The Kingdom Edit
In the shadows of modern day Cairo there is a powerful authority existing outside of the public eye. They are the kingpins of the Egyptian criminal underworld. Ruling all aspects of crime in the region, it is an organisation which stands outside any faction and is bound to no rules but its own. Its leaders are as ancient as they are fearless in a world where only one thing is master of all - money. They are the Kingdom.
Very little is known about this secretive establishment and even less about the private lives of its unknown rulers. These embalmed princes with skin like old tea-leaves and voices dry as dust were all rich men - merchants, nobles and priests - enjoying good lives in the golden age of Ancient Egypt.
Like most Egyptians, they were obsessed with immortality and would do anything to ensure access to the afterlife. But for these few, their claims upon eternity didn't quite pan out as planned.
By happy accident or magical design, the spark of life hibernated in their deceased bodies, as the embalming allowed their lives to endure within these shells. Over decades, the life force reformed itself, and though their bodies would never regenerate, their consciousness returned.
These reborn men stumbled out of their tombs to find themselves strangers in a strange land, but weren't lost for long. Accepting their new lives for what they were, they eventually chanced upon each other and formed a bond. Men of considerable talents and power in life, they saw no reason to give up their standards in this uncanny new afterlife. Rendered unable to live among regular people because of their appearance, they quickly went into hiding, but not before securing their funeral treasures - and those of other, untouched tombs - thereby amassing a vast fortune to use for their future goals.
As Egypt moved forward, so did these immortal mummies. Organising themselves through financial acumen and supernatural terror, they quickly established a hidden empire of crime domination - a position they have held firmly for thousands of years and into our modern society. By the turn of the 20th century Cairo was theirs, and soon after their shrivelled, bony arms stretched across nearly all of Egypt.
Politicians and law enforcement may think they rule society, but in truth it is the masterminds of the underworld who pull the strings. From civic planning and excavation rights to gambling, prostitution and the black market trade, everything is permitted for the right price. It is said that if you want something done in Egypt, you have to first get permission from the Kingdom.
They do not question motives and they have no concept of loyalty: they will work with anyone if the price is right. Morality takes a back seat in their world, where the only agenda is to increase their already considerable wealth and influence. They have no long term plan, no ambition to rule the universe or rouse ancient evils. They simply wish to continue their eternal existence in magnificence and splendour, to live the only way they know how - with all the trimmings.
The last decades - with the rise of the faceless Internet Age - have been especially kind to the Kingdom; now they are globally aware, can be anyone, can do anything. The sudden flow of information has also made them mindful of the interest in occult Egypt. Although they show no concern for the politics or ethics of the secret world - the factions or their adversaries - the Kingdom follow their movements, if for no better reason than to make a profit.
Some in the secret world have indeed used their services and tried to keep their actions away from the watchful eyes of the Council of Venice. The Kingdom's unpredictability and power - their incalculable influence on secret agendas - has created a growing concern within the factions.
The undead leaders of the Kingdom care little about the worries of the living, and disassociate themselves from their petty squabbles. They are not kept up at night anguishing over the consequences of their actions. They do not agonize over insane cults and threats to the living. Life without mortal limits has translated into a broad, almost vapid perspective.
The leaders of the Kingdom have no fear of death. They have already died once, and they can attest that the afterlife - as they know it - has been good to them, very good indeed.