We remember a time when vampires were monsters , and the only reason they were trying to get into your teenage daughter's bedroom was to drink their blood and murder them. Here are eight vampires who refuse to be defanged by modern society's infatuation with them.
Let's begin with the granddaddy of all terrifying vampires, Count Orlok. Created by German director F. Murnau when he couldn't get the film rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, Orlok does pretty much everything Dracula does, but while looking like an albino Uruk-Hai from Lord of the Rings, and almost instantly abandoning the pretense that he might just be an eccentric European noble.
Once Orlok gets the deed to a house in Wisborg, he just starts killing people, and doesn't stop until he gets so caught up in drinking pretty, pure-hearted Ellen's blood that he forgets to check his watch. One of the oldest vampires in the series, one of the most powerful, and one of the craziest as well, Russell does not care for humans. Now that doesn't mean he necessarily kills every one he sees, but he's more than willing to disrupt the uneasy peace between the humans and the vampires by killing a TV news reporter while she's live on the air, and basically announcing that vampires will rule them.
He's spent millennia killing people, to the point of sending out packs of werewolves to decimate whole towns. And he once killed a Celtic king for not giving him a goat. Even after the bargain was done, the Dark Elves were never seen again. Nagash's experiments met with limited success as he was able to prolong his life and forestall the effects of ageing, but he still could not stop the slow decay of his flesh. He shared his elixir with depraved noblemen, building support for himself before he finally killed his own brother and seized power in Khemri.
He and his immortal supporters were tyrannical rulers, slaughtering many of the citizens of Khemri without provocation or reason. With their newfound power, they constructed the Black Pyramid , the largest structure ever built by Mankind. Nagash supervised the construction, and although it cost a great many lives to build, the blood, sweat, and souls of those that died were a small price in his eyes.
The original purpose of the Pyramid was meant to attract as much Dark Magic into Kemri as possible, using either the Winds of Magic or the souls of the dead to fuel its growing power. For the Priest Kings of the other cities, long disturbed by events in Khemri, this was the final blasphemy.
Under the leadership of King Lahmizzar of the city-state of Lahmia , the other Priest Kings gathered their powerful armies and formed a coalition to stop Nagash's tyranny. A bloody war broke out, where waves of dark magic surged out from the Black Pyramid and blasted the lands of Nehekhara. Once verdant plains of wheat slowly became tainted and the life-giving waters of the land's many oasis grew sickly and killed all that drank from it. After nearly a century of conflict, the armies of the Priest Kings shattered Nagash's power and sacked the capital city of Khemri.
As Nagash fled the burning city into the cold depths of his pyramid, the Great Necromancer swore to the Priest Kings that he would return and enact his dire vengeance upon their descendants. The Priest Kings considered this an empty threat and laughed as their acolytes found Nagash's disciples within the pyramid and dragged them screaming to be burned and beheaded in the daylight sun.
All of the morbid statues and monuments to Nagash's glory were toppled into the sands. The sanctums of the Necromancer's disciples were plundered and despoiled, the practice of Dark Magic outlawed under the pain of death.
Yet the agents of the Priest Kings could not find the renegade himself. Although his disciples claimed to have seen Nagash enter his sarcophagus, the coffin itself was mysteriously empty. Unbeknownst to the Priest Kings, Nagash escaped and rebuilt his power once more. To the far north, he had spent the better part of a century constructing a vast citadel, which he named Nagashizzar. Located within a mountain known as Cripple Peak , Nagash sought to take advantage of the huge reserves of magic-saturated Warpstone buried beneath its roots to fuel his already formidable powers.
The Skaven, also desiring the warpstone, tried many times to sack Nagashizzar and take Cripple Peak for their own. After nearly a century of attrition warfare, the war ended in a stalemate, for the Skavens could not overcome the formidable fortress and Nagash could not drive them away.
Recognising the potential for mutual cooperation, Nagash negotiated an alliance with the Skaven, supplying them with warpstone in exchange for their aid with his plans. Before Nagash left for Cripple Peak, he made sure to leave behind agents of the Mortuary Cult within Nehekhara to help in corrupting the minds of the nobility and lure them to his side.
One such agent was W'soran , the High Priest of the city of Lahmia. Using his elevated position within Lahmian society he was able to corrupt the mind of the young princess Neferatem , who was destined to become the next Queen of Lahmia.
