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Characters / Warhammer Vampire Counts

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"Awake O Dead, for there can be no rest for ye beneath the earth. Let the splintered bones burrow from the grave pall. Let cold fingers grip time-worn blades, and unseeing eyes survey the fields of slaughter. For your time has come once more. And the dead shall walk again."

The Vampires are powerful undead humans characterized by superhuman strength, speed, and an affinity for necromantic magic in exchange for an eternity of damnation and hunger for blood. First created in Nehekhara when Queen Neferata studied the Nine Books of Nagash to become immortal, the Vampires have since that time dispersed around the world, forming dynasties with their own distinct characteristics but all sharing a unnatural control over the world's dead. These dynasties raise the dead into armies and eternal ambition drives them to try wars of conquest during which they unleash hordes of undead against the living. The most notorious bloodline of them all are the Von Carsteins, masters of the cursed province of Sylvania South-East of the Empire.

The Vampire Counts field an unconventional army made of undead centered around the General (either a Vampire or a Necromancer) whose presence is key to keep the dead animate and moving. The army lacks shooting options and is based around hordes of mediocre undead soldiers supported by more powerful units, either fast beasts bound to the general's will, more powerful kinds of undead soldiers or monsters and terrifying undead constructs. With the ability to replenish their ranks, the omnipresent Fear rule, an array of tricks, and general maneuverability, the Vampire Counts tend to outlast their opponents in a bloody grind rather than outperforming the enemy troops.


The Vampire Counts have a complex relationship with the other factions: they would dearly love to see the world eclipsed in darkness forever — but they would hate to have to share any of it with their vampiric fellows. They have fought grand wars to destroy the Empire — and yet, when the Skaven had overrun its cities or when the forces of Chaos finally ran rampant throughout the Empire's homeland, it was the armies of the Vampire counts that saved the Empire in its moments of direst need.

