Thursday, October 17, 2019

Exodus: Gods and Kings - Vincent Jenkins Artwork

Vincent Jenkins

Egyptian Princes Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) are raised together as brothers. When Ramses becomes pharaoh, Moses is his most-trusted adviser. However Moses soon discovers his Hebrew parentage, and Ramses banishes him to the desert -- often a death sentence. But God has a mission for Moses: Free the Israelites from slavery. Moses returns from exile and demands that Ramses let his people go, but the arrogant ruler is unmoved, leading to a battle of divine wills.


In 1300 BC, Moses, a general and accepted member of the Egyptian royal family, prepares to attack an encamped Hittite army with Prince Ramesses at Kadesh. A High Priestess divines a prophecy from animal intestines, which she relates to Ramesses's father, Seti I. She tells the two men of the prophecy, in which "a leader" (either Moses or Ramesses) will be "saved" and the savior "will someday lead". During the battle, Moses saves Ramesses's life, leaving both men troubled. Later, Moses is sent to the city of Pithom to meet with the Viceroy Hegep, who oversees the Hebrew slaves. Upon his arrival, he encounters the slave Joshua and saves him from a vicious lashing. Moses is appalled by the horrific conditions the slaves must toil in. Afterward, Moses meets Nun, who informs him of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh's daughter. Moses is stunned at the revelation and leaves angrily. However, two Hebrews overhear Nun's story and report their discovery to Hegep.

Seti dies soon after, and Ramesses becomes the new Pharaoh (Ramesses II). Hegep reveals Moses's true lineage to Ramesses, but Ramesses is unconvinced. At the urging of Queen Tuya, he interrogates the servant Miriam, who denies being Moses's sister. When Ramesses threatens to cut off her arm, Moses says "yes", he is a Hebrew. Although Tuya wants Moses killed, Ramesses, still unwilling to believe the story, exiles him instead. Before leaving Egypt, Moses meets with his adopted mother and Miriam, who refer to him by his birth name of Moshe. Following a journey into the desert, Moses comes to Midian where he meets Zipporah and her father, Jethro. Moses becomes a shepherd, marries Zipporah, and has a son, Gershom.

Game: Warhammer II - Tomb Kings

Tomb Kings are a major race introduced in Total War: Warhammer II via a paid DLC. They are playable in campaign, multiplayer and custom battles. In campaign, players can choose between four playable subfactions, each led by a different legendary lord.

The Tomb Kings were previously a great human empire called Nehekhara (now known as the Land of the Dead), themed on ancient Egypt. However, the empire of Nehekhara was destroyed by the necromancer Nagash and his vampires, causing the mummified dead of Nehekhara to rise. The Tomb Kings now seek to reclaim their lost glory, and take vengeance on Nagash and the vampires. The armies of the Tomb Kings consist of ranks of skeleton soldiers and chariots, supported by towering animated statues of bone and stone.

A summary of Tomb Kings gameplay:

    Units: Tomb Kings focus on ranks of skeleton infantry and chariots, combined with powerful animated statues and constructs.

    Elite units: They also have Regiments of Renown and campaign-exclusive Legions of Legend.

    Realm of Souls: As Tomb Kings armies take damage in battle, a bar fills up mass-healing the army and allowing a Ushabti to be summoned.

    Day of Awakening: In campaign, Tomb Kings do not require money for unit recruitment or upkeep, instead having unit/army caps which are increased by buildings/technologies.

    Canopic Jars: A unique resource used for research and by the Mortuary Cult.

    Mortuary Cult: A cult of priests who use resources to craft magical items and elite Legions of Legend.

    Nine Books of Nagash: In the Eye of the Vortex campaign, Tomb Kings don't compete with rituals, but rather search for these books. Books can also be searched for in other campaigns.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Terminologies in Egyptian Architecture

Terminologies in Egyptian Architecture

List of terms covered in this article are: Mastaba, stepped pyramid, obelisks , serdab, battered walls, pylon towers, propylon, pyramids, covetto, cornices, lotus, papyrus palm and more.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Assassin's Creed: Origins

The Season Pass adds more adventures and customisation options to your game!

In detail, this is what is included:
500 Helix Credits [Available at launch]
Exclusive Weapon: Calamity Blade [Available at launch]
DLC 1: The Hidden Ones
This expansion takes place years after the events of Assassin’s Creed Origins in a new region occupied by a Roman force. Bayek and the new Assassins will clash with the Romans as the Brotherhood continues to grow. [Available now]

DLC 2: The Curse of the Pharaohs
The second expansion focuses on Egyptian mythology, pitting players against undead pharaohs and famed Egyptian monsters. Bayek will need to explore a mystical new realm and discover the root of the curse that has brought these creatures to life. [Available now]

Item Pack: Roman Centurion
This exclusive item pack will grant Season Pass holders a new outfit, weapons, shield, and mount. [Available now]

Item Pack: Horus
This exclusive item pack will grant Season Pass holders a new outfit, weapons, shield, and mount. [Available now]

On console, the DLCs, Item Packs and Calamity Blade will be shareable with any other account that is active on the system.

