You know when your grandfather warns you not to sneak around the old parts of the house, and especially tells you not to touch anything ancient-looking? It's probably in your best interest to listen. But naturally curiosity gets the better of some, and what does a five year old know about what "ancient" means anyway?
In Kaji's defense, he hadn't at all meant to fall through the rotted floorboards while getting lost trying to find the bathroom. And it wasn't completely his fault that that ancient urn had broken his fall, just as much as looking at the old scroll that lay among its shards had been for the fact that the boy had thought it was maybe some very old style of comics. It was also probably just as well that he'd been oblivious to the ghostly form that had seemingly risen with the dust, hovering almost in anticipation of something as it watched the child run a finger over the faded words. It was also due to that dust and ash that the child stopped abruptly at the last line of text and sneezed, which completely disintegrated the scroll, and the angry howl that chilled his spine almost immediately after had been dismissed as the wind (what a drafty house!).
What sort of horror might have befallen him, Kaji was never aware of. He was found, worried over for the fall he'd taken, and then scolded for not being more careful. His grandfather, believing that since nothing was wrong with the boy, there was no need to further complicate his mother's concerns, mentioned nothing about what the old room must have held, thinking that whatever evils it had possibly contained were long faded away. Kaji himself was none the wiser for what happened to him that day, experiencing no great changes, and thus his family's visit to Japan went without further complication, likewise the return home to the States. Things carried on quite normally for him up until the day that he discovered he could make his papercrafts move.
Being an only child, this was about the next best thing to having an imaginary friend or a sibling. Folded paper animals would come to life and he could make them run around and do tricks, and he could make paper fold and bend, curl and crumple without using his hands. To him, this was quite clearly magic, and it became his most treasured secret as a young boy. When he grew older. he had seemingly grown out of making play of magical moving paper objects. He became interested in things like video games and movies, television shows and trying his hand at some crazy sport or two. And then there was the library incident.
It was finals week and because his parents would tolerate nothing short of a B, Kaji was holed up in the local library. He had taken a break from going over reading material to open up a letter that he'd received that day from his grandfather. The moment that he had slipped the sheet out from its envelope, something unusual happened. The present became out of focus, and inexplicably he heard his grandfather's voice in his head, and saw the old, withered hands as he penned his kanji across the yellowed paper before him as though Kaji himself were writing. And there was another voice, overlapping, even more distant. Chilling. And very faintly, as though he were watching out of the corner of his eye, he saw blazing characters form across a slowly burning scroll. Quite abruptly Kaji dropped the letter (and may have shouted), and after receiving a scolding from one of the library employees for being too loud, he very carefully prodded the sheet of paper again. Oddly enough, nothing happened, and he wondered if he had been hallucinating.
The letter his grandfather had written proved to be a little odd, mentioning strange old stories about "tsukimono-suji" and the superstitions that surrounded the families involved with such before appearing to laugh it all off and turn back towards completely mundane subjects, asking about the weather and his parents. Well, grandpa was always kind of weird. And for all that Kaji was still uncertain about whether or not he'd just imagined things earlier, he still could clearly remember the kanji that seemed to be written in fire, and absently traced them out on his notepad. As it was growing late, he scrapped it in the trash and gathered his things to go. He was well down the street when he heard sirens and saw fire engines race past, and looking back towards the library he saw them gather as dark smoke poured out from the front.
All at once it was like a veil had been lifted from his eyes. He knew in that instant what had caused that fire, what he'd seen- or rather what had been revealed to him. It had been no hallucination, and the revelation awed and scared him. After all, he had inadvertently set fire to the library, and while he found out later that the cause could not be determined, he was glad that the damage hadn't been too severe. It also brought to his attention the old abilities he'd employed so often as a child. He began to experiment and practice, finding his manipulation of paper materials had not changed, and he could find more practical uses if he put his mind to it. He found that he could reproduce the burning scroll effect, altering its flame and the time before it managed to catch fire by adding simple descriptors aside from the main symbol. And he found that with enough concentration, he could actually "see" and hear snippets of thoughts and experiences of a person if he touched any paper that had been handled by them. This ability he'd only come to test out sparingly on the account that he's a little afraid of what he might come across.
While his possession of such abilities hasn't led him to have delusions of grandeur in making extensive use of them, Kaji has since been making more of an effort to learn about what he can do. Now in college, being undecided for a major has left him with plenty of options while he deals with general ed., and while there don't seem to be any specific courses in the art of paper manipulation, Kaji found an interesting opening for internship at a certain paranormal investigator's office.
