Kidō is one of the four fundamental elements of the Zankensoki, that is the total of primary combat skills of the Shinigami.
Arguably, Kidō is the most demanding and abstract aspect of the Zankensoki. The other fields are logical extrapolations upon skills accessible to ordinary Humans that are adapted to the vastly superior capabilities of spiritual beings. Conversely, Kidō is the art of manipulating one's spiritual energy to form often elaborate ethereal constructs with the power of one's mind. Furthermore, it is entirely possible for a Shinigami to develop a complete combat style whilst diminishing the role or skipping Kidō altogether. Due to its requirements Kidō is not intended to be a primary form of combat as it is a comparatively cumbersome skill to wield. Regardless, this inherent complexity may be turned into a great advantage in the hands of an adept practitioner.
Spellcasting is a pathway to perform many feats that exist wholly beyond the reach of the other aspects of the Zankensoki. With a proper exertion of will one might mould their spiritual energy into a wide variety of forms in order to attack, defend, stun, bind, afflict, deceive or heal a target. For the sake of a methodical approach such techniques, called spells, are divided into proper categories based on their general purpose: hadō (破道, "Way of Destruction") for offence, bakudō (縛道, "Way of Binding") for defence and other supporting uses, as well as kaidō (回道, "Turn Way") for healing. Furthermore, many spells are assigned numbers that indicate their increasing complexity on a scale from #1 to #99.
Each traditional spell is a distinct, named technique with a well-defined form and function. Unlike special abilities of concrete individuals, however, spells are neutral and may be reproduced by any practitioner. To ensure stability and replicate all of their properties without fault is not an easy task, though. To that end there exists the concept of incantation (詠唱, eishō), a type of mnemonic technique intended to facilitate the process. Beginners are taught to associate various semi-poetic chants with the metaphysical intricacies of spell formation. The utterance of an incantation helps them focus upon the process of generating a particular spell as they harness spiritual energies, both innate and external.
There is another core aspect of spellcasting which necessitates the use of chants and verbal commands. Namely, the principle of kotodama (言霊, "word spirit") determines that words bear power and are crucial to grant said power to displays of magic. As a result, only a complete incantation guarantees that the spell achieves full potential. Expert practitioners might skip parts of the required utterance and succeed to generate functional spells. In fact, seasoned specialists may cast potent spells in utter silence. However, no matter their experience and aptitude, spells produced this way are always diminished to some extent due to how fundamental and insurmountable kotodama is.
Beyond the classic and conventional approach to Kidō there exist numerous unorthodox methodologies. Casual practitioners and Kidō experts content themselves with spellcasting by the book. Gifted specialists, however, strive to constantly hone their skill, elaborate upon the basics and develop ingenious techniques.
- Eishōhaki (詠唱破棄, "Incantation Abandonment"): The most commonly employed class of incantation which, in fact, consists of abandoning it for the sake of significantly reduced casting time. The resultant spell is weakened, although this diminishment in performance might be more than compensated for with the faster generation time. Masterful wielders of Kidō are usually capable of using Eishōhaki to conduct impressive sustained assaults. Even though it is unwise to do so with a high-level technique, low- and mid-level spells might be produced silently.
- Nijū Eishō (二重詠唱, "Twofold Incantation"): This more complex class involves the alternating utterance of two separate incantations to generate two complete spells in quick succession. Additionally, such an intermingled chant might confuse the opponent.
- Kōjutsu Eishō (後述詠唱, "Spoken-After Incantation"): An advanced form of incantation where the pracitioner generates a spell and only then utters the chant to empower the technique. Naturally, this is best used with spells that do not require to take full effect quickly. In such cases, Kōjutsu Eishō alleviates the issue of swift delivery of complete spells. Moreover, the adversary receives no warning as to what spell is to be deployed.
- Naiteki Eishō (内的詠唱, "Mental Incantation"): Another advanced class of incantation. The practitioner recites the full utterance, or some part of it, in their mind. Such way of casting requires substantial concentration, although the casting time is reduced and the spell produced retains most if not all of its total power. In comparison to Kōjutsu Eishō, Naiteki Eishō requires slightly more time to generate the spell but the spell is already complete upon casting.
