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Hunter-Cult: Cage of Shadows

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  • Hunter-Cult: Cage of Shadows

    Cage of Shadows

    Caretakers of the Dark Mother

    [a black owl locked inside a thorny cage]

    It is said that every religion has its heresy. Actually, most of the time each religion has a number of heresies. Some have gained that title for disagreeing about small, yet crucial detail- who is the true messiah, for example. Others have taken the basis of the religion and twisted it on its head in order to justify their way of life. Once the said heresy becomes big enough and separate enough, it would stop being called as heresy and start to be seen as a real religion.

    The Shadow Cage prefer to stay as an heresy.

    The members of the Cage are a Jewish heresy. They were a small group, coming from the early Middle Ages- right after the finale fall of Rome as an empire. According to their holy scriptures, the group was tormented by vampires who stalked the exiled Jews as they searched for a place to settle in. While they tried to fight against them, they were in disadvantage against the superhuman abilities of the bloodsuckers- until one day, a shadowy being their recognized as one of the Lilin offered its help- it also didn't liked vampires, and it was bored. It offered to give them the gift of Living Death, so every time on of them would fall he shall rise again. While they knew they shouldn't trust the children of Lilith, they were desperate- and so they agreed.

    Next time the group met a vampire and one of them died, the dark spirit of the night has entered into its body, defying all that was holy and wearing it like a suit of meat. That mockery of their former friend has enjoyed many of the supernatural abilities of their enemies, and so next time they were attacked less of them were killed. For each fallen member, the Lil called more of its brothers and sisters in awaken the dead, and before too much time has passed no more of them has fallen victim to the hands of the vampires- after all, most of them were already dead.

    While the lilin has fulfilled their promised, the surviving members has started to regret their choice. The dead has outnumbered the living, and were out of control. Seeing the error of their ways, the remaining few has fallen on their knees and prayed for God's forgiveness. God, however, didn't answered.

    Lilith did.

    Forming out the whispering shadows, the great Owl Demon has shown itself before the terrified members. While at first they wished to run away, Lilith has calmed them. "Don't be afraid" she whispered, her golden eyes shine "For I'm not here for your children. I'm here for my own. Their time has ended, and they should come back to their cage- yet they keep playing with their dolls. God shall not answer your prayers- for you have forsaken him for the love of the shadows- but the shadows can love you back! Bring me back my children, and you shall gain my love- yet by doing so, God would never accept you. You will be like me- hiding in the darkest nights, exiled and lost. Would you become my caregivers?"

    For the second time, the group made a deal with a demon- and this time, there was truly no way back. Using the Dark Mother's gifts, they banished the Lilin and gave the dead proper burial. Using her gifts, they fought against her other lot children- the vampires- and made sure they'll remember who was responsible to the beast in their still hearts. Through most of the years they were a small group, composed mostly out of women (for Lilith's agenda was pretty matriarchal), but lately, as certain women has started to see Lilith as a symbol for feminism, the Cage has slowly grown in power. While Lilith's agenda contains many features- from women superiority, self mutilation and dark blood rituals, they still hunt after their old enemies. The lilin would return to meet their Mother- and they would stay in their cage.

    0- you were initiated by the dark rites and saw the glory of the Dark Mother. You can buy dots in the Tselalim Endowment
    000- you have sent many lilim back to their cage, and the local vampires have learned to fear your name- and ask for help when needed. You gain Fame for 3 dots in relation for vampires. This is the highest a man can go in the cult.
    00000- You are seen as a dark messiah of the cult- and when you speak all listen. You have Staff for 5 dots.

    Endowment: Tselalim (1-5)
    Lilith and her children are beings of smoke and shadows- and in order to fight them one must be like them. Her blessing allows the hunter to create tools out of those shadows, which harm the lil no matter which form it takes. The tools made by using the Tselalim can only be touched by the hunter, and can harm only undead beings or creatures who exist in the Twilight- unless the hunter also offer blood.

    In order to shape an incorporeal tool, you need to spend one WP point per size unite of the object. You can't shape something bigger then your dots in the Endowment. You can't shape living beings. You can's shape complicated devices, like computers and gun (well, you can- but they won't work). The items are always jet black. In order to shape the object, you must also have at least one source of light near you- you can't shape shadows without shadows around. If the creation is a weapon, it deals lethal damage to lilin and any other incorporeal being without harming the host if there is one. It also ignores defense for that reason. Every time you shape the item, you need to pay WP like you have just made it. You can't have more items in the same time then your dots in the Endowment. When it is first made, the item exist in the "ghostly" frequency of the Twilight- but you can change its frequency by spending Willpower.

