Knowledge of the Unnatural promises vast power, wealth and privilege. Thus it is not surprising that all around the world, groups of humans – cults – toil secretly in the worship of the Great Old Ones, hungry to share in their terrible power and wisdom. But not all cults are made up purely of misguided people willingly supplicating themselves before invisible gods – some coalesce around non-human creatures present on the earth, and some are groups where individuals become a member unwillingly.


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Unnatural Cults

Several cults are described below, each inspired directly by organisations named or alluded to in the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. They represent organized ‘religions’ devoted to worshipping one or more of the Great Old Ones mentioned in his Mythos fiction.

Cults – either the ones mentioned here, or others of the Game Moderator’s own invention – can serve a crucial role in a scenario by providing human-level adversaries. Cult members are (mostly) normal people who carry out acts to further the machinations of the Mythos (or perhaps just the motivations of the cult itself). Cultists should always be portrayed in this way – misguided people with entirely human goals and needs, even if the actions they are performing betray a more sinister or supernatural agenda.

Cannibal Cult of Leng

A society of undead ghouls and humans

This cult – which uses mystical Jade Soul-Amulets to identify its membership – began its existence as a group of particularly vile undead ghouls from the terrible Plateau of Leng: the so-called Hounds of Death. But over the centuries, the composition of the group has altered as a side effect of the unnatural contagion associated with the amulets. From time to time one of these peculiar tokens is discovered by a human – sometimes it is a sorcerer hunting occult artifacts, sometimes it is a group of grave robbers or archaeologists who discover the item by chance. Occasionally one of the amulets comes into the possession of a regular ghoul.

Each time these evil artefacts becomes activated by a human or ghoul – whether deliberately or otherwise – a Hound of Death would manifest and brutally slay the unfortunate person. People killed in such a fashion fall victim to a terrible curse: they themselves are doomed rise after death and become a relentless undead hunter. The ranks of the modern Cannibal Cult are made up of undead former humans and undead ghouls who have fallen prey to the curse. Each member possesses their own Jade Soul-Amulet and will mercilessly pursue anyone whoever dares to take the artifact from them.

The undead corpse-eating cultists do not shy away from devouring others of their kind (be they ghouls or humans), nor from killing living beings for food. The latter they gruesomely tear apart and mutilate for sport.

The center of the Cannibal cult is said to be in “inaccessible Leng”, although the exact geographical location of that infamous place is a subject of some confusion. Indeed, it is usually held by Mythos scholars that the Plateau of Leng is situated in a region where the veils between worlds are very thin; sometimes it apparently exists in Central Asia, other times it seems to be part of the Dreamlands. Or perhaps its complex dimensionality means it exists in both places simultaneously.


The goals and motivations of the Cannibal Cult are entirely unknown. Are they the secret leaders of the race of Ghouls, or perhaps their elite priestly caste? Or perhaps the cult truly serves the Crawling Chaos, Nyarlathotep in some way?

It is also uncldear how the cult is related to the prehistoric stone monastery in Leng with its so-called High-Priest-Not-To-Be-Described? Is this individual himself a Hound of Death and secret leader of the cult?

The Prehistorical Stone Monastery in Leng

In the icy wasteland of Leng stands a prehistoric stone monastery. Within it resides the solitary figure of the High Priest- Not-To-Be-Described, a figure who serves the Other Gods – Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, and Yog-Sothoth.

The monastery is a windowless and lightless structure whose interior is decorated with horrific bas-reliefs depicting the history of the people of Leng, their struggle with the purple Spiders of Leng, and their subjugation by the Moonbeasts. In a crypt, below the dark and foul-smelling depths of the monastery, the high priest resides on a golden throne raised on a stone pedestal. In front of this terrible scene, six stone altars surround a circular, bottomless pit rumored to reach down into the vaults of Zin. The High Priest is dressed in yellow silk robes and wears a yellow silk mask. The being does not speak, but communicates by producing terrible sounds on a carved ivory flute.

It is not known what kind of being is hidden beneath the mask. It could be a Moon Beast, the high priest of the Cannibal Cult, or possibly even an avatar of Nyarlathotep or the King in Yellow.

