« Yeah, sure, whatever », these are the last words Valdyr the hollow guide said to his peers at the last « strategic meeting » (another « good idea in his opinion), before he and the main forces of the Stifling procession left to Tsatraya.
It went as always, first it was decided that we shall continue the truce with the Expedition meatbags, the traitor god’s zealots. As much as he hated to let those souls alone, Valdyr had to admit that this pact worked rather well since the beginning and that it always was beneficial to the Perpetual and even let the concentrate their force on the other coalitions.
Then, the daemonic cold blooded reptilians explains in Nagash knows how many ways, that The Perpetual should focus on the Soulmuncherz as Zectoka, their daemonic amphibian master, says. And whatever your arguments are, it always concludes like that with them « we will follow Zectoka orders and you will too ». It is in those too rare moments that Valdyr can laugh naturally, thinking that all the one to to Nagash always think they are superior to the legions of Nagash because we are bound to his will, when they are just following orders to their multiple gods orders like the good soldiers they are, with absolutely no free will. Hey, at least they will all make good skeleton warriors in the end.
But this was just the usual annoying reptilian so-called strategy, the worst was yet to come and left Valdyr speechless (not that he was volubile). It came from Ashavohlk, a vampire lord. That Reikenor accepted those treacherous cold blooded meatbags was something that Valdyr never understood. How could he trust the cousins of Neferata and Vlad Von Carstein? That we allied with the reptiles, ok, why not. But Soulblights? Was Reikenor so desperate?
So Ashavohlk entered in the meeting room, bombing is torso as always, with a satisfied smile on his treacherous face, and he said proudly to Kroqaqu-Cotiq and Cueyatl: « It is done, I made the pact of non agression with them, so we can all concentrate on the ur-whale carcass! ». Everyone in the room seemed satisfied, except maybe Signy Myzlan, the Idoneth, who might have known what was this pact about.
Valdyr could not take it anymore and asked through a long chilly whisper: « Another deal?! With who? Because I don’t remember the last one went very well for us and especially for you corporeal lot. ». Obviously annoyed, Ashavohlk, relied shamelessly « A non-aggression pact! With the Wretched. We don’t attack them so they can concentrate on those treacherous Pilgrimage, and they don’t attack us so that we can concentrate our efforts against the Soulmuncherz. This is a great opportunity for us. But once again, I guess you will complain over and over again like a banshee, won’t you? ».
One day, Valdyr knew he will kill him. Him and all the Soulblights. Not that there were many of them left anyway. The purge will be a good thing for the Legions of Nagash. He knew it. Still, Valdyr feared that in the future, Nagash will call them, or even create new ones. And it will end as always, with a knife in the back. This was the Soulblight nature after all.
Valdyr had a difficult time processing the information. A pact with the rodents, the beasts and the zealot of the minor gods. He first thought that it was a joke. A very bad one. But he soon realised that no one really reacted. Everyone knew, and yet no one told Valdyr. He hated them, even more now if it was even possible. He told them that the rodents will betray them, and not in a small way, even more than the Pilgrimage meatbags. But no, they did not listen. And before Valdyr could ask about the Bonefleet of Nuyra, the cold blood deadmeatbag said « And we are also sending the whole fleet against the Soulmuncherz » with a sardonic smile. Valdyr stayed silent a long time and watched each of his peers. To the point that some of them looked away. And he left.
He went to talk to Reikenor. It did nothing. Nothing but increasing his hatred of the « living », if we could consider the Soulblights and the Seraphons as living beings. At least he had the benediction of Reikenor to go and observe the Wretched to be sure they will respect their part of the deal. Valdyr knew that in trying to mitigate the Wretched treachery, his Stifling procession will take a huge hit when, and not if, the rodents will attack in numbers. He could already see it. But who was he to discuss Reikenor will? At least he was questioning, trying to understand the figure heads plans, unlike some others….
So they left, his Stifling procession and Signy Myzlan Idoneth deepkin army. Signy Myzlan’s goal was to harvest as many aelven souls she could to summon an aspect of one of their dead god. Valdyr did not like the Idoneth, he did not really anyone in fact, but at least he find someone who agreed with him, who was against this pact. So they went to Mount Nagas ‘ua. And when Signy Myzlan gathered all the souls she could, she looked at Valdyr with what he guessed was sadness more than pity, and then turned back to Go the ur-whale carcass. Not that securing the ur-whale carcass was a bad idea, but the effort was disproportionate, and left their back with a giant target, doing half the work of the rodents in doing so. This sure won’t end well.
But Valdyr had a plan, not to win because he was sure the Wretched will overwhelm the Stifling procession, but to maximise their loss. He spent a lots of time summoning them. They were 3. It was demanding. First, the Mortalis terminexus, which could reinvigorate his Nighthaunt hordes or accelerate the aging of the enemy at his will. Then, the Shyish reaper, the perfect tool to kill the thousands of skavens which will run around everywhere. And finally, the Vault of souls. This will be his personal touch. He will place it as inactive where it will be visible on the path from their camp in Mt Nagas ‘ua to their treachery. He knew the skavens will look at it with envy, believing the vault might have some lost artefact that could help them becoming chief instead of their chief. It will be their downfall. Valdyr will activate the Vault of souls when it will at the exact center of their force, with maximum rodents to kill, empowering it even more and disorganising their army. Then he will send the Shyish reaper and make the Stifling procession attack from the underworld. He will break their lines, he might even make so much damage that they will flee, the rodents, the beasts and the tainted humans. He will make them taste fear. The primal feeling, the only feeling that matters.
And Reikenor will see. They will all see. That Valdyr the hollow guide was right. That the Wretched can not be trusted. Even if to prove his point, he might have to push a little. Just a little push. Almost nothing. And behind his mask, Valdyr smiled. « Yes. Just a little push. Almost nothing. »