Hey everyone! Now that Chapter 5, Godslave's LONGEST CHAPTER YET (174 pages!), has wrapped I thought it might be helpful to take a second to recap. The first half is PRETTY HEAVY and also has a lot of Thoughts about Set's Backstory, so this recap is in two parts!
Let's dive in!
At the end of Chapter 4, a mysterious teen had just arrived to break up the fight between Heru and Edith. They claimed to be there on the behalf of the goddess Hathor. And as soon as they arrived, Edith took the distraction as a chance to bolt out of the room with both them and Set in tow!
Edith's bolt got them just far enough for some breathing room. From there, our new friend introduces themselves as Kai (they/them) and as a priest of Hathor. Set is unfamiliar with the name, until Kai reveals the name is a Greek translation of Het-Heru. Set goes on defensive, explaining to Edith that Het-Heru is Heru's wife. That's where we learn this interesting tidbit.
This also explains this scene from chapter 2.
From there, the three make tracks! Over phone, Hathor invites Set and Edith to a feast to celebrate their victory. Set notices and realizes that Edith has been awake for the last day and half and has been in, like, 4 fights.
They reschedule for tomorrow, and Kai drops them off at home. Edith is exhausted and frustrated, and some of this gets projected onto Alma when Edith finds out Sobek was in the apartment without her consent. Alma is fine, and he was only there to fix their apartment, but Edith more and more feels less in control of her own life.
Despite the fact that she and Set escaped, it still feels like a humiliating loss to her. She's especially fixated on Djehuty's words.
She tries to explain some of her frustrations to Set, but isn't sure he can understand or care to. Edith wants to be apart of this world (and clearly has some connection to it that Set won't explain) but is losing more control of her life by the day. But instead of blaming Set or others, she blames herself.
So Set throws a Hail Mary, and mentions a 'she'. We do not know who he's referring to.
And just like that, Edith wakes up at some kind Egyptian God party hall! We're not sure why or when, until an un/familiar face shows up!
It's Set! In presumably his full form! He's sitting with a woman named Nebet-Het. For those unfamiliar, Nebet-Het is the Egyptian name of Nephthys, Set's wife.
Set is being a moody sulk and kind of ruining the evening for everyone around him. Nebet-Het tires of the attitude and leaves. Curious, Edith takes her seat.
We learn that Set brought her here to a memory of his. And, through his own keen ears, it doesn't take long to find out why he's having a bad night.
Basically, Set has a brother he's deeply jealous of and believes was unfairly blessed by the Cycle while Set, in turn, got short-changed. Set's apparently also been very loud about this opinion.
And that's when we meet Set's brother, Ausir. AKA, Osiris. He's the king, he's beloved by every one in the pantheon; pretty much everything Set isn't.
When Set starts to trash the Cycle, Edith relays Heru's words 'Set lives in defiance of the Cycle'. She reminds him Heru also said he was a murderer. Set grows quiet, and admits that's why he'd brought her here. Before she can get an explanation, Set is already continuing on with the rest of the memory.
Set tells off some gods for gossiping. This page also marks some readers telling me to stop drawing Set so beefy.
He lets them off, but one thinks that being at the party means Set wouldn't dare attack him, or that someone would be able to step in before he had the chance.
Set proves him doubly wrong.
Thought, before Set goes too far, Ausir steps in like a refreshing breeze.
Set backs off. Unfortunately, as empathetic as Ausir can be, he forgets how sensitive Set can be about their differences.
That is the last straw for Set, and he storms out of the party. Edith follows behind. Once they exit the palace, Edith realizes this dream does not take place in Egypt.
It in fact, takes place in the realm of the gods. The Duat. It's like Egypt, but not.
As Set departs the palace, Edith asks why Set is only showing her all of this now. He explains that she'd done enough for him on blind faith that he should return it. This arrangement wouldn't work without trust, and that Edith should understand why his family hated him and wanted him imprisoned in the first place. Or at least, how it began.
