The Deathless Child
|Home||Mzali, Mwangi Expanse|
|Areas of Concern||Mwangi nationalism|
|Domains||Evil, Law, Sun|
Source: Undead Unleashed, pg(s). 57
|Race/Species||Mummified human (Mwangi)|
|Class||Oracle 12 / Hierophant 9|
|Homeland||Mzali, Mwangi Expanse|
Source: Undead Unleashed, pg(s). 57
Walkena is a child-sized, undead creature of great power, believed to be the remains of a boy prince of the truly ancient fallen empire that once had its capital in the city of Mzali in the Mwangi Expanse. He now is worshiped as a god, and commands his people to drive out the foreign invaders and restore the glory of his homeland.
Walkena was once a mortal descendant of the deities of the ancient Mzali. He ruled his people as a child-god, sternly interpreting the laws of the land, but did not possess the cruelty he does today. He embodied the harsh, purifying nature of the Sun rather than its life-giving aspects, and is still tied to its power today (see Physiology below).
After his death he was mummified using techniques similar to those of Ancient Osirion. His body and clothes were preserved using a lacquer taken from local plants in order to protect them against the stifling humidity of the jungle.
Walkena's remains were discovered at the beginning of the 46th century AR by the Council of Mwanyisa, who put him on display in Mzali, where they attracted a great deal of interest from the region's Mwangi people. As word of this discovery spread, thousands came to pay homage to him, bringing gold, salt, gems, and other treasures, and reinvigorating the flagging city's economy. Word of Mzali's new prosperity eventually reached the leaders of the Sargavan city of Kalabuto, who mustered a small army to sack the newly prosperous settlement.
As the Sargavan army marched into Mzali, however, the mummy of Walkena came to life, rising as an undead creature and destroyed the invaders in a rain of fire. All traces of mercy and compassion that Walkena had possessed in his lifetime were now absent. Since then, Walkena has taken over rule of the city, and is attempting to establish an empire that will span the entire Mwangi Expanse. He preaches that the Mwangi are all brothers, and that all non-Mwangi, especially the Chelaxians of Sargava, should be driven from the region. Those Mwangi who consort with outsiders are traitors. Even though he had not yet moved against Kalabuto itself, local sources claim that it is only a matter of time.
Church of Walkena
The Child-God lives in a massive palace at the centre of Mzali known as the Temple of the Deathless Child. In the territory controlled by Mzali, the word of the Child-God is law, and his edicts are carried by the shamans of his faith to the people of the southern Mwangi Expanse. Those who support Walkena are rewarded with skill on the battlefield or trade in the marketplace, while those who offend him suffer the Punishment of Seven Angry Sins. Walkena also forbids any trade with non-Mwangi. His edicts, combined with the needs of a rapidly expanding empire, means that many residents of Mzali, especially those who were dependent on foreign trade, live in abject poverty.
Belief in Walkena is not an abstract concept, as many of his followers have seen the god with their own eyes, and have experienced his miracles and terrible destruction first-hand. This immediacy tends to inspire a fierce and intense devotion that is intensified by the fact that his faithful are not promised wonders in the afterlife, but tangible benefits in this one. Small bands of Walkena's faithful constantly patrol the borders between Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse, hoping to catch non-Mwangi or foreign sympathizers. If caught, their victims are simply slaughtered, hanged, or skinned alive.
Not everyone in Mzali is happy with Walkena's iron-fisted rule. A group calling themselves the Bright Lions has emerged recently, preaching not only against foreign exploitation, but also the overthrow of Walkena and his followers, and the restoration of the ancient Mwangi gods.
Because Walkena's powers and very existence as an undead creature are tied to his deific ancestors, he is dependent upon one of their divine aspects: the Sun. When exposed to direct sunlight, the Child-God appears as close to his former, mortal self as he can. Without it, he shrivels into a knotted corpse the size of a toddler. Walkena and his followers do their best to downplay his undead nature in front of his followers by dressing him in elaborate costumes, anointing him with rare oils, and only letting him be seen in full daylight.
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