THE HOLLOW TEMPLATE
Enter The Hollow
I. Basic Information» Name:
Yaksha Dokuja» Age:
Unaffiliated» Appearance Written:
Yaksha has a bipedal form, though he still seems to bring to mind a reptile that has learned to walk on two legs. His face is elongated, forming an almost rounded snout, and his body is very thin and lithe for his size. His mask, if someone were to get close enough to inspect it, would almost have an appearance of overlapping scales. His tongue is long and forked, able to reach several feet away from himself. He also has a tail, four feet long and flexible enough to serve as an additional limb. At a glance he appears quite muscular, and very powerful. He carries himself with a slight slouch, making it hard to tell just how tall he is much of the time.
His limbs are long and gangly, containing relatively small amounts of muscle relative to his torso and tail. They stretch out so far that he's known to have them drag along the ground when he's not paying close attention, and each hand ends in long claws that seem almost like dagger-tips. He rarely uses them aside from intimidation, and even then he prefers to show them rather than actually use them. There are the impression of overlapping scales on his arms as well, but the skin is entirely smooth and shows no sign of flaking or roughness.
Despite his appearance, Yaksha doesn't sound very primal at all. With his return to normal intellect, he has also rediscovered his old voice; a deep, rich tone that instantly puts others at ease, and almost makes it sound like he's a nobleman from a long time back. He frequently wears a thick brown cloak around himself, hiding everything but his face, to ensure that when he is spotted, he doesn't immediately cause a scene. Beneath the cloak, he's sometimes also known to wear poorly tailored suits, often when he's feeling particularly mischievous.
Yaksha's hair manifests itself as a long ponytail, bright green in color. It's held in place with what looks very much like a rubber band made of his own reishi. When he grows angry, his reishi can snap, causing his hair to fall around him, and even making it come to life, lashing around him like a multitudes of snakes.» Appearance Image:
II. Personality» Personality:
Despite his seemingly unshakable appearance, Yaksha is actually a very insecure person; every smile and laugh is a lie, a way to try and get into the heads of others. All of Yaksha's power lies in misdirection and trickery; he can convince people of falsehoods, but he can do very little on his own.
He's also a very frail person physically, unable to take more than a few hits before he falls. He tends to overcome this by avoiding confrontations overall, and relying on trickery or dirty tactics when he's pulled into a fight, but if he's forced to fight fair he's almost always at a disadvantage.
Yaksha also has a bit of an identity crisis; after 500 years, he's found that many of the souls he's eaten don't simply go away. Whether it's a faint tidbit of a memory he can't remember getting, or a name that's always being repeated in his head, parts of every soul he's consumed live on through him, and share the space. It's getting pretty cramped in there.
Despite his dedication, and his determination, Yaksha is also a dramatic soul; he has an overwhelming desire to do things right, and to be remembered for what he does. He'll always choose to do things over the top and flamboyantly when he can, never settling to go un-recognized. He also strives to keep his own identity and whereabouts secret, creating an almost paradoxical desire to be famous and mysterious all at once.
Yaksha's also found that he has developed a temper of sorts, over the years. Any mention of God, or of persecution will quickly make him lose control; he claims that despite being a hollow, he is no better or worse than any other ghost, or even a shinigami. Though he strives to prove this, and works hard to overcome his more bestial nature, he still finds himself backsliding at times. A surefire way to see Yaksha's worst side is to imply that his mere history, rather than his actions, are how he should be judged.
He also has a taste for the finer things in life, though he can't really enjoy them. Rather than simply eating hollows wholesale, he'll pour their bodily fluids into wineglasses, and drink from those. He can typically be tracked by finding the most upscale, most expensive place where humans gather, and waiting there for him to show up. Even dead, a man has to enjoy himself when he can.
Not to mention his sense of humor. Yaksha finds it hard to show a straight face around others, and all too often he'll find himself cracking a joke or making a reference to something he probably shouldn't. His tongue acts before his brain can think, but even worse is that if he thought he'd probably just say it in a more dramatic manner. Yaksha has serious issues being serious. Seriously.
