Dread Gods

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The Dread Gods are eldritch war deities from a lost antediluvian age that continue to speak to monstrous priests in the current era. Driven from the Celestial Realms after the Sundering War and weakened by the worship of younger gods, they constantly call for sacrifices to keep up their strength and power. In return for the relentless blood tithe, their followers are granted hideous boons. Although they have no missionaries in any conventional sense, they occasionally compel individuals to further their dark agenda. Those who have been touched by their influence, whether by miasmic visions of death or by the violent handiwork of the faithful, are often driven insane. Their priests are either independant witch-doctors calling upon the ancient traditions of their forefathers or members of The Great Hunt, a militant hunting organization.

In a psychological sense, the Dread Gods represent the primal urges and instincts that cause an individual to kill. Each of them holds domain over certain aspects of The Great Hunt, and they are glorified by the various Sacred Orders of the Sun. The words spoken through their prophets are recorded in the Dread Verse.

Contents

The Dogma of Blood and a Creation Myth

"Before Tiamat was split to form the earth, before the sun scorched the wastes, before the genesis of the lesser races, there was a time of monsters and Gods. The Dread Gods are the few who survived the war in the stars, just as the monsters living today owe their ancestry to the violent genocides of our early history." - Yaga Xoshawv

The Tradition of Miasma teaches that before the current era of the lesser races, the world was a primeval place of death, violence, and revelry. The Old Ones, the first of the divine beings, had a loose and shifting pantheon of chaotic entities and the Celestial Realm was in pandemonium. At this time, the lesser races (elves, men, dwarves, etc.) were subservient to the monstrous races (trolls, orcs, goblins, etc.) that used them for fodder and sport. Women used men to satiate their lusts, to build their arching cities, and to solve their petty conflicts. This is the Natural Way, according to the cultists.

The greatest of the Old Ones were the deities Tiamat, Kingu, and Leviathan. Tiamat was the weaver of reality, continually shifting perception and disrupting the physical laws. Kingu, the divine commander, created the first of the mortal races and impulsively brought forth all sorts of strange life into existence. Leviathan was the most terrible, swallowing whole planes of existence as an afterthought. Life was nasty, brutish, and short.

Then, without warning, the Old Ones were no more. The Celestial Realm was void of chaos and existence had been chained to order and regulation. Tiamat was split asunder: her torn flesh became the soil and her bones the mountains; her demonic blood soaked the river beds and her vicious mind became the clouds. Kingu was wrought, and the vita that spilled from him became the known forms of life. Leviathan was the last slain, and the total of her energy became the psychic force of life. In this way, they live on in the combined creation made from them.

The only Old Ones to survive the Sundering War were the Dread Gods: masters of carnage and killing. They fled from the Celestial Realms severely weakened, taking refuge in the torpor of the Miasma. To keep hidden, they have a multitude of forms and avatars, the most common being their wild and warrior shapes. While their worship has been driven to the fringe of religious activity, their insidious power still permeates the domains of reality they rule and is harnessed by those who survive the brutal initiations of their cults.



Apep

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Apep rules over the dark side of the mind, a being of hate, fear, and anger. He is the vengeful spirit of cruelty, the irrational rage of a blood-feud, and the cold stab of terror in the night. His is the mechanical mind of the calculating serial killer, clouded by senselessness and tranquil in madness. He seeks the destruction of civilization and the obliteration of tame society. He kills because he can.

The Temple of the Toxic Lord exists in the stillness of the corpses of the dead, the eerie chill of silence after a great battle. The cultists of Apep are prone to imbibing heavily before and after a day of fighting, using the torpor granted to fuel their murderous calm. They are granted a singular focus in combat and an unfeeling disposition, often sustaining massive wounds without noticing. His dogma appeals to Gnoll priests, whose ill-tempered dispositions are already well suited to his purpose.

Path:

Order of the Willow, Order of the Holly, Order of the Hazel, Butcher Merit, Berserk Merit, Trial of Fire, Trial of Earth

Style of Choice: Double Blues

Fenris

Blackbeast.jpg

Fenris rules the baser instincts and the cunning genius, the hunger behind the teeth and the brilliance of extermination. It is the determination of the hardened hunter, void of doubt. Its methodical path is one of the perfection of adaptability, quietly vicious in its rabid pursuit of any weakness. It kills to serve its own desires.

The Temple of the Black Beast dwells in the tension before a strike and the preparation for conflict. The cultists of the Great Black train rigorously amongst their own, using whatever means available to strengthen themselves and chase excellence. Thusly, these cultists are especially active in The Great Hunt. They are granted the advantage of ability and a nearly psychic foresight, feeling very much at home in the haze of battle. Its dogma appeals to Trolls, and their bodies are covered in the scars from diligent practice of the warrior’s art.

