Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The mazes of Pakmanethet

In the far western reaches of the continent, a small cluster of peoples speak of a god that came to them across the outer oceans. It is a foreign god, not born of their soil. The theology they preach is that of Man-Pac. On the opposite side of the urth, by the coasts of the Ruined Sea and the banks of the river Tanaquis, people worship a god, whose rituals and tenets resemble greatly those of Manpac, even if the two peoples have never had direct contact. The worship of Man-Pac is older, but the worship of the other god is native to the deserts of the south-east. This confuses theologians to no end.


This second god, the god of the kings of Tanaquis, known as the Judge With Teeth of Fire and the Ghost Eater, is Pakmanethet in the original language. He has two distinct but confluent identities. One is that of the golden solar disc, The Yellow Rotund One, a position in the heavens that allows him to observe and judge the deeds of mortals during the day. During the night he descends into the winding passages and endless chambers of the underworld, where he becomes the executioner, the gobbler, chasing after the spirits of the sinful inside his domain.


As he howls through the endless winding passages of the Maze of the Dead, Pakmanethet requires the sacrifices of his faithful to maintain his strength while he journeys to the underworld. Should they fail to provide him with the fruits of the earth, he will wane in power - the foul spirits may overcome him, and he will never reach the Eastern Gates where he can emerge from the darkness to shine on the world again. 


Although not part of the official creed, it is commonly believed that Pakmanethet was one of the giants of old, that came to this world from the stars and made war with the serpents in the earth. His relentless obsession justice and merciless treatment of sinners comes, according to some apocryphal text, from his failure to save some of his shipmates, when the sailed the black oceans to make war with the great serpents. He holds humanity to such high standards, because he doesn't want them to repeat the mistakes of the past.


His worship certainly originates in the deserts north of the Ruined sea, where the sun's oppressive gaze is omnipresent during the day. The desert peoples believe that a person's soul is made of water and Pakmanethet devours the sinful with his fiery teeth, taking into the sky with him where it might undergo terrible trials and torments until it can be released back into the earth through the rains and flow to the Silver Mother beneath the earth. But that is a discourse for another day.

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