Cult of the Black Flame
A sinister organization in the continent of Cresia.
This organization is thought to be a continent-wide conspiracy of evil wizards turned to ancient and forgotten black arts. The exact goals of the cult are not known even by acolytes of the cult – let alone the uninitiated. But one thing is certain … the cult is something to be afraid of. The common people who know of the cult’s existence consider it a conglomerate of evil magic uses aiming to conquer and enslave the entire continent by dark magic. The fact that a prominent number of the cult’s members operate from Zarnova, is simply fuel to this particular fire. The cult has been in existence for at least 300 years (confirmed) but the more suspicious people maintain a position that the cult is as old as the fabled dragons that once – thousands of years ago – commanded great power over the continent and it’s inhabitants. In fact some of the ritual magic used by the cult fare a resemblance to written descriptions and legendary songs that tell tales of the those ancient times when dragons ruled the world.
The number of members is known to the cult leaders only. The cult leaders are not common knowledge either and in fact no one seems to even guess the organizational hierarchy of the cult – if it indeed has one to begin with. All is known that the cult is followed by dark wizards all around Cresia excepting Myrna. Powerful wizards with a long lasting devotion to arts such as necromancy, elementalism and summoning are secretly offered membership once they have attained some unknown merits that warrants the wizard credence in the eyes of the cult. You cannot go to a temple or embassy and sign up – although you can seek out a member wizard and apprentice him or her. Again the exact number of members is not clear and is probably never going to be known since their method of communication is by magic, their members do not hold regular events and their geographical dispersion all over the content are factors making simply counting them not an option. But they seem to be “everywhere”. Most nations have some prominent magic users who belong to the cult and while they purposefully maintain a low profile of seclusion, they are many times persons of importance in their regions. Perhaps a total of 30 dark wizards belong to the cult as full members.
No benefits are commonly known. Nowhere in Cresia cult members enjoy any benefits – in fact they are feared, loathed and shunned. In Myrna cult the law dictates that members can be killed on sight by anyone without any risk of persecution. In Zarnova the members are already powerful lords with reign over land and people alike. In other countries the cult wizards are mainly hermits who seemingly choose seclusion and have withdrawn from any and all official positions – be it appointed or hereditary in nature. It is not known whether or not the cult has any inner benefits that must be adhered to all members.
Myrna and the Cult of the Black Flame
Myrna – the country that bathes in magical power – has special dislike of the cult. The entire country is shielded by a magical field that reveals the membership by haloing him or her with a purple aura of flame. Normally the members manifest this aura only when they perform secret dark magics specific of the cult, but in Myrna they cannot go unnoticed even is choosing not to use magic at all. Myrna law is clear and concise and allows these purple -haloing persons to be killed on sight. However the acolytes are detected only depending on how much of the cult’s secret magic they have learned. Sometimes a faint glimmer can reveal an acolyte with access to minor rituals of the cult. The history of the law and the shield go back a hundred years to a period of darkness in Myrna when their country was under attack by a dozen cult wizards attempting to coup some key locations with exceptionally high magical energies. The coup eventually failed by mere coincidences and bad luck that harrowed the cult and in aftermath the following years saw rise to an organization now known as the Circle of the Stone Rose. The circle is composed of 8 powerful mages who initially pooled their efforts for the creation of the shield and nowadays combine their joined power to maintain it and seek ways to counter the cult and secure areas of high magical energies that dot the land.
Symbols, insignia and how to know someone is a cult member
The cult has no official insignia or symbols to make their affiliation known. The only way to know for certain is to observe a purplish aura of magical energy emanating from the magic user when he or she casts magic inherent to the cult. If they wish to remain unidentified, they simply just don’t manifest such magic. As detailed above, when in Myrna, such an option is not available to the cult members and while there they are always revealed by a distinct halo. The purple halo’s strength depends on the power of the spell used and it fades into nothingness usually in in hours or days dependent of the power used. The purpose or origins of this halo is not known either, but suspected culprit is a method that draws magical energy beyond our realm of existence and that the purple haze is merely an unwanted side effect of this magical energy surge. The halo effect happens only when the magic user uses magics of the cult – most of them know enough normal spells, incantations and rituals with which they can manifest magnificent powers without revealing their true affiliation should they so choose.