Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sharpened Hooks: The Keepers of Hodmimir's Forest

This was an occult group for a game that has come and gone.  Maybe it will serve you.  Though made for a modern occult conspiracy game, it could be used in fantasy or science fiction.

The Keepers of Hodmimir's Forest are a splinter faction of the old Thule Gesellschaft, or Thule Society.  A society of German occultists, the Thule Society influenced some of the ideas of the early Nazi party until the Society disbanded in the 1920s.  Despite a brief revival in the 1930s, Nazi policies acting against esoteric societies finally destroyed the Thule Society by the mid-1930s.

Still, old habits die hard, and the truth gets distorted over time.  Some occultists did stay with the Nazis in an attempt to use the party's meteoric rise to power as cover for their own activities, and some misguided occultists continue to describe the Third Reich in occult terms.

The origins of the Keepers of Hodmimir's Forest are somewhat unclear, but it is known that the leadership of the cult draws inspiration from the old Thule Society, assuming the cult cannot trace its lineage to the classic Thule Society.  The Keepers of Hodmimir's Forest seek nothing less than finding Hodmimir's Forest of Norse myth, and using it as a staging ground to preserve the Aryan race while Ragnarök rages.  Some merely believe that Fimbulvetr and Ragnarök are imminent, while others seek to somehow cause these events in true batshit Charles Manson tradition.

Whatever the case, the Keepers seek legends regarding pristine locations for humans to weather the coming apocalypse, and then to populate those areas with neo-Nazi loyalists.  Just as the cult cannot agree whether it is supposed to trigger the apocalypse or merely meant to wait for it, the cult also cannot agree on the nature of Hodmimir's Forest.  Some believe that it is a place already in existence — like the forest itself, or Eden, or the Hollow Earth — while other cultists believe that it is a place the cult needs to build for itself, such as a bunker or moonbase.

Ultimately, it is these arguments which prevent the cult from being anything more than a minor threat, but the group's fanaticism (and ability to rally its neo-Nazi allies in a pinch) makes up for its lack of organization and dogmatic unity.

The Keepers in Other Genres: So maybe you're not running a game set in the 20th century.  No problem!  In history, the Keepers could always be a weird Nordic cult, or even a group with a different origin but similar theme (maybe they're fanatical Christians seeking Eden assuming that it will be untouched by Armageddon).  In fantasy, the group could easily be a cult looking for the Promised Land (in whatever form that takes).  In science fiction, maybe the group is looking for a pristine planet or hoping to build an impenetrable space station.

For an interesting twist, the group is just a group of fanatics with no occult power at all.

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