The Cthulhu Cult

Worldwide worshippers of the Great Old One

Secretive, sinister cults that worship Great Cthulhu are widespread. While the rites and traditions vary from group to group, all follow certain common traditions and ritual practices. Most Cthulhu Cults are small, made up of secluded groups or tribes that have passed down the worship of Cthulhu over millions of years. The cults can be found in all corners of the world – among the Eskimos of Greenland, in the swamps of Louisiana, Southeast Asia or even in the old cities of Europe. A certain connection to water or the sea is common to almost all Cthulhu Cults and it is common for sailors or seafarers to belong to such organizations.

Structure of the cult: Although each individual cult is small and hidden, they are ultimately part of a worldwide network of diverse groups united through their knowledge of – and belief in – Great Cthulhu. Each of the small local cults are usually led by a sorcerer (called an “angekok” among the Eskimos) or a high priest. According to vague rumours, the global cult is coordinated and directed by a group of immortal sorcerers who reside in a mountainous region of China. The cult’s nexus (or perhaps its place of origin) is said to be in the Arabian desert, in the fabled lost city of Irem. According to certain Mythos traditions, this place was where the infamous Arab scholar Abdul Alhazred began his worship of Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones. But even in Alhazred’s Necronomicon there are only vague references to any organized worship of Cthulhu.

Cult beliefs: The followers of this cult worship the Great Old Ones, who are said to have walked the earth long before mankind, descending from the heavens at some indistinct point in the pre-history of our planet. The Great Old Ones have now disappeared – dead but yet not truly dead, they slumber beneath the earth and beneath the seas. Before entering their torpor, the Great Old Ones had entrusted their secrets to early humans by means of thought messages. The cult founded by those first followers lives on to this day. Cthulhu was the high priest of the Great Old Ones and it was said he would one day rise again, when the stars come right. On that day his mighty city of R’lyeh will emerge from beneath the waves, and the planet will once again be under his rule. In the time leading up to his return, it has been foretold that Great Cthulhu would send out his call and his followers would be on hand to help free him from his bonds – for it is believed (by the cult at least) that the ultimate freedom of their god cannot occur without intervention by devoted followers . The followers of Cthulhu are waiting for that day, in the belief that they will be the agents of their god’s return.

Those who delve deeper into the mysteries of the Cthulhu Cult learn that although the Great Old Ones have physical form, they are not flesh and blood, or even matter – at least not as we understand such things. The correct alignment of stars may allow them to jump from one world to another, invading planets at will. But if the stars are not right, they cannot continue to exist, although they do not die either. Thus it was that eons ago, the Great Old Ones which had come to Earth fell in a deathless sleep within their stone city of R’lyeh. In this state the rituals of Cthulhu keep them alive, but those same forces prevent them from actively re-entering the world. Only their thoughts are free to roam, perceiving everything that is happening in the universe. In the days when R’lyeh was still above the waves, the entities trapped within the city made telepathic contact with humanity or its ancestors. They influenced their dreams and thus laid the foundation for a cult to ready the way for their (eventual) return. This psychic (perhaps spiritual) contact ceased when the city sank into the water, which is the state that persists until this day.

Typical rituals which experienced Cthulhu cult members have at their disposal include Aklo Sabaoth (Great Cthulhu), Annihilation, See Through The Ages, and Summon Entities (Star Spawn).

Rites of Cthulhu: Worship of Cthulhu always takes place outdoors, under the stars. It usually occurs in gloomy or at least shunned places, and frequently involves gruesome human sacrifice. Cults often have an Idol of Cthulhu – a statuette made of a mineral unknown on Earth, whose origin is lost in the darkness of history. During the rites to Cthulhu, cultists dance naked and ecstatically to the sound of wild drums around a circle of fire, in the center of which stands several abominable statuettes. The roar of the dancing mass is only occasionally interrupted by a chorus hoarsely chanting the words “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” Human sacrifices are carried out in the most brutal and ghastly manner imaginable. During sacrificial rites, the priests of Cthulhu often summon one of their god’s lesser kindred, a Star Spawn, who they worship in his stead. The blood of the human sacrifice is offered to this proxy.

Although they have little direct knowledge of one another (and no direct contact), the widely scattered cults seem to draw on eons of shared knowledge. This manifests in many subtle ways, but also one very obvious one: while every cult has its own style of ritual, each uses a chant with a central phrase in their worship of the Great Old One:

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

“In his house in R’lyeh, dreaming, waits the dead Cthulhu.”

