Friday, June 27, 2014

Cults of the Iotar: The Gullet

The Gullet (Iotar)
The Gullet is the Hungry Wolf, the Buried Wolf, the Devourer, Iron-Tooth, the World-Eater, the Sun-Eater, the Maw, Long Tongue, the Lapper. The Gullet gapes so wide that his lower jaw scrapes the earth while his upper jaw scrapes the the sky. He is ravenous. Nothing escapes his hunger. The Maw will devour the world.

Cultists of the Gullet are the teeth and fangs of his Maw. They chew up the world. One day they will have chewed up enough to free him from his bondage beneath the stone that the gods press down upon him to keep him imprisoned.

The cult is spread throughout the north among the Iotar. It is particularly popular in communities that are under threat from the Empire to the south. In these communities, cultists foment rebellion and act as organizers of anti-imperial activities. Cultists also serve communities by tending to the poisoned, the diseased, and the haunted: initiates of the Gullet can devour the evil spirits that cause these maladies. In many communities, followers of the Gullet are called to carry out funerary rites to those who died with unfinished business, in feuds, or in the name of vengeance. In some communities, they conduct the funerary rites for the entire community and care for the sick and wounded.

Common Members

Standard Skills: Endurance, Willpower

Professional Skills: Devotion, Exhort, Folk Magic

Folk Magic: Beastcall (Wolf), Find Haunts and Possessing Spirits, Find Disease Spirits, Mobility, Pathway, Witchsight

Initiates, Acolytes, Heroes and Priests

Initiate Miracles: Berserk, The Guts (Cure Malady, often exhorted while the initiate consumes dangerous foods; cultists also use this to devour disease spirits), Ghost Eater (Lay to Rest, with the spirit wholly destroyed as a result), Howl of the Sun Eater (Fear)

Acolyte Miracles: Beast Form (Dire Wolf), Howl of the Ghost Eater (Exorcism)

Hero/Priest Miracles: Awaken the Gullet (Awaken)

Gifts: Acolytes of the Gullet have consumed so many disease and poison spirits that they gain invulnerability to the effects of disease and poison. They no longer need use their Cure Malady miracle on themselves.

Cult Rites
Typically, awakening the gullet is reserved for major cult festivals or for major insurgent actions deep within Imperial Asturian territory. During major cult festivals, a wolf is brought forth and held down by two strong thralls, typically prisoners of war. If the prisoners can hold down the wolf throughout the ritual, then they will be freed. The miracle of awakening is exhorted, and when the gullet awakens within the wolf, he breaks free, devouring first those who would hold him down and then running amok devouring offerings left by the cultists. A more military use of the ritual of awakening involves the exhortation of the miracle deep within imperial territory. A cultist of the gullet first takes the shape of the wolf. The miracle is then called down and the hungry wolf released upon the imperials, to their great suffering.

Encounters with the Cult of the Gullet
  1. Cultists capturing a wolf for a great ritual
  2. Cultists preparing for a raid on Imperial soldiers
  3. Cultists serving as ghost eaters, laying to rest the haunts in a town
  4. Cultists curing people of a homestead of disease spirits
  5. Characters captured by the cult are chosen to hold down the gullet during the ritual of awakening, or NPC approaches PCs with request to save his/her son who has been taken in war by a cult and is doomed to be devoured by the gullet
  6. Missionaries of the Unconquered Sun are in conflict with a local cult of the Gullet.

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