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> Kikumiko, Story of a Shrine Maiden - Updated 10/20
Lady Aendaine
post Jun 9 2011, 06:55 AM
Post #1



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Type: Writer
Alignment: Chaotic Good




Kikumiko

聞く巫女

"A Shrine Maiden who listens"


Disclaimer
While this is obviously inspired by Japan's history and culture (especially the Sengoku period), I by no means consider myself learned on the subject, not even AMATEUR status. Therefore, please note that this is not a HISTORICAL world, but rather a depiction from my imagination. Thank you. *bow*


Matty's Note

I am absolutely obsessed with both the Three Kingdoms period of China and the Sengoku period of Japan. I rant on and on to my friends, most of whom just smile and nod as they have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. That's cool. I can live with that. And then I saw these resources a few months ago, and I was absolutely astonished. I could totally see that they had used historical figures from the Sengoku period as an inspiration (I'm looking at you, Masamune), and I *KNEW* I had to have them. So naturally, as soon as I was able, I bought them. I had been working on this project for a few days before the concept really hit me and the storyline came to life. I decided that I was going to mess around, check out all the resources in the pack, and see what I could do with them. So I cranked out a couple of maps, some of which you may have seen in the Game & Map Screenshots section. And then, one day, I was touching them up, and inspiration hit me. And I mean really hit me. The kind of inspiration that wakes you up at ungodly hours in the morning and demands you scribble them onto a piece of paper for further development. As a writer, I love it when inspiration hits. And while this project is not meant to be a huge undertaking, I plan to make the most of it.



World Development Added World Map on 10/20

Spoiler:


Behold, the world map! New!
Spoiler:


It's not very big, but no worries, there are plenty of places to explore! I scribbled some boundaries on there to reflect territories. So pro, amirite?


Kikumiko takes place on a couple islands. The biggest of them, Marumori, is where the story initially begins, and where the majority of it takes place. Marumori is home to two different daimyo: One of which is Kikumi's father, Hiromasa of the Chukaido province; the other is Tsubasa of Tokoshu. Hiromasa's focus has always been that of the development of the land, while Tsubasa's ambition has made him more akin to war and increasing his territory. Because of this, Tsubasa has often relied on Hiromasa for supplies when he goes off to war and sails overseas to conquer more land from his enemies. Lately, however, Tsubasa's need for supplies have been increasing and the territory under Hiromasa's command cannot keep up with these demands.

Another of the islands, Inokechi, lies to the North of Marumori, and while mostly uninhabited, is home to a very sacred shrine.

Here are a couple places of interest:

Seigimazu
Kikumi's hometown, and where Hiromasa resides. The village is close to the Sagiriki Forest, and sends most of timber taken from here to Tsubasa's territory. It also has a couple of small farms, though most of the food grown here is shared amongst the villagers; it's production rates are not very high. Hiromasa is widely respected and considered a kind and humble man. Anyone can enter his estate and visit with him, so long as he is not preoccupied.

Okedani
A port city on the south-western portion of Marumori, this city has many grand warships (created with wood from Sagiriki) that are rather intimidating to look at. Tsubasa has mastered the art of naval warfare, and focuses most of his attacks on islands and convoys out at sea. The daimyo himself lives here, in a Grand Palace that no civilian is authorized to enter. A lot of the people here speak of their home and Master with great pride, as he is said to be undefeated in combat.

Animatsu Temple
The largest temple on Marumori, this is where Kikumi has spent the last four years learning to quiet the voices of the spirits after her gift had awakened when she was thirteen. While many make pilgrimages here, it is not visited as often as it once was.

Sagiriki Forest
A forest that covers many miles of Marumori’s landscape. Legend says that this forest was once used as a gateway to travel freely from the afterlife and the mortal realm, though none have verified whether this is true or not. While the people do cut down trees for exporting, they always take great care not to anger the spirits that are rumored to be lurking within.


