|Faction:||Clergy of Gaea|
Inari Okami was a kitsune cleric of Gaea and the chosen Guardian of the Yggdrasil World Tree in the First Age. She acted as a mentor of Haruko Mizushima and various other kitsune orphans on the Isle of Yggdrasil with the sole purpose of selecting her successor among them. She was killed by Haruko when she tried to stop her from leaving the Grove with Katsutoshi Kobayashi. Inari's death and her spilled blood led to the contamination and weakening of the Yggdrasil World Tree which, along with Mardük's corruptive power, would eventually lead to the spread of the Landpoison and the need to replace the poisoned World Tree with a new, healthy tree to save the world in the Third Age. Inari was later resurrected as a revenant by the Mad Clergies who thought they had brought back Gaea herself. She was entrusted into the care of Osmond Cordae Locke and was given the alias of Rose. It wasn't until the Battle of Survivor's Woods that Inari's memories finally returned in full, and her true identity was revealed in a shocking manner to Osmond and their other travelling companions.
- "The choice to appoint you as my successor wasn't mine to make. It was the will of our goddess who resides in the Sky Home. The Dark Wanderer weaves sweet lies to persuade you to join him, to cast off your purity of flesh and essence. Once he's defiled you, he'll leave you and seek other pure ones to defile with his touch. Trust me, yours isn't the first heart he has broken, and it won't be the last. But even he has his place because we can't understand Light fully without a Shadow to compare it to. We all have our purpose, and we're all linked to the Duality of Life and Death. You'll only find true peace in the light of our goddess, not in the shadow of the Dark Wanderer."
- —Inari Okami to Haruko Mizushima about Katsutoshi Kobayashi
Inari Okami was born as a kitsune in the First Age. Having lost her parents, she was taken to the Isle of Yggdrasil with many other orphans where they lived under a harsh cleric of Gaea, Goddess of the Earth. As she got older and bloomed into adulthood, she came across a young, charismatic kitsune rogue named Katsutoshi Kobayashi, and they had a brief relationship which ended with Katsutoshi leaving her for other conquests.
She grew bitter over the incident, but her priestess reminded her that for each child of Light there would always be a child of Shadow, and only a balance between the two could keep the Land of the Living safe as well as keep priests aware of temptations that the world would offer unless they remained firm and pious. Inari took the priestess's words to heart, and dedicated her life to serving Gaea's cause.
Years passed, and the aging priestess eventually chose Inari as her successor as the Guardian of Yggdrasil World Tree. She made Inari swear an oath to uphold the values of the Faerfolc and Gaea and abandon the materialistic ways of the kitsune goddess Laverna and Laverna's followers such as Katsutoshi.
- "The Tree must always have a Guardian to protect it. That is the goddess's will...to keep the Light and Shadow in balance. Without the Guardian, the balance will be shattered. The Dark Wanderer may not understand the ramifications of that because of his selfishness, but I do...and so will you, young one."
- "And for that reason you'll deny me everything? Can I never love, give birth, have friends, see the world? Am I to sacrifice my happiness and end my lineage simply because some arrogant vixen in the sky says otherwise?"
- "Hold your tongue, whelp! Selfless sacrifice is the Guardian's greatest duty which overcomes any selfish desires. One fruit must fall and decompose so that the seeds within may spread and take root. We are that fruit which nourishes the earth and carries on the wisdom of the ages."
- —Inari and Haruko Mizushima
Inari acted in her duty as the new priestess of the Isle as diligently as she could after her mentor's death to old age, taking in kitsune orphans like her predecessor had done and training them in the ways of Gaea and to keep them away from Laverna's chaotic reach. Every now and then she would see Katsutoshi finding his way to the Isle, and she would keep an eye on him so he wouldn't seduce any other naïve kitsune to his side.
Years passed, and Inari was growing older and weaker. She knew a time would come when she would select a successor to her work among the initiates. She settled on Haruko Mizushima, a promising young kitsune, and she began grooming her to become her successor just like she had once succeeded her mentor.
However, Katsutoshi appeared in the Grove once more like he often did, and Inari found out too late that her control over the initiates had slipped: the dark wanderer managed to seduce Haruko who was now secretly planning to leave the Grove with him. Inari confronted Haruko and tried to talk her out of her decision, explaining how leaving with Katsutoshi would bring nothing but misfortune and that she couldn't fight against her fate as a future priestess of Gaea.
- "I was hoping you'd be more reasonable, whelp, but it appears I must teach you a lesson in discipline. The Guardian cannot forsake her duties, that is out of the question! I will force that truth into you one way or another!"
- —Inari to Haruko Mizushima
Much to Inari's shock and dismay, Haruko rejected her and prepared to leave regardless of what her mentor wanted for her. Inari, hurt by Haruko's betrayal and angered by Katsutoshi having spoiled a promising student, lashed out, and tried to forcibly prevent her student from leaving the Grove. Master and apprentice clashed in the shadow of Yggdrasil, and despite Inari's skill and experience, Haruko ended up using her raw power to best her. The battle had been so fierce that Inari was fatally wounded, and she perished to her injuries with her last thoughts being centered around anger and hurt over what Haruko had done to her and Yggdrasil which was tainted by the spilling of blood over its sacred roots.
- "What did they do to me? What did they do to me?! I can feel this body dying around me!"
- —Inari to herself after her resurrection
Long ago, following Gaea's and her High Cleric's deaths, a splinter faction of her clerics turned to necromancy in order to bring her back. However, first, they needed to understand exactly what had happened to her. This study of dimensions would last millennia.
Cut to the Third Age, and Osmond Cordae Locke, who was wandering about Trinity Gask in 1017 AE, stumbled upon this same splinter faction, which had merged with a similar splinter faction of the Clergy of Heath and was now dedicated to resurrecting them both, despite realizing that it was an incomplete resurrection. The Rite of the Revenant might've been a complete success on its own, but a Totenkopf by the name of Breivik, who had long ago infiltrated the group, interfered.
The damage wrought was that what appeared to be Heath's constructed body was seemingly corrupted beyond repair. However, the taint never touched the body the clergy believed to be Gaea's. Osmond was entrusted with the reborn "Gaea" and escaped the collapsing lair of the Mad Clergies. Because of Osmond's interference in the ritual, the revenant copy of the body didn't get back all her memories prior to her demise, which left her somewhat amnesiac and confused as a result, although occasionally glimpses of her past life showed up in her mind before her mind became clouded again.
Both Osmond and the Mad Clergies believed her to be the goddess Gaea reborn in a mortal body who needed to be restored to her godhood to bring back hope, but the revenant was actually Inari Okami, not Gaea, who had been brought back as per Death's master plan. Because of Osmond's firm belief that she was Gaea, the confused Inari began thinking that she was indeed Gaea reborn and acted like that although at times her original personality surfaced, giving vague clues to her true identity even though both she and Osmond were too blind to see the truth.
The two ended up being chased my Totenkopfs who wished to capture her after they learned of Breivik's demise. They managed to escape from their pursuers in Trinity Gask and headed towards Survivor's Woods, hoping to lose the hounds who were after them there.
While in the forest, Osmond and Rose came in contact with several other adventurers who had ended up in the woods, notably Arcturius and Erikur Spald. The latter, after learning of the woman's supposed identity as the goddess Gaea, thought of the alias 'Rose' which they could use when referring to her so that other people they came across wouldn't suspect Rose's identity as a goddess.
Garden of FearEdit
Osmond, Rose and the rest of their party facing several other obstacles along the way in the magical forest, most notably a treant, a wisp, nymphs and even a pair of Faerfolc and a being calling itself Fear Dearg who was leading a mob of people from Trinity Gask to hunt down a witch named Befana who according to him was terrorizing people in the woods and controlling nymphs and various forest creatures to attack people. The party clashed with Fear and the mob, not believing that seemingly benevolent witch could've been behind the attacks, and several people from the mob died as a result while they also faced a wisp and a treant who ended up fighting one another before Fear absorbed both of their powers into himself.
Osmond took Rose and asked the other party members to follow him so they could escape the madness of the forest and leave Fear's mob and Befana to battle one another. While running, they stumbled upon another disoriented adventurer, Erai Dalfar, who followed them. They ended up following a strange light while trees parted to reveal a path into a hidden nymph grove in the middle of the woods where they ended up facing the advances of several lustful nymphs and even met the nymph queen Huldra and her ostensibly elven court musician Aibell.
More info later.
A Gathering StormEdit
- "We have both helped each other, so we're no longer bound together. Our paths will diverge...must diverge now. May you too find the answers you seek. Goodbye."
- —Inari to Osmond Cordae Locke
Inari brought the exhausted and unconscious Osmond to an inn in Trinity Gask. Once she had placed him on the bed, she said her farewells to him and left, not wanting to involve him in her personal quest to hunt down her treacherous disciple Haruko.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Guardian of Yggdrasil
- Her title.
- An alias given to her by Erikur Spald so that no one would ask questions concerning dead deities, especially since someone was pursuing her. What her companions didn't know at the time was that she was no deity reborn but simply an ordinary revenant.
Inari's true kitsune form is a fox with white fur and multiple tails and golden eyes. Her more monstrous youko form, which stands between her kitsune and human forms, resembles a furry bipedal fox monster with sharper claws, muscles and several pairs of breasts.
Upon being resurrected, Inari has golden hair which is slowly greying, but it is shorter than her original hairstyle. Her skin is as fair as it has always been. Her eyes sometimes switch between a human-like shade of blue to the deep, unholy blue eyes which is a sign of her unnatural state as a revenant. Osmond bought her a brown-and-cream dress, brown boots, and a dark brown cloak shortly after she was raised.
Personality and TraitsEdit
While alive, Inari was a strict teacher and a mother figure to many of her kitsune disciplines. She was old-fashioned and warned the kitsune kits about the dangers of the outside world and the duties they had to uphold as guardians of the World Tree. She was hurt and angry at Haruko's betrayal and resorted to violent methods to stop her but ultimately lost her life when Haruko's willpower turned out greater than hers in the end. Inari perished with bitterness and hatred in her heart, which left her susceptible to the dark whispers of the Land of the Dead when her soul ended up there.
After she was raised as a revenant, her personality became distorted, and she was not quite herself; she's amnesiac, in layman's terms. She was annoyed at Osmond's (poor) method of dealing with her, and became somewhat violently impulsive beyond that whenever she was being touched without her permission, and seemed to be slightly sad outside both of those. After regaining her memories and true identity, she has calmed down somewhat although hatred at her betrayer still burns in her heart which is amplified by the taint of Death that lingers on in her revenant body which is neither fully living nor fully dead.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
After her resurrection, Inari appears to have retained at least some of the powers she had when she was alive, being easily able to lift a woman her size into the air and remotely choke a man to his knees, among other things. She seems to have an enfeebled mind, however, as a will-o-the-wisp can affect her far more dramatically than any of the other beings present although this later turned out to be because the wisp's magic kept messing with her mind which was already disoriented thanks to her hasty, corrupted resurrection.
Haruko respected her mentor Inari a great deal, but when she had to choose between her duty to her and the world tree, and her love for Katsutoshi and the outside world, she chose the latter much to Inari's dismay. This led to a clash between master and student, and ultimately the darkness within Haruko stirred, which resulted in Inari's death. The shocked Haruko fled from the Grove soon after, and now that her memory has been restored in the present age, she's coming to grips with what she's done to achieve her freedom. After being resurrected and recovering her memories of her past life, hatred has returned to Inari's heart once more, and she wishes to have revenge on those who have wronged her, most notably Haruko, no matter what she has to do to achieve that goal.
Inari viewed Katsutoshi with disdain although she acknowledged that a shadow like him was always needed so the light could also exist in the world. She saw him as a seducer and tried to protect her students from him. Although she didn't confront him directly when he came to the grove, she did try to sway Haruko from leaving with him but in vain.
While suffering from amnesia and partly believing herself to be Gaea, Inari saw Osmond as an arrogant, errant child of Nergal who overstepped his bounds regarding her. Likewise, Osmond saw her as a childish woman undeserving of the power of a deity. Despite this occasional banter and Inari reacting violently whenever Osmond touched her without permission, there was some respect between them as Inari, while under the alias of Gaea and Rose, came to see Osmond as her guardian. The revelation of Inari's true identity during the events in Survivor's Woods has left her and Osmond's future relationship uncertain.