The Uraei Elders (The First Dragon- Alternate)

The Tale of the Stone Egg from Heaven may be the most common story told about the Origin of the Dark Gentry, but it is not the only one.  As mentioned in The Rise of the Ryukishi, The Practitioners of the Uraeus Arts have a different story.  They claim their version is more accurate because it contains the name of known historical figures and has dates associated with it.

The Elders

Long ago (3100 BC - 3000 BC), Ap-uat, a brilliant Egyptian General, sought more power to serve his Pharaoh in war.  He consulted the wizard Inpu.

Ap-uat’s plan was simple, an army that cannot die is unstoppable.  They sought out the advice of Heru-ur, high priest of the Pharaoh Serkh.  While they debated the best course of action, Serkh and his queen, whose name is preserved only as Maatkaserket, “Truth is the spirit of Serket,” faced a challenge to their empire.

At a banquet one night, Serkh disappeared.  They found blood, but no body.  They needed to learn who had killed Serkh and what happened to his body, so they decided to make her the experiment for their ritual of immortality.


The Soul

They believed that the Soul is divided among 5 parts:
    

  1. The Ren: The Name
  2. The Ba: The Personality
  3. The Ka: The Life Force
  4. The Sheut: The Shadow

  5. The Ib: The Heart

The Body was referred to as the Khat. 

The most important discovery was the Akh.  As all practitioner of Ritual Magic know, the veracity of the symbols is not as important as their consistent application.

Ren (name)

The Spirit lives on as long as the name is spoken.

Ba (individual personality)

The Ba is the individual aspect of the soul that maintains the individual identity of the person.  It lives on after death and journeys to the netherworld to be reunited with the Ka.  It has a corporeal form of a bird. 

Some people were said to be the ba of a deity or greater spirit.  In this case the Ka or life force of the individual is actually that of the other spirit.

Ka (life force)

The Ka is the animating spirit of the body.  The Ka is fueled by the essence of food and drink.

Sheut (shadow)

The Sheut is the literal and metaphorical shadow of a person.  The Shadow of the soul is the influence and protection of the spirit.

Ib (heart)

The Ib or Heart is passed from the mother to the child at conception.  It is the seat of thought, emotion, will, and intention.

The Spiritual Body:  Akh or Sahu

The Akh is the intellect of the soul, the imprinted instincts of the individual.  After the death of the physical body, the Ba and Ka would reunite to animate the Akh.

The Akh can be invoked through prayer or letters of petition left at the tomb’s offering chapel.


The Ritual of Se-akh

They already practiced the ritual of Se-akh, “To make the dead a living soul,”  were offering are made to feed the spirit.  They believed that this ritual allowed them to not only commune with the departed, but invoke their aid.

The Ritual of Names

Though they tried in earnest, they were not able to invoke Serkh's spirit through the rite of Se-akh, meaning that he was either alive or that his spirit had been trapped somehow.

After the murder of Maatkaserket, Heru-ur and Inpu knew that since her body was dead, the Ka and Ba had left and had been joined to its Akh or spirit body.  They summoned the healing spirit Serket, and begged her to see the damage to divine order the Pharaoh’s death would cause.  There would be a war of succession.  Serket saw the value of restoring her and the Pharaoh to life in order to prevent a war.

 

Together, they summoned the akh of the dead queen back to them.  Serket struck the soul with the her scorpion tail dividing it again into it’s 3 parts.



The four then took here Ren (name) and hid it from the minds of all who knew it.  They then renamed the Akh: Ese.  Serket fashioned a new Ka for her and named it Maatkaserket.  They then bound the new Ka to her original Ba and the 3 Rens, then bound all of them into the Akh, then the Akh to the body.



Ese Maatkaserket took her first breath as an immortal, the first Dragon or Ammit a word that would later be associated with the devourer of souls.

The Three Names

Serekh: Horus name

The Serekh or Horus name is the name of Power.  The first ones kept these names secret, they are only known by their personal name.  The name is written in a rectangular palatial facade preceded by falcon, the hieroglyph of Horus.  The Serekh is the renamed Akh of the Immortal.



In the second dynasty, Seth-Peribsen wrote his name with an image of the god Seth instead of Horus.  His successor, Khasenkhemwy used the symbols of Set and Horus together.  After him, the name of Horus was always used.  By the New Kingdom, the name was often written without the Serekh.

Heru-n-nebu: Horus of Gold Name

The Golden Horus Name is written with the hieroglyph a falcon over the one for gold.  The Golden Horus name was given to those who overcame the dark force that rises in the soul when it is not allowed to pass on.

The Heru-n-nebu is the name of the new Ka.

Personal name (nomen)

The personal name is the one they had at birth.  It was written with the phrase “Son of Ra” before it to intidicate that is was the name they walked under the sun with.  The Zare, “Son of Ra” aspect of the title was added during the fourth dynasty.

Ese’s Quest

Ese told Ap-uat, Inpu, and Heru-ur that Serkh’s brother, Sha, killed him.  She then set out on a quest to find Serkh’s body.



After a long time of searching, she found Serkh.  She summoned the spirit of Serket, and they performed the ritual of naming.  The new akh was named Asar, and the new Ka was named Maatkaese.



They returned to find Sha on the throne and Heru-ur dead.

The Resurrection of Heru

After they gathered everything for the ritual, they summoned Serket to help.  She refused.  Ese was unwilling to take no for an answer.  Asar held Serket while Ese extracted her venom.  She then took Serket’s left hand and banished her.



They summoned Heru-ur, renaming his akh Heru-pa-khared and naming the hand of Serket Kaenasar Maatkaese.  



Revived, Heru began his hunt for Sha while Asar reclaimed the throne as Serkh II.

The Ritual of True Names

Nebet-het, Sha’s wife and the mother of Asar’s illegitimate son Inpu, found out about their plan, and sought out the wizard Khenti.  She told him about the ritual the others had performed and how an immortal was now hunting her husband.  He told her he would like to help, but he needed to see the ritual to help.



Nebet-het snuck into Inpu’s library and stole a copy of the ritual.



Khenti laughed when he read the rite.  He could see that it was unnecessary to perform the deed.



Rewriting the ritual, he performed it on himself, splintering his own Ka so it would not be able to pass on.  He then killed himself as the last act of the rite.  His power was so strong, that the renamed Akh, named Tahuti, bound to his body with the ba renamed A'an.



Without telling Nebet-het he performed the rite on himself, he asked her to allow him to bring her across.  She agreed.



With the ritual, and the power to use it, she set out to find Sha.  By the time she did, it was too late.  Heru had killed him.  She used the rite to bring him to life.

The Rise and Spread of the Elders

According to this version of the story, only Serkh, Ese, Heru, Sha (renamed Setesh), Khenti, and Nebet-het knew the original rites.  They used the ritual to reward their followers, and increase the number of Dragons or Ammit.  Because of the deformation to their spirits, their biological children inherited the same powers as those who where named through the ritual.

Whether or not this story is true, the characters in it are some of the first dragons on record.  The followers of Uraeus claim to know the Rite of True Names, though no new Dragons are known to have been born through it.