When you work for a boss who after mysteriously disappearing for a time comes back looking like a dark elf, things like witnessing an eldritch horror running rampant in the middle of an art gala, or getting teleported from the United States to Antarctica quickly become acceptable instances of potential paranormal occurrences. And when your boss can open another dimension through a wall in Starbucks, finding yourself one day suddenly in another time is something that elicits more awe than dread.
...at least until you realize that you don't know how or if you can get back.
Ever since being pulled into such a magically enriched world, Kaji’s abilities have leveled up from simply manipulating paper and dead plant matter. His basic understanding of necromancy had been in controlling the dead, but circumstances and unhealthy interests in his potential have since also nurtured an ability to also subvert the living by ripping away their souls. His awakening of such power has also stirred the awareness of the ancient spirit who had once tried to possess him, now as much a part of him as anything else.
Invoke: Magic is a tool and by nature isn’t necessarily classified as good or bad. He’s been told many times, but it’s difficult not to be rooted in particular mindsets, especially when most tend to be wary of necromancers. As a rule Kaji tries to be careful in how and when he uses such magic, but sometimes things simply come down to ‘it’s better them than me.’
Compel: Like calls to like, and there’s an undeniable rush whenever using such power that sometimes is too tempting to ignore.
Lost In the Echo
Kaji had never dreamed of fame and popularity, and he certainly would never had wanted any of the attention he’s found himself to draw here in this world. Sometimes it seems like he’s got a reputation established whether he likes it or not, and if it’s not due to being something of a novelty for his origins, then it’s because of the abilities he’s found at his command or the acquaintances he’s made.
Invoke: In this world as much as the timeframe of his own, connections can do a lot for you. Kaji’s efforts in assisting with odd and dangerous jobs haven’t gone unnoticed, and people usually know where to find him if they think his abilities might be needed.
Compel: Sometimes the attention and interest he gains isn’t at all from the sort of people he’d care to affiliate with.
Is This the Real Life or Is It Just Fantasy?
Coming from a modern age that, although scientifically and technologically advanced, also nurtured its own pockets of magic and the supernatural, Kaji's become widely accepting of things that he might have only witnessed in various forms of entertainment, whether it be comics, movie and television or games.
Invoke: His internship still allowed for plenty of time to game on the side, so in a world where technology is vastly different and magic coexists on equal levels, Kaji has an idea of what to expect with how things work and how people of such circumstances function.
Compel: Actually having to do things manually is much different than hitting buttons and scrolling through menues. But Kaji's well aware that he's not in any game, and having been through a few things back home, he knows it's a dangerous world out there. Still, that won't stop him from geeking out a bit now and then.
Specialized as he's learned his abilities to be, Kaji tries to remember to at least have a pad of Post-It notes on him at all times, you know- just in case.
Invoke: He has a limited stock of origami paper, notebooks and pads, and a couple of textbooks at his disposal. (He hates math anyway.)
Compel: Since paper’s in short commodity in this world, sometimes Kaji’s prompted to improvise whatever else might be on hand.
Didn't Need to See That
Kaji’s postcognative reading ability has expanded beyond the limitations of paper, although paper and plant-related objects still draw the easiest “impressions” if they’re specifically tied by strong emotions or events. Given his necromantic affinities, places and objects linked to events pertaining to such may also trigger a like effect.
Invoke: When it comes to things like paper-based or wooden objects and items, he takes more care in what he handles and touches. For other things, it takes some conscious effort to draw any reading from them.
Compel: Being at the right place at the right time. Or… is it the wrong place? Coming into contact with certain things that might have had impressions of an event “burned” into it.
Transplanted Mystic (Cost 1)
Kaji came from a world with much lower magical potential than Rifts Earth with much less understanding of how such things operated. Here he would be called a mystic, if a highly unusual variety of one.
Summon and Control (Dead) (Cost 0)
The arts of necromancy are – ironically – alive and well on Rifts Earth. In most magical societies the concept of using the dead as servants or warriors is an old one. Whether or not it’s accepted depends on how those societies view the dead and their remains. On Rifts Earth this study includes a wide variety of spells for animation and control both of the remains of the dead and of the specters of the departed. On the one hand, the dead tend to be relatively easy to control. After all their husks have no will to fight and the shades that can be called tend to be relatively low will creatures. On the other, finding the raw materials can be difficult even in a place as violent as Rifts Earth and because the dead tend to have to be given very specific directions, the spells needed to regulate their activities tend to be a bit fiddly. Finally while the knowledge of necromancy is not necessarily inherently corruptive, the kinds of people it draws are often quite shady and one does not dabble in the power of death without some cost.
