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|“||We are creatures of appetite. I want to feel your hunger. I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world.||„|
|~ Val to Blake Langermann.|
The Heretics are a Satanic cult who, alongside their rivals the Testament of the New Ezekiel, serve as the main antagonistic force of the 2017 horror videogame Outlast 2.
The Heretics are led by the perverted Val, a former deacon of the Testament of the New Ezekiel, who grew to despise Sullivan Knoth and his teachings and embraced a life of sin and lust. As such, she defected from Knoth's cult and formed her own, in which many other defected members of the Testament joined her. The Heretics sought refuge in an abandoned mine along the outskirts of Temple Gate and made it their home and decorated it with the mutilated corpses and severed body parts of their former victims. There, they revel in sin in anticipation for the coming of the Antichrist.
However, unaware to most, the Heretics, as well as the rest of the residents of Temple Gate (including the Scalled), are in fact "test subjects" of a secret large scale mind control experiment created by the Murkoff Corporation, who send out strong microwave relays from a radio tower to alter the brains of the Temple Gate residents. As a result, the Heretics have become mentally deranged and animalistic.
Judging by the fact that the mines are the in closer proximity to the radio tower than any other location within the Temple Gate area, it is possible that the Heretics have experienced the radio waves the worst.
After Blake and Lynn Langermann survive a helicopter crash and come into contact with the residents of Temple Gate, they make their escape from one of the churches in Temple Gate after Sullivan Knoth announces via his intercom that Lynn is apparently pregnant with the Antichrist, which notifies Val and the Heretics. Blake and Lynn are soon attacked by Testament cultists, but the Heretics quickly ambush the fanatics and kidnap Lynn, forcing Blake to explore Temple Gate in an attempt to find her. Sullivan, his men, and Marta start hunting down Heretics in an attempt to find Lynn and kill her, starting a conflict between the Testament and the Heretics. Blake sneaks into Sullivan's chapel and hides in one of the confessional booths, discovering that Sullivan and his men have captured two Heretics, Josiah and Mary. After a brutal torture sequence, Josiah reveals that Lynn is being kept in the mines, prompting the Testament and Blake to focus their attention on the mines.
After a long journey, Blake finds a lake and starts making his way across it and into a river with a raft. Now that Blake is getting significantly closer to the mines, the Heretics begin to stalk him along the river. They attempt to halt Blake's journey to the mines by throwing rocks at him, which almost breaks his raft, and start chasing him through the river once he gets knocked off the raft. Blake manages to escape from the river and reaches the mining facility, discovering the place to be full of mutilated bodies. Blake is then tackled by a Testament cultist covered in blood, explaining that him and a few other villagers traveled to the mines to try and hunt down Lynn, but were brutally slaughtered by the Heretics before running off. Blake is chased through the mining facility by many Heretics, but managed to reach an elevator which takes him down to the mineshafts.
Blake is once again hunted through the mineshafts until he is captured by Val and two other Heretics. Val prepares herself for the coming of the Antichrist by smothering herself in mud in front of Blake and putting on a strange crown of thorns. Suddenly, a cave-in occurs, causing two rocks to crush the two Heretics holding Blake hostage, prompting Val to chase after Blake. Soon, Blake comes across a massive orgy ritual between the Heretics in celebration for the birth of the Antichrist, and is quickly drugged by a female Heretic via blowing an unspecified substance in his face. Blake finds a tied up, pregnant Lynn in the middle of the orgy, but is straddled down by Val and is presumably raped by her.
In the midst of the chaos, Blake hallucinates about his past experiences witnessing the murder of his friend Jessica Gray at the hands of his teacher Father Loutermilch. Blake eventually comes to his senses and finds multiple Testament cultists slaughtering the Heretics within the mines before he is chased out by them, showing that the Testament seems to have won their conflict against the Heretics. Despite all of this, Lynn ends up giving birth to her baby and dying from blood loss, showing that the Heretics' goal was a success, prompting all of the Testament followers, including Sullivan Knoth, to commit suicide.
Out of all of the characters and factions in Outlast 2, the Heretics are by far the most insane. They are shown to commit horrific atrocities throughout the game, including butchering and mutilating their victims and using their corpses and body parts to decorate the mines and the river. They are also shown to burn their victims alive and using the river as a dumping ground for those who suffer the same fate. Although they are capable of using knives as weapons, they are shown to be completely deranged and wild to the point in which they have become feral monsters, abandoning many traits that would could consider themselves human. The Heretics, much like their leader, are also shown to be extremely lustful, and take part in many sexual activities, which is clearly shown in the orgy sequence.
The Heretics seem to communicate with either broken English or an unspecified language. Aside from their communication, the Heretics are mostly shown to frequently shriek, growl, laugh and chant maniacally while hunting down their victims. They are also shown to be very agile, where they are seen leaping across crevices along rivers and are frequently shown to drop down from large heights unharmed, and climbing around the mining facility, in which they use their skills to ambush their victims.