Important Notes

Spoiler:

Shrine Maiden
A Shrine Maiden is a young woman who is able to commune with the spirits. Though they are said to be quite numerous in other locations, they are very rare in Marumori. The gift to understand and see spirits is not genetic. Some believe that you must possess a strong willpower, while others believe that you must frequent areas that are high in spiritual energies and be exposed to that power, absorbing it into the very fiber of your being. The latter might be why many do not even possess powers until they are in their early twenties. Some prefer to think that the God's choose who is able to commune with the spirits, and leave it at that.

Spirits
Spirits are numerous in the world. They are practically found anywhere that humans go, though none can see them except for the shrine maidens. Most spirits still dwell in the mortal realm, or at least travel between the two. These spirits are said to have great purpose in the mortal realm. There are other, weaker spirits that remain at peace in the afterlife, and then there are deity-spirits, that remain in the spirit realm until a ritual is performed and they are summoned. While malignant spirits do exist, most are not inherently evil. Truth be told, spirit behavior has never been accurately documented, as it seems they are quite random in their communications. Some may be hostile, while others will offer advice. Some are even quite knowledgeable about history.


More info on Spirits! New! Added on 10/20
Spoiler:

- How do you see spirits?

Kikumi is a Shrine Maiden, and as such she has access to a very special ability: she can see the spirits that linger in the mortal realm. She will not see them all the time, though. Since her near-death experience in Sagiriki Forest four years ago, Kikumi has had extensive training, and is able to shut out the spirits if she wills it. She need only 'open her eyes' to see the spirits. As the player, you'll be able to toggle this ability on and off at will.

It is important to note that while Kikumi has spirit-sight activated, she will be unable to interact with people in the mortal realm until she toggles it off. This is because she is shutting out everything else so that she can focus on the spirits.

- Why is spirit-sight so important? Do they have any benefits?

The ability to see spirits is an important one. In order to find the spirits, you need to turn on the spirit sight, enabling you to find and speak with them. Sometimes they will attack you, but it is uncommon for one to run into spirits that are inherently evil.

There are several types of spirits that you can find throughout the land.

Some are recently deceased mortals, stuck between the afterlife and the mortal realm. These spirits are 'lost', and are in need of aid if they are to fully pass to the afterlife and be at peace. Kikumi is able to help them, but the task(s) she must do to help them are not always the same.

Others can pass through the mortal realm with ease, and may divulge secrets.

There are powerful spirits that are curious of mortals, watching over them. If found out, they may test your abilities, and if they find you capable, they may be willing to grant favours.

There are also a few areas where turning on spirit sight might be important in solving a puzzle.

Lastly, there are demon spirits that sometimes cross over to the mortal realm. If Kikumi banishes them to their domain, she may receive additional benefits.

In short - use spirit-sight often!

- Merging: What is it?

At a later point in the game, Kikumi has access to a rather special ability: Merging. This ability allows her to choose a companion, and merge them with a spirit. There are several spirits to choose from, and each grant beneficial AND negative qualities.

If you merge often, you may notice that your companions start to become frail and lose certain attributes. This is because it's not simply a matter of the spirits providing abilities! For all intents and purposes, they are dangerous, and considered parasites. They will leech the lifeforce from your companions.

Still, if you manage to rotate what type of spirit you are merging to your companion, you may be able to strengthen them considerably.
Spirits will also grant special abilities, unique to their host, that you can't use otherwise. Experiment, but be wary!

It is also worth mentioning that Kikumi is unable to use this ability on herself.


Storyline

Spoiler:

Kikumi has returned home after spending the last four years in training at the Temple of Animatsu, where she has learned the ability to "listen" to spirits on and off at will. Though she is quite dedicated to her religion and her studies, the Temple has been quiet of late and so she took the opportunity to visit her hometown of Seigimazu. Though she expects to be welcomed with open arms, this is not the case, as her Father seems to be preoccupied with politics. Concerned about the state of Seigimazu and the politics revolving it, Kikumi questions her Father, but his lips are tightly sealed. Although she has merely been in the village for a few hours, Kikumi has already stirred up the already fragile state of the relationship between Hiromasa and Tsubasa. After twenty-four hours in Seigimazu, Hiromasa gives Kikumi a mission: Travel to Inokechi to the north and summon forth a greater ancestral spirit. Kikumi accepts the mission, as she wants to make herself useful to her Father. What she doesn't realize are the consequences of her alignment with Hiromasa and his clan.



