The river slime's lived for a long while, and in that time its accumulated a fairly terrifying degree of power for a newly born entity. Combined with its self-aware youth on top of being a very rare creature, both in manner of inception and present existence, the slime views itself to have otherworldly blessings. In a way, it demonstrates thankfulness for it existence and to those that helped living become a reality; on the flipside, it also has an inane sense of carelessness. The river slime earnestly believes some omnipotent entity has blessed it with immense fortune, and as a result find itself believing steadfastly that anything in its bath can be overcome with ease.Speech Impediment:
Its hard to talk when you're a slime, and even harder when you're fairly newborn. The millenia its spent watching over nations and cultures come and go--whether conscious during the time--enabled an intuitive understanding of language. Its rapid emergence and blending of foggy knowledge from innumerable years has unfortunately also made it difficult to discern which language from what time period is appropriate at any given moment. That said, the river slime has a tendency to stutter, repeat itself, speak rapidly, and often convey some awkward nervousness as it desperately tries to accurately convey its thoughts.Preferable Impersonation:
A new entity that's rapidly matured and grown to full self-awareness usually has a blank slate of a personality, right? They're curious, and adapt the things they see to themselves. Fascinated with certain personas or trying to mold themselves to fit the setting, almost like an actual child--which, they literally are--the river slime is accurately attributed as insanely awkward. Largely a result of trying way too hard to fit in and be something its not, the slime does its best to adapt to the situation and be seen favourably, frequently fabricating things about itself or changing points of its identity depending on the social interaction. More than anything, its not quite aware of this disparity and subconscious mimicry, but the way it presents itself makes its "act" pretty obvious.Disconcerting Honesty:
Yes, the river slime will often lie about itself to fit the situation, look cool or at least more relatable to the relevant presences, and especially someone they come to admire. But putting aside lying to make themselves seem likeable, the creature hasn't fully developed an understanding of "tact", and in a lot of ways, common sense. That said, the river slime is sometimes overbearingly and even insultingly honest, though not with malicious intent.Lacking Sense:
The river slime has the innate talent of most literally detecting emotional states, so gauging the person's feelings is fairly easy, but the disparity between its understanding of the world and common sense makes it difficult to translate that knowledge into figuring out what people think. That said, the river slime is a curious soul and--due to the lack of common sense--might overstep boundaries, act presumptuously, and fail to recognise what should be said or offer an emotional comfort, as opposed to just blurting the root of the cause and bluntly stating the rationale.Gullible:
Its knowledge over the world is very expansive, but the river slime's memory is poor and foggy--one might even say a bit watery and unstable. So, as long as nothing it learns or is told conflicts with anything it already knows, its mere child's play to convince the creature of literally anything. In a way, it does present itself as a very quick learner, but sometimes learning fast isn't always a good thing.LIKES:Water:
The river slime was made from water, feeds on water--basically, its whole world revolves around water. If the slime didn't like water, what could it possibly like? To the river slime, water is life, literally and sentimentally. In fact, seeing or coming into contact with unnaturally polluted water or artificially adjusted water--like oil into the sea, or a soda--births a sense of heroism in the river slime, as if it needs to save the water in the mixtures, thereby consuming and adding it to its body.Loyalty:
The most romanticised trait in the world is loyalty, as nothing more heart-warming and sense-defying has ever come across its river than acts driven by devout loyalty. Loyalty is a trait of pure love, something that makes a person capable of putting a soul before itself, move mountains, crush armies, and most importantly, turn little streams into a living soul. Nothing brings more light to the world than loyalty.DISLIKES: Maliciousness:
Good-will is wonderful; it brings smiles to a person's face, vanquishes the dark emotions welling in a person, and creates a positive and happy environment. Conversely, maliciousness is all that stands against good-will, and no instance and action driven by malicious intent can ever be good. Even positive outcomes driven by malice is only ever taken as an ends to justify the means, and that train of thought is something dangerous in itself. The river slime is a newborn, fairly pure, but with an odd sense of justice and duty.Weak-wiled:
