The story of Yokai

Tú Shān

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a part of The story of Yokai, by AphoticDreams.

Home to the Tusan Spirit Fox Clan and kǔ qíng shù, Tree of Bitter Love.

AphoticDreams holds sovereignty over Tú Shān, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

based of japanese lore, for insight, go to: http://yokai.com/

Setting

The Kitsune who hold this Mountain as a home are the Matchmakers of Yokai World. They praise the kǔ qíng shù and paramount upon their matchmaking.

The number of Kitsune living here is unknown.
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Tú Shān

Home to the Tusan Spirit Fox Clan and kǔ qíng shù, Tree of Bitter Love.

Minimap

Tú Shān is a part of Japan.

3 Characters Here

Tohou Gesshou [8] "A fox's tail is not easily hidden" -Chinese Proverb
Itami Hiratake [7] Okuri Inu, the Sending-Off Dog
Shiori [6] A sentient carpet, waking up for the first time.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sepokku
"Nandaayyoo," the tired voice called out yet again, snapping his folding fan shut with obvious exasperation. The preparations for a Matchmaking ceremony were both a source of great pleasure and deep anxiety for Touhou. Ever since the Ōbokeyōkai had started growing, and practically enveloped Tú Shān, visitors had never been more frequent. Even with the small toll they charged first-time visitors, their service had become overrun with matchmaking orders.

As clan head, Touhou liked to personally ensure that his family was putting its best paw forward, which meant every matchmaking ceremony had to go off without a hitch. It was the final step in the process, and "After so much planning, the Oda can't be disappointed! The Emperor will have your death warrant signed..." He thought about what he had said for a moment before adding, "And I will oblige him in extraditing your useless wastes of fur!" The clan head rubbed the bridge of his nose, praying to the essence of reality to help things go over smoothly.

Touhou was relaxing in one of his favorite trees in the , when it happened. He had been watching pedestrians pass him by, terrifying an unattended child with foxfire while he lounged in the cherry trees, when the Kitsune's book of reincarnation began to cause his soul to pulse. Yare, yare. A new assignment so soon? Can't this wait..? He opened the book, and let himself hang from his legs as he looked at his new assignment. Let's see here, T-The Oda clan?! The shock nearly sent him crashing to the ground, but at the last second he remembered himself and caught himself with his ankles.

"Didn't this clan fall from power..." He studied the particulars of the entry very carefully, and they informed him that Nobukatsu Oda was alive and currently serving as, "Daimyo! The remnant of this dead clan is a Daimyo?!" A Jurogumo had apparently fallen in love with him and had been shielding him and his name from misfortune for the past few decades. It was up to Touhou to find the couple, ensure their love was true enough to stand the test of the Kǔ Qíng Shù, and then seal their bond with it for the eternity to come. "I wasn't done

The Huli Jing (Kitsune) of Clan Tú Shān had served as matchmakers are far back as anyone in the clan could remember. Oftentimes it was simple enough work, and the clan flourished as a result. However, as love knows no boundaries, and many Yokai are immortal, but still human enough to love a mortal sometimes the two would be successfully paired; the time limit on one's life, but not on the the others, meaning the matchmaking would end in inevitable heartbreak. To that end, the Tú Shān Kitsune Clan had long ago taken up the job of using their spirit magic to ensure true love doesn't wither.

The Tree of Bitter Love (Kǔ Qíng Shù) can make a reincarnation bond if two people truly love each other at the time of the bond, though it often requires an important sacrifice from the couple to ensure their resolve. These vary, but oftentimes are family treasures, and sometimes even one's prowess with a sword. These treasures are then split between the lovers, and stored in the mortal's soul to be reincarnated again and again; until such time that the Kǔ Qíng Shù decides their love has come again, and their name appears in a Kitsune Matchmaker's (Musubi) book. The matchmaker then uses their magics and whatever is at their disposal to re-unite the long-lost loves. Sometimes this is as easy as finding the two and reuniting the two halves of a whole they each carry, other times the mortal's memory has faded over many cycles of reincarnation, or they have misplaced or lost their split treasure somehow.

