Hello, and welcome everyone. This is the first colloquium I will be hosting for my research into the ecology and lives of youkai and related beings. Thank you to the village elders for sponsoring this research. Before I begin with the first lecture, there is some organizational topics I need to discuss.
First of all, each lecture will be some fifteen to thirty minutes, maybe more depending on the amount of content I’ve prepared, and the number of questions asked. Please ask questions, I have not covered everything. Each lecture will be held here in the public school on Saturdays in the early afternoon by announcement, so it will not be every week. I thank Miss Kamishirasawa for allowing this to be held here. And no, I’m not technically a teacher yet, so I don’t have the right to come in here on my own authority.
For those of you that do not know me, my name is Tanner Regas, an outsider who wandered in. I’m attempting to make a curriculum for the public school that is more focused on some basic sciences and mathematics. Reason for this is that I was a high school physics teacher… someone who taught young individuals their basic curriculum, and I saw that there was an opening for such a position here.
A: “How come you aren’t dead if you’re from the outside?”
I was left in the village proper. I don’t know why I was in the village proper to begin with, but whatever. So I went for the position, after I got dumped here, that is.
Any further questions about me personally can be held until after the colloquium. Transcripts of which will be recorded by the servant of Lady Hieda present. Thank you for your hard work.
Onto important topics, the class itself; this course will be describing the life, physiology, and general attributes of whatever research subject I have been working with before each lecture. Some cursory observations on things like their daily routine, or inductive hypothesis on a species as a whole will be given at my own discretion. I will be sure to write whatever sources I used as peripheral here on the board. Importantly, I made sure reference Lady Hieda’s own effective youkai encyclopedia, the Perfect Memento in Strict Sense (henceforth the Perfect Memento for brevity), and also checked with the Hakurei shrine maiden about safety concerns before heading into the field to do research. In example, she handed me a talisman to ward off youkai in single use.
Be sure to take all necessary precautions, as that is why I am standing here now, and not dead. Nothing of life-threatening danger happened this time, but I’m confident that I’ll be doing research in the future that will have plenty of opportunity to be so. Just be careful, and don’t say that I inspired you to go out into the middle of the woods!
With that sorted, I think I can go ahead and start the first lesson. The research subject for this lecture is the ice fairy of the lake, Cirno…
C: “Hi! That’s me!”
…who is here right now.
C: “It’s about me, right? I heard it’s about me. So of course I’m going to be here.”
Cirno I’m talking about you, you don’t need to be… you know what I’m moving on.
On fairies, some basic reminders on fairies: they’re small and childlike in appearance, as can be seen, generally with insect-like wings. (Yes, I know Cirno doesn’t have that). They are just as likely to steal your pants off your body as they are to run away in your presence.
“Teacher! I never stole your pants!”
Yes, I know, I mean fairies in general.
C: “What kinda fairies?”
Like the light ones, they did so while I was researching you.
A: “How many times did that happen?”
Twice throughout the week I was researching.
C: “How did they get it off of you, did you just stand there?”
I don’t know how it happened, and it wouldn’t have if I knew! Anyway! Off topic, we’re not discussing how my pants were stolen.
Fairies are the tricksters of nature, with a thriving sense of curiosity in the pursuit of fun and entertainment. As can be seen by… nevermind.
A: “And your pants!”
Yes, quite quirky.
This is for fairies other than Cirno, though. As well as one other hell fairy near the Hakurei.
This, now, is somewhat tangential, but in my research, I had corresponded with one of the local mages, Patchouli Knowledge. This was regarding a series of other topics, but she also transferred me an anecdotal paper of hers based around fairies. In it she proposes that fairies are driven in basic instinct to seek entertainment, the same way most animals are driven to find food.
C: “Teacher? How do you define entertainment?”
How do I define entertainment? I would define it as any interaction with others that may be found interesting, depending on the individual. I more concrete example would be eating tasty food. Fairies do not need to eat, in reality.
C: “I like food, especially candy.”
I know, Cirno.
The statement on entertainment is very broad, but accurate to observations of nearly any fairy. As mentioned, though, Cirno is different.
What I propose first is that powerful fairies will overthrow this instinct for their own goal driven reasoning. Cirno is a great example of the exception to the general rule of fairies, as her basic drives can be summed in two things: pursuit of dominance and recognition.
Yes, big words, Cirno.
She is quick to provoke or be provoked and show her strength. She is also easily sated with compliments and flattery. You could describe it as her ego is larger than life.
C: “I am larger than other fairies!”
Keep this in mind as it explains her entire set of actions. You can predict nearly any move of hers by this simple reasoning. As is even the case with her commentary.
Her personality is fitting of these drives. She is both loud and arrogant. These traits are expected for fairies, but it is especially prominent in Cirno. It is balanced by her lack of common fae inhibitions and fear, to a detrimental degree. This can be seen with how she continues to freeze frogs occasionally at the giant toad’s pond. I can say it took a while to find the first recorded instance of Cirno being swallowed by the giant toad, so it has been an ongoing state of affairs.
C: “I was teaching that frog it’s place! I froze it’s mouth, so it’s my victory!”
I have other sources interpreting the toad to state otherwise.
Her intelligence is on the high end for a fairy, maybe even on par with humans. She shows capable of reading and remembers several historical tales of mythology offhand.
C: “Teacher I think that’s bad grammar”
C: “Shows capable of reading.”
Alright, fair enough, Cirno.
She understands number theory to a point of fractions and approximations. Paradoxically it is known that asking any riddle will bemuse her immediately. Her lack of ability to think abstractly is a very strange occurrence considering her understanding of numbers.
C: “Hey! What do yah mean I can’t think ab-ster-act-ily?”
Hang on, I gotta think of this one on the fly. Let’s go with: Cirno, what crawls on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?
C: “Oh that’s easy! It’s uh… a frog in the morning, with two legs frozen at lunch, and one defrosted in the evening.”
Yes, but would the frogs walk around during that time?
A: “You’re really just hitting her with that one straight away?”
If it keeps her quiet for a bit.
Her storytelling skills suffer the same as her intelligence, where her recollection is near perfect, but any communication of it is nearly empty. On the bright side, this means that anything she says can be taken at face value, since any lie would be obvious.
Fairies, Cirno included, subsist solely on the energies of nature, as previously commented. This is only for each of their own aspects, such as Cirno’s ice affinity. They only eat for the taste of food and drink. Cirno herself has quite the palette for any cold food presented to her, even having a favorite of shaved ice.
On aspects, Cirno as a fairy with an ice aspect is capable of controlling cold. This is more than simple freezing magic a mage may employ. Cirno’s capability in freezing allows her to instantly phase change small samples of anything. This scales up to a sort of freezing gout, which she employs when freezing parts of the Misty Lake, as she is known to do. More interestingly, when I say a sample of anything, the material is very much unimportant. She can freeze samples of water, living beings, flora, and even the common danmaku; all frozen in an instant.
C: “Yeah, I know.”
A: “How does she freeze bullets?!”
I had to consort with another resident magician, Marisa Kirisame, with this question. It has to do with the fact that fairies are not simply the embodiment of nature itself, but the natural energies of it. So controlling cold for Cirno is the same effect as a freezing magic, but without any ritual or incantations necessary. Keep that in mind if you ever have the displeasure of finding a fire fairy.
Furthermore, do not underestimate this ability because it is limited to small scales; the speed at which it acts is incredibly powerful, that being instantaneously. I am confident that Cirno is the strongest earthen fairy there is, in fact. Her prowess in challenging beings far above her weight-class is unparalleled. In fact, ask her to tell you some of her accolades, you’ll be surprised. If I’m interpreting her rather poor storytelling skills, that is.
A: “Are you the one freezing all those fish?”
C: “That’s right!”
A: “Keep doing that, they’re good eating!”
Save the consorting for after. Back on topic.
It may seem strange that she fights other such beings on a consistent basis, but it turns out that she travels throughout Gensokyo quite avidly. When asked why, she states that a mean lady told her it would be a good thing to do. I’m unsure who this lady is, at the time.
C: “That lady had weird danmaku. I think it’s borderline cheating.”
This travelling is almost totally innocuous and nearly unobserved. She will tend to fight only a handful of individuals during any one excursion and then return to the lake. What’s problematic about this is how she can seemingly appear anywhere at any time, regardless of location. For youkai this is a common nuisance, as fairies generally are. But for humans, this is an odd problem as depending on where you are at the time Cirno may consider you someone strong. In example my first time to the Misty Lake to begin observations nearly ended with a giant Tanner-sicle as Cirno mistook my intentions for provocation as I had entered slightly dangerous territory explicitly to see her. How I’m alive I’m unsure.
C: “To be fair, your coat made you look like a very big monster.”
Well, I need to carry many things for observations on me, I’m sorry.
Remember that Cirno is not the average fairy to any degree, and that any fight with her is highly dangerous. Should you for whatever reason need to seek her out, she has made an igloo along a frozen part of the Misty Lake. Location unspecified as the frozen portion the hovel sits on drifts around the lake.
Her travels are limited to only a few times a week at most. The rest of her time is spent freezing the lake she lives on or returning to the great toad’s pond to once again freeze frogs. This can be inferred as showing her powers to affect the world and other living things. There is some discussive interest in her freezing frogs, though. Some frogs are able to be frozen and thaw without any harm done to them (assuming she doesn’t attempt to juggle them). For most instances this is a fact of nature, but Cirno is a little stronger than that. We can assume that she is able to freeze the frogs entirely through, bone, blood and all, and thus kill them instantly, but she appears to practice control over her power and keep the amphibians alive. This is surprising as she has no direct drive to practice her powers and become stronger otherwise.
C: “Well duh! If those frogs are dead then they won’t know who’s stronger than them!”
A: “Hard to argue with that!”
To sum up my findings: Cirno is a fairy with power on par with various youkai, and lives to show her superiority to others. Said superiority may or may not be real in many cases. It is, however, quite real to humans, so take caution should you see her outside of the village, but also remember that you can easily confuse her by only asking questions.
C: “Wait what?!”
Cirno, what was the time of day that you woke up?
C: “Uhhhhh…. The morning?”
What time in the morning?
C: “When the sun is kinda bright, but not that bright?”
Is there any way you can know the exact time?
C: *Remains silent at this point in contemplation*
Case in point.
Participating members: Tanner Regas, The Ice Fairy Cirno, A village fisherman (unnamed by request)
Hello again and welcome back to the classroom. Today’s lecture will be on the cousins of the Kappa, the Yamawaro. As a short reminder, the topic of today is on Youkai, so all necessary precaution was taken as I met with the subjects of research. Explicitly, I first requested of the Kappa Nitori Kawashiro (a key figure with the Kappa) to introduce me to the effective leader of the Yamawaro, Takane Yamashiro.
This lecture turned out a bit more on some economical terminology and also cultural aspects of the subject than I had originally meant. Hopefully this information should still prove useful.
Now then, onto basic information of the species. The Yamawaro take a similar appearance to the Kappa, that of a teenage girl with any range of features.
A: “Teacher, question. I’ve noticed the trend that most youkai are little girls. Any guess why?” If I were to give a hypothesis, then it would have to do with the nature of the border as I understand it. The border takes much of the inverse of common sense in the outside world and applies it as the status quo of Gensokyo. So, while historically the outside world is patriarchal, Gensokyo is instead matriarchal. Thus, any important person is probably female. Does this give a good answer? A: “Yeah. But why a teenage girl in particular?” Eh… no clue. It’s better than the opposite, though. If I hazard a guess by induction, then the same reasoning as before applies that if historical and important figures of the outside are somewhat aged, then important figures here are younger.
Yamawaro have the same appearance to humans in every way other than by clothing. The Yamawaro generally wear rugged hiking gear, green camo in coloration. They have backpacks smaller than the Kappa’s and most wear a fishing hat. Yamashiro having specialized gear with her large supply box and beret. Of special note is that the Yamawaro use standard military textile, which is not waterproof like the textile of their brethren Kappa.
Their personalities have surprisingly little variance, in that they all act with mercantile interests. Their human friendliness is especially low compared to the Kappa. This is before discussing any form of business. Upon making any transaction, no matter how small, they fully welcome you into their societal fold. I, for one, bought a small survival knife (surprisingly usable) to be in their better graces. After the transaction, they shift attitude to a far more informal attitude. Talking to one can easily transition into an hour-long conversation on whatever interest they currently have in their subset goods.
As with the green camo coloration of their clothes, their sense of goods matches to more military themed items. As mentioned, I have myself bought a survival knife, with ribbing on the backside. Other pieces they have on hand include swiss army knives, bags and clothing using the same material as their wear (they were adamant to not disclose their sourcing for the material nor its processing), and an assortment of bladed weaponry. This bladed weaponry is in traditional Japanese design, but also includes some oddities such as shuriken and kunai.
A: “Wait aren’t shuriken and kunai traditional bladed weaponry?” Well, I mean like the weapons you wield. A: “You do wield them.” Then I mean traditional katanas and subsets! A: “Who do they sell these weapons to, in general?” They seem to mostly sell it amongst themselves, but are open to selling to outside parties that may find them. So, they’re paradoxically an open market that doesn’t want to be found.
A: “I’m back, what did I miss?!” Not much, I’m going a bit slow this time.
Aside from this they also hold quite the newfound love for a niche in the outside world, called airsoft. I was surprised to see what appeared to be modern designed guns, but there is a market amongst Yamawaro for somewhat modern weaponry. Airsoft itself is a derivative of model weaponry, with firing capability based on compressed air. Please note that this form of ‘weaponry’ is at a low muzzle velocity, meaning that the pellets fired from these models will not pierce human skin. Don’t shoot it in someone’s eye, of course.
They perform survival games in their section of the forest behind the Youkai Mountain. These games are a mock-skirmish amongst the Yamawaro with an emphasis on ruleset play. A common one they played for at least four days of the week I was present involved the ruleset of team point capture. This is played by each team taking out members and collecting point cards off defeated members, with the stronger and more equipped members worth more points. One of the few rules for how this played out otherwise is a hard-set rule on not drawing blood, with penalty of individual disqualification for minor offenses.
They treat these games as an outlet for their antagonistic nature. This nature is more present to the Yamawaro in comparison to Kappa, though it is not understood why. This is also the reason behind their more militant leaning products. Historically, Yamawaro held even higher friendliness with humans than Kappa, to the point that any human living on a mountain could bargain with the Yamawaro to help carry chopped wood.
A: “Teacher didn’t you mention that they have lower friendliness compared to Kappa?” I did, but historically, the Yamawaro were the opposite, so this behavior is unknown in origin.
The correlation with Kappa is not to be mistaken, however. The aggressive side to Yamawaro versus the shyness of Kappa is about the only true difference between the two. The Yamawaro-Kappa relation is especially apparent in their lack of teamwork. Though each is known to work together, with Yamawaro even defaulting to team-based survival games, the consensus is that neither species has a real aptitude to doing so. Kappa have famously displayed this during the dam building project on the mountain. Yamawaro have displayed this in their consideration of teammates during games, in which they will quickly sacrifice their friends in pursuit of a higher score.
Especially odd is the rivalry between Yamawaro and Kappa. The two species are said to be at odds with each other as business rivals which is somewhat true, but what each does not mention in public is that they work together in remote stores. The Kappa have a unique sense of ingenuity in products, but no business sense. The Yamawaro have very sharp business sense but sell products of generally low value. On regular days this keeps the two in check from any economic advantage, but when it comes time for festivals, they come together to man stalls. These stalls are owned by Kappa on paper, but the organization of every numerical detail is done by the Yamawaro. Without this symbiosis there would be no order to the stalls for the Kappa and the Yamawaro would be missing a revenue opportunity.’
A: “Question. I bought a music playing device from the Kappa and it broke. I was given something called a warranty, so do I bring it back to the Kappa or the Yamawaro?” The Kappa, the Yamawaro only keep in line the short attention span of their brethren Kappa. With Any due respect. A: “He means none.” I am surprised that you were given a warranty, though.
This business-oriented people sound far disconnected from their origins as the “young people of the mountain.” I had a long interview with Yamashiro on some historical information and differences to today. By topic:
Q – What are the current average interactions Yamawaro have with humans? Y (Yamashiro) – “We will usually steer humans like yourself away from our hideout. If they have a burning desire for something we sell, like you did, we don’t mind them being around. The others are fine with it so long as the person signs a binding contract to not disclose our exact location.” *This is partially the reason that I had to ask Kawashiro to mediate introductions for me.
Q – Do the Yamawaro still partake in lumbering, as well as any woodworking hobby? Y – “We don’t really have any logging requests these days since the humans hold a pretty strict distrust of youkai. From other youkai we rarely get requests from the weaker individuals needing raw material for projects. One time a while back we had a request for a red-lantern food stand. It was passed to us from the Kappa who don’t like working in wood ever since they learned how to cast metal alloys. As for woodworking as a hobby, as few Yamawaro still do it, my box being an example of such craft. And before you ask, we do not like ink lines, but we skirt around that problem in practice with coal or personally crafted pencils.”
A: “Did you ask them about ink lines?” I knew they didn’t like ink lines, but I have no understanding of its reason, and considered it rude to question it. On note, a line of ink works the same as a line of salt to ghosts against Yamawaro. No clue when that information may be needed.
Q – Are your physiological needs the same as Kappa? Y – “This is a weird question since as far as I’m concerned we’re both the same species. Just living in different places. I don’t know if Kawashiro told you this one, but we all have a mild salt deficiency that we take many pains to account for in our diets. It is especially difficult when we need to manually add salt to our dishes as they are all plants and fish.” *The mechanisms for which a species of youkai can have a salt deficiency is completely unknown to me, and I will need to consult many experts for a consistent opinion on this.
A: “I thought they sustain themselves on spiritual energies, them having nutritional needs is…” Extremely strange, I know. Again, I have no idea why this is the case.
Q – Do Yamawaro still break into human households? Y – “I’m gonna stop you right there. I know that some dumb story about this being common came up one year. Let me tell you, it was one of ours (*) one time being launched into a home while playing sumo like we used to. It was one time and people now think that we jump into a tub on sight and can stink up a whole building! Ridiculous!” *When discussing this event, a member of the Kappa insisted that they had no part in it, even though I had not suggested otherwise.
Q – On shirikodama- Y – “No comment, nor do I want to hear about it. Disgusting.”
Q – Are there Kappa that commonly change from their home in the river to one in the mountain and back?
This last question I will discuss in my own words, as there are some interesting details in it. First and foremost, you should not attempt to spot a Kappa or Yamawaro in transition between the two species. This is supposedly a bad omen for humans and will strike the observer with disease. Instead, I have information from Yamashiro directly about migratory patterns and exceptional members of ‘both’ species. I say both with some skewed emphasis since each species is effectively the same to a large extent. Of note, specific members will generally move from the mountain to the river sometime in April, or Deutzia Month if you prefer. The reverse happens in the beginning of November, or aptly named Frost Month.
To sum my findings: though I had not discussed their strength as I did with the ice fairy, the Yamawaro are of average youkai strength both physically and spiritually. The do not themselves focus on this and instead have turned their interests to economic play and mock games. Cross them at your own peril. Buy from them at your own fortune. Just make sure that what you buy works.
Any closing questions? A: “What time is bingo?” *The confused elderly gentleman was seen out of the room* If not, then I will see you all next time.
Participating members: Tanner Regas, a collective of village foresters and hunters
Reference materials: WaHH c.13,22, TH18, Wiki on Yamawaro
In vote: [x] God of gathering misfortune, Hina Kagiyama
[x] Gate guard China girl, Hong Meiling
[x] Another person? (Older options always on the table, too!)
Hello and welcome back to the classroom. Today’s lecture is on the better known pestilence goddess Hina Kagiyama. Hina is well known for the contradictory information and juxtaposed personality recorded.
A1: “Is she a witch? I’ve heard she’s a witch, likes curses people. I think it was the Kirisame’s daughter that told me that.” No, she can, but doesn’t. Also, you might want to think about hearing that from a witch herself. A1: “I thought witches couldn’t lie.” That’s an Oni. A1: “Really? ‘Cause- “ Yes, that’s an Oni.
That is to say, we know her ability, but do not understand its full extent. And, though she is by nature soaked in a negative aura, she is also the nicest person I have ever met. I will make a heavy disclaimer here to not go out of your way to find her, however. She is indeed extremely dangerous, but not malicious. So no, not a witch.
Moving on to the body of our topic, Hina appears as an average woman in her late twenties, wearing dominantly red clothing. Her green hair and eyes make for a stark contrast that is easily recognizable. This is likely a method to quickly gain attention from humans out in the forest. The clothing itself is purely European in style, with a number of unique details.
A2: “What part of Europe?” What parts of Europe do you know? A2: “Fair point.”
The most recognizable piece of her outfit being her prominent headdress bow. The textile used is ornate and intricate by inspection. I’ll wrap around to the importance of that later.
Before I discuss her locale, I should tell you how I was able to study Hina in the first place. I had once again contacted the kappa Nitori Kawashiro to introduce me to Hina’s abode. Kawashiro is known to be friends with the curse goddess, so my prior contact made an easy way to safely meet Hina. Somewhat safely, at least. The area around HIna’s broken shrine is a form of sacred ground, as there is no natural fauna, youkai, or humans who remain in the area. It is not to be trusted as sanctified territory. The area is dark and foreboding because it is in fact saturated in the miasma of misfortune. So long as you have proper talismans against, then this is still a safe haven from the further out forest infested with more dangerous Youkai.
Hina’s day is usually spent attending to her shrine. This may seem inconsequential to the decaying state of the home, but it does bring the place to a stable point better than rubble. Of particular note: Hina is unsure what the exact age of her abode is. The wood constructing the shrine is somewhere between rotting and petrifying, but the state of this decay is wildly inaccurate to the age of the building. I believe the wood is like this due to the pure misfortune saturating the immediate area. Hina tends to the shrine by regular, but more feverishly paced, cleaning.
A1: “What exactly is misfortune? What does it do? If I wander in will I be more likely to stub my toe?” A2: “I thought it was that thing them moonies invaded us for.” The Lunarians do not invade us because of impurity which is a separate case. Impurity is related to misfortune. A3: “Hey, so my cow was stolen in the night, were the Lunarians behind that one?” No, and go check for ferals.
Back to the original question, misfortune will cause things like stubbing your toes, but it can be much worse. Refer to the Symposium of Post Mysticism for direct effects of such flavors as divorce, financial bankruptcy, or diseases. A3: “Wait is my wife screwing a youkai?” No. A3: “But you just said Hina is responsible for that.” I’ll get to that.
Hina will also spend her time on activities of the shrine itself; I refer to the times of prayer and making paper hina dolls meant for Hina Matsuri. These two activities keep her surprisingly busy throughout the day.
It may sound strange to refer to a pestilence god praying, but this is the only act I can think that is descriptive of what she does. Her sessions of prayer are held out of the front of her shrine, using gathered hina dolls as a sort of magical dump.
A2: “Does anyone worship this god?” No. A2: “How is she still around, then?” The idea of misfortune keeps her bound to this world.
Now onto a bit on misfortune itself. Effectively hina dolls hold an amount of misfortune by design, to which Hina herself draws out and absorbs or releases it into the environment around her. The act itself involves Hina spinning in place, likely to draw misfortune into the rotation. This acts as a method to submerse herself completely in misfortune. A side effect of the spinning is an odd parallel to fluid mechanics, in which the torque created by the miasma whirlpool will eject impurity in a direction depending on Hina’s direction of spin. Incidentally, this is how she directs misfortune to create a spellcard unique to her, using a river as a material.
A1: “Question, how does she spin so well?” I mean, she likely flies to do this. How she doesn’t get dizzy I don’t know. A1: “What, so she cheats?” Honestly, maybe? A2: “Don’t we all know someone who can fly?” A3: “None of them really spin, though.” It could be that she uses the miasma to propel herself.
What’s interesting is Hina being able to store and manipulate this misfortune herself. As a god of such nature, she is satiated by accumulating misfortune. This goes for any pestilence god, but specific to Hina is the amount of misfortune that can be stored. Hina herself is, of course, a hina doll. One deified to gather impurity and safely disperse it. Her features are doll like, but her body is not that of a doll.
A3: “How do you know that?” Is something as simple as a handshake not enough? Calm down people. Also, there was no jointing on the arms or hands, so I got a good idea. A1: “Can you define doll like features a bit better?” I refer to features such as the overtly fancy clothing, or her perfect facial structure that should be biologically impossible. A2: “Wait I thought hina dolls were cheap paper dolls?” Not originally, the ones Hina makes are paper, but older ones are of extremely high quality even as a doll.
Another example of her doll qualities is the ornate textile she wears. Her dress and ribbons are of a high quality that must be meant for an older generation of hina doll. Ones that were designed to be above any quality standard needed for the festival. Purely by speculation, Hina Kagiyama is most likely a hina doll that was never discarded for the purifying festival, and instead gathered enough impurity to hit some form of singularity in her created purpose.
A2: “So she is a tsukumogami?” Whatever the analogue for a god is. I’ll cover that. A4: “My kid actually has a toy trojan horse and believes that it’s a god. I’m worried that strange things are escalating with it.” That one is more likely a trick of a youkai, please go consult a shrine maiden. I mean immediately. Gods require a large amount of energy or belief to interact with the world.
Hina herself decided not to divulge in her exact origins, as it was a personal topic to her.
At this point I would like everyone to keep in mind a hypothesis I have for object based deities and youkai. From what I’ve observed, it seems that objects holding a particular energy will change in accordance to be a living being. This is already well known, as it is simply life energy applied to the object that causes this. What hasn’t been discussed is that there is a singularity in a comparison of increasing life energy to humanization. This region is seldom explored and has little to no documentation I am aware of. In plain speak, there is a stark point at which objects gaining power are no longer tsukumogami or analogues, but instead fully fledged people. Hina is an example of this, and I hope to explore this concept with other nominal examples, such as the two Jizo statues.
Another mysterious topic I still need to investigate is titles. Most titles are innocuous or inane. Examples of such being “the disciple of Bishamonten” or “the cheery forgotten umbrella.” But then there are titles that have no discernable meaning for their origin, with Hina’s being a large sore thumb. Her title “Nagashi-bina of the hidden god” has some very wild connotation for Hina being a surrogate god, or even a god’s object, rather than having a role akin to the Aki sisters’ places as two of the eight million gods. These titles are present in the Symposium of Post-Mysticism and the Perfect Momento in Strict Sense both. I will certainly question Lady Hieda of these oddities the first audience I can get with her. This is all off of topic from Hina, though. So, allow me to return to subject with some practical information.
