In mist-shrouded Sylvania, in the eastern provinces of the Empire, lurks an insidious threat to the lands of the living. For there, in castles and isolated towers, disguised in the finery befitting the grandest of nobility, lair the Vampire Counts. Powerful lords of the dead, the Vampire Counts plot the demise of the civilized lands, seeking to rule over it all with the living as their cattle.
Vampires are powerful Undead creatures, stronger, tougher and faster than any mortal. Enhanced by exotic abilities and magical powers they lead armies of fearsome Skeletons, Zombies and Ghouls in damned campaigns against the realms of Men. To lead a Vampire army is to lead an army fuelled by magical power, driven to worldly domination.
The Vampire Counts do not lead armies of men to war, no well-disciplined soldiers or elite warriors. Instead they animate the dead of battles long past with their magical powers, raising a shambling, undying horde of Skeletons, Zombies and other foul creatures, each unquestioning in their loyalty to the Undead masters.
CoreEditAt the very heart of every Vampire Count army lie hordes upon hordes of zombies. Zombies are corpses brought back from the dead by foul necromancy. Whilst slow and clumsy individualy, their necromantic overlords drive them into battle in their thousands, hoping to exaust the armies of the enemy. Zombies are quite the spectacle to behold and the sight of them can easily fray the nerves of young recruits. Zombies are not capable of higher thought processes so they will generally not run away from a fight as self-preservation never occurs to them.
Skeleton warriors are sometimes confused with the armies of the Tomb Kings, but there is a difference. Skeleton warriors of the Vampire Counts are just random soldiers who have been slain on the field of battle and raised to fight again by the Vampires. The Skeletons of the Tomb Kings are victims of an ancient curse and thus continue to exist in an undead state. Large units of Skeletons standing rank upon rank, side by side are the defining feature of a Vampire army. They have similiar qualities as the zombies in that they have no fear. (No thoughts at all really!) The Skeleton warriors however were trained warriors in their previous life so they are more skilled than the zombies.
Vampires also have access to a wide variety of savage creatures of the night. One of those creatures is the Crypt Ghoul. Crypt Ghouls are ugly, stooping creatures with only a vestigial sense of reason. Their skin is dark and filthy, their eyes bestial and insane, and their snarling lips reveal sharp-pointed teeth in their slavering mouths. Like the rest of the Vampire Counts army they do not posses much in the way of independent thought. Few can imagine how truly horrible these creatures are.
Coming next on the list of horrible creatures is the Dire Wolf. These foul beast are infamous for the ferocity of their attacks. The men of the Empire hunt these beasts mercilessly, but this is not always enough. The carcasses of these wolves are buried in great pits, but the cursed earth of Sylvania does not allow them to rest as a Vampire will soon raise them to life once more. On the battlefield they are often employed in sneaking flank attacks in conjuction with some zombies. To facedown a mob of zombies is hard enough, but to get ambushed by a pack of feral Dire Wolves is absolutely terrible.
Last of the Core choices is the Corpse Cart; one of the most diabolical weapons in the history of the Warhammer world. It does not really inclift physical damage because it is more of a psychological weapon. To see the rotting and torn corpses of one's comrades stacked on top of each other, with their faces frozen into grotesque masks of pain, is enough to shake even the strongest warrior's nerves. Driven by macabre, shrouded figures, these wagons are made of rotted wood, rusted metal and diseased flesh, heaped with writhing body parts.
SpecialEditUpon the walls of Drakenhof Castle and other Vampire haunted keeps of Sylvania patrol tireless warriors clad in ancient armour and wielding glowing blades. These dread sentries are the Grave Guard - Wights drawn from their ancient tombs to act as guardians for the Vampire rulers of Sylvania. They are the best infantry the Vampire Counts have to offer and the outcome of the battle usually depends upon their performance.
The Vampire Count army is not limited to infantry. Oftentimes the Vampires will raise fallen knights to act as their bodyguard during battle. Just as the knights were better warriors than most in their previous life they are more skilled and better equipped than the rest of the Vampire Count army.
The dead do not rest easy in the Old World. Ghosts, shades and spectres of dead men return to haunt the lands of the living. Only a few know the secret rituals that can bind the spirits of the dead, but some Vampires and the most twisted Necromancers hold that knowledge. In battle Spirit Hosts are all but unkillable, immune to all attacks except those of a magical nature. Once again the Spirit Hosts like most of the undead are very damaging to an enemy's morale.
Also known as Vampire Bats, the blood drinking bats of Sylvania grow to monstrous proportions, some with wingspans of twelve feet or more. They exist soley on the blood of the living, that of Men being their favourite. The Fell Bats are by far the fastest of the creatures available to the Vampire Counts, and can easily out manoeuvre any land bound formation. Just like the Dire Wolves the Fell Bats are excellent at flank attacks, but have the added advantage of being able to fly over friendly or enemy units.
RareEditThe Blood Dragons were skilled and noble knights, proud to defend their lands and their people against any who would cause them harm. Many centuries later and they still roam the Old World, doomed to exist as Undead knights, their bodies kept alive by the curse of the vampire. Their once shining armour is now encrusted with the blood and gore of countless battles, their monstrous steeds ragged and ruined from years of warfare, yet held together by potent necromantic spells. The Blood Knights are nigh indestructible and their thirst for blood makes them ferocious and implacable. There are few tales to tell of their existence, for those who see them often die of fright, or worse, find themselves skewered on a wicked lance and hauled into the air before the fangs of the waiting Blood Knight.
Within every Vampire lurks a predatory creature, driven to feed on blood time and again. There are a few Vampires who embrace their thirst, who allow the bestial hunter within to take over. These are the Varghulfs - blood-mad killers that exist only to feed. A Varghulf's main weapon is a wide mouth filled with dagger-like fangs capable of puncturing armour and crushing bone. They use their immense claws to strip flesh from bones, the better to suck at the marrow of their prey.
Last of the rare choices is the Black Coach. This ghostly apparition is driven by an insubstantial Wraith and pulled by two grisly Nightmares. The legends say that if the creatures are destroyed, the Coach can continue to move under it's own power. During battle the black coach crashes into unit after unit, feeding on the life of those it slays, growing more powerful.
Vlad von Carstein- First and greatest of the Vampire Counts
Manfred von Carstein- rumored to be more cunning than Vlad
Konrad von Carstein- Powerful Vampire who is totally insane