Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Naryan Directory: The Lore Index

So, I'm trying to make these index pages to make it easier for players to find specific content.

We already have the Gods Index and the Player Homebrew Index and you can use those links to find everything about the religion of these setting in the former and custom class & race content in the latter index.

This index is more for the articles related to geography, history, politics, etc.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Faiths of Sublanarya: The Trial of Reynard the Fox

The Twilight Realm of Dawn is a queer place of wonderful, wondrous, and whimsical beauty and grim, dark, and deadly horror. It is called by many names The Land of Fairy, The Nth Kingdom, and Fantasia. Yes, even a world of magic like Narya, the Twilight Realm of Dawn is considered to be even more inherently fantastic. After all, it is the nexus through which all positive energy, an important element of magic that makes up the magical conflux of Narya, travels and is a sometimes disturbingly and always twisted bright reflection of the material world. There are many odd nooks and crannies, as well as crooks and nannies, in this odd plane and, in one corner is a place where a genre of children's stories become manifest and/or manifest from. The genre that involve talking animals in fancy clothes and moral lessons and rhymes. It is a very real country in the fey realm. This country is called The Kingdom of Animalia.

It is in Animalia that the famous Trial of Reynard the Fox.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Monster Mash: A is for Al-Miraj

Unicorns are celestial guardians. They guard sacred forest and offer themselves as mounts to holy champion. They are associated with purity, healing and righteousness.

But they are not the only horned celestial beasts.

In fact, there are many creatures associated with the fey and celestial that all bare the divine horn upon their brow. Perhaps unicorns are the archetype of these creations or perhaps they're just the best known on the material plane, but there are other divine beasts that can be found in the realm. Many of these creatures are so rare they are considered more myth or legend than even a unicorn. These creatures were once more common but have been forced, by hunters seeking their horns, into more secluded territory.

The Al-Miraj is a creature that is often a joke used to scare children from going into dangerous woods or to dissuade superstitious hunters from hunting in woods where they are unwelcome. The Al-Miraj is said to stalk the ancient woods of the world, looking for evil doers, and to hunt them down. A large yellow hare with a long spiral horn for goring its prey and the claws and teeth of a lion for tearing them to shreds is a somewhat ridiculous or terrifying image depending on the storytelling spinning the imagery and the audience. Only a fool would fall for such a story.

But that doesn't mean they're not real.

Predator of Predators. When an Al-Miraj claims a stretch of forest as their territory, usually a sacred or divine forest but, if not available, the first forest that catches their fancy, the first thing they do is seek out the largest predator in the forest and hunt them down.
After hunting down the large predator and slaying them, the Al-Mirahj devours its prey. If they have the time, they prefer to eat their prey from the inside out and particularly savor the heart, liver and other bodily organs of predators over any other animal flesh. There is nothing more unsettling than the sound of a pleased Al-Miraj gorging itself on a bear's corpse. The happy sounds they make have been compared to children's laughter or singing.
Despite their small size, Al-Miraj are apex predators. They are fast, cunning, stealth, fierce and, most importantly, very, very, very deadly. And they might seem a bit greedy. Al-Miraj won't stop with the former apex predator of the wood. If a forest has a disproportionate number of predators, the Al-Mirah will hunt them and thin out their numbers until there are just enough left to balance the ecosystem of the forest.
In fact, this veracity for hunting down and slaying predators is the very reason for their existence.

Sacred but Deadly. The gods have strange ways of bringing balance to nature, when their enemies or unknowing humanoids throw off the balance, and in this case it involves sending a celestial terror to bring about balance in the wood. Al-Miraj are created by nature gods or their druids when their wood becomes overwhelmed with dangerous predators, whether beasts or people, that threaten to wreak havoc on the natural order of their domain. After they finish the job of routing the wood of the threat, they either move onto the next forest that needs their veracity or they claim the territory as their permanent hunting grounds. And yet, they're rare.
This is because, despite their purpose being to dislodge unwanted hunters from the wood, their existence attracts very particular hunters. Their horns are perfect crafting any number of magical weapons, since they're already endowed with magical properties that allow them to slay the hardiest owlbear, and they have a number of alchemical properties. Their coats are also prized for the magic resistance and exotic coloration. They have an inherent weakness built into them: their minds are susceptible to enchantment magic.Therefore, monster hunters merely charm the Al-Miraj and cut away their horn, leaving them to die, and taking their prize with them.
That's why they're so rare.

