The Penangallan (singular Penangal) are the rulers of the Golden Courts of Malaysia and great parts of Southeast Asia. As a rule, they are women who follow either the Passion Blood Flower Sect of the Dance of the Thrashing Dragon, or Devil Tigers from the Brilliant Coals.
The Penangallan were born of a practice of Malaysian Gui Ren from the Fourth Age, in which female and cross-dressing vampires would continue to survive as wives, courtesans, and mistresses. These women would control their husbands through the art of Obligation, love potions and any other occult influence, and use their resources to aid their own personal agendas. These women took extra lengths to avoid becoming pregnant with dhampyr and they faced many threats such as demon hunters and the Yama Kings, who many bargained with to find husbands of great wealth.
When the Five August Courts collapsed, the Scarlet Phoenix Court, home of the future Penangallan, descended into anarchy, as akuma vied for power with chinese officials and native Gui Ren, all the while defending their territory from ferocious Xiong Ren, who would hunt them down regardless of allegiance. The Devil Tiger bodhisattva Piyau Payung, along with her wu, eventually defeated the devil-worshippers and reorganized the local Gui Ren into the Golden Courts. When she reached Hundred Clouds in 1700, the Penangallan remained, each a queen in her own territory and constantly squabbling with each other. Up to this date, the Golden Courts are the most openly dangerous Court among the Hungry Dead.
The Penangallan incorporate dozens of human cultures in their midst, stretching from Vietnam to Java. Contrasting to the legalistic dogma of the Quincunx, as long as the basic tenets of their sisterhood are met, each Penangallan can live as she pleases. At times, conflicts between Devil-Tiger penangallan and Thrashing Dragon penangallan erupt, due to dharmic differences and the impulsive nature of both sects. Both dharmas, however, are aware of the differences between them and respect the division.
The Penangallan dress frivole and lurid in order to distinguish themselves from their sisters. ornament themselves with anything that strikes them as loud or outrageous, from finger bones and peacock feathers in the jungles of Laos to rubber dresses and chrome cockrings in the teeming streets of Bangkok. The warped carnival atmosphere that follows around a Penangallan is both her protection and her badge of office.
Penangallan often set up temples to themselves, placing them on dragon nests when they can. They believe themselves as embodiments of the Bloodflower virtues. The way of the Penangallan is a prideful one and they put themselves on the pedestal of a goddess-queen. They engage in orgies usually of a ritualistic nature with their guanxi-bound paramours, usually to prepare for combat.
Any Kuei-jin within who has yet to choose a sect is known as a bajang. All bajang are considered male regardless of biology and are forbidden the privilege of wearing women's garb at any official functions such as rituals.
When a bajang becomes a jina, they reach the next level in the sect. A jina in the sect is known as a langsuir. Langsuir may be biologically male but they must present the illusion of being a woman. The langsuir is a seductress and she uses her beauty and disciplines to obtain husbands and then work them to death, gorging themselves on his wealth and blood. It is they who usually bear dhampyr, or as they call them - a pontianac. The pontianac will often be raised to be as dangerous as their immortal mother. Every langsuir has to pay her Penangallan tribute, often hefty sums that allow the penangallan to retain her luxurious way of unlife.
The penangallan are the mandarins of the sect. To ascend from the rank of langsuir to penangallan, a langsuir must have achieved a dharma level of 6, she must have given birth to a pontianac, she must be financially independent, having grown wealthy from her exploits as a langsuir, and she must be able to 'Dance Without Skin' (meaning to separate her head from her body and letting it float with a combintaion of Flesh- and Jade Shintai) and passed the test that determines wether the postulant is a servant of the Yama Kings. The penangallan are strong and powerful, most have mastered many disciplines and when faced with an enemy she will defend her queenly status fiercely, for the Penangallan philosophy dictates that it is she who is supreme in the natural order. The penangallan are anathema to the male dominated Kuei-jin courts of northern Asia.
All pontianac, bajang, and langsuir answer to the penangallan and work as lovers, servants and bodyguards. In general, each Penangallan has at least five underlings at her command, called blood families. As each Penangal was once a langsuir to another Penangal, a complicated web of allegiances and guanxi stretches across the Golden Courts, stabilizing the Court as a big, although distant related, family.
According to Kuei-jin legends, Piyau Payung experienced her moment of Dên that made her a bodhisattava when she watched a mantis devouring her mate. Her philosophy taught that the Gui Ren must be like the mantis - dangerous, capable of bearing deadly young, and willing to dispose of her mate when their uses had dried up. Piyau Payung taught that the female form was the repository of creation and that the "Women's Essence" enabled fertility. Three truths of life are universally reckognized as its basic tents by Tiger and Dragon alike.: Consumption, Digestion and Reproduction.
These are the enlightened principles of existence:
- When you are hungry, eat. If there is no food, seize food from one weaker than yourself, or steal it from the strong yet stupid. If you cannot eat, then starve.
- Fuck when you are horny. If you cannot find a willing partner, take what you want or use taking's better-dressed sister, seduction. If you can do neither of those or if they would take too much time, then masturbate.
- When in danger, run. When cornered, fight. Do not fight battles that will hurt you - the crippled tiger cannot hunt tomorrow. If you cannot run or win the fight, die.
- Breed, for children are the strength of their parent and will continue the parent's blood and mission in the world even when the parent exists no more. Children of your loins and of your philosophy are the only legacies that will not perish into dust. If you cannot breed successful offspring, then perish alone and unremembered.
- Protect the Tapestry, because there are many who would tear and destroy it. Defend it even unto death, for you live inside the world, and if it perishes, you perish as well. Against these enemies you are always cornered.
- Glory in yourself and enjoy what you can, because misery, strife, and trouble will be your constant companions in immortality. You will not find many opportunities to enjoy yourself, even in a long existence like our own.
- This is the wisdom of life. If you use more words to describe it, you are walking down the wrong road. Sew your cunt shut and go become a Crane or a Laughing Rainbow if you think that way. The thunder knows only one word, and that word shakes the entire world. When you have learned to live as thunder speaks, then you will know something.
- ↑ , p. 20
- , p.40-41
- , p.44
- , p.18-19
- , p.164