- "Hail to the mighty Tomb Guard who stand before me, you who stand before me, you who will stand watch over me for all eternity. For I, Settra, Lord and first Priest king of Khemri, will awaken to command you in the paradise that awaits us. Hail to the Ushabti and Sphinx who stand sentinel beside the monuments of the king. Hail to the commanders of my army, leading forth your regiments to join me in eternity. Hail to the warriors of my legions; make ready your weapons to fill the air with the sound of your worship. Your standards are pleasing to my sight and that of the Gods. See how the light of Phtra shines upon them. Remember them gleaming this day, as you enter the darkness of the tomb. Fear not what we must do, for we are the glory of Khemri and we shall rise again to fulfill our manifest destiny of ruling this world. There are great deeds that remain undone, enemies yet to conquer and raptures yet to rejoice in. So, as it is written, so shall it be done. I, Settra, have proclaimed it - let none dare oppose my will! "
- —Inscription on the Great Obelisk of Khemri.[1e]
Settra, known by many godly titles such as Settra the Imperishable,[3i] the King of Kings, High King of Nehekhara,[3i] Lord of the Earth, Monarch of the Sky, Ruler of the Four Horizons, Mighty Lion of the Infinite Desert, Great Hawk of the Heavens, Majestic Emperor of the Shifting Sands, Eternal Sovereign of Khemri's legions,[3j] and so much more, is the mighty and absolute sovereign ruler of all Nehekhara, an ancient and powerful warrior-king who ruled a large empire some two-thousand five hundred years before the birth of the barbarian hero Sigmar Heldenhammer and the founding of the Empire.[2b]
Settra was one of the greatest and most warmongering Human rulers this world has ever known, having conquered, united and founded the Empire of Nehekhara through acts of unparalleled cruelty, arrogance, bloodshed and tyranny. The first and perhaps greatest Human kingdom in history, the size and power of Nehekhara once stood as the shining beacon of all of Mankind.[3a] Of all the Kings of Nehekhara, none could match the splendour, cruelty and arrogance of Settra. He was a vain and egotistical man, and demanded not only the obedience of his subjects but also their absolute and utter adoration.[3d]
Settra is as ruthless and tyrannical a ruler can ever be, whose thirst for conquest and power is only matched by that of Nagash himself. His power is far greater than any other Tomb King, and his unyielding will is such that he never needs to return to his sarcophagus to rest. The immortality he lusted after in life is now his, and the civilisations that flourished in his absence will soon know the full wrath of he who founded the first of Mankind's civilisations.[3i]
- 1 History
- 1.1 The Golden Age
- 1.2 The Cult of the Dead: The Mortuary Priest (-2460 to -2000 IC)
- 1.3 The Awakening: The Rise of the Tomb Kings (-1151 to -1149 IC)
- 1.4 An Age of Kings: The Reign of a Million Years (-1149 to 2518 IC)
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Wargear
- 4 Older Background
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Miniature
- 7 Sources
Settra was truly a great and powerful King, and the current ruler of Khemri. However, he was no fool, and when he listened to his priests he realised that only a leader who could command the respect of the gods would earn the full adulation of the people. To this end, King Settra, alone amongst all the kings of Nehekhara, paid homage to the ancient gods; early in his reign he ordered the restoration of temples and erected magnificent statues to be built in their honour.[3d]
On the first anniversary of his coronation, Settra beseeched the gods to restore Khemri to its former glory and grant him the strength to conquer his rivals, sacrificing his own children in a grand ritual to show his commitment and prove his worth. The next day, the Great Vitae River flooded for the first time in several decades. With the waters, disease was washed away from Khemri and the crop harvest was plentiful for the first time in living memory. This was seen as a sign by both the Nehekharan priesthood and the populace of Khemri that Settra was indeed chosen by the gods. So it was that Settra became the first Priest King of Khemri, a ruler who commanded not only the loyalty of his people and his legions, but who also wielded the power of the gods themselves.[3d]
