Akatake Species in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Akatake

"Walking home drunk was common, but not wise. Hiro sang as he walked, but did not attend to his path, and became lost as a consequence. He wandered through the moonlit forest, until the coppery smell of blood pierced the fog in his brain. He blinked, and in that brief moment, the forest seemed to flicker. A stand of bamboo now lay before him, a towering grove of crimson-spattered stalks bearing the remains of past victims - a skeletal hand here, a decaying head there. Hiro turned to flee, and found that the grove had surrounded him. A hand grasped his ankle and he fell, screaming as the sharp-tipped stalks pierced his side. He shook the rotting fingers from his leg and ran. At every turn, the red bamboo was there before him. With every blink, it drew nearer. It was only luck that he found the shrine, the sacred place that the creature would not enter, and he waited there until morning light drove the monster back into the shadows of the forest." - Yanjin folktale
  The Akatake, or 'Red Bamboo' is an Oni that can be found in remote regions of the Empire of Wamato, most frequently on the island of Kojima. It is a demonic creature that manifests in the form of stand of bloodstained bamboo, sometimes with dismembered and rotting body parts still skewered on the stalks. The creature is capable of relocating itself with a strange flickering motion that is hard to see; it avoids moving while it is being watched, suddenly appearing closer when the victim blinks or looks away. It can make use of the body parts of its victims, looking through the eyes of the corpse, or mimicking a voice using their throats and mouths. It is believed that this creature is born of legends of 'bamboo torture' - while this may never have actually occurred, the fear of it has allowed the Dream to spawn the Akatake.

Comments

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Oct 3, 2023 15:53 by Courtney

I love the snippet of folklore along with the description of the bamboo. The article hooked me in and did not disappoint

Oct 3, 2023 18:02

Thanks! It's wonderful to know what parts of the article you enjoyed - it really helps me improve my future works. Thank you for your lovely comment!

Oct 3, 2023 18:30 by Kenneth Bignell

Great invocation of visuals! I could feel the fear and the drunken fog that must have been cleared very quickly! Oni are fascinating! Well done, well written. Nice!

Oct 3, 2023 20:12

Thanks! Yeah, Oni are a great piece of mythology, and something I'm going to be exploring more as I build out this section of the setting.