Neferata (Character)

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This article is about the character. For the novel by Josh Reynolds, see Neferata (Novel).

Neferata was the first vampire, queen of Lahmia in ancient Nehekhara and queen of mysteries of the Lahmian Sisterhood in the World that Was. In the Mortal Realms she is the Mortarch of Blood, reluctantly serving Nagash and her own desires.

History

In Life

Neferata, Daughter of the Moon was the daughter of Lamasheptra the Priest-King of the city of Lahmia.[1a] During her childhood, her father had nearly bankrupted the city state in order to buy early blackpowder weapons from Cathay, concerned about the growing power of Nagash [2c]

After the death of her father Neferata married her brother Lamashizzar and managed the city when he marched out to join the war raging between Nagash and the other Priest Kings of Nehekhara. He met with the Undying King and offering him an alliance in exchange for the secret of eternal life. [1b]

Nagash refused him, so he joined his fellow kings and the two thousand dragon-men using blackpowder weapons, were instrumental in defeating the Usurper at the Battle of Mahrak in IC -1740. However before the battle, the Grand Vizar of Nagash, Arkhan the Black had offered him what he wanted although he would attempt to betray him later. [1b] On his return, Neferata’s brother-husband showed her that he had brought back more than just the usual spoils of war; he returned with the Books of Nagash and the captive Arkhan the Black. [1c] [2a]

Lamashizzar intended to use the books to learn the secret of eternal life, but needed his wife's training as a priestess of Neru which gave her the knowledge required to understand the mystical nature of the tomes. [2a] They worked with Arkhan to create a watered down version of Nagash Elixir of Life that allowed herself and Lamashizzar's inner circle to gain a weak form of immortality which delayed the ageing process. [2c] The brief time as ruler of the city gave Neferata a taste for ruling, and when her brother-husband returned, but now she was returned to being nothing more than a ceremonial religious figure and source of heirs, much to her frustration. [2a]

Eighty years later they took in the orphaned daughter of an allied nobleman, Khalida Wakhashem, educating her and raising her until such time a suitable husband could be found. Neferata quickly became both fond and proud of her. [2a] Following a meeting with emissaries from the Imperial court of Cathay she decided to make a secret alliance with Arkhan[2c], using the sting of the hixa wasp to counteract the Black Lotus he was drugged with. [2d]

She mastered Nagash's secrets of necromancy and together they created a much more powerful form of the elixir with the sacrifice of her most loyal handmaiden, Tephret she became extremely powerful. Neferata was now able to dominate and usurp her husband, buying his inner circle's loyalty with the new elixir, along with her ally Arkhan’s freedom.[2d] Lamashizzar was reduced to a powerless figurehead with Neferata as the true power behind the throne. Noting the suspicions of other royal families, she was preparing to hide her immortality by faking the deaths of the cabal and ruling through her son. She also discovered that drinking blood directly enhanced her powers.[2e]

Lamashizzar conspired with others to assassinate his wife with the deadly venom of a sphinx and although Arkhan managed to fight his way back to Neferata and used every sorcerous secret he knew to try to restore her from her coma he failed. His last attempt using the blood of a handmaiden, Aiyah, seemed to kill her, transforming her in the process into a ghoulish creature with the slitted eyes of a cat. [2e]

He broke into Lamashizzar's section of the palace in order to kill him in revenge. He was successful, but was swiftly killed by the king's champion Abhorash. Unbeknownst to Arkhan, Neferata survived, the elixir, venom and dark magic mixing together to restore her and awoke as a true immortal but cursed with an insatiable thirst for the blood of the living. She had become the first vampire and as she awoke she tore apart the six handmaidens that had prepared her body. Ubaid, the grand vizier who had witnessed the massacre, fearfully announced her recovery to the court. [2f]

Queen of Lahmia

Over the following centuries Lahmia became the most powerful city in Nehekhara as the other cities tried to rebuild following the war with Nagash. She also continued to treat with Cathay, through Prince Xian, the Scion of Heaven who she gifted with the elixir and who gave her his courtesan, Naaima when she requested her on a whim. She too would become a vampire, the first of her sisterhood. [2g]

