Cult of Eloblina
|Cult of Eloblina|
|Eloblina, the Toad Mother|
The Cult of Eloblina, which is sometimes also just called Elobollo, is a cult of mostly Kathar, though other races have also been known to be members that worship the Toad Mother, Eloblina. Eloblina, sometimes also called the Kobold Queen, represents the goddess of decay and time in the Faith of the Dark Ancients. The Cult of Eloblina is a sub-cult of the Faith of the Dark Ancients, and as such should be classified as Void Worship of the illegal variant in Regalia. That being said, knowledge of Eloblina is not very widespread. Due to their nature as a relatively benevolent Dark Ancient, and because none of their cult’s activities outright harm anyone, she is rarely acknowledged by Regalian guards as an illegal god, and those who worship they usually get away with being public about it.
Time for Decay
The Cult of Eloblina believe that the world was perfect, but frozen in time and never decaying before Eloblina arrived. They believe that the world was made in the image of the Ordax Do'llah of the Cult of Order. This makes the Cult of Eloblina unique, in that it actually acknowledges some validity to the Cult of Order, which is a strictly Exist worship religion. However, Do’llah is more acknowledged as the arch-nemesis of Eloblina, as the world created by Do’llah was considered repressive. The Eloblina worshipers believe that a world without time was one where one could not sleep despite feeling deathly exhausted, one could not breathe despite suffocating, and one could not close one’s eyes, despite them being parched from being open all the time. They believe Eloblina was born by the collective desire of the oppressed to breathe, to sleep, and to live, and that Eloblina created herself by tricking the never-passing of time by causing all toads and frogs to croak once backwards. By causing time to pass backwards for just a second, like a single hiccup, she forced time to also move forwards afterwards, and from that day onwards, Eloblina caused time to progress. Eloblina also stands for decay however, as time itself is decay and causes decay. This is also why their worshipers see Eloblina as a liberator, who brings an inevitable end to endless oppression, and a rebirth and beginning again from the mulch left behind by the dead and decayed.
Spores of Rebirth
The Cult of Eloblina greatly supports the spreading of mushroom and fungus spores, preaching that these little helpers of Eloblina help the process of breakdown and decay, allowing the mulch that is produced to be re-used to grant new life, usually to plants, but also sometimes to people, or so it is claimed by the cultists. Eloblina worshipers usually have extensive green houses or mushroom nurseries somewhere in a dark patch of the forest where they carefully harvest spores or seedlings with small pincers made of wooden toothpicks which they abundantly stick in their hair for all manner of task requiring fine control. When a cult member meets another cult member, they usually exchange mushroom stems and spore families, believing that their own collection will grow richer if they acquire the families of others. Eloblina followers call the ancestry of a particular branch of mycelium, fungus, or mushrooms a family (while they call their actual family a growth-family). Eloblina worshippers meeting each other is rather rare. While Eloblina worshipers are widespread, they are sparsely populated. As such, when two or more meet, it is often a great joyous occasion, and they will spend several hours trading all manner of trinkets and recipes before enjoying Bulbmead together.
Eloblina can be depicted as both a man or a woman, but is more often depicted as something in between, a humanoid with vaguely green-yellow skin, with female facial features, but a distinctly male chin and large nose as well as large thick eyebrows. Eloblina ties twigs through their hair and often has all manner of bugs crawling through their hair and items attacked into and on top of their hair and clothing. Eloblina’s hair is long and entirely made of woven and braided grass or vines, and is always depicted near a pond to listen to the choir of frogs and toads nearby. Eloblina, much like their worshipers, always wears a large brimmed hat with many flowers, fruits and mushrooms drying in what little sunlight the hat catches in the deep dark forest. These sweet smelling items usually dry up, and then transition into their clothing where they are woven into the hemp or fibrous threading. Eloblina is always depicted with some sort of smile or glee, never is Eloblina upset with anything or anyone, because Eloblina only finds love and compassion for all things that will inevitably die, and give life to the next thing.
To an Elobollo (also the name of the cult members, as well as the cult itself), the act of spreading Mother’s Spores is a great act of benediction. They genuinely believe that the world would be better off with more mycelium and more mushrooms, and the song of the heralds of time (frogs and toads). As such, the Elobollo skip or wander through a forest, usually with a large pouch from which they spread mushroom spores around. All the while doing this, an Elobollo will perform some sort of rhyme, sometimes a children’s rhyme, but often also just reciting whatever comes up first in their mind, and then trying to make a rhyming sentence, before moving on to the next random thought. They run around the forest until it becomes dark, after which they just toss out the remains of their bag, and tie it back. Then, they open the Bollobag, which is like a sort of goat-stomach bag slung over their shoulder that the Elobollo use to store light bugs, releasing a few light bugs in the air. Because fireflies or light bugs eat nectar and sugary pollen, and because Elobollo frequently are covered in sweet nectarine flowers and dried petals, these fireflies continue buzzing around them, providing light. The Elobollo will then find the nearest Toadcircle, and make a comfortable bed of leaves there, and spend the night under the night sky, with fireflies buzzing overhead.
