The Medjai are a nomadic group of elite desert warriors in Kemhet who serve as guardians and peacekeepers of the desert. They are an ancient order that has existed since the very foundation of Kemhet itself or perhaps even before. There is thought to be an ultimate leader for the Medjai, but whoever he is, he remains shrouded in mystery. Medjai groups wander far and wide doing their duties, living nomadically, though they occasionally stop by well-hidden Medjai fortresses and outposts scattered deep in the desert.
Though no one knows precisely when the Medjai were founded, they have always been a part of Kemheti culture. Initially serving as mercenaries for Kemhet and largely hailing from foreign lands, they eventually became an order serving directly under the rulers of Kemhet itself. After the death of the first pharaoh who treated them as his personal guard, they began to closely watch over his tomb and eventually took up the mantle of protectors of the Kemheti dead. Today, they also serve other more mysterious and varied purposes. They are never ones to share the nature of their duties or how they operate, except with their own.
The Medjai serve many purposes across the deserts. Firstly, they watch over the resting places of the dead and will battle and even kill those who attempt to rob or in any other way disturb tombs, especially tombs of Kemheti royalty and priests. Secondly, they guard the deserts themselves and preserve peace and order, enforcing the law in regions that may otherwise be considered lawless, even wandering between the smaller Kemheti towns to assist local watchmen while also watching over important trade routes. Thirdly, they watch over the borders of the Blasted Wastes and prevent the many abominations there from entering any civilized lands. Fourthly and finally, they directly oppose the Zharduvari wherever they may find them.
The duties of the Medjai often call them to patrol the borders of Kemhet and neighboring lands such as the more lawless Deshret and even the borders of the empire of Parsanshar. Generally, the tribes of Deshret tolerate them, though the Redsail Corsairs and others frequently cross blades with the Medjai. They are often treated reasonably well in Parsanshar, where they are known to represent the Kemheti government and to be important figures of safeguarding trade and travel, though some Parsanshari look down on them as savages for their desert-dwelling ways.
The Medjai are not a rigidly structured order, but they do maintain an oft-criticized sort of rank and file. Groups of Medjai vary in size from five to a dozen or more riders. The order is not as large as it used to be, though enemies of Kemhet hear tell that there are still enough Medjai across all of Kemhet to come together as a great and coordinated army, if the need were to ever arise, which strikes great fear into the hearts of any who would oppose them. The Medjai employ only fierce, hard, dedicated, and cunning individuals; an army of them would be composed of some of the most fearsome warriors in the realm.
Unlike some orders, the Medjai are not exclusive, basing their membership only on ability rather than bloodline or birthplace. They have many foreigners among their number and even many Desert Dwarves; in addition to these Southern-dwelling dwarves, though the Medjai are primarily composed of Kemheti people, they also frequently see members from the neighboring lands of Deshret, Parsanshar, and even some individuals from Axa, as well as the occasional - though rare - Achaean. The Medjai do not generally have women among their number, particularly given their hard lifestyle, but they are not opposed should one prove herself; thus, there is the very occasional woman among the Medjai.
Every group of Medjai has one channeler among their number and is led by a Captain, often the channeler himself, who generally designates a second-in-command. It is not uncommon for a Medjai group to have at least one priest in their number, as well, often a priest of Anubis.
Void Iron and Channelers
Since they sometimes find themselves battling warlocks and mages, the Medjai have many ancient ways to oppose these beings. Thought to be much older than the Inquisition of the Achaean Empire but similar in some ways, the Medjai possess some weapons and even some armor made of void iron from their close allies and frequent companions, the Desert Dwarves. However, they do not have standardized sets of armor as does the Inquisition.
More frequently than full suits of void iron armor, the Medjai employ the use of channelers to stand up against magic. However, as the process of becoming a channeler is extremely difficult, taxing, and rarely even survived, their channelers are also very few in number.