Ptahmose was the Vizier of the South and High Priest of Amun during the reign of Amenhotep III. His was a sensible voice of patience and wisdom, grossly disregarded under the next Pharaoh's rule. A beloved husband and proud father, he has devoted the last three thousand years to protect the world from Akhenaten's legacy.
As the highest religious authority, Ptahmose oversaw not just worship of Amun, but much of southern Egypt in his role as the Pharaoh's vizier. He knew the royal family well and witnessed the future Akhenaten grow from a boy to a man - and, sadly, also witnessed the deepening of his insanity.
When the young man assumed the throne of Egypt, Ptahmose chose to stay with him to ease the transfer of power and give religious guidance as a friend and advisor, but the new Pharaoh wanted none of his kindness.
His office stripped of power and branded a heretic, Ptahmose and his family were banished into the desert, where they remained for the majority of Akhenaten's reign. Ptahmose and his wife raised their seven children in exile.
When the people of Egypt were called upon to resist the Aten cult, Ptahmose and his family answered, and became the first of Tutankhamun's young warriors - the Marya.
The Marya fought the Aten cult and the monsters that had been brought forth from the depths of Akhenaten's misguided reign. They pushed the Black Pharaoh and his forces back to a private valley where their unspeakable crimes had been committed.
Here, Akhenaten was defeated by the Marya. Here, Ptahmose and his children made their eternal pact, their final sacrifice.
It was impossible to ensure the Pharaoh and his god would remain buried and forgotten unless someone stood watch. To seal them inside the temple city, Ptahmose had to make sure the spells surrounding it were strong, fortified by blood magic and sacrifice. He couldn't trust anyone to carry out the burden that was required, and so the terrible realisation dawned on him.
He and his children would become sentinels watching over the Black Pharaoh's prison, a thankless task that would cost no less than their lives.
He cried to the gods, begged them for help in finding another way. But all the while he knew - there could be no comfort, and no appeasing the intolerable fact. In the end, the responsibility was his; its consequences, his children's to master.
Swearing to protect the religion he knew and the Egypt he loved from the depredations of a twisted Pharaoh, he bound the souls of his children to seven great statues in the temple complex; their childish bodies he buried in the depths of memory and sand. Then, to become their caretaker, he bound his own soul to them.
For ages, he remained by their sides. They were trusting, but childish. Increasingly they hounded him with their curiousity, desperate to know about the world outside, the world they had given so much to protect. It was a world that Ptahmose was ever less familiar with. Eventually, he emerged into the sunlight of Egypt and, one footfall at a time, rediscovered his physicality. A step removed from mortal life, he found himself ignored by man and time; he could travel unnoticed among them.
As a man who has outlived his country and his gods - though not his children - Ptahmose lives on in an impossible situation that might have driven a lesser man mad.
He has wondered at the changes of the world, and brings stories back to his family - stories of the rise and fall of civilisations, the advancing of technology, the secret world and the status of good and evil. He watched the secret societies rise, fall and rise again. He has, over thousands of years, seen so much - perhaps too much. It is the plight of immortality: the diminishing of conviction and the slow sinking into depression, like so many others who are equally blessed and cursed.
But his family holds him up - those who continue to give themselves so willingly. They share his duty to protect virtues they are too young to fathom. His beloved children, without whom a dark shadow would wash over the world, are all that keep the dark shadows from washing over him. Theirs is a heavy burden, but they bear it; and so Ptahmose, too, is determined to go on.
He always returns to the temple, which has become their home. Now his children face their greatest challenge, greater than the reign of Akhenaten and greater than centuries of isolation and nights without end. Ptahmose walks the broken avenues, troubled, ridden with guilt, praying to no god in particular that his children have the strength to hold him up - and to hold the darkness at bay.