    Creating a "corporeal" is the same, only that in addition to spend Willpower you also need to spill blood- which means taking one level of Lethal Damage every time you shape or create a Tsel. Those items can be touched by all, and weapons made in that way act as normal- unless when attacking lilin and Incorporeal beings. When attacking those being, the weapon deal Aggravated Damage. Again, you need to use Willpower to change the weapon's frequency, and this time it does harm the host.
    Last edited by LostLight; 06-28-2015, 02:02 PM.

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  • #2
    Maiden's Blood Sisterhood- they are on the right path. When they'll be ready, they could finally see the face of our Mother
    Habibi Ma- our members in the Middle East has encountered that group. They tried to "free" some of our members from the cult. They don't understand that the Dark Mother is the one to give use freedom..
    Cainte Heresy- mad zealots without guidance, no better then children with sharp knives. They rites are stolen, and we should take them back.
    Lucifuge- the hierarchies of Hell are complicated, and demons fight each other for control. Their Father may be the ruler now- but it is just a matter of time until our Mother would rise. Meanwhile, as our parents battle each other in Hell- we do the same on Earth.
    Athenic Church- we had some.. tackles with a rival, feminist cult. While we do share a number of common understandings, they seem to be quite mad about our use of the Owl as our symbol. They need to learn to share.

    "What a naughty child have you been- Mother is very disappointed of you"
    Last edited by LostLight; 01-05-2016, 02:45 PM.

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    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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    • #3
      Shadows of the Cage
      With the cult's focus on hunting down the renegade strixs (and an occasional bloodsucker from time to time), the hunters who bump into them at night are rarely aware to the darker aspects of the group. Those who search after information about those strange hunters who manipulate shadows in order to hunt the undead discover some.. unsettling details. He may come upon an old article in a local newspaper about a new feminist movement who claims that men should be slaves and serve the true rulers of the world. He looks at the internet, and finds a new ager who posts warnings about that group, claiming they shouldn't get near those people. A priest in the news mentions their name among the groups who advance the "satanic agenda" and should be burned. A conspiracy theorist claims that they kidnap young men and force them into dark orgies of sex and blood as part of their rituals, and that not all of their sacrifices survive the act.

      Those rumors are correct.

      The Cage of Shadows are an extreme feminist group. There is a reason men can't go above certain level in the conspiracy- their discrimination is harsh, and those few male cultists who serve in the cult suffer from constant mocking and abuse. The female cultists are thought that this is alright- for men were never meant to rule, but to obey. Their faith is also pretty harsher then the regular pagan/new age faiths- first, they are not pagan. Sure, they may be heretics, but they are monotheists, and those few confused pagans or "spirituals" who think that they simply stop at women superiority discover a different picture all together- the cult believes in God, but they also believe they are damned. They know that while Lilith is a powerful demon, she is powerless against the one who made her. Just as men should remember their place on Earth, so women should remember their place in the Heavens. Those who stray from the monotheistic faith usually find themselves taking a very important place in their ceremonies.. from the wrong angle, of course. They also don't deny the fact that they are demon worshipers. They actually take pride in that- women were originally meant to be temptress to draw the men to them, the same way that Lilith was made to tempt Adam. They work in all ways to serve their dark patron and advance her agenda- which includes defiling churches, tempting rabbis and make Muslims betray their faith.

      One of the ways they work the "Lilithian Agenda" (they say that "Satanic" is too masculine) is through their dark rituals. At least once a month, the local cells of the cult gather and search for a victim, a sacrifice for their demon-goddess. They tempt them to their temples and use drugs and drinks to help them "loosen up". Some of those rituals are group activities, where an whole orgy would take place. Other members prefer to do so one on one, giving the sacrifice a more "personal touch". After making sure that the sacrifice became cooperative enough, the members start the ritual- they undress him, slowly, in a very sensual way. They kiss him, whisper to him, taunt him. And then, they pull their sharp knives. They cut through their victim's skin, pouring his blood into tiny little bottles, yet they don't cut deep enough to kill him. They force him to drink that blood, or drink it by themselves, or cover both their skins as they make love together. They bind him, and use whips and scourges and chains to break his body and soul. They burn their skin with candles, carve demonic diagrams and Latin sentences from the bible into their flesh with sacred blades. They do so for days, weeks even, and every time the drugs seem to wear out they add more, to make sure their victim won't try to resist.

      And then, they let him go.

      Some don't survive the long sessions of sex and pain, of course. Once, the death percentage was quit high- but since the discovery of more effective drugs more sacrifices survive the process. Those who survive are free to leave- but the cultists warn them that they should keep their mouth shut and just keep going with their lives. Most people listen, preferring to try and forget the dark experience and act like it never happened. Those who don't, however, find themselves hunted by dark spirits and hidden shadows, until they end up in a dark alley in front of a golden eyed, black owl. It should be mentioned that while men are the preferred victims, women- especially "heretics" who either don't believe in woman superiority or strict monotheistic faith- may also find themselves as part of the rituals.

      And what happens to those who die?

