Ambitious creatures find fertile ground in Gloomwrought’s ever-shifting political landscape. But every opportunity in the City of Midnight is veined with danger. Even working in the seemingly innocuous position of vendor means risking death at the hands of a covetous rival or a desperate job seeker.
Chapter 4 of Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond introduces some of the City of Midnight’s most prominent or influential faces, many of whom hold positions in the upper echelons of government, security, and trade.
Grigori and Nikolai
A typical vampire in Gloomwrought avoids seeking close allies or joining factions. Instead, it wields its individual influence and supernatural might in the never-ending power struggles of the city. The vampires of the Charnel Fangs, though, congregate to form a force on par with that of even the strongest noble house.
Although most creatures living in the Shadowfell feel drained by the depressing weight of the plane, the vampires of the Charnel Fangs find their primal urges accentuated. Acutely attuned to their bestial nature, the vampires grow fiercer and stronger than they could outside the city. They have a mindset somewhere between the evil cunning of a vampire and the mindless hunger of a vampire spawn.
A group of Charnel Fangs exhibits a pack mentality. Any attack made on one of the brothers sends the entire throng into a wild frenzy, which ends only after they tear every enemy to shreds.
Two brothers—enemies in life, now inseparable in death—lead the Charnel Fangs. The elder, Grigori, is a cruel, greedy, lascivious monster seeking only to fill his pockets with gold and his belly with blood. His younger brother, Nikolai, follows him with unwaveringly loyalty—a soldier living to serve his brother’s whims. Nikolai relies on speed, def lecting blows with a gruesome axe—the very weapon he used to kill his brother. Grigori, on the other hand, prefers to tear enemies apart with his claws while relying on heavy armaments that once belonged to his father.
When the vampires leave the Graveyard, either Grigori or Nikolai leads the pack. The brothers do their best to keep their underlings from totally losing control. The brothers have far greater self-restraint than their servants when they’re giving commands, but even they sometimes fall victim to their monstrous desires. When one brother goes into battle, the other waits in the Slaughterhouse, the mausoleum they share in the Graveyard.
Though the Charnel Fangs hunt and murder publicly, they don’t suffer any consequences. Fortunately for the vampires, life in Gloomwrought is cheap. The Deathless Watch regards the victims of the Charnel Fangs’ frenzies as “assisted suicides.” In fact, in order to keep the wealthy and influential safe, the Watch turns a blind eye as long as the vampires attack the poor, ordinary people. Members of Midnight’s Own suspect this fact, and their anger drives them to fight against the authorities even more determinedly.
The Charnel Fangs sleep and plan in the Graveyard. In this overfull cemetery, their graves fill up with coffins—some packed four deep. The brothers took over a mausoleum, tossing the original residents’ bodies outside unceremoniously. Within this crypt, the brothers make their plans. They set aside a large chamber to hold captives, allowing their lackeys to feed and torture without fear of reprisal. A captured townsperson can survive for weeks if the vampires particularly enjoy the taste of the victim’s blood or the sound of its screams.