Background: Skeleton Chariots

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  • Background: Skeleton Chariots

    Table Of Contents



    Sources

    4th of Blühenzeit, 962 A.S.

    This journey was bound to be full of moments of discomfort, but
    this morning’s sight exceeded my expectations in every possible
    way. To the amusement of my colleagues and my chagrin, I took a tumble
    when confronted by two skeletal horses rising from the sands with
    a scythed chariot in tow.
    Only once I realised the chariot was (of course) stationary and half
    buried was I able to pick myself up off the ground and collect my wits,
    with the sound of laughter ringing in my ears. Our guides, however,
    did not share in the mirth and instead tried to move us swiftly on. To
    lessen their distress I reluctantly agreed, though I was able to make a
    few sketches for later research. The similar iconography of this chariot
    and the riders we encountered nearby seems to confirm many of the
    theories of my old friend Doctor Friedman. Perhaps I can salvage his
    reputation and prove at least some of this theories to be correct.

    Before the rise of the horseman, chariots were the first use of horses in war. As a means of carrying nobles
    into the heart of battle with speed and style, chariots were highly prized in Naptaan armies.
    The prevalence of chariots in the Naptaan empire is disputed, yet my studies have unearthed evidence
    of the vast scale of their usage. A tablet inscribed with a record of the battle of Qashek was uncovered
    some fifty years ago and I have spent most of those years attempting to translate the hieroglyphics. It
    tells the story of King Kentak the First, who led a force of ten thousand chariots against the Edu people.
    Allowing for poetic licence, this is still the greatest use of war machines in ancient times, or possibly
    even to this day.
    As described on the tablet, each chariot was part of a squadron of one hundred headed by a noble, with
    gilded hieroglyphics proclaiming the honour of the squadron leader’s dynasty. I have often dreamt
    of that sight; the lines of chariots as they crested the dunes, glittering in the sun like a golden wave
    poised to crash down and wash away their foes. What I wouldn’t give to possess a specimen for the Society,
    to display and to prove that Naptaan society predated the spread of modern cavalry, which was
    only developing among the more nomadic peoples of the Edu and the ancestors of the Qassari.
    Doctor Eckhardt Friedman - “The Golden Dynasty” (Eichtal Press, 937 A.S.)

    The messengers said, the Edu stand ready. We have strong men and strong horses, our arrows are
    swift and our spears are long. We are more numerous than the grains of sand in the desert.
    And Pharoah said unto them, just as the sand of the desert, we shall crush your armies beneath our
    wheels.
    - Excerpt from inscription on the Qashek Stone

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