Trust doesn't come easy to a man like Yaksha, and when it does he's not even sure what to do with it. While he wants with all of his heart to be trusted, he still can't trust himself and his own mind. He's seen the damage that delusion has wrought on the world, and he sees it as his duty to strip others of their illusions and their needless heuristics; no matter how badly it hurts, the world needs more people who will suck it up and look at the world with a critical mind. He's just not entirely sure he's one of them. While Yaksha will do everything in his power to make people trust him, once he has it he finds himself doing just about anything he can to push them away. While he believes everyone in the world would be better off if they just took his advice, he doesn't think they would.
III. History» History: Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see.
TRANSMIT - Initiate the Kubera Signal RECIEVE - Initiate the Jureichi Frequency - WHAT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN HIS SOUL- Initiate the Faustian Protocol - WITNESS - The Outsider.
I have a story, sweetling. Would you care to hear? Of course you would. Your kind likes stories.
A man was born. From his very birth, he was unnatural. He was a strange child, born in strange circumstances. He should never have existed, but the world is full of those things which should have been impossible. Still, if there's one thing the universe hates, it's an anomaly. Things that don't fit into the mold get broken until they do. Yaksha Dokuja was not always Yaksha Dokuja, but he always was.
His father was impotent, his mother distraught. Married off far too young, and to a man who could never give her what she wished for most; a beautiful child. Her husband treated her well, treated her with love and respect. He was a stonemason, good with his hands. He built her a home, and he always did everything he could to please her. The only thing he could not do was sire a child for her. It was also the only thing she resented him for.
Over the years resent turned into desperation, which turned into seething madness. She was a good, Christian woman...and she one day went quite mad. She went to an old place where none were meant to go, a place of so-called demons. The demon had once been a god, and had once been fed quite well. But that is another story. She came, and she prayed in the ways abhorrent to God. She said the words, she went through the routine. She was willing to do whatever it took to have a child to raise as her own.
The deal was struck. She was struck as well, by the appearance of the demon. They had spoken of cloven hooves and horns. Of smooth voices and exceptional masculinity. They had not spoken of white masks or enormous holes that one could fit a hand through. They had not spoken of the pain and the anguish in each word. They had not spoken of hunger. Of mind-wrenching hunger. They had told her she would have cravings when she was pregnant. They did not tell her what she would crave.
Her husband came home one day, but he was not her husband. His rough, calloused hands were not gentle this time. The man she lay down with was not her husband. But she let him; she knew the price that must be paid. She hoped he would never have to know what she had done. In a way, she was right. After that night, he never knew anything again. Her husband passed away moments after copulating with her. Everyone was baffled, but she was shocked beyond belief.
Months passed, and her cravings grew stranger. She ate primarily meat, and often meat that should by all accounts have made her exceptionally sick. She never grew sick. She had always been sick. She gave birth with no trouble, and with no assistance. The child came out like it had been made for it. And from the moment he was born she knew that she could never have what she wanted. Her child was born with skin all too fair, with hair as white as snow. With eyes the most disgusting shade of pink. He never cried, he never whined. He simply looked at her with curiosity.
She left him outside of the church, and she left without ever looking back. She was always the subject of many stories. Some said she killed her husband and was cursed by god. Some said she was a witch who returned to hell. None of them particularly matter. The child matters. He was raised by the Church, to be a god-fearing, church-attending child. He was raised to learn the skills of rhetoric and debate. He was raised to preach to a flock of new converts.
Do you know how hard it is to be an honest God-fearing man when you know the truth, Dear Reader?
He was always an odd child. He had little interest in god and in rhetoric. He had a great interest in the old fables and stories, of mythology wide and profound. He learned of the pagan rituals and the many names of demons. He spoke often of seeing the dead, of seeing black-clad angles and white-clad devils. He was a strange child, and the church shunned strangeness. He was given a life away from the public. A life in the catacombs of old scrolls. A librarian in a place no one wanted to visit.
There were myriad dead in that place, of all shapes and sizes. They were all quite intelligent, and they were all too eager to have someone who could finally be good conversation. Albus, as he had been known- the charming one who possessed no charm, who had never wanted it- was the only link the lingering dead had to their world. And he was always treated as the lowest of the low. Surrounded by brilliant minds, by people who felt themselves too great to fade, Albus sunk into his own illness. He became obsessive. He grew disillusioned, grew tired of hearing the same old stories...and one day he became part of a new one.
