"What Madness Is This?" Volume II: Prophecies in the Dark

They carefully placed the casket inside a granite sarcophagus fit for a pharaoh or a Bonaparte and made ready to slide the heavy lid in place. Before that was done, Joe Steele asked to be left alone in the tomb for just a moment to "say a prayer." Everyone exited, even Lovecraft. About 50 seconds later Steele exited the room and returned to the main floor of the church. In came the soldiers to finally close the sarcophagus, but to their disgust an awful stench filled the air. It took a few seconds to realize, but they found the casket's lid slightly ajar, a trail of fresh piss dripping off the side.
Steele sends his regards, I assume?
He made sure to ingratiate himself with Steele, focusing on the stoic President and the single tear running down his cheek, the only public tear Steele ever shed.
Can't decide if Steele would take up the challenge of precisely shedding one (1) fake tear or just go "To hell with this, I'm bringing the eyedropper"

I loved William Sunday almost as much as I loved my own father. And I very much look forward to seeing him again one day.
Wow, that really was the truth. Just as promised.
Well, judging by Steele's last 'prayer' and his earlier words, I can guess what he thinks of Custer and Sunday. Anyway, rest in piss, Bible Billy.
I’m surprised Steele contained himself to just pissing on Sunday’s coffin.

And say what you will about Madness!Americas, but damn do they know how to put on a good show. They’re terrible POS but it’s hard not to feel your blood pumping when they crack out a good old Battle Cry. I’m actually surprised they didn’t entomb Sunday with some Sisters of Purity or Infee labourers like a Pharaoh and their sycophants/slaves, but I guess when you’re as loathed as Sunday was, you wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.

Can’t help but wonder what Lovecrafts or Steele’s funerals will be like. Lovecraft will probably be interred in some bizzare winding maze of his own design (a la Red Son Lex Luthor), while Steele will be given some giant mausoleum that puts even the Taj Mahal to shame. Or have his head frozen later generations to gaze upon and Oswald to abuse
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The mention of Washington's sarcophagus made me wonder: what would he think if he could see what his country has become? Come to think of it, even the early founders of the Union, like Crawford, would probably be disgusted.
The mention of Washington's sarcophagus made me wonder: what would he think if he could see what his country has become? Come to think of it, even the early founders of the Union, like Crawford, would probably be disgusted.
The Republican Union isn’t really Washington's country IMO. It was the old United States that he died in defense of and which collapsed when it lost it’s war against Revolutionary France. As for Crawford, it’s been a while but what was he like?
The Republican Union isn’t really Washington's country IMO. It was the old United States that he died in defense of and which collapsed when it lost it’s war against Revolutionary France. As for Crawford, it’s been a while but what was he like?
An extrajudicial populist who was best friends with Aaron Burr.
Before that was done, Joe Steele asked to be left alone in the tomb for just a moment to "say a prayer." Everyone exited, even Lovecraft. About 50 seconds later Steele exited the room and returned to the main floor of the church. In came the soldiers to finally close the sarcophagus, but to their disgust an awful stench filled the air. It took a few seconds to realize, but they found the casket's lid slightly ajar, a trail of fresh piss dripping off the side.
I like how this part remains canon, as I could see him doing this irl.
It should provide seasoning for the pocket bacon.
I was inspired by a scene from an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Early in the episode:
Dennis- "I always carry a piece of onion in my pocket in case I need to summon a tear, I don't have any with me now, I'm on vacation."​

