The Outcast, the Pharaoh of Malice, Typhon the Father of Jackals, M’daess the Serpent, Lord of Evil, the Favizier
Set is the bogeyman of the Laren, reviled by the Mulhorandi for slaying Ra and Osiris and trying to seize the Sun Throne of Mulhorand for himself, he has been blamed for every setback Mulhorand has received since the nation was founded, although at one time he was regarded as a loyal and steadfast member of the Laren, his magic used to great effect to aid the birth of the nation.
Set and his minions have worked tirelessly to bring down the current Helcalliant Dynasty of Mulhorand and replace it with his own House of Amsetis for many millennia with varying degrees of success.
In his guise as Sseth the Great Snake, the World Serpent, the Sibilant Death, he helped forge the Empire of Serpentes and conquered much of the Chultan Peninsula, before entering an eternal slumber beneath the Peaks of Flame.
The enduring dynasty of House Helcalliant has made Set the scapegoat of all Mulhorandi’s ills.
According to legends (written by Horus-Re and his church), as Ra lay wounded from his battle with the orc god Gruumsh, Set went to assist his master, but instead of healing his wounds he daubed them with a virile poison that slew the Pharaoh of Mulhorand. Later when Osiris claimed the throne, Set poisoned Osiris just before his coronation speech by handing him the Rod and Circlet of the Pharaoh which were laced with poison. Set then attempted to claim the throne for himself but was thwarted by Horus.
Following his exile from Mulhorand Set has incited the wars with Eltabranar, Durpar, and Thay, and was personally responsible for the rebellion of Thay according to the Church of Horus-Re. The cults dedicated to Set certainly revel in spreading chaos and engaging in despicable acts (including murder), but it is unknown whether Set is truly to blame for all the evils that have been attributed to him.
Three centuries before the onset of Dale Reckoning, the yuan-ti of the Chultan Peninsula were in a bad way. Humans had encroached upon their territories in the Tashalar and Lapaliiya and the forests of those regions were logged to remove hiding places for the yuan-ti, while powerful evils had weakened their control in the Chultengar.
An entire tribe of yuan-ti vanished and the remaining Houses battled among themselves for supremacy of the remaining territories. Amid this chaos there arose a number of cults beseeching the ancient powers of serpentkind to enable their children to return to dominance.
Amid a great congregation at the Peaks of Flame, a majestic winged yuan-ti of great size and power emerged from the Peaks of Flame and was immediately heralded as Merrshaulk reborn. He named himself Sseth and gathered all the tribes of the yuan-ti in the Chultan Peninsula to his banner.
Sseth used great magic to summon armies of lizardmen from far off lands, he then marched his forces on the human nations of the Chultan Peninsula, conquering the Thindol, Samarach, Tashalar, and Lapaliiya.
After 300 years, the Empire of Serpentes went into sudden decline when Sseth began to sink into the same slumber that had afflicted the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk many millennia ago. After his much heralded departure to the Outer Planes, Sseth returned to the Peaks of Flame, the yuan-ti continued to worship Sseth as the god Merrshaulk reborn, and his religion is still strong among the yuan-ti to this day.
Set was once the Laran known as Keoth Amsetis, renowned wizard of the Laren that travelled to Toril to liberate the Mulan from Imaskar. His skill with magic was unmatched among the Mulan and he was appointed Grand Vizier of Mulhorand to advise the Pharaoh (Ra) personally. His magic and political power made him unpopular among the other Laren of Mulhorand and their suspicions of him grew with time until Ra was forced to appoint him to the newly founded Divine Precept of the Netarand in -1437 DR (this frontier lands was not considered a reward), such a demanding Precepture required much of his time and kept him away from court in Skuld.
Left to his own devices it is believed that Set took to exploring the ancient ruins in the Netarand. What he discovered inside the is unknown but afterwards his appearance began to change, gaining a scaly texture and greenish hue. From this point on Keoth Amsetis referred to himself only as Set and all but excluded himself from the rest of Mulhorand, remaining in the Netarand or secretly roaming the lands of Raurin.
