Shadows of Ancient Egypt

The Old Kingdom: God-Kings

The Asekh-sen: Vampires

The Khiri-habi: Mages

The Udja-sen: Werewolves

The Arisen: Mummies

Ptolemaic Egypt: The Pah-Netery

With the fading of pharaonic power and the encroachment of Alexander's Greek nobility into the cities of Egypt, those who maintained the ancient traditions of the pharaohs banded together to form a new order. The Pah-Netery, "Those Serving for the Gods," is made up of a variety of supernatural beings who support each other in a number of ways. They are pledged to the old ways and follow organizations and ranks established in the Old Kingdom, although many work with their own kind primarily and are pulling away from the central group. Each of the varied peoples (ramahtet) making up the Pah-Netery is responsible for policing its own kind and fulfilling their roles in the cosmic order of the divine pharaohs.

The governing council for the Pah-Netery is called the Dewan and it has representatives (smr) from each of the ruling ramahtet: the Asekh-sen, Khri-habi, and Udja-sen. Each ramaht gets three smr resulting in a council of nine that meets every year at Saqqara, outside of Memphis.

The Asekh-sen: Vampires

Where once there were ten vampiric clans of Egypt, by the time of the Ptolemies there are only four who have the strength to wield the power they once did. The Taoris, Naxent-Iset, Hmat-Sobek, and Mesketet are all scattered and broken, barely able to contribute to the Asekh-sen let alone the Pah-Netery as a whole. In addition, the clan of Setsekhmu has distanced itself from the other Asekh-sen and refuses to acknowledge any authority but that of their maarems. The clan of Sutekh

  • Alaru: The elders of the vampire clans meet yearly in Sais in the Nile Delta. There are eight elders in Ptolemaic times, one for each clan except the Setsemkhu and the Sutekh. Though Sais has been an important part of the vampiric aristocracy for centuries, many associating themselves with the goddess Neith whose cult is centered in the city, it's greatest importance after the empire comes from its closeness to the Greek port of Alexandria.
  • Tal'mahe'Ra: The enforcers of the Alaru and the Pah-Netery itself are the Faithful of the Black Hand, representatives of divine will itself. Through blood sorcery, the warriors of the Tal'mahe'Ra are granted special powers to fulfill the missions given to them. As a byproduct, their left hands are permanently stained black and smell faintly of natron. At any given time there are only thirty members of the Tal'mahe'Ra in the entire world, the majority in the territory of Egypt.
  • Setsekhmu: Based in the city of Itjtawy, the center of Sekhmet's cult, the Daughters have declared themselves for a grand cleansing of Egypt. They claim that the authority of the pharaohs is gone with foreign kings on the throne and that soon all vestiges of the ancient ways will be lost. This sacrilege does not sit easy with other vampires and they are rarely tolerated outside of the cities where they hold sway. Cities controlled by the Setsekhmu are ruled by a maarem, a "lioness," who is a queen in all but name over her realm. Setsekhmus sometimes cooperate with non-vampires but they are just as often to hunt them for blood.
  • Sutekh: The Priesthood of Set is a closed and private group. In the times of the pharaohs they were a source of suspicion and blame for the other Asekh-sen. Since they refused to join with the other vampires in the Great Council they are considered enemies by many vampires and their practices persecuted. The clan is based in Naqada in Upper Egypt where the High Priest resides and issues orders to the Sutekh temples in other cities. Unlike the Setekhmu, the Sutekh do not attack other vampires in their cities but neither do they treat them as any sort of allies. A non-Sutekh in one of the clan's cities will be given the chance to show homage for Set and to acknowledge the authority of his vampiric followers. Refusal, of course, is met with swift punishment.

The Khiri-habi: Mages

The Scroll Bearers are those Atlantean mages who function as part of the Pah-Netery. Because of their association with the powerful god-kings of the ancient Empire of Irem, a power predynastic nation, the Atlantean orders received preferential treatment and gained great power under the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. With the coming of the Greek rulers, however, the mages have to contend with an enemy they haven't faced in great numbers in centuries: the Seers of the Throne. This faction advanced with Alexander's armies and have established themselves among the Greek merchants and nobles of Lower Egypt. Because of this association, Khiri-habi are frequently also prejudiced against foreign Atlantean mages who often use Greek as a common language besides High Speech.

The Elemental Masteries have a large presence among the Awakened of Egypt, as do the Clavicularius and Bene Ashmedai Legacies from the east. The elementalists have a native tie to the region but the goetic mages are a foreign tradition and suspect as well. The leadership of the Khiri-habi, a council called the Hry-Habtut, meets every other year in the city of Iunu where the entrance can be found to the Shadow-fortress of Hekau-wer, the "Great Aracanium." There are seven members of the council, with each Hry-Habt responsible for part of the divine workings of Egypt and the Pah-Netery's authority.

