Across the arid deserts of Nehekhara, vast legions of skeletal soldiers rise up from beneath the baking sands to slaughter those that trespass into their domain. It is a lifeless realm with endless dunes stained red with the blood of savages and barbarians. This is the Land of the Dead, where mummified kings of a lost civilization raise their armies to wreak vengeance on the living.
Upon death, the Kings of Nehekhara were interred in their pyramids along with their loyal bodyguard (who were buried alive with their expired master). The Priest Kings died with the promise from the Mortuary Cult that they would awake once again in a beatific state, and with a vast empire to attend. The Tomb Kings, as they were to become, did awaken, but not at the hands of the Liche Priests...
Many years after the death of the greatest of Nehekhara's kings, Settra, the power-mad Necromancer Nagash murdered his way onto the throne of Khemri. When the fractious Priest Kings from the surrounding city-states joined forces and overthrew Nagash, he swore his revenge on the whole of Nehekhara. This he achieved several centuries later. After a great plague beset the empire, Nagash came forth and cast the great spell of awakening, forever cursing all the inhabitants of Nehekhara to Undeath.
The Tomb Kings rose from their pyramids not as flesh and blood blessed with immortal life, but as withered cadavers cursed to spend eternity trapped in their rotted bodies. What's more, the majesty of Nehekhara was no more, for the war with Nagash and subsequent plague had left the once proud empire crumbling and half buried in the desert sands. In life the Tomb Kings were always volatile, but in living death this turned to rage and a burning bitterness at the living for daring to breath whilst they could not.
And so the Tomb Kings make war, determined to reforge their lost empire and make all living things pay for the betrayal of Nagash. This is no idle boast, for the curse that summoned the Tomb Kings back to their remains has left them with untold power and an indomitable will. The Liche Priests of the Mortuary Cult serve them in death as they did in life, summoning the legions of Nehekhara to battle once more. Skeletons of fanatically loyal subjects pick up swords and spears or ride in squadrons of chariots pulled by Undead horse. At the same time stone colossi and statues of mythical beasts gain animus via the incantations of the Liche Priests. These stride across the battlefields, or even emerge from under the sands to slaughter the foe.
The most powerful of all Tomb Kings, Settra the Imperishable, has decreed that the living should be wiped from the face of the world, and that the majesty of Nehekhara be restored and even surpassed - his will be done...
A Tomb Kings army contains nothing living, consisting almost exclusively of skeletons, mummies and statues.
Unlike the zombie hordes and mindless skeletons of the Vampire Counts, the Tomb Kings and their armies are not mere extensions or puppets of a Necromancer's will. They are inhabited by the soul of an ancient Nehekharan warrior, who dutifully obey their dead king out of unswerving loyalty rather than being magically compelled to do so.
Only Nehekharan nobility were fully mummified, the process gave the Tomb Kings and Tomb Princes a skewed view of the world but a self-awareness far and above their skeletal subjects who have only retained the most rudimentary memories of their former lives. A Tomb King's faithful bodyguard, the Tomb Guard, were also mummified, albeit partially, an honour only granted to the most trusted and able servants. This gift gives those that were exceptional warriors in life even greater strength and more resilience in death.
At its zenith, Nehekhara was a collection of grand city-states, each with its own identity and distinct architecture. Statues and sculptures adorned buildings, dominated roadways, defined borders, stood over the necropolises or were sculpted in the shape of Nehekharan gods to be worshiped. Thousands of years later, these very same statues are animated, inhabited by valiant warriors, using similar incantations to those that summon the spirits into the bones of the dead. Statues of Warsphinxes, Necrolith Colossi and Hierotitans tower above the skeletal legions, ready to smite the living with their huge stone limbs or massive jade blades.
The Liche Priests - who are the magical locus around which the army functions - never actually died, but slipped into unlife as their bodies slowly withered over the passing of centuries. They serve their Tomb King masters summoning the armies and replenishing those regiments that have taken casualties. Liche Priests are magic users with access to the Lore of Light and the Lore of Death, but it's the Lore of Nehekhara that binds the spirits of the dead to their mortal remains. Every Tomb Kings army needs at least one Liche Priest present, the highest ranking of which is called the Hierophant. It is the Hierophant's role to raise the dead from the desert and give the war statuary animus. If he should perish then the army of skeletons will slowly fall apart and the statues will topple as the spirits depart the mortal realm.
