Carrion birds circled high in the cloudless sky, lazily surfing the hot thermals rising above the huge confluence of people gathered in the royal courtyard of the grand palace of Memnon. The high walled and gated square covered an area the size of a battleground and backdrops the sight of many a grand procession and close quarter sporting tournament. It even had tiered seating with private enclosures for important guests and the Pharaoh’s extended family.
Today it looked as if the whole city of Thebes had packed tightly together to witness the execution of Toomak, high priestess, shaman, and necromancer for the royal family and former close friend of Memnon himself. For months, the marketplace gossip has been of Toomak’s whereabouts, who had disappeared following the murder of the king’s only son Haspet. For twenty years, her magus powers helped Memnon hold the throne of Egypt, starting with success in the civil war, and culminating in the defeat of Memnon’s twin brother Hakset whom Memnon still keeps in chains in the palace dungeons.
Her magical powers seem to have no boundaries, from conjuring up the great flood wiping out most of the enemy chariots threatening the gates of the city, to the death of the usurper himself Xerses the Great. A hugely muscled and fabled warrior who now stood alone on the battlefield in front of twenty-five thousand of his own men, challenging anyone brave enough to fight him in solo hand to hand combat, in substitute for a full scale war. To the victor, unity of the two crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, to the loser, death.
Xerses and his army had already defeated the Pharaoh of the lower kingdom, and now he threw down the gauntlet, challenging Memnon to pit his crown of the upper kingdom against his own.
Storytellers recalled how his entire army laughed and jeered at the sight of a frail dark skinned old woman pass through Memnon’s ranks and walk towards the fabled warrior.
“I see no soldier before me.” Xerses cried, turning around and lapping up the adulation of his men.
“Is there anyone else hiding behind your whore mother’s legs that have big enough balls to die like a man in place of this miserable old hag.”
Memnon’s army murmured their disapproval of the insult, but under strict orders, they remained motionless. The Pharaoh also, did not want to appear a coward in front of his men, but his generals had already persuaded him not to take up the challenge for the sake of his people. Xerses was a true giant of a man, and even though Memnon was an expert with the sword, he stood little chance of success. The Pharaoh’s army numbered less than five thousand, half of which were reserve fighters, making defeat inevitable. This unanimously agreed vote decided that Toomak’s magic would be the best option.
The sun flashed from the surface of Xerses’ highly polished sword while he passed the time practicing thrusts and parries as Toomak slowly approached; finally stopping less than five paces away. Both armies watched in silence, with the only sound heard was the wind flapping the royal blue and gold pennant atop of a golden spear attached to Memnon’s chariot.
Xerses paused and deep in thought, he stroked his pointed black beard, unsure of what to do next.
‘Should I, the greatest fighter hack down the feeble old woman and claim victory over the royal palace, or ignore the insolence, sound the advance and fight Memnon’s army directly, guaranteeing my status as a noble warrior?’
“You have no right to use this heresy.”
“Your curiosities into the realms of the hereafter are forbidden to the living world, and your association with evil will deliver dire consequences”
When a close-knit group of university students conduct an experimental look into the afterlife, the joy at their success turns to disaster when their curious endeavours release an evil entity back into the living world.
In a desperate attempt to put things right, the group now face their greatest fears. In a desperate race against time, they must pass through a purgatorial realm and prepare to do battle with the ultimate evil. Standing in their way and hell bent on revenge is Toomak, an undead ancient sorceress who has placed a curse on all mankind and will stop at nothing to make good her oath.
“My spirit will never die; I swear that I will someday find the amulet of the ancients, unite with the underworld and return to wreak vengeance on you and the rest of the living world. You will all die screaming.”
One central character, two stories, each one set nearly two thousand years apart. When the two timelines collide, a cataclysmic showdown begins.
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