Cults, Organisations & Gatherings of Dárdünah

      Cults, Organisations & Gatherings of Dárdünah

      Everyone knows of riveting tales based around the heinous doings of mysterious, wicked cults or the clandestine machinations of secretive organizations!
      Groups like these are always are a great way to put an interesting spin on your campaign!
      You could have your players fear them, battle them or even join them!
      And there are many more possibilities!

      Let's use this thread to present our own ideas for such gatherings, may they be evil, acting in the interest of the greater good, or just a mundane club (or is it?).

      Ideas & Their Symbols that I post are of course free to use and modify for your own campaign/background story/etc.
      Please note if you want others to use your contributions! :)

      As an added bonus, if I like your contribution I might make you a snazzy cult symbol! :D

      The Sleepers in the Lily Field (Minor Cult)
      The cult was founded 120 years ago by Lüqihan (Sarpah/Agama) of the now disbanded House Küglin.
      While peacefully dozing after dawn in a beautiful field of purple monlush lilies, which they claim are the favorite flower of Vavi'il, a local devah of gardening and storytelling (said to be a daughter of Krilárah), he claimed that one of the petite flowers supposedly leaned over and whispered in his ear great wisdom and prophecies of things to come.
      Too foolish he was to believe them, but soon was proven wrong by a series of fateful events that the flowers had prophesied him and only because of these foretelling he was able to survive.
      In order to honor this mysterious little flower, he began to spread his story, and soon had founded a obscure little following that, as he sadly departed soon after, outlived him for so many years. It is a curious fact that many sleepers don't reach old age. The Sleepers' followers all keep at least one monlush lily in their quarters, sometimes an entire flower bed.

      Cult Symbol - A monlush lily

      - The cult is in harmony with Mahism
      - Mahists do not regard this cult as dangerous.

      Their Dark Secrets:
      - The Monlush Lily nectar attracts the Sheshel Bug, which is a tiny, night-active type of suthra that emits poison spores which have slight psychoactive effects and weaken the immune system.

      Watchers of Grey (Cult)
      The Watchers of Grey are a Mahist cult that believes in the dark souls of the three aborted daughters of Amasurah:
      Signah (Darkness), Muira (War) and Lothel (Death).

      These three, the Daughters of Grey are prophesized to return to this world in the form of mundane janah, reclaim the power of their dark ancestry and follow through with their mother's dastardly plan.
      The cult followers try to hinder these dark spawns of Amasurah from ever returning by murdering newborn girls according to a set of teachings, supposedly handed down by the devah themselves.

      Cult Symbol - The Mark of Grey

      - The cult is not respected by the Mahist community as whole, but has some secret endorsers.
      - Mahists regard this cult as very dangerous.

      Their Dark Secrets:
      - The Watchers of Grey are responsible for many gruesome massacres and assassinations of newborn girls.
      - It is said that they have a political agenda.

      The Inspired Society (Group)
      A loose collective of renowned geniuses all around Dárdünah, who keep in contact to compare their work, collaborate on grand projects and muse about recent going-ons. Their ranks include architects, engineers, poets, historians, mathematicians and many more gifted artisans. To be invited into their group is considered a great honor and only happens to those who can attract their attention with mentionable accomplishments.
      Shunned by some as an arrogant clique of eccentrics, members of this group has also been accused of plotting against the interest of their respective nations. In effect, participating in this group is considered illegal in some areas of Dárdünah.

      - The group has some enemies.
      - Several Nations & Religions of Dárdünah are wary of this group.

      Their Dark Secrets:
      - Despite denying it constantly, the Inspired Society does have an agenda of their own, trying to subtly shape the world according to their ideal.
      - They usually outwit their enemies and always have a few backup plans.

      Mideastern Antiquarian Community (Organisation)

      Now is your turn to contribute! Let your imagination run wild! :D

      Post was edited 13 times, last by “Sherbie” ().

      The Keepers of the Veil

      Inspired by the real life Kumari Devi, I came up with a cult that I want to include in my own campaign.

      Do feel free to enjoy and use in your own campaigns if desired.

      The Keepers of the Veil (Minor Cult)

      Symbol: A pair of eyes looking out over the top of a veil.

      Claiming an origin dating back to the birth of the Blessed Twins Aytáhti and Ambhánu, the Keepers of the Veil are a small Mahist sect. Members of the sect believe that the spirit of Krilárah may once again descend from the edge of heaven and imbue the body of a young girl as she is believed by them to have done at the birth of Ambhánu.

      The girl, called Sar’Ambhánu, must meet specific requirements and is chosen by the priests of the sect from amongst a very select pool of Holy Caste candidates.

      First, the girl must be of a young age at the time of her selection. Most Sar’Ambhánu are selected before they are five years old and may only serve as Sar’Ambhánu until they reach the age of puberty.

      Second, the girl must successfully accompany two priests through the Veils of the Dream and correctly identify a series of pre-selected token items from her predecessor. The two priests serve only to aid the girl into the Dream and as witness to correctly identifying the items.

      Thirdly, the girl cannot be Sarpah or Klin, though any other Vajrah or Paksin jenu may be chosen. Special consideration is given to girls with white or pale skin, fur, or feathers, though this is not a specific requirement.

      Life as a Sar’Ambhánu can be both lonely and demanding. The girl is required to keep her face covered in an aqua colored veil at all times while awake. She is also locked away in the cult’s temple most of the time where she is schooled in the magical arts and religious ceremonies of her sect.

