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For the Manuscript page, see The Cult Of The Tree
For the faction, see Cult of the Tree

The Cult of the Tree is a Background Case in Alan Wake 2, viewable on the Case Board in Saga Anderson's Mind Place. It is available after completing the Background Case The Previous Murders, and covers Saga's overarching investigation into the mysterious Cult of the Tree.

Cases tab description[]

Case in progress:
To stop a cult, we need to understand them. Who is involved, and what do they want?
Case solved:
The Cult of the Tree was being run by the Koskela brothers. They served as a sort of "neighborhood watch" against the Taken. Not the bad guys here.

THE CULT OF THE TREE[]

Image Description How To Obtain
THE CULT OF THE TREE
To stop a cult, we need to understand them. Their ideology, their goal, their members.
Close the Case The Previous Murders
Quote1 I need to know more about the Cult of the Tree if I’m going to shut them down. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, case start (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_PHOTO_SAGA_24087)

WHAT KIND OF CULT?[]

Completion text:
Members are regular folks, locals. Disorganized but dedicated. Symbols/attire have no deeper meaning.
Quote1 There’s no fanaticism here. Usually this level of violence is powered by twisted belief. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_BEHAVIOR_SAGA_24090)

CULT SYMBOLS...?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text:
Cult symbol inspired by FBC logo.
Also drugs.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Triangle graffiti found around town
The graffiti is in plain sight. Does it have a deeper significance?
Investigate a concrete road barrier outside the Elderwood Palace Lodge
A Cult necklace with a triangle symbol
Jewelry can be used as a subtle indicator of membership. But this isn't subtle - a badge of pride?
Talk to the Bookers during Return 1
Triangle figures made from twigs
What's the purpose? Marking territory?A warning? Feels derivative, like something out of a horror movie.
Find a Cult tree ornament (one is at the locked gate to the Rental Cabins)
Triangle carving on the table where Nightingale was found
Some kind of signature? Did they intend for this body to be discovered? Or just an idle carving?
Investigate the picnic table at Nightingale's murder site during Return 2
Drug-fueled scribbles on the origin of the Cult triangle symbol
Seriously? This would almost be funny if they weren't killing people.
Collect evidence from table in the Kalevala Knights garage office
Quote1 The Cult’s symbology is derived from the FBC’s logo and... drugs. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_SYMBOLS_SAGA_24089)

CULT PSYCHOLOGY...?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text:
Not fanatics. No signs of indoctrination. Messy group of enthusiastic sociopaths?
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Cultists were wearing deer masks
If they're hiding their faces, they aren't established enough to operate openly. Connection to Deerfest?
Talk to the Bookers during Return 1
Large amount of supplies laid out on a table
This is a lot of equipment just laying around. How long have they been out here?
Investigate inside the Cauldron Lake General Store before Return 2
Cult's use of imagery feels almost commercial, like branding
Cult imagery is usually subtle - recognizable only by members. Here the use of symbols is enthusiastic, eye catching.
Collect three "Cult Symbols" clues
Note reminding cultists that victims are "like animals"
Dehumanizing their victims. They are the predators, their victims are just prey.
Find the Cult Stash at the Cauldron Lake Shore
Cultist note admonishing members sabotaging FBC equipment
Seems our cultists aren't totally aligned, here. Don't sound like the "true believer" types.
Collect clue from the Kalevala Knights garage back office wall
Quote1 The Cult isn’t made up of sycophants. They’re regular people. Locals. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_KIND_OF_CULT_SAGA_24088)

CULT GOAL?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only Ilmo's quote is needed):
Cult of the Tree kills Taken to protect Bright Falls and Watery.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Victim of Cult killing became a monster
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Need to dig into this, there must be an explanation.
Start Return 2
Ilmo: The Cult of the Tree targeted people already corrupted by the Dark Presence. Their goal was to protect the community.
The Cult's intentions were good, even if they weren't seeing the full picture.
Ilmo Koskela: "We protect Watery and Bright Falls. We’re the good guys. A secret neighborhood watch. That was the idea anyway... Look, we’ve always known about the horror inside the lake. When any Taken come out, we kill ‘em." (QUOTE_M_CULT_ILMO_18017)
Talk to Ilmo about the Cult at the end of Return 6
Casey: The Cult of the Tree is performing rituals to create monsters.
I don't have an explanation for this... How are they doing this? What the hell is going on here?
Alex Casey: "The killers are usually the ones performing the ritual, not the detective. Acting out their sick fantasy. They may be trying to get you involved. Forcing you into their twisted world." (QUOTE_M_CULT_CASEY_18013)
Talk to Casey at the start of Return 2
Quote1 I had this all wrong. The Cult of the Tree were just trying to protect their homes. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_GOAL_SAGA_24097)

