Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Traveller’s Luminaries - Warband of Shefdu Sootootma

When ‘the Scroll Traveller‘ first discovered his ability to ‘walk the scrolls’ he found himself in the midst of the Pandora Crisis. His sense of duty to Ægyptus caused him to gather together a warband and lend this might to the Forces of Order. Several heroes and heroines from the scrolls called out to young Shefdu and he did his best to bring them forth as part of his warband.

Excerpts from Shefdu Sootootma’s Scrolls:
Young Seshat (Tethru Mistress of Words)
 Young Seshat, Arcanist of the Ancient Lore Archives, was my first recruit. As a young scribe I marvelled at tales of Seshat’s skills and exploits. Her use of the hekau became the standard by which all future Masters of Words would be measured. Her presence will greatly add to our success….

Sefkhet-Aabut the Polemicist (Tethru Heroine)
I have always admired the dry sharp wit of Sefkhet-Aabut, the Polemicist. Also known as ‘the Poison Quill’ for her scathing criticisms of the conduct of the Anubi Harbinger An Abasi, Sefkhet’s skills were not limited to her writings. She was one of the last apprentices of the Swordmaster, Hoethet. Her martial skills with a pole-sword were as exceptional as her writings. Hoethet’s own writings mention how often she came close to besting the Master in their time together.

Kortosis the Impregnable (ToTanem Artifex)
Kortosis the Impregnable was deemed an average Artifex until the events of the Babylonian Incursion of Lugalbanda of Uruk. The frontier post of Arish stood as the last obstacle between the Uruk hordes and their entry into Æyptus. The post commander looked to Kortosis for guidance in the coming battle. The Artifex immediately went to work designing and constructing defenses for the post that held up Lugalbanda’s horde for days. It was long enough for reinforcements to arrive and push the Babylonians back into their own lands.

Menthu Hathorhotep (Apis not-Beloved-of-SobeK)
One of the Apis sons of Hathor, Menthu was a great hero of Ægyptus in the time of Osiris’ rule. Menthu’s most well-known adventure is the 5 Endeavors. To win the hand of the Sebeki Nomarch Gnarah’s daughter, Hesthuti, Menthu was tasked by the Nomarch with 5 Endeavors to prove his worthiness.

The first Endeavor was to kill the Red Ram, a vicious beast that caused havoc in the outskirts of Crocodiliopolis, and bring its meat back for a feast. This was an easy hunt for Menthu. He tracked the Red Ram for miles and found its lair. After a bloody struggle Menthu was victorious. Nomarch Gnarah was unpleasantly surprised by this success and reluctantly held a feast for Menthu.

The second Endeavor was to destroy the Nekharu Raiders who had been plaguing Crocodiliopolis  for years. Menthu laid a trap for the Nekharu by organizing a false caravan to draw them in. During the battle he killed their leader and scattered the survivors to the four winds. Nomarch Gnarah was grateful but secretly displeased.

The third Endeavor was to bring some of the Obsidian Fruit of Punt to the Nomarch. The Obsidian Fruit groves are guarded by gargantuan serpents. Menthu decided to charge his way into the groves, throwing goats he had collected along the way at the serpents to keep them occupied. As the serpents feasted Menthu gathered three large baskets of the Obsidian Fruit and returned to the Nomarch unscathed by the serpents.

The fourth Endeavor was to capture one of the Babylonian Bulls of Heaven to be returned for a feast. Nomarch Gnarah was certain Menthu would fail in the Endeavor. For months Menthu travelled through the Babylonian lands seeking one of the Bulls of Heaven. Finally an old shepherd whom Menthu had shared a meal with told Menthu where a beautiful heifer that was sure to attract the attentions of a Bull of Heaven could be found. Menthu put the heifer in a valley and waited. Soon a magnificent giant bull entered the valley to investigate the heifer. Menthu struggled with the Bull of Heaven for three days, finally besting it late in the night of the third day. Nomarch Gnarah was furious when Menthu returned with the Bull of Heaven but held a feast for Menthu despie his anger.

For the fifth and final Endeavor Nomarch Gnarah believed he had devised the most impossible task for Menthu. Menthu was to bring the headdress of Isis to Hesthuti to enhance her beauty for their wedding. After much consideration Menthu decided to approach Isis directly and ask for the headdress instead of devising some elaborate plan to attempt to steal it. Isis gladly gave him the headdress, understanding Menthu’s love for Hesthuti.  But when Menthu returned to Crocodiliopolis with the headdress, he went into a rage when he discovered that Hesthuti had been married to a Sebeki Harbinger with whom her father had long been trying to form political ties. Menthu laid waste to the Nomarch’s palace and vowed never to love again.

Iodah the Hero of Kashik (Bes Hero)
The Bes Hero, Iodah, is perhaps most well-known for his leadership of the routing army at the Kashik Oasis. Kashik Oasis is an important site to the Bes people; it is where Bes is believed to have recovered the staff of Ra from a spurned foreign goddess. The army had been formed under the Heru General Hakarathy to travel into the Western Desert and punish a band of Libyan marauders. But the marauders were much more organized and prepared than anyone could have guessed. Under the command of a Nekharu Witch Lord, the Libyans routed the army and relentlessly pursued the ragged remains back into Ægyptus. With General Hakarathy dead, Iodah managed to reform some of the army into a viable force and they made their stand at the Kashik Oasis. Iodah’s leadership managed to crush the Libyans and their Nekharu allies, protecting the Ægyptian frontiers from certain enslavement to foreign predation.

