Lunacy and the Vampire (Dominion Book 1)

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Agents of the other cities began stirring up rebellion, horrified by the spread of the Cult of Blood and its veneration of Nagash. Although the rebellion failed, the other cities of Nehekhara still wished for Lahmia's destruction. King Setep of Khemri, whose military legions had conquered lands as far north as the lands of the Border Princes, was foremost amongst this coalition.

Betraying Setep, Vashanesh travelled to Lahmia to warn them of this planned attack. Vashanesh so impressed Neferata she gave him the last of the Elixir of Life which none have been able to recreate since and made him her husband, King of Lahmia and co-ruler of its growing population of Vampires. Together they plotted to keep the other cities of Nehekhara distant from each other, creating a network of spies that split the nation for centuries, disrupting all attempts to unify the people against them.

After centuries of uncontested rule, it was Alcadizaar the Conqueror who finally managed to unite and mobilise the disparate armies and bring war to Lahmia by invoking the names of the old Gods of Nehekhara. He laid siege to the city at the head of a mighty army composed of warriors from all of the other city-states, as well as mercenaries and allies from the territories he had annexed from the lands of Araby and the Southlands.

Though outnumbered, the army of Lahmia could be continually replenished, the dead rising as soon as they fell. The Vampire's mortal followers proved less reliable however, and in time, traitors amongst the Lahmian ranks soon turned against their masters and allowed the Nehekharans to storm the city. The chariots of the Jackal Squadron of Marahk coated the streets with blood, and those Vampires who did not flee were forced to do battle on the steps of the Temple itself.

Finally, the temple was burned to the ground, and Abhorash was forced to flee with several of his sons-in-darkness, the last of his compassion for the living finally burned out of him. Nagash had not been idle and had learned much about the art of necromancy and animating the dead during his time within Nagashizzar, conceiving of a mad and deadly master plan that would turn the entire world into a necropolis filled only by the unquiet dead, where no action would be performed, no deed done save when he willed it. Nagash would be the Lord over it all. It became no coincidence that the Vampires came across Nagash.

Nagash had crafted a ring that would allow the Vampire who wore it to return from the dead time and again, but through that ring, Nagash would be able to control all of Vampirekind. The first step on Nagash's road to utter dominion was the elimination of his former homeland, Nehekhara, for he wished to fulfill the bitter vengeance he vowed upon the Priest Kings for what they've done to him in the distant past. At his command, the Vampires led his legions forth to war. On ships made of fused bone, the Undead horde made its way from the Sour Sea, down what future generations would call the Straits of Nagash, and finally back into the Bitter Sea of Nehekhara's shores.

The Undead legions made landfall within the ruined ports of Lahmia and surged towards the Priest Kings domains, the exiled Vampires spearheading the assault. However, Nagash had seriously underestimated his former countrymen. In the time of his absence, the Lands of the Great Vitae River had become a mighty Empire ruled by a single Priest King, known by his people as Alcadizaar the Conqueror. Alcadizaar was the greatest general of his age and his Empire was at the zenith of its power. When the Undead came, they found themselves opposed by a massive, unified, and highly marshalled grand army of warriors, legions of chariots and hordes of cavalry.

Moreover, the enchanters of the Great Kingdom had made progress in the arts of magic, particularly in the creation of animated war-constructs. No easy victory was possible against them. He hurled them carelessly against the enemy as he would his mindless Undead troops, and he cared not for rebuilding Lahmia and sought, instead, to destroy all of Nehekhara. Bound by the power of the ring Vashanesh wore, they were unable to disobey Nagash or even his second-in-command, Arkhan the Black.

The ensuing Wars stained the sands of Nekehara red for many years. The Vampires were mighty sorcerers and fell warriors, and they were determined to reclaim their kingdom. Wherever they appeared, terror and dread came upon the enemy, yet the Vampires, for all their claims of power and immortal, can still be cast down to the cold furrow of death. The war swayed backwards and forwards for a decade. At first, the legions of the Undead had the upper hand, then the armies of Alcadizaar struck back with displays of tactical genius.

