ǂPkoah: The Ghenid Sorcerer

The Ghenid soul is owned by every transaction in their lives and afterlives. Except the ǂPkoah. The Sorcerer has clawed back control over tattered portions of their soul in pacts with things from beyond, which they call Demons. They call almost everything a Demon - nightmares pulled from the Beyond, local spirits and even other creatures - and find ways to exert power and influence over them at the risk of the Demon slipping loose. Sorcerers are powerful, twisted and more than likely insane.
We came to the tall narrow house at the end of the street, overlooking the cliffside and within view of the wall to the Necropolis. The large old houses now run down, on either side - once homes to the wealthy and powerful, when the Old Fort had been the city entry. Centuries ago the new market and entry had been set to the south east end, the old road through the Necropolis and it's monuments had been pulled down and a new one made.
We rapped the knocker on the door, the sound thunderous in the dark and quiet night. The door creaked open, about a head above us the dark muzzle and leathery nose emerged, followed by a partially shrouded face with gaunt cheekbones and a hood that only showed the eyes. The red eyes of Ghenid, black around them and then redness to the edges of the eyelids. The robe neck was open and the yellow brown fur of the body, dark grey spots visible, along with what looked like leather cord strips threaded through the flesh. The mouth opened to reveal pointed fangs and sharp teeth. "What do you want?" demanded the figure in a high pitched, almost whine.
"You are the Sorcerer ǂKrovol? We were told you could help us with a thing - a spirit that is not ghost nor proper spirit and resists banishing, exorcism and settling of ghosts."
"I am ǂkrovol." it said with a click of tongue against the roof of the mouth for the ǂ. "My payment is Chain on each of you, one must lay with me, plus 1000 gold." The house smells of dust.
"A Chain on us? Lay with...I ah.... I. dunno." I stammer. "We can get it taken off later." says my companion, a swordsman and stout constable inspector . "That isn't what I've heard about Ghenid Soul Chain." I whisper. "What about "lay with?"" "Do it." says my companion. "I'll do it." he says.
+Kvovol pulls back the sleeve of his robe to show an arm, furred with sharp black claws on the hand. The inner wrist is threaded with a leather cord. He unties it and pulls open a long cut on his arm- the raw flesh, tendon, muscle and sinew visible. Then holding his fingers with his other hand pulls the flayed hand from the skin like pulling from a glove. The Ghenid pricks his finger and marks my companion with the blood on his brow while chanting. "You now." It says to me. The eyes don't blink. The skin looks dry and fur without shine or luster. I lean forward and close my eyes. The press of the finger and the cooling blood. I pull away and rub at it when it is done. "What are you?" I ask.
"I am ǂpkoah, a sorcerrer. Brother and I."
"Brother? Where is he?"
"Here" It says untying the cord on it's neck, and pulling back and parting the skin. The hood falling back off the head, exposing large rounded forward facing ears and a mane of spiked hair on the head and down the neck. Pulling the skinless skull and bare muscles from the headskin with a sick wet sound. The red eyes stare at us from that skull with exposed teeth, holes in the sides where the ears should be, while the skin of the head rises and the empty eyes look. The mouth moves independently, whispering " I am here".

Career

Qualifications

ǂPkoah are always and only male. They are grudgingly given status as a clan by decree of the Great Mother, thought they are of all clans. The secrets of ǂPkoah are kept by the shadow ghosts of elder sorcerers which they only reveal to other males. Revealing or allowing a female to grasp the power brings the wrath of all Sorcerers, living and ghostly. Violators are utterly and completely destroyed.

Career Progression

The male initiate is stripped of any prior Shadow familiar and given a new one - likely the sorcerer holding the Aedoteerua: The Soul Chain on the master Sorcerer, possibly someone more ancient.

Payment & Reimbursement

Someone wants a curse on an enemy?  Some affliction on a rival?  The price might be a goat or two. Maybe a slave. Possibly something like a male cub.  A magical weapon or some secret? Of course you pay in Chains as well the goat, slave and cub.  A whaerso daughter perhaps if the seeker is female. Or sex. Females will always pay more. Maybe they want some gemstone or thing retrieved from some ancient ruin. A flower from a mountain or swamp. They are insane and make insane demands.

