Tomb Kings are one of the forces in Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting. They are all undead, with an evident ancient Egyptian theme, with additional themes taken from the 1999 movie The Mummy.
The Tomb Kings were once rulers of Nehekhara, a vast kingdom analogous to ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamian civilizations. The rulers were led to believe that they would rule paradise in the afterlife, and were thus entombed so that they were prepared for this. Hundreds of years later, an evil wizard by the name of Nagash usurped the throne and attempted to turn these dead kings into his personal undead army. He eventually failed, but his attempt caused the kings to awaken as undead and turned the great nation into a vast desert. The kings were enraged that they had not been reborn into paradise, and now plot to conquer the world to compensate.
Their armies are primarily based on skeletal warriors bearing equipment typical to portrayals of ancient Egypt, notably large numbers of chariots. They may also field gigantic undead scorpions, swarms of scarabs, and animated statues of their gods. They are often led by the Tomb Kings themselves, or their sons, the Tomb Princes. They are generally accompanied by Liche Priests, who see to it that the magic spells keeping the army animated continue to function.
The army is best-known for its magic: Not only do the Tomb Kings sport their own lore, they do not have to roll dice in order to cast spells, as other armies do. They are also notable for their relatively skilled archers and their ability to field chariots in units. One of the prominent things when playing as the Tomb Kings, is that everything relies on everything else. The army can be compared to a tripod. On one leg, there is the Liche Priest. He can heal, resurrect troops, give another attack or even damage the enemy via incantations. He is very helpful, but if you lose him, the army will start to crumble away. The second leg is the Tomb Kings. They have great fighting prowess, and also limited magic. Their fighting and leadership skills deployed at the right time and place can make the difference between a win and a loss. The last leg is the troops. They have to be used in a correct way to ensure a win. Blocking a strong unit of cavalry with Tomb Swarms, then charging the Ushabti into the flank or rear will easily dispatch a foe. But a single unit of skeletons is no use on its own. They will simply be cut down like rye. But it is with these troops that you entrust the survival of your characters, which will ensure victory in the end. Like a tripod, take out one leg, the others will quickly succumb. Tomb Kings are unique for the fact that their weakness is also what makes them a great army.
There are many different units of the tomb kings, ranging from the legions of foot soldiers to the squads of archers, the light cavalry bowmen to the speedy and strong chariot groups, and the mighty spellcasting Liche Priests to the awesome fighters the Tomb Kings themselves. • Tomb Kings: Tomb Kings are the ancient and long-dead rulers of the land of Nehekhara. There have been countless kings during the long history of that ancient land. Each city was ruled by a separate dynasty and these were ousted from power and replaced by others over the span of centuries. • Tomb Princes: Tomb Princes are the sons of Tomb Kings. Each of the kings of ancient Nehekhara kept extensive harems and so had many sons. Only one of these princes of the blood could succeed his father to the throne. As for the others, some died heroically in battle, and their bodies were brought home to be mummified and entombed in a place within the king's pyramid, as befitted captains of high rank. • Liche Priests: In their desire to defy death, the kings of Nehekhara founded the Mortuary Cult and appointed the priesthood, of which the Liche Priests are all that remain. • Skeleton Soldiers: The mighty armies of the Tomb Kings, made up of regiment after regiment of valiant soldiers, who swore an oath of loyalty before the gods to serve the king beyond death. Thus the bones of those soldiers who perished in battle were collected from the field of war and interred in the great tomb pits of the king's necropolis.
- Skeleton Chariots: The pride of a Tomb King's army are his charioteers. Nehekhara was the first great civilisation of Mankind, and the place where Men first used horse and chariot in battle. The ancient armies of Nehekhara included strong forces of swift, lightly built chariots usually drawn by a pair of horses. These fought in massed units and were considered the elite of the army, and only the nobility were permitted to fight as charioteers.
- Tomb Guard: The bravest and best soldiers serving the tomb Kings acted as his personal bodyguards and palace guards during their lifetime. In respect to that role, they were honoured with the privilege of sharing his immortality and buried close to their king within the regal pyramid itself. Just as they guarded the palace in life, so now they guard the inner sanctum of the necropolis.
- Ushabti: Carved into the likeness of the many gods and goddesses of Nehekhara, the Ushabti stand as guardians around the perimeters of the great pyramids of the Tomb Kings. Standing three times the height of a man, they are imposing monuments, and all who pass beneath their shadows tremble. In times of need, the Liche Priests imbue the Ushabti with tremendous power through complex incantations and charms.
- Tomb Swarms: The tombs of the necropoli are infested with the dried husks and shells of countless poisonous insects and other vicious creatures of the desert. Though long dead, the mere presence of the Liche Priests and the Tomb Kings fills their empty shells with animation, and they scuttle from their hiding places around the mortuary temples and beneath the sands.
- Tomb Scorpions: Tomb Scorpions are powerful creations of the Liche Priests, giant constructs carved and moulded into representations of the giant, mystical creatures said to guard the entrance to the Nehekharan underworld.
- Carrion: According to inscriptions, King Nekhef claimed to be the first ruler of the Carrion in his army of eternity. Carrion are massive scavenging birds, akin to vultures. These creatures lived in the mountains to the east of Nehekhara and also the deserts to the west, revered as they were seen to carry the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Their reanimated corpses serve in the armies of the tomb kings.
•Bone Giant: In ancient times, before the rise of the Mortuary Cult, there were many legends of mighty beings of immense stature walking the land and smiting all who stand in their path. As the knowledge and skill of the priesthood grew, they turned their talents towards recreating a being of the size and power that the legends spoke of, for who could face such a creation in battle? Thus the first Bone Giants were painstakingly crafted, formed from all manner of elements and held together by the powerful incantations of the Liche Priests.
- Screaming Skull Catapult: It is said that Behedesh, King of Zandri, claimed to have invented this type of catapult and ordered them to be constructed. He used these in many wars and had them mounted on his numerous war galleys, which gave him domination of the great River Mortis during his mortal lifetime. To subdue some enemy kings during a siege, he ordered the decapitated heads of the prisoners be flung over the walls. This worked perfectly, and they came up with more ways to increase the effectiveness. Two of which is having the skulls burning with bright, ethereal flames and the other for them to wail out the death scream of the victim. Once the king was entombed, his necropolis was ransacked and many of these catapults, along with the scrolls of enchantment for the skulls, were stolen and spread throughout the kingdom.
- Casket of Souls: Within the tombs of the mightiest kings lies a casket sealed with pitch and inscribed with hieroglyphs of malediction and warning. Within the casket lie the souls who have committed the sacrilege of inciting the Tomb Kings' rage. If the seals are broken and the lid opened, blinding light spills from the casket and countless lost souls scream into the air seeking freedom from the madness and torment of their confinement. Crazed, the spirits plunge through the hearts and minds of the enemy ranks. It is similar to the Lost Ark of the Covenant from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.