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    General Tropes 
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Vampires are bloodthirsty creatures who, above all else, desire to instill their dominance and power over mortals and will occasionally go as far as to terrorize others for their own amusement. However, while the playable vampires on the tabletop are undoubtedly evil, this is not actually the case in-lore; while Vampires are generally feared, some have displayed positive qualities and even noble aspirations. Other vampires have also been shown to be unambiguously good and are more than capable of feeling affectionate love.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: While the game system itself means that a character is more powerful the higher their rank, this is particularly prominent in Vampire Counts armies. In many editions of the game, Vampires are some of the most powerful individual generic characters from any army with strong close combat abilities and reasonable magical talent. The core infantry units of their undead armies, however, are near mindless undead minions that mostly rely on their numbers and their ability to resurrect their casualties to swamp their enemies more than skill-at-arms.
  • Back from the Dead: Practically every unit save the Vampires, Necromancers and ghouls are deceased creatures and people brought back to undeath by necromancy to serve their dark masters. The Invocation of Nehek and Raise Dead spells even allow to bring back some recently slain warriors very easily mid-battle.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Fell Bats and Bat Swarms are commonly used by the Vampires as harassing units thanks to their ability to fly.
  • Bat People:
    • Vargheists are monstrous bat people created from von Carstein Vampires that lost out in their family's endless internal plotting. Denied blood for decades, and tainted with diluted Dark Magic, these unfortunates grow in size and sprout leathery wings from their forelimbs as their features twist into fearsome bat-like faces with mouths filled with murderous fangs. Driven mad by their thirst, Vargheists desire nothing more than to feed and will follow their creators into battle so that they can feast on the blood of the enemy.
    • Varghulfs are Vampires that have given in to the bestial side of their nature, forsaking any semblance of humanity to run with Dire Wolves and Ghoulkin. With heavily muscled bodies, winged forearms and nightmarish bat-like features, Varghulfs fight with bestial fury, ripping apart their prey with dagger-like fangs and feasting on the bloody remains.
  • The Beastmaster: Vampire Counts can dominate the lesser minds of beast and use undead versions of them to aid their armies in battle, from Savage Wolves to Bat Outof Hell to even undead dragons. The Vampiric Power: Summon Creatures of the Night buffs the Invocation of Nehek spell on beasts, represented as the Vampire having an easy time calling more of these creatures to them in order to replace the fallen beasts.
  • The Berserker: Some Vampires are said to be so bloodthirsty they fight relentlessly until the enemy is utterly dead. This aspect is represented by the Vampiric Power: Red Fury which allows to make additional attacks for each unsaved wounds caused.
  • Blood Magic: Some of the Vampires' spells are inevitably tied to blood, one of which is the process of turning someone into a Vampire, which involves giving the future Vampire some blood from a vampiric sire.
  • Cool Chair: Some Vampires, especially Lahmians, consider themselves Too Important to Walk near their undead minions so they sit upon a Coven Throne. Coven Thrones are huge thrones made of bones and carried by bound spirits.
  • Dark Is Evil: The night-crawling monsters leading hordes of undead do not want to do you good, unsurprisingly.
  • Dem Bones: Skeleton warriors are a common sight in Vampire Counts armies, being long dead warriors corrupted by winds of magic. They are marginally better than freshly raised zombies due to their use of weapons and shields.
  • Dracolich: Vampires occasionally venture east of the World's Edge Mountains into the Plain of Bones, where dying dragons come to their final rest. They then use their fell powers to resurrect one of the dragon corpses and mount it to battle. Just as powerful as in life, the Zombie Dragons replace their Breath Weapon with a Pestilential Breath which is quite weak but has a penalty to Armour Saves. Moreover, their corpses are surrounded by huge swarms of flies. As a result, enemy models in base contact with the Zombie Dragons suffer a penalty to hit.
  • The Dreaded: Vampires are particularly terrifying, which is represented through several Vampiric Powers. Fear Incarnate forces nearby enemies to Reroll Fear tests and cancels the Hold Your Ground effect from Standard Bearer. Likewise a Vampire with Aura Of Dark Majesty is said to exhude a particular dreadful aura that intimidates enemy by making them realize how inferior they are, inflicting a -1 penalty to Leadership to nearby enemies.
  • Elite Mook: Grave Guard are lesser wights that act as elite infantry for Vampire Counts armies. Resembling ancient and heavily armoured Skeleton Warriors, Grave Guard retain far more of their martial skill than their lesser brethren and wield enchanted blades that can slay all but the most fearsome of opponents with a single strikenote .
  • Evil Weapon: The cursed magic weapon Skabscrath is said to have an evil will that forces those who draw it to commit truly vile acts. The blade is possessed of an insatiable bloodlust that will drive its wielder into a frenzy during battle and will kill the character that carries it if they haven't killed at least one enemy model by the end of a game.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Sylvania is a fantasy version of medieval Eastern Europe and Wallachia under Vlad the Impaler.
  • Fearless Undead: The Vampire Counts have the particularity of being near immune to Psychology Tests, justifiable as the undead that aren't mindless puppets are also freakishly strong and overconfident. Undead units in the army are Unbreakable.
  • Feral Vampires: Vargheists and Varghulfs are monsters who were once normal vampires, but succumbed to their bloodthirst and no longer functional as anything but indulging beasts.
  • Flight: Vampires with the Flying Horror Vampiric Power have the ability to Fly, either because they transform into bats or because they already possess bat wings.
  • Game Face: Almost all vampires have some level of shapeshifting ability, allowing them to pass for human most of the time before changing to a more monstrous aspect when angry or at war to strike fear in their enemies.
  • Horror Hunger: Becomes less of an issue over time for Vampires but it never goes away entirely. The Vampire Counts are all consumed by a need to drink blood which they usually try their hardest to counter as they don’t want to devolve into ravening beasts. The youngest vampires have the hardest time controlling it but with time and willpower, a Vampire may only need a handful of blood every few years. Vampires who are denied their blood won’t die but devolve into powerful but brutish Vargheists. Finally, some vampires do not care and fully give in to their bloodlust, becoming over time bestial Varghulfs.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Beguile represents a Vampire whose gaze can entrance foes. It forces an enemy in a challenge to pass a Leadership test with a -3 modifier or reroll successful To Hit rolls.
  • Keystone Army: The General of any Vampire Counts army is explained to be the one bending every undead to his will and providing the magic that sustains their dead bodies, so killing him will result in the army crumbling away too. However, any other Lord or Hero unit with the Lore of Vampires can take over as the next general.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Vampires are among the most fearsome Heroes and Lords units of the Undead, having high stats in every category on top of a slight healing factor. For instance, a Vampire Lord has a Weapon Skill and Initiative of 7, Strength and Toughness 5 with 3 Wounds and 5 attacks, without magic weapons or other allottable skills. The only (comparatively) ordinary Lords who could reasonably beat that are the famously powerful and duel-oriented Chaos Lords and Greater Daemons of Chaos. Moreover, several Vampiric Powers allow to characterize Vampires into leaning toward a specialty. Some Nigh-Invulnerable Vampires thanks to foul magic or exceptional constitution can be represented with Curse Of The Revenant which adds +1 Wound to their profile. One can also emphasize the Super Speed of their Vampire by giving them Quickblood, meaning they Always Strike First. Finally, the Super Strength of a Vampire may be highlighted through Master Strike, signifying the Vampire is so strong a well-placed blow can kill anyone and they may perform a single attack with Heroic Killing Blow
  • Magic Knight: Yet another reason Vampires are so powerful is that they combine a powerful body with a great affinity for the Wind of Death. Several Vampiric Powers may represent a Vampire's possible specialization. A Vampire with Master Of The Black Arts is particularly talented at magic and may reroll a dice to determine the strength of the Winds of Magic or someone with Forbidden Lore has spent their undeath practicing many types of magic, thus they are able to generate spells from all basic Lores except the Lore of Life. On the other hand, a Vampire who is a Dread Knight has spent centuries honing their battle skill and mimicking knights, gaining +2 Weapon Skill and having to issue/accept challenges.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Tomb Banshees and Terrorgheists have access to terrifying shrieking abilities that either demoralize the enemy or outright kill them from the sound.
  • Naked Nutter: Ghouls have been driven insane by generations of cannibalism and necrophagia, and have lost so much of their mental faculties to that they barely understand the concept of weapons or clothing. Consequently, most go into battle wearing nothing more than loincloths.
  • The Necrocracy: Sylvania is currently under the unchallenged rule of the Vampire Counts. Whatever population of living peasants is now too afraid to cross the forests to get out of Sylvania and are forced to live beneath their undead lords, hoping they won’t catch their attention.
  • Necromancer: All practitioners of the Lore of the Vampires are necromancers commanding the Wind of Death to raise dead or cause nasty effects of enemies. The Lore of Vampires, thanks to its attribute Curse of Undeath and basic spell Invocation of Nehek, is particularly useful for raising the undead and replenish your ranks. Vampires are nearly all capable necromancers, which is necessary to raise entire legions of dead zombies or skeletons and a Vampire with the Vampiric Power: Dark Acolyte adds D3 to casting total for Invocation of Nehek. Necromancers are a cheaper yet more vulnerable option for army leaders, being mere humans who learned necromancy and raising undead armies for their own nefarious goals.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: Tomb Banshees are an available unit of the Vampire Counts armies, being the restless spirits of sorceresses specifically. Otherwise they fit the trope perfectly.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Spirit Hosts are spirits of the dead attracted to the dark magic of the undead, which are then enslaved by the nearest vampire.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Crypt Ghouls are former human cannibals driven away and forced to live underground to feed on buried corpses. They were then corrupted by madness and dark magic into their current bestial state. Crypt Ghouls may occasionally be given permission to drink a very desperate Vampire’s blood to turn them into Crypt Horrors, acting as shock troops.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Refined, powerful undead who see themselves as undisputedly higher lifeforms than their "cattle". They come in several distinct bloodlines, but all are unaging, magically powerful, superhumanly strong and unable to subsist on anything but the blood of the living.
  • Our Wights Are Different: Wight Kings are a close-combat oriented and cheaper alternative to Vampires, being the raised cadavers of ancient warlords who have retained their personalities but gained undead powers.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies are maybe the most common troops used by a Vampire. They are exclusively of the “recently raised through necromancy” kind and are overall a really cheap but pitiful unit, their only strengths being how easy it is to replenish their ranks and just how many of them are in a given mob.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Technically of the Empire. Sylvania started out as an imperial province that Vlad von Carstein legally inherited from Otto von Drak. In essence, Sylvania is basically a rogue province of the Empire that is trying to take over the rest of it.
  • Savage Wolves: Dire Wolves are undead wolves acting as outflanking units for the Vampire Counts, protecting the flanks from cavalry units or hunting vulnerable ones.
  • Shout-Out: The Von Carsteins are named after the title character of Carmilla, whose surname is Karnstein. The name Vlad and the title of Count are obvious references to Dracula.
  • Stronger with Age: The older vampires get, the stronger they get. Vlad, in addition to being the strongest of the Von Carsteins, was also the oldest.
  • Super Empowering: The Blood Kiss is a mysterious ritual that allows Vampires to create another Vampire, seemingly involving giving the would-be vampire some of their cursed blood.
  • Überwald: Sylvania is probably the bleakest province of the Empire, from the poor soils to the tortured forests full of roaming abominations and a consistently bad weather. The Vampires intend to keep it that way too.
  • The Undead: An entire faction of them. The Vampires are the ones with the power, sentience, and ambition to actually seek out other undead to dominate and form entire armies with them.
  • The Vamp: All Vampiresses who try to blend into human society become this. Most notable are the Lahmian vampires who created a network of courtesan spies under Neferata’s control. This aspect is represented on the tabletop by some Vampiric abilities like Beguile or the Coven Thrones whose Lahmian Vampiress occupants can enthrall a unit near them.
  • Vampire Monarch: There is a reason they are called "Counts". The Vampires, especially those of the Von Carstein bloodline, mimic noblemen by living in castles and ruling their own province of Sylvania. The "Vampire Wars" trilogy is about the Von Carsteins' repeated invasions of the Empire in order to become a true undead monarch of humanity.
  • Vampiric Draining: Vampires get strength from drinking blood from anyone. They all have The Hunger rule, allowing them to regain a lost Wound on a 6+ roll whenever they kill a model in close quarters.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Many von Carstein vampires have a wolf form from the day they're turned and some of them like to hunt or even fight in that form. Older Lahmians can learn a cat version (different individuals get different species, most are big cats but at least one becomes a large housecat) but they generally treat it as a minor amusement of little practical worth.
  • Weakened by the Light: Vampires cannot bear sunlight which burns them with a small duration and kills them if they're out in the sun for too long. Interestingly, it doesn’t have anything to do with any holy aspect of the sun but arises from a petty curse Nagash threw at their entire kind for being General Failure.
  • We Have Reserves: Played interestingly. Vampires will happily swamp their enemies in zombie and skeleton fodder, oftentimes even reusing the same corpses many times in the same fight. They'll even treat themselves as expendable because they often employ magical means to resurrect themselves and even if these means fail, they can still eventually come back from their dust through the efforts of some foolish necromancer. They are, however, very careful with the lives of their living servants; few among the living willingly associate with the undead, and their ability to operate in plain sight (and daylight!) and further their undead patron's interests (infiltrating towns and cities, guarding and moving coffins, procuring supplies or victims, etc.) make them highly valuable. This tends to be bad news for a Vampire Vannabe working for immortality; their master can get a new vampire anywhere, but a competent human servant is irreplaceable.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Hexwraiths are ethereal horsemen who reap the souls of their victims. The spiritual remains of these souls are absorbed by the Hexwraith where they for a coroner of spectral flame that, in the 8th Edition of the rules, give Hexwraiths Flaming Attacks.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A Vampire Count invasion will invariably be this. Any freshly slain in the invasion's path will be raised again and added to the Vampire Counts’ numbers, sometimes resulting in entire armies turned into zombies to then be used as cannon fodder against their former countrymen. Zombie Units have a rule allowing them to grow beyond their starting size to represent this.

