Chaos has long been a central part of the Great Dark Beyond. It fuels entropy, causes disorder, and is the lifeblood of demons– beings brought into existence by the inherently chaotic interplay of the fundamentally opposite forces of light and dark. Whereas other universal forces are bound by perceptions both natural and unnatural, chaotic beings act on their own accord at all times: They are never beholden to a concept as set-in-stone as “fate” or “destiny”, and only use those terms to take advantage of lesser things.
While demons are the main observers of this fundamental power of the Universe, being fueled to the core by its energies and thus unbound from mortality in realms where they are truly vulnerable, mortals have begun the worship of Chaos as a force – or, in a way, representatives thereof– ever since they had made contact with the Twisting Nether.
Chaos worship takes many forms, however. Some are outwardly destructive, others inwardly destructive. Some worship outside forces in the form of Fel-gods or demon princes, others worship disorder itself, and some worship nothing yet take great reverence in the Fel’s capability to defy the natural order. One thing, however, remains consistent among all these interpretations of Fel-worship: All of them inevitably lead down the path of corruption, dark magic, and darker deeds.
Commonly, worship of the Fel manifests in three ways:
• The Great Burning Shadow, wherein the devoted worship Sargeras, known also as the God of Fel and Flame, as a force of destructive nature that will eventually burn away heretics and ascend believers into demonhood,
• Demon Cults, wherein the devoted align themselves to a figurehead besides the Dark Titan, instead seeking to fulfill their deity’s will in in exchange for power,
• Divine Entropy, wherein the devoted worship Chaos as a fundamental force and allege it is possible to exert one’s will over the universe through a certain worldview, mindset, and Fel practice.
Following the formation of the Burning Legion, Sargeras was widely worshipped as a god of destruction, rebirth, and domination by the more religiously inclined demons within the Crusade. This rapidly extended to the mortal vassals of the Legion until those too became converted into the demonic war legions serving the Dark Titan’s plans. However, even after their demonic ascension, many demonic agents still worshipped Sargeras as a deity: Most commonly are the Shivarra and Eredar, incidentally also the most commonly seen greater demons, who lavished praise upon their god in order to incite their servants to spread disorder and sow chaos.
Following the War of the Ancients, many meddling demonic lords sought to enact their Dark Lord’s will across Azeroth. Incidentally, these demons found it more profitable to erect cults of personality around themselves: Through this, a steady stream of income was able to be funneled towards these demons: Souls, fuel for Fel magicks and also a source of power and energy for their kind.
These demonic cults were often centered around the worship of the demon in question, who offered their worshippers magical powers to defeat enemies or subjugate their peers, or mystical “untold riches”. Although many were small in number, the propensity for demons to sow chaos made it difficult for these cults to remain in secrecy for a long period of time. Sooner or later, the sect would be exposed, and the demon either banished or forced to relocate.
Following the impriosnment of Sargeras and the breaking of the Burning Legion, large pockets of demons have split from the Sargerite ways of worship. Eons-old Shivarra have re-commandeered Legion command centers to create Nether-Monasteries, devoted in their entirety to perpetuating the pre-Crusade belief of Divine Entropy; that is, the way of Chaos as a natural force. Although this form of religion has only now begun to spread among mortal kind, it has rooted itself rapidly in a world beset by disasters that not even miracles can apparently prevent, and where every occurrence seems predetermined by an even greater force to those initiated in the paranatural truth of things.
Chaolytes differ from other worshipers of Fel magicks in that they do not offer concessions to a higher power, and do not perform daily rituals – not exactly – to appease any deity. Instead, Divine Entropy focuses in its entirety on enabling a chaolyte to forge their own path, disseminating the basic knowledge in conjuring Fel magic among its practitioners and telling them a simple truth in the universe: Your destiny is your own.
The Fel intrinsically changes, corrupts, and destroys anything it comes into extensive contact with. Demons operate on a similar manner, invoking dominant personalities, violent tempers, and power-hungry mindsets. Many Fel-worshipers, be it theistic or self-centered, seek to embody the traits the Fel appears to possess as a supernatural force.
As demons and the Fel seek to dominate and control the things they come into contact with, exerting one’s dominance and power over others – be it people or the environment – is considered a sign of competence, power, and ability among Fel-worshipers.
