Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mabuki's Response to Trub the Scribe

 May Thoth protect you in your mission, Trub.

My time dealing with the predatory warbands of this area stretches longer than I had hoped. If I could leave for Ankhara immediately, I would. My beloved mentor turned puppet of the Eater of the Dead, Shefdu Sootootma, and the other outlaw Harbingers crawling upon the ruins of Ankhara must be dealt with before the situation becomes unmanageable. l shall come to Ankhara as soon as I am able. Until that day I must ask you to keep watch on the events there and continue to inform me of Shefdu's activities.

Knowledge is power.

It indeed is, Mabuki. I find the lack of knowledge gained by your observer, Trub, appalling. That shall soon be dealt with.

Sothek-Maur Bearer of the Black Scarab Blade

{Sometime after the Second Battle of Ankhara and the Rise of Khepri, the Dark Harbinger Shefdu Sootootma, Scribe of Khepri, gathered together several noteable Crypt Lords and Death Cultists. These heroes of the Eater of the Dead would act as agents of Khepri in his plans for conquering Ægyptus.}

The Sebeki Crypt Lord, Sothek-Maur, first came to my attention during the Second Battle of Ankhara. I watched in interest as he swung his black blade, cutting down breathers with each stroke. Most interesting was what happened to many of those he cut down. The fallen breathers quickly rose and fought at Sothek-Maur's side. Soon his new comrades outnumbered those he was facing. Sometime after the battle I found him and inquired about his intriguing skill. Eventually I worked out that his sword was an ancient artifact of the Embalmers enhanced by the Eater's power. The Black Scarab Blade was originally tuned to an opponents Ka. Tainted Ka was sent to oblivion while the righteous were unaffected by the blade. A group of Necromancers more recently modified the blade so it would raise those who were struck down by it. Sothek-Maur gained possession of the Black Scarab Blade soon after he arrived at Ankhara with his now destroyed Harbinger. I chose him to join the Recondite Cabal right away, he was to be the first member of our elite group.

Sootootma's Scrolls 6, The Second Battle of Ankhara

Breathers have come to outnumber the reborn in Ankhara of late. Many of our warbands gathered together near a certain tomb on a hill. Many breathers gathered against us, a dozen Harbingers determined to send us to Tuat. Tremors shook the ground as lightning burned the sky. From the tomb on the hill, Khepri, a minor god in service to Anubis, who fell in the First Battle of Ankhara so long ago, emerged and called all the Children of the Eater to his side.

The breathers quaked in fear as Khepri addressed them. He decreed that any breather who joined him would be spared the horror that awaited those who stood against him. To the breathers' shock one among them stepped forward to join our lines. It was Sasobek the Chosen of Khepri, a Sebeki Harbinger and holder of one of Khepri's canopic jars.

The breathers held two of Khepri's canopic jars and knew the only way to destroy Khepri would be to cleanse the jars with an ancient ritual. The ritual would also need the two canopic jars held by our line to be cleansed or the breathers would face the wrath of this reborn god and the fate of Ægyptus would be sealed.

I stood at the right hand of Khepri and was annointed with a small measure of his power. Khepri then turned his attention back to the breathers and strode toward their line. "Children of Anubis," he remarked as he spied a unit of Anubi warriors nearby. "I do not like Anubis." With that Khepri gestured and fissures opened in the ground at the Anubi warriors' feet. From the fissures poured forth ravenous scarabs that decimated the unit. Then Khepri smashed a To-Tanem chariot that dared to charge him.

Priests and Embalmers among the breathers in our center quickly performed their cleansing ritual upon the two canopic jars of Khepri in their possession. Momentarily stunned by the mystical attack, Khepri soon regained his footing and continued towards our left. Destruction followed in his wake and the breathers made a heroic effort to fell Khepri and retrieve his final two canopic jars. Their efforts were in vain.

Khepri smote the Anubi wherever he came across them on the battlefield. His hatred of the Children of Anubis came from his remembrance of his long service to Anubis in life. During the First Battle of Ankhara, Khepri was the charioteer of Anubis. He gave his life protecting Anubis in that battle but was left broken on the field by his master. Now was the time of Khepri's revenge on Anubis, and since the god was not present his Children would have to do.

