W'soran

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W'soran who would eventually possess and become known as Melkhior and finally, Zacharias the Everliving was one of the first vampires and founder of the vile Necrarch bloodline.

Appearance

  • W'Soran:
  • Melkhoir: He was slowly transformed from a powerful muscular figure into a hunched simian shape with a quivering spear-blade nose and scythe-like fangs. [7a]

History

Originally an aging priest in the holy city of Mahrak, he fled its ruins following the brutal siege of the city by Nagash and threw himself on the generosity of the court of Lamashizzar, king of Lahmia. He would later join the cabal of Lamashizzar as they sought to use the books of Nagash (as well as the knowledge of the captured Arkhan the Black) to discover Nagash's secret to immortality. [4a]

Though initially loyal to the king, W'soran later supported, albeit reluctantly, Queen Neferata instead when she demonstrated a greater understanding of Nagash's works. When Neferata became the first vampire, W'soran was one of those she chose to share the secret of immortality with.

He created the Lahmian Cult, a version of the Cult of Asaph that cloaked the need for blood and provided a safe haven for the rulers of the city. The books of Nagash were kept in a arcane laboratory that only he and the queen could open. [4b] In -1350 IC he asked Neferata to allow a new field of research: the raising and communication with the spirits of the dead, to which she agreed. [4c]

Frustrated with Neferata forbidding him to use true Necromancy, he spent the next twenty-five years trying to summon the spirit of Nagash, hoping to gain the knowledge his queen forbade him to seek. Yet he was unable to contact the spirit, not realising that Nagash still lived, after a fashion. Equally dissatisfied with Neferata's restrictions and her growing obsession with Prince Alcadizzar, Lord Ushoran offered to help him. [4d]

In -1222 IC he tried once more to contact and control the spirit of Nagash, who he still believed was dead as a unique conjunction appeared in ths sky - Sakhmet usurped Neru in the year of Djaf. He moved beyond his body and eventually found himself at Nagashizzar where his soul was seen and grabbed by Nagash before he was thrust back into his body. Yet Neferata and the other vampires had felt the power of his ritual and who he had contacted, she confronted him with Lord Ankhat, slaughtering his thralls. When he taunted her that the Great Necromancer was coming and she would grovel at his feet, she staked him, ordering Ankhat to stuff him in a barrel and bury him beneath the temple where no-one would find him. [5a]

When the armies of the other cities of Nehekhara gathered under Alcadizzar and besieged Lahmia in -1200 IC, Ushoran proposed that they dig up W'soran to use his necromancy. Reluctantly Neferata and Ankhat agreed and after twenty-two years trapped in the barrel, W'soran was de-staked, his dark pitiless eyes opening and giving even Ushoran chills. [5b]

W'soran only agreed to assist the defence if he was given possession of the tomes written by Nagash, when Neferata agreed he animated thousands of the dead and unleashed them on the enemy as Ankhat and his queen led the living. [5c] He was nearly destroyed by an artillery strike and as the city fell, he fled north, heading towards the lair of Nagash - Nagashizzar. [5d]

Three weeks later he first saw the fortress and approached, managing to avoid the creatures in the Sour Sea and driving off packs of Ghouls with his magic. He was met at the gate by a dozen Wights, led by the recently resurrected Arkhan the Black - although he did not then recognise him. He was shown to the throne room and fell to his knees proclaiming his loyalty but also that the throne of Khemri had been claimed. [5d]

He spent the next few decades increasing his necromantic knowledge but found his skill was far less than his rival Arkhan and also created a dozen barbarian thralls.[5e] He also gained expereience fighting Skaven. [7b] In -1168 IC he and Arkhan captured Ushoran beneath Nagashizzar and dragged him before Nagash in chains suggesting that the Great Necromancer use him and the other vampires to attack Nehekhara. [7f]

In -1163 IC Nagash eteched a sigil of binding into his face and ordered him to serve Arkhan as a lieutenant as he led a vast army of undead warriors into Nehekhara. [5e]

The fleet of bone docked in the ruins of Lahmia and there W'soran waited for several days, gathering his forces and thralls and awaiting a strategy discussion with Arkhan. However to W'soran's anger, the other vampire lord had taken his portion of the army and headed west - it would take three weeks for him to catch up and join Arkhan who had encountered a army of Nehekhara. [5e]

Arkhan was in turn angered that Nehekhara seemed to be prepared for the invasion, noting that to meet them the large army would have had to have been musted weeks before. When W'soran claimed he was a coward, Arkhan suggested that he deal with the enemy which W'soran accepted, advancing his army forwards. The resulting battle, although a victory, cost the undead dearly - magical weapons and arrows ensuring they would no longer rise again. Worse, the enemy army, badly mauled still withdrew in good order behind conjured dust storms. [5e]

In -1152 IC he travelled with Ushoran to Bel Aliad to meet with Abhorash asking him to save the city by capturing Neferata. [7j]

When Nagash instead used a plague to cripple Nehekhara, the two led another force which destroyed the last armies of that land, taking Alcadizaar prisoner. This proved to be a mistake when Alcadizaar broke free and slew Nagash. [6a]

