The Immortal Calling
No mummy arose during the time of Irem, not even the first of those subjected to the Rite of Return, and they would lay as withered corpses through the fall of the Nameless Empire. Although many returned in Egypt, many other report their first awakening in other nations’ treasure hordes, temples, or private complexes. Newly Arisen mummies more readily kill without remorse and resort to ruthless, direct methods to satisfy their Judge’s will. By the time they regain total consciousnesses, they may well see the imprint of their own bloody hands on foreign stone.
Though this may be the case, the other ages are not as disturbing or disorienting as one might thinks, as the Arisen see civilizations common patterns everywhere. They do not take them for granted, because some where in the souls, they know that they created them. The world is theirs, and the ignorant inhabitants have only forgotten. Three events drive a Mummy from death into the illusion of life that they call the Descent. In death, a state the Mummies call Henet, or “The Repose”, the Arisen feel nothing directly, and the sense of time, dreams as mortals know them, and sensations are lost to them. When the time comes to Arise again, however, the Arisen feel as if they have been thrown forward in time, but lack a clear past to tell them just how far they have come.
When an intruder moves or touches either a mummy’s remains or the central relic of their tomb, the Arisen’s Ka (essence) shakes his soul into activity. Blazing with Sekhem, but little Memory, the Arisen often brutally dispatches the interloper. Afterwards, they return to the sarcophagus or they seek out a hidden place to rest again, but they might remain active for a short time thereafter, especially if their tomb has been tampered with or if they sense an unfamiliar vessel nearby.
A mummy’s cult may also summon them to Descend. They might do this when some evil threatens the sect, but its traditions often encode practical standing orders: signs that vessels are nearby, or omens that indicate increased supernatural activity. A powerful cult may summon its master somewhat more often and easily, but this is not always an advantage for the Arisen, as sometimes the “dead gods” mythos is more compelling than their living presence. Newly Arisen also act like beasts or automata, killing anyone they believe threatens their tombs and precious vessels. A poorly instructed cult just might lose its priests to their own rampaging master.
The Sothic Wheel
Astrological law governs the flow of Sekhem through a mummy’s remains. This process is called the Sothic Wheel, named for the 1461-year movement of the star Sothis (Sirius). At each turn of the wheel, the star appears at the first dawn of the Egyptian year. The historical dynasties associated Sirius with the goddess Isis, the mother of magic and the wife to Ra, and the Shan’iatu incorporated these energies into the Rite of Return, though those dynamics are tied to the day of the Arisen’s first death, rather than to Sirius. The Shan’iatu seem to have created the Arisen on or within a century or so of Sirius’ natural cycle, however. A mummy arises automatically due to the arrival of his personal Sothic Turn, and during this time, the Arisen crawl from their tombs, seek out their cults and forge their own hidden destinies. These are the most dynamic of Arisen history.