From Bestiary of the Hypogriph


The old land left us for dead, abandoned us to our fate, one which was worse than death. The world fears and hates our rotten forms, and we are unable to feel even the most basic pleasures of the flesh. But Isem-Ankharset will not simply lay down and wait the end of days; we will live again, as true men! The curse that made us monsters will bend to our will! We do not die, we LIVE!
โ€” Pharaoh Opharkhaph II the Eternal

Isem-Ankharset is a nation encompassing the southern tip of the south-central desert of Aurelia. Formerly a colony of Sakhep-khemen, the land they came to inhabit turned out to be host to a powerful curse which killed off all inhabitants and caused their more powerful priests and lords to rise again as mummies. An empire of bitter undead, Isem-Ankharset seeks the means to restore their former life; unlike most undead forces in the world, they are not malevolent and generally prefer to be left alone, but are still fiercely territorial and look down on other races due to a religious sense of self-importance.

History[edit | edit source]

Isem-Ankharset was founded at 1166 3E as a colony of Sakhep-khemen, made for the purpose of expanding their territory and seek new resources to the main land. Over the course of three hundred years, much of the southern desert was claimed, and the colonists only ceased their expansion once their borders approached those of the ogres of the Ogrelands and those of the serpentfolk. However, the colony was, at one point, struck by a mysterious disease which led the populace to die in droves, with Sakhep-khemen refusing to provide aid due to fears of it spreading; in truth, the land Isem-Ankharset was based on was once territory belonging to the old Aurelian Empire who, through unknown circumstances, suffered a loss of life terrible enough that the very sands were filled with dark energies. While the noble caste of the colony received special funeral rites, much of the lower one simply died on the streets, and after about a decade, the entire population of Isem-Ankharset died out.

Exactly 44 years later, however, the noble caste rose from the dead as mummies. Using their newfound power over death, these creature begun rising the populace back as skeletons and sought means to regain their former lives; they would approach Sakhep-khemen again, now ruled by the being known as Khamonhotekhem, who had claimed the title of both god and king of the Sakhep, though when he failed to deliver the mummy lords the means to regain their lives, they forsook him and his empire, returning to their cursed home to find the means to cure their undeath on their own accord.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Isem-Ankharset is one of the most desolate regions of Aurelia; much of the region is made up of nothing but sandy dunes as far as the eyes can see. It borders Merovaren and the Ogrelands to the north and the ocean to the south, and while the Isem folk lived predominantly near the shore in life, they now inhabit the central parts much more in undeath, as they have become immune to the hazardous effects of the weather.

Government[edit | edit source]

Isem-Ankharset is an absolute monarchy led by the mighty mummy Pharaoh Opharkhaph II the Eternal, self-proclaimed champion of the Sakhep gods. Below him are a number of less powerful Priest-Kings who rule over smaller provinces across the region. Government and religion are intertwined in Isem-Ankharset, and all those in positions of power are also servants of the gods by obligation.

Religion[edit | edit source]

Isem-Ankharset boasts that it is the last bastion of worship of the Sakhep pantheon in the world. They believe the gods allowed them to not simply die out and deeply revere them at all times. Dissidents from Sakhep-khemen who also believe in the old gods sometimes flee to Isem-Ankharset in order to do pilgrimage. The Priest-Kings of the Isem forsake Khamonhotekhem's divinity due to his attempts to erase all worship of the gods, never referring to him by name, but by their given title of "the Living Heresy". Due to proximity, the Isem have also incorporated the worship of Almonohuim and Xitannoth, a pair of forces of nature, into their pantheon.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

The land of Isem-Ankharset, while vast in size, is very poorly populated. The rulers of their folk are powerful mummy lords with great power over magic, while the lower caste are little more than mindless skeletal automatons, with only vague memories of their former lives. Due to their territorial disposition, few living beings live in Isem-Ankharset on purpose, though some refugees from Sakhep-khemen have come to live there to seek a life of freedom or out of sheer desperation. The land is known to be inhabited by animals like scorpions, scarabs, vultures and camels, and by predatory monsters such as sand drakes and sand trolls, all being seemingly not intelligent enough to be affected by the land's curse.

Relations[edit | edit source]

Being an empire of undead creatures, much of the world fears and resents Isem-Ankharset. Likewise, the Priest-Kings of the land believe themselves greater than other races due to their links to their gods, believing others to be unenlightened savages in comparison. Isem-Ankharset is generally content to keep to themselves, however, and only ever interact with those who approach their lands first, even being able to diplomatically engage other races who are able to put up with their monstrous forms and arrogant demeanor.

  • Positive relations
    • N/A
  • Ambivalent relations
    • Merovaren - The Priest-Kings allow merchants of the lizardfolk to sell their wares in Isem soil, usually trading golden idols and other such crafts for exotic items not found in the desert.
  • Negative relations
    • Sakhep-khemen - The Priest-Kings believe they were betrayed by Sakhep-khemen, and see their so-called God-King as a living heresy to their gods.
    • Manis - As they have settled in one of their neighbouring islands, the Priest-Kings see the Manids as intruders.
    • Ogrelands - Ogres from the Ogrelands consider killing the undead as a test of their might, and raid Isem-Ankharset regularly.

Notable Isem[edit | edit source]

  • Kingdom of Isem-Ankharset
    • Opharkhaph II the Eternal - pharaoh of Isem-Ankharset

See also[edit | edit source]