The day when the stars are right: The day Cthulhu’s followers had been waiting for seemed to arrive on February 28, 1925. An undersea earthquake raised R’lyeh from the beneath the waves and Great Cthulhu began to stir. As a consequence, numerous sensitive or unstable individuals around the world, including many artists, suffered disturbing visions and nightmares. The event also triggered social unrest, mass panic, cult activity, and increases in suicides worldwide. The cultists of the Great Old One rejoiced and made ready for the renewed reign of their god over all the planet. However, R’lyeh then abruptly sank back into the sea during a storm some five weeks later (on April 2). The peril ended abruptly, with Cthulhu apparently returning to his death-like slumber – a state that has continued until the present day. But the faithful still believe Great Cthulhu’s permanent return is still coming … and next time, it will be forever.


If Protagonists in your game decide to investigate Cthulhu or the circumstances of his awakening in the 1920s, the following persons might present themselves as knowledgeable contacts (depending on the era):

  • George Gamell Angell, professor emeritus of Semitic languages at Brown University in Providence, compiled numerous papers on the Cthulhu Cult in 1925 during the R’lyeh Awakening (keeping them in a box labelled CTHULHU CULT). Angell died in the winter of 1926, possibly at the hands of a cultist.
  • Boston anthropologist Francis Wayland Thurston administered the estate of his late great-uncle Prof. Angell, himself gaining increasing understanding about the world-spanning extent of the Cthulhu Cult. In 1927 he developed an overwhelming fear that he might also be murdered by cultists because he knows too much.
  • William Channing Webb, professor of anthropology in Princeton, led an 1860 expedition to Greenland where he encountered an Eskimo tribe, which held bloodthirsty rites in worship of Cthulhu, represented in physical form of a powerful devil called tornasuk.

“What, in substance, both the Eskimo wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to their kindred idols was something very like this—the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud: “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”” 

— The Call of Cthulhu, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1926.

Cult of the Wise Ones

Supporters of the Great Race of Yith

In every era of mankind’s history there have been people to whom knowledge – even dangerous or forbidden knowledge – is more important than anything else. Occasionally the endless quest for hidden wisdom allows such individuals to learn of the existence of the greatest corpus of secret knowledge ever amassed: the library compiled by the Great Race of Yith from its endless travels in time. Being able to access even a tiny fraction of this body of wisdom is an enticing proposition for a true Mythos scholar – and can lead them to striking a ‘deal’ of sorts with the alien minds from Yith. In return for rendering assistance to Great Race consciousnesses travelling through their era, some secret knowledge may be released to them. The group of such compliant helpers is sometimes (euphemistically) called the Cult of The Wise Ones.

This cult is mentioned in The Necronomicon, and so must have existed for centuries if not millennia. Unlike most other cults, it is more a loose association of individuals than a large, strictly hierarchically-organized society. The members may be called upon to render support for time travellers in their respective epochs, perhaps in the form of financial aid or perhaps merely some logistical help.

Some cultists even volunteer their own bodies to serve as willing hosts for travelling minds – and in doing so, suffer all the unspeakable consequences that arise from such a mind swap. For, while the human minds transposed into the past are routinely ‘cleansed’ of any newly-acquired memories prior to return (via a special form of hypnosis), the process is not perfect.  Fragmentary impressions of the time spent amid the vast libraries of the Great Race often persist and can provide the returned mind with a blurred but terrifying glimpse into times long past … or perhaps visions of a distant future.


Members of this ‘cult’ usually do not work with unnatural rituals themselves, but they may have extraordinary knowledge of our planet’s past and future. These details might have been learned as a by-product of a mind-swap expedition, or through the use of Yithian technologies which allow mental communication across the eons. Cultists are usually trained in the construction and operation of the Great Race’s Projection Machine technology (which can revert a mind-swapped body back to its source body, across time). At the very least all cultists are taught details of where such a machine can be obtained.

It might be the case that the historical prophecies of Nostradamus (or other recorded prognostication) were truly accounts scribed by a member of this society. Equally, in modern times, predictions and forecasts which disclose mysterious knowledge of a forthcoming financial crises might easily be attributed to someone from the Wise One Cult.

