- 9 months ago
The history of the dragonborn of Kemet is a long and arduous one. Some say they are the oldest of the mortal races, though the time of their cultured civilization is believed to run contemporary to the beginning of the Sumerian cities to the east. Before the formal founding of their kingdom, the Dragonborn settled many villages along the Ar river. The Ar river flooded annually, depositing rich silt on the river banks, this allowed the Dragonborn's crops to grow. To them the flooding of the Ar was a gift from their god Hapi, whose sole purpose was to bring the flooding on his arrival. Before the annual flooding the land was normally rocky and arid, this symbolic gesture of rebirth would have a lasting effect on the culture to come.
It is not known if their living dragon gods came and formed the first kingdoms or if the dragon gods came after the founding of the upper and lower kingdoms. Either way, war between the two kingdoms would soon commence resulting in the victory of upper Kemet over the lower, led by the Platinum dragon god Narmer. It is said the false dragon god of lower Kemet was of blue scales. It is commonly known that the chromatic dragons are of a more sinister nature than their metallic brethren, so the dragon being blue could be a falsehood. Narmer being the only platinum dragon ever spoken of, written about, or seen to this day begs the question if it was true at all. We will never know. The unification of the two kingdoms were solidified when Narmer established the capital city of Aneb-Hetch in lower Kemet, from which he could control the labor force and agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and critical trade routes to the Levant to the north east. Narmer would go and found many great cities, and have many public works commissioned, his mere presence dissuaded any would be invaders, even the tyrant Kur to the east would not interfere.
It wasn't until after Narmer's death when he was revered as a living god. The worship of the natural gods of Hapi, Neper the god of grain, and Geb the god of land, would be phased out as the powers and duties of these gods would be intertwined into the powers and duties of the living dragon gods. Narmer's reign lasted some five hundred years, often taking the shape of a platinum dragonborn to rule, it is said he bore many half dragon children. Like all half dragons they were also infertile, his legacy would be carried on by another soon after the last of his kin died out. This also marked the beginning of the houses of eternity, or Mastabas in the dragon tongue, these were large burial tombs where after embalmed, the body of their reverence could be sent to the afterlife to become a deity. They were given items that were intended to help them in the afterlife. The extravagance buried with their dead rulers would not start until the third "dynasty."
It is not agreed upon how the third dynasty was given a claim to rule the Kingdom of Kemet founded by Narmer. Whether he himself found his next dragon successors, or if the second dynasty consisting of his remaining half dragon kin found them. Or if they heard of the kingdom, or personally knew Narmer and just showed up hearing of his death. The first king of this era was Zoser, a dragon of Silver scales, he would go on to add to the Mastaba, with the helped of the famed dragonborn architect Imhotep, he would go to build the first pyramid. The step Pyramid in Saqqara is still standing to this day, it is an expansive tomb that leads far below the ground. It has yet to be fully explored, it is said to be inhabited by monsters or spirits. The treasures there are told to be immense, but until we know for sure, it is likely just stories.
Zoser's rule would also marked the first time the Dragonborn would go on to conquer lands outside of Kemet. Bringing the region to the east, known as Sinai under their rule. The human tribes of the Sinai peninsula were said to worship the Stone Giants of Mount Sinai that dominated the region. During the Invasion they were driven out, and Zoser had commissioned a life size sculpture of himself carved into the side of the mountain as a reminder of his hegemony. The mountains of Sinai were rich in turquoise and copper, Sinai also made a great buffer to the Sumerian city states further east, and the tribes of Dark Elves and humans in the Levant to the north east.
Zoser would be the first dragon of Kemet to embrace his divine right to rule. He would follow the trend set before him by Narmer in which the half dragons bore to him would be set in charge of government and religious business. He would be buried in his Step pyramid with a lavish amount of wealth, including his favorite slaves and pets. He would set the kingdom up for the fourth dynasty before his demise, passing the throne to Sneferu a Brass dragon. Sneferu was already very old and had a full blooded dragon son at the time of his ascension.