 -Shefdu Sootootma ‘The Scroll Traveller’ Tethru Harbinger (double-handed weapon, hand weapon, bow, medium armor)
 -Swordmasters of Hoethet, Thatched Roof School10 Tethru warriors (double-handed weapon, bow)
 -Young Seshat Tethru Mistress of Words (double-handed weapon, light armor)
 -Sefkhet Aabut ‘The Polemicist’ Tethru Heroine (polearm, bow, light armor)
 -The Council of Minch” 10 Bes {Asar} Warriors (spear, light armor)
 -Iodah ‘Hero of Kashik’ Bes {Asar} Hero (double-handed weapon, bow, light armor)
 -Kortosis’ Corps10 ToTanem Warriors (double-handed weapon)
 -Kortosis ‘the Impregnable’ Artifex (2 items)
 -Sons of Hesthuti 6 Sebeki Warriors (double-handed weapon)
 -Menthu Hathorhotep {Apis/Beloved of Sobek”}
 -‘Wenenut’s Pride’ Asar Chariot and Driver (hand weapon, light armor)

A Slight Alteration to the Duelling Scrolls

I’ve been thinking about starting a WarGods blog where I could put random thoughts and stuff having to do with various WarGods-related topics. I’ve got this Shefdu-Mabuki 'Duelling Scrolls' blog that seems like it would be a one-trick pony. Sure it could be maintained by the mass of unwritten material about 2 of my top 5 favorite Harbingers. But  it could also be expanded to cover my whole WarGods obsession.

That’s what’s going to happen.

We’ll still have Shefdu and Mabuki stuff (especially with Shefdu’s Luminaries being my warband for the Pandora’s Box Campaign) but we’ll also have this and that. From theoretical warbands- the Sebeki slinger warband, the ‘Chariot Wind’ warband, the illegal and immoral Babylonian warband of God-King Hammurapi – to scenario ideas and more.

Finally, a goal we’ll all be working towards is to have pics of the Anubi  “mutant” Master of Words conversion I sent off to Alex far too long ago to worry about when it’s coming back. :) Even if it arrived tomorrow, he’d only be the 5th or 6th finished Anubi mini in my collection so I’m not urgently needing it, take your time Alex…

PS- And now the stupid 'spell-checked' version of Duelling into "Dueling" is fixed for good. What is the deal with this change from how I learned to spell? Double "L"s are cool!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Kekooee Seshket

The Kekooee Seshket
from the scrolls of Mabukitoth-Re:
In my continued search for Sootootma to rid the land of his special evil I find myself reviewing the old bird's tales to me from when I sat at his knee soaking up all the knowledge and advice he would relay. One such tale has recently come to prominence in my memory because of reports from Ankhara- Kekooee Seshket, or the Black Quill. Two young Dark Harbingers dueled over which would possess this artifact Sootootma allegedly lost durign the Rise of Khepri. Even in his current debased state Shefdu would not unintentionally let such a prized possession slip from his grasp.

Young Shefdu the scribe was the object of ridicule amongst his fellow scribes. His obsessive research and double-copying skills were the main reason for the torment. To his fellow scribes he seemed to live in the libraries of Hermopolis. His studies of ancient scrolls, forgotten all but but the most meticulous librarians and specialists in the most obscure arcana, was a deep passion of the young Shefdu. These studies opened him to what would become his lifelong (and beyond) obsession with the Uraei Harbinger Hemati, Protectrix of the Lands. His studies also opened him to the existence of the Kekooee Seshket created during the Aten Heresy.

 Phasop, Scribe of Akhenaten, created 16 Black Quills to be distributed amongst the Scribes and Priests of Aten.  The Quills were said to bring their bearers a measure of good luck, provide an aura of protection, and enhance their writings tenfold.  Seven of the Quills were lost during the Heresy. The surviving 9 were scattered amongst private collections and the tombs of the fallen bearers. One of the Kekooee Seshket could be viewed by special permission in the collection of the Library of Forbidden Knowledge.

 Shefdu tried to gain access to the Library of Forbidden knowledge many times before the Chief Librarian granted him an audience. The Chief Librarian was so taken by young Shefdu's knowledge and determination that Shefdu was invited to join the Library’s staff as a novice. Every chance he had, Shefdu would look at the Black Quill in the Library's collection, longing to take it up and write something to see if the tales were true. He managed to suppress the urge to simply take the Quill and turned his attention to reports of the supposed whereabouts of the other surviving Quills.

After reviewing all the scrolls he could find on the Kekooee Seshket, Shefdu decided the tomb of Guylanhi the Scribe was the most promising location of one of the Quills. When he arrived at the tomb he found it was guarded by Anubi Tomb Guardians. They denied him access even after he had explained the merits of his quest in extensive detail. This only served to make young Shefdu even more determined to enter the tomb. He observed the Anubi schedule and found several periods when none of the Guardians were present. After reviewing his notes one last time and collecting all the equipment he might need inside the tomb Shefdu made his move.

He would never tell exactly what took place in the tomb. There were dangers and traps which he obviously survived. Some of his comments imply an encounter with Guylanhi’s disembodied Ka took place, but this is merely an inference on my part. Whatever the circumstances of his investigation of the tomb, Shefdu emerged with the long-dead scribe’s Kekooee Seshket in his possession. The Anubi Guardians were furious but let him pass when Shefdu produced a scroll, allegedly from a prominent Embalmer, granting him access to the tomb. Although he would never directly admit it this forged scroll was most likely his first work written with the Black Quill.

All this took place before Shefdu became a Harbinger of Thoth, though it may have contributed to that transformation.  The Kekooee Seshket was always with Shefdu from that time on. From the libraries of Hermopolis to the fields of battle, he carefully protected his prize. Only those he trusted most were ever allowed to use the Quill. I can attest to its mysterious power, having once been granted its use after my first battle as a Harbinger of Thoth.

Unofficial Rules for a Black Quill in a WarGods Warband
Kekooee Seshket or Black Quill (40 points)
These ancient artifacts from the dark days of the Aten Heresy are highly sought after by many throughout Ægyptus and beyond. They have become legendary among Masters of Words, Embalmers, and Witches who would all likely kill to possess one of these magic Quills. This ready market has led to many a Basti merchant selling fake “one-of-a-kind” Kekooee Seshket to the overeager. Buyer beware!

A Kekooee Seshket provides its bearer with a magical aura of protection. It also enhances their magical abilities and even their turn of phrase on and off the papyrus.
These magic items should be rare and limited to only one per warband (unless used as the basis for a campaign in which the objective is to collect as many of the Quills as you can). Only Characters who may carry equipment should bear a Quill. A character may only gain the effects of one Quill at a time.
-       ARC +1
-       AR 1 Hard (2 Hard against magical attacks- including Harbinger powers)
-       +2 Renown after each battle the bearer survives (+3 if the bearer is a Scribe)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The 2010 Golden Fleece Campaign- Nabchukh the Nefarious

Since the 2009 campaign was set back in the Aten Heresy neither Shefdu nor Mabuki were involved (both became harbingers sometime after then so the timeline doesn't fit- there are some temporal rules not to be broken!). That meant I could use the other awesome Harbinger character with a rather large amount of fluff- the hare-headed Wenenut 'Daughter of Isis Chosen of Thoth.' More on her some other time, even though she's one of my favorites.

