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Sception

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Sception last won the day on October 12 2018

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  1. Sception

    Death Wishlisting

    GW doesnt base game stuff on the novels, and the 'hierarchy' business is directly contradicted by published game book fluff, so i wouldnt put too much stock in it. As for what we're likely to see, what we *expect* to see, well that's a different topic entirely from wishlisting. What I *expect* to see is a revised and (finger's crossed) expanded FEC faction later this year, then LoN nerfed into the ground in GH19, with Nighthaunts being cut down in the crossfire (rather than just removing grimghasts & chainrasps from LoN, I expect they'll just get a sky high points costs that will kill their viability in both legion and nighthaunt lists), and then literally nothing else in terms of significant developments for death until 2021. But then again, I've always been the pessimistic sort, so we'll see. I've been wrong before.
  2. Sception

    Death Wishlisting

    In terms of more concrete, short term wishlisting, significant points adjustments across the board for the legions: Nagash 900 (+100) Mannfred 380 (-40) Neferata 360 (-40) Bloodseeker Palanquin 260 (-60) Necromancer 140 (+30) Wight King 100 (-20) Skeletons 80/300 (+20 at max size) Blood Knights 200 (-60) Grave Guard unit size 10-30, points cost 120/320 (batch size -> box size, -40/-100) Dire Wolves 80/420 (+20/+100) Hexwraiths 140 (-20) Morghasts 200 (-20) Vargheists 140 (-20) Zombies 50/280 (-10/-40) Castellans of the Crimson Keep: 100 (-50) Court of Nulahmia: 80 (-30) Deathmarch 120 (-40) Lords of Sacrament 80 (-50) Nightfall Pack 100 (-70) First Cohort 120 (-40) Additionally: Removal of Legion Black Coach as a unit, just have the legions and the nighthaunts use the same black coach scroll Limit the Errata that added Nighthaunt starter box units to Legions to Narrative & Open Play games (they'd still be available as allies in matched play) Gamewide addition of new 'Rule of One' limiting all command abilities apart from those in the core rules to 1/player turn, nerfing a lot of things, but mostly endless legions. Ie, you can use inspiring presence as often as you have command points for, but undless legions is only once per turn. Granted, I think these changes would pretty dramatically hurt the competitive viability of legions, but if anything the legions have been somewhat overrepresented on the tournament scene, and particular bits like nagash and endless legions, while you can argue about how balanced they are or aren't, just create bad play experiences for opponents that should be avoided, even if doing so comes at the cost of a nerf to the legions' current competitive viability. I mean, long term I would phase out 'legions of nagash' as a discrete faction entirely, as per my previous post, instead making the legions a set of alternative traits for grand alliance death in general. Honestly, 1/turn might not be enough of a nerf for endless legions, it might have to get specifically limited to once per game. Long term I would make gravesites and endless legions type unit restoration a gimmick specific to the deathmages/deadwalkers faction (ie, the faction most focused on themes of magic, recursion, and hordes of individually weak fodder), and shift overall death/legion allegiance recursions to a different & significantly less extreme model as a tradeoff for having access to such a wide variety of units. In the mean time I think the above changes would do a lot to diversify what death lists are still played, with nighthaunt actually being able to make the best use of grimghasts and chainrasps for once, allowing units like blood knights and grave guard to maybe see some play after getting hefty points reductions. Increase to dire wolves in particular, especially after removal of nighthaunt units, puts a bit more of a premium on speed in an army that's supposed to be a bit slower, and makes gravesite deployment a more significant trick in the toolbox. That's also the reason that I wouldn't personally reduce the price of black knights at this time - yeah they're overpriced if you're looking at the game in general, but they still do something significant within the confines of this particular faction, especially if dire wolves go up in price.
  3. Sception