Enemies of Evil. Despite their ferocious reputation, Al-Miraj are not known to attack the innocent and show little interest in herbivorous creatures. Their preferences to hunt and kill predators are merely their nature. While they may mistake any unmet humanoid as an intruder, they can be reasoned with if they speak quickly about their intentions in the wood. Furthermore, they can easily be convinced to aid a would-be-hero in routing an evil from the wood and, while their solitary predators, they seek out elves and other forest folk when they run up against a threat that they can't handle on their own.
They make for great but short-lived alliances that nobody will ever believe.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Naryan Class Options: The Witch (5e) Current Version

THE WITCH
“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” - The Wizard of Oz (1939)

A squat human hums a song, petting her black cat, and stirs a small cauldron filled with a bubbling blue liquid that will grant her invisibility when she sneaks into the tower of the dread lord to steal back the gold he has been taking from the overtaxed peasants in her village.

A halfling bobs up and down on a flying butter churn as she races her cackling raven through the canyon with a wyvern hurdling after them, probably wanting her eggs back, as the thieves escape her lair.

A purple octopus climbs up the shoulder of her blue skinned tiefling master and watches as he prepares to summon a demonic servant to help them open the large iron door that separates them from the next steps in their quest for power.

In the world of Narya, a witch is a spellcaster that not only taps into the arcane but also draws upon the divine and natural to empower their spells. Whether their mother taught them everything she learned from her mother or they became an apprentice to a local coven one foggy night, witches are naturally drawn to the unnatural and strange. Whether that supernatural attraction is like a moth to the flame or two lovers in harmony is up to the witch.

THE QUICKENING
Every now and then a child is born that finds themselves extremely sensitive to the supernatural. Perhaps they inherited it from their bloodline or they witnessed some weird event or perhaps it is just a result of the chaotic nature of reality, but these children are born and their sensitivity causes them to chafe with society. This sensitivity causes them to see things that others wouldn’t, to ask questions that no good mannered person would ask and to think differently than the other children in their village. They are eccentric, to say the least, and they seek out the unusual instinctually. They are drawn to it.

After some time, either in childhood or youth, they begin having strange dreams. In their dreams, they are accompanied by a friend-- usually a cat, a small dog, a bird, a doll or an octopus-- that all can talk. One morning, they wake up, and, sitting on the bedpost, the friend becomes real. The friend explains that the child has begun the Quickening, that they are the child’s familiar and that the child is a witch.

This is the strange manner that witches not born into a witching family are introduced to their gift and to the world of Witchcraft.

PERSECUTION
Witches are usually found in a society where magic is suppressed. In the world of Narya, there are places like Thule where magic, whether arcane, divine or natural, are discouraged and practitioners are rejected, if not persecuted, by the locals.
This is especially true among women in the more backwards parts of the realm. After all, a woman with power is dangerous in a patriarchy. If women are expected to be subservient and seen but not heard, then a woman who can tap into incredible power is not only a danger to those around her but to the community in the eyes of the local authorities. For this reason, witches are often scapegoated and hunted down.

This persecution caused magical knowledge to become a scarcity in these regions and actually furthers the Craft. After all, if a youth who is sensitive to magic was in a land where magical education is prevalent, they would become a druid, a cleric or a wizard. And so the common folk, the wise women and medicine women, mix the practices of several spellcasting traditions into an art called the Craft and pass it on to the next generation of witches.

 
THE CRAFT
The Craft of Witchery, witchcraft, is what some elitist spell-casters would call "common magic" or even "country magic". The most common witch practices a mix of medicine, fortune telling, and, for a price, putting hexes on people. A witch does specialized jobs from midwifery to exorcism. In many communities, such women have learned the trade from an older witch, even passed down from mother to daughter, and are respected cornerstones of country living. While reclusive, some witches form small groups called Covens. It is generally considered bad luck to gather more or less than three witches at a time: the Elder, is the oldest and is usually childless (called the "Crone" in evil covens), the Mother, has children and may even have a family, and the Maiden, a childless youth. They generally gather at special meetings to discuss local occurrences and collaborate on solutions to problems too big for a single witch.

