One of the most interesting parts of the Iremite empire was the fact that Alchemy was an art practiced by their artisans. While the deepest secrets of Alchemy was kept away from common servants, the ones that were eventually given the honor of becoming one of the Arisen were given access to the higher secrets of the art.
The Mesen-Nebu are these alchemists. Beyond simple metallurgy and basic chemistry, Alchemy to the Mesen-Nebu was the magic of transformation in all its forms. Taking base things: lead, dirt, clay, manual labor and forming it so that it suddenly obtains great value in the form of art, beauty or rarity is the true essence of Alchemy.
If the Maa-Kep are assistants, then the Mesen-Nebu are artisans. It is their calling to create beauty by collecting “value” from lesser things and condensing it into one beautiful finished product. This philosophy of the Mesen-Nebu centers up on the central concept of Dedwen, or “prosperity.”
Dedwen is a complex idea, merging utility with beauty and ultimately condensing it to the very basic idea of worth. Rarity, quality, usefulness, desirability, all of these are a factor in an object’s Dedwen, and the Mesen-Nebu focus on the pursuit of it.
The Mesen-Nebu are the opposite of the Maa-Kep in many ways, given that they aren’t content to hide in the background. Dedwen is meant to be seen, envied and desired. As such excellence in form, bearing and even skill is the goal of many Mesen-Nebu, who wish to manifest Dedwen even in their actions and words.
This is the reason why the Mesen-Nebu are perhaps the wealthiest of the Arisen. Their penchant for identifying and hoarding objects with Dedwen make them very good at being able to acquire wealth and status in any form. While they might not have the near intuitive grasp of being able to slip into a society unnoticed that the Maa-Kep exhibit, their ability to judge worth and value makes them cunning bargainers that can pay their way to success.
Appropriately, the Mesen-Nebu’s favored vessels are Regia. These are items of alchemical in nature. The Mesen-Nebu are able to do remarkable things with them and more so than anything else the Regia are objects defined by their form. Thankfully under the alchemists, these Regia’s forms are infinitely mutable.
In some ways, the Mesen-Nebu take up the niche of the flamboyant social splat of the Arisen. Despite being sensualists, the Mesen-Nebu philosophy and focus on Dedwen give an interesting dimension to their motivations and methodologies. I like their philosophy, honestly as it makes for a certain kind of sense. Perhaps it’s because they share a similar paradigm to the Syndicate Convention of the Technocracy from Mage: the Ascension: “Value (or in their case, Dedwen) makes the world go round.”
I’m happy with what I’m reading so far, as the splats are interesting, and the writing is pretty easy to understand. Tomorrow, we’ll move on to the next Guild: the Sesha-Hebsu, the Closed Books.