Settra was an all-powerful king who had fought alongside his father's legion for many years before ascending to Khemri's throne. He was a ruthless warlord, and his keen tactical and strategic sense was matched only by his courage and martial skill. One by one, Settra brought the other great cities of Nehekhara to heel, leading his legions from the front where he could slate his own battle-lust and thirst for conquest. First the city-state of Numas, known as the Scarab City, fell before his might. Then the port-city of Zandri surrendered, and with every victory more warriors flocked to his banner. Before long, Settra commanded the largest and most devout army that Nehekhara has ever known. Vast legions of battle-hardened soldiers marched across the land of Nehekhara, and no mercy was shown to those who would dare oppose his might. In time, all the Kings were conquered and Nehekhara stood unified once more.[3d]
The Golden Age
- "And behold, the almighty God-King Settra did awaken from his sleep of blessed oblivion. His legions, long buried beneath the sands, did arise and stand to attention, awaiting his order. And he did say "War!", and the world did tremble"
- —Grand Hierophant Khatep.[3c]
Few rivals emerged to oppose the great king, and those who did were crushed mercilessly, either at his own hands or by those of the Herald Nekaph, his imposing champion. Settra's agents would root out and quell any trace of dissent and the merest hint of rebellion that threatened the stability of their lord's realm, and soon none dared to even think of defying the King of Kings. Thereafter, Settra reigned as the undisputed king of not just Khemri, but of all Nehekhara, and for many decades he suffered no challenge to his rule.[3d]
Though Settra was a ruthless and tyrannical ruler, Khemri, and indeed the whole of Nehekhara entered a golden age of prosperity and plenty under his iron-fisted rule. The war-ravaged cities were quickly restored, and many grand monuments were erected to not just the gods, but now also to the honour of Nehekhara's ever-expanding borders.[3d]
Yet Settra was not content with merely restoring the kingdoms of his ancestors. The armies of Nehekhara spread far and wide, conquering the surrounding lands and enslaving their tribes. Settra's warfleet ravaged the realms across the seas, and his armies brought the terror of the Priest Kings of Khemri to many distant lands. Foreign cities fell, faraway lands were conquered and vast riches were brought back to the Great Land from as far afield as the jungles of Lustria. Nehekhara reached the peak of his power and influence during the reign of Settra, and his name was feared across half the world.[3d]
There was nothing that could stay Settra's hunger for war, nor his thirst for conquest, and for many years the armies of Nehekhara swept across the world. Settra's vast kingdom stretched across the lands, but for all his victories and accomplishments, the Priest King was unsatisfied. It is said that in the fortieth year of his reign, with his body beginning to show the first signs of old age and frailty, Settra stood in the peaks of the Black Mountains, upon the very edge of his empire and surveyed all that he had conquered. He then turned and gazed upon the distant lands that lay on the other side of the mountain and roared in anger. It was with bitter disappointment that Settra realised that even if he were to live a hundred years, there would still be realms beyond his grasp.[3d]
Settra simmered with rage, for he knew that one day he would be defeated, not by a mortal foe, nor by any superior army but by the cruel passage of time and his own mortality. Settra knew that his dreams of global conquest was unreachable in his mortal lifespan and though the fires of ambition burned brightly within his heart, his body would wither and fail him before he could see his vision fulfilled. Worse, Settra knows that death might rob him of all he had achieved in his lands, his people and his power. In his arrogance, he vowed that the grave would not claim him, and set in motion events that would forever change his kingdom.[3d]
The Cult of the Dead: The Mortuary Priest (-2460 to -2000 IC)
- "Look upon my flesh, my warriors! Once I was a mighty warrior-king destined to live the life of a god, yet my flesh withers upon my bone, my frail body succumbs to the ravages of time and soon death will claim me. But it shall not always be so. In strange aeons, even death may lose its grip and though I march to the tomb, I have the spirit of a king! And you also, yet you be but mere mortals, you have the invincible spirit of the army of Settra!"
