The primal hunger that compels all creatures to hunt carries two aspects. The first is that of the survivor, the will to carry on that demands another must die so that the self can eat. It is impartial, cold, factual. It does not delight in the kill, but knows that it is necessary. Life must continue, so food must be found. A weaker beast is culled so that the strong survive. It does not care for the emotions of the hunt, it is merely the means to the end.
Yan-Thuum is the other aspect. There is nothing cold about the being known as Yan-Thuum to those occultists who have rediscovered its existence, Yan-Thuum is an entity of vicious heat. The heat is starvation, cruelty, anger, sadistic pleasure. It is the singing in the veins of the hunter as it closes on its prey, the absolute knowledge of superiority over a lesser creature. Yan-Thuum kills not for food, but for dominance. It eats of the flesh of prey not to salve mere hunger, but to affirm that it is deadlier than any that dare oppose it, that it is the overlord of its domain. All lesser creatures pay homage to Yan-Thuum, not out of a vain hope that they will not be chosen to be hunted, but on the offhand chance that another’s prayers will be seen as less fervid and will be devoured in their stead.
Thus is the cult of Yan-Thuum one of ecstasy, of the devout constantly trying to outdo their rivals in shows of devotion to the entity that will end them all in time. The shadows where these fanatics walk are often tinged the sickly brown-red of dried blood, for in the throes of worship the cultists have been known to turn on one another with blades, teeth, nails, anything capable of properly debasing their fellows in a show of piety. It is not unknown for members of the fringe group, caught up in the drugs and rituals, to consume the fallen in an orgy of violence. These tortured souls are almost always insensate and mad when they come to, a state that the cult attributes to their weak flesh being ridden by Yan-Thuum itself. These shells of human beings are kept in highest reverence, for theirs are the forms that have known the touch of the All-Consuming-Maw. Those few that remain more or less intact after such an ordeal will leave the cult and found their own chapter, chased through cities and countries by awed supplicants. It is in this way that they have come to be found through much of the civilized world.
The less said about the chapters of the cult found in the untamed wilds of the land, the better.
-From “Religions of the North,” a journal by Hadric Luistoter