Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Cacodemon

Mythos and History
Cacodemon is the secret heart of the Devil, the fragment of his spirit which he kept secreted away while he fought the petty gods of man, troll and beast. When the combined forces of the foolish gods crushed the Devil beneath the last piece of law, Cacodemon awoke, and went forth to carry out his father's goal of destroying Glorantha.
As the last remnant of the Devil, Cacodemon was cautious, ever aware that if he was destroyed, then the Devil and his duty would go unfulfilled, and so Cacodemon kept to the shadows, around the fringes, for if people recognised it for what it was they would destroy it.
Cacodemon often went amongst humans in the guise of a man, finding some isolated tribe and sending them into destruction, but his goals changed when he found a small clan of humans, who offered him food and shelter, but then turned on him with their knives.
Revealing himself in his foul fullness, the humans fell to the ground in worship. They begged his forgiveness, for they thought he was another wandering victim, one of the "food in the shape of men" they fed upon. They showed him they were the last true humans left, and begged him for his aid, and Cacodemon was moved by their abomination, and taught them how to feed on the food-men, and how to survive the coming world.
When the sun rose once more, the true humans went out as families and as individuals, to live amongst the ignorant masses of the world, and to feed on them in secret as the first ogres.

Nature of the Cult

Cacodemon is the patron of the ogres and other foul beings who prey upon their own kind as the wolf preys upon the hare. In return the ogres act as his hands and eyes within the world, and gradually corrupt and blight the world towards Cacodemon's purposes.
The cult is widespread, found wherever ogres are, but is never very large or powerful. Cacodemon offers his worshippers no afterlife, and most are simply bound into slavery by their living kin to act as ghouls or other spirits, while their dead flesh nourishes the next generation of ogres.

Depiction
Cacodemon is rarely pictured the same way twice, however many features are common, including wings, beweaponed limbs or tails, and a bestial head bearing many horns.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Cacodemon has many enemies, and no friends. Even the other Chaos gods and spirits he merely views as rivals and allies of convenience. He directs most of his ire at anti-Chaos cults, especially Storm Bull and Zorak Zoran who have long preyed upon his chosen people.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
The cult has only the bare minimum of a hierarchy, with each band of ogres acting more like an extended family than a proper cult. Of course like any family, they are often riddled with feuds and rivalries, and ogres fear no kinstrife. The only authority the ogres recognise is that of the Talon of Cacodemon, who can commune with their lord, and binds and controls the family's ancestors.
Each family knows at least one holy place, those areas where Cacodemon has tainted by his presence, often a small grove in a nearby forest, a deep and isolated cave, or a bloodstained altar-stone on the bank of a treacherous river. Nomadic ogres often know many such places along their favoured routes.

Holy Days
Cacodemon lacks any holy days, for his worshippers worship whenever and wherever is convenient, although when a worship site is in use, the Talon will often declare a day to be holy, based on his own preferences and desires.

The Cacodemon Tradition
  • Cacodemon accepts worshippers from any race or culture, although he favours the ogres most of all. Anyone wishing to join the tradition must partake of a communal cannibalistic feast along-side other members of the tradition. This serves to unite them all in common purpose, as well as tainting the spirits of new members, preventing them from easily leaving the tradition.
  • For game purposes, any hero may join the Cacodemon Tradition, gaining it as a Keyword with a rating of 17 and gain a number of charms within it, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (pg 112)

The Cacodemon Spirit Society
While anyone can join the Cacodemon Tradition, not everyone becomes initiated to its higher mysteries, not even amongst ogres. Those who do wish to partake of these mysteries must first have a rating in their Cacodemon Tradition of 1w or higher then petition their Talon to join the Cacodemon Spirit Society, granting them access to the following spirits:

False Face. Made from the tortured spirits of ogre's victim bound into a leather mask formed from their face, these grisly charms provide the ability to Impersonate Human. The taboo of this charm is Never Use Your Birth Name.

Feasters on the Dead. These spirits are the ghosts of dead ogres. Cacodemon cultists summon these ancestors to inhabit a dead body, making it rise once more as a walking corpse which craves the flesh of man as much as the ogre did in life. These spirits provide charms to Create Ghoul. The taboo of this charm is Feed Ghoul at Least Once a Week.

Guise of Innocence. To form this charm the heart of an uninitiated child is salted and dried until it has shrivelled to the size of a nut, the child's spirit within provides charms to Avoid Magical Detection to its master. The taboo of this charm is Never Speak a Child's Name.

Unclean Soul. The chaotic spirit of a gorp lies within the gullet of the ogre, enabling them to Vomit Acid as a charm. The taboo of this charm is Eat Only Meat.


Talons - Cacodemon Shamans
  • After many years of service, tribute, and much bowing and scraping to the local Talon; a member of the Cacodemon Tradition with a rating of 11w or greater may undergo training to become a Talon, a shaman of Cacodemon.
  • They are led to the nearest active holy-place to Cacodemon, and there the Talon summons the ancestors of the prospective shaman and binds them into a monstrous spirit known as a Fiend. When the Talon leaves, the Fiend attacks their descendant attempting to seize his body for themselves. The fight lasts until the prospective shaman has beaten the Fiend into submission (as a major plot obstacle), or they themselves are torn apart by the component spirits of the Fiend.

The Fetch (Fiends)
Fiends are gestalt entities, the result of a hundred ogre ancestors bound into a single form, and resembling the many and varied depictions of Cacodemon itself, often appearing radically different each time they are summoned.
The Fiend performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114), but may embody itself in a specially prepared vessel, such as a gorp or bound human. The Fiend can be treated as a sidekick in this form, and has access to all the charms the Talon does.

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