Dungeon World: Exodus
‘Know fear. Know yourself. Know nothing.’ – Tenet of Gatt
The origins of Gatt stretch back into the darker realms of history – the old days of living shadows and madness that crept at night and struck at the soul. His domain is nowhere, everywhere, inside the worst secrets and deepest fears inside the mortal mind, always watching, always waiting.
Commonly, if someone were ever to try and put a face to the name, many portray Gatt as two phosphorescent eyes in a pitch black night, undercut by a wide, toothy, knowing grin.
Few worship Gatt out of choice, often they turn to him out of desperation, when healers and other priests fail. Some are tormented by nightmares, others by visions and portents of the future, or some other, damned vision of a world beyond our own. Those that actively worship Gatt chiefly work to sift through these broken and twisted individuals, seeking glimpses of the future like a miner sifts for gold in river grit. Sometimes, of course, a little encouragement with the tip of a knife can make those nuggets of gold shine a little bit brighter…that’s where the Silent Spiral comes into play.
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While Gatt worshippers tend not to employ the use of a single holy icon, many associate the Night Spiral, a downward-pointing triangle which spirals into itself, with supplicating Gatt for respite from whatever nightmares or visions trouble their souls. Typically painted above beds or carved into jewellery, the truly devout (or desperate) may attempt to carve the Night Spiral into their own flesh in a final bid for an end to their torment.
The only temple known of Gatt is located within the city of Wall, a long, flat clay structure resembling a badly baked loaf, known as the Maw Of Gatt. Entering through the wide, low ‘mouth’, the interior of the temple is at the same time draughty, yet warm. Quiet, yet whispers carry incessantly, muddled into impossible reverberations. The High Omenseer, the High Priest and the Chief Inducer share responsibility for the running and ministrations of ‘care’, but are themselves rather reviled by civilised society for their manic, darting eyes and jabbering speech, not to mention, y’know, all the torture and worshipping a god of madness.
Prayers & Practices
Much, if any, worship of Gatt is predominantly supplication and votive offerings in exchange for peace from whatever malady of the mind affects them. Besides from the Night Spiral, used to provide protections from nightmares and madness, Gatt is used often as a bogeyman to ward away children from staying up late, or seeking knowledge forbidden to them. The most commonly known and used story is Plump-Toed Tom:
A boy called Tom was a spoilt little boy
and a spoilt little boy was Tom.
Who played all day and he ate all night
and never once was told was wrong.
And he never was told of tales of old,
and of the tastes of the one called Gatt.
For Tom played with the stags and dined on sweet roes,
and for that he had ten tiny plump little toes.
So when he slept, tucked up in his bed,
he didn’t cover his soft little feet.
And one dark night when the moon was done,
Gatt went wandering for his favourite treat.
And he nipped and he stripped and he ate and he tore,
all ten of those plump little toes,
and spoilt little Tom, my darling child,
played with the stags no more.