"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Even in the far future, some things are never quite understood. There are things that lurk in the darkness of space, unspeakable horrors of ancient power that wish to bring ruin to the universe and to shape it into their image. They reach out from the void, and turn the minds of mortal men and women in their favor in hopes that one day they shall be brought once more into this plane of existence.
Unfortunately for the station, looks like Nanotrasen accidentally positioned the station near an undetectable weak point in time and space. Whoops. Who would've known?
The Beginning of a New Era
The Geometer of Blood, Nar'Sie, has sent a number of her followers to NSS Cyberiad. As a cultist, you have an abundance of cult magics at your disposal, something for all situations. You must work with your brethren to summon an avatar of your eldritch goddess!
At the beginning of a Cult round, several cultists will arrive on the station. When you spawn, you'll find a ritual dagger and 10 runed metal in your bag. The dagger is essential for drawing runes, while the runed metal is used to make valuable structures; additional runed metal can be created by using the Twisted Construction ability on any ordinary plasteel.
The Cult has two major objectives. The first is to use an Offer rune to sacrifice two targets to Nar'Sie, which are often high ranking members of the crew or Security officers. Once the targets have been sacrificed, Nar'Sie can be summoned in one of three predetermined locations on the station, using 9 cultists and/or constructs and after a 45-second rune drawing process. If Nar'sie is summoned, the Cult wins!
Cultist Quick Guide
Have you never played as a Cultist before, and find yourself subverted or starting off? Here's a quick primer on the most important aspects:
- Staying hidden:
A cult grown more easily if it is not a known threat, people don't fear Maintenance, and Security is not hunting for bases. It is therefore best for a cult to stay hidden and convert silently as long as it can, and refrain from speaking cult in the open, letting people scream cult, or making easily found runes.
The very first thing to do is find somewhere where you can be alone and talk to your fellow cultists using your Commune ability (Button to the top left). Communing broadcasts messages to all other cultists, but any nearby crew can see and hear you whispering, potentially revealing your cult. Talk to your allies, find out where everybody else works and has access to, formulate a plan, and ask senior cultists for advice if needed.
- Blood Magic:
By clicking the Blood Magic icon, you can prepare up to one spell from a variety of blood magicks. Preparing a spell takes a few seconds and leaves a blood splatter on the floor, so do it somewhere where nobody's looking. Once you have a spell prepared, click its icon to 'put it in your hand', and click on a target with it to use it. Starting off, the most important spells are generally Stun and Teleport.
- Cult Bases:
By using your Ritual Dagger, you can create runes at your feet. To create a starting cult base, find somewhere secluded and safe to start placing runes. The most important rune is a Teleport rune, which lets any cultist warp to it using the Teleport blood magic spell or by clicking on a different rune. Commune once you have a Teleport rune up in a safe place, so others can join you. Make sure no non-cultists find your runes!
Afterwards, place an Empower rune; standing on it lets you prepare four blood magic spells simultaneously. Finally, an Offer rune lets you convert others to your cause by dragging them onto it and clicking on it with an empty hand (If the rune is hidden due to a locker, or other obstructions, alt click and select the rune in the upper right menu). Offering requires two cultists and/or constructs to be standing by the rune, so make sure you have a friend with you to help. There are other runes, but Teleport, Empower and Offer are the most important.
Once you have a base, you can begin Offering. While standing on the Empower rune, prepare a Stun, a Shadow Shackles, and two other spells; remember you can prepare multiple Stuns at once. Find a crewmember, Stun them, drag them somewhere secluded, Shackle them, remove their headset while they are muted, then drag them to the Offering rune, put them on the rune, and use it with a friend (Or with a Manifest Rune if you are alone). Of course, if you have the means to abduct people without blood magic, feel free to use mundane methods. If they don't have a mindshield implant, they'll become a cultist; if they're implanted, like Security or the Heads, they'll explode violently and leave behind a soulstone. Either outcome is good for you.
By using the Runed Metal cultists begin with (get more by using the Twisted Construction blood magic on plasteel), you can build one of four constructions: pylons, altars, archives and forges. Each cultist starts with enough metal to build 3 of the 4 options, so once you have a main base going, make sure someone's built at least one of each except for pylons; pylons only heal cultists, but the other three let you build useful items, weapons and tools. Don't build items unless you need them; once any item is built, that structure goes on a 4 minute cooldown. If you have the metal, building multiples of each structures isn't a bad idea.
