Over 6,000 years ago, in the declining years of Osirion's First Age, Pharaoh Hakotep I, known as the Sky Pharaoh, ruled the nation of Osirion.  Before his death, Hakotep ordered the construction of a pyramid incorporating technology stolen from the neighboring Shory civilization of the central Mwagni Expanse.  Like the legendary flying cities of the Shory, Hakotep's tomb was capable of magical flight, and upon the pharaoh's death and burial, his pyramid took flight.  It has remained in the skies above Golarion ever since, safe from tomb robbers and those who would desecrate the pharaoh's final resting place.

Before Hakotep was buried, however, a sect of the church of Nethys known as the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather stole two items from the dead pharaoh: his heart and his funerary mask, which contained two pieces of Hakotep's soul—his ib, the seat of emotion, though will, and intention, embodied in his heart; and his ka, or "vital spark", which the order trapped in the pharaoh's funerary mask.  With Hakotep's ib and ka in their possession, the Sacrosanct Order had hoped to commune with Hakotep's soul to learn the secrets of Shory magic and technology.   However, with the pieces of Hakotep's soul separated, bound in physical objects, and unable to rejoin together in the afterlife, the priests discovered they were unable to communicate with the deceased pharaoh.  The two pieces of the Sky Pharaoh's soul did, however, empower the objects that contained them creating two powerful magic items:  The Heart of Hakotep and the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh.

Hakotep's successor, Djederet II, himself a priest of Nethys, learned of the sect's activities when he took the throne.  Scandalized by the desecration of his predecessor's tomb by the Sacrosanct Order, Djederet hid away Hakotep's heart and mask to keep the order's misdeeds secret and to keep the pieces of Hakotep's soul apart so he could not return from death to take his revenge on those who had violated his body and soul.  Hakotep's heart was taken to Sothis, while his death mask was hidden away in a temple to Nethys called the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye in the newly founded city of Wait.  To prevent Hakotep's heart and mask from ever being found and reunited, Djederet purged all written records of these events, and as the centuries passed, knowledge of Hakotep, his reign, and the locations of these stolen relics have been mostly forgotten.

Over 4,000 years later, the cult of Lamashtu unleashed a terrible disease called the Plague of Madness on the city of Wati.  More than 60 percent of the city's population perished in the streets and in their homes, and Wati was virtually abandoned for over 450 years.  In 2593 AR, the church of Pharasma returned to Wati and established a new temple in the city's ruins called the Grand Mausoleum.  Walling off much of the original city, the Pharasmins transformed the abdoned settlement into an enormous necropolis, consecrating it in honor of the city's dead.  Over the next 1,700 years, people returned to rebuild a new city adjacent to the old one, and today the living city of Wati is more than three times the size of the old city.

Seven years ago, Pharaoh Khemet III, the Ruby Prince, formally opened Osirion's ancient tombs and burial sites to foreign explorers.  Khemet III understood that adventurers who've traveled great distances in search of treasure typically do not return from whence they came to sell their discoveries.  Instead, they typically sell or trade what they do not keep as quickly as possible at the closest civiliaized community with an economy strong enough to absorb the influx of valuable antiquities.  The Ruby Prince's policy has attracted not only explorers to the desert nation of Osirion, but also countless scholars, private collectors, special interest groups such as the Pathfinder Society, and financial interests from all across the Inner Sea.  A minor industry has sprung up just to support visiting explorers, and an even larger infrastructure has come into being to serve foreign investors and traders.  Every opening of a major site has heralded an economic boom, for the local area nd Osirion as a whole.

Unlike many of Osirion's tombs and graveyards, however, the necropolis of Wati has remained largely untouched, in no small part because of local taboos and the protection of the Grand Mausoleum's priests.  But Khemet III has now ordered the local authorities and church of Pharasma to open Wati's necropolis to exploration for the purpose of discovery, study, and economic stimulus.

 

Mummy's Mask

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