We take our loot but don't get old
YO, yo HO! YO, yo HO!
All HAIIIILLL the Mighty! He's a-risin' from the deep
With tattered sails
And incredible tales
We're caught in endless seas!"
Night falls on Lustria. As you stand on the dock and peer seawards through the gathering mists, strain your ears. The jungle sounds behind you fade, and in their place comes a wet thudding, as of rotten rigging against a mouldy mast. The sound multiplies, and with it, the groan of a thousand breathless voices, joined in something part-shanty, part-dirge. Dread prows pierce the gloom ahead, and the ghastly truth is laid bare: upon the ghoul-winds come the swollen hulks and decaying vessels of the Vampire Coast! Run now — run hard and fast. For it is all you can do.
It was the undying lord Luthor Harkon that laid claim to a stretch of Lustria's east coast. Bordered to the east by the Great Ocean (also known as the "World Pond") and to the west by the steaming jungle, the Vampire Coast remains fairly wild. To the north, a jungle-filled peninsula separates the Vampire Coast from the Tarantula Coast. Near the shoreline, the reawakened City of Huatl of the Lizardmen dominates the treeline while Tlax, the City of Ghosts, remains shrouded within the jungle. At the southern end of the Coast, east of the delta of the River Lambada, one finds the Volcanic Islands. West of the delta lies the ruins of the City of Axlotl, empty and despoiled by Luthor Harkon's undead hordes. Ever since, it has been a domain where the dead stir, leading expeditions into the jungle interior or setting sail across the Great Ocean to commit wanton acts of piracy. But the insane Arch-Commodore Harkon is not the only unliving admiral who takes to the seas with pistol-armed crews of zombies, vampiric depth guard, syreens and mournguls... there are other pirate lords who command dreadfleets of their own, packed to the gunwales with crews press-ganged into eternal service.
These tyrants ply the seas seeking plunder of blood and gold. However, now that the vortex of Ulthuan weakens, the captains search for more than mere treasure... for the Star-Metal Harpoon lies in the deeps, a weapon powerful enough to bring the greatest Merwyrm of them all to heel!
Introduced in Total War: Warhammer II, the Vampire Coast are playable in custom games, the Vortex Campaign, and Mortal Empires if Curse of the Vampire Coast has been purchased.
- Achilles' Heel:
- Ironically, archers. While it is true that very few factions can sport as much gunpowder and artillery as the Vampire Coast, they tend to take a lot of damage when anyone decides to shoot back with anything that has longer range. And then they also have the same weakness the Vampire Counts have against fire, light and unbreakable enemies.
- In a similar vein, the Vampire Coast places so much emphasis on guns and artillery that their melee options are limited and/or outright inferior to the other factions' melee units. Any melee horde or monsters that can make it through all the bullets and shells intact can dominate the Vampire Coast in close combat.
- A Commander Is You: A Spammer/Ranger faction. The Vampire Coast are very reliant on being able to quickly summon hordes of cheap infantry and a few monsters to support their waves upon waves of cost-efficient and plentiful gunners on the field with most of their melee units being mainly used in order to keep their the foe bogged down and open for bullets and cannonballs. They may not be as accurate as Dwarfs, Humans and Elves, but they make up for this weakness by drowning their foes in a far bigger hail of projectiles than anyone else can muster, as well as having horribly powerful, yet still plentiful artillery.
- Action Bomb: Bloated Corpses; their sole purpose is to charge into the enemy ranks and violently explode. To put it in perspective, these things are extremely cheap, and can essentially erase a unit of elite infantry in a single instant, making them extremely dangerous. Luckily, they can be easily countered with ranged units, and are a risky unit to bring, as killing one triggers its detonation, which, if there's friendly units around, can deal a horrifying amount of friendly fire.
- Adaptational Badass: Meta and setting wise. They were a serious threat to be sure in the original lore, but it's specifically noted they're a completely local problem around Lustria (as Luthor Harkon had no aspiration to expand and be a major power), and the only ones who fear them are the Lizardmen, the faction that gets the brunt of the Vampire Coast's attacks. In the Total War game? They're a major player in their own right, and a global threat to all. Furthermore they have a lot more tools than they did in the tabletop: the Zombie Pirates army list was considered fun but very noncompetitive, while here they have massively expanded army options and their own unique lore of magic.
- Adaptation Expansion: The original Vampire Coast army list from White Dwarf #306 has been massively expanded with the addition of the Mourngul and Corpse Giant from the Monstrous Arcanum supplement for Storm of Magic; an undead version of the Promethean from Man O War to fill the place of the Rotting Leviathan; nautical versions of the Vampire Counts' Fell Bats and Terrorgheist; a host of original units; and three additional Legendary Lords, two of which are from Dreadfleet while the third is an original creation.
- Ambiguously Human: Bloated Corpses. They have the body type of an Ogre, are tall enough to be Ogres, and fight in an army that does include reanimated Ogres, but unlike the Animated Hulks are never explicitly referred to as Ogres.
- Ascended Extra: Probably one of the most notable examples in the series. The Vampire Coast had a semi-official army list in White Dwarf #306, but it was very limited and mostly served as an auxiliary to a 'regular' Vampire Counts army. Here, they have become a major faction in their own right. This is also true within the game, as the Coast was original a minor Vampire Counts faction.
- A-Team Firing: With the exception of units like the Gunnery Wight, the pirates of the Vampire Coast aren't very good shots, and miss a lot of what they shoot at. However, they shoot quite a lot and what they do hit takes a lot of damage, and some of their abilities and spells will briefly avert this by buffing a unit's accuracy by significant amounts for a short time.
- Ax-Crazy: The entire faction is more than a little bonkers to be honest, but what really takes the cake are the Depth Guard. Being Blood Dragons, all they really live for are mayhem and slaughter and their lines are very enthusiastic whenever in combat.
- Bayonet Ya: The Black Spot, a Regiment of Renown of Zombie Pirate Gunnery Mob with Handguns, are probably the only non-hybrid gunner or archer unit who can win a fight against charging cavalary as a result of them having placed long bayonets on their guns.
- Badass Longcoat: A popular choice of clothing for this faction, with Vampire Fleet Admirals wearing particularly badass armoured leather longcoats.
- Bat Out of Hell: Much like their land-bound cousins, the Vampire Coast possesses several bat-themed units:
- Fell Bats are "small" (bird-of-prey sized), expendable, and attack in large groups. They're used to harass, target warmachine crews, and "tarpit" units. Many Vampires treat them akin to how a hunter views his prized falcon, and they're often used by the Midnight Aristocracy as pets.
- Deck Droppers are particularly massive Fell Bats that carry zombies in their claws as they fly. They live under the decks of the Vampires' ships, and are goaded into battle using black magic. The zombies are equipped with flintlock rifles and shoot at targets below, and, if they're forced to, can descend onto the ground and use their rifles and talons to deal quite a bit of damage. Variations swap out the rifle for a Hand Cannon or explosives, allowing them to serve as crude strafing bombers akin to dwarf gyrocopters.
- Terrorgheists are the undead husks of dragon-sized bats, big enough to prey on horses, pegasi, and even griffins. They make underground caves their lairs and, once they die, vampires commonly resurrect their cadavers to forge a mighty beast capable of taking to the skies. The Death-shriek Terrorgiests employed by the Vampire Coast are covered head to tail in green algae, suggesting the beasts' remains were dredged out of the ocean.
- BFG: A lot of them. They may lack the overwhelming horror of their parent army, but they more then make up for it with a massive assortment of big guns.
- The "Queen Bess", a one-of-a-kind unique cannon captured from an Imperial Destroyer and modified by Luthor for his own personal use in a rare moment of clarity. Its cinematic model looks big enough to fit several regular-sized cannon inside its muzzle, must be pointed to the sky and fired like a mortar, and is covered in pirate and vampiric iconography. This thing is such a powerful gun, it causes tremors when fired, which slow down any units unlucky enough to be caught in its destructive blast radius, and can annihilate practically entire units with each blast! As of right now it's the strongest artillery piece in the game, and that's no small feat. There can only be one active at any time in-game being counted as a Regiment of Renown, and it's spawned through a special rite, making it almost irreplaceable.
