The Book of the Dead
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a name referring to a set of ancient mortuary spells written on sheets of papyrus. Incidentally, it is also a good example of a campaign defining piece.
Full Item Description
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a name referring to a set of ancient mortuary spells. The magical texts written on sheets of papyrus, placed into the grave with the dead in order to help them pass through the dangers of the underworld and attain an afterlife of bliss. Some of the texts and vignettes are also found on the walls of tombs and on coffins or written on linen or vellum rather than on papyrus. (It was often the individuum's personal choice which parts were emphasized). The texts are divided into individual spells or chapters, nearly two hundred in total.
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead
The full text of the book: http://www.touregypt.net/bodA.htm
(See this pages and others for a complete history of the book, and the whole text, it is too long to be posted in entirety here.)
Declaration of Innocence Before the Gods of the Tribunal
The most often cited, and emphasized part was the Spell 125, "The declaration of innocence", where the deceased was to be judged by Osiris, and the lesser gods who aid him. Their number, 42, represents the nomes (districts) of Egypt, so in effect he is judged by the whole country. Their metaphoric names often stand for the terrible punishment they can inflict on a soul. After entering the Hall of Maati (Truth/Law), the deceased would advance along the Hall, and address each of the lesser deities with their name, declaring that he has not committed a certain sin.
The sequence written in the scroll below can be taken as a crash-course into the moral world of Egyptians. Behold all the various sins, crimes and transgressions and activities the Gods detest, how some repeat themselves (do not steal in several variants), what they command (serving the king and the Gods) and what they forbid. Explicit mentions of bread (besides other food) and water also show what is truly important.
Please take this not as an inducement to writing your own two-hundred chapters of flavour text to your campaign, but if you, say, rewrite just the part below to suit your needs, the result could be interesting, too, even if shorter.
(From: The Declaration of Innocence)
Hail Far-strider who came forth from Heliopolis, I have done no falsehood.
Hail Fire-embracer who came forth from Kheraha, I have not robbed.
Hail Nosey who came forth from Hermopolis, I have not been rapacious.
Hail Swallower of shades who came forth from the cavern, I have not stolen.
Hail Dangerous One who came forth from Rosetjau, I have not killed men.
Hail Double Lion who came forth from the sky, I have not destroyed food-supplies.
Hail Fiery Eyes who came forth from Letopolis, I have done no crookedness.
Hail Flame which came forth backwards, I have not stolen the god's offerings.
Hail Bone-breaker who came forth from Heracleopolis, I have not told lies.
Hail Green of Flame who came forth from Memphis, I have no taken food.
Hail You of the cavern who came forth from the West, I have not been sullen.
Hail White of teeth who came forth from the Faiyum, I have not transgressed.
Hail Blood-eater who came forth from the shambles, I have not killed a sacred bull.
Hail Eater of entrails who came forth from the House of Thirty, I have not committed perjury.
Hail Lord of Truth who came forth from Maaty, I have not stolen bread.
Hail Wanderer who came forth from Bubastis, I have not eavesdropped.
Hail Pale One who came forth from Heliopolis, I have not babbled.
Hail Doubly evil who came forth from Andjet, I have not disputed except concerning my own property.
Hail Wememty-snake who came forth from the place of execution, I have not fornicated with a child.
Hail You who see whom you bring who came forth from the House of Min, I have not misbehaved.
Hail You who are over the Old One who came forth from Imau, I have not made terror.
Hail Demolisher who came forth from Xois, I have not transgressed.
Hail Disturber who came forth from Weryt, I have not been hot-tempered.
Hail Youth who came forth from the Heliopolitan nome, I have not been deaf to words of truth.
Hail Foreteller who came forth from Wenes, I have not made disturbance.
Hail You of the altar who came forth from the secret place, I have not hoodwinked.
Hail You whose face is behind him who came forth from the Cavern of Wrong, I have neither misconducted myself nor copulated with a boy.
Hail Hot-foot who came forth from the dusk, I have not been neglectful.
Hail You of the darkness who came forth from the darkness, I have not been quarrelsome.
Hail Bringer of your offering who came forth from Sais, I have not been unduly active.
Hail Owner of faces who came forth from Nedjefet, I have not been impatient.
Hail Accuser who came forth from Wetjenet, I have not transgressed my nature, I have not washed out the picture of a god.
Hail Owner of horns who came forth from Asyut, I have not been voluble in speech.
Hail Nefertum who came forth from Memphis, I have done no wrong, I have seen no evil.
Hail Tempsep who came forth from Busiris, I have not made conjuration against the king.
Hail You who acted according to your will, who came forth from Tjebu, I have not waded in water.
Hail Water-smiter who came forth from the Abyss, I have not been loud-voiced.
Hail Prosperer of the common folk who came forth from your house, I have not reviled mankind.
Hail Bestower of good who came forth from the Harpoon nome, I have not been puffed up.
Hail Bestower of powers who came forth from the City, I have not made distinctions for myself.
Hail Serpent with raised head, who came forth from the cavern, I am not wealthy except with my own property.
