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So then... thoughts on Vlad and Nagash?

Christophe von Carstein

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#1
So I went and bought the new Warhammer: Nagash book. Im currently only a part of the way through it where Nagash has just been summoned and one of his first acts was to summon his nine mortarchs.

Now I apologies if this topic has already been discussed but I personally am still not sure quite how I feel about the return of Vlad von Carstein. In terms of gaming and a miniature I was pleased to see him return a few years ago (I want to guess 2009ish, because for as long as i've collected VC, I never previously had the opportunity to game with him it was always Mannfred) Now as much as I love his background, I always felt that for me it was finished and that bringing him back (fluff) would only cheapen his character.
But then again I always felt that if he was to return it would solely be to aid The Empire, defeat Mannfred (who again I love) and become the Emperor himself. Yet now he is back and fighting as one of Nagash's generals.

Now I'm sure his original background is that he was one of the original vampires back in Lahmia and aided Nagash against the living forces of Khemri but I felt that since establishing himself as Von Carstein although never seeking to stop Nagash's return never wished it either and now he's sided with him just in the hope of being reunited with Isabella.

I just feel it cheapens him as a character and although the still potential duel between Vlad and Mannfred is interesting, I just wondered what was anyone else's opinion on his return????
 

Malisteen

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#2
I agree with you that bringing Vlad back was a bad idea. His story was good from beginning to end, and bringing him back really undercuts that end. It also undermines Manfred's role as master of Sylvania and most active of the vampires in the modern setting. Right now, Vlad has by retcon completely stolen what had been Manfred's role in the now defunct Storm of Chaos fluff, for instance.

That said, while I still think it was the wrong move, I do feel that the fluff writers have executed it reasonably well. As you continue reading the fluff you'll find that Manfred remains distinct and threatening as a character, while Vlad in chapter four is immediately compelling as both a villain and an antihero. By the end of chapter four of the EoT Nagash book, I found myself largely on board with his return despite myself.

And though the subject isn't dwelled on in the book itself, I have to wonder what they'll do with Isabella. Why didn't she join Vlad in the afterlife? Has she been alive all this time? Has someone captured her or her spirit? Or was she, from the beginning, more than just the love struck noble girl that she appeared to be?

So, yeah, keep reading the Nagash book, and once you get through chapter four, tell me if you're still skeptical, or whether they've won you over on Vlad's return as well. Unfortunately, first you have to get through Chapter three, easily the weakest of the five chapters in the campaign fluff book, due to, imo, the poor handling of Neferata. But I don't want to spoil things too much so... yeah.
 
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#3
Did Josh reynolds write the End Times? if so its strange that he messed up Neferata, since he is also the writer for Blood of Nagash trilogy and Neferata has an entire book for herself. one which i found to be extremely entertaining.
 

Malisteen

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#4
I don't know, but the incompetence nef displays as a strategist, general, and warrior when compared to the other mortarchs is very frustrating. She doesn't even make it up with feats of subtlty or manipilation. Vlad and arkhan come off as far more impreesive puppet masters than nef, for instance.
 

HERO

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#5
I don't know, but the incompetence nef displays as a strategist, general, and warrior when compared to the other mortarchs is very frustrating. She doesn't even make it up with feats of subtlty or manipilation. Vlad and arkhan come off as far more impreesive puppet masters than nef, for instance.
I would have loved if she came with a better version of Beguile, and her attacks ignore armor saves.
 

Malisteen

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#6
Im not even complaining about her rules implementation. I mean sure, she could be better, but imo the only real let down among the mortarchs in terms of rules is krell.
 

El Syf

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#7
Josh Reynolds wrote the return of Nagash but not the actual end times Nagash book. Found it odd that it just says produced by the games workshop development team.
 

John Rainbow

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#8
Josh Reynolds wrote the return of Nagash but not the actual end times Nagash book. Found it odd that it just says produced by the games workshop development team.
This is the new way with GW. I think it is to reduce the online backlash against certain authors, etc and to recognize the fact that it is not just a single author making the book, there are playetsters, fluff writers, etc.
 

lord marcus

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#9
I agree with you that bringing Vlad back was a bad idea. His story was good from beginning to end, and bringing him back really undercuts that end. It also undermines Manfred's role as master of Sylvania and most active of the vampires in the modern setting. Right now, Vlad has by retcon completely stolen what had been Manfred's role in the now defunct Storm of Chaos fluff, for instance.