Our battle against the breathers went well on all fronts. To my right, Mentemhe the Uniter was devoured by an Abomination, I shall miss him, but not much. The same Abomination then devoured Chigaru Khaldun, an Anubi Harbinger, leaving Sensuret "Trampler of His Enemies' Hopes" the lone breather Harbinger against two of our comrades, Set-Khefru, the Red Sentinel and Temtuth Lifestealer.

To my left Sasobek the Chosen of Khepri pressed our attack against the breathers. The Sebeki Harbinger Setii, joined by Jordan Banisher of the Undead and Kharak-Mun, Chosen of the Nile led the breathers against our new comrade's wing of the battle. Sasobek felled the Banisher in Provocation and then felled the beast Setii in Provocation before succumbing to his wounds. But the breathers were unable to secure Sasobek's canopic jar.

In the center, I faced three breather Harbingers- Saxamon, Set-Khefru the Bloodmane, and a To-Tanem in a chariot. Through the fighting I saw my Crypt Lord Blackclaw fall against a Beloved and the Bloodmane. My beloved Hemati held her own against the same force until the Bloodmane broke away to find an easier fight. At my side were my Crypt Lady Senshet and my Crypt Lord Tebbi. We three tore through units of breathers in our attempt to recover the two canopic jars of Khepri that these breathers had defiled. Tebbi fell as we took the fight to some Asar archers, shot down as we closed with them- but they paid for that small victory to a man.

This main battle was not all that took place within Ankhara as Khepri rose. Some breathers in the city stayed away from the risen god for reasons of their own. But these interlopers had to deal with famed Dark Harbingers such as Yoeshtayt the Pestilent, Gebrim Thrice-Born, Jennu-Bek Maw of Silence, and Novak Prince of Darkness. These defenders of Khepri roamed the city and sought out the breathers, dealing with them and converting many to our cause.

The battle ground on and the breathers knew they could not defeat a god. The famed Daughter of the Phoenix flew off for aid, but it would come too late. The surviving breathers fell back and Ankhara was ours.

As Khepri saw to the creation of his new Children I gathered together treasure and warriors to set off on my personal quest. Although I was named the Annointed Scribe of Khepri, my place is not at his side like a Basti companion. I shall serve Khepri and the Eater in my own way and heed their call when I am summoned. For now, my time is my own and I will find my old student Mabuki if I must travel from one end of the Nile to the other...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dispatches of Trub 10/Sootootma's Scrolls 5, More on the Valley of the Stone Gods

Dispatches of Trub 10

Master Mabuki, I have found it difficult to contact you with reports of Shefdu Sootootma's activities in the recently resurfaced ruins of Ankhara. Since my last dispatch, Shefdu has been involved in several incidents across the city that I am aware of and likely many more of which I am unaware. Events in Ankhara are quickly getting out of hand. Warbands from all corners of Ægyptus have been seeking treasure and opening more tombs in recent weeks. The Eater of the Dead's forces have been multiplying daily, each new tomb an unscrupulous Harbinger opens in search of treasure contains potential recruits to the Eater's cause. But it is not only the dead who join the Eater, more and more depraved Asar, Typhon and Nekharu are entering the city to join forces and pledge themselves to the evil of the Eater of the Dead. Although there are some Harbingers here who do follow the Code of Ma'at and are doing what they can against the Eater and those reckless Harbingers, their numbers are far too few.

The Dark Harbingers seem to be acting together more than when I first arrived here. There have been coordinated attacks and searches for artifacts long thought to be lost forever. Magical weapons and items such as the Whip of Anfhar, the Doom Saw, the Golden Snout, Armor of the South Wind, the Mantle of Cherkiti, and Komripp's Club have resurfaced. In the wrong hands these powerful artifacts could cause untold damage to the stability of Ægyptus.

Shefdu's actions in Ankhara have contributed to the coming instability in immeasurable ways. The mission that his scraps of papyrus have alluded to is likely nearing fruition. He has reanimated the Uraei Harbinger Hemati, though she seems less powerful than a Dark Harbjnger should be. His warband has grown to be one of the largest scouring Ankhara and his name is known in all corners of the city.

Most recently, Sootootma took his warband into a valley near Ankhara. This was the legendary Valley of the Stone Gods, with temples to many of the Gods of Ægyptus. A Heru warband was nearing one of the temples and Shefdu hurried his horde to engage them. The Heru and Asar were accompanied by Sebeki with a Beloved of Sobek, Khemru warriors and Basti archers. Their Harbinger was a Heru in the Aspect of the Defender.