Sneferu would be the first to construct the smooth sided pyramids we think of today, in all their majesty. His first attempt eventually failed, possibly due to a weak base, the pyramid still stands today though, we refer to it as "the bent pyramid". Later he would go to construct the Red pyramid north of the bent pyramid. It is named so after the red tip of the pyramid, it is said to be made of brass after Sneferu, it has already been observed that the color of brass, depending on the elements its left in, can change color, so this is most likely true. These pyramids would go to start the formation of Dahshur the first and thus oldest Necropolis for future Pharaohs and their half dragon kin. Several more pyramids would go to be built here in the coming dynasties. Another of his accomplishments was the construction of the first navy, since the kingdoms most northern regions extended to the Middle sea (at the time referred to as the great sea) and to the east the Erythraean Sea, a seawater inlet, which thus far no one has recorded where it leads to. These constructions however were possible due to raiding the neighboring regions for slaves, the human Nubians to the south, and the humans and dark elves, north east settled in the Levant.
After Sneferu's death, his son would be the one to build the Great Pyramid of Dahshur. To this day, it is the largest mortal made structure in the known world, it surpassing five hundred feet in height, the tip even being made of solid gold. It is also considered one of the seven wonders of the world, and the oldest by two thousand years. In the period in which pyramids were built for the pharaohs, none would be as tall and magnificent. Unfortunately sometime after his demise, like most of the pyramids, his great tomb was looted of all its valuables. His body being torn asunder and his pieces likely sold by medicine men as "cures" for mortal ailments.
It should be noted that before convention many mortals and even dragons didn't live nearly as long. A five hundred year span was a common lifespan for a metallic dragon, oddly a chromatic dragon could live up to twice as long. This can be seen in surviving texts and oral tradition, if we are to believe them.
Khufu's reign would be one of the most dynamic periods in the development of Kemite art. During this period, artists learned to express their culture's worldview, creating for the first time images and forms that endured for generations. Architects and masons mastered the techniques necessary to build monumental structures in stone. Sculptors created the earliest portraits of individuals and the first life size statues in wood, copper, and stone. They perfected the art of carving intricate relief decorations and, through a keen observation of the natural world, produced detailed images of animals, plants, and even landscapes, recording the essential elements of their world for eternity in scenes painted and carved on the walls of temples and tombs. This change could possibly correlate with the invitation to dragons of all color to Kemet, many were given positions of power in offices and regencies that were formally given to the pharaohs half dragon brood.
These images and structures had two principal functions: to ensure an ordered existence and to defeat death by preserving life into the next world. Khufu wanted a strong unified draconic people, to fend off any of the empires that formed to the east, or he may of had conquests in mind, though if he did, it never came to fruition. He would also go to have an expanded interest in trade goods such as ebony, incense, gold, copper, and other useful metals inspiring him to build suitable ships for navigation of the open sea. This led to the travel of the length of the Erythraean sea to the kingdom of Punt to the far south.
Towards the end of Khufu's reign, the dragons that he established as regional governors began to grow powerful as the central government under the pharaoh began to wain. Khufu's death saw the creation of innumerable dragon dynasties vying for supremacy, the civil war would have no victor for nearly two hundred years. This span known as the first intermediate period of Kemet, would end when Mentuhotep from the city of Waset (Which the ancient capital was moved to) unified the kingdom once more. With the help from his younger brother Senusret, they drove out the green dragons and dragonborn alike, for they became the most formidable enemy during the civil war, and retribution was seen as mandatory. As Iron dragons, their reign would be an expansionist one.
Mentuhotep would start by re-centralizing the government, placing the regional governance in the hands of his own dragon kin, like the first pharaohs. He then started the trend of wearing the Sekhemti, the red and white double crown. The red represented lower Kemet and the White Upper Kemet. It symbolized the joining of the two lands, and the pharaohs control over the two lands. After the reformation of the government body, Mentuhotep would place his brother in charge of preparing an invasion south, into Nubia.
Senusret re-dredged an Old Kingdom canal to help facilitate travel to upper Nubia. He used this to launch a series of Brutal campaigns for sixteen years, preferring to fight in his dragonborn form. After his victories the brothers took this time to build a series of massive forts throughout the country to establish the formal boundary between Kemite conquests and unconquered Nubia at Semna. The Nubians were not aloud north of the border by ship, nor could they enter by land with their flocks, but they were permitted to travel to local forts to trade. Senusret would set off on campaign into the unconquered lands of Nubia, him or his army never returned, there is only speculation on what happened to him.
