Katherine Wynter

author of distinctive literary fiction and fantasy

PSS Archives – Bastet

A page from the archives of the Parisian Society for the Study of Non-Human Entities and Their Impact on Humans

By Nicholas Stockholm

Bastet.svgOne of the more interesting Egyptian goddesses is Bastet, often depicted as a woman with the head of a cat (though the actually goddess was part lion).  If you remember, Second-Order demons are human-animal hybrids. The demon who became known as Bastet first appeared in the Lower Kingdom in the 3rd Millennium BC, and started as a war goddess protecting the pharaoh. Lions were a symbol of power in Africa, and this goddess represented power. Surviving Keeper records suggest that she was responsible for a slaughter so intense the Nile turned red with their blood.

Over the years, however, as the other great Second-Order demons came to dominate Egyptian society, Bastet softened into a protection demon. These creatures realized that there was more for them to gain by using humans than simply killing them, so they backed off, focusing on establishing cults around themselves that allowed them to feed unopposed.  Bastet’s primary home and temple was in Bubastis where hundreds of thousands would gather each year for a massive festival where the deity was worshiped with drunkenness and sacrifice.

Being part feline herself, she surrounded herself domesticated cats.  When her companions passed, she had them mummified. Excavations discovered more than 300,000 mummified cats in her temple in Per-Bast.

Demons, once sent back to their dimension, have a way of sneaking back to our world. Should the demon known as Bastet ever breach the seals again, watch out for other cats. She will not only be able to manipulate other cats into attacking for her, she can also use them as spies. She may have ended her time as a goddess of protection, but inside she remained a demon capable of murder on the grandest scale.

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An accomplished master of her craft, Katherine Wynter builds fantasy worlds peopled with believable characters and complex cultures. Her original, dark works are captivating. Think you've read all there is to read about monsters and demons? Think again. Wynter deftly walks the razor's edge between fact and fiction to produce fantastic works that are riveting, compelling, and, above all, believable.

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