CULT WORKING FOR/WITH SOMEONE?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text:
Cult wasn't working for/with Wake or Scratch. Operating on their own.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Wake: The Cult could be followers of Scratch. They have the Clicker, after all.
Why work for Scratch? What does the Cult get out of it?
Alan Wake: "They could be working for Scratch. I don’t remember. It’s all confused." (QUOTE_M_CULT_WAKE_18014)
Talk to Alan at the start of Return 3 (topic: "Cult of the Tree?")
Note instructing cultists to "take the writer out"
The Cult knows Wake is here. And they clearly aren't fans of his.
Collect clue from the Cult Stash in the woods south of the Valhalla Nursing Home
FBC file linking cult activity to Wake.
It's possible Wake is connected to the Cult. But if Scratch is identical to Wake, then this could refer to either of them.
Collect clue from FBC file in Sheriff Tim Breaker's office (Return 6)
Ilmo: He's never heard of Scratch.
Doesn't seem like the Cult has any connection to Scratch.
Ilmo Koskela: "I’ve never heard of anyone called “Scratch”." (ORIGINAL_QUOTE_M_CULT_ILMO_49343)
Talk to Ilmo about the Cult going after Wake (end of Return 6)
The cult tried to kill Alan Wake
What is their motive? Acting on Scratch's orders?
Start Return 5
Quote1 The Cult’s been operating completely on their own. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_WORKING_SOMEONE_SAGA_24101)
WHY DO THEY WANT TO KILL WAKE?[]
Unlocked by: "The cult tried to kill Alan Wake"
Completion text:
Cult thinks Wake is responsible for Taken. Believe killing him will stop this.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Ilmo: The Cult found Wake's pages inside Taken and believed he was the the cause.
I can't exactly fault their logic here.
Ilmo Koskela: "Nothing good has ever come out of Cauldron Lake. The nightmare that hit Bright Falls in 2010 was because of his writing. Ever since then, pages of his stories are floating up from the lake, and monsters keep popping out. It’s all him. Wake. And if we don’t stop him, no one will." (QUOTE_M_CULT_ILMO_18018)
Talk to Ilmo about the Cult going after Wake (end of Return 6)
Quote1 The Cult thinks killing Wake will put an end to the Taken. If only it was that easy. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_KILL_WAKE_SAGA_24102)

CULT RITUAL? WHAT IS IT?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only fourth clue is needed):
Purpose of Cult ritual was to kill Taken.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Note detailing the steps of the Cult ritual
The steps of the ritual are listed here. Consistent with what we found at Nightingale's murder site.
Collect clue from Kalevala Knights garage back office wall
whenever the Cult caught someone taken over by the Shadow, they cut out the monster's heart, pushed the switch into the hole, and flicked it.
The cultists knew the Clicker had power. They found it at at Cauldron Lake lake.
Pick up the Manuscript page The Cult Finds The Clicker
Note about using the Clicker in the Cult ritual
How did they figure out how to use it? Trial and error...?
Interact with the cult note in the kalevala knights workshop
Ritual was meant to destroy Taken, not create them
So Nightingale was Taken from the start. The Cult couldn't finish the job because they were interrupted.
Place the clue "Ilmo: The Cult of the Tree targeted people already corrupted"
Victim's body/organs covered in writing. Page found inside the chest
Text tattooed on the victims. Manuscript page found inside. Writing has some significance here.
Start Return 2 and talk to Casey
Nightingale was the only victim to become a monster
His murder matched the other victims - why didn't they become monsters, too?
Start Return 2 and talk to Casey
Quote1 The Cult’s ritual is meant to kill Taken, not create them. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_RITUAL_SAGA_24098)
WRITING PART OF RITUAL?[]

Currently, the clues needed for this question are bugged, so it cannot be completed.