A white-clad devil came into the catacombs one night, sniffing for its latest prey. Yaksha was unaware of what to expect, but knew only that being this close to one of those majestic predators sent an electric shock through him. He wondered what it would take to meet one of these things. He began to follow it, his skill in stealth quite laughable. The demon's skill in noticing anything besides its prey even more so. It fled, sated enough for the time. Yaksha's hunger however was soon to become limitless.
He sought any reference to these things he could find. He spoke to every soul he could find, and discovered every detail possible. And he realized all too quickly what it would take to meet one in the flesh. He brought with him one of the eldest, most insufferable of souls. He hoped it would be willing to speak to him for as long as it took. Surprisingly, it took almost no time at all. The white-clad creature barreled into the catacombs, seeking another meal.
This one was not nearly as dim as the last, and realized almost immediately that there were two sets of eyes upon it. Two beings' attention. One was far more appetizing than the other...but far more interesting, as well. It wished to know more about this thing before him. This human who seemed to look at it with such delight...and who seemed to smell so familiar to it. One could dicker for years as to why the beast spared him, but the simple fact is that it did. Not without a scar...a remembrance. The beast burned his entire left cheek beyond recognition. Yaksha saw it as a badge of honor. He had held his first conversation with a hollow, and he had survived.
The problem with greed is that the greedy don't know when to stop. Yaksha studied for another decade, and did everything he could. Finally, he concocted a ritual, using the souls of every lingering being he could find for the bait. It took hours, but he finally succeeded; he drew to him one of the white-clad devils. And he struck a deal of his own. A deal for power and freedom, for a taste of what they could be like.
He followed in his father's footsteps, and this time the act was not nearly so benign. Yaksha rode passenger as he watched his body kill half a dozen people before he was subdued. He felt not even an iota of regret over his decision. Even as he was stoned to death, he smiled. And when his body arose, when he was stared down by the being who had given him this freedom, the being which demanded its payment...he still smiled.
He smiled even as he tore at the chain that connected him to the pitiful human body he had long ago forsaken. He smiled even as the hole ripped open, at a speed that never should've been possible. He smiled as rigor mortis took over, he smiled as the essence of his discarded heart overtook him. And he smiled as he loomed over his would-be creditor. He smiled even as the thing realized that it had been deprived of its easy meal.
It fought savagely, but in the end it simply couldn't subdue the beast. It was as if it had simply been waiting its entire life to become a hollow. It was as if it had been a hollow well before this moment. The fight was never even a fight. Albus died. Yaksha Dokuja lived. And the beast was all too excited to make use of the new opportunity it had been given. It scoured the world, it spread itself wide...and yet for several millenia, the world was simply too small. The souls too pitiful, too spread out. They could never sate his hunger, could never fill the void within him.
Time passes. What is time to us? We stand outside. Yaksha frittered away centuries as an informant to any who would have him. A few would-be kings of the vast hollow desert would arrive to strongarm the serpent into being their adviser. One or two, into their shadowmaster. The truly intelligent didn't attempt to force him at all. There could be no good end for abrogating the will of a cannibal, for chaining a wild beast. There could only be a worse end for tying one's fate to a being well known for betraying trust.
Kings rise, kingdoms persist. In an infinite space, why shouldn't there be infinite kings? And in an endless game of chess, what better piece to be than a pawn? Relative to the life of an immortal, the lapse of judgment it takes for a pawn to ascend to queen is the blink of an eye. And kings fall. Yaksha Dokuja never wished to rule. Kingdoms yet persist, their old bones plain for everyone to see. And always, always, there is need for a wise man in a court of slavering buffoons. And always always, the cycle continues.
It wasn't until the Renaissance that Yaksha could truly feed, and even then it was scant. He ate when he could, gorged when he felt the need. He spread himself across the world, learning as much of he could of the new and fascinating world. The world he wanted to be a part of. The world he had no intention of leaving. He met altogether too much competition, but he had grown good at running and better at lying. Albus had never found any need for rhetoric, but Yaksha Dokuja took to it like a fish to water.