Set’s personality was also affected by the change, he became more ambitious and selfish, manipulating people to further his own schemes which were growing grander by the day. Scholars believe that Thayd’s rebellion and the Orcgate Wars; both occurring within Set’s Divine Precept, were not mere happenstance, and that Set was curiously absent from his Precept when the orcs began pouring into Mulhorand’s northern province. As one of the Laren, it is also possible that Set; with his vast magical experience, is one of the few people that may have encountered similar portals before (in Raurin; the home of the Imaskari) and would be able to understand it’s function.
It is likely that the Orcgate Wars were part of Set’s plan to weaken the Laren and allow him to take the Sun Throne for himself, although whether he intended for or caused Ra’s death is known only to Set himself.
In the immediate aftermath of the Orcgate Wars, Set likely continued his plans to claim the Sun Throne of Mulhorand. Set managed to procure the Rod and Circlet of the Pharaoh (otherwise known in the past as the Rod and Circlet of the Empheroar, and today known as the Rod of the Desert Kings and the Circlet of the Adder) which it is documented as gifting to Osiris as part of an alliance to stabilize the unrest across Mulhorand. Under the influence of the Rod and Circlet of the Pharaoh, Osiris commanded the loyalty of the remaining Gods of Mulhorand and claimed the Sun Throne for himself and reinstated Set as the Grand Vizier.
It is not known if Set planned for Osiris to sit in the Sun Throne (knowing that all who sit in the chair who are not of the blood of the king are slain instantly), but Osiris’ immediate death resulted in a year long, bloody civil war which ultimately resulted in Set being blamed for the deaths of both Pharaohs and being exiled from Mulhorand forever.
Set is known to have spent long periods of time absent from affairs in Mulhorand, the Mulhorand likely believed Set was in exile and plotting his revenge, but recent discoveries by Seti show that Set spent many years following and re-establishing the Portal Network known as the Trail of Serpent’s Tears and researching the magics of the Ba’etith and the sarrukh.
After being exiled from Mulhorand, the Laren began to gradually pull away from mortal affairs and at some point became true gods (shedding their mortal forms and ascending to the Outer Planes), Set likely sought a way to achieve similar power.
With his worship among the Mulhorand limited to outcasts and extremists, Set sought to steal the power of others. Set and his cultists have allied with and exploited any anti-Mulhorandi groups they could find. He was spotted aiding the beast cultists of Typhon the Jackal during the unrest in -59 DR the Year of Whims, the followers of Typhon were among the most bloodthirsty of the beast cults and the survivors were almost certainly integrated into Set’s cult.
Using the Trail of Serpent’s Tears, he may have plundered a number of sarrukh and Ba’etith caches, and slain many guardians, taking their power for his own. The association between Sseth and Set and the similarities of the two powers and what they represent may give the biggest clue to Set’s ultimate fate.
Set used the Trail of Serpent’s Tears to travel to the Peaks of Flame in far off Chult. There he sowed chaos and discord among the yuan-ti, even causing the majority of House Hss’tafi to vanish into a malfunctioning portal. At the same time he uncovered the remains of Merrshaulk’s resting place and used the magics there to transform himself into a winged yuan-ti, and even acquired some of the fleshwarping magics of the sarrukh.
Now calling himself Sseth, he took advantage of yuan-ti myths, and emerged from the Peaks of Flame to a great congregation of desperate yuan-ti (there to beseech the ancient gods to help their beleaguered people). Heralded as Merrshaulk reborn, he gathered the yuan-ti of Chult to his banner and create the Empire of Serpentes, spending the next three centuries conquering the surrounding human nations.
It is likely Set flitted between Serpentes and Mulhorand in the intervening years, trying to gather as much power and worship as possible. Certainly later depictions of Set among his cultists, show his appearance as much more serpentine than earlier images (scaled skin, snakelike eyes, etc).
Ultimately, Sseth began to fall afoul of the same curse that afflicted Merrshaulk and the other sarrukh of Mhairshaulk (probably as a direct result of his transformation and the magics he used to achieve it, which were augmented by the same source of power as Merrshaulk used millennia before). He began to hibernate for increasing periods of time, even years.
Rather than his followers witness his demise, Sseth chose to make his eventual demise into a mythological ascendance to godhood, with Sseth returning to the Outer Planes to rejoin his form with Merrshaulk. Sseth has been worshipped as Merrshaulk reborn by the yuan-ti ever since.