HWE Gashadokuro Picture

Name: Gashadokuro

Alias: Odokuro, 'rattling skull', 'giant skeleton', THE RIDE NEVER ENDS.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil - Chaotic Neutral (Chaotic 'Hungry')

Rank: 3 - 5 Kaiju

Race: Yokai/undead

Size:

Height - At least 75 ft. tall (25 meters) as it is always at least 15 times the size of the average man. The size of the Gashadokuro depends on the amount of improperly buried dead due to war or famine in a single region. A mass grave, battlefield or catacomb could give rise to a Gashadokuro rivaling even the largest kaiju.

Weight - lighter due to not having flesh or muscle, the skeletal giant weighs anywhere from 1500 tons to 225000 tons.

Powers:

Hunger of 15,000 souls - Gashadokuro are created from the improperly buried dead. Whether they come from a battlefield where thousands lost their lives and were forgotten or land where a famine has claimed an entire generation, it doesn't matter. These unrightfully buried people's souls soon congregate into a towering colossus of either great rage or great hunger. Bones from hundreds of bodies touched by the Toho Plane congregate together and form the Gashadokuro in an effort to appease the pain and malice they are burdened with through a physical form. Those from battlefields tend to walk upright while those that died of famine tend to crawl like worms along the ground. These monstrous titans are undead, feel no pain, and do not tire. While they do not need sustenance, they gleefully crush humans in their hands, bite their heads off and dribble the resulting blood spray over their teeth. The act itself is enough.

Indestructible - How does one kill that which is already dead? A question that has long plagued those that had suffered or survived a Gashadokuro attack. Conventional weapons are useless, even if smashed apart the bones simply reform and refit together once more. This Yokai is tenacious in the extreme and there is no modern weapon on earth that can effectively harm it as it's physical body is merely an avatar of the wreathing legion of souls that animate it. One could drop a nuke on it and it would stride or crawl from the flames more furiously hungry than ever.

Sneaky Giant - Gashadokuro are among the largest Yokai in existence and their great strength allows them to smash through buildings and barriers with ease. They have no need to breathe and in the dark of night they creep up behind travelers and snatch them up.

Weaknesses:

'Gachi Gachi' - Gashadokuro are so named for the teeth chatter and bone rattling they make as they move. This is why Gashadokuro prefer to wait behind hills or other large landmarks before peeking over and snatching prey. One can hear a Gashadokuro coming and if one is quick enough to notice and act you can hide or run from them.

Big and Dumb - Fueled by hunger and rage, a Gashadokuro is none too bright and it's large size makes its ability to move clumsy. This is why Gashadokuro is primarily an ambush predator that relies on its sheer reach and lack of living liabilities to catch prey by surprise.

Nocturnal - Gashadokuro only hunt at night when it absolutely pitch black. During the day they return to ground as a obscure pile of regular sized bones of equal mass to the Yokai in question. Often haunting the same battlefield or mass grave that they rose from.

Souls to Burn and Bury - A Gashadokuro ends its rampage one of two ways: it is given a proper mass funeral service to lay the combined soul mass to rest and thus exorcised, or it kills and kills and kills until the malice and hunger within it has been extinguished, usually ranking up a kill count as high as the number of souls that make up the Gashadokuro itself, always multiples of 15. Naturally this would take a year or more and many lost lives. This makes sealing or exorcising the Gashadokuro via Oriental Faith the most expedient and compassionate option. Something that can attack and extinguish the souls directly likewise can finally end a Gashadokuro's rampage though this is not a full proof method...

Necromancy - This Yokai is among the few that can be created and controlled through the black arts though the resources required to create a Gashadokuro are so immense that you would either have to find a suitable location or engineer a mass genocide which would certainly attract attention. Controlling the Yokai otherwise is not difficult providing it's hunger doesn't override the commands given to it.

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*after Saze-Oni*

"That's a strange name. It's just the sound for rattling bones." Ruki said perplexed.

"It is often the first and last sound one hears when a Gashadokuro comes for you. Like the Saze-Oni, the Gashadokuro is an ambush predator. Unlike the Saze-Oni it is not concerned with physical assault or with trying to lower its prey's guard. The Gashadokuro takes the form of a skeletal colossus whose size rivals and has at certain times in history exceeded even my own."

"Wow...so it's kinda like an Umibozu of the land then?"

"Thankfully no but in terms of being unassailable using conventional means it might even be worse than an Umibozu."

"How so? Please tell it doesn't just suck more dirt or whatever to make itself whole again."

