“There were signs. You have not seen them. Chernobyl first. Then Fukushima. Names engraved in legend, survived the wear and tear of the years. But before that, there was Her. Our Lady, the Mother of Barium, the Martyr of Humanity. To her we pray every day “
– Nicolaj Saigashi, Cult Aspersor
“Receive the gift of the Gamma Kiss. Do not refuse it. Your children will be blessed, and repopulate the earth. We carry with pride our brand, because his sight is pleasing Our Lady and are reborn in Her name “
– Pontifex Saori Romanova
“You will pay the taxes. Why? Because it is the only way your soul can be saved. Otherwise, nothing will be left of you after your death, only radioactive ash and nothing more. You deserve better. You deserve the Gamma Paradise. So, pay up. “
– Andrej Sakurashi, Executor of Worship
Tireless missionaries and long-winded preachers, the Cult members are a common sight in every outpost. They preach love for radiation and what they have produced, not rejecting the steady rise of mutants as a plague to be exterminated but embracing them as the future of humankind.
Organized, equipped and motivated beyond belief, often they occupy positions of power and are feared and revered in equal measure: of all the lame and absurd the Dopomondo religions have emerged as the most numerous, thanks to the socket of desperate and mutants.
NAMES: Sanctified, Radiation Priests, barium Mothers, Monster Huggers (derogatory).
Three things survive a nuclear holocaust: cockroaches, industrial biscuits and religion. Torn, mangled, bloody, but survives.
In the years of dissolution and destruction after the Last War, many cults were born, and some of the old religions reprised periods of glory. Cults warriors like the Greek and Viking myths were adapted to the new climate of war and despair, while milder religions were forgotten.
But in the darkness, passed from voice to voice, distributed by a flayed hand flayed to another one, was already beginning to spread a new faith: someone, it was said, had foreseen everything. A woman had died for our sins, they said. A long time ago. She discovered the great power of the Gamma, she gave it to humanity sacrificing her own life.
After her death there were two Advents, to announce the end of the World: Chernobyl and Fukushima, the first notes of the song that would have recreated the world. Then, the real Gamma Advent, that would bless the Earth with the gift of Radiation.
The name of this woman was Marie Curie. History would remember her as Saint Curie.
As with every religion, the first followers were the poor and the helpless, that finally found a reason in their mutilation: hordes of mutants and sick united, strong in their unshakable faith, and they managed to rebel by their outnumbered captors. The cult grew, the faith spread. The prophets preached the faith of Saint Curie and soon in the Wastelands real places of worship and desperate slums began to be erected. A new faith was born, a solid and shining faith.
“Have no fear, heretic. W’re not in a hurry. Sooner or later, you and your offspring will die alone, and the Sons of Barium will reign. Until then, why not cooperate? Perhaps the Saint will see your efforts and reward you in Gamma Heaven. “
– Pontifex Crisadora Fuyutsuki
“I do not know how long I feared my own body. My sixth finger, the hideous excrescence on my face … made me angry, angry for no reason. The Pontifex then revealed to me that it’s all a scheme of the Saint. She loves us as we are. Now I kill people as before, but offering to Her the lives I take! “
– Grixis of Matiz’ Dogs. Reborn in the Saint.
The raison d’être of the Cult is to spread radiation and mutations and protect those who already are blessed. At the same time they know they cannot make too extreme actions, such as poison a whole Outpost, because it would lead to their persecution, so they act by persuasion: the Mutants will be welcomed at their death in the Gamma Paradise, where they will live in abundance and peace. In a world as desperate as this, any hope of redemption and faith is better than nothing.
It is important to note that the Sanctified never speak about a God, but only the Saint. Often they turn to Marie Curie only as “She.”
The unsteady and delirious Cult of Saint Curie is primarily matriarchal, but males can also aspire to positions of power, especially military.
FAITHFUL: The faithfuls believe in Santa Curie and whisper her in their prayers. A vast majority of Thenworld survivors accept the Saint as a fact: after all, unlike many other religions, they can see her work in everyday’s life, in the monstrous mutations and in the devastation of the Earth. Who could ever have made the world in this state, if not an act of God?
As a result, it is very common to hear expletives such as “For the Saint!” Or “Curie protect us!” even by members of Factions totally unrelated to the cult.
BORN AGAIN: lower members of the Cult, often simply cannon fodder for the ongoing holy wars. They have no official power, if not the conviction to be blessed.
EXECUTOR: the armed wing of the Sanctified. It includes many mutants and low intellect men, as well as more cunning officers to lead them. They are very well armed for the average cult member, with good Shockers, durable weapons and often some sort of armor with the Holy Flower in plain sight.
ASPERSOR: The preachers who bring the word of the Holy in the Wastelands. They are usually the first contact that an Outpost has with the Cult, and often they travel with a large stock of Executors. Very skilled with weapons as with words, they are the recruiter force that has made Saint Curie the most spreaded veneration of Thenworld.
PONTIFEX: Almost exclusively women, authority figures that represent everything that the Cult believes. They are often mutated in a more or less horrible way, and dress coats strange halfway between kimono and heavy winter clothes, inspired by the few and fragmentary information that remain of Fukushima and Chernobyl. They bless the faithful with the Gamma Kiss, putting their radioactive and greenish lips on their forehead.
PONTIFEX MAXIMAE: The maximum of the Cult authorities, an almost legendary role. It is said that there are two Pontifex Maximae, residing in two destroyed nuclear power plants along with legions of faithful, where the level of radiation is so high that a common man will be flayed alive.
The rites of worship in many ways reminiscent of those Christians from the Gone World: the faithful participating in Communion where they ingest radiactive blessed wafers, or confess their sins to Aspersors to receive forgiveness. These community rituals are vital to give a semblance of Sanctified communities and union and also heavily influence other factions who see them so united and motivated.
THE OTHERS THOUGHT
The Cult receives and assists anyone for not openly hostile, in an attempt to get them on their side thanks to demonstrations of generosity and power. Needless to say, in desperate age like this, a plate of soup can easily secure a new friend.
A member of a different faction can still believe in the power of the Saint, while remaining true to his principles and to his family. The Seraglio and the Brides see in Santa Curie a savior and an example, while some subsections of Rhapsody devote her entire compositions. Obviously, other groups are openly hostile to the ideals of the Sanctified, such as Prebellums and their sworn enemies, the Church of the Inner Self Combustion.
Unlike the latter, the Cult does not have much interest in business, sustaining itself with countless offers the faithful make spontaneously or charges that collect aspersor.
SYMBOL: The symbol of radioactivity made of petals.
ARCHETYPES: mutated Preachers, Armed Sisters, Nuclear Clerics, Apocalypse Worshippers
SEEN FROM OUTSIDE:
“They are everywhere, and increasing every day. Sure, they say they are good and charitable, but you know what? If one day they decide to get organized and get us all out … who could stop them? “
– Bant, the pre-war
“Our nemesis. For one that we take care of, they will infect ten. The worst obstacle that we could have to reach the SaneTomorrow. I recommend to approach them only equipped with gas mask and to avoid any physical contact. “
– Subdoctor Frikk, Gulag of Mercy.
“Beautiful and good. I be feed every time and give caresses. I do not forget, you know? Me fight for Santa, if they ask! “
– Ultimo, a member of the Festival.
“She want us Radioactive”.
(Mantra of the Cult)