Heinrich Kemmler

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Heinrich Kemmler, also known as the Lichemaster, is one the most powerful and feared necromancers of all time.

Appearance

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]

Army of the Lichemaster

History

Early Days

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. [3a] He travelled through Nehekhara between 2401-11 IC, learning much although he finds the Tomb Kings react with hostility to his presence. [9c]

A dozen lesser necromancers now serve him, growing in knowledge from his teachings but his growing power draws the attention of the Necrarch Brachnar the Damned. Brachnar subverts several of his pupils to form the Council of Nine and the two factions battle across Estalia between 2415-2419 IC. [9c]

In the hills beyond Quenelles in Bretonnia his army had smashed the zombie legions of the Council of Nine in 2420 IC. [9c] 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 [3a] before finally defeating Bracknar in a magical duel, turning him to dust in 2422 IC. [9c]

In 2440 IC he enters the crypts beneath castle Vermisace seeking a Book of Nagash but is overcome by the ancient Liche Crovan who keeps him prisoner for the next five years. Finally he is able to escape and defeat Corvan and and all his acolytes, taking the name The Lichemaster. [9c] His star was in the ascendant for many decades until ambitious rivals began to usurp his power. [3a]

In these days of glory, he enjoyed his life, laying down potent wine made from the grapes of Qua-Arnaan, drops of lotus and mushrooms. [3a] He creates the fortress of Krinal in the Vaults in 2460 IC, sending armies against northern Tilea. [9c]

Several Tilean Dukes pledge allegiance to him to stop his raids and once more the Lichemaster turns his attention to Bretonnia, attacking Carcassonne in 2470 IC. He destroys Breganalle and raises its population to join his army in 2475 IC before he defeats the Duke of Quenelles, causing King Theobald II to offer a vast reward to whoever can lead his armies to his lair. [9c]

In 2478 IC, Theobald besieges Krinal but they are forced to retreat by the snows and the power of the Lichemasters magic. Returning the following year, Theobald brings the holiest of relics and although he himself is killed, the fortress is destroyed and Kemmler is badly wounded. [9c]

United, those who Kemmler had defeated proved stronger than even the self-styled Lichemaster as Brachnar ambushes him. At the Battle of Ten Thousand Skulls, Kemmler's foes succeed 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][9c]

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 in 2491 IC [9c] 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]

Later activities

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. [9c] 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, and his body animated and sent back to King Feramand. [9c]

The Wood Elves remember Kemmler for the Battle of the Cairns in 2497 IC, 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.[7a]

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.

End Times

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.

Magic

  • 6th Edition: At the Battle of the Cairns he was at the height of his power and used much more powerful spells of Necromancy. [9b]
    • Curse of Eternities: The enemy feel death coming to claim their souls as their limbs grow heavy and their hair turns grey. [9b]
    • Desiccating Grasp: He can age anything he touches by centuries. [9b]
    • Eternal Vigour: Boosts the ferocity and speed of the dead. [9b]
    • Invocation of the Lichemaster: It can restore the dead or raise significant numbers of them. [9b]
    • Kemmler's Danse Macabre: Undead are filled with magical energy - a version of the famous spell created by Vanhal. [9b]
    • Withering Gaze: Beams of magic withers and blackens the enemy, sloughing their flesh away until only gleaming bone remains. [9b]

Weapons and Equipment

  • 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]
  • Spells of Protection: The culmination of long weeks of spellcasting, these wards provide the Lichemaster with powerful magical defences. [9a]

Gallery

Miniatures

Notes

Sources

The Vampire Counts
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