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I'm really proud of how this guy turned out. I was kinda inspired by the father of Shogun Ryuichi to make my own attractive father figure. This is Taira. He lives in a mysterious mountain range with his wife and family. It wouldn't be unfair to think of him as a well spoken country bumpkin... and he really couldn't disagree with that assessment really! He has a soft spot for Equestrian music of the past and can often be heard humming it as he comes back down from the mountains to buy groceries and the like for what must be an impressively large family.
Name: Taira-No-Yamamoto or “Yamato Taira” Sex: Male Age: Younger than you think, older than you’d hope. Species: Okami (Wolf Yokai) Eye Colour: Bright Green Coat: A rich, Beige shade of brown. Mane & Tail: Has a rather full mane of grey hair, with curious streaks of minty green only visible in some light at certain angles. Physique: Stocky and muscular Kirin Form True Form: Residence: Considers a large mountain range north of Mount Kaminichi his and his family’s territory, known commonly as the Green Mist mountains. Currently has a small shack at the base of the mountain by a town closer to civilization where he will meet with tourists who wish to see the area (in pony form of course). Occupation: Mountain Guide. Cutie Mark: Has no natural one but in his qilin form he makes use of a mark depicting two mountain peaks partly shrouded by mist. Unique Traits: Mist Manipulation: As a yokai native to the mountains, Taira is very familiar with mists, clouds and high altitudes. As he grew he shaped his magical power to become more intune with them until he was able to generate his own mist from within himself and even have it come off of his fur like a great cape of glowing vapor. After lifetimes of training and effort and more than a few life or death struggles, Taira has managed to make the mists he summons a tactical boon, a weapon, and a utility at once. When outside his territory he is able to create mist-screens that can cover more than an acre of land to hide himself or his allies, or at the cost of lessening the mist’s coverage he can create forms of living mists capable of following simple orders, but being very easily dissipated and fragile. For other occasions he is capable of shaping mist into other forms and making them tough enough to serve as shields or soft enough to cushion a great fall. He has even conjured some around his paws that let him run through the skies. Supernatural Sense of Smell: As a wolf Taira’s nose is exceptionally sharp, as an okami his nose is better than even the best normal wolf. In his own territory he has proven able to smell intruders from miles away on his best days. His nose has proven the bane of many a mage trying to explore many ruins on the mountains as he is able to smell through most forms of magic and track down casters just by being in the area where they last used a spell of some-kind. However a sense of smell is just that, a sense of smell: and can be outwitted by anyone masking their scent well or just by overwhelming him with powerful scents. Territorial Empowerment: For reasons even he is not entirely understanding of, Taira’s degree of power is greatly tied to his native territory and that of his pack. While in the mountain range he calls home, he is powerful enough to completely cover the tops of the mountains in his own magical mists and hide it from view of any who might try to spy on his kin. When he leaves the area in order to bring back food however his power can fade rapidly. At his most magical weakened state he would say he is reduced to the level of a highly trained breath magic practitioner, but the amount of mist he can produce is greatly diminished and he is left with his more physically bound endowments. Supernatural Athleticism: Being a being with inborn magic has it’s perks. His long life and exercises allow Taira immense stamina and incredible degree of speed, combined with a lesser, but still impressive degree of strength. Hitodama Conjuration: While Taira is in no way as gifted as foxes are with the mysterious flames, the old wolf is capable of summoning and generating several wisps at once, one large one flaring up above his head in his true form most of the time. These flames however are completely harmless and only serve to give him an interesting light show once in awhile. Breathing and Lung Capacity: Taira has learned the hard way that he is capable of holding his breath for incredibly long amounts of time, having been able to survive being submerged underwater for several hours while wounded. This has proven to be quite useful as well as a way to get the drop on potential meals or just help cleaning around the house. Sometimes he wonders if his lungs are bigger on the inside. Overwhelming Presence: Being a powerful magical entity even outside of his territory, Taira has a sort magical presence that can be felt by those well versed in magic or other yokai. Most average ponies are unable to feel it unless Taira either unintentionally or willingly lets it loose. The best way to describe this presence is almost like a beacon that will broadcast any particularly powerful emotions he is experiencing in a large radius around him. While it doesn’t cause any damage or harm anyone, it can greatly unnerve many creatures, such as birds in trees suddenly flying off, the hair on someone’s neck standing on end, or just switching on a fight or flight reflex. The most intense this presence has gotten was during the time Niju and his pup was stolen by the hunters, where Taira’s rampage and malicious anger was able to felt across the countryside and resulted in many villager fleeing their towns until he finally retreated. Shapeshifting: While very old and skilled in many ways, Shape-shifting haunt been a strong suit for Taira. Most of his forms will always have some aspect of his true form 'leaking' into his disguise. With some assistance and lessons