Ambition is a necessary value among all sects devoted to Fel magic, as the ruthless Sargerites and demon-cultists will always seek to outperform one another and will do anything to appear as a more promising servant in their masters’ eyes. Chaolytes, however, tackle ambition in unique ways: They view sedentary life as a challenge, and thus seek to gain power – be it in the form of knowledge, physical strength, or other metaphysical forms thereof – in order to grow as an individual.
Violence is an intrinsic part of the Fel, and thus an intrinsic part of the way its users and worshipers inevitably act. Violence is the language of chaos, and believed by Chaolytes to be one of the five keys to infinite power. As Fel users deepen their understanding in this accursed magick, their mindsets inevitably drift to cruelty and misdeeds that could, or perhaps should, be done unto others.
Power is the ultimate display of status among Fel-adjacent faiths, as those with power often gain the most authority. By embodying the destructive powers of the Fel, worshipers can destroy their competitors and take their place, and forcibly take what they want from others.
Antithetical to the nature of Fel magic are mindsets that contradict its nature, and mindsets that discourage its proliferation. Weakness is considered a sign of worthlessness, and being seen as weak among Fel-worshipers is equivalent to being seen as cattle: To be called a weakling is to be called incapable, and food for demons; the gravest insult.
As Fel magic seeks to gain power through violence, domination, and power, acts of compassion and good-heartedness are fundamentally incompatible with the mindsets of Fel-worshipers. Theistic cultists and Sargerites believe that unconditional compassion towards anything signifies an unnecessary and irrational attachment; and thus a weakness that can be exploited. Compassion is an emotion that will eventually completely dissipate within a Fel-worshiper as they deepen their corrupt path into the dark arts.
Although it serves a devotee to placate their masters, humility in the face of lesser acolytes is considered a sign of weakness. Ruthless ambition is key to attaining power; eschewing an opportunity to give it to someone else is a habit that will be exploited by all who can see it until one’s usefulness expires.
Although increasingly varied in their forms of worship, there is a certain overlap among Fel-based religions, particularly theistic varieties.
• Sacrifice •
Not only do demons thrive off of the suffering of others, the killing and offering of flesh or blood of a victim, be it man or beast, is capable of conjuring Fel energies. As Fel magic is inherently a sacrificial form of magic, sacrifice is deeply associated with it – both large, in the form of victims, and small, in the form of bloodletting. • Arson •
Although Fel worshipers generally do not perform funeral rites for their deceased on account of its nature as a cult-like faith, fire is considered a non-magical embodiment of disorder and chaos. Pyres, effigies, bonfires, and other forms of fire are created in order to pay respect and observance to the force, or to evoke a weak channel to one’s deities. • Soul-Draining •
Those versed in the dark magicks of Fel are capable of draining the life and soul energies from a person. As the soul is the truest and fullest part of a being, trapping and destroying it to fuel one’s magic rather than delibitating oneself is considered an act of reverence to the Fel. Souls are also commonly offerings to demonic masters, who gorge on the spirits of mortals to sate a never-ending hunger. • Summoning •
The summoning of demons is perpetrated by many worshipers of Fel magic, most particularly the theistic variations. By conjuring forward denizens of the Twisting Nether as minions, worshipers demonstrate power over the Fel, and thus competence and dominance over the chaotic and dangerous force. Additionally, the presence of demons naturally sows chaos in the surroundings of worshipers: Demonic cults often summon many demons in service of their masters in order to raid settlements or wreak havoc in their surroundings.
• The Throne of Kil’Jaeden, Outland •
◦ The infamous site of Mannoroth’s Gift, wherein the orcs were first subjugated by the Burning Legion. The fel energies that permeate it now make it exceptionally close to the Twisting Nether, and make the area a common target for demon cultists seeking to commune with their dark masters. Saturated with fel energies, the Throne of Kil’Jaeden is a ripe place for demon conjuring.
• The Hand of Gul’Dan, Outland •
◦ This massive volcano is the greatest sign of dominion. Created by the Shadow Council, it looms over an entire countryside devastated by its felborne presence. Revered by many demon-worshipping sects, it is seen as the ultimate display of someone imposing their will on their world.
