at mealtimes. He also kept his mail closer to him, keeping it away and hidden from his family and unwilling to discuss what the letters said. He remained awake deep into the night, seemingly reading aloud from the letters he received. His mother, hearing failing due to old age, attempted to make out what her son was reading, but all she even managed to hear was gibberish.
Weeks after the first letter was discovered by his father Timothy’s behavior again became even stranger. He spent more time in his room, often reporting AWOL from his barracks and missing meals or having them delivered to his bedroom door. His parents were unsettled by this but hoped that the behavior would subside with time, they themselves being too old and too trusting of their son to confront him directly. Eventually Timothy stopped appearing in public almost completely, if not for the consistent sightings made by both his parents and his friends he could have very well dropped off of the face of Azeroth.
It was in the sixth week after his father had saw the letter, five days after his expulsion from the Theramoore military, while Jaina Proudmoore was out meeting with Warchief Thrall of the Horde that the family received its first true scare. Misses Vrote was bringing Timothy up his evening meal. All was silent until she turned to leave, at which point she heard strange, rhythmic chanting coming from the other side of the door. Pressing her ear against it, she heard the following; “hrr drg’fh. C’thun jul. Yogg-Saron jul. N’Zoth jul. Bral hhh’hhh n’la’nak.”
Misses Vrote was overcome by terror upon hearing these words, but upon knocking on her son’s door the chanting stopped and a tired looking Timothy answered. He told his mother had he had been working on a word puzzle he had been given, and apologized for frightening her. He told her that, if they truly bothered her, he would attempt to keep it down from this point on. His mother agreed.
Silence fell over the Vrote household for some time, but it was not to last. Strange disappearances of small livestock – chickens and pigs – along with the occasional household pet began to plague the area around the Vrote house, all occurring while Lady Proudmoore and her top mages were absent from the city. Mister and Misses Vrote claimed they knew nothing of the disappearances, and Timothy had again apparently vanished except for occasional sightings in the market. Even these were strange, however, as the young Vrote was now seen wearing a thick woolen cloak and favoring his right hand when it came to performing tasks – odd, being as Timothy was known to be left-handed.
After a while these two seemed to stop, but true, final silence also came to the Vrote home. It took several weeks but a group of neighbors finally took it upon themselves to investigate. They entered the Vrote house and after some searching found a truly horrific sight awaiting them within Timothy’s room. The bodies of Misses and Mister Vrote lay on the ground in the center of a twisted pentagram, their chests torn open and their hearts completely absent. On the walls around them was scrawled a single phrase over and over again in blood; oo’zlak, oo’zlak, braq’grlk, braq’grlk.
It was now that truly curious eyewitness reports of other strange activties on Timothy's behalf came to light. People from all over town claimed that they had seen Timothy conversing with strange people in dark clothing in the back alleyways of Theramoore long before any of the strange occurrences, and after they began there were instances where he was spotted deep within Dustwallow Marsh talking with similarly dressed people. These were taken into consideration and the guards were told to keep an eye out for him during their patrols.
The mutilated bodies of his parents were laid to rest in the city cemetery but Timothy himself was never brought to justice. Many adventurers claimed to have seen someone who resembled him in Silithus among the numbers of the Twilight’s Hammer, his left hand twisted into some kind of hideous abomination of nature. These reports, however, are unconfirmed and believed to be merely the aftereffects of too much ale on a weary traveler’s mind.