Old Nagaraja Idea

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Post by Muninn on Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:20 pm

<(History - Pre-Embrace)>

There is nothing legendary about the life of Michael Hagen. According to the records, he was born on April 13th, 1881 in Wiltshire, England. He began as an independent archeologist who gained some notoriety during his time for his findings and analysis of Ancient Greek and Roman history. Most museums throughout Greece, Persia, and Rome contain at least one artifact found by Michael or by the digs he sponsored later in his career.

In the early 20th century, Hagen completed his primary schooling and relocated to Venice to begin chasing his dreams. His first year away had been the hardest, this being the first time he had ever been away from his parents, never mind outside his home country. He wrote them religiously, penning lengthy letters regularly to keep his parents informed of his progress. The correspondence continued for a year up until his parents fell ill and swiftly passed before Michael even knew they were sick. The passing of his parents marked an extremely difficult time for Michael, who up until this point had been a very strict Roman Catholic. Michael had felt cheated, as if God had stripped him of everything for nothing more then his own amusement. Michael grew bitter and denounced Catholicism and his faith completely, sending him to a darker place where he focused on his work and little else.

The years following were marked with notable success. The inheritance he had received from his parents passing had supplied him with much needed funding and he began his digs anew. He immersed himself in his work, which was fairly easy for one having no family, no faith, and very few friends. But his dedication would soon pay off in the summer of 1907. On one of his expeditions, Michael uncovered a Venetian temple nearly uncorrupted by the passage of time. Inside were thousands of priceless artifacts which he openly sold to the highest bidder. There was something more, however, for this find was Michael's first exposure to the ancient arts of Necromancy. He was intrigued by the notion and quickly began to assemble a number of ancient artifacts and texts on the subject for his personal collection.

More years passed and the finds became more common, quickly elevating Michael to the level of a local celebrity of sorts. There wasn't an archeologist or historian within 100 miles of Greece that hadn't heard of his exploits, and his papers on Necromancy in Ancient Rome and Greece were deeply insightful. At the height of this popularity, Hagen met what would become his future wife, Isabella Vernici. Michael married Isabella, who was a good-looking, intelligent widow, slightly older then himself…or so he was led to believe. They say every man has a perfect woman out there for them whom they could true love and everlasting happiness with. For Michael Hagen, Isabella was that woman. She quit her work as a school teacher and assisted on Michael's expeditions; seemingly becoming just as interested in the dark magic’s of lost civilizations as he was. Some have even passed rumors that Isabella was actually one of a handful of those planted by the Giovanni to keep tabs on Michael, possibly sizing him up to be a potential member of the clan, but that has never been proven.

But again tragedy would strike. During a botched robbery on the Hagen villa, Isabella was killed. The local authorities knew who had committed the crime, but due to their ties with French nobility, and the most likely possibility that they were sent by that nobility to retrieve artifacts from Michael's private collection, they were unable and unwilling to do anything about it. Michael turned darker still as he sought revenge for the death of the woman he so dearly loved. He briefly passed his enterprise off to an associate to oversee while he traveled to France and tracked down both the noble responsible and the hired thief.

While it's not documented that Michael had been a very violent man up until this point, there is no doubt of the atrocities he committed that night. With promise of access to some of his reserved possessions, Michael scheduled a meeting with the French Noble. The meeting took place in one of the warehouses Michael owned on the southern coast of France and was scheduled for late in the night, which the French noble thought was in his favor. It was, after all, unheard of for a noble to embrace religions or practices considered to be unholy.

That night, Michael Hagen gunned down the Noble's personal guard as soon as he walked through the door and forced the noble into a room that had been prepared for what was to come on this dark night. The noble was led into a secured basement area and forced to a large table which dominated the room where he was tied down. Once secured to the table, a night of absolute terror commenced.