- —Inscription on the Great Obelisk of Khemri.[2c]
Settra became obsessed with unlocking the secrets of immortality so that he could rule over his lands for all eternity. In his quest for everlasting life, Settra founded the Mortuary Cult and demanded that his wisest and most powerful priest devote their efforts to discovering the secrets of preventing his passing. The priests of Khemri did as Settra bade them, and for years they brewed potions, recited incantations and travelled into unknown lands in search of the secret to overcoming death. In their research, the priests learned much, and they used their powers to extend Settra's life far beyond its natural span. However, they could not halt the passage of time indefinitely, they were merely postponing the inevitable while their lord's mortal body became ever more frail. The priests of the Mortuary Cult were naturally reluctant to reveal these limitations to Settra, whose wrath was legendary, and continued to search in vain for a way to accomplish this impossible task.[3e]
The priests journeyed for many years throughout the world. They studied all aspects of death, and over the years they've learned much, and their powers grew. Using their arcane knowledge, they also extended their own lives as well. They learned how to preserve a corpse from decay, until the art of mummification had become tuned to perfection. With the passing of the years, the hierophants of the Mortuary Cult had even begun to experiment with harnessing the Winds of Magic as well.[3e]
The Pyramid of Settra
- "Turn your heads my soldiers, turn your heads and see the fair river Vitae. you will see it again when the world is ready to receive us and you reclaim that which is mine by right and by birth. We are the glory of Khemri and shall rise again to fufill our manifest destiny of ruling the world."
- —Inscription on the Great Obelisk of Khemri.[2c]
Though they made incredible progress, it was to no avail; true immortality lay beyond their power. Great was Settra's wrath, for though the priests' magic kept him alive far beyond the span of any mortal Man, they could not prevent his death. However, the Mortuary Cult devised a vast lore of magical incantations and rituals, which they claim could bridge the gap between the mortal world and the Realm of Souls. They believed that with careful preparation and the proper incantations, it might be possible for the dead to return to life in imperishable bodies, though it may take many centuries to perfect and perform the necessary rituals. Left with no other choice, Settra commanded that a vast burial tomb be constructed for his body to rest within until the Mortuary Cult finished their work and he could be reborn into the eternal existence he so craved.[3e]
As Settra lay dying, full of anger, spite and pride to his very last breath, the priests of the Mortuary Cult promised him a golden paradise that, upon his awakening, he would rule for millions of years. When the King perished at last, it was with a final curse upon his lips. Powerful incantations were intoned over his corpse and he was embalmed in a great ritual. Preserved against decay, the body of Settra was entombed within a mighty sarcophagus in the heart of the majestic pyramid of shining white stone. The monument was so bright that it hurt the mortal eyes just to look at it. The pyramid was vast and it towered over the city of Khemri. It was the largest and most magnificent monument ever created in Nehekhara, for no simple cairn would befit a king as mighty and powerful as Settra.[3e]
All of his treasures, along with his most loyal servants and bodyguards, were also interred within his pyramid. Settra's mighty legions, which had carved out his realm at his behest, were arrayed deep beneath it in colossal tomb pits. Loyal even unto death, these soldiers were buried alive in preparation for the Day of Awakening when Settra would arise and lead them to war once more. At the head of the funeral procession strode Nekaph, Settra's most loyal servant, mummified at the right-hand side of his beloved king, in order to serve him in the next life. For thousands of year afterwards, the priests of Khemri tended the funeral flames outside the sealed tomb, nurturing Settra's immortal spirit with sacrifice and incantations in preparation for the Day of Awakening. No tomb before or since has ever had such powerful hieroglyphs of warding and incantations of protection heaped upon it. During this time, the priests of the Mortuary Cult continued to develop their understanding of magical incantations in the hopes of finally unlocking the secrets of immortality and of bringing about the time of Settra's resurrection.[3e]
The Awakening: The Rise of the Tomb Kings (-1151 to -1149 IC)
- "Now make ready your weapons, my soldiers, for the time is at hand. Go forth, I command you go forth in haste and march with your king into the darkness of the tomb. Make great the name of Settra and Khemri! The darkness draws near and there are great deeds that remain undone, enemies yet to crush and raptures yet to rejoice in. So as it is written, so shall it be done. I, Settra have proclaimed it and let none dare oppose my will!"
