Sitting on the south shore of the River Styx joining with the Western Sea, Khemi is a stark vision of black walls and looming citadels. It is the priestly capitol of Stygia, making it essentially the most powerful city in the entire nation.
It is a major seaport for the serpent kingdom, but keeps only a sparse navy in its docks. Few would ever try to war with Stygia from the sea, as their connection with the dark god Set is paramount and fear-inspiring. Even those who question faith think twice about crossing the priesthood.
Khemi is scattered with castle-like estates of the Stygian nobility, some standing proudly while others have been allowed to wither away into ruin. Above all the citadels, the walls, and the towering castles is a gigantic black pyramid—the resting place of the very coils of Set himself, or so they say. There is a great deal to back up such superstitious claims, as serpents of many breeds and sizes slither through the city streets freely. In fact, these beasts are protected by Stygian law, and even those attacked by the creatures are expected not to fight back. At night, the scaled swarms grow aggressive, and the very shadows of Khemi writhe with reptilian life and the echoing cries of death.
The city itself is barred from ocean travelers by the rocky island port of Akhet, or Tortoise Island. It is used as a barrier to the rest of the city proper, buffering infidel foreigners from the “holy city” proper. Always buzzing with visiting travelers, traders and merchants from all over, Akhet is the closest that many foreigners ever get to Khemi itself.
Even inside the city there are areas that are not commonly traveled. Stygia is a land of social castes, setting a pecking order that can be as deadly as the natural selections of the desert hyenas. Areas like the Horn are dominated and populated by the priesthood, who are the sole keepers of the monuments, temples and gardens found there. The holiest of Set’s children worship here, and disallow those not of the faith to walk amidst the sacred buildings. There is also the Odji district, where slaves are bought and sold and the light of day seems unwilling to fight the darkness of alleyways and awning-covered streets. Odji is deadly and dangerous, even for those who did not arrive there in chains or a cage. It is close to the harbor, and only a select few merchant traders are ever allowed to come here. There is a fortune to be made or lost, depending on what end of the life-trade someone finds themselves.
Khemi is a massive reminder that the dark god Set truly rules Stygia through the ironclad coils of his powerful clergy. Those who come here, especially those who manage to get beyond Akhet, will find all the pleasures, terrors, and adventures of Stygia lurking in the shadows of Set’s city.