by Max Barry

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Isis, Nehekharan Goddess of Magic, Fertility and Motherhood

Isis, known as the Nehekharan Goddess of Magic and Wisdom and the Mother Goddess, is considered to be one of the most significant goddesses in all of the Old World and Nehekhra. She is worshiped widely across it due to her motherly and benevolent nature proven by her actions such as relieving parts of the Old World’s farmland that are struck by drought or swarms of locusts, sharing her wisdom with promising merchants, relieving mothers from the pains of childbirth and commanding the minor gods and goddesses of the Nehekharan Pantheon to send their minions to seek out and battle any forces of Chaos that may prove to be a nuisance to the stability of the world. All Isis asks in return is for her followers to worship her. Isis expects her followers to pray to her on a regular basis, posses and maintain a depiction of her in their homes, perform in rituals and sacrifices in her name at her respective temple, carry out grand festivals on the occasion that the goddess’s direct aid is needed and of course, what is a goddess without monuments, temples, paintings, statues or any grandiose offering? Of course, the goddess does not take offense from those who cannot spare their time, health or energy to worshipping her. When a follower is dealing with an issue that prevents them from worshipping their goddess, Isis would always send a blessing their way in the form of useful spirit, words of wisdom during their dreams, food or wealth, protective magic and if the situation truly calls for it, Isis herself would descend to swiftly deal with an issue that is impeding her worship. For example, the Mother Goddess was once witnessed to have banished a Greater Daemon that had occupied her chief temple, massacred a number of her faithful followers and tainted the aura of the temple. Such an action was witnessed by many and only made the goddess Isis even more favorable in the eyes of those that were previously hesitant in accepting her.

Despite the fact that Isis does bless her followers, only the wisest and most sagacious of mortals will discern that Isis is a manipulative and deceitful goddess, stroking the egos of those that have a place in her plan to become the new patron goddess of mankind while undermining any that stand in her path. Every charitable act performed by the Mother Goddess would eventually benefit her. Would that still make her interventions any less virtuous?

Isis took notice of Ambrosia a year after her inauguration but ultimately disregarded this walking contradiction as she abhorred Ambrosia’s needless morality and aversion to violence. However, she could only stay disinterested for so long until only a few months after taking note of Ambrosia’s existence, a new divine lower being entered the fray. A being that was blessed by many higher beings that are a part of the Old World’s human pantheon. Such a move was seen as a declaration of war in the eyes of the Mother Goddess as they simply were envious of her ever-growing influence into the world of the living, turning humanity away from they once honored fervently during the age of the Empire of Man. Now, humanity is not constrained by the borders of their long forgotten empire but this development was not taken well by the original patron gods of mankind and so, they pooled their energy into a human that they deemed worthy enough to spread their word and turn back the clock to the times when humanity was united against all that opposed them and it seemed like no amount of blessings or gifts could sway mankind’s gaze away from this new toy of the deities.

In response to this transgression, Isis decided that she’d have her own vessel on the mortal plane. This vessel would be the lady known as Ambrosia. Initially, the Mother Goddess was previously repulsed by Ambrosia’s meekness but soon she realized that the vampiress simply refuses to develop her magical abilities and improve her physical strength. Forget about the toy of the other lesser deities. From the perspective of the goddess, Ambrosia just needs a push from someone like her and before you know it, at the infantile age of 34, Ambrosia could become a powerful, benevolent force of nature who would be the vessel of the Mother Goddess herself. If such an objective could be accomplished, Ambrosia would virtually become a goddess. Her name would truly be indicative of her nature. Ambrosia would finally become the forbidden fruit that every god and goddess would yearn to have. She would become as beautiful and terrible as the dawn. Tempestuous as the sea, and stronger than the foundations of the earth! All would love her and despair! At least, that's what the Mother Goddess hopes to achieve.

At first, Isis took Ambrosia as her host but kept her presence hidden for a while while attempting to manipulate Ambrosia’s actions and warping her personality, occasionally offending those close to Ambrosia as a result of her recklessness. However, such interventions simply caused Ambrosia’s soul to temporarily lose control and shift the ownership of her body onto Isis. The Mother Goddess contemplated on whether or not she should permanently take control of her body and keep Ambrosia’s soul locked in the deep recesses of her own mind. However, being the skilled mage that Ambrosia is, each intervention made Ambrosia more and more suspicious as she noticed that her memory had gaps in them. At first, she wondered if she had Early-onset Alzheimer's but eventually, she decided to probe her own mind and to her horror, she found the soul of deity lounging inside of her own mind and was almost going to use up all her magical energy to eject her until Isis was able to calm her down and explain her intentions. Isis easily exploited Ambrosia’s fear of the Queen and was able to convince Ambrosia that she was there to protect Ambrosia and the nation from the Queen’s ambition. Truly though, Isis did wish to keep the Queen’s mittens off of the hands of the powers that be and also wished to protect Ambrosia’s body until she was ready to let Isis take control, whenever that may be.

The two have now spent three years living and working together as a pair. Ironically enough, Isis, who set herself on a path to turn Ambrosia into a benevolent figure of authority, ended up respecting Ambrosia’s restraint, who would constantly reject tapping into the divine well of power that Isis offered as it would cause the goddess to gain total control. In a matter of a few years of going through thick and thin with her dear Ambrosia, Isis eventually stopped considering Ambrosia as a tool and preferred to see her as a daughter in need of guidance. The Mother Goddess would also occasionally boost Ambrosia’s magical energy and share knowledge or wisdom that would better allow Ambrosia to navigate the political labyrinth of her nation. To Ambrosia's surprise, these gifts never came with a condition and was a show of good faith from the goddess. That or Isis simply wishes to improve Ambrosia's opinion of her. Still, the gifts would come in Ambrosia's times of need and the goddess never asked for anything in return. One could say that she truly did act like a mother for once.

Ambrosia, who was initially afraid and wary of Isis, noticed how she had affected the goddess’s views by staying true to her ideals and as a result of her inspiration, Ambrosia started to soften her tone towards Isis. Currently, Isis affectionately addresses Ambrosia as ‘Daughter’ while the vampiress still uses pronouns or playful, light curses to address Isis, preferring not to speak her name or worse yet, call her ‘Mother’. However, Ambrosia would be lying if she said she did not care for Isis’s feelings and if you wish to believe the words of the Mother Goddess herself, Ambrosia does address Isis as ‘Mother’ in private, since Ambrosia indeed yearns to have a mother figure that she can trust. From what Ambrosia can gather, she believes that Isis would rather be a calm voice of reason and source of wisdom inside of Ambrosia’s head. However, Ambrosia still knows how manipulative Isis can be and whenever Ambrosia completely lets her guard down, the Mother Goddess ends up having fun at the expense of Ambrosia’s reputation, especially poking and prodding at Ambrosia’s foreign friends whenever it poses no risk to her career, often ridiculing their sense of morality, undermining their ego or exploiting one's insecurity.