Path:

Order of the Elm, Order of the Hawthorne, Order of the Ivy, Breaker Merit, Fiend Merit, Trial of Water, Trial of Metal

Style of Choice: Red

Kali

Kali.jpg

Kali rules the subtlety of the shadows and the shine of a keen blade pressing against unsuspecting flesh. She is the grin that haunts the night, snuffing the mortal coil of the unwary or unlucky. Her field of expertise is in the killing blow, the release of life from its shabby cell. She observes the release of life with ecstasy and beholds the sight of gore as an intoxicant. She kills for the sheer pleasure.

The Temple of the Wretched is carried on the death rattle of the dying and rush of excitement in psychotic frenzy. Cultists of Kali take the profession of the assassin as an act of worship, delighted by the excuse to indulge in their foul addiction. They use the blood of their victims to make prophecy and take it in a tincture to fend off exhaustion, staying up for days. Her doctrine draws shapeshifters, goblins,and those who humour their obscene appetites in obscurity.

Path:

The Clergy, Order of the Ash, Order of the Vine, Order of the Alder, Sniper Merit, Sneak Merit, Trial of Air

Style of Choice: Archery

Ares

Crimsonking.jpg

Ares rules the splendour of supremacy and the will to dominance. He is the prideful boasting of the champion and the provocation in a leering taunt. His is the force of bravado carried by talent. Often wrongly interpreted as a god of a lesser race, he is the only Dread God to continue being worshipped in common society, his allure is so strong. He kills to prove his absolute authority and exhibit his skill.

The Temple of the Crimson King lies in the ballads of the victors and in the grand plans of conquest by mighty generals. The cultists of Ares array themselves for every available battle, for songs are not sung of warriors who slept in. They are especially blessed on the field with an abundance of glory, either in triumph or in death. All monstrous and lesser races crave his favour, though few are worthy.

Path:

Order of the Oak, Order of the Birch, Order of the Rowan, Order of the Reed, Order of the Elder, Brute Merit, Trial of Branch

Style of Choice: Spear or Sword and Shield

Blood Harvest 2013

Apep: Angyz, Zuloo, Maveryk, Ryke, Spark, Sethra, Iago, Feng

Fenris: Hakan, Tethian, Theadric Thumbs, Dyre, Grekk, Horati, McGee, Alister

Kali: Turkeyfeathers, Todo, Everand, Ashii, Naga, Dickie, Mutton

Ares: Malark, Valas, Ketetsu, Sluj, Edmond, Oni, Beatrix, Divit


Blood Harvest 2014

As witnessed by Warden Thumbs and Hunter TF, rolled by Yaga Malark

Kali: Malark, Dickie, Tethian, Spark, Iago, Grekk, Edmond, Oni, Divit, Sleuth, Marrick, Par, Rheel, Seraphim, Cyprus

Ares: Dyre, Thumbs, Everand, Mutton, Sethra, Valas, Horati, Beatrix, Feng, Soo Ma Tai, Ryuuko, Nemo, Stephie, Ike

Apep: TF, Alister, Todo, Zuloo, Ryke, Naga, Sluj, Arrow, Kord, Rem DeLavan, Tious Rhaal, Jocob, Badrick

Fenris: Hakan, Diomedes, Angus, Mavryk, Ashii, Ketetsu, McGee, Lmfao, Kuma, Eberik, Zane, TNK, Tiberious, Marth

Blood Harvest 2015

Apep: Malark, Halladin, Dymphna, Irad, Gekko, Valentine, TNK, Tious Rhal, Kuma, Ryuuko, Kord, Sleuthe, Alister, Oni, McGee, Dyre, Ryke, Everand, Hakan, Taco, Talentless, Drakken, Shinji, Trunks, Mircea, Raven

Fenris: Adder, Shiro, Arshank, Tandaar, Talon, Ogur, Ike, Marth, Rheel, Marrick, Divit, Edmond, Thumbs, Mutton, Naga, Tethian, Angyz, Star Vera, Embara, Griff, Populus, Sveinn, Ragnus, Priest, Gunther, Crohker

Kali: Krieger, Kaze, Mercer, Kaji, Finn, Cyprus, Stephie, Tiberious, Zane, Rem, Valas, Iago, Sethra, Spark, Dickie, Mavryk, Zuloo, Todo, Steele, Merkin, Lillith, Breeder, Nickel, Rashi, Phoenix, Fangore

Ares: Par, Grizzly, Bardus, Rigtaugh, Blackwell, Erasmus, Silo, Dio, Badrick, Limfao, Arrow, Feng, Horati, Ketetsu, Grekk, Ashii, Turkeyfeathers, Skeletor, Kai, Zavolf, Melee Moses, Shuri, Laelo, Rayne, Crixus

Becoming a God

Once a cultist achieves the rank of Feral, they are permitted to choose which of the Dread Gods they follow. This determines the challenges they will face on their path to divinity. A cultist may change their God only if they fail along the Path and must start over.

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Servant: As a servant, the task set before the Feral is to attain the rank of Sage in the Sacred Orders that their chosen deity rules over. They also must attain Class V in associated Merits. The Feral never loses the glory they gain at this stage. Once they complete this stage, they advance to Soldier.

