The Unusual Suspects
High Priest of the Cult of the Nile
Quotes: “My master is Sobek. The ancient Egyptians knew him, and he is here again.”
Description: This African American man has a shaved head and powerful features. His eyes are black, as if the pupils have expanded to fill the irises. Patches of skin on his head and bare arms look rough, and he scratches at them with short fingers. He wears a black tank top and cargo pants.
Daniel Montgomery is an African American man whom society has failed.
Daniel’s parents raised him well, and he was a good kid, but the world just kept taking from him. It took his mom, who died of a coronary complication when Daniel was 13. His father grew distant and depressed afterward, neglecting his son and paying more attention to his bottle. A couple years later, he died of liver failure.
Daniel bounced around among foster homes and government institutions for two years after that, always finding people who didn’t care about him, who were looking for a tax break or someone to drive their kids around or a bit of extra income from another job. Finally, Daniel was 18 and on his own. He had graduated high school but had no money; he worked at the local grocery store, and his pay was just enough for a meager apartment and food. He took public transportation to get around the city.
Six months later, a large corporate grocery chain purchased the local store and laid off Daniel. Walking home after cashing his last check, he was mugged. The man took the last of his money. Daniel returned home. A week later, someone robbed his apartment and stole everything of partial value Daniel owned, including a wooden music box his mother had given him.
Through all his hardships, Daniel gritted his teeth and survived. Finally he became homeless and bitter, but he never turned to drugs or alcohol, and he never stole except when he was forced to do so in order to eat. He lived on the street for five years.
Finally, Daniel had a stroke of luck. He answered an ad in a discarded newspaper, and a wealthy family in an affluent suburb hired him as their groundskeeper/handyman. He lived in a studio apartment above their garage. He had at last received a leg up, the start of the good things he deserved.
Of course, it was not to be. Two weeks later, the family fired Daniel for flirting with their daughter (he was black and poor, they were white and rich). The sky poured rain, and they threw Daniel and his few possessions out in it.
Sometime after that he discovered the Crocodile Tunnels and Sabek. He became his preist and gained dark powers through his faith.
Daniel became the head of a small cult dedicated to what the cultists think is Sobek, believing that if they offer prayers and sacrifices to the god, he will grant them favors. Daniel and his followers descended into depravity, and gained mad pleasure in doing so.
He led perhaps 30 people. Most were poor and live in Eastlake, where the sewers often back up. The cultists fall into three categories. Some are those like Daniel, who feel their turn has arrived; they want to take something from the society and the world that has taken so much from them. Another segment of the cult wants to feel a connection to other people, and the cult is a perverse way to do that; these are lonely people looking to belong, and by bad luck or obscure manipulation, discovered the cult. Finally, some cultists use the cult’s — and Sobek’s — influence to further their personal ambitions.
However, while these people may once have been good, honest (if bitter and disgruntled) folks, that time is over. In their attempts to appease Sobek and do his bidding, they cross moral lines that they cannot re-cross. For one, they try to keep Sobek’s children happy and full. To this end, the cultists capture homeless people, drifters, prostitutes and other undesirables and feed them to the alligators.
But now Daniel has fled, terrified by Joseph Mutsinzi and his demonic powers. The cult lacks a strong leader and will soon crumble.