Nzamber Deathcults

The Nzamber Deathcults are a group of savage human tribes indigenous to the eastern parts of the Deadlands known as Nzamba. They are dark priests for hire who are said to 'serve the gods with both hands', meaning that they practice both dark magic and light magic. Their black magic includes the creation of zombies and the creation of talismans that house spirits.

The deathcults have developed a strong tradition of trading with the Vathroni, selling their magic for silver which they love and use for decoration and ceremony.

Their traditional social organization consists of extended families, under the direction of a chief, although in times of war they would unite in larger groupings and elect an "axe-bearer" to lead them. The cults live in a network of forts and complex defensive buildings, and also ceremonial constructions such as burial mounds. They quickly adopted iron metal-working when they came in contact with the duergar. They also learned horseback-riding and the use of cavalry in war from western humans, along with the cultivation of wheat and sheep.


Wars with Duergar


Deathpriests are often associated with the creation of zombies by the use of a deadening brew or potion. This potion kills the drinker and is then buried; later, the deathpriest will return for the corpse and force it to do his bidding, such as manual labor. Also, deathpriests are said to work with zombi/zombie astrals - souls or spirits which are captured in a fetish and made to enhance the priest's power.

Deathpriests are chosen from birth by the dead ancestors, because of their innate abilites. They received the divination from the deities while he or she was possessed and use their supernatural power to hurt or kill people.

There are clergy whose responsibility it is to preserve the rituals and songs and maintain the relationship between the spirits and the community as a whole. They are entrusted with leading the service of all of the spirits of their lineage. Sometimes they are "called" to serve in a process called "being reclaimed," which they may resist at first. Below the deathpriests are the initiates who act as assistants during ceremonies and who are dedicated to their own personal mysteries.

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