When you sacrifice an implanted crewmember on an Offer rune, they'll leave behind a soulstone shard. Create a construct shell at an altar, and you can put the soulstone inside it to transform the soul within into a construct. Constructs come in three types: utility Artificers, tanky Juggernauts and sneaky assassin Wraiths. The first one you create should almost always be an Artificer, as they can create more soulstones and shells. If a soulstone is empty, using it on a corpse will attempt to put the corpse's soul into the shard, and you can release the soul as a much less useful Shade by clicking it in your hand.
- Going Loud:
Unless your cultists are (un)godly talented and lucky, you'll eventually be caught out. Either someone will slip up, somebody will find your base, or your cult will grow so powerful that it becomes impossible to hide (red eyes, then a dark halo). Once you know the jig is up, start playing more aggressively; place extra Teleport runes and mini-bases around the station in case your main hideout gets raided, make more power moves to convert or kill crewmembers, and find some way to kill or subvert the AI if it hasn't been done.
- Summoning Your God:
The first step to actually summoning your dark god is to Offer her desired targets, randomly picked at the start of the round, which can be checked with the 'Study Veil' cultist action. Use teamwork and co-operation to take them down, drag them to your base, and sacrifice them. Once you've sacrificed two targets, you will be informed of three possible summoning locations. Head there, fortify the location, organise your cult to come to or near the summoning spot, and begin drawing the final rune. Drawing the Nar'Sie rune requires a 3x3 area, takes 45 seconds, surrounds the drawer in forcefields, and tells the entire station where it's happening, so make your final stand against whatever's left of the crew! If you can hold out long enough to finish the rune, have 9 cultists and/or constructs stand on it (use the 'rest' button to lie down and make more room), click on it with an empty hand, and Nar'Sie will be summoned, giving your cult the win!
The Ritual Dagger
Your dagger is your most important tool and has several functions:
- You can draw runes with it.
- Hitting a cultist with it removes Holy Water from them.
- Hitting a non-cultist with it will result in you stabbing them (huh), dealing 15 armor-piercing brute damage.
- Hitting runes with it removes them.
- Hitting cult structure with it will unanchor and anchor them, allowing you to move them around.
- Hitting a runed girder with it will disassemble the girder.
If you're in a position that would usually wander the halls, try to seek out your fellow cultists in person. If not, check in with your brothers using your Commune verb, but do this in private, to prevent people from hearing your whispers. A lot of jobs have access to isolated areas of the station that are great for this, and there's also space. Remember, if you get caught, you endanger the entire cult.
Blood Spells are limited-use blood magic spells that dissipate after they're spent, and they're your bread and butter when fighting the crew. Blood Spells can be created at any time via an action button that appears below your character. However, blood spells created without an Empowering Rune will take longer, cause significant blood loss, and will cap your spell count at a measly one. Using an Empowering Rune circumvents this issue and allow you to acquire up to 4 spells. You can use an Empowering Rune to remove these spells as well to free up room for others if need be.
A good tip is to make sure to try and have a stun spell and a teleport spell with you to escape risky situations. This will leave only two other options for spells though, so carefully choose what you think might help best for a particular situation.
How to use and unequip blood spells
After carving a spell into your flesh you get an action button on your HUD. Click it and that spell will be equipped to your hand, like an item. Then you either activate it in your hand and/or use it on a target, depending on which spell you've chosen. To unequip the spell, press Q or click the same action button again. This will save the spell for later.
List of Available Spells
|Name||Description||No. of Charges/Health Cost||Invocation|
||A potent spell that will stun and mute victims upon contact. Simple, clean, and quite effective for a plethora of situations. Stuns for 10 seconds, mutes for 6 seconds and cult-slurs speech for 20 seconds. If used on a cyborg it stuns it as if hit by a heavy EMP.
While slurring cult-speak, victims will speak in a disturbing, incomprehensible way. This is usually a dead giveaway that a Cult is onboard when shouted over the radio.
