Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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...

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