Dark Dynasty is the eleventh quest zone, and the third and final part of Among the Dead (Story Volume). It is unlocked by defeating Oswald von Malhaven in Muri Mortuorum on Normal difficulty. Defeat Markgraf Otto von Malhaven in The Markgraf on Normal difficulty to unlock Infernal Affairs.
"The markgraf awaits..."
- 1. The Gypsy and the Vampire 1 -
- 2. The Gypsy and the Vampire 2 - ,
- 3. The Gypsy and the Vampire 3 -
- 4. The Offering -
- 5. The Bat and the Dragon 1 -
- 6. The Bat and the Dragon 2 -
- 7. Quibbling Concubines -
- 8. Blood of the Balval Churi -
- 9. Heinrich's Judgment -
- 10. The Markgraf -
Optional Boss Encounters
- Common Craft: Stake (Vampire Slayer)
- Call of the Underworld Craft: Singed Cloak from Blood of the Balval Churi
- Boss Craft: Vampire Bat (Shape-Shifting Vampire)
Boss Card Reward
The von Malhavens' castle, nearly six hundred years earlier...
"No. You're not."
Heinrich's tone carried such utter finality that the man in his grasp said nothing for several more moments. He only gasped and grunted as the vampire strode down the stone steps, dragging the prisoner along behind him by the handful of silk tunic bunched in one cold, strong fist. The man stumbled several times. But Heinrich von Malhaven descended the stairs with the same callous swiftness - yanking Detlef deeper into the gloom.
Detlef's hands weren't bound. There was little need for such precautions. Even if his strength had been equal to the task of striking Heinrich and breaking the vampire's hold, he had nowhere to flee but into the castle above or the darkness below. Neither path held anything but terrors for him.
He stumbled again when he found no more stairs beneath his boots. Now the vampire was drawing him along a corridor, the ancient stone blocks of its walls and the flagstones underfoot given shape amid the blackness by torches which burned in brackets further ahead. Beyond the flickering pools they cast was another expanse of darkness, somehow made even more ominous by its proximity to the light.
"I'll give you gold!" Detlef said.
"Wealth is of no consequence ot me."
"Artifacts! I have artifacts! Hidden. Magic swords, a bow once owned by-"
He cried out as the vampire slammed him against the cold stone. Heinrich didn't even break his stride.
"Your trinkets can't save you."
"She was only a barmaid! A barmaid! I'll pay her family! I'll make them rich! I'll-"
Again he thudded against the stone. This time there was a loud crack, followed by a scream. And still Heinrich von Malhaven continued, dragging him first into the light then into more darkness. Detlef cradled his left arm and sobbed.
Thick doors, their old dark wood ribbed with iron, appeared and disappeared on either side. Detlef heard nothing from behind any of them. If the cells were tenanted, the prisoners within knew better than to draw attention to themselves.
The corridor met another. This one too was a path of toch-lit stone and shadow, blackness made only blacker by the nearby illumination. The vampire yanked him along it, until they came to the door at its far end. Then Heinrich took a big iron key from his belt and thrust it into the keyhole. There was a heavy click. The thick door opened with a long, piercing creak that made Detlef's bones shudder.
Torchlight flickered into the chamber from the nearest brackets behind, alongside their long shadows. It illuminated a pile of torn blue fabric and chunks of smashed wood. The vampire paused at the threshold for a moment, before stepping into the cell.
Something leaped fro mthe shadows. Detlef screamed. Heinrich's free arm shot out.
Detlef stared with bulging eyes at the creature in Heinrich's grasp. Tongues of shifting light and shadow played across her pale white body, revealing a woman's lithe form - naked save for her undergarments. But her face... As she thrashed and struggled against the hand on her throat, her features were demonic. Wild, unkempt hair framed murderous eyes, a snarling, hissing mouth, and vicious fangs.
Katrina's left hand beat and clawed at Heinrich's arm. Her right clutched a piece of wood, its splintered end a sharp, jagged point. She tried to press forward, the makeshift weapon raised and aimed at the vampire's heart. But his limb was like an iron bar, firm and unmoving.
