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A Pillar is one of five aspects of the ancient soul: heart, spirit, essence, name, and shadow.
According to Egyptian mythology, the human soul is made of five parts, each of which rules a different part of the human psyche. Like Promethean humours, having one portion stronger than another results in a shift in personality. For the Arisen, the portions of the soul take on new strength when the mummy's Sekhem is refined and they become five Pillars which build up the mummies' supernatural abilities of Affinities and Utterances.
A mummy character starts with nine dots split among her five Pillars, only one of which can have no dots in it to start. No Pillar can start higher than the mummy's primary Pillar, as determined by her Decree, and the fifth dot in a Pillar costs two dots. Having five dots in a Pillar represents a stage of perfection for an Arisen, a step on the way to Apotheosis, and the mummy must have at least one dot in each of the other Pillars to achieve it.
The Five PillarsEdit
- Ab (heart): To ancient Egyptians, the heart was the seat of emotion, thought, will and intention. In Egyptian religion, the heart was the key to the afterlife. It was conceived as surviving death in the nether world, where it gave evidence for, or against, its possessor. It was thought that the heart was examined by Anubis and the deities during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. For the Arisen, the Pillar of the Heart is the soul aspect which creates their powers to rule over and influence others.
- Ba (spirit): The Ba was everything that makes an individual unique, similar to the notion of 'personality'. In this sense, inanimate objects could also have a Ba, a unique character, and indeed Old Kingdom pyramids often were called the Ba of their owner. The Ba is an aspect of a person that the Egyptians believed would live after the body died, and for the Arisen it grants them powers to anchor their shells more firmly in the world.
- Ka (essence): The Ka was the Egyptian concept of vital essence, that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person, with death occurring when the Ka left the body. The Egyptians believed that Khnum created the bodies of children on a potter's wheel and inserted them into their mothers' bodies. Depending on the region, Egyptians believed that Heket or Meskhenet was the creator of each person's Ka, breathing it into them at the instant of their birth as the part of their soul that made them be alive. For the Arisen, the Pillar of Essence gives them the power to ward and heal themselves, as well as gain supernatural strength and proficiency.
- Ren (name): As a part of the soul, a person's ren was given to them at birth and the Egyptians believed that it would live for as long as that name was spoken, which explains why efforts were made to protect it and the practice of placing it in numerous writings. A cartouche (magical rope) often was used to surround the name and protect it. Conversely, the names of deceased enemies of the state, such as Akhenaten, were hacked out of monuments in a form of damnatio memoriae. The greater the number of places a name was used, the greater the possibility it would survive to be read and spoken. For the Arisen, the Pillar of Name is their source of self and empowers their rebirth and lasting presence in the world.
- Sheut (shadow): A person's shadow, Sheut (šwt in Egyptian), is always present. Because of this, Egyptians surmised that a shadow contains something of the person it represents. Through this association, statues of people and deities were sometimes referred to as shadows. The shadow was also representative to Egyptians of a figure of death, or servant of Anubis, and was depicted graphically as a small human figure painted completely black. For the Arisen, the dark nature of the Pillar of Shadow supports their darkest powers and their most insidious curses.
- Mummy: The Curse Rulebook, p. 10, 16-17, 74-76, 56-60, 190-191, etc