The ancient beings created by the Old Gods to watch over the natural world and protect it


  One of the oldest types of beings in existence on Zheng-Kitar, Kami are a unique breed of creature that are unique to the land of Zheng-Kitar - they are not found anywhere else in the world or in reality, as far as modern scholars can determine. In truth, Kami are ancient, mystical, and otherworldly spirits created eons ago by The Old Gods that were originally intended to be as guardians to those parts of nature that could not protect themselves, and to all the areas that The Old Gods themselves could not reach. Ever since their creation long ago, Kami have proven remarkably adaptive and have spread and grown to take on all sorts of shapes and sizes over their eons of life - as the nature of reality changes, so too have the Kami.   There are countless species of kami—in theory, every type of animal, plant, object, and location could be served by its own type of kami. These are collectively called “wards” by kami, who often think of them similar to how a human might think of a young child placed into his or her care. In practice, there are far more wards in creation than there are kami, however, and while they may be relatively common on most parts of mainland Zheng-Kitar and nearby islands such as Myrkheim and Tarthus, they have yet to spread beyond these places. As such, all kami seek to reproduce and thus expand their influence—the more kami, the more wards what benefit from their protection. Accordingly, kami influence is usually regional in nature and locked to the continent of Zheng-Kitar and sometimes even then to specific regions on that continent(Though they have a presence almost everywhere, they are rarer in some places compared to others)—the kami simply aren’t numerous enough yet to protect all of creation, though they dearly wish to one day.   They are also beings of notorious neutrality - Kami are generally a peaceful and amicable people, often cohabitating with the likes of friendly fey and other magical beings that reside in natural environments. Dryads, Treants, and other beings of nature find the company of Kami to be quite favorable, as these notable spirits are often and eagerly willing to defend their lands and wards to the death. However, more troublesome, wrathful, and/or destructive creatures or evil Fey find themselves wholly unwelcome in lands and wards overseen by Kami, who use the power of nature itself to obliterate intruders who make a nuisance of themselves. Most notably, though they were created by The Old Gods and as such have some preference and small allegience to The Spirit King, the eldest Kami have long taught their lesser kin to stay neutral in the age-old conflict between them and the evil Yema - foreign gods who seek to destroy Zheng-Kitaran ways of life. To the Kami, such struggles are beyond their care and means - nature lies at the core of their lives, and as long as they are left to care for it, they hold little care for either side.   Kami’s peaceful nature never vanishes quicker than when they face the vile oni, however, for no other creature is as hated by the kami as they. Kami view oni as defilers of the natural world and monsters whose goals and actions are in direct conflict with those of the nature spirits, and when oni are spotted in areas guarded by kami, all kami alert each other to this intrusion, and band together to root out the dark presence. The fact that when a kami falls from grace it runs the risk of becoming an oni has much to do with this hatred—essentially, kami see oni as physical proof of their race’s capacity for failure and shame.  


  From what has been gathered by Modern Scholars, Kami were created by the The Old Gods at the very dawn of reality that went mostly unrecorded in all official stories and texts - originally, they were a servitor race created by the Old God Ianerin-Dahmu, predating the Feywilds as beings created to watch over and shephard the natural aspects of reality, and all the parts of reality that The Old Gods themselves could never hope to truly reach - guardians of the small corners of life, and the nooks and crannies others might overlook. Though once, in their heyday, they were said to be so prolific as to have a kami for each blade of grass on the ground, each tree in each forest, and each mountain on every continent, these days have long since faded from memory and history - now, all that remains are those Kami which have remained on Zheng-Kitar - the birthplace and cradle of their people.   For all their neutrality, they were victims of the fall of the Sapphire Elves, and when the Yema cast down The Old Gods and eventually laid low the Sapphire Elves, the Kami were made victims of a misunderstanding that lumped them in with their creators, deserving of destruction alongside them. So it came to be that over the course of eons the Kami were slowly wiped out until only those on their home continent remained - and with the Advent of the Spirit Kings at the hands of The Six Great Ancestors, they were thankfully spared complete anhillation and given a new lease on life on the newly rebuilt land of Zheng-Kitar.   Ever since, they have been slowly expanding their wards, reproducing, and attempting to regrow their numbers - and while most of the untamed wilds of Zheng-Kitar have returned back to the influence of the Kami, much of the rest of the world as well as its more civilized areas have all but forgotten them - and thanks to the ongoing cold war between The Spirit Kings and the Yema, they are victims of a conflict they want no part in - lumped in with their creators and labeled enemies by the Yema, and treated as allies by default by The Spirit Kings, who respect them and treat them with reverence but consider their allegience par for the course, owed to those who created them.  

