Faction: Tethru

The Children of Thoth

The ibis-headed Tethru are a detached and enigmatic race obsessed with the learning of old lores and the discovery of new knowledge. Their narrow heads are brilliantly plumed with soft feathers of pure white, soft violet or sky blue. Their skin is a ghostly alabaster, and so pale that their thin blue veins are visible beneath its surface. Their slim-limbed bodies are tall and ascetically lean. From their lofty height, implacable eyes stare down, impassively judging those before them. The Tethru are aloof and ethereal. They seem far removed from this world, calmly awaiting a return to their own. In all circumstances they are distant and emotionless, radiating an unsettling otherworldly presence.

The voice of a Tethru is a haunting sing-song which emerges melodically from his curved beak. The tone of his voice never changes with distress, shock or anger. The Tethru truly seem without emotion. Their actions are never motivated by revenge, rage or passion, but only by their love for learning and the dictates of the Code of Ma'at - the laws governing Aegyptian society. Even when engaged in a life or death struggle with mortal enemies, they do not hate. They do not become filled with rage like the Anubi or Heru, nor possessed by a frenzy like the Sebeki or Typhon. Instead they are calculating, and plan intricate strategies to bring about the downfall of their enemies.

The Tethru live in strict adherence to the Code of Ma'at. For them, the written law is sacred, and the Code is the most sacred of all writings. To the Tethru there is no extrapolation of the law, only inflexible obedience. Each word of the Code has a precise and absolute meaning. It is not subject to circumstance or interpretation. The written words of the virtuous are always true, and the Harbinger, Ma'at the Lawgiver, was the most virtuous of all the god's Children. Every Tethru seeks to emulate Ma'at and live a life of honor and rectitude, so that his writing will be eternally true, remembered for all time and a lasting testament of his mortal existence.

To live perfectly by the Code, the Tethru seek to expunge emotions from their own hearts. They feel that emotions such as rage and desperation, and even passion and love, quickly become wrongful justifications for violating the Code. As evidence, they cite the hated and reviled Nekharu. In their pride, the Nekharu defied the will of their goddess, and that is the most abominable crime in the Code. They point a foreboding finger at the vulture-headed Children of Nekhebet, and claim that their evil dementia and villainous treachery are the fruits of passion and rage. They prophetically warn all the Children - even the honorable but vengeful Heru - to be wary of where unbridled emotion leads: violation of the Code, the very foundation of Aegyptian civilization.. then descent into chaos which twists the heart and deforms the soul.

History & Society

The Tethru are the Children of Thoth, speaker of Words and scribe to the gods. As such, their society is dedicated to learning and the preservation of knowledge. It is a lifelong goal of each Tethru to spend his days quietly reading crumbling papyrus scrolls, with artfully scribed hieroglyphs scrolling down their surface. While very few Tethru are allowed the luxury of such a scholarly life in war-torn Ægyptus, a place exists where some do pursue endless days of peaceful study. This utopia is simply named the Academy, and the Tethru strive tirelessly to ensure its continued existence.

The Academy is located in Thoth's city of Hermopolis, and in its many libraries are collected all the scrolls and tomes that have ever passed through Ægyptus. Though all the Children of the Gods are welcome to study at the Academy, access to all the written works is never granted. The Tethru glory in the written word, but know full well its dangers. A lifetime of wickedness can be preserved in writing for eternity - then passed through the ages to corrupt future generations long after the writer's body has decayed to dust.

Upon founding the Land of the Nile, Ra commanded that Thoth act as judge of all that was written, and censor those works not fit for the Children of the Gods. Since then, it has long been the right of the Tethru to claim any written work in the name of Thoth and the Academy. If the work is judged to be of no harm, scribes are commissioned to make a copy, and the original is returned to its rightful owner. If the work is judged to contain harmful and perverse knowledge, it is locked away so that its evil cannot infect others. Since Thoth's disappearance, the responsibility of judging harmful works has fallen to Seshat the Librarian, Master of Words and keeper of the Book of Thoth.

While many of the other races resent the Tethru for withholding such knowledge, the Tethru know that only they are fit for such a dangerous and potentially corrupting task. Only the lawful Tethru live in absolute obedience to the Code of Ma'at. All others, regardless of good intent, are imperfect and fallible. Only the incorruptible Tethru are able to act perfectly as judges of what will be harmful without being contaminated themselves.. or so the Tethru claim.

Allies & Adversaries

The Tethru consider themselves the arbiters of Aegyptian law. To be an infallible judge of law, one cannot be moved by sentiment or favoritism, and so the Tethru hold themselves aloof from all other races. While in the conclaves of the races, the Tethru often find themselves in agreement with the disciplined Heru, they would never say the Children of Horus were their ally. While in those same conclaves, the Tethru often find themselves disagreeing with the roguish, dissolute Basti, they would never say the Children of Bast were their adversaries. As judges they must be impartial, and do not make alliances or form coalitions. They weigh the merits of any situation by the dictates of the Code of Ma'at, then decide the correct course of action.

Because of this attitude, the other Children feel the Tethru to be haughty and judgmental, but the Tethru are not concerned with their popularity among the other Children. Only the Code of Ma'at and its obedience is of any importance.

Though the Tethru scrutinize the deeds of all races, the Anubi are most especially watched. The Tethru are troubled by their incessant disagreements wit the Children of Anubis - and more troubled by the many battles between the Harbingers of the two gods. They wonder if the Anubi have allowed their quest to defeat the Eater of the Dead to consume them, and blind them to right and wrong. They recognize the Creeping Darkness as a great and perverse evil, but there is no justification for violation of the Code. Whatever his intent, if an Anubi violates the Code, he will be punished.

Way of War

The Tethru are not warrior-born, but they study the art of war as carefully and thoroughly as they do the most obscure of esoteric lores. Their warriors study the victories and defeats of battles long past, learning lessons that even the Heru have forgotten, or else failed to understand. Their strategies are conservative at best, but when they do commit their troops to battle, it is with precise and carefully measured planning. Every factor has been considered; every contingency taken into account.

The Tethru wear fine, light-weight armor, and fight with long, straight-edged swords. They organize for battle in large specialized units, several ranks deep. These they compliment with long lines of archers who are held safely behind the infantry. In addition, no other leader makes better use of a Master of Words than a Tethru. Between their intricate strategies and sorcerous aid, the Children of Thoth are a force to be reckoned with in a fight. Due to their scholarly reputation, many are quick to underestimate the Tethru on the fields of battle. This has led to some infamous and humiliating defeats at their hands, which the Tethru scribes have carefully recorded and recounted throughout Ægyptus.

When a battle is ended, a Tethru leader gathers with his scribes. He carefully goes over their accounts, correcting their mistakes, elaborating his strategies and adding any important details they omitted. He is absolutely truthful in his corrections. He neither ignores his mistakes, nor glosses over his defeats. Even if damaging to his own renown, he is completely honest in his account of the battle. He does this so that future generations will know of his deeds - but more importantly, have an accurate record from which to study both his successes and failures.

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