Cult of Meh

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The Cult of Meh is a popular religion among the citizens of Karigor that is unrelated to the Churches of Sun, Moon and Stars.


Assets

Dungeons

The following dungeons belong to the Cult of Meh.

Temples of healing

In addition, the cult owns some ordinary temples of healing.


The Cult of Mèh

by Fander Treespook

On december 22nd, 1059 A.S., goatherder Wallie Scapras founded the Cult of Mèh. Like most goatherders he had spent a lot of time in solitude, and had thus had ample time to think silly old goatherder stories over and over, twisting and tweaking them to his own liking. Somewhere, sometime, he had been told a high-spirited tale about how the earth would one day be taken over by creatures sent by the gods and only those uniting to support and obey these messengers would survive. They would not only survive, but they would be appointed herders of the earth and one man, only refered to as Red-Eye would be the head of the herders. There was even supposed to be a book to be found somewhere in Karigor, telling of these future events. Once, this book had been read by a goatherder who had relayed the story. This was a very long time ago, however, and nobody no longer knew the location of this book, which title would be “The Prophecies of the Capricorn”.

During june 1059, Wallie Scapras developed a condition that caused his skin, especially in his face, to redden and coarse. Pimples rapidly developed and his nose started swelling. It was a painful process and the humorous, practical and prudent Wallie became miserable, grudging and pessimistic. (He was developing Rosacea) Then, in early august, his eyes started to go dry and redden and a twisted connection started to dawn on Wallie seen in light of exploitable prospects. The fact that Wallie Scapras was a heavy drinker, did nothing to reduce neither his condition, nor his ambition.

In the last third of 1059 Wallie Scapras started gathering followers under the pretence that his appearance was the first signs of the Prophecy of the Capricorn coming true. Not many people believed him, but in late december he had enough disciples to officially found the Cult of Mèh, under the contents of the Prophecies of the Capricorn. (Not that he really knew the books` contents…) From then on, the number one priority of the cult became to find the book that was supposed to be called “The Prophecies of the Capricorn”.

The First Temple of Mèh was constructed in 1061-1062 in Timberfall. This became the seat from which Wallie, who now called himself only Red-Eye and allowed nobody to address him otherwise, directed the Mèh cult. The ego became the central doctrine of the growing religion, and this was likely much more a cause for the increasing interest for the cult than the Prophecies of the Capricorn. The doctrine stated that every single action of any person, can be explained from an egoistic point of view and that this is how it should be. In this doctrine, egoism is a necessity to ensure the survival of the self and refered to as The Way of the Self. An excerpt from a book teaching the Way of the Self might read:

- Why do you pick your nose? To breathe more comfortably yourself.
- Why do you blink? To clear your sore eye for yourself.
- Why do you plow the fields? To grow food for yourself.
- Why do you produce more food than you can eat? To sell and make a profit for yourself.
- Why do you live in a society? Because of the privileges it creates for yourself.
- Why do you create art? To make glory for yourself.
- Why do you help the sick? Because you cannot stand to see them suffer and feel bad with yourself.
- Why do you care for the old? To gain their wisdom for yourself.
- Why do you have children? To in them admire yourself.
- Why do you give all you own to Mèh? To strengthen the society that will strengthen yourself.
- Why do you serve Mèh? To one day be able to survive yourself!

The symbol of Mèh, of course, became the goat. Red-Eye sought to own as many goats as possible and much of the cults money was invested in goats. The goats were used particularly for one peculiar task. They were made to graze, but not just wherever they liked. Goatherders of Mèh were needed by the numbers to make sure the goats grazed specific, circular patterns in the fields around the Temple of Mèh. These were called Mèh-circles and though one pattern in particular, a circle with a stick through it, was the most popular, all kinds of intricate circular pattern systems were created as the cult grew. The task of goatherder was so important it became the first step in the Mèh hierarchy.

