The Children of KhanumOnce, the ram-headed Khemru were a soft-spoken, peaceful race. Their voice was a gentle whisper. Their demeanor was placid and serene, never angry. They radiated an aura of tranquility which was palpable, and invoked a peaceful stillness in those around them. From below gray-furred brow ridges, their pale blue eyes studied the world searching for wisdom and understanding. They were sworn pacifists, and some even dulled the sharp tops of their horns to keep from accidentally injuring another.
Once, the Khemru were considered to be preoccupied and abstract, forever concerned with trivial matters. Their opinions and observations were dreamy and obscure, often far removed from the matter at hand. They quoted bizarre parables, spoke in bucolic molies and made cryptic analogies. When asked, they would never explain what they meant, but only respond with a penetrating stare. They were philosophers and mystics, whose interests were entirely inconsequential to the realities of the world.
Ægyptus has changed greatly since then, and so too have the Khemru. By their nature the Khemru are healers and peace-makers. It is ingrained in them to ease suffering and heal afflictions; to soothe bruised egos and pacify quarreling individuals. After Pharaoh was murdered, when the differences between the Children of the Gods blossomed into hatred and bloody battle, the Khemru found that they could not calm belligerents with words alone. On the eve of battle, their gentle reminders of the Code of Ma'at went unheeded. In the face of naked steel, they were helpless. Bitterness and frustration crept into their compassionate eyes. To the Khemru, there seemed only one way to bring peace to battling Ægyptians: to interpose themselves between the fighting warriors. Not with passionate please for peace, but instead to take up weapons and by strength of arms force those who battled to listen to reason.
No longer do the Khemru always speak in a gentle whisper. Now, when dealing with a violator of the Code of Ma'at, the voice of a Khemru becomes a scolding rasp that castigates the criminal. No longer are their demeanors placid and serene in the company of the other Children. Now, they are scrutinizing and distrustful, always searching for treachery, trying to understand how Egyptians could become so debased. No longer do they blunt their horns for fear of accidentally injuring another. Now, their horns are often banded with iron or bronze to make them even stronger and more potent in battle.
No longer are they peaceful. Now, they strive to make peace by whatever means necessary.
History & Society
The wonders of the natural world are the love of the Khemru, and wisdom is their passion. The Khemru do not desire to make war or money. Instead, they wish to spend their days in pastoral surroundings. They wish to pursue a deeper understanding of nature and a comprehensive knowledge of the world and its inhabitants.
Since the death of Osiris, the Khemru have had little time for such peaceful pursuits. They still find joy in the study of nature; still strive for wisdom; but these passions have become secondary. In these days of anger, their foremost desire is to bring peace back to Ægyptus.
In the eyes of the Khemru, Ægyptus is like a man stricken with a monstrous, rotting plague. The battles fought between the Children of the Gods are like festering sores on a stricken man's flesh. The Khemru know the final result of such a plague - the man rots away until he dies with the stink of his own disintegrating flesh in his nostrils. This is the fate of Ægyptus, if the Khemru cannot bring peace back to the land. For such a terrible disease, the Khemru know that a drastic remedy is required, and so they will do what is necessary to cure Ægyptus of its disease.
But in treating the plague, the Children of Khanum have become infected. They have become warriors, who go to war against other Children of the Gods, and the plague is upon them. It is all the more tragic for they know that they have become infected. The Khemru are wise. They understand what has happened to them, but see no other way. They hold to their ancient customs and pursuits as best they can, but they have changed. Changed, because the guilt for the deaths which they have caused eats their souls.
Khanum is the healer to the gods and protector of life. It is this god who populated the fields with beasts and the heavens with birds. His Children hold all life as sacred. The Khemru's conscience cannot easily abide the blood they have spilled. After a battle, when they move through the corpses of slaughtered Children, nausea and revulsion consume them. The Khemru hate what they have become, but they have no other choice. Since peace cannot be attained through peaceful means, they must make war. They must slay those who threaten the well-being of Ægyptus, and the lives of all who dwell in the Land of the Nile. But in doing so, they have become what they despise - takers of life.
While reluctant warriors, they are warriors still. Regardless of their guilt, they will not cease to fight until peace has returned. Forever hopeful, they long for the day when Ægyptus has returned to peaceful times. Only then can the Children of Khanum stop fighting and return to their old ways. Despite all their hopes, the Khanum are possessed by a nagging worry. It is a worry that haunts their every moment. They fear that they have changed too completely. They fear that they have learned the art of war all too well. That for the Children of Khanum, there can be no return to more peaceful days.
Allies & Adversaries
Whether it be the Children of Horus, or the Children of Set; the Children of Anubis, or the Children of Thoth, the Khemru endeavor to be accepting of all the Children of the Gods.
Philosophically, the Khemru claim that so long as the Children follow the dictates of their gods, then all is right. The Typhon are expected to be savage and cunning, since Set is a savage and cunning god. The Anubi are expected to be dark and ruthless, since Anubis is a dark and ruthless god. And so it is with all the Children. For this reason, the Khemru feel that the only race worthy of their hatred are the Children of Nekhebet, who long ago disobeyed their goddess. All others, so long as they act in a way appropriate to their god, are to be accepted. While their actions may be wrong, and in need of correction, hatred is not warranted.
At least this is how the Khemru endeavor to feel. In truth, they have a difficult time treating with the belligerent, blood-thirsty Typhon; the taciturn, apathetic To-tanem, or the haughty, self-righteous Tethru without becoming scolding. The seemingly endless squabbles between all the Children, while understandable, increasingly irritate and anger the peace-loving Khemru.
Way of War
Before a battle, all of the Khemru in an army - from the slingers and infantry to the leaders themselves - shout out pleas for peace. They call for a bloodless resolution to the present conflict. They proclaim that they have no desire to fight. Once a battle is begun, those standing against the Khemru discover they are gravely mistaken.
While the Khemru only fight to achieve their goals, taking no satisfaction from defeating an enemy, they are determined warriors. If the Khemru have come to the field of battle, then it is only for the most important and needful causes. Because of this, they know that they must be victorious, and are determined to be so.
They disdain the use of edged weapons, preferring to fight with staff or mace. In battle, they seek to quickly disable their foe, so that while he is still alive, he can no longer fight. Bloody slaughter disgusts them, and they have no desire to kill a foe when crippling will suffice. When asked why they do not use edged weapons, the Khemru say none of this. Instead, in a voice laden with gravitas, they cryptically answer that if the ground is watered with the blood of Ægyptians shed by fellow Ægyptians, it will forever be infertile.
After the battle, while the Embalmers and the Anubi tend to the dead, the Khemru search out those still living of both sides and seek to heal their wounds.. or at least, ease their suffering before the Embalmer comes for them.