Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dracula’s Armies

Mircea the Elder, grandfather of Vlad Tepes, accepted the suzerainty of Poland in 1387 and of Hungary in 1395.

Mircea’s reign strengthened the power of the state. New offices were organized, increased economic development moved ahead and trade with the merchants of Poland and Lithuania flourished. With the increase revenue, Mircea was able to flex his military power and fortify the Danube citadels. Renewal of treaties with Hungary and Poland ensured focus on the common threat, the Ottoman expansion.

Mircea’s intervention, supporting the Bulgarians, brought him in conflict with the Ottomans. Sultan Beyazid (the Thunderbolt) crossed the Danube with 40,000. With less than 10,000 troops, Mircea used guerilla warfare to maximum effect. On October 10, 1394, the armies clashed at Rovine, a forested and swamp area which inhibited the Ottomans from fully utilizing their superior numbers.

Despite a glorious victory, Mircea was forced to fall back to Hungary as Vlad Uzurpatorul had seized the throne. While exiled in Hungary, her monarch called for a Crusade against the Ottomans. Contingents from as far away as France, the Holy Roman Empire, Genoa, Venice and Bulgaria assembled and crossed the Danube. The Battle of Nicopolis ended any hope of the Crusade flourishing.

In 1397, with the help of Hungary, Mircea defeated Vlad the Usurper and stopped further Ottoman encroachment across the Danube. Further expeditions by the Ottomans met with no further success. The summer of 1402 began a period of anarchy when Sultan Beyazid met defeat by Tamerlane at Ankara.

Subsequent campaigns further strengthened Mircea’s power and toward the end of his reign, the Ottomans settled a treaty with tribute to halt any further attempts to make Wallachia a province of the Ottoman Empire.

Vlad the Impaler was a medieval Romanian prince famed for his brutal torture techniques and vicious lust for battle. His family name was Draculea, meaning ‘son of the dragon’. In legend, he is said to have turned against God after the death of his wife, becoming the evil undead. This myth lead to the modern interpretation of Count Dracula and other Vampire stories. In reality, Vlad was not a count but a prince. Whilst he was born in Transylvania, Vlad was Crown Prince of Wallachia, a country in the south of present day Romania, bordering Transylvania. He frequently made attacks on Transylvania, which was a contested region, and slaughtered many there for not accepting his authority.

Whilst Dracula is commonly associated with evil he is sometimes seen as being somewhat of a Christian hero. He was a member of the ‘order of the dragon’, an order of Hungarian knights sworn to protect Christian lands from the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Located between Christian Hungary and the huge Ottoman Empire, Wallachia was on the front line in the Ottoman expansion into Europe. Vlad’s barbarous torture techniques have earned him a place in history but they were not altogether unusual in medieval Europe. They may also have been exaggerated by his enemies. Impalement was supposedly his preferred method of execution, but this was common practice at the time. Reports that he burned entire villages to the ground are also unsurprising. In Western Europe, however, tales of Vlad’s attacks across the Balkans led to him being branded a ‘bloodthirsty’ tyrant. In Russia, on the other hand, stories of his brutality were equally rife, but most portrayed him as being a strong ruler and justified in his actions. These Russian accounts tell that he nailed hats to ambassadors’ heads.

The idea that Dracula was immortal may be derived from his own propaganda or that of the Ottomans, who found it difficult to put an end to his insurgency. When he finally was killed in battle, the Ottomans removed his head and placed it on display as proof of his death. It was impaled on a spike in a final twist of irony.

WALLACHIAN 1330 AD - 1504 AD
Rich boyars
Lesser boyars or viteji
Armoured voynuks with pole arms
curteni archers
Other rustici with spears, javelins, axes, halberds, flails, maces and scythes
Only Wallachians:
Moldavian allies
Hungarian allies
Ottoman allies
Wallachians after 1455 AD:
Ditch and earth bank to protect artillery

This covers the Wallachians from their independence from Hungary in 1330 until they became vassals of the Ottomans in 1476 after the death of Dracula (Vlad Tepes, "Vlad the Impaler", 1456 - 1462 and 1476), The boyars were the nobility. Viteji were landowning peasants; many were promoted to the gentry by Dracula for bravery on the battlefield - and given the wealth of boyars he had impaled or otherwise inventively eliminated. The curteni were the standing army of cavalry and infantry. An Italian traveller of the mid-15th century described the Wallachian army as "ranking among the most valiant in the world". Wallachians sought to fight in mountain defiles, woods or marshy ground to restrict enemy cavalry. Some boyars wore partial plate armour and fought with lances, but others were of Lithuanian origin and may have fought in Lithuanian style. The Wallachians preferred a more mobile battle, launching sudden attacks from ambush and under Dracula indulging in night surprises and atrocities that established a complete morale ascendency over the Turks, who at night huddled terrified behind their camp defences. The so-called "Crusaders" were Italians and Bosnians and Croats in Italian armour and were actually paid mercenaries.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Review: Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe

HABSBURG Review 2000/28 8 November 2000

Making Eastern Europe's Complexity Accessible to Non-Specialists

Richard Frucht, editor. _Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism_. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 2000. xvi + 958 pp. Maps, index, $ 145 (library binding). ISBN 0-8153-0092-1

Reviewed for HABSBURG by Hugo Lane <, Polytechnic University New York

An encyclopedia of this type has long been wanting. While specialists may know two or three, and sometimes more languages due to the necessity of their work, they are still likely to find themselves with a question about a person, event, or region that is not likely to be in either an English language encyclopedia, or in an encyclopedia in a language they may know. Nor is it just specialists that have been hindered by this absence. As Richard Frucht explains in the introduction, as a member in a project sponsored by AAASS to encourage greater attention to Eastern Europe in secondary schools, the most widely sited obstacle sited by secondary school educators was the absence of a general reference guide about Eastern Europe. Given this experience, it is not surprising that Garland Publications asked him to what became the volume at hand, or that he felt he could not refuse, and I suspect that many of the Eastern Europeanists on HABSBURG would have reacted the same way.

The results of Frucht's efforts are considerable. With the help of 215 specialists, he has compiled a single volume chocked full of information about East European geography, culture, history, and politics, which will give secondary school teachers a logical and informative base to set up a unit on Eastern Europe. This is particularly true of the articles surveying the history of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia, which are intended to be the centerpieces of the work, and contain brief but solid bibliographies for further reading, as well as quite lengthy lists of entries about other relevant, but more specific topics. Noteworthy among this second type of articles are a number of articles that appear intended to break the national boundaries that make it difficult for non-specialists to gain a grasp for the similarities that exist between different countries, exemplified by articles on "peasant parties," "right-wing radicalism," and other strings of articles like those on the Communist parties, economic development, and women in the seven countries named above. Beyond that there are biographies of major historical and cultural figures, brief accounts of significant events and concepts, and geography to be expected in such a volume, which specialists are most likely to refer to.

