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The Vampire Wars

The Vampire Wars were a series of conflicts from 2010 to 2145 IC between the Empire of Man and forces of the Undead led by the Vampire Counts of the Von Carstein family of Sylvania.[1h]

For over a century, the infamous von Carsteins of Sylvania waged war upon the Empire, leading armies of Undead the like of which had not been seen since the time of Sigmar. Three successive von Carstein Vampires arose to challenge for rulership of the Old World - Vlad, Konrad and Mannfred - each a unique and deadly threat. Under the command of the Vampire Counts, hordes of Zombies, legions of Skeletons and hosts of other fell Undead creatures besieged the Empire in a relentless campaign for control. Divided by politics and war, the Empire was almost overrun and came close to being enslaved to the will of a Vampire Emperor. It was only through the sacrifices of the armies of the Elector Counts, and the efforts of a few remarkable heroes of the Empire, that the Undead were held at bay.[1a]


It began on a storm-lashed night when Otto, last of the mad von Drak Counts, lay on his death bed in Castle Drakenhof, cursing the gods that he was without a male heir to continue his legacy. Otto was a cruel man, fond of putting the heads of peasants on spikes at the slightest provocation, and when crazed with drink he was convinced he was Sigmar reincarnated. The nobles of his court had no respect for his authority, and paid no attention to his commands. Sylvania seethed with strife.[1b]

As his family keenly awaited his final breath, Otto swore he would marry his daughter Isabella to a daemon rather than let his hated brother Leopold inherit. Otto had already refused his daughter's hand to every noble in Sylvania, for he despised them all. No man of breeding from beyond the borders of von Drak's realm wanted to marry a Sylvanian heiress, and so it was that when Isabella von Drak knelt at Otto's death bed, she was still without a husband.[1b]

Outside, thunder rumbled and lightning split the storm-black darkness. Victor Guttman, the aged priest of Sigmar who had been called to shrive the old count, fainted away. Then, from out of the storm came the sound of wheels and pounding hooves. A dark coach pulled by four mighty black steeds drew up outside the keep. A heavy hand smote the door a ringing blow, and a proud voice demanded entry.[1b]

The castle gate swung open on its hinges before any man-at-arms could touch it. The visitor was revealed and, as one, the baying guard dogs ceased to howl and slunk away. The stranger was tall, darkly handsome, and of noble bearing and aspect. No-one stayed his entry as he marched directly to the count's chamber. The newcomer's accent was foreign, perhaps from Kislev, or even further afield. He named himself as Vlad von Carstein, and recited his noble antecedents to the count. He then claimed the wide-eyed Isabella's hand in marriage. Looking into the stranger's cold, dead eyes, the count perhaps regretted his rash oath, but before he knew it, he had given his blessing nonetheless.[1b]

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. Almost as soon as the last of the ritual words were spoken, Otto von Drak expired, leaving his daughter and his entire estate in the charge of Vlad von Carstein. The new count's first act was to hurl Isabella's uncle Leopold through the window of the highest tower of Castle Drakenhof.[1b]

Vlad seemed as eccentric as old Otto. He never ate in the servants' presence. He never walked abroad by day. He dismissed the elderly Sigmarite priest and sent him from the town. No one ever saw Victor Guttman again. Soon, many of the old servants at the keep were dismissed and mysterious, swarthy strangers took their place. However, the new count seemed less oppressive than the old one, and so the folk of Sylvania got on with their daily business, ignoring the hooded and cloaked foreigners that often visited the castle. Years of punitive von Drak rule had taught them not to question the deeds of their betters. All that concerned the lower classes was that at least the new count didn't order senseless executions or demand exorbitant taxes at a whim.[1b]

No one doubted the count's prowess in battle either. When the famed company of Bernhoff the Butcher rode into town and demanded tribute, Vlad cut the veteran mercenary down as if he were a stripling. The count then proceeded to slaughter the entire mercenary band while his bodyguard watched, picking their teeth and making smug comments. The count's popularity was assured. Within his realm, the laws were kept, and the guilty were punished without mercy.[1b]

Scant days later, word reached Drakenhof that Isabella had fallen sick with an incurable illness. One of the physicians who tended her claimed her heart had stopped. The new count insisted this was not so. He dismissed the learned doctors, claiming he would care for her with his own hands. Three days later she appeared in front of her folk, saying she was fully recovered. She was ever afterwards pale and wan, however, and never left her chambers save by moonlight.[1b]