From there, they make their way to the boat. Which boat?
The boat. Ra's Sun Barque.
Which is where we meet Auf-Ra or Corpse-Ra, who also happens to be one of my favourite things about Egyptian Mythology. As Set explains, Ra embodies the phases of the Egyptian Sun Cycle. For Early Morning, High Noon, Evening and Night time, Ra takes on a different form. At night, when the sun sets, Ra and his boat leave the sky and journey through the halls of the Duat. But it's here that Ra is at his most vulnerable. To protect Ra, Set and usually a menagerie of gods guard him throughout the night. Set, being the actual strongest in the pantheon, is there every night.
And in case you were wondering, this is absolutely not the last time we'll see Ra or his boat.
We also meet Anat, one of Ra's daughters. She means well and wants the best for Set, and even understands how petty his family can be... but is extremely brutal and up front about it.
While Anat lectures him, Edith notices a giant form in the water. The snake is not named in his chapter, but keen readers will likely know him!
It's here that Edith get's a glimpse of how powerful Set really is.
After defeating the snake, Set concedes to Anat. Set asks Auf-Ra to leave.
As brutal as Anat is, it seems like she might have a crush?
We leave the boat, and arrive several hours later at the palace. The party is over, the hall is dark. Edith starts to approach the entrance, but Set stops. Unlike Edith, he knows how this memory ends.
Despite the fact that this scene is the whole reason Set brought Edith here, he doesn't want to go through with it. Either because he doesn't want her to see it, or he himself doesn't want to relive it. Likely both.
Edith remembers Set's words, and puts it together. Set wasn't there to apologize. Set came to kill him. Set tries to explain that he really DID intend to apologize, and Edith starts to freak out. She really has been helping a murderer. This one thing that she started to enjoy and feel empowered (mentally speaking, not just physically) by... may really be for all the wrong reasons. It's then that she hints she should have cut and run after the first lie.
Set remembers why he had to throw this Hail Mary in the first place. He and Edith cannot continue on until she knows exactly what happened. And that means trusting in something other than himself.
Set continues up to the palace by himself. Edith is still unsure of everything going on, but quickly hear a scream from the palace. The voice is familiar.
There are a few different versions of how Set kills Ausir. The most famous one takes place at a party, with the coffin. There's another that says there's a fight and Ausir kicks Set. I wanted to tie together the affair Nebet-Het had with Ausir, and also the crux of why I love Set.
Set wasn't always the bad guy in mythology. He was the guard of the Barque! A member of the Pesedjet family. Even if he was a bit chaotic himself, he fought the embodiment of Chaos every night. It wasn't until the Ausirian cults rose to power that he really became vilified. Stories more and more painted him in this monstrous light.
So when Set talks about how, in a godly court, his actions would have been justified- that's me trying to explain that this Set is not the one we know from the later tellings of his stories. His stories were taken from him and his followers and twisted to fit the narrative of the Ausirian cults.
ANYWAYS, Set shows Edith all of this. And he knows that despite all of the unfairness, he still recognizes that he brought this on himself. Though it took him a while.
While explaining he still hasn't apologized to Ausir, he also finally apologizes to Edith for deceiving her.
Edith takes all this in quietly, and asks Set what he plans to do when he gets all his Ba back. Set looks up and away from Ausir's body, as if he hasn't considered a life that didn't revolve around this one night.
When he asks Edith what she thinks, she offers to go with him to apologize. Not only confirming that she'll still be there with him, but saying 'I believe you're capable of being better, and I'll be there to hold you accountable'.
Set is surprised, and a little overwhelmed.
So, fun fact, the whole backstory/dream flashback was not the plan for this chapter! Originally, I just had Set and Edith talk out the issues in the bedroom. But I knew that'd be visually boring and needed something to really cement their relationship at this point. You can consider that dream sequence both mine and Set's Hail Mary!
I HAD A LOT OF THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS SEQUENCE so I've split this recap into 2 parts!