Warning: The following contains possible spoilers for the story and is meant as a reference for those who have already begun reading. You have been warned.
Title: Yonmahoujutsu (The Four Arts of Magic)
Setting and Characters
This tale is set in modern day Tokyo, Japan, in a version of our world where magic exists in secret, and an underground organization works to preserve the conspiracy of magic and simultaneously protect humanity from the creatures which magic has produced.
- A seemingly regular first year high school girl, Izumi was born with incredible magic powers but has grown up completely unaware of the fact. Lately, though, she has been having strange dreams about her childhood friend that may signal the beginning of her destiny as one of the very sources of magic.
- Age- 16
- Hair- Black, mid back length and straight
- Eyes- Black
- Appearance- Slender limbed and graceful with a cute, slightly round face, average height and build
- Magic Type- Pure Magic
- Special Talents- One of the born wellsprings of magic, excellent cook, multi-lingual (Fluent in Japanese, English, and French, passable in German, Spanish and Latin), fashion design (in her own mind), endless chatter
- Likes- Senpuu Hiroto, cooking, punctuality, talking, pop music, anime and manga (closet anime Otaku)
- Dislikes- Keeping secrets, people being late, gym bloomers, silence
- A first year high schooler who has been Izumi's friend since they elementary school, and secretly a skilled combat alchemist from a long line of mages. Has trained for years to become an elite warrior, but the combination of having to preserve a mundane life, his anime obsession and his penchant towards laziness hinders his progress.
- Age- 16
- Hair- Short, brown and spiky
- Eyes- Blue
- Appearance- Lanky, average height
- Magic Type- Alchemy
- Special Talents- Mastery of flame alchemy and skilled in magnetic alchemy, great skill in math and science, skilled martial artist, an encyclopedic memory in regards towards all things magical and anime, superhuman reflexes and agility, fluent in English
- Likes- Hitomi Izumi, anime and manga, easy living, tangerines
- Dislikes- The Moon Guard, hard work, cherries
- Izumi's maternal aunt and homeroom teacher (and also Hiroto's) whose primary subject is mathematics. Strong willed and strict, Mai is also a mage for the Magisters Society who has been assigned to protect Izumi from those who would use her against her will.
- Age- 45
- Hair- Medium length and black, usually kept in a tight bun
- Eyes- Black
- Appearance- Tall even by American standards, lean athletic build, youthful in appearance, very well endowed
- Magic Type- Undeterminable
- Special Talents- Barrier creation, math genius, expert markswoman (especially when using rulers), skilled martial artist and gymnast, master tactician
- Likes- Math, discipline
- Dislikes- Idiots and slackers
- One of Izumi's best friends since middle school, Yukari could almost be considered the ideal Japanese girl, were it not for her loose lips and uncanny ability to uncover and distribute gossip at lightning speeds.
- Age- 15
- Hair- Chin length and brown
- Eyes- Black
- Appearance- Slim, graceful, very cute, almost totally flat chested
- Magic Type- None
- Special Talents- Marvelous cook and housekeeper, the intelligence gathering skills of a secret agent, the inability to keep a secret
- Likes- Gossip, cooking, housekeeping, anything moe
- Dislikes- Secrets, wasting food, scary things
- A second year member of the wrestling team, who is a martial arts enthusiast and one of the most fearsome fighters in the school. Has a bit of a nasty temper about him.
- Age- 17
- Hair- Black crew cut
- Eyes- Blue
- Appearance- Tall even by American standards, huge muscles, built like a tank
- Magic Type- None
- Special Talents- Highly skilled martial artist and wrestler, nearly supernatural strength and endurance, expert muffin baker
- Likes- A good fight, muffins
- Dislikes- Sneak attacks, uneven odds in a fight, people who dislike muffins
- One of Izumi's friends from middle school. A wild and energetic tomboy who spent her earlier years in Osaka, she has developed a habit of speaking in the Osakan style and loves to play pranks. Is also a hentai otaku who takes great delight in loaning things to the unsuspecting for the sole purpose of freaking people out
- Age- 16
- Hair- Back-length, spiky and indigo
- Eyes- Grey
- Appearance- A bit tan, average height, strong athletic build, very well endowed
- Magic Type- None
- Special Talents- Abysmal cook, skilled athlete (does basketball, track and volleyball, alternates every year), highly perceptive
- Likes- Playing pranks, Osaka and the whole Kansai region, hentai, sports
- Dislikes- Serious people, people who dislike Osaka, apricots
- A presumptuous Outsider with a taste for human flesh. His favorite food is teenage girls.