    Tomb Kings Discussion

    Oh, yeah, definitely lackluster rules didnt help the tk player base at all. I mean, even there the results were never bad on purpose, tomb kings rules through the years clearly got a lot of loving attention in the form of unique gimmickry, from units of charriots to the unique, scroll based spell system in their early books. Rules that different are a lot of effort, tk rules never felt lazy. But rules that different in a wargame like this can often be broken, either too good or not good enough when run up ahains other armies. I mean, reference another underplayed fantasy army, the wood elves, particularly in 5e and 6e when they were running full skirmish armies in a rank and file game. If you knew what you were foing with wood elves a lot of 'normal' factions had very little they could respond with as your freely moving units danced out of charge arcs or drew enemy blocks into woods where they would be stuck for turns on end. Of course, that didnt help wood elf sales, so while interesting-but-painfully-subpar rules didnt help, I'm not sure they're the main thing to blame for tomb kings never quite catching on. The simple fact is, there were a ton of warhammer armies already before the vc/tk split, and im just not sure the player base was ever going to support two undead armies, and if only one was going to survive, well, tomb kings had skeletons and mummies, and vamp vounts had vampires and necromancers and zombies and ghosts and ghouls and dragons and, oh, skeletons too, plus the bloodline system to personalize your army. And while the egyptian aesthetic was super compelling... so was the gothic victorian aesthetic of the vamp counts army. Even if vamp counts didnt have consistently better rules, if only one undead army was going to catch on in whfb, i still wouldn't have given tomb kings good odds, much as i have a soft spot for them.
  4. Sception

    Tomb Kings Discussion

    That's not fair. The initial tomb kings line got tons of love and attention. The chariots were great, and the ssc and casket in particular are still andolutely spectacular models, and the 6e push was super respectable as well, with tons of super impressive plastic models, in particular the sphynx and tomb guard, that again clearly had a huge investment of effort, love, and money sunk into them. Their rules were sadly always lackluster, but never to the point of being bad on purpose, just standard gw less than filly competant rules design. At no point in all of that was the faction deliberately sabotaged. Even when AoS was first released, at which point they had to have already known they were dropping the line, they still got fun & functional rules compared to other compendium lists. Arguable the most functional that tomb kings ryles had ever been, and under the 2016 generals handbook snakes were easily the strongest death army, and one of the strongest armies in the game, and that was /after/ the tk line had already been discontinued. It wasnt until gh17 that tomb kings got a treatment that could reasonably be called 'bad on purpose'.
  5. Sception

    Death Wishlisting

    Pie in the sky wishlisting? A variety of death battletomes & model ranges including: Nighthaunt book/range - I'm pretty happy w/ this as it is Updated FEC book w/ proper allegiance rules, plastic varghulf, maybe some new stuff, possibly named heroes? This actually looks rather likely this year. Soulblight book including expanded bloodline rules, new plastic vat, vamp, and blood knight models, new mortal shyish blood donor/cultist type units to fill out numbers and give us an in game taste of living shyish culture. Maybe even some halflings (both mortal and vampyric) as a nod to the halflings survivors in sylvania when the end times hit. Deathrattle book incorporating ideas from the old tomb kings army, in particular the return of skeletal archers, chariots, catapults, bone giants, & lich spellcasters, all w/ new models. This faction led by Khalida as Mortarch of Dust, revived by Nagash to lead his skeletal legions since arkhan is busy w more important secret missions, neferata has been acting up since the resurgent vampire activity that came w the hypothetical previous soulblight book, so nagash decides to bring back a rival to distract her/keep her in line. Deathwalker/mages book as combined faction with zombies (w/ new models), dire wolves, necromancers, corpse carts, mortis engines (as a spellcasting hero), unridden zombie dragons and terrorgheists, plus a new range of chimeric, frankensteinish, stitched-together, experimental necromantic monstrosities (monstrous infantry, monsters, etc) to help bridge the conceptual gap between zombies and necromancers. Maybe a return/reimagining of of the tomb kings' casket of souls. Narratively whatever rituals arkhan had been busy with would come up here. Deathlords book, this coming after all the others listed above, and replacing the current legions of nagash book. Includes a stand alone hyper-elite deathlords army - nagash, mortarchs, morghasts, including new morghast hero and a small range of maybe wingless, slightly shorter but still distinctly on the 'monstrous infantry' size category morghasts (maybe two dual kits, one 5-10 model infantry box and one 2-3 model cavalry box), with the heavy implication that these new morghasts are made from stolen stormcast souls. This book would also include a range of legion allegiance rulesets replacing the current legions, which would function as alternatives to the generic death allegiance rules, allowing for mixing of any death units from any of the other books in the mortarchs personal warhosts.
  6. Sception

