"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.
Lamashizzar's death caught the attentions of every Nehekhara rulers. They attend Lamashizzar's funeral just so they could discuss politics. Khalida at that time when comparing to her younger self has a rather masculine appearance. She has a scar on her face, bearing Rasetra warpaint on her right neck side, had become tanned and muscular plus her hair was styled multiple braid tucks in one golden hoop. To the Nehekharan royal families, Khalida is an unwanted aberration, yet she was loved by her citizens in Lybaras.
After a feast of Cathayan seafood Malatang (seafood boiled using various chili spices from Cathay, so close enough) at Lahmia, Neferata tried to control her fellow Nehekharan kings and queens with the promise of rebuilding their destroyed cities and temples (thank you Nagash) with an additional yearly donation of 10000 gold. While every other ruler drooled over Neferata's wonderful promises, Khalida suddenly called Neferata out on her bullshit and for embracing Nagash's dark power, which she had heard from Aiyah (a former Lahmia servant girl Arkhan roped into helping his ritual to resurrect Neferata).
Khalida then challenged Neferata to a duel and the rest is history. Neferata ended up killing Khalida with her surprise vampire strength during the duel. There is also a hilarious scene where Abhorash ponders whether Neferata had any sword training at all, as well as telling her the importance of using a metal sword or bronze sword in a duel.
Although Khalida hates Neferata, Neferata did not hate Khalida (she might have even loved Khalida... too much, we're talking incestuous overtones). Neferata was saddened by the sight of dying Khalida and tried turn her into a vampire using the blood on her lips, but Khalida was too far gone to turn into one.
Please note that the rulebook stated Khalida cried out to Asaph, who turned her blood into venom to prevent vampirism taking hold though not preventing her death. The novel stats that Asaph did jackshit like pretty much the rest of the Nekhekara pantheon throughout the story and given how Nagash broke the covenant in the novels, its up in the air. Khalida was given a burial elaborate even by Nehekharan standards. Her funeral mask was fashioned like clothing to be worn to cover her bloodless face.
Khalida was deeply remembered by many people in Nehekhara to the point that a girl belonging to a nomadic desert tribe was named after her; she also shared the similar interest in hawk hunting and other tomboy things the real Khalida would love and is also interested in scholar studies just like most of Lybarasian. Alcadizzar, the last king of Khemri has wed her and thus allow her to become the (last) queen of Khemri. This Khalida is known for accompany with Alcadizzar on the chariot in battle, even once shot and killed a vampire with an arrow before it could ever hurt his husband. Sadly, she like pretty much rest of the Nehekharans died in Nagash's bloody plague, but she held on to the bitter end longer than her two children. Although Khalida and her tribesman scoffed at the notion of entombment and would prefer much preferred cremation (meaning there were no pyramid built for Alcadizzar and his family despite being the greatest priest king, something Alcadizzar came to regret given his beliefs and customs), Alcadizzar was unable to do so and would rather entomb her in a commoner's crypt to serve as a memorial and a sliver of hope if the mortuary cult managed to resurrect her with a golden body. This also means she will be mixed in with the commoner's dead when called upon by the tomb kings and being treated like a pleb. Although having two Khalida exists at the same time could be very cool.
After Nagash's return 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 Ushabti 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 Nagashizzar, 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, Ushabti, 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 envenomate 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 - Arkhan the Black - Nagash|
|Appearances:||Blood Bowl - Dreadfleet - Mordheim - Warhammer Fantasy Battle|