He finally began to settle in to the land of the living. Spiritually aware were no longer a mere pipe dream, no longer the exception to the rule. The process, slow though it was, was perfected and sharpened as time went on. Countless people of the time were illiterate, incompetent, and yet exceptionally good at taking orders. And so the time of witches and warlocks came to be. A time of those who spoke profanities against the world, and a time of veritable feast for a being such as Yaksha. And yet moreso than the souls he consumed, the simple experience of being part of something was infinitely sweeter. Finally a niche was found.
Mankind expands, the world shrinks. Travel becomes a matter of hours rather than days. And the humans grow more clever, their minds expanded as easily as their territory. A man's grasp now exceeds his reach, and both far exceed the influence of a mere ghost of a man. It was centuries ago that Yaksha's influence began its true waning, with those who do meet him finding him little more than a peculiarity, another ghost amongst countless others. And so the angry dead grows angrier, goaded on by a potential eternity of neglect to look forward to.
Speechless mouths open wide in wordless shrieks, and no one listens. Who cares for the mad ramblings of a monster, in a day and age when anyone can pluck out a million monsters from the fabric of history? Now they exist outside of time, too. Yaksha Dokuja is no longer a welcome presence. No longer truly even a spectacle. Now he is little more than a lingering memory, struggling to find relevance.
Time marches on; the devils gain new names, the world opens its eyes. It passed in the space of no time at all, but no time at all can be all the time in the world to the right people. Yaksha heard the news, late to the party as always; the inducted had become a plague, outnumbering the uninducted almost immediately. They had gained names, and new purpose. Yaksha's old purpose had withered and atrophied long ago, so long ago he wondered if it was just a fevered dream.
There's nothing so dangerous as giving a man purpose.
Yaksha's enthusiasm in the face of this newfound world, one where he no longer had to hide himself and pretend to be something else, was almost unsettling; human and devil alike were worried about that mad gleam in the eyes of the man who was no longer a man. There was always something ever so slightly...off about him. Sometimes the sense that he knew more than he was letting on. Sometimes, the glint of hunger in his eyes. Sometimes it was something as simple as the way he carried himself.
Have you ever tried to fit a fifty foot snake in a ten gallon hat, Dear Reader? The fabric strains. So the world strained against Yaksha; too much desire in too small a place. His tenure as envoy to the living was brief but remarkably memorable. In the end, the consensus was clear; there was just too much...Yaksha to make proper use of. Or perhaps it wasn't substance he lacked, but style?
Is it substance you call it, Dear Reader, or mass? We always forget.
A man, deprived of purpose once more. A wretched, misbegotten man, tired beyond compare, beyond reason. A man who seethed at a world that -still- couldn't encompass all that he was. And so it was that he was snatched up, by another queen. What does the pawn care which hand directs it? Yaksha was always a pawn; that much was never in question, was it?
The scant information he had about the human world was still sufficient to earn his place in the coming army. The incursion was mighty and painful, and the hatred with his own kind legendary, beyond compare. Wars waged in four dimensions can get remarkably complicated remarkably fast, can't they?
Try twelve, Dear Reader.
Yaksha was never a true combatant. The only true winner in a war is the ravens. Time tells us this, over and over; only those who feed indiscriminately come out ahead. So it was here, too; Yaksha fed on devils and demons and humans alike and after a time could he even tell which was which? Did it even matter anymore? Evil wears many faces, and there are many kinds of masks.
Finally, the epiphany hit him; the issue was not one of who he was, but who he -appeared- as. There are some things that the reader simply won't swallow, no matter how many spoonfuls of sugar you pile on. And then there are the most obvious poisons, that people will tip down their throats of their own accord. Yaksha simply needed to package himself more...neatly.
The war ended. Time marched on. What is time to us? We exist outside time.
The first stage is echdysis; the entity compartmentalizes all it is. A man counting up once a second would still need a lifetime to get to a million. How many millions of souls had Yaksha snatched up over the years? He'd need a lifetime even just to remember. Is it any wonder the first stage was the hardest?
Yaksha needed centuries just to remember who he was; to separate the 'him' from the primordial soup of the soul. And when he did, the change was spectacular. Immediate. A hulking, disgusting monstrosity became almost kin. A human is little more than a risen ape; is it any wonder then, that a snake too can rise?
Time ceases to march. It creeps and tiptoes, slow and cautious now. Yaksha finally steps out from his long exile, rebranded, rebuilt. By the pricking of our nose, something wicked that way goes.
