Akhet - The Ryzaleum


Few among the thousand gods are feared in Akhet above Ryzala, She-Who-Weighs-Accounts-and-Balances-Them. He-Who-Strikes-With-the-Flail may be turned away with offerings of blood, the dead are quiet in their tombs so long as they have a little incense, and even the Pharaoh will overlook an offense as other matters arise. Yet not in all the days of man has Ryzala forgotten a single neglect nor forgiven a single grain of wheat. Her black-fingered priests are terrible sorcerers who steal the sins and souls of men to torment them until they have been paid for in full. Very fearful is her great temple, where none but the sorcerer-priests may enter. When the harvest comes they emerge and the soldiers of the pharaoh obey them without question, taking what is owed be it dear or unwanted.

Alternatively, the Ryzaleum is the state library of Akhet where tax records and royal decrees are stored and in which many clerks with ink-stained fingers work to tabulate figures. It is true that a literate priest-clerk accompanies the royal tax collectors, being able to make note of payment or delinquency, and that a shrine to the Shogun of Paperwork is contained within the building.

The structure itself is actually a sprawling complex that has been expanded multiple times as the size of Ahket and the power of the scribe-priests have waxed and waned. It rests on a platform of rammed earth paved with stone, raised above the level of the inundation. A pair of pylons flank the entrance leading to a great court in which two small office-temples sit and from which four lesser temples branch, their pylons part of the wall of the court. Each is home to specialized sections of the priesthood such as those that manage the accounts of the house of the Pharoah.

Beyond the second pylons is an enormous hypostyle hall. The central columns are the tallest, decreasing in height toward the side walls. The difference allows for high, narrow windows to be installed allowing light into the room. Short walls build between the columns create small chapels in which lesser scribe-priests work.

A narrow courtyard separates the third pylons at the back of the hall from the fourth pylons that mark the entrance to the original temple. A maze of halls small halls and chapels added at need occupy the space nearest the pylons.

A pillared courtyard separates the working spaces from the sanctuary and library proper. A few small chapels, these being the sanctums of the high priests sit in the front half. Beyond are the many-pillared halls of the sacred archives. The shrine to Ryzala is located at the very rear of the stacks while the shelves are built between the columns of the sanctuary and against the walls.

The whole complex is enclosed by a wall to add an element of harmony to the otherwise unconnected sections, though it is breached in several places by small side gates which permit access to some of the internal halls or courts without passing through the main entrance, many of them built where old roads once granted access to a the front of the temple before previous expansions.

Akhet - The Ryzaleum

The Dragons Shattered Exthalion