Pharaonic Pantheon

Pharaonic Pantheon

Name Portfolio Rank Alignment Favoured Weapon Domains
Re-Horakhty Nobility, sun, supreme, vengeance G LG Khopesh Glory, Good, Law, Nobility, Sun, War
Anubis Judgment, death L LN Mace Law, Magic, Repose
Apep Evil, fire, serpents D NE Heavy pick Evil, Fire, Scalykind
Bast Cats, vengeance L CG Tiger claws Chaos, Destruction, Protection, Strength, War
Bes Luck, music, protection L CN Short sword Luck, Protection, Trickery
Hathor Love, music, dance, moon, fate, motherhood L NG Longsword Community, Good, Luck
Imhotep Crafts, medicine D NG Quarterstaff Artifice, Healing, Knowledge
Isis Fertility, magic, marriage G NG Quarterstaff Good, Magic, Protection, Water
Nephthys Death, grief I CG Mace Chaos, Good, Protection, Repose
Osiris Harvest, nature, underworld G LG Flail Air, Earth, Good, Law, Plant, Repose
Ptah Crafts, knowledge, secrets, travel I LN Mace Creation, Knowledge, Law, Travel
Set Darkness, evil, night, desert storms, drought G CE Spear Air, Chaos, Darkness, Destruction, Evil, Strength
Sobek Water, river hazards, crocodiles, wetlands D LE Shortspear Animal, Evil, Water
Thoth Knowledge, wisdom, learning I N Quarterstaff Knowledge, Magic, Rune

Pharaonic Theology

Re, the primogenitor of the Pharaonic pantheon, brought into being two children: Shu and Tefnut. Shu was god of the dry desert air and the forces of preservation, while Tefnut had dominion over the moist river air and the forces of change. They had two children—a son, Geb, god of the dry earth, and a daughter, Nut, god of the starry sky. Geb and Nut loved each other deeply and had four children—Isis, Nephthys, Osiris, and Set — before Re forbade them from having more. This generation of deities is by far the most important in the current Pharaonic pantheon. The son of Osiris and Isis, Horus, ascended to claim the throne of Re, absorbing Re’s essence to become Re-Horakhty. Osiris and Nephthys have a son, Anubis, who plays an important role in the human afterlife. Nephthys bore Set one child before fleeing her husband in horror over his evil: Sobek, the deformed crocodile god.

After ascending to his great-great-grandfather’s throne, Re-Horakhty (Horus) repeated Re’s primordial act of parthenogenesis and bore two daughters: Hathor and Bast. Each daughter married a god from a foreign pantheon, bringing those gods into the Pharaonic “family.” Hathor married Bes, and Bast married Ptah. Whatever their origins, these two foreign deities have lost all contact with their former pantheons, and it is quite possible that the rest of the members of their pantheons have all died or disappeared.

Three remaining deities stand outside the familial relationships of the pantheon. Imhotep was born mortal and ascended to godhood; Thoth was born from the same primordial chaos as Re; and Apep is a creature of utter evil who probably existed before Re created the universe.

Pharaonic Cosmology

The world of the Pharaonic cosmology is bounded by heaven and hell. To the west of the mortal world, where the sun sets every night, lie the fair Offering Fields (Seket-Hetep) where the souls of the righteous live in eternal reward. Under the earth, where the sun (steered by Re-Horakhty) passes each night in struggle with the forces of evil, are the Twelve Hours of Night. Demons, serpentine monsters, and the souls of those who died without proper funerals (including foreigners) populate this dark underworld. Together, the Offering Fields, the Twelve Hours of Night, and the heavenly arc of the sun’s daylight journey compose Tuat, the otherworld in Pharaonic cosmology. Although the worshipers of the Pharaonic deities view Tuat as a single realm of existence, it is actually three distinct Outer Planes where most of the deities of the Pharaonic pantheon reside.

