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  • Struggling with Guilds

    Greetings all,
    This feels like a simple question and one that's probably been discussed, but I wasn't able to find any clarification when I perused the forums, so I started a thread. Feel free to link me to anything I missed...

    I'm ramping up to start a long term Mummy chronicle, and I'm currently struggling with understanding the Guilds. I just reread Guildhalls (and I read most of the line as it was released), and the overall philosophies and presentation seem pretty clear, but what I'm missing is what the *goals* of each guild are and how members build toward them across Descents - essentially what motives and MOs mummies gain from their guilds (distinct from their personal/cult goals, meret, and the template drive to collect relics); and this is making it difficult for me to imagine how to use these guilds, either as NPCs or as guidelines for the players.

    I feel like I very clearly understand the Tef-Aabi. The Maa-Kep and Sesha Hesu feel a little bit more passive, but I can still grok their roles. I'm really struggling with the Mesen-Nebu and especially the Su-Menent.

    The Alchemists have a pretty active role - accumulating power - but I can't figure out the reasons for it or how they use it as a Guild. It makes sense as being able to fuel their personal, meret, and relic-acquiring goals, but this strikes me as a little flat, and I'm struggling to translate that into mummys' aparent purpose of guiding human civilization or carrying it over into a guild structure. It feels a bit like the guild teaches how to accumulate power, but doesn't provide a reason to stay in the guild after that, you know? It's like I can figure out how to use them, but I'm having a hard time figuring out why, if that makes sense.

    The Shepherds are even more challenging for me. From what I've been able to understand, they had a very clear role in Irem as priests (with related roles as necromancers, morticians, doctors, and oracles) and powerful magic in the form of Uter... but both of these seem to fall away once they become Deathless. Arisen can no longer create relics, and there's not much discussion on what other forms of necromancy they might research/practice (an equivalent to Neithan Architecture, for example). As Priests, they're described as struggling to convert mortals (modern religions too divergent), they can't regularly take on a ceremonial role due to how descents work (and I didn't find discussion about what their rare, major ceremonies are or what big theological questions/guidance they'd be called for), and other Arisen already feel the will of the Judges (however subtle it may be). They are kind of described as a dying Guild, which fits with all that... And I can figure out how to use this to evoke a mood in game, but I'm struggling with figuring out a role for Su-Menent characters in the story or setting.

    I feel like my understanding of the Tef-Aabi may be skewing my [mis]interpretation of the other Guilds / Arisen in general, or that I might be looking for things that might not have been explicitly discussed in order to give Storytellers discretion. But my understanding is that the overall purpose of the Arisen is to guide human civilization, and that each guild has things they are working to either build or maintain as part of that.
    And when I state it like that to myself, I can almost start to see a fuzzy picture of the Mesen-Nebu and Su-Menent. But I'm not really getting the reasons [read: guild contexts] why their cults call upon them, what organizing as a guild helps them accomplish, or how their mystic knowledge is used or can empower them.

    I hope those questions made sense. It just feels like I'm missing some of the "meat" in the setting that I need to really use these Guilds effectively. Anyway, I'm hoping the community has some advice that can help me interpret, or expand on, the Alchemists and Shepherds.

    Thanks,
    Seraph Kitty


    Second Chance for

    A Beautiful Madness

  • #2
    I think you should write these questions into the setting itself. The Guilds had a role and identity in Irem, and the Deathless kinda remember being in them. But what does that mean when Irem is gone, and when much of the time most members of any given guild will be in henet? Mummies are creatures of purpose, and it grates on them when something important to them seemingly doesn't have one - so in an immortal irony, the Guilds survive in large part on the back of the Arisen's efforts to answer the question of what purpose the Guilds now serve. All the possible answers you can come up with are things an individual mummy might be pushing as the Guild's new purpose in this new world.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not sure you're necessarily missing anything. It's certainly not out of character for the Arisen to be in a situation where they realise their Guilds are no longer actually providing them with a useful framework for their existence, they're dated by definition. Similarly, the Tef-Aabhi having the clearest purpose is very much in keeping with their status as the "young", adaptable Guild (and doubly so for the Flesh Mason subsect).

