Blades of Morrak
|The Blades of Morrak|
|Alignment:||Religious 5, Sadism 4, Evil 4|
|Motto:||"The streets will run with the blood of non-believers"|
The Blades of Morrak are a cult of evil warriors, spreading fear and suffering in the name of Morrak. They are feared and hated the world over. They perform animal and human sacrifices in the name of their patron Immortal, and practice bizarre and gruesome rituals in the dark places of the world. Anywhere the Blades congregate, madness and pain are certain to follow.
Some in the Blades are crazed lunatics, others are sane but cruel and manipulative, but all delight in the suffering of others, and some enjoy suffering themselves. All sane people consider them enemies.
Certain deranged people have worshiped Morrak almost since the races were created. Through the millennia, these followers of the Immortal of madness have performed sacrifices and bizarre acts of worship in secret. Thankfully, these groups were scattered and isolated.
It was around 2500 in the Age of Battle that a specific cult began referring to itself as the Blades of Morrak, establishing that they were the implements of his will in the world. Under a named banner, the group slowly and steadily grew in numbers, until in 2713, a sizable cult of two or three hundred began launching nighttime attacks on villages and towns in the country of Helvaras. The Blades of Morrak declared these slaughters to be "cleansing rituals", and erected grotesque piles of body parts, impaled heads and torsos, and other unspeakable displays of malice. They left cryptic messages on walls using the blood of their victims as ink. Whispers of a faceless enemy spread through the land and neighboring countries, of monsters formed by Morrak himself. A recurring effigy at the gates to each of these towns was a severed head with a bastard sword thrust through its open mouth into the ground. It was this calling card that earned the Blades of Morrak their nickname "The Bastards".
After months of these barbaric rituals, and hundreds to thousands of deaths, finally, they suffered crippling losses at the hands of an attack made by an alliance of nearby militias, Songstresses of Alnarya, and the Exalted Shepherds. This surprise offensive became later known as the Purge of Devilry.
Since that time, the Blades have seldom ventured forth in such great numbers, or left such a regular and widespread wake of bodies. Today, they meet in secret in all parts of the world, performing torture and murder under the cover of shadow.
Being a cult, the Blades really have no expenses or need for money, however they do certainly steal any wealth belonging to their victims. Members of the Blades aren't required to make monetary offerings or donations of any kind, but they are expected to provide their own supplies and equipment when sent on crusades or Cleansing Rituals (e.g. armor, food). New members also have to pay for the materials to create their swords.
It is only the wicked that seek out the Blades in an attempt to join their ranks. Being so secretive, it is difficult to locate and join a regional arm of the cult. New members are sometimes located by the cult, for instance, jail-breaking a criminal or madman. Others are born into the practice, being taught the dogma of cruelty from their deranged parents. People who are offered membership but refuse are immediately and gruesomely murdered.
Initiates are inducted after series of ceremonies, the climax of which, according to rumors, involves the new member sacrificing a virgin, and then pouring the victim's blood into the the iron ore used to forge their sword. It is for this reason that recovered weapons of the Blades of Morrak are purified and buried.
There are few rules that make sense in a cult of this type. Cultists should not murder other cultists, as the end goal of the cult would be negatively impacted. Deserters, however, are killed. The cult knows no mercy or soft hearts, and any exhibiting compassion will be regarded as a deserter. Cultists occasionally produce children together, but it is not out of love that this happens.
The cult has a bizarre dogma which favors instilling pain and invoking murder. The cultists believe that through their works, Morrak himself will be empowered and may lead them to a new age where the power of madness rules all.
Each local arm of the cult is instructed by a "Bloody Sword", a sort of priest who leads rituals. Cultists are made up of few craftsmen, many warriors, and some spellcasters, but most cultists know a few bits of dark magic. Being a militaristic cult in nature, the ranks are ordered, but few outside of the cult know the significance or hierarchy of the ranks. It is rare to encounter more than a group of a half dozen Blades of Morrak at a time.