[AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than Never

Locations: Moriya Shrine, Tengu Village, Kappa Village, Giant Toad's Pond, The Waterfall
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Youkai Mountain is easily the most massive mountain that can be found in Gensokyo. The mountain is so large that the beings inhabiting it seem to be largely segregated. At the base of the mountain live the peaceful Kappa, an semi-aquatic race with a fondness of engineering and architecture. Further up the mountain, one can find the airborne Tengu, who live in a village near the incredible waterfall. However, the most notable structure that can be found on the youkai mountain lies at the very top. Relatively new to Gensokyo, the Moriya Shrine simply appeared one day along with a sizeable lake. This shrine is home to the Goddesses of snake and frog, Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya. Suwako, the original goddess of the shrine, has recently been lying dormant while Kanako roams free, a result of Kanako subverting her in battle. The keeper of the shrine is a girl named Sanae Kotiya. Sanae serves a similar role to Reimu Hakurei, and in fact attempted to establish the Moriya Shrine as the dominant place of worship in Gensokyo before being stopped by Reimu and Marisa. Both the Kappa and Tengu, however, to seem to be starting to recognize the sovergnity of the Moriya Shrine.

[AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than Never

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 26 Apr 2013 09:15

Continuing from  Preparing for a Pilgrimage 

[Note: This thread is for Keine and Mokou, and open to Youkai Mountain residents at times when Mokou might pass them on the path up to the crater. PM me or ping on IRC to discuss if you're interested!]

Mokou woke up early (for her) on a cool spring morning. She carefully extracted the lunar jar from its hiding place for the last time, then placed it into a little satchel with her utility knife and some containers of water. With a small stack of youkai-repelling charms in her pocket and trusting Keine to bring food, the immortal needed little more.

Stepping out into the sweet smelling air of the bamboo forest, she was warmed by the golden rays of morning sun and made her way to the human village. It was an auspicious time, she mused; beginnings within beginnings. Here goes nothing.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Keine Kamishirasawa » 27 Apr 2013 19:48

Mokou was soon met with the hakutaku entering the clearing, actually yawning slightly. While she did usually get up early, having to prepare food for a trip first and then take the walk into the forest had meant that Keine had already been up for hours and hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. However, it did mean that she was carrying a layered box to carry the food in tied together with a piece of cloth to make it easier to carry.

"Good morning." She gave her friend a curious look, trying to see whether anything had changed now that the day of the pilgrimage had actually come.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 04 May 2013 09:36

"Hey," Mokou smiled a little. She breathed deeply, glad to see the teacher. She had wanted to go alone at first, but Keine would make the trip more bearable and give her the strength to see it through.

"Beautiful morning, isn't it?" she asked, gazing out at the snowy peak of Youkai Mountain in the distance. The majestic sight had been a steady beacon in her life for the past three hundred years, admired from afar but never approached. "It'll be cold at the summit though."
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Keine Kamishirasawa » 04 May 2013 12:38

Seeing Mokou's relaxed attitude, Keine visibly relaxed giving her friend a warm smile. Seemed like there wasn't last minute anxiety after all. "It is. Good thing we don't have to make the hike in the rain." Even if she had made the effort to bring an umbrella packed atop the boxes of food, it wouldn't be too pleasant.

Stifling a yawn, she followed the immortal's gaze, seeing the mountain in the distance. "It will, but the shrine up there should be able to provide a stop and a place to warm ourself. But we should be going, just getting up the mountain will take a while."
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 10 May 2013 09:09

Mokou took a slow, deep breath and let it out as a sigh. "I guess we're ready," she said, lifting one foot off the ground and planting it before her, and then the other. Her steps felt heavier now that they were truly beginning the journey, and she would not be flying today.

"A shrine... on the mountain?" this was the first Mokou had heard of such a thing. Then again, she didn't talk much with people, and of course had never been on the mountain herself. "Huh, the Hakurei shrine is the only one I've heard talk of around here, kinda figured it was the only one in Gensokyo--at least the only one still in use. I wonder what the god's miko is like." She imagined what it might be like if she actually saw the goddess to whom Sakuya-hime had sent her, or at least her shrine maiden.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Keine Kamishirasawa » 24 May 2013 14:38

"If there's nothing else you need." Keine smiled calmly as her friend hesitantly began her journey. It was easy to understand how hard this had to be for the immortal, but hopefully it would at least bring her some closure and allow her to move on from the trauma she'd been accumulating for more than a millennium.

"Yes, it arrived from the outside world a few years ago. It's home to the twin goddesses Kanako and Suwako, as well as their shrine maiden Sanae." Keine nodded as she began to explain what almost everyone in Gensokyo knows. "It's quite popular, despite the location. The gods have also proved themselves quite active and energetic, starting a number of major public works projects, such as trying to bring kappa technology to the rest of Gensokyo. I can't say they have achieved very much with them, however."
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 05 Jun 2013 04:51

"Arrived... huh," Mokou said, bemused, walking more confidently as the conversation distracted her. "Heard of people crossing the border, but not shrines before." At first she had imagined it was a shrine to the goddess of the mountain, into whose trust she had been charged with delivering the elixir. "Gods from the Outside? I've heard of people coming through the border, but never something like a whole shrine. I imagine the red-white wasn't happy about that."

The immortal was a little disappointed. She had hoped that she she might visit the shrine of the mountain god, perhaps. At the same time, she was curious now about the newcomers. It had been centuries since she had been outside Gensokyo, longer since she had been among civilization in the rest of Japan. In all that time she hadn't met an overabundance of gods either, not since Sakuya-hime, the one who started it all.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Keine Kamishirasawa » 06 Jun 2013 15:07

Keine laughed slightly. "Hardly. Especially not since the gods tried taking over her shrine. It actually became an incident, though a rather smaller one than the scarlet mist or lost spring ones." She frowned slightly before continuing, remembering those times wasn't exactly pleasant. Especially not for someone who had seen how the villagers suffered as their crops died and stocks started running low. "They were also involved with the nuclear raven of the underground. Something about trying to have her make infinite power for them to industrialize Gensokyo like the outside world."
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 13 Jun 2013 07:38

Mokou nodded gravely. While a little more snow hardly registered to the immortal, as years passed by in a blur, she remembered how worried the hakutaku had been in those days, and knew how dangerous it was for the mortal villagers and their all-important crops.

"Hmph," the immortal grunted, scowling a little. "Why bring all that here? Gensokyo was supposed to be the last refuge from the changes in the Outside. That's why the Hakurei clan and that purple demon created the border."

She thought a little, and then remembered why that sounded familiar. "Raven huh? From underground? I think I've seen her. Hot-blooded, a little bird-brained, wanted to eat me or something. Doesn't everyone," she muttered. This whole eat-a-hermit-to-get-stronger and eat-a-hourai-liver-to-live-forever thing was a bit annoying.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Shizuha Aki » 19 Jun 2013 02:26

On the path to the top of Youkai mountain, there was a shrine, seldom visited by humans or youkai outside of autumn. Right outside was Shizuha Aki, one of the two goddesses of that shrine, and generally considered the lesser of the two. At the moment, she was sweeping the path into the shrine, as if expecting visitors. Perhaps she was.

She noticed Keine and Mokou, and waved to them. "Oh, you look like you're heading up the mountain, and I haven't seen you here before. If you want a guide up the mountain, I could help you there. I don't have anything else important to do right now." Keine might recognize Shizuha as one of the gods mentioned in Symposium of Post-mysticism.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 22 Jun 2013 09:47

Talking with the school teacher through the lovely spring morning had lifted Mokou's spirits, letting her jump to this challenge as a new adventure. The majestic mountain waited in the distance, another unknown corner of this Land of Illusion, where waited the end of this journey begun so long ago. As they reached the foothills, however, the rocky slopes seemed steeper and the glaciers harsher than ever before. The road ahead grew longer and longer like the depth of her sins these long centuries. The immortal looked up at the white-capped summit looming above her and sighed—and then heard a voice.

