HWE Suiko Picture
Alias: 'water tiger', Kappa Oyabun, is mistaken for Kappa...at first.
Alignment: Lawful Evil, sometimes Neutral Evil or even True Neutral
Rank: 1 Kaijin
Height: 3 - 4.5 ft tall. Suiko do not grow much larger than the Kappa they command. Both being the size of a child with elders growing to roughly the size of a young teen.
Weight: Suiko lack the heavier shell of a Kappa, having armored plates instead. They can grow denser and heavier than most humans through sheer muscle mass. ranging from 150 to 260 lbs.
Vicious - Suiko differ from their Kappa subordinates primarily in temperament. Suiko are predatory, aggressive and tenacious hunters of human beings. Anything in a river is fair game to them. They are one of the most dangerous fresh water predators among Yokai and will relentlessly inflict horrific injuries on its prey until either it no longer breathes or the Suiko itself is slain. They have long since perfected the art of ambushing and assassinating those that wander too close to the rivers and lakes they inhabit. They are easily stronger than humans, and commonly stronger than Kappa.
Aquatic Vampire - Suiko are alpha predators of fresh water systems. Unlike Kappa however a Suiko's talents are entirely offensive in nature. They can manifest stronger forms of water manipulation, forcing water and blood into highly pressurized beams that can cut granite as well as anything a Kappa would have been capable of such as minor whirlpools and turbulence. Suiko can siphon not only the blood of those they prey upon but also their life force, aka 'soul'. This fulfills both a Suiko's human essence and Enigma requirements. Within the water a Suiko is nearly undetectable, easily able to blend into the shallows. On land they can erect a layer of moisture on their scales to refract light and render them invisible. Only a shimmering outline reveals off a Suiko's presence. They can also possess those they terrorize into submission for a time. Entering the body by turning into blood and stuffing themselves into every orifice. though they cannot feed while possessing a person.
Chain of Command - Suiko command Kappa. A Kappa cannot refuse a direct order from a Suiko. Unlike Kappa, Suiko see themselves as utterly above humans and will spare them no respect or loss of face. Suiko view humans as sport and a way of establishing bragging rights and seniority among their own kind. Likewise Kappa under a Suiko follow suit. This means that all Suiko and any Kappa under a Suiko's direct leadership will not obey the conventions of honor and respect that otherwise provide a means of entrapping or disarming them. A single Suiko can command a total of 48 Kappa at a time. Suiko only take orders from Dragons (Lungs). In particular, the Dragons that rule the oceans, from which a majority of Suiko take their orders. While these orders are generally aimed at protecting river systems that the Dragons use, Suiko however often take this chance to improve their standing with their superiors via 'the slaying of defilers'.
Supernatural Aversions - Suiko being a Yokai that feeds on life force has certain items that that terrify them. A sickle leaned against the side of the house and flax seeds or black-eyed peas sprinkled around the property can keep a Suiko from trespassing. These items represent opposite sides of life and for a Yokai like a Suiko these particular things are symbols of the inevitable and thus are phobias to a Suiko.
Ritualized Death - Suiko, being the arrogant and vicious Yokai they are, allow their drowned and drained victims to float to the surface where they can be found as testament to the Suiko's predations. However, this also gives those hunting a Suiko a royal opportunity to slay the Suiko. By erecting a hut of dry grass and straw, then placing the dead body slain by the Suiko inside of it on a wooden plank, the Suiko will be drawn to it. The Suiko will be compelled to run circles around the hut, often invisible. As the body decays, so does the Suiko as the life force it stole will try to empty back into the victim but instead become trapped in the straw and grass. This will result in both Suiko and body decaying until the Suiko literally drops dead, rotted to death in a karmatic moment of irony.
Kill it with Fire - Suiko hate fire and fire wrecks havoc with their entire nature. That said, a Suiko will develop a raging hatred for anyone that wields fire against them.
"So this member of the Kappa family...what are they?" Ruki asked expectantly.
"They are called Suiko and present a far more tangible threat than Kappa. For Kappa are but subordinates to Suiko who command them as oyabuns."
"Oyabuns...wait! You mean like Yakuza bosses?! Wow so there are these Kappa that have huge pompadours, big kanji covered long coats and ride bike monsters." Ruki rattled out, amused with the image of a big Kappa with its hair gelled out into a large cone in front of its head, wearing a long jacket and riding a motor cycle with an eye for a head light.
Kaitheros found the resulting image amusingly horrifying.
"If Suiko acted anything like the human Yakuza of old or even the present, it would be a blessing."
"Alright Thero-kun. What horrible things do Suiko do that makes them so bad? Start fights in school yards and cut fingers off when their boys screw up?"
"Suiko, or 'water tigers' as they are sometimes called are often mistaken for Kappa for they are around the same size. Closer inspection reveals that Suiko are very different from Kappa in that they're bodies are covered in pangolin like scales, their backs having sturdy ridges as opposed to the shells of Kappa. Their faces are vaguely feline complete with crushing fangs and claw like protrusions on their knees. They have no sara or hair and breathe through gills on the side of their chests instead of skin. They otherwise have the same basic aquatic features of Kappa with a webbed claws. This is the only visual cue that Suiko are an utterly predatory and elevated breed of the water goblin family."
"Water tigers huh...I guess they eat people a lot."
"Not exclusively but their primary diet consists of human blood and souls, siphoned straight out of the veins once torn open. They have much greater capacity for their water manipulation. A Suiko can fire either blood or water as a pressurized beam, slicing through solid rock and sniping targets that think they are out of reach. While Suiko are not quite as heavy initially due to no having a shell, Suiko make up for it in muscle mass and are certainly stronger than humans and commonly Kappa."
"You said that Kappa serve Suiko, how come?"
"Kappa society has a clear pecking order. Kappa are subordinate to Suiko and Suiko only take orders from Lungs. Particularly those who lair in the ocean and keep watch over dragon breeding grounds. Suiko serve dragons as protectors of rivers and lakes. They serve to forcefully protect the purity and sanctity of such rivers so that Dragons can begin their life cycle in as natural an environment as possible."
"That doesn't sound too horrible."
"Sadly Suiko interpret this duty as a means of improving their social status with both each other and the resident dragon lord they serve. The amount of 'defilers' a Suiko slays and feeds upon literally improves their status and power in serving their lord. Kappa under the orders of a Suiko will likewise adopt the practice of terrorizing and feeding on humans to distinguish themselves in front of their Suiko oyabuns. While Kappa are kept in check by decorum, a Suiko has no such reservations and takes orders only from dragons or elder Suiko and a dragon always takes precedent. A river must be cleared of habitation, then a Suiko will aggressively make it so. Being able to call upon up to 48 Kappa to their command."
"And the dragons are okay with this?" Ruki asked, incredulous.
"When it comes to the health of vital river systems and future generations, dragons can be well...draconian. Suiko serve on merits of ability, not character. They have orders and they fulfill them in as selfishly pragmatic a way as possible, far from the eyes of their masters much of the time."
"So Suiko have a quota to fill. Well, can't they be reasoned with like Kappa?"
Kaitheros shook his head.
"Suiko spare no respect for mankind. To a Suiko, humans are food not friends. They do not take bribes and care nothing for apologies or oaths not made to their lord. For the most part one must consider a Suiko to be a different Yokai entirely or be face dire consequences. Kappa can be reasoned with, Suiko are above human sentiment and predate upon mankind without mercy."
"Where do Suiko come from?"
"Some theorize that Suiko are just natural evolutions of Kappa. Kappa that live long enough and acquire enough shirikodama can undergo the spiritual metamorphosis that creates a Suiko. Others believe that the Dragon King of the ocean Ryu-O created them from Kappa to serve his interests and aid dragon kind in keeping their rivers healthy. None can say for certain, it is likely both are correct."
"So Suiko are Yokai that are literally made of ass balls...wonderful~" Ruki stated sarcastically.
"Suiko are not just hyper aggressive Kappa that prefer blood over 'ass balls'. Suiko have a variety of powers that make them a ruthless threat. Through manipulation of water they can also make themselves invisible by refracting light around themselves. Only a shimmer of their outline is visible before they strike. They can also possess humans that they have terrified into submission, aiding in their terror tactics by pretending to be insane. Suiko drain their victims and then allow the body to float to the surface, putting their kill on display for other Suiko, the Kappa under their command and other humans to see. During your ancestors time the Suiko were even beginning to become more creative with how these bodies were displayed. Like some kind of macabre art competition between themselves, stringing up the pale drained corpses in intricate framework of knots and tethers."
"At least we know they're just as perverted as Kappa." Ruki huffed. "Wait...oh god they are like the Predators. They probably take trophies and everything! Only hunting the strongest prey..."
"If that were the case I might just respect them...or whatever these particular 'Predators' you are referring to. In reality Suiko are more vampiric and thus parasitic in nature. They gleefully torment, terrorize and prey upon humans. They can turn themselves into blood and possess the weak willed and horrified, leaving them broken and insane as tools of further terror and malice. They would have only escalated if their numbers hadn't been crushed in the last several centuries."
"If you can't reason with them then how did we beat them?"
"Fire for one. They hate fire and those that use it against them, it is one of the few things that level the playing field when faced with a Suiko. It also reveals their form if they are invisible and a burnt Suiko cannot become invisible again."
"Yep, totally Predators." Ruki nodded.
