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[size11 [font Minion [i To avoid losing the flow of the plot, I will be using placeholder names for the characters involved. The spirits name will be [b Ebb] and the Humans name will be [b Flow]. These names are only here until we choose and invent our characters to fill them.]]
[center [size13 [font Minion Deities and their shrines are a beautiful thing. The respect people place upon those sacred areas and love they give to the gods they worship is truly unmatched in comparison to other religions. The aesthetic, the love, and the tradition is rooted so firmly into the earth that even today those ancient forms of respect are still replicated. Major Kami are constantly reminded by humans that they are loved and respected - Why, it is the very thing that keeps them alive.
Deities are replenished by the love, strengthened by the respect, the offerings, and the prayers. So, when a god isn’t given offerings or isn't being prayed to, they begin to slowly lose that power. And most importantly, they begin to lose their very existence.
The way Major gods are treated is quite wonderful and keeps them well sustained.. However it isn’t quite the same for Minor gods.. Not quite as beautiful for [b Ebb]. [b Ebb] is a minor deity belonging to a small mountain alongside Kalto, an even smaller town surrounded by forest on every other side. The mountain had a name, though very few remember it by now; [i Mount Huru]. In the year 1990, a boy had died on that mountain exploring with his friends. The tree’s quickly became dense and shrubs grew over the path the further up you went. The place appeared dimmer as if you were enclosed inside of the trees like a capsule - which lead the locals there to believe it was haunted. While exploring a boy fell ten feet into a shallow river. His friends insist something pushed him, something had run up to the boy and shoved him off. They described it as something hard to see, but light. Lighter than the forest itself, as if it was a source of light, but dimming.. Like a flickering pale flame. They said that figure was being followed by butterflies, foxes, and rabbits. They said it killed him.
[b Ebb] killed him.
After that incident, locals wouldn’t let their children near the path that led up the mountain. However when another boy, in 1998, was caught stuck in a tree so high up the mountain it seemed impossible for him to have gotten there in a day - The paths entrance was finally chained off. It was deemed too dangerous to be used recreationally.
Even today, these stories warded anyone from trying to explore any further. However when a new family moves to Kalto, the eldest child [b Flow] is certain they will explore every natural inch of the forests surrounding the town. [b Flow] is an aspiring photographer and upon spotting rusted chains tied to the curved, separated tree’s - the Huru path - How could they [i not] go explore immediately? Little did they know that such an action would lead them head to head with a Deity they couldn’t even see. However, a few rustling leaves wouldn’t be enough to scare [b Flow]. They had a very hard head and enough determination to take them anywhere.
Neither [b Ebb] nor [b Flow] knew that they were about to change not only themselves, but the little town of Kalto in a big way.]]]
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[b Writing Sample:] [i Show me posts from previous stories you've participated in.]]
[center [size12 I have no preference for which character I play or what gender. . The plot may be mine but I would like what you've just envisioned while reading it to come to life - so let me know what you're thinking.
If I like what I see from your skeleton, I will DM you a skeleton in return. Let's insure that we're both going into this excited and inspired. Title your DM to me with your favorite color.
You don't have permission to post in this thread.
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[center [size12 [font minion As soon as the human began leaning over the water, Gyra struck. He broke the surface, shooting out of the water as his scaly hands ran up the humans arms softly. He didn't use force, he had no need. Instead, his pursed lips began to slowly roll out [https://soundcloud.com/esrp-audio/gyras-song his melody.] His wet, scaly hands caressed the boys soft skin as he sang. With every pause in his melody he would let his tongue run across his own lips, eager to enjoy his meal. Not too fast, however. Gyra knew playing was the best part. [i [#DE2255 And with a human near, the petty god will follow.. as he always does.]] Gyra touched with the human boy, pausing his song every so often to press his mouth to the humans neck or jawline while his hands ran up his torso. The effects of the song lasted a while longer than the song itself. Which usually gave Gyra time to fully play with and devour his prey. The male siren tilted his head, his eyes slitted with lusty hunger.
