For information on the Land of the Dead and the ancient Kingdom of Nehekhara, see Nehekhara.
The Tomb Kings are the rulers of ancient Nehekhara, whether the rulers of Khemri, the greatest city, and traditional seat of the most powerful King and ruler of all the land, or the rulers of the various subject cities of Zandri, Lybaras, Numas, Mahrak, Rasetra, Quatar, Bhagar and Lahmia. In modern times, their long rest has been disturbed by the unnatural Magic of the Great Necromancer Nagash. The Tomb Kings, along with the Vampire Counts comprise the overall umbrella of the Undead.
The Tomb Kings were once rulers of Nehekhara, a vast kingdom analogous to ancient Egyptian civilizations. The rulers were led to believe that they would rule paradise in the afterlife, and were thus entombed so that they were prepared for this. Hundreds of years later, the necromancer Nagash waged a series of wars with the Nehekharans before finally being defeated. His failure to dominate the region was bittersweet, as a lasting curse slew the populace and rendered the once-fertile kingdoms into desert. Through the polluting side effects of Nagash's curse, the ancient Nehekharan magic and the manner of burial the Tomb Kings were born.
Tomb Kings may command vast legions of Skeletons and Tomb Guard (the ancient bones of the long-dead inhabitants of Nehekhara), Ushabti, Bone Giants, Tomb Scorpions, undead Carrion birds, Screaming Skull Catapults, Liche Priests and even their personal Casket of Souls - to defend against any who would plunder their city or resting place.
The Tomb Kings were once rulers of Nehekhara, a vast fertile kingdom analogous to ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamian civilizations, but not identical to them. Nehekhara was a land of many war-torn kingdoms. The divided land was eventually unified by the First King of Nehekhara, King Settra. King Settra was a mighty and greatly beloved tyrant that led Nehekhara into a golden age, but still he desired more. As Settra aged he began to turn his gaze towards extending his rule into the afterlife. He charged his priests of the Mortuary Cult, who tended the mummified remains of the past rulers, to use their magics to develop a spell for immortality. After many years the priests managed to develop two spells: the first would simply prolong life; the user would still age indefinitely. The other would allow for the resurrection of the user. With the promise that they would find a spell for true immortality, the priests cast the magics that would allow them to reanimate the dead onto King Settra as he died. This spell was the catalyst for the eventual damnation of all of Nehekhara. Over hundreds of years, the necromancer Nagash waged a number of wars with the Nehekharans. His failure to dominate the region cemented the transformation into the undead, as a final curse of epic proportions slew the populace and rendered the once-fertile kingdoms into harsh and arid desert.
It was from the results of the polluting side effects of Nagash's curse acting in combination with the ancient Nehekharan magic and the manner of burial, the Tomb Kings were reborn. Unlike the other mindless creations of Nagash, the ancient Kings were reborn with their mind and will intact, due to the embalming rituals performed on them before and after their deaths. They awoke to find that instead of being reborn in paradise with healthy young bodies as promised by the priests, they were born in rotting corpses, the once fertile land they ruled now a barren desert.
Their armies utilize mass numbers of weaker troops who are augmented by powerful magic wielders and monstrous constructs. Large blocks of light infantry armed with bows, axes, maces, spears, and shields are supported by chariots and light cavalry. A cavalry force worthy of note and acclaim are the Necropolis Knights, ancient elite warriors who fight while mounted on animated serpentine statues made of bone, metal and marble. Tomb Kings are also able to summon vast swarms of flesh rending scarabs to aid them in battle.The armies of the Kings field large Undead constructs assembled from bone and marble. These include gigantic undead scorpions, carrion vultures of the desert, and can even resurrect the skeletons of ancient giants. Other Sand-animated statues of the ancient gods of Khemri also march with the undead horde, such as the mighty Ushabti, the Snake-like Sepulchral Stalkers, and mighty Warsphinxs that can serve as monstrous mounts for a squad of elite Tomb Guards or a Tomb King himself, The most deadly construct in the Tomb King armies however is the Giant Necrosphinx, an animated statue capable of decapitating a dragon with a single strike of its ancient blades.
