The Witch Cult (魔女教) is an organization that allegedly worships the Witch of Envy. It was co-founded by Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti, alongside another unnamed individual.
- 1 History
- 2 Information
- 3 Sin Archbishops
- 3.1 Current
- 3.2 Former
- 4 Members
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Navigation
The Witch Cult has existed for over 400 years since the times when the witches were active. It is shrouded in secrecy and mystery thus little is know of the organizational structure and other specifics like their doctrine beyond rumors as a result. They are evil enough that knights are ordered to annihilate them immediately should they appear. Followers are elusive, their means of hiding unknown, allowing them to survive until the current time. Their purpose is rumored to be the resurrection of the Witch of Envy.
100 years ago, the Witch Cult consisted of a moderate side, led by Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti, and a radical side, led by Regulus Corneas. The two factions seemed to have been in a rather hostile relationship to each other as they entered an all-out combat during the attack on the Elior Forest.
The Witch Cult is a secret organisation in Re:Zero world, shrouded in utmost secrecy and ambiguity. It exists for well over 400 years, originating from the times when the Witches were freely roaming around the world. They seemingly operate at random, appearing out of thin air and causing damage of catastrophical proportions. They're always seen wearing jet black clerical robes with triangular hoods which have two red cutouts for the eyes and a large red symbol resembling an eye, located on their forehead. Each individual can also be seen wearing the Cult's coat of arms around their neck which takes shape of twin gold swords crossing each other on a red background, surrounded by a gold circle. They don't speak and show just the bare minimum of movements, effectively giving off a sense of distortion and abnormality; almost like a group of walking dolls. That being said, we know of some cases when regular members of the cult made their appearances as normal citizens or merchants and even interacted with Subaru and other members of the main cast.
Their numbers are unknown, just like their ultimate goal. They usually launch attacks in smaller groups, resorting to ambushes rather than outright announcing their attacks, which allows them to quickly dispatch several times larger and more skilled groups than theirs, with relative ease and minimum causalities; that being said, normal members of the Witch Cult are as expendable as the lowest ranking members of the Imperial Army. They often employ suicidal tactics, lunging themselves towards an enemy just so one would manage to avoid the incoming attacks and land a single killing blow. As opposed to their leaders, the Sin Archbishops, regular members also don't appear to be as mentally damaged and unstable, in some cases even showing some prejudice and fear when being subjected to tantrums and outbursts of anger from the likes of Sloth and Greed, respectfully. While we don't know if there are designated groups working under each of the Sin Archbishops (apart from Sloth), they do acknowledge them with the highest level of respect and are very often employed by them, even used as sacrificial pawns.
As mentioned above, Petelgeuse was the only known Sin Archbishop who organised and led a larger force, totaling a couple of hundred members. To keep their element of surprise, the Cultists were split into ten groups, each harboring about twelve members with "a finger" or ringleader being put in charge of the group. These so-called fingers were physically stronger than normal Cult members, being capable of taking on Rem solo and fighting on pretty much equal grounds. The fingers' main purpose however, was to serve as spare bodies for Sloth, in case his main body was slain. Accordingly, all 10 fingers had to be Spirit Arts users and were given a small part of the Witch Factor of Sloth through a complex ritual which allowed Petelgeuse to continue using Sloth when in their bodies. After the events of the 3rd arc, all surviving fingers were slaughtered and "opened up" by Sirius who was searching for Petelgeuse's spirit, effectively marking the end of Petelgeuse's faction.
The Cult is made up of followers at the bottom and a group of members at the top known as Sin Archbishops (大罪司教). The Sin Archbishops each govern over one of the seven sins other than Envy that the other six witches were said to represent. They are selected based on whether they are compatible with Witch Factors, and currently the representatives for Pride, Sloth and Greed are vacant. Also, each member owns a book known as the Witch Cult's Gospel (魔女教徒の福音), which shows the members a route to a future they desire through vague details. These books can only be read by the holder and appear to be incomprehensible to others. Despite their recent appearances in the Kingdom of Lugnica, the cult is actually active throughout the world with members spread out across various countries.
Regular cult members are often known to commit suicide when faced with the prospect of capture, by using mana stones embedded in their bodies to trigger poisons to keep information about the cult from leaking out. This makes them notoriously difficult to take alive without risks. Petelgeuse's fingers are an exception as they have an explosion ritual instead that only activates when they kill themselves in an effort to take out all nearby enemies with them when Petelgeuse needs to swap to a different body.
