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A Grim Feast

"A Grim Feast by Girardi del Vors" is a magical item in the form of an unholy painting. A casual glance at it has no effect, though if studied, it has the ability to drive a person insane. If a subject examines the painting for one minute or more, the details of the work become clear, and they experience del Vors’ rage as a result of their curiosity. The viewer risks slipping into a madness that lasts for nearly half a day, otherwise unable to control himself until he successfully butchers everyone in his immediate family. If the viewer is a worshipper of Khorne and succeeds in resisting its magic, he is rewarded with mutation.[1b]

History Edit

Over five centuries old, "A Grim Feast" is believed to be the final work of the famous Estalian painter, Girardi del Vors. Throughout his career, he was famed for his portraits and landscapes, capturing the essence of Estalia’s culture and society, while also presenting breathtaking visions of the land. Whilst talented, del Vors’ style was not sophisticated enough to bring him acclaim from beyond his country.[1a]

A Grim Feast is a unique piece, unlike any other he created, and because of it, he is remembered far longer than his life would warrant. There are many stories about del Vors in his last days and the circumstances of his life at the time of its creation. Certain elements vary in the telling, but one thing is for certain: whilst del Vors worked, he learned of his wife’s infidelity.[1a]

His son’s memoirs describe del Vors as a particularly devoted husband, which is reinforced by the sheer numbers of paintings he produced of his beloved. But his marginal success as an artist and meagre income drove the woman to find other men to give her the things she wanted. It was the worst-kept secret in his city, but del Vors ignored the gossip and held to his belief in the sanctity of his marriage.[1a][1b]

At one point, in the last days of his career, he was called to the home of a noble where he was presented with a lucrative commission to paint the entire family. Such a job would mean lifting his family out of want and into the lap of luxury they deserved. He rushed home a day earlier than expected and found his beloved in the arms of two men. It’s said he went mad with shame and butchered the three lovers with his knife. In the throes of insanity, he used the blood and other fluids of his victims to create a painting like none have ever seen, channelling his rage, shame, and horror into every stroke. His only surviving son claimed it took his father eight days to complete the painting, and somehow, through it all, the blood remained wet so he could work it into his art. (This testimony is suspect since the young man spent the next few years in an asylum where he eventually died after choking on his tongue.) But when del Vors looked upon his creation, all anger fled his body, all the hate left, leaving him an empty shell. He hanged himself from the rafters eight days later.[1b]

The painting seems innocent enough, though its colours are strange and unsettling, being all browns and reds. It measures six-feet long by four-feet tall. It shows del Vors’ family gathered around a table, sharing a meal. But on closer inspection, one can see each face is twisted by hate, and the fare is anything but normal, being Human body parts. Beyond the scene, and through the only window shown, del Vors painted a bloody battlefield full of capering Daemons tearing apart the nobility, though such detail can only be learned through careful study and the use of powerful lenses. The painting is incredibly lifelike and very unsettling, so few have had the resolve to study it too closely.[1b]

Following del Vors’ suicide, the local authorities confiscated the painting as evidence for the crime, but it quickly disappeared from the vault. Over the centuries, there have been many owners, but it is never held for long—everyone who comes into contact with this piece goes mad and butchers his family… or so the legend goes. Its current whereabouts are unknown.[1b]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
    • 1a: pg. 80
    • 1b: pg. 81

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