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.

The Children believe that The Cataclysm was the gods’ punishment for the use of Shadow Power. Only through repentance and transcendence can the gods be appeased and return to the world to restore it.

Origins

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!

— Aslan M'pok, Pontiff of the Children

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.

Organisation

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.

Public Agenda

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.

Controversy

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.

Mythology

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.

True Purpose

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"

Mood music!


Founding Date
45 PC
Type
Religious, Cult
Demonym
Child
Leader
Controlled Territories
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities
Ranks
Pontiff
Cardinal
Adept
Acolyte
Child

Related Reading

Aslan M'pok
Character | Jan 19, 2021

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.

Cathedral of the Children
Building / Landmark | Jan 19, 2021

The Cathedral of the Children is the main location of congregation and worship of the Children of the Cataclysm, the only expression of organized religion (unless you count capitalism) in Fusion City.


Articles under Children of the Cataclysm



Cover image: Liliana by Akos Szabo

Comments

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13 Jul, 2019 09:19

Real creepy! Good work.

13 Jul, 2019 10:13

Thank you! I was trying to go for this classic "inviting cult hellbent on world domination" but with a twist. I think it turned out well :)

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
18 Jul, 2019 20:50

Hi Tobias,   I have tried to answer your questions, and I have also added some additional feedback which I hope you find useful:   I think it is plausible that an organization like this would gain traction in a desolate/desperate city. You don’t provide much background into the setting, but that’s the feeling of the city that the article transmits right now.   While the great plan makes sense within their mythology, the mythology section is not clear on itself. Why use cybernetics? Based on the tooltips and the quick look I’ve had at the cataclysm and the shadow power, technology itself (in my understanding that shadow power was a technology) was the cause of the cataclysm. So how can repentance and transcendence be achieved through the power of cybernetics? How is this reconciled in this religion with the old god’s religion/mythology? How is this technology different? While a cult does not necessarily need to be based on logic, right now there is no explanation as to how did they arrive at the “realization” that cybernetics are the way to go.   As my previous comment shows, I liked the creepiness of the article and the cult. I also liked that the emergence of a leader was what took this organization to a whole new level. However, we don’t really get to know Aslan M'pok through the article at all, despite him being so influential and necessary, which is a bit disappointing. I wouldn’t mind seeing a quote or two by him or about him to get a sense about his personality. A few things which I think would make the article easier to read:

  • Your tooltips are longer than necessary. Those tooltips which are two full sentences or more: reduce them to one, because right now so much text is distracting the reader from the main story. Some tooltips also contain exactly the same information as can be found in the article (for example: Aslan M'pok). If this is because that’s how you set your excerpts for articles, consider not linking them through an at, but rather through the url link and just add a short tooltip.
  • It may be worth stating that the cataclysm is year zero at some point in the text or in the tooltip, so that the reader knows how much time passed between it and the founding of the cult.
  • Colloquial language like “or what have you” is not necessarily very fitting within the article.
  • At certain points using the term Children for both the organization and the followers can get a bit repetitive. Perhaps using the term of organization or followers at certain points would help out keep the readers engaged.
  • 18 Jul, 2019 21:58

    So Im commenting as I read. "The idea that the gods caused the Cataclysm to punish civilisation is not something that has appeared in recent years." I... this may be a language thing for me but Im not sure if this sentence is saying that the idea is new or old. There are also a few things that I would love to see a link to. Like to Kuna, as I, an outsider to your world have no clue what that is. The organisation of this cult is well done, I get a clear idea of the make-up of the cult and its ranking, as well a what each ranking entails. Although.... from reading the article I dont have a very good idea why this cult has such a large following as is stated.

    19 Jul, 2019 07:37

    These things *are* linked, but due to how Worldanvil works, private articles currently don't show up as links at all. I've talked with Dimi about this and a fix is coming.

    Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
    19 Jul, 2019 01:17

    This group is really fascinating. I love how they have a very traditional cultist feel...in regards to their controversies. I'm curious if these are only rumors or have their been actual investigations into them by outside authorities? I also love how you left a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. This is one to watch in the future.   Very nicely done.

    Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    18 Dec, 2019 23:08

    O.o oh dear.... I see. Yeah, not recommended at all. I like em though. it is believable that such an organization would emerge, the great plan is a little hard to swallow at first. It almost sounded like a bond villain, but as I reread it with more focus i can understand it and it does make sense that such a plan would be attempted. Their fanaticism coupled with the opportunity presented by the tech could easily make this a reality. I would like to know more about the religion itself, just because I love theological stuff. It adds some special flavor. Traditions, rituals, plus why and how they emerge are just facinating to me.   My favorite is the great plan. tbh. It was cool to be like "woah, satarday morning cartoon." And then suddenly it sinks in that such a thing is not only possible but likely if the right set of variables line up. It's an uneasy feeling and that's a rare event when I read. Definitely deserves praise. Well done once again!

    18 Dec, 2019 23:24

    I'm so glad you say that, because that was indeed my idea for these people. They're not evil, they genuinely believe that they're doing the world a favor, but they also know that people would never accept it. So they come across as a bit of moustache-twirling bad guys, but their ideas and motivations are grounded in logic and reality, from their point of view. So stoked that not only I managed to convey that, but that it was understandable for the reader. Man, you're on point with feedback today. :)   As for the religious stuff, it's mostly from the "old world" (Dark Shadows, my other setting) as they are believers in the gods of the old. But perhaps with a more polytheistic twist to it.

    Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
    Sage Dylonishere123
    R. Dylon Elder
    18 Dec, 2019 23:33

    Thanks and absolutely, like I said its impressive that subtext gets nailed so well that it can turn the reading into an experience. oooo I love it! Ima have to check that out. I love seeing old to new worlds on here cause of the little easter eggs that can pop up as the world transitions. Oooo yess ima find that now.

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