Nehekhara

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Nehekhara was an ancient empire and the site of the first human civilisation. It is now known as the Land of the Dead, and is the empire of the Tomb Kings under Settra the Imperishable. It is located far to the south of the Old World, beyond the Goblinoid-infested Badlands. It borders Araby to the west and the Southlands to the south.

The undead outnumber the living in Nehekhara many times over. It is a desert land where harsh storms batter the people and damage the buildings. Life is hard, but in some places, where the desert recedes, life can be pleasant. The Great Mortis River flows through the land, allowing a good deal of trade to pass down it to the interior.

The boundaries of Nehekhara are delineated by black towers. The land attracts archaeologists from the Empire as well as adventurers and tomb robbers.

History

Main article: History of Nehekhara

Forces of the Tomb Kings

When the Tomb Kings advance to war, they do so with vast legions at their command, a breathtaking sight of gleaming bone, gold and bronze. The Undead warriors stride unfalteringly across the searing desert and through howling sandstorms as they close in on their foes. Vast phalanxes of skeletal soldiers advance towards their terrified enemies in relentless unison, fighting with a supernatural discipline that no mortal man can hope to match. Slowly but implacably, the legions of the Undead drive their foes before them, guided as always by the unyielding will of their Tomb King. There are some necromantic spells that reanimate long-dead corpses, creating Undead automatons that serve the necromancer in a mindless fashion. Such is not the way of the Tomb Kings' soldiers; each Skeleton in the numberless legions is inhabited by the soul of an ancient Nehekharan warrior.

Army

Skeleton Warriors - The Skeleton Warriors of the Tomb Kings are ancient and eternally loyal warriors whom have willingly followed their mighty rulers unto death, forming the very core of all of Nehekhara's untold armies. Rising up from the dusty dunes, rank upon rank of these Skeleton Warriors stand ready to kill once more in the name of their immortal monarchs.

Skeleton Archers - The Skeleton Archers of Nehekhara nock and loose volleys of arrows as they advance towards their foe without ever breaking stride. Raising their bows as one, the archers fire, reaching into quivers for another arrow before the first salvo has even reached the zenith of its trajectory. These Undead archers unleash great clouds of death that darken the sky moments before falling amidst the ranks of the enemy.

Tomb Guard - The Tomb Guard are the partially mummified remains of the king's elite guard. They are exceptional warriors, maintaining all the discipline and martial skill they had in life. In battle, the Tomb Guard form unwavering ranks of armoured warriors. They have spilled the blood of their enemies for countless centuries, and numerous armies have been dashed against their unyielding, implacable shield walls.

Skeleton Horsemen - The Skeletal Horsemen of the Tomb Kings are the swift and lightning-fast cavalry that has run down the enemies of Nehekhara for millennia. Regiments of Skeleton Horsemen race across the sandy plains of Nehekhara mounted on the fleshless remains of their once-proud steeds, weapons lowered as they gallop towards their foes. These skeletal riders drive their heavy spears into their foes with bone-jarring force, using well-aimed thrusts that punch clean through torsos and rip open throats in a spray of blood.

Skeleton Horse Archers. - The Skeleton Horse Archers of Nehekhara are likened to an angry desert wind, one that appears suddenly and leaves only the dead and the dying in its wake. Skeleton Horse Archers move relentlessly across the battlefield, firing volleys of magically blessed arrows into their foes before turning about and escaping retribution.

Skeleton Chariots - The Skeleton Chariots of the Tomb Kings Charioteer Legions are considered the pride of Nehekhara's army. Their advance is heralded by a cloud of dust thrown high into the air as they drive across the sands. Moments later, units of these deadly machines crest the dunes, their wheels whirring as they careen towards their foe. The legions impact with bone-shattering force, wave after wave of chariots crushing bodies beneath heavy wheels as their Undead crew lay about the disorientated foe with lethal effect.

Necropolis Knights - Necropolis Knights are powerful, elite warriors who ride atop giant snake-shaped statues given to them as a reward for their prowess and utter dedication to their sovereign lord. They are tethered to their mounts by a sharp hook, held firm in one mummified hand as the other wields a heavy spear that carves through mortal flesh. Their monstrous mounts shatter bones with every swipe of their tails and sink scimitar-sized fangs deep into soft flesh.

Leaders

Tomb King - The Tomb Kings are the sovereign and undying rulers of all Nehekhara. They are all that remains of an ancient and far-flung civilization that had long ago vanished from history, its people long dead and their cities naught but dried ash and shifting sand. These unliving Kings and his personal retinue of warriors and priest are all that remains to remember their passing. Since then, the Tomb Kings have ever reign from their necropolis as they had always done, attempting to imitate the life they once knew and loved.

Liche High Priest - The High Priest of the Mortuary Cult are amongst the greatest and most powerful magic-users within Nehekhara, beings whom have achieved the immortality that Settra once craved and now seek to further the cause of their entire nation.

Tomb Prince - Tomb Princes are the sons of the Tomb Kings. Each of the kings of ancient Nehekhara had many heirs, doubtless the result of their extensive harems, but only one could succeed their father to the throne. This was typically the second son of the king, for the firstborn were given to the gods to serve in the Mortuary Cult. The king's younger sons served as the generals and lieutenants of his armies and enforced his will over his subjects. Upon their deaths they were entombed beside the great tomb chamber of their sovereign, in an eternal council of war, waiting for the moment of awakening when they shall resume command of their Undead legions.