So the 2010 Golden Fleece Campaign came along. Dave Williams and I were the coordinators of this epic quest. Unfortunately it was set soon after the Horus Vs Set Civil War campaign which meant using either Shefdu or Mabuki as my main warband would diminish their formidable powers. They're both still around in the background of the Civil War but this time I got the opportunity to put my Eater of the Dead side-project of a Nekharu-themed warband into action. Nabchukh the Nefarious was (re)born.

From the Scrolls of Sootootma, Chosen Scribe of Khepri, Founder of the Recondite Cabal:
The living Nabchukh was a Nekharu Witchlord who delighted in causing havoc wherever he could. His warband was filled with the worst scum the Nile had ever seen - Asar cutthroats, Nekharu of all kinds, Pygmy Zombies and more. Outlaws of Ægyptus flocked to Nabchukh's banner whenever he would make his presence known. His favorite targets were Khemru and Heru villages. It is said he liked the taste of them best of all the Children of Ægyptus, although the accuracy of reports of his alleged cannibalism is still unconfirmed. Nabchukh's days of raiding along the Nile came to an end when the whelp Mabuki took it upon himself to track down the Witchlord. The Grudgebearer sallied forth from the Court of Harakhty at Hierakonpolis to hunt Nabchukh and his Raiders. Mabuki caught up with Nabchukh at a bend along the Southern Nile deep inside the land of Kush. From all accounts the battle was very bloody and Mabuki's warband suffered at the Outlaw's hands. But in the end Mabuki stood triumphant over Nabchukh's broken body. Mabuki's bloodied but triumphant warband hobbled back to Hierakonpolis. The whelp learned well from me when I was counted among the breathers - he shall be dealt with when the time is right.

Most of Nabchukh's warband survivors dispersed after this setback, but a small Nekharu coterie sought out a Necromancer to revive their Witchlord so he could continue to strike at Ægyptus from beyond death. They found a willing Necromancer in the form of 'Midnight Serpent' - one of those females from some far off land or other. Many of these Nekharu unwillingly gave their lives in the search for components so Midnight Serpent could construct an intriguing contraption she calls a Sarcophagus Suit. Since Nabchukh was missing some limbs and not properly mummified, this suit served to replace that process and allow him some mobility. Once revived, Nabchukh set about gathering a new warband to serve the cause of Khepri and the Eater. First he sought an old comrade who had gone into the Tuat before him, Shemakh the Greedy, and raised him with Midnight Serpent's help. He then embarked on a search for a rare two-headed Nekharu Abomination in the southern forests (likely an ancient witch experiment). They were successful and dubbed the creature 'The Shame of Nekhebet' as another insult to the former godess of the Nekharu.

With all the recent talk of the Golden Fleece in the breather community, Nabchukh announced to the Cabal that he shall go forth in search of the prize so many others now seek. As he shambles off to Pharos I wish luck to him in this quest. Personally I see it as a waste of time since the evidence for the existence of such an artifact seems questionable at best... 

That was about all the commentary from Shefdu and Mabuki about this whole Golden Fleece Quest. I started a battle report by Mabuki about Nabchukh and another Dark Harbinger seeking out the Kekooee Seshket (Shefdu's Black Quill) in the ruins of Ankhara, but I couldn't finish it to my satisfaction until very recently (that's the next poste here!). As part of the campaign team I didn't have as much time or energy to devote to excellent battle reports for Nabchukh, his fluff suffered but he was pretty successful. 

At the big finale in the Lair of the Hydra, Nabchuckh was hacked to pieces by the Hydra and some do-gooder breahter. Luckily he had the 'Unstoppable' Dark Harbinger power that turns him into several flailing body parts if he's 'killed'- and if the separate parts survive he can eventually pull himself back together to fight again another day. Nabchuckh is fine and he'll be back...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mabuki's List of Grudges

-Unknown Typhon murderer of Shefdu Sootootma 'Scribe of Oblivion' (now known to be Neper-Hotep)

-Simbu 'Cracking Maw of the Marsh' for his wanton destruction of civilians
-Chaggutai Babylonian God-King murderer of Sampau 'The Hammer of Memphis'
-Sneferu- The Sting of Set, for his dastardly tactics in Pharos and wanton disregard of civilians on the field of battle
-Nisari 'The Widow's Wail' for her borderline use of witchcraft
-Akila, Upholder of Ma'at's Decree, for his stubborn interpretation of the Scrolls of Ba'Olath, and failure to see the merit of new interpretations
-Mo-Seth, the Warden of Ankhara for failing in his duty to protect the City of the Dead
-Nebseni Hammerhand Famous Anubi harbinger, for joining the Typhon faction despite long sessions of reason pointing out the error of that choice
-Setnakht the Grievous Glaive, Infamous Typhon Harbinger of Set  for his lawless attacks outside the city of Pharos, especially the murders of a school of young Scribes

-Hetshepsu 'Banisher of the Undead... Defender Against Set'- cowardly attack from behind
-Ak'ama the Bloodboil for turning his back on the Horus Faction and becoming a complete outlaw, neither for nor against the Horus or Typhon Factions
- Ashai-Menetnashte one of Shefdu's cabal- conduit to Sootootma
-Harakhty self-appointed head of the Horus Faction- mismanagement of the struggle against Set and general haughtyness
-Chike Harakhty's lapdog- cowardly attack from behind

{Autor's Note: This list contains some actual harbingers that have been whacked and some made up ones for Mabui's fluff. The ones with lines through them have been smote by Mabuki or someone else (mostly by Mabuki).}

Battle at the Pool of Everlasting Serenity, Mabuki's Take on the Horus vs Set GenCon Finale

The visions of my death have returned since our victory at the Pool of Everlasting Serenity. I reluctantly joined forces with Harakhty and Chike to confront an unholy alliance of foreign beasts from far off lands, led by a pale Asar witch; two Khemru harbingers in thrall to the Typhon, no doubt convinced to join the Set Faction through threats and lies; and a band of Olympian mercenaries, led by an exotic Demigoddess. This massive force was spotted entering Upper Ægyptus some days before they were confronted in battle. I soon discerned their destination.