For years Michael had been gathering texts on bizarre rituals and ancient incantations that had required things he never thought he could bring himself to do. But that night he did many of them, cutting, dissecting, and practicing on the still screaming body that was the noble. It's during this rage that he made his first breakthroughs with Necromancy. Driven by vengeance he tortured the French noble for hours on end, keeping him alive through magical rituals that he had never before been able to practice. The night concluded when Michael plunged a sacrificial dagger through the heart of the man and called forth a spirit from across the shroud, the spirit of Isabella.

They talked for just a short until the dark magic’s Michael had called forth began to subside. During that time they spoke of their love for each other, and ways they could continue to communicate. Isabella instructed Michael of many things he had never known before, and guided him to a greater understanding of the dark magic at work; specifically necromancy.

After this gloomy period in his life, there is relatively no record of Michael's actions aside from the occasional rare artifacts he and his team unearthed. Aided by a particularly helpful spirit guide he began to uncover quite a bit of ancient relics and bolstered his fortune even more using the black market. By the spring of 1937 Michael Hagen had amassed a fortune publicly, and became quite a competent Necromancer privately. His chances to practice his craft were rare, but when he would find someone worthy, or unworthy as it were, to be subjected to that kind of torture and punishment he wouldn't hesitate.

Although careful with his dark craft, Michael began drawing new attention to himself; this time the most unwanted variety. The attention came from both the Giovanni and a roaming member of the scattered Nagaraja bloodline; a line which had been devastated over the years and was quickly dwindling in number. The Nagaraja’s name was Valentina Corvasas, and she was a 9th generation Nagaraja and one of only a handful left in the world. She had originally traveled to Venice to observe the Giovanni and attempt to ally with them to preserve her bloodline and advance her knowledge, but she deemed them too controlling and family-oriented to allow an outsider any true sway in their clan.

It is then when she stumbled upon some published works of Michael Hagen that detailed his dealings and experimentations with necromancy. Although the actual works were tainted to imply that the actual rituals and ceremonies were never performed and that it was all in theory, Valentina knew better. For months she observed Michael, watching him study for hours in the privacy of his home and practice occasionally. She also noticed he was being watched by the Giovanni. Several of their ghouls were littered throughout his expedition teams and had positioned themselves close to him to fully evaluate his potential as a ghoul for the family no doubt. Valentina wasn’t sure if that’s what they had planned for him, but she knew if she wanted to find an ally for herself, and keep Michael from falling in with the Giovanni, she had to act.

Shortly after the Giovanni presence began to hit an uptick Valentina embraced Michael and together they fled into the night, unsure of how the Giovanni would react, and having no interest in finding out. She took Michael under her wing, taught him what she knew, and learned much about necromancy in return. Then one day, as quickly as she had swooped into this life, she disappeared. For years Michael searched for her, desperate to learn of her fate, but always came up empty. Alone, confused, and unwilling to cross paths with the Giovanni that Valentina had warned him about time and time again, Michael liquidated as much of his assets as he could, packed his most prized possessions that he could manage to move quickly, and fled Europe completely desperate to find a new place to call home and to begin to come to terms with what he had become.

<(Days After The Embrace)>

Recently uncovered entries in Michael Hagen’s personal journal provide unique insight into the transformation that took place the night he was embraced:

'February 11th - My entire world has been changed.'

'The past night has been one that I shall remember until the end of my days, which Valentina assures, may not be anytime soon. I did not sleep well last night, though my bed was comfortable enough. A hunger called at me from the recesses of my being, a hunger like none I had experienced before. Valentina told me I was feeling the grip of the beast.

She described to me, in great detail, what my body has gone through and moreover what I have become. I assumed she was insane, of course. Any fellow in my position would perceive nothing less. But I humored her, listened to her words with keen interest. I saw little option. I am... no, I was, but an old man and she seemed to possess strength well beyond what she looked capable of.'

'It was during this conversations that she revealed to me the extent of my burden, and the lengths I must go to maintain my continued existence. At first I flatly refused. Living off the flesh and blood of others was unthinkable. She tells me horrible tales of how the hunger will continue to grow until I can no longer resist. How I will loose all semblance of control and leash out without thought. I find these predictions to be most troubling. Everything she has told me thus far has been accurate, and I see no motive for her to fabricate this. Still, the thought of feeding off humans is one most appalling. Despite the growing hunger I still feel I will resist. There must be some other way, and I will find it.'

