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Beasts in Shadow

Red_Dox#2328Red_Dox#2328 Junior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 6,492
edited August 16 in General Discussion
While I used the 5th edition WD articles for the other Bloodlines, Strigoi first came to light in the new 6th edition Vampire Count armybook. So without a direct Strigoi article, lets go for a different approach. When the yintroduced the new armybook, they had a lengthy talk about changes to the previous version and yaddayadda. For most people probably not interesting, but I think this part here might peek some interests.




Sidenote: If interested in the different Bloodline powers of that armybook
Source: WD#256 (UK)
It is now 20 years after that article. WHFB had two more editions and two more VC armybooks, but after 6th edition and really bringing the Bloodlines to shine, the later books fell back to a more generic approach while ignoring the Bloodlines mostly. The articles end of their "new Bloodline ideas" mentioned they had some super secret option to introduce later, but obviously that never happend. And since a "mysterious Cathay Bloodline" was directly mentioned, that was not it.
Reminder that the later WFRP did slightly mention this

but they also did not dive further into it.
Total Warhammer 3, bringing Cathay (and maybe Ind/Khuresh/Nippon), at least explores new future ground. Which may or may not pick some ideas up here again. But, whatever CA will do with Cathay, it is not Vampire Count content ;) And since we barely have any Bloodline coverage in TWW right now besides von Carstein, I doubt we will see some flashy new GW approved Bloodlines as DLC to appear while we do not even have LLs for the Bloodlines we actually know (and want!).

But back to topic since this is about the Strigoi, and not whatever mysterious Bloodlines could be hiding in The Old World.
The 6th armybook opened for the Strigoi with




Since we have no good Strigoi article, lets take a few pages of the Liber Necris.







The Liber Necris was written by Manfred von Carstein. So we can assume a fair bit of personal bias every time it is not praising glory to his own bloodline or his "father". But it still makes some good points in why the Strigoi seem a bit fallen compared to the other Bloodlines.


Notable Strigoi characters
Sadly, while being the new bloodline, there never was a actual Strigoi special character with rules/miniature. That leaves us still with some lore names that could be utilized.
  • Gashnag. Would be a interesting choice and should be alive. Sadly the Border Princes (or TEB) do not play a good role on the world map. I kinda would like to see him in a Dogs of War version with his little kingdom, but what would be the chances of that?
  • Urzen. Sounds not really special, but he is alive and he seemingly has a goal in mind. Since the Silver Pinnacle was added to ME, maybe not the worst choice depending on what plans CA might have with Neferata.
  • Ushoran. Should be dead, as we also read in the Liber Necris pages above. Ushoran seemingly is alive, even if most sources tell us he died in defense of Mourkain. The "Ancient Blood" novel however has him alive afterwards.
  • Vorag Bloodytooth. Should also be dead, but again we can make the case here that he just comes back. With Imrik in ME sitting in his old fortress, that could either mean to place Imrik elsewhere and make space or that Vorag would have a different starting location and might wanna take back his fortress by force for some boni buildings.
  • Thrashlaar. Was a character during the Albion campaign. Apparently everything went well for him, but since GW retconned Albion probably with Storm of Chaos...
  • Urtash did carve a out a little Carrion kingdom for himself but died then in battle against two invading Chaos armies.
There could be made a point that with Vashanesh in the game and Neferata probably coming, we would have two of the original bloodline founders. There is still the story conundrum if Zacharias would now be just W'sorans vessel, so if Zach would be implemented as LL, that could mean three. Throwing Ushoran into the pool might work out then *shrug*.


Armylist/Theme
The 6th edition VC armybook had some armylists for every bloodline to offer.

which allowed a "better" Ghoul Guard to stick with the Ghoul theme and added the option of some mortal helpers.
The general undead armylist changed with 7th+8th, adding vor example the new Crypt Horros as "monstrous infantry" Ghouls and the Terrorgheist, which for the "Ghoul King" became the ideal mount

It should be possible to take the old armylist and upgrade it a bit to newer stuff, and flesh it out better for the "modern" Strigoi. Like keeping the Charnel Guard Ghouls, but adding a Royal Guard Crypt Horror unit which is slightly improved. Having a LL who then would buff Ghouls/Crypt Horrors and Terrorgheists/Varghulfs, could put the armytheme rightly on the "monster" side.

