The Mists of Paoru
On the subject of Yokai
The Yokai are only mentioned in the religious tome, the Book of Eternal Sorrow. It describes the Yokai as what is left behind when Dempo dreams. The very few references to the Yokai in any religious text have been said by many of the Holy Sijons over the years to mean that their existence is part of the Great Plan the Gods have made but we aren’t meant to know. It is still a strong dispute between the Onmyoji at Chenmo and the Monks of the Temple. The Onmyoji have been striving to understand yokai since Chenmo’s founding while the monks have asked them to leave the matter alone.
What follows covers the breadth of knowledge that has been gleaned over the last 13 centuries.
- Yokai exist in an energy state in a realm that intersects our own. This realm was originally named Meng de Shijie or the Dreaming World as the first data linked yokai to dreams and nightmares. Over time as understanding of the Yokai Realm increased, it was inferred that the realm itself mirrors our own. This led to their realm being renamed Jing Jingjie, or the Mirror Realm.
- Yokai that appear in populated areas usually have more of a humanoid shape. In the wild, their shapes can vary immensely.
- Summoning yokai doesn’t magically force them to come to you. The summoning prayer was formed over the centuries through trial and error. Any magic user who summons a yokai understands the entire ritual involved, that the yokai must be treated with respect and after the summoning is over, a tea ceremony is perfomed thanking the yokai. Yokai have been known to be insulted by the use of crude teas or substandard tea sets. Some can be insulted by the mispronunciation of the summoning prayer or the attitude of the summoner. Summoned yokai don’t necessarily have to leave when the summoning is over, if they stay it usually implies they enjoy the summoner’s company or are just plain curious.
- Yokai expend a great deal of energy to become physical in our realm, which is why they are particular about when and to whom they appear. It’s understood that when they are summoned, some essence of the caster is used to help them create a physical form.
- Very little is known of the yokai realm. No caster has successfully seen it or experienced it in any way.
- Yokai are able to speak to whoever summoned them, no matter the language. While some are talkative, others can be downright taciturn and abrupt in their speech. No caster has been able to get any information about the yokai realm from any yokai.
- Yokai themselves range from benevolent to indifferent. There have been instances where darker or more evil yokai have answered a summons and the experience leaves a mark on the caster. These darker yokai seem to leave a taint in the area when they appear and can cause illness in the caster and those in the area.