That is not to say that specialists will be 100% satisfied with the content of the articles. They will spot items that could or should have been included in entries with just a few more words. For the most part these are minor, however, and do not affect the overall value of the information for non-specialists. After all, how important is it that high school students know there were two peasant parties in the Second Polish Republic prior to 1931, when their teachers may only get a week to talk about all of Eastern Europe. Browsing through the articles this reader has spotted several small factual errors, but desirable as an error-free encyclopedia might be, it is also the rarest of rarities, and the errors spotted by this reviewer are not very harmful. Thus much as it may pain this reader's heart to learn that the university in L`vov (sic) was founded in 1656 and not 1661 as was long claimed at the university, or 1784 the date Joseph II established a university there favored by Ukrainian nationalists, the existence of a moderately old university in that city is likely to be news to many.

What may well frustrate laypeople is the decision to conclude the historical surveys for Poland and Romania in 1989, and Albania in 1990. While this can be justified by the encyclopedia's title to go to the fall of Communism, it leaves the difficulties of post-Communist transition a blank spot only partially filled by more specific entries. Had this been a consistent editorial decision, it would have been easily justified, since 1989 is certainly a turning point. But it is not, and the narratives for Bulgaria and Hungary carry through to the late 1990s. Similarly, for obvious reasons, Czechoslakia's goes until its break-up into independent Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993 and it is supplemented by brief narratives about the two new states, a tack also followed in dealing with the fall of Yugoslavia.

But overall it is not content, but conceptualization and organization that weakens the value of this compendium of knowledge. For the most part this is something scholars are likely to be most sensitive to than lay people, but some seem to be a surprising blindness to some of the basic problems non-specialists are likely to encounter when they try to learn something about Eastern Europe. This is best exemplified by the decision to use proper diacriticals for all East European languages, but without any instruction as to how they should be pronounced. True, this is usually the province of dictionaries, but given American's general unfamiliarity with languages other than English, it would have been particularly useful here, given that now even ten years after he became a well-known figure, one still regularly hears people pronounce the first name of the president of Czechoslovakia, as "vaklav."

Similarly, while the Encyclopedia has a good index, there are none of those useful guideposts in the body of the book to direct readers looking for an article on a particular topic that it is located elsewhere. This is annoying enough when the subject is something with multiple nomenclature, like film, which here is listed as cinema, but it is really a problem when after being referred to the entry for Milan Obrenovic at the end of the article Yugoslavia, one heads to the O's and finds nothing since it is to be found in the M's as are the articles on Milos Obrenovic and his son Mihailo. Also, helpful as the lengthy lists of specific articles at the end of the big historical surveys are meant to be, they are likely to overwhelm readers as help them. Ordered in strict alphabetical order, these cross reference make it difficult to find the entries that might be relevant for a particular time period. Far more manageable and useful for readers would have been for such notification to be made directly in the text as topics come up, or at least at the end of each historical sub-heading.

Indeed, it has occurred to this reader that in the case of Eastern Europe, a purely alphabetical order may not be the most friendly to lay users. Since the encyclopedia is structured around the lengthy articles about each of the seven "major" nations, it might have been good to order the book along national lines, with all articles concerning a particular country following the main article with an eighth section for topics that are relevant to the whole region or several countries. This would avoid the major page turning one has to do if one wants to read about two related topics that are not close together in alphabetical order like for example the "Polish November Uprising" and "Prince Adam Czartoryski." Be that as it may, the encyclopedia is organized strictly on alphabetical terms, and non-specialists will for the most part find what they are looking for and be satisfied.

East European specialists perusing this encyclopedia can likewise live with those problems, but will be more troubled by a degree of randomness in what was deemed important and what was not. In particular, there is a striking inconsistency in the way Eastern Europe is conceptualized. In tbe introduction Frucht briefly informs readers that the value of the term "Eastern Europe" is debated among scholars, and then explains that for the purposes of this book, it will refer to those countries, excluding the Soviet Union, that were part of what was known as the East Bloc until 1989. In as much as this is what non-specialists in the United States understand as Eastern Europe, this is acceptable, although specialists and others with familiarity with Yugoslavia and Albania will bristle at the failure to mention its peculiar position vis-a-vis the Soviet-Bloc. Still, some acknowledgement of the problem of defining Eastern Europe would have been useful, including the differences between political and cultural borders and the difficulties that has posed, as well as some mention of Russia and the Soviet Union's relationship with these other countries.

But this is not just a matter of something not said, because Frucht deviates from this narrow, but defensible principle when it suits him. Thus, there is an article on the establishment of the independent state of Moldova--indeed Moldova is included on the map of Eastern Europe 1945-1989 as an apparently independent entity. No similar treatment is given to the Baltic republics, which unlike Bessarabia were fully independent entities between 1918 and 1940.

Similar editorial decisions have left this encyclopedia without any articles about either Byelorussians or Ukrainians. The omission of the Byelorussians can be justified since the only time they were not under direct Russian influence between 1815 and 1991 was during the interwar period when a substantial portion lived in the second Polish Republic. This excuse does not work in respect to the Ukrainians. While the majority of Ukrainians, as subjects of the Russian Empire and later citizens of the Soviet Union, may never have had a direct connection to the cultural currents of Eastern Europe, the minority living in Galicia did and played a disproportional role in the shaping of Ukrainian culture.

By the same token, the antagonism between Poles and Ruthenian/Ukrainians was sufficiently important both under Austrian rule and later in interwar Poland to warrant a presentation from their prospective. Such neglect runs close to appearing to be an intentional snub when there is a two-page article on Russia, a further article of more than two pages on the historically much less significant, Carpatho-rusyns. This is topped off by the decision to use the Russian variant for as the heading for the article on the former Galician capital now in Western Ukraine rather than the Ukrainian one Lviv.

Equally problematic for specialists, and particularly historians, is the decision to place the vast majority of historical information in the seven major articles. While this presumably was seen as the best way to deal with what scholars all know are complex and intertwined histories, it tends to reinforce national historical narratives that are no longer as universally accepted as they once were. But the most troublesome aspect of this weighting of the seven main historical essays is how it has led to inconsistency regarding regional entities of historical importance. Thus, while entries for the Banat, Moldavia, Wallachia, and the United Provinces add significant depth to the article covering Romanian history, the articles on Bukovina and Galicia provide no explanation of their places within the Austrian Empire or anything about nationalities issues besides brief surveys of census statistics. Even less satisfying are the articles for Bohemia and Moravia, which focus only on contemporary geographic and demographic information, with no discussion of them as long-standing historical units that had real meaning for the first century covered in this encyclopedia.

The decisions about what political and cultural figures should be included in such a work are likely always to be subjective. Given the intended audience the inclusion of entries for significant people of East European origin that emigrated to the U. S was wise. But other factors that might make an entry warranted do not seem to have been established beforehand. Thus, Polish literature's first Nobel laureate, Wladyslaw Remont has no entry, although it is precisely lists like those of Nobel prize winners that are likely to prompt non-specialists to seek out information about figures who are not otherwise widely known. Also missing is an entry for Bohumil Hrabal, who was long the symbol of the persistence of Czech culture despite Communist rule, and many of whose works have been translated into English.

