The Spiraling Worm Cult
The Cult of the Spiraling Worm is a fictional cult which appeared in David Conyers short story 'Screaming Crawler'. The cult was first mentioned (though not by name) in David Drake's 'Than Curse the Darkness'.
The Cult of the Spiraling Worm is an ancient African cult which reveres Nyarlathotep in the form of Ahtu. The main cult is centered in the Congo rain forest though it has branches all across West Africa. The Cult has allways existed in this part of Africa but since the creation of the Congo Free State membership has grown considerably among some of the more desperate tribal groups. The brutal activities of the Force Publique has made potential cultists harder to spot.
Cultists often practice ritual mutilation and severe flagellation, cannibalism is allso common particularly among the central cult in the Congo Basin. The senior members are particularly well versed in necromancy and frequently raise zombies to deal with potential threats. Some High Priests gain additional power by wearing the Mask of Ahtu; a terrible parasitic organism carved from alien wood which gives the wearer increased strength and regenerative capabilities in exchange for consuming human flesh once per day.
The cult has connections to the lost city of Nyhargo where Ahtu The Spiraling Worm has been known to manifest.The Masked Messenger speaks of the cult being lead by Skunga-Zu though further details about the current cult leadership is unknown.
The Spiraling Worm cult is frequently mentioned within Nigel Blackwell's Africa's Dark Sects. Anther volume - Lord Arthur Waite's Nyhargo Codex - contains translations of the etchings taken from the cavern wall paintings below Nyhargo. Some members of the Belgian Colonial Government may know of the cult and its activities.