At first, none of the feuding nobles of Sylvania paid any heed to the commands of the new count. If this bothered Vlad, he gave no sign of it. The count cherished his tenants as a peasant family cherishes a beast they are fattening for the Midsummer feast. After decades of rule by mad Otto, this new order was welcomed by all save the most paranoid.[1b]

After several months, however, dark things began to happen. Young men and women from the villages began to disappear. The living dead gathered at the borders of each settlement in growing numbers. These were small forces at first, and they came after only those who disobeyed the count's authority. If any rebellious Sylvanians escaped the clutches of the Undead, then they quickly fell victim to strange accidents.[1c]

Only those who had sworn allegiance to Vlad von Carstein seemed immune to these depredations. Soon, the renegade nobles of Sylvania were queuing up to swear fealty to him. Within ten years, Vlad was more firmly in control of unruly Sylvania than the Elector Counts were of the largest states in the Empire. Some remarked that such was Vlad's success as a ruler he should in fact sit upon the Imperial throne. After all, the von Carsteins were an ancient family that could trace their lineage back to the founding of the Empire.[1c]

Generations later, Vlad and Isabella still presided over the lands, unchanged by the years. At first, few paid attention to their longevity. The lives of peasants had always been squalid and short, and nobles had always enjoyed vastly longer lifespans. However, when the oldest woman of Drakenhof insisted that her grandmother had been a girl when Vlad von Carstein came to the throne, even the most dim-witted peasantry began to surmise that all was not as it seemed.[1c]

The spreading rumours drew more and more Witch Hunters to Sylvania. Those who chose to investigate the von Carsteins were never seen again. Yet worse was to come. The mysterious disease that had first laid low Isabella von Carstein struck other noble families allied with the count.[1c]

Soon, every castle in Sylvania was home to long-lived, nocturnal folk, pallid of aspect and merciless in their rule. The number of the living who went missing became more and more noticeable. The temples to Sigmar, Taal and Ulric were closed, the Priests of Morr were driven from the region and the dead were left untended to pile up at the sides of the roads. Grim watch posts were set up along the border, and few were allowed to cross - either into or out of Sylvania.[1c]

When catastrophe struck the Ostermark capital of Mordheim in the year 2000, Vlad was swift to act. A great meteor of warpstone had destroyed half the city, and shards of raw magic littered the ruins. As the claimants to the Imperial throne sent mercenary forces to seize this new source of power, so too did Vlad send dark minions forth into the ruins. It would be another decade before the strange seeds harvested from that blighted city would bear fruit.[1c]

First Vampire War (2010 to 2051 IC)

Vlad von Carstein

On Geheimnisnacht in the year 2010, Vlad von Carstein revealed the nightmarish truth to the world. The Count of Sylvania stood upon the battlements of Castle Drakenhof and intoned a terrible incantation he had taken from one of the Nine Books of Nagash. Fuelled by the warpstone recovered from Mordheim, Vlad's magic flowed over Sylvania, coiling through unguarded Gardens of Morr and pooling in open peasant graves. Across Vlad's lands the dead awoke. Skeletons clawed their way through the peaty soil; Zombies stirred in their muddy holes; Ghouls loped from their crypt lairs to worship their new master. With this act, Vlad von Carstein had thrown down the gauntlet to the Empire. The Wars of the Vampire Counts had begun.[1c]

The Sylvanian armies headed northwest. They crossed the River Stir and headed for Talabheim. The Undead force blackened the horizon with its numbers, for each of the Vampire aristocracy of Sylvania led a whole army of Skeletons and Zombies. Perhaps stranger still, the peasant levies of that land marched alongside their Undead masters.[1d]

At the Battle of Essen Ford, the Undead faced the Talabecland army of Ottilia III. Before the battle, Vlad von Carstein promised the humans clemency if they surrendered, and no mercy if they opposed him. Though fearful, Ottilia's general ordered the attack. Crossbows and bullets cut a swath through the legions of Undead as they crossed the ford, but Vlad's magic reanimated his fallen minions once more and spurred them forward. Knightly charges destroyed hundreds of walking corpses but still thousands more pressed onwards in an unstoppable wall of flesh and bone.[1d]

Vengeful spirits and spectral horsemen swept through the Talabecland lines, shrieking and killing, while the never-ending army of Zombies dragged down soldier after soldier. Embattled against a seemingly endless horde of the dead, Ottilia's forces were encircled. Vlad led the final attack himself at the head of his Black Knights, while the Wights of the Drakenhof Guard surrounded the enemy general.[1d]

