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Damballah, the Old Serpent


In the Black Kingdoms of the far South, Set was known and worshipped under the name Damballah. Nowhere except Stygia was the worship of the snake-god as prominent as in Zembabwei,  where one of that realm’s twin kings was also the high priest of Damballah.
 
Deep in the trackless jungles of the south, in the forbidden city of Old Zembabwei which was closed to foreigners, the altars of Damballah ran crimson with human sacrifice. It was whispered that on the night of sacrifice, the very moon itself burned red with the blood of those who were offered up in pain and torment to the Old Serpent.
 
Damballah usually manifested as a giant black snake which appeared from within a column of rising smoke and devoured the human sacrifices brought before it. On nights known as the Nights of the Blood-Moon, he turned the moon red, and magic performed under this moon was said to be extremely potent.  The priests of Damballah were tribal witch-doctors and shamans. They were in essence worshipping a guise of Set, but were granted somewhat different powers than the serpent-god’s Stygian priests. Therewas some enmity between the followers of Damballah and the snake-priests of Stygia as to their god’s true nature and methods of worship. The greatest high priest of Damballah was Nenaunir, one of Zembabwei's twin kings. He was said to rule three million savages from his Skull Throne. His twin brother Mbega opposed the cult of the Slithering God and supported the worship of Zembabwei’s ancestor spirits instead.