- Zombie Pirate Deck Gunners hulk around dismounted swivel guns (miniature cannons that are designed to be latched onto ship decks) as Chainsaw Grip BFGs. While horribly inaccurate, when they hit they are devastating.
- Blunderbuss's are the Hand Cannon variant of this trope, some Zombie units carry these massive handguns that act like shotguns, very short range, but damaging as all whole.
- They also have access to relatively smaller pieces of artillery: mainly stolen Imperial pieces, such as Mortars and Carronades refitted and customized for their use.
- Hell, their monsters get on the action too, with the Necrofex Colossi and Rotting Prometheans having access to rusting cannons. The Necrofex in particular has 4 cannons bolted together, which it uses at ranged and melee combat.
- Body Horror: Good lord, they might as well be the Body Horror faction.
- First is the Animated Hulks. Rotting Ogre corpses, blue from water exposure, with giant parasitic sea creatures sticking out of their guts, which makes the already hideously obese ogres even more ugly.
- Second, the Mourngul. Horrifying Wendigo creatures neither living nor dead, with disgusting giant, jerking maws covered in razor sharp teeth, that are missing their bottom half, showing off their leaking guts and organs in full detail.
- Third, the Bloated Corpse. A hideously obese Zombie, whose skin has gone blue from constant water exposure, and is so fat it can barely walk without being dragged down by its weight. Its body is coated in arrows, boils, and leaking gas, as it's completely bloated with noxious gas that explodes onto turning itself, and everything around it into Ludicrous Gibs.
- Fourth, the Zombie Pirates themselves. Hideously malformed corpses, they look decayed alright, but unlike regular Zombies, they're absolutely covered in various sea growths, like barnacles and algae, giving them an even more disgusting appearance then regular ones.
- Canon Foreigner: The Vampire Coast has access to a unique lore of magic, the Lore of the Deep, which is the first original lore made for the video games, as well as many units that never existed in the tabletop game. One of their Legendary Lords, Cylostra Direfin, is also a completely original creation.
- Canon Immigrant: The faction draws major elements from the separate naval boardgame Dreadfleet, which is set in the Warhammer universe.
- The Captain: Vampire Fleet Captains are female ship captains that act as a Hero Unit. They command ships, and are both competent fighters, marksmen, and spellcasters, making them a rather extreme Jack-of-All-Stats when it comes to heroes. Then there's the Vampire Fleet Admiral Lord variants of this, coming in both male and female flavors.
- Cold Sniper: The Gunnery Wights, a powerful Hero Unit. Zombie officers who wield a powerful musket and are excellent at picking off targets from afar (on ships they usually occupy the crow's nest) and sniping enemy leaders. They provide a host of buffs to Zombie Pirate Units, being able to give them special gunpowder that buffs their damage and reload speed, and replenish their ammo, a unique ability exclusive to the Coast.
- Cool Boat: Like you wouldn't believe. They travel around in the decaying hulks of sunken Imperial Galleons, whose black sails are now tattered, and their hulls covered in coral and decay. Necrofex Colossi are also boat-like Golems made from converted shipwrecks. Each Legendary Lord possesses their own unique pirate ship which can be upgraded similar to the Dark Elves' Black Arks, essentially turning the Legendary Lords into Chaos-style horde armies within an otherwise standard faction.
- Cool Gun: Many of them wield flintlock pistols, handcannons or rickety muskets.
- Cursed Item: The Pieces of Eight are all cursed relics that are connected to the Regiments of Renown in some way. Whoever holds these can summon the undead or monsters whose souls are eternally bound to each piece.
- Dead Weight: The Bloated Corpse is a swollen, waterlogged zombie that serves as an Action Bomb. In the lore, these corpses are fished out by the Zombie Pirates, resurrected, and used as suicide bombers, for their bodies are swollen with dangerously explosive gasses.
- Decapitated Army: Out of all the undead factions, they suffer this more than anyone else. Where the Vampire Counts have supporting units to keep their army going in case their leader bites the dust, such as The Mortis Engine and Corpse Wagon, and where the Tomb Kings have the Realm of Souls to allow them extra healing after a few losses in troops, the Vampire Coast as no way of supporting their dissipating necromantic magic once the general bites the dust, putting them on a very' strict race against the clock in case that ever happens.
- Demoted to Extra: Van Gheist, one of the undead lords from Dreadfleet, is not a playable unit in the game, but he does appear with his ship with the Lore of The Deep spell Van Gheist's Revenge where he blasts apart entire units of enemies with ghostly cannons.
- Death from Above: What Deckdroppers specialize in. They carry a Zombie Pirate Gunner in their claws, ranging from bombers to hand cannoners, and they float above the field of battle, letting their charges fire below. And if the need too, they can wade into combat themselves, attacking from the air!
- Dual Wielding:
- A variant of Zombie Pirates carry a rusting scimitar in each hand, as do the members of the Sartosa Free Company.
- Depthguard duel wield boarding axes.
- Dressed to Plunder: Tri/Bicornes? Check. Eye patches? Check. Hook Hand and Sea Dog Peg Leg? Check and check. Just about the only one missing is the Seadog Beard, probably because being undead isn't good for your hair, though Count Noctilus skirts around this by having a pointy metallic beard strapped to his chin.
- Enthralling Siren: Syreens, a nautical cousin of the banshee that lures in sailors to crash their ships on rocky shorelines. Unlike banshees, however, syreens of the Vampire Coast congregate in units of fast-moving spectral infantry, enjoying a bonus against infantry and a horrifyingly brutal armour piercing bonus.
- Elite Mooks: Depth Guards, drowned members of The Blood Dragons who now serve as the strongest infantry unit that the Vampire Coast has to offer. They are very few in numbers, but since they hit like trucks and are able to rapidly regenerate as long as they are in combat, they can arguably end up besting most other factions strongest infantry if left to their devices for too long.
- Eye Patch Of Power: Several of they're heroes wear these, and some variants of regular Zombie Pirates do too. Hey, they're pirates!
- Flying Dutchman: Really all of their ships could count, but the thing that takes the cake is Vangheist's Revenge, a spectral warship crewed by literal Ghost Pirates (whom you can hire as a Regiment of Renown) and captained by Vangheist, a revenge obsessed ghost captain. The ship can be summoned during battle with the spell of the same name, letting you obliterate entire regiments of infantry with it's ghostly cannons.
- The most infamous pirate on the seas during their Eye of the Vortex Campaign is named "Khalil Lothreef" (he's also mentioned as the Mysterious Stranger spying on the Coast midway through the campaign). This is a Significant Anagram for Lokhir Fellheart, who serves as the final boss of the campaign.
- The return of Nagash is all but spelled out in the playable epilogue of the Eye of the Vortex Campaign, where Luthor Harkon begins to hear a new voice in his mind. One foretelling the rise of a vast undead empire, and promising him a place at the side of the new god of death.
- Ghost Pirate: Well, Zombie Pirates, but a fine example regardless; a bunch of reanimated sailors led by Vampire Captains plundering the coasts of the New World for booty! The Shadewraith Gunners are literally these: a Regiment of Renown of ghostly, ethereal Deck Gunners with magical swivel cannons, extremely expensive but incredibly dangerous when used properly. They are in fact a Continuity Nod to Dreadfleet, being crewmen of the infamous ghost captain, Vangheist (whose was The Dragon to Noctilus in the tabletop game)
- Giant Enemy Crab: In this case we mean absolutely giant crabs. Rotting Prometheans and Leviathans are the re-animated husks of Prometheans, a species of colossal sea crab that lurks off the coast of Lustria and can devour a small ship whole, and are the most dangerous creatures found on the coastal islands that surround the continent! The former are a lot smaller, but still rather large, while the later is a Sea Monster unto itself — it's colossal, large enough to wear a wrecked galleon as a shell. Pirate Zombies goad these massive horrors, which can shatter enemy lines all by themselves, into battle while riding atop the remains of sunken galleons on the backs of their shells and firing below with muskets or hand cannons. Some Lords also have them as mounts.
