- "Sigmar is just. It is only fitting that such vile women should suffer such a terrifying fate. If ever you need proof of the existence of divine justice in this world, the agonised grimace of the Banshee is quite sufficient"
- — Vorster Pike, Witch Hunter.[2a]
Tomb Banshees, known by the Bretonnians as Wailing Hags and to the Dwarfs as the Freezing Shriek, or just simply Banshees, are the bitter, restless spirits of long-dead sorceresses, enchantresses and witches that have in life plagued the lands of the Old World for centuries. They fear crossing the void to face whatever punishment awaits them for their evil deeds, and so it is an easy matter for a Vampire to bind them to his service.
Tomb Banshees constantly howl in remembrance of the forbidden pleasures of the life that was once theirs and in bitterness for the peace of the grave that they cannot attain.[1a]
Their grief-stricken wails can be lethal to mortals and strike terror into the hearts of all who hear them. Those who do not have a will of iron can die of sheer fright upon hearing the mournful screams of the Tomb Banshees. Blood trickles from their ears and fills up the whites of their eyes as the mind-wrenching shriek takes its supernatural toll. Fully-armoured knights collapse lifeless from their saddles and whole ranks of infantry fall lifelessly as the Banshee does her evil work.[1a]
A Tomb Banshee's visage is sunken and skull-like, framed by lank hair that writhes like a nest of serpents. She is swathed in flimsy shrouds and grave-robes that swirl with a life of their own, or drift and cling to the wearer's slender frame as if she was carried forwards by underwater currents. Each Tomb Banshee is surrounded by flickering ghost lights; all that remains of the men she murdered whilst alive. These glowing will o' the wisps are forced by some strange alchemy of the soul to crackle and swirl around their tormentor, disembodied ghostly heads etched with a permanent expression of fear. A single Banshee is a terrifying prospect, and even those warriors skilled enough to match blades with a Vampire have little defence against her unnatural screams. It is not unheard of for one of the most powerful Undead lords to bind several to their service.[1a]
At the Siege of Ironstone Fortress, the canny Vampire Lord Vyktros von Kreiger found that his infantry were being pounded to dust by artillery fire faster than he could raise them up. Even his elite troops could not breach the heavily barred stone gate at the front of the castle. Sending in the spirits of the three witch-women that had led him down the path of necromancy in the first place, von Kreiger pushed once more towards the gates. The stout ironstone doors of the fortress were proof against physical foes but they could not keep out the deadly shrieks of the Tomb Banshees. With the three Banshees howling through arrow slits and murder holes, the gate's defenders turned white and died of shock to a man. It was a simple matter for von Kreiger to raise the dead guards with a necromantic spell, forcing them to unbar the gates to the castle - their first act in an eternity of servitude. Tales such as these resound throughout the lands of men, and it is a foolish warrior indeed who does not shudder at the sound of those ghostly howls in the night air.[1a]
Among the Elves, Banshees are regarded as servants of Morai-heg, the Keeper of Souls. They allegedly arrive to announce when the time of an elf is at its end. It is also said that those who can withstand their keening cries will find immortality.[3a]
- 1:Warhammer Armies: Vampire Count (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 31
- 2:Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 2a: pg. 65
- 3:Warhammer Armies: High Elves (5th Edition)
- 3a: pg. 75