Kheprishet Primer #2
Kheprishet is ruled over by a pharaoh who has varying degrees of power. The word of the pharaoh is the word of the gods and all will listen to them, provided they are believed to have the gods favor. They are also the everyman. The pharaoh reflects on their people and the people reflect on their pharaoh. As such the true power of Kheprishet, the viziers, must obey the word of their leader though they may curry shifts in the people. Viziers are the leaders of Kheprishet ruling over large towns, small cities, districts within larger cities, and regions of less dense population (known as nomes). They are responsible for most governmental works within their spheres of influence and represent their lands within the larger picture of the Empire.
Under these viziers lie three groups of relatively equal power: the legion, the priests, and the nobles. While generally of equal power this often relies on equal footing and different areas might be dominated by one over the other. Nobles representing commerce and guilds dominate cities while the priests dominate the rural villages and farmland. Below these groups are elders, the well-educated, and master craftsman who have the support of their fellows and can better speak on their behalf. Lowest on the hierarchy are the rest of the common folk including general merchants, ranchers, farmers, and laborers.
Ancient Gods Reborn
Khepriseans believe their religion is the oldest of Idhomlya and there really isn’t enough evidence to disprove them. Of course there isn’t enough to prove it either, just don’t bother telling them that. The gods and goddesses of Kheprishet come from a religion that was around before Kairellans ever made any impact on Idhomlya. How close the current pantheon matches that one is debated by scholars but irrelevant to the people. Like them, their gods have gone through rebirths as they have needed to remain the powerful beings they are. Whatever that means is the concern of deities, not mortals.
This concept extends to other pantheons as well. The worst Kheprisean gnolls will tell you that your god is the lesser shade of theirs but most will only relate the connection to you. Many believe that those gods are just different forms of the ancient Kheprisean gods completely reborn or in part. Some even try to pass on this philosophy describing how this fact connects all Idhomlyan peoples and even those beyond, the connections only need to be discovered and described.
All of these concepts stem from the suffusion of religion in Kheprishet. It radiates through nearly every aspect of life from small mentions in thanks for luck and thanks to huge annual festivals in honor of specific deities. This is not uncommon for many groups, their gods spoken in sayings regularly. However the Kherpiseans have turned idolatry into a subtle art. Monuments, painting, and sculptures dominate cities and architecture. For those who aren’t looking it is noticeable, just there, a part of life. Just like it is for the locals. When it is pointed out it can become hard to ignore and makes for a fascinating, if distracting, insight into Kheprisean culture.