      On a general level Arisen are also few in number, scattered, and lacking in Memory. The Guilds aren't exactly cohesive institutions, and are certainly going to be subject to local interpretation. So on a city-by-city basis you'll have massive variations in how the Guilds work and how they interact with one another. I only had a single Maa-Kep in my game, for example, and decided to more or less roll the Maa-Kep responsibility for enforcing orthodoxy into the much more powerful Su-Menent Guild. This had the added benefit of making it clear what the Su-Menent were actively working towards at any given moment.

      Conversely, I really like the idea of a city where the Tef-Aabhi are the only thriving Guild, buoyed up by their clear purpose, where the Su-Menent are a crumbling temple of disregarded prophets and doomsayers, and the Mesen-Nebu grapple with an existential crisis on what to do once you have the world's wealth already. I find those characterisations to be really evocative in their own right. One faction is vibrant and energetic, apparently at the peak of its power (with the dark secret of the Flesh Masons lying beneath the wholesome facade, if you want to go that route). One faction is decadent and wealthy, with an ebbing interest in mundane affairs now that they feel they've effectively achieved mastery of their own discipline. The third faction cast by the wayside, priests beggared by a lack of faith, presumably populated only by the mad and the zealous. Throw in a couple of Maa-Kep helpers and Sesha-Hebsu record keepers to fill in the gaps and you have a pretty strong ecosystem there that I think would be easy to populate with stories.

      The above said, I would think the obvious reason to remain a part of the Mesen-Nebu once you feel that you have mastered the accumulation of power is that a) Mummies have poor memories, so I'm not sure they'd ever actually feel they'd learned all a Guild has to teach, and more importantly b) a powerful and influential support network of like-minded powermongers is a very good thing to have on your side when your own interests are the gathering and keeping of power. A Mesen-Nebu Guild that functions like the ultimate in elite country clubs is probably the best way to conceive of it. Leaving would just see you cut off from those ancient halls where real decisions are made.

      As for the Su-Menent, I think an important thing to play upon is the mysteriousness of the Judges. Yeah, the Arisen aren't like mortals, they actually have conclusive evidence that their gods exist. But they still don't receive clear messages from the Judges, so a faction dedicated to exploring that connection with the divine and helping other Arisen to become closer to the gods is probably the obvious angle to play upon to keep them important to the Arisen in an increasingly godless world. More than any Guild though, I think the Su-Menent work perfectly as the Guild fighting its way through an existential crisis, questioning its own relevance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Another way to take the Mesen-Nebu and give them an external issue - what do rich, decadent societies do, once they are rich enough? Spend it on ways to demonstrate and exalt their wealth. Pet projects, or patroning the arts... hey, wasn't there another Mummy Guild that was involved in the arts? :-)


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          Another way to take the Mesen-Nebu and give them an external issue - what do rich, decadent societies do, once they are rich enough? Spend it on ways to demonstrate and exalt their wealth. Pet projects, or patroning the arts... hey, wasn't there another Mummy Guild that was involved in the arts? :-)
          Indeed the one case we have of an alliance between Arisen and their cousin involved a similar patronage... to a point.

          Comment


          • #6
            Dedwen changes, evolves. As such, the stick of worthiness, the founding pillar of the Mesen-Nebu, is also changing. And so they must toil to prove they deserve to be who they are, to illustrate they are still excellent at the gate of prosperity, that their golden blood has not cost them their coin into heaven.

            And don't forget, the ability to transmute Dedwen to serve one's will purifies it, giving rise to Sekehm (in theory). So you have to use your wealth for your own ends, exercising your Will.

            As far as external issues; the Mesen-Nebu see our modern biases and want to use them against us, even if it provides them no advantage, if only to reinforce they deserve what they have (and what we have) more. This and the above mean they are more likely to make concerted personal efforts to understand mortal society; so they can rightfully control it.

            Then there is the Banebdjed. The Pillar of Divine Ba. The image of the rising nature of Dedwen through purification of Will and Sekham. The idol of their faith.
            And the unspoken, dark, dreaded heretical idea that which falls may rise again that hides in its shuet.


            The are the Guild of Base Materials, the Foundation, those who deserve and have nothing without effort.
            If anyone could ever rebuild Irem, they are the start.