- —Inscription on the Great Obelisk of Khemri.[2c]
When Nagash was defeated by the hands of Alcadizzar the Conqueror, his powerful sorceries coursed across Nehekhara, countless corpses stirred and rose, animated solely by the dark will of the necromancer. With his destruction, however, their source of animus vanished and they fell like marionettes whose strings had been mysteriously cut. Nagash's foul magic also penetrated the tombs of the kings and reverberated throughout the charnel pits of the dead cities. However, protected and shielded to a degree by the wards and incantations placed upon their pyramids and necropolises, Nagash's spell affected the long-dead kings and their buried legions differently. After centuries of entombment, the stiffened corpses of monarchs and heroes awoke.[3f]
The mummified kings rose from their resting places. Legions of Skeleton Warriors burst forth from their sand-filled tomb pits, ready to do their liege's bidding. Due to the incantations of preservation performed on their embalmed bodies, the Tomb Kings awoke from their long journey through the Realm of Souls with their memories and faculties intact. They emerged from their tombs in horror. Where the ancient kings had been promised eternal life in a paradise where they would rule supreme, they instead awoke to find themselves clad in desiccated flesh and rotten vestments, with their cities shattered, their lands desolate and their kingdoms all but destroyed — little more than ruins poking out from beneath the sand dunes.[3f]
The War of the Kings
There had been countless kings during the long history of Nehekhara. The fires of ambition and pride that had driven them in life still resided in their ancient bodies, and they instantly sought out to reclaim their empires as best they could. Kings who were great and powerful in life, who had reigned unchallenged for centuries, now awoke from death in a land where they were but one amongst hundreds. All believed the right to rule the land was solely theirs, and none would relinquish their perceived power. Dynasties that were built upon the shoulders of more powerful monarchs were forced to confront their founders, and there were long battles in the necropolises as king fought king. Undying legions arose at their command, and many tens of thousands of Skeleton Warriors were destroyed as the Undead Tomb Kings struggled for supremacy.[3f]
Of all the tombs and pyramids, only one remained silent and untouched by the fighting — the Great Pyramid of Settra the Imperishable. The wards heaped on the white burial monument had protected the mummified corpse of Settra from Nagash's tainted sorcery, and its occupants still slumbered in the sleep of death, oblivious to the turmoil of battle taking place outside the pyramid walls. As the battles raged, the Liche Priests looked on. Their bodies, already extended far beyond their natural span, were unaffected by Nagash's spell. They had survived the rise and fall of Nagash, whose sorcerous power they could not match, but it looked like the warring Tomb Kings were going to destroy what remained of Nehekhara. The head of the Mortuary Cult, Grand Hierophant Khatep, oldest and wisest of the Liche Priests, took it upon himself to restore order. As king smote king, Khatep broke the seals to Settra's pyramid and began to recite the incantation of awakening.[3f]
In Khemri, the battles between rival kings lasted for days before the tomb of Settra opened, and the mightiest of all the kings of Nehekhara strode out into the blazing sunlight at the head of thousands of his warriors. In undeath, Settra hungered for the domination of his fellow Tomb Kings, and he would suffer no rival to his rule. Settra waded into the carnage. His Herald, Nekaph, stood as ever by his side. Together, they led Settra's elite Tomb Guard and quickly carved a path through the rival Skeleton legions. Settra struck down dozens of lesser Tomb Kings who stood against him, powdering their bones to dust and destroying them utterly. Not even Arkhan the Black, with his command of dark sorcery, could prevail against Settra's strength of arms, and he was forced to flee Khemri. Before long, all the Tomb Kings bowed their heads to Settra the Imperishable — the undisputed ruler of all Nehekhara.[3f]
Settra returned to his throne room and commanded the Liche Priests to explain to him why the awakening had gone awry, and so long before the right and proper time. Settra's fury was great; his cities were in ruins, his treasures had been plundered and much of his kingdom had been lost to foreign invaders. The golden paradise he was promised did not exist, and worst of all, it appeared as if the ancient gods had abandoned Nehekhara. Grand Hierophant Khatep cowered before the outraged king and told the history of Nehekhara since his passing over two thousand years before. As best he could, Khatep told Settra of the spell that the foul Nagash had cast, cursing Nehekhara for all time.[3f]