Four years after completing the First Temple, Red-Eye realized its placement was not ideal for addressing the large crowd that was now the Cult of Mèh at its yearly convention. The plains were too small for the Mèh-circles and Red-Eye didn`t like to have so many of the followers so close to his private quarters. Neither did he think the elves would peacefully let him chop down the tress to enlarge the plains. He decided to build another temple. The southwestern slopes of Mt. Pilanteko seemed much more suitable. Upon the completion of The Temple of Mèh in 1067, Red-Eye also renamed The First Temple to The Superior Temple of Mèh to emphasize which was the seat of power. The first yearly convention held at The Temple of Mèh in Mt. Pilanteko January 20th 1068 AS, was called “The Amazing Graze” It still has that name and enormous Mèh-circles are created there between dec 22nd and jan 20th every year as part of the convention. (Ladob has the NWC logo in the Goetia map. That might crash with this suggestion for the NWC-Mèh-circle and we could, of course, change it to a MMTributeteamlogo-Mèh-circle if so desired. It could also be something to honor Sir Felgar.)

Red-Eye now had a firm organization at his back and turned his own focus again to the Prophecies of the Capricorn. The goatherder from which the story supposedly had come had (again supposedly) claimed a dragon had let him read it and Red-Eye concluded a dragon would only make such a gesture toward a creature who actually spoke the dragon tongue. He decided to appoint some of his brighter cult members the task of deciphering the dragon language and redirect the efforts of the explorers and spies he already had all over Karigor to find out as much about dragons as they could. To make sure those working with the deciphering of the dragon language worked as hard as possible, Red-Eye planned to construct another temple in which they would work, and far away from civilization it would be, a place where there was nothing much else to be done (other than performing the Mèhly tasks, of course) and from which there would hardly be any escape. This would become a most costly process. Up until now, most of Mèhs income had been dependent upon converting more followers that donated all their property to the cult as well as other donations, but to pay for this new temple, better finances was needed. Two temples of healing were quickly established in Semiramis and Nannaria where recent converts had owned buildings suitable for the cause. (I suggest these temples heal normally, but if they offer blessings or protection spells etc, the duration of these should be minimal, hinting at incompetence). However, a much more ambiguous and potentially much more yielding project was also started. One of Red-Eyes most energetic Dark Faders, a former con-artist by the name of Wesley Gladberg, was entrusted with the task of opening the Cognizant Temple of Mèh in Murlank. Here Wesley would take any patient, suffering any disease that would pay up front under the promise that his new, revolutionary healing techniques would over time cure any condition. The treatment called Graded Exercise is very expensive and time-consuming. It demands the patient stay at the Cognizant Temple of Mèh during the entire course of therapy. The patient must empty his mind completely and focus fully upon facing the disease and the fears accompanying it, learning through behavioural changes to force the illness to become less and less important until it completely disappears. Of course, escape from the Cognizant Temple was made easy though it would appear to be hard, so that patients could sneak out at night for food or fresh air, which they got very little of during therapy. The guards would let them get out, but always catch them trying to return. The patients then would, of course, have to start the treatment anew after paying again.

By early 1070 the three new temples made good and steady income for the cult and Red-Eye set into life the efforts for researching the dragon language. The Eminent Temple of Mèh stood finished on the northwesternmost island in the Sea of Mist in late 1072. A promising Skywatcher by the name of Sir Galrim was to lead the project. Accompanying him to the Sea of Mist was goats, herders and acolytes of Mèh. Sir Galrim was chosen for his interest in and knowledge about monstrous creatures. For a while things went on quite well in the Sea of Mist. There was nothing of value in the Eminent Temple and so the pirates left them alone. A steady stream of information about dragons, their community and their language arrived for Sir Galrim and his team to work with and there was progress being made. However, after nearly two years of high spirits it became more and more clear to Sir Galrim that nobody would ever really be able to make a real home on this small island in the harsh Sea of Mist domain. Some of the goats were already dead, the herders and the acolytes were loosing faith and getting outright bored while Sir Galrim himself had found so much more interesting the reports on the dragons and their way of life than those regarding the language. Now all these problems took too much of his time and something had to be done in order to get the job of deciphering the dragon language done.

