The Children of NekhebetThe vulture-headed Nekharu are a vile and evil race. In their black hearts burns a spiteful malice which has horribly twisted the entirety of their being, both body and soul. Mottled flesh the color of rotted meat clings tightly to their malformed skulls, and their heads stretch forth on wizened necks from between hunched shoulders. They robe their scrawny bodies in tattered garments of ashen gray or sooty black. Their robes reek of an unclean stench. The Nekharu have no time for beauty - they are entirely absorbed in their hatred. Swollen boils and oozing sores are rife on their diseased skin. Below it, atrophied muscles twitch incessantly, appearing as worms burrowing through their flesh. Skeletal hands with fingers like talons dangle limply at the end of their arms. Their hands are those of a stranger, clawed hands intended to clench a throat and throttle it unto death.
Coming from a jagged beak, the voice of a Nekharu is a croaking squawk laden with scorn and contempt. They exult in the pain and misery of others, even those of their own race, and their laugh is a gleeful, malicious cackling. Their speech is fraught with profane obscenities and blasphemous maledictions. To the Nekharu, nothing is above their contempt. At every opportunity, whether by word or by deed, they seek to defile all things held as sacred.
The Nekharu are arrogant and tyrannical with those weaker than themselves. They make impossible demands of their slaves, and are nefarious for torturing those slow to obey. In the presence of greater strength, they are no longer imperious. Instead, they cower and grovel, squawking fervent promises of unending devotion and servitude. Yet in their treacherous souls they harbor an all-consuming hatred of whomever has mastered them. With devious intrigues and villainous plots, they forever connive to bring about their master's ruin and usurp his position. For their own gain, if they are certain of success, the Nekharu will betray any pledge or oath. They know no remorse and have no conscience. They know nothing of loyalty and duty, honor and virtue. No deed is too wicked for the Nekharu. In truth, the more wicked the deed, the more it is relished.
History & Society
Exiled the humid environs of the Nubian jungle, the Children of Nekhebet nurture a vile hatred for their former land. In the ruins of a once great city, named Oltha-Nakthar, erected by an outlander race long vanished from the Earth, they have found a home.
Once, the Nekharu inhabited Ægyptus in the city of Eleithiapolis, a grand place that arched over the width of the Nile River. But on the Endless Night they defied their goddess, Nekhebet. Never before had the will of a god been opposed. Neither by the lowliest farmer nor the mightiest Harbinger. It was an inconceivable act, and such prideful insubordination could not go unpunished. There could be only one punishment for such a blasphemous deed: agonizing death. Fearful of reprisal, the rebellious Nekharu fled Eleithiapolis and sought sanctuary with the draconian S'syth. The S'syth sheltered the Nekharu from the wrath of the Ægyptians, giving them Oltha-Nakthar for a home of their own.
Since then, the Nekharu have become warped and twisted in both mind and body. Born to the arid deserts of Ægyptus, they have been stricken with horrible diseases by the humid, pestilent jungle. The survivors of the brain-burning fevers and bone-eating infections bear the horrible scars of their survival. Dwelling among the weird, alien stones of Oltha-Nakthar has further shriveled and distorted their bodies, making them unnatural things repulsive to the beholder. The Witch-King, Tcheret-Ati the Undying, rules absolutely over the Nekharu. Delighting in the madness around him, the ancient despot goads his race further into the depths of dementia.
The society of the Nekharu is one of domination and submission, masters and slaves. It has no laws. The mighty impose their will on the weak, and take whatever they desire. There is only one way to rise through the ranks of the Nekharu - murder one's current master, claim his place and hold it against all adversaries.. and to the suspicious Nekharu, all living souls are potential adversaries. Oltha-Nakthar is a treacherous place, filled with prying, avaricious eyes and quiet murder on moonless nights. In such a place, only the most duplicitous and cunning of the Nekharu survive for long, just as the Witch-King intended.
Undying Tcheret-Ati has crafted Oltha-Nakthar to serve his own vengeful purposes. Like a spider at the center of its web, the Witch-King is the malevolent intelligence behind the murderous back-stabbing of the Nekharu. By the machinations of the baneful Witch-King, the Nekharu have flayed all compassion and virtue from their hearts. All that remains is virulent hatred. On the anvil of his immortal rancor, with his malevolence as his hammer, the Witch-King has forged a deadly instrument for his revenge on Ægyptus. The Nekharu have become a sharp knife poised to slice open the jugular of Ægyptus, and allow the land's blood to drip into their sacrificial bowls.
Allies & Adversaries
The Nekharu have no allies. The other Children of the Gods hate them with a surpassing passion. Long ago, the Nekharu committed the worst crime imaginable in disobeying Nekhebet, and there can be no forgiveness for such a heinous act. The Nekharu return the Children's hatred tenfold. Their spite and contempt knows no bounds. Their thoughts are rife with wicked fantasies of atrocities they wish to commit upon their fellow Children of the Gods.
Even among their own kind, the Nekharu do not have allies. Each Nekharu is so consumed by his lust for power that only the most foolish trusts him. He is so twisted by spite and covetousness that he would never trust another. They forever seek to garner some kind of advantage over their fellows, hoping to gain power over them.
Despite all this, some find themselves allied with the Nekharu. Most often an Ægyptian becomes so prideful, so full of his own power, he believes that he is the Nekharu's master - that they would never betray him. Other times, an Ægyptian becomes consumed by a lust for power, and in his lust he accepts the Nekharu as his servants. In their master's presence, the Nekharu are fawning, always feeding his pride, allaying his doubts and attempting to gain his trust. But when the moment is ripe, the Nekharu treacherously turn on him. It may not happen for decades, but it will happen eventually.
Way of War
The Nekharu are cowardly, and will never willingly take part in a fair fight. However, they take great delight in slaughtering helpless victims or outnumbered opponents. To make the odds more favorable, the Nekharu will employ all manner of cunning, duplicitous ruses before a battle. Nothing is too vile for them to consider. They set cunning ambushes, poison their enemies' water supply, use vile sorcery to dishearten and weaken their enemies, and commit even more nefarious treacheries than these.
In battle, the Nekharu fight in large, unruly units with the aim of swarming over their opponents. When they are winning, they begin to cackle and scream with shrill delight; a demented cacophony which causes even strong men to lose their courage and flee in panic. They fight with long-hilted swords with curving, wickedly jagged blades. The blades of their weapons are often coated with a venomous ichor from a foul jungle plant, which causes even the slightest scratch to fester, killing the victim after days of agonizing pain. They wear little in the way of armor, since it is much too stifling in the jungle heat. In truth, if a battle is going their way, they need no armor, since the enemy will never have the opportunity to strike back.
The time after a battle gives the Nekharu the greatest pleasure. Dagger in hand, the warriors skulk through the corpses of the slaughtered. They slice open the dead, tearing from gaping chests vital organs, which they sell to Witches for their black magic rites. When the living are found, the Nekharu gather around the fallen warrior as a flock of vultures, cackling insanely. Those fallen warriors, who seem as though they will recover, are taken prisoner and sent back to Oltha-Nakthar as slaves. Those beyond recovery are tortured and tormented until finally they die.