Self-pity is frankly disgusting. The world moves on with or without you, and its wonderful to have people pull you up and along the way, help you live life, and bring something gracious into all lives. But not having the willpower, being stagnant, and at worst doing nothing to achieve your goals is fruitless. If you aren't going to live life, then don't bother living it. The gift of life itself isn't to be taken for granted--take it as a fact from a young river slime.Large Crowds:
Fitting in, being well-liked, and overall having a positive stance in the world is very important to the river slime. Unfortunately, large crowds are a point of major anxiety and nervousness for the creature, as it has a hard enough time trying to appeal to one or two people at hte same time. The innate need to be loved and appreciated, or at least well-liked by as many people in the vicinity as possible, is a daunting task when there's too many people to keep count. And with intuitive senses to a person's emotional state, its real easy to tell how your first impression comes across, and very frightening to see when the opinion of you is anything on the spectrum of distaste.MOTIVATIONS: Strength:
The river slime's earliest memories are of the various clans pursuing a means of strength, self-sustenance, survival, and warranted pride. Thus, strength has solidified itself as a very powerful core value to the river slime, on top of being a means to maintain eyes on yourself, hopefully in positive light. Strength is also a means to act, and most importantly, be successful in whatever you do. Motivation is key, but not very useful if you can't back it up.Popularity:
You can't please everyone, but the people-pleasing river slime aims to be a positive influence and well-liked entity by as many as possible. The end goal? Be as popular as possible. The river slime maintains the philosophy that strength is a wonderful and powerful means to be accomplished--however, it is better to be loved than to be strong. Otherwise, what is that strength to be used for?FEARS:Being Disliked:
No doubt easily guessed, nothing is more frightening and impactful than being disliked--according to the river slime. Still at an early stage in its sentient life, being insulted, assaulted, or in general the target of malice is a memorable and painful event. Avoiding that sort of pain is the number one priority, so much that the river slime is fearful and almost distrustful towards most people it meets, just in case they might harbor some darkness in their hearts towards it.Enclosed Spaces:
Water is free, malleable, and unrestrained. Enclosed spaces are by default extremely restricting, and a point of fear for the river slime. Being limited, barred, or in general restrained makes doing anything impossible, and the unlimited possibilities, people, and memories to create--even just the ideal is something the slime holds dear. If that ideal is infringed upon, what even is the point of being granted this life? At that point, life would be more of a curse than a blessing. - TRAITS:Sensitive:
If it wasn't obvious already, the river slime is an sensitive entity. Emotionally delicate and vulnerable, praise is a powerful motivator that will send it into hypomania. Conversely, criticism is poorly received, and easily puts the slime down, and can often be met with aggression and conflict given the right--or wrong--circumstances.Extremely Private:
Fear of being disliked makes it difficult to truly trust people, even if the river slime is very fond of the person. As a result, the slime is emotionally reclusive to an extent, presenting an exterior that matches the flow of the situation as well as possible. Unfortunately, this also results in the slime denying its true self very often, and opening up to people is a difficult task.Perfectionist:
The river slime is a hopeless romantic and wide-eyed dreamer. The gap between reality and its ideals hasn't yet been made apparent, and as a result the river slime whole-heartedly pursues perfection in all its goals. To an extent, this trait culminates as the peak of the slime's naivete that may be soon crushed, possibly fairly heartlessly. + TRAITS:Creative:
Its vivid imagination and powerful compassion sends the slime's mind reeling at all times, enabling a creativity adept at resolving present issues as opposed to technical ones. Finding the perfect solution is the ideal, and the river slime's creativity and innate potential makes this a possibility in reach.Insightful:
The river slime is awkward, presumptuous, and untalented in appropriately confronting a situation the first time. But its resourcefulness, sensitivity, and acute observance also lends a reliable insightfulness. Quick to see through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, the river slime tends to toss aside the surface level conversation and attack the underlying topics and issues. It can see the connection between a person's heart and the matter at hand.
