Second Collation, last one for now, but I will be doing more Character Origins in a bit (@spawning of Bob including Jekal) Every Tomb King and Liche Priest knows of the plight of Nehekhara whilst under the rule or siege of Nagash, however, few know of the plight of those between those times under Lahmian rule, for while Nagash was defeated and had fled, most of the nobility in and around Lahmia had partaken of Nagash’s foul magic, becoming immortal, at a price. They were the first Vampires, and their first goal was to purge all who suspected them, and the few nobles that had stayed true to their blood. As their fellows fell around them, the Minor Lord Anerhet made his rise to power, assimilating the lands and titles of the Lords who fell to the Vampires with surprising political suave, while the political and militaristic machinations of this upstart Lord prevented the corrupted Lahmian nobility from assaulting him on the political stage, or assassinating him, the wards placed by his brother Harneni, prevented them from using long ranged magical attacks upon his wellbeing. So slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against him. The Lord Imhonse told Anerhet that Rehorpais, the strongest from amongst them was in fact a Vampire, encouraging Anerhet to confront him, the plan was that Anerhet would confront Rehorpais, and that he would challenge him for insulting his honour. It didn’t go as planned, Anerhet had already suspected most of the Lords of being up to something, but this made it concrete. However, instead of accusing Rehorpais in court, he challenged Imhonse who had told him, for “Falsely accusing an honourable Lord of Blasphemy, and that the only conceivable motive was if he himself was guilty and trying to shift attention onto Rehorpais in order to escape scrutiny” Imhonse had not expected this move from Anerhet, but accepted the challenge to cover himself, after all, what could a mortal man do against the greater strength of a Vampire. He found that a mortal man could do quite a lot against the greater strength of a Vampire, and, ashamed by his defeat, fled northeast, to lands that would one day become Cathay, but currently were primitive, other than a small nation, where his progeny wreak havoc, but that is a different story, and by the time he rises again, it has collapsed. He, fortunately for the nobility of Lahmia, and unfortunately for the people of Nehekhara, dies young, and is entombed with honour. ____________________________________________________________________________ The bright summer day upon which Ardaris was born was taken as a good sign, symbolizing luck. If her parents had known what she would one day become, they would have strangled her at birth. However, prophecy is a rare gift, and they would have worried about other things if they had indeed possessed it. The small, but stable kingdom was far enough away from Nehekhara that they had little to fear from Nagash, but his wrath reached them eventually, however indirectly it came. In the form of a stranger from Nehekhara, who claimed he had tired of the politics of Lahmia, and had come to live the rest of his days in peace. As a foreigner, the curious youths of the small farming town were drawn to him, asking questions about the lands outside their small home. Except one, who had decided that the wilderness around the village were far more interesting than the tall tales of some strange man. This of course made the Ex-Lord curious about her. As is typical of less well off citizens Ardaris was married at a young age, and not much later had her first child, but this didn’t put him off, he remained curious, and followed her, unnoticed into the woods. An unhealthy prospect for her, considering that the man was a Vampire, despite the fact that it saved her from numerous packs of wolves, and hungry bears. Although he didn’t go anywhere near the lone orc which came crashing into the clearing she was in. She survived, but was badly hurt, she had stabbed the orc in the stomach, and clubbed it to death with a rock. The Ex-Lord Imhonse decided that it would be a waste to let this woman die after such a feat, and turned her, a decision he would later regret with all his being. And so they left that small village behind, under the guise of a married couple, travelling to find a place to live, moving ever closer to the capital. Eventually, she tired of his company, and left him, setting out for the capital alone. There she drew the attention of many lords, and used this to gain herself power, eventually she did get married, but not to any of the minor lords who had originally courted her, she married the crown prince, and using her position, gained information to prepare for when she seized power. In one short evening, nearly every member of the royal family lay dead, there were only a few survivors of the massacre, The current, elderly, Queen, the Prince’s youngest brother, who had recently taken sick, and of course, the new Crown Princess, Ardaris, who was chosen as the Princess Regent until the young Prince came of age. He died from his illness a long time