Kings of NehekharaEdit
There have been many Tomb Kings, even before they assumed that name, the Kings of Nehekhara, after it was united, ruled for hundreds of years before their downfall. The High Kings, the ruler of Nehekhara (usually of Khemri) who commanded the loyalty of the lesser Kings of the other cities, are as follows:
The primitive nomadic people who first inhabited the land which would later be called Nehekhara, living in much the same way as the desert nomads of Araby do today.
After the various cities of Nehekhara grew, Settra was the first King to unite them all under the rule of Khemri, proclaiming himself High King.
- Settra (-2500 IC)
- Ahtaf I
- Ahtaf II
During the second dynasty, Nehekhara expanded greatly and became very wealthy.
- Rakaph I
- Rakaph II
- Rakaph III
- Queen Rasut
A period of turbulence and strife.
- Nagash the Great Necromancer
The empire is divided into civil wars, many cities rebel and separatist movements form.
The empire is united again and begins to flourish.
A period of reconquest, ended by the last invasion of Nagash and the death and final sacrifice of Alcadizaar.
- Alkhazzar II
- Alkhazzar I
- Alcadizaar the Conqueror (-1200 IC)
Returning to an Undead mockery of life, Settra rules over his descendants and successors with an iron fist.
Notable Tomb Kings Edit
- Settra the Imperishable - the greatest living Tomb King and founder of the Mortuary Cult. In life he ruled all of Nehekhara with his iron will, and in undeath he continues that tradition. Although he was an arrogant, cruel tyrant, under his 150 year reign, Nehekhara entered a prosperous golden age. Settra desires to restore Nehekhara to its former glory and to expand his realm as he did in life- through conquest. Settra fights atop the golden Chariot of the Gods and wields the Blessed Blade of Ptra. His skill at arms and menacing aura of command makes him a terrifying foe for any enemy to face.
- Herald Nekaph - Settra's personal champion and sacred bodyguard, whose weapon "the Flail of Skulls" bears the heads of the formidable foes he has defeated in the name of his king. When engaged in combat from answering a challege from an enemy, Nekaph fights even harder, knowing he fights for his king's honor as much, if not more than his own. Upon his resurrection, Nekaph retained his warrior soul and devotion to his liege, King Settra.
- High Queen Khalida - slain by her own cousin Queen Neferata, who was the first Vampire. When reborn as a Tomb Queen, Khalida vowed not to return to eternal rest until she rids the entire world of every one of the hated vampires. Blessed by the goddess Asaph, Khalida moves with serpent like speed and no poison can harm her. She retains much of her former beauty, albeit with the marks of decay present upon her.
- Grand Hierophant Khatep - the most powerful Liche Priest of the Mortuary Cult, banished by Settra until he discovers a way to grant true immortality and is able to find the means to restore Nehekhara to its former glory. Khatep roams the deserts searching for answers while appearing out of nowhere every now and again to aid the armies of the Tomb Kings.
- Arkhan the Black- Nagash's most trusted follower as well as a powerful necromancer in his own right. Arkhan searches for the means to resurrect his master by travelling the world to retrieve his master's lost heirlooms. He has already recovered the Staff of Nagash and the Liber Mortis (one of the dreaded nine black tomes of Nagash). Until the time Arkhan manages to find the rest of his master's lost artifacts and begin the spell to return Nagash into being, he fights willingly for any Tomb King who can afford his price.
- Prince Apophas- a prince who killed his own family in order to usurp his brother's throne. He was cast down and punished by being entombed alive with countless scarabs which devoured his still living flesh. Once this punishment was complete, the tomb was opened and his skull was cast into the desert- so great were his crimes, he was denied a permanent crypt. Usirian, the god of death, claimed his soul but Prince Apophas struck a bargain with the god- Apophas would be granted undeath and be allowed to search the world for a perfect soul to take his place in the realm of the dead. Hence, Apophas was reborn, his body now taking the form of a swarm of desert scarabs in the rough shape and outline of a man, with his skull on top in place of a head, wielding the very same knife he used to murder his own family. However, unknown to Apophas, Usirian deceived him, as no soul is exactly equal to another, thus Apophas is doomed to spend eternity sending souls to Usirian.
- Ramhotep the Visionary - the most revered Necrotect of Nehekhara