- God Is Displeased: The reason for The Tide of Skjold, a Regiment of Renown of Deckhand Mob. They were Norscans that the Chaos Gods saw unfit for sacrifice and decided to let them suffer in the deeps until a cursed Pearl was used to bring them back to the surface.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Played Straight with the Vampire Fleet Admirals. Male Admirals are equipped with a halberd, while female Admirals prefer Sword and Gun.
- Hand Cannon: A variant of the Zombie Gunners carry a what's essentially an oversized Blunderbuss, and it operates like a Shotgun, very deadly at short distances, but having one of the shortest ranges in the entire game.
- Hook Hand: A variant of the Fleet Captains has a hook for a hand, suitably very piratey!
- Humongous Mecha: The Necrofex Colossus is a wooden, Magitek version: a galleon converted into a massive bipedal monster stuffed full of drowned corpses, complete with a literal Arm Cannon.
- Kill It with Fire: The Gallows Giant Regiment of Reknown has its tri-cannon swapped out with a magical flamethrower. Unlike the Dwarf Irondrakes, this thing fully averts Video Game Flame Throwers Suck, being devastating against all infantry (armored or not) both at long range and short distances, and tall enough to fire over your other infantry without catching them in the flames either (most of the time).
- Kraken and Leviathan:
- The ultimate goal of their Vortex campaign is to find the Star-Metal Harpoon, an artifact which will allow them to bring even the mightiest of all sea creatures under their control — the beast in question being an utterly colossal merwyrm named Amanar, who in the lore is a ancient but benevolent beast who owes his allegiance to the High Elves. Their intention is to use the harpoon to kill Amanar, and bring him back from the dead under their control with forbidden Black Magic. He actually appears in the final battle, looming over the battlefield with hungry eyes, and roars in primal hatred.
- One of the spells in the Lore of the Deep has the spellcaster summoning a giant squid horror from the depths, as a stationary vortex of sorts, that uses its Combat Tentacles to rip apart enemy formations and slow them down.
- Long-Range Fighter: Slightly Downplayed, but they're still a strong example. Sure they have a selection of very powerful melee units, but ultimately their strength lies in their endless supply of ranged units; unlike the Vampire Counts army, these vampires can produce zombies with ranged weapons, in which they have a truly staggering amount of different variants (To be specific, Pistols, rifles, handcannons, grenades, and swivel guns). They also have artillery support, which includes rusty Mortars, their own cannonades, and the utterly massive Queen Bess. Hell, most of their monsters have limited ranged capabilities. To top it off, they're the only faction in the game that can resupply their ranged units' ammo mid battle, and can buff them with special gunpowder.
- Monster Knight: The Depth Guard are the naval version of this trope, being dismounted Blood Knights, and drowned members of the Blood Dragon order. Described as being given the Blood Gift personally by Harkon for their loyalty, they put on heavy suits of black and bronze plate armor, and serve as heavy shock soldiers for the Vampire Coast, wielding boarding axes, as well as halberds.
- More Dakka: A major appeal for playing the faction is their ridiculous firepower through massed guns and cannons. This is due to their Admirals managing to raise all their zombies with the ability to fire guns, but the zombie crews lost the knowledge of how to properly aim the blasted things in the process. Accordingly, the Coast fields large units of infantry equipped with guns, with the intent of forming a wall of lead and cannonfire. Even some of their monsters have zombie crewmen with guns riding them. Who needs aiming when you can fire 300 or more bullets a volley?
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: An entire faction of them, being Ghost Pirates led by vampire pirates and supported by lovecraftian terrors of the deep and ship-hulks animated by the souls of the tormented dead. And guns. Lots and lots and lots of guns.
- Not-So-Safe Harbor: In the campaign, the Vampire Coast can create coastal buildings called Pirate Coves inside captured settlements. Instead of flipping the settlement to the Vampire Coasts' control, the Coves instead siphon income to the Vampire Coast and provide global bonuses.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Animated Hulks are resurrected husks of drowned Ogres, with the added "bonus" of having parasitic sea creatures placed inside their powerful stomachs, resulting in truly horrific maws and tentacles of Sea Monster sticking out them. This is the first appearance of Ogres in the trilogy, and is presumably an Early-Bird Cameo for them.
- Our Vampires Are Different: As the factions name suggests, the Vampire Coast is led by Vampire Admirals and Captains, with suitably naval themed outfits and weapons, as well as the ability to cast magic. It's ambiguous what bloodline they belong too, but they all have the same creepy eyes as Harkon, meaning they were most likely sired by him, making them of the Blood Dragon bloodline. Count Noctilus on the other hand is a Von Carstein, which makes it likely that so are some or all of his Admirals and Captains.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Zombies of the Vampire Coast are the reanimated corpses of drowned sailors, marines killed by Harkon and his hordes, and people "press ganged" into the Coast's service, all covered in disgusting barnacles and algae, and are the mainstay of the faction as a whole. The original name for the army in tabletop, was infact "Zombie Pirates of Lustria" which just goes to show how important they are to the army. What makes them different from regular Vampire Count zombies is they still retain a vestige of their old personality, making them more similar to the Skeletons of the Tomb Kings. As such, not only are they far more cunning than their Sylvanian kin, they actually remember how to use guns! It's actually mentioned in Flavor Text that the Zombie Pirates freely engage in drunken debauchery as they did in life, implying they still enjoy drinking alcohol too!
- Pirates: Should be perfectly clear by now; a naval based faction that engages in piracy to supplement their poor economy though looting and raiding. They fit the romanticised version to a tee, clearly bloodthirsty and ruthless buccaneers to be sure, but a jovial and personable lot to be around, minus the whole business of them being mostly zombies anyway.
- Pirate Booty: The Vampire Coast occasionally loot treasure maps after battles, which can eventually lead to massive pirate hoards. There's also their Pieces of Eight system, in which they need to battle an Elite Army to steal its doubloon, granting access to an Elite Regiment of Renown. One of their income buildings is a treasure horde of your own, and they have a unique stance that lets them dig for buried treasure!
- Pirate Girl: There is no sexism in undeath, it seems. With Aranessa or Cylostra, you can even have a pirate fleet made up entirely of female admirals and captains. Notably, while admirals can be either gender, captains are exclusively female.
- Sea Monster: The absolutely massive Rotting Leviathan, which takes the form of a reanimated Promethean, a giant crab horror the size of an Imperial Galleon, and one of the biggest dangers on the Lustrian coast. In the lore, the Rotting Leviathan can be formed from a Sea Dragon, Killer Whale, or Kraken, but due to the cost of implementing all of those, the only one in the game is the Promeathean, which is still mighty impressive. It's noted that instead of killing these beasts themselves, since these pirates are very pragmatic, the Vampire Coast simply waits for their dead husks to wash up on shore before reanimating them.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Extremely present. Not only is every pirate-y word you can think of present somewhere, but most of the narration for events and missions is written in pirate talk. Expect to be hear "Landlubber!" more than once in battle.
- Undying Loyalty:
- An option in the campaign. When initially hired, standard Vampire Admirals have a Loyalty mechanic that rises based on what they like doing. If this Loyalty drops to zero, the Admiral will defect and take their army with them. A skill only available at level 30 makes it so that their Loyalty will never decrease, turning these vampire scallywags into a literal example of this trope when paired with the Immortal skill.