Health Cost: 10
||A useful spell that teleports cultists to a chosen teleport rune on use. You can teleport yourself or other cultists if need be.||Charges: 1
Health Cost: 7
|"Sas'so c'arta forbici!"|
||A large AOE spell that allows a user to channel dark energy into an EMP, causing all electronics in the area to malfunction or be disabled. This will affect you and nearby non-cultists/objects, but not other cultists.||Charges: 1
Health Cost: 10
|"Ta'gh fara'qha fel d'amar det!"|
||A stealthy spell that will summon shadowy handcuffs on a person, and temporarily silence them for 12 seconds. Useful for keeping crew restrained until they can be converted. The restraints will disappear when the victim is converted.||Charges: 4||"In'totum Lig'abis!"|
||A sinister spell used to convert:||Charges: 1
Health Cost: 12
|"Ethra p'ni dedol!"|
||This spell enables you to summon a full set of combat gear on you or another cultist, including a jumpsuit, armored robes, cultist boots, a backpack, a runed bola, and an eldritch blade.
If you are already wearing items in those slots you will only summon the sword and bola. The blade fits into the suit storage slot of every type of cult armor.
||This spell enables you to summon a new ritual dagger. Useful if you've lost your original one. As you can create and cast blood spells without a dagger, this spell in combination with Summon Equipment lets you gear up again even if you are left completely naked.||Charges: 1||N/A|
||A stealthy, ranged spell that will break the mind of the victim with nightmarish hallucinations. Fun for spooking people, rarely useful in practice.||Charges: 4||N/A|
||A multi-function spell that alternates between hiding and revealing nearby runes and cult structures. You can still teleport to concealed teleport runes and prepare blood magic on concealed empower runes. Will make runed airlocks look like standard airlocks but only cultists will have access. Has a range of 5 tiles and can be used to hide cult outposts in plain sight!||Charges: 10||"Kla'atu barada nikt'o!"|
||A unique multi-function spell that allows you to gather blood from the floor, or from live victims (50 per drain). Then, you can expend the blood to heal yourself or others. (Including constructs!)
Or, you can use the spell in hand to perform some powerful offensive magic attacks:
Increases with blood gathered.
|"Fel'th Dol Ab'orod!"|
The Ritual Dagger allows you to scribe any of these runes, using Scribe Rune. Simply pick the rune you want, and wait until completion. Scribing a rune deals minor damage, since you need to cut your wrists to get the necessary blood. Activate a rune by clicking on it.
||Instantly converts a normal crewmember on top of it to the cult, healing them for 90% of their brute and burn damage, and spawning a ritual dagger.
Mindshield-implanted crew cannot be converted, only sacrificed, (but constructs are no less dangerous than humans) - therefore it is recommended that you quickly finish off security victims before their radio or suit sensors can give you away!
|1 to sacrifice dead targets.
2 to convert.
3 to sacrifice the objective or mindshielded targets.
|Mah'weyh pleggh at e'ntrath!|
||This rune warps everything above it to another teleport rune when used. Creating a teleport rune will allow you to set a tag for it.
Warning: Teleporting from Lavaland or Space will make the destination rune glow brightly and open a rift in reality that may not only reveal the rune, but the location of your main base as well, choose your rune locations wisely!
|1||Sas'so c'arta forbici!|
||Allows cultists to prepare greater amounts of blood magic at far less of a cost. While standing on an empowering rune, the spell count is capped at 4 instead of 1. Additionally, preparing blood magic takes far less time, and you don't lose as much blood while doing it.||1||H'drak v'loso, mir'kanas verbot!|
||Whenever someone is sacrificed on a Convert rune, they add one (global) charge to this rune. Placing a cultist corpse on the rune and activating it will bring them back to life, expending a hefty three charges in the process. It starts with one freebie revival, so use it sparingly.
Catatonic(disconnected/ghosted) cultists can be reawakened with a new soul by putting them on the Revive rune and activating it. This method of revival does not consume any charges.
|1||Pasnar val'keriam usinar. Savrae ines amutan. Yam'toth remium il'tarat!|
||When invoked, makes a 5-minute invisible wall to block passage. Can be invoked again to reverse this. Invoking one barrier rune will chain activate other barrier runes that are within 2 tiles from one another. Reversing a barrier rune will not chain deactivate other barrier runes. Costs 2 brute both to invoke and to deactivate (regardless how many are chained). Active barrier runes have a subtle wriggling animation, and are usually brighter.||1||Khari'd! Eske'te tannin!|
||This rune allows you to instantly summon any living cultist to the rune, consuming it afterward. This rune will only work on the main space station, but can grab cultists from almost any location! Does not work on restrained cultists who are buckled or being pulled.||2||N'ath reth sh'yro eth d'rekkathnor!|
|Blood Boil Rune
||When invoked, it saps some health from the invokers to send three damaging pulses to anyone who can see the rune, causing 90 burn damage over a short period of time and lighting them on fire.