These "good witches", according to those that call themselves such, help people. This doesn't mean, necessarily, doing what people want. Good isn't nice. Good does what's needed. Sometimes this means witches manipulate people, often relying on their knowledge and cunning over actual magic application, but always for the greater good. A good witch is a welcome member to any community in need. And yet, witches have a bad reputation in places, such as Thule and, perhaps, this is a mix of superstition and misogyny. After all, most spell-casters and those who seek and use power are at risk of being corrupted. But still, the prevalence and infamy of bad witches in folklore is indisputable.
  
There are plenty of reasons for a witch to go bad: they live alone, they are touched by magic, they are eccentric, they are persecuted and they meddle in the affairs of the outer planes. Some witchcraft relies upon drawing upon patrons, like demons or devils, for magic and that takes a toll. Their interests in the community turn from helping to hurting; they give potions with bad effects, they steal away livestock and children for dark purposes and, generally, become crazier and crueler. They basically become hags. And then somebody has to stop them.

Bad witches give their good counterparts such a bad reputations that, generally, good witches don't advertise their talents widely. After all, nobody wants to be burned at the stake.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Character Crunch. Tuathans and Faiths of Sublanarya: Dagda the Stag Prince

The following is an excerpt from a previous article... Witchcraft Part 4: Morgana La Fey the Terrible and Magnificent 

When an animal dies in Sublanarya, they move onto the afterlife just the same as any other sentient life forms, usually finding an immortal resting place in the Heavens. When animals die in the Feywild, they instead become spirits until they can reincarnate. Being touched by the fey changes these animals and, after many generations, a tribe of these animal spirits became sentient and known as the Yenna-goshi.

Yenna-goshi are one of the most mysterious species of shape-changers since they have a non-corporeal spirit form, an animal form, and a humanoid like form. They are strange primal entities that, in their humanoid form, having a mix of nondescript animal traits obscured by a cloak of animal hides with great glowing eyes looking out from under the hood.They usually watch over special places of nature in the Feywild and material plane. They are the spirits often responsible for the creation of Hengeyokai, sentient animals, born from normal animals, with the ability to transform into a human-like form. They are responsible for other yokai such as giant beasts, "animal gods", that serve as paragons of their kind and protectors of nature. There are also responsible for the Tuath De Yenna or Tuathans.

Thousands of years ago, there was a tribe of humans. They were known to be a peaceful and friendly craftsmen with use of bright colors, ornate patterns and unusual materials that create designs that were somehow both natural and unnatural. They were a simple people, living in harmony with the land, and did not seek war. They once had a homeland but were chased out by invaders. They became lost on a foggy morning and found themselves in a strange land, having crossed over into the Feywild, and it seemed there was no escape.

The tribe was lost in a strange and dangerous place, but they soon found friends. They had found themselves in a secluded forest, deep in the Dawn realm, protected by the yenna-goshi. Usually anyone foolish enough to step into or, much worse, damage the lands of the yenna-goshi would be scared off or meet some misfortune. It is said the yenna-goshi were bewitched by the colorful garments and tents of the people, the aroma of their tea and food, and the songs played by the young and old. Rather than scaring off the tribe, the yenna-goshi helped the humans and befriended them, allowing them to make the woods their home.

And, as the humans spent time in the Feywild, they changed as they were touched by the spirit of the animals. They gained the ability to shape-change into animals, they learned fey magic and knowledge, and helped protect the forests of the yenna-goshi. In time, they became known as the Tuatha de Yenna-goshi or "tribe of the animal spirits" or tuathans ("the tribespeople") for short.

Some tuathans eventually discovered a way to return to the material plane and, with their knowledge of fey magic, shape-shifting, and other gifts they had obtained abroad, they became a powerful small empire that stood for a thousand years. And then, mysteriously, the empire collapsed. Today, descendants of the tuathans can be found in the material plane and it is still believed they live hidden away in the forests of the yenna-goshi. They do not advertise their shape-shifting or heritage to avoid the superstitious fear of humans but also other enemies.

