Soul Wars

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Soul Wars
Stormcast Eternals vs Nighthaunt 01.jpg
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Mortal Realms
Outcome Decisive Order Victory[9]
{{{3}}} Grand Alliance of Death
{{{3}}} Legions of Nagash
{{{3}}} Flesh Eater Courts
{{{3}}} Nighthaunt
{{{3}}} Ossiarch Bonereapers
{{{3}}} Grand Alliance of Order
{{{3}}} Cities of Sigmar
{{{3}}} Daughters of Khaine
{{{3}}} Idoneth Deepkin
{{{3}}} Kharadron Overlords
{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-Lords
{{{3}}} Stormcast Eternals
{{{3}}} Grand Alliance of Chaos
{{{3}}} Everchosen
{{{3}}} Chaos Ascendant
{{{3}}} Slaves to Darkness
{{{3}}} Blades of Khorne
{{{3}}} Maggotkin of Nurgle
{{{3}}} Disciples of Tzeentch
{{{3}}} Hedonites of Slaanesh
{{{3}}} Skaventide
{{{3}}} Nagash
{{{3}}} Lady Olynder
{{{3}}} Orpheon Katakros
{{{3}}} Arkhan the Black
{{{3}}} Sigmar
{{{3}}} Celestant-Prime

{{{3}}} Teclis
{{{3}}} Morathi
{{{3}}} Volturnos

{{{3}}} Archaon the Everchosen

{{{3}}} Be'lakor the First Prince

The Soul Wars are a series of wars that happened during the Arcanum Optimar after the Necroquake.[1a]

It is a war of vengeance started by Nagash against any who denied the self-proclaimed ruler of the Realm of Shyish of his perceived due over all the souls of deceased and the underworlds. This war is led by the Mortarchs and spearheaded by the spectral hosts of the Nighthaunt.[1a]


Nagash began planning to dominate Shyish and the Mortal Realms since he was released by Sigmar during the Age of Myth. He defeated and devoured many gods of death that ruled the myriad of underworlds of Shyish. After discovering vast amounts of Grave-sand, the realmstone of Shyish, Nagash began sending long lines of skeletons to harvest them to build the Black Pyramid, a floating inverted pyramid in Nagashizzar as well as many smaller ones. Nagash considers the souls of the dead as rightfully his and many has withheld them from him. The Chaos Gods specially Slaanesh who devoured the souls of Aelves from the World-That-Was and the Aelf gods who stole them again, the Idoneth Deepkin who steal souls and withhold their own souls from going to the underworlds but most of all Sigmar the Soul-thief who steal the souls of heroes to forge Stormcast Eternals.[1a][2a][2b]

During the Time of Tribulations Nagash almost succeeded in his goal but the skaven of Clan Slynk had infiltrated the great pyramid and corrupted the ritual resulting in the Shyish Necroquake that resulted in the creation of the Shyish Nadir, a vortex of death magic concentrated in the center of Shyish while shockwaves caused the dead to rise in trillions across the mortal realms and Endless Magic is unleashed upon the realms. Thus began the Soul Wars. [1a][3]

Course of the Wars

Opening Moves

Following the Necroquake, Nagash claimed all the souls that have died. This includes souls from Chaos, Stormcast Eternals, Idoneth Deepkin, Sylvaneth, and the Daughters of Khaine. To enforce this claim, Nagash has his Nighthaunt processions attack every major Free City. This leads to the Second Battle of Glymmsforge, the Stormcasts protect the city but the land around it is corrupted with undeath.[4a][5a]

Sigmar responds with the Resurrection Crusade, charging his Lord-Arcanums with fifty five Sacrosanct Chambers to reclaim Shyishan territories lost during the Necroquake and find a way to reverse the flaw of Reforging.[5a]

Tornus the Redeemed also leads several raids upon Nagash’s holdings with his brotherhood of Redeemed.[5a]

Siege of Ruin

Not contents with merely claiming ownership of souls within the mortal realms, Nagash has laid claim to the tainted souls of the Skaven dead. To that end, his forces have laid seige to the Great Horned Rat's subrealm of Ruin, where there exists the myriad different afterlives of the Skaven. With a legion composed of skirmish lines of ghouls, squadrons of vampire knights, armoured lines of Ossiarch Bonereapers, and clouds of malignant spirits. With them are soul siphons with which the legion captures the souls of the Skaven dead.[8a]

Siege of Sorrow

Main article: Siege of Sorrow

The necroquake also disturbed Sigmar's Stormvaults, where Sigmar stored artifacts too dangerous and powerful to destroy, including one beneath the Free City of Lethis awakening the soul trapped within it and revealing it to Nagash. Nagash sent Lady Olynder with her Legion of Grief to open the Stormvault, known as the Midnight Tomb, and retrieve this soul. This resulted in the Siege of Sorrow.[6]

Due to the betrayal of some Fyreslayer mercenaries, the Legion of Grief was allowed to enter the city, attack the city's Stormkeep and move on the Midnight Tomb. At that moment the Celestant-Prime arrived and drove the Dead and their new allies from the Stormkeep in the city. Meanwhile the timely intervention of a deranged Flesh-Eater Court helped the defenders drive the Legion of Grief back from the city.[6]

It was too late, however, and the Midnight Tomb was opened. The soul inside, Orpheon Katakros was freed and was taken by Nagash to be placed as the new Mortarch of the Ossiarch Bonereapers.[6]

Siege of the Eightpoints

After being released, Katakros put all his efforts into waging war against all of Nagash's enemies. He quickly scoured the lands east of the Shyish Nadir turning them into the Ossiarch Empire. Katakros then destroyed the Greygaunts Chamber of the Anvils of the Heldenhammer in the Battle of the Daxamatic.[7a]

Katakros was then tasked by Nagash with conquering the Eightpoints. Luckily for him, the necroquake was already wrecking havoc in the Eightpoints and Archaon himself was away with most of his Varanguard attempting to free the Chaos God Slaanesh.[7a][7b]

First Katakros had the Legion of Grief attack as his vanguard. In short order, the Legion conquered the fortress of Karheight around the Endgate and slew the Chaos Lord Namon Saskarid. When they could push no further into the Eightpoints, Katakros and the Ossiarch Bonereapers arrived. Katakros destroyed the Chaos warbands arrayed against him at the battle of Haradh's Torment and established an Ossiarch stronghold around the Endgate, known as the Arx Terminus.[7c][7d][7e]

After a long campaign, Katakros and his forces reached the walls of the Varanspire but were repelled by Archaon himself, with Katakros cut down by the Slayer of Kings.[7f][7g]

Katakros survived and began plotting his next moves on the Eightpoints.[7h]

War of Light and Death

The Soul Wars concluded after the curse of the Necroquake was dispelled following Nagash's defeat by Teclis during the War of Light and Death.[9] The hold of death was further cleansed from the realms following the Rite of Life that saw jade magic explode across the Mortal Realms.[10]