- Dōji Eishō (同時詠唱, "Simultaneous Incantation"): Nijū Eishō and Naiteki Eishō are combined to take advantage of their most prominent aspects. This demanding technique involves simultaneous recitation of two chants, one aloud and the other in one's mind. Whilst rather taxing this method might be employed to cast drastically empowered spells without a warning as to this increased potency until the technique is launched. Furthermore, an even more complex approach consists of reciting two different incantations at the same time to generate a peculiar hybrid spell.
List of Kidō Spells
Hidō (秘道, "Secret Way"): These spells are secret techniques invented and used by Hikari Maebure and his disciple, Zetsubō Usuguraiboshi. They possess peculiar traits which may or may not fall within the standard Bakudō and Hadō division. They are not numbered by the magnitude of their power, but rather in the order they were developed.
Even though difficult to evaluate precisely using the standard classification system, it is safe to say that all these spells are high-level techniques. Their effectiveness in battle implies power comparable to the 90s range of the traditional Kidō.
|Hidō (秘道, "Secret Way")|
|1.||Shōhi (消費, "Dissipation")||A white, swirling and sparkling wave of energy emitted from the user's hand, this spell possesses substantial disruptive properties. It is capable of dissolving powerful Kidō spells or other techniques based on spiritual energy, and may even temporarily disrupt the flow of energy of an individual targeted by the technique. Incantation: "Remove the lynchpin which holds Creation together, unchain the shackles of reality and set us free".|
|2.||Yugamekyō (歪め鏡, "Distorting Mirror")||Supporting spell which completely distorts perception of individuals within the immediate vicinity of the caster. It affects all of their senses and plunges them in a chaotic pocket dimension of false and inverted stimuli. However, its effectiveness becomes more reduced the higher the spiritual power of affected opponents. Incantation: "World is but a theatre, life but a play. Wretched being, gaze upon your reflection and utter the bitter laugh".|
|3.||Hahen (破片, "Splinter")||A powerful offensive technique, this spell is fired as a scarlet torpedo of energy surrounded with sparks. That extremely fast and bullet-like projectile explodes violently upon impact, but rather than unleashing its substantial power in a simple explosion, it aims to shatter whatever its target is. For instance, when fired at a person donning a set of armour the spell would concentrate its full power on all joints and weak spots rather than on the spot it actually hit. Incantation: "Shatter what is held together, tear to pieces and disperse in the wind".|
|4.||Kakudai (拡大, "Magnification")||Another supporting spell, it acts as a considerable enhancement of pure attack power. At full capacity it can effectively triple the potency of any technique it is casted upon, usually adding a noticeable crimson glow and sparks to the technique in question. Incantation: "Morning breeze, become a raging tornado! Feeble spark, strike down as a lightning! Gentle stream, flood with your mighty breakers! Faint flame, incinerate in your fiery inferno!".|
|5.||Jōzai (浄罪, "Purgation")||This spell is intended to cleanse its target from any negative effects inflicted upon them, like poisoning or illusions. Whereas it grants the target immunity to the cleansed status ailment, it is only temporary and the effect may be inflicted again after the protection wears off. Incantation: "Poisonous words, malicious intent, dark hatred. Evil seeps into the minds of the weak. Begone! The mighty servant of Light shall know no corruption!".|
|6.||Hanketsu (判決, "Judgement")||A hybrid Bakudō/Hadō spell, this technique binds the target with several long and spiky tendrils of light grey colour, which usually either erupt from the ground below the target or are shot directly from the caster's hand. Subsequently, the tendrils repeatedly shock the target with strong surges of electricity intended to not only harm the bound individual, but also to hinder attempts to escape the spell. Incantation: "You who have sinned against the Lord, know your guilt and embrace your punishment! Let the righteous indignation purify your iniquity!".|
|7.||Hikari no Yōsai (光の要塞, "Fortress of Light")||An "ultimate defence" Bakudō spell. The caster raises his hands into the air and summons four thick pillars of ivory light, which are then connected by nearly translucent walls of solid energy. In exchange for immobilising and draining its user as long as the technique is being actively sustained, it grants an astounding level of protection throughout its duration. Incantation: "Stand firm amongst the evil of this wicked world. Let the Light of the Lord protect me from its corruption".|
|8.||Myōbatsu (冥罰, "Retribution")||An "ultimate offence" Hadō spell. This technique is charged in one of the user's hands into a deceptively small sphere of immensely condensed light pink energy, which emits constant surges of sparks. When prepared, the caster subsequently throws his arm forward and fires the spell in a form of fast moving, narrow beam. Upon strike the spell results in a blinding explosion of colossal proportions, and a single cross-shaped pillar of energy shoots toward the sky in its wake. Incantation: "Servants of the Dark! Cower in fear! The time of reckoning has come! May the blessed Light of the Lord Almighty eradicate the stain from the fabric of existence! Perish!".|
|9.||Shikei Senkoku (死刑宣告, "Death Sentence")||Composite Bakudō/Hadō spell which traps the enemy in a prism cage of semi-translucent, amethyst energy that subsequently proceeds to explode violently. Incantation: "Villainous scum! Halt at once! Repent for your sins, for the time of ultimate judgement has come!".|
Advanced Spellcasting Techniques
Average practitioners of Kidō require little more than the ability to produce functional spells in the thick of battle. However, devoted Kidō specialists incessantly seek ways to further improve their spellcasting ability. Those who choose to focus upon this art spend many a meditation and training session in order to develop sophisticated spellcasting techniques which drastically enhance their performance.
