Ageless Vampire mercenary; the best at what he does
Ludwig von Heilman was just another soldier in just another Prussian military adventure into eastern Europe. At 27, he had stayed beyond his mandatory military service in the hope of finding a career, or at least a way off the farm where he had been raised. Ludwig wanted more than the life of a peasant serving at the whims of the land’s owner. And in 18th century Prussia, finding those options was not easy.
Unfortunately, military service did not appear to be helping his goals. He had thought the military would be a meritocracy, where he could rise due to his own ability and performance. But what he found was a network of family ties and financial transactions that led to promotions and power far more frequently than bravery or ingenuity.
So, there he was, stuck on the front of the latest in a thousand-year line of battles to control a worthless piece of some God-forsaken hell hole in the Baltics. He’d been moved around enough over the last few months that he wasn’t entirely sure where he was, or how long he’d be there. He just stayed alive for another day, killed who he was told, and came back to camp. He resigned himself to being trapped on a different kind of farm, one with guns and smoke and blood.
And then, that night happened. He remembered awakening in his tent, hearing the terrified screams of his comrades. Thinking an ambush was happening, Ludwig bolted out of bed and fumbled for his rifle. He darted out of his tent, but did not see the enemy soldiers he was expecting. Instead, he saw an impossible darkness and a mist hanging over the camp. He saw some of his fellow soldiers literally ripped apart, and some lying dead with looks of horror on their faces and pools of blood around their necks.
Then he felt it. The sharp pricks of pain on his neck. Ludwig’s world rushed white. He collapsed, thinking his life was finally over.
And then he awoke. He was still in the camp, with blood on his neck. But he was different. He was bigger, and stronger. He could see farther, hear with so much clarity. He felt a power he had never felt, a limitless energy.
And he felt a hunger, like he had never felt before. An aching, undeniable hunger. Ludwig staggered through the camp, trying to understand what had happened to him and to his comrades. He heard a voice, weakly calling for help in the distance.
Without thinking, Ludwig lept. He flew over two hundred yards, landing at the feet of the terrified soldier who had called for help. Ludwig pounced, leaping on his chest and tearing into his neck with the fangs he found himself to have. He felt the man’s blood, the man’s life, flow into him. It was the most intoxicating feeling Ludwig had ever experienced.
In seconds, Ludwig dropped the shell of the man he fed on. He touched his fangs, still slick with the blood of his first victim.