The Obelisk Prophecy
All the denizens of the desert fear the fangs of the asp. From the tiniest mouse to the mightiest man, no creature risks the sting of venom. Yet poison is not the only weapon at the disposal of a serpent. How more deadly is a honeyed word that drives men to evil, and to their own destruction.
For as long as the Akiri Empire has stood, there have been serpents slithering in the shadows. The Cult of Set has always plagued the Akiri, spreading chaos and corruption in society and destroying the divine ma’at that sustains the universe. Followers of Set are found in all ranks of society, from the lowliest beggar to the richest noble. The seductive hiss of Set worms its way into the minds of the greedy and ambitious, promising power and wealth. Once inside, Set wraps his vile coils around his prey, crushing the last sparks of goodness and warping his victim into a twisted mockery. So was it when Set entered the lives of a noble family in the Akiri Empire.
Centuries ago, a wealthy family in the Akiri civilization joined the cult of Set in exchange for great power and influence. In payment to their dread God, they were asked to adopt a foundling and raise him as their legitimate son. Named Inanamen, this child was brought up in the household of the nobles and placed within the highest circles of society. In the language of the Akiri, his name translates as “Glory to the Gods”, however, in the secret tongue of the cult of Set, his name translates as “Chosen of Set”. From the beginning, Inanamen possessed a preternatural charm and intellect, which allow him to worm his way into the priesthood of Amon Ra and seize control of his own cult of Set. Inanamen used his cult followers to assist in his rise to high priest, assassinating or discrediting anyone who stood in his way, eventually becoming the advisor to the pharaoh, Ankhtepot.
With the patience of a reptile, Inanamen waited many years of his opportunity. As the pharaoh felt the sting of age, he feared his own death. Just as the sun falls each dusk, so too was the pharaoh destined to die. Yet like the sun, he too would rise again, resurrected as Osiris, Horus and Ra, living forever more as the immortal line of kings. Yet Ankhetop feared death and began his research into immortality, to avoid his inevitable death and reign forever. It was then that Inanamen struck, taking the opportunity to lead the pharaoh into depravity and destroy civilization.
Inanamen encouraged Ankhetepot to perform grisly experiments upon his slaves, though to the Set worshiper’s delight, the pharaoh needed no urgings to be brutal. Inanamen happily watched as Ankhetepot slew countless innocents in the quest for immortality, acting only rarely to keep the pharaoh on the path of self-destruction. After years of bloodshed and torment, Ankhetop was rewarded for his evil and given the immortality he craved, as well as his touch of death. While Ankhetepot basked in his own glory, Inanamen plotted. Receiving a vision from Set, the hidden serpent realized that the end drew near. Even as the priests of Ra prepared to overthrow Ankhetepot, Inanamen worked his corruptive wiles. The cult of Set spread plagues, poisoned wells and enticed barbarian invasions, helping to bring about the age of decline. When the rebellious priests of Ra mummified Ankhetepot, Inanamen had already fled to a safe haven, the accursed city of Deir el Medina.
As the Akiri civilization collapsed, Inanamen shared with his people the vision of their destiny. After millennia of waiting, the Cult of Set was to prepare for the destruction of the world. Since the beginning of time, Set had plotted to seize the earth from his brother Osiris. With the blasphemy of Ankhetepot, Set had brought corruption and entropy into the world, destroying the harmony of the cosmos. As chaos reigned the Gods withdrew, slowly losing hope, inevitably abandoning the earth to its fate.
On that dread day, it was prophesied that Set would escape from his prison in the afterlife. With no gods to defeat him, Set would reign unopposed over the earth, enslaving its inhabitants to his vile will. Those who served Set loyally would be made the rulers of that doomed world, ensuring that Set would be revered for all eternity. This would be the fate of the denizens of Deir el Medina, masters of the cosmos under the rule of Set. Inanamen would lead them deep into the earth where they would construct the Temple of Set, a ghastly fortress where the abominable worshipers of Set would live and prepare for the end of the world.
Once the temple was constructed, Inanamen led the diggers to a place revealed to him in a dream, the Well of Souls. Eventually the serpentine diggers broke into a chamber guarded by four statues, all of who bent their knees to Inanamen. Inanamen would pass to the chamber beyond, but not before giving his people the laws by which to live their vile lives. The mutated serpent folk were to devote their lives to the study of Set, his history, philosophy and religious doctrine. These serpents were to breed a great army, which would be hatched on the day of the apocalypse. The greatest honour for these people was to be included in the Chosen of Set, the ancient dead.
In the Well of Souls, Inanamen waits. He lives his life in communion with his dread God, basking in the power that emanates from the Well of Souls. Every so often a new Chosen of Set proves himself worthy and enters the Well, where he is mummified by Inanamen and joins the ranks of the ancient dead. There in the Well they silently pray to their God, preparing for the day that the Well will open and Set will emerge. On that day, the Chosen of Set will be reborn. Inanamen and his followers will shed their mummified skins and emerge in new, shining scales, rising as immortal servants of Set and ruling over the earth for all time. This is the destiny that drives Inanamen, the inevitable reward for his fell deeds.
Inanamen, The Chosen of Set
Inanamen is a frightening image, for his body is horribly warped by the vile magic of his dark God. The cleric of Set appears to be a horribly desiccated mummy, reduced to little more than skeletal limbs held together by a tin layer of leathery meat and sinew. Cracked wrappings adorn his body, glued firmly to his desiccated flesh. The eyes of the ancient dead are empty sockets, filled by a darkness rivalling the night sky. While his torso resembles that of a mummified human, he has been mutated by the touch of Set. Where once were legs is only a massive viper tail, made of dull leathery scales. Wherever Inanamen slithers he is shadowed by the scarping sound of dried serpent flesh wearing against the stone floor.