- Nagare (流れ, "Flow"): To generate a spell the caster first needs to accumulate an appropriate amount of spiritual energy, whether they draw from their innate reservoir and/or exploit ambient particles in the atmosphere. Kidō specialists devote a significant amount of time to perfect their ability to harness said energy and achieve optimal efficiency. Once they engage in battle they deliberately maintain a steady flow of spiritual energy. Their bodies act as conduits so that they may cast spell after spell with natural ease.
- Shidō (指導, "Guidance"): Normally, once cast a spell takes a pre-determined effect, nothing more, nothing less. While this does not stop them from being adequate seasoned spellcasters are well-aware of many limitations that result from this simplicity. For instance, elusive enemies might be able to evade a powerful offensive technique so that they devote minimal effort to avoid crippling damage and render the caster's own exertion virtually null and void. In order to alleviate this, veteran Kidō specialists train to maintain constant control over the spells they generate. Consequently, they become capable of purposely guiding the techniques to pursue or outmanoeuvre their foes. With a proper degree of control Kidō ceases to be a set of "fire and forget" techniques to eventually turn into an extension of the caster's will.
- Sōjō Kōka (相乗効果, "Synergy"): Each traditional spell is a well-defined technique with specific properties and a clear purpose. On the one hand, this greatly facilitates their usage in combat. Conversely, the spells are somewhat limited in what they can achieve and dangerously predictable to knowledgable enemies. In order to alleviate this, as well as obtain access to a vastly greater scope of possible tactics, Kidō specialists learn to combine spells with one another. Thus, a simple Hainawa may electrocute the restrained opponent with lightning current of Tsuzuri Raiden, or Tenran might be used to disperse the flames of Haien in the form of a firestorm. Such spells are highly effective and unpredictable to anyone but another Kidō specialist. There are several ways to generate them, whether through an alternating or manifold incantation and, in the case of exceptional spellcasters, a mere exertion of will.
- Kaihen (改変, "Alteration"): Once a specialist of Kidō gains considerable experience and learns the more profound intricacies of spellcasting, one may forgo the basic notion of a spell to rediscover the concept, in a way. Traditional spells are, in fact, mnemonic techniques intended to facilitate the usage of Kidō as performed by more casual practitioners. However, genuine masters are capable of grasping the fundamental aspects of spells and, consequently, are no longer subject to any but the most inherent limitations. This skill allows them to readily alter the spells they cast so that they employ them as flexible templates, their shape and properties malleable like the finest clay. Certain adept specialists are known to select particular spells only to master them and wield them with impressive ingenuity, as if they were their own.
- Inshō (印象, "Imprint"): There exist special abilities and skills that allow certain individuals or groups, such as the modern Quincy, to redirect or absorb techniques which consist of spiritual energy. However, spells generated by experienced Kidō specialists are a special case. Rather than ordinary techniques they are metaphorical extensions of their master's will and serve as a medium for one's intent. As a result, any attempt to divert or assimilate them becomes a struggle for control that is unlikely to benefit the original caster's adversary. This is because the resolve of an exceptional mage reinforces the inherent qualities of the spells one casts so that another layer has to be overcome in order to dominate them, a layer that many might not even comprehend much less prove able to surmount.