These words were spoken by a young woman in a striking red and orange dress that appeared even from this distance to have an unusually intricate pattern. A Miko, perhaps? She was sweeping the path to a small shrine Mokou hadn’t noticed before.

“Huh, is this the shrine from the Outside?” Mokou asked Keine, running a hand through her hair as she briefly stalled before having to respond. She wasn't sure she liked the idea of being led by a stranger, and wondered what kind of person would be so quick to offer such a thing. Well, other than Mokou herself, who seemed to be always leading some dumb villager out of the forest (a more than slight exaggeration of course, but with the time scales she was used to and the loneliness she had become accustomed to, the handful of people she saw a year seemed quite a crowd).
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Keine Kamishirasawa » 22 Jun 2013 16:03

"Not quite. Gensokyo was created to serve as a refuge for youkai from the growing power of humans in the outside world. Of course, that power came from industry as far as I can tell, but it is possible that with the far greater population of youkai than humans in Gensokyo that it wouldn't have the same effect here. Especially not when controlled by gods and youkai, rather than humans themselves." She hadn't thought that much about it, but it seemed like something that might ease the lives of both the humans and youkai of Gensokyo. At least if they managed to do better than they had so far. "And I haven't met her, but that sounds likely. Going by the stories of the incident she caused, she is rather hotheaded."

"No, that shrine is at the top of the mountain. I believe that this is the shrine of the goddesses of autumn." It wasn't that she was an expert, but they had come up in the story of the incident caused by the Moriya shrine and the girl dressed in colors like falling leaves was a suggestion. "Hi. And you're right, we're going to climb it." Rather than agree or deny needing a guide, Keine looked to Mokou to see what she had to say. It was her pilgrimage, so she was the one who should get to decide.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 26 Jun 2013 10:59

Mokou took a deep breath. As much as she was wary of and awkward around strangers, the reclusive immortal would feel guilty just refusing such a quick and earnest offer of help. The girl's enthusiastic company would probably make the beginning of their assault on the slopes a little easier, and not just because of her expertise--but only to a point. The end of the journey was for the phoenix alone... and maybe Keine. The red-orange miko had no part in her sins or her redemption.

"Sure," she replied neutrally when they had walked a little closer. "Can you show us to where the Tengu live?" She could see the details of the girl's dress much better now; curiously, it seemed to have been sewn into some kind of leaf design, or perhaps even made of leaves, as strange as the notion sounded. Shrine of the goddesses of autumn indeed.
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Shizuha Aki » 28 Jun 2013 05:57

Shizuha's smile grew wider as Mokou acquiesced to her assistance. "Great! I won't let you down. Anyways, I am Shizuha Aki, goddess of trees." She felt a sudden pang asking her to be completely honest, perhaps it was something about the way the woman in blue carried herself, and she clarified, "Well, goddess of falling leaves, aspirant goddess of trees. But I've been working hard to spread my new legend."

"Speaking of which," she went on, "you should have something to help your climb." She passed each of them a small satchel, and on further inspection, it turned out to be full of candied nuts, cherries, and maple candies. "I've been spending my off-seasons working with the forest and all it has to offer. It sure beats hibernating three fourths of the year."
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Re: [AskFirst] Pilgrimage of 1000 Years ~ Better Late than N

Postby Fujiwara no Mokou » 11 Jul 2013 07:23

Mokou was a bit overwhelmed by Shizuha's rapid and energetic speech. This girl was... a god? In all her centuries, including those spent in the Land of Illusions, the immortal had only met one divinity--Sakuya-hime, all the way back at the very beginning. This one was somewhat... different.

The phoenix girl was still processing the idea that her unexpected tour guide was actually a goddess when she suddenly found a satchel being pressed into her arms. "Uh, thank you," she said, clearly a little confused by everything that was happening at once. "I am... Fujiwara no Mokou," she bowed slightly.
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