Appearance of Kami

  Kami exist as ever-morphing spirits rather than souls trapped in concrete forms, and most exist to watch over a single tree, stone, or bend of a stream, and can have no more influence on the world than a single insect. A kami spends the majority of its existence merged with its ward—in this shape, it has no ability to interact with the world at all, but it can observe its surroundings with ease. There is no reliable way to determine whether an object, plant, animal, or location is protected by a kami, so those who travel or live in regions where kami are common generally assume that everything has a kami guardian. The kami do little to dissuade this, since the belief that kami are present is often just as potent a protection as having a kami in the first place.   All kami can assume physical form. Most somewhat resemble their ward, but again, in apparent eagerness to baffle and frustrate scholars, this is not always the case. When a kami assumes physical form, it always initially appears adjacent to its ward, manifesting suddenly as if teleporting. It is considered impolite by kami to pop into view, though—most prefer to manifest bodies while hiding, such as behind a tree, then step out of hiding to reveal themselves to those they wish to speak to.

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

None know how the Kami reproduce - and many scholars believe the methods of reproduction are in fact unique to each breed of Kami. Some, such as the Fukujin, leave the seeds of bonsai trees in their wake as they move, which in time bud and grow into new trees which attract new Fukujins...while others, such as the Suiijin and Dosojin, mate with others of their kind to somehow produce offspring.

Ecology and Habitats

Kami exclusively inhabit the wild areas of the world - though the specific habitat of each individual Kami can vary between them, they are universally guardians and protectors of nature. Specifics on the environments of the Kami can be found in the 'Types of Kami' section at the bottom of the page.

Biological Cycle

Kami are not known to age in a significant manner - though little research has been done in this department to prove it one way or another. They are believed to be immortal, though they can also somehow 'fall from grace' in some way and either 'die' or transform into one of the terrible and horrifying Oni, demons bent on the destruction and enslavement of all living things.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Kami only have a physical form when they deign to take one, and as such their physical appearances can vary wildly. See 'Types of Kami' at the bottom of the page for more details on their appearances.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Kami are typically found in the untamed wilds and rarely rural areas of Zheng-Kitar and its nearby islands, though some Kami are known to frequent civilization(Such as the Shikigami and Dosojin). The Distribution of each Kami type depends from type to type - refer to the 'Types of Kami' list at the bottom of the page for more info.

Average Intelligence

Kami, even the lowest kinds such as Shikigami, at least as intelligent as Humans, while the more powerful Kami can be greatly and incredible intelligent far in excess of the norm.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Kami do not typically even understand the meaning or purpose of 'names' as other cultures understand them - their type of kami is the closest 'name' they take, though some types of especially Social Kami such as Fukujins(See below for more info) are sometimes inclined to take a name at the request of a close humanoid ally - in such a case, they tend to accept any name that sounds at least somewhat pleasant to their tastes. For especially sentimental Kami such as Blossom Kami, they may treasure a name given to them by a past lover or fond humanoid companion who died long ago.
They watch over us - over the world and its beasts, over nature itself. Our guides, and our guardians - and already, there are people who can't hear them anymore. Even worse, they don't even realize how sad that is. We're killing them. Each city, each wall, each brick - each expansion of civilization done without nature in mind is killing them, like slow but lethal poison.   And one day, we'll be all that's left, in a world that's lost its guardians.
— Unknown
Genetic Descendants
Unknown - believed to be immortal unless corrupted.
Conservation Status
Kami are somewhat plentiful throughout the continent of Zheng-Kitar and its nearby islands, and tend to be concentrated in its wild and untamed areas(though exceptions exist). Most commoners know about them one way or another, and ALL pay reverence to them at least in passing, but they are extinct and unheard of outside of Zheng-Kitar and its nearby islands.
Average Height
Varies extremely, from barely 1.5ft (.45m) to over 40ft(12.19m). This is specific to their physical forms.
Average Weight
Varies wildly, from 30lbs (13.6kg) to 30,000lbs (13607.7kg) or more.
Average Physique
Kami only have a physical form when they deign to take one, and as such their physical appearances can vary wildly. See 'Types of Kami' at the bottom of the page for more details on their appearances.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Kami only have a physical form when they deign to take one, and as such their physical appearances can vary wildly. See 'Types of Kami' at the bottom of the page for more details on their appearances.
Related Myths