Elementalism (Fire) (Cost 0)
Elementalists specialize in manifestations of earthly phenomenon and draw energies from the elemental planes. Fire elementalists wield an element that is often changeable, capricious and destructive. While all elemental purviews are somewhat limited, fire is often viewed as being particularly so. That may be true as fire is an inherantly consumptive element, but there’s no arguing with the raw power it brings to the table when unleashed.
Psychometry (Cost 0)
Objects carry echoes of the things they go through, imprinted upon them by the emotions of the people who experience them. Some psychics can pick up on these echoes and reconstruct them to peer into the past. There’s not a whole lot of versatility to this trick. Psychics versed in it can meditate upon objects to see the echoes of emotionally charged events in which they have taken part. A knife used in a murder, for example, might reveal the murderer. A wedding ring on the other hand might take an object reader through every significant event in a marriage in which it was present. It’s a simple trick, but the information it can impart should not be underrated.
Papermancy (Cost 1)
Paper is your favored medium of choice, and so long as it's created from pulped plants, yours to control. Your fingers need not be in direct contact to manipulate, but direct contact makes things last longer. Despite the name that Kaji has given it, this is a psychic power and is governed by Will.
Ofuda (Cost 1)
This isn't like the typical wards used in shrines. You can take any paper (you still have sticky notes?) and write a descriptor and something to set it off. Setting things on fire seems to be easiest. Or explode. As a result of his training, Kaji is able to cast without the usual words and gestures associated with magic provided he has paper and ink of sufficiently high quality - slightly more difficult on Rifts Earth than it was where he came from.
My Little Friends (Cost 1)
Origami animals or possibly even wood carvings, they've become simple, fun entertainment or idle company. They also make for an excellent army, to swarm, attack or distract. - Kaji is adept at this kind of manipulation via his papermancy and may use his little friends to create advantages with Will or to function as a psychic attack per the usual rules for such.
Despite a bit of a rough start, Elpida finds herself interested in the new feline face that she and Kaji make the acquaintance of.
Thar be Stygian demons in them thar mountains! Circumstances align in which certain components for dispelling an unusual doll problem becomes available.
It's not much of a respite from their harrowing trip as Kaji's focus crystal starts making trouble for Ardul in the Restorium.
The search for Kaji's final component of a plasma blade takes him, Ardul and Hunter to the corridors of an ancient starcraft, but they find that they aren't alone...
A quest for a power source brings Kaji, Ardul and Hunter to the planet of Wormwood. But will the Templars of the Kingdom of Light part with one of their sacred relics?
It's a bit of a scavenger hunt looking for the right pieces of things, but it gives plenty of time for Ardul to better explain to Kaji what's been happening.
With concerning recent developments of the Iyesgarthian flavor, Ardul and Hunter start to consider Kaji's interests in certain tech more seriously.
Kaji accompanies John to pick up the mage's commission from Clothier Z, and even the Twins decide they can have fun with a bit of banter.
John finds his way to Gran's and gets assaulted by breakfast.
Somehow ending up with clean-up duty isn't quite what John and Kaji were expecting when they signed up for this job.
A newcomer in the city seeks out admittance into the Academy, but finds out it won't be as simple as just walking in.
Leo invites Kaji and Slaine over to speak about things he's never before thought to share.
Leo's been busy trying to get back into the swing of things after his slight...mishap. But it's all better now!
Xaereas tries to summon a ride. Unfortunately the rift offers no returns.
Gran's has a bit of an infestation problem that quickly blows out of proportion.
The problem with the creepy dolls only gets worse as circumstances so helpfully present themselves during preparations for year-closing festivities.
Aiden, Slaine, Tion and Kaji head out towards the mountains now that they have a destination set, and while they do locate the Coalition forces, their mission objective changes slightly.
Leo decides to try and bind another spirit to himself. It doesn't go well.
Megana shows Kaji around the recently opened Club Pandemonium.
Leo decides to test one of his ... weapons. On Kaji.
After the latest developments with the news of a Coalition presence so close to home, Captain Sanka'a has a proposal for Aiden and company.
Jeshua finds her way back to Gran's and gets a better feel for things in Vesper while the usuals at the B&B get a feel for her.
Busy afternoon at Gran's. Aiden defaces maps. Concerns about a Coalition presence in the area grows.
Interested parties drop by the Academy to gain some insight from the resident Spider professor regarding the mysterious doll plague.
Kaji finds a Megana and a blood-sucking rabbit in his room.
A certain Justicar stops by Gran's to further investigate rumors of strange, creepy dolls being delivered around the city.
Escaping a dragonesque demon only leads to more problems on the way down. Unfortunately 21st Century architects never considered the drawbacks of using so much glass.
