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Atem is the creator deity of the Upper Pantheon. He is the creator of Atum.

Origins[]

No one knows the origins of Atem or the other deities.

Legends[]

The Crusade in the Dark[]

Atem first emerged into the primordial waters of the Endless Void alone. His armor gleamed light into the black morass and illuminated the original inhabitants of the waters the Protean. Pure beings of ancient chaos unaccustomed to the light of order, the Protean threw themselves at Atem attempting to destroy him and tear him apart. As he slew his attackers the void creatures would reform from primordial chaos and throw themselves at him again and again. Trapped in the waters and under constant assault, Atem called upon other deities to come to his aid and marched to war against these beings.

Atem's Crusade in the Dark would last an eternity of its own as he fought with the Proteans and the other inhabitants of the primordial waters. It wasn't without great sacrifice that Atem and his kin managed to trap the chaotic energies of the Proteans to prevent their reconstitution. He bound the essence of the Protean race together into a gigantic serpentine being known as Apophis and chained it deep in the void where no one would find it. A fellow deity, Maat chose to make it her duty to watch over Apophis and insure he would never be free again.

The Spark of Life[]

From deep within the primordial waters Atem retrieved the Ankh the word of life. Using the Ankh and the clay that lay deep beneath the waters he began to shape an entire world that floated on the primordial waters. This world would come to be known as Atum.

Atem called upon all of the others of his kind that came to his aid during the Crusade and offered them a place at his side ruling over this new world. Those that accepted he taught the Ankh and how to create life using it. Using the primordial clay from beneath the waters he created the first humans as a template and shared this knowledge with the others. Each god in turn created their own race of servants and worshipers to populate the new world. These followers were all slightly tainted with the essence of chaos that lingered in the waters and clay and thus had free will despite their creators best efforts.

Other deities would be drawn to this new world from beyond, so Atem split the kingdom into the Upper Pantheon, those that fought what came before, and Lower Pantheon, those that came after.

The Crack in the Mirror[]

Despite his efforts to keep Apophis from influencing his creation the chaotic being would not be denied the world that was its birthright. The Whispers of Madness rippled all across the waters of the world. Seth would be the first to hear these whispers which fed upon his jealousy for his brother Osiris. Seth would be driven mad by their promises and slew his brother, usurping his position in the underworld and taking up his brother's name and face to hide what he had done. As ruler of the underworld, Seth exposed the other deities of the underworld to Apophis's whispers and drove them mad as well.

Anubis the jackal heard the whispers which led him to pervert his duties as soulkeeper. He no longer guided souls to the underworld which caused them to become stuck wandering Atum eternally seeking rest. The whispers also taught Anubis the art of undeath, and how to seal souls within bodies so that they would become immortal servants. Montu the bull followed shortly after forsaking his honor and becoming bloodthirsty the whispers told him of the inevitability of conflict and need to become stronger to survive what was coming. Anput the spider was fatigued by the whispers as they sapped her of energy and drove her mad with insatiable hunger.

Without the gods of the underworld maintaining the cycle of life Atum began to become wrought with disaster. Famines, plagues, war, and betrayal ravaged the kingdoms that the followers of the gods had built. They cried out to their gods to save them, but in the centuries of feeding off their worship the gods had become aloof and deaf to the words of their followers. It was then that Apophis's whispers reached the kings, queens, and emperors of the world. The whispers spoke of true power, of how to steal back the strength they had given the gods. The first Arcanoficers arose and began weaving the powers of the gods into the very first artifacts through massive arcane rituals. Using these all-powerful artifacts the races of the world waged total destructive war on each-other and the gods themselves.

The War with Heaven[]

It was then the gods finally took notice and began to try to stamp out this rebellion, but unbeknownst to them their creations had devised ways to wound them. Each time a god was struck with the blade or spell from an artifact their wounds would bleed upon the sands. Each drop would crystallize into a Godshard which radiated that god's power into the world. It wasn't long before the arcanoficers began harnessing these shards to build even more artifacts and continue the war. As the war waged on all but one of the upper pantheon (including Seth and his conspirators) would be shattered into shards throughout the realm by a series of warriors who would become known as the Sixteen.

Finally as chaos reigned Apophis swelled and broke free of his chains with Maat worthless to stop him. The chaotic world wyrm wrapped himself about the realm and sought to tear it apart and return it to the primordial waters and clay below. It was then the mortals of the realm felt clarity and understood the end they had wrought. The Sixteen found Maat dying beneath the world and wept at their foolishness and offered their artifacts and their very lives to save the goddess. Through their ritual Maat was healed and became empowered by all of the pieces of the gods that now inhabited her. The goddess took the fight to Apophis and as a last resort bound the world wyrm within herself before vanishing deep within the waters where none would ever find her or the wyrm again.

What Remains[]

Atem's children, the Humans are the most prolific and versatile race. Many still hold worship of their god even though he has long since been shattered. Like many gods, there are cults and sects that seek to bring about his resurrection though few have had any luck with their attempts. Atem's status as leader of the pantheon and teacher of the Ankh means that his cult is the most diverse and contains members of nearly every race and empire in Atum. It is not uncommon for many to revere or worship Atem alongside their other primary deities.

Creations[]

Atum's designs were used as the blueprint for the entire realm, but it was the efforts of all the gods that gave it life. Atum's favorite creations were humans, their penchant to create and build new empires in his name greatly pleased him and they brought order and tamed the sands of the world bit by bit. He had a love for all of the uplifted races though, and many of them honored him in return.

Artifacts[]

Atum was the first god targeted by the arcanoficers that would craft the godforged artifacts. As such there are many created from his essence buried in the sands of Atum.

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