Where is Hina present? This is not as simple as her staying on the Youkai Mountain. She is also known to appear at any event near the mountain and parties at the Hakurei Shrine. This is clearly contradictory to previous information regarding her, as it was always thought that her misfortune leaks effecting man and Youkai alike. Stating the woman herself, this assumption is true a few lengthy periods of a week on average. Understanding her in and outflux of miasmic impurity would be akin to predicting the weather, so I will do no such thing here. I will say that I was fortunate enough that this week of research only had two periods of such misfortune saturation. To be absolutely explicit, this a period of time Hina cannot contain more miasma, so any continued accumulation effects the area around her. Individuals are included, and this is why a fear of Hina cursing others exists to begin with.
To end out today, a list of accumulated injuries. These were received during the over saturation periods (one lasting three hours, the other five) and I had used a few talismans given by the Hakurei, several hina dolls generously given to hold onto, and Buddhist prayer beads well used and gifted when I was discussing this expedition with a member of Myourenji.
List of Injuries/Misfortunes: - Five paper cuts (one under the nail, ouch!) - Innumerable stubbing of furniture (many old but nice pieces) - One concussion from tripping up stairs within her home - Migraine from hitting floor by chair collapse (attempting to not do anything after concussion) - One (?) broken rib (2nd period, wore suit of armor acquired from guard) - Hairline fracture in forearm (thank Christ I can still use the arm) - Split toenail from large furniture collapsing on foot - Lost first series of notes in a tea spill - Lost second series of notes in freak rain downpour (sporadic weather anomaly, thanks misfortune) - Lost wallet on one night walk back to village (entire backside of pants was cut off, no idea how) - One night my head was covered in enough blood that village guard mistook me for a feral
Let this be a warning to not actually go find her. This can happen to you!
Participating members: Tanner Regis, unnamed farmers, unnamed lumberer, one fisherman
Reference materials: TH 10, SoPM
In vote: [x] Night Sparrow with a grill, Mystia Lorelei
[x] Eternity Larva
[x] Another person? (older options on the table, and write-ins!
Also, to make sure board members here know, I write these as a dry script first, and then present them by announcement on the THP discord server I present these and add the commentary as we go. Join in on them, a few regular members and I have a great time doing it!
Hello, and welcome again to the classroom. Today’s lecture is on one Hong Meiling. Ironically this is the first proper Youkai of the lectures, chosen by public request. Also ironic is that this Youkai is neither Youkai-like nor identifiable in any categorical sense of Youkai species. I have a couple of speculations on this topic that I will get to near the end. Last preface before starting this topic’s body, this is likely the strongest individual that any human can meet in casual wander.
Meiling Hong looks perfectly human, taking the appearance of a Chinese woman in her early thirties, with uncharacteristically red hair. Her clothing is reminiscent of traditional Chinese dress, with embroidered patterns along some linings.
A1: “You’ve said uncharacteristically, but previous Youkai have similar odd colors.” I mean in reference to a typical Chinese woman. A1: “We’re a small village in rural Japan, how would we know what a Chinese woman looks like?” …Fair point. A2: “We’ve also been told by Reimu about that one Chinese woman that tried to take over the Moon.” And now I’m thinking about how that woman is blonde, as well. We’ll talk genetics some other time.
She takes some derivation from this design with an undershirt common to Gensokyo’s western influence, pants tailor made for traditional martial artists, and a green beret pinned with a star holding the Chinese character for dragon.
In terms of martial arts prowess, I will not describe it for you, as I am not knowledgeable enough to remember the myriad names that she gave me for her mastered arts. Assume only that if it is a martial art with practitioners in Gensokyo, then she knows it.
Her place of residence and work is the Scarlet Devil’s Manor. As she is the gate guard to the manor’s walls, meeting her is no hard task. Anyone can simply walk up to her and begin dialogue. She is understandably trepidatious to first contact. She may be alert to intruders at all times, but will relax after it is known that you are expected in the manor or have no desire to enter. Do not attempt to enter otherwise, should you value your life.
Though she has a place of shelter, it is far more often to find Meiling positioned at her post beside the gates. I myself never found her elsewhere throughout the week, but she did state to go inside the manor on occasion. She fulfills her basic needs on site, including eating and sleeping. Food is delivered by the head maid Izayoi at regular intervals, and she may be found napping at her post during the day.
Is there a comment from the audience? Sakuya: “Now if only she could fulfill her obligations, as well.” Is there contention to her post, or her character in general? Also, hello Sakuya. S: “Good day, Tanner. I would like to inform you that it is not her post, or her character, but the characters that get by her post.” It was to my understanding that Marisa was an allowed guest. That’s what I was told. S: “I’m sure she told you that.” I’m letting that one lie.
The sleep schedule is in order to remain alert during the night, and she still has methods to detect intruders even when asleep. It should also be noted to not attempt any physical interaction while she is unconscious.
A2: “What happens if you try to.” Allow me to say that I tossed a pencil and it nearly killed me.
Her watch of the grounds is all-encompassing, with usage of her abilities allowing for a form of surveillance. Understanding this requires knowing some basics of her power and how she uses, or rather channels it. Meiling is a master of manipulating qi (also ki or ch’i), an energy similar to the encompassing elements in magic. Mastery of qi allows for usage of this energy to wide application, as it is a concept relating all of nature. Qi manipulation allows a number of supernatural abilities, including healing from wounds by forcing the natural energies a body holds to return to a neutral state.
A1: “Have you ever seen her doing this healing.” Yes, after a sparring match she held. I’ll note it later.
Channeling qi allows attacks to be enhanced in strength and scope, going so far as to allow the creation of energy projectiles via punches and kicks. This use in particular is jury rigged to allow combat potential in danmaku duels, but is visibly not suited for this purpose. She’s even gone so far as to use her watering can as material for danmaku.
A2: “Wait she threw her watering can?” No, she used the water in the can, obviously. S: “God forbid she uses the knives she collects after we spar.”
Her work does not depend on her danmaku potential, however. Manipulation of qi allows for contact with things purely by feeling its energy. Don’t ask me the specifics of that. Advanced usage allows for long distance contact reaching past the initial object itself. In laymen’s terms, Meiling has attuned her senses to the walls of the Scarlet Manor allowing her to detect any passing object by the walls. The sense is sharp enough to pinpoint things even within the grounds, but due to certain physical impossibilities she cannot do the same for inside the main building. This is known due to one intrusion during time of study for which the local witch Kirisame Marisa went far above the walls, landing on the main building’s roof.
A3: “Question: From what I know, those that infiltrate the mansion all have the ability of flight. How does her power work for them? Asking purely out of curiosity.” Her power works within a sphere of influence. Anything of the same height that is within the same distance as the center of the manor can be detected. Incidentally that means that she can detect things underground. S: “Unfortunately, detecting something does not mean she acts on it. Otherwise she would be paid to work.” Retort: enough peanut gallery. S: “Of course, almond crops are far better this year.”
Other than guarding, Meiling also cares for the manor premises. The main duty being gardening. She invited me into the grounds on multiple occasions to spectate these duties and see the somewhat figurative fruits of her labor. Interestingly, the manor grounds are only used for gardens, with only a gazebo to dot the field in the north-eastern corner. This also means that the island the manor sits on is a majority flowers and other minor plant life by square space. Meiling has some fairies under her direct command for taking care of the gardens when she is at her post, since watering takes long enough to need to be done in rotation.
As I said in the beginning, this all seems to be fairly disconnected from any nature Meiling may have as a Youkai. It is easy to forget this so much that when she made a passing comment on potentially killing and eating me, I was unsure if it was purely a bad joke or had any intention at all.
S: “Don’t worry, she had no intention. That would require her jaw to move, and it is just so hard for her to exert incredible motion. Truly pitiable, a wonder she could get her soup down.” Coming from the pointed maid that lovingly cooks for her. S: “Of course, if she died she’d stink up the incinerator.” That time of the month I guess. A1: “Cold.” S: “As steel, you could say.” A2: “Mr. Morichika said that he barely needs to eat to sustain himself.” Dietary needs are different between different species. Remember that the kappa have a salt deficiency. It seems that Youkai have different forms or groupings to categorize their need, perhaps spiritual and physical groups. I’ll return that. S: “If I may.” Oh boy here we go. S: “One should also remember that Youkai subsist at least partly on fear, and Mr. Morichika can be remotely intimidating.” Do we need hold a intervention about your workspace right here and now, Sakuya? S: “Should the Scarlet Devil estate raise complaints about this slanderous lecture besmirching the reputation of our esteemed gateguard?” I’m not… you… know what? You do you. I’m moving on. Okay.
This leads me back into one of the first questions I asked her, “What kind of Youkai are you?” Not a word Sakuya.
What should normally be an innocuous question turns into something befuddling when the individual it pertains to does not know the answer. Meiling has clearly had a long life regardless of origins but does not remember much of her centuries past. This includes both what her beginning as a Youkai is like, and how she was recruited by Remilia Scarlet, the devil herself. Both are details of too much interest to ignore, so I will hazard some hypotheses to answer each based upon what we currently know of Youkai.
The easier one to guess would be how she came under the Scarlet Mistress’ employ. It is an easy enough assumption that when Meiling was a much younger Youkai in her early prime, she had sought some form of glory or recognition as a strong individual. If she had no challengers within China of the time, then she travelled the world to fight one of the most notorious creatures, the vampire. Meiling would certainly hold enough power and skill to take one on today, but at the time she would not have held enough experience in combat to take down the pinnacle of Youkai hierarchy. If I assume the vampire Meiling found to be the young Scarlet in her mansion, then it’s easy enough to figure things panned out to the status quo as they are now.
Now the question of what Youkai Meiling Hong is. There are two notable explanations that fit her relative strength and abilities. The first explanation is that she is the manifestation of belief in the strength of an ancient martial artist. This is plausible due to the heavy belief China has in the power of Qigong, and that even gods made by belief are of the same nature as Youkai. This distinction with gods and Youkai is to say that a god that should attempt to provoke fear will change to a Youkai given time. This explanation would mean that Meiling could have started as either polar being, but eventually became solely Youkai. It also would imply that Meiling is a spiritual entity akin to tsukumogami or tengu.
The second possible explanation to Meiling’s origin is that she was a human turned Youkai at some point. This explanation holds more questions as the methods for a human to become Youkai is of wide variety. The simplest would be that she was once a master qigong who sought further power. If she had turned to dark arts in pursuit of greater spiritual might, her soul could become tainted until eventually becoming a pure Youkai soul. This would mean that she is a physical Youkai.
A1: “Is this like the same thing as the nun in Myourenji.” Very much so. Magicians proper are physical Youkai. Another example would be the vampires themselves.
This is of course purely speculation based on what I currently know of the odd gatekeeper, so take it with a grain of salt.
The only other miscellaneous bit of information that could be useful to the average person would be how Meiling receives challengers in close combat. Should you be someone of a martial disposition, Meiling will take on any request for sparring. For humans she will use only her knowledge in martial arts unless requested otherwise. I was lucky enough to witness one such match between her and the village’s resident ronin, Meira.
A4: “This is all well and good, bit did you get her three sizes?!” Sakuya, do with him what you will. I do not blame you. S: “If this lecture is finished, I have next week’s meals to prepare.”
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, three villagers (one of the guard, two of varied labor work), Sakuya Izayoi
Sources: TH 06, Hisoutensoku, BAiJR, PMiSS
[x] The fairy of questionable divinity, Eternity Larvae
Hello again. Here we are in the classroom again. Once again, we’re broaching closer to proper Youkai in our topics. Today we’ll be talking about the karakasa obake, Kogasa Tatara.
Say that ten times fast A2: “Karakasa obak-“ I didn’t actually mean that.
This article was written in a rather somber state, so forgive any melodramatics should they be present. Before broaching the primary topic, I wanted to pull back and discuss some previous ideas I put forth in previous lectures.
After last lecture I had been notified to a loss of focus on general species and subjects in favor of individuals. Let me take the time to bring up the ideas of Youkai corporeal forms and tsukumogami formations. It shouldn’t take too long and will be a good segue into some speculations I have for our village’s surprise expert.
During the lecture on Hong Meiling, I barely scratched the topic of corporeal forms that Youkai branch into. The primary distinction is a Youkai with a physical tie to our world versus a purely spiritual one. I had used this idea for hypothesizing characteristics Hong Meiling would hold as a Youkai of different backgrounds. It’s best to shelve the theorizing for the time being and turn our attention to subjects that we factually know. The tsukumogami are a type of purely spiritual Youkai. This is due to their initial status as one of the eight million gods, inhabiting objects, and holding contempt to user neglect and overuse. Do not be mistaken by this, a tsukumogami is indeed a Youkai.
I researched the tsukumogami basics for this lecture, so I wanted to retrace to the topic of literal personification in the Hina Kagiyama lecture, adding the details I carelessly missed. In my lecture on Hina, I had discussed the idea that there is a point of ratio between magical power and personification possible objects take on. I think the inclusion of the eight million gods being the progenitor to tsukumogamis explains the gap between a lifelike object, and a fully-fledged Youkai-human lookalike. As a god dwelling within a tool builds negative energies, it eventually reaches critical values allowing it to move on its own, usually to seek out the owner for foul purpose. This is still the tool acting as a god with vengeful intent. When the negative energies continue, there is some point for which the god rescinds its state of being, becoming a Youkai.