Slaines been tapped for a job by the Dragon himself.
Elpida and Kaji both receive mysterious packages that they wish they could return.
The plans of the Harvesters have been thwarted for now, and those involved in the battle have returned to Vesper for rest and retrospection.
The Harvesters are on the move and it's time to meet them head-on. Aiden leads a small group to take the scenic route while Vesper's army marches for the Circus.
Joined by Megana and Miss Suss, Aiden, Elpida, Kaji and Slaine join the battle as Vesper's forces assault the Xombie forces, fighting their way to the Harvesters before Nxla can be freed!
Slaine and Kaji experience a previous encounter against Nxla in preparation for the inevitable battle ahead.
Slaine and Kaji are summoned to meet with Professor Ingerhast in order to try determining the use of the magical artifacts they've received from the Vault.
With the Harvesters on the move, Aiden pushes for military assistance and Slaine and Kaji gain access to a magical treasure trove of artifacts both useful and dangerous.
Realizing how horrifyingly familiar the ritual he's about to partake in is, Kaji can only hope that the Justicars make it in time to intervene before he helps bring something terrible through.
IC date: July 28, 2410 | Cast: Kaji Haragami
Kaji and Miss Frizz take part in clearing out a few spirits from a haunted house.
Megana and Kaji finally manage to catch up on things and offer each other some much needed bolstering.
With Slaine spotting him, Kaji attempts to feel out the soul of the Harvester he'd pulled in Dogwood.
Following the encounter in the marketplace, Aiden, Kaji and Slaine return to Gran's where they go over the need to prepare for what might be their only shot at stopping the Harvesters for good.
Kaji understandably has his concerns following the confrontation with the Harvesters in Dogwood. He and Slaine talk while awaiting to speak with the Duchess.
Things go sideways when complications come up in Dogwood for Vesper's supposedly covert infiltration team.
New acquaintances meet old ones in the streets of Vesper, and not without talk of the looming threat of the soulless.
The Justicars have the results from their interrogation of the Harvesters and revelation of something happening soon in Dogwood prompts Aiden and others to prepare to intervene.
What was supposed to be a casual cafe visit ends with a business proposition as Miss Frizz accidentally meets Kaji's teacher in necromancy.
A fitful night's rest follows the latest Harvester encounter, leaving Kaji and Slaine to talk about their present concerns and plan out their next course of action.
Serenaded by Aiden, Slaine and Kaji continue to put up their 'couple' front as they enjoy the nighttime festivities of mid summer.
Kaji finds himself alone in Glowtown with a polite, kind, yet sinister stranger.
IC date: June 24, 2410 | Cast: Kaji Haragami
With the latest threats looming close and Slaine's latest vision hanging over their heads, the mystic and the sometimes necromancer catch a moment to talk about things.
Unpleasant visions once again take Slaine in the middle of discussing preparations for that date.
Kaji's training session with Ardul takes an unexpected turn when it comes to exercising his latest skill sets.
A small party from Vesper finally meet with a few Agents of the Crown from Dogwood to discuss the rising threat of the soulless army.
A sudden vision Slaine receives turns out to be a little more than just a rude awakening for those at Gran's.
Megana and Kaji come across an unlikely pair of blood mages out in the mountains.
The Harvesters have it out for Gran! Captain Sanka'a summons Elpida, Slaine and Kaji to discuss their recent findings and possible courses of action.
Kaji and Slaine prevent an assassination and meet a familiar reaper.
Moving beds and screaming boxes! Is Kaji's room haunted?? Brother Devan takes refuge in the strangest place following his Dogwood ordeal.
Slaine rounds up her friends to impart the most recent vital findings regarding Harvesters and a potential plot of war.
A great many things can and do happen in a short amount of time and Megana tries to ease Kaji's worries as they catch up on some of them.
Kaji's lessons in necromancy take an unexpected twist. Opening portals sure isn't necromancy, but what's more concerning is what might be on the other side...
IC date: May 11, 2410 | Cast: Kaji Haragami
Kaji goes seeking around the city for a certain necromancer, but ends up being found instead.
IC date: May 06, 2410 | Cast: Kaji Haragami
Since it would probably be pointless having a weapon only to skewer himself on it, Kaji pokes around the Justicar headquarters in search of someone to train him.
Ghost gathers the usual suspects to check on a project that a certain spider professor has been working on. They find out that someone else has interests in it as well.
The Soulless are attacking convoys between Vesper and Dogwood, and this one is no exception. Kaji gets a strange idea with some of them...
Elpida, Kaji and Zyx are called in to see what answers they can pry from the mage they'd hauled in a few weeks back.
