A Primer to Kult’s Cosmology

Hello, Kultists and curious fans of morbid arcana. As someone who invests deeply in Kult: Divinity Lost and its world, I end up in a lot of conversations about the game. Some are philosophical, some are educational, some are frustrated arguments with grognards, but a good portion of them at some point end up being about the game’s world. Kult is a horror roleplaying game with a vast and unique Cosmology that draws people to it, but it is also the source of much confusion and hesitance. How does one “see” through the Illusion? What is Inferno, really? Where is Limbo, and how do I awaken in Metropolis? So many questions, in sore need of answers! Let this be an introduction to Kult’s Cosmology, the world in which a thousand horrible stories have been told and thousands more are yet to come.

But before that, a few words on mystique and secrecy. A major component of Kult’s Cosmology is the idea that Reality is a Lie, and that the characters of the stories told in the game (not to mention the sleeping masses) do not know what or who lurks beyond the veil. Within the context of roleplaying, this means that the players create troubled characters with archetypes like the Detective, the Fixer, and the Artist, and through those slowly unravel the mysteries and terrors of the world they inhabit, hopefully coming away from it all with some insight into themselves and their situation.

Why do I bring this up? Because game masters around the world sometimes take this to mean that the game’s central idea and the crux of the Kult Cosmology should or must be concealed from their players. This is… unhelpful, when speaking about the game. In truth, I hate this entire mentality. I will not go into details about why here (ask me some time!), but understand that I do intend to divulge most of the core concepts of Kult’s world in this post. If you are reading this as a player and your GM thus far has been tight-lipped about the workings of the Illusion and the cosmos beyond it, consider asking permission before continuing. Have a conversation with them about how effective storytelling is done, perhaps.

Now, we begin…

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Yesod, The Greedy

What joy it is to possess. To seize and hold. Few other things bring humanity such basal enjoyment, nor bring us to conflict so easily. Even those who would rather not admit it grow seeds of Avarice in their mind, little kernels of desire for wealth and material gain to do with whatever they will. To some it is as simple as improving their own life or the lives of those around them. For others, it becomes a never-ending quest taking them to depths and highs scarce imagined by the commoners who do not hear as clearly Yesod’s whispers in the back of their minds. The world’s economy rests on the backs and bank accounts of those who heed the call of the Archon of Avarice, and through their greed they allow Yesod unmatched influence in shaping reality as we experience it. Yet Yesod is not the Archon he once was. Avarice gives form to humanity’s prison as never before, challenging and disrupting the other Archons, and the turning cogs driving our economic machinery grind away at the foundation of Elysium.

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