The Spirit Keepers

In the world of Liminal Chronicles, humans view Yokai as basically immortal. This isn't quite right. Yokai can live for many millennia. New ones are constantly brought into existence, though at a slower rate than they are disappearing.   These spirit beings can be killed or can grow old and fade away, under the following conditions:
  • Very few people believe in them or their kind.
  • The Japanese population they are spiritually linked to shrinks to where the spirits can not be maintained, due to lack of ki and/or belief.


    What Do the Keepers Do?

    When a yokai on the threshold of fading is discovered, the Spirit Keepers, a specialized group of priests and mages, are called in. These brave people do their best to help the fading spirit beings—to revitalize them, and if not, to ease their suffering and transition to the realms beyond for their permanent dwelling place. Once their form in the mortal world is transferred, they cannot return to this realm.   Yokai are often angry about fading from this realm. They'll lash out at the keepers and go off in a rage destroying everything around them, despite knowing the Spirit Keepers are there to help. It's a natural part of the grief. The team of Keepers must be powerful ki users able to defend and protect themselves, all around them, and even the yokai they are serving.   Most humans will never hear of the Spirit Keepers. Even though it's an unsung and difficult job, it is necessary to keep the peace and record the being’s wishes for the Japan's historical records.
    Public Services
    If they can save the yokai can from fading, the team will either move the spirit being to a more populated area (with more humans or yokai) or help find it a source of stronger ki flow such as a river or mountain.
    Ushering from the Mortal Realm
    The team will make the yokai as comfortable as possible with ki infusions and record anything the spirit wishes to share about their life or experiences. While many of the stories sound fantastical, the Keepers give the stories the benefit of credibility. Like humans, they feel a need to straighten out misunderstandings and share the truth for those left behind.

    Cover image: by Marek Piwnicki


    Author's Notes

    The thoughts on yokai fading if no one believes in them and the number being based on the Japanese population are my addition for the Liminal Chronicles world. I don't think this is related to actual beliefs in the country.

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