Followers of Asica
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|Followers of Asica|
|Headquarters||Various hideouts in the UA|
|Activities|| Worship of their deity, Asica|
Ritual torture and sacrifices
Fighting angelics and demonics
|Leaders|| Alastor Revanus (E7-506 ; E7-549)|
No current overarching leader
The Followers of Asica (sometimes simply called the Cult) are a minor faction in the Mazes.
They are a doomsday cult living in hideouts located in the Uncivilized Area, dedicated to the worship of their deity, Asica, a goddess of destruction whom they consider to be the only true god in the Mazes (despite no evidence of her existence having ever been proven), and reject all other religions and faiths.
The Book of Asica
The vast majority of the beliefs and core objectives of this cult are rooted in their holy book, the Book of Asica, which was written by the cult's founder and first leader, Alastor Revanus. The 1048-page book is inlaid with various hand-drawn illustrations of Asica, summoning circles, ritual scenes, and other symbols. The first few chapters reference the cataclysmic event which ended Era 4 as the proof of Asica's existence and divine power. Most of the book then explains that another cataclysm is inevitable, that Asica will be responsible for it, and that everything, living and non-living, will be utterly destroyed when it does happen.
The last fifth of the book outlines the importance of worship and tribute to Asica as the only method of securing oneself a future after the next apocalypse. According to the book, those who do not worship Asica will be vaporized whilst the more devout are more likely to survive the event.
The founder of the cult, Alastor Revanus (b. E7-477 ; d. E7-549), was a human male originally residing in the town of Gimrun, as the local librarian. He reportedly grew dissatisfied with the influence of both angelic and demonic factions over the Mazes and did not feel as though they provided proper answers. He started writing the Book of Asica sometime in the early 500s of Era 7, reportedly having spent at least five years writing it. During this period, Revanus's mental stability gradually decreased. Friends and neighbors commented on him retiring himself from any kind of social activity and growing increasingly asocial, his views radicalizing over time. Notably, Revanus became anti-youkai, a point reflected in the Book; he believes that their very existence displeases Asica and that they can never serve her. As such, the Followers have never admitted any youkai members.
After completing and publishing the book in 506, Revanus quit his job and abandoned life in Gimrun in favor of various hideouts in the Uncivilized Area. The Maze Police suspect him to have committed his first kidnapping and murder shortly afterward. His first victim was Clara Mansfeld, a 23-year-old convenience store manager from Ovis City, who Revanus managed to lure outside of her shop and into the town's public toilets, where her disemboweled remains were found laid in a ritual circle drawn with the victim's blood. Various symbols, alongside the name "ASICA", had also been etched onto the walls and the floor. This grisly act shocked the town of Ovis City and is said to have prompted the mayor at the time to sign a contract with the Maze Police and adopt Standard Law.
The Police consider this first murder to be the start of the Followers of Asica; various small-time criminals and other UA vagrants began following Revanus after Clara Mansfeld's murder became headline news. Over the years that followed, the cult grew in size and started targeting isolated travelers on major trade routes. Originally isolated to the Northern Zone, by 535 the Followers became large enough to have chapters all over the Mazes.
Revanus remained the leader of the Followers of Asica until he died in 549. The cause of death is unknown; it is believed that he died of old age. His remains were never found, with rumors claiming that it had been dismembered in another ritual.
After the death of their founder, the Followers haven't been able to select a successor. Because Revanus was childless and died before he could designate a successor, a brief period of conflict and infighting (colloquially referred to as the Asican Civil War) ensued, with various priests and disciples of Revanus fighting for the status of leader. This conflict was ultimately very brief (less than three months) and entirely fruitless; after 17 casualties, including 3 of Revanus's closest friends and disciples, a ceasefire was negotiated four months after the beginning of hostilities. To this day, the subject of designating a new cult leader is generally taboo, out of fear of sparking a new civil war.
To keep chapters from drifting apart and maintain a sense of unity among all Followers of Asica, chapters across the Mazes have formed various congregations (a chapter of chapters), one per Zone, for a total of eight. Congregations are leaderless and joining one is entirely voluntary, relying on the mutual trust and cooperation of each of its constituent priests.