Aedoteerua: The Soul Chain

Ah! Grandmothers, They pull the Chain. You must obey. But you not have to do it well or right.
Chiru, Ghenid male weaponsmith, Incaras
I have lived more than half my life with the Ghenid.  T'Oang may be cruel, hard, or uncaring so long as you do what they demand. You must obey, the Chain makes you when they twist it. Dracna is different.  She has a warm place in her stomach. With her I forgot sometimes. I thought I was a small, weak and hairless Ghenid at times.  Only when we came to the city did I remember. Really remember. She let me go. Of course I am always hers, with the aedoteerua. I do not think they have any way to release the Chain.  I actually asked her to add more of hers to me every day, because I would rather have her as T'Oang than any other.  Even after, I sought her out.
-Ikhikhaen (Ghenid: useful slave), freed human. City of Incaras


The stories of the Ghenid  tribes say that the Demon Queen, Neghenu, made the Ghenid in her image from her shed fur. That they may never part, she taught the Chain. It is by the Chain that all Ghenid are linked, forever. Her daughters are the S'ua ( First Ghosts/ Eternal) in the Ghenid Language . These are the Oango (Matriarchs) who founded of the Clans. Or perhaps they are only the ones who took the Chain and remain known today.

The Rites are the core of Ghenid culture. Above feeling and sentiment the rites bind the clans and tribes together and point the direction of all Ghenid. Mothers repeat them daily, frequently many times a day on their cubs. Mates, or bedmates, war-band leaders or pack bosses, even the cubs themselves exchange, track and control by use of the rites. They are cast on possessions and slaves, always with an eye to worth and value now, verses later. The key ones are:
  • Rite of Marking ( The soft ghost tie: Aedohuerua) lesser seal ritual with personal mark, ectoplasm, spit, urine or a drop of blood. Used as promise or seal for oaths and deals. Marker of “this is mine” or to allow tracking a marked thing with sense of direction and distance by smell.
  • Rite of Offering (The payment to My ghosts:T’oahghenua  ): Ritual to send offering by fire to the Underworld to mothers, grandmothers, the Shadow and Grandmother as named in the ritual.
  • Rite of Chains ( The hard ghost tie, The Chain: Aedoteerua) : Ritual binding of a subject to a Ghenid in life and the afterlife, requires blood, ectoplasm, spit or urine to mark the subject or object. The binding creates a connection and repetition makes it stronger. The holder has claim and dominion if their bindings are stronger. This means that at distance the chain holder uses ahna "pull" to draw the two together. The holder gets a sense of place, and distance of the subject. The mobile subject feels an urge to move toward the holder. In proximity (voice range or closer) the Holder may "twist' the chain and force obedience to a short command. One or ten bindings may be resisted by the strong willed, but Ghenid and their subjects have the Chain repeated every day, for for years or decades and the command becomes inviolate and irresistable.
  • Rite of Shadow ( The Dark Hunger ghost: Rhu’onangrhua ): invokes an ancestor Ghost and always taught by one. It only works at night and calls up only the ghenid’s personal Shadow. The shadow and living Ghenid share a psychic link allowing communication if in proximity. May deal for training or favors, typically Chains are exchanged or offerings to the Shadow.
  • Rite of Calling: Creates a gateway and allows one Chained thing/being from the underworld to be called to the owning Ghenid for upto 1 night. Allows the Dead Ghenid to reach out to speak to a shackled minion or summon it to them or travel to the living world for the night. Grandmothers or rarely mothers, use this in the coming of age to call up a chained minion - sibling, brother, an ally, or under compulsion - a grandmother's ghost to become the familiar or Shadow to the young Ghenid adult.
  • Rite of Treasure ( The payment of your ghost: T’Oahkhua): A fire ritual that sends bound treasures as Memoria to a personal crypt in the underworld or as bound Bloodstones. A sacrificed slave or animal is sent to the crypt as a spirit. These will usually be Chained with Aedoteerua.

  • The Aedoteerua is the basis of all the bindings and uses.  It connects owners and possessions, including other beings in life and in the afterlife.

Historical Details


Ghenid culture is a death cult dedicated to building personal wealth and power in the Underworld where your status is related to what treasure, abilities, powers and Chains you bring. Females automatically gain the Chains they place on cubs, and the chains the cubs place on their offspring or possessions. Males have no role in parenting, but may sell training or protection for Chaining. Sisters, mothers and aunts close the ranks and push to place Chains on the young. Of course Mothers have strong Chains and can command obedience, but siblings or agemates may form alliances and exchange or force Chains on each other.