He left Nagashizzar in -1150 IC with several acolytes and one of the spell books of the Great Necromancer [6a] but was forced to flee Araby as the risen Tomb Kings hunted the followers of Nagash. [7m] King Ptar of Numas pursued him into the Marshes of Madness [7n] but he was saved from capture by Ushoran. [7o]

Several of his apprentices are given the Blood Kiss in -1122 IC so they can aid him in his studies for eternity. [6a]

W'soran attacked a Beastman Herdstone in the World's Edge Mountains -950 IC, slaughtering them so he could examine the structure. There they encountered Ushoran and Abhorash. [7t] After this he spent some time in Mourkain, capital of the Stygos Empire under its vampiric king Ushoran. He was given Strigoi vampires who had displeased Ushoran and who he confined with sarcophagi lined with abn-i-khat (warpstone) to see what it would do to them. [7c]

In -326 IC he was aiding Vorag Bloodytooth in attacking the Skaven stronghold Crookback Mountain following the warlords failed attempt to usurp Ushoran. In this he was aided by his experiments - massive ghouls bred in Mourkain and fed on vampire blood and flesh [7b] which the Strigo called Crypt Horrors. [7d]

After being buried by a rockfall during a battle in -325 IC he first consumed warpstone following the example of Nagash and the Skaven. He used its power to blast his way out and then through the Skaven forces before he was confronted by Iskar of Clan Skryre who he defeated and took as a captive [7e] and by -323 IC he was using the workshop once used by the same Skaven as his own. [7f]

As Vorag began his campaign against Ushoran, W'soran approached Sanzak to warn of Neferata's schemes and that he intended to try and convince Vorag to wage war on Nagashizzar and then use its resources against Nehekhara. First he would need to get rid of Lupa Stregga and the other Lahmians - Sanzak pledged only to not stop him as long Vorag himself was not harmed but wanted to know no more. [7i]

He travelled to the capital of the Draesca in -290 IC in his guise of High Priest of Mourkain's version of the Mortuary Cult. [7k] There he was confronted by several Lahmian's led by Iona who told him they were there to take him to Neferata, in chains if neccesary, W'soran however was aided by the nearly 40 Wight Kings of the tribe to fight his way clear. [7l]

By -285 IC [7o] his position at Crookback was growing ever more secure, with five armed and armoured legons of the dead under his command and even his apprentices creating libaries and laboratories of their own. [7p] He made contact with the Dawi Zhar and in -280 IC established a trade agreement with them, supplying slaves in exchange for arms and armour. [7q]

W'soran led his army of the dead and flesh constructs into the lands of the Strigoi in -265 IC pushing towards Mourkain itself. [7s] Suffering signifcant losses, he returned to Crookback with the Wight Kings of the Draesca as bodyguards in -263 IC[7t] He had lost Vaal the Thirst to agents of Neferata, his head impaled on a stick amongst the remnants of his forces and Melkhoir had not responded to his demands for reinforcements or warpstone from the mines. [7u]

On his return, he discovered that the Skaven had returned and after freeing Iskar and destroying the laboratories began to fight to reclaim the stronghold. In addition, his other captive, the vampire Layla had also disappeared and the greenskin slaves used to mine warpstone were rebelling led by Dork. Melkhoir did present him with the corpse of a Dragon he had recovered from the Plain of Bones. [7v]

He besieged Mourkain itself between -263 and 260 IC, slowly fighting through the extensive fortifications, northern mercenaries, necromancers and dozens of Strigoi vampires [7w] although he lost his Zombie Dragon to Abhorash. [7x] He finally confronted Ushoran but discovered that he was possessed by Nagash through the Crown of Nagash. [7y] He fled the city wreathed in ghostly scarabs and almost all of his remaining army disintegrated by the time he reached Crookback, the remaining Dreasca retreated west with the last of the Strigoi vampires he commanded. [7z]

At the entrance to his former stronghold he was confronted by old enemies - Layla, Iona, Khemalla with Iskar and a host of Skaven, brought there by Melkhior. As he fought to survive, killing Iskar, the magics unleashed brought down a avalanche on them all. [7z]

Quotes

Nagash. Undying King! I am W'soran, who witnessed your triumph on Sakhmet's night, twenty-two years ago. I have come bearing tokens of my devotion - your own necromantic tomes, looted from the Black Pyramid centuries ago and held by lesser hands in Lahmia ever since.

