This is the fourth installation of a series of posts recording the information contained within my prophetic dreams, the knowledge imparted to me by Drk Nakull, the Dark Tomato God of Fury. In this post the scope will finally focus in on the actual followers of the Tomato Lord himself, the people of the Kull Empire.
The Kull Empire:
The Kull Empire is relatively knew as a global power in Dall, as is the widespread worship of Drk Nakull (the coincidence of which should come as no surprise). The Empire came to power via a series of violent battles uniting the formerly diverse city states of the southern regions into a single world power. Despite their diverse origins the Kull now stand as a passionately unified ethnicity. The Kull are conquerors and expansionists and this has brought them to some conflict with the other world powers of Dall, primarily Dall Aiea. Dall Aiea views the Kull Empire as a dangerous conglomeration of religious fanatics. It should be noted that religious fanatic here is meant to imply incorrect religious practices, not simply devotion. All peoples of Dall have religion, most of them quite extreme by our standards. However all the various religions are part of a grander shared religion, the one of Aiea, discussed somewhat in earlier posts. As such the people of Dall Aiea, as the realms cultural capital, often define general global standards of religious practice. The Kull are notoriously counter to the Dallian ways and thus are seen as a threat to them. The Empire has not expanded it’s borders in many years following one of the bloodiest conflict in Dall’s history with the Dall Aieans. The aftermath of this battle has brought on an unsteady peace between the two superpowers.
The Kullic People:
As mentioned before the Kull have a diverse background, however the distinct racial features of the original conquering tribe does bestow one with some social privilege. These features are tan to dark skin, light brown hair, a stocky build, and distinctive red eyes. Facepaint and hair dye are common and often an indicator of religious devotion. Red is the choice of paint for the body, and normally green for the hair. A common haircut is the ‘vine’, where the head is kept bald save for a circular patch at the top of the head, where the hair is grown very long, and bound in a kind of ponytail. The Kull have a warrior culture and thus the image of the warrior is desirable. As Kull warriors tend to wear heavy plate armor Kull fashion often incorporates lightweight metals and clever folding of fabrics to give the impression one is wearing armor while still wearing comfortable cloth (the Empire is located in a warmer part of the world so it’s important the clothes still be breathable and light).
Culturally the Kull value strength, not so much of the body but of the mind and spirit. To outsiders the Kullic ways often seem harsh or even cruel. It is not in Kull practice to mock those who are seen as weak (mockery is perceived as a symptom of insecurity) but they can be very cold to those who show signs of dependency or a weak will. A Kull who commits suicide is never called by name again, their memory is considered unfit for public discussion. The family and friends are expected to grieve quietly and alone. Tears are not shed at Kull funerals, to do so would be to shame the departed. Evidence of this was apparent when the Tomato God spoke to me: he was amazingly disdainful and unapologetically critical of our ways. Now this is not to say any display of emotion is frowned upon or even that displays of vulnerability are always taboo. The Kull understand that mourning, depression, and other such social issues exist. But while we often treat them as things that must be accepted, the Kull see them as obstacles to overcome.
At long last we get to the heart of the matter: What does it actually mean to worship the Dark Tomato God? The Kull view anger as the most pure expression of existence. It is the motivator, the reason all things strive, and the source of strength necessary to see tasks through to completion. The Kull acknowledge many forms of rage and have different associations with them all. Of the many kinds the purest form is what the Kull call “Ashes”. This is anger that is equal in intensity to the berserker rage, when one loses control and acts out violently, but unlike the berserker rage (which the Kull call “Ignition”) it is not released in a burst. Instead it remains inside, silent, often known only to the bearer of such rage, and can remain for a long time, even a lifetime. It is said that all people must experience this rage, to find their “true hate”, in order to know their purpose and to experience fulfillment. A minority of Kull believe that hatred is a necessity of mortal existence and that if one has achieved their purpose in life then Drk Nakull will relieve their soul of the terrible burden in death. There are several holy texts, I cannot recall the exact number though I think it is seven or eight. The primary text of the lot is called the Kraiser Nakull. The tomato is holy to the Kull and the plant is grown in excess throughout the empire. Every part of the tomato is associated with it’s own distinct aspect of Kull religious belief, thus imagery of vines or fruit in Kull art and story telling cannot be fully appreciated without knowledge of these associations. Vines are often associated with holy sects and magic. The fruit is associated with the emotion of rage and the Tomato God himself. The imagery of a tomato, ablaze but not burning up, is one of the most sacred symbols. To eat a tomato is to accept a part of the Tomato God into yourself.
Drk Nakull himself, whom I spoke with in my dream, is an interesting presence. His form is tall and spindly (I would say rather Tim Burton-esque) and he dressed in dark robes. His head was a tomato, which sounds like it would be silly, and yet could not be less amusing. Within his mouth and eyes there was fire, both literally and metaphorically. From atop his head a bit of the vine is still attached, and it is covered in thorns (which I don’t think tomatoes actually have…). His voice was deeper than I thought it would be. He was well spoken but not eloquent: to the point, unapologetic, and arrogant. He spoke to me not as an equal but as though I were an object, like when you talk at a wall or shout at your computer. He is not a god frightened of public appearance: back on Dall he sent more omens, visions, miracles and the like to mortals than any other deity. His desires were without end, and it seemed odd to me that a god, who knew the full extent of his powers and rights within a greater pantheon, could so doggedly pursue goals that were impossible. Then again there is much of the god’s existence I don’t fully understand. They don’t experience reality like us so explaining their ways often makes little sense. Being in his presence however lit a fire within me, or perhaps simply threw fuel on a flame that had always been. I could and have sensed this fire within after waking from the dream. It feels like purpose though to what I couldn’t guess at. Perhaps Drk Nakull has plans for me. Perhaps he doesn’t and I simply understand the anger within me better. I have encountered the Dark Tomato God in later dreams but always fleeting and never so vivid as the first. I wonder if I will ever dream so vividly again. I hope so.
I’m not sure when I’ll next write on this subject. I’ve covered most of what was revealed to me, save for a bunch of random details and anecdotes. I suppose I’ll try to organize the less salient bits of information and make another “catch all” post.