This would go to cause Mentuhotep much grief, soon after the Ar river began to dry up, the annual flooding ceased, famine and disease soon followed. The Pharaohs were the ones who were said to control the flooding of the Ar, and when the Ar ceased to flood, Mentuhotep's authority began to wane. This soon led to peasant uprisings, and his armies deserting. The four hundred year reign would end when an old rival would return. An invasion force of the previously expelled green dragonborns came from the east through the Levant, led by the great green dragon Khamudi. The invaders were said to call themselves the Hyksos, meaning "rightful rulers" a term some green dragonborn still use to identify themselves, though other dragonborn translate this meaning to "foreign rulers". This grand invasion would be assisted by the Kingdom of Kush, a newly formed kingdom from the power vacuum left behind by the retreating forces of the Kemites in Nubia.
The hegemony of Khamudi would be tyrannical, many non green dragonborn were exterminated, and the dragons who didn't flee after Mentuhotep took power were also executed, their bodies ripped apart and tossed to the elements as a feast for the crows. His reign would last over a hundred years, though his territory would become a fraction of his initial conquest, he would make the capital of his rein Avaris in lower Kemet. This period would be known as the Second Intermediate period of Kemet. Halfway through his reign of the whole of Kemet was met with two corresponding uprisings, one led by the self proclaimed pharaoh Menkhaure, a young red dragon that claimed parts of upper Kemet ruling out of the city Abydos. The other, ruling out of Waset, a black Dragonborn, Setnakhte of the Ahmose dynasty, a powerful aristocratic family who claim lineage back to Khufu's dynasty. Setnakhte, together with his armies and alliance with Menkhaure would go to eventually destroy Khamudi and those who helped instill his rein. Menkhaure is said to have been injured in the battle and in his weakened state betrayed by Setnakhte, claiming the throne for himself. The prevailing belief however is the one Setnakhte claimed himself, that Menkhaure was killed by Khamudi in the siege of Avaris. This victory would begin an era of dragonborn pharaohs and another period of unity of Kemet, starting the period known as the "New Kingdom of Kemet".
After expelling the Hyksos' remnants from Kemet, Setnakhte would reassert Kemet dominance over Nubia and Sinai once more. He reorganized the administration of the country, reopened quarries, mines, and trade routes, and began massive building projects. He would spend much of his rein asserting his authority as a legitimate ruler. From this point forward pyramids were no longer built, instead the rulers of Kemet built large extensive tombs in the hills of Waset, now known as the Valley of Kings. The seventh dynasty founded by Setnakhte would last three centuries, some of the most famous pharaohs are of this period. The first female pharaoh Hatsheput was the fifth pharaoh of this dynasty, she would go on to expand trade routes lost during Khamudi's rein, including to the far away lands of Punt. She would also have built hundreds of construction projects, including the large suspended obelisks and the temple of Zoser that still stand today. Thutmose III would campaign seventeen times in his reign, conquering all of the Levant, including the dark elven nation of Ascalonia. He would also push further north into the southern regions of Anatolia and taking the small dwarven kingdom of Kizzuwadna, who reside in the Taurus mountains. At the end of his reign he would push even further into Nubia than any previous pharaoh. Amenhotep III, the son of Thutmose III would succeed him, his reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendor, Kemet reached its peak of artistic and international power. Amenhotep III has the distinction of having the most surviving statues of any Kemite pharaoh. His son Akhenaten would be the last pharaoh of the seventh dynasty. Born Amenhotep IV he later changed his name to Akhenaten meaning "Exalter of the name of Aten". Not much is known about this pharaoh, documentation, and statues of him were purposely defaced or outright destroyed. Akhenaten would attempt to establish a new religion, foreign to his people, he would abandon the worship of the dragon gods for a being known as the Aten. Aten was said to be the only god, the creator of all mother and father of all mortal kind, the Aten is symbolized as a sun and long extending sun rays tipped with hands. Akhenaten would spend his reign attempting to convert the kemites, going as far as defacing temples dedicated to the dragon gods and barring speaking their names in public. Akhenaten would go to only have daughters and his religious fervor would distract him from administrative duties and international affairs, letting the Hittite empire to the north take the Levant from the Kemites.
The eighth dynasty would harbor the pharaoh who to this day is still held as one of the greatest rulers of not only Kemet, but the eastern world. His name was Ozymandias a golden dragonborn, he would go to reclaim much of the lost lands taken by the Hittite empire, reclaiming most of the Levant before making peace with them. He expanded west in into Bedouin territory and was able to subdue the kingdom of Kush to the south. He built more monuments and temples than any of his predecessors and he boasted many consorts as well. His thirty six foot statue of himself made of red granite still stands at the temple of Narmer at Aneb-Hetch.