Over a century ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. This is not a relevant dictum for the compilation of an encyclopedia, but it is also true that given the complexity of Eastern Europe, however defined, such an encyclopedia was likely to be quirky and appear inconsistent. What ever faults this book may have, it is the kind of single volume reference guide that was needed, containing a great deal of basic information about Eastern Europe, that hitherto has not been easily accessible in public and secondary school libraries. In so doing, Frucht, his editorial advisors, and contributors have blazed a trail suitable for broadening and straightening out at some future time, and as such we owe them thanks.

Copyright (c) 2000 by H-Net, all rights reserved. This work may be copied for non-profit educational use if proper credit is given to the reviewer and to HABSBURG. For other permission, please contact <

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (also known as Underworld 3) is a 2009 American film directed by Patrick Tatopoulos. It is the third installment (chronologically the first) in the Underworld series, focusing primarily on the origins of some characters and the events leading to the Vampire-Lycan war, depicted in the previous films Underworld and Underworld: Evolution.

The film tells the story of Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first werewolf able to take human form and to be called a Lycan. Viktor (Bill Nighy), a ruthless elder vampire, raises the child. Viktor kills Lucian's werewolf mother but envisions a race of werewolf slaves for his clan that could keep guard during the day and toil for the vampires. As Lucian grows up, he and Viktor's young daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) develop an attraction that blossoms into love in their adult years, though they keep their relationship hidden.

Viktor has a relationship with the humans of the area; he protects them from the werewolves that roam the countryside in exchange for a tithe. As human nobles meet with the vampire council for protection from the werewolves, Sonja guards them. Lucian hears the werewolves near Sonja and orders Death Dealers sent to help her. When his orders are denied, he steals a horse and sword from a nearby Death Dealer. Werewolves proceed to kill the nobles, causing Lucian to battle them. When Lucian changes into a Lycan in order to protect Sonja, the werewolves back down. Viktor, despite acknowledging that Lucian saved his daughter, feels betrayed by his favorite pet and locks Lucian away after having him brutally whipped.

With the help of the scheming vampire Andreas Tanis, Sonja orchestrates Lucian's release in exchange for her seat on the vampire council. Lucian escapes, kills several of the vampires and begins liberating the other Lycans. The guards begin slaughtering the escapees. Sonja remains behind, but when Viktor discovers that she has had a forbidden relationship with Lucian, he imprisons her. Lucian and some of the freed Lycans roam the countryside recruiting many of the labourers of the human nobles to their fight for freedom. He also travels to a cavernous location that is teeming with werewolves, attempting to contact them. The vampire nobles are outraged by the escape and growing chaos, demanding that Viktor recapture Lucian. Viktor however, knows that Lucian will come to him.

Lucian learns about Sonja's imprisonment from one of her attendants and sets out to rescue her. Lucian orders his followers to wait, but be prepared to attack if he does not return. Lucian rescues Sonja from the fortress but they are attacked by the Death Dealers. Sonja confronts Viktor and tries to get him to call off his guards by revealing that she is pregnant with Lucian's child. Disgusted, Viktor overpowers her and imprisons both her and Lucian. Sonja is sentenced to death at a trial presided over by her father and the council. Lucian is forced to witness Sonja's death, in which she is burned to death by sunlight.

Lucian awakens when Viktor comes in to view his deceased daughter. As Viktor removes the pendant necklace he gave Sonja, an enraged Lucian transforms and overpowers Viktor. Lucian takes Sonja's pendant, escaping out a window. The escape is stopped at the castle walls by Death Dealers who shoot Lucian with crossbows. With a thunderous howl, Lucian summons the freed Lycans and werewolves, who attack the coven. Viktor sends Tanis to remove the slumbering Amelia and Markus from their crypts before joining the battle with his personal guard. The council, meanwhile are overwhelmed and butchered by the rampaging werewolves.

Lucian sees Viktor entering the fray and fights his way to him. Viktor and Lucian battle their way to the catacombs. The fight continues until Lucian overcomes Viktor. Viktor's 'final' words attest to his regret at not having killed Lucian the moment he was born, to which Lucian sarcastically agrees before forcing his sword through Viktor's mouth and head and letting the body fall into the water below. Lucian emerges to the courtyard which is ringed with the surviving Lycans, werewolves and freed slaves. He declares this victory as only the beginning of what will become a war between the races. Tanis is leading a very alive Viktor into a hibernation chamber on a boat.

The film ends with the opening scene of the first Underworld, with the audio from the scene where Kraven tells Selene that it was Viktor who murdered her family, rather than the Lycans, and that Viktor spared her because she reminded him of the daughter he condemned to death; Selene replies to Kraven, "Lies."

Michael Sheen as Lucian: Enslaved as a baby, Lucian has only been able to imagine the full extent of his Lycan powers. In the evolution from werewolf to Lycan, Lucian feels the responsibility of the Lycan race resting on his shoulders. At the same time, his love for the vampire, Sonja, complicates his desire for freedom from the Vampires.

Bill Nighy as Viktor: One of three ruling Vampire Elders, Viktor is a haughty, ostentatious Vampire overlord more than 1,000 years old. Like most Vampires, he has a severe hatred for werewolves but also a fascination with their unique strengths. Through slavery, he has created a small but mighty force of Lycan slaves. Despite his best efforts to govern the Coven, the Council members have begun to question his leadership.

Rhona Mitra as Sonja: Sonja is the daughter of the powerful Vampire Elder, Viktor. Beautiful and brave, her nightly patrols defend the Coven from the hordes of ferocious werewolves. Despite her father's hatred for the Lycan race, she has fallen in love with the Lycan slave, Lucian. She battles between the desire to fulfil the responsibilities that come with her lineage and her willful nature. Because of her love for Lucian, she is sympathetic to the enslaved Lycans' plight.

Steven Mackintosh as Andreas Tanis: Deceptive and conniving, Andreas Tanis serves the Elders as advisor and historian of the Coven. His desire for power, wealth and status lead him to do nearly anything to stand in Viktor's good favor. Often tasked with managing the strong-willed Sonja, he discovers the secrets held in the dark corridors beneath the castle, intending to use them to his advantage.

Kevin Grevioux as Raze: Lucian discovers Raze's amazing bravery and strength as he rescues him from near-certain death. The two become friends and after Raze is turned into a Lycan, he joins Lucian's struggle for freedom.

Craig Parker as Sabas

Jared Turner as Xristo

David Aston as Coloman: a Vampire Councillor often questioning and criticizing Viktor's actions.

Elizabeth Hawthorne as Orsova: a Vampire Councillor who also asks and points out the flaws with Viktor's actions.

Kate Beckinsale as Selene: Beckinsale did not film new footage, a scene from Underworld was used to bookend the film. Beckinsale also provided a monologue for the beginning of the film.