- This trope was also the reason for The Black Spot, a Regiment of Renown for Zombie Pirate Gunnery Mob with Handguns. A captain, having had enough of his disobedient and undiciplined crew, decided to kill everyone except for his second in command before raising them as loyal undead. His second in command, fearing his captain had gone mad, killed him in retaliation for this, but by that point the Black Spot were still loyal to their now dead captain, avenging him by riddling the second in command with bullets and throwing his carcass overboard.
- Useless Useful Spell: Subverted. Nearly every unit in their roster has the "Aquatic" trait, allowing them to ignore the usual penalties of wet terrain and giving them a buff from fighting in shallow waters. While this seems like a complete non-factor given how few land maps have any water on them, many of the island maps used for naval battle possess shallow lakes and ponds. Making the Aquatic trait very useful when fighting at sea, which is the Vampire Coast's main territory.
- Villain Cred: The lynchpin of the Vampire Coast campaign is to become the undisputed master of the Warhammer world's waves by building Infamy through fell deeds. This allows you to challenge other pirate captains and nab their MacGuffins.
- Weapon of Choice: As they are pirates, they primarily make use of flintlock pistols, rickety muskets, and of course, Sinister Scimitars.
- Wendigo: What the utterly nightmarish Mournguls essentially are. They're mostly found in the rigid frozen North, where desperate people who engage in the cardinal sin of cannibalism and die from hunger anyways sometimes undergo a horrifying transformation, becoming unspeakable spirits that haunt the cold places of the world. They try to satisfy their unending hunger and end their cursed existence by consuming the living. Not only are they hideous, they're missing their body's bottom half, showing off their hanging guts and organs, and their lower jaws are hideously distended and seemingly boneless. The ones in the Vampire Coast army are presumably the spirits of marooned or shipwrecked sailors who devoured their mates to try and stave off hunger. They come as monstrous infantry as well as a hero variant, the Mourngul Haunter (which is a white, giant ghost version of this). The Night Terrors, a Regiment of Renown variant, are a band of former dwarf miners turned into these things because of the cursed mountain they tried to dig in. They are not only practically the size of the Haunter, but are glowing red and have the Rage special rule.
- We Have Reserves: Similar to their parent army, but different in that it's based on gathering mass ranged units. Whilst they have impressive elites, the best tactic for any Coast army is to bring legions of horribly inaccurate, but still plentiful Pirate Zombies, mainly their ranged variants, and they have the largest unit sizes in the series for ranged units. While their accuracy is poor, well, you don't really need accuracy when there's so many zombies. What melee units they do possess exist mostly to hold enemies in place, allowing them to get shot even more.
- Wooden Ships and Iron Men: They are a distinctly naval-based and -themed army, from zombie sailors and Vampire Admirals to giant ship-based constructs and Giant Enemy Crab Sea Monsters. Their faction mechanics are all heavily tied to the sea, their campaign is centered around gaining supremacy of the waves, their units are all sea-based, and their exclusive lore is about channeling the power of the ocean and the horrors lurking in the deep. While there have been naval-flavoured factions before (the High Elves and the Dark Elves), the Vampire Coast is the first faction in the game to be completely centered on the sea. The theme music of their trailer is even a sea shanty about how awesome it is to be an undead pirate! It's very telling that their arrival onto the campaign heralded a patch that heavily updated the previously lacking naval aspects of the game, including Island Battles, Black Ark Battles, a new puzzle system for islands, a new treasure hunting mechanic, travelling pirate bands of all races, and a host of more things!
- Wreathed in Flames: The Gallow's Giant, a perpetually burning Regiment of Renown, Necrofex, covering in blackened, charred wood, and eternally everlasting embers. It's potentially one of the single strongest Monsters in the game, being able to massacre most infantry with its flamethrower.
Arch Grand Commodore Luthor Harkon, Mad Pirate King of the Vampire Coast
The stretch of Lustrian shoreline known as the Vampire Coast owes its name to a luckless Norscan raiding party which, as is the way of their kind, attacked an Imperial merchant ship and took everything of value from its holds. Unfortunately for the raiders, their plunder included the sarcophagus of Luthor Harkon, a Vampire of unknown heritage.
By the time the longship broke apart on the shores of Lustria, all its crew had undergone a marked change in both allegiance and vital signs. Luthor never looked back and took his newly indentured vassals on a march of conquest. Before long, the Vampire Coast had its own pirate fleet, crewed by the dead and the damned. It is possible that Harkon might have become a great power in the world but for his colossal pride and greed.
Determined to augment his magical abilities, Luthor took an expedition to the ruined city of Huatl, where he hoped to find some secret that would increase his might. It was on the third week of his excavations that his servants uncovered an undisturbed chamber, sealed tight with ancient and powerful glyphs. Convinced that this vault concealed great secrets from him, Luthor commanded his servants to break down the doors, but the power of the glyphs thwarted him. Enraged, Luthor assailed the vault with his own dark magic, but the seals had been placed to defeat even the greatest of sorcerers. Faced with a direct assault, the wards responded in kind. The magical backlash shattered his mind and severed his connection to the Winds of Magic.
Now Luthor teeters on the brink of insanity — his personality fractured in a dozen different facets that battle for dominance in his mind. In the years since, the only common goal that Harkon's various personalities have been able to work toward is that of finding a cure for his condition. To this end, he has bent his obsessions to seizing Slann artifacts, hoping that their power can undo the damage wrought upon him.
- Ace Custom: He actually personally modified the Queen Bess to his liking, the original weapon being a Hellhammer Cannon (a giant deck mounted cannon intended for an Imperial Galleon), though instead of "modified" it's best described as completely rebuilt from the ground up to be used in the Lustrian jungle.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: More like Adaptational Distinctiveness. Luthor Harkon had no model in the tabletop and what few canonical images◊ have been made presents him as a hideous abomination, more akin to a beast than a vampire, and someone of the Strigoi bloodline instead of a Blood Dragon. The Total War version sports an eyepatch, a much more human look, and a pirate coat in addition to his armour and Spikes of Villainy.
- Adaptational Badass: In the tabletop, Harkon's Anti-Magic translated into personal magic resistance. Here, it's been upgraded to drain magic from entire battlefields at a time, buffing units around him with the same dampening, alongside his personal magic resistance.
- Affably Evil: At least one of his personalities takes the form of a very jovial pirate, happily telling his backstory to an Empire soldier in his trailer... who is later revealed to be dead. Since he's quite insane, it appears to be genuine, unlike most Vampire Counts. He is also shown to give a polite bow on the faction select screen, after shooting the camera.
- Always a Bigger Fish: His backstory. A crew of Norscans, the boogeymen of the Old World, boarded the ship carrying his sarcophagus, killed its crew and took its treasure. Then Luthor awoke, killed the Norscans and turned them into his undead servants.
- Anti-Magic: See Cursed with Awesome below.
- Arch-Enemy: As might be expected, none of the minds inside Luthor like Lizardmen very much. In the Lizardmen timeline he's described as having attacked several temple-cities over the years, and in-game his army enjoys bonuses (and a hefty diplomacy penalty in campaign) against Lizardmen.
- Ascended Extra: Twofold - First, Harkon was a relatively minor character in the lore (even his participation in The End Times was situational at best) and never had his own miniature, while his army was a semi-official creation of White Dwarf. Second, at the release of Total War: Warhammer 2, Harkon and his faction were only present on the campaign map as a generic Vampire Lord commanding a generic Vampire Counts faction. With the announcement of Curse of the Vampire Coast, however, Harkon became the frontman of a fully-fledged DLC race.
- Ax-Crazy: To put it very, very mildly, Luthor has a few screws loose. Luthor's fragmented mind has rendered him unstable even by Vampire standards, and can go from jolly to murderously homicidal in an instant. In the tabletop, he suffered from a special rule where his personalities would begin clashing mid-battle, with the dominant personality giving him different advantages and drawbacks. In-game, this is reflected both on the campaign and the battlefield, he has a unique mechanic which has him being taken over by certain personalities, affecting his stats and other aspects. During battle he has a unique set of animations that have him violently jerking around, flailing about and making random gestures, as well as possessing the Fury special rule.