    Vampire Bloodlines 
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Depending on which edition of the game or story you read, the bloodlines either all affect their new members in specific ways (nature) or vampirism is fairly universal and the existing Vampire Counts create new vampires based on certain traits within the prospective recruit (nurture). Is the Necrarchs' infamous skeletal gauntness an inherent part of W'soran's lineage, or are they like that just because, like their founder, they prefer to feed off dark magic directly and only drink blood as rarely as possible (it distracts from their research after all)? Up until 5th edition or so, a player had to take one bloodline as a package deal, but later rules allow them to pick and choose which traits their vampire has.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: The vampires are divided between five distinct bloodlines, each tracing its descent from one of the original five vampires of ancient Lahmia and embodying a different take on fictional vampires.
    • The von Carsteins are essentially Dracula, pale aristocrats brooding in gothic castles in the local Überwald.
    • Lahmian vampires are Carmilla-like female vampires, look the most human and secretly manipulate human society.
    • The Blood Dragons are Blood Knights — literally, they're knights who strive to grow ever better in combat until they can defeat a dragon, drink it dry and lose their addiction to blood.
    • The Strigoi are degenerate, physically bestial descendants of more intelligent vampires who Look Like Orlok, live in crypts and rule over equally degenerate ghouls.
    • The Necrarchs are Mad Scientist Necromancers who look like walking corpses and study dark magic in isolation.

Blood Dragons

"If there be Gods, then they must smile to see their gifts so well used. If there are not, then I am surely the closest thing to them. Life and death are mine to deal, to those whom I consider worthy of each."
Lady Sigismunda, Blood Dragon

The knights of Blood Keep are the most driven and martial of the vampire bloodlines. The Blood Dragons devote their undeaths to becoming the deadliest warriors in the Old World in pursuit of their order's shared goal — slaking their thirst on a dragon's blood and transcending the limitations of vampirism. They descend from Abhorash the Blade Immortal, a legendary warrior of ancient Lahmia.

  • Animal Motifs: They make heavy use of dragon imagery in their heraldry and armor, in order to remind themselves of Aborash's great achievement and of their own ultimate goal.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The Blood Dragons' mastery of martial combat comes with a degree of pride and disdain for humanity notable even among vampires. Blood Dragons view the majority of the human species as nothing more than pathetic vermin fit for little more than testing a new blade's edge, and make no attempt at hiding this attitude.
  • Black Knight: They clad themselves from head to toe in intimidating armor, hold a harsh sense of honor despite being man-eating undead, and wander the world in search of powerful warriors to fight. Some are even known to park themselves on bridges or in narrow passes and challenge anyone who tries to pass.
  • Challenge Seeker: Blood Dragons devote their undeaths to becoming the greatest paragons of martial skill they can, and constantly test themselves against powerful foes. They will gladly slaughter peasants or travellers to test a new blade, practice a strike or feed, but they seek mighty champions and fearsome monsters above all else in order to push themselves further and further along their path.
  • Monster Knight: They're an order of vampire knights that live to fight powerful foes, and they believe that only cowards feed upon the weak — the only ones that Blood Dragons will willingly feed on are powerful warriors and monsters.
  • Noble Demon: Blood Dragons hold themselves to a strict code of honor, typically refusing to fight weaker or helpless opponents and saving their blades for those who can put up a good fight for their lives, and are known to spare foes who honorably or with courage.


The Lahmians are almost exclusively female vampires who hide themselves within the upper echelons of human society, using talents for subterfuge and politics honed over centuries to stalk their prey within their own cities and halls of power. They descend from Queen Neferata herself.
  • The Chessmaster: Neferata's teachings expressly forbid her spawn from seizing open power for themselves, as this tends to drive humanity to unite and bring them down. Instead, Lahmians prefer to work from the shadows, subtly manipulating human rulers and society into furthering centuries-spanning schemes.
  • Femme Fatale: The stereotypical Lahmian is a gorgeous high-class woman who uses her beauty to seduce unsuspecting humans to advance her own schemes.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Unlike other vampires, who either hide far from civilization or make no secret of themselves, Lahmians prefer to pass themselves off as members of human society, making use of pseudonyms and convenient cultural and aristocratic affectations to walk in plain sight among their prey.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: The Lahmians consist almost entirely of gorgeous Femme Fatales who use their beauty to seduce human prey.


The Necrarchs steep themselves in the study of dark magic to a greater degree than any other vampires, sustaining themselves on the wind of magic as much as they do on blood and often becoming necromancers of terrifying power. This practice, however, leaves them wasted and corpselike — no Necrarch would ever pass for a living man. They descend from W'soran the Wicked, high priest of Lahmia and one of Nagash's closest acolytes.
  • Bald of Evil: Necrarchs are almost universally bald.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Necrarchs are consummate sorcerers and wizards to a degree beyond the vampiric norm. They obsessively amass immense stores of arcane lore, magical tomes and enchanted artifacts, and are some of the most powerful practitioners of necromancy and dark magic in the Old World.
  • The Hermit: Necrarchs are deeply distrustful of each other, and their lowered thirst means they do not need to hang around human civilization like other vampires do. Consequently, they tend to spend most of their lives in deep seclusion, holing themselves up in isolated fastnesses to pursue their research away from prying eyes.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Necrarchs are the most outwardly corpselike of the vampire bloodlines, with desiccated skin stretched taut across their bones, prominent fangs, pointed ears, and hairless domed skulls.
  • Mage Tower: The Necrarchs' favored dwelling places are tall, twisting towers rising out of the wilderness. This is in part for ease of access to the Wind of Heavens for peering into the future, in part for defensibility, and in part to indulge Necrarch fantasies of being gods high above the mortal scum.
  • Meaningful Rename: Necrarchs tend to take Nehekaran names when they are first turned, symbolizing their leaving their mortal life behind in favor of a new existence as Nagash's heirs.
  • Must Be Invited: While this particular weakness is rare among other vampires, Necrarchs find it almost impossible to enter a building that mortals made a home unless expressly invited — trying to do so otherwise will cause them great physical harm if they manage it at all.
  • The Needless: Downplayed. Necrarchs still need to consume blood every now and again, but for the most part subsist upon dark magic alone and are largely free of the ties binding other vampires to their bloodthirst and human society. Many Necrarchs seek to become this in full, and put a great deal of work in researching ways to purge the last traces of their thirst from themselves.
  • Pointy Ears: Necrarchs tend to develop elongated, pointed ears.
  • See the Invisible: The Witchsight of the Necrarchs allows them to see spirits and the winds of magic as if they part of the physical world. In exchange, however, the physical world of the living becomes a blurred and insubstantial thing to their eyes.


The Strigoi are bestial, degraded beings, and their hulking forms, batlike faces and taloned extremities prevent them from appearing as anything other than the inhuman predators they are. As a consequence, Strigoi usually lurk within ancient necropolises and haunted wildernesses, preying on wildlife and travelers and ruling over bands of primitive ghouls. They descend from Ushoran, Neferata's hated younger brother.
  • Bat People: Strigoi are the most physically bestial of the vampires, and tend to resemble monstrous humanoid bats through traits such as prominent fangs, elongated ears or vestigial wings.
  • Doomed Hometown: More like doomed home kingdom! The Strigoi vampires used to rule the Strygos empire from the city of Mourkain in the Badlands. After years of Neferata scheming to destroy it, the City fell to a greenskin Waaagh.
  • Feral Vampires: The Strigoi are the most mentally and physically degenerate of the vampires, living as little more than feral predators and bearing precious few traces of humanity in their hunched, twisted forms. Downplayed with the Strigoi leaders, as they remain intelligent enough to lead troops into battle.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: While most Strigoi hide in cemeteries and forgotten tombs, some amongst them try to carve out their own kingdoms to recreate the glories of Ancient Mourkain.
    • One that has met with some success is Gnashag, the Black Prince, who has controlled a town in the Border Princes for many centuries, protecting it from outside threats, be it hostile neighbors, Greenskins or Ogres.
    • Vorag Bloodytooth led an army of madmen, ghouls and undead into the Badlands to reclaim Mourkain, beginning construction of a small stronghold within the Plain of Bones on the way. Although he eventually fell in battle against goblins, Vorag remains an inspiration to other Strigoi for his attempt.
  • Monster Lord: Strigoi often rule over tribes of equally degenerate ghouls, earning them their moniker of Ghoul Kings.
  • Naked Nutter: Having been pushed to the very fringes of society by misfortune and the excesses of more successful vampires, the Strigoi bloodline has gradually degenerated into insanity: some exist in a state of animalistic rage, others embrace delusions of their former courtly life even while living in graveyards or caves. As such, most of them wear next to nothing — and it's noted that some are so deluded that they may actually believe their ragged loincloths to be the finest robes.
  • Riches to Rags: Basically the life history of the Strigoi Bloodline is this trope. The most ancient of Strigoi hailed from Mourkhain in Strigos where they were the top of the kingdom’s power structure with riches and luxuary. When the kingdom was destroyed and the city sacked, the Strigoi were forced to flee and were hunted relentlessly by other vampires, which eventually drove them to hide in cemeteries and sustain themselves on corpses, which also drove many of them insane. Ultimately this experience left the Strigoi to become little else than scavengers.
  • Revenge: Strigoi deeply resent the other vampire bloodlines for tearing down their kingdom and then driving them into their present state, and many Strigoi dream of making themselves into a power again and exacting revenge upon the rest of vampirekind.