Cult of the Worm

Primordial Fertility Cult in Kingsport

In the fishing village of Kingsport there is a cult that is very ancient, certainly much older than the town itself. It may even be older than mankind. The members of the cult are no longer living people, but worm-bodied Creeping Corpses. After their natural death, the bodies of cult members are buried and gnawed upon by maggots and worms in the grave. Their spirits did not die, but get transferred into the maggots that chew their corpse, becoming a kind of malignant consciousness. Eventually a cluster of these worms coalesce into a form which grants the cultist an unholy, everlasting life. Those who undergo this disgusting ‘rebirth’ are usually ritual sorcerers, or members of their families.

The cluster of worms which make up a Creeping Corpse can fill clothes and form a head for itself. Thus, they can allow the animating spirits of the cultist to assume a humanoid form of sorts. However, the living dead cannot speak and the worms cannot mold themselves into the fine details of a face. Thus, the revivified cultists can only remain silent and make use of a high-quality wax mask to conceal their lack of a real face. They usually wear the worn clothing of their original (bygone) era, often concealed under a heavy cloak.

The members of the Cult of the Worm are descended from an ancient, furtive people who once came from “opiate southern gardens of orchids”. Having now spread in scattered groups to live in seclusion around the world, they continue to strictly observe the mysteries and rituals of their ancestors. Their forbidden rites are held in secret and the grand festival of the cult is celebrated at least once every century. The cult possesses numerous occult books and tomes of unnatural knowledge, including Remigius’ Daemonolatreia and The Necronomicon in Olaus Wormius’ Latin translation.

The Ritual Place: In Kingsport, members of the cult meet deep in the bowels of the earth below Central Hill. The ritual place is reached through a tomb in the crypt beneath a church. A rough-hewn staircase of stone steps leads down into fungus-covered caverns full of giant poisonous mushrooms and Verdigris-covered stones. The spaces are illuminated by light cast by a sickly Green Flame and the passage follows the course of an oily, fetid river.

The Yule Rite: The main holy day of the cult falls at the time of the Christian Christmas or the pre-Christian Norse Yule (i.e., the Winter Solstice). This is the time when Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius are in the sky. Theirs is an extremely primal festival of Bacchanalian celebration – a disgusting and abnormal celebration of fertility.

The grand ritual takes place at midnight. Cult members form a semi-circle around the cult’s high priest and around the Green Flame. From nearby shadows an amorphous, unseen flute player punctuates the silent, gestural ritual with dissonant music. The cultists pay their grovelling respects to the Green Flame. The Necronomicon seems to play a significant role in the ritual. Afterwards, hybrid winged creatures – things that might be Night-gaunts or might be something altogether different – are summoned to carry the cultists along the oily river into the darkness beyond.

Members of this cult most commonly known the following rituals: Aklo Sabaoth (Shub-Niggurath), Inflict Harm, Open Dimensional Rift, Summon Entities (Night-gaunt).


The specific Mythos power – if any – this cult worship remains unclear. However, since their practices center on highly perverted fertility rites, it is quite possible that the worm cult worships Shub-Niggurath.

It is unclear where the cultists fly to on their winged mounts. One possibility is that the cultists are physically transported to the Dreamlands, in which case their mounts are almost certainly Night-gaunts. This theory might also explain the ominous origins of the cult’s ancient ancestors, as well as the fact that the cultists seem to live in an ancient-looking version of Kingsport, unnoticed by residents of the modern seaside town. If true, this would suggest that the original site where the cult originated is likely to be somewhere in the Dreamlands.

The green flame in the cavern under Kingsport, which the cult seems to hold in reverence, might also be a Dreamlands manifestation. Could it perhaps be tied somehow to the flame pillar in the cavern of the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah?

It seems that blood descendants of cultists (who have themselves transitioned to worm-animated immortality) are mystically drawn to Kingsport once each century when the time comes to celebrate of the special Yule Rite. Compelled by instinct they arrive at the House of the High Priest, the seventh house on Green Lane in Kingsport. It is almost certainly true that these ancient rites are also still observed in many other places around the world – perhaps in every town where the descendants of the ancient worm-sorcerers have settled.

“It was the Yule-rite, older than man and fated to survive him; the primal rite of the solstice and of spring‘s promise beyond the snows; the rite of fire and evergreen, light and music. And in the Stygian grotto I saw them do the rite, and adore the sick pillar of flame, and throw into the water handfuls gouged out of the viscous vegetation which glittered green in the chlorotic glare.” 

