The Blood Cult is a destructive and quasi-religious organization that originated in the year 430. They were originally led by one of the beings known as the Blood Magi, who was later transformed into the Blood Lich. Under her leadership, the Cult brought about the Double Bleeding Moon of 431 – the event for which they are most notable. The Blood Lich was killed shortly afterwards, and the group all but collapsed, but certain elements of the Cult survived. Some scholars believe that the Cult lives on today, only in a much weakened state.
The doctrine and beliefs of the Blood Cult have never been fully understood, but their members have always had a fascination with blood, the Bleeding Moon, and living sacrifices. Some of them have also been reported to worship an entity they refer to as the Bleeding Goddess. The Cult has traditionally relied on the power of that moon cycle – as it waxes and wanes, so does the strength of their magic. In battle, they rely primarily on summoned fire creatures, ranging from armies of Rust Beasts to the less common Red Dragons.
The members themselves have long been suspected to be the members of the Satel family of Gohoran. Most of these accusations are based around the fact that the Blood Magi was a Satel, and that she was sheltered by the Satels for an entire year. The Satels have vehemently denied any such allegations right from the start, and the matter continues to be one of controversy.
The Blood Cult experienced a brief revival in the Bleeding Moon of 443, during which time they managed to enslave the entire population of Lerilin. Still, this iteration of the Cult was considerably smaller and weaker than the original group. To bolster their position, they formed an alliance with the vampire legions of Lady Elphina. But the Cult disappeared again with the waning of the moon, and they have not been active ever since.
Origins[edit | edit source]
The Blood Cult made its first appearances during the Bleeding Moon of 430. The Cult consisted of Blood Prophets, Blood Warriors, Blood Shamans, Blood Cabalists, Blood Gladiators, Blood Clerics, and Blood Wizards, each of them accompanied by their fire creatures. Their first attack was in Mirith, announced by a voice heard all over town, screaming "the Void beckons!" After that, several elements of the Cult attacked the neighbouring area of all cities of Oberin, usually around the cemeteries, but also in the woods. The Cult's main figure appeared around the same time. Referred to as the Blood Magi, she would introduce herself as "Mirror of the Vale, the reminiscence of Blood". The plural of her name suggests her perceived supranatural status, reinforced by the way in which she addressed the citizens as "humans", as if she was not one herself anymore.
Unluckily for the Blood Cult, Marthonis became rather interested in their movements. On day 82, the necromancer was able to find the Blood Magi at the cemetery of Andris and, after a long fight, to cast a spell to make her his prisoner. He left Andris with her, and in the following days, the attacks from the cult multiplied. Of course, by now, the Cultists were also wishing to spill Marthonis' blood and release the Blood Magi. For that, however, they would have to be able to locate the necromancer.
On the 230th day of the cycle, a Blood Wizard and a Blood Prophet went to cemetery of Andris looking for the Magi. They were received by a Bone Lord, who informed them that his master was done with his study of the Blood Magi and had drained her power for himself. To demonstrate as much, he summoned the Blood Magi to the cemetery where, instead of fighting on the side of the Cultists, she started attacking them, her mind being controlled by Marthonis. The wizard was killed by the Magi, but the prophet escaped, swearing to find a cure for their leader. He promised the Cult would be back in full force when the Bleeding Moon initiated another cycle.
Satel Controversy[edit | edit source]
Towards the end of the following Red Moon, a group of adventurers ran into a mysterious warrior picking up reagents. His name was Telinan Satel, and he was part of the Gohoran Community. He confided to the group that he was looking for herbs to cure someone very ill from their family. Even though it was against the community's practice, usually proud of being self-sufficient, the Satel confessed that they would eventually have to seek help from the outside, since none of their healers knew which terrible disease was the one afflicting the child. Alas, the decision was not his to make, and it was only days later, already during the Harvest Moon, that Phelin Satel came to the bank of Mirith.
Phelin had been sent by the Ancients of Gohoran to ask for help. He asked if a group could be sent to Gohoran to meet their elder Dyana Satel and serve as her escort. When the elder arrived, she invited the adventurers inside the room where the invalid was dying, with her skin rotting.