Shefdu's battle line seemed determined to protect the temple of Horus from incursion. Two of his Crypt Lords, Blackclaw and Senshet, rushed to the temple entrance where they engaged the Beloved. Kestru-toth, the Abomination, was held up in combat by a Heru hero near the entrance. Then a shocking chitinous beast emerged from the temple- it matched descriptions from those who have survived encounters with the fabled Scarab Ogre! The beast charged toward the Heru hero and sheared him in two with its snapping claws. During this fighting, the Heru Master of Words managed to slip into the temple. Tebbi the Archer, another of Shefdu's Crypt Lords, managed to follow the Master of Words into the temple and engage him.

Shefdu's Necromancer L'lthyki and then Shefdu himself, engaged the Heru Harbinger in turn. Both fell to its massive Aspect strength-fueled onslaught. But Shefdu's warband remained in the battle under the command of Hemati. She charged toward the temple to stop the Heru Master of Words from escaping the temple wIth whatever secrets he may have learned. A unit of Asar managed to hold her up until the sorcerer was cleanly away...

After this latest battle, Shefdu led his warband back towards Ankhara. They were accompanied by some new addition to their ranks, but I could not clearly see it since the setting sun obscured it from my view. On the horizon, near the city, I could make out hundreds of forms slowly and purposefully moving in the same direction to some predetermined destination. Ankhara seems poised on the brink of some significant event that may well spell the doom of all of Ægyptus. I shall stay until the end, Master, and do my best to record the coming events. May Ra protect me...


Sootootma's Scrolls 5
The time draws nearer and the Eater's Children are gathering. Our strength against the breathers is our unity while their squabbling bolsters our advantage. All went as planned in the Valley of the Stone Gods. Our next step shall bring the breathers to the brink of destruction. They will beg for release and join our ranks. Once we have finished the Eater's bidding here I will be free to return to my own agenda for my greater glory...

Sootootma's Scrolls 4

A reckoning is coming to Ankhara and we prepare its path. L'lithyki recieved a visitor with news of some other heroic followers of the Eater of the Dead and their exploits. A larger gathering of forces is inevitable. We are to perform certain tasks and retrieve certain beings and items before the appointed hour. It shall be done.

One such item is an urn of Poshep 'the Raised' located near his already desecrated tomb. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the tomb that meddlesome Asar breather Mentemhe 'the Staver' meddled in affairs that little concern him once more. The Staver's bloated warband outnumbered us nearly thricefold and his minions covered the field like the inundation. Yet L'lithyki found Poshep's urn but had it stolen from her hand by a fiend in the Staver's employ. Mentemhe then retreated from the field with our prize just as the tide began to turn in my favor....

"Dawn's Searing Rays" (Sootootma's Scrolls 3.7)

Sepdjut, Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Pharos, joined Hemati's warband when she went on her second campaign against the God-Kings of Babylon. He became one of Hemati's most trusted lieutenants during that campaign and was made Marshall of her chariot fleet, riding into battle on his own Shining Chariot drawn by a single Steed of Ra. As Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Pharos, Sepdjut was given 'Dawn's Searing Rays' to protect the city. This type of Shining Chariot was given to all members of the Dakon Order- 42 Guardians of Ægyptus' most sacred and important sites. The Dakon Order was made up of diverse Children of the Gods and none were Harbingers. The Dakons were chosen directly by Ra and given his blessing. They would answer to no one but Ra and were given free reign to perform their duties however they saw fit. Sepdjut and his chariot were interred in Hemati's tomb after his death at the hands of the Atlantean Raiders that felled my beloved. His service to Hemati now resumes. Sepdjut and 'Dawn's Searing Rays' shall battle for a new Ægyptus. The Eater of the Dead is pleased- this I feel to my core...

Sootootma's Scrolls 3, Search for the Tomb of Cherkiti

Our path to the Obelisk of Cherkiti brought us into contact with my nemesis the Heru breather Jordan Banisher of the Undead and his warband. They had also come to Fokhara in search of Cherkiti's treasures. The battle went swiftly, my warband flowing around the Obelisk to engage the Banisher and keep his minions from it. L'lthyiki, the Necromancer, and Senshet set about translating the text of the Obelisk as we trampled the Banisher's warriors. It was not long before I met Jordan Banisher of the Undead on the battlefield in Provocation. I managed to hold him off long enough for Senshet to gain the information we needed to locate the entrance of Cherkiti's Tomb. The Banisher screeched in frustration at his failure and withdrew from Provocation, leading his battered warband to safety.

We followed the path described on the Obelisk to the location of Cherkiti's Tomb. I could feel the ancient aura of that place, the air stale with age but ripe with magical energy. As we mounted a rise we were greeted by the sight of yet another breather warband led by another Heru cur, Set-Khefru the Bloodmane. We hastily set up a battle line to engage the breathers. The battle bogged down but we managed to hold the Tomb entrance throughout. The Bloodmane withdrew upon realizing the folly of his position.

The Crypt Lords Blackclaw and Tebbi 'the archer' fight well together, acting in concert flawlessly from their experiences as criminal partners in life, which would serve us well in the catacombs. Three of the breather archers and two of Sejetmu's Dread Axes also joined us entering the Tomb of Cherkiti. The catacombs spread out in all directions, but the pull of ancient power led me directly to Cherkiti's chamber. Blackclaw and Tebbi took an alternate route, investigating the sounds of breathers elsewhere in the catacombs.

I emerged into a large chamber that was unmistakeably Cherkiti's Tomb. An ornate sarcophagus stood against the back wall flanked by two large Anubi statues. The chamber was filled with treasures of all sorts, but the Mantle of Cherkiti called out from atop his sarcophagus.

My focus on the Mantle was interrupted by the echo of footfalls from the far end of the chamber. Across the chamber a massive Sebeki figure emerged from one doorway and immediately left the chamber via a doorway next to it. A piercing screech came from the doorway at the far end of the chamber. This was unmistakably the voice of Jordan Banisher of the Undead, somehow the Heru breather had found his way into the tomb. Another screech split the silence of the tomb. It was clear that the beast Setii had taken the Banisher in Provocation. A handful of Setii's warriors spilled into the Tomb and my party quickly engaged them from the front and rear- Blackclaw and Tebbi were close on the heels of the breathers. I rushed forward to Cherkiti's sarcophagus to retrieve the mantle. What came next was devastatingly quick.

The beast Setii spat his burning slaver from across the room, destroying my armor just as I grabbed the Mantle of Cherkiti. There was a flash of magical energy and the Anubi statues lumbered forward to attack me. I fought these animated statues, these Guardians of Cherkiti, off as best I could. Alas, with the beast Setii alongside them I lost the Mantle to that Sebeki breather! Setii will one day soon suffer my full wrath and taste my mace. Then he shall join my ranks as my shieldbearer...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Road To Fokhara, Sootootma's Scrolls 2

Word reached us of the discovery of an Obelisk detailing the location of the tomb of the last Overseer of Ankhara, Cherkiti. The Obelisk is to be found in the nearby necropolis of Fokhara. I shall possess the knowledge and treasure of Cherkiti - perhaps something in his tomb can restore my beloved Hemati to her full potential.

Our travels from the Tomb of Hemati to the Obelisk of Cherkiti brought us into contact with more breathers. An Anubi breather I have fought before came upon us as we passed through the neighborhood of Kranshak the Bloated. The Anubi and Asar breathers were driven off easily. Their Harbinger, Imhotep, howled in despair and called for Provocation. We clashed for a time but neither of us gained the upper hand. My skill was too much for him and his accursed heavy armor was too much for my assault. But this battle saw my beloved Hemati doling out death by bow and Senfibeh, her enchanted poleaxe.

Some time later, our path was crossed by the monstrous Sebeki breather we have also crossed weapons with before, Setii. This battle was hard fought and hurt both warbands badly. Setii came within spitting distance of me after his chariot was destroyed by the Dread Axes of Sejetmu, and he spat. His accursed Burning Slaver ruined my armor but my breather archers managed to fell him before I had to engage in Provocation naked with the beast. For all intents, the battle was done and our warbands disengaged allowing us to continue toward Fokhara.