• The Dark Portal, Eastern Kingdoms •
◦ A testament to the powers of Fel magic, the Dark Portal remains a monolithic reminder that attempting to counteract the Fel conjures a terrible consequence. Now, it remains the paramount example of a gateway fueled by these dark magicks, and is a marvel of spellcasting and Orcish masonry alike.
• The Blasted Lands, Eastern Kingdoms •
◦ Considered holy land for the destruction inadvertently wrought by Khadgar and the Alliance in their attempt to close the Dark Portal. This red wasteland, once a damp and heavy swamp, is seeping with demonic energies and crawling with the denizens of the Twisting Nether. Being within the immediate vicinity of the Dark Portal has caused the local wildlife to become corrupted, as this interdimensional gateway radiates Fel energies to everything nearby.
• The Tomb of Sargeras, Broken Isles •
◦ The Tomb of Sargeras is a legendary temple said to hold countless Fel secrets and tomes of demonic knowledge. Although ruined by demonic corruption and the reclamation of its area by the Armies of Legionfall, many demonic cults still seek out the tomb of legend to behold the face of a god’s corpse.
• Argus •
◦ Although unreachable to the average mortal, Argus is the homeworld of the Eredar, and the Fel-burning world that appeared in the skies of Azeroth for over a year. It is, in Sargerite lore, considered to be the seat of power for the Burning Legion, and a most sacred place to any theistic Fel-worshipers.
The core faith of the Burning Crusade’s forces is known as The Great Burning Shadow, and the Sargerite followers put great stock into their deity – the Dark Titan, the Destroyer himself. Ever since Sargeras’s fall to the Fel and the creation of the Burning Legion, demonkind has lauded the Evil One as the ultimate embodiment of their chaotic nature. His goal aligned with theirs: To destroy everything that could be destroyed, and to remake it into an entropic, burning Universe in which demonkind reigned supreme.
The Great Burning Shadow took hold among the Burning Legion’s demonic denizens after the shattering of Mardum, the Plane of Banishment. Although many demons had grown to despise Sargeras the Defender to the core of their immortal soul, their subsequent freeing by Sargeras the Daemon Lord had him lauded as a god. It is here where he gained the title of “God of Fel and Flame”, among others, primarily from the many covens of Shivarra that were imprisoned upon Mardum.
Over the course of millennia, Sargeras’s deification solidified itself into the core principle of demonic worship: Sargeras was, to the Legion’s forces, the ultimate being of chaos, and the ultimate harbinger, and unable to be truly killed. Instead, within Sargerite lore, it is believed Sargeras can only be delayed – and that the destruction and rebirth of the universe is inevitable.
The great plan of Sargeras has been quietly operating for over thirteen thousand years. In this time, many truths were learned by the Dark One: Among them is that pure, rabid strength is nothing without a capable mind. As such, the organized servants of the Dark Titan bestow great power upon those who are able to think on levels similar to themselves. Those with silver tongues, who can manipulate outsiders into joining their cause and turn armies against one-another with words alone are said to carry a ‘Demon Tongue’ – a derogatory term used in the First and Second Wars against warlocks claimed as a term of respect towards warlocks and leaders.
The demonic hordes employed by the Great One were, at first, directionless and violent, squabbling among one another for leadership. Now, the Burning Legion operates like a singular organism: It spreads, destroys, and reclaims the souls of its victims with the unison of a handful of warriors whilst operating on the scale of planets. Even in cults like these, however, all members must operate the same. The Destroyer of Worlds smiles upon the cogs in his dark and burning machine.
The feverish devotion to the Master is one of the most virtuous things in the eyes of agents of the Burning Crusade. Those who truly and inherently believe the gospel of Fel are seen closer to chaotic perfection than anyone else, second only to those who are blessed with a demonic form themselves. It is through this fervor that agents of Sargerite cults are willing to kill and die for their dark masters.
To resist the true gospel of Fel is considered a crime punishable by death to Sargerites. If one cannot be swayed to serve the Dark One in his plan, then they are an obstacle to the ultimate fate of the universe. Those who are led astray from the word of the Destroyer and doubt themselves are viewed with incredible scrutiny, as well. In the deeply regimented, shadowy ranks of Sargerite cults, any mind that is not fully devoted to the cause is a mind that may be swayed and made to divulge information like a leak in a ship.
