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Lesson 1: Cirno

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.

C: “Woahhh…”

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”

How so?

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)

Reference Materials: PMiSS, TH9, TH16, TH:GFW, Touhou Sangetsusei

In Vote: Who would you like Tanner to study next, if ever?

[x] Maneating Youkai of Darkness, Rumia

[x] Goddesses of Harvest and Falling Leaves, the Aki Sisters

[x] Another fun suggestion?
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[x] Yamawaro - Proud land dwellers of the Youkai Mountain.
You should definitely do a study on these amazing creatures. Pic unrelated.
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Ohhhh, interesting premise.
Tempted to vote Nue, but thats hardly minor. Lets go with the kappa then, or what
>>43329 said.
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[X]Goddesses of Harvest and Falling Leaves, the Aki Sisters

Hell yes, to leaf and potato goddesses
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[x] Yamawaro - Proud land dwellers of the Youkai Mountain.
Agreed, newhu needs more content.
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[x] Maneating Youkai of Darkness, Rumia
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Even your quads cannot stop us. The monkeys will rise up.
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Lesson 2: Yamawaro

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!)
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Coin flip: heads!
Heads My vote is Meiling, Tails my vote is Hina.
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[x] God of gathering misfortune, Hina Kagiyama
Hina time. In celebration of her new game coming out on Steam.
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Right I forogt to vote last post
>rumia, the youkai of darkness, serial tree bonker
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[x] God of gathering misfortune, Hina Kagiyama
On phone so i cant give good feedback, but im really liking this so far! Keep it up
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[x] Gate guard China girl, Hong Meiling
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[x] God of gathering misfortune, Hina Kagiyama
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Lesson 3: Hina Kagiyama

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?”
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?”
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!
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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!
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Not the grue
[x] Night Sparrow with a grill, Mystia Lorelei
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[x] Gate guard China girl, Hong Meiling
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[x] Gate guard China girl, Hong Meiling
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Lesson 4: Hong Meiling

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

In Vote:

[x] The fairy of questionable divinity, Eternity Larvae

[x] Shikigami of the shikigami, Chen

[x] An older vote?
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Not the grue.
[x] The Tool whose a tool, Kogasa Tatara.
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the tree bonker of darkness when
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[x] The Tool whose a tool, Kogasa Tatara.
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Learn to us gramer, shadowshagger.
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You couldn't even spell majestic right you fuckin nitwit
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[x] A maid of time, Izayoi Sakuya
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[x] The fairy of questionable divinity, Eternity Larvae
Curious on your take on this one. Cool technical stuff and theorising so far.
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[x] The Tool whose a tool, Kogasa Tatara.
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