She had gifted her elixir to her cabal and ruled an aristocracy of vampire nobles but suspicions were being raised at other royal courts such as those of Rasetra, Quatar and Numas. Things came to a head when the varied kings and queens visited including Khalida, now married to the king of Lybaras. Neferata had continued the work of her father and brother and now enmeshed the other cities in a web of trade and debt that favoured her own city. [2g]

Neferata proposed that her city subsidise the rebuilding of Mahrak, the City of Hope, expecting to be matched by the other poorer cities but she was challenged by Khalida, despite the closeness they had previously felt. Khalida accused her cousin of treason and necromancy, informed by the handmaiden Aiyah and demanded a trial by combat, but without electing a champion. [2g]

Neferata reluctantly agreed and they fought violently but despite her skill Khalida could not match the strength and speed of a vampire. As she lay on the floor in a pool of her own blood, Neferata sunk her sharp teeth into Khalida's neck and sucked deeply, intending to make her a vampire like herself. Then, she bit her own lip and let her cursed blood drip into Khalida's mouth. [2g] Neferata would have succeeded had the Asp Goddess, Asaph, not intervened. She drained the tainted blood from Khalida and allowed her to die a free person.

Priestess

At the suggestion of W'soran, the queen now created the Lahmian Cult with orphans raised to worship her as a manifestation of the goddess Asaph. Naaima became her closest friend, lover and confident, although as centuries passed the queen found less comfort in her deathly still embrace. [2h]

The Queen of Rasetra came to Neferata asking help with a difficult pregnancy. Knowing that if male the child would be the next king, Neferata gave the woman an infusion containing her blood and when the boy was born, claimed him as her own saying he would stay in Lahmia until he came of age and took his throne. She stated her intention for the heirs apparent of the other great cities be fostered in Lahmia, saying to Akkhan that in a hundred years she hoped to rule a mighty empire through them. [2h]

This child was called Alcadizzar and Neferata grew to believe that he would become her partner and had him trained in every aspect of war and statehood. At the age of 25, Raesta asked for him to return to them to take up his duties as king but she refused, despite Arkhan’s warnings. [2i] While Neferata concentrated her efforts on Alcadizzar her vampiric cohorts grew restless. While researching his necromantic art W'soran discovered Nagash still existed. Along with his ally Lord Ushoran, W'soran sought to make contact with the Great Necromancer.[2i]

By the time he reached the age of 30 (IC -1320), Alcadizzar was growing frustrated with his peers all having returned home and his father, King Khenti demanding his return. Neferata discarded her advisors words, having the rebuilding of her armies which was slowly progressing. She met with both men claiming that her favourites was descended from Settra the Magnificent and hence bore the birth right of the gods as she did. She proposed a union of spirit between the two of them and Alcadizzar accepted. [3a]

Concerned that he would be Neferata’s doom and discerning that he knew nothing more than duty and sacrifice, Naaima attempted to intervene and was banished. [3b] Having undergone and survived all the trials, Alcadizzar was elevated to the temple’s highest rank and Neferata revealed the truth of her existence but he rejected her and fled into the wilds. [3c] He finally returning home to Raesta but he was not believed and he left again, eventually being welcomed into a bandit tribe, the bani-al-Hashim. [3d]

Devastated, Neferata withdrew to her temple, surrounding herself with her creations, the orphan girls who had been transformed into fanatically loyal vampires. Occasionally she would venture out into the city in search of her lost love but more often unfortunates were dragged in for torture to gasp out wild rumours of Alcadizzar to stop the pain. [3d] Neferata discovered that W'soran was attempting to contact Nagash and in fury and fear she had staked and imprisoned but the damage was done, he had already succeeded. [3e]

Not long after, Alcadizzar captured a vampire, the proof he needed to show the other Priest Kings of Nehekhara that not only was Nagash alive but that Lahmia was in league with him. [3f] In IC -1200, led by the newly returned and crowned Alcadizzar of Khemri the Priest Kings united and destroyed Lahmia, the entire city being reduced to rubble and most of its vampiric aristocracy destroyed. Neferata barely escaped with her life. [3f]

