[Let's Study Mummy: the Curse] Guilds: Su-Menent, Shepherds of the Chamber

Posted: February 8, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Mummy: the Curse, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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One of the most defining “crafts” in Mummy lore is that of the funerary tradition. In ancient Egypt, it is well known that there is an incredible degree of care, ceremony and religious weight in the creation of mummies. It is no surprise then that among the Arisen, there is a Guild dedicated to this craft as well.

The Su-Menent, Shepherds of the Chamber, are the Arisen that came from this tradition of workers. These death priests bear an understanding of the magic used by Shan’iatu to enact the Rite of Return. Because of this, the Su-Menent are also those who possess the means to bind a semblance of life to the preserved dead in terrifying acts of necromancy.

Because of the macabre nature of their tasks, the Su-Menent Guild attracts individuals who have a certain lack of qualms of working with the dead. Their magical experiments often delve into the realm of transforming the living into the dead through a myriad of means, then stealing the essence of life to instill it into vessels made of corpses.

Because of the nature of their purpose, the Su-Menent find themselves increasingly outmoded in the modern world. While many find a place in professions and practices that deal with life and death (as physicians and funerary workers) their arts are ones which can raise considerable attention.

This sort of humbled state is perhaps the greatest insult to the Su-Menent priesthood, as the manipulation of life and death is prone to give a taste of what it is to be a god. the Su-Menent understand that their arts are but a step away from the mystical powers of the Shan’iatu, and being unable to further their knowledge because of the modern world’s strictures is certain to annoy them.

Their preferred vessel is Uter, items made from once living material to which Sekhem is most naturally found. Bone, teeth, hair and other body parts preserved and crafted to form artifacts are the Su-Menent’s signature.

Among the Guilds the Su-Menent are among the most specialized and culture-specific and I’m glad that their write-up reflects this. As death-priests of an extinct civilization they are the “man out of time” group, whose practices, however important and divine in their eyes is abhorrent and deviant in the modern day.

They are also among the most easily translatable as “monsters” of the Guilds so far. With their terrifying proficiency with necromancy, even the most benign of the Su-Menent can be quite disturbing, as someone using corpse parts for magic is quite a mental image. Granted that the parts they use don’t always have to be human, as the write-up also mentions bees trapped in amber as a potential Uter.

As is, this Guild is almost guaranteed to get into trouble. The implications of their distance from humanity and their dedication to sticking to their gruesome craft has them as walking plot hooks. Of course, it is entirely possible to play a sympathetic Su-Menent as well, whose lack of fear and hesitation at working with the dead could come off as a character quirk.

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Comments
  1. Hikkikomori says:

    For me, the Su-Menent are the underdog of the group.

    They were advanced for their time, but now they’ve been left far behind. And their skills still reflect that of their specialties of a bygone era.

    As supernaturals, their ability is easily outmatched by other templates. Others having the ability to heal themselves and others, as well to learn more about the dead and dying, more efficiently than they can.

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