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Cult of Cthulu

"Fearless wretch, insanity

He watches lurking beneath the sea

Timeless sleep, has been upset

He wakens, Hunter of the shadows is rising

Immortal...In madness you dwell"

The Thing That Should Not Be...Metallica

History: A short time before the horror of the Paring, an elite group of cabalists under divine orders from Cthulu attacked Hastur's main temple at the city of Hali, for a decisive battle with their most hated foes. Their leader was the Tanu Ren-shal named Wolfe’mortis, known far and wide as the Hunter for his unwavering ability to ferret out enemy cabals and penetrate their strongholds. In the titanic mystic conflict which ensued, the forces of Cthulu successfully sealed Hastur's physical body inside a tomb deep beneath the city and locked him within by use of a Greater Elder Sign. The power ritual entrapping Hastur was formulated & executed by Wolfe himself, who perished as a result of the huge power-flux the spell created. Even as Hali sank and the Night of the Paring was about to commence, the ragged survivors of Cthulu’s cabal carried away Wolfe’s blasted body and, treating it with highest honors, sealed his corpse within a seaside crypt. To make his journey more comfortable in the afterlife, this crypt had the arcane formulas of his spellbooks and runes of power from the Necronomicon inlayed into the walls with gems and precious metals. Alas for them, it was only a short time thereafter that Cthulu came upon and destroyed these hapless followers, and Wolfe’s Tomb split away from the mainland and sank into the sea at the god’s will, hidden from the sight of others. As the millennia passed, Wolfe's body was left undisturbed in its resting place, his spirit lingering near the gem-encrusted passages of his formulae which crawled the walls of his crypt like mystic tapestries.

In the current age, Cthulu devised the means by which he could once again gain his great power-base, and contend against the Doomgiver. Gathering loyal cultists, he geased them to seek Wolfe's crypt, whose location he himself had kept secret all this time. Several perished in the attempt to plumb the earth and water that had buried Wolfe’s tomb in the passing ages. The act of resurrecting Wolfe was in iteself no small feat; with only dust and tiny fragments of the corpse and the articles buried with him, it also required the use of a special Quest-magic* spell ("Resurrect Ren-shal") and cumulative faith magic* of the 10 priests to complete the recorporeation. A rather nasty special effect of the Quest spell added by Cthulu to insure complete secrecy of what was about to commence, was that the participants in the ritual must willingly give their lives to complete the ritual; there was only one survivor, Wolfe’mortis himself. After Wolfe awoke from the stupor caused by his resurrection, Cthulu appeared to him, and told him an edited version of the ages and events that had passed since his death {leaving out, for example, the fact that the god himself had slaughtered most of the Hunter’s bretheren}. At the god’s command, the Hunter enthusiastically began the mummification process of the 10 dead priests to act as his assistants. They now exist as greater mummies with their full cleric abilities plus new granted powers (adjudicated by the DM).

* Quest spells and Faith magic are detailed in the Tome of Magic source book.

Current Sketch: Wolfe wasted no time and began seeking apprentices to reform the Cult of Cthulu. They have a large subterranean complex deep in the ocean floor, now located several miles from the north-eastern shore of the Northern Continent. The complex entrance is guarded by a large host of Deep Ones lead by a score of max-ability speciments with shaman abilities, actually capable of summoning water elementals to keep away ravening sea beasts; after a quarter mile of flooded passages, the lair itself is air-filled and warm. Among the secrets here are a few portals giving access to places across Arkaelaspace, in particular to the illithid cities on the planet Gozan. There is also a portal to R'lyeh, but as of yet, it’s whereabouts are known only to the Hunter himself.

This winding complex was built around the site of Wolfe's tomb, but the burial chamber itself is sealed off and heavily warded; within it are all of the Hunter’s spell formulae, including a vast collection of powerful summoning/binding rituals and much baneful knowledge which can now otherwise only be found within the lost fragments of the Necronomicon. He and the greater mummies lair close by, so cabalists of different brotherhoods have next to no chance of ever learning the secrets engraved on the crypt’s cursed walls. The complex serves as both a cabalistic school and the capitol of Cthulu worship. When a P.C. cabalist or cleric of Cthulu is ready for level advancement, it is here they will travel for training.

Under the Hunter’s iron leadership, the Cult of Cthulu strives to destroy the Followers of Hastur, Cthuga and of course, the Doomgiver. Using Wolfe’s unique power rituals which allow unknown divination talents otherwise forbidden to cabalists, the Cult conduct warfare on the hidden fortresses and gathering places of the other cabals. It should be noted that the Cult of Cthulu is the single most powerful cabalistic brotherhood currently, and the rest of the followers of the Old Ones show them their due respect openly, but of course they plot against them behind their backs where they may. The Cult of Cthulu are the staunchest foes of the Valiants; as of now they are plotting to win the next Grand Combat and are forming an army that might possibly achieve this goal. An any case, it will announce to the rest of the Arkaelans that Great Cthulu is back with a vengeance.

