Set, The Red Lord Picture

Set is easily my favorite God in all of mythology, if only for his sheer badassery. He may seem a monster, but if you look closely you can see that although he did horrible things he also has saved the universe from the serpentine demon Apep multiple times. He is not evil, and in a way is just very misunderstood. (We love ya Set!)

In the story I'm working on Set is the patron and father to Sobek and Khem, the recently born (in modern times, actually) god of the Sahara. However, Set and his latest son are polar opposites: where Set is strong but cruel, Khem is more sensitive. However they teach each other a lot- so much that other Netjer joke that Set is actually mellowing!

Set has had a tumultuous history: the brother of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys, he was a problem child from day 1. He enjoyed flouting the rules often and was quite obnoxious. Thus it is no surprise that his mother Nut and father Geb preferred the more kindly Osiris to him. Set grew jealous, but the final straw was when Nephthys- his wife- fell in love with Osiris and while disguised as Isis (Osiris' wife) seduced him, bearing the child Anubis as a result of their union. As a result of rejection and jealousy Set grew angry, beating Nephthys and killing Osiris by trapping him in a coffin and leaving him to drown in the waters of the Nile. Set then took the crown, becoming a despotic but effective king. However, Isis would restore her brother/husband to life long enough for them to conceive a son- Horus. Horus sought revenge for his father's murder and challenged Set in an 80 year war, of which Horus was eventually the winner. Stripped of his titles, Set would have been exiled if not for Ra's intervention. Set was perhaps the physically strongest of the Netjer, and Ra offered him a seat aboard the Mesektet, the solar barque with which he navigated the Duat (or underworld) every night so he could fight off any enemies they may encounter. It was a job Set proved perfect for; and when the cosmic monster Apep first appeared Set was the only god unaffected by its hypnotic gaze. Thus this was his penance: every night he would battle Apep and wound the demon enough so that Ra and the ship to escape. And it is this penance he has paid for the past several millennia. Set often wonders if Apep will ever be permanently defeated and his debt to society will be paid. But at least until then he's got something to take his rage out upon- and do good doing it.

Continue Reading: The Underworld