    Tomb Kings Discussion

    Sadly, while the tomb kings were initially rather fun and impressive in the early days of age of sigmar, and particularly under the initial general's handbook, the army has been absolutley brutalized by subsequent rules & points updates, and that's before you consider how they've been left behind by modern battle tome design regardless. Sadly, I just don't see them as at all playable these days in anything but the most forgiving of casual environments. There are one or two units that I'd still take if they were available to a legions army, but as it is? I'm sorry I can't be more positive about them. My own tomb kings sure would like to be able to play too. There was a pretty ok homebrew battletome for them, but even that is kind of clunky and outdated at this point, and if you applied the most recent official points values and rules updates to it, I don't think it would be very playable, either.
  7. Sception

    AoS 2 - Grand Host of Nagash Discussion

    Nighthaunt units, at least those that the legions share, are arguably better in a legions of nagash army, due to the legions' superior recursion mechanics, spellcasting, and character support. But you lose out on a lot of those benefits if you're playing a ghosts-only army, and allowing yourself only a single non-nighthaunt hero with the amulet. You can make it work, grimghasts in particular are nasty with gravesite recursion, but i do think a pure nighthaunt army works better with the actual nighthaunt allegiance. Though even then, one or two non-ethereal allied vampires or necromancers are still recommended.
  8. Sception

    Legion of Nagash 1k Lists

    My standard 1k grand host list is: Vamp lord on zombie dragon, ethereal amulet, lord of nagashizaar, amaranthine orb Necromancer, overwhelming dread 40 spearletons 2x5 dire wolves 50 pts left over for an extra command point List for other legions is pretty much the same, just swapping items and ca around.
  9. Sception

    AoS 2 - Flesh-eater Courts Discussion

    I'd be honestly surprised if we didn't see a plastic varghulf, a terrain set, and some endless spells, and would be only slightly less surprised if we saw anything more than that in terms of new models. That said, I have my fingers desperately crossed for separate courtier models. Regardless of what might be, this new hero who's already been confirmed looks simply fantastic. I don't know if I'll be able to find a skaven player to split a box with, but if I don't I'll be trolling ebay for him.
  10. Sception

