A member of vampiric royalty, Baron Volligar was the first pure-born vampire, He was also a welcome addition to the Mythic Legions line for fans who were clamoring for more members of Illythia’s Brood in the early days of the line. In this “Figure in Focus” feature, we will take a look at this Vampire Warlord.
Enter the Black Knight
In the early days of the Mythic Legions line, back during the first Kickstarter and in the year or so after that campaign wrapped up, the only thing that fans of the line had to “play” with were the images of the toys. This was the period where our factories were producing that first wave, so no one had figures in hand yet to customize and kitbash with. Instead, many fans took to our old forum to show off “digibashes” of the figures. These were essentially creations fans made in Photoshop or even MS Paint by combining pieces of the figures to show an idea for a new character. There were honestly some amazingly cool ideas shown during this time, a number of which can be seen in this article. One type of figure that many fans were requesting at this time, and which some digibashes were done for, was a Black Knight.
The idea of a black-armored knight is not, in and of itself, especially original. From historical figures like the Knights Hospitaller with their black mantles to literary references in Ivanhoe and stories of King Arthur, to the “never say die” attitude of Monthy Python’s Black Knight, there are certainly many instances of these characters in both fiction and non-fiction alike. While we would eventually do a more straightforward black knight as a Legion Builder in the Coliseum wave, for our first pass at this kind of character, we wanted to do something a little more stylized. We had already tossed around an idea for a character key to the storyline of Mythic Legions, and his look was actually somewhat similar to one of those digibashes that someone had done on the forum – and so the “black knight” became Baron Volligar.
The Covenant of Shadow
Originally teased with the working name of “black knight”, when the full reveals for the Covenant of Shadow wave were done, the true name and nature of this character became known. At this point the Illythia’s Brood faction only had a few characters shown for it (Carpathias and the Blood Armor), so Volligar not only helped add to that faction’s forces, but he gave fans an important character in the overall storyline of Mythoss. Per his bio:
“As the first pure born Vampire, Baron Volligar is ancient Vampiric royalty. The product of an unholy union between Illythia and one of the Elves of the first age, Volligar is the most knowledgeable and powerful of all Vampire-kind. Early in the days following the disappearance of the ancient evil powers Volligar bore a daughter named Lucretia who possessed a power that nearly matched his own. Wanting no part of leadership, Volligar spent decades training Lucretia so that she could take the mantle as leader of Illythia’s Brood.”
So not only did this storyline flesh out Volligar as a character, it shed some light on the creation of the vampiric race in Mythoss and introduced a character we would see in a later wave – Volligar’s daughter Lucretica.
The Controversy of the Purple Lines
The Internet loves a controversy, and our Vampiric Warlord found himself embroiled in a bit of a scandal early on due to the “purple lines” painted on his chest, shield, and banner.
When we were designing Baron Volligar, we wanted him to be a mirror in some ways to our Templar figure. We didn’t want to be too on the nose with the design and simply do a purple cross on a black field as an alternative to the Templar’s red cross on white, but we liked the idea of the two figures having somewhat similar forms in their design aesthetic. We ended up creating a series of purple lines as a symbol of the vampire legions. There was no historical significance to that design, however some people thought that it was meant to represent some connection to paganism, or freemasonry, or the Illuminati, or some other shadowy organization. None of this was intentional. Baron Volligar is not a Freemason, we promise you.
Actually, the lines themselves did have a meaning in their design, but one that was tied into Mythoss and the Illythia's Brood faction. According to Eric Treadaway, "the symbol was not only an attempt at creating a Templar-type look, but it was also meant as a simplification of Illythia's form. The vertical bar represents her body and each of the horizontal bars represents a pair of her arms."
One final item worth noting here regarding those purple lines is that the exact color of them changed a bit from when we first showed an example of the figure to the final production release. This is common in the toy industry, and many packages actually state that the "figure may differ slightly from the photos shown on the packaging." Over the years we've seen some people tell use they prefer the initial look we showed, with the deeper purple and the "red eyes" in the helmet, while others have said they like the version that was eventually released. You can see examples of both of these looks below. It should be noted that the original colors shown on the left were never actually released. They exist only in these sample photos.
Volligar the All Star
When we opened up voting for our third wave of “All Stars” figures in January 2020, we were honestly not sure what to expect and which characters fans would turn their votes to. When the dust settled on that vote, Baron Volligar emerged as one of the chosen few who would become an All Star.
The Baron’s selection makes sense since he is an important storyline character, but beyond his official role in the lore of Mythoss, the figure itself is also a great base for customs! With the “cloth” torso that many customizers love and a set of armored limbs that lend themselves well to customs of dark and evil characters, the Baron Volligar figure is one that many Mythic Legions customizers wanted to add to their fodder bins in order to fuel future creations! Below are a few examples of customs that have been done using the Baron Volligar figure as a base.
The Return of Volligar
The Mythic Legions: Illythia wave was a big one for the vampires, and it included the line's first ever figures which were new versions of characters which had been previously introduced – namely Artemyss Silverchord and, of course, Baron Volligar.
This second version of the Vampire Warlord shows him without his helmet on, and his biography once again added more insight into the vampire race and Volligar's place in the Illythia’s Brood faction:
“Though Illythia’s return is reason to rejoice for the entirety of her Brood, for Baron Volligar, the significance of her homecoming goes far deeper. Volligar has spent ages tirelessly scheming not only to bring back his faction’s goddess, but of even more personal significance, to see his mother again. Relentlessly carving a bloody path through Mythoss, he has stopped at nothing to hasten her return. Now that he and his daughter Lucretia have been reunited with Illythia, Baron Volligar and his family will bring great suffering the like of which has been hitherto unknown in the realms of Mythoss.”
One fun note about this second version of Baron Volligar is his new head. While that part is just one of the brand new pieces that is part of this figure, the head itself has been around in our studio for quite some time – all the way back to the Advent of Decay wave actually!
When our factory created the tooling for the massive Advent of Decay wave back in 2017, we also had them make a number of extra heads which were not part of the figures sold in that Kickstarter. Our plan was to trickle these new heads into the line in subsequent waves to give fans something new that did not need to be tooled from scratch. The heads on Thallyn Frostbow, Torgun Redfin, Thwikk, and Thumpp were all done at this time – as was the new head for Baron Volligar. Fans who attended our “Intern for a Day” event back in 2018 actually got to see all these previously unrevealed heads in person at the studio, including Volligar! So while this “unmasked” look for the Vampire Warlord may be new to the line, it is one we have had in the works and ready to go for years now!
The promo photos shown above include the "fur" piece that came with this figure. While it is a great look, it does somewhat obscure some of the amazing new sculptiural details found on this figure's armor! Below is a new photo that removes that fur so you can see some of these details.
Volligar is Coming
Legions fans eagerly await the arrival of Baron Volligar 2 and the rest of the vampires in the Illythia wave that are shipping to fans now. Will we see more from Baron Volligar and his terrifying bloodline in the future? What role will this evil faction play in the war to come? What terror will Volligar bring now that he and hos daughter are reunited with Illythia and the dreaded Soul Spiller? The story of Mythoss continues to unfold in amazing, and terrifying, ways as the Mythic Legions begin to rise!
First published on 12.22.20
Published on 08.05.22