The Gods of the Twin Kingdoms
|Nu-Atum||Sacred Falcon||Creation, Order|
|Ma’at||Ostrich Feather||Truth, Judgement|
|Ammut||Herself||Chaos, Punishment, Vengeance|
|Anubis||Jackal||Death, Rebirth, Cycles|
|Isis||Knot of Isis||Wisdom, Prophecy, Healing|
|Horus||Eye of Horus||Vigilance, Battle, Divincation|
|Bastet||Cat||Protection, Slaying, Cats|
Nu-Atum is the chief god of Khemet, and is said by them to have been the first god, who created himself from the waters of the river of Night. By his will, it is said, a mound rose from the waters, and this mound became the world. This mound was called Nu, and the god atop it was named Atum. In his role as Nu-Atum, he is both the creator of the world and the world itself.
He is said to have emerged from the waters of the river of Night in the form of a snake, but is most often depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. He is the god of pre-existence and post-existence, and of shaping chaos into law. As a self-created deity, he embodies the principle of self-perfection and inner power. As the physical embodiment of the world, his ka – or life force – is the world itself. He is said to watch and guard his creation from the Sun, which is both the Eye of Horus and Nu-Atum’s vessel in the sky.
The power of Nu-Atum is twofold: in the creation of order from chaos, and in the creation of something from nothing. Those who serve him are encouraged to build – with raw and unworked materials, to raise great monuments, irrigate dead lands, and bring order to chaos. Anathema to the servants of Nu-Atum is decay and neglect, either in yourself or in the world. To allow your principles to contradict each other, or to bend towards principles that unseat order and sow chaos – this is heresy. It is heresy, also, to stand by and allow this to happen to others or to the world around you. You must be a civilising force, one which collects and shapes the forces around you.
The people of Teoth do not believe that Nu-Atum is both the world and the god; as such, they worship him only as Atum.
Clerics of Nu-Atum are known as Seers; their high priest is known as the Greatest of Seers. They are masters of divination, and are also adept at harnessing the power of light and heat. Seers carry tall staves and wear white robes hemmed with red serpents.
Ma’at is the chief god of Teoth; they say that Ma’at is the embodiment of the mound that rose from the waters of Night in the beginning of creation, and worship her separately from Atum. She represents all that is solid, stable and consistent; it can be trusted because it is steadfast and the same for everyone who deals with it.
More specifically, Ma’at is the goddess of justice, truth and order. It is the feather of Ma’at that is used when measuring the souls of the dead. She personifies the ideals of justice, truth and consistency, and is also associated with the gods and mortals who work to build their ordered kingdoms upon the chaotic nature of the world. In the ideal world of a servant of Ma’at, success only ever comes from merit, and never from dumb luck or the random nature of the world. Whereas Nu-Atum is concerned with civilisation and order itself, Ma’at is specifically concerned with justice and truth. In order for order to thrive and succeed, it must come from a place of love and duty to all living things. Merit should be rewarded, and vice should be punished.
Ma’at is usually depicted as a young woman either adorned with ostrich feathers or with the wings of an ostrich. One of these feathers is the feather used to weigh the souls of the dead.
Cleric of Ma’at are known as Overseers; their high priest is known as the Assessor. Many are gifted with the so-called “Truesight” by their god, and this ability to ferret out falsehoods supernaturally assists them in their duties as upholders of truth, justice and law. Overseers wear pure white robes emblazoned with golden scales on the back.
Overseers find their place in many echelons of society. They are called in to adjudicate disputes, determine matters of right and wrong, and judge the guilt of the accused. In another respect, they are investigators who seek the truth of a matter when the exact circumstances are not clear. In this, they often cooperate closely with the priesthood of Isis.
Professional Edge: Truthseer
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Ma’at, Faith d6+, Notice d6+
The power of Truesight is a gift from Ma’at that makes an Overseer exceptionally good at detecting lies. It gives them a +2 bonus to Notice rolls made to determine whether someone is lying. If they are able to extract a vow to Ma’at to speak only the truth, then it is not possible for the victim to use a Bennie on their Persuasion check. Furthermore, a success on their Notice roll means they know a lie has been told, rather than merely suspecting it.