It is every Ghenid's dream to slip from the Aedoteerua that bind them in obedience to others while keeping the ones they own on others. The all male clan of Sorcerers,  k͡ǂPkoah ( k͡ǂ is a tongue click from the roof of the mouth). Sorcerers frequently escape their chains by deals with demons they summon, bind and control. Each has a different method and deal. They perform magics for hire, usually demanding male cubs as payment. They never teach their secrets to females.


Ghenid place the Aedoteerua on everything they own or claim, or might find useful.  The stories of the male B'ata ( Idiot) and his sister Dherrit are comic tales of B'ata failing with short sighted simplistic greed while Dherrit comes away victorious by cunning use of Aedoteerua. B'ata kills enemies and places the chains, then sends them to his tomb in the underworld, where he later finds he has only the meat of the bodies.  Dherrit chains the living, making them slaves. Or trades them for other things, but because she still has the chains on them, she can call them in the underworld. Or sacrifices them as offerings to her own ghost to wait in her tomb.  B'ata thinks he will take a fine house from a raided village and marks all the doors. His tomb is filled with the ghostly doors of the house. Dherrit has  marked the walls, the windows, doors, floors, roof and every aspect and comes to the fine house in her tomb. 

Because of this ritual and tradition, Ghenid are more likely to take defeated opponents as captives, keep them as slaves and even ransom them back later with a hefty layer of Chains that are difficult, if not impossible to remove completely. Every skill and talent learned by the chained increases their value in the afterlife.

Because of the Chain, each Ghenid has a ghostly familiar. The shadow is a familiar and ally of Mothers and Grandmothers: Typically it is a brother, sister (aunt) or mother of a ghenid mother or Grandmother drawn from the Underworld by Chains and rite of Calling. Higher status females get better shadows, the ancestors who seek extra power and satisfaction. It is a favor and mark of power to be a Shadow because they can easily feed Urges and collect offerings. The Shadow is summoned, then bound and will carry out services and provide aid in exchange for tomb offerings, feeding their ghostly urges for sounds, sights, scents or other aspects of life and the living world and of course for Chains on and with the living Ghenid. For the Ghenid, the afterlife is not a hope, a promise or a feeling - but rather a certainty to their very bones.  For the Ghenid the afterlife is a Warrior Valhalla - constant battles with other lords and against other powers in the underworld,  or  at peace while served by and surrounded by your bound slaves and plunder in eternal feasts, drinking and orgy. Acquire grave goods - kill and destroy what you don’t need now so that it is yours in the afterlife


It is generally accepted amongst the Ghenid that the Chain is forever, or at least until the Grandmother rises up with all the armies of her dead to take the world and remake it. It is said that some Whaerso (the waste of skin) - the crippled, the infant cub, the dead with few or no possessions and none to remember and make offerings to them - may be given another chance in life by Neghenu. Some seem to fade away. Or they are used to forge the magical metal Soulsteel. In any of these the Chains are swept away.
The Hierarchy of Chains
An individual Ghenid will have dozens of individuals placing Aedoteerua upon them over their life. Some with just a few, while mother, aunt or grandmothers will have repeated it hundreds of times. Each Chain ritual creates one link of chain obligation. Just as a single link of chain is barely noticed in the material daily life, a single binding ritual hardly has effect. Ten is usually enough to command someone in proximity, if unchallenged by someone holding more chains on an individual. The Chain is not dependent upon the caster's power or influence, but is a borrowed effect from the Underworld and the demon queen. All Aedoteerua are equal and carries a partial claim, with total number counting which claims are dominant and which subordinate. Proximity to the chained does have effect. A distant holder has a significant drop of influence related to distance from the chained. Someone dead, in the underworld, with a hundred chains on a living person effectively has less control than another living person standing within 10 meters who has only a few.
Another aspect of this is the protective effects of the Chains you own. Chains you have on others act as a counter weight to compulsions by the holder of chains on you at a partial value vs the chains placed on you. Someone miles away or further, may attempt to pull you by the chain, but chains binding you to others act to "outvote" the compulsion. You still feel it but may more effectively resist. Again, maternal or grandmother chains in proximity - which can number in the thousands - completely dominate all lesser claims.  Thousands of chains on one's own cubs is still not strong enough to counter mother's chains on you, even several times over. It can and does lessen the influence adding ability to resist a compulsion.

Cover image: by Mutterwolf


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