HWE Oni Picture

KAS Oni

Name: "Oni"

Alias: "Japanese Ogre", "Demon", etc.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil, sometimes Chaotic Neutral

Rank 2-3 Kaijin

Race: Yokai

Stats: Taller than the tallest man and sometimes much more than that.

Weight: As heavy as they look, the average Oni can weigh over a thousand pounds.

Powers:

Sorcery - Many Oni, especially elder ones, are accomplished magic users though they favor spells akin to curses or generate wide spread destruction via natural forces. The spreading of disease, destruction and pain are foremost in an Oni's arcane arsenal. Their use of it however is never subtle.

Strength Beyond Strength - If Oni are one thing it is strong. An Oni can casually lift twice its own mass. The amount of kinetic force it can unleash with its bare hands alone is legendary. So much that actually wielding a weapon makes an Oni a near insurmountable foe for any human or natural creature.

Made of Iron - The only other thing that matches an Oni's magic or its strength is the sheer endurance and toughness they possess. Blunt force trauma might as well be a light breeze to an Oni. They are capable of fighting for days if not weeks on end, often for the sheer thrill of it. Tenacious in the extreme, once an Oni has set its mind to something there are few things that give it pause. It's also the reason why Oni are functional alcoholics, able to consume several times their own weight in sake and suffering no ill effects. This also means that poisoning an Oni is extremely difficult using conventional means.

Weaknesses:

Always Angry, All The Time - Oni are Yokai of extreme malice, hatred and rage by default. You can always assume that an Oni will take the most provocatively forceful action in any given situation. Some are more 'rowdy' than raging but recklessness and Oni go hand and hand and have lead to a legacy of human cunning overcoming Oni brute force. Simply because the Oni is either too angry, too drunk or too sure of itself to realize when it's in a situation it can't win before it's too late.

Soybeans - The traditional weakness of Oni's acts as a powerful repellent that drives them out of an area. However, the Soybeans must be blessed during a Setsubun festival in order to actually harm them, acting as holy burning embers. Tricking an Oni into ingesting Soybeans can poison and weaken them greatly for a time. Similarly holly can prevent an Oni from entering a residence...though nothing keeps an Oni from destroying said residence.

Damn Dirty Apes - For reasons buried in their ancient past and the rivalry of the Mage Clans, Oni despise and hate monkeys and apes of all kinds. It could be simply that monkeys and apes remind Oni of their traditional foil, IE man, but it's just as likely that Oni actively compete with primates for resources and resent the chattering cunning these animals display at the Oni's expense. Monkeys that guard a particular area can force an Oni to leave and actively sense when an Oni is near.

By the Horns - The horns of an Oni hold a great deal of its power. should it lose one, it will lose a quarter of its strength, lose both and it loses half of its strength. The horns of an Oni gradually grow back over time but during that time the Oni is significantly weakened. However removing the horns requires a very specific feat~

Samurai - Oni are truly vulnerable to only cutting implements of masterwork quality. Like say, a katana. It is through masterful blade wielding that Oni can be truly slain and their horns removed. Oni skin can be pierced but only ammunition that has been blessed by oriental faiths, particularly Shinto, can cause fatal injuries. Otherwise an Oni could take hundreds upon hundreds of arrows, bolts or bullets and simply laugh them off.

----

As Kaitheros continued to further describe the various incidents in which Onibabas were said to have predated upon the common folk or were eventually exterminated, a needling question came to Ruki and cut through her nausea.

"Wait, are Onibabas related to Oni?"

The question was complicated one and Kaitheros had to think it over for a moment before answering.

"Yes...and no. It's a matter that is deeply tied with one of the oldest and most famous of Yokai -exasperating bastards all of them- though I feel that it might be getting a bit late."

The sun was indeed sinking below the horizon but Ruki was eager to learn about perhaps the most famous type of monster native to Japan.

"Pleeeease~ Thero-kun? I can stay up for at least one more!"

The girl's earnest nature was one Kaitheros couldn't deny for long and acknowledging the can of worms Onibaba's horrific legacy had opened, Kaitheros began discussing the legendary breed of ogre.

"Well let's see...first off, what do you think you already know about Oni?" The onyx theropod asked.

"Well, Oni are big red or blue giants with horns that wield huge clubs and wear tiger loin clothes. They're really, really strong and sometimes eat people, bringing bad luck. So every Setsubun we throw soybeans to chase them out. We then say 'Oni go out! Blessings come in!' and then they have to run away! But, Oni are so scary that they can keep other bad spirits from coming in so we sometimes put their faces on roof tiles!" Ruki said excitedly, remembering things that most Japanese school children would be familiar with.