Settra listened with a barely controlled rage simmering within him. Once he had learned all he could from Khatep, he commanded that the Tomb Kings return to their eternal rest. The Liche Priests were given the duty of watching over the tombs and of awakening his vassal kings as needed. Settra vowed that he would stay vigilant, taking stock of the world and waging war as was his right. Never again would he slumber, lest his kingdom slide into ruin once more. Settra set about restoring his former empire without delay. In particular, he watched for the return of the hated Nagash, he who had cursed his realm, for he knew that the necromancer might yet reappear in the world and that Nagash's sorcery could still threaten his immortality. So it was that Nehekhara became the Land of the Dead and Settra the Imperishable renewed his rulership, which would become known as the Reign of Millions of Years.[3f]
An Age of Kings: The Reign of a Million Years (-1149 to 2518 IC)
Settra the Imperishable had ruled as the Undead king of all Nehekhara for over a millennia when an army of marauding tribesmen from the frozen north made landfall on the baking shores of Nehekhara. The barbaric warriors plundered several tombs before the Skeleton Warriors of Settra's legions began to rise from the sands to bar their escape. Even as the Marauders prepared to face this threat, the skies began to darken. The barbarians gazed to the heavens, and a heartbeat later, a cloud of arrows fell amongst them that cut down hundreds of warriors. In the wake of the volley, vast flocks of Carrion descended upon the wounded and the dying, razor-sharp beaks tearing open throats and bellies.[3g]
The tribe's Chieftain, Valgar the Butcher, ordered a savage counter-attack, unleashing packs of bloodthirsty Warhounds that tore the Carrion apart in a frenzied gnashing of teeth. Valgar then redressed his surviving warriors' ranks and prepared to meet the approaching Skeleton battle line. Axes clashed with spears as the two forces collided, but wherever Valgar fought, the Undead were hewn by his axe or crushed beneath the hooves of his daemonic steed. Despite Valgar's fearsome skill, his forces were vastly outnumbered and his own warriors were growing tired, their strength sapped by the punishing glare of the desert sun. In the distance, Valgar could see a single figure emerge through the heat-haze, a majestic warrior riding forwards on a golden chariot. Valgar raised his rune-covered axe to the air and bellowed a challenge to the new-comer — a challenge that was answered with a rumble of thunder.[3g]
That figure was none other than Settra the Imperishable, and he smashed into the invaders with the wrath of ancient gods, driving a bloody path towards Valgar. As the two generals collided, Settra swung his enchanted blade in a mighty arc that decapitated Valgar's daemonic mount in a single blow. Even as Valgar's steed was slain from beneath him, the chieftain's axe glowed with baleful energy, and it was suddenly wreathed in sorcerous flames. The axe bit deep into Settra's chest and set his form ablaze. Before Valgar could enjoy his victory, Settra's body exploded into a ravenous swarm of beetles that stripped the chieftain's flesh from his bones before flying back to the Great Pyramid of Khemri to regenerate the Tomb King's immortal form.[3g]
Amidst the carnage, Valgar's lieutenant, Khagul Bloodfist, stooped down to pick up Settra's regal crown before rallying the surviving tribesmen and cleaving a path through the skeletal shield-wall back to the coast. Only a dozen Marauders managed to survive and escape back to their frozen realm, bloodied, but rich beyond their wildest dreams.[3g]
It was a decade before Settra re-emerged from his sarcophagus, his body restored but his heart burning with the need for vengeance. The men of the north had not only dared to enter his realm, soiling the desert with their barbaric feet, they had the temerity to face him in battle, even going so far as to strike him down. However, most heinous of all crimes had been the bold act of laying their lowborn hands upon the Crown of Nehekhara — a deed that brought with it a sentence of death. Settra the Imperishable would punish the barbarians for their insolence by staining the sands of their homeland red with their blood. The King of Nehekhara turned to his Liche Priests and ordered them to awaken his vassal kings; the combined might of Nehekhara's armies was going to war. Settra's war fleets sailed north, towards the frozen wastelands, laden with legions of Undead soldiers and war-constructs.[3g]
The King of Nehekhara swore that only when every last gold coin was recovered, and every one of the barbarians who had escaped his wrath a decade ago was slain, would he return to Khemri. Each of those men had become a chieftain in his own right, with the wealth they brought back from the Land of the Dead securing them much power and many followers. Several had become Champions of Chaos and now they led whole tribes of merciless warriors and mutated monsters. Settra's warhost collided with the iron-clad Warriors of Chaos across the entire length of the northern lands. Enormous statues strode relentlessly through driving blizzards, and regiments of Skeleton Chariots tirelessly ploughed through snow-drifts in their hunt for the guilty.[3g]
