11 November 2010

I need cults

For whatever warped reason, I hear circa 1987 L.L. Cool J saying the title of this post.

I also think of Ian Astbury:

cult.jpg
But that's not what's going on here.  Flourishing in the back waters and alleyways of this world are cults -- groups of devoted, often fanatical individuals who have dedicated themselves to the worship of something esoteric, strange, or downright dark and dangerous.

Cults and sorecerers are often intertwined, as sorcerers may get their power from consorting with demons or other supernatural entities (genii).  Given the presence of an ancient and destroyed civilization (which I've decided, tentatively, to call Numitor), there are cults who worship the old, forgotten gods of this civilization.  Also given the swords and sorcery vibe that I'm hoping permeates the setting, there has to be some snake or reptile cult that engages in human sacrifice, dark magic, and other unpleasantness designed to bring about the return of His Dark Majesty to corrupt and destroy the universe.  That just has to be in there!

Although here's an idea that just popped into my head -- some sort of mashup between a Cult of Set and Jormungandr-worshiping Viking types who seek the destruction of the world.  Campaign-wise, I'm usually not big on "save the world" sorts of games, but such a cult could be an interesting antagonist even at a minor level.

Not all cults have to be evil, of course.  Some could just be hertectical according to the dominant religions.  There could be an Asharite Cult who believes there are actually 6 points in the Crown of Stars, for example.

What other cults could there be?

(Of course you realize there is now some cult leader out in this setting named Astbury.  His consort is a mystical woman who can control fire.  No, he does not live in a sonic temple.  That would just be silly).

3 comments:

  1. Riffing on a theme:

    * Not just a cult, a Southern Death Cult (previous name of The Cult)
    * A cult worshiping "Brother Wolf and Sister Moon" (of of *Love*... hey, sounds a little like Katja's nascent cult)
    * A cult of the Sun King (also off *Sonic Temple*)

    >I'm usually not big on "save the world" sorts of games, but such a cult could be an interesting antagonist even at a minor level.

    Nothing says that they provide an existential threat... only that they group's long-term goals are evil. it would be up to the party to elevate the threat to apocalyptic levels.

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  2. Does she sell sanctuary?

    -Dustin

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  3. The Cult put on a great show, L & I saw them last year in Richmond. Just an FYI.

    Atlas Games put out a really good book on cults called Touched By The Gods back in 2001. It looks to be OOP now, but I bet you could find a copy or get it in pdf. Or if you can wait until Thanksgiving, you can borrow mine.
    http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG3204.php

    Other cults off the top of my head:
    an all female earth mother worshiping cult, who follow a leader who has received visions of the earth rising up from the ocean to restore the lands that were destroyed

    Cave dwelling hermits who guard the 6 gates of hell

    A village of fish worshiping cultists, who have a tradition requiring all male descendants to return to their families ancestral town every 30 years for a sacred fertility rite, to bring about the rebirth of Cthulhu. Females are not allowed to return, as the cult lineage is traced through the males who are forbidden to marry local women.

    A roving band of sorcerers whose power is drawn from the life of the earth around them, causing all plants and animals to die or mutate. Due to their effect on the land, they roam from place to place, never staying long enough to be caught in the after effects of their magic.

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