Forbidden Cults is the third expansion for Tales of Maj’Eyal, released on May 16, 2018. Having elements of Lovecraftian influence, it is horror-themed and explore concepts such as insanity and the pursuit of lost, forbidden knowledge.
Not all adventurers seek fortune, not all that defend the world have good deeds in mind. Lately the number of sightings of horrors have grown tremendously. People wander off the beaten paths only to be found years later, horribly mutated and partly insane, if they are found at all. It is becoming evident something is stirring deep below Maj’Eyal. That something is you.
Forbidden Cults is a big expansion for Tales of Maj’Eyal to let you explore the horrors that lurk beneath the surface, to delve in long lost knowledge and lore and as usual to die a lot!
The two races introduced in Forbidden Cults, Drem and Krog, are not independent species per se, but corrupted, mutated strains of other races inhabiting Eyal.
Main article: Drem
Members of a corrupted subrace of dwarves, one that somehow managed to retain a shred of sanity and not fully devolve into mindless horrors, Drems can enter a frenzy that allows them to use their talents without starting a cooldown period; they also weaponize their bodies, causing harm to those who attack them, and their affinity with the things that dwell deep beneath the surface enables them to summon a terrible horror against their enemies.
Main article: Krog
Grafted by the Ziguranth in their quest against the arcane, Krogs are ogres transformed by the very thing that should have killed them: their drake-infused blood makes them incapable of inscribing runes on their bodies, but it also grants them considerable resistence and the ability to assume and manipulate draconic elements—not to mention the strength to dual-wield any kind of one-handed weapon and stun their foes with powerful blows.
With the Demented metaclass, Forbidden Cults introduces corruption on the individual level: the sacrifice of one’s mental and physical integrity for power.
Cultist of Entropy
Main article: Cultist of Entropy
Cultists of Entropy use their insanity to manipulate entropy itself and unravel the normal laws of physics. Using their talents, even healing themselves, cause their bodies to wither away from an entropic backlash, but they are able to manipulate this effect to their advantage, turning it into power, “gifting” it to their opponents, or using it to open rifts in the structure of reality and unleash the creatures that lurk on the other side.
Main article: Writhing One
Writhing Ones are individuals who have used corrupting forces to alter their physiology. They regard their bodies as mere instruments, to be manipulated as they see fit—going as far as to discard or melt parts of it for protection or in order to inflict pain (and madness) upon their enemies. Having thus become horrific, they can summon horrors to do their bidding and even keep a worm that walks as a permanent ally.
- Dremshor Tunnels: Filled with horrors, these tunnels lead to ruins that, while ancient, showcase highly advanced technology of an unknown origin—and may hold the secret to how the Drems came to be.
- Godfeaster: The Godfeaster is a living dungeon that can swallow you once you reach a certain level. It can get just as fun as it sounds.
- Kroshkkur, the Hidden Sanctuary: Kroshkkur is an ancient Sher’Tul Fortress, laying half in ruins, which serves as both a focal point and home for many kinds of creatures seeking lost knowledge.
- Occult Egress: A special farportal, different from the one found at the Sher’Tul Fortress in that, instead of leading to random locations, it is a gateway to places, artifacts and effects associated with corresponding glyphs.
- Scourged Pits: To the south of the Iron Throne lays a foul pit of <redacted to preserve the reader’s sanity>...
- The Entropic Void: A place—or, rather, non-place—for those who feel strong, powerful, invulnerable, who have had enough fun inside the Godfeaster.
- The Maggot: The Maggot, the “easiest” place among those mentioned, is about to eat an entire fortress the first time we get to meet it. This should say quite a lot.
Four-glyph sequences, randomly generated on each new run, egress codes can be found throughout Eyal, hidden in the scenery, inscribed in pieces of lore, included among the spoils of a fight. They can be entered at the Occult Egress to open portals to secret locations, revealing artifact or even to alter the mechanics of the game.
Entropy & Insanity
The talents of the Demented metaclass, introduced in Forbidden Cults, are based on insanity, a new resource that has the property of being replenished with use and gradually depleted by lack thereof. While other classes may suffer from insuficient rest, there is such a thing as resting too much when it comes to Cultists of Entropy and Writhing Ones, who need to find ways to keep their insanity from getting too low between fights.
The former must also manage the entropy they manipulate: using their talents or having direct healing applied to them builds up an entropic backlash that reduces their health every turn, as mentioned, but this is something to be directed rather than an intrynsecally bad effect—the backlash intensifies some skills, for example, it can be passed on to foes and even serve as a buffer against damage, spreading otherwise immediate harm over multiple turns.
Main article: Forbidden Tomes
Forbidden tomes are fixed artifacts that can be described as immersive pieces of lore. Not unlike the dreams in the Dogroth Caldera, these volumes allows the player to assume control of those whose memories they record, live through the challenge they faced, and earn a reward in case of successful completion—the reward being consistent with the difficulty each tome: they range from mildly to highly difficult and from innocuous to lethal.
Forbidden Cults also includes a number of other additions worth mentioning at least in passing:
- A new corrupted element, scourge, and the corresponding wyrmic talent tree;
- A new unlockable cosmetic option, the glass golem;
- And, of course, a number of new achievements, artifacts, creatures, events, and lore.