The counterpart of the lawful leaders of the pantheon, Ammut is best known by her epithet, the Eater of Souls. She is a demon, a monstrous being of hunger and malice with the head of a crocodile, the body and forelegs of a lion, and the sheer bulk and hind legs of a hippopotamus. She is worshiped by few; instead she is a punishment, a fate that all in the Twin Kingdoms fear. It is Ammut who devours the ka of those who fail the trial of Ma’at, leaving their ba to wander the world forever as a hungry ghost. It is said that her stomach is a lake of fire, in which the ka of the unworthy is consumed completely.
As very few worship Ammut, she derives most of her power from those whom she devours, and from the fear felt in the hearts of those who do not wish to die the second death. The other gods do not particularly like Ammut, but they view her with a wary respect. Besides her role as the punisher of the unworthy, she is also an agent of divine retribution and a destroyer of evil creatures. In effect, she is akin to a monstrous beast employed to slay other monsters. Although she represents chaos and destruction, it is directed towards those who have angered the gods and is thus accepted by them. She is not so easily restrained as this might imply, however, and the other gods are always at conflict with her destructive urges.
Those few clerics who serve Ammut directly are known as Curse Seekers. The powers of a Curse Seeker are frequently adorned with trappings of Acid, Darkness or Fire/Heat. They commonly spend their time hunting - people, beasts, anything they feel like hunting. The more benevolent of them will take on contracts of vengeance for a third party and fulfil them in the name of Ammut.
Professional Edge: Curse Seeker
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Ammut, Faith d6+, Tracking d6+
Curse Seekers who train themselves to hunt others have a supernatural ability to locate their current “quarry”. If they are pursuing a living creature for the purpose of vengeance - on their own behalf or someone else’s - they can make a Survival check at any time to get a sense of their general direction. Magic which protects from divination will inhibit this ability.
The “Foremost of the Dead” and the “Lord of Silence” is the god of the dead in the Twin Kingdoms, a powerful and important position. Paradoxically, he is also called the “God of the Living”, because he is associated with eternal life and with the cycles of death and rebirth that exist throughout nature. It is by his will that the natural laws so essential to survival continue to apply; the flooding and receding of the River Nuit, the death and birth of living creatures, and waxing and waning of the moon – which is considered to be his seat in the heavens.
First and foremost of all, Anubis demands respect for the dead. They should be properly embalmed to ensure their ka survives long enough to be found by the ba, and they should be interred in a tomb. The proper rites should be spoken over them. Tombs must be protected from graverobbers and treasure hunters, and such heretics must be shown no mercy. The followers of Anubis are also expected to emulate him in his role as a shepherd and judge of souls. Watch over and protect those around you, and do not allow them to be led astray into chaotic paths by deceivers. Do not attempt to determine how they live their lives, but ensure that they are aware of the choices they are making.
Anubis is represented as a humanoid creature with the head of a jackal. He is the protector of tombs, patron of embalming and mummification, and psychopomp of the pantheon. It is Anubis who appears before the ka and ba of the dead, once they are reunited, and leads them to the scales of Ma’at. Although he is a god of death, he is widely worshiped. Anubis gives the people hope; that if they lead a good life, their body will be respected in death and their soul will be protected and justly judged.
The clerics of Anubis are called Jackalpriests, or sometimes just Jackals. Jackalpriests are usually not adventurers, and are generally concerned with embalming and interring the dead. However, some choose to go out into the world for the purpose of destroying the undead and those who create them. They may choose the standard Holy Warrior professional Edge from the core rules.
The Jackalpriests are expressly forbidden from taking powers which animate the dead or create undead of any kind, although it is rumored that they have certain secret spells which can empower the dead to animate themselves for the purpose of punishing graverobbers.
Jackalpriests wear jet black robes; high-ranking members wear sacred jewellery made of gold.
Known as the one who is “more clever than a million gods”, Isis is venerated by many. She is a goddess of motherhood, wives and nurturing. However, more than any of these she is the goddess of wisdom. She is in a unique position as a chaotic deity in a pantheon largely dedicated to the forces of law. She uses her cunning and abilities to outmaneuver and defeat those who undermine the gods, and thereby protects them. All those who move in subtle and cunning ways therefore owe Isis a debt of piety.