The lore of Nekeharia is a strange combination of Light and Death. Any Liche Priest can take Light, Death, or Nekeharian: but your army's hierophant must use Nekeharian.
A Tomb Kings army in Warhammer is an impressive sight, massed ranks of skeletons, immense stone monsters and legions of chariots. It is an army that causes Fear, that will never break from combat and can even replace models that have been lost. The army is incredible flexible, allowing for an entire force mounted in chariots or riding on statues, you can do a massed horde with rank upon rank of Skeletons and Skeleton Archers, an army of monsters or a mixture of all the above.
CoreSkeleton Warriors form the backbone of the Khemrian armies. In life they were dedicated warriors, willing to lay down their lives for their King. In death they do much the same. Raised from mass graves beneath the ancient pyramids, the Skeleton Warriors take up sword and shield once more, their every action controlled by the Tomb King, their life sustained by the army Hierophant. While an individually Skeleton Warrior lacks the martial skill to overcome an enemy, a regiment of them fighting together in silent unison will form an impenetrable wall of spears and shields that few enemies will ever want to charge.
The bulk of the Tomb Kings army will be made of Skeleton Warriors and Archers. These more than make up for their Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill 2 by causing Fear, being Unbreakable and, due to the Lore of Nehekhara, easily replenishable during the game. They are also incredibly cheap, at a cost of only 4 points per Skeleton.
The armies of the Tomb Kings often include units of Skeleton Horsemen, cavalrymen who fight on in death much as they did in life, scouting ahead of the army and harrying enemy outriders as they advance. The Horsemen sometimes fight as armoured units, charging head-first into the enemy, aiming to break them with a well-timed charge. Their main role on the battlefield however, is as a scouting force, where they will advance along the flanks of an enemy army, peppering them with well-aimed shots from their bows before they gallop away from any harm that may befall them
Charioteers have always been at the forefront of Khemrian armies. As the warhost assembles beneath the blazing desert sun, the charioteers will circle the battlefield kicking up dust and sand, their Undead spirits eager to get to grips with the enemy. When the mighty legions of the Tomb King advance, the Charioteers will race ahead, tearing into enemy regiments with reckless abandon, crushing them beneath Undead hooves and slicing them apart with ancient blades.
The chariot legions of the Tomb Kings have ever been a formidable sight. They can field an entire army on chariots, each of which will deliver D6 Impact Hits on the charge. When ranked up, chariots can add +1 Strength for every rank in the unit. Which means a unit of six Skeleton Chariots (in two ranks of three) will inflict 3D6 Strength 5 Impact Hits on the charge!
SpecialEditThe Tomb Guard are the partially mummified remains of the king's elite guard. 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 implacable shield walls. To face the Tomb Guard in battle is a dreadful prospect for any foe - they fight in a regimented phalanx, utterly silent as they hack through rank after rank of those who oppose them.The partially mummified Tomb Guards are the elite infantry of the army. A Toughness and Strength of 4 coupled with the Killing Blow rule and the option to take halberds ensure they are a foe to be feared.
The Ushabti are the guardian statues of the great pyramids of the Tomb Kings. In times of war, the Liche Priests imbue the Ushabti with tremendous power, working with the ancient Necrotects to give the statues unnatural life. When the Tomb Kings march to war, the Ushabti accompany them, striding silently through the sands, implacable in their advance. They carry fearsome double-handed glaives that no man could ever hope to lift, loping off limbs, heads and anything else that gets in their way.
Necropolis Knights are elite warriors who ride atop giant snake-shaped statues. 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 bone with every swipe of their tails and sink scimitar-sized fangs into soft flesh.
Sepulchral Stalkers lie in wait beneath the desert sands, waiting for intruders to pass by before launching a devastating ambush. When the trap is sprung, several horrifying, snake-like forms burst from the ground to surround their prey. The Sepulchral Stalkers impale their foes on ornate staves before they even realise they are under attack. Their reputation, however, is made even more fearsome by their unnatural gaze, which can turn a foe into a pillar of sand with but a single glance.