Apep- Willow, Holly Hazel, Butcher and Berserk Merits

Fenris- Elm Hawthorne, Ivy, Breaker and Fiend Merits

Kali- Ash, Vine, Alder, Sneak and Sniper Merits

Ares- Oak, Birch, Rowan, Reed, Elder, Brute Merit

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Soldier: As a soldier, the Feral must complete their Epic Merits and Ordeals. These are specific to the Merits and Trials ruled over by their chosen god. If the Feral should fail in their attempt, they lose all progress beyond Servant. Once the Feral completes this stage, they advance to Favored.

Epic Merits are done at a National Event and require a dedicated Clergy member to observe. It is declared beforehand that the Feral is attempting their Epic Merit. For a period of two hours (not including water breaks and time between matches) the Feral must maintain an average of the Class II of that Merit.

  • SPECIAL*: For the Berserk Epic Merit, the Feral must intentionally wound themselves at the beginning of every battle.
  • SPECIAL*: For the Fiend Epic Merit, the presiding Clergy holds an open barrel where the Feral must meet all comers 2v1 for two hours. The Feral must win a majority (51%) of the matches in this hour. They are permitted water breaks, but the clock stops during that time

Ordeals are an amped up version of the Trials associated with a given god. They are identical to the Trial in the powers granted to the Feral and the handicaps to the Savants; however the number of Savants is doubled. An Ordeal can be undertaken at a National Event or as its own event, whatever is easier for those participating.

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Favored: As Favored of their chosen god, the Feral is required to construct a kit emulating their deity (complete with weapons, garb, and armour) and to undergo a Rite specific to their god. If the Feral fails the Rite, they lose all progress beyond Servant. Once they complete their kit and the Rite, the Feral advances to become an Avatar.

Rite of Vigilance (Apep): The Feral assembles the required force at an event, their residence, or takes them on a camping trip. Each participant prepares three challenges that they screen with the presiding Clergy and Feral beforehand. Starting when the Feral choses, the Clergy takes all challenges from the participants and issues them once an hour to the Feral over a 24 hour period. Day time challenges should be fighting related, preferably various Trials or Duels, but can also include feats of physical prowess. Night challenges should be creative and can include things like card/board games, drinking games, etc. The Feral must succeed at 13 of the 24 challenges and stay up for the full 24 hours.

Rite of Power (Fenris): The Feral assembles the required force at an event, their residence, or takes them on a camping trip. The Feral then engages in a ladder barrel with the participants, starting with the least advanced, going in order of rank, and ending with the most advanced. The Feral matches styles with their opponent. They may take as much time as they wish between matches, within reason. They get five attempts. It must be done over the course of an event or weekend

Rite of Slaughter (Kali): The Feral declares that they are taking this Rite before an event and assembles their List in secret, sharing it only with their presiding Clergy. By the end of the event, the Feral must have assassinated every Hunt member on their list. To do so, they may use stealth, poison (in the form of a sticker on a food/drink vessel), or direct combat. They are allowed to have body guards, but must do the killing themselves. If they die during an attempted assassination, they fail the Rite. Hunt members are not allowed to go out of their way to kill the Feral without cause. Their marks must report to the presiding Clergy the manner in which they were dispatched.

Rite of Conquest (Ares): The Feral must travel to nine separate realms and challenge the highest ranked member of the Hunt to a Duel Detande of their choice; the local Clergy presides. If the Hunt has no presence in that realm, the Feral instead challenges a skilled fighter and must bring along a Clergy member to preside. The Feral must win all attempts to pass this Rite.

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Avatar: After passing their Rite, the Feral retains the position of Avatar as long as they go undefeated. There can only be one Avatar of each god. If two Ferals have passed their Rite, they must fight a General Duel Detande (best of 5 fights) in using their their god’s chosen style (Single blue or Florentine for Apep; Red or Polearm for Fenris; Archery or Daggers for Kali; Spear or Blue and Shield for Ares). This is done in the full armour that the Feral already constructed. The Feral who reached Avatar first picks which of the two styles they will Duel in. The loser of this Duel loses all advancement beyond Servant.

If a Feral maintains the position of Avatar for five years or beats five challengers, they become their own god. This means that they get to incorporate a god of their choice or creation into the Lore of the Hunt. They may choose what Trials, Degrees, and Merits their god presides over from the existing ones. They will invent their own Rite for that god. They may no longer be challenged for their position, for they have become a god themselves.

Alternatively, a Feral may become a god if they serve as the Avatar of all existing gods.

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Deity: Once a Primal has passed the stage of Avatar, they become a Deity. They will write flavor text for the wiki page, matching the pattern for existing gods. They may either choose their own name to add to the pantheon or one from a god of their choosing. When selecting their portfolio, they may choose seven of the following:

Clergy (either a specific position or General)

Any Trial they have taken, officiated, and been a Savant for

Any Merit with five ranks earned

Any Degree with Sage earned

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