            Edit: Oh almost forgot; Essence is most pure at its most mysterious. Meaning the Best Dedwen© is also the most hidden and hard to understand. The modern word that is Occult. This is the Guild that works to track down and hoard sorcerous secrets.
            Last edited by FallenEco; 05-24-2018, 06:30 AM.


            Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
              Dedwen changes, evolves. As such, the stick of worthiness, the founding pillar of the Mesen-Nebu, is also changing. And so they must toil to prove they deserve to be who they are, to illustrate they are still excellent at the gate of prosperity, that their golden blood has not cost them their coin into heaven.

              And don't forget, the ability to transmute Dedwen to serve one's will purifies it, giving rise to Sekehm (in theory). So you have to use your wealth for your own ends, exercising your Will.

              As far as external issues; the Mesen-Nebu see our modern biases and want to use them against us, even if it provides them no advantage, if only to reinforce they deserve what they have (and what we have) more. This and the above mean they are more likely to make concerted personal efforts to understand mortal society; so they can rightfully control it.

              Then there is the Banebdjed. The Pillar of Divine Ba. The image of the rising nature of Dedwen through purification of Will and Sekham. The idol of their faith.
              And the unspoken, dark, dreaded heretical idea that which falls may rise again that hides in its shuet.


              The are the Guild of Base Materials, the Foundation, those who deserve and have nothing without effort.
              If anyone could ever rebuild Irem, they are the start.

              Edit: Oh almost forgot; Essence is most pure at its most mysterious. Meaning the Best Dedwen© is also the most hidden and hard to understand. The modern word that is Occult. This is the Guild that works to track down and hoard sorcerous secrets.
              And you could have other Nomes who see Dedwen differently - which can prompt philosophical and political disputes. Which is perfect for social organizations like the Guilds.

              This could also be expanded to the others - the Core book defines what the Guild shares, but different factions interpret what means. How many different interpretations and areas of focus can you identify in each Guild? For the Su-Menent, do they teach the will of the Judges to mortals, or keep their doctrine to the Deathless? Should they take action, or just inform? Etc.


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

              Comment


              • #8
                Greetings. Sorry for hijacking the thread but since theirs no simple answers thread from what I saw I felt it be a waste creating a new one when there was a similar thread like this so this is what I decided.

                So basically I'm having trouble connecting Maa-kep philosophy and thinking to their signature vessals the amulet. They are the only one that doesn't make sense, which probably is intentional but still bugs me. All the other Guilds are artisans and their philosophy revolves around the relationship they have with what they made, but Maa-kep thanks to their more political role that doesn't make sense so there artifacts comes off as just an add-on. I can't connect how creating amulets has to do with their role as secret police other then it's useful. Is that it then? That the Maa-keps relationships with amulets as the amulet-making guild is purely pragmatic similar to spy gadgets? Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Again sorry for taking the thread.


                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you for the feedback; it seems as though I'm not missing something major, which I find disappointing. Many of your suggestions are kind of what I meant when I said that I know how to evoke a Mood with these Guilds, but I couldn't figure out a Role to give them in the story.
                  And I can see the appeal and value in those moods, and how their existential crisis is an appropriate lens for the setting. But without even broad strokes as to what their overall goals (alchemists) are or just a little bit more structure about what Guild business is and accomplishes (priests), its a bit frustrating to figure out how to use them in a setting. I'm sure having freedom for the group to decide all these details works for some people, but with my personal ST style and the way my creative process works, I need some more guidelines to work with or its just a struggle to figure out. And that's disappointing, because some of their fluff is interesting, and I'd really like to use them in a way that doesn't feel like a total disservice.

                  Your suggestions did help provide some more context and examples to draw from, so thank you all again. What I'm getting hung up on is that when I look for a way to undestand organizations, I look for their philosophy, their overarching goals, and what methods they offer to accomplish them. The Mesen-Nebu really only provide a method that they offer (the philosophy of dedwen is a tool that they provide, rather than an ideological guide on what should be done), and the Su-Menent really only provide a philosophy. And in the absence of these other aspects, it's just going to be frustrating for me to figure out what their "Guild Business" is and how to use them for my chronicles... which is even more vexing because the other three [four] guilds do provide enough context on all three aspects for me to easily understand their role in the setting with enough freedom to tailor them to the needs of my chronicle. It just feels like, even compared to the other Guilds, there are major facets that aren't touched on which are clashing with my ST style a lot.