Although his self-appointed post as Commander of the Horus Faction in the Nome is frustrating, Harakhty's efficiency helped greatly to determine the alliance's destination. The Heru and his brute, Chike, came to our camp under the Horus banner seeking my help confronting this alliance before they could do any harm to the Nome. Going over Harakhty's various reports it soon became clear to me where their destination lie. One unconfirmed report was of a strange glow at the Colossi of Memnon. This incident stuck out as the most likely target for the alliance. Somehow they had either caused or learned of whatever was causing this magical glow. It took some convincing but eventually my reluctant comrades agreed it was worth investigating further.

When we arrived at the Colossi the foreign alliance was also arriving. As Harakhty barked orders to our combined army, I noticed an object of unmistakable power resting in the Pool of Everlasting Serenity at the abandoned temple complex near the Collossi. As we prepared to engage, the Ice Witch caused a terrible storm of frozen air to swirl around the Pool and a great distance from it.

Harakhty and I charged forward to the Pool to investigate the object at the center of the conflict. Being in the Aspect of the Defender, Harakhty easily arrived at the object first and displayed typical Heru erudition by attacking it with his flail. His pounding threw sparks but did little, if any, damage. Before I could reach the Pool and properly investigate, a pack of giant wolf-like beasts were upon Harakhty. Investigation of the object would have to wait as the immediate battle now took precedence.

The battle was fierce on all sides. Chike and I held the Pool from the Wendigo attempts to seize the object as Harakhty engaged the Ice Witch. A fierce day of fighting saw us beat back the foreign alliance. Harakhty made preparations to set up a garrison to guard the Pool until the object could better be investigated and possibly moved. I was discouraged from further investigation because my presence was required back at Hierakonpolis to report on the conflict and help protect the city from an unlikely attack. At least Chike was also sent away, assigned to patrol the coast to the East.

Upon our return to Hierakonpolis the visions I had thought I was rid of returned to me in the night. Long ago the Harbinger of Isis, Nisari, placed a vision of my final fate into my mind. Her witchcraft haunted me for quite some time until I found some relief from an herbalist in Pharos. It is the same as before, but I now understand more of the details.

I awaken in a dark tent. I emerge into a great hall filled with many people. In the vision I know them all, but in wakefulness I still only recognize a small number of them. I am led to the front of the hall and given a drink. In the liquid I see my reflection, but my reflection is that of Thoth! As I ponder this oddity the living Shefdu Sootootma comes to my side and says 'It is the time.' He leads me outside and hands me his mace. 'Yours now.' I now recognize the setting of this part of the vision as somewhere in Ankhara. I am facing a faceless army with only Sootootma at my side. The faceless army charges and we are engulfed...

Mabukitoth's Account of the Search for the Golden Fleece, A Return to Ankhara and Shefdu Avenged

Hoethet the Swordmaster said 'Let the winds of battle buffet you toward your goal.' I have once more confirmed the wisdom of Hoethet.

Weeks of seeking Sootootma had led us nowhere. We traveled the Nome from Kharga to Fokhara and from Kom Ombos to Dhakala following every hint of the old bird. It is now clear that much of the information we came across was of Shefdu's own making. He skillfully directed us away from Hierakonpolis just days before he personally led the attack there. We found ourselves outside the gates of Eleithiopolis when the battle raged across the Nile. Our presence did offer the chance to fight an Eater of the Dead warband that came from the quiet city, though we did not manage to destroy all of them.

We entered an area of Ankhara which had not been pillaged by the warbands that came to the rediscovered City of the Dead in the time before the Rise of Khepri during the Second Battle of Ankhara. Other warbands had also received word of a Dark Harbinger with some artifact of great power that was sought by unknown foreign monsters. Moving through the tombs towards us was the unmistakable form of a Typhon Aspect of the Hunter Harbinger. His warband fanned out away from us probably searching for the alleged artifact we had all come seeking. The Typhon bellowed his name, Neper-Hotep, encouraging us to flee in fear of him. Ra-Sobek, the Beloved, and Sakharra, my Heru heroine and longtime advisor, charged into combat with Neper-Hotep. I held back and called for them to leave the beast to me. As with all Typhon Harbingers I meet, I asked if he had killed Shefdu Sootootma, Scribe of the Dawn. The answer he gave was a snarling 'yes.' I uttered the challenge of Provocation and the beast and I were locked in combat. It was over quickly. Neper-Hotep was dead and his Ka was mine. Master Sootootma's murder was avenged although his resurrected form still roams the land. This too will soon be ended.

Sakharra and Ra-Sobek came to my aid as the assassin from Neper-Hotep's warband charged from a nearby tomb. The Typhon was quickly put down and dropped a quiver he had likely found in the tombs. As I studied the quiver, the Ptah-worshiping limb of Set, Chike, attacked me from behind. He took the quiver and no doubt went off to find others to pillage. Chike is Harakhty's frequent pawn in dealing with non-Heru members of the Horus Faction. This unprovoked attack on me was likely a message from Harakhty of his displeasure with my absence at recent large battles. We are all brother-Ægyptians, yet I am close to committing fratricide against one or both of these fellow Horus Faction members...