If Touhou were being perfectly honest with himself, he hated the job. Kitsune were meant to be free, mischievous creatures, and being clan head of the most hard-working Kitsune clans in existence was not exactly on his long list of to-dos. However it was a fate he was born into, and one he was raised to take pride in. So, for not the last time that day he yelled at the decorators that "The Emperor will serve your cooked flanks on a platter at the reception if you don't hurry up and get the fox-fire right!" The Jorogumo and Oda Daimyo had indeed been madly in love when Touhou found them together not a day after the assignment started. Only a week had passed since Nobukatsu proposed and after she accepted, he began to demand daily for a Reincarnation Matchmaking to be had. And they say true love is dead, he idly thought to himself as he watched the various yokai and humans frantically preparing for incoming royalty.

Touhou slipped out shortly after the ceremony; not that he wanted to it simply made losing his entourage easier. In fact, Touhou loved parties as they allowed him to relax, but also do the parts of his job that he had come to love. He simply shrugged the thought off, his shoulders loosening as he did. I'd rather pay a visit to my favorite sakura tree, the fox thought smiling to himself while headed for the center of Ōbokeyōkai. He produced a small pipe from his sleeve, and for a moment his worries dissipated like smoke

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Umeko Shimizu

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#, as written by Sepokku
The guards sent out from Tu San fanned out and began to search for their leader. Touhou glanced at each of their faces as Umeko led him along, helping her with the tea. After noting that no one he knew very well had been sent, he felt more relieved. They should have sent someone who recognized my scent, he began to smile, it felt slightly odd with Umeko's face, but for the sake of the joke he put up with it for awhile longer.

They arrived at Tu Shan, a short ways outside of the Ōbokeyōkai. The guard started forward, but as Touhou returned to his fox form the guard recognized him and welcomed them to Tu Shan. The city was nice, even if it had turned into a bit of a tourist trap as of late. The Matchmakers had become the largest industry, capable of supporting the entire clan in excess, and the economic stimulation in the form of the wedding celebrations had shops filled with all sorts of unique and hard to find things. A fan of Touhou's called out "Sensei!" Then began to approach the Kitsune, but he waved him away with a flick of his ears "I need to deliver this tea," he called back with a smile, hurrying ahead of Umeko.

"It's this way!" The fox explained excitedly as they passed sweet shops, shops that sold Onmyodo tools, shops that sold magic, teahouses, restaurants, street vendors, and a human and yokai couple Touhou had to preemptively way away before they said his name. They finally approached the estate his extended "family" lived and operated out of, the building was like a Japanese castle but almost looked small with the Tree of Bitter Love roaring up behind it.

Assistants ushered Touhou in, "Sensei nice to see you again, who's the lady?" Touhou waved the assistant away with a frown. "That reminds me we haven't been properly introduced! Thank you so much for saving me back there, let me walk you out. My name is Touhou Gesshou. Thanks for the tea also, I suppose." He put a thoughtful finger on his chin as he took Umeko to the entrance. I don't think I lost Itami, where in the world could he have gotten off to?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Umeko Shimizu Character Portrait: Shiori

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Shiori.

The first thing she knew – before she saw anything, before she’d even noticed she was alive – was that she had been named. The next thing she discovered? She could feel. Something was walking on her, leaving an imprint on her worn fabric. Despite that this was the first time she had felt any sensation, it was familiar. Warm, and… a little bit painful. Then she lost it all again.

Who knows how much time passed before she came back. All she did know was that she could feel again, and she felt something that was itching to open. And so, for the first time, she opened her eyes.

Or, eye.

One large chestnut eye stitched into the pattern of the carpet opened to look up into the dark, only just making out a wooden ceiling. A fairly unimpressive first view of the world and yet… she felt joy. A fat tear welled up in her fabric eye and immediately soaked back into her. She knew where she was, she knew what she was and she knew that she could… should… why couldn’t she move?

She curled up to see her bottom half trapped beneath the legs of a heavy writing desk. Oh. Um, let’s see here… soon it was quite apparent that there was little a carpet could do to move a weighed down desk. Well, shit. Nothing to do but wait until the humans of this house decided to take it off for her. Considering how much dust she had gathered beneath the table, it was unlikely her owners were the type to rearrange things often. Exactly how long had she been here, any… was… was that an ink stain?!