I am no fan of AoS, and I usually do not advertise to use that crap for WHFB. But, in case of the Strigoi GW picked them up were they dropped them and actually tried to expand them slightly, without investing any real time or money. And for AoS untypical, instead of doing something completely new, overblown and overpriced, they rather kept it simple and in spirit of how things were once. For example, they added Crypt Flayers.

Basically Crypt Horrors with Vargheist wings. We either could use that, to reskin & rename Vargheists for Strigoi or add them as unit since it is not really something outrageous new. Rather a different evolution path for bloodline X using what we already have.
They further added a Ghoul Hero, a Crypt Horror Hero, a Crypt Flayer Hero and had a Strigoi Lord and Hero option instead of "just Ghoul King".


Again: No drastic changes, not really breaking the ghoulish theme. And after we had Kroxigor Lord and River Troll Hag Hero, a Ghoul or Crypt Horror Hero would look not that outrageous anymore.

Moving away from AoS and back into WHFB territory, we visit Mordheim. Apparently GW had planned bloodline specific warbands here, but Mr. Hambrook passed away which lead to cancellation of certain "Specialist Games" publications. So apparently the rules never made it officially out. In my collection I found a Mordheim Strigani warband.pdf, so I have to assume it is unofficial work, which might be build upon some official stuff that made it out. For this purpose the Strigany are the interesting part here



if we would for example flesh out the Strigany help for their Undead friends. Even if a bigger amount of mortal troops sounds more like a von Carstein approach.

WFRP had the Strygany Mystic as character class available



Sidenotes & Bonus stuff








And some AoS artworks to capture the "army theme".







And with that, I wrapped up the Bloodlines. While exploring further and diving in deeper, I also updated the older articles so every topic covers also the potential army theme and most notable characters. So if interested, you can jump back and look if you find something new.

Born Unto Damnation


Blood Dragons


Necrarchs


Lahmians


Strigoi


Von Carstein

-----Red Dox
Post edited by Red_Dox#2328 on

Comments

  • Bies#4376Bies#4376 Junior Member SwedenRegistered Users Posts: 5,801
    Old grave guard models looked so good!

    "I shivered at the sight of her - her beauty far beyond that of mortal man. But her soul glowed with an inner darkness that chilled my very core."









  • xBlood_Raven#5120xBlood_Raven#5120 Registered Users Posts: 966
    Very interesting part on the possible new Bloodlines, Cathay, Southlands and a 'thugee-like death-worshipping cult' sound similar to what the rpg suggested with Maatmeses and Harakhte (which you already mentioned). Wonder if GW ever made further concepts on such work.

    We still need the Lahmian and Necrarch Bloodlines (and Strigoi too considering what you mentioned-I would prefer Ushoran considering the others get their main leads) but Cathay could go the Far East Vampire route with Naaima and Prince Xian as potential LLs.
  • Red_Dox#2328Red_Dox#2328 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,492

    Very interesting part on the possible new Bloodlines, Cathay, Southlands and a 'thugee-like death-worshipping cult' sound similar to what the rpg suggested with Maatmeses and Harakhte (which you already mentioned). Wonder if GW ever made further concepts on such work.

    I would assume they had some very basic concepts scribbled down during lunch break ^^
    But nothing shown in the WD, and since the super secret was afaik never mentioned again, god knows what notes they might have had for that and if those were filed proper away. Or went into the garbage when Kirby later took the helm and reduced storage for everything in his hunt to save money and make profit. Maybe those weird AoS Centaur vampires might be it *shrug*.
    Who knows, *if* Old World gets released and *if* Old World is a success and *if* we live maybe another 20 years, maybe we actually could see the missing WHFB bloodlines one day ;)
    Bies said:

    Old grave guard models looked so good!



