In 1818, many of the solid, well-established religious beliefs that were held to be fact were turned on their head. That was the year famed archeologist, Lord Petrie, discovered a living mummy, Anpoù, while excavating a burial site in Meidoun. All the extensive knowledge that Petrie had acquired through his years of studying ancient tribes was proven to be, at best, only half the story. Anpoù, the thousand-year-old man, revealed himself to be the former personal architect of Imhotep II, known as the Black Pharaoh.
It appears that the rise of cult activity in the times of the pharaohs caused the more enlightened of the people to go into a dormant state to await the coming of an illuminated age that would embrace the rule of Imhotep once more. This group was freed from moral considerations and performed a number of miracles through sacred ritual. Not the least of those miracles was the ability to raise the dead and force them into menial labor. Once that knowledge became widespread, the problem of the great works was resolved. No longer would dangerous, repetitive tasks be given to humans. An army of loyal, compliant workers was raised from the grave and put immediately to work.
Petrie, on his return to London, founded The Cult, an evangelical religious organization seeking to install the rule of Imhotep from beyond the grave and recreate the fantastic rituals of the past. With the rumored potential of offering immortality, many of the nobles of London found themselves drawn to The Cult, so its numbers swelled.
The parents of Sir Douglas Turnbull were among the first to join the ranks of The Cult. He grew up amongst its members and the ancient rituals that were performed on a regular basis. Turnbull, through his connections, was able to gain access to scrolls that spoke of a deity even older than the Black Pharaoh: Moloch, a being borne of fire that, Turnbull believed, offered power beyond imagination. He abandoned the goals The Cult had for bringing back the rule of Imhotep and started secretly working to summon an even more powerful deity as the High Priest of Moloch.
In The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch, The Cult is made up of a few different characters that are used by the Nemesis player in different Chapters of the game. Each of the characters will come in handy for the Nemesis as they work to complete their goals for the Chapter. Tapping into The Cult’s special abilities, and using them effectively, will be the difference between the success or failure of the Nemesis’ missions.
The mysterious High Priest of Moloch leads The Cult and is working to bring back the fiery deity, Moloch, himself. The High Priest has all of the powers of Moloch at his disposal. Dark magic flows through his veins. While the Gentlemen will only see him during the most climatic moments of a campaign, he still represents a massive threat not to be taken lightly. When the Gentlemen do run into the High Priest, they’ll have to be on their toes. He has more than a few devious tricks up his sleeve.
Tobias and Emerson are always found together, and they will work as a team for the Nemesis. So connected are they that when one of them is slain, the other becomes much stronger. Tobias is the melee fighter of the pair. Depending on the choice the Nemesis makes, Tobias will have the ability to heal himself as he kills off enemies or summon zombies to defend him when he’s taking damage. Emerson works best from a distance. He can use his ranged weapons to knock down the Gentlemen, slowing them, or spread out his attacks, encompassing a wider range and making him excellent at crowd control.
Ira Kodich is the Necromancer of the bunch. She also goes by the title, The Priestess of Moloch. Ira is skilled at controlling the zombie hordes to do her bidding. Her standard ability allows her to activate all of the zombies in her vicinity. But, depending on the version of Ira chosen by the Nemesis, the types of zombies she uses will differ. The Dismembered Zombies work as putrid long range weapons, and the Royal Guard Zombies will be the go-to for melee attacks.
The Lamias are a formidable and sneaky foe. They are separate beings that act as one. The Lamias like to stick to the shadows and can attack when and where you least expect it. Each time the Gentlemen are lucky enough to take one of them down, it makes the others even stronger, ultimately leaving them to face one super powerful enemy.
The Cult will present a tricky challenge for the Gentlemen when they face them in The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch. The Cult’s combination of muscled melee fighters and tactical ranged assailants won’t make it easy. Suffice it to say, the people of London and the rest of the world will be in a bad spot if The Cult is not defeated. On the other hand, if you’re playing as the Nemesis, it’s reassuring to have such an evil and underhanded posse on your side.
The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch launches on Kickstarter January 17, 2017 at 3pm EST!
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