Mwandi

They say only a woman can house the soul of a King

 
Female Spirit Mediums that house the souls of kings, becoming the vessel for the reincarnated King.


 

Overview

 

Origins

The Mwandi are born from the need to hold on to the knowledge of past rulers. A King does not live to be old without gaining some wisdom. To have it be lost to the spirit realm is a disservice that The Karu do not appreciate. Some spirit healers say that the advent of Mwandi came from the creation goddess herself, Ishvana. An old tale circulates that says that the Creation goddess called to one of the best Spirit Mediums in Garuda, telling her simply that, "The Wisdom of Kings must never die." Whether this is true is unclear, but the idea itself strikes a fear at the core of Mediums. The line that keeps the medium's very soul safe is also the line that keeps information sealed in the spirit realm. For knowledge to be retained it meant that mediums had to dare to do the one thing they thought to never do, surrender their selves to allow a spirit full and permanent control over their body.

 

First Mother King

Oddly enough it wasn't the spirit medium that received the call from Ishvana that was the first to succeed. The skill and power it takes to hold the essence of another person is not an easy one. While a user could open themselves up totally to the possession, this sort of "full ride" almost always results in death. Balancing your own Ether levels while fully letting a spirit in is extremely taxing on the body. It required a level of balance and precision not possessed by many. The full name of the first spirit medium to hold a king is unclear. But we know that part of her name was Mwandi, the namesake for the rank of mediums. At around 150 D.A the first full possession with a King's spirit was performed. While Mwandi was successful in having a full possession by a king and retaining her life, there was a price to pay.


Listen to me young medium, you must tell them this. The knowledge of kings must never die. It must live on through you and your children's children.
— Ishvana
-to an unknown Spirit Medium

New You

In Garuda, being a king is more than just a title. It's more than receiving money and the adoration of the people. It adds a weight to the very soul that carries on past death. When the first Mwandi took on that soul, it meant freeing up space and letting go of anything unnecessary. So Mwandi, and all future mediums with the title born from her name, let go of her own identity, allowing her to fully accept the soul of the first Garudian King, Nzinga Ludan. When her fellow mediums called to Mwandi she responded that Mwandi was a part of Nzinga now. Her voice had a hint of high and low, a telltale sign of the soul that once inhabited the body. The old person was gone, smothered under the heft of King Nzinga's soul. The title of Mwandi is almost just a way of denoting that it was a King of Garuda in another vessel. So the reincarnated King is able to have all the land, money and titles that she had before death.

 

Repeat Ownership

A Mwandi has full access to everything the King had while alive, no matter how big or small. This includes things such as land, titles, emblems and anything else the powerful spirit had in its previous life. The resurrected king will then travel to where their home formerly was, reclaiming it for themselves. Not just that, but the city as a whole returns to that King's possession. Since a Chosen's hometown is elevated in the form of trade and stipends if they become king, so too does that city stay with the King in death. Since new Kings have to claim their own hometown as a capital, there is rarely an issue of competing ownership. As well, the current king is expected to send regular gifts to the Mwandi to show their respect. Earning the favor of these old souls not only looks good with the public but often provides a vital font of wisdom.

 

Spirit Capitals serve as the seat of power for a Mwandi


 

Spirit Capitals

The city of a Mwandi and deceased king is something special to behold. After a King dies their capital becomes considered a sacred site of memory. This sends a large message through the Spirit Realm that the city is inviting to them. Making something a sacred site almosts make manifestation hard. Slowly over time, some humans will move as spirit activity increases in their city. While the majority of spirits are friendly, some find the heightened activity to be too much. The King, once an attractor of fame in life, continues that trend in death. Deceased members of the King's court and empire will often return to her side upon death. In a short time, the reclaimed cities start to become calling signs to the deceased friends and subjects of the King. These Spirit Capitals are sovereign territory, outside of even the The Divine Order of the Phoenix's control.

