20 Things to Loot from a Dead Cultist

Depraved followers of forbidden or forgotten powers of fell, sinister mien, cultists often collect items of profane significance to their unspeakable practises and services.

By Arthur Rackham

 

Use the table below, to generate the details of such minor items of interest the party find on the body of slain cultists:

  1. A single polished knucklebone wrapped in a scrap of thin, red cloth.
  2. A three-inch high gold statuette depicting the cultist’s fell patron. The statuette is crudely made (or is incredibly old and has become worn and dented through the ages).
  3. This scarp of crumbled parchment bears the name of a half-dozen locals. None are members of the cult; instead this is a list of potential members (or perhaps a list of potential sacrifices).
  4. A broad belt finished with a snarling demon head buckle holds up this cultist’s trousers. The belt has a small secret compartment that would sit in the small of the back of the wearer big enough to hold a small unholy symbol.
  5. This cultist’s cowled cloak is double lined. One one side it is a dull, dreary brown; the inner lining is black. The cowl is particularly capacious.
  6. This curved iron dagger has dried blood on the tip. The cross guard is slightly wobbly and cured leather is wrapped around the weapon’s handle.
  7. This cultist wore a circlet of beaten bronze. The circlet—plainly old—has four empty settings, which clearly once held precious gems or some other form of decoration.
  8. Wrapped in cloth and hidden in a large belt pouch lies a small book. It has a battered, mildewed cover and faded writing. Close examination reveals, it is an unholy prayer book.
  9. A bloody work rag fills this cultist’s pocket. Examination reveals it looks like the rag was recently used to clean a bladed weapon.
  10. This cultist has pierced his nipples (and several other parts of his body). In total he wears six silver piercings. Each is worth 1 gp, but removing them requires them to be cut out.
  11. A plain copper bracelet encircles this cultist’s left wrist. Several small charms—demon heads, claws and other fell things—hang from the bracelet and quietly jangle when moved. The charms are well made—but odious. A dealer in exotic art might pay 10 gp for them.
  12. This cultist’s shirt has a secret hidden compartment on the left side at the waist. Within, perceptive PCs find a scrap of parchment extolling the virtues of the cult’s dark lord and the cultist’s signature under a pledge of allegiance.
  13. Hidden at the bottom of this pouch, in a small semi-hidden pocket is a small golden coin. Practically worn smooth by time, the outline of some elder personality’s profile is just visible on one side.
  14. A slender chain around the cultist’s neck supports a small wooden unholy symbol of the cult’s lord. The cultist’s name is etched on the back of the symbol.
  15. A scrap of parchment filled with deranged ramblings about “the lord’s vengeance”, the “end of all things” and a “blood sacrifice”.
  16. A small sack full of blood-soaked earth destined for the cultist’s garden; he believes using blood-soaked earth gives his crops a “certain taste”.
  17. A vaguely human-shaped fetish comprising pieces of string, hair and straw. (The fetish represents the cultist’s hated neighbour who he has cursed).
  18. A list of the party’s names along with brief descriptions of their appearance and assumed abilities.
  19. A thigh bone wrapped in cloth and crudely etched with a number of deep incisions. The meaning of the plentiful marks is not immediately clear, but could be a count of the number of sacrifices the cult has made to its fell patron.
  20. A diary of sorts detailing the cultist’s struggle with the cult’s unholy, distasteful practises. The writing reveals the cultist to be a reluctant member of the cult (at best) who dreams of fleeing the locality to begin a new life far away.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017, and 20 Things #8: Cultist’s Lair, available in November 2016. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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