    Expanding on Death: Not Enough Flavour

    Anti-Nagashi undead aren't really super possible in the current lore, not because undead can't act against Nagash, but because the moment such action becomes significant enough to attract his attention the undead in question are brought back to heel. Of course, new fluff could change or retcon that, but even then, anti-Nagashi undead wouldn't be 'Grand Alliance: Death' units. They'd be order (Settra, as a civilization builder, would fall in here), or destruction (one could imagine independent ghoul hordes/kingdoms under Ushoran as a destruction faction), or chaos (think nurgle zombies). The Grand Alliances are just that, alliances. Yes, there might be infighting within them, but they set that aside and work together when it comes to battling forces of the other alliances. The armies of Tzeentch and Khorne might clash, but they work together against Sigmar, and never work /with/ sigmar against each other. Likewise in order, sigmarines might fight to protect an innocent village from khainite blood elf murderercults, but they'll be fighting with those cults against orc hordes, nagashii undead, or the forces of chaos, and never with those against the khainites. Grand Alliance: Death is the 'Nagash' alliance, the forces acting - willingly, knowingly, or otherwise - in service of Nagash's vision. Any force, living or otherwise, so fundamentally opposed to that vision that they would more readily ally with sigmar, gork/mork, or Khorne against nagash than vice versa by definition isn't a part of that alliance and shouldn't have the 'Death' keyword. ............................................. As for ways to expand the factions and themes available to the alliance, there's a few ways to do it. The flesh eaters/nighthaunt model of taking a particular 'race' of undead and expanding it into a discrete faction is one, and seems the most obvious. For instance, you could imagine the following as Death army books: Flesh Eaters (ghoul stuff, maybe Ushoran as a ghoul mortarch) Nighthaunts (ghost stuff led by olynder) Deathrattle (skeleton stuff, maybe borrowing TK themes with bone giants, archers, chariots, etc, maybe led by arkhan, or krell, or somebody new like Tamra) Fleshy stuff (zombies and necromancers plus some abhorrant 'frankensteins monster'esque elites and stitched flesh chimera monstrosities) Soulblight (vampires, vampire bats, maybe vampire wolves, maybe some blood donors / mortal cultists dedicated to surving the vampires in the hopes of being chosen themselves) Deathlords (nagash, non-faction-specific mortarchs, morghasts - maybe hero level morghasts, maybe vampire lords and master necromancers specifically chosen as the acolytes of the various mortarchs), plus rules for 'generic death' and 'legion of nagash' armies with access to all death models but maybe requiring a deathlord leader as the general for the legions?) But while that's perfectly viable, a more interesting route might be going with more general themes. For example, you might have undead pirates with a mix of vampire captains, skeletal & zombie crew, ghost mermaids & what-have-you, and then an entirely separate necropolis army with ghost aristocrats, skeletal citizen levy, necromancers animating stone statues & gargoyles, etc. with each themes having a mix of different kinds of undead within them, rather than the different kinds of undead each separated out into secregated factions, and then just leave 'legions of nagash' more or less as is for the 'generic gothic' basic versions of undead without some theme layed on top. IMO either way would work. In the mean time, after the rather impressive nighthaunt release and the very solid Legions of Nagash book, I'm personally content to wait a bit for more new stuff while we get some more elves, dwarves, slaaneshi stuff, mortal chaos followers, greenskins, and other somewhat underrepresented AoS factions.
  11. Sception

    Black coach experiences?

    I've proxied it a bit using a mortis engine, and it's a cool unit, if not super strong for its points. Still pretty decent, and I like it in the formation with hexwraiths. As for the model/base issues, my plan if I ever get it is to mount it on the larger knight titan oval base, same as I did for my mortis engine, which has the same problem with being way too big for its base and hanging way out over it in multiple directions. In both cases, the knight titan base is a dramatically better fit. You may run into issues if you're a regular tournament players at venues that are sticklers for the official base sizes, though.
  12. Sception

    Death vs Death Lore

    In the AoS setting? Depends on what you mean by nagash entering the picture, because again, Nagash bound himself to the wind of Shyish during the End Times, imprinting himself upon it in the same way that he imprinted himself upon his various artifacts and the necromantic rituals he devised. That wind went on to manifest in the warp as the mortal realm of Shyish, so in a sense Nagash was part of the picture from the moment the mortal realms existed. It's likely there were primordial undead creatures walking the mortal realms, and Shyish in particular, before Nagash the god/person/conscious individual first manifested as a physical being in the mortal realms. Nagash's physical/mental form is an incredibly intricate and powerful entity and takes a long time to coalesce anew after that physical body is destroyed and consciousness scattered. Certainly there were undead monstrosities travelling Shyish before Sigmar freed Nagash's physical form from its tomb. As for how he got there in the first place, iirc it's implied that thev chaos gods found Nagash's soul/being/essence during their ravenous consumption of the old world as it was torn apart, but that they were unable to destroy or consume it (his soul is so suffused with necromantic magic that it's basically poisonous to them), so instead they imprisoned it and left it behind. From what I gather, a new body coalesced within the tomb, but was trapped and in torpor until Sigmar freed it. But again, even before that, Nagash's influence was still there on the mortal realms via his unbreakable bond to the magic of Shyish itself. Nagash The Great Machine was still operating, albeit purely on instinct and without it's most important component, and with no guiding hand on the wheel. It's also worth noting that Nagash's mind and personality aren't the only guiding hand on that wheel, just by far the strongest and most self aware, but Nagash did absorb several other death gods in the old world, and yet more were caught up in the wind of Shyish as it was torn through the chaos gate, and re-manifested from the magic of Shyish in the early days of the mortal realms, most to later be consumed by Nagash anyway. These entities/personalities are in a sense still part of Nagash - again recall Nagash-Morr - generally manifested as tools of convenience, but as powerful as Nagash is these entities were still gods, and may be capable of retaining some manifestation of their own identities within Nagash and possibly influencing his decisions and personality from within. It's possible that Morr's personality and influence were at the fore during the period of Nagash's alliance with sigmar, though at the same time it's more likely that the memory of Morr's personality was just a mask Nagash wore over his true intentions while still plotting to betray Sigmar from the start in some portion of his mind kept segregated from the surface consciousness. There are implications that the Great Work of the Shyish Inversion, with legions of skeletons transporting gravesand from the edges of Shyish to its center via hidden routes might have already started at that point. The nature of Nagash is a rather complicated thing, and somewhat inconsistently presented in AoS fluff, so there's a lot of room for speculation.
  13. Sception