    Or we go...older ^^



    ------Red Dox
  • Kn_Gars#2718Kn_Gars#2718 Registered Users Posts: 3,275
    edited June 2021
    I can't help but suspect that concepts notes & sketches either ended up in the bin or taken home when people left GW if not put in the shredder before to save space. Kirbyism lost them a lot of talent and game design was a fairly rough industry to begin with.

    And thanks as always for the excellent presentation @Red DoX, good to see that someone kept source material from so long ago. These days I do regrett getting rid of so much of it.
    The user formerly known as KN_Gars, thanks for the involunatry rename CA.
  • Ben1990#8909Ben1990#8909 Registered Users Posts: 2,880
    Well Ushoran is in game 2...but currently he appears only if people play as Repanse and he's her starting exp appetizer. Only appears in the Vortex Campaign while the Strygos Empire in Mortal Empires is currently controlled by Kadon (who's a generic Necromancer). Previously Ushoran was on both maps.
    Pity, since he could be a good FLC character.
  • Red_Dox#2328Red_Dox#2328 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,492
    Sidenote: Over on reddit I finally got a hint were all this "Jade Vampire!" stuff stems from
    https://www.tinstargames.com/uploads/1/2/0/2/12026323/new-bloodlines.pdf

    It is also interesting how those "fleshed out" two Bloodlines can be found in the initial idea collection they had portrayed in the WD.

    But if they picked up those two ideas for WFRP later, then cut it out of the book to keep the mystery still alive and being able to do whatever if they would ever decide to actually make the new bloodlines, what might have been the mystery idea they did not wanted to share in the WD article? Guess we will never know.
    Ingr8 said:

    These do look good. All they are missing is their one true overlord

    Nah, VC should stay alone. And Nagash would imo still work best as huge NPC threat, and not as "playable" race DLC later on ;)

    ------Red Dox
  • sykall#1105sykall#1105 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,004
    Given how prominent the vampire coast has become and how many ideas for variius bloodlines have been floating around, I am almost surprised that GW never had a plan for a coastal/aquatic vampire bloodline. There are many creepy and bloodsucking sea creatures in various foklore after all. And many of them are undead.

    Anyhow a very interesting insight into the design process of the various Bloodlines anf the strigoy in particular
    Filling the white spots - 7 made-up factions to enrich the empty parts of the WFB setting
    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/288418/filling-the-white-spots-7-made-up-factions-to-fill-out-the-wfb-setting
  • PoorManatee6197#6481PoorManatee6197#6481 Registered Users Posts: 2,553
    sykall said:

    Given how prominent the vampire coast has become and how many ideas for variius bloodlines have been floating around, I am almost surprised that GW never had a plan for a coastal/aquatic vampire bloodline. There are many creepy and bloodsucking sea creatures in various foklore after all. And many of them are undead.

    Anyhow a very interesting insight into the design process of the various Bloodlines anf the strigoy in particular

    Maybe that misterious idea that was going to be a 6th bloodline was vampirates and eventually it became the vampire coast?
    #MakeDwarfsGreatAgain Josef Bugman, Thorek Ironbrow, Alrik Ranulfsson, Grimm Burloksson, Kazador Thunderhorn, Byrrnoth Grundadrakk, Malakai Makaisson, Gotrek Gurnisson, Garagrim, Dragon slayer, Deamon slayer, Doomseekers, Brotherhood of Grimnir, Giant slayers, Thunderbarge, Shieldbearer mount, Master brewer, Goblin Hewer, Norse dwarf war mammoth, Tractator engine, Rune golem, Shard dragon, proper Anvil of Doom, Ulther's dragon company, Lond Drong's slayer pirates, Everguard, Karak Varn, Karag Agrilwutraz, Karaz Bryn, Karag Dum, Karak Vlag, Kraka Dorden, Kraka Ornsmotek, Kraka Ravnsvake, Karak Vrag, Karak Azorn, Karak Krakaten.


    All those missing things are grudges in the great book, is in your hand to settle them, CA. Khazukan kazakit-ha!

    IT'S HOBGOBBO TIME!!!!!!!
    #JusticeForKurgan
  • Red_Dox#2328Red_Dox#2328 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,492
    After recently learning that Ushoran is indeed alive, I even got lucky and could snatch a hard copy of the book up cheap. Book is from 2008, so should be around 7th edition WHFB.