Gyra's lower half looked like he was being swallowed up by a Koi fish. His tail swayed against the top of the water, a beautiful red with blotches of white, while the waist up was as human as can be, save for the few splashes of red mixed into his fair skin. He wasn't the strongest Siren around - But he was quite handsome. The power of his song and the fairness of his looks was enough to completely entangle any human. Rohu heard the melody begin, however he was still too far up the mountain to do anything about it. [b "Curse that fish.."] He muttered in a low breathy tone. With his luck, that human would be drowned by the time he reached the bottom of the river.
[i [#DE2255 "Beautiful boy . . would you like to swim with me?"]] Gyra's fin sunk into the water, tapping against the rocks as he lead the boy deeper. The water splashed against his chest, soaking the boys clothes and drowning his camera. [i [#DE2255 "Yes, of course you would."]] Gyra sang, admiring the loving gaze that the deeply entranced human gave him. He had big, beautiful eyes that enveloped Gyra in a warmth he couldn't quite describe. One that made him hesitate ripping open his flesh. Gyra's hands caressed the humans face, and he leaned in closer to his lips for a kiss -
Only to be interrupted by the booming voice he dreaded hearing.
[b "Gyra! Release him at once!"] Rohu. Gyra rolled his eyes, his head tilting backwards and away from the kiss. [i [#DE2255 "Begone, foolish god."]] His tail flapped at the water, and he helped the boy up onto the rock in the center of the water. [i [#DE2255 "Stay here my boy, yess, sit pretty."]] Gyra's loving gaze left Seiji, and one much more irritated landed on Rohu. His damp hands caressed the humans thigh as he spoke. [i [#DE2255 "I've already earned my prize Rohu, he is mine!"]] There was a crack in his voice, something childish and greedy. Rohu stepped closer to the water, his towering figure loomed a grand shadow over the pond. [b "He is not yours. Please, have some consideration for the life around you."] Gyra seemed unimpressed. An eyebrow crooked with his smirk, tail whipping the water twice. [i [#DE2255 "Consideration for what? There is nothing outside of his pond that I could care for. I have everything to gain here, and nothing to lose."]]
Rohu growled, a low rumble that shook in his chest. [b "How many have drowned here now? This boy will be the last straw. They will force their way to your waters and drain it away. You cannot entrance them all, Gyra. Humans care too deeply for their own; They will pave way a solution to keep their own safe."] Now Gyra hesitated, his hand pausing only halfway up the humans soaked shirt. [i [#DE2255 "You do not lie to me Rohu..."]] but, his voice cracked again: [i [#DE2255 "Will they truly come for my home?"]] Rohu simply nodded. [b "With death comes anger, the only place to direct that anger is here."] and he gestured to the pond.
Gyra examined the entranced human, his hands adjusting to play with his hair. [i [#DE2255 "He is very beautiful...
He will not visit me after this.."]]
Gyra cared more for his pond than he did for his hunger, even the thought of multiple humans dirtying the place was enough to make him hesitate. His eye's landed on the camera. It was a device he had never seen before, but the way the boy clutched it even in his trance proved its importance. [i [#DE2255 "Then.. I will take this."]] He decided, and pulled it slowly from around the humans neck and onto his own. [i [#DE2255 "He will come back for this jewelry - then I will see him again."]] Rohu sighed, his body trudging through the water to retrieve the human. [b "End his trance, Gyra."]
[i [#DE2255 "It will end soon.. just leave him by the shore.. I will not touch him."]]
Rohu did as Gyra suggested. He knew the human would not be able to see him anyways, it required a certain belief of his existence, of which humans knew nothing. Therefore, escorting him up the mountain would be out of the question. He would shadow the boy for now, and hope he would still have the courage to tread the mountain. Gyra perched his torso on the rock, Seiji's camera dangling loosely around his neck. Gyra simply watched him lay at the banks, a thin smile on his lips. [i [#DE2255 "He is a very beautiful human . . Tragic that I cannot erase his memory to make him like me."]] The events of what Gyra had done will be completely coherent in Seiji's mind. Every detail and every touch. Neither Gyra nor Rohu could do anything about that.
[i [#DE2255 "Will he fear me now?"]]
Rohu remained quiet, standing idly at the boys side.
[i [#DE2255 "I wish he wouldn't.."]]
