- "You hear the tales, but you never quite believe they're true till you see one of the things... You just assume its all peasant exaggeration, someone who saw a big bat or even an owl. This one, though, with its wings spread it was bigger than one of the supply wagon, great fangs like a pair of poniards. It swept out of the sky and carried off Sergeant Volg, horse and all... We saw them again the week after, Volg's corpse dry and white, the horse a walking carcass too, but both are still marching, still fighting, fighting for the other side..."
- —Leohard, mercenary.[2a]
Varghulfs are those powerful yet devolved Vampire Lords that have since succumbed themselves willingly to their most primal surges, turning their once human bodies into a creature larger and far more powerful in body, but weaker in mind.
Within most Vampires, there is a constant animalistic urge that can occasionally drive a Vampire to bouts of uncommon savagery and bloodlust. Such urges are what forces a Vampire to suck the blood of the living. Most Vampires who still want to cling to their sanity are often known to seek control of this side of their existence, and in keeping to their trappings of aristocracy and nobility.[1a]
However, there are some within their numbers that find little love for such noble life. Unlike those Vampires that have turned to Vargheists by means of mutation from warpstone consumption, a Varghulf is created when a Vampire simply allows the animalistic urge to overcome them, and in the process, destroy what was left of their former personality. These feral predators abandon their dark castles in order to run unfettered through the forest. Those who revel in such behaviour become physically changed beyond recognition by the vampiric curse.[1a]
Over the centuries, these devolved Vampires become blood-mad killers that exist only to feed. Like enraged, starved beasts, they run rampant, devouring whole villages in an effort to satiate their never-ending thirst. As well as devouring the living, a Varghulf will ransack graves and feast upon the bodies of the dead. A Varghulf has a monstrous body, swollen by a constant diet of red meat. Unbound by human form, a Varghulf is a contorted mass of packed muscle, giving it the strength to crush a chariot or bowl over entire ranks of warriors foolish enough to try and pin it down.[1a]
Powerful legs and broad wingflaps allow Varghulfs to chase down their kills in swift, gliding leaps, and they can lash out at enemies around them with their claws at shocking speed. A Varghulf's main weapon, however, is a wide mouth filled with dagger-like fangs capable of puncturing armour and crushing skulls. Other Vampires consider them no better than Ghouls, though the terrible changes wrought by their surrender to the beast within them makes them far deadlier in combat. Though voracious and unpredictable killers, Varghulfs are far from mindless. They do not possess the aptitude or inclination for sorcery of their vampiric cousins, but their presence still acts as a conduit for Dark Magic, and are thus able to re-knit themselves with this necromancy should they suffer injury.[1a]
- 1:Warhammer Armies: Vampire Count (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 44
- 2:Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 2a: pg. 69 - 70