                  If anyone in the community does have suggestions for what the grand plan of the Alchemists is, or what tangible insights the Priests can gleam and how they intend to use them... I would appreciate hearing about them a lot. In the meantime, I'm going to try finding enough brainspace to homebrew for them.

                  ~Thanks, Seraph


                  Second Chance for

                  A Beautiful Madness

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I guess I'm not sure what more you feel the Alchemists should strive for beyond the accumulation of value/power? I mean you could argue that that's basically the underlying objective of modern western societies...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                      I guess I'm not sure what more you feel the Alchemists should strive for beyond the accumulation of value/power? I mean you could argue that that's basically the underlying objective of modern western societies...
                      One more reason why mummies don’t think modern society is all that different!


                      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                        I guess I'm not sure what more you feel the Alchemists should strive for beyond the accumulation of value/power? I mean you could argue that that's basically the underlying objective of modern western societies...
                        I have a few reasons why I find it more acceptable as a goal for mortals to just aggregate power as an ends unto itelf, whereas its unsatisfying for Arisen characters. I have thought about it a good deal over the past few days, and I know it brings in my own bias, but I don't thinks its unreasonable.

                        In short, my argument is this:
                        -Gaining power is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. This holds to Mummy's themes if nothing else.
                        -Individual mortals haven't been doing it for 4000, and don't have to look forward and expect another 4000.
                        -Even for mortals, gaining wealth is a means to accomplish something else, and a lot of their motives are a difficult fit for the Arisen.
                        -Mortals don't really have a Guildhall dedicated to it. The closest equivalents only further demonstrate that there's either not really a reason to stay in the alchemists guild as an organization, or that the organization should have overarching goals.



                        Here's the part vexing me: whether making a new PC or an ST developing a new chronicle, what does being Mesen-Nebu add to a mummy character; how does that y-splat change the motivations and play experience of the character? From what I've been able to understand, it doesn't add organizational goals, new aspirations, new directions to take the character, plot hooks, faction politics.... It really only seems to change how they go about their individual personal goals - namely by a few unique powers, and by gathering resources to hurl at their problems. There's not really an 'organization' part to the Mesen-Nebu, and it doesn't really give new tools to flesh out the character or get story ideas from; just ways to evoke a particular mood.
                        This is frustrating for me because the other Guilds do add those things; even purely philosophical y-splats like Demon's Agendas add most of those things. Which really makes it feel like I missing a big part of the Guild... but the responses here have more or less said that I'm not missing anything. So, as a ST trying to start a new chronicle, I just have no idea how to use them.
                        And of course there are in-character issues which go along with these, which are just as important for figuring out the setting, but isn't the angle tripping me up right now.
                        Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 05-29-2018, 12:47 PM.


                        Second Chance for

                        A Beautiful Madness

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                          In short, my argument is this:
                          -Gaining power is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. This holds to Mummy's themes if nothing else.
                          -Individual mortals haven't been doing it for 4000, and don't have to look forward and expect another 4000.
                          -Even for mortals, gaining wealth is a means to accomplish something else, and a lot of their motives are a difficult fit for the Arisen.
                          -Mortals don't really have a Guildhall dedicated to it. The closest equivalents only further demonstrate that there's either not really a reason to stay in the alchemists guild as an organization, or that the organization should have overarching goals.
                          -For some people, it really is the end. They don't have any actual goal beneath it all. There is simply never enough wealth for them.
                          -That seems like an argument in favor, actually. Most humans know you can't take it with you - an Arisen can. If they accumulate treasure, they can expect to take their time in enjoying it, knowing death only visits them for a time.
                          -See point one - and other than children, what goal would be possible for a mortal but not an Arisen?
                          -I'd argue many clubhouses and other such organizations basically are "Guildhalls" dedicated to the acquisition of wealth among their members. There is a reason "rich people in smoke filled rooms" resonates in the public consciousness.

