Hannibal Church, Blood Witch

Hannibal Church is a stojanic half-elf from Morgrove. He is the son of Wilbur Church, a member of the Council of Morgrove. Hannibal is distinguished by his strong cheekbones, pointed ears, wide-brimmed black leather hat, and more recently, blood red eyes. He is a blood witch, a powerful sorcerer and devotee to a forgotten god, granting him extraordinary powers of blood manipulation, regenerative abilities, poisonous blood, and a supernatural lifespan.

 

Youth


Hannibal's mother died when he was a child, and his father, a scholar from Miralith with a large inheritance, relocated with him to Morgrove. They moved into a mansion that once belonged to the Lane family, and within a couple of years, Hannibal's father joined the Council of Morgrove. 

In adolescence, Hannibal discovered the true nature of the council when some snooping through his father's records unearthed some sensitive information. After this, he became fascinated with the idea of joining the council himself and slaying vampires. He begged his father to train him to join the council, but he grew irate when Hannibal admitted that he had been reading the council's private records. The council reciprocated this attitude, and Hannibal decided that he would be a vampire slayer one way or another. 

Hannibal was 17 when he began hunting vampires. Disguising himself under a wide-brimmed hat, he took a vigilante approach to it, but was always careful to leave clues that only the council would trace back to him; he didn't want the village to know about the vampires, but he was desperate to impress his father and the council.  Over time, his methods became increasingly brash, and his self-confidence seemed to improve.

In truth, he was growing more powerful. Church had unearthed a massive temple to Azgoāl, a forgotten, primitive god, beneath his home. Here, he had been performing clandestine rituals to join an esoteric coven of blood witches. Hannibal was getting stronger, but he was also getting cocky.

 

Apprenticeship to Faust


The vampire Desmond Faust had been watching Church for some time. His power over blood and academic hunger would be valuable in an apprentice. When Hannibal was 24, Faust captured him, turning him and using vampiric compulsion to force him to use his blood manipulation abilities to fake his own death, leaving a mangled corpse with his appearance at the outskirts of town. Hannibal's will was strong, and when he awoke as a vampire, he was frenzied, frothing at the mouth like a rabid animal and desperate for blood. Faust struggled to maintain control of his new servant, ultimately only barely subduing the young vampire.

Hannibal remained sired to Faust for six years, toiling as his apprentice in Faust's underground lair. He was sealed away in the Blood Labs, content to spend his time experimenting with vampire blood and creating hideous, living vampiric hybrids. Monstrous beasts infused with his own blood and dark magic, Church's hybrids were living vampires, effectively vampiric monsters with beating hearts and warm flesh. 

Unbeknownst to Faust, Church fantasized endlessly of murdering his master, halted only by a vampiric curse that kept him from inflicting harm upon his sire. Already harboring a hatred for vampires, Church was tormented by his transformation, all of his hatred and bloodlust culminating in a single, self-destructive urge for vengeance.

 

Uprising and Death


After six years, he began to take action, outfitting his creations with silver prosthetics with which to eviscerate Faust, and wooden stakes with which to finish him off. When Faust caught wind of his apprentice's betrayal, he sent a party of adventurers to destroy Church. Seemingly, they succeeded, and his body melted into a sickly red stain.

Weeks later, Church was spotted on the pier in Morgrove. Then, during a hunt for a young vampire plaguing the town, the same party who killed him was undermined by Church, who stepped in and brutally murdered all three vampires before the party could get to them, leaving a message painted on the walls in their blood: 

DEATH TO BLOODSUCKERS

They watched Church escape into the woods, but having seen Hannibal staked through the heart, suspected Wilbur instead. 

 

Hannibal Church, Blood Witch


Hannibal had been operating out of the temple beneath his old home, checking in on some of his old projects and offering one of his servants a new order: destroy Faust. Hannibal had also snuck into Stormfall Village by night and killed a group of Iron Templars that had employed the party under false pretenses. 

Hannibal murdered Elliott Lane, the last vampire on the council, and left the mangled body for the party to find. When they did, he confronted them, thanking them for curing him of vampirism. He explained that he had slain the Templars to thank them and to leave a message. He then offered them the money the Templars had promised them. He was notably much calmer than when confronted in his vampiric form, but Anita Foster noted that he seemed far more unstable than she remembered him.

When discussing the Caller in Darkness, Church urged the party not to bother with it, assuring them that whatever damage it may cause in a far distant future isn't worth the trouble of hunting it. Alec Zander detected an ulterior motive veiled beneath his words. 

He left Arlur Howlin with some parting words. Noting that Arlur himself had pledged his soul to Azgoāl to become a blood witch, he advised that Azgoāl was an old an waning god, and that he could be taken advantage of.

Hannibal Church, Blood Witch

Shadows of Sanctuary Slimedad