Setarch is the name of the emperor priest that rules over the Second Khazarkar Empire, more simply known as the Khazarkar Empire. They rule in the name of the god Set, leaders of a theocracy that has reigned since 1027. The primary mission of the Setarch is to increase the worshiper base of Set. At the minimum, they must keep the Set worshiper base across Cinazan from declining. If they do not, then their tenure comes to an unsavory end. Personal goals like keeping themselves in power and for some corruption - siphoning a little something extra for themselves from the Church's coffers, are common practice for the office, but are always secondary to promoting the Set faith.
The Khazarkar Empire is split by the Âruk plain. This area is difficult to cross without heavily armed convoys. This led to what came to be a division in the empire, east and west. The west has always been the power center of the Khazarkar theocracy now in its 900th year, it is also where the capital is, and where the grand monuments and pyramids holding dead former leaders are, dotting the wide avenues of Ardilthôr, Balmoloch, Bandunazân, and Nibar-Pharân. These pyramids are collectively called the Pyramids of the Setarchs. Each of these great pyramids is equal in size and grandeur to a Pyramid of Power. Inside each they house a Setarch that ruled the Khazarkar Empire either benignly or wickedly. What path they took, doesn't matter when you hold your position with the backing of the god Set; such thinking has been ingrained in Khazarkar society under nine centuries of religious rule. Each of these burial pyramids are sited in the leader’s home city. All are located in the empire’s eastern cities. This is a bone of contention between eastern Cinazan, power base of the church, and those in the west which generally support the Malbazân. As such, western Cinazan, lands on the other side of the angel scarred plain Âruk all the way to the Core Sea, see the selection of Setarchs from the east as a way of keeping power concentrated in the east.
Setarchs, reluctant to give up power, often take the path of becoming an immortal, becoming a mummy lord. In the early period of the Pharzîmrâth, the Khazarkar Empire's theocracy, other undead types were taken as way of prolonging the setarch's existence. The reign of Setarch Irân, a vampire and secretly a member of the As'lith Zybis, was so bad that the Church of Set issued a bull called the Eternal Life Proclaimation. This forbid the church from turning its members into vampires, ghouls and other predatory undead types.