Strigoi

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Strigoi Vampires originated from the lands of Strigos, now known as the badlands. After the destruction of Lahmia, Ushoran, Lord of Masks, sought to rule over the other vampires. However, the other vampires rejected him, so he left, spitefully cursing the others.

Ushoran and his followers went to the land of Strigos, along the western foothills of the World Edge Mountains, where over the centuries, they infiltrated the nobility until Ushoran was the king and his minions became powerful nobles. The Strigoi grew prosperous, and Ushoran ruled peacefully for many centuries. The city became reminiscent of the old blood cult from Lahmia, but Ushoran and his nobles were wary, and fed only on the criminals and slaves, so the people of Strigos never felt threatened by their immortal masters.

When the armies of Strigos were fighting off human neighbours in the north, a massive Orc WAAAGH! came from the World Edge Mountains, and laid siege to the capital, Mourkain. Ushoran rushed his army to its defence. The army of Strigos, already depleted, clashed with the Orcs on the fields of Strigoi. When their forces were defeated, the Strigoi tried to retreat back to the city, but the orc shaman leading the army saw this as an opportunity, and as the Strigoi army was entering the city, the Orcs launched an assault on the gate.

The gate was beset by a Shaman and a Warlord, both on Wyverns, and Ushoran fought desperately to hold the gates. The duel was titanic (he managed to slay the Orc Warlord, ripping the Orc's head from its shoulders with his bare hands) but he was defeated by the Shaman's sorcery (legends say his dying scream still echoes through the now ruined city streets), and the Orcs routed the city, pillaging and burning, and killing or enslaving the population of Strigoi. Those that survived became a wandering nomadic people known as the Strigany, who often have encampments around major cities of the Empire. They are often persecuted by the Witch Hunters for no other reason than their dark past.

A degenerated Strigoi.

However, not all the vampires were killed along with their master, Ushoran. Some escaped, and fled Strigos, heading for Sylvania, where the von Carsteins dwelt. But Vlad von Carstein remembered spiteful Ushoran, and he and his kin turned their wrath on Ushoran's minions, and hunted the Strigoi down like animals. Neferata's kin, the Lahmians, showed them no mercy either.

Thus the Strigoi were forced to live on the edges of society. Pursued by vampires and vampire hunters alike, they became desperate creatures. Soon, they were fleeing from the Blood Dragons and Necrarchs, who regard them as challenging foes and interesting specimens. Afraid to feed on the living, for fear of attracting attention, both from mortals and other vampires, they hide in graveyards, feasting on the blood of those recently dead. Gradually their hate, jealousy and bitterness over what they had lost and their brutal treatment at the hands of their own kind began to destroy their minds and warp their bodies.

Years of hiding and feasting on corpses has left them as less then human creatures. They have become hunched monstrosities, hulking creatures of muscle that have no human resemblance. They are mostly mad, but still immensely powerful, and like all vampires have a strong grasp on necromantic magic, even if it isn’t as refined as their other vampire cousins. They are often surrounded by Ghouls; indeed, people call them ‘Ghoul Kings’.

Strigoi vampires are extremely rare; they are generally found in the border provinces and Tilea. They are strangely attracted to the badlands, perhaps Strigos of old. Sometimes, they raise vast armies in an attempt to recreate Strigos of old. None have succeeded as of yet.

Notes

Strigoi is the name given by Romanians to vampires, where the idea of vampires as we know them was first invented.

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