- "No longer Vampires, but fighting with the same insane savagery."
- —The once-proud Carstein Devils.
The winged horrors known to the peasantry of Sylvania as the Devils of Swartzhafen are not, in fact, a breed of beast unto their own right. Instead, they are devolved Vampires, captured by the most powerful of their number and twisted by Dark Magic into a form that better echoes the foulness in their souls.[1a]
The Devils of Swartzhafen were once handsome sons of the von Carstein dynasty, each sired by one of Mannfred's brothers-in-darkness. Though young, this coterie made for a significant part of the von Carstein power base. Where one vampiric whelp might be put in his place easily enough, three of their kind united proved a threat even to the likes of Konrad the Bloody. So it was that the Carstein Devils, as these young bloods called themselves, rode out the turbulent times of old.[1a]
Mannfred barely survived the Vampire Wars. By the time he had recovered from his defeat at Hel Fenn, the Carstein Devils had spread their influence across the vale. The count felt that his presumptuous nephews needed to learn their place. Tracking them down during the hours of daylight, he bound each one into his coffin using a Nehekharan mortuary rite. For many years, they lay trapped in the caverns below Castle Swartzhafen, their forms slowly distorted by the warpstone-tainted water swilling around their sarcophagi. The beasts that Mannfred eventually released from the coffins were physically horrific and had no trace of intellect. Now, the Devils of Swartzhafen haunt the night at Mannfred's behest, falling like vast hunting-bats on his enemies and ripping them to bloody rags as their master looks on in amusement.[1a]