Vashanesh hit on an ingenious solution to the problem of Nagash's enslavement. Great was Nagash's rage that he cursed his vampiric captains, making all those bearing Vampiric blood unable to bear the rays of the sun. Ever afterwards, they would know constant pain from their unforgiving Master as their howling cries would carry the knowledge of their misery to all Men. The remaining Vampires fled Nagashizzar by night, dispersing in all directions to confuse pursuit. Even after Nagash's death at the hands of Alcadizaar, the Vampires bore his curse. Thus, the first Vampires disappeared across the world, each founding their own bloodthirsty dynasty that would endure and grow through the centuries, terrorising the living to the present day.

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When the Vampires fled the wrath of Nagash, the majority of the surviving Vampires all fled northwards into the lands of what would be the Old World. Once there, the seven surviving Vampire Lords all went on their own separate journey. One went to the far East, perhaps to the distant lands of Cathay, whilst another disappeared into the howling Northern Waste.

The last four all stayed within different parts of the Old World. Queen Neferata took residence within a large peak within the World's Edge Mountain that was known by the Dwarfs as the Silver Pinnacle, where she still resides today as the leader of the Lahmian bloodline. The cursed yet honourable Abhorash fled to the northern regions of the Old World, where it is said that the Vampire Lord defeated and drunk the blood of a mighty dragon and removed the loathsome curse of blood consumption.

With the curse lifted, Abhorash formed the first of the Blood Dragon bloodline. The scholarly Wsoran flung himself to all corners of the Old World, where he continues to this very day, gathering as much knowledge of Necromancy as he possibly can in hopes of resurrecting his fallen master. It was during this time that he also founded the Necrarch Bloodline.

The cunning Ushoran founded the Strigoi bloodline after he helped a Necromancer named Kadon establish the ancient human kingdom of Strygos , and its capital city of Mourkain long before the founding of the Empire of Man. But perhaps the greatest and most dangerous of the bloodline to have ever plagued the greatest Human Realm in the Old World is one that had also started with one Man and his ambition grew so great that it had the potential to conquer an entire Empire.

Vashanesh eventually returned back to life as Nagash promised he would, and he then spent the next few centuries testing the limits of the ring. Vashanesh set about mastering certain magical arts to make the ring his slave, rather than his master. Eventually, Vashanesh ambitious nature eventually lead him on a dark path that would haunt the lands of Sylvania for the rest of eternity.

It all began on a storm-lashed night when Otto von Drak , the last of the mad von Drak Counts, lay on his death bed within the capital of Drakenhof , cursing the gods that he was without a male heir to continue on his legacy. Otto was a cruel, gluttonous and selfish man, who delighted on the plight of others and whose authority over the land was met with little respect and little love by both the commoners and nobility alike. In his deathbed, the lands of Sylvania was seething with civil strife. As his family awaited his final breath, Otto swore to all the Gods that he would rather marry his only daughter Isabella, to a daemon rather than to let his hated brother Leopold inherit the throne.

To the dying Count, he refused all those that requested her daughters hand in marriage, for in his heart, he despised them all. And so it was that Isabella von Drak knelt at her fathers death bed, still without a husband and child to carry on the family estate.

As if a dark power had answered the Mad Counts plea, outside the castle, 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 instantly. 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. In the following silence, somebody knocked on the door. A trembling servant introduced an unknown noble to the Count.

The stranger introduced himself to the dying Count and his daughter with respect, utterly ignoring Leopold and only answering his questions of his origins by stating his name as Vlad von Carstein, the eldest of the von Carstein family, a family he didn't expect Leopold to know. Leopold protested, but the stranger silenced him, stating he had come only to offer his services to the "current" Count von Drak, being in the vicinity whilst travelling to a wedding. Completely oblivious to his true intentions, Otto's face lit up, and he proposes the stranger to become the husband of his daughter, thus effectively obliterating Leopold's claim to the title of Count.

Vlad then turned to Isabella, claiming that at some point of the ceremony, it was usual for the bride to accept. Isabella, wanting the power she sensed in Vlad, accepts, but asks him in a whisper for a token of his love. Vlad then faces Leopold and tears his heart out of his chest with his bare hands before tossing him out of a window. He then presents Isabella the heart of her now dead uncle, upon which she coldly states she has no use of it, seeing it no longer beats.

