The next chapter in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is coming and the Bone Tithe must be claimed – but by who?
If you missed the announcement/video, Games Workshop is already lining-up their next story arc for Age of Sigmar and folks, things are looking pretty grim for the living.
The War of Souls Was Just The Beginning
Let’s do a quick history recap of what’s been going on in the Mortal Realms. We’re going to assume you know who the major players are here like Sigmar and Nagash but if you don’t follow those links and get caught-up. Basically, those two had a tenuous alliance while the forces of Chaos were running amok. But that threat has since died down and now Nagash has some beef with Sigmar for “stealing souls” and using them to forge the Stormcast Eternals. (For more on this read about the Soul Wars HERE)
Sigmar also hid artifacts, relics, powers, and even “persons of interest” inside structures called Stormvaults. He then used Penumbral Engines to hide those Stormvaults – and these engines could be used to hide entire cities in some cases. These engines were so effective they hid them from even the Mortal Realm’s gods themselves. Even Sigmar eventually forgot about these hidden caches of power.
At the end of the Soul Wars, Nagash released a massive Necroquake that damaged the magical energies that kept the Penumbral Engines working. This caused the Stormvaults to become exposed to …well, everyone at this point. A bunch of the gods of the Mortal Realms are kind of ticked-off at Sigmar for hiding stuff from them, particularly because 1) he didn’t tell them and 2) because he even hid these caches INSIDE their own realms. Needless to say, they aren’t super happy at him right now.
One such cache was beneath Lake Lethis. Nagash sent Lady Olynder and her Legion of Grief to attack this cache in an attempt to open it and let what ever was inside get out.
Spoiler: Mission Accomplished.
That brings us basically back to the current story and why this whole “Bone-Tithe” this matters. It’s implied that whatever, or rather WHOEVER was inside has escaped and they can amplify Nagash’s already considerable power by…a lot. Now, we get to the fun part. It’s our theory that the person in the video above is the same person that was locked up in the stormvault or an untold amount of time (they pretty much say so in the video). So who is this person? That’s what we’re aiming to find out!
Gather The Clues
Let’s start with the facts. What did the voice say in the video? Here you go:
“I have been killed and reborn; destroyed and remade.
I survived the fall of the storm-god’s hammer and tore my way free from the soul-thief’s prison.
I have rebuilt myself here in my homeland while my master raised the army I must lead.
Soon, we march forth. Soon, we collect the Tithe of Bones.”
Also, note the music and the accent – those are both clues to the speaker’s origin. Here at BoLS we went back-and-forth on those things but they are clearly supposed to invoke an “eastern/Asian” tone – ie, not from the western European equivalent which is Empire.
Now, that leaves a pretty slim set of folks that this could be. First off – they had to have been” killed and reborn, destroyed and remade.” So it would have to be a vampire, necromancer/lich, spirit, or some other type of undead creature. They also survived the End Times (somehow) – which may be related to the actual End Times books or could just be a quick retcon about a character that might have “died” but their essence survived End Times.
They are servants of Nagash as well. That should immediately rule out Settra, folks. Why? Because Settra DOES NOT SERVE. So who else could it be?
Vlad is a strong candidate. He did “die” during the End Times after plunging off a building during the battle of Middenheim. However, lots of folks died and have come back since then…Also, remember that Vlad isn’t ORIGINALLY from Sylvania. He was born “Millennia before the Empires existance, Vashanesh, was the son of King Lahkashaz of Nehekhara, with the blood of the third dynasty, making him a direct descendent of Nagash himself” (via Lexicanum).
He fits checks off all the other boxes and is one of the few von Carstein’s that didn’t/haven’t been re-introduced into AoS. Although, he’s not exactly considered a “loyal” follower of Nagash…But he has served in the past. That makes him a pretty strong contender.
W’soran, aka Melkhior, aka Zacharias the Everliving was another OG from the lands of Nehekhara. He was one of the first Vampires and was a fan of Nagash’s work (to put it mildly). However, during the End Times “Nagash would eventually rise, destroying Zacharias when he refused to serve him” (via Lexicanum). So he either learned his lesson and has since joined up with Nagash or we need to look at another candidate.
Another possible candidate. Although he did attempt to betray Nagash during the End Times and was “killed” he was still known as one of the most powerful Necromancers of all time. Who knows if he had a few more tricks up his sleeve. Then again, we know it’s a long shot as he doesn’t exactly fit all the other criteria.
While he didn’t survive the End Times, he was fairly loyal to Nagash. He was also formerly a Chaos Lord who was dedicated to Khorne. He wasn’t exactly a native to the Empire. Krell does tick off some of the boxes, and if you squint hard enough, he might just fit the rest as well. Could he be the Bone Tithe Collector?
Of all the people on this list, Dieter actually survived the End Times! He was a loyal servant of Nagash and even helped him defeat Usirian for control of the Nahekharan Underworld. He even remained there to become the new guardian! Maybe that became his new homeland? And somehow, during the recontruction of the Mortal Realms Sigmar trapped him inside one of his prisons (aka stormvaults) and hid him away. Dieter Helsnicht did have a pretty big hand in helping Nagash out and where has he been all this time?
Well folks, we’re going to leave this one up to you now. Who do you think this mysterious new servant of Nagash is? Who will be the Collector of the Bone Tithe?!