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The Hexwoven

When the Two are risen and seek their partner's call, so too shall The Hexwoven rise, to attend the coming of nature's end.

...and so I tracked the hags of Mama Ernie's distasteful coven deep down into the Holler. All of those coven sisters who resided within the borders of the Crooked Isle had joined in for the celebrations. From the North came the wizened Auntie Old Beula, all draped in her gaudiest finery (likely stolen off corpses which should be investigated further). From the Isle's West, the Sisters Spite did slither, their garb of humanoid skins nothing short of a mockery when draped upon their painfully bony frames. Finally, in from the South strode Grelda Bonebarb. Likely one of the oldest hags upon the Crooked Isle, Grelda's prescense caused the air to grow noticeably colder and provided the opportunity for this impspector to assess his options for retreat. That night was silent, uncommonly so for being so deep within the filth of the bog where the Holler's meeting place was designated. Quiet, of course, save for the quiet quibbling of the gathered hags, and the crying of two baby girls...
- Excerpt from the journal of Chief Impspector Ben Dominic

Structure

The formal Hexwoven ranks are broken up into the following:
  • Little Sisters: A handful of the cult's most powerful women working under direct orders of The Two. Should the Two ever be lost (as they are in current history), the Little Sisters act as leaders and final decision-makers for the Hexwoven. Each Little Sister is a powerful sorceress and practitioner of natural and necromantic schools of magic.
  • The Circle of Pointed Antlers: Holding a position in the cult's formal council is no easy feat as proven by the five current members who currently hold the title of Circle member. The members of the Circle of Pointed Antlers serve two main functions within the organization: Carrying out the orders of the Little Sisters, and performing powerfully unholy necromantic ceremonies. It is rumored that the original Circle performed the cursed ritual that binds unfortunate souls to the Crooked Isle, but no proof has ever been fully discovered. They may easily be identified by the large rack of deer-like antlers adorned with bones, jewelry, and trinkets, worn upon their heads. As each Circle member is a practitioner of druidic magics, they may also be spotted in their animal forms, as each looks like an undead facsimile of a bear, deer, or other beast common to their locale.
  • The Elite Guard: Only spotted rarely in public view, the Elite Guard serve as bodyguards to the Circle of Pointed Antlers and enforcers of the Little Sisters more martial orders. When the rank and file members of the Hexwoven simply cannot be trusted to achieve their goals, the cult relies on the skills of these most elite soldiers. The Elite Guard contain master warriors, archers, mages, and dark-clerics, each of which has been altered with magically enhanced wicker-like prosthesis. Some Elite Guard are also purported to be completely inhuman constructs crafted personally by a Circle member.
  • The Prongs: Prongs are senior cultists within the organization who have served the Circle and Little Sisters dutifully. These members are most often those who chose the way of the Hexwoven rather than being magically manipulated into the fold.
  • Cultist Acolytes: Be it by cunning word or magical spell, many unfortunate humanoids are folded into the ranks of the Hexwoven to serve the Circle's desires. Their duties range from clerical work, to acting as the frontlines in city-sackings, to simply attending the dark masses of the Little Sisters and hearing their latest word from the Two. Those Acolytes who joined willingly are often sent out to nearby hamlets or struggling villages in order to convince those more vulnerable citizens of joining the Hexwoven's cause. If ever the Hexwoven are encountered in Taer'Edoo, there will likely be a hefty number of Acolytes amongst them,

Public Agenda

Ever secretive, the public agenda of the Hexwoven is hidden away. In recent history they have been spotted reclaiming places of Elder magic across the Crooked Isle, nestling their way into small villages of Taer'Eddo's northern territories, and slowly rebuilding their ranks after decades of hibernation in the shadows.

History

At first, there were but two members of the Hexwoven, the powerful raven-haired human sorceress the cult would call the Mother, and her mate, a mysterious woman now a mystery outside of the Hexwoven's inner circles. The two traveled the reaches of Taer'Eddo accumulating magical knowledge until later into their travels when the Sorceress was noted to have come upon a group of Druids who had shunned their circles to practice a more twisted form of natural magics. These druids lived close to a font of the accursed magical power known as the Elder, and used the eldritch force to bind the spirits of animals into more powerful constructs crafted of enchanted wood and stone as hard as steel. While still only novices at the natural arts, the Sorceress and her mate lived with the druids for a time, learning of their crude wielding of the Elder and how to bend nature's magical energy to their will rather than typical druids who utilize the natural world with care as they would tend to a partner.


The Hexwoven as they are known today were formally recognized by Eddo's authorities as a dangerous cult force in 1024 ADF after the cult's founding necromantic ceremony during the harvest moon erupted into chaos, leveling the northern cultural hub of Janthrin. The Sorceress and her druidic allies sought to raise a new abomination to life, using the spirits of many animals to fuel their mighty new construct. As the now ruins of Janthrin will attest, the magic-users were unable to control their creation and in its pained fury it leveled the town to splinters and ash. The Sorceress and her mate were hunted by adventurers and bounty hunters across Taer'Eddo for their crimes for five long years. Though her mate faded into the shadows and eluded capture to this day, the Sorceress was held accountable for Janthrin's destruction and was sealed away into permanent banishment within the Shadowfell.


Without who they call "The Two", the Hexwoven fell into disarray, mostly disappearing for the better part of two centuries until recent rumblings from the north of Taer'Eddo suggest they may be returning to serve those women they view as new goddesses. It is suspected by northern authorities that those leading the cult may be descendants of the original druids befriended by the Sorceress or unfortunate souls foolish enough to be corrupted by those few scattered notes those first druidic members left behind.

"Do Dhithis, ann am beatha agus bàs" - Sylvan motto of the cult

Hexwoven Totem
by Artist Unknown
A Hexwoven totem, recovered from the body of a slain cultist acolyte.
Founding Date
1024 ADF
Type
Religious, Cult
Alternative names
The Deermen, Nature's Wrath, The Wickermen

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Cover image: by Artist Unknown

Comments

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4 Dec, 2018 10:30

Heyho, nice article with a good amount of information. Nice work!   Still there's two things you could improve upon, imho. First, I'd put public agenda before structure, and I would add another section were you're explaining, in short, what that cult actually is. Something along the lines of 'The Hexwovan is an ancient cult, utilizing dark/forbideen/necromantic magic to achieve their secret plot's goals etc.' The two leading figures should be mentioned earlier, too. Second, you could add tooltips or links to some of your in world terms. E.g I have no clue what 'Taer'Eddo' is supposed to be.

4 Dec, 2018 13:42

Not bad suggestions at all!!! Thank you, I'll look into doing a little editing.

5 Dec, 2018 11:32

I love this! It's right up my alley, and I have to read more of your world. Keep up the good work!

5 Dec, 2018 20:34

Thank you very much!!!