Elobollo cults usually settle in densely forested areas and produce Toadcircles. Toadcircles have been observed in many other cultures and races inhabited lands, leading many to allude to the idea that Eloblina worshipers are more common around the world than one would originally assume. Toadcircles are several feet wide perfectly circular shapes on the ground sprouting all manner of mushrooms and fungus. These mushrooms and fungus never grow beyond this perfect circle, and the Elobollo believe that Toadcircles grant them magical protection from the Curses and Hexes of the other Dark Ancients. If an Elobollo is threatened, they are likely to run to the nearest Toadcircle if they are unable to defend themselves, hoping that the Toadcircle will protect them. Curiously enough, not always, but most of the times, a Toadcircle will indeed protect a true believer of Elobollo. Any non-believer coming nearby will immediately be faced with a firm puff of fungi pollen from the circle, and become disoriented and turned around. Toadcircles also attract frogs and toads during the night, after which they remain during the day, and herald the passing of hours with croaks. Why or how they know the exact time is a process not even understood by the Elobollo, but it is exactly accurate to the very second. Toadcircles can be destroyed with conventional weapons, but especially fire, as they are exceptionally flammable. This is why Elobollo are generally uncomfortable or even outright fearful of open fires. They sometimes attribute personality and intention to fires, pretending they are actual people, and muttering insults at them under their breath while keeping an eye on them to make sure their evil licks do not come in their direction (Incidentally, Elobollo themselves are also very flammable…)
A particularly important spore or mushroom is Mother’s Toe. Mother’s toe appears like a mushroom with a black stem and underhood, a purple hood, and a speckling of white dots all over the head. Mother’s Toe is traditionally rather poisonous, but can do a couple of things if prepared correctly. If eaten raw, it can kill the consumer, if not seriously imprison them in the bathroom. When roasted however, the mushrooms become very sweet and produce strong hallucinations and waking dreams that last for hours without too many negative side effects (though psychosis can sometimes be experienced, or heightened anxiety, which the Elobollo call a bad croak). When put into a strong brine along with pickles and a few peppercorns, Mother’s Toe will slowly ferment into a drink called Bulbmead. Bulbmead is the favorite drink of the Elobollo, as it has a strong honey-like sweet flavor, with hints of pickle-brine, a spicy afterbite, and vague hints of herbs and wet mown grass. Experimenting drinkers should however absolutely be aware, bulbmead causes the same hallucinations as consuming Mother’s toe grilled, just for only as long as it takes the sip to travel down to their stomach, lingering for 10 seconds, before disappearing. Mother’s Toe is a particularly nasty growing mushroom that aggressively chokes out other vegetation in the area, and can even grow just fine on solid stone, causing it to become brittle. Mother’s Toe is also infested with Void Essence, and is largely presumed to be a corrupted mushroom from Drowda.
The Elobollo believe that when a toad or frog croaks, that time is living backwards, as these creatures “speak” backwards to them. Toads and frogs are very important in the Cult of the Toadmother, as they are not only their creation, but also the creatures that herald the passing of their time (as without Eloblina, the Elobollo believe that the whole world would just be in a constant state of being frozen and unable to move as time would crease to pass). To the Elobollo, the world would end if all toads and frogs suddenly decided, or were forced to never croak again. This is why they are fiercely protective of toads and frogs, and will name them, and even keep them in small zoo’s or backyards and breed them, and take excellent care of them. The Elobollo believe that Do’llah has an intense hatred for frogs and toads (which do’llah’s believers think is because they are ugly and un-pristine), but Elobollo worshipers know is actually because they keep reminding time to move on, by constantly hiccuping it back by a second. Elobollo in general love the “choir of the croak”, which is just an area where lots of croaking critters live, creating an orchestra of croaking.
To Elobollo, it is important to gift things to others, especially because Eloblina gifted everyone with the sweet release of eventual death and the ability to enjoy and experience life to the fullest. As such, the act of gift giving is considered very holy to them, and gifts are an homage to Eloblina themselves. However, these gifts must always come with the expectation that it proceeds with some sort of benefit to Eloblina, and in such a way, Elobollo gifts are usually a Trojan horse. Either the gift is something easy to make for an Elobollo like a mason jar of bulbmead or some roasted Mother’s Toe. More often than not however do they give very mundane objects that are secretly loaded with Mother’s Toe spores. These gifts are then accepted, and put away somewhere in an attic or the corner of a garden because they look a bit odd (like a carving of a toad with a scary expression on its face) only for the spores to release and cause a rampant Mother’s toe infestation in the area that has to be burned out with fire. When confronted about this, Elobollo will proclaim that Mother’s Toe just helps the area to heal, and recover mulch, from which more life can grow when all that must decay has withered and died.
- Eloblina worshipers never mean to expressly harm anyone, but mushroom and spore allergies are actually quite common in Regalia. As such, they can cause a pretty severe case of stuffy nose (which they then remedy by giving the ailing person Mother’s Toe, and making the situation worse while also causing them to hallucinate).
- Elobollo are usually quite uncomfortable in cities, because there are no toads or frogs in cities. Sometimes they will release a frog or a toad secretly from a bag into a fountain or pond in the middle of a city, just to hear any amount of croaking.
- Elobollo also carry around a wet-sack, a large bag made of banana leaves that are woven together, carrying a thick viscous slime-like substance in which they have stored a large amount of hibernating frog tadpoles. The Wet-sack is always meant to be a last resort to quickly breed a large population of frogs in an area where the Elobollo cannot find any.