After the Priest Kings drove Nagash from Nehekhara, Neferatem was all too willing to save several forbidden scrolls from the Priest Kings pyres. So it was that the priesthood fractured, some loyal to their queen and others set against her. This culminated in an attack on the palace, a rebellion that was only thwarted when Neferatem herself emerged, surrounded by a crackling nimbus of dark energy, and unleashed the full fury of her burgeoning necromantic abilities on her foes.
With their aid, W'soran and Neferatem continued their studies, focusing on one ritual above all others: the creation of the Elixir of Life that had granted Nagash his immortality. They eventually found success but in an unexpected form. The version of the Elixir they created gave them immortality, but it also fundamentally changed the nature of their beings. They became the first vampires. The Mortuary Cult of Lahmia cut its ties with the Mortuary Priests of other cities and began a reformation of its principles, encouraging female priests to join.
In time, this temple would be known as the Temple of Blood. The Cults of the other Gods found themselves falling out of favour, struggling to be heard at court, and forcing many to simply leave. Khalida rejected her offer, suspicious of the changes going on in Lahmia and devout in her own worship of Asaph , the Goddess of Serpents.
Worried that Khalida knew her secret, Neferatem accused her cousin of treason and attempted to assassinate her during a feast, drawing her into a duel before all the nobles of the Lahmian court.
Devout Khalida prayed as she died and her prayer was answered. Asaph drew the taint out of her blood and replaced it with poison, granting Khalida a holy death. Neferatem, thwarted in her attempt to gain a powerful ally, cast the remaining priests of the other Gods out of Lahmia. During this period of change, Neferatem had been secretly feeding on the populace of her city, arousing the suspicion of Abhorash , the love-struck captain of her palace guards.
Neferatem tricked Abhorash into drinking from the Elixir of Life, turning him into a vampire much to his disgust. So began her Deathless Court , the trueborn who would become the masters of the lesser vampires they created. Abhorash still felt twinges of his humanity from his former life and created a set of rules for the trueborn to follow, ostensibly as a way of protecting themselves from discovery. They would only prey on criminals and slaves, not ordinary citizens, from then on.
Also, they were forbidden from feuding amongst themselves and no trueborn could ever try to kill another trueborn. Under its ageless queen, Lahmia became a city known for its religious intolerance and the harshness of its laws. Agents of the other cities began stirring up rebellion, horrified by the spread of the Cult of Blood and its veneration of Nagash.
Although the rebellion failed, the other cities of Nehekhara still wished for Lahmia's destruction. King Setep of Khemri, whose military legions had conquered lands as far north as the lands of the Border Princes, was foremost within this coalition.
Betraying Setep, Vashanesh travelled to Lahmia to warn them of this planned attack. Vashanesh so impressed Neferata that she gave him the last of the Elixir of Life which none have been able to recreate since and made him her husband, King of Lahmia and co-ruler of its growing population of vampires. Together they plotted to keep the other cities of Nehekhara distant from each other, creating a network of spies that split the nation for centuries, disrupting all attempts to unify the people against them.
After centuries of uncontested rule, it was Alcadizaar the Conqueror who finally managed to unite and mobilise the disparate armies of the land and bring war to Lahmia by invoking the names of the old Gods of Nehekhara.
He laid siege to the city at the head of a mighty army comprised of warriors from all of the other city-states as well as mercenaries and allies from the territories he had annexed from the lands of Araby and the Southlands. Though outnumbered, the army of Lahmia could be continually replenished, the dead rising as soon as they fell.
The vampire's mortal followers proved less reliable, however, and in time, traitors amongst the Lahmian ranks soon turned against their masters and allowed the Nehekharans to storm the city.
The chariots of the Jackal Squadron of Marahk coated the streets with blood, and those vampires who did not flee were forced to do battle on the steps of the temple itself. Finally, the temple was burned to the ground, and Abhorash was forced to flee with several of his sons-in-darkness, the last of his compassion for the living finally burned out of him.
Nagash had not been idle and learned much about the art of necromancy and animating the dead during his time within Nagashizzar, conceiving of a mad and deadly scheme that would turn the entire world into a necropolis filled only by the unquiet dead.
Where no action would be performed, no deed done save when he willed it. Nagash would be the Lord over it all. It was no coincidence that the vampires came across Nagash. Nagash had crafted a ring that would allow the vampire who wore it to return from the dead time and again, but through that ring, Nagash would be able to control all of Vampirekind.
The first step on Nagash's road to utter dominion was the elimination of his former homeland Nehekhara, for he wished to fulfill the bitter vengeance he vowed upon the Priest Kings for what they've done to him in the distant past. At his command, the vampires led his legions to war.
