Matthew Dawkins here, with one of the new, minor guilds for Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition – the Maar-Kherit!
Physics, Blights, the Malignant
Once, the Maar-Kherit had another name, lost to history. They were an esteemed guild of physicians and healer-priests, those who set right the disturbed Sekhem flows of the sick and injured by curing them of their ills with specialized magics. The Shan’iatu themselves partook of the Physics’ mystic arts, and taught them how to prolong human lives. As the Su-Menent’s sister guild, the physicians preserved and protected life above all; their relics, the ankhs, were sacred vessels that harnessed breath and life-giving waters, safeguarded, and purified.
The healers’ guildmasters refused to go along with the Rite of Return, condemning it as a perversion of the natural order. To protect their secrets, the other Shan’iatu disposed of them and their entire guild, disguising the incident as a plague that took the valiant physicians as they tried to save lives behind quarantine lines. But a faction of Necromancers learned the truth and launched a clandestine, heretical attempt to restore the Physics’ souls to their shells. They wanted to revive their sister guild; but, failing that, they hoped to at least gain access to its valuable secrets.
Both aims were futile.
The Wheel Turns
The rogue Su-Menent did not uncover the secrets of resurrection that day. Instead, they produced unliving abominations that spread corrupted life magic like a cancer, causing unnatural regenerative mutations wherever their Sybaris takes hold. Even as the Arisen slumbered in henet while Irem fell, the Maar-Kherit wandered the deserts seeking an escape from the half-life that gives them no voice and no rest. Uncontrollable, twisted Sekhem deforms their bodies and minds with black tumors that leak power, causing Terror Sybaris constantly. These tumors eat away at their innards, causing deformities ranging from losing one or more senses, to an inability to speak, to monstrously swelled brains in heads too large for their bodies, and worse.
In unending agony, the Malignant lash out at anyone who refuses or fails to kill them — they beg for death but cannot die. Even chopping their bodies into scattered pieces or burning them to ash doesn’t stop them from regenerating back to full health within a few days.
The Maar-Kherit learned long ago that ordinary humans have no power to end their misery, so they don’t normally venture into heavily populated areas. When mortals do come into contact with a Blight, they suffer first Sybaris and then a hideous pestilence of warped life magic gone out of control. Flesh seethes with boils and sarcomata oozing a contagious pus that glistens, black and viscous.
The Malignant wander the world’s empty places seeking potent sources of Sekhem and other powerful magics, sensing them instinctively and hoping one of them will hold the key to eternal rest. Some of them still carry their relics, clinging to what they used to be with the tenacity of the condemned; but with no ability to use them or sacrifice them to Duat, such vessels are only reminders of a lost history to them.
Among the Arisen
Those Su-Menent who took part in the ill-fated ritual don’t often remember their horrific failure until forcibly confronted with it. They haven’t yet figured out a way to end the Maar-Kherit permanently and bury their shame, but each Descent brings another opportunity to try. Their secret still remains a secret among their fellow Arisen, but every time a meret runs afoul of a Blight, the countdown to its exposure runs down a little further.