Dyana proceeded to explain that she was seeking the help of a hermit who she had met in the past, and the group agreed to escort her in the mission. On the way, they were met by a Bone Lord, who they killed. Eventually they reached the Hermit's camp. The hermit who, after all, was none other than Amalphus Vei, former negotiator of Mirith and future head of Brigobaen. Whether the Bone Lord was spying on the Satels or dealing with Vei was never revealed.
Vei accepted to go to Gohoran and examine the child, who had been ill since the Red Moon. Realising that her illness was not of an ordinary type, he decided to travel to Mirith, where he talks to Nafets and Cecil. Incidentally, the main result of this reunion was to designate Vei to be the new Guardian of Brigobaen.
Vei took sometime to research on the possible cure for the curse and, in the last days of the moon, he sent out a call for every available adventure to gather at Brigobaen. He had found out that a Silver Dragon Claw could be used in the cure. Alas, that has always been an item hard to find, and he sent the largest group he could gather to the dungeon in Skull Island. After many deaths, the group managed to bring a claw back to Brigobaen, and escorted Vei to Gohoran, in the beginning of the Fighting Moon.
Once in Gohoran, the healer started his prepared spells. However, the claw reacted differently than expected, starting to melt in his hand. Even so, he had managed to release the mind of the invalid from the curse, just not to keep her body alive for longer. At this point, a Bone Lord appeared to resurrect the invalid. As it turned out, she was the Blood Magi that Marthonis had captured a year before. He returned her to her community (where apparently no one recognised her as a cultist), waiting for her body to die, so that he would take her power.
As the Bone Lord resurrected the invalid, she came back as a lich, henceforth known as the Blood Lich, one of the first to appear in the modern era. Since Marthonis was not in control of her mind anymore, she was able to kill the Bone Lord and to escape from Gohoran, not before announcing to everyone present that her cult was not dependent on the moon cycle anymore.
During the rest of the Fighting Moon, several corpses of travellers were found, mostly in the Mirithian continent, from Foehan to Gast. A survivor called Grevan confirmed what everyone suspected: the groups were being attacked by the Blood Lich. On the other hand, corpses were also being found around Andris. This time, the bodies of elements of the Satel family, chased down by Bone Lords. Convinced that the whole had to be annihilated, Marthonis had sent his minions after everyone from Gohoran, in order to "destroy the Aberration", the name by which the Bone Lords referred to the Blood Lich. Some Satels had escaped to Andris, and two of those were found alive by adventurers, to whom they denied being part of the Blood Cult.
Double Bleeding Moon[edit | edit source]
The promise of the Blood Prophet was fulfilled, and as the Bleeding Moon of 431 arrived, the Blood Cult was stronger than ever. They had never ceased the attacks between the two moons, but now it seemed as it was the perfect time for their rituals. As it was soon understood by the citizens of Oberin, the Blood Lich would feast in the blood spilt in battle, and it did not matter whether it was the blood of her enemies, or the blood of her own Cultists, who would happily serve her in death too. She needed sacrifices, as many as she could get.
Adventurers were being attack on a constant basis, by Cultist fanatics claiming to be completing the Blood Magi's rituals. As the Bleeding Moon was over, instead of the the softer tones of red from the following cycle, another cycle of Blood begun, to everyone's horror. To add up to the calamity, Andris had been attacked by brigands the night before, and the Blood Magi had managed to steal a vial of blood from the vaults, after killing the brigands herself. In the process, she knocked out Senator Anderson, the only person who could open the vaults, for they are attuned to her.
A few days later, a group of adventurers interrupted a sacrifice in Port Gast. After the battle, they found the musician Luth at the docks, who told them of the Moon's lament and suffering, and of the necessity of setting the cycle back to normal, or everyone would perish. However, the Cult seemed unstoppable.
In fact, it was soon made clear that they had to find a strategy to kill the Blood Lich that would not rely on killing the creatures around her. Citizens from all over the world gathered in Brigobaen to discuss how to organise their armies, and whether or not to deal with Marthonis as an ally fighting their common foe. The main idea was, of course, that if no blood could be spilt, they would try to attack the lich with creatures that did not bleed. Alas, most people were not able to control skeletons and zombies just yet.
