Vampire

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Vampire
Pict Vampire.jpg
A Soublight Vampire Lord.
Grand alliance Death
Associated factions Flesh-eater Courts
Grand Host of Nagash
Legion of Sacrament
Legion of Blood
Soulblight
Origins Nagash's creations
Type Undead

Vampires are one of the most powerful types of Undead that can be found throughout the Mortal Realms.

Origin

Vampires are unnatural creatures, a form of twisted unlife whose origins ultimately stem from Nagash himself. The first Vampires were created by Neferata when she was an ambitious mortal queen using the necromantic knowledge of Nagash. In return for all their new-found power and immortality they were cursed to feed upon fresh blood for sustenance or wither away to a final, bleak oblivion.[5a][5b]

Vampires in the Mortal Realms descend from the dark triad of Neferata, Mannfred and Ushoran. While Ushoran's brood were to degenerate into the delusional abhorrant cannibal kings, those sired by the Mortarchs came to exemplify the pale and refined image of a vampiric aristocrat.[5a][5b]

Vampires are almost exclusively human in origin but the cause for this is unknown. There are multiple theories for this such as a jealous curse inflicted by Elder Bones, vampires simply preferring to grant the blood kiss to those of a similar origin or that the longer lived races have less inclination to seek immortality. However the legends of Necros claim that at least one aelf has succumbed to the curse over the millennia.[5c]

Biology

Unlike most other undead, vampires retain all the intelligence, will, ambition and desires from their lives. This means that, unlike them they can continue to grow and learn, spending their immortal lives perfecting skills and honing plans and schemes. The lords and ladies of Nulahmia and other such strongholds of their kind compete in political games of subtlety that make take centuries to play out.[4]

Mortals who are transformed by the Curse gain many benefits - unnatural strength, incredible resilience and of course immortality, yet they become subject to the insatiable need to feed on fresh blood. If the thirst is not temporarily quenched, then the vampire can become little more than a mindless monster, only seeking to feed the predatory urges.[2c] Thus all vampires wrestle with a constant desire to sup upon the blood of their former kindred – an ever-present hunger that, in almost every case, eventually comes to overwhelm them.[5a][5b]

In addition to their thirst for blood Vampires are driven by a lust for domination, a trait acquired from the Great Necromancer.[5a] As Vampires travelled to new lands and developed new obsessions, the magics of the Eight Realms also began to alter the curse within them. While the constant blood-hunger remained, some found the bestial aspects of their personality sharpened, their command of necromancy intensified, or even stranger alterations.[5b]

Weaknesses

Across the Mortal Realms, there are many legends about such creatures, some spread by the vampires themselves – few are accurate. Contrary to some legends Vampires do not immolate when touched by Hysh's light, but loathe, despise or fear its scouring brilliance and take refuge beneath shadows and colossal swarms of bats where possible. They do not need permission to enter a royal abode and scattered sourwart seeds or flowing rivers cannot stop them. Some vampires of lesser power and will can be warded away by fastening an upsidedown straw doll to the door with a silver nail or covering oneself in week-old ashsprig. The only sure way to end a vampire, is the complete destruction of its physical form as leaving even a small part may allow it to reform over time.[2c][5c]

Transformation

Vargheists are the bestial heart of the curse – huge bat winged abominations that are much larger than their civilised cousins – closer to the dark mirror of the Abhorrant Ghoul Kings. They do not sip the blood of the chosen from jewelled chalices, but rather tear their prey apart and lap up the spilled blood. Should a soulblight vampire go too long without blood, he or she may revert to this form and there is no way to return – some vampires impose this as a punishment on wayward kin. Yet even these monsters can be revered – as with the Avengorii Dynasty in the Realm of Ghur whose champions undergo the mas'ranga ritual willingly. [2c]

Cursed Bloodlines

Each of the dynasties or legions of vampires have developed their own characteristics over time, often shaped by their leaders, customs and desires and with their own methods of warfare.[6]

These are the Cursed Bloodlines of which the following are known:

  • Abhorrant are the spawn of Ushoran and the masters of the Mordants and Flesh-Eater Courts.[7a][7b]
  • Avengorii have abandoned the pretence of humanity and have become gruesome horrors that seek to feed on the largest and most worthy brutes of Ghur. Their bodies have become twisted while their minds turns more deranged over time. Their armies are little more than a rampaging pack of monstrous creatures.[6]
  • Kastelai is a bloodline that resides in the Crimson Keep, a magical castle that translocates across the Mortal Realms and serve Prince Vhordrai, the Fist of Nagash. They are the most warlike and martial-minded vampires, their armies composed of well-drilled cavalry that values feats of skill and strength in combat.[6]
  • Khirogarvii: A bloodline that venerates terrorgheists as shards of Nagash.[5d]
  • Nulahmian are the spawn of Neferata and often belong to the Legion of Blood. The queen maintains a complex network of spies throughout the Realms and use Deathrattle legions for warfare. They are the peerless exemplars of the majesty of Death.[2a][6]
  • Von Carstein are the spawn of Mannfred and often belong to the Legion of Night. They have been made ambitious and arrogant, using hordes of undead to slow their enemies so the vampires can sweep in for easy kills. They are sneakiest of the Bloodlines.[6]
  • Vyrkos are the spawn of Belladamma Volga and are said to be the creation of the Godbeast Hrunspuul. This bloodline has a connection to totemic animal-spirits, primary among them the wolf, causing many of their warriors to manifest lupine feature and the ability to command packs of Dire Wolves.[6]
  • Tengorez of Realm of Hysh are described as withered vampires that inhabit crystal lairs, only emerging to capture arcane war machines of Xintill to corrupt them into focus of necromantic energies.[5b]
  • The tribal chieftains of Ghur that have abandoned the trappings of nobility are savage and bestial, bearing huge fangs and covered in heavy course hair.[2c]
  • The Vampires of Realm of Aqshy struggle to control their ranging passing. They are known to spread their bloodline as far as possible.[5b]
    • In the Parching Wastes of Aqshy there is a Bloodline that is almost skeletal, pale skinned and with knife like talons.[2c]

