The Red Duke, also known as the Scourge of Aquitaine, and El Syf by the Arabyans was a former Bretonnian Duke of Aquitaine during his mortal life. An avid crusader and mighty warrior, he was betrayed by rival nobles from Bretonnia while on crusade, who sent assassins to kill him. Fighting bravely despite being caught by surprise, the Duke slew the assassins but, suffering a poisoned wound, fell to ground. As he lay there dying, he noticed a mysterious figure watching him from afar. The figure approached, and the man named himself as Abhorash, the first of the Blood Dragons. Impressed by the Duke's bravery and honour, Abhorash offered to save the man's life and give him a chance for revenge. Desperate, the Duke accepted, and drank Abhorash's immortal blood.
Falling mortally ill, he was taken back to his realm by his loyal knights, there to die in bed after three nights. Mourning the loss of their beloved Duke, the people buried him in a tomb fit for a king. However, this was not the end for the duke. Three nights later, the door of the tomb opened and out stepped the duke - reborn as a dread vampire. Transformed completely in both mind and body, the monster immediately set about attacking and killing those he had protected, starting with those who had betrayed him and usurped his Dukedom, drawing to him Knights from all across his realm who sought to emulate his warcraft as he raised deathless legions with his newfound powers.[1a]
As the reputation of the fell warrior spread, King Louis, his brother, immediately raised an army to stop him. In a great battle, the Red Duke of Aquitaine was cut down, slain by the king himself, and his army was destroyed. Knowing that the Vampire could rise again, but not wanting to destroy his body out of respect for the great man he had been in life, the king opted to bury him again, but this time in a magically sealed and protected tomb from which the vampire would be unable to escape.[1a]
However, escape he did, for many years later on a fateful night, the Red Duke's evil followers broke the seals surrounding the tomb and released him into the world once more. Maddened and insane from centuries of imprisonment, the Red Duke saw his long-dead enemies from ages past alive around him in the faces of the living, and swore to slay them all. Riding into the wilderness, it was rumoured that he became the ruler of accursed Mousillon, and drew many knights to him once again to plague the lands of chivalrous Bretonnia once more.[1a]
- 1 Warhammer: The Knights of the Grail (Fantasy Roleplay)
- 1a p. 47 - 502 Warhammer: The Red Duke(Novel) by C. L. Werner
- 2 The Red Duke (Novel) by C. L. Werner