The Dreadgod Cults are organizations of parasitic sacred artists that utilize Dreadgod aspects for their Path and advancement. There are currently four Dreadgod cults on Cradle, each dedicated to a separate Dreadgod. The four cults are Redmoon Hall, followers of the Bleeding Phoenix; Abyssal Palace, followers of the Wandering Titan; The Stormcallers, followers of the Weeping Dragon; and The Silent Servants, followers of the Silent King.
Role in Books
The Dreadgod cults are antagonistic. They first appear in action in book 4, Skysworn, when the Bleeding Phoenix awakes and its Redmoon Hall emissaries attack citizens in the southern Blackflame Empire. However, we hear mention of the cults before book 4, because Yerin has a Blood Shadow belt, later named Ruby.
Simple Book Summary
Cultists are key antagonists throughout the series. Yerin calls them all parasites; she personally has reason to hate Redmoon Hall, followers of the Bleeding Phoenix. Ziel hates The Stormcallers, who murdered his Dawnwing disciples on the Iceflower Continent. He especially wants vengeance on the Sage of Calling Storms, who splintered his spirit, but Calan Archer will do for now — he was in at the slaughter, too.
Calan Archer, Stormcaller
Calan released his Harbinger of the Storm. Everywhere the Weeping Dragon flew, a storm followed, as it agitated the water, wind, and lightning aura for miles around. This technique had been modeled on that one, and it allowed Stormcallers to slowly dominate a battlefield. (Wintersteel, ch 16)
In the epilogue of Underlord, the lion-Monarch Reigan Shen recruits the four cults to his supposed cause, to represent him in the upcoming Uncrowned King Tournament. In book 8, Wintersteel, Shen persuades them to ambush the Akura group in Sky’s Edge, and to kill Akura Mercy and her brother Pride. His plan fails when Lindon comes to the rescue, advances to Sage, and attacks several of the high-ranking cultists. In book 10, Reaper, the cultists wage war on the mountains around Sacred Valley simply to distract the other Monarchs from what Shen is up to, down in the Labyrinth. Unbeknownst to the cult leaders, the Cat has been lyin to everyone, to enact his plans for world domination.
Four Dreadgod Cults
Each known Dreadgod is followed by a cult, sacred artists who follow their chosen beast and benefit from the destruction it creates. The unique Path of each cult uses the same aspects as their Dreadgod, borrowing power from them to create Blood Shadows, Living Lightning, etc. They murder innocent citizens fleeing from the Dreadgod, just to attain greater power.
- Redmoon Hall, with their Blood Shadows in a thousand different forms. Dreadgod — Bleeding Phoenix
- Abyssal Palace, their faces concealed beneath hoods and stony masks. Dreadgod — Wandering Titan
- Silent Servants, whose mouths are bound. Dreadgod —- Silent King
- Stormcallers who ring their arms in scripts that crackle with lightning. Dreadgod —- Weeping Dragon
Kenvata Nasuma Junvari competed in the 18th Uncrowned King Tournament and lost.
“Kenvata Nasuma Juvari of the Silent Servants, chosen of Reigan Shen, you face Sopharanatoth of the gold dragons, chosen of the Dragon King!” Kenvata—or Juvari, Lindon wasn’t sure which was her family name and which her personal one—was a short woman in a plain white robe. A shawl covered her head, and between that and the cloth wrapping her mouth, the only visible parts of her were her dark eyes. (Wintersteel chapter 5)
Her Dream Technique
Lindon had trained against a simulation of Juvari. Once. Her entire Path was based around mimicking the dream Ruler techniques of the Silent King, the most subtle and insidious of the Dreadgods, so Lindon had thought she might pose a challenge for Dross. She didn’t. Dross could always hold her influence off long enough for Lindon to cut her in half with dragon’s breath. (Wintersteel chapter 5)
Brother Aekin — Competed in 18th Uncrowned King Tournament. He wore a dark stone mask carved to resemble some kind of snarling monster, the right eye of which glowed with a bright yellow light. His robes were black and brown, representing the Wandering Titan’s cult: the Abyssal Palace. (Wintersteel)
Sage of Red Faith. Aka Red Faith, The Blood Sage — founder of the Bleeding Phoenix’s cult, looked as though he had no blood in him at all. His skin was as pure white as his hair, which was so long that it reached down to his bare feet. His black-and-red clothes were tight enough to reveal his skeletal frame, and lines of red paint ran down his cheeks from both eyes like tears. He perched on the windowsill, hunched like a monkey, chewing on his thumbnail and staring at her with unnerving intensity. She felt nothing but disgust for this creature. At some point in the past, he was supposed to have been an accomplished researcher, pioneering investigation into dreadbeasts and the nature of spirits. (see Wintersteel ch 6)
Yan Shoumei -- Competed in 18th Uncrowned King Tournament with chimera-like blood shadow, Crusher. "The girl still stood like a specter in her red robes, black hair falling over her face in a veil. Her Blood Shadow was huge." Crusher learns to fear Lindon. (See end of Wintersteel)
The Sage of Calling Storms — Mutilated Ziel’s spirit and murdered his Sect on the Iceflower Continent some years ago.
Calan Archer —- Uncrowned Tournament. Years ago, he had been in on the fight against the Dawnwing Sect. The slaughter that killed Ziel’s sect. He was older than Therian by almost ten years, and he looked like he belonged in the tournament. He was thick with muscle, his Goldsigns crackling around thick biceps. The scripted rings of blue-gold lightning looked like they were about to burst off. His hair was blond so pale that it was almost white, and he had a scar across one eye socket. (Wintersteel, dead, killed by Lindon)
Therian Nills —- was an ordinary man. He had started as a farmer. . . and died (in book 8, Wintersteel)
Calan Archer conjured a lightning dragon.
Yan Shoumei gathered blood madra in
her palms, but didn’t summon Crusher.
Brother Aekin covered himself in his
Enforcer technique, taking on the vague
aspect of the Wandering Titan.
(Wintersteel, ch 26)
The Four Dreadgods
- Weeping Dragon - A blue serpentine dragon that travels on thunderstorms, and sleeps on miles-long beds of clouds. Aspects: Storm. Techniques: Living Lightning. Cult: The Stormcallers
- Silent King — White Tiger crowned in a halo. Dream aspects. Smartest if the four. Cult: Silent Servants
- Wandering Titan — A stone warrior with the shell of a tortoise and the tail of a monkey. Dumbest of the four. Aspects: Earth. Cult: Abyssal Palace
- Bleeding Phoenix — Huge crimson phoenix with wings large enough to stretch across the horizon. Molts Blood Shadows / eggs. Blood madra aspects. If it’s cut, it reforms itself from blood droplets. Cult: Redmoon Hall
Note — Subject One is also a Dreadgod, although few people know it. The first one. He stays in his prison beneath Sacred Valley. (Bloodline, ch 20)