Ifrit Cults

Of the djinn, there are Jann and there are Ifrit; the Jann are generally seen as forces of good; the Ifrit, forces of evil.

Though it is blasphemy, there are those who apparently worship the Ifrit. One of the occult traditions for using the magics of the djinn finds its roots in a minority population known as the ifrit cults.

Public Perception
In the public eye, ifrit worshipers feature prominently as bogeymen and villains in folklore and children's stories. Once in a great while some public figure is accused of being an Ifrit cultist. Ifrit cults don't have much of an impact on day to day life in Alhambra, beyond that. Popular speculation by the majority of Alhambrans is that bonafide ifrit worshipers are somewhat nomadic, and are probably few in number.

In Truth
Ifrit cultists are a persecuted ethnoreligious minority of Alhambra, and a small one, at that.

The ifrit cultists have divided into sects and emulated the patterns of the priesthoods of Ab and Umm, constructing semi-permanent desert villages, temples. They exist as small groups of men, women, and children, days to weeks apart from one another, scattered across the desert landscape. Persecuted, occasionally hunted, they are a disorganized bunch with many different sets of customs and beliefs.

What is an Ifrit Cult?
An ifrit cult is a collection of individuals, 10-75 in number, including men, women, and children, living in hiding somewhere in Alhambra (usually, the deep desert). An ifrit cult sect uses or worships ifrit, in some capacity. Not every cultist is a djinn user, however, and not every ifrit cultist sees it as a religious proposition.

Sects don't all distinguish between ifrit and non-ifrit djinn. They do generally deny that ifrit are evil, and acknowledge Ab and Umm as the supreme deities of Alhambra, though many doubt the legitimacy of the priesthoods of Ab and Umm. Most tell a slightly different version of the creation myth of Alhambra than the general populace. Ifrit cults try to gather the names of the djinn and unclaimed cultural, mystical, and religious artifacts when they can do so without causing a stir. Most well-established sects have a few items of genuine interest.

Ifrit cult sects, due to their great diversity of beliefs, have no central leadership and engage in some very complicated politics with one another.

The core interest of ifrit cultists is generally survival of the community. As such, when members go rogue, get into situations where they may expose one or more sects, or fail to be circumspect and stir up public outrage, the responsible parties a generally hunted down and killed, if they can be found.

Similarly, new sects that arise are generally either brought into the community or destroyed, if nearby sects consider them a liability.

Ifrit cults, as a rule, don't meet around big cities. Instead, they populate what secluded, inconspicuous, and survivable places they can find in the deep desert.

Travel between a city and a sect, as well as from a sect to a sect, is a non-trivial matter, with sometimes a week of travel between sites and nothing in the way of obvious food or water en-route. With no real landmarks, and the sects generally being small targets, travelers who only know the general location of a sect are unlikely to reach their destination.

Due to the peculiarity of large dunes changing very slowly over time, cultists have made a form of song for describing the patterns of the dunes on the path from one location to another, and where hidden supplies can be found on the way. The songs, as with the dunes, change over the years. Knowing the current version of a song greatly increases a traveler's chance of reaching his or her destination alive.

When an isolated sect perishes, the site is often abandoned; without people traveling to and from the location and revising their songs as the dunes change, it eventually becomes quite risky to travel to and from these sites.

Ifrit Cults in your plots
Ask the Alhambra propco or a cultist PC for advice if you wish to involve ifrit cults in your plots.

Interested in being a cultist?
If in chargen, talk to the Alhambra propco for advice; some backgrounds may be fundamentally incompatible. A character may also pursue cult ties through play.

OOC Information: Those who wish to be cultists will need to start on the JIN tree of gifts. These represent your bindings to the Djinn and the powers they give you in return.

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