So I’m a pretty big Warhammer fan, as you might now have gathered from reading previous posts in my blog. Well, for the past couple of weeks, there has been an ‘event’ happening in the Old World that promises to shake the very core of the Warhammer universe.
For a while now in Warhammer literature, oblique references and vague hints have been made of an apocalypse on its way. Then, at the end of August, this happened:
That’s right, Nagash.
Nagash is the Supreme Lord of the Undead, the great Necromancer whose power shook the Old World until his demise.
Nagash was once High Priest of Khemri, in the land of Nehekhara, though his ambition drove him to seek immortality. When a band of Dark Elves washed up on the shore, he learnt of magic from them, and of the Realm of Chaos. Using his new power to bestow eternal life, he gained a number of followers, foremost among them being Arkhan the Black.
Following his father’s death, Nagash slew his brother and ascended the throne of Khemri, and used his position to have a huge Black Pyramid constructed, through which he channeled the Winds of Magic into Nehekhara, allowing him to develop his own brand of magic: necromancy. He preserved his knowledge in nine books, the Liber Mortis, which were illuminated with human blood. Many nobles flocked to his promises of immortality, but seven princes rallied behind Prince Lahmizzar of Lahmia to oppose him. Nagash raised a skeletal army to fight the battle, but was ultimately defeated. Arkhan gave his life to protect his master, and Nagash fled north to plot revenge.
Nagash survived in the desert through the Warpstone deposits in the mountains, which altered him into a nearly-15ft, emaciated figure. There in the mountains, he built his fortress, Nagashizzar, where he created the Crown of Sorcery and the fabled Mortis blade. The presence of so much Warpstone drew the Skaven, who entered into an uneasy pact with Nagash following a prolonged conflict.
Meanwhile, in Lahmia, the Queen Neferata had discovered the Liber Mortis and, in an attempt to gain immortality for herself, she created the first Vampires. When this threat was discovered, the new king of Nehekhara, Alcadizaar, led an army against Lahmia and drove Neferata north, where she sought the aid of Nagash. Intrigued at what he had helped to create, Nagash sent the Vampires back to Nehekhara at the head of a vast undead horde to reclaim the land.
Neferata and the Vampires were ultimately defeated, leading to Nagash to curse them. Then, using his Skaven allies, he poisoned the waters surrounding Nehekhara so that the inhabitants died, before launching an invasion with his undead hordes – the ranks of which were increased as more died from the tainted waters. The undead army was led by the newly-resurrected Arkhan, the first of the Liche Lords, and Alcadizaar was captured.
With Nehekhara in his power, Nagash began to prepare for the Great Ritual, which would cause everything in the land to die, providing more followers for the Great Necromancer. The Skaven, realising this would cause Nagash to become unstoppable, decided to assassinate him, using Alcadizaar as a pawn. They freed him from captivity and gave him the Fellblade, made of pure Warpstone, which was so powerful it would destroy anyone, including its wielder.
Nagash cast his spell and created the army of the Tomb Kings. While recovering, he was attacked by Alcadizaar, who cut off the necromancer’s right hand with the blade. Nagash was still a foe to be reckoned with, and unleashed his power on the former king, but with the Skaven magic protecting him, Alcadizaar managed to slay Nagash, hacking his body into pieces. Taking his Crown, he fled, but the Fellblade had caused his ruin, and Alcadizaar was driven mad. The Skaven burnt Nagash’s body on a Warpstone bonfire, but they had never found the right hand…
Nagash’s spirit remained, of course, and he used the Black Pyramid to channel his energy into regaining his body, casting a new right hand out of Warpstone. The Tomb Kings, led by High King Settra, were enraged by what Nagash had done to them and defeated him in combat. Nagash determined to recover his magical artifacts to fully return to power, and led an expedition into the Empire to find his Crown of Sorcery. He was defeated by Sigmar, however, and with his dying breath he further cursed the Vampires for not coming to his aid.
Now, Nagash has been restored to life again through the ritual enacted by Arkhan and Mannfred von Carstein, the latter thinking he could raise Nagash to his own bidding.
Despite Mannfred’s treacherous intent, Nagash has returned to physical form and has given each of his lieutenants a Dread Abyssal, imbued with the power of the underworld. He once more stands at the head of a vast army, intent on destroying the world.
It’s an exciting time to be a Warhammer fan!
Obviously, I’m still very new to all this modelling and painting malarkey, but I have nevertheless been following this quite closely, and have amassed a small fortune’s worth of new stuff to try out!
I am intending to get round to these chaps in short order. In addition to Nagash himself and his three Mortarchs, Games Workshop have also released some Morghasts, the bodyguards of Nagash, and a small pack of Spirit Hosts, so I’m thinking I might get to those first, as a sort of dummy run before the big guys!
These models are pretty incredible, and being a newcomer to the hobby I am a bit concerned at how fragile and detailed they all seem. But they are just so fabulous, I can’t wait! Nagash himself looks a really splendid centrepiece model, but I’m also really looking forward to doing something with the Mortarch model: I can’t decide whether to build it up as Arkhan or Neferata, they’re both really great but I think I’m currently leaning towards Neferata, the queen of the vampires. She’s in such a confident, arresting pose, I think she looks amazing, and would be quite the centrepiece herself!
So much awesome! It is my hope, anyway, that I can assemble these guys into a nice little set. Maybe do a diorama or something. At least Games Workshop have quite handily provided a four-part tutorial on painting Nagash! They are pretty awesome, though, I hope you agree!