Dennis- "You've gotten to me Mac! Look at me, you've reduced me to a blubbering fool!"​
Mac- "Really?"​
Charlie- "ONION! I SEE ONION!"​
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The Republican Union isn’t really Washington's country IMO. It was the old United States that he died in defense of and which collapsed when it lost it’s war against Revolutionary France. As for Crawford, it’s been a while but what was he like?
I'm thinking all but Burr would be disgusted?
The Republican Union isn’t really Washington's country IMO. It was the old United States that he died in defense of and which collapsed when it lost it’s war against Revolutionary France. As for Crawford, it’s been a while but what was he like?
Given that he led the revolution against the tyrannical Adams/Hamilton regime, I think he'd be disgusted by what the Republican Union has become.
Come to think of it, even the early founders of the Union, like Crawford, would probably be disgusted.
Crawford died before the War of 1812 if I remember so it's unknown how his opinions would've formed had he survived to see Drummond's razing. From what we know, the Republican Union in the early 19th Century was a comparatively sane state (by 19th century standards) with just a little religious craze going around. Anyone from that time period would be horrified or amazed at what the Republican Union turned into. Horrifed for being a tyrannical theocracy that goes against all the founding principles of what the nation was founded upon while also amazed to see their small country grow to encompass the whole North American Continent and is a superpower able to challenge the might of nations even like Napoleonic France and Russia.
Did we ever get the other half of the last chapter of TUF? I think it was a summary of Africa and Asia by 1937.
Since The Pinnacle Future was postponed, the final chapter was no longer needed. We're just picking right back up where we were!!


Cryptid chapters will be definitely throughout PitD. Already planned a bunch, especially the Moth Man, Jersey Devil, and Skinwalkers. There's all sorts of weird tales to be told. I mentioned how Harding will come back from retirement. Well, he'll be overseeing the construction of TTL's Area 51.
I don't know how many times I mentioned this, and I know it's probably quite late, but Nap, you've never been a bad author. I'm as old as you were when you wrote the original WMIT and I still feel like I couldn't come close to what you wrote, but you inspire me every day for AH, so THANK YOU
Word. I am currently on my second TL (first one's in a bit of a coma) and I WISH I could write this incredibly with so much in-depth world building. Every time I read this TL I get completely immersed and am left waiting for that next installment to see what happens next.
Ooo I am loving this thread. Can't believe I hadn't noticed it before now given how much of a sucker I am for occultism in alternate history (and in reality too tbh).


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Charles Dexter Armitage, circa 1910

Our story begins on the ancient streets of Salem, Massachusetts, Republican Union, for it was there that on the fateful day of October 12, 1883, that the Armitage family welcomed its new bouncing baby boy. His name was Charles Dexter Armitage, destined to be one of the most interesting and bizarre figures of the 20th century. The son of an insurance salesman named Thaddeus Winslow Armitage and his wife Rebecca Steinschneider, a Jewish seamstress, Charles Dexter Armitage would become a legendary mystic, occultist, pagan, war criminal, and author. Rebecca refused to convert to the Fundamentalist faith of her husband and also refused to bring her son up in the "American religion," instead instructing Charles in the ways of Judaism, the only other generally accepted faith in the Republican Union. This resistance to "following the crowd" would help shape who her son would become in later years. Charles stood by his loving mother and resisted his father's increasingly brutal punishments for small offenses and random abuse over the first few years of his life. Thaddeus hated the fact that his son wasn't "following the faith of every red-blooded, Christ-fearing American boy," and sought a divorce in 1893 when Charles was ten years old. Because of laws at the time favoring standing members of the AFC Church, custody of young Charles was granted to his father. He would never see his mother again. Rather than accept this fate lying down, Charles continued to profess his faith in Judaism and adamantly refused to be baptized. His father referred to him as his "Jewish Hellion."

Determined to break his sons rebellious streak, Thaddeus asked his own father, Colonel Winslow Armitage, a cantankerous old veteran of the Immolation of Mexico, to raise Charles for a few years. Much to everyone's surprise, Charles became absolutely enamored with the old Colonel, whom he called "Pap." Winslow Armitage's house was a three story mansion in the late Pax Napoleonic style, built around 1850, and it was basically a museum of his own exploits and adventures, from Mexico to the Pacific to even an Arctic Expedition. Winslow would often remind folk of the fact that he was in the first trip to ever truly stand at the north pole. A devout Fundamentalist and a proud original member of Custer's Manifest Destiny Party (Member Number 124), Winslow enthralled his grandson with tale after tale of violence, bloodshed, brutality, heatstroke, frostbite, and daring-do. During the Immolation of Mexico, Winslow had personally led some of the ORRA death squads that conducted the largely forgotten massacres in Chihuahua (Cheehoohoo, in his own dialect). Charles felt in himself a growing fascination with glory, death, and the afterlife and yearned for his own military exploits. "You'll make a little McClellan yet, son," his grandfather would say.

