"No, Master, please no!!!!" The messenger's plea quickly devolved into a horrendously long and pain-filled death scream, eventually ending it's atonal assault as a quiet death rattle.
Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Nagash, until recently the master of Sylvania dusted his hands over the dessicated remains of his spy. With an imperious gesture, he flicked a speck of necromantic energy into the corpse, directing it to get back to it's feet and join the massing zombie regiments.
How could this be? Vlad had been back for less than a year, torn screaming from the realm of the truly dead by their mutual Master, and yet he has managed to secure through guile and negotiation what Mannfred had been denied for nearly half a millennia of bloodshed and scheming. Vlad had managed to stumble into the perfect way to restore his fortunes, luck of the damned and pure happenstance, that is all it could be, Mannfred told himself.
And yet, in the darkest corner of what remained of his soul, a doubt lingered. Vlad was his bloodfather, the font of darkness that had started Mannfred's own journey into true power. Could it be that despite, or even because of his years beyond the living world, that Vlad's power, his intelligence, his sheer will to rule had emerged intact, perhaps even enhanced?
Vlad was now officially an Elector Count of the Empire. His name was now on a very short list of souls that could inherit the title of Emperor, once Karl Franz died. He could deliver the Empire to their Master's embrace merely by waiting for one mortal to eventually succumb to time, and what was time to the dead? The very thought of how he was cheated of his rightful place threatened Mannfred's long-suffering calm, and he resolved to once again bring Vlad to his deserved death. He had managed it once before, he just needed the opportunity to do it again...