- "Rise, my revenants! A new chapter of warfare is about to begin..."
- — Kortifex
Lord Kortifex, also known as Kortifex The Deathless, is a character featured in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies. He is a deity and Lord originating from the Dark Aether and the main antagonist of Vanguard Zombies, as well as the Demonic Announcer. He was first mentioned by Lev Kravchenko in intel for Outbreak in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Kortifex the Deathless is one of the many Elder Gods present within the Dark Aether; himself being one of the most powerful deities in the realm. He, along with Norticus the Conqueror, began the Netherwars in an attempt to seize control of the Dark Aether. He was successful at first, however many of the other deities revolted against him by forming a resistance, among whom included Saraxis the Shadow, Bellekar the Warlock and Inviktor the Destroyer. The tide of the war turned against his favor, eventually being deposed, along with being betrayed by Norticus. At some point, Kortifex, along with the rest of the four aforementioned deities, would become trapped in various artifacts that made their way into the "realm of mortals", Earth. After his artifact landed on Earth, he would meet a tyrannical Egyptian pharaoh with a god-complex that viewed his subjects as "vermin".
A New Chapter of Warfare
- "Oberführer Wolfram Von List... you are the instrument of my revenge. I give you an army of the dead! But our enemies have allies from beyond this mortal realm..."
- — Kortifex, to Von List
The artifacts would soon be discovered by the Schutzstaffel during World War II, and Kortifex' fell under the ownership of SS-Oberführer Wolfram Von List. As the Dimensional Membrane between the Dark Aether and the Earth was breached by Ulrich Vogel at Projekt Endstation, all of the Dark Aether artifacts on Earth would activate. The artifact of Kortifex was one of these artifacts to activate, and it allowed the former Lord to bond with Von List.
The artifact, once bonded with Von List, allowed the Oberführer to raise and command an army of the dead to fight for the Third Reich. The army of the dead was initially raised at Stalingrad, but other armies were also raised in Paris, Normandy, and an army camp in Japan. When Allied operatives answered a distress call from Professor Gabriel Krafft and arrive at Stalingrad, Kortifex casts a containment spell on the operatives, forcing them to fight against Von List's undead army as they are cut off from the outside world.
- Lev Kravchenko: "You are related to Oberführer Wolfram Von List. The fabled leader of the SS unit Die Wahrheit. He faced similar entities, yes? What was its name? Ah yes, Kortif--"
- Hugo Jager: "--tread carefully, Colonel. There are certain names best left not said aloud."
- — Kravchenko is cut off by Jager before he can mention Kortifex.
Despite Kortifex' alliance with Von List, the Axis still lost World War II. Decades later, Omega Group Colonel Lev Kravchenko would speak with Hugo Jager, Von List's great nephew, about Der Wahrheit. Just as he was about to name Kortifex, Jager interrupted him and warned him to "tread carefully".
- "We launched the Netherwars upon his rivals, and for a time it seemed we would crush them. But Kortifex is a cruel master. Loyalty is something he neither feels nor inspires. As I watched his enemies unify into a joint resistance, I knew he could never truly succeed."
- — Norticus, regarding Kortifex
Kortifex is described as a cruel and merciless being, showing no kindness to enemy or ally. He is also spiteful, as he seeks to use Von List in an attempt to conquer both Earth and the Dark Aether as an act of revenge against the deities who revolted against him. He views humanity as worthless and insignificant, only ever using them as a means to an end.