Also known as “Wepwawet”.
Researching Upuat, it turns out, is not the easiest thing ever. He’s a relatively minor god, possibly originally based on a symbol on a battle standard or even just a version of Anubis, the jackal-headed judge of the dead. Certainly there’s some overlap between those two mythological beings. Upuat is a deity of war and death. Where Anubis is a psychopomp, judging souls and guiding those deemed worthy, Upuat ushers the living into the afterlife – often violently. He’s more Grim Reaper to Anubis’s Charon.
He was also closely associated with certain pharaohs and cities over the course of ancient Egyptian history.
It is said he can’t cross Ra, which could be taken to mean that he serves Ra, or cannot harm a servant of Ra. Or perhaps it’s a more metaphorical statement about wolves being nocturnal or the dead being associated with the night.
And that’s about what there is available through mundane means, along with some minor info about the history of research into this deity and confusion over which animal represents him.
But Root is not mundane. He has access to Mysterium libraries, and it’s always possible that the Hip Flask has some trinket that might shed light on the entity that assaulted the city in 2005. Perhaps better would be to approach those few necromancers that Root has any level of rapport with, namely Webber Wormwood and/or Deathsong. Or Root could reach out to the one being he’s crossed that seems to have a similar resonance to Upuat: the woman from the Assemblage, Zora. Which route does he take?
It takes a while to track down Zora, and longer to get her help, which ends up requiring that Root liberate an odd, supernally dead object from a collector’s house in Aurora. (Scrutinizing it reveals that it has a strong resonance of death and decay on it, but that’s about it.) Afterwards, Zora agrees to meet with you, provided you come alone to a dingy bar in West Side Chicago. The two of you sit in a dark corner, music blaring from a jukebox, almost drowning out the sound of cue balls striking one another. She almost doesn’t look out of place in her battered leathers, her lined face, and her ponytail of dreadlocks.
“First, you have to understand that there are realms of death in which the living do not tread, beyond the rivers and gates. These realms are administered by entities we call kerberoi, judges and executioners with absolute knowledge of when their laws are broken and unbreakable loyalty to those laws. The deepest realms also host… well, dead gods, for lack of a better term. Godkings of the Underworld. Underworlds, really. Rumor had it a few years back that one of the kerberoi had come up out of the Mysteries and into Chicago. To say that this was unusual…” She shakes her head. “Kerberoi never leave their dominions. It’s against their nature, a nature that they’re defined by. So if I had to guess, the kerberos’s realm was somehow leaking into Chicago. Or overlapping. Or overwriting. And that’s where your Upuat comes in. From your description, I’m guessing that Upuat is one of these dead gods, and that he was trying to pull Chicago into his death realm. Or possibly pull his death realm up into Chicago. Or both, if there’s a difference. This kind of thing gets real fuzzy around the edges. According to you people, you took care of that problem. Thing is, there’s a rumor floating around up here that your Upuat never went home. That he’s still up here. Or at the least, lurking in the areas of the Underworld closest to the low places. Creature like him, he’s like a whale near the surface. The water churns and grows dark, even if you can’t see its body proper.” She frowns. “As for weaknesses, how you might avoid him or, you know, protect yourself from him, that I can’t much help you with. You got death all over you, boy, and that’s not a thing that comes out in the bath. There’s a place where that answer might be, but it’s down deep where the living don’t go.” She shakes her head. “At least not if they’re ever coming back.”
Root gets an Occult specialization in (The Underworld).
When Root asks those questions, Zora’s eyes narrow at him and she stands. “I’ve been around a while, but your kind are all the same.” And then she walks out.
Well, fuck. Does it seem like she wants those things to not be fixed?
Ha! “Fixed.” But yeah, that’s (clearly) the impression you get.
He will try to apologize and make it up to her. Should be get a chance to say more, he will admit that he’s just afraid of what Upuat will do, since it was not pleasant – certainly not a person one would invite over for tea, unless they were… Well, I’m sure you know.
She’s not interested.