Cults of the Dragon Below
|Cults of the Dragon Below|
|Alignment||3E/5E: Neutral Evil
4E: Chaotic Evil
|Portfolio||Aberrations, conquest, darkness, glory, insanity|
|Domains||3E: Cavern, Corruption, Darkness, Dragon Below, Earth, Evil, Greed, Madness, Pact, Pain, Pestilence, Summonner
4E: Darkness, Madness
|Worshippers||Insane beings, power hungry, aberrations|
|Favoured Weapon||Heavy pick|
The Cults of the Dragon Below are the myriad cults associated with, and devoted to, Eberron's underdark, Khyber. It's pretty much a catch-all term, referring to the myriad of Cults that exist that worship overlords, aberrations, Daelkyr, Khyber itself, fiends, evil powers in general, or folks that are plain crazy and don't fit into any other religion. Most of the Cults have nothing to do with each other, and their belief systems are often completely unique.
After the Gatekeepers stopped the incursion from Xoriat and released the goblins and orcs from their slavery, they found out that the madness of daelkyr rule had irrevocably scarred them, and they dreamed of the mad cities as paradises. This went on for generations until they found themselves worshipping their enslavers. The cults came to their current forms as humans came to the Shadow Marches, where most of them were concentrated, and brought their own perspectives and legends to these cults.
There's also a number of Cults that predate the Daelkyr - most of these worship Overlords, or Khyber itself. Some worship individual fiends.
The various cults
There's very little that unifies the cults, aside from their connections to Khyber and the belief that the world is an imperfect place, and they disappear just as suddenly as they appear. Some are people worshipping beings from Khyber or the daelkyr, others believe in a paradise within it, some are unified by a shared madness, others are in it for the power, some don't even worship the daelkyr but create elaborate fantasies to justify their faith, and others are just roving murderers.
The Closed Circle
When the city of Sharn was built, the Closed Circle was one of the three wizard circles that existed there. Their main interest was in studying the lore of the daelkyr and soon begun developing ties to the cults. In time however the other two circles found out about their activities and a war ensued between them, ending with the Closed Circles defeat and the sealing of their fortress. Eventually however, an Illithid, alongside a small force of aberrations from Khyber escaped and has begun building a following among the humans of Khyber's Gate, helped by the many and powerful relics found in their citadel.
Cults of the Inner Sun
These cults believe in the paradise called Vale of the Inner Sun and that the only way to enter is to spill enough blood before dying to gain entry. Some believe, correctly, kinda, that the vale is a physical place located within Khyber. It technically is, since the only way to reach it is through Khyber, but it's a different plane all together. It is a place where the physical laws don't function, nothing makes proper sense, and overhead shines an orb of light, shifting through various colors. Staying here isn't recommended, since the light slowly transforms all beings in the vale to various aberrations.
Cults of Slime
Cults of Slime are focused on worship of the daelkyr Kyrzin, who hold dominion on slimes. Though to most make offerings to him out of fear, there are those who genuinely worship him as a benevolent god, as mold and lichen found in slime are an important source of food and medicine to some tribes in the Shadow Marches.
There are also the gibbering clans, or Gibberers, families that cultivate gibbering beasts, that are mouthpieces of Kyrzin to them, and ritually sacrifice old or sick family members to them, believing that they will forever live inside the beings. Many of their members have wild eyes and can fall into an ecstatic, babbling trance, and their priests spend hours each day listening to the beings for words from their elders and Kyrzin.
Most active of the cults are those ruled by Kyrzin's brain-bored agents, who often make the worshippers ingest psychoactive molds to drive them to wild fervor and passions, with goals that rarely make sense.
Adaran spellcasters who've seen everything they believe in be torn to shreds, and driven mad by the whispers of the Overlord Ran Iishiv and the manifest zones to Kythri. The concept of unmaking is divine to them, with these madmen seeking to dissolve creation back to its orginal form, when it was everything and nothing. To achieve their goal, they bring about indiscriminate destruction, and set opposing groups against each other and ensure their mutual annihilation.
The Family Finch
The ir'Edar Brood
Jaskar ir'Edar was a noble from Aundair with a pechant for adventuring who ended up marrying the half-orc Nola Turaash. Unbeknownst to him, she had tainted blood of the Dragon Below in her veins, and it wasn't until years later that Jaskar's descendant Jalnar, the duke of Passage, became gripped by an irrational fear, and discovered the truth about his bloodline. He believes that by learning the secrets of his blood and ancestor's lore, he can reclaim Eldeen Reaches, perhaps even Galifar, believing that all that he does is for the good of his nation. His cult is comprised of a handful of experiments and rage-fueled cultists.
The Mourning Circle
Erlomel d'Tharashk was born dreadfully deformed and showed signs of mental instability in youth, and was thus rejected by his family. He eventually left from the Shadow Marches to Sharn, seeking ancient sources of power and through his dragonmark, agents, and research came across the existance of the Closed Circle. He eventually discovered their destroyed citadel, and found research notes they hade hidden in an extraplanar vault. Focused on gaining as much forbidden knowledge as possible, he founded the Mourning Circle as a front for research, claiming to be an incarnation of the Dragon Below, and using his psionic abilities to keep the member in line.
Scar that Abides
Most of the people aware of the Scar that Abides know almost nothing beyond the name. Its members are driven by schizophrenic visions and terrible dreams encouraging homicidal and cruel behaviour, believing that killing others will hold the visions back. The source of these visions is the Overlord Sakinnirot, who once had a realm in Xen'Drik, and was responsible for bringing down the giant civilization in Xen'Drik, as it drew inspiration from the ruins of Sakinnirot's city. Everyone who knows of Sakinnirot is afraid of even speaking its name, unless directly in its presence, and anyone that draws its attention is plagued by misfortune. He's the patron of all those plotting revenge and reveling in the satisfaction of a settled grudge. He enjoys the conflict between the Dragonmarked Houses, especially those that end in violence or ruin