  • Elam'nead (Guardians of the Veil): Experts on all matters spiritual, the Elam'nead served as an elite priesthood under the Arisen. Importantly, they were separate from the priests of the Deathless themselves but in the absence of a large-scale mummy presence in Ptolemaic Egypt the Guardians are the spiritual center of the Pah-Netery. Their order's headquarters is in the Upper Egyptian city of Swenett in the great temple of Geb found there.
  • Nimtat-hadi (Silver Ladder): In previous ages, the Nimtat-hadi served as advisers and right-hand officials to the Arisen. In the hierarchy of the Pah-Netery they continue this function for the leaders of the Asekh-sen and Udja-sen, though their council is heard less and less. In other areas, they serve a function similar to the Ptolemaic nomarchs, ruling as a representative of the divine in cities throughout Egypt. Their headquarters are in the Lower Egyptian city of Ney-ta-hut near Iunu in the city's Temple of Shu.
  • Sesar-pahet (Adamantine Arrow): Warriors and generals, the Sesar-pahet protect the Pah-Netery from their enemies. They patrol the deserts and mountains alongside the Udja-sen and guard the cities during the day while the Asekh-sen slumber. The Arrows are anything but subordinate, however, and disputes of honor are common between the Sesar-pahet and other members of the Pah-Netery. The order's headquarters are in the city of Ney-ha-hut in the Temple of Sekhmet near the Nimtat-hadi headquarters in the Temple of Shu. These two orders, near the commercial hubs in the delta region and the seat of the Ptolemies in Memphis, are coming to dominate the Khiri-habi.
  • Xemt-minu (Mysterium): The most closed-off order of the Khiri-habi are the Xemt-minu, the Watchers of Mystery. They are the experts on arcane items and spiritual threats among the Pah-Netery and they operate fairly autonomously to stop these. They are rumored to still have many of the Iremite rituals of the Arisen and know how to reach a number of the slumbering gods but if this is the case they are keeping it to themselves. The site of their headquarters is unknown, but is generally thought to be in the Temple of Renenutet in the city of Khmun.

The Udja-sen: Werewolves

The wolf-men are powerful warriors but uneasy allies. They once ruled their own kingdom which rivaled that of the Arisen and their followers but when that fell many of the Udja-sen petitioned for a place among the servants of the pharaohs' order. This was granted and hunting grounds were granted so that the Udja-sen could keep order over the spirits of Egypt. The werewolves divide up Egypt into shahirs in accordance with their original agreement with the Arisen, each shahir patrolled by a collection of packs.

In the increasingly polyglot land of Egypt it may seem strange that the werewolves' use of the spirit First Tongue puts them apart from others, but it is also tied up in their rival cosmology which is at odds with that held by the rest of the Pah-Netery. Added to this is the depredations coming from Pure Tribes which are encroaching on Egyptian territory from the east and west along the Mediterranean coast. Previously these tribes were held at bay by the unified front of the Egyptian host but now many among the Pah-Netery are facing attacks from werewolves, and they are not always understanding as to the internal politics of the Udja-sen.

  • The Great Delta: The mouth of the mighty Nile is a wild and chaotic land outside the cities, although there are an awful lot of those. Packs here are often dominated by Bone Shadows and Iron Masters who are comfortable living in places of constant change. The human populations have some Pure Tribes among them, which leads the local Udja-sen to turn to allies in the Pah-Netery for aid.
  • The Jagged Lands: The great Eastern Desert between the Nile and the Red Sea is a rough land of sand and rock. There are a number of loci hidden among the hills, drawing a number of Hunter packs, and trade routes to port cities along the gulf. Several Storm Lord packs have carved out territories that have others in the Pah-Netery concerned.
  • The Moving Mountains: The broad shifting dunes of the Western Desert are a difficult region where spirits sometimes gain immense strength before they are even discovered by the Uratha. It is also a battlezone with encroaching Pure Tribe packs from western Africa, bringing Storm Lords and Blood Talons in equal number.
  • The High Waters: In the highlands around the third, fourth, and fifth cataracts of the Nile packs of Blood Talons, Hunters in Darkness, and others run through the wild lands once known as Kush. In the days of the pharaohs this was a barely-held territory of bandits and wild tribes, and under the Pah-Netery it operates as a semi-autonomous area that no one has tried to control too closely.

The Arisen: Mummies

The ancient masters of Egypt still awaken from time to time in their slumber but they have continued to spread across the globe. With the number of mummies in Egypt shrinking and their concerns so removed from the material world, many descendants of their original servants are drifting from their grasp. Worship of the Arisen, however, is the basis for the Pah-Netery's authority and they promote it strongly.

The Others

The other supernatural races continue to operate in their fringe duties that they served when the Arisen were more active, though many have left the mummies' service and operate independently instead.

  • The Kher-minu (Sin-Eaters):
  • The Nehem-sen (Changelings:
  • The Shemsu-heru (Prometheans):

Under the Romans

When the Romans conquer Egypt in 30 BCE, the Pah-Netery is already in shambles. Like the dynasty of the mortal Ptolemies, the ruling structure of the supernatural peoples has taken a serious blow. The Arisen have scattered farther and farther from the Black Land and their cults are no longer full of other supernatural creatures. The unity forged by the Deathless has unraveled at last and each group fends for itself.

The Clans of Egypt

The Daughters of Sekhmet have lost their numbers and now the priestesshood includes many who are not of the true bloodline. The Priests of Set are more unified but also pressed to the farthest southern reaches by the harsh statutes of the Roman Camarilla. Only the clans which remained part of the Alaru have fared well and that only in relation to their brethren.

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