- Age- 111 (roughly)
- Hair- Stringy, jaw length and gray
- Eyes- Orange
- Appearance- About ninety-two centimeters in height with pallid skin, pudgy (to the point of almost being spherical), with twin rows of serrated, shark-like teeth
- Magic Type- Pure magic
- Special Talents- Levitation, instantaneous language comprehension (though he has difficulty with Western languages), a supernatural sense of smell and taste
- Likes- Humans (to eat, especially teenage girls), traversing the Realms
- Dislikes- Bad manners, local customs against eating humans
- Formerly Hiroto's fellow comrade in the Magisters Society, Adolph is a German mage who eventually defected to the Moon Guard and is now working to overthrow the Society's quest to keep magic a secret. The partner and a close friend of Anya, whom he cares for greatly even to the point of defying orders.
- Age- 24
- Hair- Short, blond and spiky
- Eyes- Blue
- Appearance- Average height, strong build and features, has piercings on his eyebrow and lip and an axe-shaped earring.
- Magic Type- Weapon Magic
- Special Talents- Weapon empathy, gravity reduction (giving him seemingly superhuman strength by simply reducing the effects of gravity around himself and/or whatever weapons he wields), enhanced stamina, hammer-space creation, expert in classical literature
- Likes- Anya, weapons, freedom, the Moon Guard, Nazi ideals of world unity
- Dislikes- Hiroto, the Magisters Society, Nazi ideas of racial superiority
- Hailing from Russia and also formerly of the Magisters Society, Anya defected at the same time as Adolph and the two have been close ever since. Normally quiet and reserved, Anya despises the Society perhaps even more than Adolph does. Her origins from before the Society are a mystery
- Age- 23
- Hair: Mid-length wavy auburn
- Eyes- Dark brown
- Appearance- A bit above average height, athletic build, well endowed
- Magic Type- Totemic Magic
- Special Talents- Expert in weapon design and construction, superhuman reflexes and marksmanship
- Likes- Adolph, the Moon Guard, Socialist ideals, Russian history, the works of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin
- Dislikes- The Magisters Society, Joseph Stalin, having to work with Margareta
- An English mage with powerful psychic abilities, Margareta was close with Hiroto during her Society days, but has since discarded him in the midst of her violent ambitions. Now one of the most wanted magicians in the world, she is a leading member of the Moon Guard and a cunning enemy. The true nature of her goals have yet to be fully understood, but they seem to center around Hitomi Izumi. Nicknamed "The Sycamore," for the leaf-shaped birthmark on her chest and her God-complex (in some ancient cultures, the sycamore tree was a symbol of divinity and eternity).
- Age- 16
- Hair- Back length, curly reddish brown
Appearance- Short for her age, flat chested and with a very frail, sickly physique. Wheelchair bound almost since birth. On her left breast is a birthmark shaped like the leaf of a sycamore leaf.
- Magic Type- Pure Magic
- Special Talents- Telepathy, telekinesis, image implantation, limited mind readind, tele-empathy, and mind control, various other psychic skills, genius level intellect, master strategist, expert of psychological warfare, excellent cook
- Likes- Hiroto, power, obedience, cooking, peaches
- Dislikes Insubordination, pears, meat
- Izumi's mother, and Mai's younger sister. In her younger days she was well known within the Magisters Society as a skilled monster hunter. She now spends her days as a housewife and one of Izumi's secret protectors, and is thoroughly enjoying her "retirement."
- Age- 43
- Hair: Short and black
- Eyes: Black
- Appearance- Like her sister appears to be only about half her age and almost physically identical to Izumi, though with a bit more bust
- Magic Type- Weapon Magic
- Special Talents- Weapon empathy, instantaneous weapon mastery, expert mana control, skilled martial artist, excellent cook and housekeeper
- Likes- Her family, retirement
- Dislikes- Dangers to her family, spiders, turnips
Hitomi Taro -
Izumi's father. While lacking in the skill and self confidence of his wife and sister in law, Taro is a dedicated father and at one time a low ranked researcher for the Magisters Society, his most oft-occuring job being to equip the infamous Yuka Sisters (Mai and Nozomi) for missions. Currently works as an accountant for the Shibata Law Firm, one of several fronts for the Japanese branch of the Magisters Society.
