Faction: Heru

The Children of Horus

The hawk-headed Heru are a disciplined and stoic race, greatly concerned with honor and justice. They hold their golden-plumed heads high with pride. Their skin is the color of bronze, and their bodies are heroically proportioned with broad shoulders and bulging muscles. They wear simple loin clothes, belted with thick girdles of copper and leather. They rarely go without a gleaming corselet of mail, and they wear their armor so often it seems a second skin. Their only adornment is often a pectoral that accentuates their already broad shoulders.

The Heru have a harsh and stark demeanor, rarely softened by joy or sadness. They are greatly moved by acts of valor or self-sacrifice, but feel the proper expression of appreciation is to hold their heads higher with pride, or at most a brisk salute and brief word of acknowledgement.

Despite their stoicism, the rage of an angered Heru is well-known. He does not fly into a berserk fury of senseless destruction as one of the Sebeki. Instead, his anger is of a colder sort. If a Heru's honor, or worse still, the honor of his race is questioned or insulted, his voice becomes a piercing shriek and his gaze becomes filled with a contemptuous, icy fury. Only the most brave or the most foolish of souls will stand against an enraged Heru.

For all his rageful nature, the Heru is never a murderer or assassin. He does not kill in cold blood. Before taking his revenge, he announces his presence and intention, giving the wrong-doer the opportunity to defend himself. While some consider this foolish and unwise, the Heru's rigid honor allows for no other course. Nor would the righteous Heru ever desire another course.

The Heru have long memories, and are well-versed in the history of Ægyptus. While their knowledge is not as extensive or exhaustive as the Tethru, when it comes to wars waged they can often recount each battle fought, which maneuvers were successful, which were disastrous and what the battle's impact on the war was. They do not remember only wars. Whether committed days ago, or centuries past, the Heru never forget a wrong done to them, their god or their land. And the Heru are not forgiving.

History & Society

The Heru's passion is war. Outside of a battle, a Heru lives a spartan life. His abode is austere, often furnished with only a stiff pallet and little else. In peaceful assemblage, he is tense and formal, forever seeming ill at ease. He speaks bluntly and abruptly, with no understanding of subtlety and little use for courtesy. He has no time for the frivolity of celebrations, or the contemplation of philosophy. There is only one thing worthy of his time, and that is war.

It is said that the only home of a Heru is the battlefield. A Heru lives to test his mettle against his enemies in combat. He lives to test his courage in the face of death. None can deny the fierce, eager gleam that comes to his eyes when he stands across the battlefield from his enemies. The Heru are truly the Children of Horus, lord of blue skies and master of battles.

Despite their love for battle, the Heru despise the incessant strife between the Children of the Gods that has gone on since the death of Pharaoh. The Heru have a rigid code of honor and live strictly by the Code of Ma'at. They do not make war without just cause. They believe that fighting other Ægyptians is wrong and dishonorable, but if there is no recourse but a deadly contest of steel, then they will fight fiercely and be victorious.

In many ways, Heru society is little more than a mechanism for training warriors. Unlike other races, Heru children are not raised by their parents. When a child is very young, he leaves his parents to live with others of his own age. These children are supervised by warriors, who whether because of grievous injury or old age can no longer fight. The children are taught all which is necessary for a Heru to know. More importantly, they drill ceaselessly; running for miles a day and wrestling with one another for hours. As they grow older, the drilling becomes more martial; marching in formation, driving chariots and hurling javelins. On the cusp of adolescence, an appropriate vocation is chosen for each child, and some fortunate few are chosen to become warriors.

More than any other races, the Heru glory in their warriors. Each one is respected and admired by his fellow Heru. A Heru warrior is believed to be a true servant of Horus, and the protector of all Ægyptus. Even in times of peace, when there was a Pharaoh to rule Ægyptus, this was true. In these violent times, Heru warriors are revered as the saviors of their race and land. They are felt to be all that stands between Ægyptus and its complete destruction. The Heru have high expectations of their warriors. The Heru warrior, in every word and deed, forever strives to meet those expectations.

Allies & Adversaries

Of all the antagonisms between the many races of Ægyptus, none is more heated as that between the Typhon and the Heru. The two races hate each other with a passion born from Millennia of conflict. Legends tell of how Horus and Set fought even as children, and as they matured their battling only became more bloody. As the two gods fought and despised one another, so too do their children. Piles upon piles of papyrus scrolls tell of the feuds between the Harbingers of the two gods. It is rare that the two races have allied together willingly against a common foe. Only against the most terrible enemy have they fought side by side, and once the enemy was defeated, the Heru and Typhon immediately went back to their feuding.

The reasons for this hatred are self-evident. The Heru are honorable and righteous; the Typhon vicious and cruel. They are opposites in nearly all ways. It is impossible to imagine the two races co-existing peacefully, so violently opposed are their natures. It only makes matters worse that they are so evenly matched in battle. The discipline and courage of the Heru countering the savagery and cunning of the Typhon. When the two races meet in combat, the only survivors are the crippled and maimed, and there is never a clear victor.

Way of War

Before a battle begins, a Heru leader offers his foe the opportunity to surrender. While his warriors stand in perfectly formed ranks behind him, the leader stands before his foe and recounts his past glories. He is not boasting to increase his own reputation. Instead, the Heru leader is telling his foe that he faces a warrior of great renown, and may honorably surrender before suffering defeat at the Heru's hands.

Heru leaders always lead their warriors personally. It is a shameful act of cowardice for a leader to allow his warriors to precede him into battle for whatever reason, and resplendent in their gilded chariots, the leaders always ride at the front of their army. The Heru prefer to fight with two short swords, or a pole-axe and shield. Their fighting styles are complex, and only mastered after years of drilling and practice. Their weapons and armor are of the finest quality they can afford. For many Heru warriors, these are the only possessions they will ever own, and the only possessions they will ever wish to own.

The Heru march and fight in perfect order. Even when facing insurmountable odds, a Heru warrior obeys his commander. Even in the face of certain death, he remains in formation. The sight of a unit of disciplined Heru advancing - their sandalled feet coming down in unison and resounding on the battlefield; maneuvering in perfect synchronization - is enough to intimidate the most battle-hardened veteran.

After a battle, the Heru carefully clean and sheath their weapons. They bandage their wounded, leaving the grievously injured to the Khemru healers. They briefly salute their dead, leaving the bodies to the Anubi Embalmers. They do not celebrate their victory. Instead they quietly form up into organized columns and march away. To the Heru, no battle is worthy of celebration, for they are confident that there will be a more glorious one soon.

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