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This article contains major plot details about the game.

"Buncha old boys doing their damndest to protect their own and their neighbors."

— Cult member describing themselves

The Cult is a mysterious, anonymous group that worships the god-like creature, the Black Goat.

Theology

The cult has a belief system based on the worship of the chotonic Black Goat. It was apparently started when people began to abandon the city. The older people of the town were saddened at this. They tried turning to the Church for answers, but they felt unfulfilled. Eventually, one of these people "heard the song" of this god, and was compelled to bring others to follow it. It appears to have a theology similar to the godhead of the old country from which Mae's grandfather tells stories from.

The cult seems to worship a being closely based off an "Outer god" from the Cthulhu mythos named Shub-Niggurath, also know as "The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young Ones", from the paranormal aspects of the Black Goat, to the barbaric blood sacrifices for luck and fertility is further supporting this theory.

Role

The Cult Punishment

The Cult seeking to sacrifice Lurv

Doodle Eide1

Mae's doodle of Eide

The Cult serves as the unknown antagonist of the game up till when Mae and the band go to the abandoned mine. There, they witness the gruesome scene of the Cult members gathered around one of their members, Lurv, who is laying on the ground, pleading for mercy because of his mistakes, such as leaving the arm in front of the Clik-Clak. All of the members are wearing the same cloaked outfit. Strangely, only Eide wears a miner's helmet despite the entire group sharing a connection to the coal mine.

The Cult proceeds to tear Lurv away from a rock he was trapped under, which resulted in a damaged leg. Mae accidentally makes a noise, which alerts the Cult of their presence. The supposed "leader" of the Cult calls out Mae's name, and she and her friends flee from the scene. Several Cult members give chase and barely manage to shoot Mae in the arm, making her fall down the cliff and causing her head trauma.

The Cult Confrontation

The Band confronts the Cult

Later on, Mae ventures alone over the fence, still injured and comes across Eide. Until Gregg shoots him with a crossbow, and soon he, Angus, and Bea head back to the abandoned mine with Mae to explore. There they find the Cult members on the other side of a deep hole, AKA "The Hole at The End of Everything." They apologize to Mae for accidentally harming her, as it was not their intention. However, Eide was angry after Gregg shot him in the shoulder, stating that they should be killed. One of the members calls out against Eide, stating "He will do no such thing." The Cult members explain that the Black Goat resides within the hole and that it is the reason for Mae's odd dreams. They tell Mae and her friends that the Black Goat doesn't speak, but instead sings and that Mae was one of the few to hear it.

The Cult leader explains that they wished to make everything better for the economy and that they needed the Black Goat to do so. They state that sacrifices had to be made to appease the god-like creature, and they only took people who wouldn't be missed. They admit to Casey Hartley being one of those sacrificed. This makes Gregg furious and he threatens to shoot with his crossbow, yet is forced to drop it when several of the Cult members raise their guns at him.

Eventually, Mae and her friends are allowed to leave unharmed. As they step off the lift, Eide suddenly appears, grabs Mae's leg and proceeds to pull her back down with the rest of the cult. Gregg, Bea, and Angus pull on Mae as she kicks the miners cap off of Eide. The lift begins to break down and soon plummets back down into the mine, resulting in Eide's arm getting chopped off . It is suspected that the Cult is trapped down in the mine. In the Gregg ending of the game Mae and Gregg question whether or not the Cult might escape. Gregg states that they would find out soon enough.

Named members

The cultists try to spook Mae, saying anyone she meets in town might be one of them, implying she'd better watch her back. However, they aren't as anonymous as they think: the cultists let several names slip during the course of the encounter. (While it's possible they are cautious enough to use code names, a lot of these lines are spoken while the cult don't realise they're being overheard.)

Outside the mine

Four cultists are named in the cutscene outside the mine. At this point the cultists have no reason to believe anyone's listening (second unnamed speaker: "ain't noone can hear you this far out").

  • Lurv: Is being dealt with by the other cultists, probably by being dragged inside and fed to the entity. Male. Seen on the ground in front of the mine with a trapped and badly broken leg: he probably either was drugged and dragged there by the others, or was already there, had his leg crushed in an accident and fell unconscious (first unnamed speaker: "Ah hell he's awake already. Anyone got any juice?"). Lurv was the one who "screwed this whole thing up" by leaving the severed arm in front of the Clik Clak, leading the cultists to worry the town will suffer for it. Lurv has family consisting of "Jeanie and the girls", presumably his wife and daughters, whom the other members promise will be properly cared for. All this information is easily enough for Mae and the others to identify Lurv among the townspeople, meaning that even by this point, the cult is in more danger than they think.
  • Dave: Among the cultists dealing with Lurv; Lurv appeals to him by name for mercy; the second unnamed speaker then asks Dave to hold Lurv still while they free the trapped leg. Owing to the positioning, the first unnamed speaker could be Dave, since he's close to Lurv's feet.
  • Rick: Among the cultists dealing with Lurv; Lurv appeals to him by name for mercy.
  • Bennie: Among the cultists dealing with Lurv; Lurv appeals to him by name for mercy.

Inside the mine

When Mae faces off with the cult they name another member.

  • Eide: Seems to have been the one Mae saw kidnapping the out-of-town kid at Harfest. Said to have been able to walk through walls as a result of powers gifted by the black goat, which was how he passed the fence. Strongly implied to have been the one following Mae, and uniquely among the cultists, is wearing the same strange headgear the 'ghost' did. Shot by Gregg.

Mentioned

  • Ed Skudder: Founding member. Said to be able to walk through walls. It's implied Eide has this ability too, and used it to get through the fence.

They also have a base/church with what appears to be pews down in the mine.

Trivia

  • It is possible that the Cult was formed from the group of miners who banded together long ago after tearing out their boss's teeth. The newspapers in the Library explain how each miner would hold onto a tooth from the boss until they died, and the tooth would be passed on to a new generation. But the dialogue of the Cult leader implied that the Cult started sometime during or after the 1990s makes this theory dubious.
  • The options for Mae's grandfather's chosen quote at the beginning of the game hints at his knowledge of the cult, suggesting possible involvement with the ritual.
  • Eide is the only member of the cult to stand out, as he wears a mining helmet. He can apparently travel through walls as a reward for his services, hence how he got through the fence at Harfest. And in-game, his coat can be seen waving through the wind.
  • As stated by the only member of the cult that keeps count, they have thrown 39 individuals into the hole.
  • The Cult seems to be foreshadowed at least twice very early in the game. The first instance is when Mae meets Gregg in the Snack Falcon the day after she returns, as during their back-and-forth banter, Gregg says, "Too bad you didn't join a murdercult." The second instance is during the first night watching Garbo & Malloy with Mae's dad, as during the segue to the next off-screen segment, Malloy says, "Coming up next: Garbo and I join a cult!" Another possible case is early in the game when Selmers was giving Mae her spiel for selling beauty products Mae asks if she joined a cult.