Disciples of Asmodeus
Name(s): Disciples of Asmodeus
First Appearance: Spectre (1977 film)
Short Description: A bizarre sex cult based in 1970s UK, dedicated to the worship of "Asmodeus", an immortal, shape-shifting Serpent-man; the cult recruits from the cream of British society: the wealthy, powerful, and influential, with promises of wealth, sex, and the ability to shape-shift into more attractive forms, in exchange for slavish obedience to the cult.
History and Scope
A cult based in the 1970s UK, recruiting from the ranks of British aristocracy, industry, and investment by offering rewards of wealth, power, the means to indulge unnatural lusts, and the ability to shape-shift, in exchange for worship of the focus of the cult, a Serpent Man calling itself "Asmodeus". The cult was activated shortly after a wealthy businessman, Sir Geoffry Cyon, accidentally stumbled upon a cavern temple complex connected to Yoth hidden beneath the "Druid" standing stones on his estate - known locally as "The Devil's Firepit" - while renovating his lavish manor. While exploring the temple ruins, Cyon broke the seal upon a chamber in which Asmodeus had been imprisoned by the combined efforts of early Christian priests and Druid wizards 2,500 years ago in an effort to stop the creature's cult from its campaign of monstrous human corruption.
Identification, Psychology and Behavior
The members of the cult are noted for publicly flaunting their newly acquired morbid lusts, surrounding themselves with beautiful young servants indoctrinated into the the cult's weird celebrations, and decorating their homes like bordellos; members of the cult are also "blessed" by Asmodeus with the protean power to shape-shift at will, usually into irresistibly attractive "succubi" or "incubi" (even changing gender if desired), though members given this "gift" have also been known to assume even more monstrous forms according to their own lusts, and the monstrous whims of Asmodeus. Unfortunately for the cultists, Asmodeus delights in corruption and debasement of its cultists, demanding submission to the foulest extremities of the cult's lusts from its members, and periodically demanding human sacrifices of loved ones from cult priests, with the willing participation of their followers; the punishment for refusal is a terrible and humiliating execution at the hands of the cult. The cult's ceremonial robes take the form of hooded robes of red or black cloth which effectively hide the cultist's face, while revealing the cultist's naked body beneath; cultists will also be seen wearing large amounts of expensive jewelry in a display of the wealth and status they have gained under Asmodeus' leadership.
Tomes, Artifacts, Sites
- location: "The Devil's Fire-pit", a ring of standing stones towering over a hidden entrance to a hidden temple complex connected to the Hollow Earth land of Yoth; the temple and standing stones are assumed to be of "Druid" origin, but are actually far, far older than mankind, originally being constructed by the pre-human Serpent People as one of their doorways between the earth's surface, and the hellish gulfs of the Hollow Earth below.
- location: Temple of Asmodeus underneath the standing stones.
- location: Hollow Earth: the temple complex is connected to the subterranean land of Yoth and other locations in the vast caverns and complex tunnels hidden deep under the earth.
Allies, Creatures and Deities
- Sir Geoffry Cyon, a wealthy businessman, is the nominal priest of the cult in the mid-1970s.
- Asmodeus has been pressuring Sir Geoffry to recruit his brother and sister into the cult as well; unknown to Geoffry, his brother is actually dead - Asmodeus has been masquerading as his brother to spy on Geoffry; Geoffry's sister is repulsed by the cult and would likely never join it.
- Sir Geoffry's loyalty to the cult seemed secure, until Asmodeus began to demand human sacrifices. Sir Geoffry's enthusiasm for the cult has waned since then, and the cult might soon face a leadership crisis as a result of this flagging loyalty.
- Sir Geoffry's servants - a collection of beautiful and scantily-dressed maids who serve Geoffry and his cult as more than just household servants - are thoroughly debased and extremely dedicated to the cult, enthusiastically looking forward to the cult's first human sacrifices.
- "Asmodeus" - a Serpent Man leading the cult and demanding to be worshiped as a god
- Asmodeus has shape-shifting powers, disguising himself as a member of the cult or someone else that Asmodeus has seen, typically taking the person's place while they are absent, or taking the place of the person after he/she has been murdered or sacrificed, and the body hidden in the caverns beneath the cult's temple.
- Asmodeus also has the power to hypnotize his members, and induce them to shape-shift into any form desired; usually, this is a form desired by the cultist thus "blessed", and typically a youthful and extremely attractive appearance, though Asmodeus may sometimes choose instead to alter his servant's appearance into something altogether more fantastic or monstrous, perhaps as a punishment, or perhaps as extortion to enforce the cult's fear and loyalty, or to craft a for for its servant best able to suit the needs of Asmodeus (such as a monstrous guardian or assassin); this power is a mixture of biological super-science, hypnotism, and magic, comparable to the powers Mythos races were said to have had over the forms of the Shoggoths; this power is also notably similar to the protean shape-shifting abilities seen in "Faeries", Deros, Serpent People, Worms of the Earth (race), People of K'n-yan, and other debased humanoid beings of the Hollow Earth.
- Asmodeus is also able to reward his followers with material wealth from gold brought up out of the depths of the Hollow Earth.
- Human Cultists have Asmodeus' preferred followers since ancient times.
- Serpent People may sometimes accompany the cult.
- Frazetta Man - in the form of Voormis or other primitive creatures, have also been known to emerge from the Hollow Earth to join in cult celebrations; Deros, Ghouls, "Little People", "Worms of the Earth (race)", and other subterranean sub-human races have also been seen in the company of this cult.
- The cult has access to unimaginable wealth in its access to the gold and gems of the lands of Hollow Earth with which Asmodeus sometimes rewards the cultists.
- The cultists themselves typically enjoy positions of great wealth, influence, and power which may be counted among the cult's resources.
Heresies and Controversies
- The Hollow Earth, Serpent People, hypnotic shape-shifting powers, and Voormi angle are Lovecraftian elements stretched to fit the movie portrayal of the cult, by way of fan theory. (fan theory)
- This is an example of a stereotypical generic demon cult which can be adapted relatively easily into a more Lovecraftian context: the "god" Asmodeus - given a reptilian appearance in the movie and imprisonment in a cavern temple under a Stonehenge-like monument - is assumed here to actually be a powerful Serpent Man imprisoned in a vault of the "Hollow Earth", until released to do Lovecraftian things with his newly-gathered cult of followers.
- film: Spectre (1977 film)