The second story in the Web of the Shepherds is Sidereal Mummy. As you might expect, it tells the story of another descendant of ancient lineage, specifically a lineage of mummies.
Layla Bitar is a woman whose lifelong mission is to undergo the mummification process that will allow her to transcend death and gain otherworldly abilities. She is the head of an empire of egyptian cultists in modern day Atlanta, GA. Their goal is to achieve the summoning of their god, but there are always wars brewing between different sects that distract her.
In this story, in addition to the struggle of maintaining order among her followers, and the taxing preparations for her own ritual, Layla has to overcome betrayal, assassination attempts and hostile takeovers. She must do all of this in order to maintain the strength of her community so that they can continue their mission to bring forth their god and establish dominance over the Earth and all of the other Shepherd lineages.
She’s certainly prepared to die, but she also fully intends to live again.
Sidereal mummies are the result of a prolonged scientific method and it is only the individual’s preparation which makes their living mummification possible. But Layla has her own methods…
Author’s Note: The name “Layla” is an ancient egyptian female name, meaning “born at night”, and “Bitar” is an arabic surname and is likely more customarily spelled al-Bitar.