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Nithians

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Rathanos - Fire, energy, power, male supremacy, pride
Pflarr - Magic, knowledge, protection, magical constructs
Maat - Justice, order, virtue, honesty, integrity, honour, loyalty, redemption
Horon/Orisis - (Ixion)-Light, sun, war, heroism, fight evil, balance and order, life cycle, rebirth
Isiris/Hathor - (Valerias)-Love, passion, arts, beauty, protection, charity, fertility
Ptahr (Kagyar) - Crafts, metallurgy, sculpture, construction
Amon (Odin) - Sky, storms, winds, air, guile, knowledge, wisdom
Nithys (Protius) - Water, river Nithia, life, travel
Mut (Terra) - Prosperity, fertility, birth, earth, shepherds and farmers
Bastet - Fortune, wealth, instinct, protection, felines
Mahes (Ninfangle) - Hunting, battle, bravery, travel, rakasta and felines
Zephyr (Asterius) - Travel, trade, guile, thieves, messengers
Kepher (Noumena) - Enigmas, mysteries, magic, tactics, knowledge, strategy and logic
Chardastes - Medicine, healing, health, purification
Nuptys (Nyx) - Funeral rites, necromancy, darkness and obscurity, night, secrets
Thanatos - Death, oblivion, corruption
Ranivorus - Madness, destruction, hate, gnoll
Apophis (Bachraeus) - Betrayal, vengeance, hate, poison, serpents
Notes:
1. The Nithians are a mixed Neathar-Oltec group that lived in the present day Alasiyan basin between 2000 and 500 BC. From simple Bronze Age tribes, in just under 500 years the Nithians managed to advance technologically into the Iron Age and benefiting from the direction of great charismatic leaders that were able to unify the tribes until they made up a real empire under Chardastes I. The rise of the Nithian civilisation as such began in 1500 BC, and the age of maximum expansion it had in the period between the centuries XI and VIII BC, when the Empire of Nithia could number colonies that stretch from the far-off Savage Coast to the west to the Isle of Dawn to the east, and from Norwold until the Davanian coast to the south. Unfortunately, the enlightened kingdom of the Pharaohs provoked the envy of the entropic powers, which expanded the priests the more powerful nobles thirst for power and in order to corrupt their minds and bring hate and dissent among the rulers of the Nithian provinces. It was thus that Nithia was devastated by the civil war during the VI century BC, and in order to confront all his detractors at once, the Pharaoh Taphose was completely converted to the entropic powers, which gave him sufficient powers to unleash tremendous calamities against his enemies. It was at this point that Rathanos and Pflarr, disgusted by the betrayal of the more highly placed functionaries of the empire, chose to then prevent the madness of Taphose from leading the way to a new world-wide cataclysm, and together with the other Nithian Immortals acted in order to cause the collapse of the empire utilising pestilence, climatic changes, invasions and internal revolts, preserving only the Kingdom of Thothia on the Isle of Dawn, which had never betrayed the faith in Rathanos. When by now Nithia was on the point of collapse, Rathanos and Pflarr preserved the city of Ranak (stronghold of the deceased Taphose), eliminating any inhabitant that carried the seed of Entropy, and transferred it en block into the Hollow World in order to preserve the Nithian civilisation. Later, in accord with the Immortals that formed the group of the Guardians of Nithia, any memory of the Nithians was magically removed from the minds of all those that had helped to do that with the Empire, and with time the Nithian ruins were lost or were attributed to other civilisations. In the Hollow World instead, the first Pharaoh of the new Kingdom of Nithia, Kepher, would face serious internal dissidence, but was finally able to unify and bring order to the nation after having discovering and destroying an entropic artefact that still even threatens to bring chaos and destruction among the Nithians. Because of his epic deed Kepher later became an Immortal (Noumena) and his successor, Tut-Ah, continued according to the way traced by him, colonising the surrounding regions and return the Kingdom of Nithia to its ancient splendour. Unfortunately, the successors of the first two Pharaohs werenít equally enlightened, and Nithia found itself again faced with a civil war when the Pharaoh Kifara and the prince Hathep of the northern city of Dashur were provoked into an absurd fight for the power fomented by Thanatos. At the end of the civil war Ranak was reduced to ruins, such that the capital was moved into the new city of Tarthis, and Nithia was divided into two kingdoms, the Delta Kingdom (Lower Nithia) and the Kingdom of the South (High Nithia). By common accord, the nobles decided that the Pharaoh (as a representative of the Immortals) would continue to rule over the Kingdoms of Nithia, but this time would be elected by a council of priests of both kingdoms. Still once Rathanos and Pflarr should intervene in order to avoid the ancient magic of Taphose that could still cause major disasters in the future in the Hollow World, and therefore ultimately blocking the access to all the highly destructive spells of the old Nithian Empire. At the moment Nithia is a powerful and prosperous nation divided into county-like regions called nomes and ruled by the nomarchs, which must first obey the Pharaoh and after him their own King. The Nithian nation is found in the south-eastern corner of the Icirian continent. Its borders are constantly patrolled in order to avoid invasions from parts of the neighbouring Jennites and Tanagoro to the west, while to the east the presence of a massive mountain range that separates it from the Sea of Rax constitutes a natural barrier against any danger. The northern border instead is made up by the Lake Menkor, which separates the brute-men of the north and the sophisticated Hutaaka from the Nithian lands, forming another natural barrier that greatly defends the Kingdoms of Nithia. The Pharaoh holds the most important office and has absolute power over both the kingdoms into which Nithia is divided and over their sovereigns, as earthly representatives of the divine powers that watch over Nithia (in particular Rathanos and Pflarr). The population is divided into castes: Nobles (who represent 5% of the Nithians, subdivided into Priests, Governors and Military), Commoners (40% of the population, made up by landowners or businessmen, the richest of which are able to manoeuvre even the nobles), Peasants (the half of the Nithians is composed of serfs tied to the land they work, only a rank above the slaves) and Slaves (of two types, Hereditary or Captives: the first are children of slaves, the second are all those that have been captured in war; both the types donít have rights and are considered like the movables of a family, could therefore be sold or put to death by the master that no one could object to).