Please be aware that not all content of the Season Pass will be available at launch of Assassin's Creed: Origins. The content will be made available progressively at later dates (see infographic below).

More information on the contents of the Season Pass can be found on our official Assassin's Creed: Origins website.

If you are unsure where to find the content in-game, this article might help.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Egyptian Prehistory – Anunnaki

Prior to the creation of dynasties in the prehistory of ancient Egypt, god-Kings reigned.  (Or in some cases, just misted.)  These beings were undoubtedly the same Anunnaki of the ancient Sumerian texts, but with different names.  For example, Ptah of Egyptian fame is the Sumerian Enki, Isis the same as Inanna, and Ra, the same as Marduk. 

But Egypt was distinct from Sumer -- even if the players were essentially the same.  In Egypt, Ptah/Enki held sway, while in Sumer, it was his half-brother Enlil.  This is a major difference -- and accounts for massive differences in their histories, cultures, and those traditions brought down to us today. (6/1/05) The fact that the symbols of Egyptian jewelry and that of other cultures might have included common elements does not dispute the fact that the manner in which the Egyptian culture focused its energies -- i.e. created their own realities -- may have been enormously different from those other races and cultures which may have been in existence at the time.

The Sinai Peninsula was essentially the neutral zone between the opposing forces of Enki and Enlil.  Unfortunately for the humans in the zone, especially those living in Sodom and Gomorrah, for example, neutrality turned out to be a serious illusion, when nuclear weapons began flying about.  But that’s another story -- or another link. 

For the moment (i.e. here) we will content ourselves with a brief description of the reigns (and the snow jobs) of the pre-historical Kings of Egypt. 

Beginning circa 18,420 B.C.E. (possibly November 15th, a Tuesday), Ptah became the first king of Egypt and was known as the “Creator God,  "A very great god who came forth in the earliest times."  He undertook great works of  land reclamation and dyking -- thus explaining Egypt's nickname, "The Raised Land". 

Ptah/Enki was a "God of Heaven and Earth", and considered to be a great engineer and master artificer.  His base of operations, according to legend, was on the island of Abu (now called Elephantine on account of its shape), located just above the first cataract of the Nile, at Aswan.  His symbol was the serpent (i.e. the other God in Genesis was Enki).  He and the other gods came from Ur (Sumer).  The name, Ptah, has no meaning in Egyptian, but in Semitic, it means "he who fashioned things by carving and opening up."  

After 9,000 years (give or take a fortnight), Ra, a son of Ptah became the ruler. 

In the interim of Ptah’s reign, there was a need for a whole lot more dyking.  For roughly a thousand years after the Great Flood/Deluge (which may have occurred circa 10,500 B.C.E.), Ptah was back into land reclamation.  [His reputation for dyking and what not, might, in fact, have been based purely on Ptah’s post-flood work.  Before that, he might, for all we know for sure, have been operating a casino on Elephantine Island.] 

Circa 9,420 B.C.E., Ra ("the Complete, the Pure One") began a reign of roughly a 1000 years -- except that no one called it a “reign”, what with the Deluge having somewhat recently wiped out most of the population.  Feelings were still a bit tender. 

Ra is reputed to have come to Earth from the "Planet of Millions of Years" in a Celestial Barge, which was later kept at Anu (biblical On, Greek Heliopolis). 

[Ra’s home was likely Nibiru -- which with a “year” equivalent to 3600 Earth years, would indeed seem to be a planet of “Millions of Years”.  For example, many of the Patriarch’s lifetimes would, when multiplied by 3600, easily translate into millions of Earth years.  Also, the “Celestial Barge” is very likely a space ship of some kind, but probably very dissimilar to what our narrow, current technological paradigm might suggest.] 

Ra gave birth to Shu (male, "Dryness") and Tefnut (female, "moisture").  The two set the example for mortal Pharaohs in later times, i.e. the brother married his half-sister.  Shu and Tefnut promptly set up housekeeping as King and Queen circa 8,420 B.C.E., and did their thing for some 700 years -- until something called the “700 year itch” came along... 

Circa 7720 B.C.E., Geb ("Who Piles Up the Earth"), along with his sister Nut ("The Stretched-out Firmament") began a 500 year stint as King and Queen of Egypt.  [This was one of the few occasions in all of history, where a husband could call his wife a “Nut” and get away with it.]  Geb and Nut were so named based on activities related to the periodic appearance of the Bennu bird, from which the Greeks obtained the legend of the Phoenix. 