Exile

Neferata spent time after the fall of Lahmia travelling, she fled first to Cathay, rising in power until she was noticed by the great and powerful bureaucracy and she ran again, now accompanied again by Naamia. [4b] She went back West, crossing the Great Desert in IC -1158 and being ambushed by a desert tribe on whome she took her vengeance and a new warrior handmaiden, Rasha bin Wasim who reminded her of Khalida. [4c]. She began to build power again, uniting tribes under her as Mother Night before W'soran and Ushoran found her and bid her serve their new master, Nagash. She refused. [4d]

In IC -1152 she tried to take the city of Bel Aliad but was transfixed by a lance and captured as a prize by Khaled al Muntasir who had been trained in combat by Abhorash. [4e] Yet she would in time turn both him and his sister into her blood-children. [4f] As she fights a civil war to control the city, Arkhan the Black arrives to besiege it, [4j] although he gives her the news that Nagash had been slain by Alcadizzar, he also warned her that the dead of Khemri still cursed her name and that Khalida of Lybaras was hunting her. [4k]

The city of Lashiek, the Corsair City was her next destination as she headed towards Sartosa, taking a native speaker of that city, Ilsa as a new handmaiden. [4l] Shortly after her arrival, druchii raiders struck, [4m] and although she slaughtered almost all who dared board her vessel, she spared the corsair Megara and forged an alliance with her to stop raids on the city in exchange for slaves. [4n]

Megera warns her that a fleet of the dead has set sail from Zandi in search of her. [4p] A great force of Settra the Imperishable strikes and burns Sartosa in IC-850, Neferata clashes with Khalida, defeating her in duel before having to run again north. [4q]

Lady of Masks

Travelling through the Worlds Edge Mountains, she and her small band of vampires save a dwarf, Razek Silverfoot from beastmen. [4b] He was heading for Mourkain, the capital of a growing Strigoi empire, and her party are brought in to the city by warriors led by Abhorash. [4c] She is greeted by Ushoran and offers herself as his Lady of Masks, eliminating her predecessor Strezyk with ease [4d] and begins to build her power in the city. She creates new vampires for her sisterhood and establishes an understanding with Razek, who approves of her usurpation of the role and sees her as someone he and Silver Pinnacle can deal with. [4e]

Ushoran shows her the vaults beneath the city where W'soran creates new monsters from ghouls and delving down into the depths. [4e] On occasion she is forced to kill the barbarian vampires to remind them of her power and the longer she stays the more she hears the voice of Nagash. [4f] IC -600 sees the orcs of the area growing stronger as the Strigoi made war upon them, secretly Neferata having manipulated both sides. She also began to cultivate Morath, a Strigoi noble and apprentice to W'soran and suggests that Ushoran join with the dwarves in eradicating the orcs. [4g]

The orcs unite under Wazzakaz and the alliance of men, dwarves and vampires meet them in battle and defeat them. [4j] However Ushoran turns Khaled al Muntasir and reveals that he holds the still living corpse of Alcadizzar who wears the crown of Nagash and which calls to Ushoran and to her. [4k] She and Morath lead an expedition to Nagashizzar to locate the books of the Great Necromancer. [4l]

Ushoran, guided by Nagash, kills Razek and commands that she take Silver Pinnacle, so that the dead dwarves can labour eternally for him. Nagash offers her the crown and she refuses, Ushoran dons it instead. [4m] Neferata visits Borrri Silverfoot, Lord of the Silver Pinnacle to tell him of his son’s death and demand his surrender, the dwarf king refuses and the siege begins. [4n] Naamia and eleven handmaidens accompany the queen in infiltrating the hold and cause havoc within. [4n]

As the hold begins to fall, Neferata offers the king the lives of his women and children in exchange for his surrender, slaughtering the vampires of Ushoran sent to watch her. He retreats to consider her offer, but Khaled betrays her and kills all of the dwarven civilians sheltering in the Temple of Valaya. The remaining dwarf warriors launch a suicidal attack and Neferata takes possession of the hold in IC -326. [4q]

