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Konrad von Carstein

Konrad von Carstein, the most bloodthristy of the von Carstein bloodline

Konrad von Carstein, known also as Konrad the Bloody or Konrad the Beast was a Vampire Count of Sylvania, known for his cruelty, corruption and insanity. He became a vampire at the behest of Vlad von Carstein. After the siege of Altdorf in 2051 IC which saw Vlad killed by Grand Theogonist Wilhelm the Third, Konrad in his rage led his own Undead army on a rampage across the Empire, but was confronted and stopped at the Battle of Four Armies and eventually defeated and killed at the Battle of Grim Moor in 2121 IC.

History

Konrad, a nobleman of Sylvania, had the reputation of being a blood-mad butcher, cruel, merciless and insanely ruthless. He had cats killed for sport, burned villages because they smelled, and had his own mother prosecuted for his birth. Nonetheless, Vlad granted him the Blood Kiss, turning him into a vampire and extending his cruel rule for centuries.


Konrad and the Second Vampire War ( 2058 to 2121 IC)

After their leader, Vlad von Carstein was killed by Grand Theogonist Wilhelm the Third at the siege of Altdorf, the surviving vampires fled back to Sylvania. Five vampires claimed to be the heir of Vlad: Fritz, Hans, Pieter, Konrad and Mannfred von Carstein. For more than forty years afterwards, the Vampires of the von Carstein line have fought a vicious power struggle, giving the Empire vital time to recover from the desolation brought about by Vlad's invasion. In time, Fritz von Carstein was killed on the field of battle while foolishly attempting to besiege the mile-high fortress-city of Middenheim. Hans von Carstein perished when Konrad instigated a quarrel with him over who was the toughest amongst them. Pieter was slain in his coffin by a vengeful Witch Hunter by the name of Helmut van Hal, a distant descendant of the infamous Necromancer himself. It is said that Mannfred von Carstein had also aided in his death. After Pieter's death, Mannfred von Carstein dissapeared from Sylvania, leaving Konrad as the new undisputed ruler of all Sylvania. In time, Konrad had purposefully enacted the Second Vampire Wars.

Whilst Vlad von Carstein was patient yet ambitious, Konrad von Carstein was simply a mad butcher; evil, merciless and insanely violent. Lacking the necromatic skills of his predecessor, Konrad was forced to enslave any magicians he could capture and forced them to do his bidding as powerful Necromancers. Once more, the Vampire Counts of Sylvania rampaged across the lands of the Empire, bloodthirsty in their advance and showing no mercy. Indeed, Konrad is beyond bloodthirsty, even amongst his own kind. Whilst Vlad offered his opponents a choice between life and death, Konrad offered them a choice between dying quickly or dying slowly. Whilst Vlad's ambition was to rule as the Vampire Emperor of the Empire, Konrad's motive was to simply endulge himself in blood slaughter.

His warmongering nature took his army far to the south, where he came into contact with the Knights of the Blood Keep, and the bearers of the Blood Dragon bloodline. With these Knights folding into his ranks, Konrad was able to destroy all those who would dare to oppose him, despite Konrads complete lack of strategic planning, hysteria and grave tactical errors. At Kleiberstorf however, Konrad faced a powerful Averlander army that contains a massive wagon-train of long-range artillery. When battle commenced, the Averlander artillery rain down barrage after barrage against the slow-moving Sylvanian army. In desperation, Konrad both threatened, bribed and pleaded with his Necromancers to keep his army moving forward. He offered power and riches to his captive wizards and they acceded, combing their powers to unleash a scourging wind on the Averland army. Dark magic swept across the Imperial ranks, and in short time, the Imperial soldiers began to feel their souls being clawed from ethereal hands. Panic began to spread as the unnatural gale began to slay more and more soldiers.  

