Shining Rune Maiden Akemi
OP: Harmony - Kokia
Various Possible Insert Songs:
- Turii ~Panta Rhei~ - Zektbach
- Battle of Destiny - Kokia
- EXEC_RIG=VEDA/. - Noriko Mitose
- The Rule of the Universe - Kokia
- Akemi Tsukiyama / Scarlet Rune Maiden: No balance can possibly come at the cost of innocent lives.
Rune Maidens (and their variations) are magical girls and boys who have been tasked with the keeping of a kami of nature sealed within a tattoo, powered by the will and heart of the maiden. The maiden and the kami, who usually in need of the seal to keep its sanity, work together to protect the balance between humanity and nature against forces that would bring both to ruin, be it demons, aliens, or forces from within that balance. However, each Rune Maiden have their own ideas on how to achieve, maintain. and/or drive this balance, especially in this modern age.
Shining Rune Maiden Akemi is about how humanity and nature are always connected, and how a renewed bond of love and hope, even in this modern world, can transcend whatever divide there might be, uplifting all. It's not just one girl's journey, but many, each creating their own light in this new dawn of humanity.
Each family line is based around three things: a kami, a legacy, and a lotus seal.
- The kami contracted here are less all-powerful and all-knowing gods and more nature spirits and/or youkai of varying levels of power. Only the kami of nature can be contained in the lotus rune, which includes natural phenomenon (fire, water, storms, tsunamis), animals, plants, and natural objects (kami of rivers, mountains, land formations, rocks, etc). As these kami really don't exist in terms of 'good' and 'bad', they mostly do things according to their nature until humans and/or demons mess up their homes, or, in the case of humans, fail to treat them properly. In most cases, the kami associated with each family line was sealed because it had gone berserk or was somehow dangerous to humanity. Kami come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, ranging from humanoid to abstract, from cute to frightening to utterly bizarre. Think Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Mushishi, Mononoke (the TV series), Natsume Yūjin-chō & its many sequels, etc.
- More than one kami of varying levels of power can be stored, but the more a seal has to store, the more energy it needs from its host. This is why potential hosts in older family lines tend to develop great wells of spiritual power to a degree, though they are really unable to use it for any purposes than being a host. Potential hosts also have the tendency to develop the ability to see kami, be it nature spirits, spirits of the social realm, traditional Japanese youkai, etc, though the magical inhibition effect is still in place otherwise. It's also why a lot of family lines tend to die out- these potential hosts get preyed upon by just about anything looking for a nice energy meal, if they're not properly protected by a seal that 'masks' their presence otherwise. While someone outside a family line can inherit a seal, they must have a strong heart and keep on top of renewing their energy through sleep and food to endure the seal's demand. Physical condition may not mark a heir's suitability, as it's what's inside that counts.
- The lotus seal, which looks like a normal large tattoo when not in use, is often on the back. Different families come with energy colors and slight variations on the shape and minuscule symbols hidden within. The color of the lotus seal's magic and who is able to inherit each family's seal is determined by the first kami that is sealed inside- some kami may prefer men to inherit their seal, while others women. Some don't care at all. Using the host's pure heart, the seal purifies any kami held inside free of its demonic insanity. Many kami return to their former selves when sealed, but may need centuries to be able to remain that way outside of the seal's influence, though many initial kami sometimes prefer to stay with the family for generations afterward. However, since the seal depends on a host's heart, a disillusioned person may find their powers lagging or growing weak, sometimes becoming a ticking time bomb if their heart is somehow directly weakened or even stolen.
Henshin & Powers
The Lotus Seal is able to hold more than one demon/kami/etc, depending on the host's heart and energy. What kind depends on a lot of things that are generally unknown- just because a demon uses vines and wants the world to be covered in plants doesn't mean he/she/it can be sealed. In short, OOC concerns always trump over IC logic.
Initially, the only thing a host can do with the newly sealed demon/kami/etc is either allow it to speak through the host akin to a medium, keep it, release it elsewhere, or seal it into an object.
Henshin forms are created two ways: when a kami and host's bond is strong enough after a period of time, or if an initial bond is 'inherited' through family lines. In this, a contract is formed, the bond and heart of both determining the henshin's strength, though the seal will always limit the kami's power to something the host's body can withstand. The person's abilities are strengthened through experience, knowledge, and most importantly of all, heart. Costumes are generated from a mixture of both tastes and preferences (or just whatever the player thinks is cool).