Queen of Silver Pinnacle

Having taken the hold she sought allies with W'soran and the warriors of Vorag Bloodytooth who had taken Crookback mountain against Ushoran.[5a] However following the death of his lover, Lupa Stregga, Vorag went his own way to loose himself in war and W'soran continued to plot against both Neferata and Ushoran, [5b] He took the tribes of the Shull from her and then Crookback as his stronghold to build an army of the dead.[5c] The three way war continues for nearly a century, before W'soran is defeated, his remaining acolyte Melkhoir captured by the Lahmians, trading secrets for continued existence. [5d]

In IC -15 Nagash sends Arkhan to the Pinnacle to demand vampire servants from its queen, she gives him the Khaled al Muntasir who had been locked in a coffin for hundreds of years and suggests to Arkhan that he use him as a replacement and be free. He does not understand or at least pretends not to and returns to his master.[4r]

For the following millennia Neferata inhabited the Silver Pinnacle, gathering information, treasures and vampire handmaidens. This sisterhood she sent out across the lands of men, inserting them into every facet of mortal society. Neferata had learnt that one did not have to be a ruler to rule. Instead her web gave her influence unparalleled and she became the secret queen of an unseen and vast empire. [6]

The End Times

During the End Times Neferata was one of the first to predict the return of Nagash. She had long resisted ever entering into the direct service of the Great Necromancer and so was nervous that when Nagash returned she may not be welcomed into his inner-circle, or worse might be considered an enemy. [7a]

Reluctantly she decided to abandon her beloved Silver Pinnacle, gathered her armies and many possessions and set out to find a great source of power she could gift to Nagash upon his return. Fighting through various greenskin tribes at Skull Chasm, she led her army to the Lost Pass of the dwarfs, a long lost treasure trove of the ancestor gods. There at the Battle of Valaya's Gate her army, supported by the Wight King Krell, defeated the throng of Karak Azul leading to the deaths of both the venerable runelord Thorek Ironbrow and the mighty King Kazador. Having secured a source of power for the returned but weakened Nagash she was inducted into the ranks of his Mortarchs, becoming the Mortarch of Blood. [7a]

When Nagash led his forces south into Nehekhara Neferata was given permission to lead a force to the ruins of her long lost Lahmia. There she was once more met by Khalida and the army of Lybaras. As the two armies clashed the two undead queens duelled in the Temple of Blood in the heart of the city itself. Once more Neferata was forced to flee before her vengeful cousin. Though she failed to secure the city Neferata's expedition had performed all Nagash required of it which was to lure troops away from his main target- Khemri and his Black Pyramid there. [7b]

When the incarnates failed in Middenheim and the world began to end she met one last time with Arkhan who pledged to buy her time. [8]

Perhaps you may survive, to flourish with those seeds of life I will help to plant in the world to come. Run to Sylvania, fly back to our people and lead them, in these final hours. Lead them into death, and into the new life the old gods of the sands once promised us.

She returned once more to Sylvania with newly reborn Isabella von Carstein where she waited for oblivion to claim the world alongside her cousin Khalida, the undead guarding the last few mortal refugees of the world until darkness overwhelmed them all.[8]

Living Descendants

Neferata had several children by her brother-husband including Lamasu, her son. [2e]

Notes

  • In Nagash the Unbroken, as she is dying Khalida refuses to kiss Neferata and drink the blood that will heal and transform her rather than have the goddess save her.
  • In Nagash Immortal and Master of Death, Lahmia falls to the Priest-Kings in IC -1200, in Neferata it is IC -1170.
  • The fall of Silver Pinnacle is described in different ways in different sources - the Novel Neferata describes the campaign to take the city in great detail, whilst the 8th Edition End Times: Nagash states that Neferata claimed it only after it had been overrun by greenskins. Previous Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts agree with the novel's account.
  • In Warhammer 5th Edition: Vampire Counts, Neferata herself had a two pages of rules including for her ghost cat, Bastet, in Neferata, Naamia shifts to a black cat or panther at will and Rasha would take the form of a leopard whilst Neferata could shift into a variety of forms.