The Witch Cult was led by the Sin Archbishops who each represented one of the seven deadly sins with the exception of Envy itself. At the time of Natsuki Subaru's arrival, only the sin of Pride remained unrepresented by an Archbishop. Interestingly, most of the Sin Archbishops didn't feel any fealty towards the Witch of Envy, instead possessing their own reasons for working with the Witch Cult. Each Sin Archbishop possessed a mysterious source of power known as a Witch Factor that corelated to their respective sin. The Witch Factor would eventually blossom into a powerful ability known as an Authority which allowed its wielder to do various things depending on the sin they represented and their personality. For the most part, the Sin Archbishops despised one another and rarely if ever worked together. Each Archbishop was allowed to command lesser members of the Cult, although most of them chose to operate without support instead relying on their Authorities and wits in battle. The membership of the Sin Archbishops included Capella Emerada Lugunica of Lust, Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti of Sloth, Regulus Corneas of Greed, Sirius of Wrath. The sin of Gluttony was represented by three siblings who each took on a different aspect of Gluttony: Louis Arneb of Satiation, Lye Batenkaitos of Gourmet, and Roy Alphard of Bizarre Eating. The sin of Pride was allegedly possessed by the Vollachia nobleman Stride Vollachia, although his Authority was never demonstrated and he perished around forty years ago at the hands of the Evil Dragon Valgren.
Sin Archbishop of Wrath, Sirius
Main article: Sirius
The current Sin Archbishop of Wrath who is the most physically formidable of the Sin Archbishops. Her Authority of Wrath allows her to manipulate the emotions and sensations of others, meaning she can amplify a person's hostility level and distribute damage dealt across multiple people. Alongside Petelgeuse and Regulus, Sirius is one of the three Sin Archbishops to have inhuman longevity. Although her past is wrapped in mystery, Sirius claimed that her hometown was destroyed by Witch Hunters. She was obsessively infatuated with Petelgeuse, making her the only known Sin Archbishop to view another amicably (with the exception of the Gluttony siblings). She spent a large part of her time stalking Petelgeuse and trying to earn his affection, although he seemed to never reciprocate her feelings. Like Petelgeuse, Sirius appeared to be completely insane and barely held a grasp on reality. She viewed the Witch of Envy as a hated love rival rather than a deific figure.
During the attack on Priestella, Sirius met Natsuki Subaru after he had killed Petelgeuse and absorbed the Witch Factor of Sloth. As she knew of Petelgeuse's nature as a spirit, Sirius, who could smell the Witch Factor's scent on Subaru , presumed Subaru was her beloved's latest body and refused to accept his attempts to deny her claim. She was later captured by the Priscilla Barielle during the attack. During a subsequent interrogation with Subaru, Sirius finally understood that he was not Petelgeuse, although she still believed that Sloth lived within Subaru and was waiting to emerge.
Sin Archbishop of Lust, Capella Emerada Lugnica
Main article: Capella Emerada Lugnica
The current Sin Archbishop of Lust and the holder of the Lust Witch Factor. Her Authority of Lust allows her to transform herself into seemingly any creature or being, she has used this power to transform into a giant black dragon with golden horns, a small girl, a well endowed woman, an honest looking village girl, a multitude of field mice, and an innocent looking young girl with a lewd smile. She can also use this power defensively in order to regenerate by transforming the parts of her that are damaged into undamaged parts, she was able to heal during her battle with Al despite him "cutting off her head" and "crushing her heart". Furthermore her Authority can be used offensively by turning anyone she touches into what she desires. Capella has used this Ability to transform people into various creatures and at worst, nothing but unrecognizable lumps of flesh with no consciousness. Similarly to most of the other Archbishops her past is clouded with mystery and there is very little information about her. Although she has a popular standard appearance, with signature gold hair and red eyes, there is no confirmation that this is her actual form due to the nature of her Authority, meaning there is no hint towards her age, height or other key characteristics. Capella is shown to have the worst personality amongst the Archbishops and even responds to her fellow cultists with insults and degrading nicknames, Capella permanently speaks in an insulting tone to all of those around her and believes that all of the love in the world should be directed towards her and her alone.
Capella is also known as "Mother" and is the leader of an Assassin Organization, a organization that operates in all four countries. She appeared alongside her fellow Archbishops during the attack on Priestella, causing havoc in her famous Black Dragon form - until she ultimately duelled Al and fled after the Cult's defeat. However, she caused severe damage with the use of her Authority before leaving, causing many civilians stuck as flies, chunks of meat or even dragons.
Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Roy Alphard
Main article: Roy Alphard
One of the three Sin Archbishops who were jointly the most recent representatives of Gluttony, with Roy representing the bizarre eating aspect. Unlike his brother Lye, Roy doesn't care about what he eats, nor does he place any special emphasis on who he eats with like his sister Louis. As bizarre eating, his approach towards his meals is much more casual when compared to that of his older brother and younger sister, emphasizing quantity over quality as seen when he ate Julius despite admitting he had a bland taste. As described by his brother, he simply wants to eat without any thought or preparation put into it, for which he was repeatedly criticized by his siblings. He isn't as close to Louis as Lye is, but is nonetheless devoted and caring towards her.
In combat, Roy strives to exploit his opponents' weaknesses, unlike his brother who likes to give his opponents a chance to compete with him. He views combat as nothing more than a violent way of getting his meals.
During the events of Arc 5, he ate Julius' name, causing everyone but Subaru to forget about him. In Arc 6, however, he made a big mistake when he tried to devour Reid Astrea, only to have his body taken over. While he regained control of his body after Reid's soul shattered due to it being incompatible with Roy's body, the fatal wound rendered him unconscious and he was sealed away with the usage of Yin Magic.
Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Louis Arneb
Main article: Louis Arneb
One of the three Sin Archbishops who were jointly the most recent representatives of Gluttony, with Louis representing the satiation aspect. She is a spiritual being, born without a body and trapped inside the Corridor of Memories since birth. Like her big brother Lye, Louis was addicted to the consumption of human names and memories and cared little about the people her Authority hurt. Her Authority of Gluttony functioned identically to her brothers Lye's and Roy's. Louis doesn't care much about what she eats, putting more emphasis on who she eats with. Similar to the Great Rabbit, Louis can split and create a copy of herself whenever she separates her Witch Factor of Gluttony into multiple pieces, often using this ability to keep her original self within the Corridor of Memories while her copy possesses the body of someone else.
Being the youngest sibling, Louis initially gives off the impression of being respectful and loving towards her brothers, but later reveals that she found them idiotic for blindly eating lives for her just because she was unable to exit the Corridor of Memories. Louis believes that life is unfair and is like a conveyor belt, without having the ability to choose the family, environment and future to be born into. Advocating her actions and beliefs as a way to search for happiness, she mentions that she is making an effort to find the life that will satisfy her and let her live with her head held high, and currently believes that Subaru's life will provide her that fulfillment, as he is able to return by death, which will give her the ability to undo any mistakes she may make in future.
Learning of Return by Death, she ate Subaru's memories and latched onto him to gain the ability for herself. However, Subaru ultimately managed to defeat her and left her for dead, though she is later revealed to have survived but now has amnesia herself. After experiencing Return By Death, the Louis that had entered Subaru's soul as a Witch Factor became traumatized and got into a fight with the Louis within the Corridor of Memories, who retained her original personality. The end result of this confrontation was that Louis became mind-broken, regressing into an infant-like state. She was transported along with Rem and Subaru to Vollachia and is currently in an unknown location alongside Rem.
Sin Archbishop of Sloth, Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti
Main article: Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti
The most recent Sin Archishop of Sloth, one of the founders of the Witch Cult, and the Leader of the Moderate Faction. As a co-founder of the Witch Cult, Petelgeuse spent four centuries acting as one of its highest ranking members, working tirelessly to fulfill the goals of the Cult. Dubbed as "Geuse" by his friends and people dear to him, Petelgeuse was a kind-hearted spirit, well respected by everyone save for the other Sin Archbishops. It was stated that he was even acquainted with the Witch of Greed and acted as Beatrice's teacher when Echidna was too busy.
His contributions to the Cult led to him being given the title of an Archbishop, though not entrusted with a Sin as he was incompatible with the one he was intrusted with by Flugel–the Witch Factor of Sloth. Roughly a century before the start of the main story, Petelgeuse carried out different tasks relating to the elves located in the Elior Forest–something that was very dear to him, as the Guardian of the Seal he was regularly sent to monitor, was someone he was deeply familiar with and cherished above anyone else. Not long after, however, the forest was suddenly besieged by another two Witch Cult members–Greed and Vainglory, the former leading the Radical Faction of the Cult and the latter leading one of the Three Great Demon Beasts, Kurohebi. As push came to shove, Petelgeuse was forced to forcefully take in the Witch Factor of Sloth, gaining the Authority of Sloth in the process, which allowed him to stall the intruders, though to not much avail as he was overpowered relatively quickly. In the following events of the fight, the Witch of Vainglory used her Authority of Vainglory to influence Petelgeuse into slaughtering Fortuna, the very woman he loved. The unbearable pain caused by his actions caused Petelgeuse's mind to completely shatter, leaving him in a permanent state of madness.
