Playing With / Religion of Evil

Basic Trope: A dark religion devoted to an evil entity that makes no effort to hide its true intentions.
  • Straight: The dark Cult of Azaaroth wears black cloaks and spills the blood of virgins in tribute to their dark god.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: The Cult of Azaaroth promotes selfishness, amorality, and wearing dark clothes, and they describe their god in spooky terms.
  • Justified:
    • Azaaroth is a malevolent God of Evil worshipped by the Evil Empire and has no need to disguise his true intentions.
    • Alternately, the religion was originally imagined by panicked Moral Guardians, and was taken up by an oppressed minority as a method of rebelling. (See also: Satanism.)
    • Azaaroth is merely an excuse. The members are simply trying to make their evil seem meaningful and holy.
    • The cult is scared shitless of Azaaroth, and wishes to placate him so that they might receive what little mercy the dark god is capable of showing.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The Cult of Azaaroth seem to be scary black-robed cultists, but instead turn out to be death-worshippers who wish to ease the suffering of the living.
  • Double Subverted: ...but their method of ending all suffering is an Ancient Conspiracy to extinguish all life.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: The Cult of Azaaroth seem to be scary cultists. But they have good intentions. But they achieve their good goals via torture and human sacrifice. But it turns out the "torture" is really Training from Hell, allowing the "sacrifice victims" to voluntarily Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. But when they get there, they're conscripted into a war of angels vs demons— and both sides claim to be the angels.
  • Averted: Evil deities have no worshippers at all, or else there are no devil deities in the universe.
  • Enforced: The work is an Author Tract against religion.
  • Lampshaded: "Are these guys even trying to hide their balls-out villainy? How are they getting converts?"
  • Invoked: A Chaotic Evil Hedonist starts a cult of excess and wanton cruelty, the better to partake of these himself and attract like-minded allies.
  • Exploited: A Chaotic Evil [The Hedonist Hedonist]] joins the Cult of Azaaroth to apply a religious justification to his evil deeds.
  • Defied: An evil cult starts operating in an area, but the locals quickly take note and just as quickly extirpate it from the land.
  • Discussed: "You remember the rhyme - 'If cloaked all in red, just aim for the head'? The Darklight priests only wear red".
  • Conversed: "All those skulls on that temple had to come from somewhere; you'd think someone would have noticed and, you know, asked them to leave some for the rest of us".
  • Deconstructed:
    • The "evil cult" and the Most Popular Religion that fight them are actually two denominations of the same religion that worship the same god in different ways. Each side sees themselves striving for good and fighting evil...
    • The Cult of Azaaroth began as a brutal, vicious, bloodthirsty religion... but since Azaaroth is nowhere to be seen, the religion eventually goes mainstream and, to attract converts, slowly turns into a Lighter and Softer version of itself. Red wine substitutes for blood, unpleasant tenets are explained away as complex metaphors or swept under the rug, sacrifices are replaced by plays in which nobody actually gets hurt, and the few traditionalists who still bother with skulls at all use ceramic ones instead instead of the real deal...
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...And then one side starts using "spiritually pure" Child Soldiers as magically enhanced Tyke Bomb armies.
    • ...Which is what the true worshippers of Azaaroth, who have seen him, intended so that they can continue to worship sacrifice people while the Lighter and Softer religion acts as a front for there true activities.

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