Geb

From PathfinderWiki
Geb
National crest of Geb.
(Nation)

Land
Alignment
Capital
Ruler
Government
Undead dictatorship
Demonym
Gebbites
Adjective
Gebbite
Languages
Religions
Source: Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 74 (1E)
Impossible Lands, pg(s). 130 (2E)
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.1

History

During the zenith of Ancient Osirion's power, the land that would become Geb was its southernmost province. Following the collapse of Osirion's renowned Four Pharaohs of Ascension, a period of turmoil enveloped the declining empire for three centuries. It was during this time that the zealous ruler Kenaton emerged, bringing a semblance of stability by purging the nation of its enemies and reclaiming control over distant territories. However, instead of fading into eternal exile, the malevolent necromancer Geb chose a different path. He arrived at Osirion's southernmost colony, assassinated its regional governor and seized Mechitar in -1108 AR,2 and bestowed upon his new realm his own name to transform it into a twisted reflection of his necrotic nature. By -929 AR, Osirion had ceded all of the Southern Reaches to Geb.23145

War with Nex

Until the coming of the archmage Nex, Geb was a reasonably peaceful nation. Nex had united the plains north of Geb under his own leadership and cut Geb off from the overland trade routes of the Golden Road. In -892 AR, Nex and Geb's mutual ambitions on each other's territories ignited the most infamous magical rivalry in Golarion's history and plunged the two nations into a war that would last for centuries. During one of the most deadly exchanges of spell power, 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.15

After another vicious attack in 576 AR, Geb's forces advanced on Nex's capital of Quantium and reached the walls of his palace of Bandeshar. As magical poisonous smoke devastated the city's populace, Nex vanished into the Refuge of Nex; to date, no trace has been found of him. Geb was convinced that Nex was still alive, and was distraught that he did not get to vanquish his centuries-old rival. The loyal household servants of Nex, known as the Arclords of Nex, exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of relentless assaults aimed at imprisoning Nex indefinitely within the Bandeshar. Despite numerous attempts, these Arclords thwarted the efforts to seal away their master, and proved to be a constant source of frustration for Geb's desire for total victory. After several decades living in resentment, his torment grew unbearable and he committed ritual suicide in 632 AR, but even this did not end the conflict. Geb's rage, disappointment, and necromantic connections led to him returning as a ghost and dooming him to continue an undead existence until he can be sure of his old rival's fate.15

Land of the Undead

With its ruler now an immortal ghost, and much of the populace animated as skeletons and zombies, Gebbite society quickly transformed to become a land of undead and necromancy. In a display of unwavering devotion, thousands of Geb's most zealous followers willingly sacrificed themselves, binding their undead souls to serve their spectral ruler. Through the ultimate act of obedience, they pledged eternal fealty to Geb, ensuring their undying loyalty even in death. Geb became a source of fear to its neighbors, who attacked it in countless raids by land and sea. One such raid with the most long-lasting implications was carried out by the Knights of Ozem. They sought 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 the knight's headquarters in Lastwall and retrieve the corpse of Arazni, the revered former herald of the god Aroden as well as the Knights' patroness. They were successful, and Geb took a year and a day to drag Arazni's soul back from the Great Beyond. Over a period of years, Geb corrupted her into a lich with none of her former personality. Geb made Arazni into his trophy wife and forced her to rule his nation in his name, something which he saw as beneath him.67

In 4719 AR, Arazni escaped from Geb's clutches while Geb himself became convinced of Nex's imminent return, and has returned to active rulership of his kingdom.5

Geography

Geb is located in eastern Garund in a region commonly referred to as the Impossible Lands. 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.86

Society

A procession of the undead in the streets of Mechitar.