— The Festival, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1925.

Esoteric Order of Dagon

Hybrid Partners of the Deep Ones

In the mid-19th Century, Captain Obed Marsh introduced the worship of Deep Ones to the small coastal Massachusetts town of Innsmouth. This new ‘religion’ permanently changed the nature of the settlement at the mouth of the Manuxet River.

The origin of the cult: Some years previously in Tahiti, Captain Marsh encountered Pacific Islanders who had made a pact with unearthly beings from the sea. They offered human sacrifices to the creatures in exchange for strange golden trinkets and bountiful fishing. From the islanders, Marsh received a strangely shaped Artefact made of lead. When used in the proper rites, this thing was said to summon the Deep Ones to the place where it was thrown into the sea.

At Devil’s Reef, a mile off the coast of Innsmouth, lives a colony of Deep Ones. Their undersea city is called Y’ha-nthlei. Marsh used the Artefact to successfully make contact with this Deep One colony, beginning the terrible practices that cast a shadow over Innsmouth until the town was ultimately destroyed.

1830s Captain Obed Marsh acquires strange golden trinkets from islanders in the South Pacific near Tahiti; over several years he learns the secret of their pact with the Deep Ones.
c. 1840 Captain Marsh makes contact with the Deep Ones of Y’ha-nthlei. He and his followers occasionally sacrifice humans to them in nightly rituals on the reef in exchange for gold and plentiful fishing. Marsh buys the Masonic Temple in Innsmouth, which becomes the Temple of the Order of Dagon.
1846 A large number of people disappear in Innsmouth, so many that the town’s suspicions are raised. The population of Innsmouth turns against Marsh and his followers. A group of the Marsh’s faithful followers are discovered out on Devil’s Reef during one of their nightly rituals, and all are arrested. After two weeks without sacrificial offerings, the Deep Ones rise up from the sea and free Marsh from his imprisonment. Almost half of Innsmouth’s population are killed in the bloody conflict, which is subsequently hushed up as a deadly “disease outbreak.” All remaining inhabitants now belong to the cult or are otherwise forced into silence by means of the “Oath to Dagon”. Marsh marries an 80,000-year-old Deep One named Pth’thya-l’yi, with whom he has three children.
1878 Captain Obed Marsh dies, Pth’thya-l’yi goes back into the sea.
1920s “Old Man” Barnabas Marsh (son of Onesiphorus Marsh, Obed’s son from his first – human – marriage) runs the cult and also the Marsh Refinery. Innsmouth has a population of 300 to 400 “visible” residents, but also harbors a large number of hidden hybrids.
Winter 1927/28 In a large-scale raid by federal authorities, numerous arrests occur in Innsmouth. Empty houses on the shore are blown up and a Navy submarine torpedoes Devil’s Reef.


Holy place and priest: The headquarters of the Esoteric Order of Dagon was established in the former Masonic Temple on New Church Green. From the outside, the portico of this building seems run-down; a barely-legible black and gold sign bears the name of the new religion. Other former-churches were also later transformed into places of worship for Dagon. The first priests of the order were retired sailors who had learned the rites in the Pacific, and who were loyal to Marsh. Later, the roles of Dagon’s priesthood were primarily filled by Deep One hybrids. Priests wear curious robes and each has a tall bizarrely ornate golden headdress – a tiara from the Deep Ones’ gold treasure (see also Golden Tiaras of the Deep Ones).

Rites: Marsh ensnared the inhabitants of Innsmouth by arguing that one should only worship “gods who bring fish and truly answer prayers.” After the Order seized power in the town, all residents were sworn to secrecy with an oath to Dagon. Later, other oaths to Dagon were added, the details of which remain mysterious, but appear to have something to do with procreating with Deep Ones and raising the resulting hybrid offspring to adulthood.

In return for their faithful worship, the cult promised the inhabitants of Innsmouth prosperity (in the form of fish as well as the Deep Ones’ peculiar gold jewelry, smelted into gold ingots at the Marsh Refinery). It also offered them immortality for their children, or at least those resulting from the mating of humans with Deep Ones.