'February 12th - It has grown worse.'

'Valentina continues to educate me in what I am becoming. I find it difficult to focus on anything for any long period of time as the hunger has begun to grow to a maddening level. I have tried food of all sorts, and each time I am repulsed by the taste. Even the apple cobbler I held so dear is as vile to my stomach as the thoughts of what Valentina insists I must do to feed.'

'When this hunger, this beast, is not preoccupying my entire mind I have continued my studies with Valentina and shared with her the knowledge Isabella once shared with me. Isabella... oh, how I miss her. To see her face but once more is all that I would ask. I try, try as hard as I can, focusing my mind sharply while trying to resist the urges that tear at me from within, but I find it increasingly hard to focus. My mind often wonders and I have begun to grow tired of the endless bleak nights. I long to see a sunrise once again and to do the routines I once took for granted, but I cannot. I am cursed, and it is Valentina who has cursed me...'

February 13th - A visit from a friend.'

'Joseph McCarran, my most trusted friend, visited me earlier tonight to discuss the affairs of our expeditions of which I have left him in charge. Our latest ventures had been most lucrative, just as my spirit guide had promised. Joseph brought a list of the numerous artifacts we have uncovered, and the prices which some of them had been sold. Never in my wildest imagination did I think my college interest would lead me to such financial success, but as our finds become more numerous so do our profits.'

'I found it difficult to listen to Joseph as he spoke to me. I registered his words, yes, but something else distracted me. I could almost hear his heartbeat pounding in my ears, and there was an odor he emanated that my body longed for. Many times he would question me as I vacantly stared at him. I recovered as best I could and blamed my odd behavior on illness, but I knew better. After issuing a few instructions on how to proceed, I again leaned of the crutch of poor health and told Joseph I needed my rest.'

'I had to resist with all my will as I watched Joseph leave my house that night. How horrible a curse that even those most dear to me receive no quarter. I must be mindful of my state of being, less those around me pay for it dearly.'

'February 14th - I am a monster!'

'Valentina took me with her tonight. We gathered my belongings and left the only home I had known for years. She claimed I was no longer safe where I was. Something about an inquisition gaining momentum in Europe and that our kind must tread lightly. Half driven mad by my hunger I didn't resist as we vanished into the night. As we traveled my mind raced and I faded in and out of consciousness. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, we arrived at Valentina's haven. At least that is what she referred to it as.'

'As we entered my senses were immediately assaulted by something foul, and to my horror it seemed to draw out my hunger. The source of my desire was chained to a table in the far corner of the room, a distance I traveled in the blink of an eye before I was upon her. Without rational thought I lashed out, my teeth digging deep into her flesh. My mind was numb, almost as if I were an observer to this horrific act and not the one committing it. The girl let out horrible cries of pain as I continued to drink from her. Valentina seemed most disturbed by this fact, and I almost paused to ask what troubled her, but the need was too great, and my will crumbled.'

'I continued to drain the poor girl until there was nothing left to her. Even after the flow of blood had stopped, I clung to her neck, sucking harder. Then... I descended further into my own personal hell. Still craving more, I continued to feed, tearing bits of flesh from the wound and devouring it. The thought of what I have done is more horrible then anything I have known, but at that moment... the horrible deeds I did... seemed perfectly right... I am a monster.'

'Looking back on the events of tonight I cannot help but feel as though I am a prisoner to my own hunger. The ease with which I stole that young girls' life, had consumed her very flesh, was sickening to me. How could I become something so terrible? How can I ever face the world knowing I am nothing more then a monster? A devil that devours the flesh and drinks the blood of others.... how can I ever live my life again...'

Old Nagaraja Idea EplmacF

Huginn and Muninn (Old Norse Huginn, “Thought” and Muninn, “Memory”) are the twin ravens of Norse mythology. They are the servants of the Norse All-Father, Odin, traveling to bring him reports of the affairs of the world.

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