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Aramon is Derlith's premier god of darkness. He stands for death, strife, chaos,
anarchy, and cruelty. He thrives on disorder and madness, and his goal is to
ultimately turn the multiverse into an endless bastion of darkness. He is
opposed in power only by the god Enoch, whom he considers his arch enemy. Aramon
spits on all that is natural, preferring to make a mockery of anything living or
from nature. All of Derlith's deities step warily around him, save for Enoch,
who is always openly trying to destroy him outright. The Lord of Death always
manages to side-step Enoch's plots, however, and he is forever growing in
strength.

Worship of Aramon

Worship of the dark god is always done in strict adherence to dark cult rituals.
The Cult of Aramon has been around for centuries. Incorrect formal ceremony, as
well as informal ceremony, results in their wrath, or the wrath of the dark god
himself. It is not wise to offend Aramon. Live sacrifice is the primary aspect
of all worship of Aramon. This is required ceremonially every Saturday night at
midnight. A cloudy sky means two sacrifices must be made instead of one. Victims
are usually young girls, stripped naked as the day they are born, their throats
slit, and tossed into a massive pit which contains a bonfire. Blood is drained
from their throat first into goblets, and the surrounding priests performing
the ceremony each then drink in turn. Undead skeletons or zombies usually act as
servants holding things in the ceremonies. Worship of Aramon can also be
accomplished simply by being as evil or cruel as possible. Torturing small
animals is common, as well as beating children. The good and pure of heart must
always be tormented,  usually through torture. Some worshippers, if cruel and
evil enough to be noticed, are linked with priests of Aramon, allowing the
priest to see through their eyes and hear their thoughts. This is a common thing
done to spies and agents of Aramon. In general, a worshipper of Aramon will be
out to cause as much death, misery, and chaos as possible. There is never any
purpose needed for killing except for the mere pleasure of it. Advancement in
the world is solely achieved through secret assassination plots or by outright
killing those who have what you do not. It is not surprising that many orc and
ogre tribes fall easily into the worship of Aramon, goaded by Cult members and
threatened by the might of Death Knights. These humanoids make up the majority
of the shock troops in the Empire of Caladonia's legions.

History

The Cult of Aramon was always a minor cult for thousands of years, ranging
mostly in the northern regions of Derlith. Strife and political backstabbing had
always been the way in the Kingdom of Caladonia for centuries. About 100 years
ago, a minor noble by the name of Talon Anvere began to  gain lands at an
alarming rate in the southlands north of the Dirth Hills. It turns out that he
was the first noble ever to rise to the pinnacle position in the Cult of Shadow,
as the Cult of Aramon was once known. Under his leadership, member ship and
adherence the Cult of Aramon began to grow  at a rapid pace. Eventually, the
king learned of this, but due to Talon's political position, he could not have
the noble killed without fear of many of his alliances corroding. In the end,
Talon struck before he did, sending nightshade assassins to kill all nobles who
opposed him, including the king's entire family and the king himself. He then
raised an army of humanoids (mostly orcs and ogres) and marched on Caladon and
burned it almost completely to the ground. After many days of bloody battle,
Caladon fell, and Talon imposed himself on the throne, hailing himself Talon the
Conqueror. Darsk, leader of the Shadow Assassins, and the most powerful
nightshade assassin in Talon's service, kept an eye on those around Talon,
killing many of those whos sworn fealty was not as true as they made out. Under
the orders of Talon, a massive Citadel Church was created to be the head of the
Cult of Aramon. Also under his direction, the Devil Knights were created, where
under dark rituals, men were given dark powers by priests of Aramon, turning
them into death knights. A death knight leader is always at the head of any of
Caladon's legions of humanoids. The legions spread out all across the lands to
the south and east, bringing the orcs and giants of The Dirth Hills under the
power of Caladon, as well as the lands just to the outskirts of Drakken Port.
Drakken Port has been spared Caladonian occupation, as it is an essential port.
Humanoids running around destroying things in the city would not be good for
trade. As powerful and dangerous as the Empire of Caladon is, it still needs an
economy of sorts. The houses of Drakken Port pay extremely high excise taxes to
Caladon, and Caladon has much controlling interest in the docks. It grows more
and more influential every day, which worries the houses to a great degree. The
legions of Caladon have stopped abruptly to the northeast, the Dagaran Nomads
presenting an extreme problem for them. Several legions have been cut to pieces
being sent into those wastelands, as the Dagarans are very vicious and dangerous
fighters. Every day, Talon becomes more and more obsessed with destroying
opposition there and bringing those lands into his control. Even nightshades and
armies of darkness led by priests of Aramon have failed to conquer the lands or
move the legions even a single inch further northeast.

The Priesthood

Only the vilest and darkest of souls survive to gain power in the Cult of
Aramon. Entry requires an examination of the soul. Only those with the blackest
of hearts are admitted, and even of those, 6 out of 10 are brutally killed or
lose their sanity within the first months of entry to the Cult. One must be able
to abide random beatings and stabbings, by both fellow acolytes as well as from
superiors. One also must be willing to kill to move up, and NEVER trust anybody.
There really is no order in who moves up and who does not. It is said those
which have the most evil of hearts will advance, and those who are weaker will
not. This struggle continues even after reaching the priesthood in the Cult. The
mightiest and most powerful rule the weaker, and everyone is always plotting
against one another to gain position. Aramon wishes it to be this way. The only
unification the Cult has is its single-minded goal to destroy the Order of Enoch
and all who follow that weakling god.

Every settlement, even as small as a village, has a shrine or temple of some
sort to Aramon. This is the center of government of these settlements. Harm to
these outposts means instant death. The priests in these outposts are
responsible for recruiting acolytes as well as weekly sacrifices to the dark
god. They often have humanoids or undead to guard them and do their bidding.
Many of these priests torture the people whom they are "governing" for sport, or
form plots to turn them against one another. Several  have undead which they
feed with the local populace. The larger the town, the higher rank the priest is
in the Cult. Some of the larger towns also have a headquarters for the Devil
Knights.

Roleplaying Notes

Players choosing to be worshippers or priests of Aramon, need to play the most
vile, horrible, and darkest personalities possible. You would have a history
filled with acts of cruelty and degradation. You are out for yourself, and you
will kill anyone or anything that gets in your way. Enoch must be destroyed and
everything good along with him. You laugh at cruel acts against others even when
you are not committing them yourself. You lie, cheat, deceive, manipulate, and
force your will upon others. Rape would be considered fun. Killing women and
children is a necessity, just from the delight their screams give you. Think
about the worst possible Nazi concentration camp SS officer in WWII, torturing
Jews and other enemies of the Reich. You have that mindset, only against
everybody good or in your way. Death knights are your servants, as well as orcs
and ogres, and other humanoids. Goblins are waste paper to be used by Aramon.
So are trolls and other evil races. Power is all - yours above everything.

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