As we neared Fokhara, a fellow Harbinger of the Eater and his warband came alongside us with warnings of a breather alliance at a nearby Sphynx. Iumeri believed the Sphynx held the exact location of the Obelisk of Cherkiti. I was asked to join this lesser warband against the breathers for the greater glory of the Eater of the Dead. I agreed, and whom should I find at the Sphynx but Setii, the Sebeki beast, and Annomen, a cunning Basti Harbinger I have also met before.

We were greatly outnumbered by the breathers but my superiority made up for our lack of numbers. My brilliant strategy played out like a rock rolling downhill, despite the clumsiness of Iumeri's warband. To my right was much of Iumeri's warband, meant to hold that side of the battlefield while I led most of the Crypt Lords and Iumeri to the Sphynx to learn the location of Cherkiti's Obelisk. My left was protected by Hemati and my own warband, along with Iumeri's Abomination. The breathers quickly fell into my exquisite trap - Hemati stopped Setii's Beloved almost immediately and then set to work engaging two units of the breathers. The Abominations sprang forward and acted as fanged walls against the breathers' advance. My party around the Sphynx held off two of the breather heroes and a large unit of Sebeki. Our bold attacks forced the breather Harbingers to realize their hopeless situation and they withdrew their warbands from the field of battle.

We were left to question the Sphynx, which L'lthyiki managed. The information was imprecise, but gave us a narrower location for the Obelisk. I related false information to Iumeri and sent him on his way in the opposite direction, claiming I would protect his flanks from any further breather encounters. Why should the treasures of Cherkiti be shared with my inferior?

Sootootma's Scrolls 1 The Rebirth of Hemati

We have finally raised the ancient Uraei Harbinger Hemati from her long rest. The ages have been kind to her beauty. 'As ripples on the water, her being radiates to all hearts she nears,' Reshqyt the scribe once said of his mistress. Two lifetimes seeking the legendary Hemati, Protectrix of the Lands, has finally brought her to my side.

Though some disappointment did come from her revival. I had hoped to awaken Hemati as a fellow Harbinger in service to the Eater of the Dead, but the results were somewhat less than expected. During the process of her awakening, another breather warband came near Hemati's Tomb and managed to disrupt the ritual. No harm came to her, but Hemati was not fully awakened. She is a torpid reflection of what she could have been, yet there is a fire deep within her that I can feel. Someday soon Hemati, Shiver of the Lands, may emerge and help usher in a new age for Ægyptus.

Hemati chose the Bottomless Quiver of Darkynis, with her own fine bow, and Senfibeh, an enchanted poleaxe, from her armory.

The Quiver of Darkynis was obtained on an excursion against one of the Babylonian God Kings. Darkynis was an excellent bowman who could fire a score of arrows in the span of a heartbeat. His rapid rate of fire often left his quiver empty before a battle was finished. A sorcerer was commissioned to do something about Darkynis' problem. His solution was to create a 'bottomless quiver' that would replace each arrow removed from it. Hemati gained the Quiver by defeating Darkynis in personal combat. She reached his position through a hail of arrows and killed him with his own bow.

As for the origin of Senfibeh the enchanted poleaxe, it came from Ægyptus as a gift from some greatful temple or other. [i]Once there was a Sebeki who revelled in mayhem and murder. He would fight anyone who crossed him and delight in their suffering as he defeated them in combat. One day a Master of Words ran afoul of the Sebeki. The Master of Words begged the Sebeki to let the perceived slight pass, but the Sebeki would not listen. There was no fight, though. As the Sebeki charged the Master of Words sighed in exasperation and then muttered the words to some ancient spell. The Sebeki stopped and roared in fear as his body reshaped itself into a brilliant poleaxe. The Master of Words caught the poleaxe before it fell to the ground. "Foolish beast, you were given a chance to save yourself. The misery you have caused at your every whim is at an end. Let you now suffer at the hands of others. They shall wield you at their whim and the only control you will have is how much of their enemy's blood you shall feel washing over your blade."[/i]

Hemati will be most helpful at my side...

Dispatches of Trub 9, aka Fort Wayne Game #43

Peace and life to Ægyptus!

Master Mabuki, Shefdu's actions in Ankhara have taken another turn. Recently a living person arrived at the tomb of Hemati, Shefdu's basecamp, and met with Shefdu and his lieutenants for quite some time. The stranger departed and soon Shefdu's warband slowly followed.