Isis is a goddess of magic, but less so than gods such as Horus or Thoth. The brand of magic favoured by Isis is more related to prophecies and the skilful use of subtle workings. As the mother of such a powerful god as Horus, she is also associated with nurturing and protective energies in general - as such, many of her priests spend their time healing the sick or attempting to mediate disputes.
Expanding on her distaste of direct conflict, Isis looks very unfavourably on those who choose violence as a first resort. While she is not opposed to using force, she also believes that most people will respond to diplomacy and can be “turned” from an evil path. Those who do not attempt to do so will not raise very high in her favour.
The clerics of Isis are referred to as members of the Isiac Order. They are usually women, although this is not exclusively the case. They tend to cast spells of healing and subterfuge, and rarely employ impressive spells of destruction and evocation. They are known for being complex and duplicitous; while many wander in search of wounds to heal and ails to soothe, many others use this as a subtext to manipulate events to the liking of their goddess. Even pharaohs are wary of the Isiac Order.
The Isiac Priestesses wear pale blue robes when in their official capacity as healers and diplomats, but often go in plain clothes.
Professional Edge: Subtle Weaver
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Isis, Faith d6+, Stealth d6+
Some clerics of Isis train themselves to work their magic as subtly as possible. Magical gestures are worked into natural movements of the hand, and syllables of holy prayers are inhaled with the breath or muttered inaudible. This Edge allows you to cast a spell over the course of a minute, instead of a single action. Anyone who does not make a Notice vs. Stealth check against you is unaware that you have performed any spellcasting.
Horus is known as “the Great”, “the Elder”, and “The One Far Above”. He is the god of power, knowledge and divination. He is depicted as human being with the head of a falcon, or in his form as an actual falcon that flies over the world and observe all that goes on below. His most well known association is with the Eye of Horus, also known as the Wadjet. Inherited by him from the goddess of the same name, it represents his seats in the Sun and Moon, from where he can observe and learn from all that occurs in the world. It is often carried as a symbol of protection, as it turns the gaze of the gods upon those who see it.
It is said that both the Sun and Moon are the eyes of Horus. The tale goes that the Moon is dimmer than the Sun because, in ancient times, Horus and Set fought a mighty battle. Set gouged one of his eyes, but Horus was ultimately the victor. This is why, even to this day, the forces of darkness and evil are stronger at night. It is also for this reason that Horus is regarded as a god of war and victory.
People pray to Horus for knowledge, enlightenment or victory. It is common for his priests to be asked to interpret dreams or tell fortunes. As for Horus himself, he extols the virtues of vigilance and knowledge. Followers of Horus should gather information and learn their situation whenever possible, but they shouldn’t let this hold them back from action. When there is something that needs to be done, you must do it. Horus went willingly into physical combat with Set because it needed to be done - even though it cost him an eye. By many, this is considered to be the transformation of Horus from a god of magic and knowledge (like Thoth) into a god of war.
The priests of Horus are known as Falconpriests, and are often found in the armies of the pharaohs. In Khemet, they are amongst the most esteemed and respected of all priests; they are often made into generals and have been known to oversee entire battles personally. They ensure that tactics and strategy are properly applied, and that foolish decisions are not made in haste without proper intelligence. In particular, they often keep an eye out for young officers who can keep their heads in the midst of battle and recommend them for promotions.
Besides their more martial duties, Falconpriests are also responsible for using the divine favours bestowed upon them by Horus to enlighten and edify those around them. The interpretation of dreams, the reading of omens and various forms of divination all fall within their purview. Within this portfolio, they are also asked for advice and consulted before making important decisions. Falconpriests commonly wear armour of bronze depicting the Eye of Horus, worn over robes of white and red. Their breastplates are enchanted with divine charms that keep them cool in the desert heat.
There is no professional Edge specifically associated with Horus; as they are trained in military arts, most priests of Horus will instead choose to spend their time training a combat or leadership Edge.
The patron goddess of cats is far more powerful in the pantheon of the Twin Kingdoms than a foreigner might expect her to be. Depicted as a beautiful woman with the head of a cat, Bastet also appears as an actual cat. Furthermore, she has another aspect named Sekhmet; not a cat, but a lioness.
