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Ahalt the Drinker

The Cult of Ahalt the Drinker is a Human cult that worships Ahalt the Drinker, former deity of the Hunt and Fertility that was deposed by the Cult of Taal and Rhya and subsequently outlawed throughout the Empire of Man. It seems to have originated as the patron deity of the Menogoth tribe.[1a][2a]

At the time of the Empire’s founding, there were many gods and spirits worshipped instead of or alongside gods like Ulric, or Taal and Rhya. Some of these cults were subsumed into those of more powerful gods, others were suppressed by zealots of other faiths, and some simply faded into obscurity. One of these ancient gods, Ahalt the Drinker, was a spirit of the hunt and fertility who hid himself away with just a few worshippers to sustain him rather than submit to the authority of Taal and Rhya. In the early years, priests of Taal and Rhya, who were determined to unify the faiths, hunted Ahalt’s worshippers. Eventually even the most zealous of these priests gave up the hunt, convinced that Ahalt’s worshippers were no more. For over a millennium Ahalt the Drinker concealed himself, until the Old World at last had forgot about him and his cult.[1a]

But Ahalt remembered, and he made sure his remaining worshippers did, too. As the centuries passed, his mind became twisted with hate and the desire for revenge. His priests grew corrupted, his rites becoming a blood-soaked mockery of the ancient ways. Now the cult has spread wide in the southern provinces, always hidden deep in the countryside. Its activities risk arousing the ire of the established cults, perhaps provoking another persecution.[1b]

Symbol Edit

Ahalt has three symbols. There is the bloody sickle, the mark of his penchant for blood sacrifice. There are the stylised drawings of a hanged man, the fate that awaits all priests of Taal and Rhya who fall into the cult’s hands. And there is the burning man, symbol of Ahalt’s burning desire for revenge. Small wicker dolls are burned on festival nights to commemorate what happened to their ancestors long ago, and large man-shaped wicker men are filled with prisoners and set alight on High Holy nights.[1b]

Area of Worship Edit

The cult originated along the banks of the Upper Soll, around which grew the lost Grand Province of Solland. From there it has spread west into Wissenland and east as far as the borders of Sylvania. Never numerous, its members are hidden among the general populace in the towns, villages, and rural farmsteads of the far south of the Empire. A recent witch trial in Talabheim, however, had several people burned for crimes strongly resembling the worship of Ahalt, suggesting it is spreading north.[1b]

The Dark Glade Edit

The Dark Glade is a secret place where worshippers of the forbidden Cult of Ahalt the Drinker perform their rites. Located along the banks of the Upper Soll, near the town of Geschburg, the Dark Glade is forbidding and sinister. Surrounded by ancient black oaks and gnarled willow trees, the glade itself is actually a barren patch of rock—the dirt was scoured away long ago by unknown forces, and nothing grows there. The trees themselves seem to bend and twist on their own, even when there is no wind to rustle the leaves.[2b]

The Dark Glade is the traditional gathering spot of the scattered members of the Cult of Ahalt the Drinker, where they commit horrible acts of murder in the name of their banned God. Although several unfortunate people have unwittingly stumbled into the Dark Glade (and become victims as a result), so far, no one has made the connection between the Dark Glade and the Cult of Ahalt.[2b]

The Dark Glade somehow keeps itself hidden from almost everyone but those that worship Ahalt.[2b]

Temperament Edit

Angry and vengeful, the cult of Ahalt the Drinker nevertheless remains secretive, fearing the retribution that would fall upon their heads if they were discovered. Witch hunters and priests of Taal and Rhya who come too close to the truth vanish quietly in the night, their fate sealed by the stroke of a sickle or the lighting of a wicker man.[1b]

The cult exalts Ahalt’s ancient ties to hunting and fertility, and has come to equate blood with fecundity. Thus the ancient holy days of the cult are celebrated with a living sacrifice, to guarantee the success of harvests and hunts to come. Members of intelligent species are the most valued sacrifices, and they are given the honour of being the game in a great hunt led by the cult’s priests, known as the “Black Robes.” Outsiders who travel in cult areas risk becoming “guests” at these ceremonies.[1b]

Strictures Edit

  • Always work against the priests of Taal and Rhya, for they betrayed us in the past. If you have the means to kill them, do so. Never forget the evil they committed against us.[1b]
  • Seek to convert the people to the south to our ways. Be subtle, be patient, and work in secret, for they have grown weak and afraid under the rule of the new gods, and may betray us. Their priests must come to acknowledge Ahalt: Kill those who are offered the choice and refuse.[1b]
  • Protect the safety of the people of the faith, even at the cost of your own life.[1b]
  • Honour Ahalt with blood every month, even if only a few drops of your own, for he is thirsty for revenge.[1b]
  • Have no truck with Daemons or the Undead, for they are the ancient enemy of our faith.[1b]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Sigmar's Heirs
    • 1a: pg. 100
    • 1b: pg. 101
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
    • 2a: pg. 9
    • 2b: pg. 167

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