The Black Pyramid Building / Landmark in Tales of Veltrona | World Anvil

The Black Pyramid

Purpose / Function

Created in ancient times to act as an enormous, primitive solar collector, it succeeded at its role quite well. The collected mana was then condensed into drinkable water, which it has since produced.


As time has passed, and knowledge has improved, much of the Black Pyramid's internals have been refined. Chiefly maintaining and improving its water production capacity, amenities for the Pharaoh and other top-important officials has turned it into a kind of palace. Combining functionality, form, and the greatest masonry possible has turned the whole construction into an iconic feature in Atenkhet.


So it is that from the sun comes light, thus heat and life, and mana. Ancient nebusian thinking ever contemplated this, given the nature of Sa-kemet. A ponderous curiosity by one ancient pharaoh led to a curious thought concerning the power of the sun. As the color white reflects light and thus reduces mana, it was believed the color black absorbed light and kept mana. The pharaoh considered that a sufficiently large pyramid could capture or create vast amounts of mana, an enticing idea in Atenkhet's resource starved ancient times. Thus, many were put to work, and vast amounts of black stone was quarried, mined, and transported. The mertakan earned much of their early fame in the construction of the Black Pyramid, proving pivotal to such a titanic undertaking. Sadly, the construction project was so vast, the pharaoh who envisioned it died, and it was passed down through the generations.   Over the course of its life, much research into the nature of mana ensued, becoming the ideological ancestor of later technology like the solar obelisks. The enormous requirements in personnel, management, and resources, created an even larger city around itself. From this spawned many lesser cities, all seeking to feed the Black Pyramid's requirements. Others came into existence to support the people, centralizing the nomadic and wandering tribes. Many historians consider the ridiculous construction project a core element for the unification of Atenkhet itself as a civilization.   It took nearly three hundred years before the Black Pyramid was properly finished. With its completion came the full realization of its mana collection power, and just as the founding pharaoh wondered, it did indeed become an enormous source of mana. However, the then-pharaoh and presiding engineers marveled at the ridiculous costs it took–uncountable blood, sweat, tears, and bodies–and agreed to pursue alternative methods for mana collection. As for the capabilities of the Black Pyramid, in a wholesome symbolic gesture, the internals were converted into a water-creation facility. Mighty rivers sprouted from the four flat faces of the pyramid, flowing in the four paths to the rest of Atenkhet. In doing so, it became a literal oasis providing clean water to the masses, and a celebrated icon of nebusian triumph.   Since then, it has been upgraded with ever improved water production abilities and amenities for royalty. Becoming the literal seat of the pharaoh and royal bloodlines, the Black Pyramid is as much a symbol of the pharaoh as it is Atenkhet. In many ways, this helped engender the color black as a 'regal' color, making its usage in the government and armed forces exclusive to the capital city around the Black Pyramid.   To a lesser extent, other nobles have created much smaller pyramids, but quite pointedly of different stone material. While nowhere to the power capability of the Black Pyramid, these lesser pyramids often become seats of government, and typically form a core critical part of infrastructure. Water production is ever important in a desert environment, and so few of the pyramids are dedicated to any other purpose.
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