Faced with the power of Vlad and his fellow Vampires, the forces of Ottilia were overwhelmed. Many surrendered, but Vlad was true to his word. His followers butchered every captive, and then Vlad used his powers to re-animate their bodies and add them to his growing legion.[1d]

Vampire Count Vlad von Carstein goes to war against the Empire

As he watched his men executed and then raised up once more as Zombies, Ottilia's general, Hans Schliffen, became so incensed that he flew into a berserk rage. Schliffen broke free from his captors' grasp, seized the count's own enchanted sword from its scabbard, and struck off Vlad's head. Schliffen was immediately torn limb from limb by Konrad von Carstein, most deranged of the count's followers.[1d]

With Vlad seemingly destroyed, the remaining Vampires squabbled among themselves to see who would take his place. Herman Posner, Baron of Waldenhof, finally prevailed. That very night, as Posner strutted at the head of the army, Vlad von Carstein returned. Posner threw himself at Vlad's mercy, but was cut down without a moment's thought.[1d]

With the army of Talabecland smashed, Vlad turned his attention even further westward, towards the fortress-city of Middenheim. At the Battle of Schwartzhafen, Vlad was cut down by Jerek Kruger, leader of the Knights of the White Wolf, and amongst great turmoil and confusion, the army of Sylvania was defeated. Yet within a year, Vlad von Carstein was leading another army to war. Grand Master Kruger's smashed and bloodless body was found at the foot of the Middenheim spire. The Knights of the White Wolf and Knights Panther were scattered by Vlad's Undead creatures and winged giants that swooped down from the skies. The soldiers of Middenheim retreated to the causeways leading up to the gates.[1d]

Content that the Graf of Middenheim's army posed no more threat to his ambition, Vlad ravaged Middenland to further swell his forces. At every village and town he came across, Vlad offered the same bargain - serve him and live, oppose him and die. At first, many tried to fight the Undead, but all suffered the same fate as Ottilia III's army before them. Vlad's Undead legion grew ever larger and stronger. Soon, miles-long columns of refugees fled westward, fearful of the relentless onslaught of Vlad's Undead army.[1d]

Vlad turned his attention eastward and fought along the Old Forest Road through Hochland and into Ostland. Army after army was sent to check his advance but the result of every battle was the same - the undying legions slew their enemies in a battle of attrition the living could not hope to win. Nothing seemed to stop Vlad, every time it appeared he had been slain, he returned to wreak his revenge. At Bluthof, the Vampire Count fell with five lances through his body and the count of Ostland's Runefang lodged in his heart. Three days later, Vlad was seen ordering the execution of prisoners outside the gates of Bluthof.[1d]

With the northern provinces overrun and their armies smashed, Vlad turned south and made for Reikland. At Bogenhafen Bridge, a lucky cannon shot took von Carstein's head clean off. Within the hour, the cannon crew were drained of blood and the army overrun.[1d]

By the winter of 2051, the Sylvanians laid siege to Altdorf, capital of Reikland. The great city was surrounded by a leagues-long ditch edged with sharpened stakes, and the Reik had been redirected into the ditch to give the city a moat of fast-flowing water. None of the precautions taken by the defenders worked. They did not stop the von Carsteins and their allies for a moment. Great siege engines built of fused human remains lumbered forward, animated by Dark Magic, while carrion crows and blood-sucking bats circled greedily overhead. Vlad gave his usual ultimatum - open the gates and serve him in life, or fight on and serve him in death. Ludwig, the Reikland's claimant to the Imperial throne, wanted to surrender. The Grand Theogonist Wilhelm III, high priest of the Cult of Sigmar, convinced him to defy Vlad instead. Wilhelm cloistered himself within the Great Temple of Sigmar. After three days of prayer he emerged once more, claiming that Sigmar had revealed the salvation of the Empire to him.[1d][1e]

That same day, Wilhelm dispatched an agent to the Vampire Count's camp. His name was Felix Mann, and he was the greatest thief of the age. His task was to steal the Vampire Count's ornate ring. By stealth and trickery, Mann made his way to the heart of the Sylvanian camp. Heart in mouth, he entered the great black silk pavilion where the Undead aristocrats lay sleeping in open coffins. The master thief Mann slipped the ring from von Carstein's finger and fled, never to return. No one knows what became of him.[1e]