A collection of traits and talents not dependent on the river slime's spiritual exertion. This includes but is not limited to: inherit mental qualities, physical strengths, and natural spiritual attributes. Any content that does not exclusively concern the theme of the aforementioned are intrinsically tied to them, and therefore placed here as well.Covalent Body/Spirit:
The reason for the River Slime's sheer size of reiryoku is the manner in which the it cultivated it. Having learned inner-energy cultivation through duóqǔ tiān qì pracitioners, naturally the river slime adopted the same methodology. Taking in the latent spiritual energy roaming about, the River Slime absorbed and filled each and every droplet of water within its massive body, filling it entirely in order to gain control over the entirety of the river and, over time, condense it all into its current state: a slime. So, effectively, the River Slime is more of a separate spirit, using its reiryoku to gain control of a body of water and use it as a physical host. Of course, the time spent mutually growing both spirit and body has intrinsically tied the two to one another in the same manner that a human soul is tied to its physical body, in near-permanence.Reiryoku:
Given its opaque aesthetic, the ideal method of determining the River Slime's personal spiritual energy isn't through sight but one's spiritual sense; and, when sensed for its maximum potential? True to its origins, the River Slime's reiryoku is vast and overwhelmingly dense considering the compression of an entire body of water--large enough to host naval engagements--into such a small body. Akin to feeling an actual massive body of water drowning you out with its sheer enormity, full exudation as reiatsu even brings about physical phenomena, the humidity of the surroundings subject to a rapid increase.
While visually opaque, there are still minor cues that make the River Slime's reiryoku identifiable by pure spiritual sight. Given its aqueous nature, the background seen through its spiritual energy is glossed, blurry, or sometimes magnified, like looking through a clear water bottle. Additionally, in-tune with its emotions, the river slime's reiryoku also moves in correlation. Whilst calm, the reiryoku will stay stable and unmoving, and when emotionally moved, the spiritual aura reflects thus.
- area sedation: Like anyone exerting their full energy, the pressure from the River Slime's literal massive-river of a reiatsu is more than enough to incapacitate a number of people. Naturally excluding the more spiritually developed, its to the point where even if not sedated, there's still the effects of inhibited movement within the vicinity, like trying to walk in water, or an intense pressure weighing over your body. Besides the actual change of humidity, the difficult to breath is equally challenging.
- river projection: When at a high enough level of release, like some sort of astral projection the animated image of a raging river can fill the area alongside its roars. Those with spiritually acute senses can shrug it off, if not entirely see through the illusion, but naturally those of a less-refined level will be subject to at times entirely inhibited vision and hearing. Although more of an aesthetic feature inherit to the River Slime's unique nature, the effects are still apparent.
Given the slime's origins as a River, it's naturally attuned to gaia, and while not to the extent of inanimate telepathy or empathy, the Slime River can at the very least innately gain information from the surroundings like information directly transmitted to its brain, to include the spiritual density of the area, health of the land, topography, etc.
In fact, its incredibly similar to the Iramasha or Demon's ability that gives them access to knowledge on the environment. One of the fundamental differences? This ability is entirely natural, even involuntary. The River Slime is automatically aware of his surroundings and their respective details without any preliminary action necessary, whereas the demons must use Za Koa as the medium, or old Iramasha's natural acquirement of this ability through utilising a release or form. Additionally, this only applies to Earth, and the range isn't really cemented.
The closest to definitive limitations is the decline of information gained the further out the subject of information is, around a full kilometre out. Beyond that, any information is incredibly vague if not entirely useless; however, gaining knowledge on a subject doesn't mean it's readily available. If the River Slime is not intent or focused on utilising or memorising that acquired knowledge, it can escape as easily as it came.
- water attuned: Location-wise, the one exception to the Environmentally Attuned ability is any body of water within that one-kilometre zone. So long as its within range, full knowledge of the body of water--even as small as a puddle, has its full information constantly accessible to the River Slime. This is to include the various qualities such as purity, pH levels, direction of flow if existing, or even the things in it.
- animal empath: Given its life as a river, alongside being environmentally attuned, the river slime is innately aware of several visual cues that allow it to understand animals dispositions, and the natural aura river slime exudes keeps animals abate, even attracting them to it. This of course excludes the creatures disinclined to meet a river bank.