from Niju however he has managed to perfect a kirin disguise that doesn't require him to hide his horns as much. No matter what form he takes he will almost always have bright green eyes, and the scars of the past on him. History: A long time ago in ancient Neighpon… Before the rise of cities and magitech, before the great shogunate, and before even the war that shook the land… there was pack of okami who lived on a misty mountain range north Mount Kaminichi. Here is where Taira’s story begins. This pup was born quiet, so much that at first they worried he may not have made it. It turned out the puppy was merely peaceful, and so the parents give him a name that matched. As a pup Taira was a curious and despite his peacefulness at birth he showed a fondness for play fights of youth. Often he would travel down the mountains, further north to see what laid beyond the mists. When he ventured down one day he what looked like a great brown hill climbing up the mountain and towards his homeland. Choosing to investigate he along with a sibling discovered this hill was actually another yokai, a bear, but this one was… different. It barely spoke, acted more feral than any of their mystical kind and didn’t hesitate to attack the pair, stalking the two pups through the woods until they were cornered. Soon though the pack had seen the commotion and defended their home… At least they tried to, the great bear was fought but its immense size combined with its raw magical might drove back the pack and forced them to retreat to the base of the mountains. This demon bear was not a problem only to the wolves it seemed: Various other yokai had been driven out of their territory and forced to fall back and make new homes in unfamiliar places. At the bottom of the mountain, Taira learned the beast’s name: Shinku-no-Kabuto. The pup took that name to heart. In some way Taira felt responsible for what had happened in that he had attempted to communicate with Shinku… and as a result the pack had to move away from it’s place of power. Now they were all left scattered at the base of the mountains in unfamiliar forests. The first few months were turbulent to say the least. Many of the smaller yokai were already not fond of wolves and the pack barely got any sympathy from their closest relatives of the Inugami and Ha-Inu. There was a small group of Taira’s pack that were planning to try and take back the mountains, even though by this point they could tell that the land had no more of their natural magics in it: having been replaced by Shinku’s corrupting influence. They learned more bears had been moving to the mountain tops… surely becoming the monster bear’s minions and guards for his territory. Soon the small presence in the pack spread beyond it. A union of various yokai had joined together… and even a few of ponies coming to the lands had decided to help the yokai reclaim their territory. Taira lended his aid by borrowing books on conflict from some of mortal traders. The now ‘teenage’ wolf took the knowledge within to heart and lead several smaller packs to sabotage many routes the bears would take and stage traps for them. Usually Taira was the bait seeing as he was the fastest runner and could hide his friends in mist. As lesser minions of the great bear on the mountain grew few and far between, a great roar echoed across the lands below. All of the yokai in the alliance knew what it was: a challenge. Taira figured that it was most likely to end in a battle at the peak of the tallest mountain near mount Kaminichi. When the allied Yokai came and fought they had learned Shinku had left his strongest lieutenants in the path of the armies to slow their advance and weaken them before they reached him. Shinku declared this challenge on the night of a great blizzard so turning back would be nearly impossible for those involved… except maybe the kamaitachi. The Night seemed to go on forever. Many Yokai having fallen and others joining to take on demon bear in one final match to decide the future of the mountain range and northern neighpon. Various Yokai groups fought against the bear territory guards, drawing Shinku’s forces thin enough that a ‘small’ force of the best fighters could slip deeper into the mountains and confront Shinku in his great palace of stone. There were a hundred of them and by the night’s end they would lose ninety percent of their ranks.. One of the casualties of the nightlong battle was actually the pack’s alpha male who wound up taking a swipe meant for Taira by Shinku himself. The second alpha managed to wound him only be smashed into the snow, but survive. Eventually Taira and a few mismatched yokai, and one earth pony were left. The earth pony had brought some product of Neighponese engineering with him: Some sort of fireworks launcher. He’d managed to miraculously keep it dry enough to still function. A small tactical retreat turned into a very rushed plan to end the demon bear once and for all. Taira and the last surviving alpha struck great gashes at the beast with their teeth, Shinku being a great red beast of malice leaving a trail of crimson across the snow. Still he was not slowed down. The two wolves continued their battle until they drew Shinku to a cave whose mouth they had covered in thin layer of Taira’s Mist. In order to keep the enraged yokai from noticing what laid inside the hidden cave Taira was going to have to keep focused even as his wounds made him woozy. He managed to keep the shroud up long enough for Shinku to position his chest over the cave mouth and the pony to fire several fireworks into the beast’s belly, just as the bear delivered a swipe to Taira’s chest sending the wolf flying several yards away. With smoke rising from Shinku’s gut the group breathed a sigh of relief , believing the day finally won. Instead the beast rose once more, and crushed the firework cannon and knock the wind out of second alpha of the pack, Taira rose up once last time. Seeing the great bear’s movements