    Death vs Death Lore

    Vampires in general (though of course there are exceptions) are scheming, duplicitous, and vain by nature. They might subvert each other to attain higher station, or more power, or to ingratiate themselves to a superior, or to satisfy personal pride or petty grudges. Plenty of reasons for Vampires to attack each other whether politically or militarily. Yes, such internal conflict can and does sometimes the alliance of death on the whole, but those same traits make vamlires excellent spies, infiltrators, manipulators, warriors, and commanders. They are the aristocracy of the dead, among the most elite warriors, and the most effective independent commanders short of the mortarchs themselves, and their pride is not unjustified. Vampires are able to easily dominate the minds of weak willed mortals and bend large forces of lesser undead to their will. Placed in command of an army of the dead their mere precence can sustain their forces against losses and drive them to a killing frenzy far beyond their usual abilities. Vampires are capable of both raising legions of corpses to unlife and of spreading their own cursed form of undead existence to the living, such that a single vampire infiltrating past enemy lines can turn into an entire army of the undead practically overnight. Though not all that much more durable that other undead champions, their ability to feed on the blood of the living allows them to recover from almost any wound that doesn't outright destroy their physical forms, and some are capable of recovering from even that. While their prideful streak can be troublesome, it is the unavoidable consequence of two extremely useful traits - a cunning and predatory intelligence that far outstrips other undead and an independence that allows them to react and adapt to unexpected situations far more adroitly than any wraith or wight king can manage, meaning they can handle more complicated assignments with far less oversight from superiors. Altogether, their usefulness as tools more than compensates for any inconvenience that might arise from their occasional infighting, and even that can be a useful trait that weeds out the weak while keeping the strong on their toes.
  14. Sception