Von Carsteins

The von Carsteins are power-hungry tyrants and consummate aristocrats, brooding in dark castles and commanding legions of undead thralls. They view themselves as the rightful nobility of the night, cultivating themselves into noble or scholarly personas to present themselves with the dignity they feel due to their status, and openly rule over the nightmare lands of Sylvania. They descend from Vlad von Carstein, formerly Vashanesh of Nehekara and Neferata's first husband.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: The von Carsteins have traditionally exhibited all the classic movie vampire traits, and most of the older model range is heavily inspired by the classic movie vampire look. More recent incarnations have given them a harsher, more militaristic aesthetic, with heavy fluted armor and bat designs highly prominent. According to the designers, however, this is because the newer models are meant to represent the von Carsteins on the battlefield, where it's generally a bad idea to dress in formal evening wear. In more relaxed settings they're still depicted with the traditional capes, jackets and aristocratic airs, and they're typically found living in dark, gothic castles in a haunted Überwald.
  • Continuity Snarl: For a long time, the only source for most of the von Carstein backstory was the a supplement for the RPG. When novels started being written about those events, they largely ignored that source entirely, using only the broad outlines found in the army books and otherwise going in completely different directions. The biggest change is that Vashanesh, previously the main focus of the story, was removed entirely. The Vampire Wars trilogy splits the difference by having Vlad tell the Vashanesh version, but he admits that the other elder vampires will say he never existed; the Liber Necris lore book, presented as Mannfred's in-universe reconstruction of those events, follows on from that. The End Times treat all versions as canon in Broad Strokes, just to make it even more confusing.
  • Enemy Civil War: More so than any other vampires, the von Carsteins are in a near-constant state of internecine war, power struggles and backstabbing among each other as they jockey for power and prestige.
  • Haunted Castle: The von Carsteins of Sylvania typically reside in the residences of former nobles, chiefly Big Fancy Castles with lots of spires and steep roofs, the most notorious of which is Castle Drakenhof, home to the heads of the Von Carstein family. Besides the vampires, these castles are home to all kinds of undead and many tomes and artifacts of ancient lore that attract adventurers despite the obvious danger.
  • Shout-Out: The von Carsteins are named after the title character of Carmilla, whose surname is Karnstein. The name Vlad, the title of Count and their homeland of Sylvania are instead references to Dracula.

Predatory Lords of Undeath

Von Carsteins

    Vlad von Carstein 

Vlad von Carstein, Count of Sylvania
"Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death."

The founder of the Von Carstein bloodline and the first Vampire Count of Sylvania. Undoubtedly one of the most infamous Vampires in the old world.

Vlad came to rule Sylvania several centuries before the setting of the game, and invaded the Empire in what would be known as the First Vampire War. Killed several times but always returning, his battle ended at the walls of Altdorf where a thief managed to steal the ring allowing Vlad to resurrect after his deaths and he was finally slain for good.

  • Affably Evil: Underneath Vlad's unlimited ambition, infinite ruthlessness and other vampire-related evilness is a decent person, which he occasionally lets show.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Led the Von Carstein family because he was the most powerful of them, which does say something.
  • Back from the Dead: Vlad is brought back by Nagash during the End Times to serve as one of his Mortachs, Nagash needing competent souls to lead his armies.
  • Badass Cape: Vlad's model sports an impressive bearskin cape flowing in the wind and seemingly laden with tortured souls.
  • Battle Aura: His Aura of Dark Majesty gives his enemies a decrease in Leadership if they are near him.
  • Berserk Button: Thwarting his plans in lore. In the game rules, killing Isabella will cause him to go berserk and become more dangerous in melee.
  • Cultured Badass: Vlad is genteel and well-traveled. When he took rulership of Sylvania, he was eager to learn the cultures of the Empire from his wife.
  • Enemy Mine: Against the threat of Chaos, Vlad becomes the most enthusiastic ally of the Empire among the Mortachs. He contacts Kurt Helborg and proposes an alliance between the two which eventually comes to pass when Altdorf is assieged, Vlad coming to assist the Empire.
  • Evil Is Sexy: One of his vampiric abilities is to instill this reaction in people he meets in-universe.
  • Evil Mentor: Vlad eventually becomes one to Balthasar Gelt, who is so desperate to quell the threat of Chaos that they resort to learning Necromancy from Vlad.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Vlad is the founder of the Von Carstein bloodline and the first vampiric ruler of Sylvania.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In-universe. Downplayed as Vlad and the Vampires are clearly dangerous, but the question initially was just how dangerous they are. Vlad went from a strangely-accented foreign nobleman of indeterminate origin to a conquering Vampire Lord. Vlad also did this to Vampires as a whole in regards to how the Empire views them. Vampires went from being seen as just another kind of undead monster that occasionally caused people to go missing from isolated villages and towns, to ruthless conquerors of nations with armies of undead at their beck and call.
  • Game Face: Supernatural Horror grants him the Terror rule.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Beguile enables Vlad to force a possible close-quarter penalty to his opponent, representing his hypnotic power.
  • Joker Immunity: Justified in-universe, as his Carstein Ring gave him the ability to come back from injuries that would prove fatal even to a Vampire. Losing this ring swiftly removed this immunity from death.
  • Killed Off for Real: When his ring that allowed him to return for the dead was stolen and destroyed, the Empire managed to kill him for good.
  • Life Drain: Vlad's enchanted sword, Blood Drinker absorbs the Life Energy of those it cuts. In the 8th Edition rules, Blood Drinker boosts Vlad's Strength characteristic, and increases the effectiveness of his Healing Factor.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Old lore from the RPG said that he was Neferata's husband Vashanesh, or at least a descendant of his bloodline. The Time of Legends and Blood of Nagash novels showed those original events, and no such character existed (his backstory is rolled into Alcadizaar in a way that suggests making them separate characters in earlier lore was an in-universe cruel joke on Vlad's part). It's heavily hinted that the future Vlad is actually Ankhat (Neferata's seneschal and her court's token sane member). The End Times novels confirm that he's from Nehekara, but leave the details vague enough that it could be either option (neither name is used).
  • Posthumous Character: Vlad has been slain centuries before the actual date the game is set, yet he remains playable.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Upon taking control of Sylvania, Vlad gained a reputation as a harsh but fair ruler, in contrast to the arbitrary and tyrannical Otto von Drak. This, combined with the relative isolation of Sylvania from the Imperial heartland, allowed him to build up his power in secret, gradually replacing Sylvania's nobility with loyal undead underlings.
  • Ring of Power: The Carstein Ring, his most notable possession, enables Vlad to resurrect from anything as long as he’s got the ring on his hand. Whenever he is slain, he comes back on a 2+ roll.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the hypothetical event that Isabella is fielded alongside him and is killed, then Vlad will gain the Hatred and Frenzy rules to represent his wrath.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: His human glamour is described like the trope almost word for word, being “tall and darkly handsome”.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Genuinely loved his wife, Isabella, and only made her into a vampire when it was the only way to keep her from dying of a plague that swept through Sylvania.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: How "well-intentioned" he was is debatable, but his motivation for trying to take over the Empire was to put an end to the its infighting and prevent it from being corrupted or destroyed by Chaos.

    Isabella von Carstein 

Isabella von Carstein, Countess of Sylvania
"Please, come in and join me for dinner. I can see from the way you dress, you are a man of exquisite... taste."

The Countess of Sylvania, daughter of the "Mad Count" Otto von Drak. Vlad took her as a wife in order to claim the throne of Sylvania, and eventually genuine love grew between the pair.

