|Used Primarily By||Undead humans|
|Crew (Min/Max)||6/90 (total weapons crew: 80)|
|Man-Days of Fresh Air||10,800|
|Landing - Land||Maybe (crash 60% likely)|
|Landing - Water||No|
|Power Type||Lifejammer or death helm|
|Ship's Rating||As per victim|
|Standard Armament|| 10 Heavy Ballistas (crew: 4)
10 Heavy Jettisons (crew: 4)
|Source||SJR1 Lost Ships|
A favorite spacebar tale is the ship-raiding of the Dark Pharaoh, an undead mummy of great powers who preys upon the living to gain more undead servitors. The Pharaoh is said to plan a kingdom of undeath in the stars, and seeks to bring more ships under his sway, as well as priests of Set to serve him as agents amongst the living. So much is believable, but most scoff when they hear that the Pharaoh's ship is said to be a stone pyramid. Wiser spacefarers know that the tale is no myth, and that the flying pyramid was once a common ship in space. All flying pyramids are ancient ships, constructed by a now-vanished human culture which followed the Egyptian pantheon. Some of these ships were built as temples, but most were intended as grand funerary barges which would take a pharaoh or a high priest to the afterlife, waited on by a host of servants who volunteered to follow their master into death. The living servants would ritualistically kill themselves by manning the ship's helm one by one while travelling deep into the phlogiston. By the time all of the servants were dead, the flying pyramid would be drifting far from known spacelanes, where the pharaoh or high priest could enjoy eternity without having to worry about graverobbers. At least, that was the idea. Many of those buried in these grand tombs became undead (typically mummies of some variety, but wights and priestly liches have also been encountered), usually animating their dead servants so that they could continue to serve. Without any living creatures to serve as fuel, these ships drifted until found by unlucky spacefarers, at which point the undead would attack the living, capturing enough of the living to take the ship back to spacelanes where the pyramid could continue to capture more fuel. It should be noted that not all of these funerary barges became host to the undead, as a few have been encountered drifting with none aboard but the truly dead. These few ships have been veritable treasure troves.
The crew sizes given are based on M-sized air-breathing creatures. Undead crews usually began as crews of approximately 90, but such a crew tends to grow after each successful raid. A practical maximum for an undead crew is about 360, but some flying pyramids can be found with even more lesser undead than this, often with many hanging on to the outside of the pyramid, waiting for a ship to get close enough for them to leap onto its deck. The common crewmen of an undead ship are usually skeletons, but other possibilities include heucuva, crypt servants, or low-powered mummies.
Undead Raider: Most flying pyramids rove through space as raiders, seeking both to increase the wealth of their masters, and to increase the size of their undead crews. The unusual appearance of these very rare ships, combined with the fact that when crewed by undead they tend to appear as derelicts, often entices curious spacers to investigate, allowing the concealed weapons of the pyramid to attack with surprise. Most undead raiders will lurk amongst asteroids and space debris, motionless as if derelict. Some undead intentionally allow mosses to grow on the exterior of the ship (which incidentally helps to keep the ancient stonework from falling apart), and allow debris to accumulate on the ship to enhance the appearance of abandonment. Undead crews will often cannibalize the insides of their vessels to load jettisons, sometimes even to the point of causing the ship to collapse into a field of debris.
Defense Bases: Salvaged pyramids are typically used as defensive ships, orbiting space bases or protecting worlds. These ships are often armed with a combination of ballistas, catapults, and greek fire projectors. Pyramids used in this capacity are little more than semi-mobile weapon platforms.
Command Ship: Not all salvaged pyramids are used as defense bases. Some have been purchased by navies for use as heavily protected, but clumsy, command ships. These ships will typically travel with a small fleet of lesser craft, and the flat surface of the underside will usually serve as a landing pad for small craft such as blades, flitters, or wreckboats.
The flying pyramid is too rare a ship, and too difficult to modify, to see any other significant variations.