When he woke, Vlad was enraged and ordered an immediate attack on the city. The Undead army surged forwards under the burning will of the Vampire Count, and great siege towers of bone were wheeled to the walls. On the towering battlements, Skeletons and Reiklander Swordsmen hacked at each other. Imperial heroes armed with ancient weapons taken from the vaults of the city cut down the Vampire aristocrats, and were in their turn chopped apart.[1e]

At the centre of the vast struggle that engulfed the city, the Grand Theogonist clashed with the Vampire Count Vlad. After an hour of combat, holy hammer against magical blade, Vlad gained the upper hand, for his foe was tiring and he was not. Sensing that the end was near, Wilhelm charged his foe headlong and flung himself and Vlad over the battlements. The two fell together, locked in an embrace of death. First, Vlad was impaled on a wooden spike at the wall's foot, and then Wilhelm landed on top, driving the count still further on. With an awful scream the count expired, for without the power of his magical ring, Vlad at last proved vulnerable.[1e]

With Count Vlad destroyed and his armies crumbling, the Sylvanians were forced to lift the siege and retreat. So great were the casualties inflicted on the men of Altdorf that no pursuit was possible. The last casualty of the Battle of Altdorf was Isabella von Carstein. Unable to face eternity without her husband, she impaled herself on a stake and shrivelled to a pile of dust before the eyes of would-be Emperor Ludwig and his bodyguard. Ludwig would have pressed into Sylvania and taken the fight to the evil scourge at its heart but the other claimants to the Imperial throne joined forces against him, fearing that Ludwig would use his new popularity to secure his claim to the throne. So the pernicious lords of Sylvania were able to regain their strength.[1e]

Second Vampire War (2058 to 2121 IC)

Konrad von Carstein

There were five surviving claimants for Vlad's title: Fritz, Hans, Pieter, Konrad and Mannfred von Carstein. All could claim to be von Carstein's direct heir, since he had personally spread his curse to all of them. A vicious power struggle erupted. For more than forty years, the Vampires warred and plotted amongst themselves, giving the Empire vital time to recover from the desolation wrought by Vlad's attacks.[1e]

Fritz von Carstein was killed on the field of battle while attempting to besiege Middenheim. Hans perished when Konrad instigated a quarrel with him over who was the toughest and then slew him, cutting his body into pieces. Pieter was slain in his coffin by the Witch Hunter Helmut van Hal, a distant descendant of the infamous Necromancer Vanhal. Rumour at the time suggested that Mannfred had led van Hal to Pieter's lair. After Pieter's death, Mannfred disappeared, leaving Konrad as undisputed ruler of Sylvania.[1e]

Konrad von Carstein was completely mad. Even when he had walked among the living he had the reputation of being a blood-mad butcher; evil, merciless and insanely violent. Konrad had once ordered his crossbowmen to use every cat in his domain as target practice. On at least two occasions, Konrad had ordered peasant villages put to the torch because he didn't like their smell. He tried his mother for the crime of having given birth to him without his consent, and upon finding her guilty, Konrad had her bricked up in a tower. Acquiring the power and longevity of a Vampire did nothing to strengthen Konrad's already shaky grasp on reality.[1e]

Lacking skill at necromancy, Konrad enslaved any magicians he could capture and forced them to do his bidding. He led a huge army that ravaged the length and breadth of the Empire, but where Vlad had offered his opponents a choice between life and death, Konrad offered them a choice between dying quickly and dying painfully.[1e]

Konrad's ambitions paled in comparison to Vlad's, for he sought not to rule as a Vampire Emperor but only to immerse himself in bloody slaughter. His warmongering took his army as far south as Nuln and the Grey Mountains, and it was here that the mad Vampire Count first met the Knights of Blood Keep. Though Konrad's behaviour was neither honourable nor noble, the promise of great victories was enough to win the Blood Knights to his cause. With the Blood Knights in his vanguard, Konrad defeated every foe sent against him, despite his frequent bouts of hysteria and grave tactical errors. None could stand against the raw power of Konrad the Beast's armoured host.[1e]

At Kleiberstorf, Konrad faced the army of Averland. Archers and mortars took a heavy toll on the Sylvanian army, but Konrad threatened and pleaded with his Necromancers to keep his army moving forward. He offered power and riches to his captive wizards and they acceded, combining their powers to unleash a scourging wind on the Averland forces. As Dark Magic whipped around the soldiers, ethereal hands clawed at their souls. Panic began to spread as the unnatural gale slew more and more men. In a moment of rare clarity, Konrad saw that the moment was ripe and unleashed his Blood Knights and the Drakenhof Guard. Faced with insubstantial terrors and armoured Vampires charging them, the Averland army broke and fled. Konrad pursued them for five days, hunting down and killing every last man.[1e]

