- "Death will only be the beginning of your eternal pain, mortal. Beyond the grave there awaits a world of horrors that you could scarcely begin to ever imagine."
- —Melkhior the Ancient.
Upon Nagash's defeat, W'soran took many of his master's writings and studied them with the aid of his acolytes and his apprentice, Melkhior, transcribing his notes in the dread Grimoire Necronium. His mastery of necromancy grew so profoundly that he was able to limit the red thirst that drove Vampires to live dangerously close to mankind.[1a]
By drawing on the power of True Dhar to a far greater degree than other Vampires, their forms grew as twisted as their master's. Over time, their minds twisted along with their bodies, and many sank into madness. One such unfortunate was Melkhior, greatest of W'soran's apprentices, who slew and ate his master. Melkhior the Ancient pursued the Necrarchs' dream in a much more subdued fashion.[1b]
Melkhior lived far from human settlements and his secret tower is hidden from view in the great Forest of Shadows by powerful enchantments. In the highest chamber of this tower, the ancient Vampire worked alone. He was decayed, irredeemably evil, and utterly insane.[2a]
Melkhior experimented with the living, trying to find out how they can be made to understand the benefit of joining the Undead and how they could overcome their fear of the dead. Countless men have died in Melkhior's obsession but still the answer he searched for eluded him. Pain, suffering and horror fascinated this mad being. The dungeons and torture chambers of his dark tower were filled with wretched prisoners, who underwent indescribable agony to satisfy the curiosity of this insane Vampire Lord.[2a]
Melkhior's fortress is a monument to suffering and terror, filled with the results of his insane experiments: Zombies that are half-dead and half-alive, severed heads which scream endlessly in the darkness, limbs that crawl in lightless passageways, and countless other horrors created by Melkhior's dark arts.[2a]
Now and then the ancient Vampire leads his Undead servants out of his stronghold to capture new victims for his experiments or to swell the Undead legions that guarded him. At such times, armies of Zombies commanded by the twisted acolytes of Melkhior poured from the forest and hunted for the living to bring back to their master.[2a]
In his tower in the Forest of Shadows, Melkhior continued W'soran's work on the Grimoire Necronium, his visions of the future growing more disturbed over the centuries as his sanity cracked further and further. Eventually, his visions grew so vivid they could not be depicted in prose, and he began painting on canvases of skin. His dungeons were filled with the living for him to torment. He often turned his mad attentions on his loyal servants as well.[1c]
One of these servants, the Necrarch Zacharias, sought to repeat Melkhior's defeat of W'soran and fought Melkhior in a magical duel. Melkhior was the victor, but years later Zacharias returned, somehow vastly more powerful than he had been, and had his revenge on Melkhior.[1b]
Melkhior was not destroyed, however, but slumbers whilst regaining his strength so that he can return to avenge himself upon his wayward student.[1c]
Melkhior has almost the same knowledge of necromantic arts as the most powerful living Necromancers, for he has thousands of years of experience in these matters. He is so suffused with dark magic that he is now more part of the world of the dead than the living and is decomposed to the point where he is a skeletal, reeking horror. His eyes are two pools of darkness that mirror the purest evil in everything they see and an aura of death hangs heavily about him. In the total darkness of his hellish fortress, the ancient Vampire paints on human skins. He paints terrifying scenes of a world where there are no living, where the dead walk the land and withered, undead trees blight the bleak landscape. Melkhior claims that he paints visions of the future, glimpses of the time that is to come. Perhaps his visions are true and the known world is doomed to the horrible existence of unlife.[2a]
Melkhior rides a huge Winged Nightmare into battle, which is said to be made out of carcasses of monsters slain by himself.[2a]
- Painbringer - Painbringer is the black sword of Melkhior, said to be made from the magical life-force of insane men. The mere touch of this blade brings insanity and hideous pain.
- Grimoire Necronium - Written by Melkhior himself, this book is one of the greatest works of necromancy. In its pages are described the blasphemous rites and evil spells that allow wizards to summon and command the dead.
- Black Cloak of Lahmia - This cloak is one of the great treasures of Lahmia, the city of the Vampires. Merely looking at the cloak can make eyes bleed and sanity vanish.
- It is heavily implied in the Time of Legends that W'soran's spirit slew, and then possessed Melkhior's body after he was murdered. This means that "Melkhior" has long been but a body inhabited by W'soran.
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Night's Dark Masters
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (5th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 74