Cultists come from all walks of life and have different motivations for belonging to a secret society bent on regional or world domination…or destruction. Many cultists maintain a façade of normality, allowing them to hide among an unsuspecting society; others are far too deranged or dangerous to escape notice.
Use the table below, to determine the cultists the PCs may encounter in their adventures:
- Tanathrax: A tiefling with red scales, slightly glowing amber eyes and a stubby tail, Tanathrax is convinced he comes from a draconic, rather than fiendish, bloodline. She involves herself in the cult as an enforcer, but intends to subvert its goals to suit an ancient red dragon who has no idea Tanathrax exists.
- Pendrake Abrogast: This rakish blond haired, blue eyed noble enjoys the benefits of his conventional good looks. He is known for his dalliances with all genders and debauched parties he throws at his estate. During days when he “nurses a hangover,” he actually participates in cult rituals, usually with the same people he partied with the night before. He believes the titled shall inherit the world and looks forward to the total subjugation or annihilation of the lesser folk (except those required to serve him).
- Nelva and Quentin Indra: This affable halfling couple once adventured together, but retired to open their general goods store. The grey-haired shop owners get to know everyone in their store and have remarkably keen recollections for names and faces. They are astute observers and keep an eye out for potential victims or recruits.
- Valdrin Boke: Valdrin has dirty blond hair and scars crisscross his body, but his face is injury-free. He wields a pair of daggers named after lesser beings associated with the cult, and uses them for murders committed in the cult’s name. The cult keeps him on a tight leash, but ocassionally he escapes—or is released—to carry out his “sacred” duty.
- Felice Granger: Felice has dark brown hair that turns bright red when she engages in her favourite activity: arson. She believes she can conjure forth actual hellfire. She has shown a surprising, yet unreliable, ability to start fires with a thought, which she believes comes from her invisible guardian devils.
- Pastoran Fenn: Pastoran is a softly-spoken gnome cleric with a warm personality. He wears no holy symbol, claiming he is a servant of the people rather than some unseen deity. He enjoys spreading hope only to see it crushed afterwards and often convinces seriously ill or near-dead people to take their lives while he watches.
- Odette Varyan: Odette, a human woman with dark brown skin, lived a sheltered life, overprotected by her father and older brothers and resented it. However, when she found her purpose in the cult, she realized she could use her perceived helplessness to her advantage. She pretends someone is following her or targeting her to lure unwitting protectors to their dooms.
- Ghena Haroth: This female half-orc paladin serves in an organization with nobler goals than many cults, but the tyrannical regime she seeks to subvert refers to it as a cult. She is gruff and slow to make friends, partially out of distrust and partially out of knowledge that her comrades have short lifespans. She often makes difficult decisions about peoples’ lives, causing her to seek atonement for her actions on a regular basis.
- Mervynne the Prognosticator: Mervynne is a human man with tight, curly hair who makes a living as a fortune teller. While many of his fortunes are part of a convincing act, the proceeds from which fill the cult’s coffers, he has some powers of divination. Specifically, he seems to be able to identify people whose paths intersect with the cult’s plans.
- Tessa: This half-elf woman leads the Twilight Performers, a carnival troupe, and she is the resident “beast tamer.” She often gains the trust of settlement leaders by stopping a rampaging monster—typically one she releases herself, but she does not pass up a convenient opportunity. She is never without her collection of whips.
This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.
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Mike Welham been gaming off-and-on for over 30 years but only recently gave back to his beloved hobby. He won Paizo’s RPG Superstar contest in 2012 and has freelanced for Kobold Press, Paizo, Rite Publishing and, delightedly, Raging Swan Press. Mike lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with his ever-patient wife, a puggle, too many cats, and a turtle. He believes the solution to his current empty nest syndrome is to allow more creatures of his imagination to make themselves at home. Many of his monster creations appear on a friend’s blog.