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Old Gods of Irem

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  • Old Gods of Irem

    So in celebration of finally getting my physical copy of Sothis Ascends, Book of the Deceived, and Guildhalls of the Deathless (how did I go this long not knowing drivegthrurpg had an option to print out and bind books that are otherwise only pdf files??) I decided to start a couple general discussion threads.

    The Judges, the Devourer and the other Nameless gods of Irem. I feel like this is a rather broad topic with lots of potential discussions, and so I propose we use this as a general thread to offer ideas of new powers, plot threads, motivations, avatars, or whatever related to these cosmic horrors.

    Recently I've been doing some hunting, trying to find as much info on the actual Judges (as in, the real world assessors of Maat the ancient egyptians believed in that form the basis of the game Judges) and I'm finding the results...interesting. For example, Hetch-Abhu's sacred Nome was once the region surrounding the Faiyuum. That's the region that was the center of the crocodile god Sobek. Which is interesting to me because it strikes me that Hetch, being so concerned with preventing the death of sacred animals and humans (though its anyone's guess what he would consider 'sacred' in this context) would get along well with the Lizard Brain (the cosmic horror featured in WOD: Urban Legends) and his desire to protect the sacred crocodiles (by transforming humans into more of the sacred creatures in a process more than passingly resembling the Innsmouth look). And making that connection, I have to ask what other "animals" or "sacred human bloodlines" does Hetch want protected? Recall the text from Ancestry of Forgotten Stars, for example. 'As they seized secrets from the ghosts of their forefathers, ancient guild masters reached back to an inhuman heritage of a different stripe. The masters theorized that in the forgotten past, gods and demons twisted the human seed for their own purposes, or bred into bloodlines predating the founding of Irem—or perhaps, these lines were made by Shan’iatu summonings, shaping guild lineages to prepare them for future duties.' Consider that one who serves Hetch-Abhu may be forced to serve and protect entities whose very existence is hostile to the laws of reality itself. By the same token, such creatures might show up in the temple of this god to offer jibbering praise and sacrifice to their holy protector. Even if this isn't the case, serving Hetch is clearly going to put characters at occasional odds with all kinds of beings...like Hunters on the Vigil...and of course, learning what last dynasty does to endangered species might just provoke the Judge into manifesting in the world...

  • #2
    Neheb-ka is discussed in the second edition book in much detail, so I won't belabor that entry here. Interestingly, unlike some of his fellow Judges Neheb-ka has some readily accessible lore surrounding him in real life- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehebkau. Unlike his chimera-like depiction in the book, he is 100% a giant snake here. More interesting, in the earliest myths surrounding the god (re: the time closest to the age of Irem, and thus most likely to contain some truths about the Judge) his role is basically a stand in for Apophis, the eater of the sun. Later he becomes the Sun's guardian and protector. But that one strand of myth intrigues me. What does it mean? According to Dreams of Avarice, Re looked upon the scroll of ages and the halls of A'aru and for this was beaten and punished by the Judges. Now Re in this mythos is cowardly and squeemish, hardly the sort to draw the ire of a Judge that punishes the prideful. But one could argue that the ultimate act of hubris was to gaze upon the secrets of the cosmos and the homes the judges claim for themselves. No matter how much Re might regret his actions, he has still transgressed. Perhaps Neheb-ka never forgave him and nightly seeks to punish or kill the Sun god. Another interesting connection- Neheb-ka's snake-like features are a blood-red color. Like the Behenu, the children of Apophis (according to second edition) and presumably Apep itself. Could Neheb-ka have played so role in the genesis of this servant of Ammut? What if they are conspirators? Could Neheb-ka desire to punish the prideful so badly it would ally with the destroyer of creation? Could Neheb-ka secretly be a lover of the demoness, the being that fathered the demon Apep to begin with? Its also interesting to note that Neheb-ka represents the Decree of the Ab, which is both an aspect of the nameless Lion (Re) and what Ammut hungers for eternally. Does he seek to lure the prideful into her jaws?

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