Characters Added new character on 10/20

Spoiler:
Kikumi
A polite and well-mannered young woman. She is the daughter of the daimyo, Hiromasa, though she doesn't consider herself an important individual. She is very religious, and while many of her faith do not tolerate the spread of Christianity in Marumori, she doesn't mind one bit. When she was thirteen years old, her ability to speak with and understand spirits broke through. Since she was still young, the spirits held great sway over her, and she wandered into Sagiriki Forest. Having been missing for several hours, Hiromasa sent a search party after her, led by none other than the famed Nagataka. It was he who found her, and saved her from an untimely death. Immediately after this event, she was sent to Animatsu Temple, and had not seen her Father until now.
Class: Shrine Maiden
Abilities: Buff / Debuff. "Merging" (more on this later~). Communicating with spirits.
Weapon of Choice: Featherstaff.


Hiromasa
Hiromasa is the Daimyo of the Chukaido province. He is kind and always has his peoples' best interests at heart. He is wildly popular amongst them as he does not lord his rank over them, though there are some who believe he is too humble and a disgrace to others. His wife, the late Yume, passed away when Kikumi was just a baby. Though Hiromasa has always been extremely involved in the politics and development of his lands, he has always made time for Kikumi. When she was still a baby, he would bring her into important meetings. While she cannot be considered a successor due to her gender, and the fact that she is a member of the Animatsu Temple, he has not broken ties with her and writes often. Hiromasa is of course, learned in the art of combat, but it's rumored that he has become complacent and inefficient as a samurai.

Nagataka
Nagataka has served Hiromasa since he was a child. He is his second, and while Hiromasa has not declared who his successor will be, it is believed that Nagataka is the only one capable of filling in that role. There are those who have voice substantial concern over Nagataka becoming his successor, as he is of common rank. He prefers a life of servitude to someone he believes in, rather than gaining power for himself. Nagataka is ten years Kikumi's senior, and was the one who saved her life four years ago in Sagiriki Forest.

Samuru
Samuru is a vassal of Hiromasa, and is skilled in the art of war. He has only recently come into his service, at the recommendation of Hiromasa's brother-in-law and former strategist whom recently passed away. Samuru is arrogant, and extremely blunt. He cares little for formalities and tradition. Interestingly enough, Samuru has adopted several "westernized" beliefs and items, such as Christianity and the usage of a pistol as his weapon of choice.

Isoroku NEW
The Kokuei clan of ninjas were once independent, hiring out to the highest bidder. That all changed when the clan's territory was attacked by none other than Tsubasa, and as always, it was he who turned out to be the victor. Most who survived the assault only did so by swearing allegience to Tsubasa. Not Isoroku, who fought fiercely to protect his homeland. He sustained many injuries, but managed to escape.

Isoroku has chosen a life of solitude, but upon meeting Kikumi, he deems her worthy of his services. Isoroku relies heavily on his observation skills, but realizes that not everything you witness for yourself is what it seems.

Tsubasa
A daimyo and skilled warlord, Tsubasa gained control over the western portion of Marumori when he was a mere teenager and his father passed away. He began a brutal campaign against nearby islands, constantly asking Hiromasa for aid in the form of supplies. Tsubasa is widely considered the most powerful daimyo, and there are few who would dare cross his path in combat willingly. No one knows just how he's managed to do it, but he has never lost a battle. "What Tsubasa starts, Tsubasa finishes".


Screenshots
Added new screenshots on 10/20
Spoiler:


UPDATED! As you can see, I've changed Kikumi's portrait to reflect her role as a Shrine Maiden.


