Background: Tomb Harbinger

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  • Tomb Harbinger

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    Among the grave goods Valdes brought us was the golden icon. It
    incorporates common elements from the Naptaan religion, such
    as the winged scarab and the radiant sun. It is also inscribed with hieroglyphs
    proclaiming the praises of the king. It seems likely that this
    formed a part of the king’s banner.
    Most interesting to me, however, was a carving we found on the decayed
    remains of the banner pole. From what legible sections we could
    recover, it read:
    LOYAL SHEKTUK, FIRST AMONG THE FAITHFUL SOLDIERS OF THE
    KING, BEARS THIS STANDARD.
    LET ALL WHO OPPOSE HIS LORD TREMBLE AT ITS SIGHT.
    This constitutes one of the few mentions in the written history of the
    Naptaan of anyone not of the royal blood, for we can presume from his
    name and lack of titles that Shektuk was a simple soldier. Valdes’ men
    claim they found this artefact inside the tomb of Kharatep himself, a
    position of great honour for one so lowly born.
    One of Valdes’ crew in particular — one Miguel — was willing to tell
    me a little more. According to Miguel, the banner-pole was found still
    clutched in the hands of an intact skeleton, at least a head taller than
    the other bodies in the tomb. Valdes was forewarned about how lightly
    the dead sleep in Naptesh, and ordered the men to smash it to powder
    with clubs and hammers. If Miguel is to be believed, it killed three
    men before the icon could be prised from its phalanges — and even
    then, one fleshless hand kept hold of the banner pole long after the
    rest of the undead creature had been destroyed.

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