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You knew you were special, ever since the day you were shown the light. You kept it a secret in your heart; now, you can contain it no longer. Armed with His gift, a precious word in His sacred tongue, you begin your dark work - no one will leave the station alive.
The cultists are a group of fanatical worshipers of Nar-sie, the Geometer of Blood. For whatever reason, they have chosen this shift as the moment when they will reveal their dark purpose. They will tolerate only two sorts of people: those who worship the Dark God, and those who are dead.
Extended skillset - Your god imbues you with the ability to fight with the tools he provides.
- 1 Your Objectives
- 2 Weapons of the Faith
- 3 Your Dark Work Begins
- 3.1 Identifying the Cult
- 3.2 Running the Runes
- 3.3 Converting to the Cause
- 3.4 Capturing Souls
- 3.5 Remaining Unseen
- 3.6 Spilling Blood in His Name
- 3.7 Playing by Man's Rules
- 4 Surviving the Cult
- 5 Tips & Tricks
- 6 History
As with all antagonists, you do not have any set-in-stone objectives. However, you differ from most antagonist types in that you are commonly driven toward certain goals:
- Pleasing Nar-sie. Murder and/or terrorize the crew, steal a mass of souls, or even bring the Geometer Himself into the world of man.
- The conversion, whether by will or by force, of the crew into the cult.
- General mayhem.
Weapons of the Faith
You begin the round with an inscribed sheet of paper, and knowledge of a special word. You are, otherwise, indistinguishable from any other member of the crew.
The paper in your bag is vital to your round. It contains a number of spells that will replicate cult magic, including the ability to summon a tome, outfit yourself with cult armor, and more. Additionally, it can be used to create a soulstone, which is the only way you can obtain one without the aid of a construct.
It is highly recommended that your first actions with the paper are as follows:
- Summon an arcane tome.
- Use the "coordination" spell and introduce yourself to the cult. You can state as much or as little about yourself as you want, but make sure you share your known cult word with the others (check your Notes in the IC tab if you forget).
The Arcane Tome is the most important weapon in your arsenal. Without it, you are just a madman gibbering mindlessly about nothing. The Tome does not appear on your character sprite - however, it will show up if you are examined. You should consider keeping your Tome concealed, unless you are playing the dreaded Peacecult. The Arcane Tome has three functions that turn the tide of a Cult round:
- Read the Tome: Displays a treatise (found in Cult Magic), informing the player how to decipher the runes.
- Scribe a Rune: Using the words you have learned, create one of several different runes, allowing you to cast powerful spells.
- Notes: The cult meta-game. This is where you assign a true meaning to each occult word, which in turn unlocks cult runes.
The Tome's primary use is to create runes. However, it also performs the following functions:
- Using the Tome on a rune.
- This will instantly erase the rune. Used to hide evidence, or to clear mistakes when attempting to decipher the words.
- Using the Tome on another Tome.
- You will be prompted to copy your notes to the target Tome. Used to share notes (when the Communicate rune is unavailable), quickly arm manifested ghosts, or prepare a backup Tome in case yours is lost.
Your Dark Work Begins
You are ready to begin. How you spread the Unholy Word of the Geometer of Blood is up to you, but you should be aware of the numerous options you have available as a child of Nar-sie.
Identifying the Cult
No one can tell a cultist by their appearance, but you know. You are instilled with the knowledge, whether by coordination before the shift, or sheer strength of faith. Identify your brothers and sisters by the sickly green skull on their HUD. As constructs are created and more crew are converted to the cause, they will obtain skulls of their own.
Running the Runes
The Arcane Tome is the means of core Cult play; the Runes are the end. Cultists of Nar-sie can produce several runes to produce magical effects, ranging from psychic communication, to blinding everyone in sight, to bringing the Geometer Himself into the mortal world.
Open your Arcane Tome and open the Notes section, selecting your known word and assigning a meaning to it. Be sure to repeat the process when you learn the other words. Using the charts found in Cult Magic, you play a sort of decryption game, in which you must assign meanings to unknown words and then attempt to create their associated runes, until you are sure all true meanings are known.
Scribing a rune will require you to cut yourself, and leave lasting bruises. Additionally, the runes themselves are bizarre and often mistaken for blood. For this reason, it is important that you perform your experiments in secrecy, away from the prying eyes of Security and the AI. To use the rune, make sure your active hand is empty, then simply click it. Runes may be stacked one on top of the other, unless they are duplicate runes, in which case the older rune is erased. Be sure to alt+click the tile with the rune in case there are multiple runes.
If you manage to decrypt every occult word, it is vital that you share your knowledge with the rest of the cult. You will have access to the Communicate rune at this point, making this process very easy.
Converting to the Cause
Crew members may be converted to the cult by forcing or coercing them to stand on a Convert rune. Using the rune while the non-cult player stands on top will prompt them to resist conversion. If you brought them by force, it is highly unlikely they'll be eager to join you!
If your conversion is successful, you will have another crazed ally to fight by your side. Be sure to equip them with one of your holy Arcane Tomes, and share your cult's current plans with them.
One common strategy for Cultists is to attack the crew and capture their souls, thus creating an army of demonic machines. With a fully-deciphered Arcane Tome, you will not need the inscribed paper you began the round with very often. However, this paper allows you to summon a soulstone, which is the only means of obtaining one before you have built an Artificer construct. If you intend to capture souls, you should also use the paper to create a shell as well. This will appear as an empty suit of armor, and often looks highly suspicious to non-cultists.
Creating a construct requires a living player at critical health, and a nearby construct shell. With the soulstone in your active hand, click their body to capture their soul. Then, click on the construct shell and you will be prompted to create a construct. Don't create that Juggernaut just yet - the Artificer can create additional soulstones and shells!
With an Artificer at your side, you have the means to create a demonic machine army. However, remember that this is a very aggressive playstyle that converts players into slaved antagonists. Consider using this sparingly if you want to keep the round fun for others, and try warning over LOOC before you begin.
Your cult is unknown to outsiders, but before the night is over, all will know of Nar-sie. Still, a little prudence goes a long way. Cult implements are often visually sinister, consisting of black books and bloody motifs. You should take care to conduct your experimentation and conversions in secluded areas. Maintenance halls are good for this, but firefighting closets and the Incinerator are not only secluded, but have only one exit and no cameras.
Good, responsible roleplayers will likely be suspicious of your runes and Tomes but not jump immediately into action, opting instead to investigate - but remember, the moment you emerge with battle-robes and dark energy swords, all bets are off!
Use the Arcane Tome on a rune to erase it.
The Hide Rune
Using a Hide rune will hide all runes within a small radius, including the Hide rune itself. Use a Reveal rune to reverse this effect.
The Teleport Runes
The Teleport runes are tricky, but incredibly powerful parts of the Cult arsenal. There are two types of Teleport runes: self and other, each of which require only two occult words to use: travel self, and travel other respectively. When scribing these runes, you will be prompted to select a keyword from your list of occult words. This keyword is used to link one Teleportation rune to another.
Joe Baldie is the Head of Personnel, conspiring with Sue Floorlength, the Research Director.
Sue has sabotaged numerous doors on the Research Outpost and taken out cameras in the warehouse areas. She creates a Teleport rune with the keyword "hell". Using the Communicate rune, she informs all cultists that there is now a "hell" waypoint that leads to "a safe place".
Joe puts a Teleport rune in the room between his office and the Command meeting rune, and also uses the keyword "hell". Now, whenever any cultist uses either Teleport rune, they will instantly travel to the other.
A Mistake to Avoid
Frank Robustitude is the Warden. Following the above example, he is about to be discovered with a dead body by the Security force. He panics and creates a Teleport rune of his own in the Holodeck, also using the keyword "hell". Now, though Frank intends to escape to the Research Outpost, he has entangled the teleports. He is randomly teleported to the HoP's console room, instead. To make things worse, if he tries to teleport again, he might return to the scene of the crime. Even worse, if he fails to correct this mistake or share it with the Cult, they may unwittingly teleport themselves right into the middle of armed, angry Security guards!
For this reason, it is very important that you coordinate as often as possible, to make sure your teleportation links are not ruined.
Spilling Blood in His Name
Cultists are notoriously robust, with lots of powerful offensive options at their disposal. Your first instinct may be to use the Armor rune (or summon armor with your paper) and start contributing prized specimens to Nar-sie's severed head collection.
Your Cult Blade might be obscenely powerful, but remember that it's a melee weapon! With teamwork and skill, Security can put you down before you can get a swing in (unless you're a manifested ghost, then you can likely take a nuclear warhead to the face and live). Not only that, but stabbing people left and right is the exact opposite of a fun and interesting round.
Blindness, Deafness, Stun, and EMP
The bread and butter of your magical attacks are the Blind, Deaf, Stun, and EMP runes. These do exactly what they sound like, within a medium-sized range of where the rune was activated. It is important to remember that these runes affect everyone: non-cultists, cultists, and even the person who used the rune. It is highly recommended you not use a stun rune when the ERT has just shot a grenade.
The Wall rune is incredibly powerful, forming an excellent means to block the opposition's path. Make sure that you use the rune after you place it down - it does not activate automatically. Any Cultist can re-activate the rune to toggle the wall on and off. Wall runes combined with a Hide run are a frustrating and extremely effective way to form choke points and barriers.
The Manifest rune allows you to pull a ghost into the living realm, animating them for a short time to do your bidding. Manifested ghosts act just like players (they can manipulate objects, and count as Cult for the purposes of using Tomes/runes), but are highly stun-resistant and very robust.
To use a Manifest rune, you must be standing on top of it. When a player's ghost is also atop the rune, using the rune will pull them into a randomly-generated human body. You can repeat this for as many ghosts as will come to your rune. Again, both you and the ghost must stand on the rune together. Stepping off of or erasing the rune will instantly destroy any ghosts you have manifested in this manner.
Ghosts are prompted to follow the wishes of their master (you), but it is useful to give them directives, otherwise they have a tendency to wander off and murder people, which may or may not be what you want. Truly skilled Cultists will spawn several Tomes, copy their notes to them, and numerous sets of armor before summoning ghosts, allowing their armory to mobilize almost immediately!
The Blood Boil rune's effect is straightforward: get a victim onto the rune, and then use it. Their blood will, as its name implies, boil violently in their veins, doing severe damage. When a Blood Boil rune is used, every single rune of the same type will activate at once. If you manage to kill 3+ people this way, it is rumored Nar-sie Himself will award you a trophy.
Multiple cult using the same rune will vastly increase the damage it does, ranging from severe impairment to outright death. Note that forcing the resistance to run into a bottlenecked chamber with a Wall and Blood Boil rune is a quick way to get banned.
Blood Boil is a tricky rune to use and doesn't often allow for counterplay. You should always adminhelp if you're unsure about using it.
Blood Drain works similarly to Blood Boil: namely, it requires a victim to stand on top of the rune; using the rune will also activate all runes of its type. Draining a victim's blood will heal you for some brute damage. There are numerous risks with using this rune, see the rune's Cult Magic entry for more information.
Playing by Man's Rules
Playing nicely, otherwise known as Peacecult, is an extremely challenging strategy, and requires top-notch roleplaying. Or very gullible characters. In Peacecult, you do not harm anyone at all - instead, you and your fellow Cultists preach the word of Nar-sie openly, inviting people to join your religion in a friendly and harmless fashion.
However, take note of the following risks:
- Attempting to convert a player sends them a message describing the agonizing pain they are going through. More often than not, this is a very quick way to get Security called on you.
- You may be outright ignored. See: playing the Chaplain. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to recruit followers to summon your all-powerful murdergod, only to be snubbed by the Tajara as they flirt with one another in Hydroponics.
- Most Cult players go into the round expecting mayhem and murder. More often than not, they'll simply reject your crazy plot.
If you manage to make Peacecult work, this can often be one of the most hilarious experiences in Baystation 12. Good luck! Bonus points if you talk the ERT into joining!
Surviving the Cult
So, your date with Lucas Greyer was interrupted by a gibbering band of madmen in robes with glowing swords. Well darn. There are a few things you need to know if you want to get out of this situation alive.
Identifying the Occult
Identifying the Cult is difficult. They have been very secretive about their religion, and it is impossible for your character to recognize it. You have never heard of Nar-sie in your life. Those Tomes sure look sinister! But then again, so does your average Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook. You might confront Joe Baldie and ask him why he's got bruises all over his head, but characters accidentally battering themselves with toolboxes is commonplace, so don't be surprised if your commanding officer tells you to let him go.
Remember that just as the Cult is obligated to make the round fun and challenging for you, you are also obligated to do the same.
- You have no earthly idea what the runes are. They are not "obviously evil". Calling for Blue Alert or interrogating nearby crew at the first sight of a rune is poor play.
- Arcane Tomes are just that: weird books. Unless they were used to bash the IA Agent's brains in, they are not suspicious.
- Cult robes might sling off bullets, but they don't look armored. They're pretty kooky, though. They could have been a missing costume shipment, or maybe the Chaplain got drunk and flung off his clothes.
- Cult Blades are as or more suspicious than fuel-tank bombs. They're vicious, incredibly sharp swords that glow and thrum like energy blades. Just touching them makes you feel horrendously ill, twisting your heart and filling your head with poisonous thoughts. If you're the Detective, consider these the holy grail of evidence.
Obviously, the onus is on the Cult to be discreet about their misdeeds. You won't be prompted if they scribe a rune (you merely see it appear), but checking them and seeing fresh wounds is very fishy. Watching a Cultist disappear is obvious grounds for investigation. When in doubt, play it safe, try to think rationally and realistically, and don't be afraid to adminhelp if you need a second opinion.
The Cult wears extremely high-quality armor, and their swords can sever a limb in only one or two hits. For Security (or in the event of a militarized civilian crew), it is vital that you wear riot armor, or any other gear which excels at absorbing melee brute damage. Tasers and stun batons are nearly worthless against the armored Cult!
Depending on the extremity of their assault, the Cult may or may not present a severe threat. Calling the ERT is a reasonable response once people begin losing their spinal cords.
You may come across a strange patch of air that seems impenetrable - there might be a rune there, or not, if the Cult was clever enough to hide it. Trying to shoot the Cultists through this invisible barrier is a quick way to be laughed at! You can cut through the real, solid walls in an attempt to get around, but be warned that the Cult can erect their Wall runes much faster than you can slice through the station.
The only way to remove a Wall rune is to have the Chaplain neutralize it, or hope you're lucky enough to catch the Cult with the wall down.
Whether your religion is legitimate or not, as a devout person of the cloth, you are imbued with the holy power to turn Cult from Nar-sie's hideous visage, and return them to sanity. Your obsidian Null Rod can erase runes, or de-program Cult members when used violently (but justly).
As the Chaplain, you are arguably the most powerful person on the Station in the event of a Cult round. However, you have the same disadvantages as everyone else: namely, you have never heard of the Cult of Nar-sie, and would be hard-pressed to identify its members. Security may bring you their armaments and Tomes if found - player's discretion is important to determine whether or not these would constitute a clearly foul presence aboard the Station. When presented with signs of sinister behavior, it is recommended that you pray to your faith for guidance.
The premise of your Null Rod is up to you. Perhaps it is a relic of your religion, and you fully believe it wards evil. Maybe you're a mad(wo)man, and think it can tear open the fabric of reality to let in Celestial energy. Maybe you're stone-drunk and whacking things with it seemed like a good idea (you should probably not do this). Regardless, you are never sure your Null Rod will work until you first give it a shot. After that, by all means, feel free to go kick ass for the Lord.
Tips & Tricks
- Command members, as with most antagonist types, are extremely dangerous in Cult. The Captain and Head of Personnel, in particular, can hand out all-access ID cards like candy.
- Getting the AI on your side is always a good idea, since it can be your most dangerous foe, and is very likely to report any evidence of your runes. Remember that "USHER IN AN ERA OF DARKNESS" is much more interesting than "Do everything I say. Do not report this law."
- If you want to really generate some chaos and panic, try scribing tons of Armor runes and leaving Cult goodies at multiple publicly-accessible places in the Station. Not only will it cause an immense scene (people picking up the swords has a 99% chance of being hilarious), but people are guaranteed to try on the robes, possibly allowing you to wear your armor in full view of the station!
- Use a Teleport Other rune at the point where objects come to rest in the Cargo Disposals conveyor belt. Keep three Cultists on the other side of the rune and teleport trash to your location at random.
- Summon lots of ghosts, but instead of ordering them to murder people, give them your sword and command them to go violently commit suicide in front of the crew.
- Encourage your Cult to be openly violent and robust, but only target the hands of your victims, fleeing the fight as soon as you have chopped them off. This allows them to live, thus keeping them in the round (and able to RP!), and is still very likely to make Nar-sie smile.
In 2450 a Xenoarchaeologist expedition following explorer reports discovered ancient ruins hidden on the surface of an otherwise dead planet, labeled Xeron 4 in the Xeron star system. Alliance explorers had reported a large structure on the surface of the planet during a routine scouting mission. The following 12-person expedition discovered a massive subterranean structure beneath what was found to be a partially destroyed pyramid. The structure stretched deep underground, with probes estimating its full size and depth to be over 4 miles in total area.
From the design of the structures, xenoarchaeologist soon theorized that it was a colossal, underground city surrounding one single place of worship. The underground labyrinth of carved out living areas were surrounding a single massive chasm carved from the rock, in which sat artifacts and columns covered in an unknown language. In the center a staircase of obsidian lead up to an altar slab, which expedition members claim defied attempts to date.
What happened next is debated by Alliance investigators. According to survivor accounts, one of the scientists began acting strange, and disappeared suddenly. After an hour of searching, she was eventually found inside a library full of rotted books, showing signs of psychological distress. She was taken from the temple to the ships medbay, and the doctor for the mission discovered that she had inflicted self-harm, cutting herself with one of the blades from the complex. She then allegedly attacked the doctor when he attempted to take the weapon from her, seriously wounding him and escaping the ship. Upon the return of three of the expedition members, they discovered she had begun drawing runes from the language of the temple all over the ship, using the blood of the deceased doctor.
Inside the temple itself, two expedition scientists were investigating the library. Most of the books were rotted from advanced age, and could not be handled without being destroyed. One archaeologist did manage to recover a tome, but investigation into its contents was delayed by more members of the expedition succumbing to psychological distress after handling temple artifacts.
The only two survivors, Dr. Jamaal Farah and the ship's pilot Lilly Carmichael, managed to escape the temple after the other expedition members suddenly turned violent. Their account holds that their partners began chanting in an unknown language, and self-mutilated. They witnessed several scientists drawing runes on the walls and floors with their own blood. Dr. Farah alleges that he saw one of the other expedition members attempting to escape with them being dragged up the steps of what he originally theorized was a sacrificial altar.
Following their escape and recovery by Alliance authorities, both members were questioned about the incident. Horrified by their account, Alliance authorities dispatched a team to arrest the rest of the expedition, but Alliance officials breaching the temple and conducting a thorough search found every member left behind had died after their oxygen supplies ran out.
Sealing the temple and blacklisting the star system, its existence remains suppressed. Both Dr. Farah and Lilly Carmichael were eventually released, with Dr. Farah allowed to keep the book he discovered in the temple library on his person after an examination of it yielded nothing suspicious.