That said, while I still think it was the wrong move, I do feel that the fluff writers have executed it reasonably well. As you continue reading the fluff you'll find that Manfred remains distinct and threatening as a character, while Vlad in chapter four is immediately compelling as both a villain and an antihero. By the end of chapter four of the EoT Nagash book, I found myself largely on board with his return despite myself.

And though the subject isn't dwelled on in the book itself, I have to wonder what they'll do with Isabella. Why didn't she join Vlad in the afterlife? Has she been alive all this time? Has someone captured her or her spirit? Or was she, from the beginning, more than just the love struck noble girl that she appeared to be?

So, yeah, keep reading the Nagash book, and once you get through chapter four, tell me if you're still skeptical, or whether they've won you over on Vlad's return as well. Unfortunately, first you have to get through Chapter three, easily the weakest of the five chapters in the campaign fluff book, due to, imo, the poor handling of Neferata. But I don't want to spoil things too much so... yeah.
Technically Isabella crumbled to dust through tormented pain at loosing vlad, and serving Nagash is a way for Vlad to get her back.
 
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#10
Technically, Isabella turned to dust after staking herself. Grief-stricken at Vlad's death, she threw herself off the gate towers of Altdorf, onto spikes below.
 

John Rainbow

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#11
Going off of Nagash, Vlad seems to thing her remains might be in a shrine or temple and he is actively searching for them whilst working for Nagash.
 

HERO

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#12
This is the new way with GW. I think it is to reduce the online backlash against certain authors, etc and to recognize the fact that it is not just a single author making the book, there are playetsters, fluff writers, etc.
Playtesters rofl, and yet things like the Skullcannon @ 135 exists.
 

Malisteen

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#13
Technically Isabella crumbled to dust through tormented pain at loosing vlad, and serving Nagash is a way for Vlad to get her back.
Old fluff is old. That's how history recorded things, but in the Warhammer world not all is always as it seems. There are magics of illusion and transformation allowing a collapse into dust to be faked, and that's even assuming it happened in any fashion at all - Isabella staking herself in grief is exactly the kind of dramatic flourish the bards like to add to the tales they tell, obscuring true history with myth and legend.

New fluff is new. And while Vlad certainly seems to believe the historical account as he scours the Empire for her ashes, one must remember that Vlad died first, he was not there to see Isabella's fate, and as such the fact that he believes it does not make it true. What Vlad's return and new accounting does reveal is that Isabella's soul never joined him in the spirit world. If the story were true and she killed herself to be with him, then it is impossible to believe that her spirit would then have shunned him in the nether, so that leaves only two possibilities.

1) Everything happened as we have previously believed, but somehow Isabellas spirit was lost or trapped upon her death.

2) Isabella in fact never died at all, and not all is as it first appeared, up to and potentially including Isabella herself.

Both are possible, but I have to admit that I certainly find the latter possibility far more intriguing. I think it just has a lot more story potential going forwards. I mean, yeah, it messes more with the previous cannon, potentially disrupting an old story that was good and most of all complete already, but with Vlad's return that ship has already sailed, imo.

That it might also provide an in to allow Neferata to reclaim some of the face lost by her poor showing in the Nagash campaign book (if Neferata were to pull Vlad's strings via Isabella - if she were shown to have been pulling Vlad's strings through Isabella even during his previous life - that would certainly up her currently flagging puppet maser rep) is only an added bonus.
 

John Rainbow

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#14
Both are possible, but I have to admit that I certainly find the latter possibility far more intriguing. I think it just has a lot more story potential going forwards. I mean, yeah, it messes more with the previous cannon, potentially disrupting an old story that was good and most of all complete already, but with Vlad's return that ship has already sailed, imo.

That it might also provide an in to allow Neferata to reclaim some of the face lost by her poor showing in the Nagash campaign book (if Neferata were to pull Vlad's strings via Isabella - if she were shown to have been pulling Vlad's strings through Isabella even during his previous life - that would certainly up her currently flagging puppet maser rep) is only an added bonus.
Awesome idea. You should write for GW!
 

