I’m all alone
Matter and shadow
In the darkflow
Treading deep waters
Searching for the shore
Waiting for the dawn to come
– Catechism of the Tomb Masters of Duat
Duat is a small desert planet on the Frontier. Its two big oceans frame one huge continent that appears to be all sand and stone. Only along its huge fresh water rivers can one find any flora or fauna. The rivers, especially the huge delta close to the southern ocean, serve as the source for almost all life on the Planet and are the wellspring of its civilization. Duat is a tomb planet: Many powerful kings and emperors from wealthier neighbouring planets choose it as their burial ground. Artefacts prove it has played this role for millennia. The religion of Duat is ancient and deeply connected to a concept of the Afterlife that is shared across several star systems, and the people of Duat see their planet as a gateway to the Underworld and their Gods as the gatekeeper and guardians of this sacred realm of shadows.
Duat always had great Architects, Stonemasons and Artisans, but also lots of slaves. These slaves were residents of other planets who had been sentenced to death, as well as locals who couldn’t raise their status, rebellious slaves, or political dissidents. However, like all slave systems this arrangement eventually crumbled. About a millennium ago the locals revolted against the out-world lords. In the struggles a local queen rose to power and rallied all of Duat under her Banner, as she was believed to be sent by the Gods. She was said to rule over the living, where the Gods rule over the dead and the spirits. After a long and costly war, she was acknowledged by the out-worlders as the Queen of the Dead – showing how little the ones who chose this planet as their graveyard know about its people.
And so Duat got its first queen and rightful leader in written history, and the dynasty of the God-Monarchs began. Under the rule of the God-Kings and God-Queens the tech-level rose quickly and slavery receded until only off-world prisoners and local pariahs were categorized as slaves. After Duat reached a certain Tech Level through its own efforts, and with a little help from artifacts from off-worlders, the Confederation decided to establish contact. In a short period the now frontier-planet has changed a lot, under confederate law. The God-Queen is a just some kind of mascot in the eyes of the Confederation. But her worshippers still would rise against all of the universes at her command. Nowadays Duat is still famous for its architects, stonemasons and artisans. It is also considered highly fashionable and a sign of great status to get one’s tomb built in the Deserts of Duat. The tombs along the Rivers are only for Queens and Kings, but more tombs have been opened inland and the funerary business is now thriving. With the opening of the space ports lots of grave robbers rushed to Duat to try their luck in the old pyramids – to collect sowme rare artifacts. Those who get caught face the death penalty by local law.
There are rumors that the sudden Tech Level rise – as well as some of the astonishing architectural designs of some tombs – was influenced by some very powerful AI, which hides in one of the many hidden tombs (which is also why there are quite some confederated sponsored “grave robbers”). Others suggest that the rebellion of the original slave queen was fomented by Confederacy spies, and that certain magical traits of early priests of the afterlife who worked in her service may actually have been the work of Confederacy psions. Of course, this was all millenia ago now, so no one knows anymore what happened. But is it not a good thing that slavery was ended and a planet uplifted?
Recently the queen disbanded her esteemed Queensguard, which was a big surprise for all on- and off-world, and was taken by the Confederacy’s leadership as a sign of her commitment to intergalactic morals.
Bleeding across the sky
A purpose that’s gone awry
A dubious reckoning
Don’t fade away
– Motto of the disbanded Queensguard
Home Planet: Duat
Ahmose Inhapi was born on Duat just around the time the confederation laws were fully enacted and uplift completed, even though she certainly looks younger than that. She was born an orphan, her mother died giving birth and her father a month before. Her family had traditional positions as servants and guards in the household of the Queens and Kings. Her grandfather would often tell her stories about life before the confederation made contact, about the glories of a free world and the rightful place of their God-Queen. Her grandma on the other hand made sure to point out that all is better since the Confederacy uplifted them and made them wealthy.
Her parents were proud and famous soldiers with a fine reputation among the court. She followed their footsteps and she entered the queens-guard at a very young age, after she served as a servant in her childhood. However, a few years ago the queen sent her guards out, to explore the universe and bring knowledge and warnings of danger back to Duat. They are officially disbanded, but the truth is they were never released from their oath, neither that taken to the queen, nor Duat and surely not to the Gods.
As one of those guards dispatched to the universe, Ahmose had to make a choice of directions. Others of the queens guard joined the confederate military, some servants joined big corporations. Ahmose decided to learn all about and connect to the world of rogues, Pirates, thieves and smugglers. She joined a pirate vessel to get off world and get to know space. She spent a lot of time with the crew, tried to connect to get all the contacts and information she needs. But once she decided that she had learned enough about travelling in space to make it on her own, she left the Pirates. She won’t serve someone else except her queen! So she decided that, if she wants to keep her journey going, she must be captain of her own vessel. But from her time with the pirates she knows that, to explore the universe, you need a crew you can trust.
Now, it s time to get herself a ship and a crew…