[*] Species Guide

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💮 O R I G I N 💮

Fuwa Bozu is the shortened form of "Fuwa Fuwa Bozu," which literally translates from Japanese to "fluffy monk."

They resemble the traditional Japanese rain dolls Teru Teru Bozu, hence why they were given such a name. However, they are more complex and animated than their namesakes, often featuring animalistic traits and accessories made of string.

The first Fuwa Bozu was created purely by accident when a Japanese woman encountered a small mouse, lying dead in the middle of the road. She immediately wanted to put the animal to rest but was tentative to touch it, so took out her handkerchief; she then proceeded to pick up the mouse with the cloth and wrap it up, planning to carry it somewhere more peaceful. However, before she could even stand up, it began to move.

The mouse had come back to life!

It now took on a slightly different form, with what was originally the lady's handkerchief now serving as its body, as well as its spirit's anchor to the word of the living. It had reawakened because the woman had bared her soul at it, showing it a raw tenderness that was so rare in this guarded world, where people had grown afraid to open their hearts, in fear of getting hurt. The mouse spirit promised itself to the woman, whose soul it described as a shrine, perfect for a little monk such as itself to devote its life to guarding.

It is said that to this day, the mouse still guards its "shrine," and will do so until the day she dies.

💮 A N A T O M Y 💮

Fuwa Bozu are typically 3 to 6 inches in size, and will shrink or grow to fit these parameters regardless of how large the original animal is or how big of a cloth was used to cover it.

They are also sexless, regardless of the biological sex of the animal they came from, thus have no means of reproduction and can only be created. They do, however, understand the concept of gender, but that is something they develop into over time. Young Fuwa Bozu often refer to themselves as "it," and remain gender-less until they — with the help of their shrine — understand themselves better!

The cloth makes up the main body of a Fuwa Bozu and is the same cloth that the animal gets covered with on the day of its death. For example, the first Fuwa Bozu has a body of plain white with the woman's initials embroidered on the hem, because that was her personal handkerchief! If she had been carrying a patterned kerchief that day, then the first Fuwa Bozu would have sported a patterned body-cloth! The cloth makes up the majority of the Fuwa Bozu's body and always covers its whole head like a hoodie so that only its face and maybe ears poke out.

Also depending on if its body-cloth had a hem or not and what type of stitching it's made from, the Fuwa Bozu will sport little string lower limbs! These legs vary in length, thickness, and coloration, but will be woven from the same material as the cloth. String accessories may also appear and if there is any embroidery or buttons, those are also worn as cute add-ons. Even if the original cloth did not have anything special on it, the Fuwa Bozu's owner can hand it materials, and the spirit can attach them on itself!

The face-holes on the cloths of these spirits are always rounded, giving them a cute, innocent appearance! These little fellas also have an interesting form of transformation magic, where they can alter the structure of their face to be almost flat with just a slight curvature! This means a mouse spirit, typically featuring a pointed snout, can flatten all its features, so from the front, it just looks like a round face peeking out of the cloth! No one knows why they do this, but it's adorable, nonetheless.

Of course, the Fuwa Bozu's face, upper limbs, and tail usually resemble the animal it originated from, but the coloration and markings may change upon becoming a spirit. These changes are random and unpredictable, though it will still ultimately be distinguishable.

💮 B E H A V I O R 💮

Fuwa Bozu are always seen around their creator, because home is where the shrine is!

These critters speak to their companions telepathically, not producing any sound normally, unless they come across another spirit. When communicating with other spirits, they make noises resembling their original animal, though often softer and more airy-sounding.

Fuwa Bozu cannot communicate with other living beings unless their shrine shares a strong bond with the other, whether it be romantic or platonic. When such a bond is formed, it opens up the pathway between the two souls, because they are now comfortable with each other, so the Fuwa Bozu can now speak with and protect the other's shrine, too. Multiple bonds can be formed and multiple shrines, revealed; if one shrine bares itself to another shrine who already has a spirit protecting it, the Fuwa Bozu will almost always work together to protect their now-mutual companions. In a sense, these spirits are like "truth revealers," because you will know the moment someone trusts you, as that is when their Fuwa Bozu will be able to communicate with you.

Their ultimate goal in life is to protect their shrine, their creator's soul, from the rot of the world. Sometimes the world can get dark and cruel, which causes a bright soul to become clouded, and that's where a Fuwa Bozu comes in. They teach their companions how to pull the rot out of their hearts, drop it in the river of life, and let it wash away; new rot will always come, but the spirits will always be there to help, for as long as their shrine needs them. Sometimes, they will even show images of themselves physically washing away the rot, because they understand that some need that visual confirmation!

Though the Fuwa Bozu and its companion immediately share a strong bond from creation, there have been cases where a spirit has abandoned its shrine, but not by its more free will. Sometimes bad things happen and a soul becomes so distorted that it doesn't retain any of the original rawness it had bared to the Fuwa Bozu when they first met. It is during these incidents that it becomes possible for a soul to become so clouded with rage and distrust that it casts away the spirit meant to protect it, leaving it without a shrine; these Fuwa Bozu do not survive for long, for they no longer have a reason to stay in this world, and very quickly pass on.

💮 T R I V I A 💮

• Fuwa Bozu often refer to their creator's soul as their shrine. •
• These little spirits cannot be created by those with ill intent. •
• Yes, you can put a tiny handkerchief over a bear and it may become a Fuwa Bozu. •
• A Fuwa Bozu can only be created if the dead animal's spirit still lingers in this world. •
• These little spirits all have the ability to glow and leave an aura trail. •
• Fuwa Bozu can make small objects in close proximity to them float. •
• The plural identification for Fuwa Bozu is still just Fuwa Bozu. •

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Feel free to ask questions about anything not mentioned~
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