Lokhir Felheart, the Krakenlord of Karond Kar and essentially a salty Dark Elf pirate, is coming free to Total War: Warhammer 2. Just as excitingly, the Vampire Counts are getting a ‘bloodlines’ mechanic in their promised rework. It’s all part of the game’s next free content patch which, since it’ll land alongside the Vampire Coast DLC on November 8, is appropriately named the Aye-Aye Patch.
In the lore, many of Warhammer’s vampires descend from five ancient bloodlines inspired by the classic tropes of vampire fiction, of which the Dracula-aping von Carsteins are only the most prominent. The other four are the scrawny, Nosferatu-esque magical tinkerers, the Necrarchs; the martial, scarlet-armoured Blood Dragons; the deformed and bestial Strigoi; and the seductive Lahmians.
These bloodlines added a lot of flavour to playing Vampire Counts on the tabletop, and their progenitors are hugely important to Warhammer lore, so it’s terrific to see they’ll be represented. CA say you’ll be able to awaken up to three ‘Arch-Lords’ from each of these five Bloodlines, unlocking a wave of powerful, thematic, faction-wide bonuses when you do so. Each arch-lord will also have unique skill trees.
Waking an Arch-Lord will cost an increasingly heavy price in ‘blood kisses’ – a new token generated by vassalising other factions, slaying faction leaders, and wounding or assassinating characters through hero actions. All Vampire Count Legendary Lords are also getting a balance pass in line with these new skills.
As with Alith Anar in May’s Queen and Crone patch, Lokhir Felheart will be free to download if you own Warhammer II (here’s the Steam page where you’ll be able to do that come November 8). A merciless predator of the world’s oceans, he pays half upkeep for Black Ark Corsairs, and can recruit Black Arks without performing Rites – instead he can recruit one for each major port he captures. He leads a new faction, the Blessed Dread, and starts “with ownership” of an island just south of Teclis.
Lokhir is cool, and has a cool hat, but he is not Malus Darkblade. I was hoping the Dark Elf FLC Lord might turn out to justify my once-confident guess that this fan-favourite would come soon to the game, but now that that ship has sailed, I’m not sure when the next opportunity is for me to win a headstrong bet I once made in a video.
Anyway, there’s one more detail in today’s announcement: Heinrich Kemmler has left the Vampire Counts and is getting his own faction – the Barrow Legion – in Mortal Empires. With his new faction in tow, he’s moved west to Blackstone Post on the northern borders of Bretonnia.
Here’s the news on the Total War blog. If you’ve missed anything about the Vampire Coast DLC, here’s their unit roster and Legendary Lords, and here’s the initial announcement, with some details on their faction mechanics, objectives, and pricing (hint: it’s £13.99, or $18.99, with 10% off if you pre-order). Again though, the Vampire Coast DLC is the only thing in this update you’ll need to pay for: Lokhir Felheart and everything else in this patch will be free.