Reports and supplies were brought to the Eminent Temple by the smugglers Hanford Shingle and Chew Backwards the Drawkcab (His real name was Wookoow) aboard their kipper the Minimal Seagull. They were the only ones to dare the waters of the dreaded Sendark and thus their prices were skyhigh. Sir Galrim realized he needed something valuable to be able to make deals with the smugglers. He also realized he had those valuables right under his nose. In the Sea of Mist there were pearl oysters. By midsummer 1075, the goats on the island of the Eminent Temple was accompanied by cows to make easier the Mèhly tasks of grazing Mèh-circles. The cows also provided the herders and acolytes with milk and the occational meal of meat. Sir Galrim probably also managed to smuggle in other things of his own liking. He understood the risk he took, since Red-Eye would not tolerate the cows should he find out, but the Mèhs of the Sea of Mist were content once more and the acolytes were hard at work with the appointed task, while Sir Galrim himself devoted most of his time studying the dragons themselves.

It is not known exactly how Red-Eye learnt of Sir Galrim`s blasphemous act, but more than likely Chew Backwards might have had a wookie-talkie with him for even further profit. In November 1075 a messenger, Art Deeto came to the Eminent Temple, telling Sir Galrim to come with him under orders from Red-Eye. Sir Galrim refused and Deeto had to return alone, having no means to force him. Red-Eye raged and stopped the delivery of supplies to the Eminent Temple immediately, declaring Sir Galrim a traitor. The cow-wars had started. Now, Sir Galrim was totally dependent upon Captain Shingle to sustain his small community. Shingle and Backwards, of course, upped their prices and Sir Galrim was soon forced to sacrifice livestock to feed his herders and acolytes. They abandoned their Mèhly tasks and all the herders were working full-time fishing and collecting ever harder to obtain pearls to pay the smugglers. The remaining cows and goats were left to graze freely on the small island.

The Eminent Temple was so isolated that Red-Eye couldn`t simply apprehend Sir Galrim. He needed a bigger vessel than the Minimal Seagull to be able to use force. While trying to get a ship suitable for such a mission, he started to send saboteurs in small groups with the smugglers. The saboteurs targeted the cows and Sir Galrim appointed cow-wards. The cow-wards worked in shifts guarding the livestock and gathering food and pearls. It was when one of them was killed by a saboteur, they started to doubt Sir Galrim`s judgement. Had it not been for the fact that by fall 1076 Sir Galrim and the acolytes finished making the decoder for the dragon language, treason would have been certain. Having completed the task, Sir Galrim expected Red-Eye`s anger to lessen and possibly even turn to forgiveness. He sent one of the acolytes along with the Minimal Seagull the next time it arrived. He was to report their success to Red-Eye. What happened to this messenger is unknown, but he never reached Timberfall. It became clear during the first half of 1077 that Red-Eye`s patience had ran out and that the messenger had obviously failed. By june, all cows and several cow-wards had been killed. Sir Galrim, angered and frustrated by this, hid the decoder within the temple and decided to try and persuade the smugglers to take him and the rest of the accolytes back to Soronne, giving them all the rest of their belongings for payment and promising more upon their arrival on the continent. He never got the chance, though. August 2nd 1077 a ship with mercenaries arrived. Sir Galrim wanted to fight them, but the acolytes and the cow-wards cowardly refused. They were still slain by the mercenaries. Sir Galrim being brought before Red-Eye marked the end of the Cow-wars.

Sir Galrim was sentenced to imprisonment for life in the dungeons of the Temple of Mèh. He never revealed anything about the dragon language decoder. And thus, to this day (the start of MMT), Red-Eye is still looking for the Prophecies of the Capricorn. The Eminent Temple of Mèh was lost and became the Lost Temple of Mèh and who knows what kind of creatures are now inhabiting it…..unwittingly guarding the hidden dragon language decoder.

Notes

  • The sign Capricorn: dec 22nd – jan 20th.
  • Wallie Scapras (Capra Walia – goatspecies).
  • Humorous, practical and prudent. Miserable, grudging and pessimistic. (All 6 traditional traits of a Capricorn – [1])
  • Rosacea – [2][3]

The hierarcy of Mèh

  • Goatherder of Mèh
  • Acolyte of Mèh
  • Skywatcher of Mèh
  • Capricorn Priest of Mèh
  • Dark Fader of Mèh
  • The Red Eye of Mèh

Followers of Mèh are outside the hierarcy.