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 finally passed away, leaving his daughter and his entire estate in the charge of Vlad von Carstein.

Thus the wedding ceremony had ended, and the two lovers were together ever since. Vlad von Carstein had married Isabella for power, and used his charm to control her at times. To their mutual surprise, what had started between them as a marriage of convenience swiftly blossomed into true love, and the pair had become confidants in each other and all but inseparable. Isabella begged Vlad to give her the Blood Kiss so they could be together for eternity, but Vlad was aware to the downsides of vampirism and loved her too much to subject her to that.

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.

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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. After several months following Vlad's coronation, however, dark events have begun to appear across the lands.

Young men and woman from neighboring villages have began to disappear overnight. Sightings of the dead stirring beneath their graves have begun to pop up within every cemetery within Sylvania. For whatever reason, these walking dead only attack those that were defying the Counts authority. Those dissidents that continue to escape them were found dead by strange accidents.

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All over Sylvania, this dark event occurs day by day, with only those whom sworn their allegiance to Vlad von Carstien seemingly immune to this horrific purge. Within ten years, Vlad was more firmly in control of unruly Sylvania that any other ruler within the Empire. Some remarked that such was Vlad's achievement as a ruler he should in fact sit upon the Imperial Throne as well.

To his naive subjects, the von Carsteins were, after all, an ancient family that could trace their lineage back to the founding of the Empire. Generations later, Vlad and Isabella still presided over the lands of Sylvania, unchanged in all these years. At first, few paid attention to their longevity. The lives of the peasants had always been squalid and short, and so they paid little heed, however it was the longer-living nobility that begun to notice this strange revelation.

This revelation all began about when the oldest woman within Drakenhof have remarked how her great grandmother was still a girl when Vlad von Carstein came into the throne, and in time these rumours began to spread, leading to even the most dull-witted peasant realising something odd is amidst.

In time, Witch Hunters by the dozens have begun to flock into the lands of Sylvania like a flood, hunting down evil like hounds upon a hare. Yet, to those that tried to investigate the von Carstein family, none have returned. In his former life, Vlad was not a cruel Man by heart, but the curse and selfish pride that is usually brought about by Vampirism has corrupted him in body, mind and soul.

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As with all Vampires, the new Count of Sylvania was ambitious beyond mortal needs, and so he sought to instill his rule to not just Sylvania but the whole of the Empire of Man. At first, none of the feuding nobles of Sylvania paid any heed to the commands of this new Count. If this bothered Vlad, he gave no sign of it. To the Vampire Count, Vlad cherished his subjects the same way a peasant family would cherish a beast that they are fattening up for the Midsummer feast. After decades of harsh rule by the incompetent Count Otto, this new authority was welcomed by all save perhaps the most paranoid, or perhaps the most knowing.

The first signs that someone big is coming came about when the disease that first took Isabella now took the rest of Sylvanian nobility. Soon, every major castle within Sylvania was home to a family of long-living nocturnal Vampires, pallid of aspect and arrogant in their rule. In time, the number of people who went missing grew to exponential numbers. A mysterious sickness, not unlike the one that had killed Otto van Drak, had filled the graveyard's of Sylvania as well, pushing the people to their limits and forcing the majority of the peasantry to turn their backs on the gods who couldn't help them, and into the arms of the Cult of the Wiederauferstanden , known by many as " The Cult of the Arisen Dead ".

The holy temples of the Old World Pantheons were desecrated and closed, with the Priest of Morr being driven out. Without the Morr Priest to perform the proper burial rites to bring the long deceased into their tombs and towards the afterlife, the bodies of the dead were simply piling up at the sides of the road and their tormented spirits forced to live without rest.

But probably the greatest and final sign of this impeding darkness came when the Ostermark capital of Mordhiem was destroyed by a massive Warpstone meteorite in the year IC. The city of Mordheim was once the capital of the Imperial province of Ostermark, where the faithful and pious come to gather to witness the second coming of Sigmar Heldemhammer.

But after some time, the city grew into a cesspit of decadence, greed, and widespread corruption. When the city was obliterated in IC by a massive meteorite, shards of Warpstone were found all over the ruins of the city. Unbeknownst to its chaotic origins, claimants of the Imperial Throne sent mercenary companies into the city to gather as much Warpstone as they possibly can, hoping to manipulate its false properties of healing the sick or turning lead into gold into their own personal uses.

