The World of KULT: Divinity Lost
As most of you know, this is a game first released in 1991 and it have had several different iterations throughout the years since. The version that has been my primary source for inspiration, my dark bible so to speak, is the first (Swedish) edition of Kult. I wanted to go back to the source and the original ideas of authors Michael Petersén, Gunilla Jonsson, and project lead and graphic designer Nils Gulliksson.
The question that I have had in mind when I designed the setting is: “What would Kult had been like if it was released in 2016 instead of 1991?”
(Below is obviously SPOILERS for the mythology in KULT: Divinity Lost)
The premise of the game is the same: Mankind was once gods but our divinity was stolen from us by the Demiurge. He put a veil over our eyes and trapped us in an Illusion - which is the world we see around us everyday. But something happened, the Demiurge has vanished, and the Illusion has started to crumble. The Archons and Death Angels are fighting to control our prison while their servants (Lictors, Seraphs, Nepharites, Razides etc) are plotting and scheming.
Anyone that knows the mythos of Kult will instantly recognize the plot.
- About 98% of the setting text is new, but has the same themes, sense, and feeling of the first edition of Kult.
- Contradictions in older versions have been fixed.
- The Illusion is upheld by religion, laws, and governments, but also our need for entertainment, pleasure, confirmation, and material gain. Desperately we chase Likes on Facebook. We struggle to find the perfect picture for Instagram so that we can prove to others that our lives are awesome. We are slaves to the latest trends, and are kept blind with useless trivia, silly clips of cute kittens, and streamed hardcore porn, all while the Illusion slowly falls apart around us. Tiphareth’s grip has never been stronger.
- Astaroth’s influence over our world is gained through a slow transformation. The principles of the Death Angels seep in and gains a stronger hold over the Illusion, not by strength of arms or huge armies.
- The Archons and Death Angels, and the principles they represent, have been expanded and explained so that you can understand their conflicts, common interests, and where they have their strongest influence. This helps the Narrator designing longer campaigns.
- Information about the different worlds (Elysium, Metropolis, Inferno, Limbo, Gaia, and the Underworld) has been expanded. Each world give the Narrator handy tools, explaining how to use them, as well as describing followers, cults, and creatures connected to these realms.
- When it comes to creatures, demons, and monsters, there is more focus on them as beings that you can interact with, rather than as monster-of-the-week cannon fodder. The creatures exists in a context, with power struggles, desires, fears, needs, and ambition. The perfect monster in KULT: Divinity Lost is something you fear or respect but is still drawn to, you make deals and pacts with, you want to be like, or want to have sex with. Well… perhaps not the Cairath but… who am I to judge.
- The world as a whole will be horrifically dark and grotesque. Not turning away from gore, abuse, violence, and sexual themes. But there is also a sublime beauty. The rarest miracle in an ocean of blood. It is a world of fantastic wonders, hidden secrets in the back alleys of the cities, and a place you want to experience and explore. If you know where to look, you may find doorways to other worlds.
- Petter, Mythos Author and Creative Director.
- The chapter about Gaia is written in solitude in a cabin in the cold north of Sweden and influenced by long forest walks at night, meditation, storms, and the movie “Antichrist” by Lars von Trier.
- The chapter about Passion is influenced by red wine, EBM-music, the writings of Michel Houllebecq, and hardcore pornography.
- The chapter about Inferno is inspired black metal, occult teachings and rituals, the writings of Clive Barker, visits to abandoned industrial areas, and a summer I worked at an old sanatorium.