The Solar Barge: Re-Horakhty and his attendants sail across the sky (actually the Astral Plane) in the Solar Barge every day, and through the Twelve Hours of Night every night. Re-Horakty is attended by a number of minor godlings, including Kherp, the boat’s captain; Nehes, the lookout; and Up-uate, Herheken, Saa, and Hu, the deck hands. During the night passage, Afu, his trusted escort, joins him. Each dawn, Bast fights Apep to allow the Solar Barge passage out of the underworld and back into the sky. The Solar Barge is a tiny Outer Plane in itself, divinely morphic and mildly good-aligned with a minor positive dominance.

The Offering Fields: Underneath and beyond the tremendous Mountains of the West, the Offering Fields offer peace and prosperity to the souls of the righteous. Seven enormous gates provide passage to the Seven Halls, each one of which is a cavern large enough to hold several cities. Each of the Seven Halls contains prosperous farms and estates, the reward of the righteous dead. Deeper under the mountains beyond the Seven Halls lie the Pillars of the West, twenty-one enormous pillars each standing at the entrance of another huge cavern, with each of those caverns holding more idyllic towns and plantations. Beyond the Pillars of the West are the Fourteen States, a barrier zone between the Pillars and Osiris’s realm beyond. The Fourteen States stand in stark contrast to the peaceful realms of the Offering Fields, for they are full of lava flows, mud pits, and demons—servants and guardians of the Pharaonic gods, despite their fearsome natures.

Past the Fourteen States lies Fair Ament, a broad valley on the far side of the Mountains of the West. While the caverns under the Mountains are the homes of departed mortal souls and minor godlings (including Imhotep), most of the important deities of the Pharaonic pantheon reside in Fair Ament - including Anubis, Hathor, Isis, Nephthys, Osiris, and Thoth. All these deities spend much time in the Hall of Truth, where they participate in the judgment of mortal souls. Anubis guides each departed soul through the halls under the Mountains of the West to this Hall of Truth. There, the soul is weighed on a balance against the Feather of Ma’at, while the judges consider the dead person’s deeds. Virtuous souls are assigned their eternal home in the Seven Halls or the Pillars of the West, while damned souls are consumed by the Am-mit, a hideous monster with the head of a crocodile, the body of a hippopotamus, and the claws of a lion.

As an Outer Plane, the Offering Fields is divinely morphic and mildly good-aligned.

The Twelve Hours of Night: Past Fair Ament lies Mount Manu, part of another titanic mountain range at the westernmost edge of the world. At the base of Mount Manu is a great gaping canyon, the entrance to the Twelve Hours of Night. Each night, the Solar Barge must pass through this long, tortured series of caverns in order to emerge in the east and traverse the sky again. Along the way, it is hindered by demons and monsters, as well as some foreign souls who chose to throw in their lot with the forces of evil. Set is the master of these evils, endlessly plotting to overthrow Re-Horakhty and seize rulership of the Pharaonic pantheon. Perhaps his most dedicated servant is Apep, the monstrous serpent that challenges the Solar Barge every morning, refusing to allow it passage out of the Twelve Hours of Night. The duty of battling Apep while the Solar Barge escapes falls to Bast.

Most of the mortal souls that populate the Twelve Hours of Night belong to those who were not given proper funerals. Because of this oversight, their souls could not be found by Anubis and escorted to the Hall of Truth. Some of these souls try to aid Re-Horakhty and help the Solar Barge complete its nightly passage. Re-Horakhty regularly rewards these souls by carrying them out, a few at a time, and depositing them in Fair Ament before descending once more into the Twelve Hours of Night. The Solar Barge can carry only a few souls each night, however.

The Twelve Hours of Night is the third Outer Plane of the Pharaonic cosmology. It is divinely morphic and mildly evilaligned with a minor negative dominance.

The Transitive Planes: The transitive planes are slightly altered in the Pharaonic cosmology. The Ethereal Plane coexists with the Material Plane as normal. The Solar Barge sails through the Astral Plane, and is visible on the Material Plane as the sun. The Astral Plane also connects to the Offering Fields and the Twelve Hours of Night. The Shadow Plane connects only to the Twelve Hours of Night.

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