Among the relics of a bygone age that his grandfather had collected over the years aside from his own old uniforms, sabers, and regalia was a vast array of ancient books and artifacts of mysterious and sometimes unknown origin. There were local items, such as original court papers from the 17th century Salem Witch Trials, at which an Armitage had been a judge, or the macabre, such as Winslow's own frostbitten left hand in a jar of embalming fluid. What peaked the young boy's interest most of all, however, was an ancient stone statue of what appeared to be cross between a bird and a snake or worm of sorts. "That's Keezelcote, the Feathered One," his Pap would tell him. "The Mexicans used to worship the thing, or so I hear. Took that from a museum during the Fall of Mexico City, I did. Just thought it was interesting lookin'. Some redskin prisoners saw me load it in the wagon and they tried telling me it was cursed, that I didn't know what I was messin' with. I laughed in their faces. And then I took them out to the desert and showed 'em who was cursed."

"Pap, are there such things as curses?" young Charles asked.

"Of course," Winslow shrugged. "Powerful Christian Magickians can summon the power of the Other Side to curse those who trespass against God's will. And those who dabble without proper trainin' or spiritual fortification in the art of divination can summon up terrible harpees and bugaboos from the bowels of Sheol. There is a place far beyond the veil of time and space that the human mind can't even imagine. I dare say we'll never come close to unlockin' all of the secrets of the occult until Christ and Prophet descend."

"What does 'occult' mean, Pap?" came the next question.

Winslow, always keen to enlarge his protege's vocabulary, led the boy over to a dictionary on the study table and looked up the word, reading the definition aloud. "Secret or hidden knowledge." One thing led to another and before the week was so over Charles was scouring every single one of his grandfather's books on Spiritual Marxism, the Jewish Kabbalah, Christian magick, the Blind Christian Gentleman, and the enterprising exploits of John Dee, the father of the Enochian script that the Council of Jehovah used for its rituals at the Tobias Institute. There was one issue that made the 13 year-old Charles' interests unique: he was still unbaptized. While he still professed faith in Judaism outwardly, he was becoming more and more engrossed in and dedicated to the occult. A neighbor girl one year his junior named Lizzy Ross would repeatedly show interest in the thin but darkly handsome Charles. She would remark in later years, "He said he was an Israelite. But I was never so sure of that. He never talked about it. But he would talk about witchcraft, sorcery, and magick as if it was the greatest thing he had ever heard. I don't think his Judaism was ever real. He just used it to rebel against his own abusive father. He was a troubled boy. All of his fellow Custer Youth troop members would bully and harass him for his strange habits." This remark would prove itself to not be far from wrong. Despite his most ardent attempts to convert the young Charles, Winslow was unable to do so, telling Thaddeus, "You're boy is a fucking Jew. Ain't nothing in the world can change that."

At the age of 18, in 1901, Charles asked Lizzy Ross if she would like to run off with him. "I loaded up Pap's old wagon with supplies and a little bit of money. And my books, of course. We could really make it out west, you know. Pap says there is wide open land in New Canaan and Oxacre. Won't you come with me?" When Lizzy awkwardly thanked him for the offer but said she could not simply abandon her family like that, Charles flew into a rage, something she had never seen. "Fine then, you whore. I offered you a place at my right hand. A new age is coming, and I am going to be its master. I am the great I am, Merlin reincarnated. I don't need you, or Pap, or my fucking father. Burn in hell." His grandfather of course knew he had been planning to leave, but there was little he could do to stop him. His view was that Charles had to make his own mistakes. He told his grandson he loved him and wished him luck. And with that, Charles was off, leaving the old world of Massachusetts behind for the wonders of the Wild West.