On ships made of fused bone, the Undead horde made its way from the Sour Sea, down what future generations would call the Straits of Nagash, and finally back into the Bitter Sea of Nehekhara's shores. The Undead legions made landfall within the ruined ports of Lahmia and surged towards the Priest Kings domains, the exiled vampires spearheading the assault.
However, Nagash had seriously underestimated his former countrymen. In the time of his absence, the Lands of the Great Vitae River had become a mighty Empire ruled by a single Priest King, known by his people as Alcadizaar the Conqueror. Alcadizaar was the greatest general of his age and his Empire was at the zenith of its power. When the Undead came they found themselves opposed by a massive, unified, and highly marshalled grand army consisting of warriors, legions of chariots, and hordes of cavalry.
Moreover, the enchanters of the Great Kingdom had made progress in the arts of magic, particularly in the creation of animated war-constructs. No easy victory was possible against them. He hurled them carelessly against the enemy as he would his mindless Undead troops, and he cared not for rebuilding Lahmia.
Instead, he sought to destroy all of Nehekhara. Bound by the power of the ring Vashanesh wore, they were unable to disobey Nagash or even his second-in-command, Arkhan the Black.
The ensuing wars stained the sands of Nekehara red for many years. The vampires were mighty sorcerers and fell warriors, and they were determined to reclaim their kingdom.
Wherever they appeared, terror and dread came upon the enemy and yet the vampires, for all their claims of power and immortality, could still be cast down to the cold furrow of death. The war raged for a decade. At first, the legions of the Undead had the upper hand, then the armies of Alcadizaar struck back with displays of tactical genius. Vashanesh concocted an ingenious solution to the problem of Nagash's enslavement. So great was Nagash's rage that he cursed his vampiric captains, making all those bearing their blood unable to bear the rays of the sun.
Ever afterwards, they would know constant pain from their unforgiving Master as their howling cries would carry the knowledge of their misery to all Men.
The remaining vampires fled Nagashizzar by night, dispersing in all directions to confuse pursuers. Even after Nagash's death at the hands of Alcadizaar, the vampires bore his curse. Thus, the first vampires disappeared across the world, founding their own bloodthirsty dynasties that would endure and grow through the centuries, terrorising the living to the present day.
When the vampires fled the wrath of Nagash, the majority went northwards into the lands of what would be known as the Old World. Once there, the seven surviving Vampire Lords all went on their own separate journeys. One went to the far East, perhaps to the distant lands of Cathay, whilst another disappeared into the howling Northern Waste. The last four all stayed within different parts of the Old World. Queen Neferata took residence in a large peak within the World's Edge Mountain that was known by the Dwarfs as the Silver Pinnacle, where she still resides today as the leader of the Lahmian bloodline.
The honourable Abhorash fled to the northern regions of the Old World, where it is said that the Vampire Lord defeated and drunk the blood of a mighty dragon, removing the loathsome curse of blood consumption.
With the curse lifted, Abhorash formed the first of the Blood Dragon bloodline. The scholarly W'soran flung himself to all corners of the Old World where he still travels to this very day, gathering as much knowledge of Necromancy as he possibly can in hopes of resurrecting his fallen master. It was during this time that he also founded the Necrarch Bloodline. The cunning Ushoran founded the Strigoi bloodline after he helped a Necromancer named Kadon establish the ancient human kingdom of Strygos and its capital city of Mourkain long before the founding of the Empire of Man.
But perhaps the greatest and most dangerous of the bloodlines to have ever plagued the Human Realm in the Old World is one that started with one man and his ambition grown so great that it had the potential to topple an entire Empire. Vashanesh eventually returned to life as Nagash promised and he spent the next few centuries testing the limits of the ring. He set about mastering certain magical arts to make the ring his slave, rather than his master.
Eventually, Vashanesh's ambitious nature lead him on a dark path that would haunt the lands of Sylvania for the rest of eternity. It all began on a storm-lashed night when Otto von Drak , the last of the mad von Drak Counts, lay on his death bed within the capital of Drakenhof , cursing the gods that he was without a male heir to continue his legacy.
Otto was a cruel, gluttonous, and selfish man who delighted on the plight of others and whose authority over the land was met with little respect and less love by both commoners and nobility alike.