A2: “Professor? What is the distinction between tools and things like napkins that I might throw away?” Everything has a kami within it, so it is purely dependent on the lifetime. I wouldn’t imagine that a campfire could come to life, for example. Reimu: “Should I be concerned about my donation box, I haven’t thought about that.” That’s… actually quite possible. Huh.
This is the human-looking creations such as Kogasa and the instrument sisters. To cap this, I further state that such a phase change occurs for any object where it transforms from its initial spiritual inhabitant of an eight million god to whatever it may become after. This idea is rather loose and requires much more thought to be purely factual, but I find it a solid start.
A3: “Do you mean the Prismrivers?” No, I mean the biwa and… whatever the other instrument was. A3: “Oh the tsukumo sisters.”
A1: “Wait. If the gods are part of the tool, then do I have to pray to my fishing rod?” R: “You could always get a charm.” A2: “Just do good maintenance.”
Now back to today’s topic, the umbrella tsukumogami. I think we all know her but let me just cover my bases. Kogasa Tatara is a tsukumogami Youkai known as a karakasa obake, and appears as a girl in her young adult years. Her clothes include a turquoise tied vest over a white sleeved shirt and pale blue skirt, alongside a pair of geta. Her hair matches the color of her vest, and her eyes are uniquely heterochromatic. Her most defining feature is of course the large eggplant looking umbrella she always carries. After some unwelcomely close observation, I can conclude that the attached tongue is naturally part of the umbrella, while all other characteristics were adorned by Kogasa herself. She states this is in attempt to make her umbrella look akin to the old legends of the Ippon Datara. On a side note, the linework for the painted face is pristine enough to be seen only by the closest inspection, so consider her for making painted decorations.
A1: “Wait the eye isn’t real?” No, surprisingly. A1: “So what happens if you poked the tongue, would the umbrella or the girl flinch?” The umbrella is more an extension of her body parts. A2: “I want to ask about this idea, is she like a snake that shed its skin and the umbrella is just the leftover part she carries around?” That would be horrifying, but they are equally spiritual bodies, hence why she has it at all times. R: “What happens when you separate the two?” She only becomes spiritually weaker, thankfully it would not cause her ‘physical’ pain. R: “Damn.”
Kogasa seems to excel with many forms of handicraft, as it happens. She is known to smith just about any metal by request and has even attempted to babysit village children. Until the watch decided to swat her away after mounting concerns from the populace, that is. She does these miscellany tasks to stave off her other drives, opting instead for tasks with little possible repercussion.
Her usual needs, wants, and desires can be summed in two words: scaring people. Well, perhaps surprising people would be more accurate? Hard to say. That is her only physiological need, though. Any food she eats is simply window dressing for a normal human characteristic. It should perhaps be mentioned that the umbrella itself has no required upkeep, despite being a separate yet equal body.
Her common pastime is rather odd considering her highly upbeat personality. I believe I’d say ‘bombastic’ is the best way to describe her average state.
R: “Annoying, maybe?” Can’t fault that, per se.
There is a bit more than I beggared to unpack here, so stay with me. Kogasa Tatara is unlike nearly any Youkai, as I believe she shows the common symptoms of clinical depression in humans. Her mood is on a pendulum swing, with middling highs and plummeting lows. It’s easy to switch her moods in many interactions. She becomes depressed on unsuccessfully scaring someone, despite her knowing that she uses ineffective methods. She takes insults deeply yet is quick to jab herself with similar remarks. Her initial attitude is a simple persona to try and act like nothing can really bother her but will break at the drop of a hat.
I am no psychiatrist, so I will not discuss any finer points to elaborate on the topic, however I will cut in with a probable root to this affliction. Kogasa is, forgive the turn of phrase, surprisingly old for a tsukumogami. Her own statement is that she blew into Gensokyo before becoming a full tsukumogami. Due to the mundane nature of this, it would have to be before the great Hakurei barrier was erected, otherwise normal objects wouldn’t be able to wander in naturally.
This is important, because it means that she’s had a long time to think and observe the world around her. As the times have changed, people have become less afraid of Youkai directly. It’s become harder for her to scare the villagers and she isn’t as spiritually satisfied by it when she does. After such a long life starting with pure abandonment only to see a gradual decline in her sole purpose’s aptitude… Suffice it to say that I wouldn’t trust a self-evaluation from her.
A2: “What happens if a Youkai… succumbs to depression? Do they react like Taro when his son died?” Youkai can’t physically die, so… A2: “Wait what? But-“ No no, they can’t ‘physically’ die.
Now, this has some wide implications on Youkai in general, especially since their health is far more tied to their mental and spiritual sides than any corporeal function. By all rights I wouldn’t be surprised if clinical depression could be considered a handicap to a Youkai. I’d like to stay off philosophy regarding ‘what separates men from beasts?’
I think I’ll end lecture a bit early here, as the air has gotten a bit dour.
A1: “Sir, it would be missed to mention her smithing skills. I’ve gotten tools that have lasted years from her.” I should have directly mentioned this in the handicraft section, but I thank you for giving us a bit of a lighter note.
Some closing notes, tsukumogami in general should be considered hostile entities unless they have become fully personified. Yes, I’m using that as the verb now. Regardless, they seem to lose most hostility upon the transition and become a fairly docile form of Youkai.
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, three villagers (one fisherman, one farmer, one merchant), Reimu Hakurei
Sources: TH 12, SoPM, WaHH
In Vote: [x] Werewolf of the bamboo, Kagerou Imaizumi
[x] Mermaid of the mist, Wakasagihime
[x] An older vote?
Author note: I wanted fun umbrella time. I didn't sign up for sadness
Hello again, and welcome to the classroom. Today we’ll be talking about the lone mermaid of the Misty Lake, Wakasagihime. She is an extremely docile Youkai holding a level of respect amongst fairies and aquatic life of the lake.
Kagerou: “Great level of respect.”
Her solitary existence as the only mermaid to exist in Gensokyo is particularly odd as she confirmed mermaids to be a communal species generally having a household space and occupancy. As Wakasagihime (I will now shorten to ‘hime’ for brevity) has little knowledge on her travel into Gensokyo itself, I will not discuss details such as why only she travelled the boundary yet no other merfolk have.
K: “That’s because she’s wakasagi, specifically.” W: “Kagerou, please.” I would debate in a second here.
As usual, the basics on her appearance. Mermaids are of common enough knowledge for me to only state that her upper body is that of a woman, whilst the lower body is that of a fish. A few notes of interest on that in a bit. Of human features, she appears to be a woman in her mid-thirties of below average height (relatively speaking for the torso) with dark blue hair and eyes. Her head also features winged fins in place of her ears. These are a direct replacement of human ears, picking up sounds for both water and air without concern of water pressure. She wears a green kimono with white frilled trimmings to cover her upper body and connected fish tail.
For the sake of her modesty, I had not checked her fish section for any extra fins than her tail.
W: “Thank you for-“ K: “There’s two.” W: “Augghhh.” A1: “Two? Last I saw it was three.”
Her tail has long flukes and is inline with her shoulders. This detail will come back in a later point. The fish tail of course has grey scales appropriate with most fish species. Lastly, her lower body still bends like human legs, so the internal bone structure likely retains a human similarity as well. Incidentally I withheld more personal biological questions regarding the disparity of fish and humans, or even mammals in general.
Now as for personality and demeanor, she doesn’t take on much of a glamour or mystique that her body would have you believe. She keeps to polite conversation with a genial disposition. I’d go so far as to say that she is the top of the list for ‘non-Youkai-like beings.’ Even more so than the Scarlet Devil’s gate guard. Mermaids are known to vary in relations to humans, but the majority are neutral or outright friendly. If I were to wax poetic, this is likely an inflection sailors and early humans had in belief that the oceans of the world were cruel and wrathful, however there must exist some force to balance the waters.
K: “She can be cruel and wrathful if she wants!” *Clear leg flailing seen from a wheelchair participant* Moving on from extra commentary,
This is a possible conception for merfolk, as they are often said to hold power over weather and water capable of sinking vessels of various size. That’s speculative, of course. I’m no occult expert, after all.
On that note, I find it strange that beings such as mermaids and werewolves stem power from belief as is common to Youkai. I say this because of their very mundane physical presence being more of an offshoot species of humans combined with other natural life. Ontological argument, again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if such species could survive in the outside world. The resident mermaid and werewolf align themselves with Youkai, as expected, but I couldn’t get Hime to give a straight answer on whether faith properly empowers her and cohorts.
Back to topic, Hime is not a Gensokyan native. Merfolk seem to live a longer lifespan than humans with what seems to be around double the lifespan. Before coming to Gensokyo some decades ago, Hime lived in a coastal community of merfolk near some Japanese land. The only reason that she knew it must be Japan is that the clothing the villagers wore was the same as here. I say village, however from her statement, it was only five or so households right at the bottom of the shoreline shelf. Hime was not a princess of merfolk in the outside world, surprisingly.
K: “Wait what?” *The wheelchair member slaps the commenting member, with tail fins(?)*
More on merfolk, by Hime’s account, it seems that they all held the same bodily structure for their fish halves. The only notable difference being scale coloring. The households lead me to believe that merfolk follow the same genetics as humans, with all traits translating and even including scale color. The cultural distinction of this small community was fairly typical for a hunter gatherer lifestyle. It mirrored human tribal culture almost perfectly.
As for Hime’s transition to Gensokyo, she simply stated that she wandered her usual waters one day to then find herself in completely different waters. That was the entire story, from what I could tell. Again, with a bit of ‘take it with a grain of salt,’ I think that her drifting into Gensokyo may have to do with her name. Here’s something odd, Wakasagihime is not her real name. Shocker, I know. Her given name is Wakasa, named after an old tale involving a separate species of Youkai known as the Ningyo. Her current name was self-accepted after some time in Gensokyo, with people first inferring from her grey scales that she was a Youkai derived from Wakasagi. She had given a villager her given name at one point, so that likely propagated to further belief. The last addition of Hime is probably from the villagers believing her to hold dominion over the lake as she is the only exceptional being within it. After some time of being called this, Hime decided to accept the name as something of a full name.
To her credit, she does hold repute with the water life of the Misty Lake. The simpler creatures seem to see her as a form of owner, while the more intelligent creatures seem to treat her with a curious love.
A2: “Wait romantic?” Platonic.
Smaller fish will wander to hear her activity under the water and see her rock collecting. Smarter species will show her rocks they themselves found. Furthermore, they seem to stay within range of her hovel for early and late times of day.
Ah, right. I should describe you her environment, as the world under the water is quite different. In general size, the Misty Lake holds a space of about the entire village. This is why even with the Scarlet Devil’s Manor sitting on an island in the middle, the body of water is still considered a lake. The lake is somewhat deeper than expected for its size. The bottom of the lake holds various flora and rocky terrain. As water flows both into and out of the lake, it remains clean. The home Hime owns was self-built using a series of rocks stacked and plastered with the heavy mud and clay of the lake floor.
In terms of the home itself, it is minimalist with only a storage unit makeshift from rocks and a sleeping space constructed from the local flora. Hime eats the plant life and smaller fish of the lake.
A3: “You said the smaller fish are close with her, but she eats them. How does that work out?” Imagine a farmer with chickens, is the best way to put it. A3: “So she takes them into her house to eat them?” Certainly the most sensible thing to do. A1: “Does that mean small fish are the best bait to use?” Please do not fish up the mermaid, this will only make her mad. A1: "But she could feed my entire family for weeks!" Don’t. Do not. A2: “What can she make for food underwater?” She doesn’t cook, it’s underwater. So she fillets everything for sushi. Of particular, she uses the local flora (somehow seaweed is in the lake) to hold the rice together.
She’s omnivorous so she can digest any food. This helps for the land acquaintances she has to be able to share the same food for a meal. Specifically, the bamboo forest werewolf is a frequent visitor to the lake and will bring foodstuffs on occasion. They hold acquaintance by the group named the Grassroots Youkai Network. The group consists of a few known members and many lesser Youkai as a support structure for issues amongst Youkai.
K: “But whom are always looking for more members!”
Hime doesn’t have any role to this group, only a membership. Hime’s usual day consists of collecting stones within the lake she finds beautiful and singing somewhere around the lake. I initially found her singing atop a rock along the shore, with a few fairies sitting in listening. The fairies were absorbed by the song, completely mollified from their usual antics.
As these are frequently her only activities, she doesn’t lead a life much interesting to describe on its own, so I’ll leave that there.
A3: “What kinds of songs does she sing?” Operatic style usually. I have heard that she will sing shanties common to old sailors of the outside world, but only when drunk. A2: “Perhaps she’d like to meet the Choujuu Gigaku sometime?” I’d like to hear that performance. A4: “Who’s that villager sometimes with her and the wolf?” K: “Just a friend. Nothing else. Nothing at all.” *The mermaid seems to be completely curled in on herself at this point* Well if that is all...
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, Wakasagihime, Kagerou Imaizumi, villagers (one fisherman, two mercantile traders, one young laborer)
Hello, again, and welcome to the classroom. Today’s lecture is on the commanding rabbit of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, Tewi Inaba. There’s a few related topics to brush against here, so let’s get some basics on Inaba herself out of the way.
*A group of similarly dressed children with disguise glasses and fake mustaches enter the room* Right, okay. Moving on.
Taking the appearance of a young girl, Inaba wears the same light pink dress common to Earth rabbits. She has short black hair contrasting the large white lop ears of a Japanese rabbit. The rabbit visuals are capped by the red eyes and her signature carrot necklace. Do not be deceived by her young appearance, she is likely the oldest Youkai in Gensokyo, dating to the times of the gods.
A1: “What do you mean the time of the gods?” I refer to the time period of the stories referenced in the Kojiki.
Whether she truly is the Inaba of legend is something maybe only she knows at this point, but I will provide a small amount of context in a minute.
Though her appearance is in uniform to the Earth rabbits, she is still the leader of the species. She is the only individual that the rabbits listen to at command. This is a clear commonality with other Youkai species but is the only distinctly Youkai feature of the Youkai rabbits besides the obvious humanization. Interestingly, by her testimony, the Youkai rabbits may have naturally taken human appearance even outside of Gensokyo’s border. The rabbits themselves work in communal activities helping the doctor of Eientei, specifically transporting materials or performing upkeep on the building. In general, the rabbits act their apparent age, so more rigorous tasks are left to the Eientei staff for proper medical discourse. Due to the sheer size of Eientei, the rabbits have their own quarters for sleeping. Some will still rest in the Forest of the Lost, if only by nature.
I was told by the doctor of Eientei that Inaba had made herself known some hundreds of years ago for the sake of living symbiotically with the house of eternity. This relation took very well with Yagokoro even educating the older rabbits. I can’t really say why she did this, it could have been out of boredom at the time.
Rabbit1: “Wait I thought it was a contract stipulating- “ R2: “Don’t give trade secrets!”
More on the rabbits as a community, they have some sixth sense as a species. Anecdotally, I had the fortune of meeting Inaba the week of a full moon. Eientei is known to hold a monthly lunar festival to symbolically keep the full moon away. The symbols used for this are mochi the rabbits themselves pound the day of. You’d initially expect the process to be extremely chaotic, given that the rabbits have the excitability of fairies. This is only half the case, as the rabbits are excited but work in perfect unison to their task.
*The disguised rabbits move to hand out mochi across the room at this time*
Let me expound on this unison a bit, as it isn’t quite simple. They collectively move and work like a well-oiled machine, with all present working in tandem.
*One rabbit trips in the middle of the aisle*
Further inspection indicates that the rabbits work to a tune, despite the lack of music. A number of similar tandems, such as Inaba knowing the state and locations of all other rabbits, leads me to the hypothesized sixth sense mentioned a moment ago. I could not get a straight answer from Inaba about the direct nature of this ability, so I sadly cannot confirm it even with empirical evidence.
While still on the topic of these odd abilities for the species, let me discuss the disparity of Earth and Moon rabbits. They are not the same species, let me be clear on this. Both stem from Earth rabbits, but unlike the naturally formed Earth rabbit Youkai, the Moon rabbits were engineered by Lunarians. What’s especially strange is that the Moon rabbits have a similar power to the Earth rabbits, with the ability to communicate to each other over long ranges, even including the moon itself. This information was divulged by a few of the Moon rabbit migrants that now call Gensokyo home, so I can attest to the validity of the ability. In terms of other characteristic differences, the general build of Moon rabbits is larger, their ears are much more likely to be standing instead of lopped, and their appearance has a much larger range based on the sample size given.
Back to Inaba, she holds the usual characteristics of all rabbits but with a penchant for shrewd dealings and pathological lying. It would be apt to describe her as a Tanuki rather than a rabbit Youkai.
A2: “This is?” R3: “Perfectly normal mochi. Nothing else.”
This even goes so far as her adroit sense of stealth, being able to appear anywhere as she wants. Beware her words and promises, they are never bare of her intent. She has been known to run a variety of cons and attempts to swindle people on a frequent basis. Conversation with her is something of a verbal sparring practice to get any straight answer out of her. She, and likely all Earth rabbits, seem to share the same internal drive that fairies do, a want of entertainment. This is nowhere near as prominent in the rabbits as it is the fairies, since rabbits still have mortal bodies with basic needs, but they are of the intelligence to think of things past those needs. For younger Youkai rabbits this is satisfied by the community of rabbits at Eientei, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Inaba. Fooling people is her primary form of entertainment, something she must have picked up through her long life. So far this activity has never gone to the extent of harm to anyone (other than perhaps Reisen Udongein Inaba) but be aware that her total knowledge of the world is something to contemplate.
A3: “This stuff’s good, where can I get more.” R4: “Yes, we sell them in the forest, for a fair price.”
This duplicitous nature is used to the benefit of her kind when she wants. There are many times that her schemes or hoaxes will involve rabbits, non-Youkai ones specifically, and often runs for the rabbits be given owners. Her own explanation of this practice was an anecdotal piece of a time in the past that owning pet rabbits was in vogue for the rich and prosperous. Then, either when the wealthy are no longer so or simply when owning pets is out of style, the rabbits are released back into the wild. Her statement of the tragedy for these rabbits happens to leave out the important note that these rabbits are far more likely to become Youkai after this event. Once the rabbits have everything taken away from them, they harbor a survival drive more prominent than their kin. This sense of ambition is more comparable to human motivations like seeking a better state in life. This is all a catalyst for the rabbits to fully become Youkai and even gain power enough to humanize. Yes, I will coin that as a verb if I can.
*The room appears to be coming to a lull at this point, oh my*
Ending off, I should cover her known ability of bringing luck to others. This power is quite the oddity, as there is no discernable causality to its effects. It seems as simple as viewing Inaba grants good luck, but from my previous interactions with Hina Kagiyama, the goddess of misfortune, there should be some material reason for this granted luck. Hina would absorb the misfortune from individuals or use dolls as a proxy container for built up misfortune, but there is no analogue Inaba makes use of. This simple absurdity of effect is large evidence for Inaba being the same of legend, which includes being a kami of luck. This is important as any god or Youkai of large enough power is able to effect the world around them in a remote sense, unlike the very direct manipulation Hina takes to the misfortune she controls. The conclusion of Tewi Inaba being a god by some measure is hard to make, as the description of her and her power are not in one-to-one correspondence with the ancient tale. Namely, Inaba will fool people regularly but is not known to treat others well even if they do so for her. Also important, the god of the tale of Inaba granted good fortune by will, whereas Tewi Inaba’s luck seems strictly to apply to anyone that sees her, regardless of her good will.
R5: “Have you considered that someone would just be jaded over the ages?” I didn’t think of that side of the argument, honestly. Also, what have you all been doing here? R2: “Nothing” *Another rabbit begins abruptly whistling* Would you care to explain what you gave to everyone? They appear to be out of it. R3: “Just some good mochi, you should try some.” How about no. Would you like me to bring this up with Eirin? That you were disrupting my lecture? R1: “When were you on a first name basis?” R3: “You thought she wasn’t working with us here?” R4: “I wonder if they’ll actually want more, I thought this was supposed to be bad for them.” R5: “It was the extra kick in them that is supposed to do it.” I think I’ll need to grab Keine for this one. How am I going to explain this crap?
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, A crowd of rabbits, villagers (sadly a larger crowd than usual)
Hello again, and welcome to the classroom. Today’s lecture is on the lesser evil to wander Gensokyo, Seija Kijin.
A1: “Lesser?! She flips horses!” Seija: “Greater.” Who appears to be here with us. This is fine, Keine just choke hold her or something.
An amanojaku whose sole purpose is to be contrarian. If there’s a better way to understand this, it’s beyond me. Her general motivations are near arbitrary and only bolstered by her roulette wheel morality. Please consider her dangerous, because even she doesn’t know what she’ll do next. Other than rudeness incarnate, I’d like to discuss a small bit of physics pertaining to her ability, and how some physical laws seem to be malleable within Gensokyo.
S: “Professor? I take issue with incarnate in this context.” Alright since you have no issue I’ll be moving on.
Seija Kijin is a type of oni known as the amanojaku. I’ve been told this is technically incorrect, as they are supposedly a completely separate species, but I’ll leave the association with the horns and wild abilities as is. Her hair is naturally black with red and white highlights. Her eyes are a blood red. She also has small bluish horns on her head. Her standard outfit is a white dress but with a multi-stage trimming to three separate colors in an alternating arrowhead assembly.
Seija’s attitude is peculiar at best. The amanojaku are a species of pure yin to every other species’ yang. They revel in doing what they’re not supposed to. They love to make others hate them. They speak in opposites, annoyingly.
S: “Hey skank, can you stop breathing down my neck?” Keine: “When you leave.”
An amanojaku is a bundle of chaos, there is no way to tell what they’re thinking behind the multiple layers of intentional lying, impulsive lying, and regular dialogue. For Tewi Inaba it felt like I trained in verbal sparring, while with Seija it feels like I went through drunken verbal barfights. Not to mention the various pranks she decided were fun to play during our discussions. This is mostly to distract from her schemes and underlying power. Bear in mind that her driving force is to upheave society however she can.
A1: “What does this have to do with flipping horses, Seija!” It certainly seemed to interrupt you, so I think she accomplished her goal.
Some examples of burdening those around her include such minor offenses as theft, general property damage, disruption of workspaces (of pretty much any kind), dine and dashing, robbery, trail side robbery, destruction of important documents, forgery, and it wouldn’t surprise me if drug dealing was somewhere within all of this.
S: “To be fair, the restaurant willingly served me. That’s on them.” Probably to not incite you. S: “All is as it should be.”
I’ve checked with both the human guard and Tengu guard to find that both have a leather-bound compendium of every tracked misdeed attributed to the bandit.
Seija seems to have no desire for food or drink to any extent. Reasoning to explain this probably pertains to the nature of Youkai, as usual. While this could be more of her amanojaku nature rearing its contrarian head, I believe this is more so due to her generated type of fear. Seija is a spiritual bodied Youkai, meaning without the Youkai there would be nothing remaining, but is one who embodies the fear of chaos and strife through her acts. Attempting to attune with nature’s more chaotic state let’s her play any prank as an unstoppable force, since she won’t stop messing with people for as long as she lives. This also means that she gets a free ride on the spiritual power to feed on, since like the oni she also acts like a form of natural disaster. Though, I suppose hers would only be around the level of a minor flash flood, not a tsunami like the oni proper. An explanation separated from oni is that amanojaku represent the idea of the doppelganger. This thought leans a little more into the modern-day occult, but does have origins in every culture, as the idea of a same but different self is simple enough to be considered a constant.
A1: “Professor, would miss Hojuu be considered closer to the idea of the doppelganger?” It depends on the form of doppelganger myth you take. One variant is the self that is everything you are, while another variant is everything you are not. You could argue both of them are tied to it. S: “You’ve never seen us in the same room, can’t prove anything.”
Moving on from her insipid personal level-
S: “Watch it-“
there’s a lot to unpack in her ability, limitations and implications all. First off, what is her power? A simple question with a simple answer. She can flip anything. Now, what does this mean? Not so simple. I’ll start at the basic level, and say I hold a pencil. She can flip the orientation I hold the pencil, so if I’m holding it in attempt to write she will then make it so I hold it with the butt to the paper.
A2: “Anything, professor?” Sort of. A2: “Can she flip my love life around?” No, that’s your own problem. S: “Nor would I, but I can do this.” *She gestures very rudely to the audience member*
Similar occurrences when she flips a cup on a table (it will be flush with the table as to not spill until lifted), flips her cell bars, and even flipping people. Let’s dive a bit deeper on this, as not only does she flip someone upside down, but she can also flip the effects of gravity on them for a short period.
Allow me to explain a concept in physics so that you can gain some context on these next points. A vector is a mathematical object used to describe a direction and how strongly something is in that direction. I’ll not bore you with a technical or numerical explanation, so instead think of it in two ways. First think of when you’re walking; the vector for your velocity points in the direction of motion and is larger depending on how fast you are moving. The other thought is to think of me at the front of the classroom in comparison to where you’re sitting. The position vector is the direction towards me and is scaled by how far away I am.
Alright, keep this in mind as I’m about to frame this next portion of the lecture around this concept. Let’s return to the pencil in my hand, now. The pencil can be considered a single vector that Seija has the ability to flip, and this can be either by a vector starting at the butt of the pencil and ending at the tip or it could be starting at the center of the pencil and ending at the tip or butt. This distinction is mildly important as it would be how Seija visualizes what she flips. The vector of the full pencil would be flipped halfway along the pencil to swap the beginning and end, whereas the half pencil vector will only swap the direction of the single endpoint. Note that the half pencil vector still describes a solid object, so it would still move both sides as they are attached.
Now why is this important? Seija can flip things along an axis (a center point) of her choosing. From the mundane perspective, this means that when I present her a stick with a rock on either side of it, she can flip the rocks about the stick, regardless of distance. From a less mundane practical standpoint, this means that with a short explanation on these basics, she figured out how to flip positions with people. This is how she escaped her cell earlier this week. She also figured out how to teleport by displacing herself with a volume of air ahead of her, so that’s a thing now.
A3: “Couldn’t she then just flip the door on its hinges?” Actually, yes. Can’t believe I didn’t think of that. S: “It was funnier to put him in there. How was the cell, by the way?” Cozy. I ended up being in there for a couple hours while the guards scrambled to catch you.
