Old Version of Sekhmet

Avenger of Wrongs, Scarlet Lady, Mistress of Dread, Lady of Slaughter

Symbol: A gold lioness head in profile with a red sun disk on her head
Home Plane: The Outlands
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral, Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Anubast, catfolk (especially simbani), vengeance for wrongs to women
Worshipers: Inhabitants of Anubast, catfolk, women seeking revenge for wrongs
Domains: Luck (Fate), Nobility, Retribution, Strength
Favored Weapon: Khopesh (same statistics as scimitar)

Physical Description:
Sekhmet is a tall, muscular, and regal simbani lioness in appearance, with a great, glowing red orb above her head. Her fur is metallic gold in color, and her eyes shine with the rays of the sun, smiting the wicked with the fierceness of her gaze. She commonly dresses in the garb of an Anubastian king, with a pharaonic headpiece, a khopesh in her right hand, a fine linen lioncloth cinched about her waist with a golden girdle, and nothing more than this. She is sometimes depicted with a beard like a pharaoh, but lacks such a thing in person.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
As a goddess of women and of vengeance, as well as the patron deity of Anubast, Sekhmet is a mix of almost tender protection, and savage, bloodthirsty slaughter. Reverence for females of all races is paramount in her worship, as is the pursuance of revenge, especially upon those who wrong females. Sekhmet acts to remind males that there are consequences for their actions, a physical force that males can better understand than the more subtle entreaties of gentler deities. She is also strongly associated with women, menstruation, and the ebb and flow of the body's inner self, the blood and breath, and because of her associations with the ways of women, she also is known to provide water and sanctuary to those in need, being a strong defender of the laws of hospitality, and is known for taking vengeance on those who break those laws, or who injure women, with the greatest relish. Sekhmet is also the staunch and tireless defender of Anubast, and ensures that this kingdom will never fall so long as she retains divine status.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
The clergy of Sekhmet recognize that their goddess is one that is at once beneficial and harmful, by degrees, all depending on how she is approached. Most of the clergy of Sekhmet are also royalty, members of the ruling house of Anubast, though this is hardly an uncommon thing, since the royalty of Anubast are noted for their fecundity. Female clergy are more common, but the king of Anubast is also the high priest of Sekhmet's worship (this is often a ceremonial position, however, and the king may or may not actually be a cleric). Sekhmet's clergy are part of a wide range of roles in society, including supporting and aiding warriors in battle, acting as midwives and local judges of disputes, as bounty hunters and avengers, hunting down and punishing those worthy of vengeance. Sekhmet's clergy ensure that proper care is taken towards women and water (a precious thing in hotter climes), and also officiate at ceremonies intended to keep Sekhmet pleased. These ceremonies include daily worship before a series of statues of the goddess erected in Anubast's capital, one for each day of the year, and also a few high festivals, celebrated only in Anubast, where a great deal of alcohol is consumed by all those who participate, extreme drunkenness being thought, in legend, to have been the only thing that kept Sekhmet from slaying all males shortly after she was raised to godhood.

Leonal guardinals serve Sekhmet, as do a wide variety of outsider felines.

History and Relations:
Sekhmet was a powerful lioness of the simbani race, as strong as any male, and was the founder of Anubast as a place where her people could be protected. While she turned over rulership to her father, who was already a great and charismatic king of the largest tribe of simbani, so that she could focus more on her desire to improve the condition of females in the realm, she was always known as the force that made the founding of Anubast possible, and the one that kept it together long enough for it to become a stable realm. Because of her divine blood, and also because of the veneration she received in her lifetime, achieving godlike worship, she was elevated by Wysha to godhood after nearly being slain in a great battle to defend Anubast from outside invasion, and was lying, bleeding out. Wysha instead reached down and placed Sekhmet's symbol in the skies over Anubast, at the same time lifting her daughter beyond the weakness of mortality that would have killed her.

Sekhmet is a counterpart to Wysha, her daughter by a mortal simbani king, and while Wysha might be worshiped alone, Sekhmet is seldom worshiped without Wysha. The Scarlet Lady's mother often acts as a calming influence upon her, and they are known to be lovers as well (something that is considered normal among the worshipers of both Wysha and Sekhmet, and regularly emulated). Wysha's friends are Sekhmet's friends, and Wysha's enemies are her enemies, though Sekhmet remains far less concerned with the affairs of the world at large than her mother, and instead tends to focus on a far narrower spectrum of matters. Because of the nearness of Giltine's worshipers as a near-constant threat in the Lands of the Dead, Sekhmet is violently opposed to the Pale One and those who follow that dark deity.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Small measures of alcohol are Sekhmet's normal favored offering, and pouring it out on the ground before her statues is the usual manner of giving her veneration. Greater offerings for Sekhmet include the severed male parts of males that have done harm to women, and the blood of the enemies of Anubast, dropped on or poured out into the dirt outside of her shrines or temples where they will be clearly visible as a warning to all.

Sekhmet is deeply interested in the treatment of women, and within Anubast itself, she is likely to directly intervene should one of the simbani lionesses be brutally treated by a simbani lion and then such a female calls out to her for help. She will first strike such a male with impotence and, if the behavior continues, physical weakness and madness that often causes such smitten ones to wander out into the desert to die, alone and unmourned. Elsewhere in the world, where her power is less immediate in nature, she still watches over simbani and other catfolk, especially females of these races, and can provide them with greater physical ability in times of crisis, should they think to call out to her for help, though she is generally unable to do more than this because of her highly localized power base.