Heinrich Kemmler, also known as the Lichemaster, is one the most powerful and feared necromancers of all time.
He stands a little over 6 feet in height. [4a] Beneath Kemmler's robes, his body is covered with scars, cuts and abrasions from his years of madness whilst his hair is long, filthy and white. He is shrouded in a large dark cloak that can carry its wearer across the veil between worlds. When going into battle he wields the Chaos Tomb Blade, and the Skull Staff, a potent magical artefact that chatters and gibbers constantly. [3b]
Having recognized the limits that mortality placed upon him in his early years, Kemmler made it his life's work to escape them. He plunged into the world of necromancy as a young man, and by the time he had reached his fortieth year he was able to raise entire graveyards of corpses to do his bidding.
Kemmler became a great and much-feared Necromancer, plundering every Wizard's tower and ancient temple he could find in his search for dark truths. In the hills beyond Quenelles in Bretonnia his army had smashed the zombie legions of the Council of Nine, an alliance of nine powerful necromancers. In the dark woods beyond the town of Bögenhafen in the western Empire, he had overcome the three Vampire Wizards of Blutwald and all their armies of walking dead. In the crypts beneath castle Vermisace he had overcome the ancient Liche wizard and all his acolytes and was since known as The Lichemaster. His star was in the ascendant for many decades until ambitious rivals began to usurp his power. [3a]
United, those who Kemmler had defeated proved stronger than even the self-styled Lichemaster. At the Battle of Ten Thousand Skulls, Kemmler's foes succeeded in driving him to his knees. Although he finally managed to scatter his attackers with a great spell of confusion, his body was broken and his mind blasted in the battle. [3a]
Tomb of Krell
For many years Heinrich wandered the Grey Mountains and the Border Princes as little better than a half-sane beggar. It was in the Vaults where by some quirk of fate, he uncovered the tomb of Krell; a long dead Chaos Champion whose burial mound was so magnificent it towered high above him. Here Kemmler struck a terrible pact with the gods. They restored him to his former power and in return, Heinrich swore to slay and destroy in their name. The name of the Lichemaster once again struck terror into the hearts of ordinary folk. His first target was the small village of Frugelhofen in the Black Mountains, as well as a nearby mine and farm. [1a]
The tales of these two monsters were many. In 2491 IC they attacked Brettonian abbey at la Maisontaal which contained a powerful artifact stolen from the Skaven leading to the Battle of La Maisontaal. It was only thanks to the skill and heroism of Duke Tancred of Quenelles that the abbey wasn't destroyed utterly in a three-way battle. Kemmler escaped and fled back in the Grey Mountains while the Skaven returned to Skavenblight with their prize. Tancred returned with much honour and spent the rest of his life chasing the Lichemaster. [2a] The Duke was eventually killed at the Battle of Montfort Bridge, smashing Kemmler's forces.
The Wood Elves remember Kemmler for the Battle of the Cairns, when he raised a huge army from the many cairns in the forest, ancient human burial mounds long forgotten that were site of great mystical energy closely linked with the health of the Elves woodland home. By attacking in winter the Elves were at their weakest and it was only thanks to the great and venerable treeman Durthu who roused the native wood spirits that the necromancer was defeated, and not before he caused great swathes of devestaion to the forest.
Though he perhaps never knew it, Kemmler's wanderings in the mountains were subtly guided by the spirit of Nagash - part of an evil plan that would free Krell and unite him with the forces of the Undead. Nagash's plans suffered a minor setback following the heavy casualties that the Lichemaster's armies suffered at the Battle of Maisontaal Abbey, but in time they bore rich and terrible fruit.
Ultimately Kemmler was destroyed during the opening months of the End Times. The ancient liche and first servant of Nagash, Arkhan the Black joined forces with Kemmler to retrieve Nagash's staff from the vaults of la Maisontaal. Seeking revenge on those who had frustrated him for so long, Kemmler took part in an assault that saw the abbey destroyed and the last Duke Tancred (the name having become traditionally passed on to each new Duke) slain at Krell's hands. However in the last moments of the battle Kemmler rejected the stale and empty future offered by Nagash in favour of Chaos. Once again demonstrating his loyalty to the Dark Gods he attacked Arkhan to stop him getting the staff. In a titanic magical duel Arkhan eventually proved the stronger and Kemmler was killed.
Weapons and Equipment
- 4th Edition: Sword. May ride Skeleton Steed. May take four Magic items, usually the Chaos Tomb Blade, Cloak of Mist and Shadows, Skull Staff. [3b]
- 5th Edition: Chaos Tomb Blade, Cloak of Mist and Shadows, Skull Staff. [4a]
- 6th Edition: Cloak of Mist and Shadows, Power Stone, Staff of the Lichemaster, Sword. [2b]
- Chaos Tomb Blade: Made from raw Chaos stuff and once the weapon of a mighty Chaos Warrior, it converts the souls it takes into magical power. [3b][6a]
- Cloak of Mist and Shadows: Allows the wearer to melt into a dark mist. [3b][6a]
- Skull Staff: When magic is used nearby, the skull chatters to alert the bearer. [3b][6a]
- 1: Terror of the Lichemaster
- 1a: The Terror of the Lichemaster, pg. 6
- 2: Warhammer Chronicles (2003)
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Undead (4th Edition)
- 4: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (5th Edition)
- 4a: Aristocracy of the Night, pg. 71
- 5: Behind the Voices – Total War Warhammer
- 6: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (8th Edition)
- 6a: Heinrich Kemmler, pg. 58
- Warhammer: Nagash, Needs Citation