Type: Creature, Spirit
Specimen: Chimeric Tapir
When one sleeps, they say the spirit drifts closer to the Land of Dreams ("Yume no Kuni"), and takes flight in the most deepest of dreams. Irui Mikiri, tormented by pressure from his peers, and the Mikiri Clan to conform to the Hidden Cloud and protect their bloodline, sought refuge from reality in his dreams. Irui desired freedom, to express himself, to see the outside world, and truly become who he wanted to be-- an explorer, and seek out adventure. In the Cathedral of St. Memori, under guidance of Mora Mikiri, the boy's prayers were heard, and the shadows whispered back; promising him the freedom and exhalation his soul craved-- a companion to make his dream into reality. The prayers of Irui Mikiri were heard by the enigmatic Baku, a mysterious Dream-Eating being from the Land of Dreams.
Whether it was the unique properties of his Dark Release bloodline, or the Church's doing, creatures called from the Realm of Dreams are certainly not unheard of. The Hidden Sound's infamous "Doki", Yin-energy starved ogres, and the Hidden Mist's cryptid "Shen" Giant Clams notorious for their hallucinogenic Water Style, are such examples. Often, a Genjutsu specialist's summon is a reflection of their inner psyche, a personification of their wants, desires, and scars. Baku come to those who are hungry and desire freedom, renowned for their ceaseless appetite, if they represent anything, it is the Summoner's cravings.
Old legends say the Baku hungers for the nightmares of the sleeping, preying upon malicious spirits, and protecting people from illness. Children who awaken in terror from their nightmares often chant "Baku-san, eat my dream!" calling for the cryptid to visit, and devour the nightmare, never to be experienced again. However, Baku should not be summoned without caution, elders warn. The Baku can devour not only night terrors, but all dreams-- including the hopes, ambitions, and pleasantries-- leaving the person hollow of aspirations, and barren of thought. Within the stomach of the Baku, exists every dream and nightmare it has eaten, and thus it is said to hold every human horror. The breathe of the Baku, expelled from its feasting as well, is said to be dangerous, as it lulls mortals to sleep.
Traditionally, a Baku is a chimeric creature, resembling a Tapir or Elephant, often with feline and ursine physical traits, such as tiger striping, and bear-like limbs. Baku summoned in the past by the Hidden Leaf's Interim-Hokage, Danzo Shimura, were massive elephantine beasts, with pronounced tiger and ursine traits. Irui Mikiri's Baku familiar, affiliated with the the Hidden Cloud is noted for its billowing vapors, snow leopard chimerisms, and a distinct Mikiri diamond pattern on its forehead. With this recent specimen, it can be concluded that the Baku's physical appearance may differ regionally, or individually, having a core visage that is shaped by the unconscious of the Summoner.
Scant information exists pertaining to the behavior of the Baku species, particularly with what they do out of the eye of humans. That said, one thing is universal: The Baku are constantly hungry, and will only heed their Summoner with the promise of a meal or snack.
Baku as Summoning Familiars have a penchant for naturally devouring spiritual energy, and are renowned for their raw strength in Wind Release. This of course, manifests through a profound suction ability that produces a vacuum. The vacuums produced by a Baku have been documented as being strong enough to whittle away an Uchiha's Susanoo'o. Fitting with their ephemeral, shifting, nature, the Baku's prowess with Wind Release cannot be overstated; firing individual projectiles, slicing wind blades, generating hurricane-force winds through simple exhalation.
The Baku, as mentioned, sustains itself on a diet of dreams and nightmares. Perhaps more academically known as imbalances in Yin Release. While a Baku possesses a seemingly infinite appetite, should a Baku consume too much, they can and will leave a victim devoid of aspirations and thought. The byproduct of this is two fold: the Baku's breathe, which is laced with fermenting dreams, and the anomalous waste in the Baku's stomach. The " Dream Vapors" produced by a Baku are particularly sweet, lulling those caught in them to sleep, or triggering hallucinations. The Baku's stomach contains Ichor the devoured dreams, nightmares, and thoughts of its victims. Summoners of the Baku have often used these byproducts to fuel their own techniques, and empower themselves with fresh spiritual energy.
Humans, particularly Shinobi, most express their spiritual energy while awake during the heat of battle.
Element(s): Wind Release
Designated Skill: Fuinjutsu
Summoning Technique || The Caster employs the “Kuchiyose no Jutsu: Summoning Technique”, using their own chakra and blood to call forth a creature of their choosing. The caster strikes a surface, producing a summoning formulae and from it the Baku will materialize.
Other iterations of the Summoning Technique (e.g the Snake Contract's "Shadow Snakes", or the Toad's "Summoning: Food Cart Destroyer") can utilize the Baku as a medium for attack and defense, without a traditional summoning; spawning the creature out of thin air, or in conjunction with Ninjutsu for a myriad of applications. Most interestingly, of course, is the unnamed "Calling" technique, that allows the Baku to be called to its Summoner by declaring: "Baku-san, come eat my Dream!".
Dark Release: Summoning Technique || When Irui absorbs the opponent's chakra with Dark Release: Inhaling Maw, the Baku is able to be summoned and/or activate its "Ravenous" ability. The ability is currently "To Be Determined".
Requirements: Baku are often associated with Lightning and/or Wind users, and especially those with a talent for Genjutsu (Yin Release). Summoners that call on Baku will find that they are assigned a single Baku whose power will increase with rank, potentially affecting the size of their familiar. This contract does not grant a traditional "Boss" Summon, rather the Baku familiar becomes a Boss, by absorbing greater amounts of chakra.
Drawbacks: Fire Release techniques are considered to be 1-Rank stronger against the Baku, owing to their semi-intangible state. The Baku are also uniquely vulnerable to Fire Release while using their suction-based Wind Release, as it will draw the flame directly into the Baku's mouth.
As stated above, Baku are unique, personal familiars of their summoners. Only one Baku exists for each summoner, and each Summoning Rank acts as a "power level" for the Baku. Additionally, Baku uniformly suffer from "Gigantism" as they become larger with rank, as in, being fairly large summons, they tend to be easier targets, making the Baku less ideal for stealth and more apt for "shock" and brute force tactics.
- Irui Mikiri, Kumogakure
Custom Technique Template:
- The Baku is a mythical spirit across Japan said to devour dreams.
- Irui's Baku is based on the idiom "The Elephant in the Room", and the "White Elephant"; both being phrases about a massively taboo subject, and a troublesome gift/burden.
- This follows a trend, with Danzo Shimura's Baku representing "Biting off more than you can chew", and overarching theme of genjutsu summons, with Tayuya's Doki based on the "3 Wise Monkeys" Idiom.