Liche Priest - Liche Priests are the servants of the Mortuary Cult of ancient Nehekhara. Obsessed with both the veneration of the dead and the search for eternal life, the Liche Priests finally discovered a way they could live forever. However over the millennia of their unnatural lifespans, the Liche Priests' bodies have decayed, forcing them to use embalming techniques and other methods to keep their fragile corpse-like forms in one piece.

Tomb Herald - A Tomb Herald is the personal champion and trusted bodyguard of a Tomb King. Obedient to a fault, these mummified warriors cut down their lord's enemies without pause or hesitation, slicing through flesh and bone with every strike until all their foes lie dead or dying at their feet.

Warbeasts

Tomb Swarms - Tomb Swarms are the reanimated husk and corpses of countless poisonous insects and other vicious creatures of the desert, brought to life to infest and protect the resting place of the Tomb Kings . Though long dead, the mere presence of the Liche Priests and Tomb Kings fills their empty shells with animation, and they scuttle from their hiding places around the mortuary temples and beneath the scorched sands.

Tomb Scorpions - Tomb Scorpions are powerful creations of the Mortuary Cult, formed from a combination of stone, metal, lacquered wood and fused bone. Burrowing beneath the surface of the desert, they attack suddenly and without warning, exploding into the fray in a shower of sand. They are letal foes, for a Tomb Scorpion's tail carries a potent sting that can incapacitate the largest foes, and they have powerful pincers that can slice a man in half.

Carrion - Carrions are massive scavenging birds, akin to vultures, whose wings are said to darken the sky. These creatures once lived in Nehekhara and their reanimated corpses serve in the armies of the Tomb Kings.

Artillery

Screaming Skull Catapults - The Screaming Skull Catapults of a Tomb King's eternal army are akin to the stone throwers of other races, but instead of flinging rocks at the foe, they throw volleys of flaming skulls. The Liche Priests cast terrible curses upon every one of these skulls, enchanting them so that they scream hideously as they are hurled through the air, rising to a deafening crescendo just before they strike their target.

Constructs

Ushabti -The Ushabti are large, guardian statues carved into the likeness of the gods and goddess of ancient Nehekhara, statues that stand guard and protect the perimeters of the necropolises and within the passageways of the great pyramids of the Tomb Kings. These Ushabti are imposing monuments to Nehekhara's former power, and all who pass through their shadows tremble under their unnerving and imposing shadow.

Khemrian Warsphinx - Khemrian Warsphinxes are giant leonine statues that wade through the ranks of their foes, crushing them underfoot as if they were nothing more than bothersome insects. They are almost impervious to harm, and their stone-hard hides protect them from all but the truest strikes; anything less than a direct hit from a war machine is likely to glance harmlessly away.

Sepulchral Stalkers - Sepulchral Stalkers are massive, reanimated sentinels created by the ancient Nehekharans to delineate the borders of a king's realm. Over the centuries, the Sepulchral Stalkers have been swallowed by the shifting sands of the desert, and they now lie hidden beneath the dunes. Sepulchral Stalkers are statues that have the body of a snake and the upper torso of a man.

Necrolith Colossus - The Necrolith Colossus, or Bone Giants as some have called them, are mighty statues of venerated heroes and ancient kings who stride to battle with massive weapons of war, towering over the Undead legions of ancient Nehekhara and the Tomb Kings. Made to resemble immense heroes of old, Necrolith Colossi stand noble and proud. Their forms are covered in skulls, bones and mortuary ornamentation. Indeed, such was Nehekhara's obsession with death and immortality that some Colossi have even been carved to resemble giant skeletons.

Hierotitans - A Hierotitan is a gigantic animated statue whose face is carved in the likeness of one of the Nehekharan deities of death. These idols radiate a sinister aura of magic, and it is said that those who stand within their shadow can hear the cruel laughter of ancient gods. Hierotitans were constructed to stand within the uppermost chambers of the Tomb Kings' burial pyramids.

Necrosphinx - Necrosphinxes are nightmarish beasts of destruction that glide through the air in bounding leaps before falling amongst their terrified prey, scything down the living as mortals reap the wheat of the field. None can stand against such terrifying beings, and only when all before them have been butchered will they stop. Casket of Souls - Casket of Souls are mighty magical sarcohagus used by the Tomb Kings to capture and then summon forth the spirits of those that have tried to defile the lands of Nehekhara only to die an horrid and agonizing death. At the heart of each tomb of the mightiest kings there lies a casket, sealed with pitch and inscribed with hieroglyphs of malediction and warning. Within this sacred sarcophagus reside the tormented souls of those who have committed the sacrilege of inciting a Tomb King's wrath.

Cities

There are many cities in Nehekhara, all of which are now devoid of all life. Some of these include:

West of the Worlds Edge Mountains
East of the Worlds Edge Mountains

There is also a colony of the Empire far to the south, a trading port on the Gulf of Medes named El-Kalabad, a city of Elf ruins just beyond the border, and it is rumoured that the lost Dwarf keep of Karak Zorn lies south of Nehekhara.

Landmarks

There are various landmarks within Nehekhara, including:

  • The Charnel Valley (formerly the "Valley of the Kings")
  • The Fortress of Vorag
  • The Oasis of a Thousand and One Camels
  • The Pools of Despair
  • The Black Pyramid of Nagash
  • The Springs of Eternal Life
  • The Crater of the Walking Dead
  • The Devils Backbone Mountains
  • The Marshes of Madness (formerly the "Sinking Marshes of Khernarch")

Notable Tomb Kings

See also

Sources