The Witch Cult is the main antagonistic faction of the 2014 Japanese dark fantasy light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World as well as its anime television series & manga adaptations of the same name.
The Witch's Cult was an extremist organization dedicated to the worship of the Witch of Envy Satella. The Witch of Envy was a figure infamous for consuming six of the other eight Witches of Sin and proceeding to drain half of the world dry four hundred years ago, an act that saw her imprisoned for all of eternity.
Shrouded in mystery, the exact origins, goals, and size of the Cult are all widely speculated on. That being said, it is generally accepted that the primary goal of the Witch Cult was to free the Witch of Envy from her eternal imprisonment. Each Cultist possessed a book known as a Gospel that gave them vague and unreliable details regarding the future.
The Cult was led by the Sin Archbishops, a group of individuals who possessed powers known as Authorities. The Sin Archbishops each represented one of the seven deadly sins, with the exception of the sin of envy. However, they couldn't be considered the true leadership of the Cult, as they also followed the instructions of the Gospels. Pandora, the Witch of Vainglory, may have maintained a leading position in the Cult, as the Sin Archbishops treated her with reverence.
Over the known centuries since its formation, the Cult had instigated and been directly involved in numerous atrocities across the world. The organization cared not for the borders of nations nor the status of its victims, as such concepts were beneath them.
With the exception of Pandora and the Sin Archbishops, members of the Witch Cult wore identical robes while conducting Witch Cult business. In combat, members of the Witch Cult typically wielded large knives that could be easily concealed within their robes. The knives were about as long as a person's forearm and were often thrown as ranged projectiles by their wielders. They had a bronze fuller, steel edge, and ornate cross-like hilt.
Each member of the Witch Cult received a small black book upon their induction known as a Witch Cult Gospel. These books, that were usually carried by the cultists on all occasions, were the religious text of the cult and were treated with reverence by those that followed it. Each gospel was a replica of the Tome of Wisdom, a book created by the Witch of Greed Echidna. The Tome of Wisdom was able to provide divinations of future events for the owner, essentially bestowing whomever possessed it with a form of precognition.
Unlike the original, the Witch Cult Gospels were imperfect as the futures they detailed were usually vague and subject to change. Each gospel could only be read by its owner and new divinations would materialize into the book seemingly at random. Additionally, owners of the gospels appeared to be instinctively notified when a new passage was revealed. The exact origin of the gospels currently remains unknown.
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 Subaru Natsuki'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 Volakian nobleman Stride Volakia, although his Authority was never demonstrated and he perished around forty years ago at the hands of the evil dragon Balgren.
- Main article: Lye Batenkaitos
One of the three Sin Archbishops who were jointly the most recent representatives of Gluttony. 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 the powerful man-eating mabeast known as the White Whale 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, Batenkaitos had the appearance and immature attitude of a youth in his mid teens. After devouring the name and memories of the demon maid Rem, Lye garnered an obsession with the man she loved Subaru Natsuki, hoping to one day devour his name and memories also. Natsuki on the other hand saw Batenkaitos as an arch-rival 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.
- 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 Greed Witch Factor 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. During the attack on Elior Forest, Regulus was considered the leader of a radical faction that existed within the Witch Cult. He was a repulsive man who felt no remorse 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 for the slightest of slights. 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, Greed 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 Volakian Fortress City Gacklar that resulted in the death of the Volakian hero Kurgan. It was Regulus's actions in Gacklar that single-handedly taught the world to fear the Witch Cult. However, as powerful as he was, Corneas's arrogance and his over reliance on his Authority ultimately led to his downfall in the water gate city Pristela when Subaru Natsuki, Emilia, and the Master Swordsman Reinhard van Astrea greatly weakened his power and subsequently killed him. His Witch Factor was inherited by Natsuki.
- Main article: Sirius (Re:Zero)
The current Sin Archbishop of Wrath who was the most physically formidable of the modern Archbishops. Her Authority of Wrath allowed her to manipulate the emotions and sensations of others, meaning she could amplify a person's hostility level and distribute damage dealt across multiple people. Alongside Petelgeuse and Regulus, Sirius was one of the three Sin Archbishops to have lived over a hundred years. Although her past was wrapped in mystery, Sirius claimed that her hometown was destroyed by a Witch hunt. She was obsessively infatuated with Petelgeuse of Sloth, 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 joined the Witch Cult as a way to grow closer to Petelgeuse and viewed the Witch of Envy as a hated love rival rather than a deific figure.
During the attack on Pristela, Sirius met Subaru Natsuki after he had killed Petelgeuse and absorbed the Sloth Witch Factor. As she knew of Petelgeuse's nature as a spirit, Sirius, who could smell Sloth's scent on Natsuki, presumed Subaru was her beloved's latest body and refused to accept his attempts to deny her claim. She was later captured by the noblewoman 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 Natsuki and was waiting to emerge.
- Main article: Stride Volakia
The most recent Sin Archbishop of Pride, Stride Volakia was a physically frail nobleman from the militant Empire of Volakia. Unlike all other Sin Archbishops, Stride never demonstrated his Authority, meaning what it was capable of is unknown. Instead, he tended to fight using a set of magical rings with varying affects. Stride was the son of the Emperor of Volakia and was supposed to succeed him on the throne, however he was poisoned and presumed dead. He survived however 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 Subaru Natsuki was transported to the Kingdom of Lugunica, Stride led several campaigns against Lugunica, apparently wanting to destroy it. During these attacks, Stride found an archenemy in the Sword Demon Wilhelm van Astrea, a nigh-unparalleled swordsman of Lugunica. Eventually, Stride summoned the Blight Dragon Balgren in the Lugunican city Pictat, hoping the dreadful beast would decimate the entire kingdom. However, Balgren ironically devoured Stride and was defeated by the Holy Dragon Volcanica shortly thereafter. The status of the Pride Witch Factor that presumably resided within Stride remains unknown.
- The robes worn by the ordinary members of the Witch Cult bore a striking resemblance to those worn by the real life American anti-semitist organization known as the Ku Klux Klan. Both the Witch Cult and the Ku Klux Klan have shown prejudice towards certain races and/or ideological beliefs and commonly practice their beliefs in service of a particular religious figure.
- Pandora and the Sin Archbishops, with the exception of Stride Volakia, 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.
|Capella Emerada Lugunica · Louis Arneb · Lye Batenkaitos · Pandora · Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti · Regulus Corneas · Roy Alphard · Sirius · Stride Volakia|
|Witches of Sin|
|Carmilla · Daphne · Echidna · Hector · Minerva · Pandora · Satella · Sekhmet · Typhon|
|Black Serpent · Great Rabbit · White Whale|
|Gusteko Assassin Organization|
|Elsa Granhiert · Mama · Meili Portroute|
|Balleroy Temeglyph · Bean Argyle · Heinkel Astrea · Kurgan · Melaquera · Miles · Reid Astrea · Roswaal Mathers · Sphinx · Ton, Chin, and Kan|