- Age- 44
- Hair- Short, thinning black
- Eyes- Brown
- Appearance- Short, somewhat overweight, big bushy mustache
- Magic Type- Totemic
- Special Talents- Magic item creation and enchantment, highly skilled in math and well learned in law
- Likes- His family, rice cakes
- Dislikes- The Moon Guard, Italian food
An ainu mage from northern Japan, Akira comes from a long line of professional demon destroyers. A longtime friend of Hiroto and currently living in his house while on assignment in Tokyo, her somewhat masculine appearance, tomboy personality and very flat chest cause her to often be mistaken for a guy. Loud, highly competitive, and with a penchant for violent outbursts, Akira and Hiroto are constantly sparring with one another in order to prove who's the better fighter. Secretly loves cute things and craves female companionship, as she has spent nearly all of her life either training or fighting alongside men. Desires to one day be acknowledged as a girl, but absolutely refuses to wear anything considered girly.
- Hair- Silver, short with streamlined spikes
- Eyes- Frosty blue
- Appearance- Lean and athletic build, average height, very flat chest
- Magic Type- Totemic
- Special Talents- Able to place nature spirits into wood carvings (particularly ikupasui prayer sticks) and use them to control the elements, skilled martial artist, skilled swordswoman, expert woodworker, handyman skills, atrocious cook
- Likes- Cute things (especially pandas), fighting, fishing, pounding Hiroto, being recognized/acknowledged as a woman, purple grapes
- Dislikes- Being mistaken for a man, her flat chest, being made fun of for her lack of feminity, the Moon Guard, green grapes
- Shirosaki Town- A quiet Tokyo suburb supposedly founded as a place of study by disciples of the famous Onmyōji Abe no Seimei (Onmyōji = court sorcerer and astrologer). Its most well known feature is a hill-top shrine to Abe no Seimei where it is said that students still go to learn the arts of onmyōdō.
- Mifune High Public High School- The only high school in Shirosaki Town, Mifune Public High School is a modest school with a strong sports program, though the school board is notoriously cheap in other regards. Home of the fighting Onmyōji.
- Alchemy- One of the Yonmahoujutsu, Alchemy is the ability to transform matter from one substance to another and controlling the elements (both magical and scientific). Like pure magic, alchemy takes on many forms, though most alchemists share a number of basic abilities. Alchemy is the simplest form of magic for people of other aptitudes to learn and in fact many mundane humans who only ever took a single step towards learning magic have learned some of alchemies most basic techniques, eventually leading to the birth of mundane science. Indeed, alchemy is oftentimes considered more a science than a magic, as even the most low level skills require a precise understanding of a substance's properties and how magic affects it in order to transmute it.
- Chibi-Blossom- A large grenade packed with highly combustible ingredients and a fire elemental and unleashes a very large, crimson sphere of pure heat. The smallest in a series of similarly functioning weapons.
- Mage- Currently the most commonly used term to refer to anyone who has the ability to use magic, though the words magister, sorcerer, wizard, magician or any other synonym is acceptable. How mages refer to themselves is the only aspect of magical culture which is influenced by mundane human culture.
- Magic- The ultimate source of power and energy, magic is the lifeblood of the universe, the source behind all the Forces known to science and an energy which promotes life even as it is produced by it. Those who have studied to control their mana or who have been born with the ability are able to freely manipulate this power through force of will in order to manipulate the world around them. The two greatest drawbacks to magic is that prolonged or heavy use of it can drain one's mana to potentially fatal levels and only those with strong wills can hope to safely use it. The stronger one's will, the greater feats of magic one is capable of.
- Magisters Society- The governing body of the magical world, the Magisters Society main duty is to preserve the separation of the magical and the mundane, and cleaning up any messes left behind by careless or malicious mages.