Shane Brolly as Kraven: Like Beckinsale, Brolly did not film any new footage but lines of his dialogue from the first film are used for the film's ending.

Tania Nolan as Luka: Sonja's lady in waiting who gave the news to Lucian that Sonja had been captured.

The Female Vampire in Recent Fiction

Picture kindly provided by MariaLombide Ezpeleta.

As in the movies, Dracula and his male vampire kin dominated twentieth-century vampire fiction writing. However, some females vampires gained a foothold in the realm of the undead. Many of these have been the imaginary product of a new crop of female writers, though some of the most popular female vampire authors—Elaine Bergstrom, P. N. Elrod, and Anne Rice—have chosen male vampires for their protagonists.

The century began with an assortment of short stories featuring female vampires, including F. G. Loring’s “The Tomb of Sarah”, Hume Nisbet’s “The Vampire Maid”, and E. F. Benson’s classic tale, “Mrs. Amworth.” Female vampires regularly appeared in short stories through the 1950s but were largely absent from the few vampire novels. Among the first novels to feature a female vampire was Peter Saxon’s 1966 The Vampires of Finistere. Three years later Bernhardt J. Hurwood (under the pseudonym of Mallory T. Knight) wrote Dracutwig, the lighthearted adventures of the daughter of Dracula coming of age in the modern world.

In 1969, possibly the most important modern female vampire character appeared, not in a novel, but in comic books. Vampirella, an impish, voluptuous vampire from the planet Drakulon, originated in a comic magazine from Warren Publishing Company at a time when vampires had disappeared from more mainstream comic books. Vampirella was an immediate success and ran for 112 issues before it was discontinued in 1983. The stories were novelized in six books by Ron Goulart in the mid-1970s. Most recently, the character has been revived by Harris Comics and is enjoying new popularity.

Female vampires have continued to emerge as the subject of novels. From the 1970s one thinks of The Vampire Tapes by Arabella Randolphe (1977) and The Virgin and the Vampire by Robert J. Myers (1977). These were followed by the reluctant vampirism of Sabella by Tanith Lee (1980) and the celebrative vampirism of Whitley Strieber’s The Hunger (1981). Through 1981 and 1982, J. N. Williamson wrote a series of novels about a small town in Indiana that was home of the youthful-appearing but very old vampire Lamia Zacharias. The books describe her various plots to take over the world. In spite of some real accomplishments in spreading her vampiric condition, she never reached her loftier goals. Other significant appearances by female vampires occurred in Live Girls(1987) by Ray Garton, Black Ambrosia (1988) by Elizabeth Engstrom, and the first of Nancy A. Collins’s novels, Sunglasses after Dark (1989), which won the Bram Stoker Award for a first novel from the Horror Writers of America.

The 1980s ended with the appearance of the “Olivia” novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Olivia had first appeared in Blood Games, one of the more famous Saint-Germain vampire novels. However, beginning in 1987 Yarbro produced four lengthy explorations of Saint-Germain’s former love living on her own. These novels included A Flame in Byzantium (1987), Crusader’s Torch (1988), A Cradle for D’Artagnan (1989), and Out of the House of Life (1990).

Also memorable during the 1980s was Vamps (1987), an anthology of short stories of female vampires compiled by Martin H. Greenburg and Charles G. Waugh. It included some often-ignored nineteenth-century tales, such as Théophile Gautier’s “Clarimonde,” and Julian Hawthorne’s “Ken Mystery,” as well as more recent stories by Stephen King and Tanith Lee.

Novels featuring female vampires continued into the early 1990s. Traci Briery, for example, wrote two substantial novels, The Vampire Memoirs (1991) and The Vampire Journals (1992), chronicling the lives of two female vampire heroines, Mara McCuniff and Theresa Allogiamento. Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s The Last Vampire looked into the future to explore the problems of a reluctant vampire after a wave of natural disasters had wiped out most of the human race. And not to be forgotten is The Gilda Stories, a lesbian vampire novel by Jewelle Gomez, an African-American author.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker’s fictional Dracula, the vampiric count from Transylvania, was hardly the first vampire story ever written, but it is beyond a doubt the grandfather of modern vampire literature in English- speaking countries, as well as a source for innumerable vampire stories that followed in its wave of success. Although Stoker researched the myths of the vampire, as an author he justifiably used artistic license to create his own vampire, one that would be more suitable and terrifying to his audience.

In regards to species, Dracula was not any one particular type of vampire, but a conglomeration of several different types, many of which were not even native to the part of the world that the vampire comes from.

In the novel, for the few pages that he actually appears in it, Dracula is described as a tall, pale man, sporting a thick, white Victorian moustache. He has a very full and substantial head of HAIR, bushy eyebrows, and even HAIR on the palm of his hands. His teeth are caninelike, his fingernails overly long, and his beautiful blue eyes turn red whenever he grows angry. Dressed in black, he is initially old when first encountered in the book; however, as the story progresses, he becomes increasingly younger looking.

The count has an array of vampiric abilities, such as weather control; shape- shifting into a bat, dog, and wolf; and “control over the meaner things,” such as bats, foxes, owls, rats, and wolves. He can also procreate his species in that he can create other vampires, such as his vampiric brides. Although it is not truly an “ability,” it is a misconception that Count Dracula would shrivel up and die if exposed to sunlight. This is not true; daylight has no such ill effect on the Count.

Like one might expect, holy items have an adverse effect on Dracula as they do with many species of mythical vampires, items such as rosary beads with a CRUCIFIX, and the EUCHARISTIC WAFER. Many types of vampires must return to their graves or some dark place in which to spend their daylight hours. This is not the case for Dracula, who is unaffected in that respect by sunlight, but yet, he is still linked to his grave. The Count must lie in rest in his native soil, and so travels with COFFINS lined with Transylvanian soil. Dracula also requires an invitation to enter someone’s home, somewhat reminiscent of the GREEK VAMPIRE BARABARLAKOS, if not quite as literal. Of all the vampires that the various histories and mythologies have offered us, only one lore speaks of any type of vampire that casts no reflection in a mirror—the ZEMU from the Moldavia region of Romania. This distinct and unique disability is so obscure, compounded with the fact that the ZEMU is such a little- known species of vampire, it causes one to wonder if it is at all possible that Stoker heard of this tale or if it was a creation by the author himself.

It is a popular misconception that at the novel’s end Count Dracula was staked through the heart with a nicely shaped sliver of wood. The truth is that Dracula was simultaneously beheaded by Jonathan Harker and stabbed in the heart with a bowie knife by Quincey P. Morris.

