This month’s RPG Carnival is about surprise. The bitterest surprise is betrayal, the act of a traitor. Perfidy abounds across all works of literature and turncoats are common in RPGs. This is likely because it’s a powerful narrative tool; a dramatic event that is sure to arouse the player’s and character’s emotions. But what if there was more behind this spate of treachery?
Scakroal is a hideous god. Rather than derive power from worship, it instead feeds upon sadness and anger. Its was the first betrayal. Scakroal allowed the demon lords access to the heavens for the act itself, knowing that the others gods reactions would make it stronger. Together they were enough to banish Scakroal, casting it into a void prison. The gods efforts to isolate Scakroal were not complete. It can still hear and answer the prays of its worships but is blind to all else.
Those who worship the god of betrayal call themselves the Cult of the Traitor. To free their lord from it prison, they need to feed it. From their only temple, they send out operatives, who are highly trained in deception and exploitation. They find causes to support, make lifelong friends, sometimes even take lovers. They seek out the powerful, the innocent and the noble. The work to ensure the betrayal will cause great hurt Even better are relationships where the traitor’s double cross will harm many people.
The traitors have no affinity to any cause and pretend to be loyal anyone, no matter how evil or good they are. From day one the seek the enemies of their new allies, whilst improving their friendship and usefulness to the target. When the time is right, when the betrayal will cause the most emotional damage, they reveal their schemes. The sacred gem they carry feasts upon the lamentations of the betrayed.
Should they survive, some chose to remain with the enemies they courted, looking for a way to betray them in turn. Others, their work done, return to the temple and join the elders to learn the great secret of the cult. They have been promised great power when their master returns to this plane. The cult fully expects it to betray them. With Scakroal is blind and deaf to anything other than the prays of it followers, the traitors that serve it plot to betray the betrayer.
Doom: The freedom of Scakroal draws near. All the is needed is one last blast of power for its return. Through the betrayal of someone close to them, the characters discover that the Cult of the Traitor is planning treason all across the land. They are waiting for the next high moon. This must be the source of all the conflicts so recently started. Can the players stop the cult in time?
Change of Heart: The Cult of the Traitor has very dim views on those who turn away from its principles though they appreciate the irony. Betraying the cult still gives strength to Scakroal, but less as the cult is not emotionally invested. In the party, one of the characters has decided to abandon their plans for betrayal. But plans are already in motion. Will they be able to stop their own plot and prevent their friends from finding out?
Greater Good: Whilst travelling through a land under a dictatorship, the party are surprised when contacted by his loyal advisor. He wishes to arrange for the party to be his weapon of treason, by leading a rebellion against the dictator. Can they possibly trust him?
Image Credit – Get a Rope by MLH Radio – CC-BY-NC-2.0