Campaign of the Month: August 2007
Ptolus - Runic Street Boys
The Cult Book
THE CULT BOOK (found in Pythoness House)
This terrible book is actually a collection of handwritten documents, letters, and notes (all scribbled in different hands, some nearly illegible) that someone has stuffed into a very short but disturbing tome called the Book of Faceless Hate. However, one can’t learn that title without reading the book itself—no title marks the tattered, dark brown cover at all. The Cult Book is full of rhetoric, myths, suppositions, half-truths, and twisted logic, but also some important information from three years ago.
True chaos, or “deep chaos,” is a religion based on the fundamental aspects of hate, destruction, death, and dissolution. The philosophy of chaos is one of change. It teaches that the current world is a creation of order and structure, but that it was flawed from the beginning due to lack of foresight or understanding of what living creatures really want or need. The gods of creation—gods of order—are untouchable and unknowable. They are aloof and uncaring, says the teaching of true chaos.
THE LORDS OF CHAOS
Even before the world existed, the Lords of Chaos were. Beyond mortals, beyond gods, these great beings wielded power
unimaginable. Called the Galchutt by some, the Natharl’nacna by others, these dark ones attended the creation of the uni-
verse and called it flawed.
The Lords of Chaos were unjustly trapped in a terrible prison, and we have been trapped with them, but soon we shall
all be free.
To a fortunate few, the Lords of Chaos granted great personal power. These blessed individuals were called the Vested of the Galchutt, for they were invested with the Galchutt’s own essence. The first Vested were named Baalhazor, Gorgoth-Lol, Mrathrach, Thoggidrum, and Vladaam. Perhaps today, as the power of chaos rises again, new Vested will receive the Galchutt’s blessing. With such power, the faithful can
strike down their enemies and clear the way for their ascendancy.
In the ancient days, the Galchutt spawned new creatures called the Elder Brood. Chief among them were the zaug, some of whom eventually rebelled and struck out on their own. Much more successfully, they forged the “earthbound demons” called the rhodintor. The pinnacle of their creations, however, was the new type of craft called chaositech: devices fueled by chaos itself that granted wondrous powers.
Chaositech, the gift of the Galchutt, is slowly returning to the world, as more and more of it is discovered in hidden caches every day. In Ptolus, much of it appears to be in the hands of a mysterious figure known only as the Surgeon in the
Shadows. This individual uses his skills, coupled with chaositech and magic, to transform paying customers into living weapons or otherwise enhanced versions of themselves. Sometimes this transformation results in a hideous appearance, all for the glory of chaos. The Surgeon in the Shadows can not only alter the bodies of his subjects, but also the minds.
THE CHAOS CULTS
The various Cults of Chaos in Ptolus today are numerous but small. However, they are growing. More and more citizens
see the truth and the light in chaos. They finally acknowledge the oppression and wrongness of order and life as most people know it.
Each of the many cults usually has its own chaos symbol. Plus, there are more general symbols, such as the many-pointed arrow, the green spiral, and the broken square. Even when it would be prudent to avoid use of any kind of symbols, the cultists use them anyway. They feel they gain strength and power from them.
Brothers of Venom
Like the Deathmantle cult described below, the Brothers of Venom have a taste for death and murder. Unlike those in the Deathmantle, however, these worshippers of chaos like their deaths slow and their murders subtle. As their name suggests, they love poisons of all kinds.
The Brothers of Venom’s symbol is that of a shadowy, coiled serpent. They typically allow themselves to be called only “the Brotherhood” or “the Brotherhood of Ptolus.”
Members of the Crimson Coil wear hooded red robes and do not believe in showing their faces. They don’t mix into normal society, but prefer to spend their lives cloistered in remote temples, often established within the ruins of another structure for symbolic purposes. The only time these cultists make an appearance is en masse, to carry out some act of terrible destruction. They are neither subtle nor gentle.
Members of the Deathmantle cult, known also as Death’s Grimace, revere death, and obviously so. Each cultist wears a death’s head mask, usually of copper or bronze, but occasionally of iron painted skull-white. They worship murder, specifically slaughter. Mass murder to the
greatest degree (the slaying of a whole town, a whole city, or a whole nations)their ultimate goal.