In the following century, Petelgeuse had accepted the seat of Sloth, and joined the Radical Faction of the Cult. He became notorious for his cruelty, frequently slaughtering entire towns and villages, acting strictly according to his Gospel's write. He was finally countered and defeated by the Sloth Subjugation Force consisting of Natsuki Subaru, Sword Demon Wilhelm van Astrea, Royal Guards Julius Juukulius and Ferris Argyle and the Fangs of Iron. After Julius destroyed his body, Subaru later destroyed the spirit as well, marking the end of Sloth. The Witch Factor of Sloth was inherited by Natsuki Subaru.
His remains were later collected by Wrath, who cremated them in an unknown location.
Sin Archbishop of Greed, Regulus Corneas
Main article: Regulus Corneas
The most recent Sin Archbishop of Greed who was considered the most powerful known Archbishop ever. His Authority of Greed, which he gained after absorbing the Witch Factor of Greed from a box similar to Petelgeuse's, allowed him to stop time in and around his body, making him utterly invincible against any kind of physical attack regardless of its raw strength. Because his body was in a sort of permanent temporal stasis, Regulus never aged and lived over a hundred years.
Regulus was a man who cared little for people around him and firmly believed that he was in the right no matter what he did. He rarely tolerated people acting in contradiction to his twisted will, often murdering or mutilating innocent people as soon as they dissatisfied him in the slightest. Despite his egotistical attitude, Regulus followed the commands of the Gospel unquestionably. He also showed respect towards Pandora and followed her orders if they didn't contradict his own will too much. Of the Sin Archbishops, Regulus was the most infamous alongside Sloth for the sheer magnitude of the few atrocities he committed. Among his attacks were the incursion into the elven village of Elior Forest that led to the freezing of the entire area and the desolation of the Vollachian Fortress City of Garkla that resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers and the Vollachian War God Kurgan. It was Regulus' actions in Garkla that single-handedly taught the world to fear the Witch Cult.
During the attack on Elior Forest, Regulus acted as the Leader of a Radical Faction that existed within the Witch Cult. He lead the Cult and the Witch of Vainglory to the forest, despite making a mutual agreement with Petelgeuse, that the latter will be the only one to have access to the elven village and the seal the were guarding. Having made short work of Petelgeuse, Regulus–after the situations gravely scalated due to things not going the way he would have liked–turned his back to the Witch, killing her. However, due to her Authority, she was able to erase the time of her death and erase his existence from the forest.
Roughly a month after Subaru's arrival, Regulus mad his appearance at the Leafaus Highway, intercepting the dragon carriage convoy transporting the wounded, Crusch Karsten and Rem. After decimating a good portion of the convoy and crippling Crusch by cutting her arm off, Regulus–now accompanied by the fellow Sin Archbishop of Gluttony–introduced himself and in the following short battle, helped defeat Rem.
Regulus was finally defeated a bit over a year following his initial debut in the story, during the events of Arc 5. After arriving in the Water Gate City of Priestella causing havoc in the city streets and kidnapping Emilia, Regulus was confronted by the Greed Subjugation Force consisting of Natsuki Subaru and Reinhard van Astrea. After a tough and arduous battle, the team managed to decipher his Authority and give Reinhard a chance to deliver the finishing blow. By lunging him high above the city and batting him down into the streets, Regulus–whose invincibility now had a five second timer–was utterly shredded by the sheer speed and force of his body digging a hole underground. After his hole was flooded by a nearby water canal, Regulus drowned deep underneath the city streets. The Witch Factor of Greed was inherited by Natsuki Subaru.
Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Lye Batenkaitos
Main article: Lye Batenkaitos
One of the three Sin Archbishops who were jointly the most recent representatives of Gluttony, with Lye representing the gourmet aspect. Like his little sister Louis, Lye was addicted to the consumption of human names and memories and cared little about the people his Authority hurt. His Authority of Gluttony functioned identically to his sister's, and although he wasn't incredibly powerful, Batenkaitos made up for his shortcomings with his versatile fighting style and unpredictable arsenal. Until his swan song, Lye was hesitant to use the aspect of his Authority that allowed him to transform into his victims, as he believed doing so harmed his individuality. With his Authority, Gluttony could control one of the Three Great Demon Beasts known as the Hakugei and occasionally used it in his schemes. He was fond enough of the Whale to consider it a pet. Out of the three Sin Archbishops, Lye was the one who cared the most for his siblings. Although not too fond of Roy, he cared deeply for his younger sister Louis whom he genuinely sought to protect from harm.