Kaitheros chuckled at the maiden's enthusiasm but soon turned somber as he remembered...what Oni really were.

"Human ignorance can be adorable at times..but also very dangerous." Kaitheros mused.

"What do you mean?" Ruki asked sensing that the conversation was about to turn dark again.

"Much of what you know of Oni, at least on the surface, is mostly correct. Oni are to Japan and China what ogres and trolls are to Europe. At least in effect. However, Oni should never, ever be underestimated. Being among the oldest and most powerful breeds of Yokai, they are not something you simply trifle with."

"Soybeans work right?"

"Yes, soybeans are one of the few weaknesses Oni possess." Kaitheros continued. "But unblessed soybeans only drive them out and further enrage them. Angering an Oni isn't difficult considering what Oni are, but at the same time more than one warrior has been torn to pieces simply because he thought himself an Oni's equal."

"So...what ARE Oni?"

"Oni were among the first Yokai that manifested in our world. They are the materialized spirits of angry, murderous, utterly malicious men. When these sorts of men die close to an area close to the Toho Plane, their Hitodama gravitate to the worst parts of that plane. A place your people refer to rather bluntly as 'Hell'."

"You mean it exists!"

"Something very similar to it yes. All manner of horrific entity congregate and arise from that eight fold boiling cesspit. They hate being there, but they hate everything else in contrast to it. It is a realm of pain, rage, sorrow and vice. The greatest of evils are perpetuated endlessly and the Oni are among the Yokai that carry the very nature of that place everywhere they go. In their native lands, Oni spend day after day tormenting, torturing, devouring and simply butchering those souls that found their way into their territory but did not have the same 'quality' of malice that would turn them into an Oni themselves. There are more...disciplined entities in 'Hell' that mass entire armies of Oni and thus keep some semblance of 'order' in that festering hole through strength alone. As strength is the one thing Oni respect."

"So...they're stuck down there right? They don't really get to wonder the countryside eating people right?" Ruki asked, hoping that the fairy tales were just that. Kaitheros's expression however only seemed to grow more grim in response.

"Things are never that simple Ruki. There have been individuals throughout your history that did not even set one foot in the Toho Plane before rising again as an Oni."

"How is that even possible?"

"Sometimes there are exceptionally degenerate men in this world that when conditions are right, become Oni while still on Earth. As such they are free to rampage however they like, accosting anyone they meet until they are slain, sealed or driven back where thuggish degenerates like them 'belong'."

"Oni can't be ALL bad though right? In legend we seem to get one over on them all the time!"

Kaitheros took a breath and sighed. Turning back to see Ruki pouting over having her cultural traditions trampled on.

"Ruki, are you familiar with the term 'Rape, Pillage and Burn'?"

The Miko took a moment to sort through the understandably treacherous and somewhat personal implications of the phrase.

"Yes."

"Oni embody that term. Some Oni have preference for one of the three over the others but all Oni at their core are creatures that by their very nature thrive on the exploitation, domination and outright destruction of mankind. We're talking about a species of Yokai that wear the pelts, skulls and teeth of the strongest beasts they have slain as trophies. Yokai that are so strong they can lift two of themselves as one would a pebble. Yokai that learn sorcery simply so they can spread disease, disaster and death in more widespread and entertaining ways. Yokai that revel, fight and drink for weeks simply because they can. And there is always the anger Ruki. An Oni's rage has few equals and fewer betters. It is not simply a tantrum thrown by a massive muscle bound child, but the rage of a soul who's hatred was so great as a human that it became a seething malice for the world it left behind. Mankind was lucky to find the weaknesses of the Oni when they did. As a mere handful of them nearly sent ancient Yamato back to the stone age. A time that fits the barbaric nature of the Oni perfectly. Mankind would have been at the mercy of their tortures for much longer."

"What kind of tortures?" Ruki asked, her expression suitably stark.

"It should be no surprise that whatever horrors they committed as humans or learned from their elder kin would be passed on." Kaitheros snorted in disgust. "Oni enjoy fine arts such as skinning their victims alive, systematically crushing bones and joints with kanabos, forcing them to prostrate themselves on burning plates, driving bamboo shivs into their orifices, lashing with red hot coils, staking their hands and feet over a pit and putting weight on their back until they rip in half, long periods of impalement, tearing nails out, water boarding and war curing with sake or urine if they drank all the sake, draw and quartering, the ever popular roasting on a spit, long periods of suspension between tortures, and last I checked they even invented a form of torture and execution called 'the snack tray' where a victim is shackled to a rotating wheel at the waist and during the course of one of their usual 'parties' the Oni take turns pulling appendages and body parts off the victim to devour at their leisure. At this point they might have created a version of it where instead of eating the victim they take turns vio-"

"Thero-Kun! I get it!" Ruki protested. Visibly shaking and looking like she was about to vomit again.