In other news of ‘what have I unleashed upon these lands’ Seija seems to know enough about the basics of electricity to short-circuit installed lights in the village.
K: “Wait, WHAT?!”
It had started with seeing if she could affect a magnetic field in a small permanent bar magnet. If you’ve seen a magnet before, it will attract metal to it the closer the bar comes. A butchered but apt explanation that the metal in the bar has a vector of magnetism pointing in one direction across the bar. In reality a bunch of the vectors are distributed across the bar, which is what Seija effected when I asked. I explained it to her, asking if she could flip the magnet flow halfway along the bar, and it turned out she could do just that, dulling the permanent magnet. The simplicity of this action left the magnet like that still, but it also has a tiny bit of magnetic property left. She then proceeded to show interest in a few other innocuous objects in the jail, with the lights in the room capping the conversation. I explained that a line of electricity ran through the walls passing through the lightbulb to generate light, then she flipped the electricity in a visible portion of the wire.
If things aren’t bad enough yet, then let me tell you how she can mirror things. See, biology has this funny thing where the molecules (the small things that make up stuff) have a specific handedness, just like how you can’t treat your left hand the same as your right hand. The implications of her being able to mirror virtually anything means that she can swap these small biological molecules handedness, and thus mess up a lot. In short example, say I have sugar: she can flip the handedness of sugar making it taste the same, but not absorb into your system when you digest it. That’s nice, but there’s also things like painkillers, one of which when swapped in handedness will instead act like a heavy attitude effecting drug.
A1: “I believe that when Lady Yagokoro spoke about this, she also mentioned that such handedness can go as far as causing illness all the way up to cancer.” S: “Experience?” A1: “No, she just likes to lecture on things…” Quite the studious one here.
I’m being verbose this lecture, so let me give a closing statement on why I’ve discussed this. Gensokyo is a nightmare to identify how things might interact with each other. The outside world has no equal methods of performing things like what Seija Kijin is capable of, even to the point that some of these things shouldn’t be possible. My own conjecture cannot glean the full story of how widely such actors can affect the world around them, and thus I cannot always give a full explanation on just how dangerous these individuals are. Please keep such things in mind.
S: “This sounds like a call for demonstration!” *She proceeds to displace all the chairs and people sitting in them. Saw that coming, thankfully. Oh, and Keine tackled her out a window*
Participating members: Tanner Regis, Seija Kijin, Keine Kamishirasawa, three unnamed villagers (a fisherman, a farmhand, a younger village man)
Reference Materials: TH14, Who’s who of Gensokyo, Impossible Spellcard
In Vote:  Petty officer patrol Tengu, Momiji Inubashiri
Hello again, and welcome to the classroom. Today’s topic is back to a safer realm, relatively speaking. That is to say, we’re discussing the minor Youkai known as Rumia. I’ve already taken the liberty of catching her to give this expository to. Don’t worry, we have put her into a decent cage. I thought she needed to hear a few of these points to get an idea on herself. We’ll be brushing with topics such as breaking energy conservation and religion. Let’s get into it.
A1: “Professor, can she really not get out? She’s biting the bars.” She doesn’t have enough strength to bite through, at least not for enchanted metal like that.
Rumia, of no surname, is a Youkai of unknown origin.
Rumia: “Hi, that would be me.”
She appears as a young teenage girl with blond hair and red eyes. Her attire consists of a black skirt and vest over a long white sleeved shirt. Lastly, she wears a red ascot with large red beads adorning the collar and an ofuda tied in her hair as a ribbon. As is often noted at this time, she cannot touch the ofuda due to intrinsic sealing properties inherent to it.
A2: “What is it sealing?” I’ll touch on that later. Do be noted that I only have speculations, as there is not much way for evidential ideas.
Her power is on the mundane side, relatively speaking, of creating a ball of darkness around her. She has some limited control of the ball, but it is always centered on her body. The ball has no physical barrier so anything can pass clear through it. Of course, an entirely pitch-black space you can’t see out of would be problematic like this, since you don’t know what direction you’re going. Now is also a good time to remind everyone that humans (or correlated beings of similar structure) cannot walk a straight line with their eyes closed.
A1: “That can’t be true.” *Why did he really get up to walk into the doorframe? * Moving on without commentary. R: “I’m hungry.”
Rumia is known to ram into trees for this reason. I honestly thought this was exaggeration, but she really does do this. Her bubble is capable of fitting an entire crowd inside, as well. I needed multiple tries to find her inside. Even when she does discover you, she will not immediately attack. While I say attack, the recent times of peaceful dueling conduct has left her to bite people, but without injuring them. Well, mortally.
R: “Mr. Snackbar, I’m hungry.” A2: “Can I feed her some cabbage.” If you can get your hand close. Do not hand feed her, obviously.
I wouldn’t trust her to not attempt eating anyone, regardless. Her physical appearance is that of a young teen, but oddly her intelligence is many years immature. An odd disposition when compared to nearly any other Youkai. This could be due to the sealing amulet she wears, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Properly explaining her power turns out to be a taxing undertaking, as light isn’t the simplest thing to measure. At first, I attempted to test for it being a physical substance just like a type of gas. I had set Rumia such that the bubble would be edging a few weather veins to see if they would turn in an opposing direction, but to no avail. So, I had to turn to some harder explanations, with many being unrealistic for me to test. Things along the lines of checking the speed of light as it passes the bubble to see if the absence is illusory. One thing I can check is the temperature gradient within the bubble.
As it turns out, Rumia’s bubble is something like a perfect black body. Quick explanation, those are what the sun and stars are, bodies that absorb energy and emit it back as light. A small-scale example is the light emitted from a tool being worked after heating. The light is called black body radiation. Whatever the border of Rumia’s bubble actually is, it is a perfect black body. This means that all light hitting the bubble is absorbed and turned into heat.
A3: “Professor, does this mean that if I borrow this caged Rumia, she would act as a heater out in the sun?” No, the bubble is a black body, but the inside is entirely dark, so no heat energy is transferred inside.
The heat dispersion explains why the temperature inside the bubble is mostly stable. Now what does this mean in terms of the effects the bubble has on the world around it? Not much. If I rack my brain some more, I’m sure I can come up with fun examples of how this changes some electricity and magnetism to smaller systems, but I doubt they’ll come up. The important take away is that she causes an area to be dark, no surprises there.
This should fill my science quota, since that seems to be expected by now. I also promised some religion talk, now didn’t I?
Rumia is a bundle of mixed ideas. There’s Buddhist-Shinto, obviously, but also Christianity and Greek.
A1: “Professor, what is exactly Buddhist-Shinto about her? She’s a foreigner and not one to visit shrines.” Effectively anything in this region is under the guidance of a Buddhist-Shinto system. The belief in Youkai changes foreigners to lean this way. A2: “Is that Shintoism attributed to the mikos in any way?” Mikos are the direct leaders in the faith for the average person. *The child in discussion is still chewing on her bars*
Her beliefs in various things are misreadings or rememberings of some excerpts. In example, her morality on Youkai is something warped from bible excerpts. I got my hands on a book of genesis from Suzunaan. I thought these would be rarer in the eastern lands, honestly. It’s clear, though, that Rumia has read the beginning sections of it as well. One funny line I have her quoted for as, “the big guys said that knowledge is bad.” This is referring to the tree holding the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Her lack of recognition to the tale of Cain and Abel or Noah leads me to think that she gave up on reading quickly. I asked if she knew any other stories, and she only remembered the line, “The saint was crucified. The traitor’s in a field of blood.” I’m not brushed up enough on my Sunday school to pinpoint the field, but the saint refers to Jesus Christ.
R: “Mr. Snackbar, the field is just funny because it was with a bunch of pots. I wonder how he tasted after being buried there. Would he taste like mudcaked fish? Also, I wonder how the saint tasted. Wish I had a chance. Oh, he may have tasted like dried jerky since they left him in the sun!” I’m sure the light of the Lord would not taste good to you. R: “You mean he’s a light meal?”
A closing note to Rumia’s Christian beliefs, she has taken a moral stance that Youkai causing catastrophe is good. This seems to be from her observance that the book of Genesis states God gives Adam and Eve dominion over all the land, animals, and day. If the humans have this dominion, then the reflection of humans, the Youkai, have dominion over the night and thus the entropy that God curses humans with for eating the fruit of knowledge.
Don’t worry, we’re not done today. This little bible study is nice, but how does this tie back into Youkai in general, not to mention I said Rumia had some Greek influence. Tackling the Greek connection first, due to her nature as a Youkai with the power of darkness, I had some lingering questions on Rumia and her origins. When I attempt to answer what Rumia is, I need to say it with a grain of salt, since this is the only guess I have. Due to the adjacence we have with a Greco-Roman god, and how Christianity specifically came about during the times of the Romans, I believe that Rumia may be the goddess Nyx or her brother Erebus.
*Rumia is currently reaching for food that is placed out for after*
I say as much since Rumia is some being fully sealed, to the point that you cannot take off the seal without knowing the magic for it yet is still a fully coherent Youkai. If she isn’t a god like this, then it should still be noted that she is sealed but still powerful enough to manifest as a Youkai of a general idea. Perhaps that tells the fear humans hold for the dark.
Addendum: Christianity in its most basic canon does not hold beings of worldly nature like Youkai. There are demons, but there are of a different plane or dimension, whichever is correct.
Speaking on fear and belief, let’s broach a bit of general discussion on that and Youkai in particular. This is more for reference as a paradox that occurs in nature, rather than an explanation of a fundamental I’ve noticed. Youkai seem to be capable of faith. Same as humans. I suppose I’ve not established this with Rumia, since she only took lines of the bible to heart, not necessarily having faith in the Abrahamic God Yahweh. I instead talk of species like the Tengu and Kappa holding their faith toward the Moriya, or the Oni that respect and serve the Ministry of Right and Wrong. Not to mention any Youkai that fully accepts the Buddhist way within Myourenji.
Youkai having faith doesn’t sound absurd on statement, but a major issue arises with how Youkai literally live on fear and faith. It is the energy that supplies their existence. So, there’s no telling whether the faith of a Youkai contributes to a god or not, nor does it make sense if their own energy is untampered with. I could be obtusely metaphysical and say that maybe the thought of faith is itself faith, but then this has the problem of why other beings would need to believe in a species of Youkai if said species has a large enough population to sustain themselves.
A4: “Does this mean that I can pray to a Youkai for it to eat my neighbor’s dog?” R: “I’ll do it for free!” I’m sure you can find many Youkai to do it regardless of their metaphysical standpoint. A2: “What about the Chupacabra?” *Even I’d like that*
This is just as likely to be me thinking about this backward in that Youkai only strictly involve fear and no amount of faith, but then what would being faithful mean to a Youkai? I’m not satisfied in the quick explanation that they wish to hold belief in a higher power that could give their lives meaning. This is a conundrum all around.
Rumia, did you get all that? R: “Huh?! Hi.” I guess I should have expected that.
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, Rumia, four unnamed villagers (a fisherman, an academic, a young village man, a farmer)
Hello again, and welcome to the classroom. Today’s lecture seems to be a return to the start. We’re talking about the fairy named Eternity Larva. Why the populace wanted me to check another fairy, and furthermore why the elders approved it, is beyond me. Regardless, this fairy is another outlier to her kind. If she is a fairy, anyway, but more on that in a little bit. For now, know that we’ll be running through a bit more on history and mythology, plus the environment of the Garden of the Sun.
Yuuka: “Friendly reminder to follow designated paths and avoid trailblazing when visiting. The children are delicate and would appreciate you not harming them.” Kazami-san… I’m not going to say that you’re not allowed to be here, but why are you here? Y: “I’m only curious about the fruits of your research in my garden. No other reason.” *She’s totally tapping her parasol more fervently*
I’ll start on the usual. Basic description of the research subject. Eternity Larva is a butterfly fairy, aspect based on her own statement, who has a varied design. Let me just list everything off: she wears a green dress with a butterfly wing design trim at the sleeves and collar, she has peach colored eyes, her hair is a light blue with an osmeterium cresting the top of her head, leaves are also commonly worn in her hair, and lastly her wings are representative of the swallowtail butterfly with a signature black and yellow pattern. Also, yes, I did need to look up osmeterium; I was swiftly notified that it is not antennae.
Eternity is a mild-mannered fairy, but still takes to the life of revelry other fae tend to. Whilst she is one to seek entertainment, she is far more inspective and responsive than the mass of sunflower fairies that cohabit the Garden of the Sun. She’s shown enough aptitude in her environmental nature as a fairy to know where Youkai within the garden are. Multiple, by the way, I’ll get to it. Otherwise, she is of great intelligence for a fairy. I’d even put her closer to a human in that respect, as she has the capacity for preplanning, inductive reasoning, and problem solving.
A1: “Professor, how does she compare to the previous fairy. The self-proclaimed strongest?” By far more intelligent, but not more powerful. The difference is certainly night and day in conversation.
She has no formal education, so I could not question her on number theory for problem solving, it instead was only questions in pragmatism. Let me not downplay this, though, as I haven’t even mentioned the parts where she deeply understands her fae nature and life energy.
Wriggle: “Wait, so is she not a butterfly and only a fairy?” She is not a butterfly and maybe she’s a fairy. It’s an odd one. W: “This is just insect misrepresentation.”
I’ll round back to Eternity in a second, but let me first describe a bit of the environment in the Garden of the Sun. It’s somewhere seldom explored by humans due to the infamous Youkai Yuuka Kazami inhabiting it.
