HWE Ibaraki-Doji Picture

Name: Ibaraki-Doji

Alias: 'thorn tree child', right hand of Shoten-Doji, The Oni Rose, Demon of Rashomon, THE BITCH OF THORNS

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Rank: 2 Kaijin - Rank 3 Kaiju

Race: Yokai, Oni - Kijo

Size:

Height - 16 ft tall, can grow to roughly 30 meters for a time.

Weight - 3690 lbs - 360,000 Tons

Powers:

Brains & Brawn - Ibaraki-Doji is unique among Oni in that despite being a Kijo she is not less physically powerful than other Oni. Likewise she maintains the powerful magic of Kijo. Among Oni only the late Shoten-Doji was stronger. To date, no other Oni possesses Ibaraki-Doji's horrific mix of Dark Arts and brute force and among Kijo few are her equal when it comes to said arts. Ibaraki-Doji mixes these powers together to create a sort of 'Dark Fist' that utilizes her raw power in conjunction with supernatural effects. Among her favorites are draining the life force from others, cursing them while punching their ribcages in at the same time, firing screaming burning skulls from her fists that explode and inducing a lightning surge AOE via a powerbomb straight into the floor.

Shapeshifting - Ibaraki-Doji can take the form of any human she kills or studies for a length of time. The only real give away is that Ibaraki-Doji is still as heavy as she normally is. Meaning that if she were take the form of a small old woman or child, she would still weigh as much as she normally does.

Giant Form - Ibaraki-Doji can assume a truly massive size that rivals a kaiju. While she can only assume this form at night, she can effectively bring everything she can normally bring to a fight at a size that allows her to take on Kaiju and create massive collateral damage.

Berserker of Thorns - When lost in the rage known to all Oni, Ibaraki-Doji lives up to her name sake in that she manifests around, on and out of her massive briar thorns. These spiny tendrils not only pierce flesh and armor but also leech blood from those they come in contact with. If cut they regenerate and grow back almost as quickly as they are cut, if burned they explode into bursts of organic shrapnel.

Oni Commander - To date, Ibaraki-Doji is the strongest Oni currently alive today. A fact that only serves to stoke the fires of her grudge as the previous holder of that title was the one man she ever cared about, literally serving as his right hand for years. Oni and Kijo especially respect and follow Ibaraki-Doji. Other Yokai of the 'Oni family' likewise follow her and do her bidding. Being among the most feared and powerful Yokai, she also commands the respect and allegiance of Yokai that are particularly bloodthirsty, dabble in Dark Arts or have a particularly strong vendetta against humanity.

Weaknesses:

The Scorn with a Score to Settle - Ibaraki-Doji took the death of Shoten-Doji in the worst possible way and managed to become even MORE ill tempered and bitter. There are many things she hates but the top three in order are humans, humans descended from Minamoto no Yorimitsu and Watanabe no Tsuna and Miko. When it comes to these things Ibaraki-Doji will stop at nothing to see them either enslaved, tortured or brutally murdered. Her reasons are tied to her history but it's worth noting that like many Oni, Ibaraki-Doji can be lured into recklessness when consumed by hatred and anger. She differs however in that she tempers her seething rage with a sadistic cunning and knack for plotting exquisitely torturous ends for those that make enemies of her or otherwise stand in her way.

My Arm Smarts... - Ibaraki-Doji once suffered a humiliating loss to Watanabe no Tsuna when she tried to ambush him at the Gate of Rashomon and had her right arm severed. She eventually retrieved it and reattached it but the arm now aches whenever she is near someone of true heroic character, a holy person such as a monk or Miko and those who share the bloodline with Tsuna or his master. This is how she is able to track and find such individuals. However it also means that her right arm is slightly weaker than her left.