In her cat aspect as Bastet, she is the protector of cats, which are themselves considered to be sacred animals. The penalty in both Khemet and Teoth for killing a cat is death, because they are considered to be the protectors of the home and family. Just as cats kill mundane threats like scorpions and snakes, they are believed to ward off supernatural ones - particularly malicious spirits. Bastet herself is often invoked for protection from supernatural evil, in much the same way as the Eye of Horus is.
In her lioness aspect as Sekhmet, she is a warrior goddess. Changing from a household protector to a protector of mankind itself, the fierce lioness hunts and kills all evil and detestable creatures and ensures they cannot harm the good people of the Twin Kingdoms. In this aspect, she is given titles such as the “One Before Whom Evil Trembles”, “Mistress of Dread”, “Lady of Slaughter” and “She Who Mauls”. In order to placate Sekhmet’s wrath, her priestesses perform a ritual before a different statue of the goddess on each day of the year.
Those who worship Bastet are expected to care for, assist and protect cats whenever possible. They are to be given free reign and not interfered with, for to do so would be to interfere with their sacred duties and anger Bastet. Those who pay homage to the aspect of Sekhmet should simply seek to emulate the Mistress of Dread in all ways. She gives her favour to fierce hunters who do not flinch in the presence of evil and strike terror into the hearts of their enemies.
The priestesses of Bastet are not known by any particular name; though many men pay homage to Bastet and serve the temple, her priestesses are all female. The temples of Bastet harbor a great many cats - both those that dwell in the temple permanently and cats that live within the city and come to the temple for food and milk. Most of her priestesses never adventure and leave their temple behind.
There is a sect within the Temple of Bast that chiefly venerate the aspect of Sekhmet. Known as Lionesses, they venture forth from the temples; most commonly, they wander the land and ensure that cats are being treated properly. They are also responsible for delivering the sentence of death on those who kill a cat. Less commonly, they can be found “on the hunt” for any kind of evil that threatens society. When they find it, they are merciless in stamping it out.
The Lionesses of Sekhmet wear armour, with pale yellow robes beneath it. Priestesses of Bastet wear the same robes, but without armour.
Professional Edge: Bastet’s Favour
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Bastet, Spirit d8+, Faith d6+
Priestesses of Bastet who are attuned to the power of their goddess need never fear her children. This Edge allows the priestess to automatically treat any feline creature as friendly, whether they are an ordinary temple cat or a ferocious lion. They act as allies, similar to the Beast Friend Edge, but can also be given simple commands which they will fulfil to the best of their ability. Felines trust a priestess of Bastet completely, and misusing or endangering one is a mortal sin.
The people of the Twin Kingdoms worship a score of minor gods. While they don’t have Professional Edges associated with them and it’s less common to find miracle-working priests in their service, it’s not unheard of. They are often invoked for specific purposes, and play a part in the culture of the Twin Kingdoms even if they are not major deities.
Geb: God of the earth and burrowing creatures. Creates earthquakes and allows crops to grow.
Hathor: A cow goddess who is amongst the oldest of all. Represents love, fertility and motherhood. Her priests are healers.
Ihy: The child-god of music, Ihy is representative of joy and connects the gods as a family. He is the child of Hathor and is said to be the path to her: by worshiping Ihy with music, bread and beer, Hathor is pleased and her ears are opened.
Nuit: Goddess of the primal waters from which the world rose, often interpreted as the sea.
Ptah: God of craftsmen, embodies the concepts of power and stability. Very important in Teoth.
Set: God of chaos, the desert and thunderstorms. Once a powerful enemy of the gods, now a defeated ally. In older texts, he embodies suffering and evil.
Shu: God of the air and calming influences.
Thoth: Scribe of the gods, recorder of history, and creator of hieroglyphs. He is a sage of great wisdom, and the inventor of many sciences - particularly astronomy. His priests are mages.
Wadjet: Protector of kings and women in childbirth. Keeper of the Eye of Horus, i.e. the Sun, which watches the Kingdoms. Associated with Nu-Atum and Horus. Depicted as a cobra.
Sobek: A crocodile-headed deity who represents the River Nuit, in its fertile and life-giving aspect. He is also representative of its dangers, and is invoked for protection.