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[size11 [Kurale His voice hung in the air and Seiji merely stared off into the empty distance trying to search for any sort of movement. He could've sworn somebody was nearby, but his mind just couldn't pinpoint where. With the silence growing more and more apparent around him, the only sound to echo through the trees being that of songbirds and rustling leaves, Seiji slowly started to descend down the path in hopes of finding [i something] that could reassure him. The idea of company within the forest had bothered him earlier, but with the uneasiness of knowing something was growing amiss, company now didn't sound too bad.
He kept his feet steady and steps carefully. Tripping and potentially destroying his camera was one of his worries right now, but his priorities weren't all that skewered, enough to make him quite negligence to his surroundings as his concentration had turned to fiddle with his camera for a few seconds. Seiji had already wandered off the path to the left and didn't notice until the sound of screaming answered his previous calls.
It had felt like hours, but really the frantic calls for help had happened a few minutes after he yelled out the question and Seiji almost dropped his camera at the mere cry coming from near the river. His breathing suddenly faltered and his green eyes bulged with fear as his stomach ached with anxiety and dread. With the feminine shouting combined with the splashing of water, Seiji guessed one of the girls from his town had either followed or just wandered into the forest on her own and tumbled into the river below. He might've been a shut-in and a crippling introvert, but Seiji was well acquainted with some of the people in his town. The thought of one them being in any kind of danger, especially life-threatening, made him feel quite sick and afraid.
It was enough for him to whip around to face the direction of the voice and swallow down the fear that was beginning to bubble in his throat. He couldn't just leave this girl to suffer and drown. Cowardice just wasn't an option anymore. [b "Wait, hold on. I'm coming!"] He yelled out in response. He tried his best to sound confident and secure but his voice still shook with worry and angst. He set off and followed the sound of splashing water and the distant voice. His grip on his camera was becoming less and less as his palms slipped with sweat, and most obstacles that obstructed his 'rescue' mission was ignored, even when his shoes had snagged against hidden logs and plants beneath him and threatened to topple him over.,
He was close to the voice now, extremely close. The river was almost in view and the path was far behind him. His mind had blocked out all goals, all that was important to him now was saving this girl. It was unusual for him to be obsessed with saving someone, though. He was helpful and kind to everyone, never allowing bad things to happen to the people within his life, but throwing himself into potentially life-threatening situations wasn't exactly his forte. He was adventurous and impulsive, but careful and wary of things around him - this was quite obscene for him. But nothing was telling him to turn back and everything was yelling at him to keep moving forward.
It wasn't long until Seiji had stumbled onto the riverbank, with his usually pale cheeks pink from exhaustion, and his body arched over from the aches of briskly running. Through equally worn-out puffs of air from his open mouth, Seiji searched the clearing for any signs of the girl.
[b "Hello? Hello! I'm here, I'm here to help you."] He trudged close to the edge of the bank, enough for the water to begin lapping beneath his shoes. He leaned himself forward and his stomach began aching with the same dread from earlier again. Something felt wrong, really wrong. His instincts were telling him to turn back and run, but something else was pulling him forward, closer to the river. He was oblivious to everything else around him...
[center [pic https://i.ibb.co/b7032nn/ROHU.png]]
[center [font minion [size12 [i [b IF] It stays on your disjointed path, Minor God. . .]
His power extended throughout the entire mountain, that much was true. However, that didn't make the mountain his domain to control. Beyond the path he stomped out for his followers to visit his shrine there were many creatures. Friendly, some. Though others were quite the opposite; Beings of fantasy that shouldn't exist so vividly in the mortal realm had taken haven on Mount Huru once mortal life no longer tread it. The mountain became a place of other worldly beings to live comfortably - and for humans to tread the path again meant the worst for them. These beings could not touch him on the path.. but should he stray from it - The sweet sound of beautiful voices cut his thoughts away. Singing, humming, luring.
Rohu moved just a little faster.