  • Daddy's Little Villain: Seemed to geniunely care for her father's well-being and had no problem with his evil habits.
  • The Dark Chick: Of the Von Carstein, she is their most significant female member and was madly in love with Vlad.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Vlad was killed, Isabella became so stricken with grief that she flung herself from a gate tower of Altdorf down to the stakes below, before crumbling to dust.
  • Femme Fatale: Not to Vlad but against other people.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Isabella holding the Blood Chalice of Bathori (which by the way is enchanted to always be full of blood) evokes the imagery and also makes her and any Vampire in the unit sensibly more resilient.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Isabella’s model wears a blend of black armor and fine party dress.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Originally, Isabella was just wedded off to Vlad's nobleman identity to support the political ambitions of her father; much to Vlad's and Isabella's surprise, this quickly ended up becoming genuine affection for each other.
  • Tomboy Princess: Isabella was said to be more interested in men’s games like hunting and falconry instead of needlework like a proper daughter of a count would. However, her appearance was that of a classical noblewoman.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Willingly became a vampire to be a worthy wife for Vlad, and when he was destroyed for good, she went into a suicidal fury.

    Konrad von Carstein
"When the darkness falls our time is at hand. We are the rulers of the Night. We are the predators of the shadows. Come hither and we will show you the true meaning of terror!"

The second Vampire Count of Sylvania; a mad butcher unwisely granted undeath by Vlad von Carstein who took the throne after Vlad's final, permanent death.

  • 0% Approval Rating: In stark contrast to Vlad who was generally praised for his leadership, for being able to maintain his armies, relationships and even almost secure victory against the Empire, Konrad is utterly detested and disregarded by his own troops for his unstable behavior and for mistreating his subordinates.
  • Asshole Victim: One of the reasons for Konrad's defeat and death was that many of his own forces got sick of his bullying and inept leadership. Firstly, the Blood Knights left because they weren't given any noteworthy fights as they were promised. In Konrad's final battle against an alliance between The Empire and the Dwarfs, the necromancers which Konrad had previously bullied and bribed into joining suddenly deserted him, causing Konrad's undead forces to become dead again or disintegrated, impelling Konrad himself to have a mental breakdown and run off into a nearby forest, where he soon met his end at the hands of Helmut of Marienburg.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ordering his own mother bricked up in her room and left to starve to death for the "crime" of giving birth to him without his prior permission is just one example of his nuttiness. Half of the time on the tabletop, Konrad will have the Frenzy rule, which he can gain even after having lost a fight.
  • Bad Boss: Because of his magical ineptitude, Konrad was forced to recruit human necromancers to help him in building up his undead army. Unfortunately, Konrad was demanding and disrespectful of his troops and even had some of the necromancers killed if he ever heard them mocking his lack of magical abilities. Eventually, this ultimately proved to be his undoing when his necromancers suddenly left him behind after losing the Battle of Grim Moor and getting fed up of Konrad's behavior.
  • Barbaric Bully: It comes with being an insane and temperamental vampire and leader after all. And as aforementioned, his behavior comes back to bite him really hard in the Battle of Grim Moor.
  • Berserk Button: Being an insane psychopath he had many, and they could change easily, but a consistent one was mocking his abilities in any capacity (or lack thereof, such as his magic skills).
  • The Berserker: Konrad is the Vampire Counts' most headfirst and aggressive fighters, and his demeanor and personality adds to his battle-hungry nature.
  • Big Bad: Konrad serves as the greatest threat to the Empire during Dominion, the second book of the Vampire Wars trilogy.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In spite of the above, and despite the fact that he was a bona fide dangerous and world-threatening monster, Konrad had none of the abilities and potential that made Vlad so successful prior to him. In the very end, Konrad died having achieved very little compared to his predecessor and his successor.
  • Blood Knight: To the point that he would lick his blades clean and drink the blood from fallen enemies in battle. He even recruited a literal knightly order of these with the promise of great battles.
  • The Brute: When Vlad was still alive, Konrad was this for him, acting as a feral attack dog towards Vlad's enemies.
  • Bully Brutality: Konrad's insane mindset rendered him to be very rash and panicky over his followers' thoughts on him. The moment he hears some sort of criticism about him, Konrad wastes no time in killing the one who insults him, especially if it's something to do with his lack of magical skills.
  • The Caligula: When he took over after Vlad's death, as he had nowhere near Vlad's restraint.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Konrad executed some of the necromancers in his service before the Battle of Grim Moor, thinking they planned to betray him. Unfortunately this caused the surviving necromancers to leave his service, leaving him no way to raise fresh troops against an enemy army that outnumbered him two to one, thanks to his own incompetence with necromancy.
  • Dual Wielding: The blood-mad Konrad hacks at his enemies a pair of blades, a regular sword and the Sword of Waldenhof, a magic weapon that causes multiple wounds with every hit.
  • Dumb Muscle: Downplayed. Konrad is normally seen as someone who is straightforward about his attacks and not employing some sort of strategic plan. However, he was able to demonstrate some sort of tactical thinking in one battle that did claim him a victory, so his madness isn't really debilitating.
  • Evil vs. Evil: His competition with his brothers can be summed up as this. Unfortunately, Konrad was worse than any of them, barring Mannfred, and won the Von Carstein throne.
  • Fatal Flaw: His madness and complete disregard for his army, both of which ultimately end with his troops betraying him in the very end, ultimately leading to Konrad being killed by his enemies.
  • For the Evulz: Really, there's nothing pragmatic or anything serving a long-term goal about Konrad's actions. Although drinking blood is vital to a vampire's survival, Konrad butchers towns and settlements just to sate his own sadistic desires, not much else.
  • Hate Sink: He is the highly incompetent and most infamously mad member of the bloodline. Nothing more than a bully, countless people die thanks to Konrad's Stupid Evil, including his own men, and when he is slain during a post-battle tantrum, nobody mourns for him.
  • The Hedonist: Compared to Vlad and Mannfred who were more ambitious and thought of more grander plans beyond Sylvania, Konrad was content with simply killing and enjoying his vampiric desire. The most he musters in ambition is invading the Empire and the Dwarf Realms and even then, it's to further cash in on more bloodshed and depraved enjoyment.
  • High Collar of Doom: Combined with Spikes of Villainy on his model.
  • Insane = Violent: Konrad is the most insane of the Von Carstein dynasty and he is easily the most violent and bloodthirsty member of it, completely lacking any of the redeeming qualities Vlad possessed. So much so that Mannfred avoided fighting against him, which worked in his favor. His reputation was what earned him the moniker of Konrad the Butcher and Konrad the Bloody.
  • It Amused Me: It's implied Vlad turned him into a vampire solely because Vlad found Konrad's insanity amusing.
  • Jerkass: Konrad has none of the charm Vlad possesses nor can he make a convincing facade like Mannfred. Towards his troops, he's a loudmouthed, mentally venomous and temperamental asshole who has some of his followers killed simply for questioning his lack of magical affinity.
  • Kick the Dog: Or in his case, "use alley cats for crossbow practice".
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Actually downplayed. While Konrad would opt to go plunder and butcher the first thing he sees, he does have a modicum of rational thinking to plan a strategy, mostly as a means to be as sadistic as possible.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: Remarkably for a Vampire, Konrad managed to attain a certain level of infamy despite being an inept necromancer. Only his skills at warfare and the human necromancers he had on his side allowed him to be an actual military threat to the Empire and reminding him in any way of his lack of magical talent was one of his Berserk Buttons.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: On the receiving end of it, and for the better, considering how Konrad treated his followers and associates like dirt.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: There's a reason he's gained the titles of Konrad the Beast, Konrad the Butcher and Konrad the Bloody.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The main reason Konrad was killed is mainly due to his treatment and lack of respect for his own troops. Inevitably, when he was starting to lose the Battle of Grim Moor, his necromancers ditched him in the battlefield and walked away, causing Konrad's undead troops to be disintegrated. What happens next is Konrad throwing a hissy fit and running off into the forest before being found and executed.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Konrad lives for this trope. If he's not bullying and killing his own followers for slighting him, Konrad is most likely off to a nearby settlement, ready to butcher the populace for the hell of it.
  • Red Is Violent: Konrad is clad in red armor and he is... you already know.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The absolutely mad, temperamental and thuggish red to Mannfred's more reserved, falsely polite and calculating blue. This even extends to their sociopathy with Konrad being low-functioning compared to Mannfred's higher functioning spectrum.
  • Sadist: Konrad is among the biggest example in the franchise, with his excessive amount of bloodlust and his general penchant for torturing and butchering rivaling those of Sigvald and Nagash.
  • Sanity Slippage: Konrad was never really sane to begin with, got worse when Vlad turned him into a vampire and this mentality damaged the Von Carstein's reputation the moment he became the second count. This reached its conclusion by the Battle of Grim Moor when the sudden betrayal of his necromancers and the disintegration of his undead troops proved too much for Konrad's mind to handle; he fled the battle, only to be found killed anyway.
  • Sibling Murder: Soon after Vlad died, Konrad entered competition against four of his "brothers", Fritz, Pieter, Hans and Mannfred, over who would take over the Von Carstein leadership. Konrad won the battle, though he only got to personally kill Hans over the position, whereas the others (excluding Mannfred) died for varying reasons. Later on Konrad would kill another "brother", Jerek, just to make sure he is the final member of the Von Carstein family still alive.
  • The Sociopath: An extremely low-functioning example; Konrad had terrible impulse control, was driven mainly by bloodlust and was ultimately far too insane and sadistic even by the standards of his own kind. He also had a very severe need of stimulation, as evidenced by his bloodlust and had a sense of self-grandiose going alongside him.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Initially, Konrad was loyal to Vlad. After the latter's death, Konrad has nothing for outright disappointment and hate for him, even telling himself to never repeat Vlad's mistakes. All the more ironic given that Konrad makes far more mistakes than Vlad ever did and further underscored by the fact that Vlad's greatest mistake is Konrad himself.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Konrad’s violent sociopathy proved to be little more than a massive hindrance to his cause at the end of it all, with the shitty treatment of his own men and rampant bloodlust alienating him from his peers, if it didn’t end up gaining him more enemies. By the end of his life, Konrad was a complete wreck and ended up being hunted down like a dog and beheaded as he scrambled through the woods, his fraying sanity finally giving away to the revelation of losing everything he had and irrevocably degenerating into an incoherent, feral beast.
  • Stupid Evil: His violent nature proved self-destructive and drove his allies away at the worst possible moments.
  • Third-Person Person: In the later stages of his career, due to his ever-growing insanity.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Maybe if Konrad wasn't so condescending and maniacal to begin with, he may have won his final battle against the Empire and Dwarfs. Unfortunately, this thought never occurred to him and it costs Konrad his life. Even worse, his legacy falls flat compared to Vlad and Mannfred, leaving his monstrous reputation as the only trait he is remembered for.
  • Viler New Villain: While Vlad von Carstein was bloodthirsty, ruthless and was able to almost defeat the Empire, he still had plenty of redeeming qualities, was an adequate and effective ruler who was praised by his servants and outside of being a vampire, he was a reasonably decent individual, in addition to having what could have been noble intentions despite his malice. In stark contrast, Konrad had no redeeming qualities, was a terrible ruler who had massive difficulties with his own servants and only lived for plundering and killing foes and defenseless victims alike. Both were also killed because of betrayal, but while Vlad was betrayed out of spite and power, Konrad was betrayed because of his bullying and lack of concern for his troops.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the end of the Battle of Grim Moor, Konrad was beginning to lose against against the allied Empire and Dwarfs, the necromancers that were maintaining his undead army became disgruntled with Konrad's repeated ineptitude of leadership and ditched him then and there, causing Konrad's undead army to wither away. He reacted with panic, and soon enough, his rational thinking blew up, screaming and roaring mindlessly as he fled into the forest, soon to be killed by Helmut.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Konrad once held a celebration of his victories against his enemies. To satiate himself for the occasion, he bought along one hundred and eleven women to his feast hall so that he could suck off their blood for a grand banquet. Some of them died in the process.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the girls in the aforementioned banquet was noted to be "barely a child".
  • You Killed My Father: Konrad slew Count Helmar of Marienburg at the Battle of Four Armies. Helmar's son Helmut later avenged his father at the Battle of Grim Moor by defeating and beheading Konrad, destroying him for good.