 

Spirit Gathering

Those who were loyal to a King of Garuda in life are also loyal in death. When the soul of a king becomes reincarnated within a Mwandi, the whole spirit realm is put on notice. People who held the King dear to them while alive will often follow them in death. Even with this influx of friendly ghosts, spirit capitals are far more than just a home for the dead. It often becomes a who's who of notable characters from the King's lifetime. This ranges from deceased nobles who vie for power and prestige, even in death, To warriors who've come to rest by the feet of their fallen King. Over a number of years, the children, siblings or lovers of these spirits will find their way to their dearly departed, increasing the spiritual population once again. Then in a few decades, the wave happens again as newly departed reach out to find their dead loved ones.

 
It was like nothing I've ever seen before. You'd call it a march but it's not like they had feet. Even if they did, they wouldn't be loud. Since the minute the Mwandi came back, it's been just crazy. I found a ghost in my pantry the other day, sniffing around my herbs. It's not even that it scared me, I'm from the Valley so we know about that stuff. It was just rude. I mean, how rude do you have to be to go rifling through someone's herbs? It's like being trolled by hundreds of dead teenagers.
— Nozumi
-Quote from "Spirit Capitals of Garuda: Picture Edition"

 

The Next Mwandi

The line of kingly knowledge has to continue, no matter the circumstances. Ishvana's directive was very clear, the knowledge of kings must be kept. While a Mwandi has the soul of a dead King of Garuda within them, they are still human. Age comes for everyone on Tikor, even those with the spirit of a King within them. However, when a Mwandi dies of old age or some other affliction, that doesn't matter the end of the deceased King. Instead, when a Mwandi passes on, a new one takes her place, making sure the line of Kings is never broken. The new Mwandi will take the King's soul into her, restarting the cycle. Each time this cycle repeats the knowledge of each body is retained, adding to the King's foresight and wisdom. This is also why the Mwandi are always training young Spirit Mediums, keeping the ones they like the most to themselves.

 

Sage Advice

The Mwandi ultimately come to serve more than just the dead in their city. With the wealth of such knowledge brimming in their head, current and future Kings make it their mission to come to visit each one. The Mwandi have decades, sometimes hundreds, of years worth of knowledge and experience that living Kings often go their whole lives without knowing. If you can make it to a Mwandi, listen, and pay attention, a wealth of information and philosophy is there. This knowledge isn't limited to just kings and leaders though. Nobles looking for guidance on their wealth, young people looking for advice on life, warriors wanting to understand the horrors of a battlefield; all of these can be obtained by consulting with a Mwandi. Each Mwandi is a different King who has differing skill sets. When a person has questions to ask, and are able to make it to one, the possibilities are endless.


Requirements

Becoming a Mwandi is not easy, and while the requirements aren't long, they are no less strict. Most Spirit Mediums don't become eligible until mid 30's due to the number of Possession techniques that candidates are expected to know.

Sufficient Rank

While there are no official rankings for Spirit Mediums in the form of standardization, there is an acknowledgment of skill. Before a Medium can be considered for one of the most important positions in Garuda, they have to show their skill. This involves showing a number of Possession techniques with expert execution. The act of summoning a Kingly spirit is one of the most difficult Possession techniques known. Not just anyone is capable of performing such advanced Hekan.

Strong Moral Core

While spiritual aptitude is a key component to becoming a Mwandi, it's not the only or even most important component. Being the host for a King means being a clean container. While it is the King of Garuda's spirit that is in control of the body, any experienced Spirit Medium knows that the host affects the spirit as well. Potential candidates are screened both by physical and spiritual interview to make sure they are of good characters. A person with a violent or dishonest spirit would only bring rune to beloved Kings of history.

 

Duties

Advice for Kings

A large part of the daily duties of a Mwandi is giving advice to the current king as well as other territory leaders. Once a day or several times a week, the Mwandi of a Spirit Capital will hold session. During this session, starting with the current King of Garuda if she's present, may begin to ask questions. These sessions can be quiet interesting as "The Dead tell no lies.". And that certainly applies to the Mwandi.

