Kastelai

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The Kastelai Dynasty is a lineage of Soulblight vampire warriors obsessed with martial prowess that dedicate themselves to perfecting the art of bloody hand-to-hand combatt. Headed by Prince Vhordrai they ride out from the translocating fortress known as the Crimson Keep.[1a]

Characteristics

The Kastelai consist of the most martial-minded Vampires obssessed with the art of war who consider the only honourable way of spending their immortal unlife to be constantly testing themselves against worthy foes. They believe their commitment to open battle grants them a nobility rare among the undead as they channel their dark hungers into honest contests of arms. Yet the Kastelai are just as prone to succumbing to the Soulblight curse as any other vampire lineage and in war, they find an excuse to let out their most vile and bloodthirsty excesses.[1a]

The Kastelai venerate Prince Vhordrai, the Saint of Slaughter and Fist of Nagash and many were granted the blood kiss after managing to unseat one of his undead warriors in a joust. Unlike more close-knit dynasties, a Kastelai does not need to be sired by another of the dynasty, allowing any vampire who swear themselves to Prince Vhordrai and pass the excruciating martial trials to become one of them. This method of adoption results in the collection of combat traditions from a thousand heritages, which are then refined by their new brethren. The Kastelai take intense pride in furthering their understanding of warfare and on the rarest of occasions, will even spare a worthy living adversary in exchange for being taught some new technique or philosophy of combat that has caught their attention. Thus the Kastelai not only facilitate a wide breadth of combat skills but also the sharing of beliefs from many militant cultures. In the winding halls and shadowed alcoves of the Crimson Keep, cults of battle worship at secret altars dedicated to the most warlike death gods, drawn from societies across the realms. These sects are allowed to exist by Prince Vhordrai as long as they maintain secrecy as despite his hatred for Nagash, he is not foolish to draw the Great Necromancer’s wrath twice.[1a]

Warfare

Kastelai armies are almost entirely mounted to both maintain their knightly image and also out of necessity as the Crimson Keep relocates each dawn and any vampires left behind are either stranded or should they have spent too long within its halls, cursed to wither away entirely. Lances of Blood Knights form the core and supported by Dire Wolf hunting hounds raised from the most ferocious canine beasts. They will resurrect slain infantry from local barrows and corpse pits as needed but are considered entirely expendable and left to crumble by dawn. At the head of the Kastelai rides Prince Vhordrai but on rare occasions a senior Soulblight warlord, often one of the Red Seneschals, Vhordrai’s feared inner circle will take command. The Kastelai strike hard and fast, either acting as mercenaries to other dynasties for a heavy price in blood or to impress their own brand of violent oppression upon the living.[1a]

Sources


Soulblight Gravelords
Associated Factions Beasts of the Grave - Deadwalkers - Deathlords - Deathmages - Deathrattle - Soulblight
Dynasties Avengorii - Kastelai - Legion of Blood - Legion of Night - Vyrkos
Characters Belladamma - Lauka Vai - Mannfred von Carstein - Neferata - Radukar
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures- Spells