Untold thousands of men were slaughtered upon the swords and spears of Settra's host as tribe after tribe was destroyed. Dragon Ogres were cut down by powerful Ushabti, Trolls were turned into pillars of sand by Sepulchral Stalkers and grotesque Giants were slain by the monstrous claws of ferocious Necrosphinxes. Driven by Settra's unyielding will, the legions of Nehekhara were unstoppable. Within five years only one of the dozen Marauders remained alive, and only a single treasure — the Crown of Nehekhara — remained unclaimed. Settra's revenge was almost at hand.[3g]
The Dead and the Damned
After a long trek across the Hellwyrm Glacier, Settra's legions clashed with the warhost of Khagul Bloodfist, the last and most powerful of the Marauders and the one who had stolen Settra's crown all those many years ago. In the intervening years, Khagul's victories had seen him become a mighty Champion of Chaos, imbued with the power of Dark Gods whose names men fear to speak. Khagul commanded a great horde of Chaos, for his fame was such that tribesmen and warbands from leagues around flocked to his blood-drenched warbanner.[3g]
It was not only the Chaos Gods who had noticed his deeds, but Prince Apophas, the Cursed Scarab Lord, saw in Khagul a soul that might be the equal of his own; a spirit that could buy him his freedom from the tortures of Nehekhara's underworld prison. So it was that, as Settra led the fight against the assembled Chaos horde, carving his way through their armoured ranks, Apophas ambushed the unsuspecting Khagul.[3g]
The Chaos Champion had just finished dismembering a Tomb Scorpion when he was suddenly enveloped by a swarm of black beetles, which obscured his vision before coalescing into a shape resembling that of a man. The figure clutched a dagger in one hand, and his leering skull seemed to stare into Khagul's very soul. Without pause, Khagul's bodyguard launched themselves at the assassin, but the figure opened its mouth and vomited forth a surge of insects that drowned them beneath chitinous bodies. Apophas stalked towards his target, and Khagul readied his axe. The Chaos Champion hacked at the figure with frenzied swipes, but it was to no avail. Every time Khagul cut into Apophas' body a tide of scuttling scarabs would flow over the wound. In frustration, he raised his axe high above his head, preparing to strike the assassin's skull from its shoulders but, before the stroke fell, Apophas had slashed his dagger across the champion's throat. Khagul's blood burst forth in an arterial spray, and he slumped to his knees. Apophas drew the warrior's soul from his mortal body, capturing it before dragging it into the Underworld for all eternity.[3g]
With the death of Khagul, the cohesion of the Chaos warhost crumbled. The northern tribesmen reverted to their crude, berserk nature, and they were easily dashed against Settra's disciplined battle lines. The King of all Nehekhara smashed into the ranks of mortals time and again, leaving a trail of fire and death in his wake. Against this onslaught, the hearts of men faltered, and the barbaric tribesmen turned tail and fled, only to be run down by regiments of Undead cavalry that Settra had positioned for just such a task. Only the armoured warriors of the Chaos host stood their ground, and they fought against Khemri's war-statues in a clash of steel and stone, but when Settra's chariot legions smashed into the Chaos Warriors' flanks, they too were massacred. It would be two more days before Settra's legions butchered the final remnants of the Chaos horde, the bloody campaign ending when Settra himself charged through a hailstorm to slay a lightning-wreathed Dragon Ogre Shaggoth. The snow plains were littered with the bodies of dead, and from amidst the corpses Settra retrieved the bloodstained Crown of Nehekhara. Settra's treasures had finally been recovered, and those who had wronged him now lay dead at his feet. Such was the fate for any who dared oppose the will of Settra the Imperishable.[3g]
Storm of Chaos
Attention, Empire Citizens!
This article may contain older content that is now considered non-canon
Far to the south, beyond the knowledge of even the most travelled Imperial soldier, the unliving warriors of Settra continue to wage war against the greenskins and scattered human communities of the Badlands. Though slow to react at first to the threat, tribes from the Dragonback Mountains and small armies of Marsh Goblins have begun to gather, halting the advance of the Tomb Kings across the open wilderness. However, Settra continued to push his army north and east, towards the Sour Sea, for whatever goal he seeks in that blighted region.
