It almost made more sense to see them in this fabricated astral plane as their four separate incarnations. Zacharias the student of Melkhior the student of W’soran the student of Nagash.
The fourth, the Dread Master of Liches, who once gave the name ‘Oliver’ but frequently shed appearances and appellations had a name as well. Tomus, he thought he heard one of them whisper. The student of Greghor, the student of the Necronium written by W’soran and Melkhior and the most recent of their students but not the one who ascended. Heinrich shuddered as he considered again the way the horrifyingly disfigured monsters ingested their predecessors, tearing them apart bit by bit and grinding their bones to bloody shards. It was this Tomus that was their current physical form but it housed them all. For a moment, Heinrich envied his ability to give physical (astral?) form to the voices that whispered in his mind.
That and their unified purpose
He was surprised that their intention with the twisting imprisoned expression of Ereth Khial was to bind her to an artifact rather than just… eat her.
The agent of Slaanesh that knew her dark master treasured elven souls above all made more entreaties for the prizes sealed within the Dread Master’s astral seed and was apparently becoming more desperate as she loudly broadcast her pleas for all within to hear. As if Heinrich or any of the others were going anywhere near a deal with one of the four lords of Chaos. But just as she was about to depart with promises of consequences that was just what Tomus offered. He offered an impossible promise for the vague reward of assistance or cooperation or at the very least a cessation of threats.
But then again ‘impossible’ is all we seemed to do. Heinrich could not remember the last time they entered an arrangement or undertaking with any form of advantage or even hope. His own inborn starlight dimmed further becoming a colder center of steely resolve to keep pushing forward resolutely towards whatever end was surely soon in store.
The agent either accepted the bargain or was at least amused enough to court the chance of seeing it happen. Tomus offered many times bound and divided and anchored soul of W’soran’s master, Nagash. Not for the first-time Heinrich considered the cold loneliness of death. The utter disregard for master, apprentice, ally, in exchange for power or the promise of continued cold existence. The deal to betray their former master struck, the necrarchs returned the rest of the vampires to Sylvania to find that Orion in a fit of genius had captured their apprentices.
The Viscount, Grand Marshal, and Dread Master each turned to regard each other at the news and all fell to laughter. Inside Heinrich his star grew colder.