Nagash's Great Ritual

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Nagash's final and most devastating work, known as The Great Ritual, was intended to be the final act of revenge against the people of Nehekhara. Had it succeeded, it would have seen Nagash at the head of an unstoppable army of Undead, bound in servitude to him alone.

Process

The theory behind the great ritual relied on the oaths and bonds of fealty that Nehekharans swear to their kings and to the king of Khemri. Using Alcadizzar, the last king of Khemri and indeed last living being in all of Nehekhara, he began a chain of command and loyalty. First compelled were the spirits of those who had been killed when Nagash poisoned the River Vitae, whom had been Alcadizzar's loyal subjects. Then the kings who had sworn fealty to Alcadizzar provided a link to their subjects, and then their predecessors and their subjects, stretching back throughout history to the time of Settra The Imperishable. Once the chain was wrought, Nagash began to pull it taught, drawing the spirits of the dead back into their skeletal bodies and binding them to his will. And so it was that the Tomb Kings were risen once more.

Cost

The Great Ritual was centuries in the planning, and took phenomenal amounts of power to achieve. Before the ritual, Nagash consumed vast amounts of Warpstone to enhance his own power. In addition to this, he had a large orb of Warpstone crafted that gradually turned to Ash and scattered over Nehekhara during the ritual, in order to carry the ritual's fell magics. The ritual took place at the summit of a large tower, larger than any other spire of Nagashizzar, that was wrought with arcane sigils, inside and out. Not only was the place carefully crafted, but Nagash had to wait for the Green Moon Sakhmet to overtake and eclipse the white moon Neru in the night sky, an event that was all but impossible for any living astrologer to predict. Beginning on the first night of the new moon, the ritual took one month to complete, coming to its climax at the exact moment of the green lunar eclipse. During the ritual, Nagash's reserves of power were completely spent, almost to the point of killing him, and it was only through the daily sacrifice of scores of Orc slaves that he was sustained.

Unraveling

With the great ritual complete and the dead of Nehekhara gradually converging on Nagashizzar, Nagash retired to his throne room to recover his spent energies. There he was visited by the spirit of Neferem, his reluctant wife who had been destroyed during the Breaking of the Covenant some five hundred and eighty five years previously. Still drunk on the power of the ritual, Nagash gloated that he ruled over every soul in Nehekhara. Neferem reminded him that there was one soul still free. At that moment, freed from his captivity by Lords Eekrit and Eshreegar of the Skaven, Alcadizzar made his final attack on Nagash. Armed with the dread Fellblade, he cut Nagash down. Without Nagash's will to guide it, the great ritual unraveled and the undead were left without control. Those most recently dead who had been buried without the ritual care of the Mortuary Cult simply dropped where they stood, but the Kings of Nehekhara found themselves living once more. Free from Nagash's will they returned to their homes and set about the restoration of their once proud dynasties. And so it was that the War of the Kings began.