Part 10 - The Cult of the Crawling Chaos
EO had decided that his work was done at the expedition site. He was now referring to himself as the Enlightened One, and heading back to Ekbatana to start his new church. Griss decided it was best to stay close to EO.
Once back in the city, EO immediately went to work remodeling his Temple. Brother Griss and Teswah become his first disciples. Griss eventually convinced Busker to join as well. He also tried to get Kagen to join, but since Kagen was a priest of Zoroaster, he refused.
The new church began to meet weekly. Over the course of the next several weeks, the cult’s numbers began to grow. Soon it began to boast over 70 members.
EO continued to be obsessed with the Black Tetrahedron. His sermons seemed to focus on lifting the veil of reality. He felt that everyone should have an understanding of the nature of the universe that was so complete, that each could make reality as he saw fit.
Soon Griss was invited to meditate with the crystal as well. He found that after extensive meditation and focusing on the crystal, he felt as if his mind was being opened, and his understanding of the universe was expanding. He could see connections and patterns everywhere. After several weeks of doing this however, he began to experience hallucinations. He often thought he could hear whisperings, which seemed to be strongest when he was sleeping. Often times he would see what seemed to be the shadows moving in his peripheral vision.
When Busker learned of this, he was greatly disturbed. Griss’ interest in the cult and the crystal seemed to have evolved from keeping an eye on EO, to being an active follower. The black tetrahedron seemed to be the very thing that the Strength Arcanum was formed to destroy. He confronted EO. When EO tried to force him to stare into the crystal, Busker killed him.
At the cult’s next meeting, Griss tried to explain to the congregation that EO had gone on a trip, and would return sometime soon. Busker would have none of this however, and stood up and told the congregation that he had killed the priest. He told them that EO was a fraud, and that his god was nothing more than a delusion.
Some members of the congregation became angry at such blasphemy. Luckily, they were either smart enough or too afraid to physically attacked Busker. Kagen was present at the ceremony, and began to talk to those who had not stormed out about the nature of Zoroastrianism. He was able to create about a dozen converts, before the group dispersed.
They began to do some research into the dead priest’ god. They learned that the Crawling Chaos was a god that had visited Earth many times throughout history. His last was when he had taken human form, and served as an advisor to the Pharaoh Nephren-Ka. That was believed to have been his last appearance. The group now realized that this god was Nyarlathotep, the entity that they may have accidentally unleashed back in Egypt.
Griss, Teswah, and Busler then traveled north to the Caspian Sea. There despite Griss’ protests, they plunged the Black Tetrahedron into the water, weighted down so that it would sink to the bottom. While there, they saw a brief flash of light, nearly as bright as the sun, off on the horizon. It was then followed by a loud boom and a concussion wave.
They traveled several days toward it, when Griss began to realize what it was. They were heading directly for the expedition site. After several more days of travel, they came across a camp of survivors from the explosion.
They learned that only those who were actually traveling away from the site, on the way back to Ekbatana, had survived. They saw a vast fireball that rose up into the sky with a nearly blinding light. When they returned to the site to found it completely destroyed. They stayed to look around, but found that they were becoming quickly ill. Believing the location to be cursed, they fled. The group began to observe that many of the people in the camp appeared to have boils and blisters, and several them were losing all their hair. They help these poor souls as best they could, and returned with the survivors back to Ekbatana.