- "You have read the signs as clearly as I. The growing power of Chaos makes no distinction between the living and the dead. Nagash must rise, or our realms of silence will fall. "
- —Arkhan the Black, loyal servant of Nagash[2a]
Arkhan the Black, known now and forever as the Liche King, was the first and most loyal of the evil Nagash's followers. Arkhan helped lead the coup which brought the arch-necromancer to power, and he was the first, after his lord, to imbibe the Elixir of Life. Arkhan was the most adept of Nagash's pupils in the study of dark sorcery, and he quickly rose to become the necromancer's trusted vizier and principal lieutenant. Arkhan led many armies against Nagash's enemies and was never defeated in open combat. In the end, however, the sheer numbers of the Priest Kings' soldiers forced Nagash to retreat. It was Arkhan who led the suicidal counter-attack that gave Nagash the opportunity to escape.[1a]
For over an hour Arkhan held back the Army of the Seven Kings through feats of martial prowess and powerful sorcery. Arkhan finally fell, not to a hero's sword, but to a single spear hurled by an unknown soldier. Arkhan stared in horror at the shaft protruding from his chest, knowing that it had pierced his heart. With his dying breath, he threatened that a terrible curse would befall any who touched his corpse, and with that, he slumped to the ground. Within seconds, dark flames had consumed Arkhan's flesh leaving behind only a blackened skeleton.[1a]
Whilst the rest of Nagash's followers were beheaded and burnt, none dared risk desecrating Arkhan's remains, and so they covered them under a cairn of stones instead. Nagash did not forget his most able lieutenant, and when he returned to wreak vengeance on Nehekhara, Arkhan was reborn as the Liche King — the first of Nagash's nine Dark Lords. These foul beings were the foremost of Nagash's captains, and they brought despair and destruction to his foes.[1a]
- The Tomb Blade of Arkhan - The flesh of those slain by this dread blade burns away, leaving behind only a charred skeleton enslaved for all eternity to Arkhan's dark will.[1a]
- Staff of Nagash - This staff was created by the Arch Necromancer Nagash to harness the reservation of dark magic within the accursed Black Pyramid.[1a]
- The Liber Mortis - This accursed tome is one of the fabled nine Books of Nagash, the most potent source of necromatic magic in the world.[1a]