- "All the Necrotects see now is purity besmirched. With a whipcrack they strive once more for perfection."
- —The Necrotects of Nehekhara.
Necrotects were the artisans of ancient Nehekhara. They were not common labourers, but architects of extraordinary skill whose ambitions far outpaced what could be achieved in a mortal lifespan. In death, the Necrotects have lost none of their frenetic drive. They are filled with a compulsive need to pull down the inferior, vulgar cities of their enemies and supplant them with vast monuments of their own design.[1a]
The skills of a Necrotect were in high demand, for every king needed monuments to pronounce his majesty and a vast tomb to house his mortal remains upon his death. Indeed, Necrotects were so valued that, upon completing their work, they were rewarded with a ritual execution followed by an elaborate embalming ceremony. Many Necrotects were entombed within the same pyramids they had built, buried with the tools of their trade and an intricately carved death mask made by their own hands. The reasoning behind their sacrifice was twofold. Firstly, the king would need artisans to fashion palaces of gold in the next life. Secondly, it ensured that no rival kings could hire their services to commission a more elaborate tomb for themselves. Many Necrotects went to their graves willingly, perhaps for the honour of their beloved king, or because they were unable to live knowing that nothing they created would ever surpass their lord's tomb. Other Necrotects, particularly those whose creative desires still burned strongly, tended to meet with unfortunate accidents such as falling through rotten scaffolding, tripping on slippery stairwells, or drinking poisoned wine.[1a]
Necrotects were stern taskmasters who oversaw tens of thousands of Nehekharans as they toiled under the blazing sun. Under their gaze, an army of masons carved huge slabs of rock out of cliff faces before vast columns of slaves dragged the stones across the desert and hauled them into position. All Necrotects were foul tempered, and they would dispense summary punishment at the slightest provocation. They hated anything and anyone that threatened their art. In death, much of their work lies broken or damaged by the greed of tomb robbers and invading armies. Necrotects have been driven to a blinding rage by the wanton desecration of their beloved masterpieces, and they have sworn to have revenge. In battle, Necrotects lead the Tomb King's regiments like the work gangs of old. They exude the same aura of hatred they possessed in life, and their mere presence instils a magical state of fury in the Undead warriors of Nehekhara. Necrotects no longer need to extort their followers to work faster, and they reserve the lash for those who would defile their art instead, attacking these ignorant wretches with the crack of a whip strong enough to split open backs and leave spines exposed to the elements.[1a]
Necrotects saw to the fine details of construction personally, for only they possessed the skills necessary to carve the likeness of the gods into their sculptures and engrave intricate hieroglyphs onto their surfaces. These were not merely ornamental, for the Necrotects were schooled by the Liche Priests in the ways of crafting potent symbols of preservation. Necrotects may not know the full range of the Liche Priests' incantations, but they could inscribe powerful wards nonetheless. In unlife, Necrotects constantly repair their work, for many hieroglyphs have faded through the passage of time. When a Tomb King awakens, the Necrotects redouble their efforts as they attempt to finish their work. They tirelessly restore the great war-statues that stride to battle alongside the Tomb King's skeletal legions, renewing the hieroglyphs of protection. In battle, as Necrotects chant sinister mantras, these inscriptions glow, and the cracked stone of these animated statues flows to repair itself.[1a]