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How to worship an evil god

****It is not mandatory to have an evil deity in your personal arsenal (in fact, numerous evil supervillains are happily atheistic), but there are occasions where one provides the final stylistic flourish you need in your campaign. Mortals hold a fascination for the expense of life, for existential horrors, and for impractical vestments, all of which occur in abundance when one is dealing with a cult of implacable malignance. Immortals just like to see what the others are wearing and where they hang out. Without organized religion to fan this interest into a raging mania, however, they may acknowledge the demon you venerate only on the highest holidays and mass sacrifices. It is your role to remind that that this lassitude they fall into at their own peril.

Engaging in unspeakable horrors on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to tweak the sensibilities of the Forces of Good, which is, in a sense, part of what keeps us gainfully motivated after all. The creation of a vile cult, however is in certain respects rather different from many of your other evil activities, so we will touch upon some of the finer points of indoctrinating the masses in a way that will help lend that stamp of authenticity which is so essential.

*Evil plotpoints

  1. Find an evil god. Look in places where gods advertise for followers: online forums, pamphlets, late-night infomercials. If you know followers of other abhorrent manifestations, ask them whether they know of rites that even they are too repelled to engage in, and seek those fanatics out. Do not get confused by Satanists, who are mostly just mixed-up emo people.
  2. The mouthpiece of the evil god. Head cultists have an awesome responsibility to lead others into the presence of your evil god. The position requires a certain amount of showmanship and charisma, and tends to attract those who crave the limelight. Understanding the nature of unspeakably vile ritual is crucial if you want to become become not only a better head cultist, but also a better demagogue.
  3. Shrines. And temples. Give worshipers benefits. Incorporate slave quarters, torture chambers, and other amenities, so you can even use it as an auxiliary lair. Don't forget to have some sort of giant idol at the focal point of your shrine, which both impresses the followers and frightens the victims. Make sure to clear with your religious committee whether the idol itself is to be worshiped directly or whether it is only to represent the noncorporeal god you are worshiping. Make it more Gothic by scattering skulls and bones among the cultists with the splashes of gore. The robes of the head cultist (if any) should coordinate with the color scheme, and you can produce mutant beasts to provide a contrast to the eye. Try for an affront to all the senses to overwhelm those in attendance.
  4. Sacrifices. It is unknown why evil gods demand or even like sacrifices, but they are pretty much universal. In your initial selection of demon-lords you might want to take into account the nature of the sacrifices required to make sure it is the kind of thing you can pony up on the schedule called for. Having chosen a particular rite, set up a computerized accounting system so that you can stay on top of the net number of victims offered up for any given liturgical season, for planning purposes.
  5. Excommunication. You need to be branded as an arch-heretic by the established religions if you are to have credibility among your followers. Use a little creative flamboyance in tweaking the authorities, insults and crude jibes if possible, and success is assured.

! Strokes of genius

  • Secrets in plain sight. If you are going to have unspeakable occult rites, make sure that they are not so secret that none of the people you are trying to impress are unaware of your abominations. You do not have to have a camera crew on hand, just make sure that all of your captives get a good eyeful of the proceedings so that when one inevitably tells his tale to the outside world, it will be a nice juicy bit of ill-repute.
  • Outsource the hassles. Who has time to keep track of virgins in stock, or to worry about the leaky roof in one of the catacombs? There are companies which would be happy to take the day-to-day chores of your vile sect, allowing you to concentrate on that operational aspect which represents your core competency: loathsome human sacrifice.
  • Music hath charms. Evil worship songs can be written in any genre or style, as a martial air or chorus, or even a simple line of gibberish set to a hypnotic tune. No matter what style you chose for your worship song, the most important thing is it must encourage your god's followers to drop their inhibitions. It should be written in a key that is strange and irritating, with a strong melody hard to dislodge from the mind, not too many words, and peculiar variations in dynamics and rhythm. An effective evil hymn will touch the masses in a way that causes them to think about how frightening and vengeful you god is and, as a result, abase themselves before him.
  • Stenches and wenches. When it is time for the spectacle, you want the impression of an overwhelming tumult to be presented to the participants and visitors, so make sure that you can fill up the damned space adequately. Clouds of smoke fill up even a cavernous temple at little expense, and you can cover even large extents of what would be empty stretches of center stage with a large number of chained captives and all their paraphernalia, if you have a well-organized stage manager.
  • Don't get stuck in a rut. As head cultists, we sometimes become lazy and use the same tired abominations over and over again. Many congregations become uncomfortable when new and shocking acts are introduced. Don't change simply for the sake of change, but attempt to keep your cursed proceedings fresh and exciting.

!! Traps for mere fools

Picture 728
  • Authentically evil clerics. Check out references as you would with any high-profile critical hire and be certain that the evil priest/bishop/primate is a legitimate one, not just some charlatan out to do evil to you. It is good if they can whip the crowd into a frenzy, bad if they then tell them to turn upon you. Usually there are some danger signs that will alert you to this possibility.
  • Rebellion. You will not always agree with your arch-heretic or other cult leaders who are in authority over you. Sometimes they may ask you to take the sacrificial rites in a different direction from what you understand the deity wants. In most cases, you should attempt to submit to those who have rule over you unless the voices from Hell tell you otherwise, in which case they are best exterminated in a holy war.
  • Imagebusting. So you have a decently scary arch-heretic priestess running operations in your cult, does this mean that you have it made? Not if that same individual is seen at the supermarket checkout line wearing a tangerine sweatsuit and flip-flops, undercutting all the fearsomeness you have worked so hard to establish. Communicate the type of professional demeanor you expect in your organization to your hierarchy and establish sanctions for those who bring ridicule to it. Those fellows should know about sanctions, right?
  • Why so serious? Encourage your cultists to express their enthusiasm in the way they dress in your worship place (and in everyday life, if your cult is not a secret one). Ladies' skirts ought properly be at least two inches above the knee or insanely formfitting. Men should look to classic leather or creepy hooded tunics for the properly sinister look. Casual street clothes, sensible shoes, and a fresh-faced makeup-less appearance are all out. Don't forget the body modifications: fearsome bullets, spikes, and lacings are quite in order.

+ Precious and needful

  • Altar. A volcano will do, in a pinch.
  • Acolytes. And adepts.
  • Acoustician. To get the most of the victim screams off of those cold stone walls.
  • Absorbent cloths.
  • Alligators.

Perchtenlauf Klagenfurt

Further plotting



Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Thursday 12 of August, 2010 06:14:20 EDT by GrinningSkull.

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