While on his deathbed, the lands of Sylvania were seething with civil strife. As his family awaited his final breath, Otto swore to all the gods that he would rather marry his only daughter Isabella to a daemon rather than to let his hated brother Leopold inherit the throne.
The dying Count refused all those that requested her hand in marriage, for in his heart, he despised them all. And so it was that Isabella von Drak knelt at her fathers' death bed, still without a husband and child to carry on the family estate. As if a dark power had answered the Mad Counts plea, outside the castle, thunder rumbled and lightning split the darkness. Victor Guttman , the aged priest of Sigmar who had been called to shrive the old Count, fainted instantly.
Then, from out of the storm came the sound of wheels and pounding hooves. A dark coach pulled by four mighty black steeds stopped outside the keep. In the ensuing silence, someone knocked on the door. A trembling servant introduced an unknown noble to the Count. The stranger introduced himself to the dying Count and his daughter with respect, completely ignoring Leopold and only answering Leopold's questions regarding his origins by stating his name as Vlad von Carstein, the eldest of the von Carstein family, one he didn't expect Leopold to know.
Leopold protested, but the stranger silenced him, stating he had come only to offer his services to the current Count von Drak, being in the vicinity whilst travelling to a wedding.
Completely oblivious to his true intentions, Otto's face lit up and he proposes the stranger to become the husband of his daughter, thus effectively removing Leopold's claim to the title of Count. Vlad then turned to Isabella, claiming that at some point of the ceremony it was usual for the bride to accept. Isabella, wanting the power she sensed in Vlad, accepted but asks him in a whisper for a token of his love.
Vlad then faced Leopold and tore his heart out of his chest with his bare hands before tossing him out of a window. He then presented Isabella the heart of her now-dead uncle upon which she coldly stated that she has no use for it, seeing as it no longer beats. The priest Guttman was revived from his swoon and brought to the chambers of Otto, where the marriage ceremony was performed before the dying count's bed.
Curious if lorewise there has ever been a chaos corrupted vampire? Kemmler isnt a vampire. Last edited by Sir uP ; 21 Feb, am. Mannfred worked with Archaon during the end times. And so did Settra for a bit, if refer to undead in general. Actually wait, I have one more completely unverified factoid I heard from someone that supposedly some Blood Knights turned to the worship of Khorne during the End Times in hopes of continuing their quests and fulfilling their oaths to get stronger.
Since if Nagash won and enslaved the whole undead world, they'd have no one to test against and improve against. Including Walach Harkon. Oh and Isabella was corrupted by Nurgle for a bit. Despiser View Profile View Posts. Impressive lore knowledge on this forum.
I had no idea Warhammer world was so deep. Refreshing in these days of cookie cutter fancy. Per page: 15 30 Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood. This stricture was not consistently nor as strictly enforced until the Inquisition of the 15th century required it. During this period vampires were destroyed in large numbers by vampire hunters which largely prompted the formation of a sect known as the Camarilla whose primary purpose was to promote and enforce the Masquerade as a means of survival.
The Masquerade is largely enforced through self-policing, but it is primarily the job of the Prince in Camarilla controlled cities to enforce it. Princes may use any means at their disposal to ensure vampire society stays hidden and that those who break the Masquerade are duly punished. Punishments for breaches have a range but are usually draconian in nature due to the seriousness of the Masquerade. Final Death, often by means of a ritualized "Blood Hunt" by other vampires, is not uncommon.
When breaches do occur, the Camarilla takes great pains to repair them. This could include anything from erasing a mortal's memories using supernatural powers to manipulating mortal pawns in order to keep events out of the media. The Masquerade is one of the main in-game points of contention between the two major factions of vampires in the World of Darkness. While many vampires see the pragmatism in the Masquerade some do not agree with it.
For example, the Sabbat do not uphold the Tradition that justifies the enforcement of the Masquerade but behind closed doors even they take some steps to contain breaches. In-game around the early s, the intelligence agencies of the world discovered the SchreckNET's existence, they in response formed what is known as the Second inquisition.
Utilizing the knowledge of the Society of St. Leopold, which had been canonized under the Vatican, they've killed hundreds of thousands of vampires the world over. In reaction that had forced a secondary level of masquerade measures in the game world, Vampires now use everything from burner phones and disposable email to use of carrier pigeon and information dead drops, sometimes using hypnotized or ghouled humans to pass information.
Also the Camarilla Sect have become more of a closed off society, only accepting notable kindred, leaving most recently embraced to be slaughtered or adopted by the Anarch Sect, who have adopted tenets of the camarilla's masquerade to protect themselves.
