Soulblight Gravelords – Like A Bat Out Of Hell!
This week we have seen a couple of teases for the Soulblight Gravelords on Warhammer Community, so I thought it was the perfect time to have a look back through Warhammer Vampire history and share what I would like to see for them in the future of Age of Sigmar! If you are more interested in what we would like to see in future for Pointy Aelves then make sure to check out Jay’s post on the Lumineth!
The Soulblight Curse
The curse of Vampirism stretches back across the aeons to the World That Was and the infamous priest Nagash, who learned of Dark Magic from a captured Dark Elf Sorceress – This lore was twisted and distorted into it’s own form of magic known as Necromancy. Nagash could force a spirit to remain in a body, but even with all his research he could not stop the effects of time on the flesh, leaving him a rotting animated corpse and eventually driven to madness. This madness would eventually run it’s course to the events of the Necroquake in another age far in the future of Khemri.
Nagash was not the only being to learn from his research however, the queen of Lahmia (the second greatest kingdom in all of Nehekhara) hungrily drank in the secrets of the Tomes of Nagash. She not only mastered the fell art of raising the dead, but also managed to succeed where Nagash had failed, Immortal life in both body and soul.
It is whispered that she learned these secrets from a pact with a dark force that should not be uttered here, but with this knowledge she perfected an elixir that would let her achieve her goal of immortality. Upon drinking it her heart stopped and her body aged no longer. However, as there often is with these things, a terrible price to pay…
While The Queen of Lahmia would never die or age due to the passage of time, she was however cursed to require the blood of mortals to fuel her life force or be forced to become a horrific primal beast lost of any fragment of former humanity
The Mortal Realms
Aeons have passed and worlds have ended and been forged anew, but still the descendants of the first undead walk the Mortal Realms, the Soulblight Curse still in their veins. While an army of Vampires had been possible with the Soulblight keyword in both the Grand Alliance Death book and later in Legions of Nagash, we have not yet had any dedicated releases for the Soulblight for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. Well, until now…
In advance of tomorrow’s preview on Warhammer Community we have seen two new Vampire models – one a new Vampire Lord for Age of Sigmar, the other is Vellas von Faine a member of a Warhammer Underworlds warband under the name of The Crimson Court. I love the look of both of these models from the martial might and grace of Vellas, to the insanity of a Vampire with bats in his hair! The big question is, will the Soulblight Gravelords be getting more models in addition to these? Well, I think we might just…
Death Battletome: Soulblight Gravelords?
In the leaked pictures of the Vampire Lord that circulated on social media the night before the Warhammer Community showed us better photos, the army is listed on the blister as Soulblight Gravelords. It’s interesting that the Soulblight name has been tweaked, and does sound like the format of an Age of Sigmar army rather than just a one off model or addition to the Legions of Nagash. I also see an interesting parallel between the name “Grave Lords” and “Tomb Kings”, perhaps a nod to the split between “Wet” and “Dry” undead when they separated from a generic undead army book back in Warhammer Fantasy’s past. I also feel there is a lot of community love for Vampires, the classic undead army being something that hasn’t really had any new models in this edition of the game. While we have had the Bonereapers, they were more animated constructs than true classic horror movie vibes.
While Vampires would no doubt be the main attraction, I would love to see more aspects of the old Vampire Counts books reanimated from the dead and brought up to date for the game.
Both the Skeleton and Zombie kits from Games Workshop are a little old now, and as amazing as the Bonereapers are they don’t really have that Ray Harryhausen charm of a Skeleton with a sword and shield
Now, with the Warhammer Underworlds warband the Sepulchral Guard we do have some miniatures that capture the spirit of those old movies, and even of the old Skeleton kits that Games Workshop have created over the years. I would love to see a new kit along these lines who can march alongside their Vampiric masters, risen in order to hold objectives and enact the fury of the Vampire.
I also think we may have already seen something that could be a new Skeleton Warrior from the recent teaser of 2021 releases from Games Workshop…
The shield/cloak combo is very reminiscent of the leader of the Sepulchral Guard above, and in the trailer there is maybe a little hint of a bony arm as it rotates. Now, this could of course be part of the Crimson Court, but my heart hopes we see new Skeleton Warriors to act as battleline for the Children of the Night!
The other option for an undead army would be a new option for a Death army too – go super elite!
While undead have traditionally had large numbers of troops, could we perhaps see something more along the lines of the Varanguard, with perhaps new plastic Blood Knights making high point battleline vampire cavalry in order to make a pure army of vampires who are powerful but limited in numbers – Again this is something I can see being very popular as a project for both painters and gamers alike!
Either way, I really hope we see a few glimpses of new models tomorrow updating the old kits we have and adding some of the awesome looks of the new Age of Sigmar kits!
It’s been a long time since we have had a Vampire Counts book, and I feel the time is right for these terrifying predators to stalk the nights of the Mortal Realms. Whatever the Warhammer Preview brings, I think a lot of people are craving a Soulblight Battletome, and if the fates align and we do indeed get this then I think we will have a lot of happy hobbyists!
Would you like to start a Vampire themed army for Age of Sigmar? Let us know!