The Birth of New Kami

  Further complicating attempts to catalog and categorize kami is the fact that there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what sorts of wards get specific types of kami. The jinushigami, for example, are a race of kami that associate with all manner of regions, while the kodama concern themselves narrowly with the protection of specific trees. To the kami, these apparently arbitrary classifications make perfect sense, and their attempts to explain the reasoning to others generally result in confused listeners and frustrated kami. One thing that does remain constant, though, is the relationship between a kami’s size and the import of its ward. A kami associated with a knife, frog, or single pebble in a stream would generally be quite small and unimposing, while a kami associated with a mountain, redwood tree, or elephant would be proportionally larger and more powerful. Of course, even here there seem to be exceptions, and frustrated scholars often wonder only half-jokingly whether the gods themselves vary these rules only to cause scholastic arguments and frustration.   Kami come into existence either as a spontaneously manifesting spirit or as the reincarnation of a particularly noble soul - Souls of creatures who died to protect an element of nature are particularly prone to returning to life as a kami. In this latter way, many kami arise from the souls of dedicated rangers or druids who perished while defending their homelands, or monks who spent a lifetime meditating on the serenity of nature. Once reincarnated, however, few kami remember any of their former lives, and their forms never resemble their former bodies. The rare kami who do recall their prior lives are the kami most likely to become more than mere guardians—these kami often take class levels and grow quite powerful.