2. The Nithians worship an extremely large pantheon of Immortals, at the head of which is Rathanos (or Ra), absolute lord of the universe and creation, and Pflarr, lord of Magic and Knowledge. All the other Immortals are subject to the will of these two, worshipped especially by the nobles, but found ample space among the populations of Commoners and Farmers. In particular Ixion, Valerias, Amon, Ptahr and Maat are appreciated by all the castes. Ixion is worshipped with the name of Horon as lord of the sun, balance and war, and as Orisis in his attribute as patron of the dead and eternity. Valerias assumes the dual role of wife and mother of Ixion with the names Isiris (Immortal of beauty, love and the arts) and Hathor (Immortal of fertility, protection and charity). Ptahr (Kagyar), Immortal of mysteries and construction, has admirers both among the middle classes and among the nobles, since his knowledge is associated with the construction of the pyramids, vehicle for Immortality, and of the monoliths, artefacts of great power with the Nithians. Also Amon (Odin), lord of the skies and knowledge, and Maat, Immortal of Justice and Virtue, are extremely loved by all the social classes, and possess great temples in the major cities of the kingdom.
3. Bastet, catlike Immortal patroness of wealth, fortune and protector of the Nithians, and Mahes (Ninfangle), lion-like Immortal patron of both the Nithians and the rakasta, and associated with battle and hunting, are considered the protectors of the living and the greatest enemies (after Horon and Rathanos) of the Immortals of chaos, created by Ra on purpose in order to hunt them and hold at bay their servants, and gets equal veneration from each social class. For this the Nithians frequently build statues or obelisks dedicated to the two Immortals in particular in the wild areas or at the gates of the city, and place statues with their features in their own tomb with the intent of scaring the malignant creatures and keep them away from their homes (both alive and dead). In the same way, cats and great felines are considered holy and powerful talismans for keeping at a distance misfortune, negative energy and the undead.
4. Nithys (Protius), lord of water and patron of the Nithia River (which is the basis of life for the Nithians), Mut (Terra), Mother Earth Immortal, patron of harvests, animals and fertility, and Zephyr (Asterius), Immortal of travellers, messengers, merchants and thieves, only has followers among the Farmers and the Commoners.
5. The cults of Kepher and Chardastes (patrons of knowledge, learning and medicine, as well as of the royal line) are limited to groups of sages and Nobles.
6. Nuptys (Nyx), Immortal of darkness and necromancy, has a public cult, since she is not considered an intrinsically evil Immortal. Her priests have the task of presiding at funeral rites together with those of Orisis and of completing the ritual of mummification in order to eternally preserve the corpses of the most important nobles (plus the Pharaoh).
7. The cults of Thanatos and Ranivorus are prohibited in the Kingdom of Nithia, even if, despite the purges of the past, continue to find followers, especially thanks to the influence of the Towers of Sekhaba and Soth, two powerful great annelids paralysed by the Immortals, but whose extremities jut out from the terrestrial crust in the Nithian deserts and emanates a psychical lure that often attracts unaware victims, in order to convert them to the mad plans of Thanatos and Ranivorus. The cult of Apophis (Nithian name of Bachraeus) is also outlawed in the kingdom, and his cultists have already endured in the past a scorching defeat in the famous Battle of Apophis, when thousands of Nithians corrupted by the entropic power of Apophis and commanded by his clerics to ambush the Pharaoh travelling southwards, but were stopped by the elite imperial guard.