Vampires in the World of Darkness have a rich, complex, and diverse secret society with a range of ideologies, goals, and backgrounds. Sects largely divide along ideological disputes surrounding the distribution of power among vampires, the role of vampires in the human world, and the ancient myths that allegedly explain the origins and purpose of vampires.
An important means of social distinction among vampires in this setting is through age. Younger vampires wanting respect and power must prove themselves to their elders. While ambition can provide a degree of upward mobility among immortals, oftentimes respect comes to those who can prove they can survive. Ages aren't titles or jobs but rather loose descriptions to describe a vampire's development and the social expectations that come with aging.
Vampires organize and divide themselves politically and ideologically into sects which form a governing structure for undead societies. Laws and norms concerning the place of vampires within the mortal world, feeding, the treatment of vessels, vampiric morality, secrecy, feeding grounds, Gehenna and the distribution of power form the basis of these divisions.
The two major sects are the Camarilla and the Sabbat, but there are other sects as well, such as the Inconnu or the Anarchs. A sect is something a character may choose in-game, though this decision is often chosen for them by their Sire.
Defection to one side or the other is possible, but comes with a great risk, as much of what motivates the Jyhad are the ideological differences between the Camarilla and the Sabbat. Vampire: The Masquerade offers the players the opportunity to play in a politically diverse world in which sects rule over all of vampire society.
While many factions and sub-sects exist in the game, the main focus is the conflict between the Camarilla, the Sabbat and the Anarchs. A vampire who rejects all associations with any sect and clan is known as "Autarkis".
The Laibon, called Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom by Western Kindred, are not so much a sect as a cultural group bound together loosely by a powerful spiritual bond to the land and the people of Africa. The Kindred of the East , while sharing some superficial similarity to the western Kindred, are actually an entirely different variety of supernatural being. A clan is the character's vampire family. All members of a clan allegedly descend from the clan's Antediluvian founder.
It is widely accepted that there are thirteen clans with thirteen founders, though not all of them are technically Antediluvian. Some clan founders, such as Giovanni or Tremere, usurped their position via Diablerie.
Clans may have a social or political component to them, but a clan is not something a character chooses; it is something they are Embraced into. Those without a clan are known as Caitiff, and are considered outsiders. Vampire: The Masquerade introduces the use of 13 clans or major bloodlines in the game. Each accepted clan can trace its origins to one of 13 elder vampires known as an Antediluvian , for they survived God 's biblical flood. Through the back story of the game, Antediluvians started a war among themselves, called the Jyhad , and use their clansmen to fight this war for them.
Each Clan and Bloodline has a unique set of powers called Disciplines, and their own set of weaknesses, also unique to that particular branch of vampire. For example, Toreador within the Sabbat consider themselves Toreador antitribu. Some rebel or twist the expectations of their clans, while others take a more radical view of their lineage's core ideas.
Some are so different that they are considered different bloodlines manifesting different Disciplines, weaknesses or even a different name.
Lasombra outside the Sabbat are considered antitribu while the Tzimisce outside the Sabbat are referred to as Old Clan. A Sabbat offshoot of the Followers of Set is known as the Serpents of the Light, and have rejected both the clan founder and his Egyptian origin, in favor of the cultural trappings of Caribbean voodoo. Bloodlines, on the other hand, either cannot trace their lineage to an Antediluvian founder or are too little in number to be considered a major player in the Jyhad.
Some Bloodlines are considered to be offshoots of existing clans. All bloodlines are treated as exceptionally rare in the game, leaving most of the interactions and story lines centered around the clans. In the November edition of Dragon Issue , Allen Varney did not like unprofessional production values of the gamebook, pointing to "amateurish" artwork and poor copy-editing.
Varney also found the rules remarkably lacking in detail. However, he applauded the wide-ranging campaign advice.
In a reader poll by Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time, Vampire: The Masquerade was ranked 6th. Editor Paul Pettengale commented: " Vampire has always proved the most popular of the World of Darkness games, a testament both to the continuing appeal of the vampire itself, and to the structure and design of the game.
Like all of the Storyteller range, it's not an easy game to get right, and it relies heavily on both the players and the referee putting a lot of effort and imagination into their roles.The spell’s damage increases to 1d8 points of damage per 2 caster levels (maximum 10d8). Your melee touch attack to deliver the spell threatens a critical hit on a 19 or This expanded threat range doesn’t stack with other effects or abilities that increase the threat range.