Tomb Kings (Warhammer Fantasy)
Tomb Kings are a nation that feature in Warhammer Fantasy.
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 beloved ruler that led Nehekhara into a golden age, yet time was not on his side. As Settra grew older 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 everlasting life. After many years the priests were able to develop two spells: the first was one that would simply prolong life, the user would still age indefinitely, and the other would allow for the resurrection of the user. With promises that they would find a spell for true eternal life, the priests cast the magics that would allow them to reanimate the dead onto King Settra as he died. It would be this spell that would cause the eventual damnation of all of Nehekhara.
Huge necropoleis of the dead, full of pyramids and temples eventually surrounded and dwarfed all the inhabited cities. Over hundreds of years, the necromancer Nagash waged a series of wars with the Nehekharans. His failure to dominate the region was bittersweet, as a final curse of epic proportions slew the populace and rendered the once-fertile kingdoms desert. Through the polluting side effects of Nagash's curse combining with the ancient Nehekharan magics, 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 their deaths. 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 are based around deployments typical of Mesopotamian/Egyptian antiquity. Large blocks of light infantry armed with bows, axes, maces, spears, and shields are supported by chariots and light cavalry. One such cavalry are Necropolis Knights, ancient elite warriors mounted on animated serpentine statues of bone, metal and marble. Tomb Kings are also able to summon swarms of scarabs to aid them in battle.
The Tomb King army also fields other large Undead constructs assembled from bone, marble and ancient statues these include gigantic undead scorpions, carrion Vultures of the desert and even the animated 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, Warsphinxs which can serve as monstrous mounts by either a squad of elite tomb guard or a Tomb King himself, The most deadly construct in a Tomb King army however is the Giant Necrosphinx, an animated statue capable of decapitating a dragon with a single strike of its ancient blades. Every Tomb Kings army must be led by a King or Prince (the army's General). His force of will drives the host forward, while the accompanying Liche Priests or High Priest (one called the Hierophant is compulsory in every Tomb Kings army) animates the dead. An army can usually survive the death of its General, but once the Hierophant is slain, it is only a matter of time before all non-character models collapse into the sand.
The army was best known for its magic: Liche Priests and High Liche Priests (along with Tomb Kings and Princes to a lesser degree) employ a variety called "Nehekharan Incantations". In the sixth edition the magic did not follow the normal Warhammer rules for magic; they were not subject to Miscasts or Irresistible Force but were cast automatically. Priests did not roll for their spells as most Warhammer wizards; each knows all four incantations (Tomb Kings and Princes knew a set two). However, in the updated version of Tomb Kings the Liche priests now have a new magic lore known as the Lore of Nehekhara along with the ability to now access the Lore of Light and the Lore of Death.
The original fourteen gods of Nehekhara were as follows:
- Ptra : Known as the great father, first among the gods.
- Neru : Wife of Ptra and goddess of the great moon (Mannslieb)
- Sakhment : minor goddess of the green moon (Morrslieb)
- Asaph : Goddess of beauty, magic and vengeance
- Djaf : Jackal God of death
- Khsar : Faceless God of the desert
- Phakth : Hawk God of the sky and bringer of swift Justice
- Qu'aph : Serpent God of subtlety
- Ualatp : Vulture God of scavengers
- Sokth : God of Assassins and thieves
- Basth : Goddess of grace and love
- Geheb : God of earth and giver of strength
- Tahoth : God of knowledge and keeper of sacred lore
- Usirian : Jackal God of the underworld
- Settra the Imperishable- the greatest living Tomb King and founder of the Mortuary Cult. In life he ruled all of Nehekhara through his iron will, and in undeath he continues that tradition. Though an arrogant, cruel tyrant, under his 150 years of leadership Nehekhara entered a 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, and his skill at arms and 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 formidible foes he has defeated in his king's name. When fighting a foe in a challenge Nekaph fights much harder knowing he fights for his king's honor, upon his resurrection Nekaph retains his warrior soul and his devotion to King Settra.
- High Queen Khalida- slain by her own cousin Neferata the first Vampire. When reborn as a Tomb Queen, Khalida vowed not to return to rest until she rids the entire world of the hated vampires. Blessed by the goddess Asaph, Khailida moves with serpent like speed and no poison can harm 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 restore Nehekhara to its former glory. Khatep roams the deserts searching for the answers while appearing seemingly from nowhere every now and again to aid the armies of the Tomb Kings.
- Arkhan the Black- Nagash's most trusted follower and a powerful necromancer in his own right. Arkhan searches for a means to resurrect his master, 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 can gather the rest of his master's lost artifacts and begin the spell to return Nagash, he fights for any Tomb King who can afford his price.
- Prince Apophas- a prince who killed his own family to usurp his brother's throne. He was cast down and as punishment, he was entombed alive with countless desert 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 the Prince struck a bargain with the god- Apophas would be granted undeath in order to search the world for a perfect soul to take his place in the realm of the dead. Thus Apophas was reborn, his body now taking the form of man-shaped swarm of desert scarabs, with his skull on top in place of a head, the body wielding the same knife he used to murder his own family. Unknown to Apophas, Usirian tricked him, as no soul is ever exactly equal to another, thus Apophas is doomed to spend eternity sending souls to Usirian.
- Ramhotep the visionary- the most revered Necrotect of Nehekhara
- Warhammer Armies: Tomb Kings: