Children of the Cataclysm
The Children of the Cataclysm is a controversial religious/transorganist organisation that seeks to restore the old gods to power. They have been the focus of controversy in the last decade with accusations of cult-like organisation and shady financial practices. There are several rumours surrounding the organisation and their charismatic leader Pontiff M’pok.
We are the light for those who walk in darkness! We are the beacon for those who are lost! Only through our vision can we reclaim our rightful place, serving the gods! Only if we prove ourselves worthy of them again will they return. This is our only salvation!
The idea that the gods caused the Cataclysm to punish civilisation is not something that has appeared in recent years. Within days of the Cataclysm there were already doomsday prophets marching the streets of Fusion City, preaching repentance. It was, however, not until about 45 PC that the thought became doctrine and people started to gather under one banner and calling themselves the “Children of the Cataclysm”.
The organisation was initially small and dismissed by the public as “loonies”, clinging to old beliefs because of mental trauma. However, in 86 PC, a young Child stepped up and spoke to the congregation. His name was Aslan M’pok, a Kuna orphan taken up by the church ten years earlier, and his speech roused the masses and gave them all something that they had craved for a long time without knowing it: a leader.
Aslan is the de facto leader of the Children and his word is law. When he speaks, you listen. When he orders you to do something, you do it without question. The Children are unquestionably loyal to their Pontiff to the point of fanaticism.
The Pontiff and six Cardinals make up the Inner Sanctum. These seven are the only ones to know the purpose, direction and all the secrets of the Children. Each Cardinal is responsible for one Chapter of the Children. Each Chapter focuses on one particular subject, be it cybernetics, economics, public relations or the like.
New recruits are referred to as Children until they reach the rank of Acolyte at which point they are allowed to wear the ceremonial garb. A purple and white robe, adorned with ancient proverbs and the symbol of the Children. Acolytes can further progress to Adepts, which is the highest rank for a non-cardinal.
To the public, the Children of the Cataclysm are eccentric and insular yet welcoming. They offer something the city has trouble offering elsewhere: peace and kinship. While some seek peace in drugs, sex, violence or gambling, the Children offer a tranquil space among a community of friends and like-minded.
This has a bigger draw than one would think. Many people who end up in the Children’s embrace are broken and lost people. This is the public face of the Children: Peace through tranquility and transcendence.
The Children have been the target of much ire and controversy through the years. The Children’s substantial financial wealth, the fees and tithes required by its members and their unwillingness to let the lost into the inner parts of their Cathedral are all things that have been criticised. Families have told stories of sons and daughters disappearing into the cult, being told to shun their non-believing family members and to sever them from their lives.
The secrets of the Children are kept even from the children themselves, only the cardinals and the pontiff know the true purpose and extent of the Children’s influence. Such things are believed to be too mind-shattering for lesser children to learn about. They are told that they are kept in the dark about the true purpose for their own protection. Only through transcendence will they be granted the clarity to understand the dark truth.
There is an entire pantheon of gods, ever present in the physical world. Each representing an idea, emotion or a concept. They receive their godly powers from worship, so gods with more worshippers have more power. This creates a power structure among the gods where one god may serve another, in exchange for their protection.
The Children believe that the gods abandoned the Kykr because of their use of Shadow Power and subsequently the gods punished the Kykr by destroying the world. The Children preach that the Kykr (and everyone else) needs to prove their worth for the gods to return. They may only do this through cybernetic enhancement. To become more than the organic shells that they are. Transcend the organic form into mechanical perfection.
The true purpose of the Children is only told to Adepts and above, the only ones fanatical enough to be able understand the grandness of the great plan. The adepts are told that the Children need to bring everyone into the fold, by any means necessary and augment them to the point of transcendence.The Great Plan
Known only to the Pontiff and his Cardinals, the “Great Plan” is to develop medicinal cybernetics so vital to everyday life that everyone will have it. Everyone, everywhere will be implanted with this neurochip. It’ll be offered cheap, and even free, to those who are in need. If the neurochip is not universally adopted by the people of Fusion City, a plague will be unleashed upon them. A plague that can only be cured with the neurochip, and once everyone has the chip, they will be made to believe.
The neurochip will be used to control the thoughts of everyone, everywhere. Harmful thoughts will be deleted, denial will be deleted. They will see the light, regardless of if they want to or not. When everyone is a believer, there will no longer be any strife, no poverty, no war. Only tranquility.
In the event that this great plan is a failure, the Children are slowly amassing an arsenal of high tech weaponry, armor and cybernetics. If the world will not join the unity peacefully, they must be made to with force.
"Salvation through cybernetic trancendance"
Aslan M'pok is the pontiff and leader of the Children of the Cataclysm and a controversial, but also popular individual. He is considered to be one of Fusion City's great thinkers and philosophers.