|Graphic credit below|
The most misunderstood character in my currant work in progress is not an individual, but a race.
The Inugami are dog spirits created by evil Daoist sorcery.
As the Inugami, Akumu, explains to Sen:
Tell me, shrine maiden and guardian, do you know how an Inugami is birthed?”
“I have learned that Inugami are the creations of men who practice dark sorcery,” Sen replied.
Akumu snarled. “Yes, so you know of our creation, fox. All of us were once dogs, dogs born to serve humanity. Then humans that we trusted and that we only wished to serve did terrible, pain-filled rituals, dark and evil tortures that twisted us into dark and evil servants.”
In magical tradition, an Inugami was originally a regular domesticated dog tortured to death in such a horrendous manner I will only refer to it obliquely in my story as I know that sorcerers in the ancient past actually performed these rites. I do not wish to glorify such monstrous activities. It is not difficult to understand why Inugami can turn on their masters. It would have been for a very good reason.
So, it stands to reason that creatures born from evil can only understand evil. In The Inugami, I introduce Shadō, an Inugami abandoned by her master and forced to live in a crawlspace. The creature is eventually freed by Kelly Robbins, an American studying at the University of Tokyo. Shadō struggles to accept that Kelly does not wish to use her talents for evil:
“Welcome home, master,” Shadō said. “How may I serve?”
Kelly shook her head. “You are not my servant,” she said firmly. “We are equals.”
The Inugami looked up, her eyes betraying her emotion. “In the world of the onmyōji order and balance must be maintained even within the chaos of magic: student and teacher, servant and master. Without order, we surrender to complete chaos and in chaos there is only destruction. I am no longer hidden and my presence is felt in worlds seen and unseen. We will have visitors and some will come to challenge.”
Kelly swallowed and placed her backpack on the dining table next to the ancient book of the Daoist sorcerers. It lay open to the page describing the paces of Yu, a shamanic dance that traced the nine stars of the Big Dipper to capture its supernatural strength.
“The world has changed, Shadō,” Kelly said. “The onmyōji belong to the past. They must stay there.”
Shadō sighed with obvious consternation. “You see an Inugami before you. You are aware of the presence of kitsune.” The Inugami came and knelt before Kelly. “The world has not changed. A part of it has simply been hidden and now it bursts forth. Soon you will see other marvels and some will not be friendly. You must prepare.”
In The Inugami, I introduce the creatures as objects of pity, though many see them only as tools for evil.
The graphic above is copyrighted to Aimi of AimiArts and is the visual model I used for Shadō.