Due to its inherently violent nature, the fervent Sargerites put great stock in dying for the cause, no matter what. Routing in battle or seeking mercy at the hands of the enemy are both considered unforgivable sins, even if the demonic messengers of their cause appear to do the same – the masters of the Legion are not beholden to these petty vices, and must always be protected in either case.
Compassion breeds attachment, and while the Sargerite cults do indeed seek the end and rebirth of all things, there is an ulterior motive for the apparent distaste for compassionate people – the vexing whispers of the Fel despise goodness in all forms, and thrive on suffering. The many warlocks, Fel-gorged sycophants, and myrmidons of the Legion’s mortal cults all suffer from these voices in their head. They cannot help their cruelty, and enjoy it all the same. Expressing compassion in a genuine manner is not only hard to comprehend, but also a sign of attachment to this imperfect world.
• Profanement •
◦ A central part of Sargerite identity is to tempt non-believers and opponents of their faith to believe in their destructive god. Although subtle methods, such as advocacy, temptation, and deception may work on some, there always are factions and groups that are led astray from the path of the Fel. If they cannot join on their own accord, then their faith must be stamped out with violence. By defiling holy sites, defacing holy symbols, and slaying holy people, devotees of Sargeras can whittle away hope from their victims until their shell of resolve breaks.
• Fel Baptisms •
◦ The awakened mortal worshipers of Sargeras are deeply aware of the battle they fight: That the will of Sargeras is not only that to destroy and profane the Titans’ creation, but also to deny the forces of Shadow – the true enemy – a foothold in reality. In order to combat this possibility, warlocks of Sargerite cults have adopted a means to bring them closer to the divinity of Fel and Flame: By infusing water with demon-blood and washing themselves with it, Sargerite warlocks believe they cleanse themselves of the doubts instilled by them of the Old Gods, and come closer to being part of Sargeras’s infinite army. Indeed, the demonic corruption diluted within the water does at least bring them closer towards one goal: Slowly, they corrupt themselves with Fel magic until they mutate physically.
• The Awakening •
◦ Sargerite cults operate on a massive, sprawling scale, and while the demonic lieutenants of the Ravager of Worlds sometimes refocus this demonic worship onto themselves, the most disciplined and loyal ones ensure that nobody besides the most dependable mortals understand the reality of the universe. Through this careful plotting, an inner circle forms within these cult-branches: On the outer side are the surface-dwellers, who know only of the Destroyer’s name, and often have only a cursory interest in the ultimate goal. Within the shadows, however, lurk the awakened: Those who know and understand the goal they must work towards. To cross the boundary, one must be loyal to the Legion’s doings, and truly begin to understand. Facilitating this understanding is often done by an awakened leader who puts forward a single challenge to the prospect: Recite the names of the worlds destroyed by Sargeras. Initially, only a handful are given to the prospect, who is required to remain in isolation and meditate on the universe’s history with the names of these planets as a mantra. In due time, this mantra opens the prospect’s eyes to more names, and soon darker truths: Visions of the destruction of countless worlds by the Evil One’s very own hands. Only when the prospect’s throat is hoarse and cramped from speech are they considered awakened to the reality of the universe.
While The Great Burning Shadow is an organized and disciplined faith, the term “Demon Cults” applies to the countless lesser cults that have existed for millennia and have been in service to particular demonic entities of varying power. Deeply disconnected, these cults have very little in common with one-another, although certain parts of their doctrines, virtues, and vices overlap.
Many demon cults were, at one point Sargerite cults such very similar to the Shadow Council and its derivatives and sister-organizations. However, the intervening millennia after the War of the Ancients and years following the Burning Legion’s second invasion of Azeroth have helped to realign many lesser lieutenants of the Dark Titan to focus on their own survival instead. After all, the servants of one demon can simply be made to serve the Legion’s goals when the time comes.
Through this inherent shift in focus, the demonic masters of these cults often only truly care about one thing: Sating their own appetite and lust for anguish, destruction, and mortal spirits. As a consequence to this, demon-cults have largely formed their own bodies of belief around their deity or deities, implementing their own forms of worship that their demonic gods look at with mild entertainment as they await a sacrifice of flesh, blood, and spirit.
