“We honor our ancients, that they may protect us from the darkness.”
This aspect of heretofore unexplored Hanzaki culture may have inspired the Hikiga to begin experimenting with Spirit Binding. The Hanzaki of the Kugushi Tar Swamps are an insular group that retains much of their ancient traditions despite having contact with the Hikiga Empire aligned Hanzaki at large. Most of the other Hanzaki and Ryujin consider them to be crazy rednecks who refuse to adopt modern practices, but thats only because they don’t often use their mysterious spirit-possession techniques to fight their brethren – the spirit possession is an excellent technique that can double (or more) a hanzaki’s fighting prowess.
Haranobu – Possessed Hanzaki Warrior
In the Kugushi tar swamp region of the Mikata Wetlands, the ancient traditions of the Hanzaki are still kept. Pre-Hikiga Empire, Hanzaki belief in animism gave rise to the practice of ancestral spirit possession for warriors. Warriors of note were embalmed using the tar from the swamps, and the preserved mummies were then dried and powdered. Through imbibing the powder of their ancestors, the Hanzaki would be possessed by that ancestor’s spirit and add their powers to their own. The elaborate warrior masks are specific to each ancestor, and can only be worn while possessed. While this may appear to be spirit binding as the Hikiga practice it, it is not. The Spirit must be called by the Hanzaki and agree to perform the task at hand, and will depart once the task is complete. Haranobu is one of the few Hanzaki who still carry out this tradition, in the secluded backwaters of Kugushi.
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