Grand Alliance Death
"We enjoy the night, the darkness, where we can do things that aren't acceptable in the light. Night is when we slake our thirst."
- – William Hill
The Soulblight Gravelords are the new, copyright friendly AoS interpretation of the Vampire Counts and replacement for Legions of Nagash. Coming with updated models for Blood Knights, new skellies and zombies and tons more, it's finally time to show the Mortal Realms what goes bump in the night.
Legions and Dynasties
Replacing the bloodlines of old, vampires in AoS now belong to dynasties, which is mostly just a political organization or a court of vampires from numerous backgrounds/bloodlines that all swear fealty to a patriarch/matriarch that define’s the dynasty’s culture. Most vampires can trace their lineage to the Legions of Night and Blood, who are unquestionably the oldest and most powerful of vampiric factions. So large in fact, that multiple dynasties of vampires exist within the two legions.
- Legion of Night: The old Von Carstein bloodline, led by (who else) Mannfred von Carstein. Arrogant glory-hogs who prefer to bog down enemies with waves of undead minions so the vampire commanders can swoop in for the killing blow.
- Legion of Blood: The old Lahmian bloodline, led by (who else) Neferata. Cunning and alluring, they prefer the theatre of political intrigue and schemes, but are still very dangerous in combat thanks to their unnatural speed and grace.
There are some noteworthy dynasties that have come into prominence over the years and have gone on to expand their influence across the realms.
- Kastelai: Essentially the descendants to the Blood Dragons. A knightly order of vampires loyal to Prince Vhordrai, they follow their banished prince out from their “Crimson Keep” to slaughter and butcher all in their path. They prioritize martial prowess above all else, even going as far as being willing to bargain the lives of an innocent village should they use some kind of weapon or fighting style that is new to them…though given these are long-lives vampires you can imagine such an outcome is quite rare.
- Avengorii: Monstrous beast hunters from Ghur who are looked down upon by the other dynasties for their feral appearance and nature. They’re most famous for their draconic centaur lower halves, which was given to them after they exposed themselves to the full brunt of the Necroquake. They then sought out the the similarly mutated Lauka Vai to be their matriarch and have since terrorized the Realm of Beasts for many years. Roughly analogous to the Strigoi given their feral nature - the actual Strigoi broke off and started their own Death faction - and with a little bit of Blood Dragons thrown in, the Avengorii are still their own thing.
- Vyrkos: A shamanistic like culture with ties to a lupine Godbeast as well as Nagash. This connection leads to the Vyrkos vampires developing animal like features and control over them too, wolves being the most common of creature they tend to favor. Gameplay wise their bonuses to magic make them the equivelant to Necrarchs, though lore-wise there's no resemblance.
- Tengorez: A Dynasty that doesn’t have any rules (yet). They’re seemingly based off of the Necrarchs, in that they’re described as withered masters of sorcery. They live in the crystal caves of Hysh, coming out to swipe magical war engines to turn into their own necromantic constructs.
- Neferata, Mortarch of Blood: The original vampire and mistress of manipulation.
- Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night: The bald asshole who destroyed the Old World.
- Prince Vhordrai: A Vampire Lord that tried/failed to overthrow Nagash, and got cursed to be bound to a magic castle that Nagash teleports near people he wants slaughtered, earning himself the (mocking) title of “Fist of Nagash”. Vhordrai and the Kastelai dynasty within his “Crimson Keep” only have a short time to feast upon mortal blood before the castle is once again flung into the Void, so they fight with a desperate level of savagery. The Prince also rides into battle aboard a Zombie Dragon called Shordemaire.
- Lauka Vai, the Mother of Nightmares: Matriarch of the Avengorii dynasty and a terrifying mixture of bloodthirsty savagery and honorable knighthood. She originally was a noble monster hunter that garnered the respect of friend and foe alike, until a fateful encounter with the Disciples of Tzeentch horribly mutated her into the vampire-dragon-centaur beast that now defines her and her dynasty.
- Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos: Matriarch of the Vyrkos dynasty. An ancient vampire with an unmatched affinity for Direwolves. Has the ability to transform men into wolves, with her personal mount even rumored to be her former lover. She is so ancient, the denizens of Shyish have created multiple myths and folktales about her origins and actions.
- Radukar the Wolf: The uncontested ruler of Ulfenkarn. A large and brutal vampire lord with a fondness for pelts to match his werewolf-like mutations. As a mortal, he once plundered the coasts aboard his vessel the Impaler’s Gift and his Ogor crew, until he came upon the tomb of the vampiric emperor Morkan. Radukar slew and skinned the two headed wolf Vilnas that guarded the tomb and claimed an enchanted blade that lay inside, all to prove himself worthy of the Blood Kiss. Radukar’s raids became more violent and gruesome after his turn, culminating in his arrival at the city of Mournhold which he “saved” from daemonic invasion...only to take it as his own and rename it to Ulfenkarn. He was defeated by a ragtag group of adventurers, but not killed. His body is now twisted and mutated into a more feral form that is simply referred to as “the Beast”. Radukar the Beast is now roaming the wilds of Shyish in a relentless quest for revenge.
- Kritza, the Rat Prince: Once a treacherous nobleman of Ulfenkarn, Kritza was brutally beaten by Radukar and left for dead. What no one realized was that Kritza was mistakingly given the Blood Kiss by his assailant and is now part of the Vrykos dynasty. Uniquely though, instead of controlling wolves, Kritza has influence over various kinds of rats (living and undead), and he can divide his body into a swarm of vermin to escape enemies. It is unknown how well this works on Skaven.
- Lady Annika, the Thirsting Blade: Another vampiric noble from Ulfenkarn, Annika’s lust for blood is considered excessive even among other vampires. Her personal sword Proboscian is enchanted to instantly drain its victims of all bodily fluid (another vampire of the world-that-was...*cough* Vlad von Carstein.*cough cough*... can confirm this can really backfire). Rather than a connection to wolves, Annika has a more traditional tie to bats and can appropriately vanish in a swarm of the flying vermin.
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