Lands of Vampires

Throughout the Mortal Realms, vampire rule over a variety of lands, some where the mortal inhabitants are nothing more than cattle, others where they are integrated into the complex social structure - although of course the soulblight vampires remain at the pinnacle. [2c]

Notable

Notes

Before the release of Battletome: Soulblight Gravelords (2021) there were four main bloodlines of vampire, each of them with a specific affinity[1][2d]:

  • Dragon Warriors with superior combat skills.[1][2d]
  • Lords of Night with the ability to more easily influence their minions.[1][2d]
  • Necromantic with the ability to cause fear and superior wizardry.[1][2d]
  • Swift Death with superior speed and agility.[1] [2d]

Sources

Sapient Races of the Mortal Realms
Mortals Aelf (IdonethScáthborn) • Ba'halDragon Ogor (Shaggoth) • DuardinFimirFomoroidGargantHumanOgor (Yhetee) • OgroidSlannSeraphon (Chameleon SkinkKroxigorSaurusSkink) • Skaven (Rat Ogor) • Troggoth (DankholdFellwaterRockgutSourbreathSulphurbreath)
Gor-kin Bullgor (CygorGhorgon) • CentigorGor (PestigorSlaangorTzaangor) • Ungor
Greenskins Grot (ScuttlingGnoblar) • OrrukSnotling
Spirits Aelementor (Spirits of the MountainSpirits of the Wind) • EidolonSpiteSylvaneth (BranchlingForest FolkNoble SpiritsFree SpiritsOutcasts)
Undead MalignantMordantReanimant (Morghast) • WightVampireZombie
Daemons Daemon PrinceFuryKhornate (BloodletterBloodthirster) • Nurglite (Great Unclean OneNurglingPlaguebearer) • Slaaneshi (DaemonetteKeeper of Secrets) • Soul GrinderTzeentchian (Gaunt SummonerHorror of TzeentchLord of Change) • Verminlord
Other AetarDraconithDracothDrogrukhGholemkindJotunbergKelpdarKurnothiMerwynnMindstealer SphiranxSankritSilent PeopleStardrakeValay
Flesh-Eater Courts
Units Abhorrant (Archregent - Ghoul king) - Courtier (Crypt Ghast - Crypt Haunter - Crypt Infernal - Varghulf) - Crypt Flayer - Crypt Ghoul - Crypt Horror - Royal Terrorgheist - Royal Zombie Dragon
Characters Atheldade - Carrion King - Fangheart - Galan - Gloomheart - Goretalon - Gristlegob - Horgloom - Maldoros - Marrowthirst - Prince of Crows - Shovergore - Skinless Sultan - Splinterblood - Splinterbone - Thyador Durenstein - Urglom - Zernmeister - Grymwatch (Crakmarrow - Master Talon - Night's Herald - Royal Butcher - Valreek)
Grand Courts Blisterskin - Gristlegore - Hollowmourne - Morgaunt
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures - Endless Spells - Scenery


Soulblight
Units Abyssal Terror - Bat Swarm - Blood Knight - Bloodseeker Palanquin (Sanguinarch - Spectral Host) - Coven Throne (Pallid Handmaiden - Spectral Host - Vampire Queen) - Fell Bat - Nightmare - Vampire Lord - Vargheist - Vengorian Lord - Vyrkos Blood-born - Zombie Dragon
Characters Adhema - Ahalaset - Annika - Aylessa - Belladamma Volga - Cyssandra - Dessina Avaranthe - Doyenne Dalvia - Emalia Grimsour - Evered Halorecht - Giraldus - Harkdron - Harrowgheist - Helvir - Jedefor - Karya Treveign - Kemsit - Kritza - Lauka Vai - Mannfred - Markus - Mathas Hellezan - Mereneth - Naaima - Nagen - Nagra Halorecht - Neferata - Radukar - Raia - Shordemaire - The Blood Dragon - Velaza Bentessas - Varkos Varactyr - Venzor - Vhordrai - Vinhela - Vorst Treveign - Yessanna - Zhlatomir
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures