The Cult of The Great Mother - A Bloody Faction


Cosmic Mongoose
The following faction makes use of Legend Core Rulebook and Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic.

Cult of the Great Mother
Ancient Blood Worshippers
The Great Mother
Known as “Mountain Mother,” “Great Mother,” “Mother of Gods” and “Mother of Monsters,” the Great Mother's cult is one of the more prominent and prolific Earth Mother cults on the continent. Worshipped in rural and urban communities alike, her shrines and temples are ubiquitous.

Figurines depict the Mountain Mother as a plump goddess seated on a wide throne, crowned, with a cornucopia at her feet. Her shrines are frequently adorned with offerings of wine, food, flowers and, most of all, blood.

Mother of Monsters
One thing human and non-human civilisations have in common is worship of the Great Mother. Despite the sanguine nature of Her worship, it is forbidden for combat and violence to take place within one hundred paces of a shrine or temple – even a simple roadside shrine. Warring factions and businessmen take advantage of this to arrange meetings to discuss trade; the Cult takes a small percentage of any money that changes hands. Some cultures accept non-human females of species such as Orcs and Ogres who are priestesses of the Great Mother.

Courtesy and Respectability
The Great Mother offers a respectable life to individuals whom society would class as otherwise undesirable, depending on the nature of (and prejudices of) society.
The cult gives shelter to society's pariahs, giving them succour and often initiating them into the cult and allowing them to rise through the ranks, gaining a respectability in their new lives that they could never have had in their old lives.

Steeped in Blood
As an Earth Mother religion, the Cult of the Great Mother has never shied away from the spilling of blood. All of the Divine Magic one learns from this cult is blood magic, requiring a sacrifice of life force or blood from the priestess – something they call the “Sanguine Sacrament.”

Sexless Priests
The priesthood of the Great Mother does not admit fertile men. Only women, eunuchs, natural hermaphrodites and men (and women) who have been subjected to either the Genderless, Severance or Sterilise Sanguine Sacraments (below) can rise above the rank of Initiate.

Every adherent of the Great Mother cult must make at least one pilgrimage in their lives to the cult's Great Temple, on the red mountain in the East from which the cult originates. (Note: In real life, the ancient Cult of Cybele Magna Mater, after whom this cult is modelled, originated at a mountain temple in Asia Minor). Newly Ordained High Priestesses are required to make a pilgrimage to the Great Temple – and dwell there.

Sanguine Sacraments and Sacrificial Methods
Concert Casting – Taurobolium
Many of the Divine spells of the Great Mother cult, and many of its celebratory ceremonies, are cast as concerts. The concert ritual is known as the Taurobolium, and it is a form of Avulsion. A sacrificial bull is suspended above the naked Acolytes and Priestesses, standing in a vat. The bull's throat is slit, and the blood allowed to rain down upon the cultists below, who wash themselves in the shower of sacred arterial blood. Multiple avulsions are typical, and the Taurobolium quickly becomes a literal bloodbath.

Acolytes and Priestesses either use the Taurobolium to cast their concert Divine spells, or they use the rituals to dedicate their allocation of Magic Points that day – see “Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic” for further information on the practice of Avulsion.

Bloody Shrines
Similarly, lesser blood sacrifices are frequently made at lesser shrines, even at small roadside shrines. There, it is common for small animals such as chickens to be sacrificed (the practice of Avulsion) – though occasionally a devotee may bleed himself out over a shrine (exsanguination) or cut himself (Scarification) and smear his blood over the figurine or over a piece of food to be left as the sacrificial offering.

Children also make symbolic offerings to the Great Mother, this sacrifice taking the form of offerings of food, libations and bouquets of flowers. Shrines to the Great Mother are frequently adorned with such simple offerings.

Lay Member
Both men and women, and males and females of non-human races may sacrifice to the Great Mother and learn some of the Cult skills. Favoured lay members frequently show their devotion to the Great Mother by offering their blood and pain as sacrifices in rituals performed by the cult.

Initiates must know at least five of the cult skills at 30% or higher. One of those skills must either be First Aid or Healing. This rank is open to males and females alike; however, to move past this rank and begin to learn Divine spells, initiates may need to be exposed to the Genderless, Sterilise or Severance Divine spells below.