Source: Eighteen-Bisang, Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula; Leatherdale, Dracula: The Novel and the Legend; Senf, Science and Social Science; Stoker, Dracula

Count Dracula

A pinnacle of Gothic characterization, Count Dracula, Bram STOKER’s parasitic Boyar vampire, and his loathsome appetites have generated extreme terror among readers and movie fans. A prototypical loner, he is an exotic patrician in the medieval lineage of Attila the Hun and is endowed with magical powers of SHAPE-SHIFTING. Suitably, the count resides among subservient plebeian Transylvanians in Castle Dracula in the Carpathian Mountains. With its hairy palms, pointed ears, gleaming red eyes, bushy brows, pale skin, and knife-blade nose, his physique is a perversion of manhood. Because his appearance, like that of all vampires, is not reflected, he hangs no mirrors in Castle Dracula. When he opens his cruel mouth, beneath a long white mustache are sharp protruding teeth and breath fetid with a charnel stench. In explanation of his repellent mouth, Stoker has him utter scripture from the Christian communion ritual, which identifies the vampire’s sustenance as a demonic reverse of bread and wine that the faithful partake of as symbols of Christ’s body and blood.

In an extended parody of Christ, the count displays his anathema through a mastery of easily cowed peasants and by a veiled warning of OTHERNESS to Jonathan HARKER, the OUTSIDER: “Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things,” a warning that he enlarges with a prediction of bad dreams for any who wander his castle (Stoker, 22). He explains away his strangeness as an aspect of an old and prestigious family: “We transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie amongst the common dead” (ibid., 24). He piles on additional peculiarities: a lack of mirth, an avoidance of sunshine and sparkling water, and a love of shadow and solitude, qualities that he shares with the dour BYRONIC HERO. Boasting ends on a biblical note. Like the apostle Peter denying Christ for the third time, Dracula hears the cock crow and recedes from advancing sunrise to rest up for the next night’s prowl for blood.

Dracula gives evidence of sexual predations and DIABOLISM, particularly an aversion to communion wafers and crucifixes, both embodiments of Christian sanctity that derail the vampire’s satisfaction of primitive hungers. As proof of shape-shifting, Stoker pictures the count arriving at Whitby in the form of a dog that plunders the graves of drowned sailors and suicides. In London, he visits Lucy Westenra’s quarters in the form of a large black bat or bird, which the madman R. M. Renfield views through the window of his cell in an asylum. After Dracula’s nightly bloodsucking from Lucy’s throat, an unspeakable sex act producing a morbid version of orgasm, the attending physician Dr. Seward looks out and catches sight of the dark creature. Escaping dawn, Dracula resembles a silent ghost flapping determinedly toward the west, the source of night and everlasting death.

A sexual triad forms with the vampire at one apex opposite the normal male characters and their women at the other two points. Like a boastful seducer, the demon brags to his pursuers that he offers a satanic form of eros, a bestial lust for blood that paradoxically invigorates and dooms the women he has lured away from their impotent male protectors. Concerning the gender split in Stoker’s novel, Bela Lugosi, the actor who turned the sensational vampire into a cinema idol, re marked on his fan mail, 91 percent of which came from females who admire terror for its own sake. He concluded: “For generations [women] have been the subject sex. This seems to have bred a masochistic interest—an enjoyment of, or at least a keen interest in, suffering experienced vicariously on the screen” (Wolf, vii). A subsequent matinee Dracula, Christopher Lee, concurred with Lugosi that men admire the hero-villain for his power; women swoon at the female victim’s complete surrender to a male tormentor.

Imbued with the sin of hubris, the downfall of doomed protagonists from ancient Greek literature, in chapter 3, the count boasts of ancestry dating far earlier than the Prussian Hapsburgs and the Russian Romanovs, whom he dismisses as newly sprung like mushrooms. As an antichrist seeking to overthrow both decent womanhood and religiosity, he plots to create a race of vampires in England by purchasing Carfax, an estate at Purfleet named after the French Quatre Face, a suggestion of his range to the four points of the compass. Unlike his stay-at-home vampire predecessors, who preyed on their families, Stoker’s fiend is an itinerant who replenishes his supply of home soil by carrying earth from his grave like luggage. As the invader’s menace grows, in chapter 8, his insane apostle Renfield, like a Christ-crazed religious fanatic longing for the apocalypse, looks forward to the approach of the “Master” (Stoker, 106).

Symbolically, Stoker kills off his lurid count with a reduction of evil to dust, a reference to the Book of Common Prayer, which commits the dead to earth—the Hebrew adamah—to return to the common element—Adam—from which they sprang. As the cavalier stalkers—Harker, the appropriately named Arthur Holmwood, and Lucy’s former suitor Quincey P. Morris—corner Dracula’s 50th box of Transylvanian soil in the hands of gypsy sentries, they ward off female vampires and guards. With touches of the American West, two of the posse brandish Winchester rifles. At the coup de grâce, the Texan Morris wields a bowie knife to the throat, applying the savage invention of frontier warrior Jim Bowie, who died at the Alamo. The act is not without sacrifice. Stoker, employing the Arthurian death of the chivalric hero, salutes the English in the war against VAMPIRISM as Morris dies with a smile on his face. The onlookers, like knights of the Round Table, kneel to offer a benediction to the martyred gallant, a self-sacrificing gentleman who saves the orphan Mina Murray from the vampire’s curse.

Bibliography Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Barber, Paul. Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988. Hustis, Harriet. “Black and White and Read All Over: Performative Textuality in Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula,’” Studies in the Novel 33, no. 1 (spring 2001): 18. Ronay, Gabriel. The Dracula Myth. London: W. H. Allen, 1972. Senf, Carol A. “Bram Stoker: History, Psychoanalysis and the Gothic,” Victorian Studies 42, no. 4 (summer 2000): 675. ———. “Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror,” Journal of Narrative Technique 9 (1979): 170. Stoker, Bram. The Annotated Dracula. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1975. ———. Dracula. New York: Bantam Books, 1981. Twitchell, James B. The Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1981. Wolf, Leonard. Introduction to The Annotated Dracula. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1975.

Website: Dracula Treasures.


Like all noble houses, the House of Dracula marks its possessions with a crest. To make sure you will not end up with an worthless imitation, the Treasures are endorsed as conforming to the collections of Castle Dracula by the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, by the House Dracula and by the Count Dracula Treasures Ltd.,- each with their own seals.

Age of Vampires Age of Empires II: The Conquerors mod | Released Dec 2, 2010***

This mod pack uses Agamemnon's Skeleton mod, dark_blade's bats mod and ROR_Sir_Williams Dragon mod. Detailed credits are provided.

What if vampires had empires? This is the idea that started it all. Since then I have been mixing modern Horror Cliché with traditional Slavic mythology and hints towards the dark chapters of Romanian history. The result is something like an Eastern European Age of Mythology. With some little hints of black humour...

Warning: (This I should have done earlier) the depiction of violence in Age of Vampires borders on cynical and exceeds that in the original game. If you feel offended by the depiction of humiliated human beings, even only in a game, do not download. I do not favor any kind of violence in real life, the brutality depicted here is however an accurate match of the traditional vampire-mythology.

Age of Vampires - Bloodreign in Transsylvania

Nov 29, 2011 Full Version 5 comments Transforms the Age of Empires Conquerors Expansion into a Vampire Expansion. The Maya, Aztecs, Koreans, Huns and Spanish become the Dracul Clan, Vrkolak...