Shiori had been gifted with knowledge of many things when she woke up. Knowledge of her country, morality, time, days, weather, Yokai, Gods, mortality, immortality – so, so many things that came all at once, but did not overwhelm her. What had her overwhelmed was what she was forced to learn in these quiet moments alone after her awakening. What was she, other than Tsukumogami? Frayed corners and worn fabric and a horrid stain and forgotten...

The carpet began violently thrashing beneath the desk, eventually knocking off rolls of paper and an inkwell before she finally yanked herself free from her prison and floated up. The table legs had left dents in her that she would not be free of for a long time. Unable to find anything like a portrait of her owner, she rolled half of herself up so she wouldn’t trail over the ground and flew out of the room in search of them. After searching the entire house, it appeared they weren’t home. Ah, well, she’d know them the moment she saw them. Something told her that.

She floated over to the sliding paper door and eventually managed to open it, gazing out onto the street. The sun was down and the Yokai were out. Everything in the house felt annoyingly familiar, but out there… out there, she barely knew anything. Would her owner care if she left for a moment while they were out? It surely must have been expected of her to stay and protect the homestead, but… well, they didn’t know she was alive yet.




Soon the sentient carpet was floating above the Matchmaking Festival, listening to music and smelling food for the first time – and looking at the Tree of Bitter Love. She wanted to join the people beneath her. She also wanted to climb that tree – not because of the view, she could fly, duh, but just because she could. The crowds were… mostly Kitsune, it seemed. A flying one eyed, long-tongued carpet would be very out of place down there. Oh, well, time to change form. The carpet spiraled around, wrapping itself in a cocoon, when suddenly it exploded into a naked, human girl – and immediately began plummeting towards the earth.

“Ah,” Shiori said as she dropped from the skies that were once her domain, “Whoops!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Shiori

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sepokku
It wasn't long before the trio were technically back in Tu Shan, the winding path leading up to the village was long for humans, but yokai lived for centuries and in the grand scheme of thing it was but a brisk walk between Tu Shan and the Ōbokeyōkai. "Most yokai aren't allowed at this particular ceremony. It wouldn't do to have the Bakufu angry with my Clan, and the Onmyoji frothing at the mouth for a chance to earn clout." Touhou's reply was pragmatic, but not necessarily thoughtful. His thoughts were occupied with what was in his pipe, and the remaining bits of the ceremony.

"Yes, it seems I managed to escape the most boring parts." The fox smiled slyly, it had been accidental but he was certainly glad for it. "Speaking of your area, be sure to come get me for Hyakki Yagyō (Night Parade of One Hundred Demons); I've been meaning to go a little wild. All work and no play makes for a very dull Kitsune."

Shiori's comment clarified the old matchmaker's thoughts a bit and he furrowed his brow in concentration. "There's still a reception going on under the Kǔqíng shù, if I'm not mistaken, something like Sake, and a feast. Though, there's also the Yokai Okashi Omise (Demon Candy House) and uh..." Touhou's thoughts clouded again as he took a long pull from his pipe before exhaling, the smoke forming an 'O' shape as it passed from his mouth. "The Antiku Kojo (Antique Workshop) is also worth a look, if you're into the kind of stuff, rare finds often pass in and out of their hands... The Hidzuke Le (Dating House)? Since you're a lone yokai, maybe you'd find a Clan worth joining there."

Gesshou-san tapped out his pipe, it wouldn't do to get lost in the past right now, before sliding it back into his sleeves and replacing it with his Sensu (Folding Fan). "I suppose it's really up to where your interests lie, the Kurai Tsuki Guards may be willing to entertain a sparring or magical lesson, if you're more the violent type."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Shiori

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"Hyakki Yagyō? You should come, the Nurarihyon is leading it this month, all through Japan." He said with a slight huff. Every month, he travelled with the main Yokai population of Ōbokeyōkai all throughout Japan to wherever they stopped- he had no choice not to go as one of the central people of the village.

