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Cult of Rakdos

The Kill-Guilders

A troupe of psychopathic entertainers.



The Rakdos Cult is a large group of hedonists, sadists, criminals, and psychopaths under the leadership of a powerful demon named Rakdos. The Rakdos Cult combines a destructive urge with the desire for pleasure. Its members are sadistic and cruel simply for the fun of it. Extreme entertainments and personal enjoyment are their goals. They want Ravnica to bow to their whims and anything that gets in their way—or happens to be walking by—is fair game.


Rakdos the Defiler is the undisputed head of the guild, but beyond that, Rakdos lacks a formal structure. The cult members despise rules or anything that curtails their freedom, so there are no laws other than the precept to please their demonic master. They might attack each other on the street during the day and then go to the same revelry at night. On the surface, the activities of the guild are run by loosely affiliated "Rings," each led by a Ringmaster, and each with its own sphere of influence, commodities, and cult followers. Selfishness and hedonism guide cult members' actions, and there is little thought to consequences—ever. Members of Rakdos are driven by a desire to entertain themselves and they don't care who they hurt along the way.


The Rakdos Cult is made up of the Rings, which are shifting conglomerations of people who pay tribute to Rakdos in exchange for protection as well as cult membership. Membership in Rakdos is not a formal arrangement; it's a sense of acceptance, of shared deviance, and communal justification of amorality. Currently, there are nine major Rings of Rakdos, some more depraved than others, each one led by a minor cult leader called a Ringmaster who ultimately answers to Rakdos himself. The number of Rings is malleable, depending on the demands of the Ravnican public, Rakdos's whims, and the power plays of individual Ringmasters.   The Rings have territories based around the physical locations of their clubs, and they enforce their control over these territories with violence when necessary. Many Rings run multiple clubs within them, which sometimes only last weeks or months before they are shut down by a mass murder, major fire, or—sometimes—by the law enforcement of other guilds.




The Cult of Rakdos bears the name of the demon lord who founded it. As laid out in the Guildpact, the guild was intended to fill roles concerning entertainment, mining, and manual labor. Some argue that any effort to give a demonic cult a respectable role in society was doomed to failure, but the cult remains part of Ravnica's social fabric nevertheless. The Guildpact prohibits the cult's extermination, and its entertainments—even as dark and destructive as they are—hold broad appeal. From rowdy mobs who love to see the Rakdos skewer the powerful elites to decadent socialites who come to the Rakdos for illicit amusements, most of Ravnica's people don't really want the Rakdos to go away, as much as they might publicly protest otherwise.


At the time of the Decamillennial Celebration, the acting guildmaster, human bloodwitch Izolda, procured spinal fluid from a dragon, blood from Jarad, and blood from Jarad's son Myc to rouse Rakdos from his sleep. Rakdos awakened and wreaked havoc in the streets of Ravnica until the demon crossed the path of Project Kraj. After Project Kraj absorbed Rakdos into its body, sustaining injuries, the comatose Rakdos was thrown back into his lava pit, Rix Maadi, by the Boros angel Feather, uncertain of his return. Sensing her weakness after the defeat of their demonic guildmaster, Izolda's followers summarily devoured her alive.

“We can’t control enemies who have no regard for their own survival.”
— Arrester Lavinia, Tenth Precinct



Currently, there are five Rings that service Rakdos-affiliated diversion clubs. The clubs sell all manner of food and drink, twisted circus entertainment, bathhouse amenities, and creepy burlesque revues. The bulk of the Rakdos membership is involved in these diversion clubs as workers, performers, or hangers-on. Cult members tend to be young and live a nocturnal existence of revelries and petty crime. There's a lot of violence between cult members, as well as random "family" groups who live nomadic existences in squat houses throughout Ravnica. Most cult members live hard and die young.


Currently, there are three Rings that service debauchery clubs, which are usually higher on the depravity scale. These clubs offer a variety of entertainment, tattooing and scarring, pit fighting, and other services. Most do not have an obvious storefront that is recognizable by the general public. Those who wish to frequent them must either pay a high entrance fee or pay special tribute to Rakdos himself.


There is only one torture-oriented Ring, and that is located in the depths of Rix Maadi itself. Rakdos leaves this pain-inflicting "entertainment" up to bloodwitches and their masochistic minions and toadies. This is the most depraved Ring, with sacrificial murders both voluntary and involuntary. One of the caverns off the Lava Pit of Rix Maadi is filled with torture devices of all kinds.


Because the Cult has no official structure, each Ring has their own set of rules for joining. Many of them are as simple as asking and signing a contract, some may have conditions that must be met or have tasks that must be completed for recruitment consideration.


A Rakdos insignia, a musical instrument (one of your choice), a costume, a hooded lantern made of wrought iron, a 10-foot length of chain with sharply spiked links, a tinderbox, 10 torches, a set of common clothes, a belt pouch containing 200 sp, and a bottle of sweet, red juice


People recognize you as a member of the Cult of Rakdos, and they're careful not to draw your anger or ridicule. You can get away with minor criminal offenses, such as refusing to pay for food at a restaurant or breaking down a door at a local shop, if no legal authorities witness the crime. Most people are too daunted by you to report your wrongdoing to the Azorius.  



You have proven yourself both useful and talented and have earned a place on stage. It's a small place, and a dangerous one—bit players like you are as likely to suffer injury or death during a Rakdos performance as audience members are. But that's the thrill of live theater!


You have gained a reputation both within the Cult of Rakdos and (to some extent) outside it, though you are still a long way from achieving top billing. You might stage performances in back alleys and abandoned warehouses, with a handful of other performers helping to bring your vision to life.   When you go on an adventure, you can call on 1d4 helpers—a mix of cacklers, stage hands, or extras—to help you complete it. Your status also means that you can venture into the depths of Rix Maadi, the lair of Rakdos, to petition for a Rakdos charm. Rakdos can grant a charm with barely a thought, but your station in the guild doesn't guarantee safe passage to and from the demon's presence.


The aggressive tormentors known as blood witches are the closest thing the Cult of Rakdos has to ranking officials. You can't personally mobilize large numbers of guild members, but individual performers, ogres, giants, and even demons are quick to obey your commands as long as they don't contradict the ethos of the guild or the will of Rakdos himself.   When you become a blood witch, you are assigned to torment a particular enemy of the guild. This enemy can be an individual, a family, an organization, or even an abstract concept. Examples of blood witches include the Judge of the Judges, who targets the Azorius guildmaster; the Tormentor of the Wojek, who confounds Boros military intelligence efforts; and the Disintegrator of Law and Order, who undermines all efforts to uphold law.


At last, you have the opportunity to display your genius to the masses. When you perform, you're the star of the show, the climax of a night of revelry. The rest of the guild regards you with admiration and more than a little envy, since crowds pack whatever venues you choose for your shows. Rakdos himself might even come to watch. You can count on the support of your ringmaster, and you can call on the aid of other performers in your troupe—just be careful not to turn your back on the ones who would kill in return for a moment in your spotlight.   You can bring 2d4 Rakdos performers (blade jugglers, fire eaters, or high-wire acrobats) and 1d4 Rakdos lampooners with you when you're going on stage or heading out to riot on the streets.


The show is yours to command. You determine what performers take center stage and when, and you design the exciting and bloody final act of the show—meaning that you decide who lives and who dies. You might adopt an ominous or overwrought title, such as Choreographer of Flame or the Dramaturge. A troupe of 3d10 + 20 Rakdos performers (blade jugglers, fire eaters, or high-wire acrobats) is at your service, and you can call on 2d4 blood witches to aid you with their magic. You're probably also considered a significant public enemy by the Azorius, but they can't arrest you if they can't catch you.

A Blood Witch
“The star performer of the Juri Revue, his shows have fans and blood spilling into the street.”


What the guild offers its more loyal and trusted members. Upon reaching that status, members may be given one of the following gifts.





Rules that members must adhere to.

• Have fun  


Species and races typically associated with Rakdos include:


Demons are powerful, evil beings who are often difficult to control and exact a price from anyone who tries to deal with them. Physically, almost all of the demons herewithin are pure manifestations of death, without true flesh. Demons of Ravnica are few in number, but appear otherwise similar to Dominarian demons. They embody the darker metaphysical side of sentience: selfishness, cruelty, hatred, greed, and lust for power. The most famous is Rakdos, parun and guildmaster of the Cult of Rakdos. Some rumor that they are formed from Rakdos in a similar manner to the angels that were once born from Razia. Rakdos claims authority over all the demons of this world- even if some of them, ambitious and headstrong as demons are, rebel against his authority.


Devils are subordinate to Demons, being more psychotically self-indulgent and impulsive than power-hungry and manipulative. Physically, they bare a resemblance to Demons, except that they are usually smaller and lack wings. Let loose in the world, they satisfy their mad craving for destruction in a whirlwind of chaos.


A Rakdos Devil


Dragons are huge four-limbed, two-winged reptilian predators. These powerful and intelligent serpentine creatures exist across the multiverse. They have formidable physical strength, and many of them also score high on intelligence and magical capabilities. Head shape, wing shape, body shape, scale colors and breath weapons vary from plane to plane and from dragon to dragon. On the plane of Ravnica, with dragons deemed too dangerous to exist, the Guildpact was signed in part to rid the world of such beings; around the Decamillennial nearly all of them had been killed. The most significant exception being Niv-Mizzet, the parun and Guildleader of the Izzet League who had led the hunt against the others of his kind. Zomaj Hauc tried to revive some ancient dragon eggs some years after the Decamillennial, but was foiled by Agrus Kos, Teysa Karlov, and their allies. There are also lesser dragons still free, who are either hunted or trained as pets.


Goblins proliferate on the city-plane of Ravnica, filling various functions within the guilds they populate. In the Boros Legion, they are expendable soldiers. The Izzet League uses goblins as servants and experiments. Within the Gruul Clans and Cult of Rakdos, goblins are very much like they are on most other planes: Angry and violent. Though some goblins find positions of respect within their guilds, they remain much put-upon by their neighbors, and most Ravnicans regard them as little better than beasts or simpletons. Ravnican goblins are short and green-skinned like their Dominarian counterparts, but have large, distinctive bat-like ears and long, thin noses. They seem to organize themselves according to clans, two of which are known by name: The Izzet and the Krokt.


Ravnica has several kind of horrors, most creations of one of the more unsavory guilds. The Dimir employ Horrors like the Abyssal Nocturnus, the Dinrova Horror, the Consuming Aberration and Horror of the Dim, who are created from a combination of necromancy and mind magic with the intend to guard their secrets. The Orzhov use Horrors to collect their debts from the unguilded by sending them into their quarters to collect their souls (Slum Reaper). The Rakdos cryptwitches employ their own brand of Horror, like the Cryptborn Horror, who are the results of their experiments, sometimes wrung from the collective nightmares and phobias of the inhabitants of the city (Dread Slag). And finally, the Golgari have command over Horrors wrought from plant matter and mutated insects that are able to spread on their own by infecting their surroundings with their essence (Woodwraith Corrupter). Sometimes horrors are hunted by the centaurs of the Selesnya Conclave (Hunted Horror).


The most prevalent species in Ravinca. They are four-limbed bipedal primates of the mammalian class.


Ogres are massive, brutish humanoids with low intelligence (with some exceptions) and great bloodlust. The Ogres on the city plane can actually be reasoned with, but are nonetheless slow thinkers and easy to deceive. They are featured in all the red guilds: Boros Legion, Izzet League, Gruul Clans, and Cult of Rakdos. Ravnican ogres are known to exude a poisonous stench that makes them hard to integrate into society. As such, most ogres have reclusive roles, like catching rats.


Thrulls are creatures animated from dead flesh. The origin of Rakdos thrulls is even more sinister and disgusting than those of the Orzhov. The Rakdos are not overly concerned with their creations' lifespan, as long as they are capable to cause sufficient damage


Azorius Senate

"Insufferable killjoys, and every artist's eternal enemy. Everyone thinks we are the guild of ultimate evil, but we're not the ones who want to monitor, legislate, and control your every move."

Boros Legions

"We love a parade, but their demonstrations always come across as stiff. They're the deserving straight man for our every punch line."

Gruul Clans

"Our well-meaning cousins in chaos! We want to take society down a peg, and they want to raze civilization to the dirt. That's practically common ground!"

Selesnya Conclave

"Such crowds! They would scarcely notice if they were missing a few by night's end. They'd make the perfect audience, if only they had a better appreciation for bleeding-edge art."

Orzhov Syndicate

"The more the Orzhov try to coerce free people to act against their desires, the easier it is for Rakdos to gain recruits."

Izzet League

"Every performance benefits from prop masters and pyrotechnicians. They can be useful backstage, but they lack the charisma for the spotlight."

House Dimir

"They crave secrets, but there's nothing they can get by eavesdropping that we won't freely scream at the top of our lungs. They lurk in the shadows trying to look mysterious, practically inviting our mischief."

Golgari Swarm

"We know they're tired of being the downtrodden, misunderstood misfits. If they're truly ready to anger the powers that be rather than lick boot soles, we invite them to run away and join our circus."

Simic Combine

"Imaginative creators who nevertheless fail to appreciate the meaning of their living creations—nor do they appreciate the tragic irony of not knowing how funny that is."

"Made of bone and boiled in blood, a Rakdos signet is not considered finished until it has been used as a murder weapon."

Guild, Privateers
Training Level
Economic System
Mixed economy


Skills held important by the organization which it both teaches and may require as part of the promotion process.

Standard Skills

Brawn, Dance, Endurance, Influence, Sing, Willpower.    

Professional Skills

Acting, Acrobatics, Courtesy, Gambling, Musicianship, Oratory, Seduction    

Combat Styles

Combat Style Style 1
Combat Style Style 2
Combat Style Style 3

A Rakdos Guildmage  


Magic related to, or often times exclusive to a particular guild which can teach members for a small fee. Not all spells are available right away, many might be reserved for more skilled, loyal, and/or trusted members.

Folk Magic

Show Spoiler
Beastcall(X) Dog
Beastcall(X) Horse
Beastcall(X) Rat


Shamans can summon Bane Spirits, Fire Elemental Spirits and Haunts.


Path of the Demon   Show Spoiler
Augment Athletics
Augment Brawn
Augment Endurance
Augment Melee Combat Style
Invoke Aura(X) Fear
Invoke Immunity(X) Fire
Invoke Indomitable
Invoke Piercing Dragon Tusk(Element) Fire
Enhance Damage Modifier



Purphoros, God of the Forge

Mogis, God of Slaughter

Hazoret, God of Zeal

Show Spoiler
Heal Body
Heal Wound
Lay to Rest

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