Four Schemes of the Cult of the Devourer

The Cult of the Devourer, as seen in Eyes of the Stone Thief, are the descendants of enemies of the Emperor. They were exiled from the Dragon Empire, and ended up riding along in a living dungeon that they intended to one day turn into a weapon against the ‘usurpers’. The cult’s original goal of vengeance has, over time, blurred into veneration of the dungeon as a potential god.

The immortal Secret Masters of the Cult communicate with their surface servants through magical dreams. They’ve taught these cultists a rite to attract the attention of the blind Stone Thief – pray hard enough, and a giant dungeon of carnivorous architecture pops up and eats something nearby. Some of different surface temples have different goals, depending on their own plans and circumstances. Here are four schemes that the player characters might run into.

  1. Baron Heshik of the Red Wastes

Baron Heshik’s domain lies south of Santa Cora, a region that was once wealthy and fertile until, well, a giant portal to Hell opened and the Great Gold Wyrm heroically sacrificed himself to save the world. Now, half the barony is barren demon-haunted wasteland.

From the topmost tower of Castle Heshik, he can see the distant spires of a demon fortress ruled by a creature called the Juggler of Skulls. If that fortress was destroyed, then there’s a chance that Heshik’s knights could reclaim some of the lost territory. There’s no way to lay siege to the demon fortress – but in Santa Cora, Heshik met a strange preacher who claims he can destroy the fort.

The preacher needs the heart of a demon – not the invincible Juggler of Skulls, but one of the Juggler’s court. So, Heshik turns to the player characters – if they can sneak into the fortress and steal a demon’s heart, this nice and wholly trustworthy mysterious preacher can do a ritual that will destroy the demon castle. In his enthusiasm to reclaim his family lands, Heshik hasn’t asked what the ritual will entail – or why this preacher is willing to aid him.

These are important questions, as the answers are “calling the Stone Thief” and “because the cult intends to use Heshik to gain access to the Imperial Court”.

  1. Jackals of the Underworld

A century or so ago, priests in the service of the Dwarf King eradicated a branch of the Cult of the Devourer. The cultists were executed in the traditional dwarven fashion (squish!), but the cult’s relics and holy texts were locked away in a vault for all time – until a band of dwarven thieves broke into that vault, looking for treasure.

These thieves found the cult ritual to call the Stone Thief. They know how dangerous and untrustworthy the Thief is (the dwarves know the living dungeon by many names, like Makh Miz Adaor, She Who Undermines) so they’ve no intention of doing anything stupid like using it to steal the king’s treasury from under Forge. No – their plan is to lure the Stone Thief down into the Underworld and sic it on the dark elves and other creatures of the deeps who drove the dwarves out of Underhome. Sure, the Stone Thief will end up consuming large chunks of the ancient dwarven homeland – but they’ll be able to recover the bits left over. All they need are some doughty adventurers to add muscle to their plan.


  1. Deathtrap Groupies

In the hills north of Concord, you’ll find the village of Redwell. Everyone knows there’s a small dungeon at the bottom of the village well. It’s long since been cleared of any really dangerous monsters, and at this point it’s more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Would-be adventurers come from miles around to explore the defanged dungeon and get a feel for underground adventuring; once a year, there’s a festival where the townsfolk restock the dungeon and adventuring parties compete in a dungeoneering tournament. It’s all very twee and wholesome, just like you’d expect from Concord.

What outsiders don’t realise is that the village dungeon is a tiny effigy of the Stone Thief, and the villagers are all cultists of the devourer. The ‘dungeon’ is a temple, and every monster slain inside its walls counts as an offering.

And the next festival’s going to be a big one…


  1. The Pyre of the World

For overly-ambitious GMs only.

The upcoming Prophet of the Pyre campaign involves the schemes of the malignant wizard called the Master of Desolation; he’s allied with a Villainous Icon. The campaign suggests possible candidates for this ally – the Diabolist, Orc Lord and High Druid are prime candidates – but if you want to cross the streams, you could slot the Cult of the Devourer into this role, and use all of Eyes of the Stone Thief in the middle of your Prophet of the Pyre campaign. The middle part of the campaign is all about finding the Master’s secret lair – what if the reason they can’t find it because it keeps moving as the living dungeon swims through the earth?


13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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