Konrad also instigated war with the Dwarfs, against the cautious advice of his few counsellors. Undead armies raided outlying settlements connected with Zhufbar, rousing the ire of the Dwarfs within. Led by the King of Zhufbar, the Dwarfs mounted an expedition into Sylvania to hunt for Konrad. At Nachthafen, Konrad rode forth to meet them. Konrad's army fared badly at first, with the power of the Dwarfen Runesmiths quelling the magic of Konrad's pet Necromancers. Robbed of their sustaining energy, the Skeletons and Zombies of Konrad's host lay where they fell, blasted by cannons and handguns.[1f]

Konrad remained confident despite these setbacks. He launched an all-out attack on the right flank of the Dwarf army, leading the assault himself and seeking out every Runesmith in the throng. While the Blood Knights smashed into the disciplined ranks of the Dwarfs, Konrad cut down the Runesmiths and fed on their spilt blood. As they gained magical ascendancy, Konrad's Necromancers were able to resurrect the fallen warriors of the Undead army and, under the urging of Konrad, the unliving host lurched forwards once more. The Dwarfs fought on resolutely, never once giving in to their fear, but it was a hopeless fight. The Dwarf King challenged Konrad to single combat, but the Blood Count instead despatched Walach Harkon, the Grand Master of the Blood Knights, to fight as his champion. Harkon killed the Dwarf King after a bitter duel and gorged himself on the royal blood of his foe. Within the next hour, the Dwarfs had all been slain.[1f]

Konrad was so unwaveringly vicious that, confronted with his wrath, the three claimants to the Imperial throne put aside their differences and combined forces against him on two separate occasions. The first time was at the Battle of Four Armies, an inconclusive clash fought outside Middenheim in 2100. This battle was most notable for the infamous scene of treachery where Ludwig's son and successor, Lutwik, and Ottilia IV of Talabecland treacherously ordered the assassination of each other during the fray - after all, a battlefield is the ideal place for a blade in the back. In the chaos that followed their mutual destruction, the nobles of the Empire desperately sought to unite under a single leader. Helmut of Marienburg was the prime candidate.[1f]

A conclave of the Elector Counts assembled at Averheim to decide the matter. Even as support for him was gathering in the council hall, Helmut began to act erratically, struck dumb and vacant at a critical time. Helmut's skin began to peel away and one of his eyes dropped out, much to the horror of the assembled counts. Even Helmut's son, Helmar, refused his father's claim to the throne once it was discovered that Helmut was a Zombie under Konrad's control! Discovered, Konrad's Necromancers fled with their Zombie Emperor-to-be. Enraged that his devious plan had failed, Konrad slaughtered his way from Averheim to the Howling Hills, putting to the torch every town and village he came across.[1f]

Grim Moor marked the second alliance to face Konrad von Carstein. Here, in the spring of 2121, a combined army of men and Dwarfs finally met Konrad's host. Konrad was so incensed he ordered his army to attack the combined forces arrayed against him, rather than retreat further. As before, the armoured warriors of Konrad's elite withstood the punishment dealt them by the handguns and war machines of the Empire and Dwarf gun lines, striding relentlessly forward. But then, the regiments of the Undead faltered; the magic that bound them seeped away and they collapsed. Konrad's Necromancers had betrayed him and fled. It was only Konrad's raw will and innate Vampire abilities that kept any semblance of his army animated, but the effort proved too much.[1f]

In a mad fit, Konrad wandered away from the battle, shouting maniacally. The Dwarf hero Grufbad captured Konrad and held him down while Elector Count Helmar impaled his father's killer with his Runefang.[1f]

Third Vampire War (2124 to 2145 IC)

Mannfred von Carstein

The most cunning of the Vampire Counts was Mannfred von Carstein. Some Vampires claim he was awake when the Carstein Ring was stolen, and afterward spent long years seeking Felix Mann. While Konrad von Carstein ravaged the Empire, Mannfred studied the art of necromancy. He journeyed into the Land of the Dead in search of the secrets of unlife, before returning to Castle Drakenhof with a library of dark lore.[1f]