Unlocked by: "Victim's body/organs covered in writing"
Completion text:
Writing related, but not part of Cult ritual.
Story manipulating the Cult?
Scratch involved?
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
A page was placed inside Nightingale's chest
A page where his heart should be. Text tattooed on the missing heart. Can't be a coincidence.
Complete Return 2
No mention of writing in Cult's ritual steps
Tattooing isn't listed as part of the ritual either. So the Cult has no connection with the writing.
Interact with the cult notes in the kalevala knights workshop
Nightingale spoke in excerpts from the pages
The other Taken were speaking strangely, too. The pages are clearly connected, but how?
Complete Return 2
Wake: He remembers writing many pages while in the Dark Place.
If Wake is the origin of the pages, then no Cult connection? Unless the Cult is working with Scratch...?
Alan Wake: "I think I wrote them. I remember writing an endless amount of pages. When this happened before, the pages were being sent from the Dark Place to help me. Maybe the same thing is happening here." (QUOTE_M_CULT_WAKE_18015)
Optional talk ("About these pages...") with Alan Wake after starting Return 3
Quote1 The Cult isn’t responsible for the writing. Is the story possibly manipulating them too? Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_WRITING_ROLE_SAGA_24099)
NIGHTINGALE ONLY VICTIM TO BECOME A MONSTER...? WHY?[]
Unlocked by: "Nightingale was the only victim to become a monster"
Completion text:
Cult ritual failed to destroy Nightingale because the Bookers interrupted it.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Cultist note about ritual being interrupted
This confirms the ritual was interrupted. It says they didn't have time to use the Clicker.
Collect clue from Kalevala Knights garage back office wall
Ilmo: Nightingale was already Taken. Cult's ritual would have stopped him, but was interrupted
Nightingale's ritual was the only one interrupted. That's why he was the only Taken among the cult victims.
Ilmo Koskela: "A job half done isn’t done at all." (ORIGINAL_QUOTE_M_CULT_CULTIST_ILMO_48723)
Profile the Koskelas (topic: "Nightingale came back")
Quote1 Nightingale didn’t become a Taken, he already was one. The ritual to stop him was interrupted. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_NIGHTINGALE_MONSTER_SAGA_24100)

WHO'S INVOLVED?[]

Completion text:
Jaakko, Ilmo, Blum, Mulligan, and Thornton - all cult members. Jaakko/Ilmo were cult leaders.
Quote1 I’ve got some members of the Cult identified. There must be more, but this is all I need for now. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_MEMBERS_SAGA_24091)

MULLIGAN & THORNTON?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only second clue is needed):
Confirmed: Cult members.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Note found in cultist stash mentioning "M and T"
M and T COULD stand for Mulligan and Thornton...
Collect clue from the note in the Cult Stash at the Huotari Well
"Bring it, fucker!" Mulligan fired. Thornton hacked the pastrami out of his windpipe. The thrill of domination. This was the Cult of the Tree.
The page describes Mulligan and Thornton as members of the Cult of the Tree.
Pick up the Manuscript page Deputies Make A Grave Mistake
Quote1 Even Bright Falls deputies are in the Cult. I have to be careful who I trust here. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_DEPUTY_MEMBER_SAGA_24093)

TOR & ODIN ANDERSON?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only second clue is needed):
Not Cult members.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Photo of Tor and Odin with cultists
Tor and Odin are clearly friendly with the Cult of the Tree. Not conclusively members.
Interact with the newspaper in Logan's bedroom in Saga's trailer
Tor: While the Cult has been trying to recruit them for years, he and Odin rejected all of their offers.
Tor and Odin rejected requests to join the Cult of the Tree.
Odin Anderson: "The Cult’s been on our asses to join for years. But we already have our band. And those damn fools don’t know what they’re dealing with. No wonder they want a pair of legends." (QUOTE_M_CULT_ODIN_18012)
Profile Odin (topic: "The Cult Photo")
POLAROID_META_CULT_TREE_NOTE_REWARD-->Reward offer for the cultist who recruits Tor and Odin
The Cult was really serious about recruiting Tor and Odin.
Open one of the cult stashes in Watery
POLAROID_META_CULT_TREE_BLUM_EMAIL-->Email about recruiting Tor and Odin to the Cult
Looks like the Cult was leaning heavily on Blum to recruit Tor and Odin.
Read Blum's email messages at the Wellness Center
Quote1 Good to see not everyone is in this cult. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_ANDERSON_MEMBER_SAGA_24094)