Despite my encounter with Chike, the rest of my warband came away from Ankhara relatively unscathed. Shai, my Basti Mistress of Words, found an enchanted axe we have discovered is called 'Souldrinker.' The Mallets under my To-Tanem champion, Lazuli, defeated a massive Olympian monster and recovered a 'Circlet of Thoth'- this will go to Shai to enhance her spellcraft since Nefibi (my Tethru Mistress of Words) is already very formidable with a spell. Finally, Sakharra discovered an ancient chariot after battling an Abomination. This was the 'Chariot of the Western Winds.' It will make a welcome addition to our ranks as soon as we find crew and horses for it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Battle of the Lost Temple of Khepri, Hemati vs. the Heru Alliance

From the Scrolls of Shefdu Sootootma:

After our Feint on Hierakonpolis my suspicions of the breathers concealing something of monumental import were confirmed. My agents from both the Horus and Set factions of the breather civil war sent word that the hidden monastery of Lord Khepri's former priesthood had been discovered in a hidden valley in a deep desert. Marching on the location were a small Typhon force lead by the Infamous Neper-Hotep, and the combined warbands of the would-be Heru Pharaoh, Harakhty, and his pet Asar Chike. Both sides were likely seeking to threaten the newly rediscovered priesthood into supporting their faction.

My duty lay elsewhere, as I needed to meet with those who had raided Eleithiopolis while we battered Hierakonpolis' gates. And so it fell to my beloved Hemati to rush to this forgotten monastery to try and arrive before the breathers. Unfortunately, the delay in our receiving this information caused her to arrive long after the battle had begun.

It appeared the Typhon held the courtyard of the monastery when Hemati arrived, but the overwhelming numbers of Heru and their allies would soon likely turn the tide. Hemati and Neper-Hotep silently agreed to a truce between their warbands to focus all their efforts against the combined Heru force. Most of the combined Heru force were headed for the central ramp leading to the courtyard. If they managed to secure the ramp for their own use, the battle would surely be theirs. Hemati committed her warband to stalling the Heru advance to the ramp. The mummies charged into combat with Asar and To-Tanem units blocking the way to the ramp. These breathers were handily dispatched. The focus then turned to a pair of elephants and their handler, as well as more To-Tanem, who were next in the line before the ramp.

The Asar follower of Ptah, Chike, separated from his warriors in a bid to challenge Hemati to Provocation. But instead, he found himself attacked by Sejetmu, Dread Axe of the Nile, from one side and by a terrible Typhon hero from the other. Before Hemati could reach the Asar for Provocation he fell to the blows of this alliance of convenience.

Hemati spotted the Heru Harakhty headed towards the ramp, and tried to make her way through the fighting to finish the Provocation they had begun days earlier at Hierakonpolis. Sejetmu's Pirates marched in front of her towards the ramp, blocking her way. Sejetmu himself rushed to the aid of Jhondru the Necromancer, who was under attack by a lone Heru. The battle shifted towards the Heru favor as all saw Neper-Hotep fall under the weight of two Heru units and a Beastmaster with lions on the courtyard at the top of the ramp. With that, most of the Typhon warband routed, leaving Hemati as the sole focus of the combined Heru force. She knew that even with one of the allied harbingers down, her small warband would not last long against such superior numbers. She withdrew, studying the terrain in preparation for a future assault, if Lord Khepri wills it.

My meeting with the Eleithiopolis raiders informed me that Mabuki was outside the city as they left. The boy managed to scatter the raiders, but most of the items they were sent to find were safe. Something must be done about Mabuki soon, before he manages to disrupt any more of my plans...

The Hierakonpolis Feint, Hemati & Shefdu vs Chike & Harakhty & Hierakonpolis

From the Scrolls of Shefdu Sootootma:
The breathers of Hierakonpolis and their allies were well forewarned of our impending attack. I took with me a portion of the Ankhara City Guard. My beloved Hemati and her warband accompanied us, as well as the famed 'Nightmare Lords.'

Few of those present knew of the true plan behind our attack on the City of Horus. My Lord Khepri desired objects believed to be in Hierakonpolis' sister city Eleithiopolis. Left empty since the Nekharu civil war ages ago, Eleithiopolis still holds many secrets for those who know what beings to ask. The main stumbling block to rediscovering those secrets was the vigilant Heru guardians of the quiet city. Thus our assault on Hierakonpolis was not as sudden or surprising as it could have been. Our massive force reached the Hierakonpolis Gates right on schedule, after taking a direct route through the desert mainly during daylight hours to be seen by as many breather eyes as possible.

Most of the Eleithiopolis guardians had been recalled to help in the defense of Hierakonpolis. And, despite the current Typhon and Heru struggles, some breather Harbingers came to the city's defense. Among these were the Heru Harakhty, the self-appointed Guardian of the Nome, and the Asar servant of Ptah Chike. Mabuki was led elsewhere by my shadowy hand, I have grander plans for the boy...

My beloved Hemati led our left flank charge at the gates. She was joined by Seneshet, my trusted Crypt Lady, and several groups of horde mummies from the Ankhara City Guard. Hemati led from 'The Long Reach,' her unit of mummy archers to better direct their fire. The would-be Heru Pharaoh, Harakhty led the forces opposite Hemati.

An exchange of chariots led off Hemati's wing of the attack. Seneshet's chariot charged forward under heavy fire from the walls. Seneshet crashed into a unit of Khemru slingers to keep their stones from flying. A breather chariot charged into the mass of horde mummies and soon fell under their slow blades.

Sejetmu's Pirates charged into combat with Harakhty as the Heru was engaged with Seneshet. The Pirates helped keep Harakhty entangled so that the main attack on the gates would be unhindered by breather harbingers.

My beloved separated from the archers and charged into Provocation with Harakhty. It was a titanic struggle, Harakhty with his large Aspect of the Defender body and Hemati with her well-preserved Aspect of the Cobra body. They circled each other and struck with ferocity. Hemati traded wound for wound with Harakhty for quite a while. Once the Heru realized he was the lone breather outside the walls of Hierakonpolis he broke off Provocation and Hemati let him go since her part in the Feint was fulfilled.

As for my own actions, I followed the second wave of mummy spears through the defenders of the gate. Once through the gate and into the city I waded into a unit of breathers, stealing their breath. When it was clear that the Feint had succeeded, I grabbed a Heru banner from within the city and withdrew.

The force that entered Eleithiopolis unopposed was able to gather items and information that will be of use in the battles to come....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mabuki vs Harakhty [Shopping Trip/Clash of The Gods]

From Shefdu Sootootma's Personal Scrolls-
Mabuki has followed most of the clues I have left for him, poor boy seems to actually think he has discovered them on his own. The latest was word of a destroyed caravan near his camp. The caravan was filled with artifacts from near Ankhara, items Mabuki couldn't resist investigating for some sign of whatever activities he imagines I am undertaking.

