- "Now strangers heed the song of the Brine-Maid, and glimmer they seek as all Men may. Multitudes and Legions land on sacred shore and make for Lizard-home. I shall steer them to riches beyond dreaming and do mischief to High-Lizard Lordling a-plenty"
- —Luthor Harkon[4d]
Arch Grand Commodore Luthor Harkon was the mad vampire ruler of the Vampire Coast of Lustria. Vampire Lord Luthor Harkon has plagued the eastern regions of Lustria for centuries, and his sacking of the temple-city of Axotl has made the eradication of his realm of utmost importance to the Slann Mage-Priests. With the coming of the new races to Lustria, Harkon has hatched a scheme to further his own ambitions, no matter the consequences of the invasion. He has dispatched emissaries to the more black-hearted invaders, messengers bearing gifts – gilded ebony skulls containing the power to call forth Harkon's servants, the reanimated corpses of seamen drowned off the Vampire Coast. With these terrifying allies, the invaders plunder the sacred places of the Lizardmen, thereby furthering Harkon's power with every battle won.[2a][4f]
Luthor of the tribe Harkoni, was born in ancient times and was turned into a vampire by Abhorash, Champion of Lahmia in Nehekhara. While serving in Lahmia he was master of the harbour guard and one of Abhorash's four primary followers (along with his cousin Walak of the palace guard). After the fall of Lahmia he traveled with his Sire to Mourkain to serve under King Ushoran. It is unknown how he survived the fall of Mourkain and the Strygos empire.
The stretch of Lustria coastline known as the Vampire Coast owes its name to a luckless Norsca raiding party which, as is the way of their kind, attacked an Empire Merchant ship and took everything of value from within its holds. Unfortunately for the raiders, this included the sarcophagus of Luthor Harkon, a Vampire of unknown heritage, and by the time the longship broke apart on the shores of Lustria, all its crew had undergone a marked change in both allegiance and vital signs.[2b]
Though stranded many thousands of miles from home, Luthor never looked back and took his newly indentured vassals on a march of conquest, carving out a realm for himself on the eastern coast of the southern continent. The winds and currents along that stretch of coast proved to be incredibly treacherous to unwary vessels and, over time, Luthor's army became swollen with lifeless corpses of all manner of unfortunate mariners. Before long, the Vampire Coast had its own pirate fleet, crewed by the dead and the damned.[2b]
It is quite possible that Harkon might have become a great power in the world but for his colossal pride and greed. Determined to augment his magical abilities, Luthor took an expedition to the ruined city of Huatl, hoping to find some secret that would increase his might. It was on the third week of his excavations that his servants uncovered an undisturbed chamber, sealed tight with ancient and powerful glyphs. Convinced that this vault concealed great secrets from him, Luthor commanded his servants to break down the door, yet the power of the glyphs thwarted him. Each time Luthor's Zombies assailed the portal, the witchfires in their eyes dimmed and extinguished as the magic that animated them was drained away by the glyphs. Enraged, Luthor assailed the vault with his own dark magic, but the seals had been placed to defeat greater sorcerers than he and, faced with a direct assault, responded in kind. As the chamber began to collapse around him, Harkon found that he could not break the magical conduit between himself and the glyphs - worse, he realised that they were not just draining his magical energies, but his very life force also.[2b]
With supreme effort, Harkon managed to break free from the glyphs and staggered outside, just before the passageway collapsed and the vault was swallowed once more. But the magical backlash shattered his mind and severed his connection to the Winds of Magic. Now Luthor teeters on the brink of insanity - his personality fractured in a dozen different facets which battle for dominance within his mind. In the years since, the only common goal that Harkon's various personalities have been able to work towards is that of finding a cure for his condition. To this end, he has bent his obsessions to seizing Slann artefacts, hoping their power can heal his damaged psyche.[2b]
The End Times
During the End Times, the newly resurrected Nagash started recruiting many of the world's most powerful undead lords to form his Mortarchs. Harkon joined mostly out of boredom and became the Mortarch of the Abyss. To this end he played a vital role in the invasion of Nehekhara, leading his armada up the River Mortis to fight the fabled navy of Zandri, one of the most powerful sea-going forces in the world. In a battle lasting days Harkon eventually defeated the Zandri navy, leading his forces up the river to join the invasion force of Mannfred von Carstein. Despite indulging in rather unnecessary looting of Nehekharan tombs along the way, the combined army fought its way through Nehekhara, eventually arriving at the epic battle of Khemri where the forces of Nagash destroyed the united forces of Settra the Imperishable.
After this Harkon becames one of the less useful Mortarchs, but stayed loyal to Nagash unlike many of the others. He was sent along with Mannfred to confront the Nurgle-possessed Isabella von Carstein and the Nameless and their horde of Nurgle Daemons which were invading Sylvania. In a disastrous battle, he and Mannfred were defeated when the Nameless seized control of their horde of zombies. They were forced to flee to a nearby inn called the Dead and Buried where they were joined by Vlad von Carstein and a small number of other powerful vampires.
Again the forces of Nurgle attacked and the vampires were slowly overwhelmed. During the battle Harkon sliped into one of his most deranged states and survived thanks only to the protection (and eventual sacrifice) of his subordinate Captain Drekla. Ultimately, seeing the battle was lost Mannfred took his flying dread abyssal Nagadron and fled the battle. Harkon grasped onto the flank of the beast to escape also, but the ever traitorous Mannfred cut off the hand Harkon held on with, letting him fall into the sea of daemons and zombies below. Despite cutting down many of the foe, Harkon was eventually confronted by Isabella herself who had been warped and twisted by Nurgle to be an anathema to the undead. She brought her curse down on him and the Pirate King of the Vampire coast was consumed by rot and destroyed.
- 1 White Dwarf: Issue 305
- 1a: pg. 27
- 2: White Dwarf: Issue 306
- 2a: pg. 63
- 3 The End Times: Nagash
- 4 Warhammer Fantasy Battles: Conquest of the New World (Expansion)