WORMSKIN

1/07/2012

More about Labyrinthine and the Cult of the Nine-Legged God

The Lake of the Floating Mosses is named for the peculiar gas-filled polyps of moss and vegetable matter that conglomerate above the lake's center. They hover perhaps ten yards above the water in masses varying in size from small clods to boulder-sized miniature islands where a number of small trees may stand. 

The lake is claimed by the Cult of the Nine-Legged God who have lived in the island-castle called Labyrinthine since time out of mind. The red priests worship the Dark Mother whose name is sacred. Legends say that she lives deep beneath the fungus-crusted catacombs of Labyrinthine in a vast chasm. She is described as a spider with nine legs, each the size of an ancient oak. Her webs are like thick vines dripping with sticky sap. They catch creatures that crawl up from the abyss below*. All this and more is told in the Book of Unfolding Time which contains all the sacred writings of the red priests.

Each cultist of the Dark Mother must bear her mark -- an eye-like shape composed of nine runes. The Mark (as it is commonly known) must be tattooed on the body of the cultist by his or her ninth year. Usually under the left arm and always with the pale ink of the orange lotus. Only persons bearing this mark are allowed passage at the Southern Dock to the island-castle. Clever tattooists will occasionally fake these marks with temporary inks. Discovery of this sort of subterfuge is an automatic death sentence.

It is unclear just how many dwell within the winding halls and echoing quadrangles that constitute the Castle Labyrinthine. There are countless apartments, kitchens, water closets, bath pools, galleries, shrines, fountains, stairwells, libraries, crypts, vaults, cellars, dungeons and partially collapsed areas -- far too many to navigate without an experienced guide or a bit of magic.

The Five Hierophants -- sometimes called the Pentangle -- manage Labyrinthine's assets and have thousands of clerics in their service.

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*: the Lesser Underworld of Ghastur

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