Vesper's military has begun training some new recruits, but by the looks of things, they'll need all the help they can get.
Something is going on at the Tanneries (again) in Vesper. Something bad. Bring out yer Undead! Ser Mercier makes a big mistake...
After intercepting Kaji before he can run off to do crazy things on his own, Slaine and the fledgling necromancer go to track down the whereabouts of a soul harvester in Vesper.
Kaji meets two visitors from Greywall and unforeseen circumstances present him with an offer he'd like to refuse.
The Thirty summons a few of those involved with the investigations of the rise in undead to formally hear their report and decide upon the actions to be taken.
The lost Strigiian monk comes across a familiar face that he can relate to.
After a rough start, Dalia, Kaji and Ted Mercier confront the mysterious woman they think might be "Bea."
A fledgling necromancer, a monk and a Cyber-Knight walk into a bar...
A group of intrepid companions encounter a stadium of problems in Old Richmond, and not a soul among them...
After proving capable in previous missions, the Justicars decide to call Elpida, Kaji and Victoria back for follow-up on their findings in the Appalachians.
A small band of friend go demon-hunting for trophies to sell, in Old Richmond. Things do not quite go according to plan...
After hearing of mysterious disappearances along one of the routes through Old Richmond, Slaine and company investigate on the hunch that it might have something to do with the soul harvesters.
Using a diagram found in a questionable book and a bit of dabbling in necromancy, Kaji, Slaine and Elpida try to figure out just what sort of spell had been used out in Old Richmond. It however proves not to be exactly what they'd anticipated... (Emits by Aiden)
Elpida and Kaji run across the semi-elusive Slaine and touch base upon the matter of necromancers and everyone's favorite city of Dogwood.
Ardul leads a small team up into the mountains to investigate another ritual site, but this one's been freshly used...and still active.
Slaine asks Kaji if he'd consider using his recently found affinities in helping figure out what sorts of things the College has been up to in Old Richmond.
Having received of tip-off from Persephone, the next step is to go check out one of the College's stomping grounds in Old Richmond in search of any leads regarding this Havershim.
Hungry cats don't know to let sleeping psychic mice lie.
Megana runs into Kaji while chasing an escapee, the Shifter quickly forgets about her quarry in favor of spending time with her new friend.
While out for a walk Kaji and Megana's conversation turns strangely personal. Surprising truths and revelations abound. Also many insults. So many.
A reading lesson for Slaine and a discussion about the strange note she was left.
Investigating a trail related to the recently stolen souls near the town of Greywall yields more questions than answers, and hints of something more sinister at work.
Professor Ingerghast summons Kaji and Ardul to her office with disturbing news. (Emits by Hunter).
A patrol into Old Richmond comes upon a new arrival through a Rift. Beware for a bellyful of snark and laughs...
After a scintillating discussion about meat with a talking raptor, Aiden and the others hit the bar, meet up with a couple of the usual suspects and catch up on things.
Felipe runs into a few both new and familiar faces. He also finds himself conscripted into an expedition to search for a missing necromancer with Ardul and Hunter.
Following the trail on the last demon attack, a ritual site is discovered.
A bad dream by Gran has Slaine and Kaji heading to Richmond, with backup. There's a reason that it was a bad dream...
Sarenthon seeks out a band of adventurers in Vanished Point to take delivery of something they've retrieved.
What starts as a bit of wining and dining turns into crystal-eating, earth-choking and head-achenology curing... This is Vesper!
After their ordeal in a Dogwood prison cell, Ser Mercier catches up with the youth, Kaji, to make sure he is doing alright. Kaji did, after all, catch part of a psychic-burst from the Cyber-Knight -- the horrors of the Tolkeen War...
Taken into custody by Dogwood authorities, a group from Vesper are accused of Espionage. Some fear for their lives. Others ... just want them to burn.
A mission from an elder dragon leads a team of companions to an ancient, underground subway station in Dogwood, where they find more trouble than they had bargained for...
Time to delve into the tunnels in Old Richmond. Slaine, Kaji and Megana don't expect to end up on a different planet!
It's no use planning a trip to the subway tunnels in Old Richmond without a map. Well, that's if a map exists. Kaji ends up in the library at the School of Esoteric Arts and meets a spider.
An invitation to visit with Sarenthon isn't one to be taken lightly ... but it must be taken. No one ignores the dragon.
A hit was put out - but on whom and why?
Visiting a farm to pick up fruit and veg for Gran, Slaine and Kaji meet Ghost ... and find everyone gone.
A delegation of Psi-Stalkers appear in Vesper with bad tidings.
Two D-Bees realize they have a lot more in common than they might have initially thought.