"Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged."
- – Samuel Johnson
An Undead Egyptian queen in the Warhammer Fantasy setting, a Hatshepsut expy (minus the animosity to other Pharaohs) to Neferata's Cleopatra expy, and one of the closest things there is in the Grimbrightness of the End Times to a Lawful Good character.
Thousands of years ago, shortly after the first fall of Nagash, High Queen Khalida Neferher was the ruler of Lybaras, one of the most powerful provinces of Nehekhara. Lybaras was somewhat of a combination of real world Alexandria as a learned coastal city with ample oasis locations making travel somewhat easy (during the era of the living), and Thebes with its location and connection to the Valley of Kings analogue (which goes by the same name) with its resurgence of religion due to a unique (and statuesque) monarch. Its only true neighbors were Lahmia (whose ruling family was closely related to Lybaras monarchs and thus were likely in the past controlled by one king) and stretches of jungle occupied by tribal humans and Lizardmen to the south. It was only connected to the rest of Nehekhara by a narrow pass through the mountains that contained a massive necropolis city, with Mahrak at one end (on the same side as Lybaras) and Quatar on the other.
Khalida is notably one of the few Tomb Queens. Her cousin, Queen Neferata, had no legitimate claim to rule and used her idiot brother as a pawn until she had secured herself by converting all possible contenders to the throne to vampirism and loyal servitude under her. Khalida on the other hand was accepted with full legitimacy, and never married (unlike historical analogues who ruled through husbands or in the place of their sons too young to take the throne).
Under Khalida's rule Lybaras became a bastion of learning and faith, with the citizens building the first and greatest animated statues and clockwork servants as well as utilizing airships for travel (yes, ancient Egyptian steampunk plus polytheistic priest-wizards). While most Tomb King Ushtabi are merely robotic emotionless slaves or parodies of past rulers or gods, Khalida's were as intelligent and eccentric as any court sycophant (insert your own joke here, they're all good and Khalida made a few in her day).
Khalida was highly spiritual, and reestablished worship of the goddess Asaph as Lybaras's main deity by establishing a massive temple palace dedicated to her, from which Khalida ruled. Khalida's leading style was apparently that of a paladin, being a wise judge who lived according to a strict code of conduct and had at some point made a name for herself on the battlefield.
After cousin Neffy turned Lahmia into something resembling a giant shrine to Khorne and Slaanesh, Khalida discovered the secret behind the debauchery. Neferata realized Khalida had realized that cousin Neffy had been bad, so cousin Neffy announced a banquet as part of an intricate one-step plot to silence Khalida before she had enough time to fully realize that Nef had been up to no good and fill out the paperwork needed to tell the rest of Nehekhara that, in the era just after everyone united for the first time against Nagash and the Undead, that one of the major kingdoms had become Nagash-worshipping Undead. Yes, there is indeed A PLOT HOLE HERE WHERE KHALIDA DID NOTHING AND TOLD LITERALLY NOBODY THAT APPROXIMATELY 1/10TH OF NEHEKHARA HAD GONE BACK TO BEING NAZIS HALF A GENERATION AFTER WORLD WAR TWO ENDED FOR SOME REASON.
The hole deepens when, at the banquet (which Khalida attended for Asaph knows why) Neferata accused Khalida of being a blood-drinking Undead, which nobody knew about other than Nef's servants and Khalida, then waited for everyone to suddenly go Ides of March on her assaph. When the assembled nobles simply gave her blank stares, Khalida went the Lawful route and challenged Nef to a duel to the death over the insult to her honor, being so enraged and offended she fought it herself rather than through a champion. In all fairness to this, Khalida didn't know Nef was a level 4 wizard Master Vampire at max powers and gear allowance, only that Nef drank blood at murder orgies, though Nagash did nothing wrong and wasn't aging. Despite that badassery, Khalida held her own and dealt mortal wounds to Neferata, only relenting when Neferata managed to shank Khalida in the gut. While Khalida bled out from her case of knife in the stomach, a desperate Nef drained her cousin in front of everyone to regain lost HP. The nobles immediately fled, and the message of what went on finally hit the outside world.
The triumphant Neferata attempted to turn cousin Khally into a vampire servant, but the dying Khalida called out for her goddess's aid. Asaph heard Khalida's prayer and turned her (remaining) blood to snake venom, burning away the vampiric taint and leaving Khalida dead.
Neferata returned to Lahmia and waited for the armies of Nehekhara to attack her while Khalida, one of the few "beloved" monarchs actually beloved by her people, was given a burial elaborate even by Nehekharan standards. Her funeral mask was fashioned like clothing to be worn to cover her bloodless face, and the army of Lybaras descended with fury upon Lahmia.
After Nagash's "FUCK YA'LL MEATBAG MOTHERFUCKERS" spell, Khalida arose with the rest of the Tomb Kings. While her predecessors fought over the main palace of Lybaras, Khalida and her
sassy gay friends sapient Ushtabi strode to the temple of Asaph where she took her throne and began planning for her only defining character traits other than Lawful Good; her goal of of wiping out all sabertooth motherfuckers, with cousin Nef at the top of the hit list.
A bit later, Settra the Imperishable arose and slapped the shit out of the rest of Nehekhara, demanding tribute and taking their titles away just to remind them who's the big daddy on the block. Since he's a cool guy, he first sent an emissary to Khalida asking for her vow of loyalty. It went around her mummified head, and when she decided it had nothing to do with killing Vampires and thus didn't really matter she sent a message back saying she was down with the Set-man.