Commonplace among the largely unrelated and independent demon cults is the submission and utter devotion to their demonic masters. Through supplication and fervent praise, members of demon cults seek to aspire to greatness and acquire powerful boons from their gods.
The initiated and enlightened members of a cult are often very much aware how much power a demonic bargain can bring. Through both their leaders and their demonic allies, cultists are often goaded into acting for their own gain – ruthlessly outperforming others in dirty, underhanded ways in order to gain an advantage themselves. Members of demonic cults vie for the attention of their dark masters, and would gladly stab one another in the back if it meant they could increase their own status within the cult’s ranks.
The greatest honor, however – and the greatest affront to infidels – is the acts of brutality these demonic cults almost always indulge in. In order to appease their demonic lords, cult members are expected to make more than sacrifices to their masters. In fact, they are expected to kill in their name at all times. This inevitably leads cults down two paths: Silent murder, and massacres. Bold cults seek to ensure their name is heard across their realm of influence. They raid villages and townships, burn their victims on stakes, and torture them alive so their screams can echo throughout the streets. Make no mistake, however, as even the silent cults who try to hide themselves will slay an innocent man in an alleyway and butcher their remains to create a horrific work of tortured art for others to witness afterwards. The true difference between them lies in their expression: Loud cults will ensure everyone witnesses the act; silent cults will only allow others to see the end result. Not only does stir fear in potential enemies, but it also acts as a form of test: The weak ones will reveal themselves, while the strong ones will slowly become less and less attached to their humanity.
The many disconnected clans and cults devoted to demonic worship put great stock in the decrees made by their dark masters. As their demonic lord is indeed very real, and often grants very real blessings to their servants, those who doubt its strength or seek to sow it among their members are often put forward as sacrifice immediately. A meritocracy like this, disorganized as it is, is very fragile, and in turn the figurehead must ensure they remain in control over the other mortal worshipers.
Among many cults devoted to demonic worship, the vast majority of members are quick to realize that all of their fellow cultists are out to benefit only themselves. Opportunism and cutthroat politics are rampant among demon cults, and as a consequence, relationships operating on any level beyond the cult’s hierarchy or pragmatic benefits are looked down upon as a sign of attachment and humanity. Showing a critical weakness such as these quickly allows other members to exploit that very weakness through a variety of means.
All of demonkind strives to wreak havoc and destruction in its surroundings, and in turn the demonic masters of virtually every cult try to ensure its members are capable, willing, and unwavering in their want to perpetuate their master’s will. As a consequence, those who find an attachment to their surroundings, be it through familial love, or their environment, are driven to dehumanize themselves. Being unable to come to terms with the loss of one’s home and people – when they should be happy to do so – is considered sinful among many demon cults.
• Living Sacrifice •
◦ The most prominent overlap among these few and far inbetween cults is the abduction and sacrifice of a victim, most commonly sapient, and most commonly of a relatively sophisticated culture. By way of sword, axe, dagger, or simply mauling, the victim is murdered in the presence of their demonic lord – and its spirit is drained by an effigy or altar to be feasted upon.
• Communion •
◦ Commonly, these demonic cults are small in scale and tightly woven. Similar to a secret society, the only individuals that are truly “in the know” are the few members who understand and comprehend what they worship. In order to understand their masters’ goals, these enlightened members of the inner circle perform dark rituals to call upon their demonic lords for guidance, orders, and evil blessings.
• Ordeals of Loyalty •
◦ Commonplace within many demonic cults is the requirement to prove oneself worthy through trials and ordeals. These can take many forms, from tests of physical endurance or strength, to mental challenges or riddles, to dark rituals or sacraments. The specifics vary from cult to cult, but the one constant is that these ordeals are not for the faint of heart – only the brave or the foolhardy need apply. Commonly, prospective members of the cult are only considered true members if they perform one of these ordeals.
Before the ascent of the Dark Titan, demonkind followed a radically different and, generally, much more destructive state of mind. The Shivarra, who had in the earliest days of creation known and tangled with demonkind before in spite of their very mortal selves at the time, eventually experienced a radical shift in their body of faith. Deeply religious and divided into the strictest social castes, the Shivarran peoples believed every member of their society was destined to serve in one part of their community, their station revealed in a rite of passage. These destined stations were known as the Winding Paths to An-Xeh-No, and among them were merchants, priests, and warriors. An-Xeh-No is a Shivarran word translatable to “enlightenment”. The destinies associated with being a merchant, priest, or warrior were known as “Enlightenment by Prosperity”, “Enlightenment by Praise”, and “Enlightenment by Preservation”.
