Temple of Death's Triad
Death's TriadAnubis, Set, and Nephthys are the three faces of Death on Ahnkhotep and are venerated together as the patrons of the funerary process. Each is said to represent as different facet of death and provide some vital role in the soul's transition to the afterlife.
AnubisThe judge of the dead, Anubis is a figure both revered and feared, for it is thought that through him alone is the passage to Sekhet-Aaru opened. Anubis evaluates the worth of the deceased by weighing their heart against a feather. It is said that each act which fulfill your role in the Ma'at lightens your heart.A life of submission to the social order, peacefulness and hard work at whatever task you are assigned will ensure that by the time of your death you are worthy of passage into the afterlife.
NephthysThe goddess of grief, Nephthys is the patron of those both nearing death and those who have recently lost their loved ones. She is the actual mother of the god Anubis and is seen by those who mourn as a caring motherly figure as well. it is thought by many that she intercedes on behalf of the dead, granting worthy and unworthy alike blessings in their journey through the afterlife. As a kind and loving goddess, she especially favors those who perform acts of kindness towards the poor, weak, and unwanted.
SetNephthys' husband and Anubis' father, Set is the god of the the Desert of Night, a vast, dark, scorching land overrun by misshapen monsters who feast upon the souls of the unworthy. Set resents his rule over this shadowy realm of darkness, and blames his brother Osiris for tricking him out of a more favorable role in the pantheon. In his seething resentment, it is said he and his monsters lurk along the road in the afterlife, laying in wait to pull travelers otherwise bound for Sekhet-Aaru into his dark realm forever. They say, however he can be dissuaded by a tribute of wealth which is why all dead, regardless of station, are permitted to be buried with their wealth.
Role within the CityThe Temple of the Triad holds a place of high esteem among all residents of Ankh-Hotep and provides a variety of vital social services, including overseeing the design of suitable coffins and ritual objects, offering prayers for the recently deceased, providing funerals and the feasts that go along side them, and ensuring a kind of social safety net for even the most wretched of individuals. (A portion of money offered for funerary rites is set aside for the most poor so that even they may die with dignity.) They also offer adjudication over wills and the disbursement of the wealth of the deceased.
Rites and RitualsBeyond the basic funerary rites (which are not so basic, often last for hours, and require exceedingly precise recitation of chants and prayers, there are a few other key rituals offered by the Temple of the Triad of Death. The first is the Masked Penance. Loved ones of the recently deceased may don a mask carved in the likeness of the dead and perform acts of charity, service and kindness for a week. Deeds done in this week are credited to the deceased at time of judgement. The second, sparingly used, is the rite of Gilgul, a ritual by which the funerary priests can circumvent the judgement of the god's entirely and ensure a soul is sent directly to the Desert of Night. It involves the violent desecration of the corpse and is reserved for only the most extreme criminals: Those who knowingly threaten the entire civilization either through acts of violence directed at the Pharaoh or violently disrupting the operation of the vital machinery of the star city. The final is the Heroic Remembrance, where heroes who have died in service to the city and Ma'at are honored, prayed to and given offerings which are said to provide them with prestige and a greater position of power within the afterlife.
Structure and OrganizationAccepting members strictly from those born to the priestly class, the Temple of Death's Triad trains their chosen from a young age in the deep and intricate lore of their gods, the after-life, and the funerary process. The organization has three main branches: Administrants are the largest branch, and make up the majority of day-to-day priests who perform common funerals, offer council about how to procure a better afterlife to the living, and instruct the city in the rules of the afterlife. Unusual for a temple organization, Administrants are often loaned out to the temples of other gods to as auxiliary priests. Techknos are quite a lot smaller than Administrants and represent a body of scribes and ritual experts who instruct Administrants, root out heresy, and oversee the more complex rites of heroes and leaders of great renown. Finally there is a 3rd, rarely understood branch of the Temple: Necronauts. These individuals, selected from only the bravest of their caste, undergo a ritual death which permits them the chance to visit the Desert of Night in the hopes of cataloguing the horrors that lurk therein and mapping the path through to Sekhet-Aaru.
Common FollowersEveryone comes to the temple at some point in their life, whether living or dead, and nearly all citizens are mindful of the long journey that awaits them after death. As a result, while those who chiefly follow these gods are almost entirely members of their clergy, nearly everyone maintains some token devotion to them, from the sleazy Yuan-ti assassin who prays to Set to consume the soul of his target to the World-Jumper who spends a day in prayer to Nephthys and Anubis before a mission into the void.
- Religious, Organised Religion
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