After that point is a gap in fluff. We know all of jack shit about what she was doing, other than the vague "she killed a lot of Vampires". At one point she hires Gotrek & Felix to kill a Vampire for her and paid them well for their efforts, so she's clearly more willing to make friends with the living than most skin-envious Tomb Kings. It also mentions that she and Neferata have an on-going side project of trying kill each other, with the former being more hands on and the latter sending a ton of vampire assassins.
At another point Settra tasked her to keep out a vigil for the return of Nagash by taking up position close to Nagasshizar, which she gladly did... A bit too gladly, even, because she refused to hand over the position when her time was up (since it was a convenient place to look out for vampires as well). Settra wasn't entirely happy with this, but when his envoy came back telling him that she was really, really good at her vampire-kicking job he demonstrated he was a gentleman on top of a boss and just let her have her fun.
Thanks to the death mask her followers made of her, she is the only Tomb King whose face can still be recalled with clarity (barring any who had statues, Ushtabi, or Sphinxes in their own likeness that survived the ages). In older lore a phantasm of her skin, unnaturally white as marble, would appear while in battle only for her to become a mere skeleton again in times of peace. She also had some semblance of flesh in her first incarnation, which could heal in battle and was as hard and pale as marble. Both pieces of lore were retconned later, replaced by the golden death mask which is cracked on one side and which she wears at all times. She still has the blessing of Asaph that the talons she wears as weapons can envemonate anyone she strikes with them, and she's supernaturally fast to the point that she can outmatch elves.
The End Times
Khalida accompanied Settra in his massive bone torpedo at Nagash. During this time, Khalida went to Lahmia to stop Neferata from claiming it and kill her. The two met and engaged in a fight to the death, where Khalida gained the upper hand, much to Neferata's horror. Before Khalida could kill Neferata there was a storm of dark magic that bore them apart, with Neferata fleeing. After Settra's defeat, Lybaras was destroyed with all the other cities of Nehekhara. Khalida was presented with two options; become a Mortarch alongside cousin Neffy, or get her body destroyed and tossed into the desert to listen to Settra rant about how awesome he was forever.
After she considered resisting Nagash, Khalida chose the former, and became a leader in Nagash's Undead Legion mostly out of a desire to kill Neferata during the chaos (pun) of the End Times. She partook in the defense of the Black Pyramid, being the most competent Tomb Kings faction leader present (she was also name-dropped by Mannfred - at Arkhan's "request" - to persuade Neferata to help defend the Black Pyramid). Her forces engaged the Nurglite daemons and undead, holding the line until the trickery of Isabella and the Skaven led to the Black Pyramid's destruction. When the end of the world finally came, Khalida was manning a fortress with her mix of Nehekharan and Old World Undead. The terrified remnants of humanity and the Halflings fled to her for refuge, and at her command the Undead parted to allow the frightened mortals into her castle, then stood at attention to defend the last life on the planet as long as possible. Khalida merely sat atop the battlements with Lahmian Vampires as Neferata fled from Arkhan's last stand with the unconscious Isabella von Carstein. As the wave of blackness consumed the world, Khalida and Neferata held hands and commanded their forces to keep Chaos away as long as possible.
This was Khalida's final moment, as she and all other Tomb Kings did not survive the transition to Age of Sigmar. Isabella likewise perished, although Neferata survived into the new setting to be the plotting voice of rationality in the Death faction. Unconfirmed reports that Tomb Kings fans have taken to sending live poisonous snakes to Games Workshop HQ have been trickling in since.
Along with Settra, Khalida was the only thing keeping Tomb Kings competitive after the split between Vamp Cunts and the glorious battalions of bone of the Tomb Kings. To the point that events barring named characters put the TK somewhat on par with Beastmen and the pre-update Asrai.
When fielding Khalida with Skeleton Archers, she grants her Asaph-blessed powers to them. What does that do? HEAT SEEKING ARROWS. The arrows ignore penalties, like cover (making her yet another character from Fantasy who could take over 40k). They're still weak mosquito bites, but some of those shots can be made poisoned and therefore actually dangerous. Actually all of the Tomb Kings Arrows where always hitting on the units base BS. No penalties or benefits whatsoever. Khalida only gave them poisoned on top of that.
With Khalida's joining the Undead Legion, Vampire Counts now have access to not only ranged attacks, but ranged attacks only third to High Elf Sisters of Avelorn and Dwarf Cannons in desirability.
For a Khalida themed list, leave the Chariots at home and load up on Archers and constructs, with ample Priestly representation. Skull Catapults aren't her style as dead Vamps make better pigment than ammunition and she could give less of a fuck about the living or her skeletal peers. When playing Undead Legion, avoid excessively "Vampire" options and lean closer to Ethereal or Skeleton model choices unless you want to Egypt-up something, for example replacing the Coven Throne ladyvamps with skeleton priests/priestesses as some kind of mobile Lybaras Casket of Souls-style relic.
Ah, if only we could get an awesome Heavy Metal style Queen Khalida comic where she steals Doomrider's bike and hunts Blackula.
The Temple of Asaph in Lybaras in the present day (The End Times nonwithstanding)
|The Tomb Kings of Warhammer Fantasy|
|Characters:||Settra the Imperishable - Queen Khalida - Nagash|
|Appearances:||Blood Bowl - Dreadfleet - Mordheim - Warhammer Fantasy Battle|