Types of Kami

  While kami are rarely evil, they place the protection of their wards above all else. Often, this puts them at odds with other creatures, and as a result, many tend to view kami as troublemakers at best and outright monsters at worst. The kami have little care for how they are viewed by non-kami, of course—what matters to them is the safety of their wards.   The most powerful kami are known as kami lords. These mysterious and unique creatures are fantastically powerful, often on par with demigods or greater entities.   The Most common types of Kami are listed below along with a short description of them as well as what types of wards they typically watch over. They are listed from least to most powerful.  
  • Shikigami - The least of the Kami, often associated with rural and urban regions rather than natural settings. They are the protectors of the minor works of civilization, such as milestones, waymarkers, tiny garden statues, and relatively mundane works of art crafted by humanoid hands. Unlike most Kami, they are fond of spending time in their physical forms, watching of their wards either invisibly or in the form of a tiny statue. They are friendly and curious, but are quick to leave an area they see as being polluted by ideals that disrupt the virtues of nature, taking their wards with them. They do not engage humanoids who desecrate the environment, but their absence tends to leave as profound mark on the morale of those who knew of them - and they typically attempt to change policies in their community to reflect a more naturalistic approach, hoping to rekindle the relationship between shikigami and people lest they fall into the disfavor of more powerful and less passive Kami.
  • Fukujin - Fukujin are the spiritual guardians of ornamental shrubs and miniature trees, and are highly regarded as bringers of good fortune and sound wisdom. They tend to resemble humanoids with tree branches protruding from their bodies, and are typically only as tall as their ward - typically a foot or two - and weigh less than 30 pounds. They are thought to come to only goodhearted and devoted bonsai or shrub gardeners, and those who cultivate such plants are astute and aesthetically minded people, these Kami are usually of a similar nature, speaking to mortals rarely and always cryptically. Regardless of how much of their coveted knowledge they impart upon favored mortals, however, fukujins always bring with them a sense of hope and good luck, and almost all within close proximity of the kami feel an instant sense of relief. Since their wards are by nature the direct result of humanoid intervention, fukujins are naturally social creatures, and most seek to assist their humanoid partners in not only cultivating beautiful plants, but in all spheres of life.
  • Kodama - Revered by druids and rangers for their attunement with the wild, Kodama, also known as tree kami, are the guardians of wild trees - they rarely, if ever, are born or flourish in trees protected and grown in civilized areas(as those are protected by different kami, if any at all). Each takes a single tree under its protection, and all of the trees in a forest that are protected by kodama are clustered together in one particular area. A Kodama in its physical form resembles a barely humanoid creature with only the vaguest of features on its semispherical head, and typically is around three feet tall and weighs around 60 lbs. While one might expect the kami of something as large as a tree to itself be larger, the fact that forests are made up of so many trees tends to diminish the singular “presence” any single tree might have. Kodama are more curious about visitors than most Kami, and often manifest their physical bodies to simply watch and observe newcomers to their groves. When doing so, they typically manifest out of line of sight so it can slowly step out into visibility to quietly observe with its distracting, empty-eyed gaze.
  • Umibiku: One of the few Kami brought about by and frequently interacting with civilization, Umibiku Kami are the result of civilization expanding out onto the horizons of ocean - born of the Kami of trees and forests whose wards were used in the construction of ships, boats, and other sailing vessels. Well-known and beloved by Sailors, the Umibiku are often referred to as the "Guardian Spirits" of ships and are believed to be the origin of the sailor's tradition of naming and ascribing a personality to one's ship - as the ship an Umibiku is tied to grows in legend, age, power, and renown, so to does an Umibiku grow in power(typically manifesting druid abilities if they grow enough), its personality shifting and changing alongside how the sailors see their beloved vessel. Their appearances and percieved genders can vary wildly from ship to ship, though they retain the shy and cautious nature of their Kami brethren, as they are particularly similar to the Kodama in this regard. When they appear they tend to apparate as small blue humanoids with indistinct facial features, though specifics vary between Umibiku. Especially large ships, or the Lifeships used by The Gāngtao Migrant Fleet, might attract several Umibiku or an extremely rare "Dai-Umibiku", an extremely rare lord of their kind typically born from the fusion of several normal Umibiku. Umibiku tend to aid the ship that serves as their 'ward' in minor ways, such as effecting minor repairs out of sight, watching its inhabitants from hidden places, and subtly outing spies or those who seek to harm either the ship or those it thinks highly of onboard. Despite its similarities to Umibiku, Father Ferrolis is not believed to be one, though nothing has ever been proven either way. They can also come about as a result of an especially pure and noble soul dying onboard a ship they died protecting or wished to protect - and when their ward sinks, while most Umibiku simply vanish, an unlucky few remained bound to their ward as it sinks, eventually becoming a rare corrupt Kami in service to The Ramshackle, or even more unluckily, becoming a full-fledged Oni. However, some might luckily survive the salvaging of their ship if it is done soon enough after their sinking, or if they were particularly strong-willed. They often support druids and nature casters who wish to see their warded vessel protected as they do, though they are often shy about doing so and dislike revealing themselves overmuch, often adopting a shy and distant relationship with such servants or allies.
  • Dosojin - Dosojin are kami that take the form of stone icons and watch over roads and trails. They are often found in statue form at the edges of villages, along mountain passes, at the beginnings of tunnels and other major works of roadway construction, or at simple country crossroads. In urban areas, dosojins can sometimes be found on street corners and near bridges. They serve as the guardians of travelers, keeping the malicious and malevolent off the paths they diligently watch over. Wise travelers know to seek a dosojin’s blessing before traveling upon its ward, for falling out of favor with the kami of travel is a sure way to become lost or hampered. Pious mortal couples also seek out dosojin for their own reasons, as the kami are often regarded as patrons of fertility, and are known for their habit of choosing mates and standing beside one another for their entire lives. In many regions, the blessing of a dosojin is believed to ensure a long and happy marriage, as well as many healthy children. They tend to stand about four and a half feet tall and can weigh upwards of 400 pounds.
