Monday, January 12, 2015

The Gods of Khefra: A Preview

In the forthcoming NUELOW Games book The Three Lives of Fantomah: Daughter of the Pharoahs includes an RPG supplement detailing the gods of Khefra, the hidden city state that Fantomah rules. Here is a sample of what's in that article.

The divine forces in Fantomah's world have been touched upon in The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle and The Three Lives of Fantomah: Guardian of the Jungle, but they are referenced frequently in the third and final volume in the series, so we chose to detail them there. In addition to descriptions useful in any game world that features supernatural beings such as gods, the book contains several new OGL d20 feats that can be used with the rules presented in the previous Fantomah books and in other NUELOW Games releases, such as Feats of Magic and Mysticism.

Dozens of gods are honored by the citizens of Khefra. They reflect the civilization's roots in ancient Egypt, but certain gods are worshiped only in Khefra and all have evolved beyond their roles in ancient times.

This jackal-headed god is reputed to guide the souls of the dead safely to the afterlife. In Khefra, he is also honored by those who enforce the law and is considered to be the final judge of innocent or guilt. He is portrayed in artwork as a powerfully muscled man with the head of a jackal carrying an executioner's axe.
   Symbol: A jackal head
   Interaction with the Mortal World: If an innocent person stands wrongly accused of a crime and beseeches Anubis to prove his or her innocence, there is a 90% chance that Anubis will respond in some manner that will fulfill the request. If the party making the accusations is knowingly lying, 2d20+20 jackals appear in the area and attack the accusers. The jackals attack until they or their target(s) is slain.

Bast is the patron goddess of cats and gamblers, and the dedicated enemy of snakes and scorpions. In Khefra, it is believed that she was once herself the most loyal cat of the Lord of Earth and Air, and he rewarded her by making her a god. She is portrayed in art as a black cat wearing bejeweled collars, or as a slender, cat-headed woman wearing little more jewelry and a short skirt.
   Symbol: A cat head, or a die.
   Interaction with the Mortal World: If a person calls upon Bast while engaged in a struggle to protect, save, or benefit a friend, there is a 50% chance that 2d4 panthers appear to fight at the character's side. A black house cat will also appear and lead the beseecher to the key to a solution to any greater problems the character may be facing. If there is no need for physical might, the panthers do not appear.

The Lord of Earth and Air
A fearsome being who was one of the first creatures to emerge from the chaos of pre-Creation, he is viewed as one of the most powerful of all the gods. He is never portrayed in art, except as storm clouds appearing in paintings of Bast. Aside from certain cults devoted specifically to serving him, few dare call upon him, because while he is known to give supplicants great powers, he usually exacts a terrible price in return. He is the patron god of Khefra's royal family, and it is through his blessing that they reputedly have life-spans ten times that of normal human beings.
   Symbol: A glass vial with a few grains of sand.
   Interaction with the Mortal World: The Lord of Earth and Air gives all characters who have the blood of Khefra's royal family in their veins extended longevity. They age normally until they reach 19 years of age, after which the aging process slows down and they age 1 year for every 10 that pass. (There is a 1% chance that any player character may be an illegitimate heir to the throne of Khefra and thus a receipient of the Lord of Earth and Air's gift.)
    Any other interactions with the mortal world are prompted through complex rituals. One such ritual can lead to a person becoming an avatar of the Lord of Earth and Air, such as Fantomah early in her life. (See The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle and The Three Lives of Fantomah:Guardian of the Jungle for details.)

Cover for the final book in NUELOW's Fantomah series.
Art by Brad McDevitt

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