Some species, such as golems, do not have blood, and thus are immune to this rune.
|Rune of the Spirit Realm
||This rune gives you two powerful options:
(1) To manifest ghosts as semitransparent homunculi, which are effectively weak, humanoid cultists with no self-preservation instinct. To sustain these homunculi, you must remain on the rune, and each homunculi you have summoned will deal brute damage over time. This option is only available on the space station itself, as the veil is not weak enough in space or Lavaland to give spirits a physical form. If you get stuck on the rune after summoning a ghost, use your ritual dagger to remove the rune before you get hurt too badly. Each rune can summon up to 4 ghosts total, but each objective accomplished lower the rune's power, to a minimum of 2 ghosts.
|1||Gal'h'rfikk harfrandid mud'gib!|
|Ritual of Dimensional Rending
||This rune tears apart dimensional barriers, calling forth the Geometer. It needs a free 3x3 space, and can only be summoned in 3 areas around the station. To start drawing it the requested target must have already been sacrificed. Starting to draw this rune creates a weak forcefield around the caster and alarms the entire station of its location. The caster must be defended for 45 seconds before it's complete.
After it's drawn, 9 cultists, constructs, or summoned ghosts must stand on the rune, which can then be invoked to manifest Nar'Sie itself.
|9||TOK-LYR RQA-NAP G'OLT-ULOFT!!|
By using a construction spell on platsteel, you are able to get runed metal. With it, you can build several structures, with unique powers. You can unanchor cult buildings by hitting them with your ritual dagger. Using "Conceal Runes" near these structures will make them turn invisible, and make runed doors look like regular airlocks.
You can acquire these items using blood spells or cult structures.
||Can be used to scribe runes, and is a decent melee weapon, hitting for 15 brute damage. Can also be used on cultists to purge holy water, or runes to clear them.||Conversion or Summon Dagger|
||A large blade, dealing 30 damage per swing, similar to an energy sword. Can be stored on all types of cult armor, but not in backpacks.||Summon Equipment|
||Reinforced runed bolas that will trip and slow non-cultists while bouncing off any cultists hit.||Summon Equipment|
||Reinforced cult robes providing moderate protection. Putting on the hood will hide your identity if worn without ID.||Summon Equipment|
|Empowered Cult Robes
||Armored cult robes, providing solid protection with no downsides other than stealth. Starts with an energy shield that can absorb 3 hits before fading and cannot be recharged.||Forge|
||A set of nimble, occult robes that provide a significant speed boost but will increase all damage taken. Don't get hit!||Forge|
||Provides a 50 percent chance to block most attacks. Energy shots blocked will be reflected. On block, summon an illusion of yourself that will either run or attack non-cultists. Can be shattered by strong projectiles such as lethal revolver rounds, shotgun slug shots, or a mech's laser cannon. Fits in a backpack.||Forge|
||Use this orb when the escape shuttle has been called to delay it by 2 minutes. Two orbs can be used before they stop working.||Archives|
||A magical blindfold that will grant cultists night vision, protect from flashes, and lets you see the health of others, similar to a Medical HUD.||Archives|
||A relic that teleports you 1 to 9 tiles forward in the direction you're facing when used. 4 uses. Useful to break in and out of restricted areas if you know where to go, but can be unreliable due to the randomness of the teleport. Make sure to have a teleport blood spell ready to cast and a teleport rune to escape to just in case!||Archives|
||Increases the damage of a dagger or blade by 5. One use, cannot sharpen weapons that were already sharpened.||Altar|
|Flask of Unholy Water
||Drinking from this flask will heal cultists overtime (20 of each damage type per use) and reduce stuns for a short duration. Contains 40 units, consumes 10 per use. Do not be on harm intent when drinking or you'll accidentally smash the bottle on your face!||Altar|
||Soul Stones hold the spirit of the sacrificed. If the stone is filled, you can use it in hand to release a shade that can help you invoke runes requiring multiple cultists. They are mediocre fighters, however. A better use is to insert them into an empty shell to create a Construct. Empty stones can be used on non-cultist corpses to capture the soul, dusting the corpse in the process. Soul stones can be purified by any non-cultist with a bible, and corrupted back by cultists with a cult dagger.||Sacrifice crew with Offer rune|
|Empty Construct Shell
||Insert a filled Soul Stone to create a Construct loyal to the cult.||Altar or Twisted Construction on 50 metal sheets|
Robust cultists will likely want to enlist the services of a few constructs. To create a construct, a cultist requires:
- A filled soul stone, either by sacrificing a human, or capturing a soul manually with a stone from an artificer.
