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The Old Weald before Audar's conquest worshiped the five gods but also used forest magics, called the forest heresies at the time of The Hallowed Hunt. The Old Wealdings used animal spirits to commune with the gods and to gain other powers. Weald kin tribes also had sorcerers using elementals of disorder sacred to the Bastard.

Spirit warriors are created by sacrificing animals and joining the animal spirit to a human. Spirit warriors gain better access to the gods, and such abilities as better senses and more fierceness in battle. Kin warriors generally take the spirit of the animal associated with their kin group.

Shamans are much more powerful than the spirit warriors. To become a shaman, a great hallowed animal is created by sacrificing the soul of one animal at the end of its life into another of the same sort and sex, transferring the wisdom and training of the old to the new, over many generations. Eventually these animals become something more than an animal, perhaps a shadow of a god or an animal-god. By sacrificing one of the great beasts and taking them into their soul, a man or woman becomes a shaman. Shamans of the forest tribes have true visions and some healing powers of the body and mind or the reverse, being able to cause mental harm or block healing. Shaman are sometimes in conflict with sorcerers of same tribe.

Old Wealding practice used human sacrifices to carry prayers to the gods in extreme need, hanging the sacrifice with nettle flax (for the highest born) from a sacred forest tree. At first the sacrifices were voluntary, but as the battle against Audar went badly, unwilling victims and prisoners were used as well. The gods rejected such prayers.

The weirding voice is another power of shamans. Its use forces someone to obey the command given, and works on animals as well as people. Each use of the weirding voice requires a small blood sacrifice. Ingrey kin Wolfcliff uses the weirding voice to call animal spirits from the souls of dead spirit warriors.

Banner carriers of the Old Weald carried the kin banner, and in battle would cut the throats of spirit-warriors too wounded to be carried away, bind their soul to themselves, and carry it away until a shaman could cleanse the animal from the soul and allow it to go to its god. The hallow king's royal banner-carrier carried the hallow kingship itself until time to transfer it to the ordained heir.

  • Ijada is made banner-carrier by the revenants in the Wounded Woods.
  • Princess Fara is made royal banner-carrier by Earl Horseriver, and holds the kingship of the Weald until the revenants elect Ingrey as hallow king.

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