At one time, most of the inhabitants of Geb were humans of Osirian 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 Geb's 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 pre-eminent center for the study of necromancy, and is widely believed to hold Golarion's most comprehensive collection of necromantic lore.8

Gebbite society in general is divided into three castes: 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.9 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.6

Anyone who dies on Gebbite soil is reanimated as a mindless undead creature to serve the state in eternal bondage unless otherwise specified. Those with sufficient clout or wealth can avoid this fate by willingly transforming themselves into an intelligent undead creature, either through dark magic, 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.68

Corporeal undead in Geb sometimes coat their flesh in unguent of revivification to maintain the appearance of life.10

Government

The necromancer Geb remains the head of state despite having existed as a ghost for centuries. He rarely manifests before the people, and is bound by a curse that forces him to stay within the borders of his country. For many centuries, he had Arazni rule his kingdom in his stead. This ended when she fled his control and Geb returned to more actively lead his country in 4719 AR. The dark streets of Mechitar are alive with macabre spectacles as skeletal revelers parade through public processions, paying homage to Geb's resurrection and the revitalization of his kingdom. Agents of the ghostly sovereign, operating in the realms beyond, tirelessly collect rare and arcane ingredients, hinting at the preparation for a series of elaborate necromantic rituals of immense scale. Far removed from the melancholic recluse he once was, Geb now embraces a grand destiny, meticulously readying himself and his eternal realm for a future of unparalleled significance.5

The country's more mundane day-to-day affairs are managed by the Blood Lords, an aristocracy of 60 powerful living and undead necromancers trained by Geb himself. Once exclusively mortal, they are now overwhelmingly undead and include powerful vampires, mummies, mohrgs, wraiths, shadows, and liches. The chief Blood Lord is the vampire Kemnebi, who holds the office of chancellor.115

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.11

Geb's laws prohibit channeling positive energy, which effectively outlaws good-aligned divine spellcasters.12

Foreign relations

Geb is not interested in war, even with its old rival Nex, but has often been attacked by would-be "heroes" hoping to destroy the undead kingdom. Instead, it adopts a patient and subtle approach to international relations. The undead ruling class of Geb possesses the advantage of immortality, allowing them to adopt a patient and strategic approach in their pursuit of power. With the luxury of time on their side, they intricately weave political schemes that extend across centuries, delving into the complex web of international politics in the Inner Sea region. Their influence runs deeper than anyone suspects, as they clandestinely maneuver behind the scenes, carefully orchestrating events to serve their own long-term ambitions. 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. Until the destruction of that nation by the newly re-emergent Whispering Tyrant, Geb's only real enemy was Lastwall, who had neither forgiven nor forgotten the theft of Arazni's corpse.6

Economics

Geb's warm climate combined with moisture-rich winds from the Obari Ocean creates grasslands well-suited to agriculture.13 These fields are mainly worked by mindless undead, and foodstuffs are Geb's major export as it has relatively few living citizens. It trades with Nex in return for rare components and luxury goods,6 and with 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 region.1415

As a mark of friendship, the nation makes an annual gift of corpses and slaves to the ghoul city of Nemret Noktoria, situated in the Darklands beneath Osirion.16

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Paizo Inc., et al. “History” in Impossible Lands, 14. Paizo Inc., 2022
  3. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 146. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. Tanya DePass, et al. Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Tanya DePass, et al. Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 76–77. Paizo Inc., 2019
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 75. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. Crystal Frasier. “Gardens of Gallowspire” in Gardens of Gallowspire, 3. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 76. Paizo Inc., 2011
  9. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 77. Paizo Inc., 2008
  10. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 298. Paizo Inc., 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 77. Paizo Inc., 2011
  12. Ron Lundeen, et al. “Secret Faith” in Black Markets, 22. Paizo Inc., 2015
  13. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 250. Paizo Inc., 2011
  14. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 58. Paizo Inc., 2008
  15. Jason Nelson, et al. “Magic of the Inner Sea” in Inner Sea Magic, 3. Paizo Inc., 2011
  16. James Jacobs & Greg A. Vaughan. Sekamina” in Into the Darklands, 34. Paizo Inc., 2008