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Tales of Zoraida


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I took part in a 3-round escalation league last month thematically sent around a hunt for Killjoy (who was the prize for the winner). I got into writing some background after each round, so I thought I might post it here. :D

Here's the first, before embarking on a treasure hunt mission vs. Sonnia Criid;


"Flowers...flowers are the key".

Zoraida had been muttering into a cauldron in her Bayou hut for the better part of an hour. A pink voodoo doll sat on the chair beside her. It stared vacantly into the air. Zoraida glanced down at it.

"Blood? Oh, of course you'd think that. It's exactly what everyone else will be thinking"


"Yes, the monster Killjoy loves blood, but he also loves flowers. It's a secret pleasure of his."


"Did you really just ask me that? I'm Zoraida! You know, THE Zoraida! The old witch who knows all and sees all. So if I say that Killjoy loves flowers, you can be darn sure that it's the truth."


"Well it's not just any flowers he likes. It's a certain kind of purple one...or pink, I'm not sure. I think Killjoy's colour blind anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem. There's a few places where I know they grow, I'll have to go out and collect a few for drawing him in."


"Yes, you can come if you want"


"Sigh...okay, we'll get some icecream on the way..."


I managed to beat Sonnia quite convincingly and achieved a kidnap scheme. My next (and last) game was against Saemus;


Back at the Hut, Zoraida was interrogating her new prisoner. Bound to a chair, looking somewhat battered was Sonnia Cridd. The woman had been captured along with the rare purple flower Zoraida intended to use as bait for Killjoy. The flower itself was now sealed within a glass jar, bobbing about within the cauldron's black fluid.

"Now Sonnie, I'm sure you think you're doing the right thing by being all defiant but you're just making it harder for yourself. Like it or not, I'm going to get what I need from you."

"Foul witch!" Sonnia spat back, "I'll never give you what you want! Even as we speak my agents are closing in on Killjoy."

Zoraida paused, and then cackled madly.

"Killjoy?? Ha! You think I want to know about Killjoy??" Zoraida laughed,

"Honestly Sonnia, I thought you were smarter than that! I already know where to locate the monster Killjoy. No, I need some much more important information from you..."

Zoraida leant forward, her voice becoming a whisper.

"I need you...to tell me..."

Her crooked nose was now inches from Sonnias.

"...where I can find some ice cream."

Sonnia opened her mouth, but her planned retort never emerged. She crooked her head in confusion.

"Wha...? Ice...cream?"

Zoraida stood up again and sighed.

"Look child, you really shouldn't have interupted us this morning. You failed to prevent me collecting my bait for Killjoy, but thanks to you there was no time to find ice cream for my friend here."

Zoraida indicated behind her, where a pink voodoo doll sat upright on it's chair. Its button eyes were fixed menacingly on Sonnia. It was the personification of pure hate.

"I've tried to be nice, but I really don't think I can hold him off any longer. So for the last time, do you know where I can get some ice cream?"

Sonnia's defiant nature had been replaced with utter confusion. She looked at the voodoo doll and then back at the old Hag. They both looked serious.

"I...I don't know?"

With another sigh, Zoraida plucked the bottle from the cauldron and looked down at the voodoo doll.

"She's all yours. I'll be back tonight."

As she closed the door and walked out into the Bayou, Zoraida heard a piercing scream from within the Hut. Part of her felt sorry for the arogant human, but Zoraida had other concerns. She needed ice cream, and there was one person she was sure would know where to find it. Right now, Zoraida had a date with an insane little frenchman...


With three games complete it turns out I'd come first! Killjoy was mine;


Zoraida looked around the Bayou with some satisfaction. With the mad frenchman gone, the undead wenches were little match for the silurid she'd directed against them - she now had complete control of the surrounding area. Seamus had offered no clues as to the location of icecream. Her little friend wouldn't be pleased with that, although at the moment there was another matter to attend to...

Exhausted from his day of slaughtering, Killjoy had finally arrived at his favorite ditch. Paying little attention to the extra bodies littered around his abode, he prepared himself to settle in for a good night's rest.

"Hello Killjoy, it's certainly been a while."

The monster spun suddenly spun around to see an old hag, standing barely a few meters from him. The suprise at seeing his old nemesis was quickly replaced by unbridled fury. Tightening his grip on the cleaver, Killjoy charged.



