The Dark Country is not the only land that has seen the Sword Brothers. Almost two centuries before the founding of Nightwick Abbey, the Sword Brothers fought a series of terrible wars in the Desert Lands. They carved out a small kingdom for themselves, but eventually were forced to leave and abandon the kingdom they had won. Scholars say that this is when the first Mummies appeared in the lands where the Church holds sway, but pagans say that they had seen the creatures much earlier.
Apparently, the Sword Brothers learned a strange embalming technique during their time across the Sea. They reserved this rite for those exalted among them who died due to the workings of the Adversary. The exact qualifications for this are hazy, and most Sword Brothers were placed on a shelf in the catacombs once their life was finished. Even most High Masters only received a sarcophagus to hold their bones and not the full embalming process they took from the Temples in the Sand.
For whatever reason, though the Church firmly believes it is due to the unholy nature of the embalming itself, these cadavers are prone to being possessed by the spirits of the dead. Usually the spirit is of the body's former inhabitant but it is not uncommon for a mummy to be possessed by a strong willed individual who died decades after the body saw the rites of burial. When this happens, the mummy is filled with a sort of base intelligence. It is as malevolent and brutal as it is stupid. They seek revenge on those who wronged them in life. This is, for most mummies, a very long list. They carry out this revenge in the most blunt way possible. They crash into the house of their betrayer and throttle him or her before leaving into the night air.
Unfortunately for the mummies, many animate after all of their foes are long dead. Though they sometimes carry their revenge out on the descendants of their enemy, most have intellects that are too dim to be able to determine who these descendants might be. Instead they attack any creature who roughly resembles those they knew in their past life. This can be as simple as sharing a hair color, or being a bit taller than average. Mummies always mistake such minor similarities for the real thing, and act accordingly.
Or at least they would if they were able to. Most mummies are buried in catacombs and barrows and remain there unable to escape. These mummies are so full of anger that they attack any living creature who crosses their path.
The natives of the Dark Country know that the meticulously embalmed creatures brought from the Desert Lands are not the only form that mummies take. For centuries, perhaps even millennia, worshipers of the Old Gods have made terrible sacrifices in bogs and lakes. If the god is displeased by such a sacrifice, the corpse animates and becomes a creature that resembles a mummy in everything but appearance. These creatures are commonly used in folk medicine and witchcraft, though the Church frowns upon such things if they find out about them. Across the Sea, the Desert Nomads tell of mummies of great magical strength and intelligence. These mummies are still guided by the powerful hate which grips their kind; however, they enact their revenge more slowly and methodically. These creatures, it is said, wish to revenge themselves upon the whole, living World and will not rest until it is tramped beneath their linen-wrapped foot.
Today is the saddest day of the year. I've always hated how the showing of horror movies and the general Halloween spirit come to a dead stop on November 1st. In honor of this fact, I will more slowly ease out of the Halloween spirit on this blog. The above entry is designed to take some of the typical conventions of a mummy movie and place them in a context that works for Medieval Europe.
I'm an idiot by the way. First, other blogs have been using Creature Feature as a title for articles on monsters. Second, I missed a chance for alliteration by not tying the name into the fact that I make these posts on Mondays. This has been corrected.