Friday, June 15, 2012

Enigmundia: "Priests of the Devil" part 02

Art by Ian Balba.
4. Mankulam: fire and witchcraft

"There are conflicting reports concerning the mangkulam or mancolam. In some, this fell priest is a purveyor of sympathetic magiks, often using fallen hair or cut nails from a victim affixed to a crude effigy in order to torture them with illness or madness or outright pain.

In other accounts, this priest performs a monthly ritual of bursting into flame beneath the stilt-houses that are common to natives of this land. It is said that such an event marks the resident of the house for a painful death, and that extinguishing the flame early will cause immediate death to the target.

Still others mark the mangkulam as a mortal agent of Sitan -- though why such a creature of such prestigious position would be associated with wallowing in the filth that is sometimes associated with the undersides of these houses is beyond me.

Like Sitan's other agents, the mangkulam presents himself or herself as a traveling priest-doctor."

5. Mambarang: cursed insects

"Often conflated with the mankulam, the mambarang is cited as another priest of the damned who utilizes beetles and other insects to effect and inflict curses of illness and death. More than one cursed native delivered by the agency of the Pio Famila has experienced tiny ants or roaches pouring forth from their mouths or nostrils like rats deserting a burning ship."

6. Hukloban: enchantress

"The last of the four agents of Sitan is called hukloban or hocluban depending on the dialect one is answered in. The hukloban is a powerful witch capable of shedding her guises like a snake sheds its skin. Death is her specialty, as she can strike people down with a raised hand or simple salute; but she can cure or raise those she's slain with another simple gesture.

Or can she? Some of the more learned elders intimate that those afflicted can only be cured in the manner that they were cursed. Those enchanted by imbibed poisons or potions or smoke can only be cured by similar charms."

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