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Vargheists are the darkness within a Vampire's soul made manifest. They are towering winged humanoids, each several times the size of a man. Though the Vargheists once walked and talked as lords amongst the chattel, these curse-born Vampires have devolved into ravening predators desperate for the taste of blood. They prowl the battlefield in packs, ready to pounce upon the least sign of weakness and tear a hole in the enemy ranks with crimson claw and bloody fang.[1a] 

Overview

The creation of a Vargheist is a strange metamorphosis that takes place far from the eyes of mortal. Under the extensive castles of the Von Carsteins are vast subterranean networks of basements, galleries and dining halls with vaulted ceilings that stretch into the pitch darkness above. This realm of former glories is where the Vargheist dark birth takes place.[1a] 

Once, these haunted hall were places of grandeur and largesse, the sites of sinister speeches, flesh banquets and epic displays of privilege. Now, they are little more than antique graveyards filled with the detritus of an ancient aristocracy. Moth-eaten drapes and tapestries hang like curtains of moss from the damp-raddled walls. Embroidered rugs and mosaics of bone are hidden by inches of tainted and brackish water that seeps through from the cursed lands above. Broken harpsichords lean drunkenly against the cloth-bound statuary of ancient gods; shattered coaches and rot-gnawed sedan chairs are heaped amongst haunted portraits and magical relics stolen from conquered civilisations. Within the mounds of priceless bric-a-brac, chain-bound coffins and sculpted sarcophagi nestle like chrysalises in a rotting woodpile. If a chance visitor were to approach these coffins and blow away the carpet of dust upon them, the name 'VON CARSTEIN' could just about be made out, chiselled in baroque letters upon elaborate stone scrollwork.[1a] 

Not all of these coffins are empty, for this hidden realm is where the Von Carsteins lock away those of their family who have fallen out of favour. Those who come off worse in the endless power struggles of the Vampires often find themselves prematurely buried and left at the mercy of their own relentless thirsts. Slowly, over the course of decades, the constantly dripping water - magically tainted by warpstone in the stalactites overhead - finds its way into the prisons of these unfortunates. Torpid for want of fresh blood, the slumbering Vampires begin to devolve and change shape, growing larger and more bestial as the diluted Dark Magic swilling around them lends them a terrible strength.[1a] 

Whilst the transformation from humanoid into monster takes hold, the muscular Vargheist will crack open its stone prison with a great effort. Casting aside its chains, the creature unfolds its leathery wings and rears up into the darkness, letting loose a terrible scream of rage and betrayal that sends great swarms of bats whirling throughout the cavernous chambers. The shattered remnants of its sarcophagus fall away, and the name and personality of its former incumbent is left behind in the mire. The newborn Vargheist begins to hunt, desperate to sink its teeth into mortal veins. At the first taste of blood, the transformation is made permanent - what was once a proud lord of the dead is forever cursed to an existence as a ravening beast.[1a] 

Though each Vargheist emerges from its prison far stronger in body, it is invariably weaker in mind. After centuries of thirsty confinement, all they really want to do is feed. These creatures are easily bound to their jailor's will as a result, and are sent into battle in packs in order to feast on those enemies foolish enough to stray too far from the sanctuary of the main battle line. Vargheists make formidable fighters, for their raw fury and terrible hunger is undiminished by the control exerted by their cruel, vampiric masters.[1a] 

Known Vargheists

Gallery

Theatre

Total_War_WARHAMMER_-_Introducing..._Vargheists_ESRB

Total War WARHAMMER - Introducing... Vargheists ESRB

The Vargheists.

Miniatures

Sources

  • 1:Warhammer Armies: Vampire Count (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 43
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