Neferata in the Mortal Realms

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Neferata attending the Dance of the Skulls

Queen Neferata is one of the Deathlords and the Mortarch of Blood, once a queen and the first vampire in the World-that-Was she was returned to un-life by Nagash. She serves the god of death (reluctantly) not just through her armies, sorcery and skill at arms, all of which are formidable but with her vast network of spies that spans the Mortal Realms.[1]

Titles

She has acquired many names and titles in her long existence:

Queen of Blood, Chatelaine of the Last High House [6], Mistress of the Barrowdwell, [5a]. Mother of Night [5b], Queen of Air and Darkness, [5c] Queen of Mysteries, Sword of Nagash and kastellan of his citadels, Chatelaine of Gallowdeep Manse and Voivode of the Nightlands [5d]. She was called the Great Lady of Sorrows by the Rictus Clans but also the Queen of Lies.[5a] The people of Hallowgrave call her the Ghost-Queen, and the tribes of the Ithilian Vale know her as the Blood Maiden. [5f]

Appearance

Neferata often affects a mocking expression on her youthful, eternally beautiful face, though the wise are aware that it is a deadly kind of beauty. To those with witch sight she radiates a terrible strength, her lithe shape but a mask that hides something infinitely more monstrous within. Her full lips are invariably blood red whilst her eyes shine like those of a great mountain cat and they can peel back mind and soul. [5a].

In battle she wears black armour, studded with bones, and a tall headdress, in the fashion of the ancient kingdoms of the Great Dust Sea over her skin which is coloured to the hue of the palest marble. [5a]. She wields Akmet-har, the Dagger of Jet and Aken-seth, the Staff of Pain and rides the Dread Abyssal Nagadron.[1].

At court, a different kind of battlefield, she wears eloborate and intricately crafted clothing – for instance at Mortannis she wore a regal black dress of silk so fine it flowed like water, much lighter than its length would suggest which moved behind her over the marble floor like the touch of night. From her shoulders hung a crimson cape, the leather, so soft it was a mere breath of wind against the fingers, made from the tanned flesh of fallen enemies. [8].

Legion of Blood

Each of the Mortarch’s command their own legion in the armies of Nagash – these are not armies in the traditional sense but units and formations, gatherings and covens that vary in size and composition depending on their creators whims, inclinations and valued traditions.[6c]

Often Nagash tasks Neferata with spreading corruption across the Mortal Realms for which she is well prepared, deftly experienced in using her own agents, her renowned Sisterhood as well as necromantic cults, blood sects and vampire covens to weave a web of intrigue. When she resorts to open warfare her armies are often resplendent with the glories of her own history, the powerful vampire lords and ladies vying to gain her fleeting favour. [6c]

History

Age of Myth

Neferata and Mannfred, the Mortarch of Night conspire against each other, creating a myriad of proxy wars, instigating at the tiniest provocation. Her pawns were set against his, and both of them also against Arkhan. [5e] Mannfred assists various rebellious nobles of her favourite city of Nulahmia in an attempt to overthrow her[10a], supplying them with powerful artefacts in an unsuccessful attempt to incapacitate her. [10b]

It is said that she provoked the Rictus Clans to rise against Nagash, but that she betrayed them at the last. When they were defeated by the Great Necromancer, she taught their queen, Isa ven-Drak the arts of necromancy to protect the survivors. [5a][5d]

Age of Chaos

Long ago Wight King Cortek formed an alliance with her - the Blade of the Blood Queen which destroyed the hosts of the Champion of Slaanesh Sydros.[1] The Alliance still holds into the Age of Sigmar and he has destroyed many kingdoms in her name, raising the dead to expand his own armies. [6c]

At the Battle of Black Skies she and the other Mortarch’s were able to drive back the forces of Archaon long enough to claim the remains of Nagash and take them to the underworld of Stygxx to attempt to recover. [6a]

She travelled to the far north of the Realm of Shyish to assist the Rictus Clans in their fight against Rotbringers led by the Order of the Fly. Nagash himself aided them and the pox crusade defeated, Neferata slaying Blightmaster Ocander Wolgus in single combat. [5f]

Although many of her empires across the Mortal Realms fell during Age of Chaos she maintained her vast network of spies, assassins and contacts and in the Age of Sigmar her servants can still be from almost any race and not just the Soulblight Vampires for which she is well known. [2]

Age of Sigmar

The finest jewel of her many domains was the city of Nulahmia, designed herself based on ancient memories of her home in the World-that-Was. It remained inviolate and hidden until the beginning of the Realmgate Wars when a champion of Slaanesh, Lascilion finally penetrated its illusions and defences. There at the height of the siege, Stormcast Eternals, the Anvils of the Heldenhammer under Lord-Celestant Makvar were dispatched to establish contact with her. [3]

She began to re-establish her influence and dominance over subkingdoms and minor powers across Shyish. She attended a Dance of the Skulls at the royal palace of Mortannis and ended the night’s entertainment by claiming both that city state and that of its ally, Nachtwache. [8]

As the Age continued, she sent her agents to search the detritus of millennia that now littered the realms – the wreckage of destroyed kingdoms, the tombs of ancient heroes seeking advantage from them which might hold the key to victory in the thousands of wars that were being waged across the realms. Her armies fought battles all across Shyish to claim long-hidden treasure barrows or forgotten libraries in the ruins of great cities although her enemies fought just as hard to prevent her from doing so. She dispatched the Blood Knight Adhema to seek the Spear of Shadows, one of the eight Lamentations and other agents and handmaidens to search for the other seven weapons. [7]

In the Time of Tribulations her agents and vampire covens could be found throughout the Sigmarite society of his great cities paving the way for the armies of her Legion of Blood. [6b]

Following the Necroquake, she and Mannfred were summoned to Nagashizzar even as Nagash sought out new Mortarachs from the ranks of the lesser Deathlords, however Arkhan met them both and then sent them away again setting his own plans in motion.[9]

Quotes

Of course. I use all of the tools fate supplies me. The foundations of the realm crumble, and someone must keep them suspended. But I promised you that I would raise you up, and so I have. Take my hand, sister.

~ Neferata to Tamra ven-Drak.[5g]

See Also

Sources