SYLVANIA

Land of the Vampire Counts

Sylvania, a mountainous, foggy land of dark, gloomy woods and tangled moor. Peasants who toil silently and without joy. Afraid of what the night will bring. They bar their doors and windows tightly at night, even during the hotest part of summer. With wooden stake, garlic and holy symbols near at hand all the long sleepless night, for all their noble masters in this unhappy land are Undead and the people all know it, but can do nothing about it, the ones who tried and even those who only attempted to escape were hunted down and made such an terrible example, that all of that the rest remain, sleeping durring most of the light of day, then working for awhile before sun-set, for at night, when the Vampire Counts hunt, they are awake, praying for daawn, wondering if they or their kin will be taken during the night...

Count Vladimir von Krugerstein was the first and greatest of the Vampire Counts of Sylvania. It was he who tainted the once human aristocracy of Sylvania with the curse of undeath and in so doing created an Undead kingdom at the very heart of the Empire. For years he gathered his strength until he felt confident enough to attempt the conquest of the whole Empire. Then von Krugerstein fought a brilliant campaign against the warring Imperial Great Familes and almost managed to claim total victory. He was halted at the very gates of Ispar, the capital of the Empire.

Vladimir von Krugerstein is a towering figure of a man, with a mane of black hair and piercing black eyes. Those who meet him and survive the encounter describe him as having a feral charm and being extremely intelligent, but with an evil temper that could easily turn into berserk fury if he was thwarted in his endeavours. It was said that at such times only his wife Isabella could calm him without blood being spilt.

Vladimir's wife, Isabella, was the daughter of the insane duke Otto von Drak. Vadimir married Isabella and then inherited her father's estates when both Otto and his brother Leopold died soon after the marriage. Isabella was a quick-witted and darkly beautiful woman, and what started out as a marriage of convenience soon developed into unholy love. Isabella is Vlad's most valued confidante, and the only person whose advice he trusts.

Weapons: Vlad is armed with the Wailing Blade and Isabella carries a sword. They both fight on foot.

Armour: None

Spells: Vlad is known to use Necromantic spells.

Undying Love. If Isabella is killed, Vlad will be overcome by grief and go into a berserk fury. For the rest of the battle he will be subject to both Hatred and Frenzy. If Vlad is killed then exactly the same applies to Isabella: ie, she becomes frenzied and subject to hatred.

Known Magic Items:

Vlad always carries the following magic items:

The Krugerstein Ring (powers are unknown)

The Wailing Blade. The blade of this evil sword is never satisfied with the amount of blood it drinks and constantly emits a piercing scream, demanding more. The wailing acts as a FEAR Spell.

Isabella carries the Unholy Chalice.

Unholy Chalice. Blood is constantly flowing from this infamous symbol of evil. Isabella (and other Undead?) can drink from it to heal her wounds.

Known Types of Vampire

There are five major types of Vampires known in the Old World. The Lahmians are said to be the oldest of the Vampire bloodlines and were the first to discover the secret of immortality. These almost exclusively female Vampires are faster than any living creature, and their beauty has seduced many an unwary soldier into lowering his guard to his doom.

The Vampire Counts or von Krugerstein bloodline is the most powerful and most important in the history of the Old World. Count Vidimir von Krugerstein is believed to be accepted as the Overlord of All Vampires, as it is commonly known that members of the other four types of vampire serve in his undead legions.

The Blood Dragon Vampires descend from one of the greatest warriors in the ancient Nehekharan kingdom of Lahmia. This martial tradition continues to this day, and these Vampire Knights are terrors to face on the field of battle as their martial prowess is second to none.

The Necrarch bloodline has only a passing resemblance to its once human form. These mad Vampires are masters of Necromancy and are rumored to seek an end to all life the world over.

Finally, the Strigoi are the least human of all the vampiric bloodlines. Known as the "Ghoul Kings," these Vampires were long ago rejected by others of their kind and forced to live a scavengerís existence. Soon after, their more bestial traits prevailed and eradicated any semblance of human appearance. Like all Vampires, they are feared and shunned the world over. They are velieved to act as spys and scouts for von Krugerstein's forces.

The Armies of the Vampire Counts

All of the Vampires Counts have the ability to raise the dead from their slumber and lead a number of different undead troop types into battle. Wights, Wraiths, Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls, Bat Swarms, and Dire Wolves all flock to the Vampire Countís banner. Elite units also join the Vampire Courtís ranks and provide troops such the dead warriors of the Grave Guard, the undying and once noble Black Knights, giant Fell Bats, ghostly Spirit Hosts, howling Banshees, and the Black Coach, which conveys the body of a Vampire Count while he slumbers.

When the forces of the Vampires march to war, the world trembles. The Undead are among the most fearsome creatures in the known world. Bound by the will of one of the Lords of Undeath, the walking dead are a fell and mighty foe. They cannot be reasoned with, bribed, or coerced. They know neither fear nor mercy. They need no sleep or warmth, neither drink nor wholesome sustenance. As they march onward, their ranks swell with the corpses of the fallen. The legions of the living dead are terrible to behold. Hordes of corpses walk resolutely forward with dry flesh creaking, decaying innards exposed, and corroded wargear scraping and clanking. Only a fearless commander and the most stout-hearted troops can stand against the army of a Vampire Count and hope to win the day.

The Vampire Count armies have many strengths, not the least of which is the Fear or Terror they inspire in the enemy. While Vampires themselves as well as some of their troops are fierce fighters in close combat, many of the Core rank-and-file are poor, slow warriors and must rely on strength of numbers and their own unnerving presence to win the day. Although the army has no troops with missile weapons, it retains a certain degree of versatility and can be formed as a huge host of troops, a largely skirmishing force, or a fast, hard hitting force of cavalry, Dire Wolves, and Ghouls.

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