Cult of Cthugha
Name(s): Cult of Cthugha
Short Description: Cthugha is an entity closely associated with fire, and its cults tend to play on that aspect, dressing in red and black and sacrificing victims in large bonfires.
History and Scope
In "Alone Against the Flames (scenario)", the population of Embershead, NH are essentially Cthugha Cultists who believe their sacrifices prevent the Celestial Flames of Cthugha from burning their village away; they make yearly sacrifices of visitors to their town to stave destruction off for another year, with the sacrifice typically consisting of three dead victims laid out in a triangular figure on a vast bonfire "beacon", and a living victim in the middle of the dead ones, all set aflame together while the villagers, dressed in red and black, chant a formula together which they do not understand.
Identification, Psychology and Behavior
Many Cthugha cults are solitary and reclusive, appealing to lone cultist wizards and to isolated country villages where outsiders can disappear into sacrificial pyres without being missed, and where easily-impressed locals can marvel at the the sacrificial flames.
The benefits of worshiping Cthugha are probably dubious, being limited mainly to the pyrotechnics enjoyed by rural and other solitary cultists, the intellectual exercise enjoyed by solitary wizards, and perhaps such selfish motives as self-aggrandizement, revenge, or self-preservation enjoyed by other, even less altruistic cultists.
In "Alone Against the Flames (scenario)", the cultists dressed in red and black robes, smearing their faces and hands with black paste, except for a red triangle around their left eyes.
Tomes, Artifacts, Sites
- tome: Cultes des Goules
- location: Embershead, New Hampshire
- ceremony: Ritual of the Beacon performed in Embershead
Allies, Creatures and Deities
- Human Cultists
- Celestial Flames
- A creature that appears in "Alone Against the Flames (scenario)", which may be only tangentially linked to Cthugha by the confused cultists.
- Fire Vampires
- (An obvious if unofficial choice within the "fire elemental" theme.)
- (by way of a revisionist version of Cultes des Goules and Arabic Ghoul folklore linking the creatures with "smokeless flame")
Heresies and Controversies
- It's possible that some "witch hunting" organizations have actually been Cthugha cults in disguise, seeking sacrificial victims chosen by an unsuspecting public.
- Fiction: Cthugha is a creation of August Derleth, an extension of his infamous theory of the Great Old Ones as representatives of the classical elements.
- Call of Cthulhu Scenario: "Alone Against the Flames (scenario)" includes a sketchy rural cult dedicated to appeasing the destructive Celestial Flames attributed to Cthugha.