    Mannfred von Carstein
"This land is my home, my birthright. The wind and rain are my allies. The trees and stones are my foot soldiers. The very earth will rise up against you should you try to take it from me. And my people will feast on your bones."

The most ambitious of Vlad von Carstein's vampiric children and current ruler of Sylvania, an exceptional necromancer and perhaps one of the most powerful vampires in the world.

  • Animal Motif: Mannfred is often associated with vampire bats. Like them, Mannfred is cunning and stealthy and the style of his armor resembles bat wings. There's also the obvious.
  • The Archmage: The most magically gifted of the Von Carsteins and likely one of the most powerful vampire sorcerers in the world. In game, he is a Loremaster in both the Lores of Death and Vampires and has the ability to reroll some dice for determining the strengths of the Winds of Magic thanks to Master of the Black Arts.
  • Back from the Dead: Was killed long ago but later resurrected when a necromancer's blood was spilled on his body.
  • Bald of Evil: After coming back from the dead. The Return of Nagash novel reveals that he shaved his head as a symbol of putting aside his vanity.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Mannfred betrayed his father by stealing the ring that allowed Vlad to survive his battles countless times, all because Mannfred wanted to to take over the throne from him. Additionally, when he was confronted by the individual who was sent to do the deed, he lopped his hands off instead of presenting him an award.
  • Cool Sword: His Sword Of Unholy Power. Unsaved wounds caused by it are converted into Power dice.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Suffered one, as he was hacked apart by a Runefang after losing the battle of Hel Fenn. As seen in the Virgin Sacrifice entry below, it didn't stick for long.
  • Dirty Coward: Mannfred would sooner or later abandon the battle the moment his defeat becomes inevitable.
  • Dual Wielding: In addition to his sword, Mannfred wields a huge billhook that counts as a normal weapon.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Comes with being a vampire in this setting, but while Konrad ruled Sylvania, Mannfred traveled the world to learn more about magic.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mannfred can turn on the charm and courtesy when he needs to, such as when dealing with rival vampires, but it is a mask with a lot of arrogance and viciousness underneath.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He maintains leadership of the Von Carstein vampires by playing off their desires and flaws, or even pitting dangerous rivals against each other before they turn their sights on him.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In the sense that Vlad made him a vampire, see The Starscream for more details.
  • The Sociopath: Mannfred is a higher-functioning example, in direct contrast to Konrad's more lower-functioning case. He is very good at being approachable and commendable towards others when it's just an act for Mannfred. He also thrives on betraying his allies and has backstabbed his allies countless times, his father most of all. And at the end of the day, the only individual Mannfred shows concern for is ultimately himself. Although while he does make long-term planning which highlights his egotism, he does share Konrad's hedonism and compulsion of killing for the hell of it.
  • The Starscream: It's been insinuated more than once that he was involved in the mysterious "disappearance" of Vlad von Carstein's magical ring, he arranged for the loss of the ring and did so to engineer Vlad's downfall so he could take over, with an additional aftereffect being Isabella's suicide. He becomes one to Nagash too, until Nagash becomes a Physical God and Mannfredd realizes he cannot challenge him in any way anymore.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: This is Mannfred's most favored activity. He has betrayed and deceived nearly everyone he has come to work with, either in search for more power or to save his own skin.
  • The Vamp: A gender-inverted version, figuratively and literally.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: How Mannfred was brought back after his defeat at Hel Fenn. In an interesting twist the necromancer had kidnapped a virgin woman as the sacrifice. But when Gotrek and Felix came to the rescue, the necromancer was cut in half during the battle and his spilled blood seeped onto Mannfred's remains and revived him, from which he deduced that the man was also a virgin. Mannfred lampshades this with some amusement.


    Queen Neferata
"Behind every great man is a great woman. And behind those great women is me."

Queen of Lahmia, creator of vampirism and the first vampire, formerly known as Neferatem. She usurped control of a Dwarfhold, the Silver Pinnacle, and seeks to reclaim her ruined city.

