Evil Cults

The cults of Lamehk, Nagash and Strigos are desribed below.


To those who know such things, Lamehk is the Slavemaster of the Third Hell, which is perhaps an immortal plain of Khaine's realm. Daemonologists and other sorcerers of Dark Magic frequently invoke his name in their conjurations. To the Cult, Lamehk is a God but to others he is either an aspect of Khaine as the slave master of human souls or a Greater Daemon.

Behind the harmless exterior of a merchant house, located in the district of Guilderveld in the city-port of Marienburg, the Cult of Lamehk operates secretly. It is very rich, although the members do their very best to conceal its wealth. The business buys and sells like any other merchant business and also lends money to those in need of it, including individuals or other businesses. However, it has a growing reputation for unpleasantness should anyone who owes them money not pay their dues on time. They tend to charge large rates of interest and people who cannot pay are often approached by thugs to 'persuade' them to. If no money is forthcoming then another body is found floating in the docks, which is often ritually slain. Because a body floating in the docks is not an unusual sight, blame is never apportioned to anyone in particular; the local thug will do as far as the dock watch is concerned.

The Cult of Lamehk seeks acquire enough wealth to gain a seat on the Marienburg Directorate. They do this by buying businesses throughout Marienburg, often whether the owners like it or not, and making friends with as many powerful and rich people as possible. They have a grand scheme: to gain a seat on the Directorate,  accumulate other business interests at the expense of their rival Merchant Houses, and then control Marienburg itself - turning it into a hive of evil.

The Cult's practices are one would expect for one which worships power, selfishness, greed and murder. Anyone who crosses their path are given no mercy and at certain times in a year someone is selected to be a sacrifice for Lamehk. The preferred choice is a wealthy merchant or minor noble, someone with money, but a street dreg will do almost as well if no-one else is available.


Legend tells of a Liche with extraordinary power who created most of the necromantic spells used by Necromancers today and elevated himself to godhood by experimenting with and consuming lots of warpstone. This Liche was known as Nagash and is acknowledged as the Supreme Lord of all Undead: a god to many who strive to learn the secrets of necromancy. The earliest recorded documents come from the time of Sigmar when the saviour of the Empire smote the Liche-King down with Ghalmaraz, finally ending the dark sorcerer's grip on life. From this time on there is no recorded evidence of Nagash ever threatening the Empire, or the Old World, again. So the most powerful necromancer who had ever lived passed from the annuls of history. But...

There exists a secret society of Necromancers in the Empire who call themselves the Cult of Nagash. Occasionally they meet to pass on their knowledge and tutor each other in new necromantic magics and other dark sorceries. Whether they have a supreme leader is not known* nor is it known whether the Necromantic groups work together or even know of each other's existence. The Cult has to be highly secret because there are Witch Hunters who would see them burn for what they do, not to mention the Cult of Morr whose priests are actively involved in hunting out and destroying sorcerers who display talent for necromancy.

Some in the Cult of Nagash believe that the Great Necromancer himself still exists and rules in his Undead stronghold of Nagashizzar; others believe that he is dead but can be brought back again, and some believe that although the Liche-King is dead his power is rising and it is only a matter of time before he comes back. Whatever the case all the Necromancers in the Cult believe that Nagash sooner or later will wreak revenge on those who destroyed him and that they can have a hand in his vengeance; when the hordes of the Undead come for Armageddon only those loyal to the Rotting King will survive the ensuing battle.

Necromancers who have served the Cult well are invited to travel south and to the place where Nagash once ruled: Nagashizzar and the Cursed Pit. No-one truly knows what a person finds there, if indeed anyone can actually get there without being eaten by Orcs or falling down a chasm in the Black Mountains. Of course what the Cult believes is that when one of their kind finds Nagashizzar he will have the finest tutor in necromancy and Dark Magic anyone in the world can possibly have: Nagash himself. The problem is, is that none of the Necromancers who have made this journey south have ever returned.

*Heinrich Kemmler and Dieter Helsnicht were known to be members of the Cult of Nagash. Whether they were leaders in any way is not known. It is rumoured that there is a cult leader: a powerful Necromancer who carries the Claw of Nagash as a symbol of office; Nagash's Crown of Sorcery is especially sort after.


A millennia before the time of Sigmar a human empire flourished for a brief time in the Badlands and it was called Strygos (or Strigos). The capital of this realm, which stretched from the west of the World's Edge Mountains on the plains of the Blind River to the entrance of Mad Dog Pass, was Mourkain or 'Place of Death' in the tongue of the original people who founded it (Mourkain is commonly found as Morgheim on almost all Imperial maps.) Hardly anything is known about Strigos but, from the pieces of information that can be strung together from the folklore and stories of the Strigany gypsies, two names emerge as the possible founders of the civilisation: Kadon and Ushoran. 

Of Kadon the only thing which is known is that he was the leader of the Lodringen tribe (he was, however, known to be a powerful wizard), a group of plains nomads who lived in the area of Blind River, and when Ushoran arrived from the deep lands of the south they joined forces to carve out a kingdom; subjugating other human tribes as they did so and forcing the goblinoids east into the World's Edge Mountains and north into the lands which would later be known as the Border Princes. The united human tribes were collectively known as the Strygoi, the 'People of Strygos'.

