The Tomblands is a large country inhabited solely by reanimated, sentient mummies. They live their un-lives exactly as they did back in the warm days, just without the eating and sleeping.

Every citizen has been carefully mummified using techniques equivalent to ancient Egypt (including the removal of major organs and brain and the removal of moisture using natron).

The climate of the Tomblands is equivalent to France. The technology level is equivalent to 16th century England with no access to magic other than the necromancy used to create the mummies in the first place (which is a religious rite that draws the soul back into the body post-mummification).

My question is: how durable are the citizens going to be? The mummification process makes a body lighter, but does mummified skin become more fragile or more robust (like leather)? What about the bones?

What kind of care will your average citizen need to take for his/her body to keep it long lasting and mobile? Oil his/her skin? Check for certain parasites?


Egyptian mummies are fragile. Considerable risk is used when interacting with them because they have been dried out. Expect mummies, especially when they are very old, to break apart when reanimated.

This excerpt from a medical article suggests once a body dies, it is unable to replace essential minerals in its bones and the bones become more brittle with age, just as we see in osteoporosis:

[O]ld bone is constantly breaking down and being replaced with new.

The mummification process dries out the body to preserve it. Oil can help with some flexibility, but the process to make supple leather, which in the good old days involved animal brains and fats, is different from the mummification process, which involves salt and should make it inedible to most parasites. No amount of oil will help lubricate something completely dried out.

To sum it up, the mummy citizens will be rather fragile and will need to take care when moving and interacting with objects. I am not sure they are feasible given the Egyptian mummification process, but at least they are too salty to be appealing to most creatures. No amount of maintenance can help with completely dried out skin, though it may give it basic mobility and help with cracking and decay through movement.

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    $\begingroup$ Please let me know if I didn't answer your question with sufficient proof or I need to elaborate on a point; I had a hard time researching mummies because they give me the heebie jeebies and the internet is riddled with images... $\endgroup$ – Marion Apr 19 '16 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ @evilscary It did occur to me you may want to keep your mummies away from equines; they might be treated as salt licks... $\endgroup$ – Marion May 26 '16 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ You should ditch your "old bone breaking down" excerpt as it is inaccurate (in the way that you quote it). Our bones aren't maintained by our living cells in the way that you imply above. What actually happens is we have bone-making cells and bone-destroying cells constantly working at a balanced rate. Osteoporosis, etc. occurs when the builders get lazy relative to the destroyers, and our body actively recycles our bone material faster than our bone builders can re-use those materials. $\endgroup$ – fenix d.Anconia Mar 10 '17 at 13:04

Human made mummies are fragile. Your mummies could be the naturally occurring type also known as bog bodies.

enter image description here Tollund Man is 2400 years old. Tolly is not a bad looking guy; certainly as mummies go he is very handsome.

My understanding is that the acid and tannins convert the soft tissues to something like leather, which should be as tough as leather - which, if you think about it, is preserved skin. The risk then is the same risk as with leather - it dries out. Leather will keep a long time if maintained with oils and greases, like saddle soap. Your mummies would need to moisturize. I read somewhere that Egyptian ladies put cones of scented grease on their bald heads, which melted and ran down their bodies over the course of the day. That would be good for a leather mummy too. They might need to recruit another mummy to rub it in on the back.

The bones dissolve in these bog mummies so they would be extremely limber.

Another possibility is copper. I have read about the naturally mummified bodies found in copper mines, and also ancient Siberians preserved by virtue of the copper masks and burial items with them. I will not insert pictures here because none are as pretty as Tolly. But these mummies are blue, which is a good look. Also I could imagine that a vain mummy might wear the copper mask regularly - both to help with preservation and because it is awesome.

This mask is from a Kazakhstan burial. enter image description here


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