Unfortunately for Mabuki, the Heru Harakhty, the self-appointed Guardian of the Nome, also received news of the caravan. Being a good Heru, he took it upon himself to investigate the carnage and assist any survivors. These two have little use for each other and despite both being part of the Horus Faction in the current civil war among the breathers, they and their captains came to blows over what was left on the field.

Mabuki and his Sorceress, Moonfeather, flew to the rooftop of a small building near the center of the field. From there Mabuki let loose several arrows at Harakhty's force, singling out the Embalmer in particular. Moonfeather used her hekau to try to slow Harakhty's force. When that had little affect, she flew into the thick of the battle and tried again. That gave her some success, but the Heru force was too stubborn to let a few hekau slow it down.

On the northern edge of the field, Mabuki's Scribe, Spy and Khemru champion searched the wreckage and soon found themselves apart from most of the action. The Scribe and Spy headed south to investigate more of the wreckage, while the Khemru chose to charge into the fray, exchanging blows with an Asar Champion, but neither gaining the advantage. Harakhty's elephant aimed for Mabuki's Artifex as she investigated wreckage on a small hill. She fought with the beast, but it was too strong, even for her solid frame. The Spy then charged the Beastmaster from behind, but found herself locked in combat with the beast once its master was felled.

On the southern edge of the field, Sakharra led the Beloved and Mabuki's Asar Champion against Harakhty himself. The Champion held back and let loose some arrows at the Heru Harbinger as the Beloved charged forward to fight. Sakharra attacked from the side, but Harakhty quickly dispatched her, annoyed that a fellow Heru was not in his own warband. The Beloved and Harakhty exchanged blows, with the Beloved gaining the upper hand.

Mabuki flew from the rooftop just short of the melee, a tactic I taught him long ago. It warms me to see he has not forgotten some of the things I taught him. He held back for a few moments before charging into Provocation with Harakhty. He should probably have held back a few more moments. The fearsome Aspect of the Defender made Harakhty a bit too strong even in his weakened state.

But Mabuki's Scribe managed to find something his little mind thought to be of some importance. Utet managed to avoid the Heru warriors long enough to get his prize off the field unmolested...

Mabuki vs Annomen [Punishment of the Priestess/Khemru Orator]

The To-Tanem champion Lazuli, a fine but often overlooked member of the warband, brought news to me of an openly corrupt Priestess of Bast whom he had encountered on his return to our warband from his home in Memphis. The Priestess Snaffarhi used her status to gain entry into households on the outskirts of Memphis where she would then steal priceless family artifacts. Lazuli brought her presence in one of the Set Faction's warbands to my attention after one of the countless intelligence meetings the Heru Harakty holds every few days.

Our warband was on the lookout for Snaffarhi in the warband of Annomen, an Asar Harbinger of Bast. From what poor missing Trub had reported to me as he had followed Shefdu's movements in the newly risen Ankhara, Annomen had been in the area since then. During the Rise of Khepri at the Second Battle of Ankhara, Annomen was nowhere near the fighting. Some reports mark him as one of the many who looted tombs as Khepri gained his foothold in the land.

Following various reports on the Set Faction's movements, we finally caught up to Annomen outside the small village of Epoch Bend. A wandering Khemru Priest inserted himself between the two warbands, exhorting us to lay down our arms and embrace as brothers. It was a nice thought but those following Set in these current troubles are incapable of such actions.

Annomen, following the harsh tenets of Set mixed with Basti trickery, ordered his Master of Words to cast 'Arrows Ablaze' on his largest unit of archers and had the archers then fire on the defenseless priest. For that they would pay. Kojhak, the Khemru champion, was leading the Mallets (my To-Tanem unit) this day. He managed to get them across the field under the bows of that Priest-killing unit with minimal casualties. The Mallets routed the Basti Archers with a good beating.

On my far left, Lazuli was leading the Hard Bits (my Sebeki unit) with Ra-Sobek at their side to hunt down Snaffarhi. They went up against Annomen's Asar Spears and routed them, but the Priestess used the time and another Basti bow unit to get away. She has disappeared from the area, likely headed back to Bubastis, where she will probably go unpunished for her crimes. Perhaps a trip to Bubastis will be undertaken once this civil war is resolved.

On the far right, I opted to challenge Annomen to Provocation. I let him come to me as I cast Fiery Aspect upon myself to aid me against his heavy armor. But his Basti training made him too quick, despite his heavy armor. Somehow his blows got past my shield and he dodged my attacks. Our Provocation took place near the hill from which Hotep the Spy and the Punctuation of Maat were firing upon various targets. When they saw me fall, Hotep rallied the Asar and led them into battle against Annomen. The Punctuation and Hotep brought down the Harbinger of Bast! With Annomen's fall much of his warband fled...

-from Mabukitoth-Re's 'Accounts from Fokhara and the War Against the Followers of Set'

Mabuki vs Ashai [Secret of the Sphynx/Sandstorm]

We had faced the Dark Harbinger Ashai a few times earlier, but our encounter at the Sphynx of Tait went far better for us than our previous encounters with the Undead Asar. During my studies of some of Shefdu's found fragments, I came across a portion that brought up a question that could only be answered through the magical knowledge of a Sphynx.

We quickly took to the center of the field, where the Sphynx was located. To the left of the Sphynx, the Hard Bits (my Sebeki unit), under Kojhak's command and Hotep the Spy clashedwith the Scarab Ogre. The Beloved Ra-Sobek managed to hunt down the vile Necromancer and dispatch him. Ra-Sobek then single-handedly battled two Crypt Lords and a Nekharu Dealth Cultist Hero to a standstill. To the center right, Sakharra, my Heru heroine, and the Mallets (my To-Tanem unit) engaged the morass of a Horde Mummy unit in front of the Sphynx.

For my part, I went forward with Hotep, but held back to survey the battle for where I was most needed. There was a large unit of Nekharuy Death Cultist Archers on a hill overlooking the battlefield. To protect the Punctuation of Maat and the Swordmasters, I decided to cast The Wind's Howl between the archer units. I had confidence that the Punctuation would be able to successfully shoot through the windstorm. We were already dealing with a sandstorm, so this extra impediment was no trouble for them. After I saw to that, I charged forward to aid in the fight against the Scarab Ogre.