During his trip, it is worth mentioning, he stopped at the Circle P Ranch for several nights rest. This ranch would later be famous as the birthplace of the Apostle Andrew, right hand of the Prophet Graham. In August of 1901, Charles would arrive in Sweetwater, Oxacre, nearly destitute. His main reason for visiting the locale was to find the site of the ancient Aztec pyramids his grandfather had described seeing in his military exploits, the ones that were dedicated to the worship of the Feathered One. The statue his grandfather had shown him so many years before was now his most prized possession, wrapped in socks and taking up half of the room in his suitcase. His bundle of books on the occult was his only other real earthly possession at the time. In late September, after having investigated for weeks as to their whereabouts, he was finally able to locate and visit a timeworn, desecrated heathen pyramid. The structure was truly ancient, having mostly been reclaimed by the jungle. There were clear signs of "investigation" by Yankee explorers, who had mostly destroyed or stolen anything of value, including ancient hieroglyphs, and several crumbling spots were obviously used for artillery target practice at some point. But not to be defeated by dangerous structural instability or venomous snakes, Charles ventured to the top of the pyramid and performed several incantations he was trying to master, to no effect. His guide, an old vet who had lived in the area since the Immolation, was able to recall a few facts about the old temple when asked. When he was asked what the stone slab at the top was used for, he replied, "Well, if I recall that was where the Injuns would rip the hearts out of their prisoners. They would cut them open alive and rip it right out. Then they'd roll their bodies down these very steps. Godless savages."

"These sacrifices, who were they made to?" Charles asked another question of the old man.

"I don't know how to pronounce the old Infee name for him, but it was a worm lookin' thing. Had feathers. Real weird lookin' bugaboo, for sure. Couldn't tell you anything else. Little before my time, you know."

The guide was never seen again. Charles wrote in his diary that visiting the Aztec pyramid and performing a "black sacrament" atop its altar had made him feel like a new man. After several more months of exploring the area and experimenting with peyote, the hallucinogen so favored by the Council of Jehovah, young Armitage received a telegram telling him to return home to Salem as quickly as possible because his father had suffered a horrific carriage accident. The telegram also asked him to please convert to Fundamentalism and finally redeem himself for his father. Furious, he sent a telegram back which simply stated, "I am the Beast 666." His father died soon after, leaving himself as his Pap's only heir, despite the old Colonel's growing disgust with him after all these years.

1903 would see Charles Armitage settle down in Metropolis for a period, where he became involved with "Miss Carter," the most famous Christian Magickian and charlatan in all of New Canaan, a woman who even claimed to have slept with the Blind Christian Gentleman Mr. Tobias. Miss Carter was fifteen years his senior but that did not stop them from constant acts of what they dubbed "sexual magick." Miss Carter would frequently invite her multiple female lovers (known as the Night Lilies) into the relationship, many of whom actually began to follow Charles more than herself. The Night Lilies were famous for their floor-length hair which they proclaimed were like "antennas to amplify the voices of the spirits." They would also help run her ongoing frauds, such as a magnetic spirit board. Despite growing realization that Carter was a scam artist, Armitage and Carter would live together for the period between 1903 and 1907, with her paying the way for him at Benedict Arnold University of Metropolis, sister school of the more famous Boston campus. He majored in Other Side Studies with the help of falsified baptismal records and was issued a 10-dollar license to practice magick in the state of New Canaan, a turning point in his career. It would also be at B.A.U.M. that he would meet his future wife Ethyl Butcher, a blonde, blue-eyed young thing who was known as the "Devil's Daughter" on campus for her rather unusual interests that sometimes landed her in hot water. While initially trying to fit Miss Carter and her substantial personal fortune into their relationship, his growing disgust with the "false magic" and "cheap parlor tricks" of the famed Christian Magickian caused him to move out on his own and marry Butcher on April 1, 1907. This also served to sully his view of Christian magick in general and convinced him "real power only resides in following the darkest impulses of Lucifer himself."