Heinrich tossed her aside. She landed beside the cell's shattered bed and the ruined dress, and rose into a feral, predatory crouch - the stake still in her hand. She growled and glared, making Detlef shift further behind his captor's powerful frame, but made no move to renew the attack.
"I'll have new garments brought for you," Heinrich said. He glanced at the corner of the cell, where more torn, shredded material was strewn about like the remains of a butchered corpse. "And fresh bedding. This mindless destruction will pass in time. When it does, you'll be given more fitting chambers."
Katrina said nothing. She merely gave a low growl.
"And I've brought you something..." he continued.
Detlef's heart froze.
"Fresher blood, from veins and arteries instead of goblets, will help you adapt to your new... nature."
"No!" the man screamed.
He lashed out, swinging his good arm against the vampire's, and pulled away - trying to tear himself free. But Heinrich's hand tightened on his tunic, and a single sharp yank brought Detlef stumbling around in front of the vampire.
Katrina's eyes met Detlef's. He trembled, transfixed by her gaze, unable to even cry out.
"A criminal," Heinrich said. "The murderer of a young girl. I decided to spare him from the hangman's noose."
Detlef found his voice when Heinrich von Malhaven threw him onto the floor, and one of his knees cracked against the unforgiving stone. He shrieked.
Katrina glared at the vampire for one long moment. Then she pounced on the sprawled victim. Her fangs flashed in the torchlight. The biting began, and the screaming stopped.
Heinrich watched her feed, his face impassive as she tore the murderer apart with her new undead might - wasting precious blood in all directions. It splattered across the walls, the floor. Over her pale, near-naked body. Some of the crimson even sprayed towards Heinrich, and stained his clothes with little red explosions. Such savagery... But he knew it had been that way for many of the others. Not all of them had taken to vampirism as well as he had. And the gypsy girl had been turned against her will.
It might be a little time before the feral wrath abated, before she could be left ot wander the castle without endangering its denizens and be trusted to drink from willing throats.
But beings such as Heinrich and Katrina could afford to be patient. They had all the time in the world.
He stepped into the passage and pulled the door closed, casting a veil of shadow over the blood banquet. The lock slid in place with a weighty thud. The he walked away through the light and darkness.
All the time in the world...
"We want to suck your blood!" Hugh says. The he grunts.
"I'm flattered," Katrina replies. "But if you vant a voman to let your teeth near her neck, perhaps you should vait till they aren't covered in pastry..."
"What I mean is, we tried your bleeding passphrase, and it didn't work!"
"My apologies. I believe my zombies vere destroyed, and replaced vith those loyal to the markgraf."
"Apologies? We could have had our sodding brains eaten!"
"Ignore him, Katrina," Tessa says. "The rest of us do."
"Would that I could..." Brachus says.
The vampiress leans towards Hugh and stares into his eyes. He flinches.
"Oi! You're not having any of my blood!"
"There's a demon inside this vun!"
"Prince Brach'Xell'Ctharat'Sezrachus. Pleased to meet you."
"He's with us," Tessa says. "We call him Brachus."
"Vat interesting company you keep these days, Tessa Tullian. Var and intrigue make for interesting bedfellows. A demon in a glutton's body-"
"...a giant oroc varrior voman..."
Rakshara beams, apparently pleased to be included as one of the gathering's more eclectic elements.
"...and of course, %name% Kasan."
"You're not so blooming ordinary yourself. You're a vampire!"
"This vun is intelligent, His ability to recognize my kind vill prove valuable in the castle..."
"Is every noblewoman a bloody jester, ready to lash you with her bleeding tongue and smear sarcasm in the sodding wounds?"
"Are we 'interesting' enough to overthrow the markgraf?" you ask, forestalling another exchange.
"Ve shall find out. Your very name has already done much. Those who have grown veary of Otto are captivated by vat you represent."
"And what's that?"
"Blood. Magnificent blood."