- "Kneel before the might of Settra the Imperishable, Khemrikhara, King of Nehekhara, Lord of the Earth, Monarch of the Sky, Ruler of the Four Horizons, Mighty Lion of the Infinite Desert, Great Hawk of the Heavens, Majestic Emperor of the Shifting Sands, Eternal Sovereign of Khemri's Legions."
- —A small fraction of Nekaph's speech demanding his foe's unconditional surrender[1a]
Nekaph is Settra's chosen Tomb Herald, his personal champion and most trusted servant, loyal unto death and beyond into the next life. When Settra left the mortal realm, Nekaph was the first to commit suicide, and his body was entombed beside his lord. When Settra the Imperishable awoke from his centuries of slumber, Nekaph's mummified form was already standing by, prepared to fulfil his king's indomitable will and smite his enemies once more.[1a]
The Herald Nekaph was not born of noble birth. Indeed it was whispered that he was not even born of Nehekharan blood and that his parents were from the uncivilised tribes to the north of the Great Land. Thus, as Nekaph grew into a man and joined the legions of Khemri's army, he was considered by all to be little more than an uncouth barbarian. Despite his heritage, however, Nekaph's strength, feats of skill and unswerving loyalty to his king were unsurpassed. Nekaph distinguished himself in battle time and again, and before his eighteenth year he was inducted into the prestigious ranks of the elite Tomb Guard. Within two years, Nekaph had risen to command Settra's royal guard, and soon after he was appointed as his personal herald, for there was no more incorruptible a warrior in all of Nehekhara. As a mark of Settra's trust in his chosen champion, Nekaph was gifted the Flail of Skulls - an unmistakable symbol of Settra's power and a weapon that the ruler of Khemri himself once wielded on the field of battle.[1a] He was the fortieth to serve in that honoured position.[2a]
Nekaph was a formidable man in life, renowned for his powerful physique and uncompromising sense of duty. Even unarmed, Nekaph was deadly, and he could cave in the skulls of his opponents with a single blow of his fist. Though he slew many enemies at the behest of Settra, it was only when he fought duels on behalf of his king that the Herald Nekaph's true warrior potential was reached, for he could fight all the harder knowing that the honour of his lord was at stake - something far more important than his own life. Nekaph would deflect the blows of his opponent with consummate skill before delivering a fatal blow of his own. Nekaph was not only a mighty warrior, he was also possessed of a great intelligence. This is an essential quality in any Tomb Herald, for they must be able to remember their lord's many and elaborate titles. Indeed, such was Settra's power and achievements that reciting his entire list of titles took Nekaph almost two hours.[1a]
Nekaph rides from city to city, as he did in life, at the head of one of Settra's eternal legions. When they arrive at the enemy's gates, Nekaph halts and demands an audience with the city's rulers. When the cowering leaders come forth, the Emmissary of Settra addresses them and offers them a single chance to surrender. Though his jaw does not move, and no discernable sound ushers from his lipless mouth, Nekaph's trembling foes hear a deep voice echoing in their heads. Rulers of nations quake with fear as Nekaph demands their fealty, and they realise that their doom has arrived. Those that refuse to kneel before the might of Settra, or those that foolishly choose to attack Nekaph's assembled legion, must face the unbridled wrath of Khemri. Leading from the front, Nekaph advances towards his foes, smashing them asunder with every blow of the Flail of Skulls. As the bodies of the enemy stack up and the Undead legions continue their implacable advance, the defenders realise the futility of their resistance - but the Herald Nekaph shows no mercy. The time for surrender has long since passed, for once battle has been joined no parley can be entered into. Defiance is met only with death and, at the battle's end, the gilded skull of another conquered king will hang from Nekaph's magical flail.[1a]
The End TimesEdit
When the Undead armies of Nagash invaded Nehekhara and reached the gates of Khemri after weeks of attrition battles against the Tomb Kings, Settra the Imperishable chose once more Nekaph as his Tomb Herald. During the battle, Arkhan the Black's Dread Abyssal was struck by the power of a Casket of Souls and fell to the ground. Seizing the chance to destroy Nagash's foremost servant, both Settra and Nekaph attacked him from their chariots, but Nekaph was destroyed by a desperate spell cast by the injured liche. After his fall to Arkhan, he was succeeded by Nebbetthar, Captain of the Royal Chariot Guard, who became the forty-first so honoured.[2a]