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by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

The Night Spider (Aracne Prime) - Obscurity, deceit, oppression
Rathanos - Fire, energy, male supremacy, power, pride
Bastet - Fortune, fertility, wealth, felines
1. Aracne Prime is the one responsible for the corruption of the Thothian Pharaohs of the last fourteen generations and has subjected the entire country to her particular form of mysticism (centralised on the glorification of slavery and obscurity as bringer of revelations), controlling the centres of power through her adepts and installed on the throne next to the legitimate Pharaoh her daughter, Aketheti, since the times of Ramenhotep X (who now serves her as a vampire hidden in the Temple of the Dawn). Following the events described in the adventure M5, Talons of Night (probably happened in the year 1003 or 1004 AC), Aracne Prime was unmasked and banished from Thothia, Rathanos returned to be the patron of the kingdom and his cult disposed the Aranea mysticism.
2. The cults of the ancient Nithian Immortals are no longer present with the Thothians, because of the effects of the Spell of Oblivion and of the false memories which had been provided by the ancestors of the hated Thothians, there is a deep-seated belief that according to which Thothia has been cursed by the lost Immortals known only as the Ancient Protectors, which have turned their backs on the Thothians because of the guilt of their governors. The Thothians after the fall of Nithia are therefore becoming agnostics or they are devoted to the Rathanosite mysticism, a more refined form of the cult of Rathanos that identifies in the pure energy and element of fire the pivot of life and power, and around the veneration of the cult of fire as a purifying and reinforcing power and to the discernment of the secrets that it encapsulates revolves around a series of magic-religious practices that formed the basis of the Rathanosite rituals. Rathanos maintains in Thothia a sect known as the Cult of the True Flame (which worships the Flame, philosophical incarnation of Rathanos), which has diverse adepts especially in the neighbouring cities of Ekto and Trikelios. The movement secretly seeks to over throw the Thothian government and restore the ancient Rathanosite mysticism usurped by the Aranea.
3. The Order of the Square Web is the sect that rules the religious life of modern Thothia and that has manipulated the conscience and the customs of the Thothians in about the last three hundred years. Through a progressive campaign of obscurantism and subtle blackmail, the Order has succeeded to relegate into second place the Rathanosite mysticism, until the total prohibition of this philosophy, considered destabilising and chaotic. The Aranea mysticism preaches the total separation from the passions as a way to an enlightened conduct and a life without worry, and this separation can be achieved by rigorously observing the precepts of the Canon of the Square Web, which the Thothian mystics follow to the letter. We’re talking of teachings that lessen the will of the individual to favour of its governors and of the clergy, inviting them to not put up resistance in front of the teachings and split from those led by those invested with the power by the divine fate. The mysticism moreover preaches respect and veneration in the confrontations of the darkness, in which are concealed the secrets of the ultimate knowledge, paired to the ancient veneration for the flames and the light of the Rathanosites (only a limited circle of mystics know the existence of the Spider of the Night, all the other faithful follow the impersonal philosophy of the Square Web). The gloom for the aracnites is the embodiment of tranquillity, balance and the annulment of the will and therefore of the earthly problems, and therefore the night is considered the holiest moment, during which the true faithful are obliged to remain at home and meditate until the sleep doesn’t arrive unexpected, attaining the peace of the senses through the separation from the world and gain the answers to their problems through dreams and meditation. Because of this at the setting of the sun there are few who still wander the streets of Thothia, usually crooks at work or guards with the task of watching that all respect the laws and prevent disturbances of the nocturnal sanctity. It is also significant that the night is dominated by the creatures of the darkness and by the followers of the Aracne Prime, which have free rein to pursue any dark affair.
4. A small group of followers (in particular those fast runner rakasta integrated in the Thothian kingdom for generations) secretly worship Bastet, ancient Nithian Immortal, as protector of fortune and fertility still today.
5. The cult of the Ancient Protectors (the Immortals of the Nithian pantheon) is no longer tolerated by the Aranea mysticism and the followers of these Immortals are persecuted if discovered practising rituals in honour of these decadent Immortals. The places of worship (temples, obelisks and pyramids) linked to these Immortals have been for a time bewildered by the Pharaoh and by the clergy, even if no one has dared destroy them in order to not further provoke the ire of the Immortals. These are actual in ruins, abandoned and lacking keepers, and the few followers [no more than one hundred in all the kingdom especially clerics of Maat, Horon (Ixion), Isiris (Valerias), Amon (Odin), Zephyr (Asterius) and Mut (Terra)] that still secretly pass down the precepts of these Immortals are united in the Order of the Phoenix, mythological creature symbol of the hope also that the cult of the ancient Immortals one day will rise from the ashes.