Their blood, their very heritage, is sought after by any number of powerful magic users and fey lords that seek to tap into the power of their mysterious race.

Tuathans are a race scattered to the four winds with small families, clans and communities hiding themselves away in the corners of the wild. They try to preserve their heritage but mostly want peace from the "wild hunt". A few tuathans either seek adventure or, by tragedy, are forced to seek out their own path in the world.

They resemble humans with fey-like features, often being mistaken for half-elfs or having elf blood, but have features resembling their unique animal form. From unique eye color and shape, such as having the eyes of an eagle, to hair the color of their fur or feathers in their animal form, such as tawny brown hair that turns white in the winter and back in the spring. Their closeness to nature, or at least their kindred animals, often leads them to druidism or ranging.

Ability Score Increase. Increase two ability scores of your choice each by 1 or one ability score of your choice by 2.
 It is recommended you base the ability score on your Kindred Animal. EX. A bear would have a +2 to Strength and a +1 to Constitution but a Bat would probably have a +2 to Dexterity.
Alignment. While Tuathans were once the ruling class of an ancient kingdom, since their downfall they have returned to their wild heritage. They tend towards neutrality, focusing on the survival and welfare of their kin, but some take their desire for freedom and turn it into an ideal of allowing themselves and others to live free. They tend towards neutral and chaotic alignments.
Size. Your are similarly sized to a human. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Wild Folk. You have proficiency in the Nature skill.
Kindred Speech. You have the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts similar to your kindred animal as if using the Speak With Animals spell.
The following are the beasts you can choose as your Kindred Animal. If you want to use a different beast, consult with your GM.
Ape, Axe Beak, Baboon, Badger, Bat, Black Bear, Blood Hawk, Boar, Camel, Cat, Constrictor Snake, Crocodile, Deer, Draft Horse, Eagle, Elk, Flying Snake, Frog, Giant Badger, Giant Bat, Giant Frog, Giant Goat, Giant Lizard, Giant Owl, Giant Poisonous Snake, Giant Rat, Giant Weasel, Goat, Hawk, Hyena, Jackal, Lizard, Mastiff, Mule, Owl, Panther, Poisonous Snake, Pony, Pteranodon, Rat, Raven, Riding Horse, War Horse, Weasel, Wolf, Vulture,
You can pick from the following but must be at least Level 4.
Brown Bear, Dire Wolf, Giant Eagle, Giant Hyena, Giant Toad, Giant Vulture, Lion, Tiger
Kindred Animal. You can take a bonus action to magically transform into your specific and unique kindred animal. Pick a creature from the list above. You can use this ability for up to twelve hours. Every time you use this ability to turn into your kindred animal and then turn back into your normal form, it expends at least one hour of your potential time in your kindred animal form. You regain this ability when you take long rests.

You can willingly return to your normal form by using a bonus action to do so.

The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and cannot perform spells. Your intelligence, wisdom, and charisma ability scores remain the same and you may choose to use your hit points from your normal form instead of those of the creature. If your hit points become 0 or less in this form or you are knocked unconscious, you remain in this form.
 
The target’s gear melds into the new form. The target can’t activate, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment. 

Extra Languages. You may speak, read and write Sylvan and Elven.

The racial god of the Tuathans, Dagda, is similar to Sylvanis. In fact, some legends say that he is the son of Silvanus and a powerful Fey lady. While able to take any animal form, as a god of nature, his kindred animal is the stag and his favored form is that of a great and powerful stag. For this reason, he wears a crown of stag horns. He is said to be a capricious personality; wild, untamed and unpredictable. And yet, incredibly cunning and skilled. His guile allowed him to lead the Tuathans to rule an empire that is still spoken of in legend that stretched across many forested lands. And yet, even quicker than he rose to power, Dagda vanished. This was the beginning of the end for the empire and, shortly after his disappearance, it fell to ruin.

