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Undead stronghold fluff

Menkeroth

A Knight of Blood
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
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914
#1
Greetings! Been thinking about it for a while. As I want to create fluff for my undead, one particular moment got me thinking - how a typical vampire lord lair stronghold would look like? I would imagine something like a large fortress with towers and bastions, and inside you would have everything you need for conquests and maintaining a large army, but with some key differences. For example, your warriors need no sleep, food or rest altogether, so no living quarters and barracks. Second, your undead need to be sustained by dark magic, so when you are at home you can build magical structures to sustain them, like crystal towers and sorcerous braziers. Third, you can easily have your necromancers devising new toys for you, as well as creating new forms of undead, so you can build a laboratory or two for them. Other than that I would imagine having training quarters, forges, armories, dungeons, torture chambers and the like. What do you think?
 

Borgnine

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#2
I think you are going in the right direction.

I tried remembering the vampire castle from games like Skyrim and Witcher and one thing that was there and you didn't mention is a 'slave pen' of sorts, basically, some humans being kept like chickens to be fed upon the vampires. Some food reserves are important if you are besieged ;)

Besides that, maybe an arena? To throw there some monsters or captured knights and watch them fight?
 

Menkeroth

A Knight of Blood
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914
#3
I tried remembering the vampire castle from games like Skyrim and Witcher and one thing that was there and you didn't mention is a 'slave pen' of sorts, basically, some humans being kept like chickens to be fed upon the vampires. Some food reserves are important if you are besieged ;)
You are right! I did forget it. Yeah, you never know how successful your conquest or raid ist, so having a personal slave pen is a good idea. ^_^
Besides that, maybe an arena? To throw there some monsters or captured knights and watch them fight?
Certainly! Especially to test your new creations in real conditions ^_^
 

Irisado

Ancient Vampire Lord
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#4
There would need to be bedrooms and/or rest chambers for the vampires and necromancers though. Vampires do maintain some aspects of human behaviour and very much tend to keeping grand bedchambers to highlight their aristocratic credentials, even if they don't necessary actually sleep in the bed. Vampires may also make use of coffins to replenish or to hide away from the sun during daylight hours. Necromancers, meanwhile, are still somewhat human, so may actually need sleep from time to time. As a result, I'd envisage a grand bedchamber or two for the most senior vampires, and some rudimentary living quarters for the rest.

It must also be said that much can depend on the type of vampire you are thinking of. While many fall into this aristocratic and 'lord/lady of the castle' type, there are also wandering vampires, vampires which have become feral, or just those who shun the aristocratic lifestyle for a number of reasons. There is, therefore, plenty of scope for creativity here.
 

Menkeroth

A Knight of Blood
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#5
There would need to be bedrooms and/or rest chambers for the vampires and necromancers though.
Agree, that's definitely true, which I have overlooked. Which can be truly greatly decorated with skins, banners, bas-reliefs and such stuff.

It must also be said that much can depend on the type of vampire you are thinking of. While many fall into this aristocratic and 'lord/lady of the castle' type, there are also wandering vampires, vampires which have become feral, or just those who shun the aristocratic lifestyle for a number of reasons.
true also! In this regard, I especially like the "barbarian" style - more like Early Middle Ages than Renaissance or something like that. It truly suits the grim and simplistic nature of the realm of death.

There is, therefore, plenty of scope for creativity here.
Could not have said better myself. Especially because we already have those two different vibes - ghoul vampires who are feral and more civilized Soulblights. I do hope the latter get their own tome eventually.
 

Disciple of Nagash

The Perverted One
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#6
It must also be said that much can depend on the type of vampire you are thinking of.
This for me is the main question. Depending on your vampire really depends on what type of dwelling they will have. An insane mad scientist like the old Necrarchs would no doubt have a vast laboratory, breeding vats, and tall tower it a lighting rod to raise his new creations!

A deranged Ghoulking might instead not even have something built. Instead a cave structure might have been dug out further, draped with rotten rugs they see as fine tapestries, rough wooden bowls of blood they see as the most exquisite silverware filled with wine.