After Konrad's death, Mannfred became the undisputed ruler of Sylvania. For a full decade, he let the various contenders to the Imperial throne think the Sylvanian threat was over. Where Vlad had ruled through his iron will and raw power, and Konrad reigned with fear, Mannfred used his necromantic prowess and devious manipulations to forge his armies. He sought out Vampires from beyond the borders of Sylvania and bribed, coerced and flattered them into joining him. He spent many long months in the wild places of the Empire, rousing spirits and Wights from their decrepit tombs. When vicious civil war again wracked the Empire, Mannfred deemed it was time to strike.[1f]

Mannfred von Carstein's Undead legions crossed the Sylvanian border in the depths of winter. With the summer campaigning season over, the armies of the Elector Counts were unprepared for the sudden assault. Mannfred's armies marched through the snows towards Altdorf, putting to the sword any living men they met and raising the corpses to swell the ranks of Mannfred's horde. In the infamous Winter War of 2132, Mannfred defeated several hastily assembled Imperial armies that attempted to block his path. Victory followed victory and, soon, the dark rumour of Mannfred's coming was enough to send villagers fleeing from their homes only to freeze to death in the snow. When Mannfred's much-enlarged force reached Altdorf, they found the city seemingly undefended.[1f]

Triumph filled Mannfred. He looked set to become not a Vampire Count but a Vampire Emperor, achieving what Vlad and Konrad had failed to do. Then the Grand Theogonist, Kurt III, appeared on the battlements. The Sigmarite high priest had brought forth the evil Liber Mortis from the deepest locked vaults of his temple, and he began to recite the Great Spell of Unbinding from its pages. As the incantation continued, Mannfred's power over his minions began to weaken. Seeing his followers crumbling to dust, Mannfred ordered a hasty retreat, for his foes were ready and prepared to meet the Undead threat head on.[1f]

Unperturbed, Mannfred marched his army along the River Reik to Marienburg, capturing several large vessels along the way and manning them with the raised corpses of their crews.[1f]

Mannfred intended to lay siege to the port city and then sail his Zombie fleet within to attack from another direction, but he soon found his land assault was staved off by the army of Marienburg and their allies. Mannfred oversaw the construction of mighty war machines, immense catapults of twisted logs and living sinew, and settled down for a siege. A few days later, his scouts revealed that an army from Altdorf was fast coming up behind him. Mannfred was forced to lift the siege of the port and retreat.[1g]

So began a long cat-and-mouse chase, with neither side entirely sure which was the cat. At Horstenbad, the army of Ostermark surrounded Mannfred as his army wound its way along the forest road, destroying nearly half of the Vampire Count's forces. Yet Mannfred escaped and within the month had seized the town of Felph and created a new army. When the army of Ostermark lay siege to Felph, Mannfred unleashed a magical storm that killed whole regiments with bolts of purple lightning, their still-smoking bodies rising to their feet to grapple with their former comrades. On and on the campaign raged, with neither side able to secure ultimate victory. Twice, Mannfred retreated into Sylvania to escape pursuit. The first time, he smashed the Averland and Stirland army sent after him, raising up an uncountable horde of Zombies at Bylorhof.[1g]

Determined not to make the same mistakes as they had before, the nobles of the Empire swore a truce among themselves and began to scour the Sylvanian woods. Warriors despatched by the High King of the Dwarfs aided in the fighting. The armies of the Empire were relentless and, eventually, Mannfred was brought to battle at Hel Fenn.[1g]

Mannfred's army was vast, his necromantic power having raised a legion of Zombies from the muddy depths of Hel Fenn. Mannfred's unliving host continued to retreat into the swamps, drawing the exhausted Imperial army onwards into the filth and gloom. Yet Mannfred had not reckoned on the determination of his foes. Eventually he was brought to battle in the eastern reaches of the great marshland, where the warriors of the Empire and Dwarfs fought with grim resolve.[1g]

Mannfred saw that victory was beyond him and attempted to flee. The Elector Count of Stirland, mounted upon a majestic Griffon, gave chase and caught Mannfred at the very edge of the swamps. Though the Elector Count was wounded badly, his Runefang cleaved great gouges into Mannfred's flesh and the Vampire's mangled corpse sank into the depths of the swamp. Despite a long search, neither Man nor Dwarf ever located Mannfred's body. Thus ended the reign of Mannfred, the last of the von Carsteins. Or so it seemed at the time...[1g]


  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (8th Edition)