      On special occasions and for holy festivals Sar’Ambhánu is permitted out of the temple to be approached by the people. They are allowed to petition the girl for special prayers or favors as well as offer her gifts. It is completely up to Sar’Ambhánu whether she honors anyone’s request or accepts their gifts. This is seen as a blessing or omen of bad luck depending on the outcome.

      Only a small number of approved children from amongst the Holy Caste may socialize or play with Sar’Ambhánu under the ever watchful eyes of the sect priests. Likewise, a very limited number of adults are ever permitted to be in direct contact with Sar’Ambhánu, though they may be from every Caste except the Outcaste. (Even Sar’Ambhánu need servants!)

      When a girl reaches puberty and is no longer serving as Sar’Ambhánu, she regains her former name and is free to live how she chooses, within the constraints of her caste and society. Many are asked to serve in noble houses as Sadhu.

      - The cult is in harmony with Mahism
      - Mahists do not regard this cult as dangerous.

      Their Dark Secrets:
      - As the cult spread from its original home in Bakári, more than one Sar’Ambhánu has been chosen to appease the devout in more distant regions. There are currently three girls serving as Sar’Ambhánu in Bakári, Gilárhi, and Sustrüm.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Targath” ().

      RE: The Keepers of the Veil

      That is a very interesting cult!
      Does the Sar’Ambhánu have actual reign over the cult, or does she only serve as a symbol?

      Either way, I can imagine her good education and high responsibility to extinguish childish traits fast and form her into a very old, wise and mysterious soul. A childlike empress, if you will!

      Ensuring the safety of this sacred person could be dangerous, and carrying out her will could leave you down mysterious paths...

      Skirting the belief that she could indeed be imbued with holy essence of Klilarah by giving her curious knowledge and insights, but leaving the truth unexplained also makes for an NPC that will leave quite an impression on players!


      RE: The Keepers of the Veil

      Originally posted by Sherbie

      Does the Sar’Ambhánu have actual reign over the cult, or does she only serve as a symbol?

      Ah, that I will leave up to individual GMs, though if you want to be more in line with a real life Kumari, she is really just a figure of sorts... though the truly devout do not believe this. (Kumari seem to live a rather humdrum life here on Earth. They are really more a prisoner to their religion than an actual goddess. I suggest reading up on the Kumari for more details.)

      However, if a GM does wish to give the Sar’Ambhánu in their campaign some power, they may wish to pattern them more along the lines of a young Dalai Lama. Surely the devout will worship Sar’Ambhánu and follow her teachings, but there is likely to be more aged or learned priests guiding the Sar’Ambhánu's decisions until she is deemed old enough (or wise enough) to do so on her own.

      Another way to work this in is to have one of the three Sar’Ambhánu refuse to give up her position when she reaches puberty by claiming to actually be Krilárah in the flesh. This could tend to sway the cult into more of a threat for other Mahist faithful as the act could be seen as heresy. It would also likely cause some political upheaval in the country of origin as the ruling house now has to compete with someone claiming to be one of the Devah in the flesh.

      I'm glad you liked this idea. I have a few ideas on how to incorporate the cult directly into an adventure or two within a campaign and thought others might find it useful too.

      More inspiration from the Real World

      It is amazing what inspiration you can get for game ideas from the real world. I mean, you just can't make this stuff up sometimes...

      BEIJING (AP) — China accused the Dalai Lama of being deceitful Monday after he reportedly alleged that Chinese agents trained Tibetan women to assassinate him by planting poison in their hair for him to touch during blessings.

      I can just imagine some clandestine group of assassins or perhaps even the ruling house in the above situation with the Keepers of the Veil trying this very thing to get rid of a Holy Caste member who is in opposition to them or their plans.

      RE: Cults, Organisations & Gatherings of Dárdünah

      I am creating a supplement for Dárdünah that introduces the idea of the Jianghu as an undercurrent or subculture of Shard's prevailing society.

      This opens up a kind of character archetype of the Youxia, or Martial Arts Adventurer, for play in the Campaign Setting. It also gives players, possibly new to RPG's some behavioral guidelines for what motivates their character and what in-game action their persona would and would not undertake in the traditional Code of Xia.

      The reason that I bring this up here is that the Wulin is comprised of many secret societies typically referred to as "Sects". These organizations of janah strive for their own goals and ends, each choosing different means to the end and philosophies as to why they act.

      Any fan of Kung Fu movies is bound to have seen references to these Sects in films before. Some famous examples include :

      The Wudang Sect also called the Wu-Tang Clan

      The Beggar's Sect

      The Shaolin Sect

      and the Ming Cult , Emei Sect, Kunlun Sect, and Kongtong Sect

      A complete list of the many Sects can be found on Wikipedia here:

      And I gotta plug my Shard Fan-site for Wuxia Rules additions, which should soon feature entirely new Essence-based martial arts.
      "Daggra" means "Enemy" in Tibetan.
      "Chora" means "Thief" in Sanskrit.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Ghorüm” ().

      So Sarpah and Klin can't become Sar’Ambhánu but any other species of Vajrah or Paksin can? That would include some very ugly Species like Warthog, Walrus, Vulture etc, etc (A Walrus isn't likely to be living in the places with a Sar’Ambhánu but I find the image of a Walrus Calf being the dolled up Goddess hilarious)