Von Carstein Dynasty
The Von Carstein dynasty are the vampires who have ruled Sylvania for many years, being one of the greatest threats to the Empire and indeed the world at large. Vampires of this dynasty are known for their arrogance, power, leadership and affinity for the creatures of darkness, maintaining a standing army of Blood Knights and powerful Necrarch members. They were the true Aristocracy of the Night.
Vlad von Carstein
The first and greatest vampire known to use the name was Vlad von Carstein, a vampire of great age and uncertain origin. He came to the Imperial province of Sylvania and married the daughter of the dying baron (and slaying the protesting heir apparent) to become the first vampire count. He spent many years carefully and subtly building up a powerbase before launching an offensive against the Empire. After many years Vlad was eventually slain at Altdorf in 2051.
No clear successor
Vlad's death left the rulership of Sylvania vacant and was immediately disputed between Vlad's surviving brood. The most powerful candidates were Fritz von Carstein, Pieter von Carstein, and Hans von Carstein, Konrad von Carstein and Mannfred von Carstein. A period of infighting led to a lull in the war. Eventually Fritz was killed while attacking Middenheim, Konrad killed Hans in a duel, Pieter was slain in his coffin by Helmut van Hal (a descendant of the infamous Necromancer Vanhel) and Mannfred left Sylvania seeking mystical power and knowledge.
Konrad von Carstein
This left the mad 'Blood Count' Konrad von Carstein in control. He reignited the war and launched a massive campaign, seeking emulate the successes of the great Vlad. Despite his viciousness and incredible combat prowess Konrad was eventually defeated at Grim Moor in 2121.
Mannfred von Carstein
After Konrad's demise Mannfred von Carstein returned and took control of Sylvania. He continued the war, now backed up by great necromantic power. This however was simply not enough as years of fighting the undead had given the Imperial forces some experience in how to deal with them. Mannfred was eventually destroyed at the battle of Hel Fenn.
He was later resurrected and returned to ruling the province, even going so far as to use the blood of a variety of priests and other holy figures to erect a great wall of bone around Sylvania.
During the End Times Nagash is resurrected by Mannfred and Arkhan the Black. He in turn resurrected the scion of the von Carstein line, the great Vlad von Carstein who immediately reclaims his title, his land and his dynasty, with the majority of vampires acknowledging him as the true Count.
- Vlad von Carstein; first of the name.
- Mundvard The Cruel, Necrarch ruler of the Marienburg underworld.
- Nyklaus von Carstein; Ignored the squabbles of his brethren and sought greater power. He found the source of the power he needed in the Galleon's Graveyard. He raised thousands of undead and used them in a ritual that translocated his castle and the rock is sat on into the cursed waters. He took the wreckages of ships and turned his castle into a seafaring vessel, known as the Bloody Reaver. He took upon the new name of Count Noctilus and commanded the Dreadfleet.
- Dietrich von Dohl, the Crimson Lord of Sylvania. Long time rival of Mannfred's. Slain by the resurrected Nagash for opposing him.
- Albretch Noctis, born a Von Drak. He was Isabella's cousin and under Vlad was the first Grand Master of the Drakenhof Templars. Over time he lost his grip on sanity and he stepped down as Grand Master when he started becoming a savage, monstorous Varghulf.
- Fritz von Carstein; slain attacking Middenheim
- Pieter von Carstein; slain by With Hunter Helmut van Hal
- Hans von Carstein ; Slain by Konrad in a duel of honour
- Jerek von Carstein; former Grand Master of the Knights of the White Wolf Knightly Order in Middenheim. Servant of Vlad and Konrad but turned on Mannfred, hiding away the von Carstein ring after Hel Fenn.
- Jon Skellen; former amateur vampire hunter. Became Mannfred's spy in Konrad's court.
- Hermen Posner; Vlad's right hand man early in the Vampire Wars. Attempted to usurp Vlad and was killed by him in a duel
- Tomas von Carstein; Blood Knight member and later the second Grand Master of the Drakenhof Templars. Executed by Mannfred for attempting to usurp him
- Elize von Carstein; the Doyenne of the Red Abbey. Isabella's handmaiden. Later member then last Grand Master of the Drakenhof Templars
- Anark von Carstein; Blood Knight member and later third Grand Master of the Drakenhof Templars. Slain trying to assassinate Arkhan the Black on Mannfred's orders.
- Markos von Carstein; Blood Knight member of the Drakenhof Templars. Slain trying to assassinate Mannfred
- Gustavus von Carstein; Blood Knight member of the Drakenhof Templars
- Grigor von Messinghof; General in the Von Carstein army. Ruler of Verbogenwald and Leader of the vanguard of the Sylvania Arisen. Main instigator of the Assasination attempt on Karl Franz during the Nuln events. Slain by Ulrika Magdova on a barge while attempting to kill the disorientated emperor.
Von Carstein Armies
An unusual mixture of living and dead troops as the peasants serve their legtimate rulers and lords, gladly fighting for them. [1a]
- Lords: Vampire Lord, Vampire Count [1a]
- Heroes: Necromancer, Vampire Thrall, Wight Lord, Wraith. [1a]
- Core: Bat Swarms, Dire Wolves, Fell Bats, Skeletons, Sylvanian Levy: Archers, Crossbowmen, Free Company, Huntsmen. [1a]
- Special: Black Knights, Grave Guard, Spirit Host. [1a]
- Rare: Banshees, Black Coaches, Dogs of War. [1a]
In an earlier version of the game "Von Carstein" referred to any and all vampires that were children of Vlad von Carstein, originator of the bloodline. Unlike other bloodlines from old versions of the game which became more nebulous and less defined in later editions, this still seems to be true. Even if the name von Carstein is not actually used, they are still of the Von Carstein family, although many can follow one of the vampire archetypes as well.
The Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying book 'Night's Dark Masters' suggests that dynasty members must earn the right to use the Von Carstein name.
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