After that, he followed along without much of a word. He already knew everything that was being safe- it wasn't his first time going after all. The Okuri Inu simply walked along with his arms crossed. "Sake is pretty much one of the only reasons worth going." He piped up after. Itami did have a love for any form of alcohol.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Shiori

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Shiori's eyes widened, overwhelmed by the choices laid out before her.

"A feast," she echoed. Her stomach growled loudly. The sound scared her, making her yelp and bring her hands to her belly in a panic. Her brain scrambled to piece together what that meant. "What is inside of me?" She asked fearfully, face pale, before the knowledge finally made its way to her. "Oh. I'm... hungry..." her face flushed red and she burst out laughing. That laughter soon collapsed into wheezing and she staggered away from the pair, dying. "I am so stupid," she gasped. She had to wonder if every Yokai went through such a rough transition to existence. How much was she supposed to know and how much was she supposed to learn? She coughed and waddled back. "I, uh, I smelled food at the festival. I think I'd like to try that, first." She looked over to the Okuri Inu with a curious smile, "Is sake really that good?"

She brought her hand up to her chin and raised her eyes to the sky, wondering aloud to herself. "Perhaps I should go Hidzuke Le afterwards and learn about the different clans. That could be fun! Though I... I'll probably just annoy them..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Shiori

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sepokku
Touhou nodded, listening to Itami, and hiding a wince behind his folding fan at the mention of the Nurarihyon. The haughty Yokai was always barging into Tu Shan with his servants and eating like he owned the place. It's not cheap, and his tab is in the millions by now. Well... maybe it's time to show him how annoying an unruly Yokai can be when it's during HIS procession. The fox spirit nodded, "I'll definitely be there then. Oh! The Chūnari hannya prepared a special brew of Umeshu that's got this spicy after kick! Best sake I've had all decade. Blows that Sayuri Nigori I've been drinking out of the water."

The main gates of Tu Shan rose up before them, the guards giving Touhou a short nod, a show of acknowledgement for his guests, before resuming their stoic and motionless post. They passed the Hidzuke Le, Yokai Okashi Omise, various Yatai and their diverse Yokai owners, and many guests and residents enjoying the Clan's small city. The blossoms from the Tree of Bitter Love were scattered everywhere, and Kitsune children were making a game of collecting them. "Yes, yes! We called in the best Gyokuto to prepare desert, as Nobukatsu-san is said to have a sweet-tooth. The rest is of course all prepared in house, by members of the clan who have been master chefs for at least a century. There are certainly worse first meals to have."

A large Torii led into the festival grounds underneath the kǔ qíng shù, and the feast had already started with fervor. The Jorogumo bride, and her human lover sat at a separate table, with their backs almost touching the Tree of Bitter Love. Touhou found it odd the Tree had accepted their vow, he had thought she'd eat him before long, but the Tree had yet to be wrong. A Tōfu kozō ran up to the Kitsune and his companions, offering him a Bento. "Perfect," Touhou said, taking the bento from the Yokai and offering it to Shiori. "Here you are, have a taste, and feel free to help yourself to anything else from the banquet tables."

There were almost twenty large banquet tables laid out, with various traditional cuisine, but the Matchmaker simply headed to a nearby Kotatsu, and settled in, thankful for the charcoal brazier's heat. Another servant Yokai rushed to the Clan Head, bringing him a Tokurri and several choko. The old fox poured himself some and drank, letting the warmth spread from the inside as well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Itami Hiratake Character Portrait: Tohou Gesshou Character Portrait: Shiori

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Itami looked around without much of a care. The whole atmosphere made the Yokai feel ever so slightly sick. As a more... Chaotic Yokai, the Okuri Inu had a disliking for anything that felt loving or peaceful. Soon enough, the younger yokai found himself sitting down on the other side of the Kotatsu like the fox. "So, Fox, how's life been treating your old bones?"He questioned, leaning back onto his right arm.

He felt no difference in warmth as he got a servant to bring him some random sake over. The dog didn't care what it tasted like. He looked over the scene around him and mentally gagged. It seemed quite westernised in contrast what Yokai normally do- at least from what he had seen before- and that was probably because of the human presence (in his honest opinion).

Fixing his gaze upon the liquid he held,the Okuri Inu drank and let the intoxicating presence run down his throat.