|Religions||Nethys, Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon|
- This is an article on the nation of Geb. For information on the person of the same name, see Geb (person).
A kingdom forged during the Age of Destiny by a necromancer of incredible power and insidious vision, Geb is now renowned as a land of the undead, and while plantations filled with zombie labourers may stick in the mind, there is much, much more to Geb.
War with Nex
Until the coming of the archmage Nex, Geb was a reasonably peaceful nation. When Nex pushed his expansion southward into the nation of Geb, it ignited the most infamous magical rivalry in Golarion's history as Geb plunged the land into war with neighbouring Nex (named in honour of the nation's archmage ruler). During one of the most deadly exchange of spell power, the necromancer Geb sucked the life from most of the land surrounding the cities of neighbouring Nex by the use of wishes. In return, Nex blighted the lands of Geb with a series of cataclysms that decimated the population. Geb responded by animating casualties into legions of the walking dead, beginning Geb's reliance on undead.
Later, after another vicious attack in 576 AR, Nex disappeared completely; to date no trace has been found of him. Geb was so distraught that he did not get to vanquish his centuries-old rival, that he committed ritual suicide in 632 AR. However, it was to no avail, as Geb's rage, disappointment, and necromantic connections lead to him returning as a ghost, doomed to continue an undead existence until he can be sure of his old rival's fate.
Land of the Undead
With its ruler now an immortal ghost, and much of the populace animated as skeletons and zombies, the land of Geb became known as a land of undead, much to the dismay of neighbouring and not-so-neighbouring nations. The land was forced to fight off countless raids and naval attacks.
The raid with the most long-lasting implications was carried out by the Knights of Ozem, seeking to add to their glory following the conclusion of the Shining Crusade. Their attack failed, and Geb was so incensed that people from so far away would choose to launch an unprovoked attack on his kingdom, that he animated six of the fallen knights as graveknights. He ordered his new undead minions to travel to Lastwall in order to retrieve the corpse of Arazni, the revered former herald of the god Aroden as well as the Knights' patroness. They succeeded in returning with her body, and Geb animated it as a lich. Today, Arazni rules beside Geb as his Harlot Queen, and has been turned against the Knights.
Geb is located in southern Garund and is as far south as many Avistani maps of Garund extend. It is bordered to the west by the Shattered Range of the Mwangi Expanse while to the south the Field of Maidens serves as a permanent tribute to Geb's personal sorcerous power. To the north Geb touches the magic blasted Mana Wastes, the lasting scar of the ancient war between Geb and Nex. Finally to the east, the land of Geb meets the pure blue expanse of the Obari Ocean.
Places of Interest
- Axan Wood
- Axanir River
- Copper River
- Crabfield Island
- Field of Maidens
- Fields of Jaadja
- Jaadja River
- River of Rot
- Shattered Range
At one time, most of the inhabitants of Geb were humans of Osiriani descent. Countless numbers died in the war with Nex, and were reanimated as undead. After Geb himself became a ghost, undead became more and more prominent in society. Today, the majority of inhabitants are undead, and living creatures sometimes willingly accept transformation into undead as a mark of fealty to their ruler. The only living creatures with any significant influence over the affairs of the nation are Geb's powerful necromancers. Their ability to create and control undead gives them a highly specialized influence over the functioning of local society. Over the millennia, Geb has become one of, if not the preeminent center for the study of necromancy, and is widely believed to hold Golarion’s most comprehensive collection of necromantic lore.
Gebbite society in general is divided into three caste: the quick (the living, apart from thralls), the dead (intelligent undead), and chattel (living thralls bred as food, and mindless undead). The quick and the dead are treated equally, while the chattel have no rights. Relations between the quick and the dead are regulated by the Dead Laws, which are designed to ensure that the rights and security of both groups are protected. Of course, as with all nations, not everyone follows the law — visitors still need to be cautious.
Anyone who dies on Gebbite soil is reanimated as a mindless undead creature to serve the state in eternal bondage. Those with sufficient clout or wealth generally circumvent this procedure, and willingly transform themselves into an intelligent undead creature, either through dark magics, or simply by letting themselves be killed by ghouls, vampires, or other creatures with the ability to create such progeny. This act is seen as a great service to the state, although it does create a large population of lesser intelligent undead who see themselves as vastly superior to their unintelligent brethren, yet lack any true power.
The necromancer Geb, despite now being a ghost, remains the head of state. He rarely manifests before the people, and is bound by the curse which holds him in the mortal realm to stay within the borders of the country. He therefore leaves the practical running of the country to the lich Arazni, the Harlot Queen, who also controls the grave knights who brought her to Geb.
The country’s more mundane day-to-day affairs are managed by the Blood Lords, an aristocracy of sixty powerful living and undead necromancers. Powerful vampires, mummies, mohrgs, wraiths, shadows, and liches are counted among their number. The chief Blood Lord is the vampire Kemnebi, who holds the office of chancellor.
The lesser nobility consists of undead creatures such as mohrgs, wights, shadows and ghouls. They put on all the airs and graces of aristocracy, but are despised by the true aristocrats of the Blood Lords.
Geb is not interested in war, even with Nex. Instead, it adopts a patient and subtle approach to international relations. The war with Nex ended millennia ago, and whilst the two nations are not exactly friends, they are bound together by mutual trade. The nation also maintains good relations with Jalmeray, Katapesh and Qadira. It has little to do with the Mwangi Expanse, relying on the protection of the Shattered Range to keep its threats at bay. Geb's only real enemy is Lastwall, far to the north – they have neither forgiven nor forgotten the theft of Arazni.
Geb's lush climate combined with warm winds from the Obari Ocean creates lush grassland in Geb, allowing crops to prosper. The fields are mainly worked by mindless undead, and foodstuffs are Geb’s major export. With relatively few living citizens to feed, these are traded with Nex in return for rare components and luxury goods. They also trade food to Alkenstar, in return for the city state’s ice wine, which is a favourite of Geb’s nobility. Geb also exports to nations throughout the Inner Sea.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 74. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
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- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K. Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor. (2011). Inner Sea Magic, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-360-6
- James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 34. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4