The Tomb Kings have made large gains, the armies of Settra marching north from Numas and Khemri to claim ancient tombs around the Marshes of Madness, and towards the Sour Sea. However, resistance is growing as they advance north and eastwards. Goblins from around Red Cloud Mountain met the Undead in the foothills of the World's Edge Mountains whilst Orcs and Beasts from the inner Badlands fell back before their glittering hosts. The purpose of Settra's advance became clearer, as the Tomb Kings continued to press north and eastwards across the Badlands. The ruins of several ancient settlements have already been reclaimed, and yet the Eagle of the Desert continued advancing, his army now within sight of the Sour Sea. Beyond lays the ancient, terrible citadel of Nagashizzar.
The Tomb Kings stopped in their advance as the Liche Priests opened up many of the tombs and necropolises ‘liberated' from the Greenskins tribes. Settra himself paused a few miles from Nagashizzar and issued a challenge to whoever might be within the shadow-shrouded citadel. He spoke of the powers surging within the Black Pyramid in Khemri and demanded restitution for the woes that have befallen his people.
For many leagues north of the Mortis River, the Tomb Kings have laid claim to lost lands. Legions hundreds strong stand ready at the old ruins of the Nehekharan outposts, while the vultures and wolves feed upon the dead Orcs and the other usurpers of the Badlands. These lands, known in the tongue of Khemri as Anah-Kehzzar, were but shattered shells of their former glory. Most tombs lie empty or those interred within do not stir to the call of the Liche Priests. Lying beyond the ancient boundaries of Nehekhara, the kings and princes buried in Anah-Kehzzar were mostly unaffected by the great spell unleashed by Nagash and still slumbered in death's embrace. 
His challenge unanswered, Settra withdrew from Nagashizzar, conscious of the forces gathering on the shores of the Sour Sea. A guard had been set on the ancient citadel, to keep watch for any sign that its dark inhabitants are readying once more to unleash their evil upon the world.
Before great nations such as the Empire or Bretonnia were even dreams, the people of Nehekhara had already built towering cities, unrivalled throughout the land. Each of these city-states was ruled by a Priest King, who would raise great monuments in their honor for ages to come. Settra the Imperishable was one such ruler. But he wanted more. Ambitious, ruthless, and extremely arrogant, Settra set out to forcibly unite all the cities into one unified kingdom. After a series of wars, he succeeded, and became the High King of the kingdom of Nehekhara.[3i]
Settra's rule over the land was heavy-handed and harsh, and many feared him. However, in this time, Nehekhara also became prosperous and powerful, under the cruel, but inspired guidance of its king. Building great monuments to himself, Settra considered himself as the greatest king the world had ever known, and not without some justification. However, the notion of his reign potentially ending at his death and having someone else rule the lands he conquered enraged Settra. No one, not even his own sons were worthy to take up the mantle of all that he has wrought. Refusing to accept such a fate, the king began to seek immortality, and ordered his priests to find a way to achieve it. This led to the foundation of the Mortuary Cult, so created as to find a way to overcome death itself. Soon all of Nehekhara had centered its attention to death, leading to the rise of cities completely devoted to the afterlife, called Necropoli.[3i]
Settra himself never achieved the immortality that he desired, and eventually did die at a very old age, bitter about being robbed what he felt was his right. However, his actions had profound consequences. His eventual successor as king, Nagash, would discover the magic of Necromancy, and his actions would lead to the complete devastation of the once fertile land of Nehekhara, and the creation of the vampires. Nagash would raise former Nehekhara rulers to serve him using his magic, Settra being the last. However, unlike his other creations, these raised kings maintained their free will, and embittered by being cheated out of true immortality, drove the Necromancer out. Settra then promptly reconquered all the lands he once ruled, having achieved a form of immortality, but not the kind he truly desired. Easily one of the greatest warriors the Old World ever knew, Settra carries the Blessed Blade of Ptra, and rides the Chariot of the Gods into battle, where he runs down all who stand his path, leaving their bodies broken and mangled in his wake. All will feel his wrath, none will survive.[3i]
- Crown of Nehekhara - Incorporating several crowns into one, this regal headdress allows Settra to instil his unyielding will into all those nearby.[3i]
- Chariot of the Gods - This mighty chariot carries with it the blessings of all the gods and goddesses of Nehekhara, and its wheels blaze with mystical flame.[3i]
- Scarab Brooch of Usirian - Made in the image of a skull-carapaced khepra beetle, this talisman surrounds the wearer with the protective energies of Usirian, god of the Underworld.[3i]
- Blessed Blade of Ptra - This revered weapon has been blessed by the sun god, Ptra. The blade's white-hot edge, infused with the heat of the desert sun, sets the air itself ablaze and glows so brightly that it blinds Settra's foes.[3i]
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Settra was the Priest King who founded Khemri, the ancient city which spawned both Nagash and Arkhan the Black. He was also the first of the Priest Kings to have his body buried in a pyramid, the likes of which now dot the plains of the blighted and misbegotten land of the Tomb Kings. He was a vain and egotistical man when alive, long to hold a grudge and hateful of anyone who questioned his actions or motives. He cared little for the suffering his actions caused others, and it is said that populations of entire villages died while working as slave labour to build his pyramid. When he finally died a mood of subdued rejoicing filled the land.[1b]
Settra was raised to life once more by Nagash's great spell of awakening. Following Nagash's defeat at the hands of the doomed Priest King Alcadizaar he quickly managed to bring the Undead population of Khemri under his control. When Nagash returned to life in his Black Pyramid at Khemri, he expected the Undead he had raised with his spell to obey and follow him. By this time Settra had been ruling the city for hundreds of years, and was far too proud and arrogant to submit to any other ruler.[1b]
Settra led his armies against Nagash and the small number of Undead followers Nagash had been able to bend to his will, catapulting Khemri into civil war. Battles raged across the decaying streets and buildings of the city and through the necropolises that surrounded it as the forces of undeath fought against each other in a terrible, silent contest. Nagash was soon joined by Arkhan the Black and the army under his control, and sought aid by visiting the other cities of the dead Tomb Kings. This proved a costly mistake, for the other Tomb Kings were united in their hatred of Nagash for what he had done to them and their realm. The Tomb Kings formed an alliance under the leadership of Settra, and against such overwhelming forces Nagash and Arkhan had no choice but to retreat north to Nagashizzar.[1b]
Fortunately for all living creatures, the alliance of the Tomb Kings and the huge Undead armies under their control did not last long. Settra was as vain, self-centred and evil in death as he had been in life. As the first of the Tomb Kings he felt that all of those that followed owed allegiance to him, and he was outraged when they refused to carry on obeying his orders after Nagash had been banished.[1b]
Determined to impose his will on the others, in -39 IC[1a] Settra turned his army on his former allies. The battle that resulted raged continuously for seven days and nights, the combatants neither tiring nor growing dispirited, and with the losses to each side being made good as Undead warriors that had been slain were restored once more to unlife. With the teeming living dead population of Khemri under his control Settra was by far the most powerful of the Tomb Kings, but he was heavily outnumbered by the combined forces of all of the other Tomb Kings, and finally he was forced to retreat or face complete annihilation. As Settra led his forces back to Khemri he cursed his enemies and vowed revenge against all of them.[1b]
Since that time Settra has continued to spread his evil empire, sending his armies to battle against the other Tomb Kings, and launching his fleets to raid the coasts of Tilea, Estalia, Bretonnia and Araby. The first raid took place around 100 IC, attacking the coast of what would later be called Bretonnia.[1a] These raids have earned Settra a fearsome and evil reputation, for the Undead fleets do not raid in order to steal gold, corn or other booty, but in order to capture the living. The unfortunate victims are dragged off to Khemri to be slain in horrifying rituals so their bodies can swell the ranks of Settra's Undead host. Often Settra will lead the raiding force himself, landing his army on the coast and cutting a bloody swathe through the lands of the living, leaving burning towns and villages devoid of all life in his wake. The army will then return to the fleet with a rich haul of living victims, and disappear as silently and as quickly as it appeared.[1b]
- Staff of Osiris - This magic item may be used to unleash a bolt of blinding white, super-heated energy that burns through any enemies it finds in its path.[1c]
- Tomb King's Crown - This item increases the wearer's control over nearby Undead, so they fight more effectively. This ability may not be used if the wearer is engaged in hand-to-hand combat himself, as he must dedicate his full concentration to fighting off his opponents.[1c]
- Flail of Skulls - This is an ancient magical weapon crafted from the skulls of fallen enemies, whose jaws bite into their victims as they hit, tearing great lumps of flesh away as they are ripped free.[1c]
- 3 Warhammer Armies: Tomb Kings (8th Edition)
- 4 Storm of Chaos - The Loremaster's Journal