- "Sentinels at the portal of eternity, mighty ones who stand before the king, valiant heroes whom none shall pass, guardians of the king's tomb."
- —Hieroglyphic inscription over the sarcophagi of Settra's Tomb Guard[1a]
The Tomb Guard are the partially mummified remains of the king's elite guard. They are exceptional warriors, maintaining all the discipline and martial skill they had in life. In battle, the Tomb Guard form unwavering ranks of armoured warriors. They have spilled the blood of their enemies for countless centuries, and numerous armies have been dashed against their unyielding, implacable shield walls.[1a]
As befits warriors of their standing, Tomb Guard were gifted with fine suits of leather armour and bronze scale studded with jewels and precious metals. They carry lavishly crafted shields, inlaid with skulls, bones and other symbols of death. In battle, the Tomb Guard wield weapons that have had powerful incantations of cursing imbued into them, with which they carve through the ranks of their enemy, cutting through necks and felling their foes with every lethal, powerful blow.[1a]
The bravest and best soldiers served as bodyguards for the ancient kings of Nehekhara. Elevation into the ranks of the Tomb Guard was perhaps the only way that a warrior not of noble-birth could ever hope to enter the royal palaces. The Tomb Guard lived in comparative luxury, each having a dozen slaves to tend to their wargear so they could keep their attentions focused on their sacred duties - the preservation of the king's life and dominion. However, worldly wealth was the least reward granted to these warriors, for in respect of their position, they were honoured with the privilege of sharing his immortality.
Upon their death, or that of their lord's, they were mummified by the Liche Priests and buried in close proximity to their king's sarcophagus. Just as they guarded the palace in life, so now they guard the inner sanctum of the necropolis in death. The prospect of sharing in the eternal beauty and immortality of their king, and serving him for all time, inspired these soldiers to heroic acts of bravery. They would die where they stood rather than retreat and charge against the most hopeless odds without thought of their own survival. Time and again this selfless heroism would bring victory to the king's army and earn a place in his pyramid for the honoured fallen.[1a]
The Tomb Guard were entombed with their armour and weapons. Their bodies were further decorated with gold bracelets, headdresses and scarab-shaped brooches that fastened parchments proclaiming their deeds of bravery and devotion. The Tomb Guard rest, until awakened, in their stone sarcophagi, arranged upright around the royal tomb chamber of their king. Here they stand to attention as palace guards until the time comes when they are again needed. If intruders violate the tomb, they will awaken and defend their slumbering lord. If the king rouses from his death sleep, ready to go forth to conquer the lands of the living, they arise and form an honour guard at his side.[1a]
Although the Tomb Guard were rewarded with a form of mummification, the embalming rituals used were nowhere near as elaborate as the ceremonies that the Tomb Kings and Tomb Princes underwent. However, the Tomb Guard have been reborn with immortal bodies far stronger and more resilient than the flesh and blood forms they wore in life. Furthermore, Tomb Guard retain more of their former personalities than the massed soldiery of skeletal warriors. They awaken with memories of heroic deeds, bloody victories and the unyielding will to destroy their king's enemies still burning strongly in their minds. Above all they remember their duty to protect their Tomb King from harm, and any that threaten their charge are slain, cut down without pause.[1a]
When roused to the defence of their liege and their homeland, the Tomb Guards are unwavering and disciplined warriors. Glad in ancient, ornate armor and imbued with ancient magic that gives these warriors near superhuman strength and dexterity, the Tomb Guards form the very core elite of all the Tomb Kings armor. They act as the bedrock from which the enemy shall shatter themseves upon their massive bronze shields, or they can also be the hammer-blow which would shatter the enemy to the winds.[1a]
Tomb Guards are excellent soldiers during their lives and are often gifted with powerful weapons that had incantations of curses imbued unto them as a reward for their faithful service. As such, every warrior within this esteemed rank has within their hands a magical artifact of power that can smite the foe with unyielding ease.[1a]