- Badass Longcoat: As a pirate captain, this is kind of a given. Not only is it classy, it looks even more cool as he wears dark armour alongside it.
- Bat Out of Hell: Harkon can ride into battle atop a Death Shriek Terrorgheist, a more nautical-themed version of the regular Terrorgheist. He's infact the only non-Strigoi to ever ride one in Warhammer.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Letting his outward quirkiness lure you into a false sense of security is almost always a fatal mistake, madness or not, he's still one of the most powerful and dangerous Vampires in the entire world, he's in fact a second generation Vampire that was sired by Abhorash himself.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: In the tabletop lore he had the potential to become a major player in the world, but lacked the ambition, and was content to terrorize the waters of Lustria. Subverted in-game where he can expand his influence across the world and is competing with other pirates to obtain an artifact which will grant him control of the seas.
- Cool Boat: He scourges the waves on the The Dread Abyssal, his personal flagship, a large blackened warship, complete with giant harpoon emplacements, and a frontal tri-cannon.
- Composite Character: Harkon takes different aspects from every incarnation he's had in Warhammer Fantasy, but he's most similar to his End Times portrayal, having a similar physical appearance, a second mate named Drekla, being of the Blood Dragon line, and finally becoming one of Nagash's Mortarchs.
- Cursed with Awesome: Doubles as Discard and Draw. Sure, the curse laid upon him by the Slann removed his ability to cast magic and he's, to put it mildly, raving mad, but it's turned him into a walking Anti-Magic dampener. Just by being around him, enemy mages are disconnected from the Winds of Magic, and they lose much of their power. This is reflected in-game by enemy spell casters having a large debuff to their pool of magic, which can be increased further by a second skill, and heavy bonus defense against magical damage.
- Cloudcuckoolander: See Affably Evil. Harkon has more than a few screws loose.
- Dissonant Serenity: His intro trailer has him happily digging for treasure and Talking to the Dead while ignoring the major battle raging not five feet behind him. At one point his fleet even launches a broadside directly above his head, and all Harkon does is laugh and get back to digging.
- The Dragon: Has one in the form of his second mate, Drekla. A fearsome, if dimwitted Vampire in his own right, he's noticeable for his Undying Loyalty for Harkon, and being originally from the End Times. He's represented in the game as a unique follower for Harkon. He becomes this to Nagash, as his Mortarch of the Abyss, at the end of his campaign.
- The Dreaded: The Slaan themselves fear Harkon. His notoriety is so far-reaching that ships from half the world away avoid his domain.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: Goes for a raspy, dry voice as opposed to Mannfred and Vlad's baritones.
- Evil Laugh: Let's out a very jolly one in his introduction trailer, just as cannons fly past his head.
- Eyepatch of Power: Wears a black eyepatch over his left eye.
- Funny Schizophrenia: As funny as a millennia-old and thoroughly evil undead monster is allowed to be, at least.
- Gentleman Thief: Somewhat; fittingly his introduction movie has him doing a polite curtsy, going well with his Affably Evil nature.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: A distinct pair of them at the top and bottom of his ghastly pale face.
- Hand Cannon: Wields a heavy and ornate flintlock pistol with an underslung blade. An upgrade for Harkon gives him Explosive Shots on par with a cannon, making his pistol into a literal hand cannon.
- Insane Admiral: Both a highly skilled ship captain, and a raving lunatic!
- King of Thieves: The self-styled Pirate King of the Vampire Coast, commander of an entire fleet of undead pirates.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Because of his brush with Lizardman magic, Luthor is unable to cast spells in combat... not that he really needs it. In the campaign this is downplayed, as two of his variable personalities grant Harkon the ability to cast a single spell from the Lore of the Deep, but the player has no control over when these personalities surface. Piece him back together by completing his Slann Gold quest, though, and he'll remember the entire Lore of the Deep!
- Master Swordsman: Crazy or not, Harkon is quite possibly one of the greatest duelists in the entire world, a master fencer and expert with the blade. He was personally taught by Abhorash the Blood Dragon after all.
- Mythology Gag: The fact he rides a Terrorgheist references a bit of obscure lore where it was In-Universe speculation that Harkon was actually of the Strigoi bloodline, who are the only ones known to ride the giant flying beasts.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A vampire lord who happens to be the admiral of an undead pirate fleet.
- Pirate Booty: He has a trove of Slaan Gold as a special item, a teeming collection of cursed Lizarmen doubloons which he stole from a ruined temple. It provides a myriad of bonuses, including reducing the cost of raising the dead, increases magic resistance, and reduces the Winds of Magic starting amount for enemy armies.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His color scheme, his leather longcoat being dyed red, and his armor bits black as the night. And yes, he's hideously evil.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In contrast to Mannfred's milky whites, Harkon's remaining eye is very noticeably red. Doubles as Black Eyes of Evil, as the white of it is pitch black as well.
- Screaming Warrior: On the battlefield, he screams out like a lunatic randomly.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: His selection video has him aiming and shooting at the camera, which even drops to the ground with a pained groan for extra measure!
- Spikes of Villainy: His armour sports several spikes, with three larges ones resembling the talons of a giant beast on his back, signifying his allegiance to the Blood Dragon order.
- Split Personality: His mind was shattered into multiple different personalities after he tried to breach a Lizardman temple that was protected by magic. This is to the point where he doesn't refer to himself as "I" anymore but as "we" and "us", though "my" does occasionally pop up.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: Luthor was originally made a vampire by Abhorash, Monster Progenitor of the Blood Dragons bloodline. Despite having become the complete opposite of his bloodline, the Blood Dragon Order, he still wears pieces of his old Blood Knight armour over his coat.
- Sword and Gun: Wields a sabre and a brace of pistols, being highly proficient with both.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The only Legendary Lord on the faction select screen to notice the camera and shoot it. The bow he gives afterwards is likely directed at the Player themselves.
- Time Abyss: He was turned into a Vampire during the fall of Lahmia by the sire of the Blood Dragons, and is thousands of years old.
- Try To Fit THAT On A Business Card: As stated above, his full formal title is "Arch Grand Commodore Luthor Harkon, Mad Pirate King of the Vampire Coast".
- Underestimating Badassery: Luthor is often not taken very seriously because of his crippling insanity, and the fact he tends to stay in his part of Lustria. This never ends well for the individual in question, as he is a highly dangerous swordsman, and a fearsome seaman. Only the Lizardmen seem to understand how truly dangerous this man is.
Count Noctilus, Grand Admiral of the Dreadfleet
Captain of The Bloody Reaver and undisputed master of the Dreadfleet, Count Noctilus is a highly powerful, and ruthless Vampire pirate of the Von Carstein bloodline. He was once known by another name — Nyklaus von Carstein, whose own home was the distant land of Sylvania.
Nyklaus sought the maelstrom festering in the distant heart of the ocean, a skull-strewn vortex that was a tempest of magic which drew the dead to it like a lodestone. Mastering the art of Shadow Magic, one particularly baleful Geheimnisnacht he enacted a mighty ritual that translocated not only Nyklaus himself, but also his castle and all his Undead minions.
Feasting upon the dark magic of the Maelstrom, Nyklaus raised up the shattered remains of dead warships to form the hull of the Bloody Reaver, and just as his realm was reborn within the Galleon's Graveyard, so too was Nyklaus reborn as Count Noctilus.
Noctilus leads the Dreadfleet sub-faction.
