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Gensoukyou

Azami Zatsusei

Edge of Perspective - an IRC based Roleplay

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Azami Zatsusei
Grow... Spread... Destroy.... Suffer...
Vengeful Weed That Refused To Die
More Titles

Species Plant Youkai
Age 800+
Occupation Murder, Demolition, Gardening
Location Youkai Forest (Hunting Ground), Mantrap Grove (Lair)
Personality Wild, Untrusting, Malicious. It would probably rather be eating you then chatting with you.
Power Manipulation of Weeds
Theme ~Beautiful Mutated Garden~
Danger Level Very High
Power Level Medium
Friendship Level Very Low


Background

During the time of feudal Japan, when gods still held sway among the populace, and youkai were still a terror in the night, one brave and solitary man lived alone, where he cultivated a beautiful garden in the wild. It was a haven for flowers and lush plants of almost every kind, perhaps better then what nature itself could do.
However, one type of plant the man would not allow were those he considered weeds. Ugly and toxic plants full of thorns and poison, which he believed only detracted from the beauty of his garden (perhaps rightfully so).
Which is why he was quite angry one day, while cultivating his garden, when a spiny growth was brushed by his unclothed ankle, scratching his leg and drawing blood. The man, angry at the plant, stomped it down with his shoe, pulping the plant's leaves and stem. Satisfied he had excised the weed from his garden, the man went back to tending to his garden in solitude.

Two weeks later, when the man worked his way to that particular spot in his garden, he once again pricked his foot on a thorny growth, drawing a few drops of blood. The man, remembering the experience from last time, decided this time to handle it properly. He ripped the plant from the ground and dug out the roots, leaving it helpless on the ground. This time the man was sure he was rid of the pest, which would hopefully wither and die as all other unearthed plants should.

But one week later the man was shocked to find an ugly, terrible plant had grown in its place, half a meter tall and covered in nasty thorns. When the man attempted to excise the plant from the ground once again, his arm became tangled in the thorny growth, digging well into his skin and leaving nasty, bleeding gashes, and nearly taking his skin off in some places. Furious, the gardener had only one solution for the awful bush. He set up a ring of stones around the plant, and then set a fire in the pit containing the plant. As the green growth burned, it seemed to scream as the fire ate at its leaves and vines, until all that was left in the ring of stones were ashes and dirt. Finally rid of the plant, the man rejoiced.

However, it would only be three days before the plant returned, two meters tall - taller then the gardener - with a thick, woody trunk and bearing toxic, purple fruit, and of course covered in spines and thorns, its roots spreading to nearby flowers like choking vines.

This time, the man took out his axe, intent on cutting it down and then having the remains of the demonic plant exorcised. But when he strode up to the plant and bit into the plant with his axe's first swing, the demon plant whipped out its vines and wrapped up the gardener, who screamed himself as the plant proceeded to rip and tear his skin and flesh, leaving an unrecognizable mound of blood and meat. The demon plant would use this as nourishment for its growth, and spread throughout the entire garden, transforming the once beautiful garden into a paradise of thorns and poison. Those who stumbled upon it Itami no Niwa, "Garden of Pain".

It was from this garden, now beautiful in a different way, that the terrible plant youkai was born, the blood of the gardener giving it a new life, and the fear of humans giving it a form. Azami, now gifted with thoughts of its own, filled its new mind with a singular goal: to spread the roots of its paradise and destroy what it considered a weed of its own: the works and constructions of humans.

Over the next few years, Azami began rampaging across the countryside, devouring lone humans and destroying houses built deep in the woods, spreading its garden like a noxious weed. These attacks would go relatively unnoticed among the human populace, but Azami would slowly grow in power, although much faster then the average youkai. As soon as a family was devoured, and a home destroyed, Azami would immediately go in search of new prey, never stopping, never resting. Perhaps the only stop to its advance was the onset of winter, slowing Azami's growth like any weed in the snow.

After a few years, Azami grew enough in power and confidence to attack an entire village. Azami would quickly gain notoriety in the village as some "curse of the gods", encroaching the borders of the village with weeds, and causing the disappearances of humans at random. Eventually Azami even all-out attacked the village, killing many humans and turning their rice fields against them, morphing them into beautiful, overgrown fields of poisonous water orchids. The fears from this event made it powerful, but it was at this point humans began fighting back against the youkai.

The next attack against the village was met with stark resistance, as the overconfident youkai attempted to destroy everything, growing massive plants and striking down many humans. This time, however, the humans fought back, using fire to burn down the plants, and eventually, even Azami itself. The humans celebrated at the "death" of the terrible weed, while Azami quickly grew back. Azami learned quickly that humans were not as helpless as they seemed.