In a moment of rare clarity, Konrad saw that the moment was ripe and send foward his elite force of Blood Knights and Drakenhof Templars into the fray. Faced with insubstantial terrors and armored Vampires, the Averland army broke and fled. Konrad like the bloodthirsty creatue he is, hounded the Imperial soldiers for five days and five nights, ensuring that all those that participated on the battle were hunted down and killed to the last. In his overzealous pride and need to draw more blood, the Vampire Count had instigated a bloody war with the Dwarfs against the cautious advice of his few counsellors. Attacking isolated villages and surface settlements at the foothills of the mountain stronghold of Zufbar, the King of the Hold itself had finally had enough and mustered a grand army to punish the Vampire once and for all. Seeing a new challenge, the Vampire met the Dwarf army at the town of Nachthafen. 

In the battle, the Dwarfen Runesmiths countered the necromatic spells of Konrads enslaved Necromancers with ease. Robbed of their substaining power, the Skeleton warriors and Zombies of Konrads army lay where they fell, blasted by a horrific barrage of cannons and mortar artillery. Konrad remained confident despite the setbacks and launched a all-out assault on the Dwarfs right flank. Leading the assault himself, the Vampire drove directly into the cadre of Runesmiths whilst his Blood Knights smashed into the disciplined ranks of Dwarf warriors. Konrad slew the Runesmiths personally, drinking their spilt blood and giving his captive Necromancers the time they needed to resurrect the fallen. It was a hopeless battle, but the Dwarfs still fought stubbornly until the very end. Their own King had challenged the Blood Count in personal combat, but instead, Konrad despatched Walach Harkon, the Grand Master of the Blood Knights to fight as his champion. Though the duel was bitter close, the Grand Master finally killed the Dwarf King and gorged himself on royal blood. Within the next hour, the Dwarfs were all dead. 

Konrad was so unwaveringly vicious in his Undead assault that, confronted with a common enemy, the three claimants to the Imperial Throne had put aside their differences and combined their armies into one mighty force. At the Battle of the Four Armies, the three Imperial Grand Armies united their forces against the Undead army of Konrad just outside the fortress-city of Middenheim. This battle became infamously known for the great betrayal enacted by the three Imperial leaders. Emperor Lutwik and Emperess Ottila IV vied to assassinate each otehr during the battle, a disgusting gesture that forced the other Imperial nobles to select another candidate to lead this new coalition. A conclave of the Elector Counts assembled themselves within Averheim where they decided that Helmut of Marienburg would be a prime candidate to be the new Emperor. Even as support for him grew within the council hall, Helmut began to act errantically, struck dumb and vacant at a critical time. In an infamous event, Helmut's skin began to peel off and his eye suddenly popped out of his own skull. Even Helmut's son, Helmar, refused his father's claim to the throne once it was discovered that his father was killed and turned into a zombie under Konrads control. 

With his ploy failing, Konrad threw into a rage and slaughtered his way from Averheim into the Howling Hills, putting to the torch every town and village that stood in his way. Finally, having enough of Konrad's sadistic invasion, all of the remaining Elector Counts and Dwarf Lords joined forces once more upon the Battle of Grim Morr during the spring of 2121 IC. Arrogantly, Konrad once more attacked in a headlong charge against the fully-arrayed armies of all the Elector Counts and the Dwarf warriors under the Dwarf hero Grufbad. Although his Blood Knights have managed to endure the punishment, a strange event began to occur. In that instant, the regiments of the Undead began to falter, with the magic that bound them togather being seeped away as Konrad's Necromancers had enough of Konrad's cruel rulership and betrayed him in that most critical of time. Seeing the battle as lost, the terrified Blood Knights fled the battlefield as well. In desperation, the magically inept Konrad tried to hold the Undead army together, but the effort proved too much to bear and in an instant, Konrad finally snapped. 

In a mad fit, Konrad wandered away from the battle as his Undead army began to disintegrate, shouting maniacally as this most cruelest of jokes. As Konrad wandered the forest aimlessly, Grufbad captured Konrad and held him down while Elector Count Helmar impaled his father's killer with his Runefang. With Konrads death, the Second Vampire War was finally over, and in time, the Elector Counts began to squabble amongst themselves once more.

Sources

  • Warhammer Armies: Undead, Games Workshop, 1994
  • Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts, Games Workshop, 2001
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