      That is the darkest shadow of the conspiracy- for those people are made into a sacrifice for Lilith herself. After their death, they are put on the unholy altar and prey to the great Owl of the Night, until the shadows finally take form. When she arrives, she lay with the dead body- and once touched by her dark fingers, the dead are awakened to life. The two spend together since dusk to dusk, while the priests gather and hail the holy act of their patron- until the time comes up and the demon finally leaves. Then, the body fall into deep silence- only to open its eyes once more, its eyes shine with golden light. Those are the children of Lilith herself, the few Lilim who were freed from their dark cage in order to serve the cult until it would be their time to return to their Dark Mother. Those members who know the cult's history think it is ironic- they, who hunt the shadows for defiling the dead, give birth to those same abominations. Yet, those members are smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves- after all, they were already suffered for two damnations, and now one wish for a third.

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      • #4
        Strains of the Cursed Blood- Children of the Night
        Here is the thing- the Cage of Shadows are, at least partially, a sex cult. Lilith is, after all, a temptress she-demon. It only makes sense that many of their rituals would include, in one way or another, sex. Sure, they are also a blood cult and a demon cult, is it rarely looks pretty- but it is done. On the other hand, the Cage are definitely not a fertility cult- after all, Lilith's womb is barren, and she can only give birth for demons. As such, the said ceremonies usually don't bare fruit- some, more radical members of the cult mutilate themselves to stop potential problems, but others simply make sure to use protection, or preform the infernal rites in a way which would not be procreative.

        But sometimes, mistakes do happen.

        It is not common, mind you- but it is not too rare as well. After all, its not that hard to make a mistake when you are all covered in vampire blood and surrounded by demonic shadows. About half of the time, such pregnancies end with with a miscarriage- Lilith claims the unborn soul, it is said. One fifth of the successful pregnancies end up with a perfectly normal child, although they are more prone toward developing Supernatural Merits such as Unseen Senses and their like. Nothing too special or weird.

        The rest are called as Yaldei HaLayla- the Children of the Night.

        Those vampire scholars who has investigated the incarnations of Lilithian Cults through the ages have discovered that long, long time ago, during the time of the First Temple is the stories are to be believed, one of the first cults of the Great Owl had some very complicated relationship with such children- or, more exactly, they murdered every such child they managed to lay their hands on. Those who survived, of course, didn't take that well, and waged a war against both Lilith and her followers. Both of those groups have died long, long, long before the Cage of Shadows has started to take form. There is little to no connection between the ancient and modern cults in terms of ideology, faith and goals, other than the fact that they both worship the same entity. As such, the Cage's view of the bastard children of Lilith is different- they are not seen as a threat. They are seen as a blessing.

        Here is the thing- yes, Lilith is barren. Yes, you could interpreted it as if getting pregnant by Lilith is an insult to your demon goddess. On the other hand, it is not that Lilith can't give birth at all- she can birth demons, and the Children are, undoubtedly, demonic. They have access to powers much greater than the regular cult members- dread abilities which are kept only for the shadowy children of the Night Owl. That means that those Children of the Night are, in fact, Lilith's children, given flesh through the wombs of mortal followers. Such children have an important place in all of the Cage's ceremonies and rituals- they are all bathed in Vitae kept fresh using special ceremony known only to the head priestesses, and serve as both religious leaders and bodyguards of the cult. They hunt for vampires and lilim, invoke the powers of shadows and doom in the name of their Unholy Mother. They don't taint themselves in most of the cult's practices- they are better than that. They are the cult's pride and honor, champions of the dread demoness which was banished from Eden.

        But what if they don't want to?

        What if all they want is having a regular, normal life, going to school, find a job and hook up with a nice guy once and awhile without fearing that your mother and her friends would kidnap the bastard and torment the living hell out of him? As you may expect, the chances are that the cult won't see it fondly- your life are not yours, after all. Lilith could have killed you before you were even born. You can't be such an ungrateful child to a mother who loves you so much. As such, the cult does its best in order to convince the misguided child of returning to their rightful place- and if not, actions may be taken in order to help him make the right call.

        After all, the modern Cage does not murder his children- but there is nothing against murdering everyone else they care about.

        Mechanically, the children of the Cage are being created just like regular cultists, but with few differences. First, like other Strains of Cursed Blood, they have an increased lifespan which depends on their Status (see the Lucifuge's section in C&C for details). Second, unlike other members of the cult, the gender of the cultist does not limit her Status: [Cage of Shadows]'s rating- after all, you a a child of Lilith, a demon in human skin. If she wished you to be born as a male, than so be it. Each of the Children starts with one free dot in Status: [Cult] for the exact same reason. Finally, the Children of the Night have access to a much wider and exotic range of supernatural abilities- for each dot they have in Tselalim, they also gain one Strix Dread Power for free.

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