Recently, a set of papers has gone missing from the offices of the Department of Esoteric Faiths. These papers appear to be briefing newly trained agents on the various targets of the Department’s research.
“Frankly, it’s hard to care about these guys. Just let them do whatever it is they do in their little forest temples, they’re not bothering anyone. There’s the issue of the occasional drowned body floating down the river in some backwoods village, frightening the locals. Run a story, something about a serial killer in the woods or a samsquantch or something. Do your damn jobs.”
Apathy’s Dawn is a sect following the teachings of one Randy Turner, born 1979 to unknown parents. The only non-cult records of him reveal he had dental work done in 1993, and that he spoke at some sort of gathering for those interested in the occult in 1995. Frankly, we’re not even sure this guy is still alive. His followers seem to practise some sort of ritual drowning as an initiation ceremony. Oftentimes, this goes wrong. The streams they do this in are quite gentle, and there’s never a sign of a struggle, so how these idiots manage to drown in inches-deep water is beyond me.
Reports indicate some sort of temple they gather at, presumably to bore eachother to death. Journals recovered from gathering sites, ex-member testimonies and outsider observations all repeatedly mention an entity known only as Fhurbahel. Whatever it means, they’re not harming anyone.
The Illumination Initiative
“If your paperwork has gone missing over the past few months, chances are one of these jackasses has it. Don’t hurt them, just… show them the door. And for fuck’s sake, keep a lock on the archives.”
His colleagues at the University all said he was mad. They scoffed at his wild theories on metaphysics. This led Cole Gregory, Ph.D, to one day run out the doors with an armful of notes, ranting and screaming at anyone who would hear him. He was soon followed by his pupils, and the group has since set up shop in what we hope is the man’s own house. You’ll recognize it by the tents in the yard, full of wide-eyed students feverishly discussing their notes and by the infuriatinlgy loud sermons the man himself gives from his bedroom window.
Every now and then, they run out of study material, and start running amok through the town, stealing books from any place they can get to. Bookshops, libraries, elementary schools… no institution is safe from a band of these guys running in, yelling something about THE TRUTH, and making off with your son’s nudie mags. They do however seem to gravitate towards literature concerning medicine. Keep a close eye on your reports, as they have recently started actively pursuing notes on the various other esotheric faiths out there.
Public libraries are encouraged to hire private security guards to evict anyone caught molesting the… you know what, let’s just agree that anyone caught fondling books in the manner they do should be removed from the premises, cult affiliation or not.
“Please keep walking if you see one of these guys. Whatever you do, don’t start arguing with them, that’s how they win. I think it actually gets them off. “
Leader: Evan Carter. The man’s not exactly an enigma, since if you gently ask him about anything he just starts rattling off his entire life’s story. He seems unsure of his own status as a cult leader, seeing it all as just another event in the clusterfuck that is his life. All we know about the origins is that he dropped out of high school after the great Debate Club Incident of 1999. They still haven’t found the bodies.
Followers can be identified by their hoarse voices, wildly varying tastes in video games, and their body odour. Talk about a hobby you like somewhere in public, these guys are bound to show up and demonstrate how wrong you are.
Documents retrieved from their desert compound reveal that their ultimate goal appears to be related to sowing polarization across society. It is unknown what this accomplishes beyond annoying everyone, but it’s reason enough to put these guys in the slammer the moment we get approval to engage.
Order of the Salted Legume
“Shoot on sight.”
[Rest of document appears to be covered in viscous black fluid, and is illegible as a result.]
“These guys suck. If you’re ever out shooting deer, and you start seeing markings on the trees and weird sculptures of bone, get the hell out of there. You do NOT want to end up in their… home.”
No one has actually seen one, as they are excellent at staying out of sight. They work at dawn, dragging off animal carcasses and chopping down trees to build a log cabin that is, according to eyewitness reports, a whole lot bigger on the inside than it should be. One of our agents tried to burn it down a while ago, but the fire seemed to not even want to spread before extinguishing itself. It also had the side-effect of causing an 11.3% drop in the local deer population. Thanks, jackass. You know who you are.
Stay out of the woods, that’s all I’m saying. They hardly ever seem to take humans.
“Do not engage. Let them snuff themselves out. Incidents of a “Ritual” are rare enough for us to be able to contain the damage. If you meet one, ask him why the hell they wear those blindfolds.”
Speaking of forest fires. Here come the Lightbringers, burning the shit out of anything that looks flammable, then tossing their own bodies onto the pyre. It might be possible to hook up a dynamo to Smokey the Bear’s corpse and use it as a perpetual motion engine, with how fast the fucker should be spinning in his grave with these guys around.
My mustache might never grow back, thanks to these jerks. Experiments with hiding petrol cans in hollowed-out trees seem to be fairly effective at prematurely ending their rituals.
The Weedman’s Chosen
Unpredictable. Widespread. Loosely-associated.
These words describe the Chosen, though other words, such as malodorous, work just fine too.
This group of predominantly male young adults seem to revere the burning of the leaves of the cannabis sativa plant, almost to the point of obsession. No official name has been claimed, nor has anyone stepped forward to claim they lead this sect. Rather, it seems to be a deep-seated love for an entity known only as ‘The Weedman’. Followers speak of the Weedman “Throwing in a little extra”, possibly referring to an as of now unknown method of sacrifice/ascension. Another thing they seem to share in common are various dances and gestures done after speaking of the Throwing In, seemingly expressing joy but perhaps hiding something far more sinister.
We’ll need to keep close tabs on these guys.