Character Profile: Eshmedi

Image Source:  Simon Wijers  from Pixabay

Image Source: Simon Wijers from Pixabay

Age: Well into his seventies

Hometown: Uftem

Likes: There is only duty in attending to the Final God, although he likes a good fig from time to time.

Eshmedi knows how to take the blackness from the river and distill it into a purer, more potent form. This would be used in the embalming of the dead as well as for other important ceremonies and rituals. When he was a young man, he was working to distill a batch of khemu when it ignited in the sun and brutally burned the side of his face.

Some say he was never the same again. He says that’s mystic nonsense.

Eshmedi is the Listener of Uftem Temple. Every day, he went deep within the temple crypt and poured out a basin of khemu, that sacred viscous black substance that animates the dead. He had to drink it and wait in the darkness for the High Hierophant, Uskandr, to speak with him through the khemu and tell him what he must do.

Uftem is not an important town. It never needed orders until Ashira washed up on the banks of the Neferamtat River. Then Uskandr became very interested in the boring little town and requested frequent reports on the girl’s recovery and development.

Eshmedi was trained in how to read signs and portents in everyday goings-on. When Ashira survived being drowned, he took it as a sign that she was favored by the gods. When she healed the sick, he thought her a saint. But when she commanded the dead, he knew she was the return of the Black Pharaoh.

Some say that drinking the khemu will drive a man mad. Eshmedi is content to let the people believe what they want. They are already fearful of his scarred face. Nothing he could do or say would sway them otherwise, so why should he exert himself? Raising a pharaoh in the way she ought to go is taxing enough.