Age of Heroes
(Int; Trained Only; Armor Check Penalty)
Hekau is the term given to the Ancient Egyptian arts of ritual and magic. These depend heavily on the use of symbols, specifically words and written hieroglyphs. Hekau magic is entirely verbal; if a person is prevented from speaking, he cannot cast a Hekau spell, though he may pray silently. Hekau has a ritual use as well as its active magical use, in particular, it is used to prepare the dead and their items.
Characters who have the Cast Hekau Spell class feature can use the Hekau skill to produce magical effects (see the Magic chapter for more details).
- Funerary Rites:
The Hekau skill is used to prepare an Egyptian’s body for the grave. This is not the same as embalming (see the Craft (embalmer) skill). The Hekau process protects the body from occupation by evil spirits. A Hekau skill check at DC 10 is needed to perform the proper funerary rites over a corpse and place the right amulets in specific places on the body. Success means that wicked spirits such as death-lanterns cannot take possession of it. This use of the skill takes one hour.
- Dedicate Object:
The Hekau skill is used to dedicate objects for the use of the dead in the afterlife (see Death and Beyond for further details on this use of the skill).
Funeral rites take one hour to perform, while dedications take 10 minutes.
- Try Again:
Varies. You cannot attempt to perform funeral rites twice. Dedicate checks can be attempted again but the DC increases by one with each attempt.