Although his exact age and the amount of time he spent as a Sin Archbishop are unknown, Lye had the appearance and immature attitude of a youth in his mid teens. After devouring the name and memories of Rem, Lye garnered an obsession with the man she loved, Natsuki Subaru, hoping to one day devour his name and memories as well. Subaru, on the other hand, saw Batenkaitos as a mortal foe, due to his actions against Rem. However, Batenkaitos was never able to experience the feast he sought. During an incursion into the Pleiades Watchtower, Lye was confronted by Rem's elder twin sister Ram who proceeded to face him in a desperate and brutal battle. Eventually, Lye was beheaded by Ram, and the names and memories of his victims slowly began to return overtime.
Sin Archbishop of Pride, Stride Vollachia
Main article: Stride Vollachia
The most recent Sin Archbishop of Pride, Stride Vollachia was a man, hailing from the Sacred Empire of Vollachia. Unlike all other Sin Archbishops, Stride never demonstrated his Authority, meaning what its capabilities are unknown. Instead, he tended to fight using a set of Ten Cursed Rings which he used to inflict curses on people. Stride was the son of the Emperor of the Vollachia Empire and was supposed to succeed him on the throne, however he was betrayed and poisoned by his own father. He survived the asassination and eventually joined the Witch Cult. Befitting his identity as the Archbishop of Pride, Stride held excessive pride in himself and always looked down on others. Like most Archbishops, he didn't care about the Witch of Envy, only joining the cult to further his own goals.
Four decades before Natsuki Subaru was transported to the Kingdom of Lugunica, Stride led several campaigns in the heart of the Dragon Kingdom of Lugnica, wanting to destroy its covenant with the Divine Dragon and topple the whole country. During these attacks, Stride found an archenemy in the Sword Demon Wilhelm van Astrea, a nigh-unparalleled swordsman and the strongest warrior of the Kingdom. Eventually, Stride summoned the Black Dragon Valgren in the Lugunican city Picouttate, hoping the dreadful beast would decimate the entire kingdom. However, Valgren ironically devoured Stride and was defeated by the Divine Dragon Volcanica shortly there after. Since his death, the seat of the Sin Archbishop of Pride has been vacant for many years now. The status of the Witch Factor of Pride that presumably resided within Stride remains unknown.
- Roy Alphard (gluttony) (bizarre eating)
- Louis Arneb (gluttony) (satiation)
- Sirius (wrath)
- Capella Emerada Lugnica (lust)
- Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti (sloth) (co-founder, leader of the moderate side)
- Regulus Corneas (greed) (leader of the radical side)
- Lye Batenkaitos (gluttony) (gourmet)
- Stride Vollachia (pride)
- Natsuki Subaru (pride) (in Ayamatsu IF)
- Louis described the Witch Cult as "a gathering of people loathed by the world" and the Sin Archbishops as "a gathering of people loathed by the world who are called differently, but they're the same as the Witch.
- Louis also pointed out that the nature of the Witch of Envy is worse than that of the Sin Archbishops so they dislike being lumped together with her. In every other way however, the Sin Archbishops are the same as the Witch. The "good-for-nothings" compatible with the Witch Factors are just called differently due to different eras and positions.
- Out of all the Sin Archbishops, Regulus is by far the strongest in all out combat and possesses the most powerful Authority while Sirius is noted to have the highest physical strength.
- Regulus, Sirius and Petelgeuse are among the oldest Sin Archbishops; two of them being confirmed to have been occupying their positions for at least a century, with Regulus governing over Greed for more than a century.
- According to the author's very own words, the Sin Archbishops were created to be the biggest and the most irredeemable scums in the series.
- According to Petelgeuse, the Sin Archbishops hold some kind of meetings in Church.
- The Sin Archbishops themselves are not very fond of killing for various reasons, hence they'll avoid doing it, if given the chance to.
- Pandora and the Sin Archbishops, with the exception of Stride Vollachia , all shared their names with a real life celestial body. Interestingly, Stride was also the only Witch Factor user to not display use of his Authority. These facts coupled together may imply that Stride was not actually the bearer of the Pride Witch Factor.
- The star names of the Gluttony siblings were each linked to the Three Great Demon beast created by the Witch of Gluttony Daphne four hundred years ago. Louis (hare) represented the Great Rabbit, Lye (sea monster) represented the White Whale, and Roy (hydra) represented the Black Serpent.
- Tappei once thought of writing an Interlude about the Sin Archbishops having an emergency meeting after Petelgeuse's death, but after realising it would just be Sirius uncontrollably crying and other Sin Archbishops scornfully laughing at her, he decided not to write it.
- Wrath and Lust paired together could form the worst possible combo, according to the author.