Vlad followed up on this as well, sending in his dark minions to gather as much of these shards as he possibly can. Finally, on Geheimnisnacht Eve of the Imperial year of IC, Vlad von Carstein thought the time ripe for the next step in his master plan. It was then, at the start of the winter, that the count called forth all the nobles of the province to pledge loyalty to him during a festivity called the Totentanz , or the " Dance of the Dead ".

The dance was to be held at Drakenhof Castle, on the eve of Geheimnisnacht. The Totentanz was actually a huge coy, invented by the Vlad to assemble the remaining living aristocracy into one place. At the height of the ball, he gave an order to his minions to close of the entrance and kill ever living thing inside. Only two people left the throne room alive: Alten Ganz , loyal human servant of Vlad which had suspected the true nature of his master plan, and Stefan Fischer , a witch hunter who had been chasing one of von Carstein's vampires for the murder of his wife alongside another Witch Hunter, Jon Skellan , his brother in law.

During this event, Skellan was killed and turned into a Vampire, but Fischer managed to hide below a pile of dead corpses without being caught. With his deed enacted, the Count of Sylvania stood upon the battlements of Castle Drakenhof and intoned a terrible incantation from one of the Nine Books of Nagash. Fueled by the magic-saturated Warpstones recovered from Mordheim, the necromancy spell flowed over the unguarded cemeteries of the Gardens of Morr and in an instant, all throughout the province, the dead began to stir.

Slowly, every single cadaver in Sylvania began to move towards Drakenhof to answer the call of the Vampire Count. As the dead nobles started to emerge from the throne room, Stefan Fisher acted as a zombie and escaped Drakenhof with only one single taught in mind: " they are coming ". Fischer finally escaped the deadly trap Sylvania had become, only to fall into the claws of a small band of Vampires travelling through the Empire.

Accepting his fate, even feeling joy for being soon reunited with his wife, Fischer was contempt to finally meet his end when suddenly he was saved by a small detachment of Countess Otilla's army, sent to investigate reports of Undead activity along the Sylvanian border. Fischer thus relayed the truth behind the Vampire Count's true nature. Feeling all sense had fled his life, he stayed with Otilla's army as they try to fend of the Undead army at the Battle of Essen Ford , which would be the first conflict of the Vampire Wars.

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The Battle at Essen Ford was considered a total Imperial massacre. Knee deep in the mud and overwhelmed by impossible odds, the human army was easily swept away. At the end of the battle, Fisher came across his brother-in-law, Jon Skellan. When the prisoners were lined up before the Vampire count, Vlad showed them the extent of his power. While discussing with the leader of the army detachment, he invited first Ganz, then three vampires, including Skellan to choose and kill a prisoner of their choosing.

Skellan choose Fischer, and bled him dry, thus reuniting him with his dead wife. Vlad reanimated each of the dead Imperials, then asked the still-living Imperial Commander of this defeated army to choose one of his men to live.

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The later refused, not wanting to decide about the life or death of his own. The Vampire Count thus chose the youngest of the prisoners and announced him that he alone would live, to spread the fear of the Vampire's throughout the Empire. He then freed the prisoner, who ran for his life away from the Undead army. In this moment of distraction, the Imperial Commander took Vlad's sword and beheaded the count with a swift stroke.

Herman Prosner severed the Commanders in an instant afterwards, but it was too late, for the Vampire Count was no more. However, just as Prosner had finished giving orders regarding the torture of the Imperial commander who had slayed the Vampire Count, he suddenly remarked that the body of the count had disappeared. Dismissing it as trivial, Prosner started a brutal rise to power, slaying everyone opposing him. It had been the loyal servant Ganz who had taken the body away, incapable of realizing the death of his beloved Count. At the end of the night, Prosner had obtained control of the Undead army, and was going to get the last thing which would truly cement his power; the widow Isabella.