To the Nobles Ear

The other duty of a Mwandi is to hear the pleas of the Chosen and other wealthy merchants. While you can't necessarily buy your way into a session with a Mwandi, generosity isn't overlooked. While some have decried the practice as bribery there's just as much evidence to the reverse. Every Mwandi has famous tales about accepted extravagant gifts, vast amounts of money and more. Only to turn down having session with the benefactor.

Responsibilities

Tending to the Dead

With a Mwadi home becoming a spirit capital, a number of the King's former retainers and loyal subjects may return to their side upon death. In Garuda , the elders of a society are responsible for thus under them, physical and spiritual. The Mwadi is therefore responsible for the health and well being all spirits in her city. This may include ensuring funeral rites are done, as well as the cleansing of any unhealthy spirits.

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

There is no reversal. Once a Spirit Medium becomes a Mwadi, there is no going back.

The 5th King of Garuda

What about Male Kings?

Up until recently, there have been no male Kings of Garuda. The matriarchial Ludan family has held the crown until recently, making every King in Garuda a woman. With Amma Zencora being the first ever male King of Garuda, many have broached the question. Will the Mwandi be able to summon male Kings? This, in the end, is a bit of a foolish question. Spirit Medium's of all ranks regularly conjure the souls of men. Of all qualities of life. There's no reason to think that a male King would be any different.


Type
Magical, Professional
Status
Active
Creation
150 D.A
Alternative naming
Spirit Kings
Equates to

Once a Mwandi is possessed by a King of Garuda, they become equal to the current King. At least on paper. So far in history, no Mwandi has used this power to usurp the acting King's authority or rule.

Source of Authority
Ishvana
Length of Term
Once a Mwandi takes on a King, that is their role till death.
First Holder
Nzinga Ludan
Current Holders
Related Locations
Related Organizations

Related Reading

Garuda
Geographic Location | Sep 19, 2018

The grassland and forest region of northern Tikor. Home of The Divinity and The Karu.

The Karu
Ethnicity | Dec 11, 2018

Prideful artist and nature inclined architects , they make up the majority in Garuda and the Order of the Phoenix

The Divine Order of the Phoenix
Organization | Jan 18, 2019

The devout organization of worshipers that govern the affairs of Garuda and its Divine.

Spirit Medium
Profession | Dec 7, 2018
Qualifications:

Two Recommendations from Spirit Mediums within The Eyes of Garuda is required. This requires a bit of networking on a Medium's behalf. A skill needed as a Mwandi anyway. Thus making the Qualifications the first test. It takes a dedicated, resourceful or skilled Medium to convince two different Eyes to give written recommendations.


Legality :

Mwandi sit in a special place outside of the normal rule of things. While the practice itself is legal, as it is currently a thing that happens. It's also not a practice just anyone can do. Mwadi are in a sense sanctioned by The Divine Order of the Phoenix and The Divinity. Thus the only King spirit summoners, for lack of a better word, are under the Divine Order of the Phoenix. Practicing any techniques of that level outside of the Order is illegal.


Payment:

While in training a Mwandi candidate receives payment from the The Divine Order of the Phoenix. This continues until they are accepted as an official Mwandi-in-waiting, in which the payment doubles. Payment from the Order increases again once they accept a Kingly soul and become a full-fledged Mwandi.



Cover image: Clarity by Leesha Hannigan

Comments

Author's Notes

Couple things of note as this has been brought up multiple times.   1.) King is a gender-neutral term in Swordsfall. This means that King simply means ruler. That's it. So when you hear King, don't think male. Think ruler of a country and a badass. Regardless of gender.   2.) Mediums choose to become a Mwandi. They don't see it as a sacrifice or a lose. They see it as a honor and doing their nation a great service.


