The Cult



The world is savage and harsh. Small tribes of many different races war against their neighbours. An empire has not ruled for a long time, perhaps never before. A tribe of tall, gaunt people see a bright star and call it their God. The tribe, driven by their devotion to the sign in the star, conquer much of the land about them. They follow a brutal, yet effective conquest strategy. Each tribe they encounter they enter into violent negotiations with. They offer them a choice, to join them as thralls and serve their God, or die. Any that resist are killed.

One day, somebody looked up at the night sky and noticed that the star was gone. How long had it been gone for? In their zeal, the people had not noticed. A great panic engulfed the tribe, many of the slaves seized this opportunity to escape from their masters. During this panic, several “wise” men stepped forward and explained the situation. Their God had chosen to descend to earth and take human form. Any child born in the last few days, weeks, months? Could potentially be their God. The expansion of the tribe stagnated whilst they hunted for their God among the children. With careful consideration by the wise men, who were now referred to as “The Council”, infants were considered for the possibility of being their God. The council chose a young girl, born in the last few months. They took her away from her family, to be raised as the future Queen. The family gladly gave her up, happy to be chosen to bring their God into this world.

Years passed, during this time the council took full control of the tribe and the enslaved populace. The council represented the new queen until she was old enough. With all uncertainty in the situation settled, they resumed their expansion. Finding those slaves that had escaped during the panic, punishing them as an example to the rest. These tall, gaunt-faced people began embracing their religion more than ever. The Queen was hidden away, cared for by the council. The people began dressing in long, dark robes of black, draped across their whole bodies. They concealed their faces with white masks, detailed with red markings in the places of their eyes and mouth. The apparel hid their weaknesses from those they ruled over, the enslaved populace was made up of all different kinds of races. The slaves now did the battle and war, whilst the cultists instilled fear and directed the hordes of slaves to attack. This faction became to be known as “The Cult”, ruled over by an all-powerful Queen in the central city of power called Oroghuuan, “The city of All”. Oroghuuan became the centre of the empire, all cultists prayed towards the centre of the world where their Queen lived.

When the Queen was deemed old enough, the council prepared her to appear before the populace. She was dressed in dark robes that were now adopted by all official Cultists. She faced her people from atop the foundations of where her temple would one day be built. She was magnificent, but a speck in the distance to the thousands that lined the streets. Streets that veined out from the centre of the city in all directions. After this event, the Queen did not make an appearance again for a while. Yet the population was instilled with great inspiration, rounding up their slaves from their encampments near the cities and driving them out by the whip to the war fronts. The Council, pleased with the zeal that enveloped the nation, sent out messengers informing the cultists that the Queen has spoken her first orders. Go forth, and rule this world. A frenzy gripped the cultists in a way that had never been seen before, and perhaps never since.

The borders of the empire expanded as the hordes of slaves were driven outwards. Small tribes were no match to face combined forces of slaves built up from many previously humble tribes. Occasionally, a small civilization was encountered on their borders. Facing more organized factions with greater manpower than the tribes required more patience and tactical coordination. Inevitably, all were eventually crushed by the relentless pressure generated as a result of the cult’s absolute faith. The council had to personally involve themselves in these cases. However, never did they leave Oroghuuan. Instead, they slowly relayed messages back and forth for mild preparations. Most of the details were out of their control, as they were too physically too far away now to manage everything.

All efforts to expand were driven by the orders that were believed to have come from the Queen. And therefore, all resources and countless slaves were sent back to the city of Oroghuuan. Making it the most prosperous super-city in the known world. The city was continually being constructed. More buildings were built on the perimeter, taller towers were built to stab up at the sky. The city was considered the centre of the world. It was holy, all buildings in it followed the same design and style. Solid grey stone buildings, all with four sides at the base. No rounded sides on any buildings in the city. The scarlet red colours of the cult hung from buildings and in between streets. The city of grey and red. At the centre of the city, the largest building of all was constructed. The Queen’s temple, an almost solid obelisk of grey stone. It towered above all others and was as wide as a small city in itself. Only two entrances were built into the temple, one near the base, on the foundations. The other possible entrance was on a balcony, which girded the obelisk halfway up. It took almost 30 years of constant construction, overseen by the best slave engineers to complete the Queen’s temple. Once built, the Queen was seen for the second time ever. She stepped out onto the balcony of the obelisk, and the whole city witnessed her once more. Hundreds of thousands of cultists crushed into the streets to see the divine Queen. The formalities of the cult changed at this time. The Queen now appeared from the obelisk twice a day for a designated hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. All those in the city would dedicate those hours to prayer and face the obelisk. By the orders of the Queen, through her council, the armies of the Cult were told to continue to expand.

At some point, the original Cultist tribe had become too small to control the vast hordes of slaves. Certain slaves judged by the cultists to be worthy were adopted into the cult. Adorning the dark robes and mask, their identity and race were forgotten. Once a person of any race chose to join the Cult, only their faith existed after. This way, the cult continued to expand at a rate not possible by constraining supremacy to a specific tribe or race.

The world continued to become a darker place. It became almost universally accepted that nothing could stop the Cult. The empire had grown so large that the fastest means of communication, via horseback, was too slow to even macro-manage the war fronts. The council did not take measures to decentralize command across the empire. The cultists just drove on, out of control of the council. Their instructions were clear and simple, indoctrinate and conquer. The council remained in the city, a symbol to all of where the queen ruled.

No matter how many millions worshipped and dedicated everything to the Queen, how big a city was built, how much gold and precious materials were collected, the Queen was growing old. The council knew this and the Queen understood this too. She planned and executed what was considered the ultimate sacrifice. She entered her obelisk for the last time, ordering that the entrances were to be eternally sealed. The cultists continued to pray to their Queen, continued to dedicate hours of worship and face the obelisk, continued to expand and conquer tribes and cities in the name of the Queen who lived on forever in the obelisk. The council grow old and die, the queen lives on her temple, the people’s faith grows ever stronger. There is only one command implicitly left behind before the Queen was sealed in the obelisk. Spread the faith.