The stranger was next seen escaping from a Heru warband with a prisoner in tow. Shefdu set about directing his warband to the stranger's defense. He sent his axe mummies and horde mummies to the right. Tebbi and the Necromancer made up part of the center thrust along with Kestu-toth the Abomination, Senshet and Shefdu himself. To the left were the spear mummies and the chariot with Blackclaw.

The Heru Harbinger's warband was in some disarray from their chase of the stranger- archers at the rear with spears and swords at the front. A Beloved of Sobek ran alongside the Heru Harbinger as the two seemed to lead the chase.

The battle was joined.

On the right, the axe mummies marched into combat with the Heru spears. Bloody combat ensued followed soon after by Asar swordsmen charging into the axe mummies. The axe mummies were nearly destroyed by the time the horde mummies reached the battle and charged into the Asar swordsmen.

On the left, the chariot with Blackclaw rolled forward to protect the stranger. The Heru Harbinger called his shining chariot and began to give chase. The chariot with Blackclaw rounded an obelisk and smashed head on into the shining chariot.
His means of pursuit effectively distracted, the Heru Harbinger left his shining chariot.

In the center, Kestu-toth the Abomination rushed forward and engaged the Beloved of Sobek. That fierce melee was joined by a unit of Sebeki with spears. Kestu-toth felled the Beloved before falling to the Sebeki spears. Senshet charged into the Sebeki spears, killing one. Shefdu then charged into the Sebeki spears as well, causing the remnants of the unit to rout. At this point the Heru Harbinger charged into Provocation with Shefdu. Shefdu eventually fell in Provocation, immediately the mummy spears charged the Heru Harbinger and felled him causing much of his warband to flee.

Sometime later, back at the tomb of Hemati, more strangers arrived- a motley group of Nekharu, Asar and Typhon armed with bows. These Death Cultists pledged their loyalty to Shefdu, adding a new dimension to his warband...

Dispatches of Trub 8, Several battles in one Dispatch

Shefdu has been busy since I could last send a dispatch of his progress to you, Master. His wanderings brought him into contact with a Sebeki harbinger near the ruined temple of an unknown god. L'lithyki, the necromancer, approached the temple and worshipped at it so it was likely a temple of some long-forgotten evil foreign god. This battle saw Shefdu's new chariot engaged with a Beloved of Sobek throughout. The fighting overall was minimal and the two harbingers seemed to come to an understanding, joining forces to raid a nearby necropolis complex. Also raiding the complex were an alliance of an Asar and Heru harbingers. What I could see of this battle was quick and fierce. The Sebeki took on the Heru in provocation and defeated him. Then Shefdu engaged a Beloved of Sobek (not the one from his allied warband) while the Sebeki and Asar harbingers clashed.

Shefdu's warband returned to the Tomb of Hemati, now their basecamp in Ankhara. A Basti harbinger came across the tomb and the battle was on. Shefdu remained on foot to defend the tomb entrance with Senshet and his horde mummies. Blackclaw rode the chariot of Hemati into battle and smashed a unit of City Dweller spears. Shefdu's mummy warriors advanced under heavy bowfire and routed two of the Basti archer units. Kestru-toth, the Abomination, charged forward into the Basti lines routing many of the Basti before falling to a barrage of bowfire. The Basti Harbinger rushed forward into combat with Senshet and eventually provocation with Shefdu. Neither harbinger won the provocation and the Tomb of Hemati remained safe from Basti predation.

Most recently, Shefdu came into conflict with an Anubi harbinger near an oasis with scattered ruins nearby. Both warbands were searching for an artifact among the debris, but that did not stop them from engaging in battle. Once more, Blackclaw was given the chariot of Hemati. He crashed into a unit of Anubi swords and was stuck in their mass eventually joined by a City Dweller spear unit. Kestru-toth dispatched a unit of Anubi slingers before joining in the fray at the chariot. The Asar Master of Words eventually found the artifact but fell to Senshet, who had been focused on the artifact more than the battle. The Anubi harbinger's chariot rolled past the oasis only to be attacked by a Desert Lobster! The monstrous thing clamped onto the chariot but was quickly dispatched by the harbinger. The Anubi harbinger soon engaged Shefdu in provocation but neither gained the upper hand. The Anubi chariot was splintered by the mummy warrior axes and the mummy warrior spears scattered the Anubi archers. Shefdu likely gained another component for his grand scheme...