The vampire for me would dictate his surroundings
 

Menkeroth

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#7
The vampire for me would dictate his surroundings
Well, that all sounds quite logical, since vampires are indeed mighty characters that dictate their surroundings (and it's this that always was so attractive to me in their theme). And this is a great idea to expand upon in their own book. I guess a kind of vampire warlord could have both a mighty stronghold and additional, more "peaceful" things like labs for his necromancers, arenas, breeding vats, mines where undead toil endlessly, slave pits and the like.
 

Irisado

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#8
If the vampire warlord in question were a Blood Dragon, you could probably add a substantial armoury to that list. In view of their honour, there would probably be an absence of thralls, but loyal soldiers instead.
 

Menkeroth

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#9
Well, a vampire hardly needs the living except for slaves and necromancers when he can raise undead or summon ghosts :) but armory? yeah, good idea! also maybe training grounds as well.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#10
@Irisado's point is a good one. I think sometimes we get carried away with all the exciting stuff in our fluff, like the big mad laboratory with gribbly candles and crackling energy that we forget the possible mundane things that they will likely need.

A vampire like a Carstein (and reading through the latest Age of Sigmar fluff, the bloodlines are still referenced, although mentioned as Dynasties) are sometimes likely to have living "cattle" to look after their land as well as the dead. So the castles would still have many things related to them, such as kitchens.

Nighthaunt armies would be entirely different I imagine though, would they even have or want strongholds?
 

Menkeroth

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#11
Well, that's certainly possible, of course. In Nulahmia there were common people, for instance, but it was a city, not just some sort of fortress.

Nighthaunt armies would be entirely different I imagine though, would they even have or want strongholds?
Good question. But maybe some kind of ghostly strongholds?
 

Irisado

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#12
Even though Vampire and Necromancers can raise the dead, there are still plenty of functions which living servants can perform. Servants can go into the world of the living to act as spies, messengers, or even trade. They can also maintain the grounds and take decisions in a more proactive way than skeletons and zombies can. It's thus the best of both worlds for a vampire to have both the living and the dead at their disposal.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#13
Good question. But maybe some kind of ghostly strongholds?
An interesting thought. The Nighthaunt book highlights how some of them still have their own personalities and not just mindless spirits, like Kurdoss. I would well imagine he would have a ghostly fortress if Nagash allowed him,

It's thus the best of both worlds for a vampire to have both the living and the dead at their disposal.
I think it makes it more interesting as well, the shades of grey approach and mixing with the living makes it a bit more involving that a one-dimensional monster living alone by himself.
 

Menkeroth

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#14
An interesting thought. The Nighthaunt book highlights how some of them still have their own personalities and not just mindless spirits, like Kurdoss. I would well imagine he would have a ghostly fortress if Nagash allowed him,
That is well known, because heroes always have their own personalities in comparison to the rank and file meat grinder :)

I think it makes it more interesting as well, the shades of grey approach and mixing with the living makes it a bit more involving that a one-dimensional monster living alone by himself.
not always, it depends pretty much on the personality in question and likewise on the type of the monster.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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#15
That is well known, because heroes always have their own personalities in comparison to the rank and file meat grinder
Yes, one of the failings at the moment of AoS for me is that they are very focused on the main and heroic characters. I miss the underdog feel of the Empire, along with their personalities.

not always, it depends pretty much on the personality in question and likewise on the type of the monster.
True, it was perhaps a sweeping generalisation! There can be of course some interesting novels and fluff based on the lone monster, but I mean that it just seems to be a go-to for many writers without exploring the different facets and possibilities of those characters
 

Menkeroth

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#16
Yes, one of the failings at the moment of AoS for me is that they are very focused on the main and heroic characters. I miss the underdog feel of the Empire, along with their personalities.
Well, it's high fantasy, it's always focused on more heroic characters, also because more common people will always seem too boring next to them - features of the sub-genre. But there is a plenty of more usual characters, both in the novels and campaign books.

True, it was perhaps a sweeping generalisation! There can be of course some interesting novels and fluff based on the lone monster, but I mean that it just seems to be a go-to for many writers without exploring the different facets and possibilities of those characters
well, that's the problem of the writers because I would name only a few really good ones. But then both types can be pretty interesting, from a count vampire to a lone and crazed Necrarch-style scientist.
 
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