- Adaptational Wimp: Zigzagged, Noctilus is portrayed as a truly powerful Evil Overlord to be sure, but in Dreadfleet this guy was basically the second coming of Nagash, in terms of raw power, being able to de age people in his vicinity, summon giant typhoons that could eat up legions of ships, and basically raise entire fleets of sunken vessels in the blink of an eye. On the flip side, unlike in Dreadfleet, Noctilus actually won his conflict with the Heldenhammer. Noctilus' epilogue suggests that he plans to use the magic of the Maelstrom to sail through time. He even states his intention to kill Jaego Roth's ancestors.
- An Axe to Grind: Very atypically for a Vampire, Noctilus wields an ornate halberd covered in vampiric iconography. Doubly-so as his artwork in Dreadfleet depicted him with a rapier.
- The Archmage: One of the most powerful users of the Lore of Shadows in the entire setting, and he draws a sickening amount of Black Magic from the Maelstrom. He's such a powerful mage, he's modified the Lore of Vampires to include his own special variant of Summon Dead, the Drowned Dead.
- Badass Beard: We don't know if he has a real one, but he wears a piece of beard armour on his chin, which is undoubtedly as cool, if not cooler than a real one.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In Total War's Alternate Universe, he's all but confirmed to be the canon victor of Dreadfleet, having slain Captain Roth, succeeded in maintaining his control over the Galleon's Graveyard, and possessing the hulk of the Heldenhammer as a unique resource.
- Badass Cape: He wears a regal red one.
- The Bermuda Triangle: The Galleons' Graveyard is the Warhammer equivalent; a swirling vortex at the center of the Great Ocean, drawing to it dark magic and undead undersea horrors. Noctilus is the master of the dark, watery realm, and it is his starting position in both Mortal Empires and the Eye of the Vortex campaigns. In-game, the Graveyard itself takes the form of a huge attrition-dealing reef swirling with magical energy, with a ten-slot major settlement floating in the water at its heart. It also doubles as an Eldritch Location, as the Flavor Text for its building chain mentions it's actually sentient and self-aware.
- Blood Knight: Count Noctilus possesses a great thirst for war, plunder and conquest. To represent this, Noctilus' faction receives special "declare war on faction X" missions that offer unique rewards, encouraging a very aggressive playing style on the campaign map.
- Canon Immigrant Alongside Aranessa Saltspite, Noctilus hails from Dreadfleet, a naval boardgame set in the Warhammer universe.
- Casting a Shadow: Noted as a powerful user of the Lore of Shadows. In-game he wields a mix set of spells, drawing from the Vampire Counts Lore of Vampires, and the Lore of Shadows, taking the most powerful spells from each lore.
- City on the Water: The Bloody Reaver, which is more of a Base on Wheels than an actual ship; it's a gargantuan Black Ark-style vessel that was originally Noctilus' Sylvanian castle, until he transported the entire structure to the ocean and fused it with leviathan bones and the wrecks of countless sailing ships. Count Noctilus' army enjoys a bonus to horde growth to represent the castle's superior infrastructure compared to a conventional pirate ship.
- Cursed Item: He's in possession of Captain Roth's Moondial, a powerful, but cursed, navigational tool that Noctilus presumably took from Roth's corpse. In the lore, it allows people to find practically anything hidden. In-game, it gives a massive bonus to campaign line of sight and movement, but on the battlefield it can summon a horde of Zombie Deckhands (with rifles) from a long distance.
- Dark Is Evil: Noctilus is a wielder of the Lore of Shadows, a dark, gloomy Wind of Magic, is clad head to toe in thick, red and black plate mail, and is an extremely evil vampire.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Doubling as Foreshadowing, Count Noctilus has been mentioned in random events throughout the series before his appearance in Curse of the Vampire Coast: In the first game, he arrives as Nyklaus von Carstein during a Vampire Counts campaign to requisition funds for his quest to find the Galleon's Graveyard. In the second, the Pirate Booty he amassed as Count Noctilus can be uncovered on a Skull Reef in the ocean, netting the player 10'000 gold and a random weapon. He was also visible on one of the first released images of the Vampire Coast, riding his Necrofex Colossus mount.
- Evil Overlord: He is a Von Carstein by blood after all, so he fits this trope much more than the other Coast Lord. He's not only a Count, but conducts his naval campaigns from an evil castle and dresses like a stereotypical vampire villain.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is extremely deep and menacing.
- Four-Star Badass: The others may be badass ship captains, but none are as skilled in naval warfare and commanding fleets as Noctilus, being a highly gifted tactican. There is a reason why he led the Dreadfleet as its Grand Admiral. His skills in warfare are reflected in his skill tree.
- Genius Bruiser: A terrifying melee powerhouse wearing heavy armour, but also a highly gifted tactician and a very skilled spellcaster.
- Healing Factor: Has innate regeneration from his Von Carstein bloodline, which he can share with his army through a lord skill to increase replenishment.
- Hero Killer: Is all but stated to have killed Captain Roth, the leader of the good-aligned faction in Dreadfleet, and possibly all of the other heroic captains save for Aranessa. The wreck of Roth's ship, the Heldenhammer (a massive vessel originally intended for Volkmar the Grim), is present as a landmark building in the Galleon's Graveyard, while Roth's arcane moon dial is a quest item for Noctilus. In game his halberd does a sickening amount of armor piercing damage, making him an ideal hero killer.
- Magic Knight: When have you ever seen a Vampire wizard drag around a massive battle axe? He's also covered from the neck downard in thick, heavy plate armour, overgrown with algae and coral. All this, while being a master of the Lore of Shadows.
- Mighty Glacier: He's weighed down by his armor, and isn't too fast, but has a massive amount of health points, a frightening armor rating, and can deal tremendous damage with his armor-piercing halberd, making him the ideal tank for the faction. When mounted on his Necrofex, he instead becomes a Lightning Bruiser, losing none of his tankiness but now able to stride across the battlefield faster than ever in his primitive dark mech.
- Monster Lord: A Von Carstein, who are infamous for their kinship to the dark beasts that haunt the wild. He actually specializes in this as he starts the campaign with a Necrofex Colossus and grants bonus damage to large units in his army.
- Nice Hat: Noctilus is never seen without his giant red captain's hat. Taken to Interface Spoiler levels before release, when the identities of the Vampire Coast Legendary Lords were kept a mystery and were only shown in silhouette, but Noctilus' iconic chapeau gave him away.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: All the other Vampire Coast Lords have quirks that make them all rather goofy: Luthor is batshit crazy but silly and Affably Evil in nature, Direfin is a ghostly opera singer that lives off Large Ham and is extremely goofy, and Saltspite has a certain naivety about her, acting somewhat like a child in regards to her "father" and "uncle". Noctilus on the other hand, is a darkly grim figure, an Evil Overlord with no comedic traits whatsoever, a vampire that's been waging nonstop naval warfare for centuries, and someone who takes everything seriously.
- Praetorian Guard: The Bloody Reaver Deck Guard, a Regiment of Renown for the Depth Guard with Polearms, are the strongest and most capable vampires that serve upon his floating fortress. Unlike regular Depth Guard, these guys have an ability that ensures they get 44% damage reduction upon activation.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Same colour scheme as Luthor Harkon: Red cornea, with black sclera and pupils.
- Saved by Canon: In the original Warhammer canon, Jaego Roth and the Grand Alliance defeats Count Noctilus and the Dreadfleet. Here, Roth and the Golden Magus are dead, Red Brokk and Prince Yrellian are unaccounted for, but Aranessa Saltspite is still alive albeit much more jaded and cruel.
- That Man Is Dead: It's said when he consumed the power of Galleon's Graveyard, Nyklaus von Carstein was killed, and Count Noctilus was born.
- Tin Tyrant: Unlike the other Lords of the Vampire Coast, who are all somewhat lightly armoured, Noctilus hulks around in a set of incredibly heavy plate armour, overgrown with seaweed and other watery-related growth. It's as if his armour is the hull of an incredibly weathered ship.
- Vampire Vords: Despite having long abandoned his identity as a Von Carstein, he still speaks in a deep, Sylvanian accent, resembling Vlad's a lot.
