Warhammer Fantasy Lore: Arkhan the Black – Basic Overview – Total War: Warhammer 2

Warhammer Fantasy Lore: Arkhan the Black – Basic Overview – Total War: Warhammer 2


Many evils have passed the Old World, some of them have perished, lost in the minds of previous generations… but some of them never did. Arkhan the Black was one of that kind. Seeds of fear remained in the hearts of even the bravest of men, for he and what he served for was nothing to be forgotten even in thousands of years. Arkhan was the foremost of Nagash’s captains, and he brought despair and destruction to any who opposed his dark master’s will. Long time ago, before Nehekhara, home of the first true human civilization was cursed to become the Land of the Dead, Arkhan was born as a mere noble man in the city of Khemri. He was an ill-hearted and cruel man without a purpose, but the course of his mortal life and the future of Nehekhara changed drastically when he met Nagash, the Great Necromancer. Nagash was then a High Priest of Khemri, while his brother Thutep was groomed to sit on the throne and rule the lands when their father passed away Nagash was talented and intelligent, yet his corrupt soul longed for absolute power above all else. Bound by malice, a ruthless agenda, and promises of power, Arkhan became the first of Nagash’s many followers as they conspired to take the throne of Khemri. One dark night, Arkhan aided Nagash in his act of betrayal. A violent coup lead to the burial of the king Thutep alive within the Great Pyramid and made Nagash the ruthless ruler of the lands of Nehekhara. Proving to be the most loyal of his followers, Arkhan was named the first lieutenant of his armies. The usurper King had been a long-time student of death and mastered the mysterious ways of dark sorcery not long after, becoming a powerful necromancer. His greed and desire to dominate all eventually resulted in an otherworldly creation, the Elixir of Life. It was the secret to an eternal life and a tool to defy the natural order of things. Nagash shared the precious elixir with Arkhan and his close circle of devoted followers, granting them all immortality. But by drinking from the potion, Arkhan stepped over the edge. While the elixir made him immortal, he was now forever bound to Nagash’s will. The armies led by Arkhan the Black were almost invincible on the battlefield and soon the lieutenant became Nagash’s right hand. It is said that Arkhan was never defeated in open combat, always being able to dispatch his enemies with a deadly combination of great tactical maneuvering, special martial prowess and dark sorcery. While the Great Necromancer grew in power day by day, the Great Kings of Nehekhara joined together in a rebellion to rid their lands off Nagash’s deeply rooted evil. Many battles were fought over nearly a century for control of the capital city of Khemri and the rulership of Nehekhara. In the end, however, the intervention of the Mortuary cult in aiding the united Kings proved to be crucial. The Priests bound the souls of powerful warriors from previous generations to the many statues that adorned Nehekhara and brought them to battle to fight alongside the forces of the rebellion. Nagash was forced back to Khemri to make his final stand. Then, it was Arkhan who led the suicidal counter-attack that gave Nagash the window he needed to escape. For more than an hour Arkhan the Black held back the army of the united Seven Kings through his might. At the end, Arkhan was alone and surrounded by the enemy, yet still unyielding and fighting with a strength out of this world. The seeming end for Arkhan came when a spear thrown by an unnamed soldier tore the thick air and pierced his heart. With his last breath and atop a mountain of fallen foes, he shouted a terrible fate to any who would dare to touch his corpse… and then his body was consumed by dark flames, only leaving a black skeleton to be seen. All of Nagash’s followers were beheaded and burnt, but not a single soldier dared to touch Arkhan’s body out of fear to be cursed forever. The remains were only covered under a cairn of stones instead. So it was that the rebellion achieved victory and the Kings of Nehekhara regained control of Khemri. Centuries later, when Nagash was strong enough to take vengeance on the Kings of Nehekhara, he granted life to Arkhan once more to stand by his side. Called out of his grave, Arkhan the Black walked the realms as the Liche King, first of the nine Dark Lords of Nagash. Arkhan and Nagash commanded their forces of the dead against the united armies of Nehekhara led by the brave and skillful king Alcadizaar. At the Battle of the Golden Skull, the military forces of Alcadizaar were successful and forced a defeated Nagash to once again retreat. Driven by spite and revenge, he cursed the lands and the water so that no one could hold dominion over Nehekhara. Through a dark pact, Nagash had the Great Vitae River poisoned and so disastrous were the effects of this action, that the river itself was renamed as the Great Mortis River. After famine and sickness killed nine tenths of all of Nehekhara’s population, Nagash’s army advanced through the capital city of Khemri without major opposition. The noble King Alcadizaar was taken prisoner to rot in a dungeon. Finally sitting on the throne, Nagash plotted the most ambitious spell, the Great Ritual. A powerful spell made to wake all who rested in their graves throughout the world and bind them with dark magic to his will. However, the prisoner Alcadizaar was freed by the sneaky actions of the skaven and given a powerful weapon. Equipped with a blade made of pure warpstone, he managed to assassinate Nagash while he was casting the spell and all the accumulated power spiraled out of control, unleashing waves of energy across the land. This resulted in the awakening of all the dead kings of Nehekhara from times past. Without Nagash to control them and the wards of protection preserving them, the awakened Kings had their own will and Arkhan could not hold his armies against the Tomb Kings united under the Great King Settra who was also awakened form his ancient tomb. After ravaging the far lands of Araby in the west and the fledging Empire to the north with his armies, Arkhan returned to Nehekhara as he retained his master’s unquenchable thirst for dominion over the once Great Land. Many battles between The Liche King and Settra the Imperishable were fought but yielded no true victor. Although Arkhan could not match Settra’s great armies, his unrivaled magic made him almost invincible to defeat as well. Their battles were always a stalemate and they only ended when Arkhan would bow his head uttering false promises of loyalty to Settra. The King of Kings would then return to Khemri to watch again over his diminished empire. While Arkhan feigns loyalty and servitude, he is actually looking to hasten the inevitable return of his master Nagash. Arkhan the Black knows his master’s powers are still there and he has scoured the world in search of the Great Necromancer’s enchanted items, for a fraction of his powers lies within each. His journeys took him to many distant places and Arkhan succeeded in retrieving the Great Necromancer’s staff from the land of the vampires. This powerful item created by Nagash himself can harness the power reserves of dark magic stored within the accursed Black Pyramid. The Tomb Blade of Arkhan is a powerful magic weapon that burns away the flesh of any living things it touches, leaving behind only a charred skeleton enslaved for all eternity to Arkhan´s own will. But Arkhan’s most valued possession is the precious Liber Mortis, this accursed tome is one of the fabled nine Books of Nagash, the most potent source of necromantic magic in the world. Bound to Nagash even in his absence, Arkhan lingers on and waits for his return for he knows his dark master has not truly disappeared. One day Arkhan the Black will succeed in resurrecting Nagash and the whole world will tremble.