Other Benefits

The Sorcerer has much esueh ( power). They have respect and fear. But they exist apart from Ghenid society- forging their own male only one. The demons give knowledge, powers and abilities such as wizards and mages might have. Or skills and talents of experts, sages or weapon masters.  ǂPkoah provide magical assistance against spirits, ghosts, demons and magical threats that ghenid ghosts and conventional weapons and force are insufficient to handle.

Operations

Tools

The Sorcerer may use various materials for show or as part of their practice.  Dance, chants, drugs, eating, alcohol, sex, running, pain, meditative trance with fire, water, crystals or other media, and even esoteric debates are used to "reach out" and contact the Demon.  The Demon is then tested in a binding which may leave the Sorcerer with a bound servant for a time, an unbound Demon that might turn on the summoner or demand feeding or may pretend to be controlled and docile until opportunity presents itself to bargain for terms or turn on the summoner when they are at disadvantage or weakened.

Provided Services

ǂPkoah find a demon of a kind and for a purpose.  You want to break a Chain? Overthrow Grandmother, mother or sister? Strike an enemy with a curse? Gain a special weapon? Break a curse? It is simple. Submit to the Sorcerer and deliver what he says. Feed the Demon. The price is more than the Chain.
A few known ǂPkoah: All are terrifing and nightmares both to Ghenid and to anyone who may encounter them.   ǂKrovol: He so wanted to escape the Chains placed by sisters, mother, aunties and grandmothers that when he summoned his first demon, it was to escape his life. The demon, now "Brother" traded for ǂKrovol's life and experiencing the world as a mortal. The cost was that "Brother" inhabited his skin and so the sorcerer cut it away. "Brother" animates and inhabits the empty skin as if it was fully flesh and must renew contact with ǂKrovol's body. "Brother" has several other powers but demands new experiences and sensations - tastes, smells, touches and textures. ǂKrovol has a few other skins he wears.

A'krhǂ. ("Deep water" as a proper noun. Akrhǂ - this might denote a lake or the ocean). This sorcerer finds his Demon in water, specifically drowning himself for powerful ones. Reflection and meditation for small ones. His primary is a water elemental that prevents him from dying in water, but requires regular soaking. A'krhǂ is always dripping from his soaked fur. His other main demon manifests as a swarm of insects that can irritate, spy and allows him to dissolve into the swarm for a brief time.

Ach’mgueh. He has an infatuation and obsession with his twin sister and uses his powers to support and advance her. His main Demon is an identical copy of his sister. He and this demon killed his mother and transferred her Chains on him to another. Unlike most ǂPkoah, he lives close to his sister.

Nava. This sorcerer lives in Incaras, City of Mercenaries, where he poses as a friendly and supportive teacher for those who want to become Sorcerers. His coven novices are Chained and he adds new Chains daily. His coven are estatics with drugs, dance and orgy used to raise demons. He comes across as easy going and friendly but is malevolent (sadomasochist, controlling), exacting and cruel once he has his Chains on you. This is actually his second Coven as he sacrificed the first ones to get a demon that causes him to never age or die. He may have to feed the demon periodically to gain more years of life from unused years of victims.
Alternative Names
ǂPkoah is also a penis or female pseudo penis in Ghenid . They are literally called "Pricks"


Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf

Comments

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5 Dec, 2021 18:31

Those pore soldiers really didn’t know what they were signing away, did they. A fun and horrifying article. I feel you could have leaned more into the insanity the profession incentivizes, like how does the insanity affect the clan they were from or each other. Do some see others as more or less insane? What kind of insanity is most common, hallucinations, altered thoughts, or just general detachment from the normal world?

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
5 Dec, 2021 19:28

They are extreme, they see things others can't see, they do strange things and are frequently horrifying in various ways. So obviously insane right? But maybe not.

11 Jan, 2022 19:39

Your article was inspiring, so included it with my 2022 reading challenge!  

2022 Reading Challenge
Generic article | Jan 11, 2022

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
12 Jan, 2022 05:29

Oh wow! Thanks!