Pathfinder: The Kingdom of Darkness
The Kings of Darkness
“Standing at the maddening edge of your peripheral vision, you’ll never see them, but always know they are there…”
A number of encounters with this group have been recorded by the Pathfinder Society, but each encounter brings more worrisome tales of powerful magic and creatures from between planes.
Wherever these people walk, great destruction seems to follow. The attack on Skyreach, collapsing of Absalom streets, and the near annihilation of the city of Logas are a few of the recorded encounters.
Countless other witnesses from across Golarion report to Pathfinders about men in masks and mass disappearances of powerful nobles and figureheads. Some people claim that these chains of events somehow tie to the catastrophe in Molthune not a month ago, where a group of great Pathfinders took it upon themselves to help Nirmathas in its ever-ongoing war with its expansionist neighbor, Molthune. Nearly an entire army disappeared in the blink of an eye, along with the Pathfinder heroes. No survivors meant no witnesses, so it may never be known what happened.
This cult is no laughing matter, considering a single member’s ability to tire the three deans of the Pathfinder Grand Lodge. The single meeting proved that they are able spell-casters, but other followers of this cult may exist, with more impressive and terrifying prowess of body and mind.
What they want is still a mystery, but their ominous words about the “Open Armed” are concerning at best, and horrifying at worst.
The masked men belong to a cult called the The Kings of Darkness. They plan to unite everything uncivilized in a dark war against the civil creatures of Golarian. Using the animosity between the two worlds to fan a great flame, they plan to bring ruin and shade to the future Kingdom of Darkness, where fear, anarchy, betrayal, and survival rule.
They demonstrate their impressive abilities to the members of communities of Kobolds, Goblins, Orcs, Ogres, and worse. Some think they have even begun to converse with dragons of evil intent.
Their mysterious god comes from the juncture between the Plane of Shadow and the Negative Energy Plane, where reality itself ends. He is a powerful outsider and commander of undead and the terrifying nightshades. They refer to their god as “The Open Armed,” named after the several depictions of him they keep with his long arms wrapping the world in fear and death.
The cult members seek to become like the Open Armed, so they done skinny robes and large blank, white masks. Upon recieving these masks the members become something else, perhaps gaining the favor of the Open Armed, because they never return to their original selves after donning a mask. They become direct agents of the Open Armed. Occasionally powerful members might keep their own minds, but that may be because the Open Armed allows it. All members retain the abilities and instincts they carried before donning the masks, but gain incredible dark power as well.
The hierarchy of the cult is rather simple. New initiates are called Sleepers. The members who are considered worthy to don the masks become Proxies, and particularly powerful Proxies become Revenants, avatars of the Open Armed. While Proxies are linked to the god (gaining some power), and Revanents are avatars of his power, there are others who serve the Open Armed one, but not willingly. These are called the Hollowed. Many have attempted to stand against the Open Armed, but those who were not torn apart in body, were torn apart in mind and “re-purposed” as a shadow of their former selves, forever in servitude of this cruel and unknowable god.
Members of the cult all carry small idols of a crying eye to signify their membership as Kings of Darkness. These idols allow them to bypass certain wards that guard the bases of the Kings of Darkness. The idols all carry small bits of the Open Armed’s mind, but not power. People who come into contact with them often see images of a life that they never lived, people who were killed in front of someone else, and residual feelings of anguish, sorrow, and longing.
The members of the cult consider these to be trials of the Open Armed, steeling yourself for his embrace in the far future, when all has been engulfed by his grasp. Others think that the Open Armed wasn’t always what he is now, but dare not ask who he might have been, or how he came to be…