  • Zuishin - The dedicated warriors of the Kami, the Zuishin, better known as Shrine Kami, take as their wards gates, doorways, religious places, and the spiritual archways known as Torii, ensuring that such places are respected and given due reverence. They are the most fervent seekers and slayers of the Oni among all the Kami, and while they can use almost any weapon they lay their hands on, they tend to favor the bow. The tend to appear and manifest as a suit of armor with a partly visible warrior withjin, and wield glowing white and gold weapons, typically standing as tall or taller than average humanoids such as Humans. They treat other kami with respect, and are always willing to lend a helping hand to them, but creatures other than kami must earn a zuishin’s trust before receiving its aid, and do so by honoring the gate it guards or providing an offering to the kami, such as a tree branch or other small piece of nature it deems worthy of the task being requested of it.
  • Suijin - These enormous, serpentine carp-like Kami gleam with rainbow-colored scales, and carry eyes that gleam bright with good-natured intelligence. Suijins are the Kami of lakes, ponds, springs, and wells - when not merged with their wards, these spirits of nature resemble giant carp of sea serpents, usually beautiful specimens with rainbow scales. They tend to be around fifteen feet long and weigh close to 1,200 pounds, though rumors suggest that lesser and greater suijins do exist in some parts of the world, typically residing in bodies of water that are proportionate to the kami's size and power. While they are as benevolent and well meaning as all other kami, suijins are often mistaken for beasts of the waters they inhabit, and are thus feared by superstitious or simple-minded creatures. Those who encounter suijins know better than to believe such unfounded fears, however, as the kami often only emerge from their wards in order to protect innocent creatures in trouble near its waters. Considered reclusive even by other kami, a suijin usually tries to protect creatures within its wards by covert means if at all possible, slowing the flow of its waters’ currents or pushing struggling creatures to shore via magic. Suijins are infinitely patient, and though most enjoy helping creatures, those in more remote regions are just as content to simply exist among their waters, protecting their wards from those who would seek to defile them.
  • Toshigami - The most humanoid of the Kami, the Toshigami, better known as the blossom Kami, are associated with Cherry Trees - particularly those that grow in inhabiated areas. Often, long after a city has fallen to ruin, these kami guardians who tend to appear as beautiful older women(and rarely men) composed entirely of blossoms, bark, and antlerlike branches are all that remain to remember the lost city’s glory, and In this way, the toshigami are also associated with the passing of time. Toshigami rarely show themselves except to those in dire need or who are harming their trees. Still, they have a fascination with mortals, and have even been known to form romantic relationships with them on occasion. A toshigami tends to be average humanoid height and weight similar to Humans.
  • Kaminari - The second greatest of all the Kami, the Kaminari are the robust spirits of enormous size that watch over the balance of weather, taking the form of violent storms wherever they go. They are the most monstrous looking and boisterous of most all kami, and are often mistaken for Oni upon first glance in their physical forms, appearing as enormous humanoids with green skin and equally bright hair, often surrounded by a ring of huge drums and storm clouds - they care little for most mortals, and primarily concern themselves with the maintenance and protection of their wards, which tend to be enormous storm clouds that represent the awesome power of thunder and lightning, though others that govern hurricanes, dust-storms, blizzards, and other environmental storms also exist(and typically prefer instruments other than drums to reflect this). In addition to their duties guarding their storm wards and the balance of weather, kaminaris are endlessly fascinated with musical instruments, particularly drums. Though a kaminari commands the awe-inspiring powers of lightning and thunder as though they were simply extensions of itself, these kami of storms have limited power over their wards. As dictated by the ancient laws by which the Kami abide and were created by, a kaminari has only limited ability to will its ward to travel in any particular direction or halt its movement for a modest amount of time per day. Thus it is often merely a passenger upon the clouds of a storm. They are well-known to despise the use of magic to alter weather patterns, regardless of the means or reasons behind doing so, and call down cataclysmic destruction on those who do without mercy. They are also well-known as the least patient and most destructive of all the Kami.
  • Jinushigami - The greatest of the Kami, Jinushigami(better known as Land Kami) are the most revered and powerful of all Kami, and serve as guardians of enormous and significant natural wonders like mountains, enormous lakes, entire forests, and so on. They command the very forces of nature itself to secure the safety and security of their wards, and they also garner the most respect among other Kami, wielding great influence over both them and the native creatures that dwell within their territories. They tend to stay hidden amongst the land, however, knowing that their intimate tie with the environment makes them highly desirable targets among those who would seek to do harm to nature. Jinushigami are ancient and wise, and while they are no fools, they prefer to give visitors to their domains the benefit of the doubt. Only when an individual makes known his disruptive intentions toward the structure and cohesion of nature does a jinushigami react with violence. Of course, those who align themselves with naturally opposing forces of the kami, such as the oni, do not receive this friendly grace period, and a jinushigami can perceive most treacherous thoughts, sensing a suspicious visitor through its connection with the land, then tracking it down to stealthily observe it more closely. In their physical forms, they stand over forty feet tall and weigh over 30,000 pounds. Elder Jinushigami, while incomparably rare, are known to exist and stand above even other Jinushigami - these rare kami are typically guardians of a legendary and/or famous site, such as the tallest mountain in an entire mountain range, a vast glacier, a great reef, or a titanic volcano, and have wards that are incomparably massive.


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