The waters at the bottom of the river were home to one determined Siren. Rohu had tried multiple times to rid him of the forest - however his power was simply too weak with non-believers to make enough of an impact on him. Later on, after multiple attempts at clearing the waters, he learned to give up. Nobody was coming up the mountain far enough to reach the waters anyway. Those who did take their few steps towards the second set of chains would always stick to the path, and staying on the path meant you would never hear her song. However he was determined, hungry, and a fair bit bored. Rohu knew he would try his best to lure any mortal off the path, often going so far as to team up with other beings whos voices could be heard from on the path. All it would take is one slip passed the overgrown dirt path and that mortal would be putty in his hands. Completely enthralled by the beautiful sounds he made.
Rohu was moving rather quickly now. Hopping from pathway to branch to fallen tree, under his feet lighting up with a clear blue hue every time he nearly landed.His overgrown, pale hair whipped at his ears, spreading from his face as he dashed down the mountain. He hadn't moved with such purpose in a while and frankly was too tired on any normal day. Though something about a mortal entering without the joyful prompting of village children struck him with something he couldn't quite explain.
Something rather exciting.
The mountain had a slow streak of tree's and overgrown pathway up to the second set of chains. It was easy to lose sight of the path this early on, though it became more prominent the further up you went. Just beyond the second set of chains, the path curved right and upwards. Pieces of chipped stone embedded into the dirt path in some spots, though it was clear mother nature had reclaimed much of the path for herself. Some trees rooted through the dirt, jutting upwards with moss and weeds. Along the left side of the path was a slope filled with trees, stumps, and tall grass stomped down in some spots by the creatures who frequented the area. At the bottom of the slope was a short clearing of rocks along a riverbed. The river itself seemed to flow from further up the mountain, all the way down to the pathway here, where it seemed to pool and end. Inside the pool of river water, a few loose leaves and flowers drifted, circling slowly. As well as a flat surfaced rock that seemed to just barely penetrate the surface of the water.
[b "Hello? Is someone there?"]
There was silence for a while. Then, a voice cried out in the distance. [b "Hello?!"] A girls voice, and she sounded terrified.
[b "Hello? Please-"] Her voice echoed, strained and weak, and the river water seemed to splash as if someone was struggling alongside it. [b "Please help!"] her voice broke into a sob, and the splashing became more frequent.
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[size11 [Kurale Strolls through forests had never been this tense before. Seiji remembered his small trips into the woodlands that surrounded his hometown during his younger years and recalled each and every photo that was taken. It was the most peaceful place to ever set foot in and you were guaranteed to be alone, but here was much different. Every sound that roused from the trees felt organic and Seiji shuddered with small worry. His steps were lax and careful as if trying to avoid some kind of invisible obstacles surrounding him, and his hand merely lifted his camera once to snap a photo of a beautiful posy of hydrangeas.
He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but there was a presence somewhere that stirred him up slightly. It wasn't foreboding or daunting, quite the opposite in fact, peaceful and tranquil, but Seiji couldn't deny the feeling of unease at the idea of the company in the woods. He didn't want to leave though, something inside him was preventing him from turning back, and thus, the boy kept his steady descent on the path towards the Shinto shrine above. He didn't know such a thing existed within the forest, and therefore, the holy structure wasn't expected at all. Even if the elders spoke of gods and their legends, those stories lessened every single year until only the most well-known were spoken of, and Seiji never really thought about prayers or shrines anymore.
Perhaps the most notable one to him was the usual Shichi-Go-San, but that was all, and his family forced him and his sister into that for the sake of tradition. He wasn't really concerned with praying for his health or others, because believing in such things felt wasteful. Nothing ever happened anyway. None of his prayers from his younger self had been answered, at least that's what Seiji thought.
He blew a steady breath through his parted lips and stopped in his tracks to gaze further up the path above. He hadn't encountered the Torii gate or the Shinto above, but the sight of the chains around the trees told him to now start expecting [i something] sacred. That [i spiritual] presence around him was starting to become more and more obvious. He began questioning himself what this forest really was; the history, the origins. Clearly [u something] important entailed here once-upon-a-time, and Seiji secretly wondered if his presence had stirred something up. He didn't necessarily believe in any legends or stories, but that didn't mean he didn't respect them. His younger sister, Yaeko, who was a whole lot more fascinated in the legends of Kami and more, ingrained the idea of respect into his head. It wasn't something to be messed with, that's for sure.
