Hello spicy people of the internet My name is @StandUpPoet AKA sexy sleep paralysis and to celebrate the release of Ravnica Allegiance let’s answer the question: How the bloody heck does the cult of Rakdos stay in business? The cult of Rakdos is one of the five ravnican guilds represented in Ravnica Allegiance Magic the gathering’s most recent set The guild was first established by its paron of the same name: the demon Rakdos and has a long history of bloodshed Chaos and general nastiness. Each guild on Ravnica has its own job and purpose within the plane lawmakers, biomancers, Tories, etc according to the Magic the Gathering Wiki The cult of Rakdos “attends to [the] menial labor and service industry” which, in the world of Ravnica includes entertainment, catering, and assassinations. It says a lot about a group of people when the notion of them catering for anyone is a lot more disturbing than their literal murder squads. As part of their entertainment duties the cult of Rakdos put on shows, organises festive riots, and performs… er “Specialised Services” Now, if you’re not familiar with the cult of Rakdos, throughout this video you may have noticed that a large number of the cards and art I’ve showcased depicts people really not having a nice or safe time. For example this art, which depicts a church being raided by the three scariest creatures known to man: Devils, Clowns and… Children. Comes from the card “Havoc Festival”, a name which implies that this mass-murdering spectacle is a celebration of some kind rather than some random riot. Indeed Many of the cards associated with the Rakdos extol the virtues of pain being a source of great fun, pleasure, even enlightenment. But this does beg the question: if everyone’s so aware that the cult of Rakdos’ entertainment often results in painful death, why do people keep going and how does the cult stay in business? I mean, I don’t know exactly how good the Demon Lord Rakdos’ credit score is, But I’m pretty sure it’s low enough that he can’t apply for any small business loans. In order to answer the question: [Flames and Screaming]
“HOW ON EARTH does Rakdos stay in business? There are SO many health violations here!” Firstly, let us compare the Cult of Rakdos’ murder circuses and brain stabbing with our own real world entertainment. Whilst here in “reality” things are obviously a lot safer, we still enjoy witnessing carnage. From boxing to moster trucks, from playing violent video games to torturing ourselves By purposefully watching irredeemable movies like Vanilla Sky and,- That is the only unredeemable movie. Don’t watch Vanilla Sky. Don’t do it. Don’t do it to yourself it- Oh, oh it HURT. It hurt to watch that movie. We as human beings love a bit of violence and a good number of Rakdos’ shows are just real-world forms of entertainment with a slightly more Cenobite esque spin. the Gore-House Chainwalker and Hackrobat are just really heavy metal tightrope walkers. The Rix Maadi Reveler and Blade Juggler are just that: jugglers. Jagged Poppet and Carnage Gladiator are just super illegal MMA fighters. A large number of these entertainers wouldn’t go amiss in our real world underground and it’s easy to see why the citizens of Ravnica may get sucked in by the more… “understandable” forms of entertainment. As Tajic of the Boros Legion says: [Deep guitars twang over evil laughter]
“It’s easy to get taken in by the spectacle, to enjoy a bit of naughty amusement, but make no mistake. The Cult of Rakdos is a danger”… Don’t- Don’t know why Tajic, kind of, began turning into a New York cop there, but you know, we’ll go with it. Whatever, he’s got a cool sword. So that explains at least some of Rakdos’ entertainment But what about the parts of Rakdos entertainment that push the boundaries of dangerous fun into sadistic murder games? I keep using the word murder I want you to understand just how much this cult murders. They murder- They murder so much. Now, it’s important to remember the context in which most Ravnican’s exist. In this world, one single guild (The Azorius) presides over the vast majorities of laws throughout the entire plane. Their laws are highly authoritarian as we can see in the flavour text of cards such as: “Inaction Injunction” which showcases an Azorius arrestor detaining a Rakdos cultist with the Azorius Arrester motto: “To prevent action is to prevent transgression” Cards such as angelic edict show the lengths other guilds must go to in order to enact their own laws with the Boros Legion having to build a prison in the sky just to escape Azorius jurisdiction. In such a world the idea that there is a place or even, let’s say, a cult which promises absolute freedom to enjoy whatever terrible pleasures you may desire may seem like a particularly attractive offer to many Almost to enhance the comparison between the Azorius and the Rakdos both guilds have always been printed together whenever a set of Ravnica themed cards is released forever reminding the players of the polar opposite of law and chaos. So that’s why people may go and see Rakdos events but what about the people who run the events, who put their lives on the line? What causes, as Lyzolda the Blood Witch’s is flavour text suggests, “cheering cultists” to beg to be the next sacrifice “before an audience”? The answer to this comes all the way back to the parun of the Rakdos, Rakdos himself. I keep saying “Rak-Doughs” and then “Rak-Dos”. I c- I think “Rak-Dos” is singular, “Rak-Doughs” is plural. This isn’t in the script. I’m just having a minor internal conflict with my own utilisation of language. It is clear that the demon feeds on the chaos and bloodshed of his servants as we can see from direct quotes from the demon himself [A heavy metal orchestra blasts out a war like theme]
“RAGE, MY SERVANTS. OUR ANCIENT POWER IS RENEWED IN BLOOD.” [Cough]
God, that hurt. This aspect of Rakdos, the idea that ancient power can be brought back by bloodshed, is encapsulated perfectly in his Return to Ravnica, card Rakdos, Lord of Riots who will: A) Only show up to the party if your opponent has lost life this turn, and B) Effectively gives you vast free mana provided you’re dealing enough damage to other people. Rakdos also has a very, self-centered, megalomaniacal streak. On the Magic the Gathering official website, it also says that “when Rakdos is awake, he is the undisputed centre of attention… and it is an orgy of bloodletting and mayhem.” [An OneyNG voice from the back of the room chimes in]
“Oh wow that’s pretty edgy, dude.” This side of Rakdos can be seen in his most recent iteration, Rakdos, The Showstopper who demands that you entertain him whilst he toys with every non-demon, imp and devil creature with coin flips that will decide their doom. With such a powerful master who demands attention and promises power in exchange for pain and death It’s of little surprise that an army of servants would willingly give their lives to the cause of their parun. It also doesn’t hurt that the first step you need to take to officially join the Cult of Rakdos is, as the flavor text on sire of insanity suggests, to “become mindless lunatics”. As for when Rackdos slumbers for days at a time in this lava pit, to nurse the blood orgy hangover, the official Magic the Gathering website says that the base of operations for the cult, Rix Maadi, “becomes political and manipulative as… blood witches vie for control”. With the previous statement that the Cult of Rakdos runs assassinations as part of their services, It’s not unreasonable to imagine that, whilst there shows wind down during Rakdos’ naps, the cult makes Bank on quieter but equally evil and lucrative endeavours. And when Rakdos wakes up, the festival of blood begins again, during which the clown murdering gets into full swing, bodies are looted, stores are pillaged, and everyone probably skips out on rent for a couple of days. So there you have it a quick explanation of how the cult of Rakdos maintains a workforce, an audience, and an income. And if my multiple pronunciations of “Rak-Doughs” and “Rak-Dos” have been making you uncomfortable throughout this entire video then blame Wizards of the Coast. It is very unclear how I’m supposed to be saying that word. Thank you for watching this episode of the Spice 8 Rack and, as always if you have any compliments, questions, or critiques leave a like and a comment below. Stay spicy.