No comment on ‘infamous?’ Y: “Hm? Oh, no. It’s only true.”
The garden with its dominant flora species of Sunflower takes up a large area close in size to the total area of the Misty Lake. Large, but not the size of the human village. Flora of the garden also includes all forms of naturally grown crops and flowers. Note that there are no catered to or cared crops, they are naturally present. Kazami cares for the area specifically for sunflowers to prosper. This is also why weeds are not present within the garden, as she takes the time to rid the fields of damaging plants. Another piece of flora you won’t see is fungi for the same reasoning.
Y: “Any villagers curious on methods of my gardening, feel free to visit me.”
As for fauna, the Garden of the Sun contains a full food chain ending with mid-sized mammals and birds. Insects are allowed full control within the garden, excluding the singular area of Kazami’s hut. This means that all bees need to ground burrow using tunnels dug by digger bees or small burrowing mammals as the stalks of a sunflower cannot support a hive. Other creatures of note are the small foxes and birds that peak the food chain. These animals take care to not disturb the sunflowers within the garden whilst hunting. The larger mammals missing from the garden, deer and boar especially, explicitly stay out of the field and will refuse to eat sunflowers. The grounds of the Garden of the Sun seem to have naturally taken on a sort of hallowed status to larger predators and herbivores. It is difficult to say whether this is purely due to Kazami’s presence in the garden, since by nature her sunflowers are not a natural species to Japan and therefore could act as obstruction to larger animals foraging. Thankfully, the area surrounding the Garden of the Sun consists of lighter deciduous woods corralling sunflowers so there is little spread of the plant outside the zone.
Y: “By design, of course.” W: “Yuuka, why are the hornets not allowed in the garden?” Y: “Pests try to push out the vital pollenators.”
Allow me at this point to also discuss the beautiful terror Yuuka Kazami herself. She is known to be polite within the context of showing no ill will toward her or her garden. Being in the garden on its own is considered ill will, so any entry should be taken as possibly suicidal.
Though I guess she considers otherwise from my understanding. Y: “Ill will? It’s a potential ecosystem disruptor. You’re a professor aren’t you? There are rules to follow which you did.” I’m a physics teacher, not a biologist. But I’m also the only one ready to do the research.
Relations with her can rapidly devolve after any enmity is gained making recovery to a neutral state a high-risk option. Her sheer power of course makes any other options approach impossible, so the only choice left is effectively pleading. Luckily, since most of my venture was about studying Eternity Larva and the garden in an academic sense, I remain a passive party to her so long as I respect the natural order within the grounds. If I should phrase this differently, the Garden of the Sun is Kazami’s personal domain, and any trespassing is seen as egregious, at least she told me then. I am fine because Eternity Larva is on respectful terms with her.
Y: “Why, there’s respectful and then there’s trespassing.” W: “Why are you looking at me.” *Dear, she’s looking at the entry* A2: “Hey professor? Why are we talking about a hag in her garden instead of the subject of the lecture?” Pragmatically I’d say because they both live within the same area, but really, I’d realized I’d never get the chance. Like I said, I’ll get back to it. Not that I have full faith that you’d ever get to see the fairy, anyway. A2: “Wow, that’s rude to say.” I think it’s less rude than a certain suicidal comment to someone in the room.
Other Youkai are known to roam the garden on occasion, including the doll Youkai Medicine Melancholy. Another odd actor, as she is both a doll and a miniature doll that follows her. I had taken the opportunity to check her natural bodily poison for the same symptoms listed many years ago. First, I had taken a direct skin contact test to see inflammation the same degree as previously noted. Next, I had temporarily broken the air seal on the gas mask I used to approach her and inhaled a small amount of the natural toxin airborne around her. As I figured, since the toxin on her body causes skin inflammation, the airborne variant causes much the same effect to the eyes and respiratory system of a person. The easy analogue would be tear gas, but something more down to what people here know would be something like… imagine wasabi, but it’s part of the air. That pain of spice getting right into your eyes and nose. It’s even worse than that. For once I’ll say you have good reason to always stay away from a Youkai.
Back to the original topic, Eternity Larva. Even compared to the sunflower fairies of the garden, who are only allowed to pick the sunflowers for any purpose, Eternity can use the garden and its sunflowers in any degree. This includes a separate home she takes in the forest of magic, under the ground that is. The cavernous hovel she uses is lined with all the flora present in the garden. How it remains undecayed is definitely with her power over life energy preserving the flowered state of plants. It’s unclear why Eternity merits this same status with Kazami as the sunflower fairies, but it could be as simple as her nature as a butterfly.
Y: “Wait, was that a question?” No, just an observation. W: “She’s not a butterfly, though!”
Now to the main point of interest here. Eternity Larva is highly likely to be an eclectic god known as the Tokoyo no Kami. This god was a swallowtail butterfly larva worshipped for a very short period in Shizuoka during Empress Kogyoku’s second year of reign (dating to approx. 644 CE).
*It seems the sage is in the building. Of course, she didn’t use the front door* Okina: “And what might the purpose of this discussion be? This is certainly not discussion on ecology.” That’s because it’s ecology and lives. Feel free to interrupt again, like you seem wont to do.
For some context on what led to this worshipped Kami keep in mind that this time period was the migration of Chinese and Koreans to Japan. Their naturalization to the country also brought the mainland religion of Buddhism with it. The emerging Buddhism normalizing across Japan left rural areas in isolation and without the same religious or governmental structures present. Those still part of the Shinto belief sought explanation for the ways of the new Buddhist doctrine and practices. Some regions claimed faith in new Kami and a group from the region near the Fuji River (previously mentioned current day Shizuoka) went as far as mimicking Buddhist prayers to their resident Kami. This is Tokoyo no Kami and is what scared the clans at the time of possible insurrection. The following actions taken by Hata no Kawakatsu ending the cult by force brings us to today’s status.
The total period Tokoyo no Kami was worshipped for can be determined to be for at most four months. The larva of the swallowtail butterfly, and thus Eternity, was a new god for the period of these events but has been in hiding since. It is hard to say what her experiences in the time between are, but I can say that she has not ascended to a higher state of godhood during. This could be from her nature as a god people hoped would explain a foreign religion, and thus Eternity would not have the same level of dominion as that of other gods we know. The danger may lie in believing in a god with no power other than being available to be believed in.
It’s odd when I look at example like Eternity with how the saying ‘Gensokyo accepts all’ is so literal in scope. A god of only four months before being cut from public view can even appear it seems.
Y: “Speaking of obscure gods, might the lecture be over?” Indeed. Y: “Excellent. Alright I’m going to tear you in half, you piece of shit backdoor plague!” O: “Wait, no! Why are you still mad?! That was a week ago!” Y: “And a week without my favorite part of the field!” *There goes the wall… again* W: “I’ll just take the normal exit.”
Participating Members: Yuuka Kazami, Wriggle Nightbug, Okina Matara, unnamed villagers (one fisherman, one young man)
Aren't the chains and the surname "Ibaraki" a dead giveaway to her being an oni? And if Tanner ever found out, will he be forced into keeping his lips silent via oni-style diplomacy? Equal rights... and lefts.
Alright, it’s class time again. This week we’ve got a mess of an individual, Aya Shameimaru. We all know her to be the news reporter that runs around the entirety of Gensokyo, but today I’ll be discussing her and not her reporting philosophy. For all that it gripes me. I’ll also brief on the general system behind the Tengu village, and let it be said that this is purely for outreach and intellectual purposes. Let Aya not convince otherwise.
Aya: “Professor, clarify the last sentence, please?” Hatate: “Don’t let her.” A: “I believe it is slander.” H: “More fact.” A1: “What’s it matter to either of you?” A: “I am a third party concerned with libel.” A2: “Your newspaper sucks, Aya!” *Why does she think she’s concealed with shorts and a newsboy cap?* I will continue to say as I will.
As usual, let’s start with the basic facts. Aya is a crow Tengu with shoulder length black hair and red eyes. She wears a white blouse and black skirt often including a decorative fall pattern stipe on both articles. She also wears common Tengu style wear with the traditional Tokin hat and modified one-toothed geta. Her possessions also include a film camera modified by Kappa and a large hauchiwa fan that does not serve direct purpose. She may seem to use the fan for her powers of wind, but there’s no way to say this is the case.
A: “I assure you that fan has a purpose!” What might that be? A: “Other than a catalyst, it also serves as a traditional piece to Tengu attire. I feel that those younger Tengu have widely neglected the look.” H: “Are you implying anything?” A: “Yes and it serves as a reference to the moral decay of Tengu society-“ Yes, I’m sure it does, as I’m going to discuss the cliff notes on that. A: “What are cliff notes?” Some other time, bird.
Her powers are well known by the populace, certainly with no part of her boasting. She possesses powers of wind manipulation and maybe super speed. I say ‘maybe’ not in contention of her power, but in question of whether the power is some form of innate magical trait to Aya alone or if Tengu with enough training could be that fast.
A: “Excuse me, professor, have you seen other Tengu perform ‘Illusory Dominance’?” A3: “Most Tengu don’t need to be so good at running away!” I have not seen other Tengu bother to train in such circumstances.
Anyway, she’s fast. Extreme speed fast. Like I shot her, and she dodged a bullet fast.
A: “Might I state that he does not mean a danmaku bullet. He means a lead bullet from a flintlock.” She dodged, sadly. A: “That could’ve killed me!” We both know it wouldn’t. Also, I was legitimately testing her reflexes and speed. H: “Professor, could I borrow that flintlock?” A1: “Wait, would it really not kill her?” No of course not. She’s an ancient Tengu, they don’t die easy. A3: “There can always be more testing!”
Her speed of course is above anything biologically possible, so that’s there. On the other side her wind manipulation is much more in tune to an elementalist. There are qualities to the power that are beyond spellcasters, including Aya being able to ‘hear the winds’ by her own words.
H: “Don’t listen to this, most Tengu can do this. The wolf Tengu are even better, in fact.” A2: “I’m sure that’s just called having ears, really.” I’ll put that to note, thank you.
The sum of these powers makes her exceptionally powerful even by Gensokyan standards. This is strange for her species of crow Tengu, as they are considered a form of ‘lesser’ Tengu in comparison to the directly named greater Tengu.
A: “Different species, not lesser.” Greater Tengu humanized earlier, so it’s been by extrapolation that they’re more powerful.
The greater Tengu are seldom seen and Tengu in general are known to be too proud to fight at full capacity, so there is no way to tell their might by comparison.
Onto her… personality… I don’t really want to do this part, but we’re doing it. She’s a petty, pedantic idiot.
A: “Hey!” H: “I can add on to that!”
She runs around everywhere to find her next news story to misinterpret, she’s constantly hounding people to gather information, and most importantly will not stop looking into something after it catches her attention.
A: “That’s just being a good reporter!”
She will persist in a pursuit of knowledge until she has no further questions.
A: “That’s just being a good reporter!”
She has a talent for appearing everywhere and anywhere, somehow greater than Cirno. She also has the skill to push an interview onto effectively anyone, regardless of their position.
A: “That’s just being a good reporter!”
On its own this sounds like a beneficial trait to a reporter, but Aya does not often have enough questions to get to the root of a problem. A: “That’s just… unfounded!” Really, now?
Rather I mean that she has even observed many incidents but will rarely come out with the correct summary of events. When I first began studying the basic history of Gensokyo I read her works on past incidents, but now after meeting many individuals to testify the purpose and methodology of past events, I can say that she often isn’t correct in incident reports. This is namely due to her attempting to cover events even before an incident’s resolution, meaning that she will not naturally meet and interview the important parties involved.
A: “Uh. No comment.” H: “Wow you suck at this?” A: “Shut up! You can just scan history for these things afterward!” H: “At least I don’t have a negative track record?” Continuing.
This is all due to her work as a reporter for her own newspaper the Bunbunmaru. Or perhaps it could be said that she is more defined by her job than anything else. It’s a trait much closer to obsession than simple work for her. Her mind is addled thinking about where her next story will be or how much popularity a report she’s making could gain her.
A: “What do you mean addled?! That really is slander!” And why are you here right now? A: “I said I’m a third party!”
The Tengu have reporting competitions amongst their kind, but this is far beyond simple recognition from something like that. I would have the capacity for pity, if she weren’t such a nuisance.
Let’s swap topics to her place of residence and its people. I feel the need to mention how odd the existence of wolf Tengu are in general. They are a species of Tengu historically nonexistent to the outside world and are considered the lowest rung of hierarchy. The direct level of power is hard to state due to the lack of literature containing them.
H: “Actually they’re not native to Japan, I think.” More to look into.
The middle rung holds the crow Tengu. Crow Tengu have power closer to greater Tengu but do not possess the same magnitude. They are the average of the species and have about the same population as the wolf Tengu. The greater Tengu are the pinnacle of the species in terms of power and rank. These are the Tengu species known for their power over wind, various manipulation magics, and skill in martial arts (swordsmanship specifically). Aya’s the exception to her people as a crow Tengu with the strength of a greater Tengu, somehow.
A: “As it should be!” H: “What does that mean?!” A3: “Wait if they’re crows, where are the wings?” A: “What do you mean? We just magic- I mean they hide them very effectively.” Tengu all possess mild amounts of shapeshifting capability. This is also why the wolves can hide their ears and tail.
