Character Full Name: Johannes von Kolnstein
Character In-Game Name: Johannes
Association(s): Formerly; Kingdom of Lordaeron, The Undead Scourge. Currently; Kingdom of Stormwind, The Grand Alliance, House Kolnstein.
Hair: Dark grey, balding, with full beard and mustache.
Eyes: Pale blue
Weight: 170 lbs
Height: 5ft 10in
Usual Garments/Armor: Lord von Kolnstein's battle garments consist of dark robes, wielding battle-staff.
Other: Lord von Kolnstein's casual wear consists of many fancy and expensive sets of clothing, usually using darker colors.
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Johannes was always a darker man, plagued by estranged thoughts throughout his teenage years up into adulthood. Even as he loved his father, he loathed him. The power of a land at his call, to do as he pleased within the rights of himself and his title. It only took the undead Scourge for the darker regions of Johannes' mind to manifest proper, which truly worried the man.
Even in battle, against Orcs, Trolls, and other unsavory figures, Johannes kept his cool and fought with honor. At a young age he was told tales of chivalrous knights who fought with dignity and courage, something he mimicked when in combat. Sparing the wounded, making sure they were treated before sent to a PoW camp, or the dungeon, depending on who they were.
Johannes often attended royal gatherings, to mingle with other Lords and Ladies of Lordaeron, Alterac, Strom, and so on. Showing up for only two reasons, the games, and to appear sociable. The games I speak of are, of course, duals, jousting, and Chess. Johannes had a dreadful fear of appearing unsociable, even if he did prefer the quiet to ponder his dark thoughts.
Born an only child to the Lord Pieter von Kolnstein, a noble of Lordaeron, Johannes was coddled as a child by his mother, Teresa von Kolnstein. Everything he could want was brought to him as a child, be it sweets, toys, stories, and so on. A child of the far eastern region of Lordaeron, Johannes had few worries, the major being the trolls to the north and south across separate mountain ranges. Often, during the cold winter, the von Kolnstein family would travel south to the Kingdom of Azeroth to Teresa's family home, of which they would stay with her brother who own a cotton plantation just south of the Nazferiti River.
At the age of fifteen, Johannes' mother passed away due to illness, leaving the young noble devastated. From his view Johannes father never seemed to care that his beloved mother had passed, never seeing much emotion from him. Johannes begin to develop strange thoughts, however he suppressed them as best and as often as he could. Johannes had few friends at this age, as few lords sent their children east, or traveled east themselves.
Throughout his teenage years, Johannes father tried all he could to reach his son, however Johannes would hear none of it. He spent most of his time practicing combat with the Captain of the Guard, Marak Willhelm, who was proficient with several different styles of combat and weaponry. He taught Johannes a variety, ranging from mixed martial arts, archery, sword and shield, and mounted combat with a spear or lance. Or he would spend his time studying with the court mage, Rathald, who helped young Johannes learn the methods of magic that the lords of Dalaran practiced.
As time went on, and Marak grew older, he was replaced as Captain of the Guard of Kolnhof Castle, yet stayed as the young Lord's personal bodyguard. The two grew to be close friends, Johannes confiding in Marak time and time again for a cavalcade of problems that plagued the young man, now at the age of twenty. Eventually to relieve some of his isolation, Marak suggested that Johannes attend noble gatherings and parties that happened constantly in the western portion of the Kingdom.
This proved to be a valuable piece of advice as Johannes soon met a young woman, Patricia Charleston, the two fell in love, and Johannes took her as his bride. Over the next few years, she bore Johannes several children. Pieter, named for Johannes late father, Alaric, and little Maria. As the new Lord of Kolnhof, at the age of Twenty Seven, Johannes finally felt as though he had some meaning to his life.
Soon, the news of the green menace and their portal spread from the south. It wasn't long until the Kingdom of Azeroth was laid to waste by the vast hordes of the orcs and ogres, led by daemons. Johannes, being the dutiful man that he was, sent a call to the survivors offering jobs and housing in his lands, to the far east of Lordaeron. Many came, most being put to work the fields, some were given the chance to join his guardsmen, and then others were put to work to construct housing.
It wasn't long until the call was given, maybe five or six years after. King Menethil had issued the order for the nobles of Lordaeron to muster their soldiers, as news was sent from Khaz Modan that the orc horde was moving northward. Johannes organized his soldiers with the help of the aging Marak Willhelm, who was left as the Regent of Kolnhof. Rathald had traveled with Johannes to help him practice his combat magics as best as the old mage could. The young Lord traveled with his men to the battlefront, which was just growing in the lands of Arathi.
The Horde had beaten their way past the Thandol Span, destroying farmsteads and villages on their way to Thoradin's Wall. Johannes, as well as several other lords had positioned their armies at the wall to defend it. Johannes commanded his men from atop the wall, as a great deal of his forces were a archery with a compliment of standard footmen. Lord von Kolnstein himself was slinging, albeit weak, combat spells at the greenskins as they broke upon Thoradin's Wall like a wave upon a cliff.
Soon enough, though, the Orcs had broken through, slaughtering most of the ground troops and making their way up the wall to do the same to the archers and magi. Johannes ordered a full retreat as his men grabbed ropes and climbed down the far end of the wall. Unfortunately, many men were slain in the greenskins pursuit, including Johannes old mentor, Rathald.