Role-playing Notes: Members of the Cult of Cthulu wear robes of olive-green or gray with mauve and yellow highlights. These cabalist are most likely to acquire megalomania when stricken with insanity. They constantly wage war with the Valiants and the cabals of Hastur and Cthuga. They also seek to dominate any being they deem useful, including fellow P.C's as a matter of course, and are for the most part the most treacherous of spellcasters. In addition to the normal spell repertoire of cabalists, the Cult of Cthulu cabalists also favor spells of elemental water. As they travel, they make shrines to Cthulu in watery places and plague surrounding areas with lacedons and sea zombies.

DM Notes for the Hunter: Wolfe’mortis himself is completely mad, a megalomaniac with heavy sadistic tendancies. This may not be readily apparent, though, as he possesses a high Charisma {18} and is a quiet, eloquent, snake-tongued talker in public who affects the aire of a cultured gentleman. In actuality, though, he views all others as pawns to be used and discarded, preferably in spectacular and messy ways, and takes delight in raising as undead anyone who has failed him, putting them back to work until they molder into dust. He completely, unswervingly believes Cthulu’s version of past events, and considers anyone who brings him tales to the contrary as utter fools {and potential zombie components}. He has forged a dark alliance with the illithids whom Cthulu brought to settle on Gozan, and has several such creatures among his cabal. A non-psionic himself, the Hunter uses the mind flayers as his own psionic muscle, and mistrusts anyone else who may have this talent {also including the flayers, of course}. Since illithids are not particularly welcome in Arkaelan society, though, they mainly serve the Hunter in wildspace or under heavy disguise. The Hunter tries unsuccessfully to return the Gozan Mind Flayer fleet to its former strength, but the Tanu picket ships from the moons have intercepted any vessels that travel there.

It was the Hunter who began raising other Ren-shal to assist him, but much to his chagrin {and Cthulu’s anger}, the next cabal master Wolfe raised had died during the Paring. This cabalist, a Tanu named Coris-dai, remembered all too well the horror of that night, and that his own deity had sealed his fate. Soon after his return to life, Coris fled the Cult’s submarine fortress with several transcribed power rituals in his possession. Relocating on the Southern continent, he located personal fragments of another Ren-shal. Unlike Wolfe, though, the Tanu next brought back to life was, in fact, a female rival named Dorestamu’so, who had been a staunch leader of one of Hastur’s cabals. Ages ago, these two had been lovers, before realizing that they were the lords of rival cabals {since both tended to operate in secret and disguised}. Coris returned his counterpart to life, and gave her a choice: join him in a new undertaking, or return to her oblivion. Of course, Dorestamu conceded, and the two Ren-shal began their own order, that of the Rogues, detailed elsewhere.

Weapon Proficiencies: The Cult of Cthulu uses very ornate and ritualistic weapons for their small bladed weapon requirement, a design that resembles Cthulu himself. The body forms the hilt of the dagger. The wings are spread out as if in flight and serve as a crosspiece. Rising from the wings to form the blade is Great Cthulu's head looking up with his tentacles out and ready to strike. The tentacles are barbed and extremely sharp.

Cthulu Dagger- Type: P Speed: 3 Damage: 2d6/ 2d4

Familiars: The most common familiars encountered by Cthulan cabalist are quasits or chaos imps. However, N.P.C. Cthulan cabalist that are tied down to a watery area can be encountered with such familiars as water weirds, marine gargoyles, or if they have sufficient power, clans of Deep Ones or other water-dwelling humanoids.

Magic Items: The Cult of Cthulu, like all other cabalistic brotherhoods, have their own unique magic items created by high level members. They are made through the research and successfully executed power rituals. The DM and PC must work together to formulate exactly what that power ritual involves.

Masks of the Great Old One: These masks are made from the heads of mind flayers taken in a most ritualistic fashion. The frontal part of the head, including the flesh and mouth tentacles are used to fashion the mask. Of course it should be mummified or it will continue to rot. During an astrological event which causes the power of Cthulu to wax, the cabalist performs a power ritual that involves the casting of necromantic magic and the sacrifice of both a sentient being and an illithid. If all is successful, the cabalist is rewarded with a mask of the Great Old One. It has the following powers: The wearer of the mask receives a +1 bonus to AC. It grants infravision at a 60' range, if the wearer already possesses infravision, it is doubled. Lastly it enables the wearer to make a brain attack with the tentacles like a normal mind flayer. Special note: It is possible for the cabalist owner of the mask to hire a master psionisist to perform a psionic surgery that would enable the cabalist to perform a mind blast attack as an illithid. If proven successful the cabalist can use this power through the mask thrice a day.

Conch of Calling: This is made from a large sea shell of exquisite quality, imbued with powerful monster-summoning magic. Its powers are sealed with a power ritual that involves a rare occurrence: it involves the moon Azeret and the tides, and ends with the sacrifice of sentient being. If successful, the conch can be used once a week to summon Deep Ones. They arrive in 1d4 rounds and are 2d8 in number. They serve the caster until slain or until they perform the required service. The conch cannot be used to summon more Deep Ones until the previous ones are dismissed, and never more often than once per month.

Ring of Cthulu: This ring is made from iron forged from a meteorite and quenched in the blood of good aligned water sprites. The power ritual involved must occur on a full solar eclipse and include the sacrifice of a priest of Hastur. If successful, the cabalist is rewarded with a ring that functions as a ring of water walking, a ring of water breathing, and a ring of spell storing combined. The later power only holds spells of elemental water.