were slow and clumsy and delivered on last attack that finished off the menace of the mountains. WIth the previous alphas gone the pack chose Taira to lead them for the foreseeable future. With what he thought was the worst of it behind him and his pack, Taira made it personal mission to remove every last shred of Shinku’s trace for the Green Mist Mountains and allowed many yokai who had joined the alliance free passage through the mountains. The members of his pack left got to work and within a year's time the only trace left of Shinku was in his palace and in the spot where he was finished. Taira’s days at the top of the mountain with his clan was one of the favorite times in his life. These days lasted only a few short years… well, short for taira in retrospective. During his time as a unchallenged alpha he caught the strangest scent and commotion from the edge of the mountains. He had heard that many of the ponies and some visitors from the east who had dragon features, were having trouble with these strange horned invaders from somewhere very cold. These ‘Care-eh-boo’ were beginning to come closer and closer to the mountains. They brought engines and things of strange wood to the base and soon there was noise! The horned invaders were attempting to hollow out the side of his pack’s mountain in a mining operation. This insult to his pack’s territory would not stand and an avalanche that destroyed a great deal of the caribou’s operation would signal the start of another war for Taira to fight in. This time however he was much older and more powerful than when he’d fought Shinku. Still, he lead and directed his pack along with volunteers from other yokai species in attacks and sabotage against the caribou contingents sent to conquer the north. ON the few times Taira and his forces met the caribou in open battle, Taira would often manage to out maneuver the leader of the northern invasion, yet still meet him several times on the battlefield. This Caribou was a fearsome creature, someone who fought with ferocity and cunning. In their final confrontation he managed to get a good cut in across Taira’s snout, Taira however would wind up taking off one of the general’s hind legs. With his forces in shambles and already the invasion forces in the southern portions of the island country being driven back by a united Neighpon, The general would flee back to his homeland. When he war with Whitescar ended Taira learned that several of the yokai and the ponies who’d helped get them this far calling him something with a nice ring to it: Ookami-No-Taisho (The Wolf General … or if read a certain way ‘Great Spirit General’) This was a name that spread across the region in time, while Taira simply desired to return home and contemplate some things about himself and his pack as a whole. These wars had gone on for a long time and he’d lost many a good wolf, leaving more than a few parentless pups. Taira had also heard of an increase in poaching of his kind. Apparently the mortals had a soft spot for the fur of his species… and were keen to take it by force. Taira requested that his pack try to stay in the mountains as long as they could for their own safety. Such a request however wasn’t one many of the younger wolves could hope to follow. Soon Taira knew only that most of his pack had left the mountains and with all the other yokai busy licking their wounds he could tell no one was going to attempt to take the mountains while he was gone. Eventually even Taira had felt an urge to wander: To see the world he had managed to help preserve through his actions. In his travels, Taira came to learn more about these ponies. They were clever! He still owed the defeat of Shinku to their ingenuity in the past and now some of the things he was seeing were even more impressive… if somewhat off putting for him to see. While he wandered, he was far from understanding of local customs. Most of the time the villagers would think he was some mad pony who would stumble through their villages, get things to eat, watching them work and then leave. In some of the villages however there were moments his true form was exposed in one situation or another. ONe of his least glamorous moments was when a trio of pig yokai (katakirauwa) Who decided to give him a sample of of sake for the first time in his life… Taira wound up drunk enough that he engaged in a playful chase with the three pigs. By the time the sun came up he’d woken up to see he’s blown down all three of their dwellings and they demanded some form of recompense. Taira, being both hungover and superbly embarrassed offered them a place of sanctuary among his mountain range if they ever got into any trouble. The event that night had been seen by the villagers of that town however and many of them remember the day a giant wolf covered in green mist chased a trio of one eared, pigs with glowing eyes through the streets of their home. One time on a day when hunting wasn’t going well and he was desperate for something to eat, Taira would see a small kirin filly traveling alone through the woods. As she hopped she would drop small bits of fragrant treats and carefully, Taira would trail behind her to snap them up until she reached a hutt in the middle of the forests. Inside was an elderly kirin who was seemingly stuck in bed. She looked rather small so he was sure there was no way that the two could finish all the food they had, So he popped his head up from the window and asked if he could try some… only to forget he’d not taken his disguise and in a panic the two kirn would bolt from the cabin and leave the food. Finders keepers! He thought before eagerly digging in and leaving just as they returned with a stallion brandishing something mean looking. Hoping to keep from starting an unnecessary fights from home, He allowed the stallion a strike to his side and hurled himself into a river where he held his breath for several hours until the family left and he could sneak away. AFter leaving more