- temporary animation: Given the method that the river slime came to life, theoretically any other inanimate object should be capable of the same. Naturally the river slime was given outside help that hinged as the factor which propelled the slime to ever possibly meet animation, but unbeknownst to the creature, the methods to enable this scenario was passed on as well. The river slime can inject objects with just enough spiritual energy to give it a conscience, though the spiritual energy enabling the process quickly disperses, giving just enough time to do as intended: allow the river slime to ask a question, ask for guidance, etc. [primarily plot device]
The River Slime's exceptional ability in spiritual perception stems from its manner of birth, straight into a soul capable of spiritual manipulation; thus, along being attuned to the Environment, the slime is also attuned to all things spiritual, to the extent of excellence in perceiving spiritual energy and any qualities it may possess.
Usually this just means acute sensing of others and any traits another person's reiatsu may provide, such as their distance, any emotions that may be conveyed through them, elemental affinity if present, their emotions should their spiritual strength be swayed by it, and more. Tactically speaking, this enables the River Slime to avoid plenty of worst-case scenarios, to include stepping into a trap or being ambushed.Selective Learning Potential:
The matter of the River Slime's memory isn't nearly as supportive to its learning potential as the innate attunement to absorbent qualities of its body; given the parallel development and perfected unison of its body and soul, naturally the absorbent quality extends to mental characteristics, to include impeccable relation between taking in information and appropriately executing it, that is to say a natural talent at performing technique, which in fact largely ties into the River Slime's combat potential as a whole. Its base stats, for lack of a better term? At a very high starting point. The Achilles Heel of its current disposition is the issues that come along being a newborn--no knowledge and therefore inability to apply technique, or utilise all that held power effectively and efficiently.Strength:
On note of holding vast power with no knowledge of how to use it (as control isn't the issue, but instead where to allocate that controlled power to or for), albeit no knowledge on utilising it well, the full weight and strength of the body of water that is the River Slime can be translated through its new body. With all that compression, naturally each usage of that inner strength can be cataclysmic. A roaring river will corrode the world around it naturally and slowly, so when condensed, the results are bare to see. Body Composition:
Though its possible to change its body composition given the necessary knowledge to perform the magical technique, currently and til that time, the River Slime is just that--a slime. With only a soul attached to give it conscience, it has no natural bodily functions aside from existing and staying cohesive. Hence, opposed to actually manipulating chi, the River Slime manipulates spiritual energy.
BASE POWERS:Water Element:
- damage nullification/: No object is truly impervious to all damage, but some objects are highly resistant--the river slime is one of those objects. It can obviously be hurt and permanently damaged, as the slime's body isn't permanently aqueous, but if they can perceive any sort of incoming risks, given enough time they can re-convert into their water-based body. While in slime mode, of course all blunt-force strikes have their damage significantly reduced considering its compression strength. The further the river slime condenses itself, the harder it is to damage. Conversely, the further pulled apart the slime, the more vulnerable it is to being squished apart. That said, its tensile strength is comparatively pitiful.
- shapeshifting: The river slime by its malleable nature can shapeshift into virtually anything so long as the total volume doesn't exceed its mass. That said, it's hard to find an object it can't turn into considering its literal river-sized mass. It takes skill and practice to achieve precise shapeshifting, however; a simple glance can give the river slime a rough idea on what to transform into, but anything more precise requires scrutiny and studying the object. An easy way to achieve this is to submerge the object within itself and accurately gauge all dimensions, if the object is small enough. In theory and with some practice, the river slime may potentially even change composition to some degree through spiritual energy. [Mostly a precursor to forming a functional humanoid body].
The river slime is literally made of water, and it'd be pitiful if it couldn't manipulate its own body. To some degree and with practice, the river slime could also manipulate pre-existing water sources, but it will take some training on the method of doing so through spiritual energy. For the most part, it hasn't yet developed any techniques, whether defensive, offensive, or otherwise, however its natural talent to manipulate its aqueous body to a frightening acuity means its only a matter of time. In theory, with spiritual energy as the conduit the river slime can also offer the water some subsidiary attributes, such as making the water muddy and viscous, or adding a holy attribute to make it especially effective against dark attributed/hollow/demon persons, making the water acidic or toxic by adjusting pH levels, or conversely making it dark-attributed to weaken holy-based abilities.
- temperature control: Temperature is a pretty simplistic application for the slime's water element, and fairly self explanatory. The range of temperature hasn't been entirely tested, but a boiling point enough to be as effective as lava is feasible. Considering the slime's metaphysical composition, its boiling water can also corrode and melt through spiritual constructs and defenses.