Vampire Counts (Warhammer)

Vampire Counts are one of the two factions of the Undead playable in the tabletop wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the other being the Tomb Kings, from the sixth edition onward when Games Workshop divided the old Undead forces. The Vampire Counts have access to strong heroes and much of the troops from the former Undead, making it more of a successor to the preceding unified army.

They are heavily influenced by stories of vampires from popular culture. The Vampire Counts generally hail from the area of Sylvania, though their presence is felt across the Old World and beyond.

Some two and a half thousand years before the birth of Sigmar, the ancient civilization of Nehekhara dwelt along the banks of the great river Vitae. (Nehekhara is mostly based on Ancient Egypt). Of all the kings of Nehekhara, none could match the splendour, cruelty and arrogance of Settra, first Priest King of Khemri. Under his inspired leadership and unparalleled ruthlessness, the many kings of Nehekhara were conquered and forced to pay tribute and acknowledge Khemri as the greatest city of the land. But Settra was unsatisfied, knowing that one day death would rob him of all he had accomplished. In his arrogance he vowed that the grave would not claim him and proclaimed that he would cheat death, setting his wisest and most powerful priests towards working on a means of preventing his passing. Soon all of Nehekhara became preoccupied with death and the afterlife, building many huge temples and monuments to the dead. These huge tombs became so frequent and huge that the rulers blocked them all into the giant cities of the dead called Necropoli.

It was into this culture that Nagash was born, brother of the Priest king of Khemri. Nagash was the first son and was given to the mortuary cult as tradition demanded. He soon rose to the position of high priest. He observed the morticians as they prepared the dead for internment. He learned all of their ancient spells but because nehekarra was so fa south the winds of magic were too weak to cast them. But then, when a group of dark elves were blown off-course and captured by the Zandri navy then given to Khemri as a gift to be sealed in with Nagash's father in his tomb, Nagash only pretended to poison them he then proceeded to learn in secret all they knew. Nagash kept them sealed in his fathers pyramid as a bargain: he would learn their sorcery and they would get out alive.They taught him how to reap souls and use their energy to cast spells on his own he created the elixir that made him immortal as long as he continued to drink it. Nagash took to unspeakable experiments in his quest for immortality and soon all the citizens of Khemri shunned him. Nagash's experiments met with limited success, he prolonged his life so that he didn't die even though he still aged, but there was something missing, something that evaded Nagash He shared his elixir with depraved noble men, building support for himself before he finally killed his brother and seized power in Khemri. He and his immortal supporters soon became overconfident and killed many citizens of Khemri before constructing the Black Pyramid, the largest structure ever built by man. Slowly the other priest kings became afraid of Nagash and formed a confederation against him. After a bloody war that accumulated in the battle at the walls of Mahrak in which Nagash severed the connection to the gods by killing Neferem the representation of the covenant between mortals and the gods so he could shatter the wards protecting Mahrak and nearly a century of warfare Nagash's power was broken and he fled north to avoid destruction. Unknown to the priest kings however, Nagash rebuilt his power and constructed a vast citadel that became known as Nagashizzar in the mountain known as Cripple Peak, seeking to take advantage of the huge reserves of warpstone there. The Skaven, also desiring the warpstone, tried many times to sack Nagashizzar and take Cripple Peak for their own, but they couldn't take the fortress, but neither could Nagash drive them away. Finally, after many years of fighting ground to a stalemate, Nagash formed an alliance with the Skaven, supplying them with warpstone in exchange for aid with his plans.

The rulers of the city of Lahmia, Queen Neferata and her brother Lamashizaar had been part of the confederation against Nagash. After Nagash was defeated outside the walls of Mahrak known as the City of the Gods. Lamashizaar allied with Arkhan the black in secret. They traveled to the black pyramid of Nagash, Lamashizaar entered the Black Pyramid of Nagash with Arkhan the Black in secret with his troops and plundered his library taking the nine books of Nagash lamashizaar enslaved Arkhan after he attempted to kill him. HE brought the books and Arkhan back to Lahmia where he sought to create Nagash's elixir and become immortal. Unwilling to kill humans to fuel the elixir because of a fear of being found out. He and his cabal of followers instead used animals. They extended their lives but did not make themselves immortal. Neferata frustrated with the lack of progress and desiring power for herself allied with Arkhan in secret and with his help created a new elixir then used it to turn the cabal to her side and took power. Lamashizaar eventually attempted to kill her using sphinx venom with its magical properties could overwhelm the elixirs power. Arkhan however using sorcery and blood was able to save her, Arkhan then sought and killed Lamashizaar in his bedchamber, after which Arkhan was found and cut down by Abhorash, Lahmia's most formidable warrior. Neferata through a combination of the sphinx venom and elixir turned into the first vampire she then proceeded to turn the rest of the cabal consisting of Lord Ushoran, W'soran, Naaima, Lord Ankhat, Zurhas, Abhorash and several others into vampires using the same method (though Abhorash had to be tricked into drinking the elixir). Each of the twelve masters (Nefereta included) bore particular traits, and they could expand their lineage by creating vampire servants, but through each successive generation, the powers of the vampire weakened. Abhorash became the first Blood Dragon Vampire, W'soran the first Necrach Vampire, Neferatta become the first Lahmian Vampire.

The vampire cabal engineered their own deaths and then used the cult of Asaph as a cover for their operations. Neferata ruled as queen behind the scenes using her mortal descendents to issue her edicts. The vampires defended their homeland but were ultimately pushed back to Lahmia itself. Alcadizaar's armies then broke through the gates of Lahmia and set about the city. The library of Lahmia, the centre of the vampires' lore and knowledge, was defended stoically by some vampires, who were slain and died in the flames. Accepting Lahmia as lost, the vampires fled north. Of the twelve Masters, only seven survived the sacking of Lahmia.

Heading north, the remaining vampire masters encountered Nagash, who was secretly pleased with the havoc they had wreaked. Making them his captains, they lead the Undead into Nehekhara. The might of Nagash combined with the power of the vampires was awesome to behold, but they faced one of the greatest leaders of all time, Alcadizaar the Great. Through a brilliant campaign, he smashed the Undead armies, and sent the vampires fleeing from Nehekhara. Nagash, furious at being defeated, cursed the Vampires to be burnt by the rays of the sun. The Vampire Masters separated and fled into hiding.