The quests of Mèh

If the party (or single character) finds and makes conversation with Sir Galrim in the dungeons of the Temple of Mèh in Mt. Pilanteko, he will refuse to be set free, but will ask them to seek out Red-Eye and expose him as an imposter. Only if they succeed will Sir Galrim accept to leave his cell. He will not yet offer his services as Master Dodging trainer. Upon accepting the quest, Sir Galrim will tell them Red-Eye is looking for the Prophecies of the Capricorn and that they can use this information to ‘sparkle Red-Eye`s interest’.

After having the quest from Sir Galrim, a conversation option with Red-Eye in the Superior Temple of Mèh will appear. (“We heard you`re looking for a book”). Red-Eye will then ask them to help him find the Prophecies of the Capricorn. If they agree, he`ll tell them about the prophecies (his version) and that he thinks a dragon might have it. He will specifically say that the first chapter is about Red-Eyes (his) coming and that that chapter will refer to his process of founding the goat-cult from nothing as ‘The Nude Goat’.

After accepting Red-Eye`s quest, Sir Galrim, should the part decide to talk to him again, will tell the party to look for the dragon language decoder in the Lost Temple of Mèh upon a new conversation option about dragons. At this point he will also offer to train those eligible to master dodgers.

The Dragon Language Decoder is hidden inside a mirror somewhere in the Lost Temple of Mèh in the Sea of Mist. It is a book (dictionary), laying upon a pedestal, but clicking it will not do any good. It is as if it`s not there. However, if the player clicks the image of the book in the mirror besides it….

Armed with the knowledge of the dragon language those players that have the patience to use the dictionary can communicate with dragons and thus be allowed to enter areas otherwise unreachable. Inside such an area, there`s a book called “The Prophecies of the Locust”. (Identifying this book might reveal it as a quest item.) However much they search Karigor, the party will never find a book titled The Prophecies of the Capricorn. The original story from the goatherder that read the book has been corrupted, twisted, bent and changed consciously and unconsciously by those passing it along. Talking to either Red-Eye or Sir Galrim without reading this book will not help. Red-Eye doesn`t recognize the locust part.

Reading the Prophecies of the Locust, first shows the following TOC:

Part I

Ch1: To Fathom a Menace.
Ch2: A Trek of Clowns.
Ch3: The Revenge of Ceth.

Part II

Ch1: A Nude Goat.
Ch2: The Vampire Crackerjack.
Ch3: Return of the Red-Eye.

The text of this book will tell of the dangers of colony`s weakened defences after the Silence. Ch2 will tell of a false prophet traveling down a river with silly followers trekking along. The Revenge of Ceth is the exposure of the false prophet. The Nude goat refers to the fall of a cult that followed an imposter Red-Eye. The Vampire c`Orak is praised in part 2, Ch2, and the Return of the Red-Eye tells of the coming of red-eyed demons on a night when stars are falling from the sky. These devilish creatures from space that will destroy colony like locusts destroy a crop before they move on, will only spare those who worship them. They must not take the banner of the goat and try to be equal with the aliens. They will have to the banner of the sheep to show their subordinance and inferiority.

Having seen this (The TOC is enough as here the Red-Eye chapter is last and The Nude Goat two chapters before it), another conversation option opens with Red-Eye (“You are an imposter.”). Red-Eye demands the book and the quest is complete. He ends the conversation and flees his seat of power, never to be seen again. Talking to Sir Galrim after this will complete his quest as well and he appears as the new leader of Mèh, ruling from the Temple of Mèh in Mt. Pilanteko for the sake of his placement as Master Dodging teacher.

Sir Galrim tries to convert the cult members to studying reptilian monsters from now on, but it`s underlying that the cult will be dissolved sometime after MMT. At any rate the cult must stay until the Priest promotion quest is completed, in the unlikely case that is not done before completing the Mèh quests.

Suggested music

  • The Amazing Grace hymn
  • Mine all Mine