  • Action Girl: In the novels after fleeing the destruction of Lahmia and before she took the Silver Pinnacle.
  • Alpha Bitch: Has shades of this in recent lore. In the End Times: Nagash book, her character description heavily implies she has any women in her keep that are prettier than her killed.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: She and her sisters have — often literally — stood behind many of the mortal world's most powerful rulers, pulling their strings to watch them dance.
  • Archenemy: To High Queen Khalida of the Tomb Kings.
  • Badass Bookworm: Neferata did master complex magic and is able to co-ordinate her underground network.
  • Bloody Murder: In older editions she has a spell where she cuts open her palms and her blood spurts onto an enemy, both poisoning and burning her target.
  • The Chessmaster: In the novel Neferata, she arranges the logistics for Ushoran while serving him, and later manipulates the Orcs and the Empire into waging war on him.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Played with. In older lore Neferata bred cats and even had one as a battle familiar. She also fit the stereotype as she is very old (though thousands of years rather than simply elderly. Though she is not crazy, just evil and manipulative. In newer lore her 'cat' is a first-generation vampire named Naaima who just happens to like that shape.
  • Combo Platter Powers: In the novels. It's implied that Neferata is capable of the powers that all of the Bloodlines have in addition to the usual ones.
  • Cultured Badass: Throughout her life Neferata traveled the world, encountered many cultures and rose to a position of power within each one before eventually moving on. Immortality does provide opportunities.
  • Does Not Like Men: In her eyes, every major man in her life has let her down and she's not completely wrong. This means she despises men and this is why there are few male Lahmian vampires.
  • Doomed Hometown: Neferata was born and raised in the city of Lahmia, which was destroyed by Alcadizzar's army once the secret of her vampirism got out.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Neferata despises the forces of Chaos; she's never allied with them, only fought them, and has never dabbled in Chaos magic.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In-universe due to her beauty and vampiric charm.
  • Expy: Neferata was likely inspired by Akasha, who was an Egyptian queen that became the original vampire and the first of her kind, although Neferata is native to a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Ancient Egypt at any rate.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Implied that Alcadizzar was this for her. In the novels this is expanded and leads to the conclusion of Neferata accepting and embracing her feelings for Arkhan.
  • Genius Bruiser: She's crafty, resourceful and a good negotiator, but she's also from the first generation of vampires (especially since she is the first vampire), and vampires get stronger the older they get. She's very old by now.
  • God-Emperor: How she sees herself, and wants to become the head of a cult that worships her.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: When she became a vampire and sole ruler of Lahmia she found a new use for her servants and subjects. In addition, she developed a god complex.
  • Horror Hunger: Due to being a vampire, Neferata has to feed off of blood to survive. Unlike some vampires in fiction, she's not limited to human blood as the novels show her feeding off Beastmen, Orcs and Elves as well. Despite being able to charm a victim into letting her feed, she rarely has compunctions about unwilling victims.
  • Information Broker: Though she keeps the information for her own gain and rarely, if ever, shares it with anyone outside her Sisterhood.
  • Kissing Cousins: It's implied she had... unwholesome feelings for her cousin, Khalida.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Quick and agile enough to make elves look slow, and physically one of the strongest vampires in the setting.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "she who is beautiful in death" in Nehekaran.
  • Monster Progenitor: The creator of vampirism in the setting and its first vampire.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Depending on the story in question, she may or may not have briefly served Nagash after Lahmia fell, may have been married to a vampire Vashanesh, he might not have existed at all (The End Times implies it's somehow both), and her duel with Khalida may or may not have exposed her vampirism and led to Lahmia's fall.
  • Odd Friendship: With the Dwarf thane Razek, though it didn't last.
  • Orcus on His Throne: She spends millenia wallowing in hedonism within the Silver Pinnacle, rarely taking action against anyone else until near Nagash's return.
  • Out of Focus: She used to be a Lord that could be used in older editions, but since 6th edition she stays in the background.
  • Pet the Dog: Compared to how some Vampires treat their subordinates, Neferata dotes on her Lahmians. They live in comfort, are allowed to ask questions of her and infighting between them is forbidden unless they violate Neferata's rules. She also rewarded one of her human spies who nearly died standing up to a group of vampires to protect her by making them a servant for one of her vampire handmaidens.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With her brother Lamashizzar. Her relationship with Ushoran has shades of this.
  • Shadow Dictator: Neferata prefers to manipulate nations from behind the scenes through her Sisterhood.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Very silky, but she is far more dangerous than she is beautiful.
  • The Spymaster: Neferata is the single most well-informed person in the world, as her thralls and vampiric followers having infiltrated every court in the world.
  • Start of Darkness: Finding one of Nagash's books and wanting to study it for benign reasons at first. It's fairly clear that it snowballed.
  • The Vamp: The setting's first and best, figurative and literal example. Seduction is one of her most frequently used weapons, and the lore states that she enjoys causing noble heroes to fall from grace.
  • Vampire Monarch: The former Queen of Lahmia and current ruler of the Silver Pinnacle. She also aims to rebuild Lahmia and rule over the city again.
  • Wife Husbandry: Performed this on Alcadizzar when she raised him, though it didn't work out for her. Her follower Ankhat actually spelled out for her why it wouldn't work early on, only to be ignored; she raised him to be the perfect king, and a perfect king tends not to approve of undead monsters murdering citizens in the shadows.


    Zacharias the Everliving
"Today is a good day to be dead!"

Little is known on the history of the Necrarch called Zacharias, but he is believed to have been a human necromancer who studied under the dreaded Dieter Helschnit before finding his way to the tower of Melkhior, one of the most powerful of all Necrachs and current keeper of one of the Nine Books of Nagash. Zacharias attempted to steal the book, but Melkhior awoke and caught the impertinent thief. Amused, Melkhior decided to turn Zacharias into a vampire rather than kill him. For years the initially-reluctant vampire studied under his mad master, keeping his unlife by continually impressing Melkhior with his keenness and his capacity to learn. Eventually, Melkhior returned from one of his mad fits, glutted on the blood of his former slaves, to discover that Zacharias had snuck into Melkhior's chamber and was busy reading the Book of Nagash. Forced to finally flee, Zacharias none the less escaped Melkhior's wrath, eventually creeping into the lair of a dragon, whom he drained of blood over a period of a month. Mounted atop the undead wyrm's back, he returned to Melkhior's lair and demolished it; Melkhior hasn't been seen since, with all his treasures and lore now belonging to Zacharias, the Everliving.

  • Badass Bookworm: Zacharias is one of the most powerful necromancers still active in the Warhammer setting. On the tabletop, he had the spellcasting powers of a level 4 Wizard, all six powers of the Necrach bloodline, and he knew all six Necromancy spells, whilst at the same time having far greater combat skill, speed, strength, toughness and attacks than any human wizard.
  • Dragon Rider: He rides a Zombie Dragon whom he killed and reanimated himself.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Like all vampires of the Necrach bloodline, he's an emaciated, corpse-like figure, with desiccated skin stretched taut over moldering bones, spindly taloned fingers, and exaggeratedly long fangs.
  • Klingon Promotion: How he took over Melkhior's position. However, a lot of the fluff implies that Melkhior is still alive and seeks revenge. Other fluff suggests that he actually lost and Melkhior stole his body, and furthermore that "Melkhior" was actually W'Soran in Melkhior's body all along.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: Zacharias holds the distinction of being the second ever vampire to drink a dragon dry of blood, and consequently free himself to unlive eternally without ever having to feed again.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Melkhior threatened him with this, but each day Zacharias made himself useful by doing well in his studies.

Blood Dragons


The first and greatest of the Blood Dragons.

  • The Ace: He was one of the greatest swordsmen and warriors to ever live, if not the greatest, and never met a foe he couldn't best. He was also one of the only vampires to overcome his blood thirst.
  • Blood Knight: On top of being a literal one in every sense of the word, his lineage also founded an order of these, the Blood Dragons.
  • The Captain: Abhorash was the captain of queen Neferata’s personal bodyguard in Lahmia before the city was sacked by the other kings of Nehekhara in their campaign against Nagash.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: How he overcame his blood thirst. He fought a dragon, killed it and drank its blood, as dragon's blood cures the blood thirst of vampirism.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He refused to drink blood and only lost control of his blood thirst because he was starving. He spent years traveling and attempted to avoid feeding off the innocent.
  • Dragon Slayer: He tracked down and defeated a huge red dragon in single combat which lasted a whole night. Then he drank it dry and flung it off a mountaintop.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Downplayed; next to other vampires, Abhorash is a downright saint since he consciously avoids drinking on the weak and the innocent and teaches his followers to only feed on the strong. On the other hand, his victims can also include noble champions of Order that aren't necessarily evil themselves, but fit the prescribed Blood Dragon diet because of their prowess in combat.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: He hates Neferata for turning him into a vampire and that it drove him to kill innocent people. When he got the chance he ditched her.
  • King in the Mountain: Following his defeat of the dragon and throwing off the blood thirst, Abhorash went into meditation in the dragon's cave. The rest of the Blood Dragons continually seek to improve themselves so that he will deign to personally teach them his combat arts.
  • The Magnificent: To his descendants and disciples he is often known as Abhorash the Great, Abhorash the Wanderer, Abhorash the Master.
  • Monster Knight: He's the progenitor of the Blood Dragons, an order of vampire knights that live to fight, and they believe that only cowards feed upon the weak — the only ones that Blood Dragons will willingly feed on are powerful warriors and monsters.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: What he became after drinking the dragon's blood — he can now operate indefinitely without ever needing to feed again, and continue to live and move and act eternally without requiring any sustenance of any sort.
  • Red Baron: He has a number of titles he's sometimes referred to in lieu of his name, such as the Dragon Slayer, the Scourge of the Greenskins, the Blade Immortal and the Lord of Blood.
  • Token Good Teammate: He was turned into a vampire against his will by Neferata and when he got the chance he abandoned her and the other vampires.

