Moon Daughter (warning; long)

From: Nikk Effingham (wal@eff.u-net.com)
Date: Sat 24 May 1997 - 00:10:48 EEST


THE CULT OF THE MOON DAUGHTER
(with thanks to Steve Maurer's "Cults within the Lunar Empire", and Greg
Fried's Selakun cult description)

        This is a Hero Cult of the Waiting Moon, also known as Great Sister.
Her cult's ways are mysterious, vague and to most Lunars, unknown. It has no
public temples, and only proparitory worship is given to the Moon Daughter
in Lunar ceremonies, notably in the Sacred Time when the cult of Moonson
Imperator grants homage that the Emperor's sister has graced the Surface
World. It is known that she has a palace in Panegi, a place on the Moon. The
Hero Cult is accessible on invitation only.

        The Cult reveres Great Sister, whom lives in the city of Graclodont,
capital of the Karasal Satrap. She was granted the satrap as a personal gift
from Emperor Takenegi. The native Rastari-inning clan were forced to
acknowledge her as their leader, and all high ranking nobles of the clan are
members of her cult. Talks have been made that she is the daughter of
Rufelza and Yelm, her true parentage being unknown and a cult secret. She
first appeared in 5/33 (1496 ST, 112,496 YS) at the Court of the Emperor,
which settled much rumour as already many funds and resources had been
diverted to an unknown source. The Great Sister publicly denounced the
Emperor as her leader, pledging herself only to the Red Moon. She then
*demanded* money, magic and support from the Emperor, which he freely gave.
The Emperor Magnificus, the current face of the Red Emperor, proved to be
more than tolerant, almost subservient, to his "sister". Later faces of the
Emperor were less tolerant, and eventually the relationship between sister
and brother became that of constant challenge of power, both political,
military and religious. Rumours of her parentage included, a feeble peasant,
Orlanatus, Sheng Seleris, the Red Goddess herself or even the Red Emperor!!
It seems likely that all of these are wrong.

        The Great Sister then hid herself away in her city, which she
ordered be built over a period of five years to her specifications. The city
is oddly ordered, it has a reversed spiral format mimicing Orlanthi cities
built like Wind Runes, crossed with a rigid architecture. The design and
style of architecture has not changed over the last one hundered and twenty
five years, and the Building Proclamation of Gracladont means it is illegal
to build any new structures made of stone. Most people feel that the city is
built as some form of immense magical focus. The main building, Sister's
Palace, points directly towards Magasta's Pool, also noted as the location
of the appearance of the Blue Streak of Annilla. Recently, with the fall of
Whitewall, a new building has been designed and is now ready to be built.
The building fills a vacant position that has been in the center of the city
since it's creation over a century ago. Many more vacant positions exist
throughout the city, indicating that the Sister had future plans. The new
building will point to a location somewhere between Sartar and Tarsh. The
Sister very rarely appears, having only made two public appearances. The
first was when she arrived in the Court, the second was after the Night of
Horrors. Otherwise, only her Hero Cult get the chance to see her.

        The Sister built an army, the Moon Wind. It numbers only two
hundred, but fifty of them are rune level warriors, and she supports them
with powerful Lunar magic. Her army has access to a powerful HeroQuest
regimental spell called "the Moon Wind". It's commander is her child, which
changes every five years. Those children who retire are never seen again and
most claim that they are merely avatars of the Great Sister, in her Quest to
become as many people in one lifetime as possible.

        The Hero Cult is peculiar. It grants precious little magic which is
avaiable only through actual HeroQuests, rather than the minor ritualized
rituals of other cults. While the HeroQuests are not dangerous, they each
take a Season to complete. The spells she grants are Sky-Sanctuary, Moon
Sing and Sky-Sight. No matter what rank the member of the Cult possesses
these spells are reusable. A ritual must be completed each and every time
the initiate wishes to sacrifice for spells. A priest will very rarely give
an intiate a chance to sacrifice for spells. There are no well defined
requirements for Priests, the Sister merely raises an initiate of her choice
in a seemingly random fashion (a long term intiate has as much a chance as a
short term intiate) to the position. There are seven priests at any one
time, who spend most of their time in seclusion -- they are all husbands and
wives of the Great Sister, although the relationships are almost always
celibate. The priests officate certain magical ceremonies of the city
(although they don't always tell those citizens who participate in them what
the rites are in aid of) as well as normal financial plans.

