The Cults

The efforts by the Spire to create the perfect warrior race have carved and indelible mark upon the W’adrhŭn. Their predilection towards violence is burned into their neural pathways, making their blood boil with chemicals that heighten their rage, searing the pleasure of violence into their very flesh. But that is not the most difficult struggle she faces in granting the W’adrhŭn a future of their own choice. The greatest challenge are the marks seared into the very soul of the W’adrhŭn race when the primordial powers of War, Death and Famine quickened the first breeding pairs, the Primes.

The gods alone know what would have been unleashed upon Eä had these primordial iterations been allowed to survive and thrive. Even centuries after their death, the primordial power of these nascent goods still echoes through savage impulses of their distant descendants. Only the living goddess’ innate understanding of the fundamental natures of her siblings’ power has given her a chance at seeking, not just to temper these impulses, but to harness them into powerful influences that might strengthen the W’adrhŭn across the centuries.

To limit the influence the other primes could exert even in death, she created four Cults to guide and channel the worship and influence of her siblings, separating them from the Tribes and thus limiting their interaction to closely observed, almost ritualistic, exchanges. In time, the Ukunfazane was able to twist the urges and instincts born of her siblings’ nature.

While his primary manifestation remains one of conflict and power, the Ukunfazane was able to shape War’s affiliation to Earth and mold him in the role of a crafter as well. To this day the Cult of War are the only W’adrhŭn allowed to cast and forge metal, the spiritual manifestation of their God. Unable to reforge the overpowering finality and narrative power of her sister, the Ukunfazane instead drew upon her connection to blood and was able to weave that connection into her people, recasting the Cult of Death as midwives and healers. Rather than embracing Death, the Cult accepts the reality of it, but battles it to their last breath. Almost exclusively composed of females, this Cult is, not surprisingly, the most popular and influential amongst the Tribes for the work they do is invaluable. For Famine, the eldest and most dangerous of her brothers, the Ukunfazane could do little to salve the hunger and drive his fanatics evinced, but could help guide them in a direction that raised her people. Today, the Cult of Famine travels the lands exhaustively, almost compulsively, seeking new stories and myths to record, relentlessly expanding the modest collection of W’adrhŭn historical records, myth, song, dance and stories that shall one day become the cultural heritage of the W’adrhŭn. In battle, their passion and zeal are such that the already impressive calorific burn of their metabolisms reaches terrifying new heights.

Perhaps the most subtle manipulation of all was wrought upon Conquest, the Ukunfazane, herself. Her understanding of the primordial nature of Conquest has over the years evolved away from the literal embodiment of expansion and domination to one of vision, victory and adaptability. Rather than looking at her young, vibrant warrior people as a tool for the domination of others, she has instead chosen to see where she and her people might thrive on Eä and guide them there. Her Cult is the most prevalent and widespread of the four, for it is her priesthood. They are in charge of all education and cooperation between the tribes and cults. Taking in only the most gifted and brilliant of minds, the Cult of Conquest is a spawning ground for leaders and visionaries across the tribes. Even so she is a creature of conflict and drive and her cult’s warriors are exceptionally trained and equipped. In times of peace, they act as judges and instruments of her often iron will, while on the field they are capable of fulfilling almost any role at a moment’s notice.

It is a fine balance that the Cults walk, torn between the divine mandates of their living goddess, their societal purpose and the instincts infused by the primordial forces they express; and for generations, this balance has endured, allowing the W’adrhŭn to prosper in the harshest of environments. This is due in no small part to the amount of control she exerts over them, not hesitating to cull those that would stray too much from the path she has laid out for them. And in a way, the Cults’ existence describes the entire society of their race, both in the way this fragile equilibrium sustains the very fabric of their civilization and in the way it is sustained. It is a straight path the W’adrhŭn walk, even if one achieved by being pulled in different directions by equally unforgiving forces.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter