The Contrite

In a world where gods rub shoulders with people, it is inevitable that religious sects will rise and fall, as one deity manages to gather sufficient worshippers to gain serious spiritual momentum or as one charismatic leader decides to form a cult around himself or a figure head of his choosing. Although some revel in their new homes in The City, many see our presence here as a punishment for wrongs done either by ourselves, our leaders or our ancestors. People looking for meaning in why they have ended up in this terrible city. We are The Contrite, join us.

- Karaena, former leader of The Remorseful Numen of Penance


The cults have grown up over the centuries - as long as there have been people here, there have been cults. Cults rise and fall and since the start of the city hundreds have been and gone and as far as anyone knows none of the original cults survived.

As with all things these cults vary from those who truly believe in what they are doing, those who seek safety and security in numbers, and those who merely wish to gain power and status from the exploitation of others. The views of the rest of the world on these cults are mixed. Some fear them while others hold them in contempt. The wise have a healthy dose of suspicion about any group that dedicates themselves to one goal (whatever it might be) with such fanaticism. The foolish dismiss them as mad. Either way belonging to such a cult gives you a certain amount of power and status within the city one way or another.

Collectively, people tend to refer to the cults and those within them as ‘The Contrite’ reflecting the way so many seem to have given in to the finality of the city and devoted themselves so singularly to something else, to either repentance or vengeance at their circumstances. Occasionally those within The Contrite work together - seeing themselves as the devoted few against the debauched and unbelieving masses. For having faith in something, anything, is better than nothing and the faithful must help each other in such trying times.

Why Play with the Contrite?

  • Your character wants to have purpose - You're devoted to the cause of your cult, you truly wish to bring about its goals. Perhaps you think that success will bring you freedom or perhaps merely following something so fully distracts you from the reality of the city.
  • You want to play an outcast - Those of the Contrite belong within their own small group but even between the groups of the Contrite there is a certain amount of suspicion. Your ideas are likely to be inherently odd and your goals strange and unusual and not always compatible with others.
  • You want to play a leader of men - All cults are led by charismatic leaders. Some leaders believe the words they guide their flock with, others see them merely as a way of deceiving a large number of apparently gullible people.

How Powerful are you in the Contrite?

The Contrite, although not a large organised faction, do contain many smaller cults and groupings. You are most likely the leader of one of the small or medium sized cults or the power behind the throne if you so desire. Perhaps you're a member of one of the much larger cults, respected by its leader and on your way up the ranks, able to throw your influence around and get what you want. Belief is a strange thing however and a devoted loyal member can be accused of heresy so easily and the favoured can topple as easily as the rain falls from the sky if you're too slow to take care of the next up and coming acolyte eager to take your place.

Known cults and groups:

A selection of some of the larger and more talked about cults - this is by no means a comprehensive list but does include those which are most well known by the general populous.

The Remorseful Numen of Penance:

Currently popular is the cult that has grown around The Remorseful Numen of Penance. Its teachings hold that the city is a prison for those marked for their wickedness. Only when the citizens have paid for their past crimes, and the city is pure, will they be free to walk the multiverse once more.

Currently, the cult is undergoing something of a schism between those who hold that salvation will come through good deeds, and those who believe that the slaughter of the city’s most wicked, combined with much self flagellation will lead to freedom.

The Ever Falling Sky:

They believe that the world is cracking beyond the clouds that are forever covering the sky and its only a matter of time before it all breaks and comes crashing down on those below. Members of the cult vary from fatalistic (there’s nothing we can do! We’re all doomed!), hedonistic (there’s nothing we can do! We might as well enjoy ourselves!) to the proactive (right! We need to get up there and fix this!). Those that aren’t fatalistic tend to interact well with others either socialites or inventors depending on whether they’re seeking pleasure or solutions.

The Legion of the Inevitable Ascension

They are waiting for their god to arrive. They were sent before him to the city to prepare the way and currently they’re at a point where the way is almost clear – and they’re starting to think that to get any further they need more guidance and are trying to think of a way to hurry up their God’s arrival.

The Hidden Eye:

They believe they’re being watched and judged and that they must appease whatever it is that watches them. Suffice to say that there are a few different ideas of what it is that watches tem including one group who say they’ve seen the watcher with their own eyes.

Followers of Marekhma:

A small group of followers who wear black robes and meet in dark basements to worship at the feet of a statue that has far too many limbs and tentacles than is decent. They also meeting up for afternoon tea and cake once a week on Fridays.

Cult of Flowers:

For some reason this group is obsessed with finding flowers around the city and then defending them jealously and vehemently. If they get the opportunity they will try and plant flowers around the city anywhere they can.

Their goals seem innocuous enough however when perused with too much zeal they have been known to resort to deadly force to gain and defend that which they seek. Usually they are ignored but many are wary of a group that dedicates so much to apparently so little.

Hospice of the Sunset:

A charitable organization and a relative ray of sunshine compared to many other groups. They let anyone through their doors, will offer medical aid and shelter for the night and accept as little or much as others are willing to offer. They’re not always the best equipped but have survived this long because they are useful and have a number of powerful patrons who would object to any large scale interference with them.

They worship the Twins of the Veil, a brother and sister usually depicted as being fairly androgynous. They are occasionally seen in the halls of the hospice – usually late at night – and they are said to have healing hands. They usually keep themselves to themselves however and sightings are rare, mostly they act through the hospice.

The twins are gods and maintain their power through maintaining the air of mystery surrounding them. The awe inspired by the gaps being more than if everything was known about them. They are also vaguely parasitic (due to an attack/curse placed on them before they were banished here) and occasionally need to feed off living creatures. However in a hospice people do sometimes die and they have so far managed to evade detection.

The Quarter of the Iron Bells

The Contrite hold a swathe of the city in which they have their temples and halls and other lodgings. The state of these buildings varies from impressive stone buildings to wooden shacks. It is a veritable labyrinth of roads and alley ways where it is easy for the unwary to get lost and it has more than its fair share of shadows. This is not helped by an unnatural darkness that is located towards the north of the district along the canal and on the border with the Union and is generally considered to be one of the most dangerous parts of the City.

Many of the buildings across the district contain large cast iron bells which the cults use to proclaim their messages (as mixes as they are across the different cults) across the the city. It is for this reason that the quarter gained its name.

the_contrite.txt · Last modified: 2011/09/30 23:03 by elliew
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