30 thoughts to “Warhammer Fantasy Lore: Arkhan the Black – Basic Overview – Total War: Warhammer 2”

  1. This is a basic Lore overview of 💀 Arkhan the Black 💀 and is intended as a primer for the next couple of episodes. The next video will be Episode 1 of a Narrative Campaign set in the Eye of the Vortex using Arkhan the Black as the Legendary Lord. It will be the first time trying this new format for the channel so feel free to give your own suggestions and ideas. All constructive feedback would be more than welcome. Hope you enjoy this video! Remeber to watch at the highest resolution possible! (1440p @60fps)

  2. So, I read the Nagash trilogy but I understand that those books aren't exactly canon. What's the actual correct source?

  3. Well arkhan the black is still a key to negash but yeah still devoted I like to see a video about the strigoi ghoul King interesting character

  4. I fucking love Arkhan, awesome vid as always. Hope to someday soon see a video on perhaps the Chaos Warriors or maybe the Lizardmen characters!

  5. No mention of Arkhan's most ferocious warrior and most faithful companion? Hmm. Tomb King version of Bastet would be angry. Whatever her name is.

  6. I much prefer the black Library version of Arkhan, in the Nagash Trilogy where it is explained that Arkhan gained the name black because of a food that he ate that made his teeth all black and rusted. He joined Nagash because he was a minor noble in debt to the Temple of Asaph’s from gaining his goods. Arkhan was a first highly loyal to Nagash, however as Nagash’s reign darkened it became clear to Arkhan that Nagash considered him and the other servants as not allies but slaves and Arkhan tried to find a way to create his own elixir of life. During the civil war Arkhan laid a trap for several of the kings that opposed Nagash but they managed to escape and Nagash had Arkhan tortured in front of the other lieutenants and kings allied to Nagash as an example. Arkhan was kept alive as a punshiemnt and was demoted to being a lowly servant and could no longer carry armor, weapons or even a horse( a activity that he liked) and so tried to Regain Nagash’s favor but after 4 years of trying decide to betray Nagash during the final battle at Mahrak when he convinced Lamashizzar, Priest King of Lahmia to not side with Nagash and promising him the nine books of Nagash in exchange for freedom. After Nagash’s defeat, Arkhan was betrayed by Lamashizzar and taken to Lahmia along with books so as to learn to create the elixir of life. Lamashizzar spread a story that Arkhan had sacrificed himself to save Nagash so as make sure everyone thought he was dead. While in Lahmia, Arkhan met Lamashizzar’s sister/wife Neferata who wanted Arkhan’s help in overthrowing her brother/husband because he was so focused on becoming immortal that he was Ignoring his duties as king, especially since Lahmia was in serious debt with Catathy for their black power. Arkhan helped Neferata gain control of Lahmia and managed to make Lamashizzar into a puppet ruler while Neferata was the real power. Arkhan and Neferata became close and one could say even romantic but this happiness was not to last as Lamashizzar attempted to poison Neferata and Arkhan tried desperately to save her and used all his Necromantic to try and save her. When that failed Arkhan went to Lamashizzar and killed him as revenge but his satisfaction was short lived as Lamashizzar’s bodyguard Abhorash killed Arkhan. But what Arkhan did not know was that Neferata was indeed brought back as the first Vampire and he had Arkhan buried in Lahmia and he would remain their for many years until Nagash brought him back in Undeath to serve his master. As Undead, Arkhan had very little free will and was essentially Nagash’s puppet but when Nagash died at Alcadazzar, Arkhan regained some measure of free will but could still har Nagash’s voice and tired his best to ignore them but eventually he knew he could not resist Nagash forever. Even during the end times Arkhan was a bit doubtful to resurrect Nagash but knew that he must, mainly because the world was ending and Arkhan saw Nagash as the best chance at defeating Chaos.
    Sorry for the long comment but I thought some may want to know who Arkhan is in the books and how in them he is such a compelling and sympathetic character and personally one of my favorites.

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