Close enough, right, Dear Reader?
IV. Equipment» Equipment:
A very old, somewhat squashed tophat. He's fond of wearing it, along with a poorly tailored suit, when he's in the human world.
V. Racial Techniques/Abilities/Skills» Racial Abilities:
Cero, Bala, Regeneration, Acidic Touch, Soul/Body Separation
VI. Powers» Hollow Power:
Yaksha's power is quite simple: He is able to shroud his body in his reaitsu, infusing it into body parts in a remarkable manner, and augmenting his body parts. He has a few notable uses of this power:Hell's Bells
- By coating his teeth in reaitsu, Yaksha is able to inject it directly into the bodies of others; this works very similarly to the hollow's own acidic touch, but not even spirit beings are immune to it. It's largely a nuisance against any enemy capable of fighting him in a fair fight, but sometimes all it takes is a nip to turn the tables.Shed Skin
- Yaksha's anatomy and physiology are incredibly fluid, by hollow standards. By coating any limb in reaitsu, he can make it pop off from the whole as easily as one would pop the joint in a finger. It regrows at a prodigious rate, and the remains left behind are still very much capable of acting independently from Yaksha. They're very fragile and easy to destroy, making them more of a distraction than anything.Skinwalker
- Yaksha is able to shed his own skin and to slip into incredibly small areas, bending himself into shapes that boggle the mind and hurt the eyes to behold. Coating his own bones in reaitsu gives them the flexibility of warm plastic, making Yaksha quite adept at making a vanishing act when it seems like a sure thing that he's been cornered.Eyes of the King
: By shrouding his eyes in reishi, Yaksha can force them to exude an invisible wavelength that causes massive breakdowns in the bodies of other targets if they make direct contact with his gaze. Even looking on the periphery is enough, meaning in a fight even a split second's attention causes the effects to either begin or worsen. Using translucent surfaces such as glass or ice to gaze upon him will slow the effect, but not end it entirely, while looking at him indirectly, as by a reflection, ignores the effect entirely. The damage dealt is based on the duration of exposure, and the comparative tiers of the targets.
- Damage Categories:
Yaksha can maintain this power for (3+number of tiers over 4) posts, before a two post cooldown is instituted. After this, he can use it for (2+number of tiers of 4) posts, and a three post cooldown is instituted. If he invokes it a third and final time in a thread, it lasts (1+number of tiers over 4) posts, and then cannot be invoked again that thread. Though the light exuded is invisible, the color of his eyes does change subtly while the reiatsu is focused there, and those well-suited to sensing the flow of energy will be able to detect the build-up there.
Medusa's Nest: After a long period of fasting and contemplation, Yaksha's control over his body has grown far greater, allowing his hair to move independently of the rest of his body, as if it were a second creature. Most often, Yaksha uses this to grab nearby items or attempt to disarm an opponent during a dangerous fight, allowing him to overwhelm and confuse an opponent through his myriad angles of attack.
Yamata-No-Orochi: By combining all of Yaksha's hairs together into an extra-dense layer, Yaksha can launch it at an opponent with great force, attempting to smash through whatever barriers stand between it and the opponent. The hairs themselves are relatively thin and brittle, doing little on their own, but when woven together tightly enough, the hair can puncture wounds as effectively as a dagger. If the hair does manage to get close enough to an opponent, and one of their wounds, it attempts to burrow deeper into the body, seeking out the nearest major organ and filling it with countless hair filaments, until it shuts down. Th hair will continue to seek out an ideal target so long as it remains attached to Yaksha's scalp, or until it is removed from the body itself, at which point it fervently attempts to find or make a new wound to enter through.
Sword of Kusanagi: Yaksha is able to pluck strands of hair as easily as one can pull leaves from a branch, and once plucked they quickly harden and elongate into blades that closely resemble rapiers. These weapons, thin and precise, are able to focus incredible piercing force into a small area, bypassing defenses such as Hierro with great effectiveness. Most importantly, any wounds left by the Sword leave small hair filaments in the wound; they lay dormant until an attempt to heal the wound is made, at which point they begin to burrow deeper into the surrounding muscular and skeletal structure, ripping open fresh wounds, and increasing the risk of infection. In the event the wound is healed effectively, the hairs still lie dormant, able to be yanked back out by Yaksha with force great enough to cause damage from within the target's own body.
