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

Shamans were much more powerful than the spirit warriors. To become a shaman, a great hallowed animal was 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 became 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 became a shaman. Shamans of the forest tribes had true visions and some healing powers of the body and mind or the reverse, being able to cause mental harm or block healing. Shamans were 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 appear to have rejected such prayers.

The weirding voice was another power of shamans. Its use forced someone to obey the command given, and worked on animals as well as people. Each use of the weirding voice required a small blood sacrifice. Ingrey kin Wolfcliff used 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 was made banner-carrier by the revenants in the Wounded Woods.
  • Princess Fara was made royal banner-carrier by Earl Horseriver, and held the kingship of the Weald until the revenants elected Ingrey as hallow king.

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