    Death vs Death Lore

    Exactly. And there are already multiple examples of this. In particularwith mortarchs undermining or defying Nagash in ways that might seem self interested, but that still still arguably advance his overall interests even more. In at least one case, a mortarch uses a cat's paw to directly defy Nagash when they themselves are physically unable to do so due to their connection to him. In particular check out the novels 'Undying King' and 'Soul Wars': https://www.blacklibrary.com/new-titles/featured/ebook-soul-wars.html https://www.blacklibrary.com/new-titles/featured/ebook-soul-wars.html both of which also briefly mention and expand on the idea of Nagash having different personal avatars & incarnations, though none of them directly appear. 'Nagash-Morr' is one mentioned by name, which takes on the aspect of Morr, one of several old world death gods that Nagash consumed during the End Times, and is specifically described as manifesting to protect mortal worshipers of Nagash from the forces of chaos. Nagash appears in a number of other Age of Sigmar novelizations set during the realmgate wars, but his actions in the earlier realmgate war books are generally revealed/retconned as subterfuge and misdirection by the end of that arc, so I'm not sure it's particularly worth getting into now. For old world Nagash lore, check out the rise of nagash omnibus for his origins: https://www.blacklibrary.com/all-products/rise-of-nagash-ebook.html and the End Times novelizations, particularly the first book 'Return of Nagash' for how he ended up: https://www.blacklibrary.com/all-products/return-of-nagash-ebook.html Three of these books are available in an ebook bundle: https://www.blacklibrary.com/warhammer-chronicles/bundles/nagash-ebook-bundle.html that includes the origin trilogy/omnibus (nagash's as he started in the old world), the Return of Nagash (nagash more or less as he ended in the old world), and Undying King (Nagash as he exists in the Age of Sigmar, though that book in particular is set during a weaker torpor while he's still recovering from his defeat at Archaon's hands at the dawn of the age of chaos, so his will is particularly scattered and unfocused). As a character he doesn't change too much between the end of his origin trilogy and the start of the end times. He spent most of the intervening millennia regenerating from various defeats, occasionally returning to life only to be destroyed again by this or that hero, each time weaker than the time before, due both due to missing some of the artifacts invested with portions of his soul (his crown, his severed hand, etc), and due to essentially a curse inflicted by the skaven fellblade that originally slew him, until he finally is restored to full power during the End Times, and very quickly after that grows far more powerful still. The end times books imply that this happened several times that we never see, but the one time we do is also Nagash's first meeting with Sigmar: https://www.blacklibrary.com/warhammer-chronicles/time-of-legends/God-King-ebook.html It's actually the third book of Sigmar's equivalent origin trilogy and pits Sigmar-the-Man against a reduced Nagash leading an undead army from Nagashizzar to the northern lands of the Empire in search of his crown, which has come into Sigmar's possession after events in prior books in the sigmar origin trilogy. Needless to say, the two don't exactly see eye to eye in their first encounter, but they are able to work together in the End Times, and it's implied in multiple AoS novels that they were basically close colleagues if not outright buddies during the Time of Myth, working closely together in the initial foundation of civilization in the Mortal Realms.
  15. Sception