The latter, totally hysteric, was smiling when Herman Prosner entered her tent. She claimed that her beloved wasn't dead and that he would come back to get her. Gently, Herman Prosner led Isabella out the tent and claimed her before the whole army as his bride, by right of strength. Then the most unpredictable of things happened, for from the back of the crowd, someone answered the challenge. The Undead all stepped away from the one who had spoken, and there stood Vlad von Carstein. He had been saved by a family heritage, an old signet ring obtained in his earlier life, which granted the wielder true immortality from death.

In the following duel, Vlad defeated Prosner, and laid him low. Seeing his death inevitable, Prosner hurled his sword away, killing loyal Ganz in the process. The Count then prepared to strike him down, but was stopped by Isabella, who claimed that right for herself.

The Count gave his sword to her, and she killed Herman Prosner with cold blood. The war continued after the events of Essen Ford. For more than 40 years, the dark shades of the Count put an aura of terror above the Empire. Countless times, he was killed in battle, and each time he rose again to kill those who had defeated him; at the Battle of Bluthof, he fell impaled by five lances with the Count of Ostland's Runefang buried to the hilt in his heart, yet reappeared three days later, overseeing the execution of prisoners. Whilst at the town of Bogenhafen, he led his undead army to victory after being decapitated by a cannon only an hour before.

When in the spring of IC, the city of Middenheim was attacked and the Grand Master of the Knights of the White Wolf, Jerek Kruger, was turned into a vampire because he had dared to kill the count at the Battle of Schwartzhafen a year before. All hope seemed lost to the Imperials, and eventually the Undead army now marched towards the last thing between them and victory: The Imperial Capital of Altdorf. When the Undead army arrived before the walls of Altdorf, they found the city was well prepared: the Reik had been diverted to surround the city, harvests had been entered and the walls had been manned.

However, the powers of Vlad proved enormous. In a shocking display of cabalistic power, he covered the sky in clouds and awoke every dead beneath the plains surrounding Altdorf. Huge siege engines formed of zombies where thrown against the city walls, and in time, the number of dead soon outnumbered those of the living. There was no hope of victory for mankind. It was in that holy place that he received a visit from Mannfred von Carstein, the eldest thrall of Vlad. Mannfred wanted the power of the Vampire Count for himself, but he knew that he wasn't strong enough to challenge Vlad in combat.

The priest then set out an elaborated trap to catch the best thief of this very age: Felix Mann. When they finally caught him robbing the Imperial Counting House, they gave him a simple choice: to rob Vlad von Carstein's signet ring, or to be hung for his crimes. In reward of the theft, he would be paid enough to start a living elsewhere. Felix accepted the theft and, with a little aid from Mannfred von Carstien, robbed the count of his most precious belonging.

When the Count awakened, his anger was uncontrollable. In one frenetic attack, Vlad threw everything he had against Altdorf. There on the battlements, he confronted Wilhelm III and eventually, overcame him. However, with his last breath, the Great Theogonist threw himself against the Undead Count, and both fell off the walls. While the fall wouldn't have killed a vampire as powerful as Vlad, they both fell on a wooden stake, the Vampire trapped beneath the corpse of the holy man.

With the death of Vlad, his army dissolved and the Altdorfers rejoiced, for finally the horrors of the First Vampire War was finally over. The war had ended, and Vlad's dream of an Undead Empire was dead alongside him. The horrors perpetuated by him and his unholy campaign would still stalk mankind's worst nightmares for centuries to come. The Vampire threat hadn't been routed however. Surely, the vampires had indeed fled into the woods and were returning to their powerbase within Sylvania, but still two of Vlad's lieutenants where alive, and enough direct descendants to assure the continuation of his line.

Jerek Kruger, being a warrior with experience about commanding, managed to shepherd the surviving Vampires back to Sylvania. He would, however, never try to obtain the position of Count. Another Vampire by the name of Skellan had been captured by the Altdorfers and was imprisoned in a crypt beneath the Cathedral of Altdorf, where they kept him as a prisoner for many years afterwards.

Felix Mann, wanting to claim his reward, discovered that with no physical proof of the deal he had with the Grand Theogonist, nobody would believe he had committed a theft on behalf of a holy man. Wronged and angered, Felix stole one of Vlad's Books of Nagash. However, while fleeing from the Sigmarites, he became conscious that someone was following him from the shadows. When Felix was finally culled by the stranger in a back alley, he tried to buy him off with the dead Count's signet ring.