"Not far off but to understand a Gashadokuro you have to know how they are created in the first place. The Yokai is for all intents and purposes a giant skeleton whose eyes roll inside of its titanic skull. They form in places where great conflict or great famine has plagued and slain a truly impressive number of human beings. The hunger and anger that these locations create soon ferment into a potent cocktail of supernatural ode. The bodies begin to draw together, the skin and flesh falling away as only the bones collect together into a great mound. This great mound then rises as the bones merge together and this creates the Gashadokuro. A specter of great hunger or anger that stalks the countryside during times of pitchest night to abduct travelers from the road. Biting their heads off and crushing them into a pulp as one would squeeze an peach to splash blood across its teeth and temporarily sate it's endless hunger."

"So it's already dead and can't be killed."

"It can't even be destroyed, it is indestructible."

"Wha-HOW?!"

"It's physical body is merely a projection, an avatar of sorts of the innumerable spirits that operate it. You could potentially smash it apart temporarily but it would just reassemble itself. All conventional means of tackling the Yokai are but temporary measures aimed at slowing it down. The Umibozu is limited to its environment and element. The Gashadokuro is limited only by appetite and the hours of night it has left to hunt before daybreak."

"You couldn't even drop a nuke on this thing could you."

"If by 'nuke' you mean the most audacious of mankind's conventional weapons then no you couldn't. It would stride froth from the mushroom cloud, burning and smoking but intact and even more a thirst for human blood than ever."

"You'd have to target the spirits directly then somehow...can you exorcise it?"

"Yes, mind you that Gashadokuro are made out of people who died in mass in the worst conditions imaginable, often left to rot in mass graves. Forgotten and improperly buried. Giving the Gashadokuro a proper burial that accommodates the sometimes thousands of souls is the most compassionate option. You would need to find the site of its creation, a task best observed during the day as during the day Gashadokuro return to their resting place and become naught but a massive mountain of bones."

"What drives it to eat people in the first place?"

"The pain of violence or the pain of hunger, they are mutual to a Gashadokuro. A creature so lean and athirst is only appeased when it has devoured as many lives as it has souls. A entire region can be depopulated and entire cities destroyed if a Gashadokuro is allowed to rampage unchecked. Barriers mean nothing to a Gashadokuro which does not feel pain. The Yokai is always 15 times the size of a man at the very least and everything from its size to the number of souls within it come in multiples of 15. As such the conditions for a Gashadokuro to appear are actually rather rare but were much more common during the time of your ancestors when the humans of ancient Yamato accepted war and famine as everyday facts of life."

"Lovely...so if one pops up I can just shadow it for a night and then purify the remains before it can be cause too much trouble."

"Easier said than done little Miko. The Gashadokuro is not like other large predators. It is surprisingly stealthy for a creature so large. It doesn't breathe, sweat or need to move hardly at all before it is within grabbing distance of its prey. Looming over the top of a hill or behind a building and ambushing its prey. The only warning you have is of its eyeballs rolling around in its head and the rattling of its bones. At which point like the Umibozu, you must run. The Gashadokuro is slow and clumsy due to its size and while it can make up the distance in the size of its strides, it isn't very fast at all."

"What if you get caught or snuck up on? Is it over?"

"For you at least no. Your sacred arts can form barriers that the Gashadokuro will at least struggle to overcome, giving you time to evade it. The Gashadokuro is also not very smart, allowing you to trick it if necessary."

"Hihihi~ so it's a literal 'bone head' huh?" Ruki snickered.

"Oh definitely. However that point is moot if the creature is being controlled remotely."

"What do you mean?"

"Gashadokuro are one of the few Yokai that humans can outright create intentionally. Those skilled in the Dark Arts can raise a Gashadokuro and control it to do their bidding, as one princess of a famous rebel lord did when her clan was exterminated. The resulting monstrosity attacked the city of Kyoto in a chattering rage on her behest. So it's very likely that the Gashadokuro is but a powerful tool of a larger evil at work and that you must overcome that evil in order to lay the Gashadokuro to rest..or at least render it without objective."

"So a Gashadokuro is a sign that there might be worse things afoot."

"Indeed. There are few locations that can properly create a Gashadokuro in this age and fewer still located close to the Toho Plane. To create one would be an act of genocide so severe that many nations would become aware of the situation and seek to remedy it...even if they have no idea the true danger they would be walking into."

"Like an indestructible giant man-eating skeleton?"

"Yes. So you should always be aware of signs of threats both large and small as being a Miko, you are a major target for all manner of mischief and ill will by many Yokai who understandably see you as a threat to themselves and their way of life."

"I'll keep that in mind Thero-Kun. But there have to be things other than Miko that actively protect people from such Yokai. A single Miko, like you said, can't handle all of this by themselves. Shouldn't I look for allies too?"

"That is a topic for another day but I can assure you that there are indeed powerful allies that make protecting people a priority...in both direct and indirect ways."

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Continue Reading: Ages of Man