Following a series of wars, a fringe group of Shivarra turned to the Fel, although were too fervent in their own beliefs to fall prey to demonic influences. Instead choosing to adopt a philosophical yet agnostic stance on their faith, these Shivarran fringe groups codified their mindsets into the philosophy of Divine Entropy. While not a religion in and of itself, Chaolytes strive to dominate destiny rather than serve it. They believe that the ultimate way to An-Xeh-No was to defy their destiny; to reach Enlightenment by Power.
By the time of the Evil One’s ascent to demonhood, Divine Entropy quickly began to decline within Shivarran society. With a very real deity of Fel (and an agreement made between it and the Shivarra), demonkind quickly began to embrace The Great Burning Shadow as a means to rally and organize under their new god. The Shivarra were perfectly suited to perpetuate this newly codified faith, as their perception of the Dark One allowed for a very deep understanding of His philosophies.
In the aftermath of the Burning Legion’s breaking, select Shivarra have shifted back to practicing Divine Entropy. In a lawless universe where all demons seek to carve out their own pockets of power, where there are no gods or masters, more demons (and mortals) have begun to view the resurging philosophical faith with increasing interest.
True Divine Entropy’s goal is to ascend to demonhood, but not to be beholden to any greater power’s whims. More moderate derivatives thereof have begun to exist, primarily focusing around reaching An-Xeh-No through independence from benefactors and masters. Although their ultimate goals vary, there are very few differences in the tenets and philosophical acknowledgements of true and toderate Divine Entropy.
Practitioners of Divine Entropy put great stock in furthering themselves, and while it lacks the characteristics of a proper, organized religion, the codices of Divine Entropy still dictate mindsets that may help guide Chaolytes down the ten steps to An-Xeh-No:
Ambition is core to Divine Entropy: It is through aspiration to greater heights that one betters themselves, and becomes closer to enlightenment. Without constant improvement, stagnation occurs; thus, an orthodox practitioner of Divine Entropy always tries to aspire to grow more powerful, smarter, stronger.
Outside forces are considered shackles by Chaolytes. Being the servant of a greater force means a Chaolyte cannot think or act for themselves. Because of this, practitioners of Divine Entropy strive to be as independent as possible in the ways that matter – be it by acquiring their own livelihood on their own terms, harvesting their own sustenance, or simply destroying lesser people to take what was theirs.
The path to enlightenment is riddled with challenges. In times of hardship like this, it is required for a Chaolyte to display their strength – the outwards projection of their power – in order to remind the universe they are in control. Displays of strength are considered virtuous among Chaolytes, and a sign of respect among them.
Reaching An-Xeh-No is a perilous path, and there are many times wherein fate seeks to fetter a Chaolyte to its shackles again. However, to spit in the face of destiny and remain resolute in the path is a deceptively dangerous act to accomplish: To portray this resolve and project it outwards is a sign of mastery over one’s destiny.
As mentioned before, outside forces are shackles to Chaolytes. Submission is a sign of weakness, and evidence that the person in question cannot dominate their destiny. Those who are in service of others, mortal or demonic, are believed to be unable to reach enlightenment unless they begin their path anew.
In the eternal quest for self-improvement, there are many tempting hurdles and pitfalls that appear the perfect place to stop. However, as one settles down to rest, they may not realize how quickly time passes. Sloth is a perpetual stalker of the Chaolyte, as abandoning the quest for distractions both physical and metaphysical may tempt one to abandon it altogether. Although rest and relaxation is considered a benefit sometimes, it is imperative to indulge these pleasures only sometimes – and only in a measured, controlled manner.
The power of the Fel is something paramount to orthodox Chaolytes. Those who are ignorant of the potential inherent within Chaos are considered not apostates, but astray; maybe not able to consider the potential of disorder yet, but capable in the future. Those who actively oppose the Fel’s power, however, directly oppose their practitioners as well. Thus, enemies of the Fel are often viewed with hostility – priests, paladins, and magi who make it their duty to hunt down warlocks and demons.