Sacred Arts & Oriental Faith - Blades blessed by Oriental Faith and the arts and rites of the faith itself can harm her. Though to face such a pillar of utter malice the practitioner must be of true honest faith and show no fear. Anything less swiftly leads to the practitioner being killed or worse. Ibaraki-Doji has studied those same rites and rituals and if one moment of weakness or fallacy presents itself, she wastes no time in exploiting it.

Daylight's Grace - She can only assume her giant form at night. When her power is at its strongest. During the day she cannot handle much over Rank 2 in terms of Kaiju.

Broken Horns - Like all Oni, breaking her horns reduces Ibaraki-Doji's power by a 4th and then half for a single and double break respectively.

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From 'The Legend of Ibaraki Doji' as recorded by --------- Miko of Hoshoku no Ana:

There are many theories as to how the terror that is Ibaraki Doji came into this world. Or what Ibaraki was before becoming the towering Oni we know today. I found that there were elements of truth in all of them.

The child known as Ibaraki was born from a very late pregnancy to a struggling mother who traveled from Settsu province to Tamba province. The child was carried for an excruciating 18 months and was born with a full set of teeth and hair. It is not known exactly where the child was born, only that it was. It was abandoned in front of a small shrine where a childless couple took it in. The child was quite large and tall and would continue to be into adolescence. Living in the town of Mizuo, Ibaraki was a strange phenomena as Ibaraki was a girl but had the strength and stature of a man. To the point that Ibaraki was simply written off as a boy and trained as a barber like her adopted father. Ibaraki excelled at this but as she grew so did her strength which seemed to eclipse that of even grown men. This lead to an unfortunate clumsy stage where Ibaraki would often injure her customers faces by accident. The sight of blood seemed to both frighten and fascinate Ibaraki which only further compounded her oddity. The father could not handle the effect on his business and Ibaraki was thrown out. On a bridge overlooking a nearby brook Ibaraki hung her head in shame, only to be greeted by a mysterious woman who consoled the frighteningly tall girl and gave her a mysterious Magatama. Ibaraki returned home only to witness a fight between her mother and father. The father insisted that Ibaraki was cursed and that she was not even human. When the argument turned to blows, Ibaraki defended her mother and when struck with the barber's razor, flew into a rage. Ibaraki broke her own father in half before despairing over what she had done. Her mother prepared her as much as she could and bade her to find asylum at the Yahiko-jinja. There perhaps she could finally find peace and a place to belong. For if the kami could not help her than who could?

Life at the Yahiko-jinja was much more positive for a time. She even met a boy that could actually best her in strength but made quick friends with. His name was Shuten. Wrestling was among their favorite past times. Ibaraki's true gender made her 'very pretty' by the standards of men and thus she was the unwitting recipient of many love letters. This would soon lead to tragedy. Ibaraki naturally declined many of these love letters but one letter got her attention. When asked to meet it became clear what was at stake. The girl discovered Ibaraki was a woman and vowed to expose her if she did not leave Yahiko-jinja and sever her relationship with Shuten who the girl pined for herself. Ibaraki tried to dissuade the girl from such action but the bile of resentment was too strong towards Ibaraki's 'deceit' and the girl made the mistake of enraging Ibaraki. The girl was torn apart. Desperately trying to hide the result of her rage, Ibaraki tossed her body into a ravine and hid the blood stained letter. Life seemed to go by as usual until Ibaraki's mother insisted that Ibaraki visit her to see how her daughter was fairing. The search for the girl cast a dark cloud over the visit that Ibaraki could not shake. Ibaraki did her best to inform her mother that things were 'fine' and that she had even made a friend. But her mother discovered the blood stained letter hidden in Ibaraki's luggage, and knowing the inherent problem such a letter would cause Ibaraki, opened it and found it stained. When Ibaraki returned so see her mother tasting the stain to determine what it was, Ibaraki panicked. The Magatama activated and Ibaraki grew into a monstrous Kijo before her mother's very eyes. In despair, Ibaraki smashed her way out through the gable in the roof and fled into the mountains.