UPDATED! Nothing worth noting changed, but... it is different.


New! One of the interiors of Seigimazu.


New! Meet Shiori! Unfortunately, this doesn't really show off her personality, but I assure you, she has one.


New! "Why did you include a screenshot of a chicken coop, Matty?" Why, because I made (edited) that ugly stuff by the water basins! That's chicken feed!


New! The entrance to the first 'dungeon' - Sagiriki Forest!


New! One of two encampments in Sagiriki Forest.






Credits
Indra for helping me with my major gate issues.
Kizoxef - Music!
Enterbrain for making this beautiful Japan inspired RTP set.

Special Thanks
To my friends: "Sensei", Sin, Indra, Eric and Celes for playing the miniature demo I've been working on and giving me amazing feedback. ILY guys.
To Kizoxef for his dedication to making beautiful music for Kikumiko.
To YOU for taking the time to read this project thread.

This post has been edited by Lady Aendaine: Oct 20 2011, 04:08 AM


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Indra
post Jun 9 2011, 10:19 PM
Post #2


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From now on I shall call myself the gatemastah! XD
Honestly, there's no need to give me credit over arranging the gate, but thanks anyway~
Gonna support youse to the end! Gambare, Matty~~ *bump*


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hallow eve
post Oct 15 2011, 04:13 PM
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This really looks great man, keep it going and don't give up!


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Lady Aendaine
post Oct 15 2011, 05:29 PM
Post #4



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Heh, thanks for the super late post wink.gif

No worries, I won't give up on it! I'm just working at my own turtle-y pace, heh, but I have finished quite a few more maps and some events since I last posted. I'll see about uploading them within the next couple of days, but I've got a lot on my plate at the moment, so we'll see how THAT goes.

As far as music goes, I'm not so sure Kizo is doing anything for me anymore, but music is pretty much the least of my worries at the moment XD I'll worry about that when the project has more substance!

Thanks again for your support! It means a lot <3

I know there's not much here but ... you know ... if anyone has some of that glorious thing called feedback... feel free to say something wink.gif

~ Matty


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Kajini
post Oct 16 2011, 01:12 AM
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This does look nice. I really like what I've read of it so far - it sounds interesting. Good luck with this project and I'll be keeping an eye out for any progress! ^.^


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mittenengrey
post Oct 19 2011, 03:22 AM
Post #6



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QUOTE (Kajini @ Oct 16 2011, 02:12 AM) *
This does look nice. I really like what I've read of it so far - it sounds interesting. Good luck with this project and I'll be keeping an eye out for any progress! ^.^

Me too ! And your game looks so pretty! and I like the storyline smile.gif

This post has been edited by mittenengrey: Oct 19 2011, 03:23 AM


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Lady Aendaine
post Oct 20 2011, 04:16 AM
Post #7



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Wow, so much support this week! I'm amazed. Seriously. Thank you all for your kind comments and lurve for Kikumiko.
I was going to wait a bit longer to post some updates, but ya'll have been so awesome, I decided to post just for you!

I'd show off more events... but honestly it's pretty dialogue heavy, and that's no fun when you aren't experiencing it! Instead, I included some screenshots (...including a random chicken coop, just roll with it), a new character bio, a world map with territorial boundaries, and some in-depth info on Kikumi's special abilities: spirit-sight and merging!

I just finished mapping Sagiriki Forest yesterday. I like how it turned out~

I'd also like to point out that there will be no encounters on the world map. The settlements and whatnot are packed very close together, and I figured it'd be more annoying than anything to include them (for you, not me! HONEST!)

Anyways, I think that's it... *looks over notes* Hm, yea!

Thanks again everybody. I cry tears of joy because of you.

/bow

~ Matty

EDIT: I completely forgot. I just wanted to mention that some terms are color coded because there will be a 'codex' of sorts ( ily bioware ) where you can look up all sorts of info. Yeayuh!

This post has been edited by Lady Aendaine: Oct 20 2011, 04:31 AM


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