Tien, Son of the Devil
Mythos & History
When the Devil entered Glorantha, he led the way for many who resembled him, but none was closer than Tien, his son-by-spirit if not son-by-flesh. He it was who commanded the forces that ravaged Genert’s Garden, slaying the god himself and turning the Garden into Prax and the Desert. He fought Basko on the borders between the steppes and the Eastern kingdoms. He pretended that he held the Mistress of Light and Knowledge, and captured the god of knowledge – her lover – in order to supplant him.
That coward-god escaped and fled, making vile alliances to hide his cowardice.
When the Great Darkness came, Tien hunted for the missing goddess. He found her, slew her, and stole her power of Truth along with her head. When Wakboth fell, Tien was pursued to Hell by a Storm beast, where he in turn was beheaded, losing that power of Truth once more. He took the Darkness.
In the Dawn Age he provided power and inspiration to those who took others’ powers through headhunting, and who were determined to survive.
He still gives his powers to those who feel that the end justifies any means.
|Lunar drawing of a female Korer assassin|
taking the head of a Lunar general
Nature of the Cult
The Korer permit his worship as the Lord of Terror, bringing horror upon his foes by using their own kin against them. Only the most terrible of their warriors worship him, and thereby become Terror incarnate.
A robed male body with a Truth rune where the head would be.
As the Lord of Terror who slew Genert, he is the Chaos Death God, and wields that power freely. He has adopted the power of Darkness to shroud himself from the eyes of others.
Wielding this affinity allows the cultist a fairly broad range of options. It has been known to have been used to Terrify Opponents, to Wound A Fire Elemental, to empower cutting weaponry and to painfully end a life.
Darkness Rune Affinity
Tien adopted this rune upon losing Truth, and therefore its uses are less complete than they might be.
Initiates may use the affinity to Dull Light Magic, Create A Dark Wall, to enhance their ability to Speak Darktongue, and to aid in negotiations with Digijelm.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Friendly with Thanites, loathers of Storm cultists, and neutral towards everybody else. They particularly hate the Pentan Paths of the Storm.
Local leaders are in absolute charge of all cult matters, but challenges for leadership are far from infrequent. There is no organisational level beyond the clan.
|A Priest with a Guardian in dog form|
Each clan temple requires a Priest, and one will be appointed in titular fashion even if they would not normally meet the requirements. They lead worship and administer the cult, but may be replaced at a moment's notice - or rather, at the swish of a garrote.
Holy Days and Sacrifices
Darkness Day is the basic Holy Day, with burnt sacrifice of the decapitated bodies of sophonts.
Any other days are celebrated at the local Priest's choice.
One can only approach Than through Death, and the initiate is required to develop the cult virtues of Cunning and Ruthless. Initiates can never use normal fire.
There are none
Any who wish to, and who meet the normal requirements, may devote themselves to Than.
By so doing, however, they exclude themselves from normal society, since his headhunting is never viewed as acceptable behaviour, even amongst the Korer.
(Death) The Undead Creation FeatThan creates many servants from the dead, be they skeletal, zombie, or 'living' head. He empowers his worshippers to do the same. Over the centuries this Feat has been used in many ways, including (but not limited to) Create And Command Skeletal Servant, Create And Command Zombie Servant,
Create Minor Head (acting as a Retainer) and Create Major Head (acting as a Sidekick).
(Death) The Decapitation FeatThan was beheaded and beheads in turn. While the cult weapon is the garrote, he willingly blesses any weapon or magic that will do the task. This Feat has been used to bless a blade with Decapitate Foe, a metal garrote with Instant Decapitation and a cloth one with Instant Strangulation, and has also been used remotely to Sever The Soul of the target from their body.
(Darkness) The Darklight Feat
Than has used Darklight since the Dark, in order to see clearly when his opponents cannot see at all.
This Feat can be used to ignite or intensify Darklight, to edge a blade with it to cause unexpected pain, and to enable a mount to see by its light. It may also be used to create sufficient Darklight to Summon And Command A Shade, or to Summon And Embody A Guardian Spirit.
Agents of Reprisal
The cult can call on Shades to pursue and punish those who are apostate.