On the far right the Swordmasters of Hoethet once again proved their superiority by engaging one of Ashai's Crypt Lords and beating the beast down.

On the far left Hat-Mehit, the City Dweller Artifex, held up an entire unit of Mummy Warriors on her own for most of the battle. She delights in the speed her quicksilver sandals grant her, and often runs ahead of the rest of the warband. Sometimes this is to our benefit, sometimes not.

Nefibi Moonfeather, my Mistress of Words, held close to the Punctuation of Maat, and cast Arrows Ablaze on them to help them fell another unit of Horde Mummies coming in on the right. She also used her hekau to speed up the advance of the Mallets. Then she flew in to the Sphynx once the Horde Mummies were defeated, but failed to answer its riddle.

Back at the center Ashai charged into the Mallets as they fought with the Horde Mummies. To his surprise, they held and encircled him. Their pounding mallets managed to drive him off, to all of our surprise. He withdrew what was left of his Horde, shaking his fist at me as he went. Doubtless Shefdu will be told of this battle, and he will be very cross with me.

The field was ours, and I was finally able to ask my question of the Sphynx, after answering its riddle - 'What flows like a river, but never tops its banks?' Yet the answer I recieved was no less a riddle, and far less help than I'd hoped. 'Orbs of darkness unseeing yet seeing follow reversals and allow rest for none.'

I often forget consulting a Sphynx is usually more trouble than it's worth.

-from Mabukitoth-Re's 'Accounts from Fokhara and the War Against the Followers of Set'

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shefdu's Comments on Events Around Fokhara (May 29, 2008)

From Shefdu Sootootma's Personal Scrolls-

Mabuki has been busy in his search for me. Recently he clashed with Ashai, one of Lord Khepri's newest Dark Harbingers. Apparently Mabuki was on a mission for his Heru masters to gain information about Khepri's movements. During a sandstorm he took a chance to scout near Fokhara, one of our outlying necropoli. Ashai's warband made quick work of poor Mabuki's breathers but their spy succeeded in escaping unharmed.

A minor setback for our overall goals...

Yet another Typhon Warband has surfaced near Ankhara to vie for power of the Heru. It amuses me how they all scuttle about bashing each other in service to their own 'greater purposes,' all the while adding to the ranks of Khepri's coming deluge. If only they knew a fraction of what was to come. But to this warband of Tat-Thamekh the Albino. From what we have learned he was a frail child that managed to survive the harsh Typhon ways. How he became a Harbinger is not yet known, but it was only very recently that there was any account of him.

His first fray in this area was against the powerful Heru Harakhty, who has declared himself 'Protector of the Nome' or somesuch. The Heru mind is a fascinating pebble which thinks itself an insurmountable mountain-- much like the Typhon mind. If those cousins could stop their squabbling for a moment there might be a slight threat to Lord Khepri's plans. Alas that will not happen. The Albino foolishly charged into Provocation with Harakty and quickly fell to the old bird's blade.

It will be a cold day in Tuat before this Albino represents a threat to anyone...

My network of informants and agents was able to plant a seed of hope in Mabuki's fragile little mind. A rumor reached his ears revealing the location of a supposed cache of my writings. Though to make the rumor more believable, the word reached other ears in the area.

A Typhon Harbinger, literally calling himself 'The Nameless One,' arrived at the location soon after Mabuki and his pitiful warband. The battle was fierce and quick. Mabuki managed to gain Ka from The Nameless One, but the Typhon's sorceror took flight with the false scrolls. I hear Mabuki was more impressive in the Provocation than I would have ever expected.

Perhaps the boy has matured....

From near the Shrine of Ra-Ahlli came a report of action between two Typhon warbands and two Horus Faction warbands. The Typhon were Ebo Fenuku (a vicious little beast) and the Albino (poor fool). Their enemies were Kissa, Daughter of Isis (a fine candidate for conversion to Khepri's ranks) and the Heru Harakhty (so-called Protector of the Nome).

What should have been an impressive struggle was brief for the murderers of Osiris. The Albino brashly rushed ahead of his warband into the sight of Basti archers, even Mabuki would not be that foolish! Wounded, he then took the charge of Harakhty with similar results to their earlier meeting.

Ebo Fenuku impressively held back and managed to rout a unit of slingers before they could fling any stones at him. But this victory was short-lived when the beautiful Kissa charged into Provocation. Kissa has earned a reputation in the area for using the hekau of Fiery Aspect in Provocation to great effect. Her results this time were much the same, felling the Typhon with a brief struggle.

Tat-Thamekh's warband was heard to have rumblings of mutiny. But like any good Typhon, the Albino cut out the tongue of the supposed instigator....

The Exploits of Mabukitoth-Re, As Recorded by Utet, Serene Plauditor

For Thoth and Mabukitoth-Re I, Utet, Serene Plauditor, write these words for all time.

Our leader, Mabukitoth-Re, has led us to the region near Ankhara called Fokhara. This necropolis was founded quite some time after the initial founding of Ankhara, but its history has been told elsewhere numerous times. The reader is assumed to have access to the various histories of Ankhara and Fokhara to enlighten themselves about the region at their leisure. Our arrival found us not long waiting for battle. Mabuki's sources had informed him of a magical artifact that he felt would be useful in his intended struggle with the Typhon, their allies, and eventually his former mentor the undead Harbinger Shefdu Sootootma. As we approached this tomb another warband led by a Heru Harbinger arrived in the valley via a different route. Mabuki would not be denied and formed up the warband for battle.