When Ibaraki returned to her senses she found herself once more overlooking a certain bridge, the same bridge she had met the mysterious woman. Her reflection in the water showed Ibaraki what she had become and she despaired. However, as luck would have it, an Oni appeared beside her and despite his demonic visage she recognized him as Shuten. Shuten himself had become an Oni much like she did and they knew then that human society had driven them to this and that all they had was each other. Shuten, as charismatic as always, laid out his ambition and offered Ibaraki the chance to join him. Join him she did and they disappeared into the mountains of Tamba.

Alas this is where our story takes a dire turn. For so deep had Shuten-Doji and Ibaraki-Doji's wrath toward mankind become that the next time they appeared it was at the head of an army of Oni. Ibaraki was Shuten's right hand and her ever growing physical might and magic were a potent combination that few could withstand. They started with surrounding villages. The appearance of her mother holding the clothes that she had as a newborn spared only one village from destruction, one that was sparred so long as her mother lived in it. It would be the last time Ibaraki-Doji showed mercy or humanity for that matter. The following villages were not so lucky. Dogakushi, Shinano and countless others all leading to Shuten's ultimate goal: the Capital. When they rampaged into Kyoto they were repelled only with the greatest of casualty and the damage was great. I was forced to personally intervene which gave the soldiers enough time to mount a proper defense. Regardless, Shuten's gang of Oni made off with all manner of spoils and soon to be slaves. The path of their 'retreat' was marked with cries of village girls being stolen, livestock wantonly slaughtered and fields set aflame in their drunken revelry. It was difficult to apprehend or track the gang as Ibaraki's dark magic was extremely strong and many Kijo flocked to her as much as Oni naturally accepted Shuten whose strength seemed to know no limits. It was discovered that their primary base of operations was Mount Ooe but none that ventured up into the upper slopes of the mountain came back down alive.

The emperor decided to enlist his finest counter to the threat of Yokai. Specialized demon slayers called The Four Kings, lead by one Minamoto no Yorimitsu. Among them Minamoto's close friend Watanabe No Tsuna. Swordsmen of great caliber, samurai bar none, they infiltrated Mount Ooe and disguised as mountain priests requested lodging. With the offer of joining him made, Shuten allowed the group into his abode were much revelry has likely never been seen before or since by mortal eyes. Shuten however allowed his appreciation for drink to be his downfall for even he had his limits as a poison was mixed into his bowl to weaken him and when he was too swollen with sake to mount a defense, the Four Kings took up their hidden swords, revealed themselves and fell upon the Oni like wolves upon sheep. Shuten cursed the Four Kings and Minamoto for stooping to this level for as violent and wrathful as Oni are, they are forthright and honest and do not 'cheat'. Mankind has no such reservations and slew him. Ibaraki fought Watanabe but upon seeing Shuten fall, realized that they had lost and the only option was flight or death. Swearing vengeance unlike any they had heard before, Ibaraki-Doji disappeared into the night, massive briars blocking any attempt to follow. Minamoto and the Four Kings returned to the emperor as heroes for slaying one of the Four Most Evil Yokai and protecting the Empire.

Ibaraki-Doji however would not rest for long. She began to haunt the Gate of Rashomon and the area quickly degenerated into one of the most horrifically ugly places in all of Japan. Rumors of Ibaraki-Doji's appearances there got the attention of Watanabe who went to investigate. On the road of Ichijou Modorihashi, Kijo in league with Ibaraki attempted to capture Watanabe by shape shifting into young pretty girls and lying in wait for him on the road. They grabbed him by the hair but he was able to sever their hands and retrieve his horse. Knowing that her old enemy was on his way, Ibaraki-Doji obscured Rashomon with a dark mist and Watanabe had to make his way through the gate on foot. When he had crossed the gates threshold, it closed behind him and an arena of briars cut off all chance of escape. Watanabe stood his ground and called Ibaraki out to challenge him. Ibaraki-Doji used her magic to elude him, taunting him and projecting her seething malice for the cowardice of his allies. Watanabe focused his mind and when Ibaraki finally lashed out from the darkness he was prepared and cut off her arm from above the elbow. In utter agony, Ibaraki was forced to retreat, slipping through the briars that grew too fast for Watanabe to clear them. Only when the evil wind died down and the mist cleared could Watanabe return to his horse, carrying the massive arm of Ibaraki as a trophy.