    After finishing the book now, it is a mixed bag. The clear focus on the Strigany and their trouble withe the Empire is solid. That the author just vaguely mentions the timeframe and is apparently allergic to actually name the top crop of the Empire (The Elector Count of Stirland is called "Stirland". The Elector Count of Averland is hailed "Averland"...the Baron of some province is just called "Baron") or that some deeper motives for why they do what they do is left out might help to paint them as the "nameless evil" the poor Strigany have to deal with but feels just lacking. I can also see that the book might have been the first act to a series, where the next generation might take over in the next book. But apparently there is no next book to tell the future of the Strigany children and how their new adventure would unfold.

    Still, there are some things I would like to highlight from the book.
    • While there is no mentioning of a timeframe, we at least can place it during the "Time of three Emperors" (mentioned on two occasions in the book).

      Which of course leaves us a few centuries where it could take place. Since "The Old World" will probably take place there too, might be worth to keep an eye open then if tfuture story pieces might mention the Strigany during their covered time.
    • In the book a Dogs of War army is recruited, taking in every ragtag mercenary open to hire. One of those was a rather familar name

      and boy he doesn't shut up about how superior Tilea is in everything. Anyway, the interesting nitpick here would be that Vespero rather should be alive around 2500 IC, while the "Time of three Emperors" ended around 2300 IC. For example: We know that Vespero left Tilea when Prince Borgio was assassinated.


      https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/273440/warhammer-monthly-the-assassins-tale
      So obviously we have a timeline paradox at our hands here.
    • As an interesting sideonte, the DoW army also included 12 Ogre lead by a "Gorfang". They had 2 Giants (Ungrol & Belnar) lead by some old guy and a company of Halfling Archers led by "Lumpen Croop". Which sounds eerie close to well known "Lumpin Croop" but since the names are not identical, maybe in this case it might be an ancestor. Besides the apparently time-misplaced Vespero and some very familiar DoW regiments there was also the mentioning of a "unnamed" Estalian band.

    • There are three "leading positions" in teh Strigany society highlighted.
      Domnu = Leader of a Strygani caravan (30-??? people). Fitting with the Mordheim warband leader ;)
      Petru = = Shaman/Witch/Apothecary/Storyteller. So basically spiritual leader and the caster. The "Seer" of the Mordheim warband. Every caravan seems to have a Petru who at some points takes an apprentice to learn his craft and replace him. They bow to their Domnu but are influential on their own and respected Elders who keep the ways of old and the stories of Mourkhain alive.
      Kazarkhan = a Domnu chosen to be the War Leader of all Strigany in times of dire need/open war. So basically their "Waaaghboss" ruling over the other bosses.

      For TWW purposes, even while there should only be one Kazarkhan, I would probably make the Kazarkhan a Lord choice. The Domnu then a Hero, while the Petru could either be Lord or hero choice. With Strigoi Vampires probably taking the main Lord-Caster choice, Petrus as Heroes might work out better. Since in the book the Domnus were fighting with their caravavan members and each others, a Domnu "elite" melee unit would also seem reasonable. And while one Domnu had a blunderbuss, could also be a mixed bag between melee/ranged. Even if blackpowder weapons seem rather rare in the Strigany ranks. Crossbows & Bows however seem not uncommon and most Strigany seem to have good aim with them.
    • The Strigany get "banned" in the Empire and are given a reseveration to live in instead. Flintmar.

      Since w ehave no timeframe, and most maps are more in mind of the Empire in 2500, it is hard to pinpoint the exact location. We know where the Black Mountians are, but they should be a bit away from the Moot and then we rather talk about Averland territory so why the Stirland Elector Count owns that land is probably either bad use of maps by the author or lost in the Empires history.

