|Meaning:||Bearers of the Engraved|
|Nicknames:||Second Hands, Masters of the Servants|
A guild of Arisen that once oversaw the slaves and laborers of ancient Irem. Their supervision of the workforce of the Nameless Empire brought them into cooperation with all of the other guilds of the empire and they maintain the position of go-betweens to this day. In addition to coordination, however, the Maa-Kep also served as Irem's "secret police," rooting out treason and heresy. They still take this charge seriously as well and are one of the most hardline traditionalist guilds among the Arisen.
The Maa-Kep are a practical lot, preferring to let the metaphysical studies to the other guilds and instead ensuring that they can work with maximum efficiency. During Irem's glory days, this guild attracted those who craved comfort over glory and the prosperity of the Empire over any abstract and narrow ideology. Among the guilds, few would notice the workers that worked at their behest, but the Maa-Kep used these workers in order to spy upon them. Obedience was prized to a point, but the most revered and influential of the Maa-Kep were always those who attached themselves to leaders in whom they had faith but whom they were willing to question or challenge. The engravers knew the deeds of their masters were to be recorded in stone and saw it as their mission to ensure that those deeds were worthy. These views are extended to the other guilds, and so, the Maa-Kep watch their brothers to ensure their loyalty to the Judges.
The Maa-Kep are famed for the unobstrusive way they conducted themselves, and rarely let other guilds know to what level they were monitored. Among themselves, the Maa-Kep freely discuss the matters of orthodoxy, in order to ensure that no heresy takes root among them. Any disrespect to the Shan'iatu or even staving off the Descent are noted and evaluated for the seriousness of their offenses. The Maa-Kep take it on themselves to prepare for the return of the Shan’iatu and the governance of the world by the Judges’ undying wisdom. If their direct and immediate goal is recovering vital Sekhem for the gods of Irem, their abstract and century-spanning objective is to make Earth a world worth conquering anew.
Those of the Maa-Kep organize themselves along two axes: who they are helping and what level of status they have achieved. Because they often act between the other guilds, Maa-Kep emissaries (called qaheter or "One Who Rejoices in Friendship") often specialize which groups they interact with and build connections to. The common terms for the various emissaries are:
- Counters of the Coin, who assist the Mesen-Nebu in searching for betrayal that their riches seem to attract.
- The Papyrus Preparers, who help to protect the precious knowledge of the Sesha-Hebsu.
- The Delvers, who are natural allies to the similarly traditionalist Su-Menent.
- Time's Guides, who continue the guild's origins of directing construction alongside the Tef-Aabhi.
Additionally, the status ranks within the guild are:
- Apprentice: All Maa-Kep serve, but apprentices serve other guild members in their duties.
- Flail-Bearer: Originally those who flogged the slaves and kept them in line, now they are the guild's enforcers and protectors.
- Journeyman: The most numerous guild ranking, these are the Maa-Kep who are in charge of their own work but don't have their necks out too far. Some journeymen become stuck in their position, unable to advance. This can be a chance to specialize but it also marks them as one who has failed.
- Artisan: The lieutenants of the guild, tasked with growing and protecting the guild's resources and influence.
- Master: The highest authority in a Hall of the Maa-Kep who oversees the Bearers of the Engraved in a particular region.
The Maa-Kep are organized into Halls, continent-sized spheres of authority overseen by a Master of the guild. Though the name indicates a unity and authority over the region in question, Maa-Kep are rare and awakened members rarer still. In practice, the guild hierarchy only gets involved with actions taken by the guild as an established policy and individual members have considerable leeway with their personal concerns.
- Africa: Hall of the Scorpion Dawn. This is the birthplace of the Arisen and the place that most feel especially comfortable.
- Asia: Hall of the Middle River. Working its way into the two empires of Russia and China, the Maa-Kep have taken to using mortal structures to extend their influence here.
- Europe: Hall of the Unwavering Eye. The dense cities, long heritage of global power, and rich economies here make this land very inviting to the Maa-Kep and the Arisen in general.
- North America: Hall of the Northern Bear. The guildmaster of this land has developed a fast-paced need for control and takes a very active role in directing his guildhall.
- South America: Hall of the Jagged Pyramid. The guild has taken a mystical approach in this land, using the native fervor to grow cults that are widespread and strongly integrated into the local population.
The guild has little to no official presence in Australia or Antarctica, but outsiders would be foolish to suppose they are entirely absent from these continents.
- , p.31-35
- , p.7-19 , 95-101