Conan Acheronian Edition
Cultists of the Golden King (dead by dozens!)
Rich fools, fanatical thugs and insane dabblers in service of the Golden King
The Cult of the Golden King has many pawns from different walks of life. They are lured into the cult with promises of power, influence, wealth and friends. Some contribute through wealth, others through influence. A select few are taught basic sorcery. Some are driven insane and used as cannon fodder. Many of the cultists still live completely normal lives, the cult being a dark secret in the shadow of their public life. Those who have done the Unspeakable Oath often show signs of leprosy and insanity.
Since Zingara, the heroes have run across common cultists mutiple times. Often the confrontations had ended with piles of corpses left behind. To the leadership of the cult, the common members seem to be a completely expendable and renewable resource.
The cult of the Golden Kings seems to recruit members from three main channels – decadent nobility, the intensely religious and ruffians for hire. The nobility are lured in with promises of power – mundane or otherwise – through their peers. Some are simply so decadent they seek strange pleasures beyond what their wealth can buy them. For the religious, the cult masks itself within another, established religion as a secret society for the true faithful. The nature of the cult is slowly revealed through mysteries, while the members are indoctrinated. Lastly, there are the hired cutthroats. Although most of them are just hired blades, some are lured to join the cult with promises of degenerate pleasures.
Most of the cultists are pawns with little or no knowledge about its true purpose. They are noblemen who join up because their friends joined too and donate money to the priest. They are cutthroats who kill people on shady alleys and people who think they are doing deeds for the glory of Mitra or Ishtar. Most of them think the cult is a purely local operation and as far as they know, the only priest they are familiar with is the leader of the cult. All are not willing to give their lives for the cause and usually end up being used once and thrown away.
The second tier of cultists are fanatics, who have given up their daily lives for the cult. They are used as physical labor and arrow fodder. The vile things and rituals the cultists engage in eventually destroy their sanity and humanity. They care little about what the cult plans and are usually willing to sacrifice their lives for the cause. The last tier before the leaders are the priests. They have usually done the Oath and as a result, often show signs of leprosy. They are taught sorcery, which usually involves spells specific to the Golden King. The priests are usually less devoted to the cult than the fanatics – they choose to preserve themselves if they can. However, they fear their masters more than most enemies. They are only given enough information to carry out their present assignments effectively.