Captain Aranessa Saltspite, Queen of the Tides
Queen of the Tides, Aranessa Saltspite is one of the most respected and feared pirate captains of Sartosa. Some say she is the daughter of the sea god Manann himself and he whispers to her to take control of all the world's oceans. Now, many a sea-bloated corpse washes up against the Swordfysh's hull, and so the Vampire first mates breathe unlife into them, creating a vast rabble of loyal crew, ready to serve at Captain Saltspite's command. As part of the living realm rather than the undead, she commands a human pirate crew known as the Sartosa Free Company, otherwise reluctantly sharing control of the denizens of the Vampire Coast.
Aranessa leads the Pirates of Sartosa sub-faction.
- Adaptational Ugliness: Her description in Dreadfleet suggested that she's beautiful (in a very much Take Our Word for It sense, since she had no model and the only piece of art depicting her◊ made her look pretty much as gritty and grimy as everybody else). In game, her mutations are more pronounced and she's given a far more realistically athletic, powerful body, with almost no hint of traditionally feminine beauty. She's not hideous, but she's not exactly a seductive mermaid, either.
- Adaptational Villainy: In Dreadfleet, Aranessa commanded a normal human crew and was out fighting a fleet of undead villains, but here she has vampiric officers and supplements her human crew with undead, essentially making her a proxy necromancer, though it is mentioned that she does so "reluctantly", and she could hardly be considered a hero at all even back then. Andy Hall, when asked why she was suddenly such a dark character, stated she was simply Evil All Along.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Somewhat noticeable when compared to the other Vampire Coast legendary lords. Aranessa's goal is to wipe the seas of the undead, even if it means using them to that end. This goal is shown in her Mortal Empires victory condition, requiring her to get rid of the other Vampire Coast factions, along with wiping out Norsca and a Dark Elf faction. Averted in the Vortex Campaign, however, as she suffers from Motive Decay and will likely remain in a prolonged war with the High Elves. Her quest also involves her forming an alliance with the Empire to deal with Norscan raiders led by her father, though said alliance is purely out of convenience.
- Blade on a Stick: Kraken's Bane, a serrated halberd partially made from bone which increases the melee attack of nearby allies and gives them a bonus when fighting large enemies.
- Canon Immigrant: Alongside Count Noctilus, Aranessa hails from Dreadfleet, a naval boardgame set in the Warhammer universe.
- Cool Boat: She rides the waves on the Swordfysh, a smaller vessel than the other lords, but even more intimidating as it hull is almost skeletal, and has a massive bladed ram on the front in the shape of a Swordfish's blade.
- Dark Action Girl: A horribly ruthless pirate, a mutant, and one of the most skilled sea captains in the entire Old World, there are few women more dangerous and unscrupulous than Aranessa. By the end of the campaign she's a follower of Stormfels, one of the most evil deities in the Warhammer world.
- The Dreaded: While she's certainly a feared pirate captain, the real reason she's this is because the Norscans are scared shitless of her, as she operates with increased brutality and wickedness when plaguing their coasts. She's infamous throughout the entire Old World as one of the most ruthless and mean spirited pirates that's ever plagued the waves.
- Enemy Mine: During her personal quest, she agrees to a temporary alliance offered by an Imperial General, Kolt Ludenhof, to deal with Norscan raiders slaughtering sea creatures en masse. This happens regardless of whether or not her faction is currently at war with the Empire or Imperial factions still exist at that point. Ludenhof's cavalry army will reinforce Aranessa's in the quest battle should it last long enough.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Jumping Off the Slippery Slope aside, she becomes enraged upon discovering that a band of Norscan raiders were slaughtering innocent sea creatures. This eventually lead to her Enemy Mine situation above and though she hated it, the alliance remained amicable to the end.
- Evil All Along: Apparently, she's always had aspirations to conquer the waves in the name of Manaan, and just needed a push to do so. She's still reluctant to use necromancy, though, and continues using a living crew at the start...
- Evil Feels Good: At the end of her campaign, she reflects that being a marauder with the control of legions of undead, and rich from the plunders she's taken by killing thousands of innocents, feels good.
- Evil Uncle: How she views Stromfels... which has some extreme lore implications about Manaan.
- The Exile: She was exiled from her tribe as a child because of her extreme mutations, and she never looked back.
- Fantastic Racism: She despises the Undead, very reluctantly using Vampires and Zombies to supplement her own forces as a kind of necessity in a Fight Fire with Fire sort of way.
- Fallen Hero: She was never really a hero to begin with, but she started as someone who valued friendship, and wanted to scourge the waves of the Dreadfleet. By the end of the campaign, she declares that she needs no friends, that all the death she's caused is glorious, revels in hedonism, embraces undeath, and forsakes Manann in favour of worshipping the God of Storms and Sharks.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Saltspite rides ontop a Rotting Promethean as her final, and only, mount upgrade.
- Hearing Voices: She hears the calls of the sea, which she interprets as her father, Manaan, the God of the Ocean. It's revealed in the ending that these whispers are indeed real, and that she's been hearing the Shark God, Stromfels, as well. She gradually begins ignoring Manaan's calls, listening only to her malevolent uncle.
- Horny Vikings: She is Norse by birth, though she was exiled from her tribe at a young age.
- It's Personal: Having been thrown out of her tribe for her mutations, Aranessa harbours a deep bitterness against all Norscans, enough that she was willing to wade into a massive two-way war between them and an Imperial fleet just to kill some of them and operates with increased brutality when attacking them. In turn the Norse have come to hate and fear her. Her personal quest is essentially a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against her biological father for not throwing her out of her tribe and slaughtering innocent sea creatures en masse to spite Manaan when he heard of her survival. The act enrages her enough that she joins forces with an Imperial General to take him down, no matter her faction's standing with Empire at the time.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The only human Lord among a cast of undead pirates, and the only one with a set of human units.
- Mook Carryover: Her version of the Vampire Coast's roster includes Sartosa Free Company, an infantry unit dual wielding a set of cutlasses, and Sartosa Militia, a hybird melee and ranged infantry unit with a sword and a flintlock pistol. These represent Aranessa's conventional human crew, all pirates from Sartosa.
- Mystical White Hair: Her hair is completely silver, rather unusual for a mostly non-magical human, and Aranessa is widely believed to possess the blessings of Manann the sea god.
- Not-So-Safe Harbor: Sartosa is an island city founded, ruled and populated by cutthroat pirates from across the world. It's a notorious haven for criminals, harbouring all manner of pirates, brigands, lawless mercenaries and anyone wanting to avoid the various legitimate powers of the Old World. It is a tremendously dangerous place, where drunken pirates press-gang unsuspecting individuals, brawls and duels are an hourly occurrence, and thieves ply the dirty, crowded docks looking for easy marks. Despite the risks, however, it is a place where someone with the toughness and willpower to survive can not only live but thrive, far from the yoke of unfair taxes, overbearing noblemen, and stringent laws. It's her starting location and the name of her faction in both Mortal Empires and the Vortex campaign.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Part of her Multiple-Choice Past is that she was a Norscan girl born with a mutation that joined her forelegs together as a grotesque mermaid tail. Upon becoming a pirate, she cut the disfigured limbs off and replaced them with peg legs.
- Pirate Booty: Saltspite is such a prolific reaver that her faction enjoys bonuses to the money earned from sacking and razing settlements, and she can unlock a skill that increases the rewards from investigating ocean anomalies.
- Pirate Girl: A feared pirate woman for most of her life, Aranessa was also the sole female captain of Dreadfleet.
- Seadog Peg Leg: Two of them made from serrated swordfish bills, replacing the parts of her legs where she removed a birth mutation which joined them at the forelegs as a mermaid tail. She uses them during in-game battles, and even has a special animation where she catapults herself forward with her spear to attack with her legs!