    Death vs Death Lore

    Nagash is the Supreme Lord of the Undead, and where he imposes his will they all get in line. But, even as vast and omnipresent as Nagash is, he can't impose that will in all places at once. More powerful/independent undead are quite capable of working against each other, or even subverting Nagash himself when his attention isn't on them, and they can drive legions of lesser undead to do the same, though rising up directly against nagash isn't really possible because again the moment you get his attention, your undead legions turn on you and you are unable to prevent yourself from bending knee. Different types of undead are different amounts of susceptible to this, requiring different amounts of focus from Nagash. Vampires can be quite squirrely and duplicitous. Their true undead nature still makes them very vulnerable to direct commands, but their trickery, intelligence, and power gives them significant leeway in twisting or misinterpreting commands to their benefit. Ghouls are shielded by their half-living nature, and ghoul-kings by their innate madness. Nagash /can/ compel obedience from them, but it takes much more focused attention to do so, and the moment he turns his mind away from them their king's madness may reassert itself and cause them to stray from their tasks. Sort of like trying to lead a classroom full of students with ADHD, you can set a handful of kids on a task, but if you turn your attention to some other kids you can't necessarily rely on the first group keeping to the same assignment for very long on their own. Nighthaunts are a bit more manageable than either ghouls or vampires, and Nagash requires relatively little personal effort to direct them, but their minds aren't all there, and they are driven by a burning hatred of the living. The tormented spirits may by too distracted by their own suffering to fully understand a task, or too driven by the need to hunt the living to stick to it. As such, they make great shock troops, but terrible garrisons, and require particularly strong-willed commanders to keep them in line when Nagash's attention is elsewhere. In contrast, mindless zombies have a much easier time sticking to tasks, but are too stupid to carry out orders of any complexity without constant supervision. Of all of the undead, the deathrattle legions of skeletons and wights are the most pliable. They retain enough intelligence to follow instructions of some complexity, and once compelled will continue on their tasks untiringly and without distraction until they are destroyed, given another task, or wear their bones away to dust. As such, these are Nagash's most relied-upon tools. The drawback however is the same as their strength - how easily controlled they are. Skeletons left to a task with no one to supervise can easily fall under the sway of another necromancer, vampire, wight king, or the like, and be ordered away from their initial assignment. Morghasts combine the strength and willpower of vampires with the tireless and unquestioning loyalty of skeletons, and as such are even more favored among Nagash's servants, but the divine spark inherent in their creation means they cannot be marshaled in numbers that even begin to approach the endless deathrattle legions. As such, a mix of skeletal and morghast soldiers make up the bulk of nagash's personal forces, as reflected in the grand host ruleset and first cohort formation. But again, Nagash can command literally any undead creature directly and completely if he puts his mind to it, it's just a matter of how much of his vast willpower and attention he can afford to manifest in any given place at any given time with all the different plots and all the different battles that the undead are involved with over all the mortal realms. Nagash is, in some ways, the most mortal, the most human of the various anti-chaos gods, being strongly driven by the very mortal vices of pride and petty spite. However, at the same time, he's also the /least/ human of these gods, having abandoned his mortality long before ascension, and split his mind and soul into dozens of fragments each operating semi-independently as components in a massive machine, sometimes seemingly in opposition to each other, like a resistor might seem to operate in opposition to an electrical circuit while still contributing towards a singular goal that no one component is fully aware of, even if that component happens to call itself, and take the physical form of, "Nagash". You should be aware that, at any given time, there are many different manifestations of Nagash. Think of the creature you call Nagash less as Nagash itself, and more as semi-autonomous avatars representing facets of the greater deity as a whole. But while these multiple incarnations do let Nagash spread his direct personal influence much further than almost any other rival deity can, they still aren't enough to allow him to personally direct even a significant fraction of all the undead in existence, so he relies on subordinates - wight kings, vampire lords, master necromancers, shroud knights, even ghoul kings - though their madness makes them the least reliable of this sort of servant. These individuals are played against each other to refine their skills, test for quality, and weed out inferior servants, and are given direct command of lesser undead before being assigned to various tasks so that Nagash's direct will can be applied elsewhere. The mortarchs fall into a similar role, halfway between a subordinate lieutenant and fully manifested avatar. Each likely (though this isnt totally confirmed) does contain the soul of the being they appear to be, as those souls became part of Nagash when they first became mortarchs and can be called up from the depths of Nagash's being whenever they are needed, but that soul is irrevocably mixed with a shard of Nagash's own being. They are basically the person as Nagash remembers them, as Nagash needs them to be, semi-autonomous fragments of his being that require less power and attention to maintain than a full avatar while being far more reliable than other, more independent undead. The mortarchs are thus relied upon to direct critical, long term plans and campaigns on Nagash's behalf, and to apply their unique personalities to them. As splinters of Nagash's own soul, they are fundamentally unable to act against him directly, but they do scheme against each other, and sometimes seem to subvert Nagash by inspiring their subordinates to defy him. Again though, all the mortarchs, as well as 'Nagash' the person(s)/avatar(s) himself/themselves, are all components of the Greater-Machine-Nagash, which can be thought of as a sort of infinite clockwork lattice of bone and blood and soul and sinew representing the will and ambition of Shyish itself, which Nagash inextricably bound to himself, and himself to it, during the End Times, a bond re-invigorated and infinitely deepened by the necroquake that set off the soul wars. All undead beings are unwitting components of the greater Nagash-That-Is-Shyish through the death magic that animates them, and the mortarchs restrict or counteract each other or Nagash himself only where doing so in some unfathomable way serves the greater whole, even if they themselves are unable to see it. So anyway, yeah, open war of the undead against Nagash doesn't and really can't happen, at least not according to the current canon lore. That sort of thing was put to bed once and for all in the End Times, and has never been a thing in Age of Sigmar. But conflicts between undead warlords and even mortarchs absolutely can and do happen while Nagash isn't looking, or where Nagash - whether consciously as the person or subconsciously as the great machine - feels such conflict will advance his overall aims by weeding out the weak or teaching a servant humility or even just letting personified embodiments of two conflicting thoughts, emotions, or ideas within the greater whole of Nagash fight it out to decide which in direction the machine will move its pieces going forward.
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