Those who still adhere to Dagda see him as a savior who will return to reunite the Tuathans. Some say he is still out there now, helping his people when he can, and punishing the wicked. He is said to take the forms of a beautiful young man or a bearded giant. He is also said to carry a long oak club that could take life or give it with a single swing, a cauldron that never runs empty of whatever drink or elixir he pleases, and a magical harp that can change the seasons as easily as it can change moods.

And yet, if he is still out there, why has he abandoned his throne?

It remains to be seen, but his people still wait for him.

  DAGDA THE STAG PRINCE
Title(s)
King of the Tuathans, The Mighty and Many-Skilled, The King of the Forests, Cernunnos, The Wild-Eyed Lord

Pantheon(s)
New Gods

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Chaotic Good

Symbol
A pair of antlers with a star between them
Portfolio
Druids, the forest, tuathans, rangers, talent

Domains
Nature

Worshipers
Druids, foresters (hunters, trappers, loggers), tuathans, fey, wood elves
Favored Weapon
Clubs, mauls

Holy Day(s)
Festivals and rituals for the seasonal equinoxes

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hamutian Pantheon: The Scorpion and the Toad (Serqet and Kek)


Every child in Sublanarya is told the story of the Scorpion and the Frog.

A scorpion asks a frog to carry her across the river on her back. The frog refuses for fear of being stung by the scorpion. The scorpion points out that if she were to sting the frog, they would both drown. The frog considers the offer and agrees to carry the scorpion across the river. About halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. This dooms them both.

When the frog asks the scorpion why she stung him, she replies "It is in my nature to do so."

But the story is more than a lesson to teach children that sometimes things, animals or people are incapable of being anything other than what they are (which fits neatly in the Ptah-Hamutian orderly view of the universe). It is also about the relationship between the beautiful but deadly Scorpion Queen Serqet and her brother The Mad Toad Kek.

Serqet and Kek are twin children of Set and Nephthys.

Serqet inherited powers over the realm of death directly from her mother. Her most famous duty among the guards was to guard Apep when he was imprisoned. Apep traded her the art of poison in exchange for his freedom and her father Set was forced to assert himself by defeating Apep in single combat.

She would proceed to user powerful poison for the arts of deception and murder, being the patron god of assassins and femme fatales, and is considered an enemy of the gods. She is also known to test out her poison on other gods...including the venom from one of the Old Ones.

Kek had been a deity of swamps, nights and rain and was transformed into a deity of chaos, madness and hunger. He is a corrupted god and associated with slaads and bullywugs. Among humankind, his worshippers are known for their disturbing feasts and the use of poisonous toads to induce hallucinations among their kind. His worshippers usually devolve into mad primitives, participating in human sacrifice and cannibalism, and many consider him to be a fused incarnation of the old one Tsathoggua.

His worship is very much forbidden among the populace but his cults pop up from time time to time.

SERQET THE SCORPION QUEEN
Title(s)
The Best Assassin, The Viscera Guardian, The Deadly Dancer, The Traitorous Sting, The Daughter of Grief

Pantheon(s)
Hamutian

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Neutral Evil

Symbol
A bronze scorpion

Portfolio
Assassins, poisons, scorpions, deserts, dancing

Domains
Death

Worshipers
Murderers, spies, assassins, temptresses, alchemists
Favored Weapon
Daggers

KEK THE NIGHT CROAKER
Title(s)
The Whisperer, Tsathoggua/Zhothoqqua, The Mad Toad, The Great Slaad, The Corrupted Brother

Pantheon(s)
Hamutian

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Chaotic Evil

Symbol
A black frog or toad

Portfolio
Madness, amphibians, darkness, gluttony, bullywugs, slaads,

Domains
Tempest

Worshipers
Cannibals, primitives, gluttons, lazy and slothful criminals, swamp dwellers
Favored Weapon
Whips

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hamutian Pantheon: The Suryayana (Surya, Tvastar, Saranya, Chaya, Yama, Rakta-Beej, Yami)



Surya is the sun god of the Raj-Hamutian Pantheon. He is often compared to Aurelion the Golden Sun for his beauty and goodness. It is possible the two gods are one in the same even if that interferes with their respective origins.