Nagash then unleashed a plague upon Nehekhara: many hundreds of thousands died and were raised to swell the ranks of undead under Nagash's control. Nagash used this new army to invade Nehekhara: easily overwhelming the meagre defences, he captured Alcadizaar and took him back to Nagashizzar in chains. After consuming massive amounts of warpstone, Nagash began the Ritual of the Waking to transform the whole world into an undead realm. Fearing destruction, the Skaven of Cripple Peak betrayed Nagash, freed Alcadizaar, who then (apparently) killed Nagash with the Skaven's Fellblade. In actuality his spirit survived, though it took him nearly a thousand years to regenerate his body. When he was reborn in his Black Pyramid, he tried to seize control of Nehkhara once more, but the other Tomb Kings, outraged by what he had done and united under the leadership of the resurrected Settra, drove him out. Defeated, Nagash returned to Nagashizzar, only to find the Skaven had occupied it. Nevertheless, in a single night, Nagash destroyed the Skaven Clan that ruled his fortress, Clan Rikek, and seized Nagashizzar. The Skaven decided they didn't want another war with the necromancer and left him his prize. Nagash remains in his fortress, biding his time and gathering his strength.

In previous editions of the game, only five of the vampire bloodlines were treated: Lahmians, Von Carsteins, Blood Dragons, Strigoi, and Necrarchs. With the re-release of the Vampire Counts army book in March 2008, Games Workshop has diverted focus onto the Von Carsteins. However the ability to diversify vampires with the new 'vampiric abilities' section has kept the option of fielding bloodlines other than Von Carsteins in the Vampire Counts army list, at least from a narrative point of view. For example, a Blood Dragon could technically be fielded by taking a vampire with the 'avatar of death' upgrade.

The armies of the Vampire Counts feature some similar units to the Tomb Kings, another undead army, but the two operate very differently. Vampire Count armies are primarily hordes of low-quality infantry, made up of classic undead creatures like skeletons, zombies, ghosts and ghouls, alongside elite units of Black Knights, Grave Guard, and various other creatures typically depicted as being in league with vampires, such as wolves or bats. These hordes are led by powerful Vampires, Necromancers, Wights (a form of undead warrior), or other undead. When comparing the armies it is easiest to use the appearance of the army and a general rule of thumb: if the army is 95% bone (skeletons, bone giants, bone scorpions, etc.) with an 'Egyptian' theme, it is Khemri. If there are anywhere from 20-40% fleshed units (vampires, ghouls, zombies, zombie dragons, etc.), it is Vampire Counts. The only 'war machine' for the Vampire Counts is the "Black Coach", driven by a wraith bearing a scythe and drawn by two skeletal steeds.

A big difference has come since the Undead were separated into the Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts. Vampire Counts have access to strong heroes and much of the troops from the old Undead, making it more of a successor to the formerly united army. They also are able to raise undead in the game. Tomb Kings have the larger number of troops, tougher/bigger troops and never miscast spells. In short, Vampire Counts rely more on combat and attrition tactics more than Tomb Kings, whereas the latter rely more on the spells of the liche priests and strong blocks of elite undead (Tomb Kings can field entire armies of heavy skeletal horseman and light chariots without a single foot-soldier in sight).

The resurrected dead are bound to the service of Vampires by foul Necromantic magic. The bulk of their armies consists of skeletons and zombies, with small units of Ghouls - living cannibals, driven insane by the flesh of humans. Bats are naturally drawn towards the power of Vampires. Elite units of Grave Guard, heavily armoured skeleton champions, march to war alongside the immortal vampires, and the dread Black Coaches thunder into battle, able to move even if the skeleton horses pulling it have been shot down. Necromancers are living wizards who have turned to darkness, and provide magical support. Vampires are almost indomitable in combat. Vampires also possess magical abilities which they use to destroy foes, and cover the sunny skies with clouds while marching to war. Cairn Wraiths are wizards who failed to become immortal, only their soul is left, wrapped in a cloak of darkness - these Rare choice units can be led by a howling banshee.

In the army's newest edition (8th) a few new units were introduced. Corpse Carts are an un-living mess of zombies on wheels, and can serve as a mount for a Necromancer. Varghulfs are Vampires who allowed their bestial instincts to overwhelm them, and have mutated and devolved into huge bat-like monsters possessed of enormous fighting power and boundless ferocity. Blood Knights are another Vampire unit, an elite brotherhood of vampire knights hailing from the fortress of Blood Keep in the Grey Mountains. In 2011 Tomb Banshees and Cairn Wraiths received a visual remake, having this time only one type of each model instead of having three different variants with different poses.

There are five distinct families of vampires, each descending from one of the "first vampires" or original ones created Neferata, these families are called "Bloodlines", each with different characteristics that affect the way the armies of each operate, although it must be noted that the more powerful members of any vampire bloodline can cast spells, and that all vampires are formidable in combat. Games Workshop has removed the bloodlines from the new edition of the Vampire Counts Armies book; replacing them with selectable skills associated with the original bloodlines (yet mixable as though having aspects of many bloodlines). The known vampire bloodlines are as follows:

Von Carstein
These vampires are somewhat stereotypical vampires, modeled very much in the manner of Dracula. They are seen as having close bonds with animals such as wolves and bats. In game terms, these vampires have no particular modifications and several of their bloodline powers emphasize their ties with animals. They are hereditary rulers of Sylvania.

The von Carsteins have been prevalent throughout the recent history of the vampire counts, and are the only bloodline to openly go to war with the Empire. The blood line was created by Vlad when he married Isabella on the night that Count Otto, her father and the then count of Sylvania, died. The history of Vlad before that night is unclear. Vlad has come close to destroying the Empire, only being defeated in a duel with the Grand Theogonist, on the walls of Altdorf. After Vlad was killed there were five remaining claimants for the throne of Sylvania: Fritz was killed while attempting to besiege Middenheim, Hans was killed in a quarrel instigated by Konrad, Pieter was slain by witch hunter Helmut van Hal (rumor at the time suggested Mannfred led him to Pieter's lair), and Mannfred left Sylvania to travel in search of Necromantic lore. Konrad, who had no ambitions other than mindless and bloody slaughter, wasted no time in marauding across half the Empire and even attacking the Dwarfs of Zhufbar until he was destroyed at Grim Moor. Mannfred then returned to Sylvania and bided his time, rebuilding the bloodline after Konrad nearly destroyed it. Mannfred then attacked Altdorf but was forced to retreat; after a long backwards and forwards chase he was defeated at Hel Fenn, where prince Martin claimed to have killed him, but rumors persist that this is not the case.
The Von Carsteins are the descendants of Vashanesh, Neferata's husband. However, most of the history of the bloodline is lost: specifically, everything between Vashanesh becoming a vampire and the resurgence of Vlad. Some claim that Vlad and Vashanesh are one and the same, but none can confirm this.

Blood Dragons
Blood Dragons are fallen Knights, usually from the realm of Bretonnia; they are portrayed as souls in suffering, neither good nor evil. They desire skill in military combat, but do not particularly wish to become rulers or land owners, thus making them undead Knights Errant. Their goal is to not find the Grail as a Bretonnian Knight would, but rather succeed in mastering combat, and obtaining the same ability of permanently suppressing the need to drink human blood to survive as their leader, Abhorash did. The game system emphasizes their combat skill at the expense of spell-casting abilities.

