Design Notes

January 05, 2024

Sandsea Behind the Scenes

First of all, happy birthday to Crulon!

His big day kicked off the first of our releases for 2024 and was primed to dive into the ancient history of the Sandsea. Crulon designed a regal pair of Pharaohs, and beautiful sets for the warriors who served them during their reign! I had a lot of fun planning and writing the Lore with Crulon for this release!

Djeba is based on one of the gods from the Ennead in ancient Egyptian mythology - Shu, the god of peace, lions, air, and wind. His children are the earth and sky, which he keeps separated so people can live between them without getting crushed. 

His grandchildren include the gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus, who were believed to reincarnate as the Pharaohs and their royal families. (Note: this is a very abridged explanation of the fascinating stories about the Ennead).

In AQW Lore, the concept is inversed. Djeba, named after the archaic name of ancient Upper Egypt, was a Sand Elf who ruled as Pharoah of the Sandsea long before the arrival of Sek-Duat. He was deified as the Pharoah of the Storms, reigned for a respectable time, and gracefully stepped down for his successor. 

Long after his reign came Pharaoh Sobekemsaph, based off of Sobek, the ancient Egyptian god of the Nile, water, and occasionally the army. The name Sobekemsaph was taken from real life Pharaohs Sobekemsaf I and II.

AQW's Pharaoh Sobekemsaph was a human mortal that rose to the Sandsea throne, proved himself by protecting his people, and was deified as a crocidilian guardian that wards away evil. He also reigned for a time and stepped down for his successor, ensuring that the sands continue to change for the better with new blood and ideas.

Both Sobekemspah and Djeba are able to emerge from their tombs if the Sandsea needs them but the arrival of Sek-Duat and his prolonged reign prevented them from seeing to their duties. Until the Sandsea was free, it became stagnant under the lich's rule; its original protectors and lectors banished to the empty wastes. 

(J6 designed the map this week and it's gorgeous!)

Now, the heroes from Sandsea's golden age can return and test the mettle of the current Pharaoh. For the time being, Crulon (the NPC) was named as Chief Lector - a role that stayed empty when Sek-Duat eliminated them to keep his throne. It is his duty to choose a worthy warrior to duel Sobekemsaph in ritual combat. Winning would allow the people of the Sandsea to drink from a newborn river. He knew that the best of the best was you, the Hero!

The current Pharaoh was meant to preside over this duel, but the Sandsea Desert itself is wary of him. Djeba had to reawaken to temporarily oversee the match.

In the near future, we'll see that Pharaoh tested when the story returns to the Sandsea as a chaotic Shadow slithers across the desert. 

Tags: Cylisse,
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