Of Ushoran, also known as the Lord of Masks, the word Vorkudlak is whispered for the legend tells that he was a vampire. From the shattered remains of his proud land far to the south, Lahmia, he journeyed north with others of his kind. Those who chose to forsake him went their own separate ways. Ushoran cursed them for their treachery. It was then that he joined with Kadon and founded the realm of Strygos.

In the years that followed, Ushoran rid himself of those he could not trust and made those loyal to him vampires, which even included some of the old tribal leaders but not Kadon. Ushoran chose not to prey on the Strygoi, as he had learnt his lesson after the destruction of Lahmia, and instead took criminals and prisoners of war as sacrifices for the ghastly rites of the Cult of Blood - the ancient religion of Lahmia. 

The Strygoi came to worship Ushoran and his vampire ministers as gods. However, their kingdom was finally destroyed by the unified forces of the Orc tribes of the World's Edge Mountains. Both Kadon and Ushoran, together with many of his aides, perished in the fight for Mourkain and the city itself was razed to the ground by the victorious greenskins. Most of the population of Strygos, who fled to the sanctuary of their capital, were either killed or enslaved by the Orcs. Those survivors who fled south met an uncertain end in the harsh marshlands of Blight Water but those who fled north survived. 

Today, the survivors of the ancient kingdom of Strygos are called the Strigany. They live a nomadic lifestyle as gypsies and their caravans can be found in the southern realms of the Old World, such as Tilea, the Border Princes, and the southern counties of the Empire. Like most gypsies the Strigany live off expediencies and the kind-hearted nature of villagers. However, the vast majority of Old Worlders, especially peasants, are very superstitious and it is unusual for them to view gypsies, especially the Strigany, with anything other than fear so their kindness cannot be counted or relied upon; gypsies have long been seen as magic users and should there be a plague in a village it is the Strigany who are deemed responsible, or indeed for any bad luck. This fact alone means that the Strigany seldom stay in the same place for long, moving in their caravans from one village to the next (usually after they have been moved on by the local population.)

A handful of the Mourkain vampires escaped the destruction of their city and most of them fled north - where the others went is not known. Scattered and lost the Strigoi Vampires, as they were to be known, had to fend for themselves in the desolate wildernesses of the southern lands of the Old World. It was then a barbaric and fragmented land after the Dwarf/Elf wars, and the subsequent volcanic activity which destroyed the Dwarf realms in the mountains made it even more hostile; goblinoids ruled the lands and the few scattered human tribes would not be able to defeat them until the coming of Sigmar. The Strigoi would eke out a sorry existence, preying on mainly goblinoids, but they would also prey upon the humans of the Avermanni whose shepherds offered them too much of a tempting target - isolated as they were on the foothills of the Black Mountains and where attacks from goblinoids, or other human tribes, could be blamed for their sudden disappearance - and feeding on carrion. This changed the Strigoi. They became hunch backed, degenerate, ghoulish monstrosities, fearful of large gatherings of men and especially fearful of wizards and druids. They would often feed on the bodies of tribesmen who had fallen in battle but only the brave would ever dare venture into a cave where it was known a Strigoi lived.

Over the next few thousand years the Strigoi dwindled as they were hunted down and destroyed by not only the humans of the Old World but also other vampires; who thought them to be repulsive creatures and deserving of permanent death. Whether they exist today is not known for certain.

There are some among the Strigany gypsies who pine for their ancient homelands of Strigos. Most of the Strigany who are persecuted turn the other cheek and move on but there are some who have bitter memories and plot revenge; they feel as though they have much in common with the Strigoi who were hunted to 'extinction' many years ago. So it was that the Cult of Strigos was founded, purely as an organisation to help their fellow kinsmen in the face of persecution. But it later became an institution which looked back on the heady days of the kingdom of Strigos and when the undying lords looked over them and gave them sanctuary from all the ills of the world. To these Strigany, Ushoran was an immortal with divine powers who was great and good. 

The Strigany of the Cult of Strigos look for the Strigoi Vampires and, when possible, give them sanctuary from unwelcome eyes and 'food'. Of course what the Strigoi Vampire needs is blood to survive, like all of their kind. However, while they will happily feed on any dead corpse, which other vampires would never dream of doing, they would much prefer to feed on the blood of the living - especially young children. This is what their human benefactors must provide if they are to survive. Usually this is very easy for an unsuspecting population; the Strigany are good musicians, singers, story tellers and tricksters, and can often lure young children, or any gullible soul, into a trap and if nothing is done, the Strigoi will be able to feed in peace and quiet.

The Cult of Strigos hopes to find all the Strigoi so that they will lead them south in order that they may reclaim their lands of old. Some of them claim that there is a way to bring Ushoran, the Lord of Masks, back. While this may be complete fantasy it doesn't stop the Strigany of the Cult of Strigos from offering sacrifices to this Vampire Lord in the hope that he might return. The good Strigany call this the 'Cult of Ushoran'.