Hulti

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The Hulti, or the Old Folk, represent the tradition of Ombesh religion that was not influenced by Zunuga, and instead retains many elements of the older, shamanic, ancestor-worship tradition that was once common prior to the Empire. There is textual evidence for the practice of ancestor reverence over 1000 years ago, though most of the Old Folk practices were never written down. Hulti today live principally in Malfan, with smaller pockets in Ashnabis and in hidden or remote communities in other parts of the former Empire.

Old Folk shamans are diviners and healers who serve their local communities without any formal hierarchy. They have the power to identify dead spirits not properly laid to rest, and to correct these wrongs in the world. Unfortunately for them three of those wrongs are central to the Corps: the creation of bubun (living corpses), the resurrection of the dead (reanimation), and the half-dead saints, all of which they consider to be grave violations in need of remedy. Things that die should stay dead. A revenant, no matter how moral or sentient, should not exist. Over the past several centuries the Old Folk have been heavily persecuted by the much more numerous and powerful Corps priests. Numerous rumors and myths persist about the Old Folk, particularly in urban communities where they are treated as more of a folk legend.

Old Folk funerary rituals involve hanging dead bodies from trees in net bags, followed by a secondary burial. They are not opposed to the idea of ancestor reverence but they do not themselves speak to the dead. Shamans may be either male or female, and serve their communities in a variety of pastoral functions.