The villain in A Darkness at Summerfort is a sect of the Cult of Blood. No secret there. But who are they? Why are they so ominously named? I’ll tell you.
In an earlier age of the world, there were four Lords of the Underworld. These dark gods had risen from the ranks of the first Dragons and gained power immeasurable. Each of them had their own goals and ambitions, but of all of them, one in particular was obsessed with destruction above all else. Calan, as he was named in the human tongue, sought the thrill of battle and felt a rush of pleasure with every life he ended. Even the other Lords of the Underworld grew uneasy with his obsession with destruction.
Ultimately, it was one of the three Prime Goddesses, those who had created reality itself, that destroyed Calan and scattered his ashes across the face of Eiridia. However, death is rarely a permanent condition among gods. While alive, Calan had gathered a twisting following of mortals. After his death, these mortals made it their mission to resurrect Calan and, in so doing, bring about the end of the world.
Over the past several millennia, this cult has slowly but steadily grown. Its adherents have their reasons for pursuing such a dreadful goal. Some believe that the end of the world will mark a new beginning. Others simply believe that the world, in its state of fear, hate, and war, should be destroyed and not rebuilt. Whatever their beliefs, members of the Cult of Blood are dedicated to their cause with every fiber of their being, and they will not waver from their course.
The cult has many names. It is most commonly known as the Cult of Blood. Members in the southern parts of Galtharion refer to it as the Order Sanguine. In the northern wastes, it is called the Tribe of the Destroyer. In Khathana, where the cult is only beginning to appear, it is the Brotherhood of Renewal.
Regardless of what it is called, it is known and feared in all parts of the world. In areas where there are strong authorities, its members are mercilessly hunted down and executed. In Nardora, where the Brotherhood of Light is the ruling power, any discovered members of the cult are flayed alive and their corpses put on display in public centers. In the darker parts of the world, however, the cult has sometimes become a rallying force, and through its efforts made life more bearable for those who submit to it. It is in such places that the cult is growing fastest.
In its places of power, the Cult of Blood has been collecting the remnants of Calan over the past ages. Calan’s ashes, scattered after his destruction, remained possessed of certain powers. The more ashes that gathered in one place, the greater their power. Over time, these ashes have been collected and incorporated into the construction of mystical artifacts. Some of these artifacts have so much of Calan’s ashes that they have gained a rudimentary sentience of their own, and they radiate evil energy to anyone sensitive to it. The most prominent of these are the Sword of the Destroyer, the Faceless Automaton, and the Book of Seven Truths. Each of these will be addressed in the Eiridia core book, due out in mid 2013. Suffice it to say, anyone who comes across any of them will find his destiny forever changed.
In the case of Summerfort, the Cult of Blood’s aims are unknown. They have only recently appeared in the area, but their persistence in recruiting is worrisome. What have they discovered that has them appearing in such numbers so quickly? What power could possibly be drawing them here?
You’ll have to get the adventure to find out!