                          Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                          Here's the part vexing me: whether making a new PC or an ST developing a new chronicle, what does being Mesen-Nebu add to a mummy character; how does that y-splat change the motivations and play experience of the character? From what I've been able to understand, it doesn't add organizational goals, new aspirations, new directions to take the character, plot hooks, faction politics.... It really only seems to change how they go about their individual personal goals - namely by a few unique powers, and by gathering resources to hurl at their problems. There's not really an 'organization' part to the Mesen-Nebu, and it doesn't really give new tools to flesh out the character or get story ideas from; just ways to evoke a particular mood.
                          This is frustrating for me because the other Guilds do add those things; even purely philosophical y-splats like Demon's Agendas add most of those things. Which really makes it feel like I missing a big part of the Guild... but the responses here have more or less said that I'm not missing anything. So, as a ST trying to start a new chronicle, I just have no idea how to use them.
                          And of course there are in-character issues which go along with these, which are just as important for figuring out the setting, but isn't the angle tripping me up right now.
                          Mesen-Nebu
                          Motivations:
                          • Learn about the latest expressions/manifestations of Dedwen.
                          • Check up on prior investments - did their value show itself in the end, or did they end in failure? What can be learned from the failures?
                          • Ensure your Cult exalts the highest values, and returns the best results for their efforts.
                          • Make sure your own talents retain their edge, and develop any new skills required.
                          Play Experience:
                          • You are a ruthless objectivist, and so are your peers. Act accordingly.
                          • Show your peers new ways of looking at actions and results so they recognize the Dedwen in them.
                          Organizational Goals:
                          • You are the immortal Bilderburg Group. That doesn't run itself.
                          • Maximize value from untapped corners. There is Dedwen to refine.
                          Aspirations:
                          • See Motivations.
                          • For Player, as opposed to Character driven ones, have the Alchemist's expectations proven wrong. What they dismiss as valueless shows itself as more precious by far.
                          Character Directions:
                          • An upstanding member of the Guild being forced out by a more powerful/influential member
                          • A pariah/outcast in the Guild on the verge of proving the value/Dedwen of a subject matter that was previously mocked.
                          • Awakening from a long Henet to discover your influence/financial empire was usurped by another.
                          • Once proud member of high status, brought to face with your Guild's philosophy's short-comings.
                          • Dreaded Figure of Legend, secretly conducting long-term Philanthropy.
                          Plot Hooks:
                          • Your "allies" in the Guild smell blood in the water - yours. Bluff them until you can overcome your temporary weaknesses.
                          • You previously callous actions have come home to roost - a family that you abandoned for a more promising prospect has returned to power and is taking revenge upon your most recent "favorite".
                          • A powerful Regia has been uncovered and everyone in the Nome is out to claim it (for the Judges, of course). Except there is a large Maa-Kep and Su-Menent contingent in the area, and they've always resented your Guild. Can you figure out how to stab each other in the back while passing off a united front to your enemies rivals?
                          Last edited by Vent0; 05-31-2018, 11:56 AM.


                          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Vent0 has already captured a lot of what I want to say, but I'll add some little bits.

                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            In short, my argument is this:
                            -Gaining power is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. This holds to Mummy's themes if nothing else.
                            Absolutely. Power is a chain you use to bind yourself, after all. But, and this is a very important note, the Guilds are manifestations of Irem. They're meant to be these flawed remnant of the same society that enslaved the Arisen. They are not going to be tools that help an Arisen find Apotheosis. Having the Mesen-Nebu run contrary to the themes of Mummy is not itself contrary to the themes of Mummy. I'd argue that it directly supports said themes, in fact.

                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            -Individual mortals haven't been doing it for 4000, and don't have to look forward and expect another 4000.
                            Time, especially time in which a being isn't always active, gives plenty of opportunities for decline as well as success. The Mesen-Nebu don't just need to concern themselves with accumulating power, but also keeping it.

                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            -Even for mortals, gaining wealth is a means to accomplish something else, and a lot of their motives are a difficult fit for the Arisen.
                            There is also the fact that all Arisen have a higher purpose, that accumulation of Relics for their Judge. This is a means served perfectly well by being powerful. Influence and wealth allow you to straight up buy your way to divine success where a beggared Su-Menent might need to fight for every scrap of ground.

