The Four Gates
Roughly 130 years ago, the Swa Nazmul rose to secret prominence within four of the noble houses of Tanglestone. The Swa Nazmul, or Four Gates, was a cultic philosophy devoted to discovering the secrets of the Outside through four named gates: Forbidden Desires, Forbidden Freedoms, Forbidden Knowledge and Forbidden Power. The movement began as a simple desire to push beyond the walls of Tanglestone, but was rapidly corrupted by the abyssal powers it invoked.
Ten years passed before the excesses of the Four Gates bled out and were noticed by the other noble houses. After a quick investigation revealed just how grotesque the corruption had become, a small civil war broke out among the Manses. The Battlemen and Night Sweepers were called in to fight alongside the prosecuting houses of Crimson, Cerulean and Slate. Umber and Ochre were struck down almost entirely, and their Manses sealed; Magenta and Verdigris received new lord-knights and were allowed to retain their colors, although their numbers were much reduced. Though it wasn’t publicized, some members of the infected houses that seemed to have only peripheral contact with the cults were sent to the Spires, there to purify themselves and throw off the last of the abyssal influence.
The Gate of Forbidden Desires: Centered in House Magenta. Associated with the Demon King of Obscenity, Pulshuga. This Gate focused on drawing out the most decadent urges of its members and sating them, sometimes with grotesque summoned vessels of lust. It was one of the more exclusive of the four cults, drawing in only those from Magenta who were deemed sufficiently worthy to join its infernal debauchery.
The Gate of Forbidden Freedoms: Centered in House Umber. Associated with the Demon King of Corrosion, Hathaphon. This Gate was powered by the desire to cast off all manner of shackles and explore the Outside’s possibilities. What it became was perversion; its devotees manifested their pursuit of freedom in a surprising number of ways. Some twisted their own bodies into new configurations; some practiced mind-twisting sorceries of the psyche. The Gate overtook almost the entirety of House Umber, leading to the sealing of their Manse.
The Gate of Forbidden Knowledge: Centered in House Verdigris. Associated with the Demon King of Sorcery, Kabaoth. This Gate focused on lore of things Outside, and many of its devotees were stricken with a wasting madness by things that should not have been learned. The cult was one of the more exclusive of the Four, recruiting only those from Verdigris who were cunning enough to discover the cult and pass its initiatory riddles.
The Gate of Forbidden Power: Centered in House Ochre. Associated with the Demon King of Rapacity, Rathaka. This Gate drew on its devotees’ lust for power, both physical and sorcerous. The cultists were particularly difficult to bring down, and the greatest portion of casualties suffered by enemies of the Four Gates fell in House Ochre. Almost the entirety of the Ochre were drawn into the Gate of Forbidden Power, leading to the sealing of their Manse.