Ozymandias would go to exemplify the importance of the ancient Kemite gods, though their worship never ceased it was overshadowed by the worship of the living dragon gods. The gods Amun, Amunet, Isis, Horus, Thoth, and many others would for the first time in millennia become the prominent religion. The worship of the dragon cult still persists to this day and are held in high reverence in Kemet, but the absolute belief of their divinity is not a requirement, some dragonborn now see them like many outsiders to their culture, that they were not divine, only beasts who took advantage of the superstitions of a young society.
Ozymandias would later go to claim the Wanderer as a brother and that he helped vanquish the Hittites in the Levant and the Bedouins in Libya, he would go to be immortalized in statues and paintings as a dragon and as a man, and after convention, added him to the pantheon the Kemites use today. Whether this is true or not is highly debated, some historians don't believe the timeline could match up, for the legendary battle of Ilios in which Kleos (the name the Hellenes give the wanderer) is shown to of acquired his reputation from, is thought to be several decades later than the famous battle of Kadesh in which he also shows up.
The instant aftermath of convention, known as the collapse is seen as a dark age for most nations in the eastern hemisphere of the middle sea. Many great empires collapsed, this state brought the downfall of the Hittite empire as it was brought down by famine, disease, war, and migration, like many nations on the continent of Sargon minor, and the old Mycenaean kingdoms on mainland Hellas, and even the fabled Minoan peoples on their Island of Crete. During this crisis, an army of Naga rose out of the middle sea, at the time they were only a myth told by sailors. They rose from the shores of the sea in droves all along the Levant and out of where the Ar river spills into the Middle sea. While the Hittites crumbled they even requested assistance from the Kemites. Ozymandias drove many back into the sea, for years he fought these sea peoples claiming victory at the battle of Djahy and the battle of the Delta before making peace with them, incorporating them as subject peoples allowing some of them to settle in the Levant.
Even after this Kemet was not spared from the collapse. As soon as Ozymandias died his many sons bickered over who would take the throne, a succession crisis took place, along with the components of the collapse caused the kingdom to shatter once more, this period is known as the third intermediate period of Kemet. The beginning of this period the ninth dynasty would take power, in this time of crisis the kingdom of Kush rebelled from their dragonborn overlords and conquered the divided nation of Kemet. The latter half of this period would see the Assyrian Empire expel the Kushite rulers and take Kemet for themselves. Eventually the Amorites and their coalition would destroy the Assyrian empire, granting Kemet independence once more.
Kemet would stay independent for another century and a half, until Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great of the Median Empire conquered it and claimed himself Pharaoh. Kemet would go to become a satrap to the Median empire, even with several rebellions during this time, they would remain under the thumb of foreign rule. This rule would last another century and a half before Archelaus the Great, the young king of Macedon, and son of Philippos II would conquer the whole of the Median empire, on entering Kemet with his army the dragonborn surrendered without a fight. Archelaus traveled to Aneb-Hetch and at the Oracle of Amun he was declared to be the son of Amun. He conciliated the Kemite by the respect he showed their religion, but he appointed Macedonians to virtually all the senior posts in the country, and founded a new Hellenic city Archandria, to be the new capital. The wealth of Kemet could now be harnessed for Archelaus' conquest of the rest of the Median empire.
After his death in Kazallu, a succession crisis erupted among his generals. Ptolemy soon established himself as the ruler of Kemet, he would then successfully consolidate his position and the surrounding areas during the wars of the Diadochi (successors). After the two decade war Ptolemy was officially titled king and would take the title Ptolemy I Soter (Savior), he was the first of the Ptolemaic dynasty that still rules Kemet to this day. Ptolemy I Soter would go to commission two of the great wonders of the world, both in Archandria. The first, while not technically finished until after his death, was the great lighthouse, also known as the Pharos of Archandria, one of the largest structures in the world, built with three tapering tiers and made out of solid lime blocks, on the side that faces the middle sea features an inscription dedicated to the Hellenic god Dyeus the sky father and king of the gods. The second, the great library of Archandria, where I currently scribe. The library is dedicated to the Muses, the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. We boast the largest collection of scrolls and codex's, the knowledge that resides within these walls is unmatched in the known world.
Now, the year 982 A.C. (After Convention) the current ruler of Kemet is Ptolemy IV Philopator, the country currently embroiled in the fourth war with the world consuming Seleucid Empire to the North and to the East, another Diadochi kingdom ruled by Antiochus III the Great.