As Zoraida quickly revealed the gift from behind her back, Killjoy stopped dead in his tracks. Deep in the recesses of his decaying mind, something sparked. Fragments of memory bubbled to the surface of his conciousness. He recalled a time very different to now, when the world was not drenched in the stench of death, when he knew of more than just killing. He'd been a happier undead monstrosity back then, more carefree, and with a passionate love for...


"Yes, Killjoy...I bring you flowers! And I have many more for you if you promise to assist me in a few errands I need to run."


"Yes, well, sorry about that. But I won't shun you any more. I promise!

Killjoy didn't like the idea of helping the tricky old Hag. She had betrayed him many times before, and there was little doubt that she would do it again in a heart beat. But...she had flowers!


"Good to hear! I'll call you when you're needed. You know the signal."

With a wink, Zoraida turned and disappeared into the shadows, leaving the gift of flowers behind. Knelling down, Killjoy carefully picked them up and cradled them in the crook of his arm.



So with the escalation league finished we've just started a new campaign. I decided to try out Bad Juju in a Reconnoite mission against the Ortega's. It didn't go so well for poor Bad Juju...


In an isolated and particularly swampy part of the Bayou, the earth began to well up. The mound rapidly took shape, sprouting arms and legs, then a head and finally expelling a necklace with an unnaturally pink doll around it's neck. The mudman looked around and seeing no sentient creature nearby to judge him, he sat forlornly sat down onto a decaying tree trunk. Bad Juju was having a bad day.

Zoraida called on Bad Juju so rarely these days. So when he was given something to do by his Master he tried his best to achieve it. But as usual, he had failed miserably.

This time Zoraida had tasked him with securing part of a region she was searching (it involved something called 'icecream', but as an immortal mudman, Bad JuJu had forgotten what such a thing could be). Everything was going well until the Ortega family intruded, presumably bent on killing Zoraida.

Bad Juju tried to fight them off, he really did. He picked the perfect moment, while most of the humans were distracted by Zoraida's Nephilim. Tearing out of the earth, he ambushed an isolated human to crush into the ground...only to be immediately torn apart by an unnaturally large volume of gunfire.

His second attempt was only slightly more successful. This time he managed to get into grips with the same human and break a few bones...only to watch it slip out of reach, aim that accursed rifle square at his head and blow it clean off. Being an immortal mud man made him immune to pain, but his feelings still hurt, especially after the abuse Zoraida hurled at him after the fight.

It just wasn't fair! Why wasn't he as fast as a Mature Nephilim, or as deadly as Teddy? Zoraida always talked about how they never let her down, whereas Bad Juju just couldn't seem to do anything right.

Perhaps if he changed his name? Bad Juju certainly didn't feel as though it inspired confidence. Maybe Amazing Juju? Super-Juju? Bad Juju liked that idea. Maybe that would give him just the confidence he needed to do his job well, for once? Expelling a stick from his body, Bad Juju began to write some possible names down in the mud...


Game number 2 of the Campaign and I'm matched against So'mer. "Great!" I think, "this shouldn't be too difficult". Unfortunately for me I didn't read up on the mosquito's parasitic infection... :(


Back at the Hut, Bad Juju and Killjoy were standing before Zoraida. Given her slight frame, the woman seemed to be emanating a great deal of anger.

"You know, I've never seen two bigger screwups than you two knuckleheads. It just astounds me how amazingly you both managed to spoil my plans!"

"I'm so sorry Mistress. I'll try much harder next time, I promise!" Bad Juju meekly replied.

Zoraida sighed. "You say that every time, yet still you manage to mess up. It was one human you stupid mudman - a single human! Yet still it managed to kill you all on his own, and no less than twice as well. And you!"

Zoraida turned to glare at Killjoy, who sheepishly looked down into his flower bouquet.

"A...a mosquito?"


"Honestly Killjoy, it was an insect! Bad Juju at least knocked one of the humans about and drew their attention for a moment, but you? You never even managed to scratch a single Gremlin! For a creature that supposedly inspires so much terror, that's a stupendously poor effort."

Bad Juju was very careful not to let Zoraida see him smile. For the first time in quite a while, he felt a little bit warm inside.

With another sigh, Zoraida sat down into her chair. Her pink Voodoo doll, currently residing on a nearby shelf, was staring quizzically at her. Zoraida looked up at it and chuckled.

"Ha, indeed! And I would too, if I could. But like it or not, I'm stuck with these two failures for the time being."

Zoraida turned to the enormous monsters still standing in her hut.

"Get lost, the both of you. If I can think things through for a bit, I might yet be able to get some use out of you..."

Edited by Rathnard
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