A group of individuals tied together by alien compulsions and maddening certainties, the Pattern Seekers aim to complete their tasks, perfect their endeavors, and close the infinite, universal fractal. The same obsessions which destroy their lives also grant the Pattern Seekers terrible power.
Deity — Zhahdahdahdon
Called the Hierophant of Seething Echoes, the Siren of the Seeking Pattern, and the Witness of the Whispering Labyrinth, Zhahdahdahdon is as much a consuming concept as it is an ineffable being. The compulsive repetition of sounds so quickly they become a musical note, the awful, sucking pull of madness, the keening terror of Absolute Certainty–these are all signs of Zhahdahdahdon’s influence on the world.
Cult History & Description
The Cult of Zhahdahdahdon is an aggregation of individuals who have been exposed to the malign influence of the Whispering Labyrinth. The Labyrinth itself manifests in a myriad of forms–works of art and music, books, even ephemeral, transformative experiences. Whatever the form, Cultists have become lost in their personal Labyrinth, something which becomes the focus of their lives, and they are driven to seek out that thing again and again and again.
Eventually, such an individual gives in to their obsessions, and they realize that something is watching them. Something that sees their endless, frantic scrabblings. They realize that the further down the rabbit hole they go, the closer they are to the Thing That Watches. That, really, their driving Need has never been their own, and that the more they do to meet or sate the Need, the closer they get to the Need’s source. And sometimes, somewhere along that dread journey, they meet others like themselves.
Cultists of Zhahdahdahdon do not have ranks, per se, but they do sometimes refer to one another based on how far along the spiral they have traveled. Broadly, there are three tiers:
The Bound: Individuals who have heard the call of the malicious pattern but who retain the ability and desire to maintain ‘normal lives.’ The Bound have sensed Zhahdahdahdon and serve its whims by feeding their compulsions, but they can ‘pass for normal,’ hold down day jobs, and generally make their way in polite society without too much issue.
The Free: When one of the Bound crosses some ethical or moral event horizon in the service of their compulsion, they become Free. Free of the constraints of human society, free to pursue their true calling. These people are often open about their ‘true purpose’ and the needs they have in fulfilling said purpose. Such honestly is rarely appreciated in society, and the Free are generally homeless, imprisoned, hospitalized, or in some other way entirely removed from ‘normal life.’
The Wise: The Wise are Free who have found personal perfection through their quest. They are not clear of their obsession–quite the opposite. The Wise are those who have found ways to seamlessly integrate all aspects of their lives into the pursuit of their compulsion. The depths of their devotion are such that the world itself sometimes splinters and breaks to allow the Wise to do what they will, like so many matchsticks meeting a lathe.
Zhahdahdahdon (pronounced ja-Dada-Don) has rarely manifested directly in the real world. When it has done so in the past, it has been equally as likely to simply possess an individual as it has been to drain all color from the world and appear as a glowing, ever-changing cloud of fractal lines, or breach a wall as an all-devouring vortex.
To worship Zhahdahdahdon is to obsessively perform a task, to obey a compulsion from outside one’s own psyche. Such “quests” often seem random or inconsequential to the uninitiated, but those privy to the secrets of the Whispering Labyrinth understand that such trivialities often mirror greater causalities. Covering one’s domicile in stars placed just so helps to cause the stars above to align just so. And when the stars are right–the stars will be right. Note that this is not simply sympathetic magic–a young professional who secretly spends their evenings counting grains of rice into groups of 948 might contribute to celestial alignments just as eloquently as the aforementioned astronomer.
The Cult of Seething Echoes has never been one to hold the spotlight. While members have been persecuted throughout time as many mentally ill persons have, this has largely been on an individual basis–as the Cultists have no real structure (outside of the Bound/Free/Wise categorization), organization, or obvious doctrine, they have never been the explicit subject of purges, inquisitions, or pogroms. Rather, members tend to ‘find’ one another when their individual compulsions lead them to the right place at the right time. Often they may help one another to fulfill some goal, but such alliances tend to form out of mutual convenience—”I will help you steal that crate of red teacups, as I will then have more vessels to fill with exactly three tears, and you will have more porcelain for use in your grand mosaic cemented together with a paste made from your own blood.” It is these sorts of enabling confluences (guised as coincidences) that are held up as proof of Zhahdahdahdon’s influence upon a situation.
What outsiders and other Cults often find most troubling about a Pattern Seeker is their synthesis of deranged causality and unswerving, ineffable purpose. Only a fellow Seeker could hope to understand why the penny on the ground on the other side of the street is perfect for their quest while the one at their feet is wrong, all wrong. What is clear to all, though, is that by retrieving the far penny rather than the near, the Seeker removes themself from the path of an oncoming bus gone out of control. Those who are new to the service of Zhahdahdahdon, or who merely dabble, stagger through their quests in lurching fits and starts of kismet. The Pattern Seekers farthest along their paths, however, are fully aware of the caustic effect their obsession has on the laws of probability (and, occasionally, physics), and make terrible use of their powers to meet the Needs they serve.
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