                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            -Mortals don't really have a Guildhall dedicated to it. The closest equivalents only further demonstrate that there's either not really a reason to stay in the alchemists guild as an organization, or that the organization should have overarching goals.
                            I'd already suggested you treat the Guildhall as an elite country club, and I don't really have more to say here in terms of how I perceive the Mesen-Nebu. Organisations, informal or otherwise, absolutely do exist among mortals with the goal of making sure that the organisation's members gain and retain power and wealth. Joining and staying part of the Mesen-Nebu versus just joining long enough to learn the concept of Dedwen is, to me, the difference between a business school graduate who forms close connections through the alumni society and embed themselves in that society of successful people versus the graduate who feels all he needed was the academic knowledge and then has to actually rely on his own ability to make his way in the world.

                            It's not what you know. It's who you know.

                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            Here's the part vexing me: whether making a new PC or an ST developing a new chronicle, what does being Mesen-Nebu add to a mummy character; how does that y-splat change the motivations and play experience of the character? From what I've been able to understand, it doesn't add organizational goals, new aspirations, new directions to take the character, plot hooks, faction politics.... It really only seems to change how they go about their individual personal goals - namely by a few unique powers, and by gathering resources to hurl at their problems. There's not really an 'organization' part to the Mesen-Nebu, and it doesn't really give new tools to flesh out the character or get story ideas from; just ways to evoke a particular mood.
                            Vent0's breakdown above is pretty amazing. I'm also not sure why you would think faction politics are unlikely to take place among a group of power-hungry immortals. They're going to be positively riven with internal politics.
                            Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                            This is frustrating for me because the other Guilds do add those things; even purely philosophical y-splats like Demon's Agendas add most of those things. Which really makes it feel like I missing a big part of the Guild... but the responses here have more or less said that I'm not missing anything. So, as a ST trying to start a new chronicle, I just have no idea how to use them.
                            And of course there are in-character issues which go along with these, which are just as important for figuring out the setting, but isn't the angle tripping me up right now.
                            You've been told that you're not missing anything in your interpretation of the Guild, but it does feel like you're missing some pretty obvious ways in which that interpretation can play out in a game. If you have a Mesen-Nebu player, play up the fact that they are part of an exclusive "in club". As a member they will need to balance the inevitable backstabbing and sly power plays while presenting something like a unified front to the other Guilds, because it wouldn't do to allow the lesser Guilds to sense weakness. At the same time, those very rivals are also your best friends, all members of a complex web of favours and deals who seek to use each other to better themselves to the detriment of those outside their little club.

                            This is all stuff that people will literally kill for, in fiction and in reality. It's high stakes stuff. Of all the Guilds, the Mesen-Nebu are the least likely to tolerate a status quo. Even if they're on top, they're likely to pushing to get more. They're an easy source of inciting incidents, plot hooks, and antagonists.

                            Remember that in the fiction, the archetypal "face" of this Guild was selected to be the Arisen who would try to make a deal with the freaking Deceived.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Iceblade44 View Post
                              Greetings. Sorry for hijacking the thread but since theirs no simple answers thread from what I saw I felt it be a waste creating a new one when there was a similar thread like this so this is what I decided.

                              So basically I'm having trouble connecting Maa-kep philosophy and thinking to their signature vessals the amulet. They are the only one that doesn't make sense, which probably is intentional but still bugs me. All the other Guilds are artisans and their philosophy revolves around the relationship they have with what they made, but Maa-kep thanks to their more political role that doesn't make sense so there artifacts comes off as just an add-on. I can't connect how creating amulets has to do with their role as secret police other then it's useful. Is that it then? That the Maa-keps relationships with amulets as the amulet-making guild is purely pragmatic similar to spy gadgets? Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Again sorry for taking the thread.

                              I'll field this one. Don't limit yourself to the description of Amulets in the text. In actual Egyptian society the most common metaphysical use of Amulets were as wards- protection from disease, betrayal, predators, etc. The act of protection and preservation are obvious parallels with the Guild. More broadly, Amulets represent engravings and symbols as opposed to more specific depictions of living things like Effigies or the actual names of beings found Books. Symbols can represent many things, including identity. A crown is a symbol of authority, while a brand upon the face of a slave is a symbol of submission and ownership. The Maa-Kep ensured continuity and identity, they kept the labor force to task and made certain each craftsman was given over to their craft. At the same time, they used their position to assume whatever identity they required at the time to keep watch over their fellows. Amulets provided the means to protect their society, to declare and rearrange their identities and so on.

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