Like a mighty thunderbolt, the Elven host crashed into Undead host with such a ferocity that could’ve destroyed mortal armies. Yet these were not mortals, but unfeeling and unliving creatures held together by magic most foul. The Elves pushed onward, shattering bones and splintering shields as they punched a deepening whole through the enemy ranks. Yet even as the Grim Warden Eltharion’s attack stalled, Prince Eldyra ordered the Knights of Tiranoc into the advance. One more, a second frontal charge broke another shell of the enemies defences, allowing the Elves to regain the momentum. At the heart of the glen, at the center of the stone circle known as the Nine Daemons, Mannfred von Carstein looked upon the carnage wrought by the Elven assault and saw that he needed to act.
Upon the haunted and tainted lands that this foul ritual would take place, there stands nine great effigies that tower over the landscape, each bearing the appearance and characteristics of horrible daemons. Beneath these mighty effigies, the armies of the Vampire Counts waged war to defend the dark ritual that is taking place.
Within the ritual itself, Arkhan the Black had completed the first stage of the summoning. Scarlet light pulsed deep within the stones as the magic within the Staff of Alakanash and the Nine Books of Nagash created a massive magical barrier on the edge of the ritual circle. In time, the sacrifices were made. Morgiana le Fay of Bretonnia was cut open, her blood filling the cauldron at the center of the circle, while the defiant Volkmar stood ankle-deep in her blood, spiting holy curses at Arkhan, even as his body was encased in Morikhane, the black armor of Nagash. The last sacrifice lay bound on the edge of the stone circle, Aliathra, Everchild of Ulthuan.
Arkhan slowly placed the Crown of Sorcery upon the brow of Volkmar, and in time, the voice of Nagash can be heard upon the winds. With the last hope for the World dead, Arkhan finished the ritual, cut the Everchild’s throat and let spill the blood of the holy. With the cauldron filled, Arkhan clove Volkmar’s wrist and placed the severed Hand of Nagash upon its stump. With one last agonizing scream, Volkmar was consumed by Dark Magic, and in his place came a dark, shadowy figure. Nagash was reborn.
As Nagash rose from the dark cauldron, Arkhan knew that the next phase of their arduous journey had begun. All around the circle, the Books of Nagash suddenly snapped open, pages of blood-inked skin riffled back and forth as Nagash reclaimed the magic he had set within the volumns long ago. One by one, spirits were ripped from these prison-pages and snuffed out with a pinch of Nagash’s fingers, devouring their essence.
With his hand held skyward, Nagash let loose a pillar of darkness that pieced the sky and spoke the final words of power that would awaken the dead of the world from their graves. The Annulii Mountains in Ulthuan trembled, as waystones and the seas around the Isle of the Dead turned black. In Naggaroth, purple flames swepth through the secret shrines to Ereth Khial, and a ghostly city screamed its way into existence atop the ruins of Har Kaldra. Swarms of khepra beetles overran Nehekhara’s temples, and ancient monuments that had dominated the desert for millennial sank beneath the sands. Settra the Imperishable railed at his priest, demanding an explanation that none could provide. In Altdorf, the reclusive Amethyst College crumbled away into dust, and the spectral spirits of long-dead wizards stalked the streets. From anywhere and everywhere, the dead were slowly answering the call of Nagash.
But then the Great Necromancer began to stagger beneath the weight of the magical ritual, as an ancient curse race like poison through his body, sapping his power and strength. It was then that Arkhan and Mannfred realize that the Elf Princess was not the Everchild, but a mere bastard of the cursed Aenarion line. Even as the weight of magic began to slowly crush him, Nagash’s titanic pride would not allow him to accept defeat at first. Yet it became clear that it was impossible, so with a mighty thrust, Nagash stabbed his magical staff upon the ground, channeling all the magic he has gathered into the very earth. Within moments, the entire province of Sylvania was torn apart by unstable magic, creating vast canyons all across the lands and awakening the dead from generations past into unholy half-life. Sylvania has now become the new land of the dead.
Nagash looked out unto this nightmarish landscape and knew that he had to remove this curse should he wish to wage war against the Dark Gods. With his mind set, Nagash allowed his voice to echo across the Winds of Magic, calling forth all who had embraced his necromatic teachings. Those that refused or challenged him were struck by Nagash personally.
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