A byproduct of temperature control, the river slime can freeze its water and by extension manipulate ice. Anywhere from condensing it to a frightening degree on par with spiritually infused osmium, to blowing over large fields like a russian winter. As always, the degree and extent is moderated mostly by the mass of the river slime and how much water he has at disposal, though considering it is embodied by an enormous river, it's a fairly reliable resource. That said, the more water it uses and ice it creates to effect its surroundings, the more vulnerable its main body since it won't have as much water in immediate proximity to utilise.
- snow element: Considering snow is literally just a more unique composition of ice, the river slime can convert its water content into snow. That said, it's more efficiently expelled from its body instead of changing the entirety of the main body to snow considering it's more difficult to maintain an appropriate size, as hyper-condensing the snow to stay sizeable would just be going back to forming an ice-body. So long as the snow is infused with the slime's spiritual energy and attached to its soul, the range of manipulation is in theory indefinite, and given the nature of its perception through spiritual energy, the slime can sense where the snow particles are, and the area surrounding it. The snow element is therefore most often utilised as a method of reconnaissance given its buoyant properties.
- burning ice: Technically, ice can be formed from sheer pressure instead of temperature. That said, if the river slime utilises ice manipulation by condensing its water, it can maintain a high temperature and as a result create burning ice that won't melt and achieve similar effects to its boiling water or heated vapour.
A byproduct of temperature control, the river slime heats the water to the point of turning it into vapour, but as its still water and still a part of its body, the slime maintains control, and therefore inherently has vapour manipulation in its repertoire. A variety of uses can be achieved as a result, such as maintaining the heat of the vapour to make a burning gas that corrodes and tears through objects, or maintaining a density of vapour in an area that makes it difficult to breath. In theory, the vapour can still be controlled if someone inhales it, but it becomes difficult to manage anything lethal as the energies within a person's body will interfere with control of the vapour, and of course the more energy someone contains, the harder it is to manage the vapour within them, to the point of being unusable.
- cloud conjuring: Clouds are cold, even frozen vapour in the atmosphere, and if the river slime's vapour particles can reach those heights, it's possible to conjure and maintain clouds in its control. The uses for cloud conjuring aren't many for the time being, but maybe in the future it will be a powerful asset.
The river slime is, through and through, a literal slime. So long as the spiritual energy and soul is maintained in each divided body, in theory an unlimited amount of cloned slimes can be created so long as the mass of its body is taken into account. That said, the river slime has enormous mass, so the number of clones it can create is daunting. A larger limiter to the amount of clones is the fact that each clone made divides its energy, thus the clones scale downward in power every time. The river slime cannot control and make particular clones weaker to maintain his original body or empower any other body further.
Unique Abilities:Skill Evolution:
- Sensory Scrying: It's been explained in other techniques and abilities, but seeing as the clones are a part of the river slime's body, and the spiritual connection is maintained, the river slime can perceive and sense the world around it through those clones, and technically do so through any of its body parts or particles.
The most powerful asset in the river slime's arsenal of abilities, and something which guarantees unlimited potential. Utilisation of his abilities, expanding and strengthening them, can offer synergistic boosts that suddenly dramatically empower these abilities and raise them to a new level. If the abilities are used and innovated further to become something more all-encompassing, the skill will evolve through this method as well.
For example, if the river slime utilises cloud conjuring, gets to the point of making a cumulonimbus cloud, and is able to generate lightning, or gales and potentially even hurricanes and tornados, cloud conjuring will transform into "storm element", where the river slime will be capable of conjuring and manipulating storms in the same manner as its other abilities. Or, if it utilises shapeshifting more often and adjusts to manipulating its composition and not just its shape, shapeshifting can evolve into mimesis, where the shapes it forms can become different substances, potentially even forming organic flesh.
This isn't really any different from any random character just progressing their abilities and learning how to manage their powers more efficiently and in different ways. The difference is, the experience and time it takes between the primary skill and its secondary evolution, through [Skill Evolution], is dramatically shortened, to the extent of almost eliminated for more rudimentary abilities. Thus, the effect of its newly transformed abilities can be replicated more easily and immediately instead of tempering through trial and error and practice. This ensures the river slime's rapid growth, but the skill's evolution must still be done organically and in character.Gluttony:
As a slime, consuming or overlapping itself with any number of objects is an easy fit so long as it expands itself appropriately. The slime can overtime degrade and corrode the objects it envelops, sometimes breaking down any spiritual particles or other energies within it and converting it into his own. This is a process that takes time, but is nonetheless incredibly useful for growth. Or, if the slime finds a body of water, it can consume the body of water over time and add it to its overall reserve banks and assimilate it. In this manner, the slime can also use the time to analyse the objects it consumes, its parametres, composition, and utility for future reference. In conjunction with Skill Evolution, if the river slime can analyse whatever's consumed and find some use or synergy with it and his present skills, abilities, or otherwise, it can revamp the skill to accommodate and achieve Skill Evolution this way.
The river slime can do the same by receiving and consuming attacks as well, but the condition is that the slime can sustain the damage from the attack. If the attack is too overwhelming, the slime cannot manage to consume the attack. Furthermore, consuming live bodies can achieve similar effects, however it still comes down to its ability to analyse the composition and contents of the body. Dead bodies work too, though gaining anything from it is more difficult and the requirements become more stringent, as dead bodies aren't as spiritually dense, and any sort of abilities or attributes they might have on them aren't so easily discerned once dead. It does make it easier to perform mimesis with the subject consumed, however.
The gift of life and process of birth with the new age of integrating the spiritual and magical into the world can be discerned down to almost a tee with the cycle of souls becoming a more well-known natural world system as time persists. Almost. Even now, there are some details--small and specific as they may be--shrouded by a veil of the unknown. Perhaps select few have grasped these specifics considering the existence of manmade life, from mod-souls to artificial hollows. All things said, there still are those occasions where the world itself brings something into existence in an inexplicable, unexplainable manner.
Several thousand years prior to the 25th century, during the expansion of cultures and beliefs across asia, along the surfacing of spirituality assimilating into these belief systems, a taoist temple was built at the top of a downhill ravine which provided a perfect location in line with feng shui topography. A rainy day filled this ravine, and a stream was made. Even after the rainy day had passed, the stream persisted.
A young disciple of this taoist temple, adapted walking through the ravine in the spirit of adventure, vented a complaint to his senior. “First Brother, why does this stream persist? It’s rather irritating; I used to freely venture the ravine with dry feet, but that’s no longer possible.” The senior gave a smile with wisdom in his eyes. “Do you perhaps wish for the stream to be no more?” The young disciple looked up with anticipation and nodded, as if expecting his senior to somehow rid the stream. Most people at his rank were capable of transformative feats.
“Silly Junior, that would be disharmonious. The stream exists, so naturally it has purpose--so decides the heavens and the earth.” The young disciple returned an inquisitive gaze, “But First Brother--it’s just a stream; what purpose can be so grand for a stream?”
“Who knows? I’m just a senior disciple. The heavens’ intentions are beyond me. Perhaps it will one day be the stream to carry an important message to an important person; maybe it will be the stream to fill this whole ravine. I wouldn’t be surprised if this stream could lead a nation to great success. If luck shines upon it and the heavens smile, the stream could even gain life and cultivate, finding greater enlightenment than even our patriarch.”
“First Brother, you’re being awfully silly. Let’s go already, we’re going to be late for a sermon on the Grand Dao.”
The two disciples departed from the stream and entered the temple. This particular school, just as many other schools, integrated the practice of Chi into their curriculum. In particular, it followed the popular method of “duóqǔ tiān qì (奪取天氣)”, to “Wrest the Heaven’s Graces”. While most alternative methods involved developing the Chi in one’s body to grow in strength via self-dependence, Duoqu schools developed a meditating technique that absorbed the energies of the heaven and earth into oneself, convert into chi, and adopt as one’s own energy--thus, the importance of feng shui, that is to have a location dense in latent Tian Chi (Heaven’s Chi). Of course, unbeknownst to the civilisations at this time, this was in truth a method of taking in latent reishi), and turning it into Chi to adopt.
