Sarkicism Hub

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A seal discovered among the pages of a Sarkic grimoire. Of singular significance, variations of the seal (and its individual symbols) have been found at Sarkic sites around the world.

Sarkicism (derived from the Greek σάρξ, or “flesh”) is a religious/philosophical system that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to “Grand Karcist Ion”1, its deified founder. Adherents practice ritual cannibalism, human sacrifice, corporeal augmentation, thaumaturgy, dimensional manipulation, and the formation of pacts with otherworldly entities. Organic manipulation has allowed certain Sarkites to achieve anomalous states of being, transcending the physical limitations of baseline humans.

Highly secretive, the general public appears to have little to no direct knowledge of their existence. Some organizations are aware of them, such as the Global Occult Coalition and the Horizon Initiative, while the Church of the Broken God views them in apocalyptic terms2. Though it hinders investigation, their clandestine nature is ultimately beneficial to the preservation of normalcy.

Disease is often viewed with reverence and Sarkic shrines have been discovered with offerings of swollen lymph nodes and tumorous growths. Certain Sarkic cults treat contagions as consecration, a means to "cull the weak" and purify the masses, and thus actively seek to ensure their spread. Most but not all Sarkites display an inherent resistance to pathogens, though it remains unknown if this is an anomalous or naturally occurring attribute.

Sarkic anomalies are not without risk to their users. While Sarkites are able to augment themselves into physically superior forms, it has been shown that such alterations (or perhaps, the secret truths they come to learn along their path to apotheosis) have a degenerative influence on mental stability. The exact cause of this remains unexplained but it is most exemplified among known karcists, who frequently display symptoms of psychosis.

The Foundation divides known Sarkic cults into two distinct strands: Proto-Sarkic and Neo-Sarkic.3 Proto-Sarkic cults tend to be found in insular communities throughout Eurasia's most isolated regions, its followers generally impoverished (if self-reliant), humble, and apprehensive towards outsiders. Such groups commonly eschew modernity, display acute technophobia, and are bound by superstition and taboo. In contrast, Neo-Sarkic cults are usually cosmopolitan, publicly embracing modernity and showing no apparent qualms with technology; their public lives differing little from others of their culture and social status. Adherents are primarily affluent families, rich in history and scandal. Both generally follow a single creed whose core beliefs include the following concepts:

The belief that an individual can ascend to godhood. It appears that Sarkicism regards Grand Karcist Ion (and to a lesser extent, his Klavigar) as a being who has undergone apotheosis. For the Proto-Sarkite, apotheosis will be achieved in time and only through Ion. For the Neo-Sarkite, it almost appears that if one had the ability to usurp Ion - it is their right (if not duty) to do so. The path to apotheosis is equal to the will to power.
The will to power is the primary driving force of man. The individual seeks to master all things within its domain, exerting the direction of power (efficacy) while other individuals do the same, often in opposition. Will is to power as form is to matter; in turn, "desire is the measure of all things"4.
The sacramental consumption of a god. Sarkicism holds that there are many gods in the universe (none of which they worship) and that these entities can be "devoured" in some fashion. Adherents ultimately believe that this parasitic relationship (whether literal or allegorical) is the primary source of their thaumaturgical abilities.
Among Proto-Sarkic cults, this appears to manifest as the sacrifice of the self for the benefit of the many; Neo-Sarkic cults, in stark contrast, believe in the sacrifice of the many for the benefit of the individual. Muscle suffers damage, only to heal and become stronger than before; the same can be said for the mind, through developing toleration against conventionally inconceivable things - cycles of destruction and regeneration. Strife, according to Sarkicism, is the greatest of tutors.
"To Shepherd the Flesh"
It is believed that all living things descend from a single progenitor (further explored in the Mythology section). Adherents hold that this shared ancestry6 is the key to corporeal augmentation (or "Lihakut'ak"); further suggesting a singular understanding of genetics, cloaked beneath layers of mysticism. It is the right of the Sarkite to guide and cultivate organic matter. The most skilled fleshcrafters are able to steal the genes of other lifeforms or create entirely new ones.

Most Proto-Sarkic sects believe that Ion has achieved or is in the process of achieving apotheosis and, upon the completion of his metamorphosis, will destroy this "flawed, stillborn" universe and remake it into a paradise known as the “Ikunaan”, where the many will at long last know salvation and joy "beneath rose-colored skies". There are, however, other sects that believe that Ion is dead, having martyred himself to protect humanity from the machinations of the gods.

Neo-Sarkic cults notably diverge from this interpretation, regarding Ion with a certain amount of indifference. Their only concern is apotheosis, to become like the gods through the acquisition of power, the development of skill, and the severing of ethical tethers that limit the potential of the individual. The Grand Karcist is not viewed as a prophet or a messianic figure but rather as an individual who came closest to achieving godhood. They dismiss his moral teachings as weakness, ignoring much of the old scripture in favor of rituals they might exploit.

While Neo-Sarkites and Proto-Sarkites share a common mythology and many of the same practices, it may be best to see them as distinct religions. To Proto-Sarkites, Neo-Sarkites are heretical, if not utterly profane - more an ideology/philosophy that has appropriated elements of the true faith. This renders Neo-Sarkites especially dangerous, as they lack the ethical and moral restraints7 common among the older traditions - perhaps going so far as to be its antithesis. There is evidence that Neo-Sarkites have gone so far as to make pacts with the otherworldly beings (Archons) that Ion once preached against.

Sarkites are known to speak and write in the Adytite language (an introduction to Old Adytite is available here), which itself appears to be a syncretism of Proto-Uralic, Indo-European (possibly Daevite), and γλῶσσαχάος8 but primarily Proto-Uralic. Practitioners of Sarkicism do not actually refer to themselves as "Sarkic" - the term a pejorative employed by the ancient Mekhanites9 for their enemies. Thought to be their true name, it was adopted by the Global Occult Coalition and later by the Foundation as part of Project: Sitra Achra. In truth, Sarkic cultists refer to their belief system as Nälkä10 and under no circumstances are Foundation agents to use "sarkic" or its derivatives when infiltrating related cults.

Through adopting Mekhanite terminology, the Foundation and GOC have unwittingly perpetuated the "FLESH/MEKHANE" cosmic narrative of the CotBG11 which is an inaccurate and gross simplification of Sarkicism. While this document aims to recognize and correct previous errors, "Sarkic" (and its derivatives) remains a normative part of the Foundation lexicon.

Ultimately, it is feared that the Foundation and GOC know only a fraction of what Sarkicism entails and what its followers intend. Based on available information, the speculated goals of Sarkic cults nevertheless represent an SK-class dominance shift, including the possibility of an XK-class end-of-the-world scenario.

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