Hail Carrier-off of His Portion who came forth from the Silent Land, I have not blasphemed God in my city.
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? Responses (13)-14
A truly great book that I had yet to bring over. :)
It would of been a 5, but you didn't link it to the other various scrolls.
Here's why I'm giving this a 1.5-
(AND LISTEN UP, MOONHUNTER)
You didn't create this.
This is a combination of internet researcha and Wikipedia articles. This is not something you created. And I know you aren't saying you did, but the point of posting in this site, I thought, was to make *creative* useful posts, not just readings from an encyclopedia.
And I'm sick of it. I've been ignoring Moon's four-line posts of Chinese swords and musical instruments for a long time now, but I'm tired of this trend, and I'm sorry, but I gotta' do this and give you a 1.5.
1.5/5, because it is still useful, regardless.
Darn. I shouldn't have deleted that one line explicitly saying that I really didn't create it. Thought it would be obvious enough.
As for the creation itself: I have visited a museum of egyptology yesterday, read the very part posted in the scroll, and considered it a good gaming resource - and I posted it. The point is that I was not searching the internet for struff to post, but... oh well.
I don't mind the vote, but now I feel bad for setting you off. How can I make it better?
Don't worry about it, it is not a comment on your skills, and the Book of the Dead is indeed a good resource.
However, examples must be made, and yours was convenient at the time.
So...CP is right. This is an Idea guild, and submissions should be for new idea's, not pre-existing articles.
However, real life is a handy resource, and I think that we should have a space on Strolen's Citadel for Real life to co-exist. Maybe we could put it on the Submissions area without the possibility of voting, or maybe we need a spot on the forums for it, but something like that should exist.
I have already posted this on the suggestions page in the forums.
Musical instruments, real life books, real life weaponry, whatever... They should be in scrolls dedicated to such items at the very least.
I usually award such posts with 1.5, but manfred is a first time offender. ;)
When I work my arse off to create a submission that gets a 3.5, and someone posts a four line real life item that gets the same I feel cheated.
I try not to beat on dead horses, but this little rant does need to be addressed. I have not done this time and time again, but it really does peeve me. So here it goes.
People were complaining that posts of useful information to gamers were being given higher ratings than artistic pieces of beautiful story work that could not be applied to a roleplaying game (or if it could, only one specific game/ setting - that a game world would have to be build specifically around). Yes, some of the useful information came from other sources and some of it was cut and paste. However we are a gaming site, not a story site.
So they say, My Artistic Piece that I slaved over should rate higher than a piece with utility because I slaved over it.
To that idea, I just have to say one thing.
Have you ever had a really bad bunch of homemade cookies?
Just because something is home made, made with skill and care and sweat by someone in a kitchen, means it is going to be good. If it is not good, then why assume it will be just because it is home made.
My sister's cooking is proof of that home made things are not always as good as cookies out of the bag/box. She thinks many of them are wonderful (and some are not bad), but they aren't as good as cookies I can get from the bag (premium bag cookies).
We want to believe Homemade is better than store bought, but that is just a myth. (Though it can be better than store bought.)
Why bring this up? It is the same argument in a more accessible form.
They are complaining that their creative posts are not as good or as useful as simple utility posts in the eyes of a voter. They want the voting reward for their hard work. This is the pay off. (If you are doing this for the votes, you are going to be disappointed ... alot). They are upset that someone with some time, some imagination, and some good research skills, can get a submission out and have it score better. So something they have slaved over, might not be that good, but they invested work and effort, and it must be rewarded.
And those that are not "creative" in their eyes, things that hours and hours were not spent slaving over, must be lowly rated or not worthy of being a submission.
I thought the point of the site was to provide ideas and information for gamers, so gamers can use them in their games. I mean that is what it says in THE SITE INTRODUCTION.
Sure some sub might be adopted from sources. However, if a gamer has never seen it, or thought about it, or even knew it existed, it is good information for them. It will help them.
Isn't that what the site is about?
PS: Yes, sources should be sited and things should be listed for what they are. However, just like short posts (a post should be as long as it needs to be to get its point acrosss... penalizing a short post or giving a long post a higher score based on their size is wrong), they should be rated on their ability to be used by gamers and inspire gamers.
I won't flame you on this one outright for obe reason:
1)Someone has already giving you a good chiding.
But one thing you may want to consider, if you are going to plagerise you may as well go with more than just one 'Book of the dead' there are plenty myths floating around. The 'Evil Dead' series comes to mind.
Granted it's not plagerism for Cited content, but I could fish it up myself If I really wanted this info.
AMEN!! to AG's last line...and Yikes! to Remmy's comment...p-l-a-g-i-a-r-i-s-e
It isn't plagiarism, he stated that this was indeed the Egyptian Book of the Dead. He didn't say he made it up himself. :D
Good post. Very informative, Anubis would be pleased.
I personally found this quite interesting. I believe there is room for such submissions here and if you don't find it interesting, feel free to not vote on it.
I think Internet-research submissions are fair game so long as there is some value add. For me, even reminding me this stuff exists is a value add.