The Cult of Kukulkan is a religious order in the hidden city of Paititi. The people of Paititi were required to offer tribute to the Cult. The Cult's elite soldiers were known as the Serpent Guard.
The Cult of Kukulkan was founded in the early 1600s during a time of plague by the agents Alphonso Ricci and Adelantado Perez of the Order of Trinity, who arrived in the city after a previous expedition led by Andres Lopez didn't return the Silver Box of Ix Chel. The agents entered Paititi dressed in native clothing and claiming to have been sent by Kukulkan to cleanse the plague. They used medicines to treat the Paititian leaders and a select few others, buried the dead, and comforted the dying. The people began to trust and then rely on Trinity. Upon learning that Lopez was gone and had stolen the Silver Box of Ix Chel, the Trinity agents opted to remain in Paititi, where they could either wait for Lopez to return or mount a search for him. To that end, they made a bargain with the king of Paititi and were appointed his royal guard, physicians, and priests, thus establishing the Cult of Kukulkan.
The Cult served as Trinity's proxy in Paititi and secretly became the true power behind the city's royal dynasty; Paititi's kings and queens were relegated to figureheads who had no choice but to carry out the will of the Cult, and ultimately Trinity, while the search for the Silver Box continued. The monarchy was maintained rather than replaced by the Cult because Trinity recognized that the Paititians would not accept such an abrupt change in leadership, especially from outsiders. Trinity also kept its interference with Paititian culture limited over the centuries, but used the Cult to introduce new methods of agriculture and mandate that all citizens learn English alongside their native languages.
In the late 20th century, the High Priest of the Cult was Amaru, the brother of King Sayri. Outside Paititi, Amaru went by another name: Dr. Pedro Dominguez, the leader of the High Council of Trinity. During a famine that was ravaging Paititi, Sayri decided to go hunt for food for his people. Amaru pleaded to go himself, but Sayri insisted as it was his duty as king. Sayri did not return alive. As he grieved for his brother, Amaru decided that he could better protect Paititi than Unuratu, Sayri's wife and the newly-crowned queen, and used the Cult to openly seize control of the city. He ended the famine by having Trinity bring in food, earning the admiration of many of the Paititians.
Over the following years, while Amaru searched outside Paititi for the Key of Chak Chel and the Silver Box of Ix Chel, two powerful artifacts that could be used to remake the world, the Cult of Kukulkan gradually became overbearing and then oppressive, swiftly and violently stifling any dissent against their rule. In 2015, after The Cleansing began, Amaru returned to Paititi and symbolically declared himself Kukulkan, the god who would end The Cleansing in a sacrificial ritual.
- The Cult is named in reference to Kukulkan, a Mayan snake god of creation and destruction.