Gallery

Quotes

I am no man's woman. I am Neferata of Lahmia.

I am Queen of our kind, little blood-drinker. If you bow to me, I will forgive this insult and I will not make your bones into combs for my hair

~ Neferata on meeting Vorag Bloodytooth.[4]

See Also

Sources


Vampire Counts
Units Abyssal Terror - Banshee - Bat Swarm - Black Coach - Black Knight - Blood Knight - Cairn Wraith - Corpse Cart - Coven Throne - Crypt Horror - Dire Wolves - Fell Bat - Ghoul - Grave Guard - Hexwraith - Mortis Engine - Necromancer - Master Necromancer - Necromancer Lord - Simulacra - Skeleton - Spirit Host - Strigoi Ghoul King - Strigany - Swain - Sylvanian Levy - Terrorgheist - Vargheist - Varghulf - Vampire Thrall - Vampire Count - Vampire Lord - Wight King - Zombie - Zombie Dragon
Characters Abhorash - Adolphus Krieger - Alicia von Untervald - Andraste - Asteron - Chandagnac - Constant Drachenfels - Dieter Helsnicht - Famke Leibrandt‎ - Frederick van Hal - Gabriella von Nachthafen - Gashnag - Genevieve Dieudonné - Gorgivich Krakvald - Gothard - Heinrich Kemmler - Helena von Culper - Hermione von Auerbach - Isodora - Kadon - Kattarin - Johann Haifisch - Khemalla - Krell - Lothar von Diehl - Lupa Stregga - Luthor Harkon - Mallobaude - Mariato - Mathilda‎‎ - Melissa d'Acques - Merovech - Mundvard - Naaima - Neferata - Nitocris - Obadiah Glothman - Palatine Drego - Rametep - Rasha bin Wasim - Red Duke - Rudolph Brecht - Sofia - Talia - Theodora Margrave - Tiberius Kael - Ulrika Magdova - Ushoran - Urzen - Anark von Carstein - Ariette von Carstein - Isabella von Carstein - Konrad von Carstein - Lydia von Carstein - Mannfred von Carstein - Nyklaus von Carstein - Vlad von Carstein - Katherina von Dernsbach - Frich Von Haas - Rabe von Stahl - Rodrik von Waldendorf‎‎ - Rametep - Walach Harkon - W'soran - Yamina - Zacharias
Organisations Order of the Blood Dragon - Lahmian Sisterhood - Necrarch Brotherhood - Von Carstein Dynasty
Images - Miniatures
Tomb Kings
Units Bone Giant - Carrion - Casket of Souls - Dust Goblin - Liche Priest - Necrosphinx - Screaming Skull Catapult - Sepulchral Stalker - Skeleton - Skeleton Archer - Skeleton Chariot - Skeleton Horsemen - Tomb Guard - Tomb Herald - Tomb King - Tomb Prince - Tomb Scorpion - Tomb Swarm - Ushabti - Warsphinx
Characters Ahtaf I - Ahtaf II - Alcadizaar - Alkharad - Alkhazzar I - Alkhazzar II - Amanhotep - Amenemhetum - Antarhak - Apophas - Arkhan - Dhekhesh - Dread King - Hekesh - Kaseph - Khalida Neferher - Kharnut -Khatep - Khesek - Khetep - Khutef - Lahkashaz - Lahmizzar - Lahmizzash - Lakhashar - Lamashizzar - Nagash - Neferata - Nehek - Nekhef I - Nekhesh - Phar - Pharakh - Rakaph I - Rakaph II - Rakaph III - Rakhash - Rasut - Sehenesmet - Sekhef - Setep - Settra - Thutep - Tutankhanut - Utep - Wakhaf - Zakash - Zandri
Cities Khemri - Lahmia - Lybaras - Mahrak - Numas - Quatar - Rasetra -
Images - Miniatures