Bennu
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Population: 1,145,322

Once upon a time, or so the story goes, a phoenix fell in love with a beautiful young maiden. But as it is the way of the world, the maiden grew old and died, and the phoenix retreated from the world of men in despair, and there the story could have ended.

But their daughter remained behind, and her story was just beginning.

This daughter became the hereditary queen of Bennu, the jewel of the eastern Gawaris Desert, in a region where the desert fades to the more fertile plains of Ranya. Every hundred years (or earlier, if slain by violence) she dies and in the process immolates herself. From the ashes, a new egg forms from which a newborn and apparently human girl emerges, which slowly grows to maturity and then stops aging until the last years of her current life, whereupon the cycle begins anew. In each life, she develops differently, yet some core elements remain the same - she loves peace but is fiercely protective of her realm, and her people adore her for it. She retains the memories of her past lives, but, perhaps to protect her sanity, these memories (along with the vast magical powers that are her birthright) remain in the background and are only drawn upon as needed.

Her current incarnation, named Angha, is a teenager, and like her previous incarnations at her age is easily bored with the formalities and ceremonies of the court, frequently sneaking out of the palace to experience the wider world. Yet her duties weigh heavy on her, as she knows she must be careful in these times of strife. The various factions in the civil war either court her favor or threaten her to ensure her neutrality, but she knows that her city cannot stay out of the strife forever.

Adventure Ideas

  • A powerful and enterprising mage from the Athanatos Club is interested in working out how the serial reincarnation process of the Queen works. He attempts to kidnap Angha to use her as a test subject - and also use her to attract and catch her father so that he can hybridize himself with a living phoenix and thus become a phoenix hybrid himself.

Designer's Notes & Resources

Victorian adventure fiction always seemed to have some beautiful native princesses or queens for the protagonists to romance and/or protect. Of course, in this case those getting too close to the queen might get burned - quite literally. A second inspiration was the Avatar Cycle from the show Avatar: The Last Airbender, which has some similarities.

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