Nehekhara, now known as the Land of the Dead, was an ancient empire south of the Old World and is now home to the Tomb Kings. Nehekhara lay to the east of what is now Araby, to the north of the Southlands, crossing the World's Edge Mountains it has cities to the southwest. It is believed that it was mankind's first true civilization, first rising as a nation in -2500 IC, 500 years before the War of the Beard.
The Kings of Nehekhara and the subservient Kings of the other cities ruled the land for about 1500 years. Their kings ruled over great and magnificent cities, and Nehekhara went through periods of both prosperity and wealth. But the king of the greatest city, Settra of Khemri, desired immortality and ordered his priests to find and unlock the secret of eternal life. Huge buildings called pyramids were built to entomb the dead kings and queens so that they would one day awake in paradise. This obsession with death permeated their culture and drove Nehekhara to extremes. The Nehekharans worshipped a large pantheon of Gods, only a few of which are still remembered in modern times - the Nehekharan Gods. Nehekhara is based on and takes many influences from real world Ancient Egypt[Wikipedia].
The people that would later become Nehekharans were at first wandering Desert Nomads whom migrated into the area (probably from the Dark Lands or Southlands), living in much the same way as the nomads of Araby and the Northmen do today, and the Ungol nomads of Kislev have done in the past. While not much about this period is known, it is speculated this is when the Nehekharans developed their mythology and humankind's first writing system. The names of Nehek, Zakash, Khesek and Hekesh stand out as great leaders from this time, and possibly the individuals who made advancements such as the wheel and writing themselves.
Eventually, at some point not recorded in history, the Nehekharans began to settle into various warring city-states. These were Khemri, Zandri, Numas, Quatar, Rasetra, Mahrak, Lybaras and Lahmia. Eventually Settra, the ruler of Khemri, alligned with or conquered all other cities, bringing them all under his dominion and becoming the first King of all Nehekhara. The King greatly feared death however, and commanded his Priests to find a way for him to live forever. They managed to find ways to prolong life, forming the Mortuary Cult, but could not make him live forever and eventually he died (The Mortuary Cult would later discover the warped secret to eternal life under the reign of King Utep of the first Dynasty). After Settra there was two Dynasties of rulers (13 in total) until the third Dynasty began.
Coming of NagashEdit
In the time of Khutep, first king of the third dynasty, Nagash was the younger brother of Khutep's fist son Thutep. Nagash learned of The Winds of Magic from a captured Dark Elf Sorceress Jealous of his brother who ascended the throne when their father died, Nagash killed his brother and claimed the crown. After his rule of terror in which he constructed the Black Pyramid, and wrote the Nine Books of Nagash –The Liber Mortis, Nagash was defeated and driven out by an alliance of the Kings of his subject cities, retreating to the northeast and founding his fortress of Nagashizzar. Nagash returned with a mighty army many years later, in the time of Alcadizaar of the 6th Dynasty. Alcadizaar managed to defeat Nagash and drove him off, later destroying the city of Lahmia which had been corrupted by it's Queen Neferata, the first Vampire.
Later, Nagash had Skaven allies pollute the River Vitae (it would be known as the River Mortis from then), turning it black and foul and causing a virulent plague to ravage the land. When Nagash invaded the second time, he overcame the weakened population. He cast a great spell, the "Great Ritual" which caused everything in Nehekhara to die, and everything dead to rise again in an unholy parody of life. Alcadizaar, who had been taken prisoner, was freed by Skaven who knew Nagash's next target would be their Under-empire. Since the "Great Ritual", Nagash's power grew to new heights, and with it an undead army which would threaten all life. Not knowing if Nagash could even be killed, the leaders of all Ratkin joined forces to free the young prince in a desperate gambit. In order to give him a fighting chance, they gave him a weapon of great power, said to have been forged of the purest Warpstone, bound with the most powerful of magics, dipped in the most noxious of poisons. With this sword in hand a freed Alcadizaar, under the Skaven leader's influence, stumbled into Nagash's throne room. A titanic battle ensued in what normally would have been a one-sided fight against the seemingly god-like Nagash. Through the Warpstone sword the Skaven overlords also gave one more "gift" to the mortal prince; all of their knowledge and power. In a struggle over the world, the intensity of this fight was felt in the furthest reaches of Ulthuan. Nagash and the young prince traded blowsincessantlz and with undiminished ferocity. Three of the twelve Skaven overlords guiding the young prince died violently thousands of miles away from the fight. In the end, however, Nagash lost, with fey-like Alcadizaar hacking him to pieces. At the sight of what Nagash had done to his beloved Kingdom, Alcadizaar despaired. With his final steps, Alcadizaar died in the river, his body carried to the Great Ocean onto the shores of the Badlands, where it was was discovered by Kadon.
The Rule of the DeadEdit
The dead raised by the ritual were free of Nagash's rule, but only the Tomb Kings and Lich-Priests retained their minds -due to the magical embalming process they went through as nobles. When they awoke they were less than pleased at the current turn of events (having expected to be reborn as gods in the afterlife, not as cursed mummified remains in this world). The enraged Tomb Kings then proceeded to re-establish control over their now dead subjects with mixed degrees of success. This state of affairs has remained the same into the modern day where they continually fight amongst themselves, other nations and the (resurrected) Nagash. The lesser Kings and Princes are (more or less) ruled over by Settra the Imperishable. The Undead armies of the Tomb Kings now prowl the land midlessly doing the bidding of the Kings and Princes, including Skeletons (outfitted with ancient Nehekharan armour), Bone Giants and Ushabiti.
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Nehekhara contained several major city-states all paying homage, at various times, to Khemri and the High King located there, the first of whom was Settra the Imperishable.
- Khemri, capital. Home of Settra the Imperishable.
- Zandri, a port city, and the second most powerful city politically.
- Numas, resided in by the living, protected by the dead.
- Quatar, Guardian-city of the mountains.
- Bhagar, a city of former bandits, with much light cavalry.
- Rasetra, a city on the edge of the Southlands, that made use of the beasts of the jungle.
- Mahrak, the city of priests.
- Lybaras, a city of scholars and engineers, responsible for the creation of the first Tomb Scorpions.
- Lahmia, cursed city to the far east, where vampirism first took hold.
- Ka Sabar, the city of bronze. This city was crippled in the first war against Nagash.