Hi, gang. A couple weeks ago, we introduced the concept of the decree — a personal polarity that defines the core of a given mummy’s soul — and then last week we offered a sneak peek at the cults of the Arisen. Beyond these differences, mummies also organize themselves into guilds: circles that teach Arisen magic and cultivate the old ways. The Deathless begin with instinctual, fundamental knowledge, but require training to attain real skill. Along with the lore of a particular method, the guilds also impart certain philosophies and secrets.
Here’s a look at a sample of one of the five Arisen guilds:
The importance of funerary tradition in ancient Egypt is well known to even the most casual scholar of the age. The artifacts recovered from the period reveal this at every turn, as one notices the fine eye for ritual detail and the prevalent intention of preserving as much worldly wealth and reputation as possible in hopes that the dead would enjoy what they had acquired in life. Although these early cultures built vast tomb structures and spent ungodly amounts of gold, stone, and labor to insure such transferences of wealth, the preparation and intent with which they did so paled in comparison to the utterly zealous methods used in the Nameless Empire.
Although it was the Shan’iatu who crafted the Rite of Return from the darkness of time before time, it was the lesser priests of the Su-Menent who poured over the tablets, gathered the reagents, and prepared the bodies for the ruling elite’s sacred work. Unflinching and removed from the menial levels of politics, these death priests clung to the laws of their masters and developed a prodigal grasp of Irem’s darkest magics. They selected would-be members not only for the power of their minds and faith but also for their ability to stomach the bizarre and gory vicissitudes of the sorcerer-priest’s often cruel experiments, and the guild of shells manifested alongside the mystical operations that would one day make the Su-Menent eternal.
Between the advancement of this new magic and the never-ending need for the rites of burial and preservation, the power of the priests grew, limited only by the nature of their service. All peoples of Irem feared death, and it was the Su-Menent who shepherded the entire process. The Shepherds of the Chamber slipped a dark noose around the fears of the Nameless Empire, and in this way became great and terrible… if at a price.
Until next time,