The House of Death pierces grave Mysteries by force of will
The Mages of the House of Death trace their lineage back to the embalmers of Zaduth-Ku, who first ventured beyond the veil of mortality, but now are far beyond the mere care of kings' remains. To send the living beyond this world, to bring the unliving back to it, to command the armies of the dead and to plunder the bodies and souls of those fallen in battle; none of these things are beyond them. The Keepers of the Dead, a mighty people, follow them and do their bidding.
Gender: Male and female
Height: 7 feet tall
Weight: 180-200 pounds
Features: Keepers of the Dead are tall, lean, jackal-headed creatures with blue-black skin, short black fur, and irises that range from red to yellow.
Attire: Egyptian. Keepers favor fine head-dresses, jewelled pectorals, striped and patterned robes, gilt armor and sandals. They wear red, black, gold and indigo.
Ability: Keepers' long reach allows a +1 advantage in the first round of combat.
Foes: The nation of elves and all the Mages of Life are arrayed against them.
Favored Materials: Black marble, corundum (especially ruby), obsidian, lapis-lazuli, silk, linen, papyrus, ivory, ebony, leather, ostrich feathers, and incense.
Culture: Caste patriarchy, reminiscent of ancient Egypt. Most rulers are male, but there have been instances of powerful queens as well (one of whom, Bes-Kandra, served 200 years beyond her own death and took 341 consorts). Young nobles serve apprenticeships to the learned dead before becoming necromancers themselves. They revere their noble ancestors and all Mages of Death, devoting their resources to the honored dead (the ancient lich-king Zadath-Ku is the most venerated). Keepers of the Dead also hold, barter and sell the living as slaves. Their slaves are used to build temples and cenotaphs, and are frequently buried alive to serve the dead. Mages of Death may also be called: Necromancer, père-zombi.
Arts: Engraving, sculpture, taxidermy, inlay, masonry, embalming, scrimshaw, cabinetry, metalwork, basketry.
Symbols: Scarab beetle, vulture, falcon, flail, eye, sun and moon.
Props: Plinths, pyres, ankhs, staffs, canopic jars, needles, embalming fluid, flayed skin, wrappings, body parts, pones, sarcophagi, shears, chariots, reed baskets, jewelry, fans, lamps and torches.
Homeland: Obelisks in stately rows line the Avenue of Kings. Pyramids of black marble, unswaying palms and black terraces stretch to the horizon. The light is a piercing white, and the moon is a thin crescent in the eastern sky. The air is dry and there is a breathless hush as shackled slaves march silently by. Keepers toil deliberately in the cool lamp-lit chambers and catacombs beneath the pyramids.