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. They are terrifying foes to face, and enemies that do not flee before them are
swatted aside by stone claws or torn apart by fanged jaws. However, this is just a fraction of their full destructive power. With unstoppable force, the Warsphinx can crash down upon enemy units, splintiring bones and pulping
organs. For those caught beneath this titanic creature there is little hope of survival.
The Khemrian Warsphinx is a massive monster made of stone, jade, marble or any other rock-hard substance. When animated, it is a terrifying thing to face, its Toughness means all but the strongest attacks will struggle to wound the creature and its special Thundercrush attack can lay waste to even horde units in a single round of combat.
The Tomb Scorpions once guarded the Tombs of ancient kings, ensuring that those of a curious nature never escaped alive. Now their Undead husks are bound to the spirit of a mummified Liche Priest, whose ruined body is carried within the carapace of the Scorpion. As a result, the Tomb Scorpions are immensely powerful and highly resistant to magic, their own vengeful spirits bolstered by the proximity of the Liche Priest within them. Beneath the field of battle they wait patiently until they are called to the surface, their claws tearing through anything above them in a swelter of gore.
Carrion are ever-present around Nehekhara, always watchful for signs of life in the inhospitable deserts of Khemri. Despite their long-dead eyes, they can hunt their prey from many miles away, their spirits guided by the incantations of the Liche Priests. As the battle rages around them the Carrion will swooping down upon enemy war machines and isolated wizards, throwing their unfortunate victims high into the air and tearing them apart with their savage beaks.
RareEditThe Screaming Skull Catapult is a truly fear-inducing war machine. Giant bones of long-dead monsters are bound together with tattered leather straps, the remains of human bodies splinted around them for added strength. This macabre, tattered feat of engineering is crewed by dedicated engineers and weapon specialists who have fought in the Khemrian armies for many centuries, their experience with siege weaponry almost unmatched in the Warhammer world. If the sight of the Catapult was not fearsome enough, then the sound of it firing will shatter the resolve of those who face it. Polished, sand-scoured skulls are launched high into the air, howling a terrifying scream through tightly clenched teeth. Their impact (should anything choose to stand their ground against it) is a magical detonation of bone and Undead sorcery that will cause untold damage amongst tightly packed troops.
The Necrolith Colossus is a towering edifice of bone and armour. Despite it's outward appearance the Necrolith Colossus is not the skeleton of one creature, but the combination of many hundreds of smaller creatures into one large and intimidating monster. Armed with two gigantic blades, the Necrolith Colossus can launch into an unstoppable assault within seconds of reaching combat, it's spirit hell-bent on total destruction and wanton violence. The Bone Giant is a great model to represent a Tomb Kings Necrolith Colossus.
The Necrosphinx is a nightmare beast of destruction that glides through the air in bounding leaps before falling amongst their terrified prey, scything down the living as mortals reap the wheat of the field. Only when all before them have been butchered will they stop. Enemy warriors are easy prey to these bizarre Undead constructs and even mighty monsters will find themselves struggling for survival. The Necrosphinx is truly the king of brutal, unending carnage.
At the heart of each tomb of the mightiest kings there lies a casket, inscribed with hieroglyphs of malediction. Within this sarcophagus reside the tormented souls of those who have incited the Tomb King's wrath. Powerful binding inscriptions ensure that these souls cannot leave their prison until the moment when the casket is opened. The Casket is not carried into battle; rather it is summoned from the ground, emerging atop a pile of skulls and a dais of bone. Liche Priests nearby may use the power of the Casket to enhance their spells, though it's true power is only revealed when the lid is removed and the contents finally, and fatally, revealed.
Lords of LegendEdit
Settra- First Tomb King of Khemri and Leader of the World Eternal
The Cursed Prince Apophas- Murderous prince cursed to search the desert to find a soul as evil as his own
High Queen Khalida- Leader of a mighty force of Skeleton Archers
Tomb Herald Nekaph- Personal Herald of High King Settra
Ramhotep the Visionary- A necrotect of great renown, skill, and fury
High Priest Khatep - The greatest Liche Priest to ever excisted and a marvelous wizard.
Arkhan the Black- a tratorous wizard learned under Nagash