      In the end, it also does not matter much.
    • What rather raised my eyebrows was this

      "Tens of thousands". I mean I am used to Warhammer exaggeration to just have enough people fight huge battles and then still a few million to spare their "dying race" from getting extinct. But thousands of Strygani that made it to Flintmar, while we read plenty about caravans getting attacked and/or entirely destroyed on the way still made me wonder. At the end of the book, the survivors journey out to fabled Mourkhain, since Ushoran wills it from afar. While they talk about the long and dangerous journey against unknown problems in the "unknown" parts of the world down south, it still makes you wonder. Thousands of them travelling south, even if only a few thousand of that generation trek would arrive, Ushoran would indeed have a solid flock to start and rebuild.
    • While Ushoran regained his memoires, he apparently became a bit unhappy with his Ghoul companions.

      From a lore point it is OK that he rather wants to rule over intelligent people again, from TT or TWW perspective it would of course feel a bit wrong if Ushoran would be void of Ghouls as troops.
    -----Red Dox
  • Cortes31#6909Cortes31#6909 Registered Users Posts: 2,385
    Damn, I knew about Domnu and Petru but Kazarkhan too? As it is said, indeed a potential lord choice.
    Ah, what could have been with Strigoi Campaign Pack :'(

    On another note, @Red_Dox since you got the book recently, would you happen to if that one was ever translated? Or do I have to settle with English-only for that?
    German preferred.
  • Red_Dox#2328Red_Dox#2328 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,492
    Cortes31 said:


    On another note, @Red_Dox since you got the book recently, would you happen to if that one was ever translated? Or do I have to settle with English-only for that?
    German preferred.

    While looking for the book, I can't remember seeing it in german. I assume it falls under the "was not translated" category that includes quite a few Warhammer novels. Two other Vampire books I am still looking for (at a reasonable price...) also seem to fall under that category. Can't remember if that is based on a decision of the Kirby-era or if only "specific" books still today get translated. I know that some AoS novels and still some 40k books make it into german bookstores in german language, but for example the newer WHFB Omnibus collections still don't get translated.

    btw. speaking of collections, "Ancient Blood" would be included in "Undeath Ascendant".

    ------Red Dox
  • Cortes31#6909Cortes31#6909 Registered Users Posts: 2,385
    Red_Dox said:

    Cortes31 said:


    On another note, @Red_Dox since you got the book recently, would you happen to if that one was ever translated? Or do I have to settle with English-only for that?
    German preferred.

    While looking for the book, I can't remember seeing it in german. I assume it falls under the "was not translated" category that includes quite a few Warhammer novels. Two other Vampire books I am still looking for (at a reasonable price...) also seem to fall under that category. Can't remember if that is based on a decision of the Kirby-era or if only "specific" books still today get translated. I know that some AoS novels and still some 40k books make it into german bookstores in german language, but for example the newer WHFB Omnibus collections still don't get translated.

    btw. speaking of collections, "Ancient Blood" would be included in "Undeath Ascendant".

    ------Red Dox
    *sigh*
    Too bad. Is it too pricey for GW to translate all books or what?

    Anyway, thanks for the answer.
  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 7,073
    Cortes31 said:

    Red_Dox said:

    Cortes31 said:


    On another note, @Red_Dox since you got the book recently, would you happen to if that one was ever translated? Or do I have to settle with English-only for that?
    German preferred.

    While looking for the book, I can't remember seeing it in german. I assume it falls under the "was not translated" category that includes quite a few Warhammer novels. Two other Vampire books I am still looking for (at a reasonable price...) also seem to fall under that category. Can't remember if that is based on a decision of the Kirby-era or if only "specific" books still today get translated. I know that some AoS novels and still some 40k books make it into german bookstores in german language, but for example the newer WHFB Omnibus collections still don't get translated.

    btw. speaking of collections, "Ancient Blood" would be included in "Undeath Ascendant".

    ------Red Dox
    *sigh*
    Too bad. Is it too pricey for GW to translate all books or what?

    Anyway, thanks for the answer.
    It is somewhat pricey and it has little return. GW are essentially limiting their product to a singular market, while they have to either outsource the printing of it to local prints, or dedicate a print of their own to the German version. This is often the reason why, you only get rulebooks and other "essential" material translated by GW themselves. If you are lucky a German company may have bought a license from GW to print the book in German, but don't always count on it.
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