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Under his rule Lahmia would become the capital of Nehekhara in all but name in the century following Nagash's defeat at Mahrak.
During Nagash's reign of terror, Lahmia remained firmly neutral. Many believed that King Lamasheptra was waiting to see which side would triumph in the civil war that wracked Nehekhara. In truth, he was engaging in trade with the mysterious Eastern Empire of Cathay. In exchange for crippling amounts of gold, the Eastern Empire provided Lahmia with their alchemical Dragon Powder. The mysterious substance powered the esoteric Dragon-stave weapons (which modern Imperial Engineers would recognise as early handguns).
When Lamasheptra passed away in -1741 IC [1a], his son Lamashizzar took a much more active role in the war. In the 63rd year of Djaf the Terrible (-1740 by Imperial reckoning), the army of Lahmia arrived at the siege of Mahrak. Lead by their king and armed with the fearsome Dragon Staves, they made a distinctive presence on the field and Lamashizzar offered the allegiance of his army to Nagash in return for the secret of Eternal life. Nagash dismissed Lamashizzar, having realised how to overcome the siege himself. [1a]
Duly rebuffed, Lamashizzar visited King Amn-nasir of Zandri to negotiate his allegiance against Nagash. During the negotiations, Arkhan visited the King's tent. He had been sent to order the Zandri army against Lahmia, but sensed an opportunity, instead he offered Lamashizzar what he had asked of Nagash, in return for Lahmia's army turning against Nagash. Combined with the betrayal of Numas and Zandri, this proved the tipping point in the war and, struck down by one of Lahmia's Dragon Men, Nagash was finally defeated. [1a]
The Secret of Immortality
Two months after the victory at Mahrak, the allied kings marched on Khemri and laid siege to Nagash's Black Pyramid. Once they were satisfied that the pyramid was secure, Lamashizzar and Arkhan took a team of Lahmian soldiers into the pyramid under the cover of night to raid Nagash's laboratories of the tomes of Necromancy that contained all the formulae and incantations necessary to create the Elixir of Life. Meaning to take the tomes for himself and flee to the refuge of his Black Tower, Arkhan turned to attack Lamashizzar, but was struck down by a smaller version of the Dragon Staff that Lamashizzar had hidden within his robes. Lamashizzar took the books and Arkhan back to Lahmia to begin the process of becoming Immortal.[1b]
The Cabal of Lahmia
The King returned in secret to his home with a group of noblemen and as they examined their prizes, Neferata joined them - to the outrage of some of the men there but they were reminded by him that She is the queen. She goes where she wills. Lamashizzar told her of the monster that Nagash had become but that Arkhan could grant them immortality and the power to bring a new golden age to Lahmia. [2a]
Keeping him chained and drugged with Lotus extract, Lamashizzar forced Arkhan to teach him how to create the Elixir of life. Keen to avoid going as far as Nagash had, Lamashizzar created only a minor version of the Elixir from those victims as he could secretly acquire. Once he had the elixir, he granted immortality to his queen Neferata, and his other confidants in the Cabal, namely:
- Abhorash: the King's Champion. [2b]
- Adio: A libertine noble. [2b]
- Ankhat: Powerful noble and ally at court. [2b]
- Khenti: A libertine noble. [2b]
- Ubaid: Grand Vizier. [2b]
- Ushoran: Powerful noble and ally at court. [2b] Master of Lahmia's Spies
- W'soran: Scholar, once a priest in the holy city of Mahrak. [2b]
- Zurhas: Young nobleman. [2b]
The Reign of the Queen
During his rule, Lamashizzar relied heavily on the advice of Neferata on matters of state. Neferata however resented her traditional constraint. As queen she was not permitted to leave the Women's Palace, and her lack of freedom chafed. Acting in secret she gained the allegiance of Arkhan and had him teach her how to create the full and unrestrained elixir of life, sacrificing her most trusted handmaiden, Tephret in the process. Empowered, she overthrew Lamashizzar and took indirect control of the city with Lamashizzar was reduced to a simple puppet. However he would not succumb to domination for long.... [2c]
A year later in -1558 IC, he gained the confidence of Adio, Khenti, Abhorash and Ubaid and moved to dethrone Neferata. Sending Khenti and Aido to ambush Arkhan [2d], he had Ubaid poison the queen with the Venom of the Sphinx. Arkhan was able to defeat his attackers and learned of the plot, [2d] but was too late to keep Neferata from being poisoned. After his desperate attempt to save the queens life apparently failed, Arkhan decided to take his revenge as Lamashizzar was too confident in the success of his plot and had not posted additional guards. This mistake was his undoing, and Arkhan was able to hunt him down and kill him in the Royal Chambers.
Lamashizzar was avenged by Abhorash, who was easily able to best Arkhan, weakened as he was from the night's battles.
- 1: Rise of Nagash (anthology) by Mike Lee: Nagash the Sorcerer
- 2: Rise of Nagash (anthology) by Mike Lee: Nagash the Unbroken