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- The Ra pictured on "Ancient Magicks" is the "Horus of Two Horizons" version.
- The Ennead have the only deck in SOTM that is composed entirely of one-shots.
- When they first appeared, the Ennead defeated Ra in a massive battle, causing him to become amnesiac and wander the desert for years before eventually returning as Ra: Horus of the Two Horizons
- Notes from
- Roderick Ward and twelve other "treasure hunters" (read that as "grave robbers") were investigating this newly-uncovered shrine in the desert. It's full of traps (so many traps) and mummies - very similar to the Tomb of Anubis, but it's a separate place. Four members of the group die from the various hazards there, but the remaining nine make it to the central chamber easily after that (funny how it seemed to stop trying to kill them off once there were exactly nine of them left - that's probably a coincidence).
- In that central chamber there are nine statues present, each holding an impressive Relic. Like with Blake Washington Jr. and the Staff of Ra, each of the remaining people is drawn to pick up one of them. [Insert transformation sequence here.] They now have this great power, a desire for more, and a sense of entitlement. They have more power as a group, together, and that's what they wish to enhance.
- Atum - Roderick Ward, the leader of the thieves, but also now the leader of the Ennead. Relic - a jeweled bracer. As Atum he is accompanied by two golden scarabs - he's also a sun/fire god but it takes the form more directed beams ("sun lasers") than Ra's general fire everywhere approach.
- Geb - Charles Philips. Relic - a golden sickle. Giant serpent man, the largest physically of them. A god of the earth - creating earthquakes and whatnot.
- Isis - Jessica Douglas. Relic - a sun disk (associated more with the goddess Hathor, but also seen on depictions of Isis). She wears it on her forehead. She sprouts some big bat wings (even though historical depictions show her with falcon wings - that's odd).
- Nephthys - Anna Rochester. Relic - an obsidian ankh, which allows her to tap into funerary powers.
- Nuit - Diane Lawson. Relic - the Magic Orb of Nuit which allows her to control and be the sky itself.
- Osiris - Logan Brown. Relic - the crook and flail (a matched set of relics that always go together).
- Set - Steve Karr - the Typhonic Rod (Set being conflated with the Greek Typhon) - this is a large scepter/small staff with the head of the Set Animal/Typhonic Beast on it. He can control storms.
- Shu - Francis Li. Relic - a bronze khopesh (the type of curved sword that Mdjai wields in the Tomb of Anubis deck). He becomes the air itself.
- Tefnut - Winona Ross - a votive shield (kind of a mid-sized round buckler). She becomes a furred cat creature.
To Other Works
- The numerous grails in the background of "Taste of Immortality" is a reference to the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Like Ra, The Ennead are based on deities from actual Egyptian mythology (in this case the Ennead of Heliopolis). The Ennead gained prominence after a decline in the worship of Ra during the 6th dynasty, but Ra later saw a resurgence after a being conflated with Horus (which provides the source of the name Ra Horus of Two Horizons).
- Atum - primordial creation deity (his name is thought to derive from the word "complete" thus his title in the game "World Finisher"), his worship was conflated with that of Ra for a time. His children:
- Shu - god of the air.
- Tefnut - goddess of moisture/rain/dew/etc. Their children:
- Nut - goddess of the sky, her title in the game "She Who Protects" is attested, but she was the "protector" of Ra as the sun in the sky.
- Geb - god of the earth, associated with earthquakes and snakes (although not always depicted with a snake for a head). Their children:
- Osiris - god of the dead/afterlife/underworld/rebirth. Generally depicted with green skin holding the crook and flail like in the card art. Although the card has him without clothes above the waist (unlike typical depictions), the red sash/belt and white trousers do match the classical depictions.
- Isis - goddess of health, marriage, and wisdom. Also associated with magic and sometimes depicted with wings, although usually feathered falcon wings as part of her arms rather than the separate, bat-like wings in the card art.
- Set - god of the desert, storms, and disorder. There's no consensus on what animal Set's head is meant to represent.