The henshin name is formed from the color of their lotus seal's energy, 'rune', then a title. The founding Tsukiyama family used 'Maiden', but other families may or may not have carried on that particular tradition. The seal's color is generally something specific as opposed to red, black, green, etc. For example, Akemi's is scarlet. Someone else can be a shade of red as well (ie vermillion, ruby, crimson, carmine, etc) and be completely different. Thus, you can have examples like 'Turquoise Rune Knight', 'Rose Rune Lady', 'Oynx Rune Duelist', etc.
Depending on personalities and setup, kami and host can interchange control. Regardless of who is in control, both the lotus rune and the kami's powers are available to use for attacks. For example, they are able to use the holy energy of the seal to strengthen their attacks, cast sealing attacks & beams, and sometimes form a specific weapon made of energy, though this last part depends on the kami and/or the host's familiarity with the weapon the energy forms.
The kami's abilities factor in here as well. Guma, the kami of the Tsukiyama family, is affiliated with the mountains, so she can use earth as a possible element for her attacks.
It is possible for a host to create a henshin based entirely around the seal's holy energy itself, but this is something rarely recorded and requires lots of experience with the seal. In other words, that's second season material.
Outside of this, a host's powers would be their ability to sense other kami, spirits, and youkai of a general Japanese mythological nature (though this is still subject to Recognition Inhibition if there's OOC concerns), have stores of energy, and, when they have the seal, age far more slowly than a normal human being, though the degree depends on the first kami sealed. Their physical appearance may or may not change as well upon gaining the seal with the host possibly developing different eye, hair, and/or skin color, though the host would still be safe under the cover of Recognition Inhibition.
Villains (and shades inbetween)
There are no set villains, though there is much potential for the seal's abilities to be rendered awry. Some of the reasons many families do not survive is due to these mistakes.
The person who designed the lotus seal, Kazue Tsukiyama, only taught how to create it to people she felt would help the balance between humanity and nature, but this was from around mid 500 to late 600 AD. Many generations have passed since then with knowledge of the seal still spreading to other families. As such, many have tried to modify or experiment with it for many reasons: power, good intentions, to weaken it, to strengthen it.
Some families attempt to pass on the seal before a potential host is old enough to develop a strong enough heart, sometimes mistaking physical strength for inner strength. Most of these attempts end up in catastrophe, producing insanity between host and kami or much, much worse.
Some hosts may decide the only way to restore balance is to weaken or wipe out one side of the balance, be it humanity or kami. Others may not be as much 'villains' as people with rougher methods or ideas on what should happen. Others may look to outside sources of energy for their seals, much like youma.
When a host turns completely to darkness (as opposed to being a sort of antihero), the seal follows, depending on the powers of darkness to provide its energy, rather than holy energy.
History and Backstories
Most information recorded on rune maidens are through the founding Tsukiyama family. Kazue Tsukiyama, who was the first Scarlet Rune Maiden, was the creator of the seal. She spread knowledge of it to others in her travels around Japan, wishing to spread hope and love to a world that was slowly losing its balance to chaos. The last recorded Scarlet Rune Maiden was Katsumi Tsukiyama in 1958, shortly after Lord Dune and his minions were defeated.
Other family lines that have survived into the modern era have followed the same pattern, often coming close to snuffing out completely in a world that seems to prove the concept of a Rune Maiden is outdated. Thus, Rune Maidens may either be weathered, maybe disillusioned or disheartened, while others may come into their family's destiny through a surprising reveal of a distant family member that is extraordinarily long-lived. Other families might attempt to pass on the seal to unrelated people with the heart and soul to bear it.
What's the theme in a nutshell? - Magical girl/boy meets traditional Japanese mythology/folklore, as seen through an anime/manga lens.
I have a weird concept that I'm not sure will work. - Give Akemi Tsukiyama's player a page or a @mail and we can hash it out. I built this theme to be pretty flexible.
Are there any restrictions? - The kami must be from Japanese mythology/folklore in regards to nature. No sealed kami can come from manmade objects, even if potential hosts can see and interact with them. Also, though I use the word 'kami', it's meant in a general sense- traditional deities are disallowed. You can have a kitsune, but not Inari, for example. These rules are to allow this theme to play well with others, as well as keep a focus.
Mascots? - People who are potential hosts can see kami, which means plenty of room for unusual friends!
How are we handling the Origin Story Round Robin? - Give Akemi Tsukiyama's player a page or @mail and we'll work it out!