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Karloth Valois is one of the many who fled into the Underhive to conceal some dark and terrible secret. In Karloth's case it was that he was a Wyrd, a human with latent psychic talents. Flashes of precognition gave him constant nightmares, the thoughts and feelings of others pounded against his consciousness like surf against the shore. Unable to endure the cacophony of Hive City, he fled into the dark fastness of the hive bottom and headed into the wastes, as far from others as he could get.
Alone amidst the crawling horror of the badzones he soon weakened and almost died many times. At the last, as Karloth foraged for a few miserable morsels of food, he was pursued by relentless Plague Zombies, a pack of shambolic cadavers hungry for his flesh. Karloth ran until his feeble body could carry him no further and the foul creatures set upon him, worrying at his flesh like dogs. Karloth could sense the dim, sluggish minds of his devourers, their thoughts made jagged by instinct but still simpler than a child's.
Fired by the strength of desperation Karloth drove the monsters back with an effort of will, quelling their murderous instincts so that they stood passively by. He lay there, crippled and helpless with the Zombies all about him as the dreaded zombie plague they carried ate into his brain. Hours passed but somehow Karloth clung to the slender thread of his life force by draining what little will remained to the Zombies so that he could maintain his own existence. In time the plague abated and Karloth found that he still lived, after a fashion.
Somehow Karloth's powers were strangely affected by the neurone plague. He was able to bend the Plague Zombies to his will within a limited distance, firing their hunger or sharpening their wariness as he desired. He could drain the life energy of others and absorb it into himself, and he knew that this was his only useful means of sustenance. Most of all Karloth had sensed the fate death would bring; endless ennui, horrible torments and incessant terror. He vowed that death would never take him.
Karloth took to a wandering existence in the wastes, preying on the living where he could and using the Plague Zombies to protect himself from his enemies or to get what he wanted. His reputation grew and he became feared throughout the Underhive as a soul-thief and life taker. Gangs made unholy pacts with him to gain his help and his Zombie hordes became a real threat. It was whispered that the Gods of Darkness favoured Valois and people became afraid of his very name. But the brethren of the Redemption flocked to the Underhive to test their faith against such an arch-devil in human form, and their flamers drove him deeper into the pit.
The hunt for Karloth Valois forms an epic in its own right. Everywhere he turned he was betrayed or driven away, such was the fear others felt of him or the Redemption, or both. For a time he escaped into the poison pools and refuse of the Scavvies but the fanatics of the Redemption found him even there. The red-robed priests pursued Karloth to the very edge of the Abyss before he turned at bay and fought for his life. The Zombies and brethren fought a great battle over the spider-haunted depths, the flames lighting the darkness as they cut through rank upon rank of the rotting dead. Karloth feasted on their lives and left them as shrivelled husks, but the priests came on with the zeal of madmen and no Zombie could stop them. To evade them and avoid a heretic's fate Karloth cast himself over the brink into the mile-deep abyss below, shrieking his defiance of death.
Though the Redemption searched for weeks no trace was ever found of Karloth Valois' body. Underhivers knew they were mad to try, for nothing can ever be found in the Abyss unless it wants to be.
Wyrd Power: Zombie Master. Karloth can influence Plague Zombies with his powers, both by summoning them and motivating them. If Karloth is present, add +1 to each dice roll for the number of Zombies summoned.
All Zombies within 9" of Karloth may roll an extra dice for their movement, for a total of 3D6, and then pick two dice for their move distance. Zombies in hand-to-hand combat within 9" of Valois also gain +1 to their Weapon Skill and +2 to their Initiative. This power works all of the time and doesn't need a Leadership test.
Wyrd Power: Sense Thoughts. Karloth can spot any hidden models within 18" if he can roll equal to or under his Leadership on 2D6. Karloth will be unaffected by the Perils of the Warp even if he rolls a 2 or a 12.
No Pain. Since the plague Karloth feels no pain whatsoever. Because of this Karloth is never pinned and ignores the effects of flesh wounds.
No Fear. Karloth ignores all Psychology rules and never has to make Leadership tests to see whether he loses their nerve. If the gang with Karloth in it bottles out he heaves a long-suffering sigh, mutters about mortal frailties and goes with them.
Black Crown. Karloth made the Black Crown himself to augment his vampiric powers. Draining life essence could be a slow and delicate process for Karloth, but with the Black Crown he could drain the life force from a man in moments with a blast of dark energy.
Karloth can use the Black Crown instead of firing his pistol in the shooting phase. It works like firing a shot so Karloth may not use it if he has run, charged or is in close combat and he must have a line of sight to the target in order to attack. The Crown will affect one model within 9". Both players roll 2D6 and add their respective Leadership characteristics to the scores. If the scores are drawn or Karloth loses the attack has no effect, the victim is not even pinned.
If Karloth beats the victim's score he can drain 1 point from one of the victim's characteristics and add it to his own characteristic. Any characteristic can be chosen, but Karloth may not increase his characteristics by more than a single point each. This power may be used to restore lost wounds. A victim reduced to 0 wounds by the Black Crown is automatically 'down', do not make a separate Injury roll.
Once the battle is over any characteristic points stolen are recovered by the victim through resting and Karloth's characteristics return to normal. Victims who go out of action must still roll on the Serious Injuries Table. The Black Crown will affect models that are already down, but it will not work on Plague Zombies.
Witch Staff. The Witch Staff was a curious weapon used by Karloth, who claimed to have discovered it in a deep labyrinth. The staff is used in two hands and allows Karloth to make a parry. If Karloth wins in close combat with the staff he rolls to wound adding +2 to his Strength.
In addition to its function as a weapon the staff is a potent protection against the Wyrd powers of others. If a Wyrd power affects a model within 18" of Karloth he can nullify its effect by rolling equal to or under his Leadership on 3D6.
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