Miss Carter would actually go to the Office of Racial and Religious Affairs to report Armitage for "heresy, paganism, blasphemy, witchcraft, hedonism, Satanism, and breaking and entering," but due to his family's good name and the accusations sounding so absurdly over-the-top evil, he was never investigated beyond a quick inquiry at his new home. He simply showed the officers his falsified baptismal paper, professed faith in Jehovah, and accused her of being a con artist. ORRA officers would arrest Miss Carter on May 3, 1907, for blasphemy, misuse and abuse of Christian Magick, fraud, and defamation. She would wind up in Reeducation Camp 138, where she would spend the rest of her life at hard labor. The ease at which he had deflected her claims made Armitage proud of himself, and more egotistical than ever. With his new wife and the Night Lilies as his firm supporters, he began thoroughly exploring the dark arts in secret and his lovers began to refer to him as the Great 666, a name he reveled in. He began a deep-dive into Egyptian religion at this time, as well, particularly the slithering God of Chaos Apep, which he associated with the Feathered One of Aztec lore. There was no way that he could imagine that there wasn't some truth to something so ancient and so wide-spread as these "slithering cults."

It would be in 1908 that his grandfather would finally pass, leaving Charles his estate. With more than enough room for everyone, the Armitages and the Night Lilies moved into Winslow's old mansion. The beginning of something big was on the horizon. It would be during this time that he would drastically increase his usage of peyote and other drugs, and his wife would frequently join him. During one night of rituals and hallucinogens, Ethyl claimed to be in contact with a "supreme deity." At first, Charles merely laughed off his wife's story. After all, he had been trying to truly contact the Other Side for years, and here was this mere woman accidentally stumbling into the success he had so long desired. But after several more hours of testimony of contact with this deity, Charles began to take notes. At last he asked her what the name of this god was. She replied simply, "The Worm, the Crowned and Conquering King. "

This of course launched Charles into a frenzy of excitement, linking it with the ancient Egyptian and Aztec deities he had so long been interested in. Over the next few days, his wife would tell him what this "deity" was revealing to her and he would transcribe it and try to make sense of it. In the end, he would call the work The Mysteries of The Worm, told partially from the point of view of the ancient deity and partially from that of the unnamed author. Supposedly, this ancient faceless being was a primordial god of chaos, war, and destruction. Ethyl claimed it told her, "For too long have my altars been dry. For too long has man sat in lofty peace. The day of reckoning cometh like a thief in the night. The world will be plunged into primeval chaos, drenched in the blood of millions." This could be seen as a direct prophecy of the Great World War that would erupt just two years later, though skeptics would say most people expected such a cataclysm by this point. Charles and Ethyl were soon crafting an entire religion based around her visions of The Worm. Among the most memorable lines of the cursed book were "Death conquers all," "Do what thou wilt," and "Only when the altars are moist with blood and the planets are aligned will The Worm be sated, and all who follow The Worm be granted their richly deserved reward." Despite his lack of faith in Spiritual Marxism, Charles was an ardent supporter of Scientific Marxism and declared this "Cult of The Worm" was a religion for a true Pinnacle Man, a faith for real pure-blooded strongmen. It would be a few months into the editing of The Mysteries of The Worm when Armitage himself professed to have experienced visions from a "primordial and inconceivably large serpent or, indeed, worm, that showed him the secrets of the universe." It told him that it had in fact been The Worm that revealed itself to Aaron Burr. That it had been The Worm, not the Christian Jehovah, that had brought about Manifest Destiny. It would be The Worm, so the voices said, that would lead the Republican Union to victory in the coming war.