before then. And so the kingdom fell into Ardaris’ hands, and an emissary came from a much larger nearby state, demanding that she surrender all her lands to them. She sent their heads and a declaration of war home in boxes of Scorpions. As was to be expected, this larger state believed that it would be able to take them, and they would have been right, if they had been facing humans. However, every Noble and High ranking military officer had been turned, personally, by Ardaris, and so, it didn’t go as planned. Entire armies were butchered like cattle. The worst part for them, was the manner in which Ardaris displayed her victories. Every citizen or soldier who was caught by her army was skinned, dead or alive, covered in salt, so that any who were alive felt like they were on fire until they died, and tied to the trees with their own intestines. Crows followed her army constantly for the carrion left in their wake, eventually, she reached their capital, where, instead of besieging, she called peace negotiations with their king, and, as one would expect from any king under this kind of assault, he lept at the chance to end the war. And so Ardaris met him inside his palace, unarmed and alone. She then summoned a Daemon into him, causing him to be possessed, and destroy his own city, followed after by the rest of his country. Fortunately, this dynasty not going to last, for soon after this victory, most of the human citizens of the kingdom left, and the Vampiric nobles were forced to leave or starve, and of course, when they journeyed to the same location, they would fight for their territory, and their food. So most perished and their memory passed from the annals of history. Until Ardaris’ bloody reign was naught but a distant memory, even to her. For countless years she roamed, fighting only when necessary, the only true bloodshed she encountered after that was in Mordheim, which she ventured to in order to put one of her Daemons to rest, literally, for the Possessed king of the nation she had conquered had survived, and was now slaughtering hundreds in the City of the Damned, and so she eventually aligned herself with a young Clan Eshin assassin named Scetto to destroy it. Eventually she journeyed to the lands of Nehekhara to find the Tomb King who had bested her sire, and the rest is known. ____________________________________________________________________________ Ardaris’ rampage passed from the memories of man, but some races have longer memories, In particular, the skaven of Clan Eshin who dwelt in those lands, and later learnt the ways of assassination from the Cathayans, the skaven of course recognized the effectiveness of her psychological warfare, and used it to their own ends. Several thousand years later, a young skaven took the lessons much further to heart than most, and used it frequently, this had the drawback of being more noticeable, but as he gained notoriety, the true advantage revealed itself, fear is a powerful weapon, and so he rose to ever greater heights in Clan Eshin. When news of the abundance of Warpstone in Mordheim reached Clan Eshin, they sent many warbands to claim this resource, and Scetto led one himself, and the few Skaven who survived became great assassins, and left The City of the Damned to serve their Warlords in their own manner. Scetto gained prestige in Mordheim, and could have become a Warlord himself if he had so desired, but he preferred the assassin’s life, and stayed there, training young Skaven assassins in the harshest conditions he could find, even descending into the pit to find the Warpstone there, and fight the Possessed dwelling in that region. It was midwinter with his seventh warband when he met Ardaris, she just walked into their camp, and when they attacked her (As they would being skaven) she simply blocked and parried until none of the skaven had the energy to fight, and collapsed from exhaustion. Forced to concede, she gave them her ultimatum, help her kill Alxebren, or die here. As skaven are wont to do, they chose the possibility of life over the certainty of death. All but Scetto and Ardaris died fighting him anyway, despite the effectiveness of their ambush. After the battle Scetto didn’t accept any more apprentices, killing hundreds more people, giving rise to the legend of ‘The Black Terror of Mordheim’ and sent large amounts of Warpstone and constant reports of his findings to the Nightmaster, which benefited the Clan’s operations in Mordheim hugely. And suddenly, the shipments stopped. The Nightmaster sent some of the best assassins (Including several trained by Scetto himself) to find what had happened to him, but they were unable to find him. Eventually they even took to interrogating any possible witnesses, however, all they ever found was a madman’s ramblings that he had left. He had indeed left, but only after he realized an unbelievable truth. He had been in Mordheim longer than any mortal ever had, and the proximity to such vast quantities of Warpstone had mutated him, making him ageless, faster, stronger and many abilities, some even he hasn’t discovered yet.