Another solution was found, or rather, divulged by Necrosia, one of Marthonis' Bone Lords. Necrosia informed a group of citizens that the most precious object help by the Blood Magi, the vial of blood, was kept guarded by a single man in Gohoran. The citizens were to destroy the vial, or to replace it with something unexpected. Killed the lackey guarding the door in Gohoran, the first idea was to use sheep blood, but in the end it was with the blood of a rust beast that the vial was filled.
The big group was then ready to head in the direction of the Tree Maze, looking for the Blood Lich. To their surprise, they were received by an Ancient Red Dragon. The dragon urged the group to return the vial to the Lich, not believing that they have corrupted its contents before hand (it was also one of the very few demonstrations of Draconic Language ever heard). Through Black Magic, the dragon opened a gate for a fighter to go back to Gohoran, momentarily, and dropped the object back in the chest. In the meanwhile, the lichee had joined the group with the dragon. She was asking him how to "repair the ritual" (how was the ritual broken to begin with is not clear). The dragon implanted whichever answer she was seeking in her mind, though a trick of magic, and the Lich started her ritual. Countless red dracos attacked the group.
In the meanwhile, Necrosia appeared again, to confirm that the vial had been tainted. With a small army of undead, the Bone Lord help the group defending themselves from the Blood Warrior summoning the dracos. The ultimate ritual was about to take place at the Center Island, and the group made their way there. Of course, when the Blood Lich started her alchemical experiment in the cauldron, things did not go as she expected — the blood of the rust beast had been enough to ruin her spell. The moon changed, and the Blood Lich had to face the mocking of one half of the population of Oberin before falling on the sand, killed with ease. And a full Harvest Moon shone in the sky.
Revival[edit | edit source]
Afterwards, the Cult remained inactive for years. It is known that only very few of the Satels managed to escape, even if it has never been confirmed that they were all part of the Cult. Only one of them, later identified as Ariman Satel, was seen in the Lizard Fort a year later, reciting a little poem about chance and the Moon.
Nothing else was heard until the Bleeding Moon of 443, when Blood Wizards and Blood Druids were once again reported to be walking the lands. They formed a base of sorts at the Volcano, from which they began to trouble the village of Lerilin, starting with the assassination of the temple guards. Immediately after this incident, the Cult members encountered a servant of the vampire Elphina, and they decided to form an alliance. The Cult would provide the vampires with a supply of blood, and the vampires would protect the Cult during all the other moons of the year.
A few days later, all the inhabitants of Lerilin were kidnapped and thrown in cages outside the volcano. Adventurers from all across Oberin came to liberate the villagers, but were defeated by the Blood Cult. The victorious cultists then sacrificed Toc to the Bleeding Goddess in front of the whole village, and were about to make another sacrifice until Elphina arrived on the scene. In order to appease the vampire, the cultists offered her the remaining villagers in the cage. Elphina only desired one, however, and so she took the ranger Sophina Longlocks. Everyone else was freed and returned to the village, and eventually Sophina was freed too, for reasons that remain unknown.
After this battle, the Cult's camp in front of the volcano was dismantled, and they moved elsewhere. The Bleeding Moon turned into the Red Moon, and all traces of the Cult vanished. Many prepared for their return when the Bleeding Moon came around again next year, but all was silent, and none of the cultists have been seen ever since. As for the Satels, there is no evidence connecting them to the revival, but at least one member of the family has been seen as recently as 448. He denies that his family was ever involved with the Blood Cult in any capacity, but the truth remains to be seen.
References[edit | edit source]
- 430 thru 432 – Posts missing
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day 24 Mystery under a young Bleeding Moon (9th post)
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day ~26 News Flash, Page 10 (10th post)
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day 27 Bloody Bleeding Moon
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day 39 The Murder of a Friend (3rd post)
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day ~50 News Flash, Page 11 (4th post)
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day ~100 As Bleeding Moon Waxes Full, Let Hope Arise
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day 103 Forging of an Alliance
- 443 Bleeding Moon Day 194 At the sign of the Poisoned Bottle