Dispatches of Trub 7, The Haunted Chariot of Hemati

Shefdu's latest message to you, Master, made note of a long-dead Harbinger of Uatchet named Hemati. Our research has brought us closer to rediscovering this remarkable Uraei heroine from a time long passed. Hemati fell in battle against a large Atlantean raiding party that threatened to attack the city of Bubastis. The Atlanteans were routed, but Hemati was gravely wounded and died some days after the battle. Her long service as a guardian of all Ægyptus was rewarded with a burial in a magnificent tomb in Ankhara.

Shefdu mentions Armor of Burning Scales as one of Hemati's treasures expected in her tomb. There were many sets of this armor forged by Ptah himself then given to his brothers and sisters. Its scales are said to still burn from the magical fires of Ptah's Forge, protecting the wearer from most attacks.

Uatchet's Forked Kopesh was a double-bladed magical sword that Uatchet created to aid her children in protecting Ægyptus from malevolent sorcerers and beasts of great power. Hemati gained the Forked Kopesh by winning a tournament to decide which Uraei would be its next bearer and main protector of Ægyptus' borders.

The Helm of Farsight was another of Uatchet's creations for her children. It is said to grant its wearer with visions of what events will come to pass. The helm would also enable its wearer to see nearly halfway across the length of Ægyptus.

The Bottomless Quiver of Darkynis is a mystery to me. No references to it could be found. The name suggests a Babylonian origin and Hemati was known to have been involved in two campaigns against that barbarous land.

Finally, the Soul-Searing Chariot Shefdu mentioned was originally fashioned by an Anubi Master of Words. It could literally burn the Ka of its enemies, often resulting in their death. Hemati took the Chariot in battle with an Anubi Harbinger outside the city of Pharos.

With the information Shefdu had learned from the library complex, he led his warband directly to the Tomb of Hemati. After some time inside Shefdu and his lieutenants emerged with a chariot drawn by one cobra-headed horse and one normal horse. The newly revived beasts were unsure footed at first, but soon they were able to trot and run almost as well as in life. The chariot was similar to descriptions of the Soul-Searing Chariot, but the centuries sealed in Hemati's tomb had somehow altered it. Ghostly appendages emerged from the body of the chariot writhing and grasping at the air. Even from my distance away, I could hear the unearthly cries coming from the chariot, cries of the tormented dead. It appears that the souls of those killed by the Soul-Searing Chariot have remained trapped inside of it - a terrible fate and a very disturbing sight.

Shefdu led his warband off to search Ankhara further, but I fear he will again return to the Tomb of Hemati to further bolster his forces...

Dispatches of Trub 6, Greenwood "Skirmish" vs. Roebeast

Shefdu's warband continued its search for whatever specific thing he had remembered from his studies of Ankhara in life. For days they ransacked the ruined buildings and tombs they came upon. Finally a large complex of buildings and yet another Heru warband were found. As the warbands clashed, both Harbingers led their lieutenants into the complex. The search parties focused on two buildings within the complex: a smaller outlying structure and a very large building that I believe was a library or hall of records. Shefdu and his Crypt Lords became engaged in a pitched battle at the library entrance. Blackclaw managed to fell the Heru harbinger (although the harbinger had been greivously wounded by Kestru-toth early on) before engaging in the larger battle at the library entrance. L'lithyki flew into the library with the aid of her black birds. She remained out of the fighting and eventually recovered what Shefdu sought. From what I could see of Tebbi's progress into the library, a small beast of some sort had made its lair inside and it attacked when he entered. The beast may very well have been a dreaded sand chicken, but I cannot confirm this.

There is now no question in my mind that Shefdu is aware of your interest in his activities. His latest note to you is clearly a boast or warning directed towards you:

The Tomb of Hemati, Sootootma knows now the location
Ancienl Harbinger of Uatchet was she
Interred in Ankhara from death on the spears of barbarian invasion
Hemati's tomb is to have many warriors who fought with her and wealth of her life
Armor of Burning Scales, Uatchet's Forked Kopesh, Helm of Farsight, Bottomless Quiver of Darkynis, scrolls of foreign magic, Soul-searing Chariot and the rest of Hemati's treasures will be for Sootootma now
Herself, Hemati will join me and burn cities once she protected
Then come for you, will we, Mabuki