Full Item Description
The Batahu is the hide of a captured prisoner who is flayed while still alive. As his agonised screams issue forth, sacred symbols that honor the Flayed One are scratched into the folds of his skin that is being ripped from the flesh. As the blood spurts forth, it rolls downs the folds and collects in the little indentions that have been made, giving them form and color.
Once the entire skin has been removed, the wearer drapes it over his shoulders like a cloak and secures it with a sacred chacol, a precious mineral stone minded from the the murky submerged caverns that are believed to be the door-step to the watery netherworld where the Flayed One holds court. The entrails of the slain foe are ground and subsequently scattered all over the cloak while sacred prayers extolling the Flayed One’s powers of regeneration are inscribed onto the surface of the chacol stone.
The Batahu was a powerful symbol to the tribes of pre-conquest Thautol, a symbol that represented the eventual triumph of life and regeneration over death and destruction. Revolving around the cult of the Flayed One, this enigmatic deity often occupied a very prominent place in the national phantean of the various native religious priest ruled states.. Often represented in sculpture as a vast python in the process of shedding its skin, it was believed that he was the force that lined the raw powers of creation nd destruction, often sowing the seeds that would lead to birth anew in the wake of death and annihilation, just like the great floods of his domain that when finally bursting from their well-springs beneath the earth, would rage unbated, bringing much misery and death, only to make the soil fertile and ripe for cultivation anew during the course of their tumultous passage.
For as the python sheds his old skin so as to grow a fresh and healthy one, so did the Flayed One invoke death with the intention of paving the way clear for fresh and vital life. Many sacrifices of living prisoners were offered to him for death as the fuel that powered the life he wrought into existence, this formless being for whom there was no true shape, merely countless analogies found in the nature that had sprung from his penchant for creation and destruction.
To his priests that had devoted their lives to sating his need for reverence, were his phenomenal powers over life and death most amply demonstrated. In times of most dire need, his adherents could seek protection form the mighty forces that surrounded the Flayed One’s essence. By slaying some of their foes and adorning themselves with cloaks made of their hides, they would be able to summon the lesser energies and spirits serving the Flayed One and request their aid in channeling his powers.
And out of this process would arise the Batahus, that when suffused with life-force of the one who ho provided the material to make it and the energy exploiting it, would ensure that its wearer would be bale to rapidly heal when dealt even the most grievous wound. The Castilian conquisitors of Tahutol often described their horror in encountering frenzied bands of priests thus empowered that would simply laugh gleefully as the most lethal blows inflicted on them would almost instantaneously heal before the stunned eyes of their foes. Earning themselves a grim reputation, such native monstrosities were often believed to be demons by the incredulous invaders who found their minds reeling when confronted with such a hediously inexplicable mystery.
As stated above, the wearers of the Bhautols are able to exploit the life-force of the deceased to empower themselves with super-human abilities of healing that are further augmented by any fresh victims they slay. But if the battle continues for too long and the abilites of the cloak are put under increasing strain, the energies powering healing abilities grow an increasingly more demanding appetite, until impatient to wait any longer for their next fix, they begun to leach the life-force from the very person utilizing them, killing him very quickly in the process. Such an unfortunate will resemble a shrivelled mummy as all the blood of his body has been removed and drawn into the cloak that has become swollen and bloated with it.
The Batahu can also be used to grant fertility to barren women, but they are advised to quickly remove it after an hour ro so, and are also required to drink all the blood in a victim’s body prior to donning it, so as to ensure that none of their own strength and vitality is devoured by the rapacious thing. The more hale and healthy the victim in question, generally the more plentiful the energy from which to draw sustenance.