"I am so thirsty, so very thirsty, for the blood of conquest in my name. Like a sword forged blow by blow, I too have forged this nation. It shall be mightiest among men, and it shall serve my name just as it always has. My followers will signal the start of a new age and I shall again be strong enough to dwell in the house of man and tread upon the earth once more. I bring death and chaos, but also knowledge and glory. I hate, yet I love. I tried once to help man unlock the secrets of the universe but I was cast out and rejected, forced to dwell in the deep underground of the hollow earth so many millennia ago for merely trying to gift the flame of knowledge. There I lay sleeping in my home of Ia'nuru to this day, but through my slumbering dreams I can speak to my chosen. Grow my power and make sacrifice and you shall be richly rewarded. Feed the Great Faceless One. Awaken The Worm, The Crowned and Conquering King, and you shall be richly rewarded in the life that is to come."

- The Mysteries of The Worm (page 34)

Dedicating himself to the prospects of a future war, Armitage sold his ancestral home in Salem and moved his wife and followers to Pennsylvania, where he attended the Philadelphia Military Academy, finishing first in his class. He would enlist into the 13th ORRA Mechanized "Bad Luck Brigade" in 1911, just months before the Great World War would break out. While studying and training, he would occasionally find other students and ORRA men interested in the dark arts, with which he would share his messages from The Worm. Some thought him insane, but the beginning of the war made even the most insane soldier still a useful one. Besides that, the 13th was considered a "berserker unit," a tool of mindless violence and merciless attack where a sane mind could only hinder its purpose. While serving in the 13th ORRA, he would be involved in untold atrocities in Quebec, murdering members of the fleeing Bonapartist Royal Family his unit captured and ritually sacrificing them in a glen in the name of The Worm. By the war's end, he would become a captain. Using some of his vast wealth his wife would purchase a printing press, with which she began printing copies of their heretical new religious work. Those men and women that the couple deemed worthy and interested in "unlocking the secrets of the cosmos"could expect to find a copy of The Mysteries of The Worm on their doorstep. Even Supreme Marshal Ambrose Jansen was known to have possessed a copy, a copy that Supreme Chief Patton claimed as his own following Jansen's murder. It is not known whether Jansen read the book or if it merely showed up in his mailbox. But Patton, in his quest for enough power to offset his own insecurity with his paralysis, seemed interested and apparently collected copies of the cursed grimoire, despite it immediately being designated as contraband in its first edition. Seemingly overnight, the cracks in the Fundamentalist nature of upper society began to show, however small. Most people considered themselves Christian Fundies, but it was now clear that a great many people were much less devout than it would seem. Certain men of violent and powerful disposition took comfort in The Mysteries of The Worm and secretly adopted it as a mantra or warrior's code of sorts. For a long time, since the days of Lincoln, there had been soldiers and generals who offered libations to Mars, the Roman God of War. It was practically an Army tradition. Now they offered libation to The Worm. Was it any different? It was all still heretical.

By 1920, despite numerous investigations in the new Steele post-war era, no one had actually realized who had written The Mysteries of The Worm, as it was published anonymously. If discovered, Charles and Ethyl would face almost certain death by the pro-family, super-American president. But around the country, completely organically, local cults began to pop up worshiping The Worm. One devotee, the ironically named Eddie Christian, led some 23 cultists in the state of New Canaan to form a compound dedicated to performing strange rituals to summon forth The Crowned and Conquering King. When ORRA officers battered down the doors of the compound in 1923 following complaints of "flagrant Satanist activity," screams, and "eldritch chanting," they were horrified to find the bodies of an incredibly long list of missing persons ritually sacrificed. Joe Steele was reportedly so disturbed by reports from the situation that he ordered Christian's immediate execution, as well as the torture and death of anyone who was involved. All cult members were summarily shot in their cells, with shouts of "Long live Steele!" and "Death to heretics!" ringing out over the gunshots. The compound saw a visit from members of the Council of Jehovah itself, an extraordinary event, who performed "purification rituals" and spread salt around the compound before ordering its burning.