ILMO & JAAKKO KOSKELA?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only fourth clue is needed):
Jaakko and Ilmo were running the cult.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Ilmo Koskela stood in front of the small gathering
"Mocha was a wonderful moose
his skull will become the crown of the grandmaster."
"Grandmaster...?" Interesting word to use, under the circumstances.
Pick up the Manuscript pages Mocha's Funeral and The Cult Storms The Lodge
Cultist room hidden beneath Ilmo's motorcycle club
Highly unlikely the club would have a secret Cult room below it without the Koskelas knowing.
Enter the secret room under the Kalevala Knights garage
Ilmo Koskela attacked Wake while wearing a Deer mask
I saw him with my own two eyes. No doubt Ilmo is in the Cult. But what about Jaakko?
Start Return 5
Cult initiation letter signed by Ilmo and Jaakko Koskela
Well I could've guessed they'd both be in on it, but here's the proof Jaakko is involved too.
Open and collect clues from file drawer in the Wellness Center security room
Quote1 The Koskela brothers run the show. If I find them, I can bring it all down. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_KOSKELAS_MEMBER_SAGA_24095)

ROSE MARIGOLD?[]

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only second clue is needed):
Not a Cult member.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Report on Rose Marigold found in Cult HQ
Rose is that waitress from the diner. Is she involved with the Cult?
Collect clue from table in the Kalevala Knights garage office
Rose: Wake has been instructing her how to kill Taken. She believes she's been working for him.


She's certainly eccentric, but it doesn't seem like she's part of the Cult.
Rose Marigold: "Ways I can help him, how I can stay safe, good dinner recipes, ways to kill Taken, lots of stuff. I’ve been finding some pages of writing lately too, so he must be working on a new book. Exciting!" (QUOTE_M_CULT_ROSE_18016)

Ask Rose about communicating with Wake and Wake telling her how to kill Taken (optional topic only during Return 5 after Tor enters Overlap)
Quote1 Rose is weird, but she’s not a cultist. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_ROSE_MEMBER_SAGA_24096)

VLADIMIR BLUM?[]

There are two versions of tooltip text for this question's clues, possibly based on which is obtained first. It is uncertain what the conditions are; currently only the first clue is obtainable, with version B of the text.

Unlocked by: Any clue below
Completion text (only first clue needed):
Confirmed: Cult member.
Image Description and Tooltip How To Obtain
Cult initiation letter addressed to Vladimir Blum
Version A: That's some pretty damning evidence. Blum is a member.
Version B: The letter looks new. Seems like he was recruited recently.
Open and collect clues from file drawer in the Wellness Center security room
Email pressuring Blum to recruit Cult members
Version A: By the looks of this, Blum is definitely a Cult member.
Version B: Working at the nursing home, Blum would be well positioned to recruit the Andersons...
Read Blum's email messages at the Wellness Center
Quote1 Vladimir Blum is a member of the Cult. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, section completion; unused (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_BLUM_MEMBER_SAGA_24092)

CASE: CLOSED[]

Image Description How To Obtain
CASE: CLOSED
The Cult of the Tree was being run by the Koskela brothers. They served as a sort of "neighborhood watch" against the Taken. Not the bad guys here.
Talk to Ilmo about the Cult at the end of Return 6: Scratch
Quote1 The Cult of the Tree is just the Koskela brothers'- slightly misguided solution to the Taken problem. Quote2
― Saga Anderson, case completion (MP_METACASE_CULT_DEDUCTION_CULT_CASE_CLOSED_SAGA_24103)

Notes[]

  • A number of clues are currently unobtainable (use the note below to see which).
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