VII. Skill SheetWill Skills
- Willpower: Expert
- Mental Deduction: Expert
- Pain Endurance: Expert
- Focus: Expert
- Durability: Advanced
- General Speed: Adept
- Strength: Beginner
- Weapon Skill: Beginner
- Acid Skill: Beginner
- Garganta : Adept
- Cero/Bala: Beginner
- Regeneration: Adept
[Click the Spoiler for details on each skill section]
VIII. Role Play Sample» Roleplay Sample:
There were rumors, of course. This was Karakura Town. Look around you, and you can find a dozen, twelve dozen, a gross of grosses of rumors. Perhaps nowhere more than Karakura Town, reality was malleable on a level that people hardly even realized. The veil was thin, and the line between flights of fancy and acts of prescience were almost indistinguishable. It would take anyone who was truly determined a lifetime, or perhaps even two, to sift through them all, to spend their lifetime panning through the primordial muck of mankind's collective unconscious, to find the rumors that truly held more than a tiny nugget of truth. It would've taken a hundred years, perhaps even two hundred.
Yaksha Dokuja had twenty five hundred at his disposal. Patiently, steadily, and with a sense of absolute purpose, the hollow had begun the arduous task of settling in amongst people, of flitting from here to there to here again just in time to catch the snippets of countless conversations, to connect all the dots and make something suitable to be called a map of the mindscape surrounding this place. He could've told you about Hyakumonogatari, could've mentioned Gashadokuro-the irony was hardly lost on him that such a story existed-, could've given you the proper answer to thwart Aka Manto. Yaksha Dokuja was a creature of stories, a being brimming overfull with the countless acts of creation that mankind had flexed over the centuries, the ever-so-gentle churning of a machine far greater than mere meat minds could comprehend.
And yet even he was incapable of even the smallest act of creation. Yaksha Dokuja, filled with a billion billion stories, able to bring to his fingertips enough realities and counter-realities that it would leave a man dead and cold before he was exhausted, couldn't make a single one of his own. He couldn't do any more than pluck the right phrase, the right words, from thin air, couldn't do much more than remember some esoteric little piece of drama...and plonk it down, like a miner bringing to light something precious formed by something they could hardly begin to fathom.
Today's particular story was about a shop. A ramshackle old place, like any other. One that most people would walk into and never find anything odd about. The initiated didn't find it odd, either; in fact, they didn't find it at all, some said. It found them. Yaksha quite would've liked to find who had begun perpetuating -that- story, because here he stood in front of the very same shop, glancing at the door's sign. It was, quite naturally, locked. It was unnaturally made of sekkisekki stone, perhaps the only thing in the world he couldn't simply walk through. But Yaksha Dokuja was no mere specter, he was a clever ghost. He could've tried the door, certainly. But even a fortress must leave room for air or water.
He circled the locale, before finally finding it; a sewage system, one nearby. And a private one, at that, disconnected from the entire system of Karakura Town. The area underneath likely would've been locked down just the same. Any normal creature would've had to be the size of a rat, and be capable of breathing underwater, for it to find entrance through such a small causeway. Luckily enough for him, Yaksha Dokuja had no need to breathe, and could find it in himself to be far smaller than a rat. With a boneless, almost liquid ease, he seemed to ooze down into the cistern, clamoring his way back, tracking his way towards whatever he could find. It took him some time, and it wasn't easy, but in the end the hollow did find a way inside.
A pale, multi-jointed white claw slid forth from the toilet bowl, looking almost the exact same color at a glance. It pushed up the lid ever-so-gently, and was followed a moment later by an almost flaking mask, and a length of whiteness that could've been very nearly anything. Finally, after nearly ten feet of slender white muscle had flopped out and coiled itself onto the bathroom floor, the creature righted itself, limbs seeming to twist and twine and creak in a way that should've been impossible. Finally, Yaksha took his true, normal form, wicking away the water ever so slightly as he inhaled, and then turned to the room at large. He had no idea if there had been an audience for his show, and honestly didn't care just yet."Ever heard the one about sewer gators?"