Hi, gang. Last week, we began our discussion of one of the most fundamental aspects of a mummy’s existence — his fivefold soul. Today, we continue that discussion with a look at the most important game element derived from the fivefold soul: the decree.
During the Rite of Return, its subject truly died. He endured a gauntlet of knives, teeth, talons, and venom to stand before the dread Judges of Duat. Against the accusations and tortures of the final Judge, he pronounced a defiant summation of his being: a decree that favors one aspect of his fivefold soul. A mummy’s decree determines his general outlook and the part of his soul — the Pillar — to which he is most deeply and inherently attuned.
Here’s a look at a sample of one of the five mummy decrees:
Rule from the chariot, not the throne. The high seat displays power, but doesn’t use it. If you don’t exercise your might, someone else does it for you. Your priests, scribes, viziers, cousins, board members… they’re all ready to take your command through the pretense of “advice” and “delegation.” A throne-bound king wallows in delusion and pretension, shouting commands he can’t enforce. He declares victory even while enemies tear down his palace. Eventually, he swallows his own propaganda. When assassins’ knives edit his superfluous life out of the state, nobody is more surprised than he is.
True strength is action—the thunder of chariot, bow, and mace. It emanates from the ba. When a mummy utters the decree of spirit, he ascends that chariot and promises to lead from the front. Even in defeat, his dedication is above reproach, and he cannot be dethroned except by his own hand. Ba is the inner voice that says, “I will do it.” So the decree cultivates taciturn humility and martial bravery, and perhaps a little impulsiveness. Followers don’t scorn contemplation, but rather believe it has no significance unless it translates into worldly action.
The so-called Charioteers roar out of their tombs, issuing orders as soon as Sekhem solidifies into a throat and tongue to speak them. Of all the decrees, they might feel the most desperate in the face of [redacted]. It limits what they can do with a given incarnation. He who hesitates loses a thousand years. Thus, they lead cults on the hunt before the plan is set, preferring to improvise instead of prepare, and often to micromanage instead of delegate.
The Charioteer prefers command but doesn’t demand on it. He recognizes superior leadership when it gets results, and attaches his loyalty to it without hesitation. In generals and grunts alike, the ba drives hard work in the service of a worthy cause and unhesitating sacrifice. Fear is the sweet spice of bravery, not the poison of hesitation. The Charioteer scorns emotions that might give him pause. Stillness is death, the chasm between cycles when the brave accomplish nothing. Follow a fast current along the river of [redacted] and you’ll drift past every pain or useless pleasure, until only your accomplishments remain.
Until next time,