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Night Heralds

Night Heralds
(Organization)
Type Magical
Goals Contact the Dominion of the Black
Scope Global
Structure Independent cults & researchers
Members Astronomers, wizards & rogues

Source: Occult Mysteries, pg(s). 30-31

The Night Heralds are an organization of magic-users that seek to summon and control inhabitants of the unknowable void known as the Dark Tapestry in an effort to contact the Dominion of the Black. The Heralds believe Golarion's inevitable fate is defeat at the hands of the Dominion, and seek to merge their consciousnesses with their presumptive alien overlords by having their brains extracted by the neh-thalggu. The Heralds often deal in magical secrets, as well as ancient artifacts and relics of the Great Old Ones, and are often mistaken for the Old Cults.[1]

Structure

The Night Heralds are a loose network of cults and independent researchers, and as such lack much of the formal structure that supports most other organizations of its size and scope. Instead, the Night Heralds are bound together by their mad fanaticism. Prospective members must undergo the Sacred Rite of Opening, an excruciating ritual in which their skulls are perforated and their brains are exposed to the night sky.[2]

Members

Members of the Night Heralds usually do their best to blend in with society, seeking roles that grant them either the free time to pursue their true goals or access to instruments or documents they find useful. While engaged in cult activities, members may be identified by their black and sunset-colored robes.[1]

Perhaps the most well-known member outside the organization is the limbless seer Vasoov, currently a prisoner in the dungeons of Pangolais who is anchored to his cell by a number of steel roots that grow from his own body. In his mad rants he describes having seen a "sphere of living chains and iron claws," which many believe to be a reference to the Dominion of the Black's fleshfarms.[3]

Activities

The Night Heralds can be found nearly anywhere on Golarion, but their operations within the Inner Sea region center on a handful of locations.

Numeria

In Numeria, the Night Heralds focus their activity on sites near the borders or in the Felldales, far from Starfall and beyond the sphere of influence of the Technic League. Unlike most who come to the region, their goal is not to collect technological artifacts but rather to gather lore stored in the ancient wrecks that dot the land. These scavenging cultists are often bolstered by malfunctioning androids.[2]

Osirion

The Night Heralds of Osirion are often obsessed with unraveling the Aucturn Enigma,[2] the theory that the Four Pharaohs of Ascension were heavily influenced by an otherworldly patron.[4] At least one cult focuses instead on Tychilarius, the Drowned God, an alien being of immense power which is believed to be trapped somewhere in Osirion, awaiting—or perhaps heralding—a Dominion of the Black invasion.[2]

Sodden Lands

Prior to the formation of the Eye of Abendego and the Sodden Lands, the Night Heralds maintained a tacit agreement with the Saoc Brethren of Lirgen, that each might share their extensive knowledge of the night skies despite their differences. When the Saoc Brethren were driven mad by the advent of the Age of Lost Omens, the Night Heralds assumed control of many ruined Lirgeni observatories, from which they manipulate deranged scavengers and boggard tribes, using them as unwitting guardians.[2]

Ustalav

In the Ustalavic county of Versex, the fabric of reality has long been worn thin.[5] The Night Heralds are drawn to this area's wealth of otherworldly artifacts and texts. However, they face significant competition from the Old Cults, which are unusually strong in the area. The highest concentration of Night Heralds is in Thrushmoor, where they maintain a network of scholarly contacts.[2]

References