Many years passed, and the school atop the ravine had long since vanished, as the Yin energies became particularly dense in this area, thus making it impossible to practice duoqu cultivation due to the chaotic imbalance in the Tian Chi. Another sect replaced the top of the ravine, one which practiced a form of duoqu dependent on taking heavy levels of yin energy. The reason behind this ravine becoming dense in yin energy was the combination of a monsoon arriving, followed by a seldom-seen winter. The top of the ravine quickly transformed from pleasant spring scenery to a winter wonderland. As the feng shui was amiable in this location, the transition to a yin energy location maintained its beauty, to include the once trickling stream that persisted until now. In thanks to the added water from the monsoon, and the expanding winter which gave it rise, the stream now turned to a small river.
“What purpose is there to me cultivating with a yang-meridian body? My body burns in the cold and feeds off the day’s blessings; don’t patronise me! I’ll never be able to cultivate here, so why force me to even try!”
A young girl adorned in silk robes and golden accessories ran alongside the river in rebellion to her following senior disciple.
“Don’t be this way. The Matriarch--your mother has made it clear that she wants you to give this your all, no matter what. At the very least, strive to reach a level where she won’t worry if you are in a dangerous situation.”
“If it’s for my health and wellbeing, that should be no issue; the boy I met from when we went down to the city said he would care for me; I’m assured that includes to protect me as well!”
“The boy from the city? The orphan with dust and ash on his face? How will he protect you? He doesn’t even cultivate, don’t even mention being able to protect you!”
“Then take him in! We’re a school, are we not? Teach him, then! Then he will be able to protect me.”
“That’s… that’s not possible. Males cannot cultivate our techniques; the yang energy in them is naturally too high, just like your bo--err… Just, come on. At least talk to your mother directly, young mistress; I grow weary of being the messenger between you two.”
With a hand-gesture and turn, the maid turned to go back to the school. The young girl frowned in response and took a bottle with a paper inside and tossed it to the river before following after her caretaker. In her heart she prayed, “If the heavens allow it, let this bottle reach that boy. Should he come for me, then we were destined, and if not, I’ll follow my mother’s wishes after all. In the bottle details the cultivation techniques of our school, and a map to this ravine. Heavens, if you would allow!”
Many years passed, and the girl turned to an adult, and then a senior, and then a corpse, buried alone beneath the ruins of her school. She never heard again from the boy she thought of even until her peaceful death, denying all those suitors all those years ago, in hopes that he would come for her. She did however hear of an astounding tale; that, the prince consort to the emperor’s daughter was a man of unprecedented talent, who cultivated with a yin duoqu technique and rivaled even the greatest generals of the empire.
For her hand in marriage, this prince consort offered her a magical treasure, imbued into it what was referred to as a “Yin Heart”: an artifact capable of producing a constant flow of Yin-energy like a beating heart. It was an artifact desirable even to the highest of the empire, as a Yin Heart could only be created through the combination of an intense desire, pure and innocent in thought. Most of all, the Yin Heart represented a portion of the owner’s potential, and that without the Yin Heart returned to them, their cultivation would forever be stinted. The artifact, strangely enough, wasn’t something flashy or conspicuous. It was a simple bottle.
After the young girl’s death, the small nation the ravine was held in lived prosperously for a time before being thrust into war. The cause was the death of the late emperor, beloved by the nation as a man of great power and honour, who rose from the orphaned urchin life in a small city, to husband of the Empress. The perpetrators of his death were men from a rival nation, and the publicised information easily set the nation ablaze. Their Empress particularly, who was the now reigning authority and the extremely vindictive type. Without hesitation, she declared war, and at times even personally participated in battle--a type of leader that easily garnered loyalty and thus feverently bloodthirsty soldiers that should have quickly ended the war.
The driving factor behind their failure was the enemy’s successful capture of the mountain tops that led to a large ravine. Luring the empress’s forces to be pinned by the ranged fire at the top of the ravine and the closing forces from behind at its base, as well as many explosives being sent down the river to meet their target, the moral blow to the empress’s fighting forces were immense. It was far too embarrassing to have lost to another nation’s strategic use of their own nation’s land and topography. In response, the campaigns launched to recapture the final holding-point of their enemies, that being the mountain tops behind the ravine, grew intensively, all ending in failure. Especially since the only avenue large enough for military forces to scale the ravine to the top was the uphill-river, now large enough to fit entire ships on it. The only other viable paths to the top were narrow and chaotic, some thin enough to only allow for a single file to pass through.
