- "Now girl, what could possibly be worse: being in here with me or waiting to be dragged here?"
- — Vlad von Carstein to an unfortunate prisoner
The Von Carsteins have ruled the cursed lands of Sylvania on the eastern fringes of the Empire for generations. Many times they have clashed with the rulers of the Empire, giving them a place in folk tales and myths. The Von Carsteins are seen as having a close affinity with creatures of the night such as Wolves and Giant Bats and are famous for possessing a ring which allows them to regenerate wounds which would kill another vampire.The three most famous Von Carsteins are detailed below. There was also Franz, who was slain by Ushoran
Vlad and IsabellaEdit
In 1797, the last of the insane Von Drak counts, Otto, lay dying. With no one to marry his daughter Isabella, or a male heir, the kingdom of Sylvania would pass to his brother Leopold. He declared that he would rather have a daemon of Chaos marry his daughter than let Leopold take the throne. One was forthcoming. Vlad, with his "Carstein Ring", "Sword of Unholy Power" and Kislevite accent was married to Isabella that night, by Victor Guttmann (who later disappeared). Otto died shortly afterwards, and Leopold (minus his heart) was flung from the highest tower of Castle Drakenhof.
The other nobles disliked the outsider, but the people loved their ruler, slayer of Bernhoff the Butcher. He rebuilt the country, with those who objected dying in mysterious circumstances. However, he refused to grant Isabella the Blood Kiss until she fell ill. Knowing that only she could calm his rage he dismissed the doctors and finally passed on the taint.
He ruled for over two centuries (under different names) and slowly the temples of Sigmar closed and the Witch Hunters vanished. On Geheimnisnacht in 2010, he fed off two hundred nobles gathered in his hall for a feast before reading from the Nine Books of Nagash. He had declared war on the Empire. He fought for 41 years, suffering terrible wounds many times. However, at the siege of Altdorf, capital of the Empire, the thief Felix Mann stole Vlad's ring and on the orders of the Grand Theogenist Wilhelm III. He fled with it instead of handing it over.
Wilhelm and Vlad met on the walls of Altdorf, and Vlad brought mortal wounds down onto the Witch Hunter. Summoning his last strength in the name of Sigmar, he ran at Vlad as the dark sword pierced his chest, sending them both down onto a stake. So finally died Vlad von Carstein. Isabella commited suicide shortly afterwards. The dark books were locked away by the now-Emperor Ludwig, but Sylvania was not subdued. Wilhelm is still the subject of many prayers.
It was suspected that Vlad was the first of his bloodline.
Konrad was utterly insane. He had his own mother put on trial for giving birth to him and would burn villages if their smell displeased him. For some reason, Vlad decided to grant him the Blood Kiss. After fighting unde Vlad in the Vampire Wars, he fled back to Sylvania where five vampires claimed Vlad's place: Konrad, Fritz, Hans, Pieter and Mannfred von Carstein. Hans died first, in a fight with Konrad. He enslaved necromancers, as he was never a spellcaster, and decided to invade the Empire but was driven back in 2100 at the Battle of the Four Armies (one for each claimant to the throne). The three claimants were killed though, even arranging for each other's assassination. However, their heirs united with the Dwarfs at the Battle of Grim Moor 21 years later and Helmar son of Helmut impaled Konrad.
Mannfred had stolen the Carstein ring and aided the escape of vampirised witch hunter Jon Skellan before heading out to spread discord. He finished his work with the destruction of the ruling family of Nuln in one night before sending Skellan to increase Konrad's paranoia. Mannfred himself went south to study the Nine Books of Nagash. When Konrad died, he swiftly sailed to Castle Drakenhof and arranged a truce with "The Eternal", leader of the Lahmians in Nuln. Inevitably, he sent troops to fight the Empire, marching through ancient tunnels and fighting Skaven.
At last, he reached Altdorf. The Grand Theogenist read a spell of unbinding, leading to an embarrasing retreat to Hel Fenn as his army physically crumbled. The Empire allied with the Dwarfs again, and Mannfred was slain by renegade vampire Jerek and Prince Martin of Stirland.
Except... Vampires come back easily. Schtillmann, a petty necromancer, resurrected him (With the help of Gotrek Gurnisson, who cut him in half to inadvertently provide the blood.). Mannfred is again lord of Sylvania.
The seat of the Von Drak counts (and later the Von Carsteins) is upon a massive cliff which overlooks the forest. There are four towers and numerous secret passages. Many seek its library of lore, but only Gotrek and Felix have returned.
Luthar was a distant relative of Vlad who founded the minor bloodline of the Sartosans.