than a few tales of both funny and thrilling exploits all over the north and some of the south, Taira would return to the mountains. Many of his his stories are told today as folktales and the like, and he is in no hurry to prove them true or false, nor was he back when he returned to the mountain range. While there Taira would find peace and quiet among its peaked and in the large grove hidden among them. Here he spent many days in quiet contemplation even as more of his pack left to see the rest of the world. There were dull moments of course, but he still had a few friends from other yokai species would come by. Soon though something new arrived. Another wolf. One different from the kinds he’d met before. She was a bit on the small side and she smelled of the city. That loud and busy place south of of the mountains. Her name was Nijurkuya Hane and she was a bit odd. He’d not met a wolf who’d come so far in his territory for no reason other than to play. He let her stay and with most of his old pack gone they had the range to themselves. This time together eventually lead to love. SHe convinced him to go out again and see some of the changes in the world since he last roamed it and he agreed. The two wandered the countryside and visited many places together, her teaching him some easier ways to fit in amongst the equines. Before they had finished their trip, Niju was expecting pups. Taira, was at first panicking seeing as they were already far from their territory and he didn’t know if he could sufficiently protect her while they were born. During this time Taira and Niju discovered they were being tracked by okai poachers… He and niju tried to find a safe spot to deliver and while it was very touch and go, soon the pups were born. WHile Taira went out to get food for niju though, the hunters had found them again and managed to snatch one of the pups from Niju while they rested just AS taira arrived. The hunters tried to get more but the large wolf made short work of them. The time they bought for the other hunter however put him far out of reach and Taira didn't want to risk more coming. Thankfully, it turned out they were in the area of a forest Okami by the name of KamiKakushi no Shinrin. Taira requested that his mate and her pups stay with the spirit while he tried to capture the stolen runt of the litter. KamiKakushi agreed but only at the cost of a set of plates that they couple had brought back from their travels around Neighpon. THe two gave him the plates and Taira went on something of a rampage around the countryside in search of his daughter, scaring more than a few inhabitants and eventually tracking down the hunter who sold her. She told him that she’d already sold the runt to some wealthy city pony. No One is sure of what happened to that poache. Taira went to the city and tried his best to scent his daughter out, but all the smells and odors of the city threw him off. Unable to find her he could only go back to Niju and hope that they could care for the pups they had. In time sadness would fade and the family would move on. Now, Taira, Niju and their pups live mostly on the mountains. Some of their children left to see the world, others stay and assist their father in protecting the mountain and one day wish to call this territory theirs and lead the pack. Truthfully Taira is eager for the day one of his pups will knock him from the top of the mountain as the he could actually relax and not worry so much about keeping them out of trouble all the time. In order to help feed his family, Taira has taken up a few side jobs. His most enjoyed one is something he admits could be considered somewhat stereotypical: His profession as a mountain guide. He has also considered expanding his territory so he can build a fishing business near the coastline so he can better feed the pack.For now though he is content to show over excited tourists or ambitious adventurers his territory for a fee and try to steer them out of harm's way. Summary: Taira is a old wolf (relatively) with a long history and many a story about him being told in the countryside of Northern Neighpon. He has a lived a long life and had quite a few adventures and forged a number of bonds across the country with some of the older Yokai. Nowadays he merely wishes for a quiet, occasionally lively life with his family. Around friends and the previously mentioned family, Taira is a generally cordial and curious wolf. Rather than a battle hardened, stoic, veteran of ancient wars. Taira can be described as something of a pleasant goof. He’s generally eager to get to experience new things, food especially and can be something of a klutz while in his kirin form. On his downtime he rather enjoys fishing, both the natural way and in the ponies’ way. He enjoys going out drinking, even though he is horrible at holding his sake and can be rendered completely drunk from two cups alone. This wolf’s less desireable traits might be his tendency to get somewhat caught up in the past when wounds from it reopen. If he’d learned about that he left something unfinished or something important behind on his many adventures in his long life he is consumed by an urge to gain a degree of closure around those events. Along with that minor compulsion, Another fault of his would be a strange temper: He’s very much a wolf who is very slow to anger, but when is angry he can stay that way for much longer. While Taira has improved from his early days of equine and dragonpony interaction, he still experiences slip ups and will accidently keep some lupine mannerisms. One example is he still tends to sniff new acquaintances unless stopped by someone more experienced blending in (usually Niju). Some of the events in his past have left a degree of scarring upon him, not just in the physical sense. The events of the conflict with Shinku leave him deeply disturbed and uncomfortable about the snow. To this day as well, He is still very wary and untrusting of bears or bear youkai.