It was Spring of the year 1400. Alexandria von Kael stepped into Cologne and gazed in wide-eyed wonder at the filthy peasants that scurried about every which way. A town crier rang his bell and informed the small village that law-breakers would be dealt with harshly, yet a pick-pocket happily stole the crier's purse without a care in the world and got away without consequence.
Alexandria tightened her grip on her own coin-purse and hurried to her new home -- a small hut that had been built days before her arrival, a small hut that would one day be a large manor that would house her dynasty. Or so she hoped.
A noble scholar, Alexandria planned to buy the local church and bring forth the fury of God's Wrath upon the wretched people of this village. Also, leech them of every coin they had.
In God's name, of course.
With her help, Cologne would become a wonderful city! A rich city! And her tithe, er, God's tithe, would see her and her dynasty well for all of their days.
"God is good, God is great, all gold coins, go on this plate!" Alexandria cheered.
The peasants repeated the litany over and over, brainwashed by Alexandria's Godly glow and soothing voice, and plopped what paltry sums they had in their pockets upon the tithing tray, feeling as though they had served a greater being.
It was all going as planned.
After her sermon, Alexandria checked the store room. It was empty. The greedy peasants had eaten all of her holy hosts! Dragging a wheelbarrow to a young altar boy, she directed him to the market.
"You're not singing anymore, chump," she hissed. "You're my new delivery transport. Fetch me some pine wood and wheat flour. Quickly now, quickly! My next sermon is in twelve hours --more hosts must be made."
While her new delivery boy was fetching the Church's goods, Alexandria felt that she had become reasonably well-situated within the growing village of Cologne. Heading to the local Town Hall, she thrust a bag of 500 golden coins to the man behind the counter and demanded a new title to better fit her standing.
"Alright then," the clerk sighed, a bored glaze to his eyes. "You are now known as Yeowoman. God be Praised. Ya-da ya-da. Off with you now."
"How dare you speak to me like that," Alexandria muttered, turning on her heel and returning to her Church. "I am the great von Kael!"
Now that she had a title, albeit a very low one, Alexandria was better equipped to find herself a mate with which to begin her dynasty.
She longed for the intellect of another Scholar, but all the men available were rogues and craftsmen. Unwilling to attach herself to a rogue, she wrapped her arms around the first craftsman she saw.
"That was lovely, thank you," he smiled, then coughed a spray of black bugs.
"I hope you're not contagious," Alexandria shrank back.
"No, no," the man coughed again.
A few hours later, Alexandria also began to cough.
"That demon!" she cursed, making her way to the nearest hospital. "That man infected me!"
"It's only a cold," shrugged the nurse. "Here, you'll feel better in no time."
"Colds can be deadly!"
"You'll be fine."
Apparently, after being in hospital for too long, Alexandria's beloved began to feel neglected.
"It's only been a few hours!" Alexandria cried, making her way to his house.
She banged on his door, paced back and forth in the rain, and shouted so loud it made her throat raw. Her beloved never answered.
"I am not neglecting you!" she cried. "I was in hospital! Please let me in. Let me hug you!"
There was still no answer...
...and then the notice came. Her beloved had died. Died from a cold. She knew that colds were deadly! She had told that nurse. She'd had every reason to worry. Thankfully, she had survived her illness.
But now, thanks to sudden illness and death, she needed to find another mate.
Looking through the list of eligible bachelors, she discovered that some Scholars had finally moved into town. How fortuitous, she grinned.
Unwilling to risk fate, she ambushed a young Scholar on the street and demanded that he marry her. His family agreed, for the price of 1,500 gold coins. It was money she couldn't spare but she had no choice. There was no time for the theatrics and drama of a year-long courtship; her rivals were already married and breeding, she needed a husband and a child, yesterday!
Dragging her new husband home, she put on her softest smile and purred, "It's been a while since we last talked, come, come into the bedding room with me."
"Er, we've never talked at all," Erwin, her new husband, stuttered.
"Never mind that," Alexandria snapped, whisking him away behind a closed curtain. "We'll talk like no-one has ever talked to you before!"
Erwin enjoyed the chat, a little too much. Lost for words, he leered over his bed-ridden wife, now heavy with child, and wondered what he should do with himself.
"I've always wanted to see corpses up close," he pondered, looking over his sleeping wife. "Perhaps I should build a crypt and bury 'er foes in it."
Minutes later, Erwin set forth the call and soon had a crypt built just outside of town.
"It's not big enough," he grumbled.
"Call us when you're a bit more learned," replied the buildmaster. "Only quality scholars get giant cemeteries to call their own!"
"I AM quality!" Erwin grunted. "My wife is of the Church. God demands you build me a better graveyard."
"Nice try," the buildmaster scoffed, then walked away.
Erwin crept into his newly built crypt and began the task of dismantling several skeletons to use their skulls and bones in a variety of household decor and fancy jewellery.
While his wife may dream of a life of riches under God's Glory, all he cared about was giving every household a skull candle, every villager a bracelet made of bone. May they all wear his wares! Wares crafted from their ancient kin.
The people will never know, he chuckled, staring eye to eye-socket with a skull he just extricated.
While Erwin tinkered around in his crypt and desecrated the dead, Alexandria at last gave birth to a young boy whom she named Zachariah.
"A fine name for a son of the Church," she smiled.
Zachariah was a strange boy. He came into the world appearing at least ten years of age and began skipping around almost instantly. Satisfied that the boy could look after himself, Alexandria returned to work and began demanding gold from all those who visited her church.
"It's God's will!" she cried, thrusting her tithing tray at every villager as they both entered and exited.
It wasn't long before she had enough to upgrade her church. No longer was it a dirty, dusty wooden shack, but now it was a glorious stone building befitting their Lord!
"And it will only become greater as I wrest more coins from these peasants hands," she chortled, admiring her new stained glass windows.
Although her newly upgraded church was a glorious building, attendance had been lacking in recent days.
Alexandria sifted through the Church archives and researched new ways in which she could lure people into her grand church and take their money in a Godly manner. There must be a solution!
And there was. Standing in the rain once more, Alexandria stood in the town centre by the markets and made a spectacle of herself.
"God is great!" she cried. "The faith is alive! See how Godly the Von Kael Monastery is! Next sermon starting in three hours! Don't miss out on your chance to become one with our God."
"Amen!" shout the crowd. "God be praised!"
"God sucks!" shouted another.
Alexandria glared at the brazen man, her eyes burning with fire, and with the help of one of her House Thugs, the non-believer collapsed to the ground and died.
"God has spoken," she sneered, inwardly smiling as the remaining crowd gasped and cheered.
Returning to her church with a line of new followers at her heel, Alexandria skidded to a halt.
An enemy dynasty loitered about her Godly walls, pickpockets on one side and salacious wenches on the other, ready to throw themselves upon her new followers and then steal their coin without them knowing.
"The Domburgers," she muttered, squinting her eyes at their family logo embroidered above each bulging chest.
Leaving her new followers to the Domburgers mercy, Alexandria rushed home and penned an angry yet diplomatic letter to the noble dynasty of the Domburgers.
"Cease displaying your boobs beside my premises, if you please. These are holy grounds."
Within seconds, a carrier pigeon returned to Alexandria's home and pooped on her writing desk.
"NEVER!" splattered itself across the wooden grain.
"Well then," Alexandria von Kael mumbled to herself with a steely glint to her eye. She nodded to one of her Thugs and motioned towards the Domburger Dynasty House. "You know what to do. If the Domburgers want war, they shall get it."