The Plague of Madness
In 2499 AR, the cult of Lamashtu unleashed the Plague of Madness among Wati’s thriving populace. Many of those whom the fever did not immediately kill were driven to murderous insanity, and within months, more than half the city had fallen in painful, anguished death. Most of the survivors fled Wati to make new homes elsewhere, but a stubborn minority remained behind, determined to reclaim their city. Even once the plague had run its course, however, their livelihoods collapsed as An and Tephu took over Wati’s once-exclusive trade routes, and their floundering community struggled against recurring outbreaks of the undead from the city’s many abandoned buildings-turned-tombs.
It took almost half a millennium for Wati’s fortunes to reverse thanks to the church of Pharasma. With the tacit permission of Osirion’s Keleshite sultan, a Pharasmin priest named Nefru Shepses marched on Wati in 2953 AR with a small army of alchemists, masons, and morticians under his banner, intent on cnsecrating the entire city to the Lady of Graves, beginning with a new, monumental temple to Pharasma called the Grand Mausoleum.
Over the next 30 years, Nefru Shepses and his followers recovered the bodies of those slaughtered in the Plauge of Madness from their hasty, makeshift graves and the Pharasmins walled off that portion of the city hat thad been abandoned, transforming it into a metropolis of makeshift tombs. Thousands of corpses were given formal burial rites and reinterred in this dead copy of the living city, which continues to serve as Wati’s necropolis today.