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Hunters of the Ironguard

Vampire Hunters feel at home only in the midst of battle. They belong to the Ironguard, the last of an almost annihilated force and distant successors to the warrior class that have always lived, trained and fought for one thing – the eradication of every last Vampire from Nosgoth. Dedicated, ruthless and skilled, these warriors live for the hunt.


Sworn to Exterminate the Vampire Scourge

From before their earliest recorded histories, groups of Human warriors have come together and taken up arms against their enduring enemies, Nosgoth’s race of Vampires. These ruthless men and women are known as Vampire Hunters, drawing their inspiration and their creed from the Sarafan Order, legendary warrior-priests who have long since passed into history but whose influence has taken on an almost mythic status.

When all of Nosgoth fell to the Vampire legions, the remnants of Humanity would comfort themselves by recounting legends of the Sarafan crusades. In this way, the memories of Nosgoth’s early history – a time when the Sarafan had won many victories, bringing suffering to many Vampires and decimating entire bloodlines – were passed from one generation to the next.

With Nosgoth undisputedly under Vampire control, the last of the Vampire Hunters were forced to flee Nosgoth’s heartlands, pushed to the edges of the world to avoid Kain’s vengeance. Calling themselves the Ironguard in memory of the massacres of the Iron Pass, they continued to train, sustaining their weapon-making skills and preparing for the day when they could bring the war back to their Vampire overlords.

When word reached their settlements that civil war had broken out between the Vampire Clans, the Hunters seized the chance to resume their forefathers’ mission. As Kain’s Lieutenants fought and squabbled, the Hunters began to reorganise, rearm and mount a rebellion. They were the first to take advantage of Kain's disappearance, successfully recapturing the mountain town of Valeholm. By the time the Watchers of Dark Eden had freed the first Human captives from the most vulnerable blood farms, the Vampire Hunters were ready to take charge of recruiting and training these former slaves into new warriors for the Human armies.

Once their strength and number had grown, the Hunters sent emissaries travelling from outpost to outpost and to the edges of the world; recruiting those they could while offering advice and training to others so that they could learn to defend themselves against future attack. Each new recruit swore loyalty to the Hunters’ cause, knowing that in doing so they became damned men, destined to die on a battlefield far from home.

Now, the only home the Hunters know is in the midst of battle; living and fighting for just one thing – the slaughter of every last Vampire in Nosgoth.

--George Kelion, Square Enix


Birthplace of the Ironguard

A high valley in the mountains, known as the Iron Pass, was one of the piercings in the granite walls that stride across this corner of Nosgoth. A place where men and women hardened by the winter winds clung on to a harsh existence, free from the rule of Vampire and from the laws of the Human cities of the plains. Tribal in makeup, the people here controlled both the mountain region and their independence.

When the Humans started the great war of extinction (as it was called by the people in the mountains), the inhabitants of the Iron Pass wanted none of it. They had lived in peace with the rest of Humanity and avoided all conflict with the Vampires. They wanted to continue this solitary existence.

With the coming of the war, the people of Valeholm had increasing pressure placed on them to join the Human cause. Their resistance to it and refusal to help in the war saw them gain no mercies though, and when the war turned against Humanity they were engulfed by the wrath of a Vampire army bent on revenge.

It meant nothing to the Vampires that Valeholm had sought neutrality, here were Humans denying Vampire superiority. Kain’s lieutenant, Zephon, had those who did not flee brought to the city’s religious centres and burnt alive with their priests in their own pyre churches.

The warriors of the Iron Pass who did escape to the Hinterlands swore they would never again be victims, and so was formed the Ironguard. This army was to stand as protectors and teachers of Humanity, and carried the hope that one day they would be able to strike back at the Vampires and reclaim their mountain home.

Humans return

As they sought to rebuild their cities and their civilisation, Human forces returned to Valeholm to take control of the mountains.

Recognising that other cities would play a more important role in their bid to rebuild a Human empire, the Ironguard have made Valeholm a garrison and a centre for planning, but they hope that one day they can rebuild the city’s glory. One day the city will hear the ring of the bells from Valeholm’s towers, the sound of these bells a reminder of each man’s mortality and the need to fight for their survival.

Back in the mountains, the Ironguard is determined to drive Humanity forward to gain their revenge on Zephon, Kain and all their kind. To the Vampires, Valeholm is a symbol of Human folly, home to superstition, religion and dangerous ideas of liberty.

In the name of the Damned

The Vampires have now sent a spearhead force to destroy Valeholm and those who would rebuild it. They have vowed that history will be repeated and that all Valeholm’s defenders will burn. As the Vampires enter the streets, so Humans are rounded up and driven into their own temples to feed new pyres.

Now, whilst the Humans pray to a vanished sun, the Vampires seek to make Valeholm a bonfire built of Human bodies.

--Bill Beacham, Square Enix

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