Why do the narcs need followers? They don't exist without fans around them; they crave the limelight as other humans need oxygen.
The mechanism is simple - people who don't have a conscience still need someone who'd back their actions. People who hate themselves seek 'love' somewhere else. The last thing you can tell about narcs is that they are independent. And don't be fooled by how they ghost or discard others - finding new followers (better looking, wealthier ones) is easy as a walk in the park for these individuals.
Narcissists find themselves as the most unattractive beings in this world. But, contrary to the suicides, they never will admit that fact. They look at themselves through the eyes of other people, and since they have this fantastic ability to find enthusiasts of their fake image in every circumstance, they don't see any flaws. Very convenient, isn't it? Except it is not.
As I witnessed, the narcissist can instantly turn suicidal. Let all these followers disappear; let them vanish along with fame, fortune, and, in some cases, a person who was a narc's victim, e.g., the child. Such a situation may be the beginning of the end or... a chance. Will he or she use it as a turning point? That depends only on individual choice.