Johannes, and what few men he had left, found themselves returning to Kolnhof to gather strength. His return was with luck, as the forward camp he stayed at previously with the army was overrun and destroyed. Making the necessary preparations, Johannes fortified Castle Kolnhof, for when the green tide would wash up on his lands. Sure enough, the orcs came and burned everything in their path, however Kolnhof was largely unharmed due to the orcs pressing their advantage against larger settlements and regions, like Stratholme and Quel'thelas.
The orcs were eventually defeated, being beaten so far back that Alliance soldiers drove them back through the hellgate they came from, chasing them into the bowels of Hell itself. Then the portal closed and the lands grew peaceful once again, orcs were rounded up and placed into internment camps throughout Lordaeron. The Kingdom of Azeroth was being rebuilt.
Johannes could now focus on more important matters, on raising his children, and governing his land. His oldest, Pieter, had just turned 15 a few months after the closing of the Portal. Alaric, 14, and Maria, 12. Even as life was wonderful for him, Johannes still had a prodding in the back of his mind like a dagger. Something was building inside of him, he never truly got over the loss of his mother, and blamed himself for the death of Rathald. Malicious thoughts grew inside of him, thoughts that never were called to action until the day that Marak Willhelm passed away due to old age.
Johannes had grown isolated, spending most of his time in Rathald's library, reading dusty old tomes filled with magical lore. Eventually Johannes had grown confident in his abilities, he shared in his family. Showing his children and beloved wife his growing prowess as a mage. The thoughts never ceased, although Johannes had figured he had control over the dark recesses of his mind. The years passed, a dark shadow growing over the lands of Lordaeron, rumors spreading of whispers in the darkness.
The Cult of the Damned had begun its work, infecting many and drawing even more into their fold. Johannes had overheard a pair of his guards, they were conversing about this new religion that had started. They said that this cult would bring immortality and power to those that joined. Immortality. Johannes had been surrounded by death, his mind never letting go the loss of those he loved.
Johannes sought out this cult in the days to come, as villages close to his lands were reporting this new plague, as even the dead woke and rose from their graves. Johannes wanted to ensure the safety of his lands, and his family. Upon finding the Cult, he was indeed offered to join, like so many. His magical background made him a perfect subject to learn Necromancy, a skill his overpowered mind deemed useful. Johannes returned shortly to his family at Kolnhof, instructing them that the Cult was their salvation.
Johannes allowed the Cult into his lands, without hindrance, letting them chant and spread their religion to those under him. Soon enough the lands of Kolnhof fell to the sway of the Cult, following the rest of the region. As a member of the Cult, Johannes was forced to allow the the graves of the dead to be disturbed. Eagerly Johannes practiced the dark art of Necromancy, raising the ex-citizens of Kolnhof. The only ones spared from this hell on earth were Johannes parents, and the previous Captain of the Guard.
Time passed, days and months welded together as Johannes and his family served the Scourge and the Lich King, with nary a thought. Kolnhof had long since fallen into ruin, as did the land around it. Soon, however, another tragedy would fall on Johannes as his wife attempted to leave the newly named "Plaguelands". She was caught and murdered, then raised into undeath, in front of Johannes.
The Lord von Kolnstein couldn't handle it, he held onto her loss as he did with so many others. Already the deaths of his mentors, his father, and his mother ate away at his fragile psyche, the death of his beloved wife was the straw that broke the camel's back. Broken, Johannes returned to Kolnhof with his children, and whatever former servants that had been with him before the Scourge. They shed their cultist regalia, changing into whatever clothes were left and not damaged.
Gathering a few family heirlooms, his fathers armor, and whatever coin was left in a secret vault, he left the shattered memory behind, with a final goodbye at the empty grave of his mother. Johannes spent the rest of the day inn Rathald's library, his family and friends barricading the room so no one could find them inside. He skimmed through whatever tomes that had not rotted away until he found it, a partially damaged tome on portal-making.
Johannes gathered the small number of reagents that Rathald had stored, and used them. Waving and weaving his hands in a specific pattern, a rip in space began to form. As it grew, so did the image of a verdant forest inside, with a city of white stone and blue roofs in the distance. One by one, Johannes friends and family went through, taking what they could with them.
Spending about a week in the woods, they washed whatever smell they could off, before heading south across the river Nezferiti. After a bit of searching, they found the old plantation that Johannes would visit as a child. It stood, silent in the darkness of Duskwood, in disrepair. They made their new home in this decrepit place, long forgotten by anyone else. Johannes and his son, Pieter, left soon after for Stormwind.
Petitioning for noble status, as several other Lords of now dead nations had before him, Johannes recounted his tale of how he and his family 'survived the horrors of the Plaguelands.' He told them that they had taken up residence inside a cavern near Kolnhof, surviving on what mushrooms grew there and what beasts came near the cave.
The Lords of Stormwind rewarded Johannes for his tale, as they backed his claim to noble status. Soon enough, he was given his position as the ruler over the land around his family plantation. The dark thoughts, that had retreated for a time, crept back into Johannes' mind once more. He suppressed it as best as he could, however it was no use. His resistance to his own thoughts had long since been shattered. Johannes practiced his magic in secret, raising the dead far from his land. A dark thought formed the embryo to a plan to come.