Har’Akir: Domain of the Ancient Dead

Are you my mummy?

Har’Akir is one of the Domains of Dread of Ravenloft and is ruled over by the Darklord, Ankhtepot. Har’Akir is a harsh, arid, desert domain filled with the ancient ruins of an old civilisation, their gods, buildings and treasures long since lost beneath the desert sands. The undead are rampant upon these lands and the people live in constant fear that such creatures may find their way to their home.

Information About Har’Akir

Domain CharacteristicDomain of the Ancient Dead
GenreDark Fantasy
HallmarksAncient tombs, desert perils, lost gods, mummies
RacesMainly humans and a few other races
SettlementsThe Oases
Ousa’s Pyramid
The Labrynth
The Sands of Sute
City of the Dead
The Bent Pyramid

Characteristics of Har’Akir

Secrets lie beneath the arid desert lands of Har’Akir, if you’re brave enough to seek them out. A once large empire sprawled across the land, but this empire is only really remembered in songs and stories of ages past. Many of the people of Har’Akir are accomplished singers and storytellers and love to pursue such hobbies.

The people of Har’Akir worship a harsh pantheon of gods whose priests control the people through a merciless rule and strict laws. Those deemed worthy will be granted food and blessings while those deemed unworthy are punished, especially those that dare blaspheme against the gods. But even those that garner the favour of the gods must toil for survival in Har’Akir.

The Darklord, Ankhtepot, rules with the carelessness of an immortal being. He is an undead pharaoh, a mummy and the de-facto speaker for the gods. He lives in the City of the Dead, surrounded by servants all keen to exact his bidding. He cares little for the lives of the mortals in his domain and cares only to retrieve his ka; the lost portion of his fractured soul. In this endeavour, he sends his servants to all corners of the domain, religiously exploring every nook of the kingdom in search of a clue to its whereabouts.

Darklord: Ankhtepot

Ankhtepot originally lived in the Land of Reeds and Lotuses. During his life, he served as the high priest for 3 different pharaohs but always felt that he was born to rule. When the 2nd Pharaoh died, her unworthy son was to be made the next pharaoh. He was unpopular among both the people and the priests and Ankhtepot plotted to have him removed from the throne. During his scheming, Ankhtepot came to believe that he had been chosen by the gods to rule the people instead of the boy and believed that by usurping the throne, he would garner both the favour of the people and the gods.

On the day of the boy’s consecration ritual, Ankhtepot and his loyal priests murdered the boy and Ankhtepot attempted to claim the throne as his own. Unfortunately for Ankhtepot, he’d misjudged both the will of the people and the gods. The people executed Ankhtepot and his priests and the gods barred him from the afterlife, instead thrusting him back into his mummified body, taking his ka; a piece of his soul. He awoke, a paralysed and trapped in his mummified state, feeling every cut and lesion of his dead body including the organs he’d had removed. There he starved and suffered for unknown years that felt like an eternity.

As all memories faded of Ankhtepot, a voice spoke to him asking if he still believed he had a right to rule. Remaining in arrogance all these years, Ankhtepot replied that he was and the Dark Powers granted Ankhtepot an undeath, freeing him from his prison and transporting him to the domain of Har’Akir, handing him rulership of this domain.

Ankhtepot found in Har’Akir, a people that were pious and devoted to the same gods that had cursed him. He removed their religion and set up false gods for the people to worship. These gods would only speak through Ankhtepot and through this method, he took control of the people. He then used blasphemous rituals to raise his loyal priests from the dead, turning them into mummies with the heads of beasts. These priests became his lieutenants.

Now, Ankhtepot searches, bored and in despair, looking for his ka that he might become mortal again. He seeks an end, and to do so, he must be judged again of his gods and either embrace peace or oblivion, both of which, Ankhtepot would welcome willingly.

Locations in Har’Akir

The Oases

The sprawling desert of Har’Akir is dotted with oases that sustain most settlements of the domain. These four oases are:

  • Muhar Oasis
  • Red Oasis
  • Sek’s Tears
  • White Oasis


Muhar is the largest settlement in Har’Akir and is named after the oasis at which it is built. It is the domain’s centre of trade for agriculture, art, religion and most other things. The high priestess here, Isu Rehkotep, provides the people with worship, food, justice and medicine. Her justice is harsh and usually involves throwing offenders into the Mouth of Oru, a pit that leads to the Labrynth. She claims to act only at the will of Ankhtepot himself making her word royal and divine decree. The truth is that Ankhtepot cares little for the mortal beings of his domain and as long as Isu maintains order, then he is pleased.

Ousa’s Pyramid

Ousa’s pyramid is the spirit home of Ousa, god of the afterlife and it is believed that inside, is a doorway that links the worlds of the living and the dead. The pyramid is guarded by an order of jackal-masked priests dedicated to Ousa, who serve Ankhtepot’s son, Thute. Thute is a vicious child with a jackal’s head that takes great pleasure in lording his power over others.

The Labrynth

Beneath the Sands of Sute lies a vast, interconnected labrynth of ruins that connect long forgotten tombs to long forgotten rulers and deities. These passageways now provide access across the domain for Ankhtepot’s undead agents. The Labrynth is sprawling with untold numbers of passageways with many remaining unexplored, hidden and dangerous. Somewhere, within the confines of the labrynth, lurks Senmet, a child of Ankhtepot who has rebelled against him and seeks to kill Ankhtepot and take his place as pharaoh.

The Sands of Sute

The Sands of Sute are the most inhospitable region in Har’Akir’s desert domain. 2 mighty sandstorms often rage uncontrollably through the desert, rising and falling at Ankhtepot’s whim. These offer trials to the inconsequential and unfaithful that attempt to travel through to gain access to the City of the Dead. There are ways through these sandstorms though as religious guides known as Sute’s Chosen wander the sands capably.

City of the Dead

Sculpted into the Sun’s Throne Mountains are giant statues dedicated to Har’Akir’s gods. Beyond them, sculpted further into the mountains, are the tombs and necropolis that forms the City of the Dead. The City of the Dead has become the place from which Ankhtepot rules and his closest undead serveants live and operate from.

The Bent Pyramid

A mysterious building of black granite, the bent pyramid is solid all the way, housing no tomb or temple for a bygone priest or god. It bends halfway up its walls and is a mysterious site for those that see it. That is, apart from Sute’s Chosen who recognise its purpose in channeling the great well of magic upon which the pyramid has been built.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.

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