The Akhenatem of the Badlands
Ruler: Adamahotep III, Pharaoh of Akhenatem
Religion: Arin (Arion as Addama-Ra)
The land of Akhenatem, also called the badlands is a land of strict hierarchy and belief that the myriad gods walk the land or sail the skies. Caste is everything to these people, with each person born to a role and place in society, including the priest caste,the noble caste, the working caste, and the merchant caste. Lives are dictated by the principles if ma’at, the code of conduct and ‘right thinking’ presented by the goddess of the same name. The badlands is inhospitable to most forms of life, and only through the will of the Pharaoh does rain come and plants grow. In this wilderness only reptiles and insects thrive, and grow to unnatural size. The people of Akhenatem have learned to capture and train insects, using them as steeds, hunting ‘birds’, and for drawing threads and harvesting carapace for clothing.
The belief of the people of Akhenatem is that the sun itself is the manifestation of Arion (Addama-Ra), the creator and judge of the world. Each day, he sails across the sky, and at night he sails across the underworld, while Sanguine (Sekhmet), watches the night as the moon, as the incarnation of Addama-Ra’s wrath. Mana (Ma’at) was the one who brought wisdom to the people, holding in one hand the scales of balance, testing each life before deciding their ultimate fate when they die. Zillah (Kem-tauret) is the collector of souls, who comes in the form of a female jackal, finding those who have died and bringing them ultimately to their place in the afterlife, either into paradise, or to be devoured by Tsunami (Iben-Sebek) the dark lord of the oceans and rivers. Maya (Nebt-het), the mother of the world, is the wife of Iben-Sebek, and it is from her line that the great Pharaohs of Akhenatem were sprung. Each Pharaoh is a god-made-flesh, to be revered, and there is some truth to this, as the Pharaohs have demonstrated power over the land, controlling the weather and causing natural disasters when displeased. It is only through the will of these great kings that anyone could survive in the Badlands at all.
The 42 principles of ma’at, or the forty-two declarations of purity, are the foundation of belief for the Akhenatem, and when one dies, they are tested against each declaration. The soul of the deceased is weighed upon the scale of ma’at, and they are told to speak the 42 declarations. Each lie causes the soul to grow heavier, and if the soul grows too heavy, the scales are tipped, and the speaker is doomed, taken by Kem-tauret to be devoured by Iben-Sebek.
|1. I have not killed, nor bid anyone kill.||15. I have not lied, nor spoken falsely to the hurt of another.||29. I have not despised nor angered the gods.|
|2. I have not committed adultery or rape.||16. I have not used fiery words nor stirred up any strife.||30. I have not stolen from the gods.|
|3. I have not avenged myself nor burned with rage.||17. I have not spoken nor acted deceitfully to the hurt of another.||31. I have not given excessive offerings nor less than what is due.|
|4. I have not caused terror.||18. I have not spoken scornfully against others.||32. I have not coveted my neighbours' goods.|
|5. I have not assaulted anyone nor caused anyone pain.||19. I have not eavesdropped.||33. I have not stolen from nor disrespected the dead.|
|6. I have not caused misery.||20. I have not ignored the truth or words of righteousness.||34. I have remembered and observed the appointed holy days.|
|7. I have not done any harm to man or to animals.||21. I have not judged anyone hastily or harshly.||35. I have not held back the offerings due to the gods.|
|8. I have not caused the shedding of tears.||22. I have not disrespected sacred places.||36. I have not interfered with sacred rites.|
|9. I have not wronged the people nor bear them any evil intent.||23. I have caused no wrong to be done to any workers or prisoners.||37. I have not slaughtered with evil intent any sacred animals.|
|10. I have not stolen nor taken that which does not belong to me.||24. I have not been angry without good reason.||38. I have not acted with guile or insolence.|
|11. I have not taken more than my fair share of food.||25. I have not hindered the flow of running water.||39. I have not been unduly proud nor acted with arrogance.|
|12. I have not damaged the crops, the fields, or the trees.||26. I have not wasted the running water.||40. I have not magnified my condition beyond what is appropriate.|
|13. I have not deprived anyone of what is rightfully theirs.||27. I have not polluted the water or the land.||41. I have done no less than my daily obligations require.|
|14. I have not borne false witness, nor supported false allegations.||28. I have not taken the name of the gods in vain.||42. I have obeyed the law and committed no treason.|
The people of Akhenatem are stern when it comes to outsiders. Living in a region surrounded by demons and undead, plagued by reptiles and giant sentient spider-folk in their home land, the Akhenatem do not trust those from outside, and most certainly do not hold stock in any faith but their own. The Pharaoh is living proof of the divine blessing of the gods.
The inspiration for the Akhenatem is the ancient Egyptian Empire. The place is desert and badlands, held together by the sheer will of the Pharaoh, who rules without question. The noble houses compete with one another for the royal line’s favour, even while attempting to gain power through marrying into the noble line. The priest caste attempts to balance their own desires for power and strength against the will of a god-made-flesh.
There are a number of modifiers which can be used for Akhenatem names. The following are the most common however: Anok <name> ‘I am <name>’ and is a more formal version of a common name. (Like ‘Johnathan’ versus ‘John’). <name>-hotep ‘<name> is pleased’. This is usually taken by the very pious or those who serve great leaders. Iben-<name> ‘the heart of <name>’, and is used by those who state they are following the ideals or virtues of another. Kem-<name> ‘dark <name>’, used by those who wish to intimidate or impress, or those who represent the wrath of another.
Male: Ammon, Aten, Badru, Bastet, Cheops, Chigaru, Dakarai, Darius, Ebo, Edfu, Fadil, Funsani, Geb, Gyasi, Hamadi, Heru, Ini-herit, Ishaq, Jafari, Jibade, Kaphiri, Khalid, Lisimba, Luzige, Makalani, Moshe, Nkosi, Nkuku, Odion, Omari, Paki, Ptolemy, Qeb, Quashie, Ramses, Runihura, Sadiki, Sefu, Tarik, Tumaini, Umi, Un Nefer, Wamukota, Yafeu, Yahya, Zahur, Zaid
Female: Acenath, Astarte, Bast, Bennu, Chione, Cleopatra, Dalila, Dendera, Eboni, Eshe, Femi, Fukayna, Halima, Hathor, Ife, Isis, Jamila, Jendayi, Kanika, Kephri, Lapis, Layla, Maibe, Meskhenet, Nailah, Nefertiti, Ode, Omorose, Panya, Pili, Quibilah, Ramla, Raziya, Sekhet, Shani, Tabia, Thema, Uadjit, Urbi, Walidah, Zalika, Zaliki
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