The ancient empire of Nehekhara was mankind's first civilization. Its people were highly cultured and sophisticated and its ships sailed to distant lands long before the Old World nations came into existence. Their rulers governed great cities and prosperity was enjoyed by all. But the King of the greatest city, Settra of Khemri, desired immortality and had the priesthood toil for centuries to discover the secret. In time huge buildings, called pyramids, were built to entomb the dead so that one day they would awake in paradise. The obsession with death drove Nehekhara to extremes so that the necropoli of the dead were greater than the cities of the living. At last, however, the Usurper, Nagash, later the Great Necromancer, seized the throne of Khemri and his tyrannical rule caused rebellion. He fled and plotted terrible revenge over many years. With black sorcery he caused the destruction of Nehekhara and his magic caused the dead of that once proud realm to awake. Yet the dead did not heed his commands, as they hated him, and instead the Tomb Kings sought to rebuild their shattered lands: the Land of the Dead.