Knowledge of this, however, only seemed to embolden the plant youkai, and it would spend the next year continuing its assault on the village, which was slowly being choked away by the weeds. Battles would happen weekly between Azami and the villagers, sometimes ending with the flaming demise of Azami, but it always grew back to attack again. It only ever seemed to grow more resistant to the villager's efforts, and sometimes even "taking over" for a time before being driven out. Misfortune would continue to follow with the plant youkai, the village becoming known as Ibara no Mura, "Village of Thorns".

Eventually, it seemed like the youkai had finally won its hand over the village, now crawling with vines and nasty weeds, the rice fields destroyed, many humans dead. Outsiders could barely get into the village, which had since been blocked off by walls of greenery, and most were too afraid to enter anyway.

Its reign wouldn't last long, however, as its notoriety had gotten the better of it. Soon enough, a powerful youkai hunter, wielding fire magic and a fine blade, challenged the plant youkai to a duel. After a brutal match, the hunter proved the victor, but even that victory didn't last long, Azami had learned many tricks to keep part of itself alive. Two more battles ensued, and the hunter could barely survive each one. On the forth battle, however, the hunter did something Azami didn't expect: not trying to kill it. After the youkai was sufficiently weakened, the hunter lured the plant youkai into a great magic circle outside the village, and a trap was sprung. A magic barrier trapped the youkai, and the hunter began a chant that would seal the youkai away. The youkai hissed and spat curses at the hunter as it fought pointlessly in its cage as the hunter recited the spell. As it was sucked into the seal just as the barrier wore off, it used the last few seconds to call forth vines from the ground, piercing the hunter through the chest, killing him. But he had done his deed, and the youkai was sealed away.

Hundreds of years would pass. Cities would form, magic dwindled, technology advanced. Weedy growth would wear at the seal slowly over time, out of the influence from the plant youkai. It bode its time in the seal, becoming even more powerful in an age where noxious, invasive, and uncontrollable weeds ravage the countrysides of the world, and as the fear and power of these weeds grew, as would it. Eventually, after hundred of years of wearing down the seal, and the continued power it gained with its age, Azami finally broke loose, finally free to rampage the world once again.

....Or so it thought. Azami quickly found out that this new world of humans, where technology had replaced magic, that it was even weaker in comparison. It could never stand up to these terrible but powerful pests, who now had mastery over fire-breathing devices. It would have to find a new place to gain power, and it quickly learned of a place sealed from the new world, but still exactly like the old one. It would quickly find its way to this place, a place filled with humans still too weak to defend themselves, a place far away from the new concrete jungles it could not yet conquer, a place known as Gensoukyou.

Like a noxious weed, it hopes to cover this land and take it for itself, perhaps gaining even more power along the way...

Plot

First Hunts

Show Plot Events

The Unwaning Moon

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The Rise and Fall of Azami Zatsusei

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Physiology

Azami possesses many of the properties of plants, and therefore can use its abilities on itself if needed. Examples include growing its "tail" and using it as a prehensile limb, growing leaves or grass to blend in with the ground, turning its nails into sharp spines, growing bark as armor, spreading roots from its feet into the ground to resist a vicious wind, monstrously sprouting tendrils from its back to grab and subdue prey... you get the idea.
Note that because of this property, Azami lacks some human features, most notably vital organs such as a heart or lungs (although it has an air sac it uses to speak). It also lacks blood, instead having thick sap come out when it 'bleeds'. The rest of it's non-plant features are still quite humanoid, however.
Azami's least expected mutation may be part of it's digestive system. Because Azami lacks many vital organs in its chest, its ribcage has instead been mutated into a gaping maw, the rib bones becoming savage teeth with which to tear apart large chunks of flesh in one bite. It can use either mouth to eat, preferring the non-humanoid mouth when it needs to eat quickly.

Personality

Azami is a savage youkai that is only interested in the destruction of humans and their creations, and the propagation of plant life. Gaining more power to achieve both goals is a constant goal. Azami is very aggressive and loathes humans, and will typically attack them on sight. However, it is also unfriendly to other youkai, especially youkai that are passive towards humans. As it is a rather power-hungry youkai, it has a tendency to attempt to kill and devour weaker youkai as well. With more powerful youkai, Azami is no less friendly, but is much less likely to attack (for obvious reasons of self-preservation). It sees most other youkai as threats to it, and will likely keep a safe distance unless you can convince it you share its goals and are an ally. In any case, Azami is still very untrusting and wildly unpredictable, so even if you do manage to befriend it, such a thing may not last very long. It will have absolutely nothing to do with beings possessing fire-based powers, and will quickly act either to remove such a threat (if its weak), or more likely, flat out run. It will most certainly try and fight to the "death" if cornered, however.

