Sekhem is the mystical life force of the cosmos.
It is regenerated wherever the potential for life exists and flows through the universe, coalescing at places that resonate with life. Untapped, this energy is a passive force of emotional connectivity, revealing itself through remembered passions (often in the form of vestiges).
Iremite theology describes Sekhem as the power that rises in life to escape pain. In opposition to this drive is the Will, the gift of Sutek, which allows to press on against pain and discomfort. Mages that have encountered it describe it as the "essence" of the world as it manifests, opposed to the Mana that comes from the Supernal. Awakened magic interacts with it like a smith holding tongs, while the Shan'iatu preferred to grab this molten stuff with the spiritual equivalent of their bare hands.
The Shan'iatu were the first to actively harness the flow of Sekhem, using it to create their magic, their relics and eventually the Rite of Return. While certain sorcerer cults have exhibited a limited amount of control over Sekhem in the form of rituals, such powers pale before the lost knowledge of the Nameless Empire.
The Arisen do not produce Sekhem, but they alone are able to store and concentrate it to fuel their powers. As they are undead, they are animated by Sekhem and if this force wanes, the Mummy becomes weaker. Each Mummy begins their Descent with 10 Sekhem and slowly loses them throughout their waking period until they descend again into Duat. Also, mummies can sense Sekhem imbued into artifacts with a special sense called Kepher and use it unconsciously to maintain their sahu, the mystical facade that makes them pass as normal humans.
Sekhem is also studied by Last Dynasty International, who seek to utilize it in pharmaceuticals. They have discovered that Sekhem concentrates on five seats within the Arisen body: the spleen, the heart, the lungs, the right carotid artery, and the left eye. They also experiment with the creation of Amkhat, sekhem-fueled chimeras that seek to devour more of it to maintain themselves.
- , p.73-74, p. 205
- , p.8
- , p.96
- , p.28, 36, 137