- Mahousen (魔法泉)- The Wellsprings, or Sources of magic, the Mahousen are the mysterious sources of magic upon the planet Earth, serving as a sort of regulator as well as a bridge between Earth, the Veil and the Realms. In spite of thousands of years of intense study, neither their operation nor the full extent of their purpose are fully understood. Fifteen of the Mahousen are stationary locations, while the other two "wander," latching onto the souls of humans to create Human Mahousen, beings of immense power and innate knowledge. The fifteen stationary Mahousen have long been important centers of religious import to ancient cultures, and their locations are thus:
- 1. The pyramids and the sphinx of Giza, Egypt (Mahousen hold a wide radius)
- 2. Seimei Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
- 3. Mount Olympus, Greece
- 4. Stonehenge, England
- 5. Easter Island
- 6. Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Israel
- 7. The site of the Delphi Oracle, Greece
- 8. The Bermuda Triangle
- 9. Ayer's Rock, Australia
- 10. St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
- 11. The Valley of the Kings, Egypt
- 12. The Tomb of Qin Shi Huang (First Emperor of China)
- 13. The Forbidden City,Beijing, China
- 14. The source of the Ganges River
- 15. The Black Hills, South Dakota, the United States
- Mana- Typically known as chi or life force amongst ordinary humans, mana is raw spirit energy which can be harnessed by a strong willed individual for the purpose of wielding magic. While mana is constantly being replenished by the body, this requires food and rest. If an individual runs out of mana, their soul will break apart and they will die.
- Moon Guard- One of many terrorist groups opposed to the Magisters Society and its attempts to hide the existence of magic, the Moon Guard is made up primarily of former Sun Guard and STAF members and the Society's most persistent human enemies.
- Outsiders- Any sort of extra-planar creature, though usually only used to refer to sentient beings. Most outsiders that enter our world are Pure Mages.
- Pure Magic- The most powerful type of magic, pure magic (sometimes called true magic) is also the most well recognized amongst mundane human culture. Ranging anywhere from creating fireballs to flying to raising undead, pure magic's primary drawback is that those born with aptitude toward this power are limited to skill in but a handful of (admittedly wide ranging) abilities and have a much more difficult time mastering others of the Four Arts.
- The Realms- The collective name for other the planes of reality which exist outside of our own. Until Nikola Tesla experimented in extra-planar travel, the Realms were very difficult, if not impossible, to access. Travel between our world and the realms is now a fairly mundane process, though heavily monitored by the Magisters Society. The collective of all the realms, including our own, is known generally as the multiverse.
- Special Threat Apprehension Force- Also known simply as STAF, the Special Threat Apprehension Force is the Magisters Society's primary military response towards human threats. Specially trained in both magical and mundane combat techniques, the STAF are specially equipped to handle any and all human and nonhuman threats.
- Sun Guard- A branch of the Magisters Society whose primary mandate is the slaying of monsters or outsiders who attempt to harm humans or who threaten to reveal the truth about magic. Something of a paramilitary police force, the Sun Guard has been increasingly called to aid other groups like the STAF in fighting rogue mage organizations like the Moon Guard.
- Totem- Any nonliving object that has become infused with magic so as to give it magical abilities, a process known as enchantment or totemizing. High quality totems are highly sought after throughout the magical world, as are those with the skill to make them.
- Totemic Magic- One of the Yonmahoujutsu, totemic magic is the innate ability to transfer one's mana into nonliving objects in order to grant them magical capabilities. The second most difficult art to master for those without the talent for it (the first being pure magic), totemic magic is as much a science as alchemy is and requires much skill and practice. Masters of this art are highly sought after all throughout the magical world for their skills.
- The Veil- The magical barrier which separates the world of humans and the world of spirits and monsters. While paper thin at the best of times, the Veil becomes almost nonexistent at Mahousen sites, and at times it is possible to look through it to the world beyond.
- Votch- A repto-amphibious species of outsider, Votch are sentient creatures of low intelligence but are excellent trackers and are very good at using magic to disguise themselves (some more than others, though). Votch worship magic, seeing the Mahousen, both in their own realm and in others, as gods. Earth's human mahousen are especially revered and are sometimes sought out by pilgrims in order to learn more about magic, usually to that mahousen's chagrin.
- Weapon Magic- Weapon magic is wide ranging set of abilities that usually gives those with aptitude with it increased physical abilities as well as the ability to "bond" with a weapon so as to wield it at its utmost capacity. Most of the heroes of ancient legend were weapon mages, though not all were aware of it.
- Yonmahoujutsu- More commonly known as the Four Arts in areas outside of Japan, the Yonmahoujutsu are the four great schools of magic under which all abilities, skills, and spells fall under. Every human on Earth is born with a natural aptitude towards one of these four, though only those who have learned how to control their mana or who have been born with the gene for using it naturally can gain access to their powers. While it is possible to learn how to use an art outside of one's own aptitude, this is usually quite difficult (especially if one attempts to learn pure or totemic magic), and it is generally recommended that one instead focus on developing what they have the talent for.
Please let me know if I missed anything or if there is anything wrong wtih my formatting of this.