|Out of universe information|
First seen during Apep's reign, Ptah was a Goa'uld scientist and contemporary of Ra. Seeing the Goa'uld's misuse of Ancient spaceships, Ptah chose to focus his research entirely in that direction unlike other Goa'uld such as Thoth. Through this research Ptah developed the first ha'tak, leading the other Goa'uld to stop using the Ancient spaceships they had managed to salvage and giving them fleets of ships to enslave the galaxy with. Ptah's fertile imagination led to him designing other ships, the tel'tak and original Death Glider among them. Other Goa'uld soon emulated his early designs and, with Ptah's help, developed more efficient versions.
After Apep's death at the hands of Anubis, Ptah swore his allegiance to Ra, developing even more innovative designs which his master closely guarded, refusing to release them even to his own underlords. Although Ptah's designs occasionally led to leaps forward in spaceship technology—usually facilitated by new finds from other species—there would often be entire centuries where Goa'uld technology was at a virtual standstill. During his lifetime, Ptah created his own branch of Jaffa known as the Ta-tanen, who were not known for either their speed or intelligence but their ability to weather even the most deadly of battles like a stone in rain. Though these Jaffa were small in number, they were often the only warriors left standing during wars between the System Lords.
When Ra was killed by the Tau'ri of Earth, Ptah chose to turn his back on all the other System Lords and wandered the galaxy with but a single companion, his First Prime and bodyguard Niptahkau. Ptah moved anonymously from world to world, observing and gathering knowledge as he went. As this very act was so against the usual Goa'uld pomposity, many who met Ptah didn't even know who he was. During these travels, several of his enemies attempted to locate and eliminate them but as his trail was so elusive, none were able. Ptah eventually managed to distance himself from all of the System Lords, and indeed all other Goa'uld, to the point that he had very little relations with them. This did not stop him from learning of the death of Sokar, however, who had been his long-time ally. It was due to this, and perhaps the death of Ra, that he hated the Tau'ri like no other.
Despite the fact that he was absent from his own planets for so long, his people had nothing to fear from the other System Lords as Ptah's craftsmanship in spaceships was unparalleled by any of his brethren. Having reverse engineered many scavenged technologies and designed nearly all of the spaceships and other vehicles used by the Goa'uld, Ptah knew all of the weak points in the designs he created. As such, no System Lord would dare attack his planets for fear of losing their entire fleets to his knowledge. Indeed, Ptah was just as arrogant as the other members of his species and, had they attacked him, he knew how to hold a grudge which could last millennia. (RPG: "First Steps: The Stargate Unexplored Worlds Roleplaying Sourcebook")
- Ptah on Wikipedia