The constant shadow of [i someone's] presence within the forest was starting to get to him. He wasn't afraid or fearful, his determination mostly protected his more vulnerable emotions, but Seiji was nervous and uncomfortable at the thought of someone else. He wasn't the best with [i strangers.]
[b "Hello? Is someone there?"] He called out, his voice breaking the silence and echoing through the trees quietly. He waited for something to answer back, be that more silence or an actual voice. The cold chill blown in from the mountain caused him to shiver uncomfortably and feel even more uneasy. He clutched his camera and anticipated something, [i someone] to appear somewhere before him.
[center [pic https://i.ibb.co/b7032nn/ROHU.png]]
[center [font minion [size12 The tradition of visiting a shrine was intoxicating. Rohu could easily lose himself in the atmosphere it created.
[center [pic https://i.ibb.co/7pN0vs3/shrine.png]]
Humans would take the trip every week or so, climbing the beautiful pathway that slithered upward, all the way up to the peak where the Torii gate lay waiting. They would bow before continuing, never walking through the center of the gate, always careful to keep to the left or right sides to leave room for the spirit or deity. Each one looking rejuvenated and worked from the walk up.
After that long trek up the mountain, when the humans finally reached the temizuya water pavilion, they tended to "purify" more than just their hands and mouth with the water inside. Often sneaking sips between their fingers or spilling the ladle over their heads to cool them off. Rohu never minded their use of the water, they were grateful to use it and mindful of purifying themselves before visiting him either way. Children played, splashing one another while receiving quick scoldings from their parents. It was a sweet process he always had a laugh watching from deeper in the shrine.
Once the humans reached the Altar, the experience quickly became more beautiful. Rohu would often rest himself against the walls of his shrine, closing his eyes to the sound of the bell being swung to greet him. They would clap twice, pray, then bow once again. He would listen closely to the prayers of those who visited - and he was proud to say not one of those prayers were self fulfilling. When they were, they were so small that he could not blame them for wishing it. And each human always prayed for his comfort and well being. Rohu understood those that visited the shrine regularly better than he even understood himself. Up until there was only one woman left paying him visits. The soft warmth of sunlight pinched at Rohu's cheeks, the air fragrant with new flowers, the whispers of his followers, and the pastries and treats left as offerings made for a terrific day.
Tragically, those days were no longer.
Rohu began to rouse from his dream; It had been a while since he's had one that pleasant. His limbs untangled and stretched across the dusted wooden floorboards of his long forgotten shrine. A low growl emitted, one that echoed through the trees, as he attempted to haul himself up off the floor. Leaning on his elbows, his eyes fluttered open to meet with a small glimmering figure. Tiny, but humanoid in shape.
[size10 " the human walks the path - a human. . once again "]
it's small voice caused Rohu to pinch his brows downward, upward, then down again. [b "It will leave soon. They often dare each other to walk the path.. none make it passed the second set of chains."]
[size10 " This one . . This human does. "] As if on command, he heard the chains jingle. The small noise far down the mountain rung clearly in his own ears. Rohu rose faster now, though his graceful movements were still a lumbering effort. Slow and exotic in nature. The fairies fluttered around his head as he gained his full stature, slouching only his neck to avoid hitting his horns against the roof of the small shrine. [b "Why does it tread the path? Is it . ."] he stopped, unable to quite finish the sentence without the pain flickering in his good eye. The fairies circled, their tiny limbs gesturing in unison with some laughter.
[size10 " This one does not seek death here - this one harbors . . new intent"]
One by one, the fairies settled in a different spot upon Rohu. Some on his horns, others against his neck and shoulders. One perched on his index finger as he raised it towards his face. [b "Then . . should we wait here? No.. it will not make it this far.."] Now Rohu was truly beginning to wake up. Though fully conscious, his voice still displayed a clear disconnection from the emotions he was feeling, and rang out in a low monotone. [b "I should go to it. Help it up the mountain."] The fairies took flight again, one by one zipping away from him in a line.
[size10 "You will endanger us again . . in hopes of prayer? Send it away. Or we will take it upon ourselves."]