The bone armored dinosaur balked at the realization that he'd gotten carried away again.

"I'm sorry Ruki, but I'd hazard a guess that you now understand that Oni and humans have some fairly significant...'differences' that make cohabitation much more hazardous than other Yokai. For as long as I've known of them Oni refuse to accept humans as anything more than food or little more than pets. Conflict is almost always inevitable."

"How do we beat an Oni then? Ram soybeans down their throat?" Ruki replied, getting some humor back to show that she could handle this.

Kaitheros grinned just thinking about it.

"Well, Oni are notoriously resilient to blunt force trauma so smashing or crushing them does little good. Piercing them with arrows or other ranged fire can be done but the muscle is so thick that unless it's a clean shot to the head or properly blessed, it will not do much more than annoy them. The most expedient way of slaying an Oni is the same way the Samurai did, by cutting them down with blades designed to slice deep and through. Even better if the blade is blessed. The best target are the horns of the Oni. The horns cannot be smashed or shot off, they must be cut. Doing so greatly weakens an Oni for months if not years and allows a quick victory as their strength is reduced to a mere half of what it once was. Still formidable for most humans no longer neigh unstoppable. Oni are strong but they are also reckless in the extreme. Challenging an Oni's pride is a sure way to motivate them into doing something potentially foolish...like eating something with soybeans hidden in it. A straight forward confrontation is best avoided, you never play to an Oni's strength. You don't have to worry about them trying to deceive you as much as other Yokai as Oni cannot lie. And Oni that lies is not an Oni so be wary of Yokai that try to appear as Oni. Another thing to be aware of are monkeys."

"Monkeys?"

"Well any primate really but especially monkeys. Oni for reasons best known to the ancient Mage Clans, despise and are utterly intolerant of monkeys and other primates far more than even mankind. To the point that an Oni would rather leave than deal with them if they are in the area. If it can find a way to kill the monkey it will but if its outnumbered it will flee rather than try to face the taunting of an entire troupe. Monkeys likewise have an instinctual antagonism towards Oni and can sense if they are nearby in any form. They can act like alarm bells in this case."

"That's useful." Ruki mused. "So do Onibaba have anything to do with Oni at all?"

"Returning to the original question are we? Very well. Oni as we know them are made exclusively from the souls of wicked men. Thus any Yokai that identifies as 'Oni' is distinctly male. However, the sort of 'soul environment' that produces Oni likewise produces a large extended family of similar Yokai. You can think of the Onibaba as the grandmothers of that family. The Oni are the fathers and thus the family name is distinctly theirs. During the early years when Yokai were still fairly young, many people regarded nearly all Yokai as 'Oni' or some derivative of them since they tended to act the same as far as consuming and killing humans went. As Yokai further developed and diversified, the Oni remained as they always have but not all Yokai behaved as Oni did. You can think of the Oni as the 'old traditionalists' that want to return to that simpler time when revelry and murder were common place....and I think that will be all for the night." Kaitheros concluded, noting that the night sky had taken hold and the autumn moon was peering through the clouds now.

"Just one more question! It will be the last one tonight I promise." Ruki stated.

Kaitheros looked at his priestess incredulously but nodded.

"One more and then YOU need to get some sleep. You have a busy day ahead of you tomorrow." Kaitheros warned.

"If Oni are all male, then what do really wicked young women turn into?" Ruki asked intently.

Kaitheros tried to trace the line of reasoning for the question but decided that tonight was not the night to chase after it.

"Something similar and yet at the same time very different. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. Now go on~."

"But you didn't really-"

"There will be plenty of time tomorrow. It's not like you need more nightmare fuel at this hour!" Kaitheros chided her.

"Alright...but you better tell me tomorrow!" Ruki shouted over her shoulder as she took off.

Kaitheros watched the maiden leave and sighed. Wishing that he didn't have to share this sort of nightmarish knowledge with Ruki but knowing that she had to learn it sometime...even if Kaitheros himself wished he could her innocent for just awhile longer. Telling her about Yokai was one thing...actually encountering them... He banished the thought, she would be ready just as the ones before her were. The real question he had to ask himself was would he?


Continue Reading: Ages of Man