Each of these species are separated into classes because of the difference in power observed. The wolf Tengu are the lowest class, holding martial and labor occupations involving good constitution and long shifts. They are most well known to work patrols guarding the mountain from intruders. Side note, I’m well acquainted with them at this point. The crow Tengu are middle class citizens mostly holding informational positions that are considered white collar (if that term exists in Gensokyo).
H: “I can think of someone who doesn’t really deserve the position at least.”
Oddly, the Tengu hold fondness for positions of news reporting. These news articles will circulate in the Tengu village, but two known exceptions circulate throughout all of Gensokyo. One is of course our subject’s Bunbunmaru, and the other newspaper is the Kakashi spirit news. The greater Tengu hold positions of a bureaucratic high class. The political forum of the Tengu village is a council of greater Tengu who decide on policy and judiciary affairs. The especially known and often named Lord Tenma theoretically has the final say on matters, but it is unknown how much political power he holds in the modern day.
Their famously isolationist temperament allowed me no audience with any part of the council. Speaking on such worldview their village holds, the Tengu live in a bubble from the rest of Gensokyo, only interacting with the nearby Kappa at the base of the mountain (those of Genbu ravine). They otherwise do not contact any species or individuals not already on the mountain itself. The furthest this goes is contact with Moriya shrine, specifically for projects such as the ropeway leading to the top of the mountain which cuts through Tengu territory. Other than these examples, Tengu do not see outsiders, especially within their village. The crow Tengu were downright flabbergasted by my appearance, though really it was the sheer lack of a Tokin hat and singular toothed geta that gave away my human appearance. I thankfully had been given full parley with the Tengu village as part of academic research and discourse. This isn’t to say I was welcomed, as after the initial novelty wore off, I was treated as a proper outcast. Unsurprising, I’m not a Tengu after all. I don’t hold it against them.
H: “There was celebration when you shot at Aya, though.” Sadly, no one came up and thanked me for the deed. A: “There’s nothing to thank for that!”
Amongst the Tengu, there is some dissent on the status quo of the village. The class system holds Tengu of each species to their respective levels regardless of merit to their village. Tengu are held to strict policy for work standards. Most of the Tengu seem to work long hours and the lowest positions are not held for pay.
A: “That’s held for room and board, though.” That still means no pay.
Something to point out, but societal discussion is rather off topic from my usual banter.
The takeaway from discussing the village is that they have their own issues and don’t like people nearby their home. A bit like ourselves, really. That aside, they are still a powerful counterpart to humanity. One counterpart, anyway. The oni are still considerably more direct. Due to the isolation, though, the Tengu don’t partake in the older tales of causing disasters, fires, misleading monks from Buddhism, kidnapping children, or dropping people from the sky. They sort of sit on the mountain, for the majority. I can’t really say they do much else.
A: “I mean the council has been around for so long that they’ve pretty much fossilized…” That’s enough, Aya. Addendum: It was to my information a while after that two extra type of Tengu exist within the village, though far less seen. The Hanataka and Yamabushi Tengu who act as business and printing workers, respectively. These extra types of Tengu look identical to humans the same as the crows and greater Tengu, so it never came up to topic until Hieda read this transcript.
Participating Members: Tanner Regis, Aya Shameimaru, Hatate Himekaidou, unnamed villagers (two merchants, one fisherman)
Reference materials: BAiJR, PMiSS, WaHH, FS, AFiEU, LS
In Vote:  Hecatia Lapislazuli
 Tenshi Hinanawi
 Remilia Scarlet
 This is non-negotiable, choose one or an individual of equal or greater power
>>43454 >She will persist in a pursuit of knowledge until she has no further questions. I’m sorry, but any physics teacher who would even think to imply that the relentless pursuit of knowledge is a negative behavior is wholly and completely unworthy of their position, and should not be involved with science and/or education ever again. Any half-decent teacher would applaud such curiosity, even if it’s merely means to an end, and science is driven entirely by the continued pursuit of knowledge. Either Tanner is incompetent (which admittedly lines up perfectly with his almost criminal recklessness in regards to Seija), or you fucked up big time with your writing. Perhaps both. TL;DR Tanner’s old students are better off without him, and I weep for the denizens of Gensokyo.
I get it if OP hates Aya personally, but damn, there’s no reason Tanner should clearly hold even SEIJA in a higher regard. That makes no sense from an in-universe perspective.
Also, casually acting like Tanner did towards Aya, one of the more powerful Youkai in the series, while not also being particularly extraordinary in any way, and not getting any retribution for it? That poses the threat of making Youkai as a whole a lot less intimidating, which would cause a disruption to Gensokyo’s balance that far surpasses what the Fortune Teller was doing. And you see how he turned out.
Hello again, and welcome to the classroom. I’ve been informed that this should be my final lecture.
Kasen: “Ahem. That is indeed the case.”
Do not worry, I won’t ask for a written test at the end. Though I would like to thank everyone who attends or has attended to these. For all the efforts and trials I’ve been through, these were still so very fun to present.
Anyway, I at least get to make the joke that I’ve been to hell and back for today’s lecture. I haven’t had minor beings for the last few lectures and today’s tops it with the most powerful known being in Gensokyo, Hecatia Lapislazuli.
The goddess of various hells, boundaries, and witchcraft. The ruler of all unwanted freewheelers. The three-bodied deity. You get the point. There won’t be much philosophical or scientific waxing today as the topics involved are all independently dense enough to cover.
As always, I’ll start with some basic description on Hecatia herself. Hecatia Lapislazuli is a goddess appearing as a mid-thirties woman with red hair and eyes. She often wears a t-shirt with the decal ‘welcome hell’ and a multicolored skirt. No shoes, oddly.
H: “Depends on the day. Sometimes I follow tradition, others I have to complete my getup.” I was about to ask why not all the time, but I’ll just chalk it to Greek god.
Most importantly, she wears a collar with three planetoid bodies chained to it and a headwrap to let one sit on her head. Her hair and eye color will change depending on the planetoid atop her head. I’ll come back to what the orbs are in a direct statement shortly.
Her personality comes off cocksure, but she has the power to back it up, so it is merited. She is otherwise a pleasant conversationalist and very empathetic to others. This is surprising as it contradicts her appearance in stereotypically rebellious clothing by outside world standards.
H: “Wait, wait, wait. That is clearly stereotyping.” Kyouko: “Is she a fan of punk rock?” H: “Yes. I appreciate the art, though I’m more of a death metal goddess.” Mystia: “We’ve been experimenting, I think we could do that.” H: “Oh, I’d love to watch.” Alright enough advertising.
Not to mention how she considers herself truly unshackled from everything. An odd disposition for a goddess. Overall, her attitude is unexpectedly normal for an extremely powerful goddess of hell, though I’m not complaining.
Back to the orbs, and her power in general. Hecatia is a goddess of three bodies, each existing in different planes simultaneously. Each orb represents each body. The orbs themselves are indeed model representations of each realm, other than her red orb representative of Otherworlds. Each chained piece is a ball of rock from a realm as well as a small amount of saltwater in the case of the Earth orb. The named realm of each is the Earth, the Moon, and Otherworlds. The Otherworlds are subdivided spaces like Gensokyo, Makai, or the Netherworld so a singular rocky planet body does not represent them in any way other than being other Earth like dimensions.
Now let me be clear when I say that she is not the goddess of the realms, she is instead the goddess of each representative hell. Each realm has its own hell and I know facts on the Otherworld’s hell, but I can only speculate on the scopes of Earth and Moon hells. A special conundrum comes up from the Moon hell, since it is a place of purity whilst hell is the most impure possible place.
H: “The lunarians tend to ignore it whenever convenient.”
I’m sure all present have a basic understanding of the purpose of the Ministry of Right and Wrong, so I will skip the explanation therein. What is known is that Hecatia is a separate power from the ministry wholesale. The story goes that the ministry set itself up inside of hell relatively recently to bring some order to the passages of reincarnation.
H: “Ah, it should be clarified that this is the case for Gensokyo, but do not assume it to be the same everywhere.” Clownpiece: “I remember home had no busybodies. I wonder what happened to Hades, though.”
Hecatia, being of an infinite space within one of many hells, did not even pay mind to the move ins. After the ministry was set up, the oni were employed into ranks led by the strongest who then became a kishin. Hecatia considered this a choice of the oni’s free will, so she found no quandary with it. However, she did feel at odds with the idea that her realm of pure near anarchic freedom now contained a piece of bureaucratic law. So now we have a hell containing oni beholden to Hecatia’s will but also holding jobs within the Ministry of Right and Wrong. I know this because I was there. Well, I mean I was in hell a week ago, anyway.
I’d also like to discuss the overall realm of hell. I mean, at least for Gensokyo, since Heacatia (Tanner misspelled this, just wanted to throw this out) would not discuss the other various hells in detail. She was less responsive of interview when it came to her realm instead of her.
H: “I’m not reluctant, there’s just not much to discuss after the homogenization of various religions.” A1: “So what was the old one from your home country like?” H: “Ah, well there used to be Elysium, then Tartarus, and also five rivers, but those aren’t important. There was also a gate guard to hell, this good boy.” *Oh, she brought Cerberus. Quaint.* Moving on.
The Gensokyan hell has an assortment of species and locale integral to its systems. The most populated species resident to hell is the oni, the same as those living in the great underground caverns of Gensokyo. You’ve likely heard this before, but the underground caverns were the original hell for Gensokyo. This changed when the ministry moved out of the cavern realms for a sub dimension with a theoretical infinite space, Hecatia’s hell. Hecatia herself said there is too much space in hers. K: “No, the oni of hell are slightly different from those of the cavern. I know this as a sage, I assure you.”
The oni of hell proper are the same but include extra power for their positions merited. You’ve heard of these before as the Kishin, the torturers of sinful souls. The kishin are more like a managerial class, though, as they make sure the lower oni and fairies are the ones to torture sinful souls. The kishin may also act as Shinigami to head overworld and reap souls, specifically of hermits. You may be confused when I say fairies, though. They do exist in hell, after all, and it is where the American flag fairy comes from. These fairies are the same aspects of nature we’re used to, but of a much hardier and less populated degree.
Clown: “I mean, we’re lampads. A type of nymph.” H: “She means they were only fairies recently.”
You are probably even more confused at this point that ‘fairies’ and oni are working the same positions, so allow me to explain a bit of the societal culture down there.
Hell, including the ministry, holds a meritocratic society, a society based on strength and being able to get things done, for the lack of better terminology. Any individual of any species is able to promote to a higher position based on achievement alone, but it also means that failure is a deadly venture.
A2: “How do you die in hell?” H: “No, no, they wish they were dead.”
Hecatia admits that fairies are still of low reputation, but nowhere near as bad as Gensokyo. Speaking of, Hecatia is the top of the food chain because of her power but is not the literal god of the hells in the sense that she created them. You may think of this as she acts more the role of king amongst the denizens.
H: “It is as the saying goes, in the land of the blind men, the one eyed woman is king.” Alright, that’s well enough waxing poetics.
Hell outside of the ministry isn’t all blood and fire. The oni do need to eat and sleep somewhere, so there is an established township around the physical ministry building, including all amenities and various outlets. Hecatia herself owns a clothing store of the outside world brand “Hot Topic.” She doesn’t work the store but does frequent purchases from there. I may have had to convince her to take less from the store’s stock, in fact. I should also mention that the oni’s famous drinking habits are alive and well in the land of suffering dead.
I’ll leave other notes on culture be for now and move onto some interesting notes that Hecatia makes by her existence as a deity and multi-dimensional being. Foremost, Hecatia is the goddess of the hell realms, carrying over from her original form as the goddess Hecate of Greek origin. This is leaving alone the discussion of how much dominion she has to hell as a dimension, but I digress. This goddess is known for a few key things: crossroads and borders, witchcraft, and the multiple realms she is attributed to. In the outside world this is taken to mean as a ruler over parts of these realms, but by the figure herself it means the multiple hells present in the universe.
H: “Nobody else applied.” I think that was the first time I used the word universe in these… Anyway, I’d like to specify borders as things like walls and doorways that she is guardian of. Also, crossroads count. Hecatia carries some of her past with her in the forms of torches, multiple bodies, and dogs. She has a residence in the ministry’s residential quarter, and it has old paraphernalia from Greek underworld, including a statue of her multi-bodied form holding a torch, a snake, and a key. Included with her suite is a large group of dogs, maybe by her own request. Another big thing for the goddess is dogs. I would like to throw out that Greeks gave dogs as a ritual sacrifice to Hecate, so she clearly has close ties to dogs.
*A mix of three barks very clearly chimes in.*
Now I mentioned a while ago a conundrum present with Hecatia’s domains, namely the moon. Hecatia is the deity of each hell, but it stands to question why the moon would have a separate hell in the first place. The lunarians are known to be of a pure land so that they do not eventually die.
H: “But they do die.” But they do die, eventually, in the far-flung future.
Rather, there’s no natural force to kill them since purity effectively means a lack of entropic effects.
Junko: “Ahem. I am sitting right here.” So you are.
The lack of individuals dying then begs why a hell exists for so few.
H: “You’re assuming the hell is for them.”
I have no answer for this scenario, I rather just wanted to propose this idea because it was too interesting to ignore. Hecatia had no comments on this subject. I guess now she does.
Oh, and feel free to talk with her, she’s pretty sociable.