The stranger, who was in fact Mannfred von Carstein, severed the two wrists of the thief, took the ring and the book and left Felix for dead. Thus, Vlad's artefacts passed on to a Vampire and Necromancer of almost equal potential power. Isabella von Carstein would be taken captive the very next night when they found Isabella trying to find her husband's body, which had been buried beneath the Theogonist's grave. She was completely hysterical and had lost all touch with reality. She would commit suicide eventually, when the Lector of Sigmar, in an attempt at pity, told her Vlad was really dead and would not come back.

Following Vlad's death, only five vampires claimed to be the heir to his legacy. For more than forty years afterwards, the Vampires of the von Carstein line have fought a vicious power struggle against each other, 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 when he foolishly attempted to besiege the massive fortress-city of Middenheim. Hans von Carstein perished when Konrad instigated a quarrel between each other 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 an ancient and powerful Necromancer from the time of the Skaven Wars.

It is said that Mannfred von Carstein had also aided in his death. After Pieter's death, Mannfred von Carstein disappeared from Sylvania, leaving Konrad as the new undisputed ruler of all Sylvania. 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.

Indeed, Konrad is beyond bloodthirsty, even amongst his own kind. Whilst Vlad offered his opponents a choice between servitude or death, Konrad offered them a choice between dying quickly or dying slowly.

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Whilst Vlad's ambition was to rule as the Vampire Emperor of the Empire, Konrad's single motive was to simply indulge himself in endless slaughter. His warmongering nature took his army to the far south of the Empire, where he came into contact with the Blood Knights of Blood Keep , whom are all 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 the Battle of Kleiberstorf , however, Konrad faced a powerful Averlander army that contained a massive wagon-train of long-range artillery.

When battle commenced, the Averlander artillery was horrific to behold upon 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, combining 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 strip the life of the Imperial soldiers one by one. In a moment of rare tactical genius, Konrad saw that the moment was ripe for a counter-attack and sent forth his elite squadron 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 creature he is, hounded the Imperial soldiers for five days and five nights, ensuring that all those that participated in 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 remaining advisors. Attacking isolated villages and surface settlements within the domains of Zhufbar , the Dwarf King of Zhufbar himself finally had enough and mustered a grand army to punish the Vampire for his wrong doings.

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 sustaining power, the Skeletal Warriors and Zombies of Konrads army lay where they fell, blasted apart by a horrific barrage of cannons and mortar artillery.

Konrad remained confident despite the setbacks and launched an all-out assault on the Dwarfs right flank. Leading the assault himself, the Vampire drove directly towards 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 of accepting, Konrad dispatched 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 with a mighty blow and gorged himself on royal blood. Within the next hour, the last of the Dwarfs were all dead. Konrad was so unwavering 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 mighty armies into one titanic force.

This battle became infamously known for the great betrayal enacted by two of the three Imperial leaders. Emperor Lutwik and Emperess Ottila IV vied to assassinate each other during the battle, a disgusting gesture that forced the other Imperial Counts 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 erratically, 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 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 their hero, Grufbad.

Although his elite core of warriors 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 together seeping away. It can seem like friendship. Close enough to kiss.

Look what arrived in the mail. Black Aggie cover reveal. Talk about exciting. My third book to be published is another step closer. Loving the spooky, wild feel of it. The bookmark is so cool. It says I want to touch you more. Shit, he should have offered her his jacket. Too late now. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Books By Evie Jayne. Black Aggie Sentinels Book 1 Mar 22, Get it by Thursday, Oct Scar Tissue Dominion Book 2 Sep 11, Lunacy and the Vampire Dominion Book 1 Sep 6, More Information.

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I was able to figure it out, but I had to go back and re-read it. One can't deny the time and effort and craft Yarbro puts into her characters and settings, bringing history and humanity alive like few others do. The most compelling of his stories, however, was that of Ma- 16 Bathory, Elizabeth dame Chantelouve, w h o m he termed a vampire. In Nick we find a battle of the human condition. Had anyone ever touched her so adoringly, looked at her with such passion? Three Rivers Press, October

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