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March 14, 2013, 12:21 am

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The Children of Ma-O


Ma-O was a major God once, or so it is said,and whilst most of his worshippers ceased to worship him after his fall from grace, a very few remain, and can and do cause trouble out of all proportion to their numbers…

Once, no doubt, Ma-O had priests and priestesses and devout beleaviers like any other major deiety, and a few of these kept worshipping him when he turned to Evil. Centuries of often horrific persection have shaped the cult into what it is today.

At the bottom are the cells, between two and ten strong in any single group. Betrayal is very rare, and not only because if captured the betrayer will be sacraficed to Ma-O,
but because the majority of Ma-O worshippers are husbands and wives, daughters and sons, so to betray a member would often mean betraying ties of love that are far stronger then ties of fear.

Most recruiting is done when a Ma-O Child gets married to someone outside the Faith, and the two find they really, truely, love each other despite each other’s faults. Then the Ma-O child will divulge his/her religion and persuade the other to join too in the Ritual of Drowning. Under the light of the full moon, after the right prayers have been spoken, the new member is held underwater by two other members until they are on the point of drowning,and then he or she is let loose.

Every large island has between one and ten Priests-Banhoesea, due to it’s size, has ten-their initation is longer and potentaly deadly.The new Priest will be held under the water with the words “Do not fear child-of-land…breathe in Ma-o’s essence….yes thats it!”  While swallowing salt water, he passes out after the water enters his lungs as his head is held forcibly beneath the surf… Then-“This one is ready to be revived. If he lives he will join us, my wet ones, if not his soul swims to Ma-O!” The vast majority of Priests do survive this ordeal and are given a blue silken band to put around their arm when conducting services and a staff of oak tipped with amythest.

The services are held every Sunday night in the houses of members. Something-normally a small bird or a stray cat, but any land animal up to-two or three times a year on the great Holy Days of Ma-O, a human-is sacraficed with an amythest dagger whilst the sacred prayers are read from the forbidden Bible of Ma-O, that only the Priests risk death by possessing, and the heart is cut out and placed into a bowl of clean water, before being cooked and eaten by those present. The body is thrown into the sea.

The few Cardinals of Ma-O-only three at any one time, the most devout of the Faith, are made Cardinal in a ritual where they are drowned beyond rescue by the faithful and then-if they are the right people-magicly revived by Ma-O’s power.A few times a year the God himself meets these Cardinals to pass on instructions for the rest of His worshippers.

Ma-O’s worshippers are married in the temples of Jove or Ulmania, but when they die, instead of the pyres of Joveian temples or the graves of the Ulmanian Isle of the Dead, they are thrown secretly into the sea in iron coffins. Should they be uncovered, they are normally burnt alive after prolonged torture to try and get them to inform on others.The exceptions are willing informers, who are given new names and jobs and posted far from the island where they informed to try and prevent brutal retaliation by the cult. What little is known about the cult has come out of the mouths of these informers.

The reason why they are hated and crushed in every country is because of what they do. They think that Ma-O will only return when the whole world above the sea is in trouble, and so they cause as much of it as they can. They spread nasty rumours, steal from people, indulge in necromancy,murder and maim, drill holes in Company and Kraken-ruled ships, and try to create war using members in high places.It is certain that some of the wars fought in the past are at least partly their fault.

Plot Hooks-OO7…the PCs are told to infiltrate this cult and track down the members before they manage to commit some terrible crime.

WitSec-The PCs are escorting an informer from Banhoesea to court and then to another island and a new identity and job, but there is a traitor in the witness protection program. Can they keep the witness alive?

The Depths of Evil-The PCs are part of the cult themselves and are ordered to kidnap an Admiral’s virgin daughter for sacrafice.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
March 18, 2006, 20:39
ask and you shall receive! I had mentioned I could use a little more Ma-O-isms after reading the original post, and here they are!
Voted MoonHunter
March 19, 2006, 1:00
A needed addition. Not as good as the Deity post, but it works well enough for me.
Voted Scrasamax
March 19, 2006, 14:37
The only part i didnt like was the Bible of Ma-O, I rather imagined that the heresies and rituals of the great demon of the ocean would be passed along in a hidden form such as in perversions of folk songs, and the retelling of old myths. There could certainly be a book of writtings on Ma-O but I would place it either as a book of warning and omens held by the Acquans, or a shark-leather bound book scribed in blood, The Nameless Text
Cheka Man
March 19, 2006, 14:39
That might be the next thing I create.
Voted Pariah
March 19, 2006, 22:29
I figured it'd be handscribed, mildly messed up through the ages. Like playing a game of telephone, even though the fact that Ma-o is alive would slow that down a bit.
Voted Stomphoof
October 6, 2007, 10:50
Evil ocean god. Nice!
Voted valadaar
June 9, 2012, 21:22
Only voted
Voted Strolen
April 9, 2013, 12:35
Ah, the ancient post brought from the depths. :)

It is OK for the most part and probably a fun cult to put into a world. I need more on the return idea to help me understand what they will gain from Ma-O's return but that might be in the other posts.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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