The result was a well-established enemy encampment which persisted til the end of the long and weary war, eventually becoming land of the other nation as a part of a peace treaty. During the war, the Empress was successfully killed in battle, and without any proven family members, the Minister of Council succeeded, prompting to end the bloody war that persisted for nearly fifty years.
This new sovereign held many similar cultures and beliefs as the previous, to include daoism, and within it, the practice of duoqu cultivation. So, for the nation who captured the ravine, to pair with its historical value, the density of tian chi and perfect feng shui on the top of the ravine was incredibly attractive; unfortunately, it was also still very attractive to the rogue duoqu cultivators of the previous sovereign. On top of literally being on the border of the two nations, the entire area--though under a new name in legal binding--was a neutral killzone, with several clashing forces no longer even on the international scale.
A full millennium passed before the top of the ravine became a mythical land for young and brave cultivators to test their mettle. A high-risk high-reward location, where the rumoured treasures of previous generations who had fallen lay, the attraction of daoists from all over the land were drawn to the ravine. In particular, a long-since deceased spirit, interestingly enough bound by their soul to a young and brave daoist, come to prove their mettle.
The youth on more than one occasion met fatal circumstances, only to be saved by their “guardian angel” in the last minute. With the youth--what would now be known as a ‘ziamichi’--seemingly invincible, their confidence rose enough to reach the top of the ravine after tempering his skills along the way, where the true rewards were. Yet to the spirit, the biggest reward was to be back to the nostalgic lands of his school, which moved due to terrible winter and increase of yin energy all those years ago.
Seeing the high and wide river, large enough to swallow a dragon, calmly running down the ravine, the old spirit spoke to himself.
“First Brother said all those years ago, you may be the stream to fill the whole ravine, and behold--you are. And I hear that you’ve been one to relay an important message on occasion, and lead a nation to victory. So, with all things said, there should only be one thing First Brother mentioned that’s left for you to do. Indeed, it is all too hard for a stream--river, now--to gain life and cultivate. So, allow me to help you.”
The youth who made it to the top of the ravine came down without his guardian spirit, who had taught and advised the youth his whole way up the riverbank. After reaching a certain level of strength through the continuous struggle to make it up the ravine through the span of several years, both parties thought his strength to be sufficient now, and as if they had some sort of contract to bind them to one another, the bindings were severed.
“I wished to see my homeland once more, before I had to dissipate. I’ve been holding onto the smallest vestiges of my life, despite having long since passed away. With all my strength, I stayed on earth, wishing I could reach the apex of cultivation--Wanshan Chuxian. Alas, it wasn’t enough. And now, here I am, speaking to a body of water. It’s a pleasing scene to be my last, though. Thus, before I depart, have this gift of mine. After giving everything for the sake of longevity, to include my physical form, it’s really all that I have left--so, excuse me for the lacking glamor. Whether it helps in any way, it would be nice to have seen the result.”
Through a daoist magic, a bright wispy light flowed from the old spirit and into the river, dissipating through the force of the flowing water. The whole time this was happening, the already transparent figure of the old spirit faded away.
As the years, centuries, millenniums passed, even the massive river that filled the ravine could not stand the test of time. It was a feat in itself that it had lasted all the way til the modern age of 2417. And now, the river which returned to a stream, and then to a simple puddle, began to move. Though the body of water shrank, final result of a puddle wasn’t very aqueous. In fact, it seemed gelatinous, and incredibly dense. Without warning, the puddle jumped--hopped, seemed more accurate a term. The puddle hopped, over and over, before speaking, even.
“It took a while to succeed. No wonder that old boy couldn’t reach the apex; it really ain’t easy cultivating. Just to condense my entire body into this one form, before moving about, took eons. Yet, here I am, finally.”
SKILL SHEETSWill Skills
- Willpower/Determination: Beginner
- Mental Deduction: Advanced
- Pain Endurance: Untrained
- Focus: Adept
- Durability: Expert
- Strength: Expert
- Speed: Experienced
- Weapon Skill: Untrained