Love is only one form of the intrinsic sentimentality of mortal kind. However, it is also the ultimate prison. Sentimental attachments are an instinctual desire, and ever-pervasive. To overcome love and attachments like it is the greatest challenge a Chaolyte may face, and in turn they view those committed to these attachments as hopelessly lost in their mortality.
• The Ten Steps to An-Xeh-No •
◦ A central facet of Divine Entropy is the path to enlightenment by power, codified by a set amount of steps one must take throughout their course to enlightenment. While the classical paths in Shivarran faith had incredibly varied amounts of steps, those within Divine Entropy involve ten:
1. Knowledge of Power – The understanding of Fel magic, and the realization of its inherent power, and potential to enshackle oneself to the Wrong Gods (also known as demons).
2. Will to Power – The practice and study of Fel magic, in a practical sense. To use it in offensive, defensive, and utilitarian manners. Also extends to ambitiousness in life, overcoming inherent weakness, and overcoming fear.
3. Edict of Power – Whereas the Will to Power concerns itself with overcoming inner conflicts, the step of the Edict of Power decrees speaking to benefit oneself (either by way of lies or the truth) and displaying power through speech.
4. Acts of Power – Acting to benefit oneself practically in any way possible; to acknowledge only one’s own authority, and to display power through actions, be it benevolent or malicious.
5. Wealth from Power – Using one’s powers, be it literal Fel magic or philosophical power, to accrue wealth. Although abstract in its definition, Shivarran Chaolytes considered “wealth” to be material resources, jewelry and ornaments, but also power over others in the form of command, favors, and other means.
6. Wisdom from Power – Meditating on the nature of Fel magic to further one’s understanding from the deepest facets of its nature. Also extends to learning from the past to improve upon oneself.
7. Detachment through Power – Freeing oneself from the sentimental attachments of mortality such as love and other desires. Divine Entropy’s belief in demonic immortality implies it is impossible for an immortal and a mortal to coexist like so without one party being the subject of another.
8. Passion through Power – Indulging oneself in their accrued power and/or wealth. Extends to gluttonous pleasure, carnal pleasure, homicidal pleasure, and destructive pleasure. Divine Entropy believes there is a difference between pleasure and attachment, viewing the latter as an addiction to preserve something and the former as a means to indulge the senses.
9. Control through Power – Using one’s power to exert control over their surroundings. Often, this is depicted in the destruction of environments, creation of cults of worship, or wanton slaughter. However, it is not limited to such: Lay Chaolytes find a more grounded alternative to this in controlling land, businesses, or people through favors and influence.
10. Enlightenment by Power – By having walked the nine previous steps, it is believed a Chaolyte is in full understanding of their own power, and capable to transcend into demonhood. The process of doing this is said to be revealed on the tenth step, where one becomes enlightened.
• Meditation •
◦ Divine Entropy revolves heavily around accruing knowledge on top of power. It is believed that by meditating on the nature of the Fel, it is possible to discover more about it – and thus, about what one should aspire to be. By taking hold of the innate urges the Fel provokes and indulging in them in a controlled manner, it is said one can glean almost any secret from the Twisting Nether.
• Thysics •
◦ A thysic is an offering of energy to enlightenment, and takes any form: foodstuffs, objects, people, meat, and plants are all observed as relatively equal as the type of offering does not matter; instead, it is the fact it is made. By laying forward a suitable offering and reciting a mantra, Chaolytes destroy the object in question with Fel magic to consume its inherent energy, whether it is little or much. A great emphasis is made on the control of this form of consumption; wanton draining of life energies will inevitably cause oneself to grow addicted to the sensation, and become a slave to desires.
• Indulgent Baths •
◦ Prepared with various herbs, a small amount of felblood, and a variety of fruits, indulgent baths are designed for relaxation and fel infusion at the same time. Within these baths, the Chaolyte is advised to cease thinking – a form of meditation in and of itself – and to, very slowly, call upon the Fel to feed upon the waters and the things within. Over time, the liquid may heat up, and the fruits floating in the water will turn to ash if the Chaolyte is advanced enough on their winding path. Indulgent baths are a deceptively difficult exercise, as one has to make conscious effort to metaphysically reach out and consume the energy within the fruits.