Surya's most famous legend involves his marriage to the daughter of Tvastar the Golden Spider.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Evolving Timeline of Narya Part II: Modern History of Sublanarya

For Part I: Ancient History of Sublanarya, click HERE.

The 2nd Epoch: Modern Narya (0 CE to 6667 CE (Present))

The first epoch, what Sublnaryan's call the "Ancient Epoch", is a time of great uncertainty, where reality and myth are intertwined, and the gods are locked in a series of brutal battles over the dominion of time and space. The space itself was constantly shifting in reaction to these battles, as gods can raise mountains and raze forests with ease, and time itself was warped by the destructive cosmic power of war on a scale beyond the understanding of mortals. It was a time that chaos reigned supreme and order struggled to gain a foothold. The current epoch is different.

In the current epoch, order has more than gained a foothold. It has put a boot on the jugular of chaos and the "Current Epoch" (CE) is one of some certainty. If the first epoch was defined by the struggle between order and chaos, between the authorities of the universe, the gods, and those who wish to destroy it, then the current epoch is one shaped by the struggle of good and evil. While both of these metaphorical and material struggles are of concern to the gods, the struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, are of much more consequence to mere mortals. After all, mere mortals are rewarded or punished based on their actions. Gods are all but absolute.

It is important to keep in mind when looking at the last seven millennia of Naryan history, told from a Sublanaryan perspective, that while the gods still guide the peoples of the material plane, the people are now, ultimately, the ones who shape the current state of the world. For better or worse, this is a time of civilizations, of kings and queens, of masters and slaves, and of armies and hordes. This is a period defined by the actions of mortals upon mortals.

The Current Epoch is tangible. Time and space can still be contorted but are less pliable. Years are 400 days long (10 moonths of 40 days) and each day is 25 hours long

Epoch II: Modern Narya
 (Summary)
1st Age: The Age of Wonders and Wandering
2rd Age: The First Dark Age: Rise of the Giants
3rd Age: The Age of Restoration
4th Age: The Second Dark Age: The Beastmen Invasion and The Holy Crusades
5th Age: The Tytanyan Age

Here goes:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

SUBLANARYAN CALENDAR (WIP)


Using donjon's awesome tools, I created a simple calendar for Sublanarya.

The moonths ("months") are named after the core family of the Naryan pantheon and the days of the week are named after the nine planes with a tenth day for worship. The moons are each named after one of the moon gods but the discworld of Narya, that completes a complete "turn" 360 degrees in 400 days, has other moons and cosmic bodies. This calendar even includes moon cycles and other cosmic events.

Stay tuned for holidays and other additions.





Friday, April 28, 2017

The Twin Empires of Hamutia: Ptah-Hamut and Raj-Hamut

Today's subject is of two lands. Separated by a sea, each empire claims dominion of the world: in the east, where the sun rises, is the lush tropical mountainous river-princedoms of Raj-Hamut [rahj-ha-moot], also known as the Emerald Empire for its natural riches and, across the sea to the west, is the cradle of human civilization, built along rivers in a harsh desert, the Empire of the Divine Sun, Ptah-Hamut [puh-tah-ha-moot]. These two states have opposed each other for over two millennia, even pitting their gods against each other, in a struggle for power not only in the material but the spiritual spheres. These two empires, the twin empires of Hamutia, or simple the Hamuts, were once one in the same.

Three and a half millennia ago, on a habitable green spot of land along the River Yor, a small settlement grew and flourished in the inundated plains until it became established as the first Sublanaryan human city of Aneb. The peoples of Yor River built their burgeoning empire upon the ruins of civilizations lost to time or record in a place they call the Valley of Dead Kings. Building upon this history, in the land they called Ptah-Hamut which translates to "the divine lands,  they created their own empire with their own god-king, the first "pharaoh", Namor-Ra.

Namor-Ra's descendants would be treated as living gods, directly receiving their authority from Ptah-Horus the Sun-Wielder himself, and protected by their will. To venerate their gods, those of heaven, Hamut and the underworld, they built great monuments to the gods and impressive tombs to house the remains of the pharaoh and his subjects.