- Nephthys - goddess of death, funerary rites, etc. Also sometimes shown with falcon wings like Isis and incinerating the pharaoh's enemies with her fiery breath. Her depiction in the game as wearing mummy wrappings is presumably a reference to her association with funerals, but doesn't match her classical appearance.
Questions Answered on The Letters Page
- Previously it was mentioned that the Ennead really only show up for their main story arc, but Nightmist was involved in a Vengeance arc before fighting Isis and Ra was involved in Vengeance and then fought the Ennead - what's the actual timeline going on here? The major plot (finding Relics, fighting Ra who then goes off into the desert, Atum going to Ethiopia) was the second time this story was actually told in Sentinel Comics (and was told by much better writers that time). The first time (decidedly pre-Vengeance), these 9 gods just show up and fight Ra, defeat him, and just go around being villains (no "taking over Egypt" plot). Eventually Ra regroups, teams up with other heroes, and they defeat the 9. The end. There was no gravitas given to the proceedings and not a lot of thought put into the implications of 9 other gods showing up - it just kind of fell flat. After Vengeance, somebody wanted to take this old story and rework it to make it better. This second telling is now retconned into the "canonical" version of the Ennead story and is the one that we deal with in the card game and whatnot - the other one is kind of ignored.
- What happened to the 4 members of Ward's group who died before the rest became the Ennead? They died for real due to the hazards of the Shrine explicitly so that there were 9 remaining. There have to be 9 to enter the chamber - a smaller group would never make it that far.
- How do the members of Ward's team feel about the 4 who died in the Shrine? Do they worry that Roderick will give them up for dead too? They're all shady people and don't really trust one another. There's no love lost between them, but a larger share for me! After getting the power, this stuff pretty much becomes of negligible importance.
- Are the gods always jerks? Do Discworld rules apply where gods have less power if fewer people believe in them? They're not really gods, just people with a lot of power - worshipers don't matter in terms of power (although in the distant past some incarnations certainly cared about their worshipers). They might be more or less benevolent, but as a group they've always opposed Ra and so in a world where Ra is a hero, they will by necessity be villains.
- In "Death's Grasp" we see Tempest in a bad situation, who saved him? Initially, Tempest was acting weaker than he was to get Nephthys to chase him as part of the whole Operation "Don't Fight All Nine of them at Once, Guys". She does eventually get the drop on him and drains a bunch of his life force, but Tempest does eventually turn the tables by himself.
- How did the other nations in the area respond to the Ennead? Militarily? Views from a religious perspective? In this world there are people with powers, so they were just more of that. As mentioned, Ethiopia was the first nation to speak out and we see what happened there - that kind of shut everybody else up (nobody knew that he was really drained after that and couldn't do it again).
- What went down vs. OblivAeon? There's not really a turn-by-turn, blow-by-blow description. You can basically just look at the relevant ARG page.
- They don't seem to get along (they're all nemeses by the game rules), but in myth many of them are related/married to one another; does whoever currently is, say, Isis have an attachment to the current Osiris? Does the power behind the relics care which gender the person who claims a relic is and/or does the god-form alter the body to conform to the "original" bearer's gender? Could non-biological entities (like, say, Omnitron) become empowered by them? Certain people are drawn to certain artifacts and the Relics do call to people whose gender matches the original bearer's as they are trying to find people who match them as closely as possible. The marriages in ancient history don't really have an effect on the relationships of current hosts. Non-biological entities could not be empowered.
- What about the Egyptian gods who aren't represented in the game? All of the other Relics are locked beyond the gate of the Underworld that Anubis guards - even the Ennead's were out there until Anubis sent them out into the world as described last week.
- Who's the most powerful member of the Ennead? They are all very powerful but each individual's "power" is largely different from the others so it's hard to compare apples to apples. Atum has the most direct offensive power, but used up the majority of it in the Ethiopia incident. It's hard to pick out anybody else as stronger than the others given the diversity in their approach to what "power" even means.
- Would it be possible for somebody good to pick up one of the Ennead's Relics and become a hero? More segues...