Watanabe presented the arm to Minamoto who was surprised that an Oni had truly survived the massacre on Mount Ooe. They consulted the famed Onmyoji, Abe no Seimei, who warned that in seven days Ibaraki would return for her arm so that it could be reclaimed before it rotted. Watanabe thus took up the task of guarding the arm so that he could have the chance to finish his foe. Days passed and Ibaraki made an attempt to breach the house with her remaining arm. However the use of the Humane King Sutra and a specially prepared talisman forced Ibaraki into retreat once again. On the last and final day, Watanabe's foster mother came to visit him. He explained the situation and forbade her to enter but her pleadings brought shame and guilt in Watanabe and he allowed her into his estate. That night he showed her the arm of Ibaraki. Suddenly his foster mother took the form of Ibaraki herself. Snatching the arm now free of its sealed box, Ibaraki summoned a howling black storm and cursed Watanabe for his foolishness, decreeing that him, his descendents and the descendents of his master would all perish one by one, the blood line of the Four Kings, Watanabe and Minamoto would die out. She then flew through the gable, causing the roof to cave in behind her and disappeared into the night sky.

Following this incident I was called forth once more. Ibaraki had regained her arm and thus a large fraction of her power. Ibaraki-Doji was much more insidious and cunning than Shuten-Doji despite her strife and rage for all of humanity. She was quick to leave examples of her predations around the place of her birth and where she was raised but disappeared before anyone could track her down. As Miko of Houshoku, I was best prepared to not only hunt down Ibaraki but finally seal her for good. Once fully armed with all instruments and specific rites I would require I set out for areas she had been last seen. It was apparent she was sowing the seeds of malice and resentment in nearby spirits, building a palpable miasma of misfortune and illness to slow down pursuit and dissuade the timid and craven. I was undeterred for I knew her aims. She was biding time and sowing dissent so she could raise an army of Yokai strong enough to wreak her absolute vengeance. She had to be stopped before that happened. I thus decided to visit the place where Ibaraki's tragic history of bloodshed and malice all began. The bridge. When I got half way across I felt a foul chill and my vision warned me of incoming curses. I deflected them with my talismans and Ibaraki-Doji appeared before me. Like a wild haired green comet she barred my path. She knew that I was seeking her and 'thanked me' for appearing alone so she could crush me without interference. I told her that I didn't want to humiliate her any further than what she had been, at least in front of her allies. The veiled threat struck a nerve and we clashed. It took every ounce of my knowledge of Oni, sacred rites and physical agility to best Ibaraki-Doji. She was truly a formidable opponent. I pale to think of what an unpoisoned Shuten-Doji would have been like. However, her hatred of mankind and frustration towards me resulted in her leaving herself open and I succeeded in taking off one of her horns. She would not escape this time as I sealed her legs and lopped off her second horn. Despite this setback she was still very strong, but a judo throw into the bridge and she was out cold. I was thankful my naginata had been sturdy enough and sharp enough to withstand her assault. Even with it so blessed as it was, the staff would have to be replaced, having rippling cracks across its length.

