Pharaoh Seti I's bodyguards
|Behind the scenes|
- "We are part of an ancient secret society. For over three thousand years we have guarded the City of the Dead. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our part to stop the High Priest Imhotep from being reborn into this world."
- ―Terence Bey explaining the Medjai's goals.[src]
The Medjai were a group of warriors devoted to preventing the rise of evil on the Earth, more specifically, the resurrection of the High Priest Imhotep. In order to meet this goal, the Medjai stood guard over the ruins of the City of the Dead known as Hamunaptra, so as to guard against those who might interfere with the curse or rob the treasures of the pharaohs.
The Medjai were formerly the Pharaoh's bodyguards in ancient times, whose duties shifted in direction once a number of them had apprehended the High Priest Imhotep when he was trying to perform a sacrilegious act of using the Book of the Dead to revive his lover, Anck-Su-Namun the assassin of Pharaoh Seti I.
During the Holy Crusades of Europe, some of the Knights Templar that had served in the wars learned of the Scorpion King's existence, turned to watching over the Oasis of Ahm Shere, and recorded their existence in the form of bas-reliefs on the walls of the golden pyramid within the Oasis, depicting instructions on how to slay the Scorpion King by using a collapsible golden spear known as the Spear of Osiris. The Knights had become known by the Medjai as warriors of God and protectors of mankind.
Since at least the fifteenth century A.D, the Medjai had not been recorded to have existed by the rest of the world and were presumed to have, as an order, died out. After the passing of thousands of years, however, the Medjai still existed as a secret society with their descendants continuing the old vow to keep Imhotep from awakening. The Medjai had kept watch over the City of the Dead, Hamunaptra, where the treacherous Imhotep had been entombed for thousands of years.
By the twentieth century, the Med'jai have long since intermingled with modern Egyptian society, as seen when they speak in the Arabic language.
Battle of HamunaptraEdit
Sometime in 1923, the Med'jai witnessed a battle between a horde of Tuaregs and a garrison of the French Foreign Legion. The Tuaregs had won, leaving one man, Rick O'Connell, alive to wander the deserts aimlessly. The Medjai warriors watched the man ambled into the Sahara desert, their leader Ardeth Bay deciding to leave O'Connell to die in the desert.
Three years later, the Medjai had been informed by a contact in Cairo named Terence Bey, the curator for the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, that a woman named Evelyn Carnahan, along with her brother Jonathan, had found the key of Hamunaptra that was used to seal the High Priest Imhotep's coffin three millennia back. As their guide was the survivor of the battle in Hamunaptra, the Medjai knew that the guide would be aware of how to reach the ruins.
Several Medjai warriors were dispatched on the river Nile by canoe; among the Medjai was one warrior known as Hook that had a hook-shaped blade where his right hand was. The Medjai silently boarded the riverboat that carried the seekers of Hamunaptra and struck first the cabin of Evelyn Carnahan. Hook, along with the other Medjai, was shot dead, failing to retrieve the map to Hamunaptra and the key. However, they still managed to sink the riverboat.
The Medjai had been surreptitiously tracking the expedition led by Rick O'Connell as Ardeth Bay noted that O'Connell was strong to return to the deserts after they had almost killed him before. The next day, the expeditions reached the ruins and Ardeth Bay led a group of Medjai to invade the camp, slaughtering several diggers before being bested in battle by the expedition members. Ardeth declared that the Medjai would not kill any others but that they must all leave Hamunaptra or die within the day.
None of the treasure seekers had left the ruins, however, and Evelyn Carnahan had unknowingly brought the cursed mummy Imhotep to life, bringing down the plagues attached to his resurrection as she did. The Medjai had caught up to the expedition members, outnumbering them, and informed the treasure seekers that they had brought back an ancient evil that could not be killed by any mortal weapons. The Medjai had also recovered one treasure seeker, Burns, who had been mauled by the mummy after it took Burns' eyes and tongue, before the mummy could fully kill Burns. With that, the Medjai ordered the groups to leave the ruins before the mummy could destroy them all.
After the remaining treasure hunters reached Cairo, Burns was killed by Imhotep himself, who had infiltrated the city. Seeking answers, the others allied with Burns went to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities to speak with Dr. Bey, who was well-versed in matters concerning the mummy, and found Ardeth Bay conversing with Dr. Bey.
Appearance and TraitsEdit
- "If I were to say to you that, "I am a stranger traveling from the East, seeking that which is lost"...
Then I would reply that, "I am a stranger traveling from the West, it is I whom you seek.""
- ―Ardeth Bay and Rick O'Connell reciting a Medjai saying.[src]
The Medjai warriors had been unheard of for many centuries, even past the fifteenth, and had operated in total secrecy. While one Medjai organization existed, twelve tribes of Medjai appeared on a large scale, being numerous enough to compose an army. Women could also train to become Medjai warriors, as revealed when the young woman warrior Yanit joined the ranks of the Medjai.
Medjai training began at an early age, as the warriors were taken to a compound in the desert, and they were sworn upon adulthood to do all in their part to stop the ascent of Imhotep to power. Additionally, the Medjai were also tasked with the duty of protecting Hamunaptra against treasure-hunters and thieves. The Medjai took it upon themselves to keep a safe guard over all items that might present danger in the wrong hands, from the Book of the Dead to such artifacts as the Holy Grail.
Many Medjai warriors were given facial tattoos placed on their forehead and cheeks in hieroglyphics (bearing the name of "Imhotep" and the word "truth"). They wore long dark robes with grey sashes, bandoliers, turbans and scarves. All Medjai were able to fight with blades as well as firearms, and were skilled in one-on-one combat; the warriors often rode horses through the deserts and took their foes by surprise whenever able to do so.