Cthulhu Cult
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
The sole purpose of a Cthulhu cult is reverence for—and service to—Great Cthulhu and his siblings. Their goal is to provide sacrifices for abyssal monsters, keep the cult secret by murdering nosy outsiders, and ultimately to awaken Cthulhu when his time inevitably comes.

Cultists believe that after Cthulhu rises—when he will roam wild across the world—they will be free to consume, kill, and take pleasure as they please along with him. This is his promise. Naturally, his cult attracts the vilest of individuals.

Cthulhu’s cult is almost exclusively coastal, or among those who live on ships. Those who are landlocked cannot easily access the wealth that Cthulhu offers, so typically they follow other Great Old Ones.

The cult of Cthulhu has three main categories of members:

Humanoids: Normal humanoids who worship Cthulhu form the vast bulk of the cult, seeking two distinct rewards. First, they are promised that when Cthulhu comes to clear the world, they will be free to engage in indiscriminate violence, as described above. Second, they gain deep-sea bounty and wealth via contact with abyssal horrors. This wealth often takes the form of valuable objects (statuettes or jewelry) made of gold or silver that mysteriously appear in their fishing nets.

Tainted Hybrids: If the deep ones are in an area, they almost always organize as a cult of Dagon (a subset of Cthulhu followers). Humans in such a cult who interbreed with the deep ones produce hybrid offspring who start out looking human but over the years degenerate into the full deep one form. The promise for the humans is that their children will be immortal, while the promise for the hybrids is that they will one day join deep one society. And of course, once the entire community is composed of hybrids—a process that takes only a single generation—their deep one heritage ensures loyalty to the Great Old One’s goals.

Deep Ones: The deep ones are not an ancient species and did not interact with the true primordial entities, such as the yithians or elder things. They were created a few thousand years ago by the starspawn, Cthulhu's own race, who sought to form a species which could communicate with, monitor, and if need be, wipe out humanity or the other surface folk. The deep ones possess the same physical realities as a normal species: bones, digestion, a need to breathe, and so forth. Where they diverge is in their ability to cross-breed with other vertebrate species that should be completely incompatible from an evolutionary perspective. The deep ones are absolutely loyal to Cthulhu and work to advance his aims whenever possible.

Cthulhu Cult Gifts

  • Abyssal Horrors: Starspawn recognize and work with human cultists. Usually, the starspawn is in charge, but occasionally Cthulhu sets things up the other way around for unknown reasons.
  • Blessed of Cthulhu: Certain special cultists are given the mark of Cthulhu. This generally means that part of the cultist’s body is transformed into one or more worm-like tentacles. For instance, a blessed one might have an eye replaced with a tendril or their hand might become a cluster of writhing worm-like protrusions. Other possibilities include a circlet of tentacles on the chest or a forest of them in place of hair. Typically, the transformed part of the body—the mark—is kept hidden by the cultist except during special ceremonies. This transformation bestows no special abilities, but it does give the cultist special benefits in dealing with Cthulhu and his minions.
  • Dreams: Cultists are able to get special instructions and information from Cthulhu via dream telepathy.
  • Shoggoth-twsha: Certain deep ones are appointed to become shoggoth-twshas, specialists who are able to control shoggoths. The shoggoth-handlers do so with a small amount of enchanted tissue of their personal shoggoth, which they carry with them at all times (see twsha on the Alchemical Mythos Items page). Each shoggoth-twsha has one particular shoggoth. These individuals are, naturally enough, guarded by the cult, because their death leads to a dangerously uncontrolled shoggoth. Usually, only deep ones gain this bleesing, but very rarely, a human might be granted a shoggoth to control, such as if the creature is needed far inland where deep ones prefer not to tread.
  • Y’ha-Nthlei: Human cultists know how to contact the deep ones off almost any coast, generally using the ritual contact deep ones.
  • Treasures: Cultists can generally access chains of the deep, idols of Cthulhu, starstones of Mnar, tiaras of Mnar, and yithian lightning guns.

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