The Bennu was an eagle with feathers of red and gold, and which died and reappeared at intervals lasting several millennia.  It was for that bird -- whose name was the same as that of the contraption in which Ra landed on Earth -- that Geb engaged in great earthworks and Nut stretched out the firmament of the sky.  These feats were carried out by the gods in the "Land of the Lions".  [The Bennu bird might have been a “celestial barge”, and its periodic appearance might have been related to the 3600 year  Nibiru Cycle.  I.e., every time Nibiru approaches perihelion, the Bennu bird/Phoenix again rises.] 

Geb and Nut turned over the direct rule of Egypt to their four children: Asar ("The All-Seeing", whom the Greeks called Osiris), his sister-wife, Ast (Isis), Seth, and his wife, Nephtys (Nebt-Hat, "Lady of the House").  This is when things really got interesting!                      

With two brothers married to their own two sisters, the gods confronted a serious problem of succession.  The only plausible solution was to divide the kingdom: Osiris was given the northern lowlands (“Lower Egypt”) and Seth was give the southern, mountainous region (“Upper Egypt”).  Seth, however, was not satisfied with the division of sovereignty.                      

But it's a bit more complicated than that.  Plutarch (1st century A.D.), for one, based his writing on Egyptian sources believed at the time to have been the writings of the god Thoth himself (who as Scribe of the Gods, had recorded for all times the histories and deeds upon the Earth).  In this version, Nut mothered three sons: Osiris (first born), an son with an unknown name, and Seth (the youngest son).  Nut also gave birth to Isis and Nephtys.  But!  Only Seth and Nephtys were fathered by Geb.  Osiris and his second brother were fathered by Ra (who came to his granddaughter Nut in stealth).  Meanwhile, Isis was fathered by Thoth (the Greek Hermes).                       

Therefore, the firstborn was Osiris, who having been fathered by the great Ra himself, had a significant claim to succession.  The legitimate heir, however, was Seth, because of his having been born to the ruling Geb by his half-sister Nut.  This is why Egypt was split into two kingdoms, and each brother given a limited sovereignty.  But this also led in turn to a highly charged competition between the two brothers to assure that their son would be the next legitimate successor of the whole of Egypt. 

To achieve this goal, Seth would have to father a son by his half-sister Isis, whereas Osiris could achieve his aim by fathering a son by either Isis or Nephtys (both being half-sisters to him).  The key was that Seth (or Osiris) would have the greater claim for their son to be the next king of a united Egypt, only if he fathered a son by his half-sister.  However, Seth and Nephtys had identical parents, and thus this union would afford no advantage to Seth.  Osiris, on the other hand, could utilize either Isis and/or Nephtys to stake his claim. 

Osiris then proceeded to deliberately block Seth's chances to have his descendants rule over Egypt by Osiris taking Isis as his spouse.  Seth then married Nepthys; but as she was his full sister, none of their offspring could qualify.  In this manner the stage was set for Seth's increasingly violent rage against Osiris, who had deprived him both of the throne (of the combined Upper and Lower Egypt) and of the succession of his son. 

Seth then used the old party trick of “fit the coffin” in order to get back at Osiris.  Making grandiose drunken wagers and other means, Osiris was motivated to lie down in the coffin to prove that it fit him -- or that he was fit to be the coffin’s occupant.  Seth, however, had the coffin quickly sealed and then dumped it into the sea at a point where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean (at Tanis).  This seemed to complete Seth’s revenge against Osiris. 

However.  Seth had not accounted for Isis, who promptly went searching for her boxed lover.  She found the chest near Lebanon, but before she could figure out how to resurrect Osiris, Seth found out that she had the chest, seized it, and cut up the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces, which he scattered all over Egypt.

Apparently being exceptionally talented in scavenger hunts, Isis found all of Osiris’ parts... except for his phallus.  Bummer!  But not to be denied, she managed to extract from the body of Osiris its "essence", and thereafter self-inseminated herself with his seed.  This led to her conceiving and eventually giving birth to Horus.  For what were apparently obvious reasons, she hid him in the Nile delta far from the eye of Seth. 