Initiates must know at least five of the cult skills at 50% or higher. One of those skills must either be First Aid or Healing. No fertile men are allowed to reach this rank or higher. Males may have to be exposed to the Genderless, Sterilise or Severance Divine spells, or physically – and voluntarily – elect for permanent, mundane castration. All are considered legally female. This is the lowest rank at which characters can begin to learn the Piety (Great Mother) and Invoke (Great Mother) Divine skills and learn the Great Mother's Sanguine Sacraments.

Priestesses must know Piety (Great Mother) and Invoke (Great Mother), along with at least five cult skills, at 75% or higher. They must additionally know both First Aid and Healing at 75% or higher. The Tireless Heroic Ability is available to Priestesses at this level.

High Priestess
High Priestesses must know Piety (Great Mother) and Invoke (Great Mother), along with at least five cult skills, at 100% or higher. They must additionally know both First Aid and Healing at 100% or higher, along with all the Heroic Abilities taught by the cult.

Cult Skills
The cult typically teaches Art, Courtesy, Culture (Great Mother), First Aid, Healing, Influence, Insight, Lore (Great Mother), Meditation, Oratory, Perception, Resilience and Teaching, and the Divine Magic skills of Invoke Great Mother) and Piety (Great Mother).

Divine Magic
Aphrodisiac, Bless Crops, Bless Sacrifice, Blessing, Blood Covenant, Coagulate, Consecrate, Cure Disease/Poison, Fertility, Genderless, Heal Body, Heal Mind, Heal Wound, Madness, Preserve Blood, Propitiate, Purify Blood, Rain of Blood, Regenerate Limb, Sterilise, Severance

Heroic Abilities
Disease Immunity, Empathic Wound, Poison Immunity, Tireless

Sanguine Sacraments

Duration Special, Rank Priest, Touch
A version of Bless Crops that applies to livestock and to humanoids wanting to become pregnant. The spell must be maintained for at least one lunar month. During that month pregnancy is guaranteed if the female has sex, assuming that the female in question has full working genitalia and is in full health. This spell cannot be recovered or released for as long as the spell is maintained.

Instant, Rank Priest, Resist (Resilience), Touch
The target touched undergoes a permanent loss of gender. The target's primary and secondary genitalia and body shapes alter to the form of an androgynous hermaphrodite; female breasts shrink and flatten, male and female genitalia change and acquire the characteristics of both. The character becomes a person belonging to neither gender; not a man, and not a woman.

Instant, Rank Priest, Resist (Resilience), Touch
A terrible curse to apply to anyone, male or female, this Divine spell sterilises the target it touches, permanently. This is often applied to male supplicants wishing to rise above the level of Initiate in the cult, who may not want to undergo alternative spells such as Severance or Genderless.

Instant, Rank Priest, Resist (Resilience), Touch
This spell removes the genitalia of a man, or the breasts of a woman. The severance is painless, and the wound site instantly heals over with skin. The site of the severed genitalia in a man resembles female genitalia, allowing the man to urinate; but the target has no feeling in that area as a woman would. The genitals remain alive after being severed, but they require a Regenerate Limb Divine spell to reattach later. Supplicants to the Priesthood often have this spell applied to them; the cult keeps the severed genitalia in safe storage, just in case the priest or priestess needs to leave the cult.


Cosmic Mongoose
I presume that faction this is loosely based upon the mystery cult of Cybele and Attis from late antiquity?

The mystery religions of the ancient world are probably a good source of ideas - I can also imagine a cult write-up loosely based upon Mithras that uses the new rules from Blood Magic :)


Cosmic Mongoose
Yup. I mentioned this in my writeup. It's basically Cybele, Magna Mater, Mater De(or)um, dressed up for Legend. I could not really have done Her justice until Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic came along.

I'll leave it to the rest of the forum to come up with the Blood Magic writeup for the Mithras cult.

I'm considering writing up this cult and my Repairers of Reputations assassins' guild as PDFs and making them available online. Open Content, of course.