        Joining the Hero Cult is done as follows. The canidate is approached
by three cloaked figures, one is shrouded in blue, another in red and the
last in black. These figures are well known in city legend, and many people
talk of those lucky enough to encounter the "Moon Triad". They always come
to the canidate when they are alone, and never speak. It is uncertain
whether these figures are the same spirits everytime, or else are actually
priests in robes. Or both. Since everyone knows the stories about the Moon
Triad (it is a capital offence to mock, mimic or pretend to be the Moon
Triad so the canidate is assured of their veracity) they also know to follow
them. The figues take the canidate, unblindfolded, to the center of the
Great Sister's Palace. From hereon in, the details of the ritual are
unknown. Those who belong to the cult never reveal what happens, on pain of
something-worse-than-death. Canidates never refuse to join, as only those
who wish to join are chosen.

        The canidate is taken to the inner sanctum, where varying number of
other worshipers stand. The canidate is told to kneel, and must then
remember every secret they have discovered, been told or kept to themselves.
They must then face the object of each of these secrets, for instance, a
canidate whose secret is he murdered his father must then face his father.
No canidate actually faces bodily harm, but some are driven mad (and
subsequently sent to the Slave Legions). The Great Sister, who in her
omnipotence already knows these secrets, never seeks retribution for these
secrets -- if you murdered your father, so be it. If you survive facing him,
then you have survived the punishment. Once brought into the cult of the
Moon Daughter all secrets MUST be shared with the cult (every holy day, all
initiates publicly announce their secrets to those assembled). After this a
ceremonial sword is brought forth, and the canidate is told to disembowel
themselves. Those assembled wait as long as neccessary until the canidate
does so. Those canidates who do not starve to death. Once they commit
suicide they enter a surreal, semi-death state. Here the Great Sister
appears and feeds them whatever they desire to taste most combined with a
small amount of Moonstone. At this point the canidate "dies" and sacrifices
3 POW to the Sister. They then awaken in her chambers feeling sated, tired
and lethargic. Most canidates merely catch a glimpse of the Moon Daughter
leaving the room before the Priests come in and brief the new initiate on
their duties. All initiates discover that they are Illuminated upon
awakening, and usually send three or four weeks in the temples to Rashorana
and Nysalor managing to come to terms with their new psychic state. (Note
that they may not have all the powers of an Illuminate).

        Duties include basic cult duties, tithing 10% of time and income to
the cult, sacrificing 1 magic point upon entering and leaving the city, and
must investiate and report all secrets and acitvities within the city.
Often, initiates are placed in a special Mindlink with a priest who then
receives all information learned by the initiate. Initiates must sometimes
engage in odd rituals for no apparent purpose or undergo missions, notably
to Glamour and/or Blue Moon Plateau to collect items for payment. Initiates
often learn deeper secrets of the cult to do with Rufelza, the Emperor, the
Sister and the world in general. Those who learn the most secrets are sent
to Glamour and, apparently, to the Moon as servants of the inhabitants of
the Moon.

        The Great Sister has agents throughout Gracladont, in all of the
Heartlands, the Khelmal cult, Dorastoran embissaries to Ralzakark and
Carmania courts. Intrests and aims are apparently in connection with all
Moon related cults, as well as Orlanth and Humakt. Rituals are held at
variable times, rarely coinciding with holy days. Her holy days are the same
the Seven Mothers. She has no Spirit Of Reprisal, those who defect have
never been heard of.
____________________________________________

Spells of the Hero Cult

SKY-SANCTUARY
3 POINTS
self, temporal, non-stackable, conditionally reusable

        When this spell is cast the cultist disintegrates in a bloom of blue
light which is drawn up into the sky above. The cultist returns to the spot
she left when the spell expires, or before then if she wishes. From the Sky
above, the caster can view an area encompassing the field of vision she held
before her ascent. If the caster so chooses, she may rematerialize in her
home temple, but this makes the spell one-use.

SKY-SIGHT
1 POINT
range 100m, temporal, stackable, reusable

        This spell allows a character to shift her view 100m upwards (only
directly upwards) per point of spell used. The caster can revolve his view
360 degrees and switch between normal view and Sky Sight at will. Only Line
Of Sight can be targeted this way.

MOON SONG
3 POINTS
range 50m, temporal, non-stackable, reuable

        This powerful spell is used for the entrancement of elementals. The
user matches her magic points against the magic points of every elemental in
the area of effect. To work the casting, the caster matches rolls 1d100 and
compares the result on the resistance table to her own magic points. All
targets who would be overcome are affected. Those elementals affected are
entranced and incapable of doing *anything* for the duration of the spell,
with the exception of Lunes who will react to the Caster's commands. When
cast, a powerful song can be heard in the air that sounds like faint singing.
________________________________________

Sorry if this bores you, disagrees with current material (I ain't an expert)
or varies with your Glorantha. I decided to post it after someone mentioned
the lack of Lunar material in use for Glorantha because of fear of the
almighty Greg.

Nikk E.

Nikk the Broo Shaman of Thed
http://www.personal.u-net.com/~eff

    "If absolute power corrupts absolutely,
     where does that leave God?"
                -- George Daacon

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