Rohu felt an itch in the palm of his hand, he closed his nails into it lightly. [b "It carries no weapons. You will not endanger another mortal on this path."] Though broken and difficult to follow - the path was holy. It was his right to dictate what happened on it. The fairies became uncoordinated, one hissing and another passive aggressively clicking it's small tongue.
[size10 "[i IF] it remains on your disjointed path Minor God."] They hissed, and hurried off into the woods. Rohu felt exhausted. How long had he rested? It felt like only a few moments, though all the snow had melted from the ground by now. Grumbling, the God began his descent, his bare feet barely touching the ground as he went along.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/91GkGNX.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale [i 'A painting is worth a thousand words.]
[i But a photograph is worth a thousand more.']
Those words echoed within his mind nearly every single morning before waking up to the smell of freshly cooked breakfast. It was a strange thing to constantly dwell on, especially in the early sunrise of the day, a simple discussion between him and his younger sister now turned into an influential quote, but Seiji just couldn't forget it. They were almost too important to him. Nobody else would understand.
[b “Seiji! Are you coming? Breakfast is getting cold.”]
He heard the same thing every morning, his mother’s shrill voice calling him down for his food that was usually neglected by him anyway. Seiji spent most of his mornings staring into the blemishes of his ceiling until all the cracks started to warp and fidget, thinking about [i something.] Nothing in particular, whatever his creative mind could muster up in the early day, and this time, the overstretching woodland on the edge of town just wouldn’t leave his thoughts alone.
There was something mystical about that forest, as if all of those trees and foliage held a powerful secret only the worthy could ever know. Seiji wanted to [i know] more than anything. Capture every secret in the lenses of his camera and bask in their greatness.
But his breakfast was getting cold...
Seiji sat at the kitchen counter with his mother in the background frying off the leftover bacon. His younger sister sat on the floor in the background fiddling with one of her dolls, as per usual. Today was probably going to be another boring, average day for him. Another stroll around the neighbourhood armed with his camera and quick eyes for art. Anything that looked remotely beautiful or picturesque was captured in another photo for his collage stuck onto every inch of his bedroom wall.
He wasn't complaining. Photography was his passion after all and something that just resonated with him more than anything in the world, but everything had already been captured, asides from the forest enveloping the entire town. Maybe a few trees had wormed their way into his shots, but that was all. He ached for more. Just simply taking quick snapshots of the forest's entrance or the peak of the small mountain cushioned besides the trees just wasn't enough. His curiosity was growing more and more everyday...
[b "I think I'm gonna head out today. I've got some errands to run for Mr. Tanaka again."] Seiji casually lied whilst pushing the remaining bits of bacon across his plate with his fork. He was an adult now and had the freedom that came with adulthood, but his mother still worried for him, especially with his habit to lose himself in his camera and aimlessly wander off. Seiji just didn't want to deal with her coddling. [b "Again? I thought you helped him out yesterday."] She questioned with some slight concern in her voice. She had no reason to suspect her son of lying, but there was always that nagging feeling deep inside that told her of some hidden ulterior motive. Seiji just shrugged her off and pushed himself away from the counter onto his feet. [b "I got kinda careless, missed some things out. I won't be long. I'll be home before lunch, I promise."] He finished with a reassuring smile.
[i "I'll be home before lunch, I promise."]
Seiji stood at the edge of the forest with his old canon camera clutched within hands, almost like some kind of reassurance for himself, as the cool darkness of the woodland beckoned him to walk forward into the unknown. He didn't understand. This forest had been his muse ever since his family moved into the small town and Seiji had dreamed of venturing inside and revelling in the tranquillity of the trees, but there was something inside him trying to pull him away.
He had sworn to himself that he would soon explore every inch of the forests surrounding town until there was nothing else to explore. He couldn't just let some faux dread win him over and tell him otherwise. That just wasn't going to happen. He tried to replace the awful feeling with his creativity and curiosity that always comforted during times of doubt, and the mere sight of rusted chains entangled around the curved, separated trees fuelled his inquisitiveness to the max.
Nothing could stop him now. This was going to happen. Seiji gently tread forward and begun his decent into the mysterious but insanely captivating forest.
[i 'The woods are just trees.
The trees are just wood.']
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