Perhaps against my better judgment, I did not hand her over to Minamoto or the Emperor. I wanted to understand WHAT made Ibaraki-Doji, a fearsome Kijo by any other name, so different from all other Kijo I had fought. That there could be more like her in the future terrified me and I wished to get to the bottom of it. Ibaraki was taken to a special sealed chamber I had prepared. Isolated for miles around and consecrated. She resisted for three days straight before finally relenting to conversation, demanding I kill her. I told her that a creature like her does not fear death. No her kind welcomes it so long as it is a violent one and their grudge is spent. No...her 'punishment' would be more severe. She laughed at the idea of me torturing her, and I replied that yes it would be 'torture' but not of her body, of her soul. As a Miko, she knew there was a very real possibility of that from me, though the idea disgusts me even now. What we consider purification and appeasement might as well be torture to such an ego driven creature consumed by petty vices and emotional mood swings. Overtime I was able to convince Ibaraki to divulge her life story and much of the information you read now is what I was able to convince Ibaraki to impart. Once she got the idea that I was recording what amounted to her legacy she became 'slightly' more cooperative. However, the one thing Ibaraki refused to share were details of the mysterious woman who gave her the Magatama. Her face would screw up into a pained snarl and she would say that she didn't remember. The Magatama itself she was only a bit more open about. Often reflecting that it felt 'alive' at times and that it would swirl with light. Her memory of her transformation was hazy but she recalled there being 'warmth' and 'light' that was almost boiling and yet..like something was taken in return. A woman turning into a Kijo is not unheard of. Many such transformations take place but I knew Ibaraki's was a special case. A Yokai is a Yokai and the difference between two of the same species often amounts to nothing more than age and experience, both of which mean power. Ibaraki however was a young woman at the time of her transformation, one triggered by despair and shame from her crimes of passion. I came to the conclusion that these Magatama were extremely dangerous artifacts or vessels that may engineer the creation of very powerful Yokai. I imagine that Shuten-Doji may have had a similar transformation and experience but Ibaraki would not verify if this was true or not. The details of Shuten-Doji are sometimes given with proud gentleness and other times with a seething hatred in light of his death. Ibaraki spared not a day without reminding me of her livid hatred for those men and their descendents for their part in it and the humiliations she had suffered at their hands.

I have tried numerous times to purify and appease Ibaraki-Doji. While her powers wax and wane and her horns gradually grow back, her arm lies limp as a ramen noodle under the talismans I've affixed to it, I cannot relieve her of her hatred. It so deeply entwined with the love she has for him. Her significant other and other half. Her superior and equal, her leader and lover. She asked me once during one attempt if I had ever known love, a devotion beyond loyalty. To be honest the question surprised me, especially from a Yokai like a Kijo who are so ensnared in their own web of deceit, envy and hate. That Ibaraki-Doji would love Shuten-Doji, an Oni is a rarity that I did not imagine was possible. Is the emotional range so much stronger because they were both young when they transformed? Were their personalities and bond so strong before their transformations that it carried over? Or is the Magatama to blame for the discrepancy? Eventually I concluded that the possibility of Ibaraki-Doji rising as a Reiki was simply too great to risk extermination. The power of such an entity would be beyond even my abilities to stop without significant aid and certainly not fast enough to quell her before her vengeance was meted out. So I placed the strongest seals I could muster and entombed her on that little island for as long as I dared to imagine she would be. The Seals are tied to my life and so as long as I live they will hold. The fury she possessed at my leaving in such a way was so great I feared she would tear herself apart in her effort to be free. She will hate me, and she will hate my kin. A burden I have had laid upon by more than one Yokai. Ibaraki-Doji's threat however is very real and I shudder to think of what she shall do when I die and the bonds that hold her finally fall slack. There is a great change coming to our world. The spirits are becoming listless and uneasy. As if a great shift is about to occur and they will no longer be prey to wander our world as they do now. Tensions are rising among the Great Yokai Clans even as we have gradually worn them down to an armistice. I hope my descendent will be prepared for the infrequent yet volatile battles to come. They will be getting desperate with their great leaders in disarray or unable to return to the Material Plane. But if that means the likes of Ibaraki-Doji will not set foot on Yamato's native soil for at least a millennium then so be it. She is too dangerous and I pray to every kami there is that she remains sealed for as long as they have mercy.


Continue Reading: Ages of Man