Blutsauger

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#16
And though the subject isn't dwelled on in the book itself, I have to wonder what they'll do with Isabella. Why didn't she join Vlad in the afterlife? Has she been alive all this time? Has someone captured her or her spirit? Or was she, from the beginning, more than just the love struck noble girl that she appeared to be?
Is there an afterlife for Vampires though? Do their souls go somewhere, that it might be possible for them to meet up after death? I was always under the impression that a true death for a Vampire meant just that. The end, nothing more, no afterlife, just nothing at all. I was also under the impression that it was nigh impossible to deliver a final and lasting death to a Vampire, as their remains could almost always be recovered and with the right dark rituals, restored to unlife?
 

Malisteen

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#17
Vampire souls cannot dissipate or return to the warp, that's an inherent fact of their nature. Their bodies can be destroyed to the point that their soul can no longer inhabit it, though, in which case it remains trapped in the 'world of the dead', a kind of spirit world that exists outside of mortal perception, made possible by the winds of magic that flow over the Warhammer world. The winds are sort of a shroud of warp energy, a layer of warp in the real space, with a number of effects on the Warhammer World.

For one, it makes psykers much more powerful, as essentially all psykers practice sorcery. For another, it makes daemonic incursion far easier than it typically is on 40k worlds. It also provides a medium for souls to exist in outside of the warp, allowing for the 'land of the dead' or 'spirit world'. Undead that possess some portion of their souls, including vampires, wights, mummies, and so on, and incorporeal undead, have had their souls permanently sheared from the warp, and they exist within this layer.

So yes, there is sort of an afterlife for warhammer vampires, and Vlad went there, but according to him Isabella never joined him, which is the only reason he agreed to return when Nagash called him back.
 

Blutsauger

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#18
But where does it state all that? There's nothing about it in the Nagash book (admittedly I still have to read half of the last chapter) or the VC book. IIRC, there's been nothing stated about what Vlad was up to or what he was thinking while he was dead. He was just dead, not in the afterlife. Maybe I missed a key paragraph though! :)
 
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#19
If Vampires can never truly die, then where are W'Soran and Ushoran and Abhorash in this resurrection of the Mortarchs, Surely both W'soran and Ushoran were as potent wizards as Mannfred.
 

Blutsauger

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#20
There is one called The Nameless (and I have no idea who that might actually turn out to be) but no mention of the others.
 

John Rainbow

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#21
question A) Neferata, do we ever find out what was behind the gate of Vallaya?
I believe it is the soul/energy/sleeping form of Valaya (mispelt?) the Dwarven goddess. Nagash consumes her life-force or whatever the equivalent is before moving on to destroy/subvert the TK and get into his Black Pyramid.
 
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lord marcus

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#24
I've seen everyone say this but why is that the case? What clues are there? I haven't read any of the Drachenfels stuff so its all new to me.
I never even knew the character existed, and i've pretty much read all the lore books i can find several times.
 
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#25
Constant Drachenfels

The Nameless is introduced thus:"Deep in the Grey Mountains lurked the spirit of a once-great enchanter."
Drachenfels established Castle Drachenfels in the Grey Mountains and was known as "the Great Enchanter".

Some think that "its mind shattered by a recent defeat" suggests it's Kemmler since he was defeated by Arkhan earlier in the book, near the Grey Mountains and has a history of losing his mind. However, Drachenfels was killed around 2505 by Genevieve (a Lahmian vampire) and her lover Detlef Sierck at a play in Drachenfels castle that was intended as a trap for him to usurp the Empire from Karl Franz. 20 years or so may not seem recent to most, but given Drachenfels is supposedly 15,000 years old, I'd say it counts as recent, especially since Franz was and is still the Emperor.

Further in the book, the Nameless is described as "a parasitic creature who had no existence outside of cruel indulgences."
Drachenfels was a parasitic being who survived by taking over the body of his victims.

We're then told that Vlad "knew that its power greatly eclipsed his own."
Aside from Nagash, Drachenfels is really the only one who could be so powerful having previously commanded an army of undead and daemons among other things.

"[...]all who entered the Nameless' domain became his puppets, unable to think or act for themselves.[...] most of those who fell into the spirit's clutches could expect only a torment-filled servitude."
Again, similar to Drachenfels taking over the bodies of his victims. And his habit of torturing the imprisoned souls of his victims.

Later, it's described how the Nameless used its puppets for entertainment, including bloodsport, self-cannibalisation, fashioning banners out of flayed skin and totems of bone. All of which fits Drachenfels sadistic humour.
 
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