~ W'soran to Nagash. [5d]

Melkhior

Melkhior

When W'soran came to Mourkain he gathered a cabal of the mystically gifted around him and gave them the gift of unlife. Foremost among these was Melkhior, who became W'soran's prize pupil, a position he gained through incredible necromantic ability and a tendency to destroy any rival to his master's attention. He was originally a warrior and war leader, a ajal of the Strigos. [7a]

He nearly had his head taken by Rasha bin Wasim in a clash in the shadows of Mourkain but W'soran noted he seemed to take her tearing him open and throwing him from a rooftop as flirting! [7h]

Eventually however Melkhior's lust for knowledge grew. After centuries of mistreatment at the hands of his master, Melkhior slew his master while he was in a trance and consumed him over several days in -223 IC. [6a] Taking his master's prized Book of Nagash, Melkhior fled north and established a fortess for himself in the Forest of Shadows where he carried our horrific experiments on the living, occasionally venturing forth with small armies to claim new subjects. [2a]

In reality W'soran was never destroyed by Melkhior and instead he possessed his apprentice's body before destroying his own in order to outlive and outlast his many enemies. [7aa]

At some point prior to the outbreak of the Vampire Wars W'soran, now known as Melkhior, was hired by Vlad von Carstein to teach necromancy to the new vampiric aristocracy he had established in Sylvania. One of his most promising pupils was Mannfred von Carstein.

Zacharias the "Everliving"

Zacharias the Everliving

The ancient Vampire was murdered again at the hands of his new apprentice Zacharias.

One day when secretly reading his master's forbidden tomes Zacharias was discovered by Melkhior and barely escaped with his life. Fleeing to a cave to recuperate he came across a sleeping black dragon. Nourishing himself on it's blood gave him incredible power and after taking the corpse of the beast as a mount he returned to his master's stronghold and killed him, [2a][3a] only to be possessed and destroyed by W'sorans spirit. When Zacharias did this to his master, it was not the ironic twist of fate it appeared, but rather history repeating itself, with W'soran once again killing his apprentice and gaining a new body.

Now known as Zacharias the Everliving, W'soran would feast once again on his old body. Now commanding the mighty Zombie Dragon Zacharis had raised. W'soran was more powerful than ever, having added the power of both Melkhior and Zacharias to his own. This would be W'sorans final form, either because he took no more apprentices or because no Necrarch was ever again foolish enough to usurp him.

He ruled the Forest of Shadows from a rebuilt tower. [2a][3a]

End Times

In his form as Zacharias the Everliving, the now desperate W'soran would lead attacks on the fortress of Mannfred von Carstein, supported by Mannfreds greatest rivals. Zacharias intended to invade Mannfreds castle, gaining all his necromantic tomes and stopping the resurrection of Nagash, the only being more powerful in necromancy than himself. Nagash would eventually rise, destroying Zacharias when he refused to serve him.

W'soran, first and greatest of the Necrarchs, was finally dead.

Weapons and Equipment

When he first led an army of Nagash against Nehekhara he rode upon an eight legged palanquin of bone. [5f] In the service of Ushoran, he wore curved and scalloped Strigoi plate armour with a flaring gorget, forearms and legs protected by armour inscribed with sigils of his own design. He was armed with a Arabyan scimitar [7c] and carried by a palanquin borne by huge ghouls. [7b]

Works and creations

He experimented with grafting heads and limbs and animating parts of bodies. [7r]

  • Crypt Horrors. [7d]
  • Grimoire Necronium: He wrote this infamous tome, both a book of spells and a collection of doom laden prophesies of the end of the world where Vampires rule over the living, hunting them for sport under a sunless sky. Those who read it risk falling into depression and insanity. [1a]
  • Patchwork Zombies: Crafted from the remnants and limbs of men, greenskins and skaven. [7g]
  • Scorpion Engines: Giant war-engines based on theories from Nehekhara. [7g]
  • Serpent-things Created from stretched muscle and stitched flesh to patrol the lower depths of Crookback Mountain. [7g]
  • Skeletal Conglomerations: Large monsters resembling Ushabti composed of bones inscribed with warpstone infused runes with overlarge limbs. [7h]
  • Skeletal Dogs: Part decoration and part guard dog. [7h]
  • Spinal Cephalopod: A mass of spinal columns and intestines in a sheath of blood and bile with a bulbous face which acted like a pet dog. [7r]

Quotes

Death will only be the beginning of your eternal pain, mortal. Beyond the grave awaits a world of horrors that you could scarcely begin to imagine.

~ Melkhoir.[2a]

Miniatures

Notes

In Master of Death, Melkhoir confronts W'Soran with members of the Lahmian Sisterhood in -223 IC in his lair within the World's Edge Mountains. [7a]

Sources

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The Vampire Counts
Units Abyssal Terror - Banshee - Bat Swarm - Black Coach - Black Knight - Blood Knight - Cairn Wraith - Charnel Guard - Corpse Cart - Coven Throne - Crypt Horror - Dire Wolves - Fell Bat - Ghost - Ghoul - Gloom‎ - Grave Guard - Hexwraith - Mortis Engine - Necromancer - Master Necromancer - Necromancer Lord - Shadow Druid - Simulacra - Skeleton - Spirit Host - Strigoi Ghoul King - Storm Riders - Strigany - Swain - Sylvanian Levy - Terrorgheist - Tomb Stalker - Vargheist - Varghulf - Vampire Thrall - Vampire Count - Vampire Lord - Wight King - Winged Nightmare - Zombie - Zombie Dragon - Zombie Pirate
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Organisations Dreadfleet - Lahmian Sisterhood - Necrarch Brotherhood - Order of the Blood Dragon - Vampire Coast - Von Carstein Dynasty
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