Jan 23, 2012

Warren of the Leper Queens: The Servants of Acephax

The demon Acephax is known as the Finger-Biter, for he is the servant of the Beast whose purview is leprosy, palsies and gangrene. He was imprisoned long ago in a statue that was buried deep underground. Unknowingly, perhaps even due to his malign influence, the great Leprosarium was built atop the very earth in which he resides. In time, he began summoning the susceptible amongst the many lepers to dig into the earth and uncover him. The Leprosarium has many secret tunnels running underneath it that form the highways of his servants. Now, they seek to summon evil spirits of sickness to infect others to increase Acephax's power. Their secret activity is one of the reasons there are so many lepers despite a (magical) cure existing. The cult evaluates new arrivals to the Leprosarium for suitability, and recruits those it thinks most likely to serve the order. The upper ranks of the cult are entirely female, the Brides of Acephax, and when he emerges to rule the earth they will be the beautiful and feared mothers of daemonic princelings. The Dombatian brotherhood has heard dark rumours of the cult existing, but has not yet managed to find proof of their existence.

Runes:
Chaos, Death

Common Magic:
Bandit's Cloak, Demoralise, Detect Disease, Disruption, Fanaticism, Hand of Death, Protection, Slow

Spirits:
Bane, Curse, Sickness spirits

Myths:
Rise of Acephax (80%) - Behaviours: Spread leprosy and illness; Obey the commands of Acephax; Capture and sacrifice lepers to Acephax

Cult Skills:
Craft (Fetishes), Disguise, First Aid, Lore (Acephax), Resilience, Sing, Spirit Binding, Spirit Walking

Followers:

Lay members - Lay members must be lepers. Most have never heard of Acephax, merely knowing that there are powerful leper queens who run a shadowy underground organisation that they are told serves to find a permanent cure for leprosy.

Cultists - Cultists of Acephax must have five of the cult skills at 30% or greater. They must also be lepers. Followers are aware of the existence of Acephax and gain some idea of his goals. They may be members of either sex.

Devotees - Only women and the sons of Brides may rise to this rank in the cult. Devotees of Finger-Biter must dismember a living leper (usually a non-cult member) and feed the pieces into the great pool of miasma at the heart of the hidden temple of Acephax as proof of their loyalty. They must possess five or more of the cult skills at 50%, two of which must be Spirit Binding and Spirit Walking. They must summon and command a leper spirit as a proof of their competence or they will serve as a sacrifice upon the elevation of another devotee.

Brides of Acephax - The highest level of the cult is composed only of women. They must possess five or more of the cult skills at 85% or higher, two of which must be Spirit Binding and Spirit Walking. They must enter the spirit plane and fornicate with the spirit-form of Acephax, becoming pregnant and giving birth to one of his devil princelings. Brides of Acephax are cured of their leprosy and have any stat loss caused by it restored. They are immune to it in future (save if Acephax withdraws his protection), but still retain the appearance of lepers to non-members of the cult. To members, other lepers, and those with magical vision, they are transformed into inhumanly beautiful versions of the women they once were, often with faint demonic features like a slightly green tint to their skin, or orange irises.