- She-Fu: When not riding her giant crab, Aranessa fights using impractical but deadly acrobatics. This starts with pole-vaulting into enemies peglegs-first, and extends to jamming her halberd into the ground and spinning herself on it to turn into a blender when surrounded.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Originally anyway. She wants the seas clear of the Undead, and is willing to use them as a means to an end. How much she keeps to these ideals varies with the campaign she's played in:
- In Eye of the Vortex, in a case of The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, she all but abandons these noble aspirations in favour of depraved hedonism, fully embracing her undead crew and the worship of an evil shark deity.
- In Mortal Empires, her faction's victory condition requires her to destroy all other Vampire Coast factions along with Norsca, Wintertooth and the Blessed Dread; all evil factions led by very evil people. This aligns with her original goals before her Motive Decay. She's currently the only Vampire Coast faction that does not require the destruction of any good-aligned factions.
Madame-Captain Cylostra Direfin, Siren of the Storm
Legend has it that the sea witch Cylostra Direfin was once the favourite court singer of the Bretonnian king. Sent on a voyage across the ocean to sing for the Phoenix King, they were hit by a fierce storm. The madame's notes turned to screams of fury as the ship sank, and all onboard drowned. Decades later, a Bretonnian galleon of rotten wood and tattered sails can be seen navigating the seas even in the most savage of storms. It is The Lamprey, the ship of the vengeful spirit Madame Cylostra and her crew, the Drowned.
Cylostra leads the Drowned sub-faction, a hybrid faction between the Vampire Coast and Bretonnia, giving her access to ghostly knights.
- Affably Evil: She's extremely self conceited, but still remains quite polite, and genuinely friendly to others...as long as you praise her enough and don't provoke her. Which is, sadly, far too easy to accomplish.
- The Bard: Her battlefield role, she has a special ability related to her singing abilities, and she's constantly practicing her songs as a voiceline during battles.
- Berserk Button: Never insult her musical talents. Just don't.
- Brawn Hilda: Despite the fact that she's mainly a magician, this ghostly lady has put on quite the bulk. Fitting considering her opera singer theme.
- Canon Foreigner: She's the first completely original Legendary Lord created by Creative Assembly.
- Cool Boat: The Lamprey, a rotting Bretonnian vessel that has an incredibly large figurehead at its forefront of Direfin herself. The previous owner of the ship was a knight who attempted to have undead Prometheans by slaying living ones and bringing them back from the dead with the aid of magic amber form Athel Loren. He managed to revive them, but didn't think ahead for a way to control them, leading to the now pissed off zombie crabs eating him alive. These crabs now serve Direfin's crew, being named The Lamprey's Revenge, a Regiment of Renown for the Rotting Prometheans Gunnery Mob.
- Combat Hand Fan: Her unique item is the Bordeleaux Flabellum, a highly ornate fan she carries in her offhand. She of course has a special animation were she uses it to bludgeon anyone unlucky enough to be around her, and it grants a passive buff that lowers the recharge rate of all her abilities when casting a spell.
- The Champion: Has this in the form of a Damned Paladin, a special Hero Unit available to her faction alone. It's a ghostly Paladin, unchanged from the regular Bretonnia variant, besides having the Ethereal special rule. She also serves as this to Stromfels, the Shark God.
- Divine Intervention: A tweet from Andy Hall (Lead writer for Total War Warhammer 1/2) has hinted that Cylostra's resurrection may have been possible thanks to the malevolent sea deity Stromfels; known as the Shark God, Wrecker, the Lord of Predators, and the God of the Dangers of the Seas (this counting storms among other hazards out at sea). This would later be confirmed via a short story released a few days later, though this could more been seen as a Deal with the Devil.
- Enthralling Siren: She is a syreen, a particular type of banshee known for luring sailors to their doom. With certain skills, units of syreens in Cylostra's army receive stat bonuses.
- Evil Is Hammy: As expected from an egotistical undead opera singer, she truly does love the sound of her voice in battle.
- Evil Sorceress: Was granted mastery of the lore of the deep as part of her pact with Stromfels.
- Fat Bastard: As evil as she's hideously obese.
- Fate Worse than Death: What her Paladin considers his unlife serving her as, with the Flavor Text describing the poor Ghost Knight despising music.
- It's All About Me: Out of all the playable natives of Bretonnia, she is the one who fulfills the stereotype of the nobles being a bunch of egomaniacs the most. Refusing to be late to her concert in Ulthuan, she threw the captain of her ship overboard for refusing to pilot through a severe storm, took command of the vessel herself and steered it into certain doom, not caring about the risks she put everyone else on the ship through. And even in death she refuses to take responsibility for her suicidal actions, blaming the storms of Ulthuan for her ship sinking instead of herself, and now attempts to drown Ulthuan, fully intent on killing everyone on the island so that she may finally perform for the Phoenix King in undeath. And then there's her tendency to look into her mirror-staff during battle.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Cylostra says her own last name with French pronunciation. It does make some degree of sense since she's from France-analogue Bretonnia, but her last name is not very noble when pronounced any other way, and she's exactly the kind of woman/siren who'd try to appear more refined.
- Magic Mirror: When the player selects a hero unit, Cylostra might comment that she's "seen this one in [her] mirror," implying that her mirror staff has some magical properties.
- Magic Music: Her singing is stated in flavor text to paralyze those who hear it, leaving them helpless to her undead crew. In gameplay this takes the form of her "Song of Enthrallment" ability, which greatly lowers the speed and melee attack of nearby enemy units.
- Magic Staff: Her staff is this crossed with a Magic Mirror.
- Mook Carry Over: Has access, through a special ability, to Damned Knights: fallen Bretonnian Knights who drowned with her, and now continue to serve their mistress for all eternity. Depending on which upgrade you choose, she has access to Damned Knight Errants, Damned Knights of the Realm, and Damned Questing Knights. She also has a unique, ghostly Paladin Hero Unit.
- Monster Knight: Her Damned Knights, though they are better described as Ghost Knights.
- Never My Fault: Of course it's not her fault for throwing her incompetent captain overboard and then forcefully taking command of the ship, steering it into a deadly storm! Mere captains, peasants and underlings shouldn't argue with nobles of Bretonnia without punishment! And it's not her fault that she tried to sing the storm away with her legendary voice instead of just steering the ship away! It was Ulthuan's fault for having such nasty storms and now the High Elves have to pay!
- Original Generation: The very first Legendary Lord and faction leader to not be an existing character in the Warhammer universe.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: She focuses on using spectral units far more than any other of the Pirate Lords, making her the most literal case of Ghost Pirate.
- The Prima Donna: A lifetime of not only being a member of the notoriously spoiled and self-centered upper classes of Bretonnia, but also being known as the greatest singer in all of Bretonnia, possibly the greatest in the World, and so renowned that even the Phoenix King of the High Elves wanted to hear her sing, left her with quite the ego. Hell, upon her watery demise during a storm as she was on her way to Ulthuan, she was not horrified or saddened that she would meet her cruel and untimely end, but furious beyond reasoning that the greatest concert of her life was cut short. Death only made that ego mightier.
- Stone Wall: She might not be the hardest hitting Legendary Lord, but she is close to being the tankiest one in the game once she gets onto her Rotting Leviathan mount, giving her a big pool of health and a massive bit of armor upon her already ethereal form.
- Stout Strength: Despite being the very definition of obese, Cylostra was able to lift her sea captain (a heavily armored knight), and bodily throw him off the deck of his ship in a fit of extreme rage. One of her main forms of attack is even to deliver slaps that sends soldiers flying.
- Unfinished Business: Cylostra plies the waves at the head of her fleet of undead pirates not for loot or glory, but to right the one final regret she had in life. She wages war to perform a concert for the Phoenix King, not caring one whit that he's presumably not interested in having Ulthuan invaded by the undead, or that he would probably also not approve of her plan to sink the whole island to set the stage for her final performance.