"I wish you'd stop using that term for them. They hardly deserve it. Hunters or Murderers would be more accurate." Kaitheros growled in annoyance at his domain being associated with such deranged Yokai.
"Well, the ones I'm talking about are from space so~"
"Anyway, your ancestors just so happened to stumble across, with some research and a little acquired intelligence, find a Suiko's primary phobias and a method to kill it."
"Beating them with a dead flaming horse?"
"All things considered that might have worked. But no, the things a Suiko are afraid of are sickles and flax seed, even black-eyed peas will do."
"That sounds really silly." Ruki retorted. "I'm guessing it's like a vampire with garlic and crosses."
"You're not wrong. The reason is that Suiko have such a strong connection to souls and both the sickle and seeds are symbols of both inevitable states of life while Suiko stubbornly exist in the middle. Always siphoning the life and Enigma of humans to maintain their life. To be reminded of either birth or death in such a fashion terrifies them. So in placing a sickle on the side of a house and scattering flax seeds around the grounds of the house, a Suiko can be repelled from intruding."
"That sounds like a temporary measure at best, so how were they slain and why?"
"A Suiko's own sadism and pride are their undoing. By leaving their victims in the open allows them to be recovered. If one builds a small hut of dry straw or grass and lays the victim on a wooden plank inside the hut, the Suiko will be compelled to investigate. Likely in an effort to further traumatize the population or gaze on its work and retrieve it. It will often approach invisible for this purpose."
"Sounds like they just enshrined the victim and the Suiko shows up to jerk off to it." Ruki said with thinly veiled disgust.
"It's that exact aspect of a Suiko that makes the method such an effective trap. The Suiko will be compelled to run circles around the hut, never ceasing. The life force a Suiko stole will try and fight to reenter the body. Running in circles is a symptom of this occurring inside the Suiko as it fights for control. However, the life force instead of going back into the dead victim - and possible creating another Yokai - is absorbed by the hut instead. This process will continue as the body decays, increasing the desperate pull on the life force of the Suiko. Before long and over the next three days the Suiko will begin to rot itself and when it rots completely the Suiko will fall dead to the ground right next to the corpse's dusty remains."
"Wow, that is strangely fitting." Ruki mused.
"It also is a good example of why our shared sight is an important tool to used when its truly needed. An invisible Suiko is a dangerous Suiko and our sight can reveal the creature right then and there."
"Must have come in handy when it came time to track a Suiko down. Just finding it must have been nearly impossible if there was no body to lure it in."
"Your ancestors thought so. The reason this became necessary is that peace between man and Kappa could not be as long as the Suiko were around to order them. Suiko could not be reasoned with or placated and so they had to be exterminated. Allowing Kappa and humans to at least cohabitate with a measure of tolerance and cooperation."
"I imagine the dragon king wasn't very happy about this."
"A failed servant is a failed servant. Their own sadism makes them vulnerable and those that were cautious enough to have their Kappa underlings dispose of the bodies were the few that survived or had to be forcibly removed by your ancestors. In the wake of this the dragons threw up their coils and washed their claws of it. They have other servants and the Suiko know this. Thus they took 'full responsibility' for their failure to keep occupation of the rivers in check. It was only centuries later of sole human occupation that many Asian river systems have suffered as they have."
"So the Suiko had be removed so Kappa and humans could coexist...but driving them out resulted in rivers getting abused and polluted."
"And that weakened the dragons over time as well. In the Toho Plane Suiko likely still hold great numbers but Suiko on the Material Plane are found only in the highest mountain rapids and deepest lakes. Like any serial killer, they've learned to be extremely cautious of being found though they still find ways to alert their kin to their 'tally' of victims. Tying their victims to the bottom of a deep tributary is one of the ways we found they were plying their old ways."
"I guess we'd rather have more 'natural' predators living in our rivers right?"
"That's my personal bias on the matter yes. Nature has an order and while a part of that order, Yokai bring uncanny levels of human baggage into their respective roles. A Suiko would be a versatile aquatic predator if it wasn't also a malicious murderer that enjoyed tormenting it's victims both before and after they are drained and drowned. Humans have often attributed certain 'character' to powerful predators and animals that have challenged them but Yokai take the assumption and make it horrific reality. You never have to imagine a Yokai is out to get you, it most certainly is even as its methodology changes with each separate breed."
"Predators are pretty important in every habitat...but lately most of the Yokai we've talked about have been around the size of a person. Isn't there anything really big out there that keeps a lid on things?"
"Among Yokai, the amount of spiritual energy or Enigma a Yokai has usually determines superiority and rank. Built over many decades of survival and feeding. But yes Ruki there are 'giants' as it were in the world of Yokai. Giants on both land...and sea."