Wreathed in necromantic grandeur and dark sorcery, Nagash is a god of darkness and death given huge and terrible form. For aeons far beyond reckoning of mortals he has endured, though countless foes have tried to slay him. Even when his enemies have brought him low with sword or spell, it is but a setback, for what is a thousand years of slumber to one who cannot truly die?
Time and again Nagash has risen from his grave. Each time, fresh armies of the unliving have been raised up and mustered to wage war against his foes, for Nagash claims lordship over Shyish, the Amethyst Realm, and all that dwell there.
Across kingdoms of endless night, seas of ice-cold blood and ancient tombs the size of continents, Nagash and his Deathlords rule. Their ultimate goal is to spread their dominion over all the realms. Once the living have been eradicated, the realms will be filled with tireless and obedient hordes of the Undead, and Nagash will rule unopposed over them all.
Nagash still holds the Flesh-eater Courts accountable for the destruction wrought by their maker, the Carrion King. However, many times have ghoul armies been pressed into his service, the Necromancer accepting them into the ranks of his armies in the name of expediency.
During many battles, such as the Deepling Cataclysm and the assault on the Arch of Bones, mordants died fighting alongside deathrattlers and soulblights. Though they are often willing, the abhorrants and their courts are forever plagued by madness, much to the irritation of Nagash and his more lucid generals.
This makes them unpredictable as troops, especially as, unlike true undead, Nagash cannot simply take control of them.
For many centuries it has been Nagash's desire to find the Carrion King, wherever he might be hiding. With the blood of this lost king, the Lord of the Undead might be able to control the madness of the mordants and rule not just those that choose to bend a knee, but every dark soul sprung from the abhorrant king's lineage.[1a]
The Lost Ages
The World Before Time
As the World Before Time suffers the cataclysmic destruction, the Dark Gods who won turned away from the ruin they had wrought and and began the Great Game anew in other worlds and other creations. In doing so, they paid no heed to the tiny speck of light tumbling in the infinite darkness - from which a miracle took shape and the Mortal Realms were born.
The Mortal Realms
Taking shape from the maelstrom of a sundered world, Eight Realms came into existence. The essence of Nagash had also survived the destruction of the World Before Time, and that essence found its way to Shyish, the Amethyst Realm.
The Age of Myth
Nagash was found by Sigmar deep in the lowest underworlds, buried beneath a mountain-cairn of stone. He ascended into godhood and was the ruler of the Realm of Shyish. To return the favor, Nagash joined with Sigmar and his pantheon of gods who created a glorious golden age for the Mortal Realms. While the pantheon remained strong many new settlements grew over the Eight Realms, great empires rose and, for a while, treachery was banished.
But as the utopia grew stronger, the gods began to pursue their own agendas and in doing so weakened the Great Alliance.
The Age of Chaos
While the Age of Myth unfolded, the Dark Gods were watching beyond time and reality. Each plotted to claim these ripe new lands for their own. In order to find its way into the Mortal Realms, they needed to breach the barrier between their own realms and reality. Their schemes weakened the Great Alliances and they won the war against Sigmar and the other gods.
War of Heaven and the Underworlds
While initially remaining on his side Nagash eventually abandoned Sigmar. In a rage, Sigmar stormed Shyish in pursuit of the god of death. However, before the fight could be concluded Sigmar was forced to return his attention to the losing battle against Chaos with Nagash retreating to the realm of death.
War of Bones
After surviving the duo invasion of Sigmar and Skaven forces, the Great Necromancer was in no shape to withstand the invasion of Archaon. Archaon's armies defeated the weakened forces of Nagash and he defeated Nagash in combat. Being the god of death and therefore unable to truly die Nagash instead escaped to the underworld Stygxx and waited once again to regain his power.
The Realmgate Wars
Sigmar sent his Stormcast Eternals into the eight realms to seek out the aid of the gods so they could once again join forces to defeat the reign of Chaos.
A group of Hallowed Knights led by Lord Celestant Tarsus were chosen for the task and sent to Shyish to find Nagash and deliver a message to him.
On their journey they encountered a captured vampire that turned out to be Mannfred Von Carstein who had been exiled by Nagash. Using him as a guide the Stormcast eventually found their way to the underworld.
Nagash's Mortarch of Sacrament, Arkhan the Black, confronted Mannfred and the Stormcast and warned them to leave. However, the Stormcast refused to leave until their message was delivered.
Finally, Nagash himself appeared and confronted the Stormcast who tried to entreaty Nagash. Nagash, however, was furious with Sigmar, who by allowing the souls of the dead Stormcast to return to Azyr to be reforged rather than them coming to him had robbed Nagash of what he felt was rightfully his. After a brief exchange, Mannfred fled while the Stormcast Eternals attempted to fight Nagash. The Hallowed Knights, however, were no match for the God who not only destroyed them easily but managed to prevent their souls from returning to Sigmaron. However, Lord Celestant Tarsus managed to distract Nagash long enough for his warriors' souls to be released shortly before being killed himself.
However, as a result of Tarsus's sacrifice, his soul is now a prisoner of Nagash who intends to learn all of Sigmar's secrets from him so he can reclaim what is his.
Nagash fights with Zefet-nebtar, the Mortis Blade, and is protected by the black plates of Morikhane, his magical suit of armour. Around him swirl the Nine Books of Nagash, and in one hand he holds Alakanash, the Staff of Power. Even his deathly Gaze can strike down the most powerful of foes. Nagash is accompanied by countless Spirit Hosts that fight with Spectral Claws and Daggers.[2a]
- 1 Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts.
- 1a pg. 15
- 2 The Realmgate Wars: Balance of Power.
- 2a pg. 281
- 3 Games Workshop - Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead.
- 4 Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead - Warscroll.