Meanwhile, what with Osiris having apparently died without an heir, Seth promptly initiated the next step in his master plan and kidnapped Isis.  This portion of the plan was to allow Seth to father a legitimate heir via his mating with Isis).  Seth held her until she consented.  It was starting to look good for Seth, when Thoth turned up to help Isis escape.  Which she did.  The only problem, however, was that when she returned to the swamps where Horus was hidden, she found him dying from a scorpion's sting.  [Aw, the trials and tribulations of motherhood!]  But then she got some real help:  

            "Then Isis sent forth a cry to heaven and addressed her appeal to the Boat of Millions of Years.  And the Celestial Disk stood still, and moved not from the place where it was.  And Thoth [Isis’ daddy!] came down, and he was provided with magical powers, and possessed the great power which made the word become deed.  And he said:  'O Isis, thou goddess, thou glorious one, who had knowledge of the mouth; behold, no evil shall come upon the child Horus, for his protection cometh from the Boat of Ra.  I have come this day in the Boat of the Celestial Disk from the place where it was yesterday.  When the night cometh, this light shall drive away [the poison] for the healing of Horus...  I have come from the skies to save the child for his mother."                       

Horus was thus revived and some say immunized forever.  Educated and trained in martial arts by goddesses and gods who sided with Osiris, Horus was groomed as a Divine Prince worthy of celestial association, and eventually appeared before the Council of the Gods to claim the throne of Osiris.  This was not good news for Seth, but he still had an ace (or a seed) up his sleeve.  Using trickery, Seth attempted to plant his own seed in Horus (and thereby claim that Horus could only succeed Seth, not precede him).  

Horus, however, had managed to catch the seed in his hand, and thus nullified Seth's claim.  Meanwhile, Isis had taken Horus' seed into a cup and then sprinkled it on Seth's salad, such that after a healthy meal, Horus' seed was now in Seth.  Thoth then checked that the semen Horus had caught in his hand was that of Seth, and at the same time that Seth indeed carried Horus' seed.  Thus Seth could only succeed Horus, not precede him.  Horus had turned the tables on Seth, and won the day!  Yea. 

Seth, of course, was not about to admit defeat.  A typical male, he went to war to settle his differences.  However, in a subsequent battle, Horus ended up with Seth at the stake, ready to be impaled.  But Horus’ mother, Isis, relented and released Seth.  [What’s a son to do with a mother like that?]  Horus thereupon cut off Isis’ head.  But Thoth put it back on.  Apparently, Isis’ head still worked, but she did thereafter resort to the old guilt trip. 

In a later, major battle Horus defeated Seth, and in the process cut off his testicles (a clear violation of the Geneva Convention, but then there was no Geneva at the time -- much less a Convention -- so it didn’t really matter).  The Lord of Earth, Geb, ultimately gave to the heritage of Horus the whole of Egypt.  Seth was awarded a dominion away from Egypt (and henceforth, was deemed by the Egyptians to have become an Asiatic deity).  [These guys should write soap operas!] 

Osiris had begun his reign (of Lower Egypt) circa 7220 B.C.E., and continued for some 450 years (or until the old coffin party trick).  Seth, who was never shown without his animal disguise (i.e. his face was never seen) had begun his reign of Upper Egypt circa 6870 B.C.E., and lasted for some 350 years.  [The meaning of Seth’s name, incidentally, still defies Egyptologists, despite the name being identical to Adam and Eve’s third son.] 

Some scholars have noted that the seven gods -- from Ptah to Ra to Horus -- reigned a total of 12,300 years. 

Horus took over the reigns of kingship circa 6420 B.C.E., and held sway for 300 years.  He was followed by twelve divine Rulers (gods), including Thoth and Maat, who ruled for a total of 1,570 years.  They were followed in turn by thirty eight demi-gods, who ruled for some 3,650 years, beginning circa 4550 B.C.E. 

The Turin Papyrus (from the time of Ramses II) lists Ra, Geb, Osiris, Seth, and Horus as the kings of Egypt, and later, Thoth, Maat and others.  The papyrus also lists the 38 semi-divine rulers (split between 19 Chiefs of the White Wall and 19 Venerables of the North).  

Between the semi-divine rulers and Menes, beginning circa 2900 B.C.E., human kings ruled under the patronage of Horus -- their epithet being Shamsu-Hor!  For some 350 years, these human kings ruled over what was apparently a chaotic time period.  Names of those who wore only the red cap of Lower Egypt, include "Scorpion", Ka, Zeser, Narmer, and Sma.  This dynasty is considered by some scholars as "Dynasty O". 

Circa 2550 B.C.E., another human, Mena (Menes), reunited Upper and Lower Egypt and established his capital at Memphis.  He was followed by 8 or 9 other Kings, all of whom collectively formed the 1st dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. [Other scholars place Menes as beginning his reign circa 3130 B.C.E.  However, when one accounts for the 580 “ghost years” proposed by Immanuel Velikovsky in his Ages in Chaos thesis, then the more likely date is 2550 B.C.E.] 

With Menes began the history of ancient Egypt.