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The Brotherhood of the Skin (also known as the Brothers of the Skin) are a fanatical secret society of malicious killers that first appeared in the Horror on the Orient Express campaign and they are one of the many antagonistic groups in the Cthulhu Mythos genre by author H. P. Lovecraft.
The Brothers of the Skin are a secretive and greatly feared cult that worships The Skinless One avatar of Nyarlathotep, one the feared immortal dark beings known as the Outer Gods. The main cult is based is based in Istanbul but some foreign members have established smaller sub cults all across Europe. The cult was formed during the 19th century, by the scholar and future cult leader; Selim Markyat. As of 1920 the Brothers have became increasingly engaged in the search for the Sedefkar Simulacrum.
The headquarters of the cult are situated under the ruined Red Mosque in Old Stanboul. There the Brothers perform their gruesome deeds away from the prying eyes of the normal citizens. Many of the cult's ceremonies revolve around the skinning and mutilating of their still living victims. Once every decade the Brothers engage in a huge ritual to summon the Skinless One, during which up to one hundred freshly flayed human sacrifices are offered to their god.
Some of the high ranking cult members extend their lives through the use of the Transfer Organ Spell. This method is not without its drawbacks since the users are left with a large amount of unsightly scars. At times of great importance or danger the Brothers sometimes create a powerful creature known as a Skin Beast to destroy the cult's enemies or act as a guardian. The creation of such a being is considered a particularly holy event for the Brothers and only the most pious acolytes may take part in the ritual.
Very few records and documents concerning this particular cult exist. Through the use of skin grafts and body changing magicks, the Brothers are masters at espionage. It is rumoured that they have agents installed in the larger embassies in Constantinople.
Some of the more important and notable cult members are as follows
- Selim Makryat: The Cult's founder.
- Mehmet Makryat: Selim's son and the man tasked with finding the Simulacrum.
- The Duc des Esseintes: High ranking cult member, aristocrat and free lance sorcerer
- Arturo Faccia: Heads a small Milanese branch of the cult.