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13 Dec, 2018 15:55

This is amazing! I love the concept of a group of people who take on the spirit of past leaders to keep their knowledge and influence alive beyond the grave. I never would have thought of something like this myself. Very innovative. Beautifully presented article, as always with Swordsfall. Keep up the great quality work!

14 Dec, 2018 08:13

Thanks, I appreciate it!

13 Dec, 2018 18:01

I think the idea is amazing, though I'm a tad confused by the whole king taking over a womans body, and the line that there have been no male Kings of Garuda.   I would like to know how many current Mwandi there are, as enough of those spread across the country would seem to be a heavy drain on the economy, both physical and spiritual.   Also, the section on Spirit Gathering seems to contradict itself everyother line.

14 Dec, 2018 08:13

Hope I answered all your questions on stream! And I made some edits. Check it out.

13 Dec, 2018 19:10

  • 'The full name of the first spirit medium to hold a kind is unclear.' - Kind should probably be king.
  • 'But we know that part of her name was Mwadi' - Probably a typo; You call her 'Mwandi' later on and the title is Mwandi. Same typo is present in the Tending to the Dead section
  • 'Allowing her to fully accept the soul of the first Garudian King, Nzinga Ludan.' - Incomplete sentence
  • 'Making something a sacred site almosts make manifestation hard' - Almosts should be almost. Make should probably be makes, but I'd suggest using a different word - You have making and make in the same sentence.
  • 'Sage Advice' section has a lot of broken/incompelte sentences.
  • 'A person with a violent or dishonest spirit would only bring rune to beloved Kings of history.' - Rune should probably be ruin?
 

'It was just rude. I mean how rude do you have to be to go rifling through someone's herbs? It's like being trolled by hundreds of dead teenagers. ' This got a chuckle out of me. If there have been no male kings, does this mean Mwandi are channeling the spirits of females that were called kings? Or are these male spirits? If they're male, where did they come from?

14 Dec, 2018 03:05

"THEY SAY ONLY A WOMAN CAN HOUSE THE SOUL OF A KING" thats the kind if thing you hear tag lining epic stories and it hooked me immediately. Nice presentation.   I love this article for many reasons. Its clear and it's easy to read and the concept is so unique. My only problem and its the only one is im not sure whether is a single king like a specific one or A king from the past. Even in the beginning of the article it says. "Female Spirit Mediums that house the souls of kings, becoming the vessel for the reincarnated King" I'm assuming the king who is one of many i who is reincarbated but its unclear and throughout the article their are moments where I'm unsure if a Mwandi and the king within, is singular or if their are many. Super cool article. Thanks for sharing it.

13 Jan, 2019 22:34

When I read this article, I had the very confusing picture of having tons of Mwandi and tons of spirit capitals, one for each king in history. Looking at the "Current Holders" Section, this seems to be wrong. How is that? I didn't think that the Mwandi ruled in place of the old king, but they have a parallel role. Is the history of Mwandi this short, that there were only two kings?   I really like the concept, though. Preservation of knowledge is something dear to my heart x) As you mentioned, the dead tell no lies - have there been attempts on the life on Mwandis in order to preserve secrets by their rivals?

13 Jan, 2019 22:42

So for one you have to note that Mwandi are only a thing in Garuda. Just one (large) nation. So there's less than 30 altogether.   The other thing is just that I didn't want to sit down and make ALL the mwandi right now. Lol. So I just added the main ones you'll hear about and add the rest over time.   And as for the third. Sounds like a plot to a future story/book. *hint hint*

13 Jan, 2019 22:52

Aahhh, understandable. Has it ever happened by now that a new ruler came from a spirit capital? I wonder how that will play out :)   And I'm excited about those stories!

13 Jan, 2019 23:37

Mwandi are interesting in that they're kings, but ones who have died and come back. Death changes things. The rules come back gentler, wiser. More free of the bonds that drove them in life.   Their jobs now are guidance. They are still dead in a way, the body isn't there's and will never be. It's a willing vessel meant to help serve the people in death, that you did in life.

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