View from a Pyramid
By Robert J Walker

King Ankhatep stood atop his Great Pyramid and looked to the horizon, the freezing night wind whipping around his mummified body. But he felt nothing; after all he had been dead for centuries. Ankhatep knew this land well; he had grown up here when all was lush grassland as far as the eye could see. That had been so long ago…

His eyes came to rest on the lights that shone on the horizon. It was less a settlement, more of a collection of shacks around a well.

The Well.

Ankhatep hated the water and cursed those who relied on it. The water drew warriors to the area – warriors who thought it their right to invade his home and steal his burial goods. He had seen the new warriors arrive as the sun set last evening and he knew that later that day they would come.


In life, Ankhatep had commanded a vast army and in death he commanded them still. His personal bodyguard, a whole legion, had been sealed into his Great Pyramid when he was laid to rest. Now they stood ready for his commands once again.

"I can sense them, my Lord." Shabar, the Liche Priest had come to his King's side. Ankhatep ignored the Priest, lost in his own world of sorrow and hatred. Shabar waited patiently. His master's propensity for violence towards those who interrupted his thoughts was well known. Despite the reliance of the Tomb Kings on their Liche Priests, Shabar was the third to serve Ankhatep since The Great Awakening.

‘They come.’ Ankhatep thoughts focused tightly on the approaching enemy.

The sun had broken the horizon when Ankhatep deigned to reply, "Gather my warriors." His voice was barely a whisper, carried away in the breeze, but Shabar had no problem hearing his master. Centuries of familiarity had seen an almost telepathic link develop between the two. "Yes, my Lord." Shabar replied, and returned into the pyramid to carry out the order.

Ankhatep could clearly see the approaching warband. Twelve arrogant mortals walking to their doom; ‘Will they never learn?’ Ankhatep mused…

Two hours passed and the once cold wind had grown hot under the still rising sun. Indeed, the sun was blinding and the sand burning hot. But Ankhatep didn't care. The warriors were only a stone's throw from his home now. It was time to repel invaders…again.

‘Why do they keep coming when none have left?’ Ankhatep’s mind pictured all those that had come before; all those whose sun-bleached bones now littered the desert around his Great Pyramid.

Ankhatep could hear the droning of Shabar as he read the Chant of Awakening deep inside the pyramid. These mortals should not prove to be a problem, but just in case… Ankhatep entered the maze of corridors inside his pyramid, picked up his gold-hilted scimitar and waited.

Shabar's monotone suddenly stopped, punctuated by the rattling of dozens of bones. Phelias and Ptarn, Ankhatep's two loyal lieutenants came to his side. He looked at each of them and wordlessly stepped towards the pyramid's entrance. They followed, each clutching an elaborately engraved halberd

As the three stepped into daylight, Shabar had already engaged the enemy with eight skeletons and three of the invaders were already lying, bleeding on the sand. This would be a short fight...

The ancient nation of Nehekharan is crawling with the living dead. Some are guardians of their tombs, while others are held in thrall by Necromancers of some powe. Beware when travelling the Land of the Dead, that you don't end up staying forever.

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