The North is a hard land. The soil bares little to no crops and the blasts of winter’s fury claim more and more lives each year. Thousands wither away as a result of starvation, drought, poor health care and a losing battle with the elements. This is not to mention the mountains of dead created by roving Chaos war bands. A large keep sat untouched for centuries in a mountain pass as it was used by a particularly nasty tribe of Khornate Norse for passage into the softer southern realms. A stampede of red and brass death tore through the region as their chariots, knights and worse ripped through the poorly armed and untrained militia who took up pitchforks and similar arms in a hopeless effort to stem the tide. Every year the tribe would flow south, reaping the skulls of their victims for the glory of the dark gods, and every year it would take a dedicated showing from the Elector Counts to chase them back. Never garrisoning nor arming the keep to stop the issue at the source. This carried on for years until a young Northman made a trip to Sylvania in search of a cure to the Chaos plague.
Vanir was everything the Empire could hope for in one of its noble sons. Well-built as a result of Northern genes, a master at arms from years of training, well-spoken and highly educated. He was popular amongst the common folk as a result of his fair nature, even if he was no great inspiration people knew well that he was not to be swayed by coin or political offers. His honor guard of Knights were said to be fine warriors as well, if a bit under equipped as a result of the area's poverty. Vanir’s journey south was far from unnoticed, many questioned the young Count's motives in the wake of his people's violent slaughter but a year before his decision to head to the cursed lands. When he disappeared soon after crossing the borderlands everyone assumed him another lost soul in the land of thousands.
Nearly a full two centuries from the year he left, a cloaked man wearing the purple and black of the region's few soldiers, the nobility's coat of arms on his bearers flag. The sword sheathed at his side glowed with unnatural power and the green talisman around his neck pulsed with runes of protection. Flanked by dozens of knights and with a horde of formerly fallen men waiting in the forests surrounding the area, Vanir strode into his former home and mercilessly slaughtered all those within, ousting the descendants of his line to a man and drinking their blood. The common people ran from the man they once adored but he was safe in the knowledge it was for their own good. There was peace in death and he wasn't going to kill all of them. These were remote villages and his keep was in dire need of garrison. His twisted creatures of the night stayed hidden in the mountainside, feeding only when he willed them forth to assist in the slaughter. Before long it was fully staffed but not by wholesome Empire men and women, by horrifying Terrorgheists in the upper caves above the castle itself and countless shambling zombies in the town below. When the tribe came they were met with an unending wall of the already slain and mercenary ogres that had been also put to the sword. Before long the whole of a great Norse war band lay dead at the feet of the new Lord of Kislev's mountain pass, Valnir the Reaper.
Lord Vanir the Reaper. Undying Lord of Northern Kislev and Master of the Mountain Pass.
Equipment: Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Other Trickster's Shard, Shield, Barded Nightmare, Heavy Armor.
Abilities: Level Four wizard, Quickblood, Red Fury.
Sir Varek the Unbreakable. Spellsword of House Rayth and Head of the Eternal Kingsguard.
Equipment: Book of Arkhan, Lance, Enchanted Shield, Ironcurse Icon, Heavy Armor, Barded Nightmare.
Abilities: Level 1 Death Caster, Quickblood.
Taryc the Snake. Necromancer Apprentice and Supporting Mage of House Rayth.
Equipment: Dispel Scroll.
Abilities: Level 1 Lore of Vampires wizard.
Two units of Zombies, one of forty with Standard and musician, and another of twenty-five.
Those In Between
Three units of five dire wolves.
The Eternal Kingsguard
Thirteen Black Knights with Lances, Barding, Full Command and the Banner of Swiftness.
Risen Brutes of the Mountains
Eight Crypt Horrors.
The Primeval Hunters
Nightscream, Horror of the Skies.
The basic tabletop strategy is to have the Vampires with the Knights and dealing with, well, pretty much anything while the Core is used to tarpit (Zombies), shred hordes (Ghouls) or as chaff (Wolves). The Vargs are there to hunt War Machines and wizards if possible. The CH will screen the TG and then lock something in combat to be screamed to death. It's a strong, competitive list but I really love the fluff behind it thus far. I'm looking to have a strong magic phase with 2 Invos, Bound Van Hels, a Death Snipe and my level 4.
What's everyone think? How can I improve it?