Abhorash was the greatest warrior of Lahmia and held honour above all else, so much so that when Neferata and the nobles of her court turned into vampires, Abhorash who was content to continue to drink Nagahs elixir had to be tricked into drinking the sphinx venom. Initially he refused to feed on the blood of his own people, and desperately fought to control his fury: eventually however, his thirst grew so great that he slaughtered a dozen men and women in one night of gore. It is said that he wept tears of blood for the poor souls he had murdered to save himself, he fled south past Rasetra into the hot jungles of the Southlands, the others attempted to find him but could not.

Abhorash was at the front of Lahmia's defense when the Priest Kings attacked and slew hundreds of their warriors, until the steps of the royal palace and Neferata's temple were covered in blood. Despite his great fighting abilities, the armies of the Priest Kings were too many to defeat: Lahmia was sacked, its people enslaved or killed, and the undead aristocrats hunted down and put to the sword. As the few remaining vampires gathered up as much wealth and riches as they could and fled surrounded by hordes of their minions, Abhorash cursed his arrogant brothers who had brought destruction upon his beloved city, and set off followed by only a few loyal warriors and carrying only his weapons and armour, in exile. He taught his followers that skill in close combat and honour in battle were the only measures of greatness and they would only drink from great fighters, saying that only the impure fed on the weak. Eventually his travels took him to a great mountain wreathed with eternal flames; ignoring the advice of all of his followers Abhorash scaled the side of this fiery mountain.

As he reached its summit, a red dragon of immense size emerged from the crater and descended upon the Vampire Lord. At the prospect of testing his martial abilities, Abhorash drew his sword and prepared to fight the great wyrm. The two fought the entire night and in the end the Vampire was victorious. As the dragon lashed in its death throes, Abhorash seized its throat with his fangs and drank deep. Intoxicated by the blood of the dragon, Abhorash cast the carcass of the broken creature down from the mountain top. His search had ended; he no longer craved the lifeblood of men and had become the ultimate warrior, a man with the strength of a Vampire who had no need for blood. He then dispatched his followers to go forth into the world and charged them to master the arts of combat to such a skill that they could overcome their bloody thirst as he had. When they had succeeded, he would call them back to him, and they would go to war. It is said Abhorash still waits at the mountain, waiting for the day when his followers can rejoin him. Other famous Blood Dragons include: Walach Harkon (who challenged and defeated the entire Order of the Blood Dragon single-handedly), The Red Duke and Varison the Blade.

While the Bloodlines are largely eliminated in the new Army Book, Blood Dragons are still represented in squads of powerful Blood Knights.

This bloodline is (almost) entirely female, and no male models have been released. They are descended from Neferata, the original vampire. They emphasize the seductive nature of vampires and many of their bloodline powers center around influencing the behavior of enemy heroes. In the game they are given greater speed at the expense of their combat potential.

Neferata was queen of the city-state of Lahmia and the first of all the Vampires. After the city was destroyed by the Kings of Nehekara, she fled with her minions to the mountain known as 'The Silver Pinnacle'. After driving out the mountain's Dwarf inhabitants, Neferata established a new court, where she rules as the leader of a Sisterhood of enchantingly beautiful vampires who use secrecy, cunning and intrigue where others would use brute strength, to sway the political powers of the human kingdoms to do their will. The talons of the Lahmians reach all levels of human society and they take an active interest in human affairs. No one can guess how many eccentric noblewomen, widows of princes and dukes, and high-born ladies who shun the light of day and lock themselves up in tall towers and opulent palaces, are in truth the Undead and part of Neferata's brood. Geneviève Dieudonné (who was made a vampire without approval and is not linked to the Lahmian hierarchy) is of special interest to the Lahmians, who guard her in the hopes that her heroic status amongst the humans can be used to the benefit of the Lahmians' goals.

Necrarch vampires appear monstrous and wizened, very much on the mold of the vampire shown in the classic film Nosferatu. In Warhammer terms they are weaker in combat but have much greater magical potential than the other vampire bloodlines. However, their physical strength is still on a similar level to other vampires, their disadvantage being a poorer weapon skill. Overall they are still vastly more dangerous than an equivalent level wizard in close combat, and on par with the more dangerous of melee fighters. They are described as solitary researchers, working on ever more terrible spells as they live out their undying centuries. Because of their studies the Necrarch armies field large numbers of necromantic constructs, spellcasters, and zombie dragons.

Necrarchs claim descent from W'soran, who they revere as the father of Vampires, for W'soran served under Nagash himself. With the fall of Lahmia, the kingdom of Vampires came to an end and the Great Library of Lahmia was burned to the ground. The accumulated knowledge of ancient Nehekhara was destroyed and many disciples of W'soran died in the flames, reluctant to abandon their work. However a handful of Necrarchs fled and survived the pursuit of the armies of the kings of Numas and Zandri, taking with them books and scrolls and other fragments of the dark lore that Nagash created. They scattered all over the world hiding themselves to patiently wait for the death of their enemies and continue their studies. It is implied they are still in the servitude of Nagash, or are attempting to conduct a spell similar to the one he used to decimate Nehekhara and awaken the dead therein. Their progenitor was W'soran, and their previous master Melkhior was known to have served Nagash closely.

Strigoi were first introduced in the sixth edition of the game as a new bloodline. In appearance they are even more monstrous than the Necrarchs and are huge and heavily built.they are the descendants of Ushoran who with his followers fled north to what is now the badlands and built a great empire. when it was destroyed by orcs the Strigoi were scattered and eventually degenerated to what they are today. The Strigany are the descendants of the mortal servants of Ushoran. The Strigoi are animalistic, half-mad and barely intelligent. In game terms they have similar combat potential to the Blood Dragons, but in terms of strength and bestial fury rather than skill-at-arms. The tradeoff is an inability to use steeds, weapons or armor. An interesting note is that Strigoi are a type of Romanian vampire based on the striga—but there is little resemblance between the myth and the bloodline in Warhammer Fantasy.

Strigoi armies contain little undead, bolstered by large numbers of Ghouls and their champions. Their progenitor, Ushoran, snubbed the other vampire masters to establish his own empire in Strigos, situated in what is now the Badlands. When the capital Mourkain was sacked by an Orc, the Strigoi vampires sought out their fellow vampires, who shunned them for Ushoran's snobbery and in some cases, openly hunted them down. The misery of what they had lost and the betrayal of their kin destroyed their minds and corrupted their bodies, and thus the Strigoi degenerated into the insane, feral beasts they are now. Unlike other vampires, Strigoi mainly drink the blood of the freshly dead instead of the living, for fear of attracting unwanted attention from both humans and vampires. Some Strigois have (d)evolved into Varghulf, massive bat-like creatures driven only by the instinct to kill and feast.

Introduced in mid 2008. They are found on the Games Workshop website as a collector's model.
When the body of Luthor Harkon was unwittingly taken on board the long-boat of Norse raiders and taken to Lustria, he created an undead realm known as the Vampire coast of zombie pirates from shipwrecks that became feared pirates and attacked the Lizardmen of the city of Huatl.