- An empty shell, either by casting Twisted Construction on 50 metal sheets, from an Artificer, or from an archive.
When the filled soul stone shard is used on an empty shell, the cultist will be allowed to choose the desired construct to create. Keep in mind these guys are pretty much a dead giveaway that there is cult activity on the station, so try to be covert about it in the beginning.
A complete guide to constructs can be found here. Artificers will can make new Soulstone Shards and Shells, Wraiths can kill the AI, and Juggernauts are great tanks.
The Inevitable Discovery
As the cult rises in power, you and your brethren will begin to undergo some revealing effects caused by the power gained due to the number of members you have in the cult. This will make you easier to spot by unfriendly crewmembers, and after a certain point, there will be no way to hide from the crew. You'll have to make a stand and fight off the rest.
The veil weakens as your cult grows, your eyes begin to glow...
- Once the blood cult reaches 10% of the active player population, everyone in the cult will receive a notice that the cult is "rising" - and after a moderate delay, the eyes of all existing and new cultists will be permanently red. Examining any cultist with uncovered eyes will confirm their supernatural appearance. Thankfully, this is easily avoidable by wearing any form of eyewear or face cover, but still could get you caught out if people are examining you closely without eyewear.
Your cult is ascendant and the red harvest approaches - you cannot hide your true nature for much longer!!
- Once the blood cult reaches 20% of the active player population, everyone in the cult will receive a warning and after a moderate delay will gain a blood-red cult halo, permanently revealing the identity of existing AND new blood cultists. There is no way to hide this one. If you've managed to get this far, you should have no problems defeating the crew in a head-on battle if you can deal with Security.
Threats to the Cult
Even with access to a large amount of different runes and talismans, there are still several threats to the cult on the station.
Even the best prepared cultists will have trouble to defend themselves against the united power of security. Especially if the Chaplain helps them. The Chaplain is able to turn normal water into Holy Water, which will turn cultists back to normal people, if it stays long enough in their system. The Chaplain is also immune to cult magic and his bible is able to make hidden runes and structures visible by hitting the suspected tile with it.
40 Units (8 sips from a Cup or 4 sips from a Flask) is the best amount to give a cultist in order to deconvert them.
- Cultists always take at least 150 seconds to deconvert after ingesting holy water.
- 40u total of holy water is 99.8% effective at deconverting cultists within 150-180 seconds of it entering their system.
- 30u or less total dose of holywater will never deconvert any cultist.
- More than 40u total dose of holywater is a waste of holywater.
- Cultists can know a rune's name and effects by examining it.
- Your dagger is a robust melee weapon with 15 damage and good armor-piercing, it can also be sharpened to further increase its lethality.
- The chaplain's holy weapons renders him immune to your magic.
- Constructs can invoke runes.
- Tables hide runes far better than items.
- Spirit Sight is an incredibly powerful exploration tool, and ghosts can give you precious hints.
- Get some platsteel either from Mining, Engineering, EVA storage, or just by deconstructing reinforced walls/tables if you are desperate.
- Keeping a shade in a Soulstone Shard with you will allow you to use two-person runes by yourself, by releasing and then recapturing the shade. You can also use manifested ghosts.
- Get some platsteel either from mining, stealing it from robotics, engineering or EVA storage, or deconstructing reinforced walls/tables if you are desperate.
- Always be ready to summon a cultist in trouble, but be aware you cannot summon cultists if you are away from the station or if they are being dragged in cuffs or bucklecuffed.
- If you need additional manpower to do the final summoning, you can summon ghosts using the Spirit Realm rune. You will need at least 5 physical cultists or constructs, probably more, as you can only summon so many ghosts for each rune.