    Walach Harkon
Grand Master of the Order of the Blood Dragons

Formerly Walak of the Harkoni tribe, Walach Harkon is one of Abhorash's disciples, and the Founder of the Blood Knights as a Vampiric Knightly Order.

  • Cool Sword: Wields the Crimson Blade, a sword that allows him to either hamstring or behead an opponent on a 1d6 roll.
  • The Corruptor: He brought the Curse of Undeath to the Sigmarite Knights of the Blood Dragon Order, turning the strongest of them into Vampires.
  • Klingon Promotion: He slew the Grand Master of the Blood Dragon knights and took his place.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He is a dark reflection of this trope, insisting on mimicking every aspect of knightly chivalry.
  • One-Man Army: He challenged and overcame the entire Order of the Blood Dragon, slaying every one of its knights in a single night.
  • Our Founder: Downplayed; while his master pioneered the belief that martial perfection would lead to mastery of the vampiric curse, Walach was the one who founded the Blood Dragons as a Vampiric Knightly Order.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He is able to inspire this in his Undead followers with the Blood Dragon Standard, which allows any Undead model within 12" to feel *Hatred*.

    Luthor Harkon 

Formerly Lutr of the tribe Harkoni, now a mad vampire pirate who rules the Vampire Coast of Lustria as its Pirate King.

  • Anti-Magic: Yes, the Slann magic drove him completely insane, but it also resulted in him having an inherent resistance to magic from then on.
  • Ax-Crazy: On account of the backlash of the Lizardmen anti-Chaos sorcerer glyphs in the temple he attempted to raid, he is unable to ever be mentally stable again.
  • Driven to Madness: By the backlash of the glyphs he attacked with dark magic, which left him unable to ever be mentally stable again.
  • Ghost Pirate: A vampire pirate with a crew of Norse zombies.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: He's a vampiric pirate leading an army of Viking zombies.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Morathi, when he joined forces with her to raid a Lizardmen temple city in Lustria. He got too greedy for Morathi's liking, so she sealed him in a vault as a target for the Lizardmen's wrath; given Morathi's MO, it's possible this was her plan all along.

    The Red Duke
A former Duke of Aquitaine, now a monstrous knight waiting to prey upon the descendants of his people.
  • A Day in the Limelight: He stars in his own novel.
  • Back from the Dead: He was unwittingly revived by a cabal of witches five hundred years after his death.
  • Blood Knight: Even in life, he revelled in duels, challenging any opponent, high or lowborn, to try and wound him.
  • Cool Horse: He rides the skeletal remains of El Morzillo, the horse he rode in life.
  • Cool Sword: He wields the Blade of Leaping Gold, a great falchion that allows three extra attacks.
  • Fallen Hero: In life, he was an honourable hero, whose death was mourned by the people of Bretonnia. In Undeath, he is now among that kingdom's fiercest enemies.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: One of his titles is very similar to that of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, a famous Castilian Knight known as El Cid.
  • Red Baron: The Bretonnians call him the Scourge of Aquitaine, while in Araby, he is El Syf.


The first of the Strigoi vampires and Neferata's younger brother.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride convinced him to try and conquer the rest of the Old World. During his campaigns, an Orc Waaagh demolished his kingdom, forcing him to make a hasty retreat.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He became one when he ruled Mourkain; to stop a repeat of what happened in Lahmia, Ushoran commanded his fellow vampires to only feed on the blood of slaves, criminals and prisoners of war, so the citizenry wouldn't feel threatened by their undead masters.
  • The Spymaster: He was Neferata's in Lahmia.
  • Tragic Villain: Ushoran use to be a reasonable ruler, but when his city was destroyed by Orcs his forces were scattered and hunted down by humans and vampires alike. Even before that he was driven to madness by the Crown of Nagash, and his main advisers were actively undermining his empire.
  • The Un-Favourite: To his sister, Neferata and the court in Lahmia.


    Heinrich Kemmler

The Lichemaster, the most feared and terrible necromancer to still walk the earth as a living man, is beholden to the Gods of Chaos for restoring both his mind and unholy power, allowing him to raise the dreaded Krell as his minion.

  • Beard of Evil: Though the tremendous, matted beard might also be said to be a Wizard Beard of Evil.
  • Covered in Scars: Seemingly not as an indication of toughness, but self-inflicted during his long madness.
  • Deal with the Devil: He made a pact with the Chaos Gods that he would spread destruction in their name if they gave him back his wits and magical skills.
  • Due to the Dead: Averted. Kemmler seems to enjoy desecrating tombs and corpses as he does so more than once in the lore, such as merging a group of human zombies into a spider-like creature.
  • Klingon Promotion: How he gained control of his former master's coven.
  • Magic Knight: Kemmler is surprisingly adept at swordplay for a wizard, and his Chaos Tomb Blade's ability to turn his kills into fresh Skeleton Warriors or Grave Guard means that getting him into combat can be a surprisingly useful ploy.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Or infamous, in this case- his name is a play on the name of one of the most infamous members of the Nazi party, Heinrich Himmler.
  • Necromancer: Kemmler has earned his title of Lichemaster by becoming one of the most adept necromancers in the world, being a Level 4 Wizard and a Loremaster in the Lore of the Vampires.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He's used this to escape enemies or get information.
  • Ominous Opera Cape: His Cloak of Mist and Shadows is not badass by any mean but sinister looking and quite useful. By manipulating the surrounding mist and wind, he can either Fly or become Ethereal.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: His hat is topped by a small human skull and wrapped in what appears to be a snake skeleton.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Worked his way up this, killing people, then liches, then vampires.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kemmler is one to Nagash, who subtly guided his actions to resurrect Krell and made him join with other undead forces.
  • Wizard Classic: Hits (a dark version of) every note of this trope, including being one of the few Warhammer wizards to play the Robe and Wizard Hat straight (with a few embellishments.


A mighty Champion of the Chaos God Khorne in the days before Sigmar, who fell during the battle of Karak Kadrin at the hands of the Dwarf hero Grimbul Ironhelm. Buried within a barrow, he was revived by Nagash himself some 1500 years later and became one of his most prized wight generals; when Nagash fell against Sigmar at the Battle of the River Reik, only Krell and his "Doomed Legion" of wights survived, hacking their way to freedom and butchering their way tirelessly across the land in an epic slaughter constantly retold to this day. Only at the Battle of Glacier Lake was Sigmar able to finally capture Krell and seal him away within a magical tomb, where he lay until he was once again resurrected by the necromancer Heinrich Kemmler.

  • An Axe to Grind: As befits a former Champion of Khorne, Krell wields a powerful magical greataxe.
  • Anti-Magic: Krell's crimson armour, the Armour of the Barrows, nullifies the magic effects of a weapon that has wounded him.
  • Black Knight: He used to serve Khorne exclusively in life, but in undeath serves Nagash and Kemmler.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He is implied to be this, with his first loyalty still to Nagash rather than to his erstwhile master Kemmler.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a very keen strategist who nonetheless can go toe-to-toe with the best of them in melee.
  • Made of Iron: Only the strong can become Champions of Chaos. Becoming undead made the already tough Krell harder to destroy.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zigzaged. Krell was in life a Champion of Chaos, but in undeath he's now one of Nagash's most loyal minions.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Krell's Black Axe is a vile weapon that leaves shards of metal in the wound, which slowly worm their way towards their victim's heart.


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