Cult ceremonies and rites all take place under cover of night and are accompanied by chants. The Deep Ones are usually present. Important rituals are always held together with a large Deep One retinue; these occur twice a year on April 30 (Walpurgis Night) and October 31 (Halloween). Human sacrifices form part of the cult’s rites. Some rumors suggest the ceremonies sometimes also involve the summoning of Shoggoths.

Typical rituals of a priest of the Esoteric Order are: Aklo Sabaoth (Great Cthulhu), Dominate Will, Summon Entities (Deep Ones), Summon Entities (Shoggoth).

Yog-Sothothery: It seems likely that at least a few hybrids escaped the raid on Innsmouth in 1928, and the Deep Ones themselves seem to have still haunt Devil’s Reef. And who knows how many unsuspecting Deep One descendants might still be out there unaware that the clock is ticking for their own “Call of the Deep” awakening?

Shepherds of Hastur (Cult of the Yellow Sign)

Opponents of the Mi-Go, followers of the Yellow Sign

This secret and (apparently) worldwide cult worships The King in Yellow, sowing madness in his name wherever they operate. Amongst itself they call the group “The Shepherds of Hastur”, although nobody really knows the meaning of that name. In addition to this primary goal, for reasons unknown, the group is also dedicated to mercilessly persecuting and fighting the alien Mi-Go. The cult’s ranks are mostly filled by utterly insane minions of the alien King – individuals who have been granted telepathy or other mental abilities as reward for their unthinking supplication. Cultists are also taught various supernatural rituals to better spread the King’s signature brand of insanity.

In order to recognize one another, the cultists use the mysterious but distinctive Yellow Sign. Members of the cult strive to track down and eradicate hidden Mi-Go colonies on Earth, regardless of the costs.

The Shepherds of Hastur have access to extensive resources and logistics worldwide, and typically possess the ability of telepathy as well as three other rituals of their choice from the following list: Aklo Sabaoth (Hastur), DHO-HNA Formula, Dominate Will, Inflict Harm, Summon Entities (various), Voorish Sign.

Yog-Sothothery: Exactly why the Yellow Sign cultists hunt down the Mi-Go is a mystery. Perhaps there is a profound rivalry between the deities Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath (who are often worshipped by the Mi-Go), and The King in Yellow? Or perhaps the Mi-Go are apostates, abandoning their earlier worship of The Yellow King and thus incurring his wrath?

Possibly it is the task of the cultists, as “shepherds” in the name of their god, to protect mankind like lambs, in order to lead them in a pack towards a final slaughter for their god. Or maybe The King has other plans for the Earth.


“There is a whole secret cult of evil men (a man of your mystical erudition will understand me when I link them with Hastur and the Yellow Sign) devoted to the purpose of tracking them down and injuring them on behalf of monstrous powers from other dimensions. It is against these aggressors—not against normal humanity—that the drastic precautions of the Outer Ones are directed.” 

— The Whisperer in Darkness, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1931.

Starry Wisdom Sect

Cosmic Knowledge in Exchange for Human Sacrifice – Worshippers of the Haunter of the Dark

In 1844, archaeologist and occultist Professor Enoch Bowen found a peculiar Artefact, the Shining Trapezohedron, during an excavation in Egypt. He brought this odd item back to the United States with him when he returned to his home in Providence, Rhode Island. In that city he founded a cult, the Starry Wisdom Sect. By 1845, the cult had grown to nearly 100 members and was performing exploratory rituals involving the Mythos. One of these called forth the thing bound inside the Trapezohedron, a powerful entity called The Haunter of the Dark (rumored to be an avatar of Nyarlathotep).

The Church on Federal Hill: Between 1844 and 1877, the cult performed its rites in the old, run-down church on Federal Hill in Providence. An ancient Egyptian ankh or crux ansata was hung above the altar as one the group’s sacred symbols, while the traditional stained glass windows of the church were replaced by much stranger painted glasswork. Some of these new windows featured depictions of disturbing ‘saints’, but most showed abstract scenes of blackness punctuated by spirals composed from a strange cosmic light.

The cult amassed a sizeable occult library, featuring numerous tomes of Unnatural knowledge. These included The Book of Dzyan, a Latin edition of The Necronomicon, and even more obscure volumes such as the Pnakotic Manuscripts.