Azami is extremely protective of the forest and plant life. If you're hurting plants in any way (uprooting plants, kicking trees, starting a forest fire) and Azami is in the vicinity, you can generally expect it to make a beeline for you and attack, nearly regardless of how tough you are (very powerful fire-users will be hastily avoided, but it'll try to put out fires while hidden)

Azami has a rather poor understanding of language, as it doesn't exactly have anyone to talk to most of the time, and it is far more interested in the above "killing humans, spreading plant life".

Power/Combat

Azami's Stats
AzamiGraph.PNG
Stamina B
Strength C+
Resilience B
Dexterity B+
Mobility C+
Magic D
Power A
Intelligence D+

Azami has power over many types of plants, but its powers work best on ground plants which grow fast and are spread quickly, such as grasses, weed plants, and ivy. Naturally, it prefers to work with these types of plants. Its power is much less effective on slowly growing plants such as trees, and annual plants such as most garden flowers and farm crops, and least effective on molds and fungi, which are quite foreign in structure to it.

In combat Azami fights with brute use of its power, with the intention of overwhelming an opponent or subduing and summarily destroying them. Azami's favorite tactic in battle is simply shooting as many vines and plant-based projectiles as it can. Vines will either be used to grab an enemy or just outright impale them. Sometimes thorn-covered vines will be employed to grab and injure at the same time. Projectiles include leaves covered in thorns, spines of various sizes (such as in cactus spines, range from needle length to pencil length), stinging nettle leaves (a particular favorite), and sometimes berries filled with a nasty chemical that pop open on impact. Projectiles are fired in massive amounts, whenever possible.

Azami is also surprisingly cunning, and will use stealth to its advantage whenever possible. An effective tactic is to grow large leaves all over itself and masquerade as a bush, ambushing unsuspecting humans and devouring them.

Like a persistent weed, Azami can simply grow back when you think it's dead. Given its plant properties, this makes Azami an extremely difficult youkai to exterminate. Whenever it is killed in some foul manner, cut, stabbed, diced, shredded, you name it, Azami will regrow its form, and can completely regenerate from a small piece of itself in but three days. To truly kill Azami requires its entire form be totally annihilated, whether by some form of disintegration, or more obviously, by fire. Considering a number of people have indeed tried that, Azami has a few ways to conserve at least a small part of itself in such an event. It cannot multiply its form in this way, however, so only the largest piece will ever regenerate.

Weed-Infested Rowan, Shizenmu 自然ム

A doll corrupted into a golem of writhing thorns.
In the wake of the frantic chase to hunt down a certain doll youkai, Rowan, Rosette's assistant, was left to die to allow Rosette to escape, while Azami was tied up and in a grievous state. Azami proceeded to tear at Rowan until he was left in disrepair, and it wriggled out of its bindings.

However, when Azami realized that it had just fought a dead hunk of wood, a possible former friend of Azami, it felt exceptionally sad for the doll.

Azami fled to a different area of the forest, the doll in tow. As it sat down to begin regrowing its wounds, it also took a look at the doll it took along. Perhaps Azami would not be able to grant the dead wood new life, but perhaps it could give the doll mobility again...

Azami planted a seed into Rowan where it tore into the backside of the doll with vines. Carefully, over the course of the next few hours, Azami would slowly grow and mutate the plant, a careful mix of roots, thick creeping ivy, vicious thorns, and acidic tendrils to chew into the treated wood and bind the plant to the doll.

Eventually Rowan was transformed into an abomination of weeds and toxins and thorns, all under Azami's control. While nowhere near the level of precision a puppeteer could control the transformed doll, it is still capable of basic movement and maneuvers, and has brutish strength.
Additionally, as a living plant, Azami can do a few fun tricks with the doll to make it more effective in combat, such as growing vines and tendrils off of it, mutating it's arm(s) into a thick, thorny club, or unravelling sections of plant to wrap around grabbed prey.

Currently Shizenmu is in it's second iteration, after being dismantled once. This new iteration is larger, tougher, and stronger, but even slower.

Danmaku

Because Azami's danmaku are varied in type and effect, it becomes harder to react and change tactics accordingly. The following is a list of different types of danmaku Azami can employ. Note that all of these are mostly physical in nature, but imbued with magic to make them not so easily repelled:

  • Leaves: Medium-large size. Slow moving. Tend to zigzag rather then move in straight lines. Leaves stick to whatever they hit and need to be manually removed in some way. Leaves can come in both spiked and nettle varieties. Spiked leaves pierce skin and attach, continuing to be painful until manually removed. Nettle leaves leave a nasty sting if they manage to stick onto your skin, which can quickly cause a rash that will continue to hurt even long after the battle ends (if you live)
  • Vines: A "laser" of sorts. Move medium-fast. Come in "pointed" and "grabbing" types. Pointed ones move straight and try to impale the target. Grabbing ones will chase a foe down and attempt to wrap and subdue an opponent, either constricting, flailing, or moving the target in a point-blank range for a different attack if able.
  • Tendrils: Like vines. Moves very slowly. Splits often. Do not directly go after a foe, opting to grow everywhere to trap and grab at a foe. Don't stop until destroyed.
  • Seeds: Very small size. Move very fast. These function like average danmaku, in that they just try to puncture a foe. A larger and slower bursting variety exists that splits into many small seeds.
  • Thorns: Small size. Move fast. Like seeds, above, but slightly larger and slower.
  • Spines: Elongated, medium size. Move medium-fast. Larger, longer, and slower then thorns. Tend to painfully puncture a foe, and need to be manually removed after they hit.
  • Berries: Medium size. Move slowly. Bursts on hit, releasing sticky, acidic fruit flesh.

Spellcards

  • Poison Ivy 「Choking Vines」

Simple spellcard, least tiring. A number of long vines sprout from the ground and chase the enemy, hoping to grab and squeeze the life out of the combatant before there is a chance to fight back.

  • Vine Golem 「Shizenmu」
  • Prickly Pear 「10,000 Needles」

Five large cacti grow from the earth, shooting needles in every direction! Wild, random, and thick, this barrage may make you a pincushion before you can put a stop to the onslaught.

  • Stinging Nettle 「Garden of Pain」

Defensive Spellcard. A swirling storm of nettle leaves blow around the plant youkai. Those foolish enough to enter will find themselves quickly crippled by a covering of painful, stinging leaves.

  • Thistle 「Monstrous Overgrowth」

Transformation into Melee Form. The plant youkai sprouts savage features, growing its fingers into long, claw-like spines, sprouts multiple "tails", tipped with a painful toxin, and growing a thick bark over its skin to serve as armor from attacks.

  • Kudzu 「Creeping Death」

Tendrils formed everywhere slowly spread throughout the battlefield, surrounding the enemy from all sides, threatening to grab them and make them an easy target for a predator. If you can remove the crown, you can kill the whole plant!

  • Velvet Tree 「Green Cancer」

Plants shoot up from everywhere, deploying shotgun blasts of hundreds of thorns at the enemy, before retreating into the ground and popping up elsewhere, repeating the cycle until the spellcard ends.

  • Soap Bush 「Koster's Curse」

An effective combination of both vines and projectiles, tendrils quickly spread around the battlefield while plants shoot out berries full of sticky, acidic sap. Foes may not be able to endure this long before they are glued and grabbed by vines, and eaten alive by acid.

  • Black Wattle 「Undying Invasion」

Timeout Card. Plants erupt from all directions, spitting their seeds continuously and multiplying their numbers. Can quickly become quite overwhelming, but they all die out at once if you can survive. Very tiring, and tends to be used in desperation.

Relationships

Major

What kind of self-respecting plant youkai hasn't heard of the Flower Master of the Four Seasons? Although never having met her in person, Azami has heard many things about her, and is aware of her awesome power. Azami, however absolutely loathes Yuuka Kazami. It despises her for being so passive and carefree, when it is well aware of the destruction she could unleash upon the world. She clearly has no intent on making friends with the humans, so why does she not destroy them? In light of this, however, Azami also holds a begrudging respect for the Flower Master, and the power she wields. Azami does not wish to ever cross paths with that particular youkai out of fear as well.

Minor

A 'victim' of a failed attack, Azami quickly learned that not everyone was out to be killed or kill it. Booze may have helped blossom this unlikely friendship, in any event.

Helpfully donated a new friend to Azami! Probably not too happy with the plant youkai at the moment.

Azami has vowed to kill Charles in any way possible, next time it sees the damned magician.

Trivia

  • The spellcards are themed after common and notorious weeds of the world, all but the nettle, thistle, poison ivy being listed in the Top 100 Most Noxious Weeds.
    • Green Cancer and Koster's Curse are actually nicknames for the plants they are the Spellcard Names for.
    • 10,000 Needles is a refrence to Final Fantasy's Cacutar, if the pairing as a cactus type spellcard didn't make it apparent.
  • Azami is very fond of sake, now that it has become friends with Suika. Assuming it doesn't outright try to kill you (spoilers: it probably will), you could probably pacify it with a liberal amount of the stuff.
    • It doesn't seem to be aware of what sake is made out of, and if you told Azami that sake is made out of a plant, the plant youkai would not believe you, and probably try and kill you for "deceiving it". Azami is purely a carnivore, and won't eat anything made from plants.
  • Azami's "clothing" is actually part of Azami itself, the clothing is actually leaves growing out from its skin, and Azami can "shed" the leaves, or morph them into some other form, at will.
  • Startlingly, unlike most Gensoukyou residents, Azami is actually unable to fly. However, it has ways to get around this, and its method of danmaku combat is actually quite an effective form of anti-air artillery.