A Guild of Arisen that carries on the task of maintaining the histories and knowledge of creatures constantly losing memory to their sleeping periods in Duat. They were once the record-keepers of the Irem's granaries but now the guild keeps track of the Deathless's Great Work.
Originally bureaucrats in the Nameless Empire, the Sesha-Hebsu were among the first humans to be ever employed in this area of expertise, a fact that fills them with pride. As a result, they regard the written word as divine. This does not translate into blind reverence, however. Words can be flexible, ambiguous or paradoxical. The Word always requires an intelligent Will to interpret it. In the macrocosmos, this is the task of the Judges of Duat, who interpret the divine Nomenclature to guide the world. In the microcosmos, this duty is the task of the Sesha-Hebsu. They acted as judges of Irem and still overview matters like Obloquies in modern Guild affairs. To the guild, the act of writing wrestles history in its anointed place, forcing it into a metaphysical pattern that enforces the will of the Judges. Truth plays no role in this, and the Sesha-Hebsu are willing to write events as they should have happened, rather than orientate themselves at facts. History serves to glorify the Judges, and everything that would defile them or may cast doubt on their divinity has to be carefully excised from the world and consigned to Ammut.
The Sesha-Hebsu believe in a concept called the River of Truth, a metaphor to describe the shifting nature of truth as well as the purposefulness of individual actions in the greater continuum, like droplets of water within the river. Sesha-Hebsu study chains of causality, and how large events coalesce from many lesser influences. Experience is both a gift and temptation; the observer learns to sharpen her senses, but may see the routines she expects, not the surprise that happens.
The Word is not coessential with morality. Indeed, many of the modern moral concepts, like equality or personal freedom, were anathema during the time of Irem. The law exists to uphold the Nameless Empire, not ensure fairness or balance “cosmic scales”—there are none. Their law came from the Judges, true gods, and as such is unassailable and incorruptible. Morals are pale reflections of the Word and later concepts, like the Ma'at of the Egyptians are heresy. Other modern adages, like the thesis that information is alive and may be the fundamental unit of reality, are seen as great advantages and the Sesha-Hebsu invest to learn more about modern mathematics, philosophy and information theory.
The Sesha-Hebsu are the most envious of the Lost Guild. While the Sesha-Hebsu embodied the Word, the Deceived embodied the Will, the power of True Name magic. The Shan’iatu taught functional “sentences” of sorcery to the Scribes, not foundational “grammar”. This privilege belonged to the Deceived and the Scribes hunger for their knowledge. For in order to recreate Irem, the foundations of true magic must be rediscovered. The Scribes call this secret duty the Weight of Words and keep it a secret from the other guilds.
Closed Books work together in groups, the better to protect knowledge and share the duty of gathering and inscribing it. There are three ranks, however, denoting a Scribe's primary duties...
- M'shakabiu (Guild Status - ): In Irem they were the tax collectors and bureaucrats of the rural villages, despised and often suspected of corruption. Today, they are still the "field agents" of the guild who chase down texts and knowledge where they are hidden.
- Seru (Guild Status ): The masters of the Code and its enforcement, the "full partners" of the guild direct the M'shakabiu in their missions.
- Kenbet (Guild Status : Experts on texts, the law, and its interpretation, Kenbet direct the guild's goals and the greater mission of the Sesha-Hebu in the Judges' Great Work.
The precepts of the Closed Books are collectively called the Diasporic Code, an informal but well-respected collection of five verses tied to the soul decrees of the Deathless. They believe that these guidelines allow them to affect the Scroll of Ages, a nebulously-defined record of the world that is written by and written on the Judges and their servants. These laws are known to all Scribes and usually followed but the reality of their enforcement is a much more uncertain thing.
- The Heart Law: Interfere with the cults of other Deathless if you would fertilize the sands with mortal blood under the gods' silent gaze. Conflicts between mummies' cults are permitted so long as the participating Deathless are willing to submit to arbitration if it is called for.
- The Spirit Law: When desires clash, submit to arbitration or suffer judgement. Just as the Code is voluntarily followed, Scribes voluntarily submit to the judgement of their peers in keeping their activities in line with the Great Work. This is often a very difficult law to make a reality.
- The Essence Law: Do not break the seal of a holy tomb unless you wish to offer its treasures sevenfold. The personal sanctums of the Arisen are considered private and it is blasphemous to enter without its master's leave. If a mummy does so, he is expected to make even greater sacrifice in recompense.
- The Name Law: Make no alliance with the Lifeless or usurpers of Irem's lore, or you will worship at the altar of 42 Torments. The punishment for helping the Shuankshen or other traitors to the Judges is a ritualized torment by a tribunal of three to seven Closed Books.
- The Shadow Law: Grasp the sunlit flail of rule and you shall be condemned to the dark sarcophagus. Working from the shadows to control mortals is the way of the Arisen, and no mummy should try to rule openly and threaten the Great Work.
- , p.41-45
- , p.35-49