1844 Prof. Enoch Bowen finds the Shining Trapezohedron while excavating a temple of the forgotten pharaoh Nephren-Ka in Egypt, bringing it back to Providence. He buys the old Free Will Church on Federal Hill and founds the Starry Wisdom Sect.
1846 The sect grows to about 100 members and is actively dabbling in the Unnatural. People from the neighborhood surrounding Federal Hill start to vanishing without a trace.
1848 After a large-scale mass disappearance which sees seven people vanish on the same night, rumors of human sacrifice begin to circulate.
1863 The sect has grown to 200 members, but faces increasing opposition from local residents.
1877 After six more unexplained disappearances, the mayor of Providence promises to intervene and eventually has the church closed in April. After threats against cult members made by the “Federal Hill Boys” – a gang of local teenagers – a total of 181 followers of the sect flee the city. The Trapezohedron and the group’s library of occult books remain in the church. So too does the Haunter of the Dark. Ghost stories begin to circulate.
1893 Edwin M. Lillibridge, a reporter for the Providence Telegram, falls victim to the Haunter of the Dark while investigating the church.
1935 Artist Robert Blake succumbs to the morbid charms of the church and the hidden Trapezohedron. During a violent thunderstorm with a city-wide blackout, he becomes another victim of the Haunter of the Dark. The concerned Dr. Dexter then drops the Trapezohedron into Narragansett Bay.


The rites of the cult: The rites of the Starry Wisdom Sect were held in the darkened bell tower of the church, where the Trapezohedron reposed on a stone pedestal. It was surrounded by seven high chairs, one each for the most important members of the sect.

The Shining Trapezohedron enabled the cultists to see into distant worlds. In 1848, with the help of several human sacrifices in certain bizarre ancient Egyptian rites, Bowen summoned the Haunter of the Dark. In the years which followed, this strange entity provided cultists secrets and knowledge from beyond the stars. In exchange it demanded an ongoing series of human sacrifices. To feed this need, the sect was forced abduct people from the streets around Federal Hill. When called forth during the ceremonies The Haunter of the Dark thankfully remained within the windowless, lightless attic of the tower – although on especially dark nights, it could range further abroad.

Nobody knows for certain how many people died at the hands of the group. In order to protect their activities members of the sect used the secret alien language Aklo to encode the meticulous records kept by the group. Thus it is that the true extent of their activities remains largely unknown.

Yog-Sothothery: It remains unclear what finally became of the sect’s library of arcane books and the cult’s detailed records. Did someone take them after the incident with Robert Blake? Did Dr. Dexter decode some of the horrific details they contain, and if so … what did he do with this knowledge?

There is no question that sooner or later the Shining Trapezohedron will reappear and once again cast its spell over humanity. There may be important details still hidden away in the church on Federal Hill that unlock the secrets of The Haunter of the Dark, including a way to permanently banish it or imprison it back in the stone from which it emerged in 1845.

Witches Covens

Keepers of ancient wisdom

Those who practice witches often organize themselves into secret covens or witches circles. These clandestine groups secretly meet at night in especially mystical or unnatural places. In Arkham, for example, there are at least two places known to have been gathering places for witches. One is the dark valley with the white stone beyond Meadow Hill, the other is the uninhabited island in the middle of the Miskatonic. Both have been places of considerable nocturnal activity by covens at different times. Similarly, there are places in the deep woods around Chesuncook, Maine, where witches meet in catacombs deep underground with dark altars and bottomless pits.

The size of a witch coven is usually relatively modest, but some larger groups may include several hundred members.

Witches’ rituals: Witches often worship the Dark Man (believed to be an avatar of Nyarlathotep), who provides them with rituals and secret knowledge in return for their oath of allegiance. To make this pledge, a witch would traditionally write her name in blood in the Book of Azathoth, thereafter adopting a new secret name.

However, it is equally conceivable that other groups of witches exist which pay homage to Shub-Niggurath in perverted fertility rites; other groups might worship the Lord of Dimensions, Yog-Sothoth. Each different tradition of witchcraft would have its own traditions and rites, and different groups may exhibit rivalries – or work together to enact especially powerful rituals.

It is not uncommon for witches to preserve knowledge or customs from eons past, ancient traditions which they pass down orally.

Many witches have a “familiar” or witch-animal with special properties and skills. One such examples is  the Rat Thing called Brown Jenkin, who served Keziah Mason. The origin and true nature of these creatures remain mysterious.of

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