"It was like a picture out of a perfect nightmare. They were cutting the hearts outta these guys on a stone slab, chanting and singing some weird hymn I never heard before. They all said they were prepared to die and asked if we felt the same. I have been to war, been in the middle of bloody riots, and even Inferior uprisings, but nothing will ever chill me to my core as much those normal Pinnacle folk butchering and sacrificing other decent Americans to some primeval monster."

- Sergeant Wilbur Hawthorne, ORRA Special Crimes Unit, on the Eddie Christian Compound Raid of 1923

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ORRA officers pose for a photo following the Eddie Christian Compound Raid (1923)

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Remains of the Eddie Christian Worm cult (1923)

Similar raids were happening all across America. Almost without Armitage having to lift a finger, his new faith had spread far and wide to the point where the government of the most powerful country on earth worried it posed a national security threat. Things were so far out of hand that Reverend-Colonel Billy Sunday created the Zealot-operated Church Occult Activity Unit in 1925, determined to get to the bottom of things. But even though the cult was rapidly growing, their numbers were still tiny and their members careful. They stopped building compounds and instead embraced the fact that they were one and the same with the worshipers of Jehovah. After all, all things were of The Worm according to The Mysteries of the Worm itself, and they thought The Worm was leading America to global domination. From scientists to soldiers to politicians, the "Children of The Worm" believed the Last Days were approaching and that a giant primordial deity would rise from the "hollow earth" and reward them for their service. Fewer than one percent of officers officially believed anything but the Bible and the Four Books, but the few who did follow The Worm showcased a growing crack in Fundamentalism and the fact that there were enough demented and sadistic men in places of power to promote such an awful religion. By the time of Manifest Climax, Joe Steele's personal goons and the AFC's OAU were beginning to unravel the conspiracy behind The Worm cult, but at the same time radical yet secretive cultist Leo Merkwürdigliebe destroyed an entire island with Orange Bliss chemical weapons in the name of The Worm, performing the biggest ritual sacrifice of all time.

Manifest Climax was a hell of a time to be Joe Steele, and even though he was managing one of the largest war efforts in history he also had to deal with an insane death cult that believed in human sacrifice infiltrating his ranks. Steele might not have seen himself as a hero of humanity, but he certainly drew a line at ritual disemboweling. To top it off, wartime stress and constant night terrors were causing him to slip into debilitating states of paranoia, when he would accuse everyone around him of being "worm-tongues." By 1937, the noose was tightening on Charles Armitage, who lived every day in fear of arrest and execution, but there was still no concrete proof he was behind the movement or its titular grimoire. He was actually able to use his position at ORRA to monitor the investigation into the cult and even foil and hamper it several times. In the worst case event that he did go down, there were still hundreds of followers who would continue to spread the word of The Crowned and Conquering King. A new age was coming, Armitage thought, and Manifest Climax was the herald of The Worm's return to the surface of the earth. An era of madness and carnage that would precede a great and terrible enlightenment.

"He dwells in great caverns and Stygian pools, sleeping yet all-knowing, still working in the hearts and minds of men. The Worm, The Great Faceless One. He slumbers decade upon century, spreading his truth and speaking through dreams and visions to his prophets and servants. But soon the veil shall be lifted and the Crowned and Conquering King will ascend to the surface world. And when The Worm rises from the depths, great and terrible, it shall remake the earth in its own image and the Age of Aquarius will truly begin. Hail, Oh, Hail to thee, Worm. May thy return be swift and may thy maw run red with the blood of the unworthy."

Mysteries of The Worm (final page)

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Sigil of The Worm
"Death Conquers All"
So the cult of the Worm I guess is Thelema but genocidal? Armitage definitely parallels Aleister Crowley pretty closely. Or I guess Thelema if it centered on Cthulhu.