Mabuki himself led the Swordmasters of Hoethet (Memphis Chapter) as they fired on the Anubi Tomb Guardians. Hat-Mehit, the Asar Artifex, led the 'Hard Bits' Sebeki Unit on their lumbering charge towards the tomb entrance- their slow pace was slowed even more by the Heru Master of Words and the hekau of Land's Despite. Neit, the Asar champion, took her unit of Asar, 'the Punctuation of Ma'at,' to the top of a nearby dune where they exchanged bowfire with the Heru's Basti unit of archers. It was hard fought for her, but Neit's bows eventually caused the Basti to flee the field of battle. Guarding our rear was the Beloved of Sobek, Ra-Sobek, and 'Mabuki's Mallets,' the unit of To-Tanem warriors. The Mallets valiantly tried to engage the Heru's unit of Khemru slingers, but the Khemru evaded them and managed to sling stones with precise accuracy to deplete the Children of Ptah's resolve. Ra-Sobek was taken out of the battle early when he was engaged by a chariot and a Heru hero on foot. Finally, near me on the battlefield, was Nefibi Moonfeather, Mabuki's trusted companion the Tethru Mistress of Words. She lent her assistance with hekau to the rest of the warband where she could. When the rear defenses collapsed she took flight closer to the temple entrance.

The Heru Harbinger made his way slowly forward along with the rest of his warband, but Mabuki fought on, ready to lead the Swordmasters into a drawn out engagement, if need be. Only at the behest of Nefibi, who by this time had flown to the roof of the tomb after being wounded by the Heru's Asar Spy, did Mabuki call a halt to the battle. We discovered that the Heru was Harakhty, pledged to restore order and security to the Fokhara region. Harakhty seems to have the qualities that may allow him to become the Heru Warlord of the Fokhara region in defense against the Typhon....

Soon after this battle we found ourselves in a nearby labyrinth seeking the Fountain of Akala's Tears, a regionally well-known mythical pool of healing waters. The action was very chaotic, with many other Harbingers and their Captains also discovering the labyrinth at the same time. I was not witness to much of what transpired, becoming separated from Mabuki and the others very early on, but eventually Harakhty and his Captains held the Pool as well as the labyrinthine complex itself. There was much talk of a Typhon Harbinger who sealed off an area of the labyrinth with the use of his Mistress of Words' Spiky Ground hekau. Also rumors of multiple Provocations within the Pool itself reached my ears. It is claimed that slain Harbingers fell into the Pool only to rise again moments later, healed of their wounds. Mabuki himself relates having defeated a Typhon Harbinger – a different individual than the aforementioned Typhon – who then arose from the Pool. Then, Mabuki contends, he was himself felled in Provocation by the Heru Harbinger Hetshepsu, only to rise from the waters healed of his wounds.

Hemati, Shiver of the Lands, Shefdu's Girlfriend

'As ripples on the water, her being radiates to all hearts she nears'

Never has that been truer than now, since my beloved Hemati has become the most beautiful Harbinger in service to my lord, the Risen Khepri. Her serpentine form, a remnant of the Aspect of Uatchet gift she had in life, is nearly perfectly preserved- yes, they did know how to embalm back then.

She is among many restored Harbingers whom Khepri has set the task of softening the breather resistance before our next step in claiming Ægyptus for the Eater. She is joined by the Necromancer Jhondru 'Khepri's Kiss' and his Scarab Ogre. The Crypt Lord Sejetmu and his newly reformed band of Nile pirates should provide her with a strong core. Also, the Crypt Lord Zenubeti 'Khanum's Disgrace' and the Abomination Chedmebd 'The Quiet One' give her strong tools to deploy against any foe she may meet.

Although parting from her so soon after finding her is almost intolerable, I know we will be together in the end. I will be watching her from afar and counting the nights until we are once more together.
-Shefdu Sootootma,
Chosen Scribe of Khepri

Mabukitoth-Re 'The Concise', Shefdu's Former Padawan

I bade farewell to Hermopolis, where I was born and raised, to learn the ways of a warrior-scribe in the service of the Harbinger Shefdu Sootootma. In his warband I found my path as a warrior and eventually one of Sootootma's inner circle.

My skill as a warrior-scribe gained the recognition of Thoth, all glory to him, and I was made a Harbinger after I accomplished several deeds for the greater glory of Thoth. Master Sootootma proudly taught me the way of the Harbingers and aided me in the formation of my own warband.

I left Master Sootootma to follow my heart's calling of uniting all of Ra's Children to make Ægyptus strong again. Master Sootootma went back to his lifelong quest to find the lost city of Ankhara- specifically the tomb of an ancient Harbinger of Uatchet named Hemati. I received word from Sootootma of a great discovery he had made and that he wished to meet with me. But I was delayed and arrived too late to do anything but mourn the 'Scribe of the Dawn.' He was struck down by a Typhon Harbinger too cowardly to declare his deed.

Since that day I have sought Sootootma's murderer. Other events have often impeded this mission, but I have always returned to it. Through the years I have lost other dear friends to misfortune- such as Liatha 'Golden Claw of Bast'; Sampau 'The Hammer of Memphis'; and Mnyft 'Chariot Maiden of the Setting Sun.'

Recently I learned that Master Sootootma's eternal rest was interrupted by a foul Necromancer and that this mockery of his form made its way to the newly uncovered City of the Dead, Ankhara. Sootootma stood at the right hand of Khepri and is now one of that undead godling's chief agents.

Now with rumblings of a Typhon uprising and the unknown status of my agent in Ankhara, events in Ægyptus draw the land further into chaos. The time has come for unity and if the Children of Ra will not listen to reason they will listen to my blade.

The 2008 Ægyptus Civil War Campaign - "Horus vs Set"

Since the next campaign took place right after the events of the Second Battle of Ankharra/Rise of Khepri, I decided to have Mabuki come forward. To make sure that none of us would have to play against the same warband every couple of weeks, many of the Fort Wayne WarGods group decided to go the multiple warbands route. Most people had at 2 warbands- a Horus faction and a typhon faction one, maybe an Eater of the Dead one. Others (Dave & me) had 3 warbands- a Horus faction, a Typhon Faction, AND an Eater of the Dead.

My Horus faction warband was Mabuki. He had come to Fokhara to find out what happened to his spy/scribe Trub and to try to find Shefdu and put an end to his evil unlife. The Typhon faction warband was the Typhon Tat-Thamekh the Albino, that's all that should be said about him but Shefdu's commentaries touch on this horrible horrible mistake. Finally the Eater of the Dead was represented by Shefdu's undead girlfriend Hemati Shiver of the Lands.

Let the soap opera begin...