To build these wonders, the Ptah-Hamuts used their wealth of resources to feed great armies and enslaved the "lesser peoples" of the continent. Eventually, their conquest spread across the sea to the east and they established the second part of their empire-- Raj-Hamut "land of princes". This was a means to an end:

In the third and a half millennium of the second epoch, the god-king Herezbek had twins: a girl T'Chalthra and a boy Magarda. The former was born first and therefore it seemed her birthright was to be his successor. These twins were not the first royal twins; the god-king's line had seen many twins born to Hamut before and, inevitably, there was conflict. Assassinations, attempted coup de tats, and even small civil wars had been fought over the throne. Herezbek's solution was to create a new kingdom for his son to rule. This prevented civil war and, to further protect the throne of Ptah-Hamut, the eastern continent became a land split between princes, also called rajahs or sultans, with a maharaja or grand sultan at the top. By dividing the roles of leadership, this created more positions and less intense rivalry for the position of god-king among the royal line.

From that point onward, the first born of the god-king was the heir to the throne of Ptah-Hamut. If the god-king had twins, the second born would become the heir of the reining maharaja. The majaraja's firstborn would be his heir, if not supplanted by the pharoah's twin child, and/or his other sons would be rajas of small princedoms of Raj-Hamut. The rajas battle for control of their small kingdoms but all under the command of the maharaja in the capitol of Kuthkuta.

This created a unique balance of power between members of the royal family that would last for several centuries until the god-king Nexret had twin daughters Wadjet and Nekhbet. This was a problem for a variety of reasons.

In six centuries, the religious practices and beliefs of Raj-Hamut created a culture that was much different than the home culture. The rivalry between princes and disdain for the "rule of the foreign god-king" created a rift that was reflected in their religious beliefs and cultural customs. And, in all that time, Raj-Hamut had never had a female ruler and the maharaja Bara, with the backing of the armies of the princedoms of Raj-Hamut rebelled against the ma'at or "divine order" of Ptah-Hamut's reign. The resulting civil war lasted for decades and had many epic battles. By the end,  Bara, Wadjet and Nekhbet were all slain, as well as many other princes and royalty. The result was that the two empires permanently split, bitterly, and remain rivals to this day over dominion of the divine kingdom of Hamut.

From this war sprouted the divine Cult of the Two Ladies. This cult says that Wadjet and Nekhbet ascended to godhood as consorts of Ptah-Horus and that they watch over the royal family of the god-kings. They are represented in the headdresses and iconography of the pharaoh as a vulture and cobra. They are also considered to represent the promise of a reunion of the two kingdoms.

The war also sprouted the first slave rebellion. The slaves that fled during the civil war formed the first wave of colonists of modern Zafaria along the Nadjabadi coast.

It was during the following between the following period, between the 57th and 60th centuries, that the cult evolved so that a serpent, the supposed descendant of the cosmic serpent and Wadjet, calling itself Apep II became the new pharaoh of Ptah-Hamut. Snake cults are a constant in Hamutian history and this one managed to sit itself upon the throne. Apep II was a serpent of gargantuan size, power and intellect. Only through a rebellion led by slaves, who would later become modern Zafarians who settled in Jalatia, was the snake cult overthrown and the pharoah's line properly restored.

But the god-king's empire has been in decline ever since that indignity.

It was during the post-split that came the era known as "classic Raj-Hamut". During this time period, there were many legendary wars fought between demons, gods, and heroes. The most famous heroes was the avatar of Sahasranama the Preserver, Rama the Warrior, who was exiled as a prince, and eventually fought a war to rescue his wife Sita the Devout, who was an avatar of Padma the Lotus-Dweller. There was also Krishna the Beautiful who was a sage prince who overthrew a cruel raja and tutored other princes on appropriate behavior. Such education, via a spiritual awakening from rediscovered history of ancient Hamut, reformed the spiritual lives of Raj Hamut with teachers like the latest avatar of Sahasranama, Prince Siddhartha the Awakened Soul.

This cultural revolution has allowed Raj-Hamut to flourish as an empire of individuals. But have they too began to fall behind the rest of Sublanarya?