- Kengen (顕現, "Manifestation"): Arguably, the most sophisticated spellcasting technique. Chants might be described as crucial mnemonic techniques which help ordinary practitioners reproduce specific spells time and again. They ensure stability and functionality. In addition, there exist several types of chants designed to facilitate the oft-lengthy and sometimes strenuous process of casting. Nevertheless, reduced or not many inherent issues prevail and continue to negatively affect the caster's performance. Particularly gifted specialists, however, might be able to find a solution for this. Rather than content themselves with repeating reproduction of pre-determined spells they may endeavour to thoroughly analyse the inner workings of said techniques as well as the process of spellcasting itself. With intimate knowledge of the intricacies involved they can employ their considerable talent and experience to drastically improve the very way they cast Kidō. The process becomes their second nature, thus chants are rendered redundant. Instead, the caster is able to visualise and manifest a spell or entire sequence thereof into existence with but a thought. Even though kotodama requires some sort of appropriate utterance for such spell to achieve full capacity, the process is swift and practically effortless. More than that, the caster may manifest multiple spells simultaneously and/or readily alter them at a fundamental level. No motion is required to do so and the spell might originate anywhere within the field of influence of the mage with a simple exertion of will. Due to the amount and nature of qualities necessary to develop Kengen the technique is indication of a truly exceptional Kidō specialist.
Kōdo Kidō (高度鬼道, "Advanced Spirit Way"): The standard division of Kidō between bakudō, hadō and kaidō is the result of ancient tradition. More than that, such classification system is also suitable for casual and expert practitioners of the art. This is because the spells included within the aforementioned three categories are relatively simple as well as tried and true. However, they are only a portion, if prominent, of spiritual spellcasting as a whole. In fact, there exist several sophisticated, obscure types of Kidō unheard of in the curriculum of the Shin'ō Academy or even among the ranks of the Gotei 13. These arcane arts are the fruit of labour of devoted and seasoned specialists who have developed numerous intrinsically advanced spells that frequently achieve feats that lay outside the scope of traditional, well-known Kidō, whether in magnitude or precise effect. As such, Kōdo Kidō is the domain of ambitious spellcasting masters that focus most of their efforts on the improvement of their magical prowess.
Gainendō (概念道, "Way of the Notion"): A unique classification of techniques invented by Hikari Maebure. There is no further division, neither chants nor numbers required. This is because the so-called Conceptual Spells readily manifest the practitioner's will. All it takes is to utter a single apt Word of Power (力語, chikarago) to swiftly generate a complex expression of the desire in the form of a spell. Technically, there exist three approximate tiers of power that depend upon the relevant utterance. A silent Conceptual Spell has the power of a complete mid-level Kidō. The Word of Power is sufficient to swiftly produce an unimpaired high-level technique. Ultimately, should the practitioner decide to announce the use of Gainendō before uttering the chikarago the resultant spell boasts power well beyond the reach of traditional Kidō. Whereas still composed of spiritual energy, each technique is extremely condensed, stable and finely controlled by the caster. Energy consumption is exceptionally efficient as well since the spells are willed into existence for a specific purpose rather than deliberately moulded. The exact form of a Conceptual Spell is highly variable depending on numerous factors, although understandably they often emulate traditional Kidō in terms of appearance. The essential constant is that every such technique boasts the power of a notion that is far superior to meagre properties of conventional techniques. Inherently versatile, Gainendō may readily produce a plethora of different of spells. The following are some of the most common types:
|Gainendō (概念道, "Way of the Notion")|
|Destroy (撃つ, utsu)||This type entails a wide variety of offensive moves. By default, they take the form of energy blasts and beams. These generic spells are the most pure manifestation of the will to eradicate the opposition, simple and effective. However, with more specific commands the caster is capable of emulating the multitude of forms characteristic to ordinary Hadō, for instance fireballs, bolts of lightning, blizzards, volleys of iron spikes or torrential gusts of wind, among many others. Such elaborate displays frequently boast additional properties consistent with their nature. Be that as it may, regardless of the exact form, all techniques cast with the intent to destroy are extremely thorough in their function and thus very difficult to evade or defend from.|
|Protect (守る, mamoru)||It is imperative to defend from attacks conducted by high-level enemies. To this effect the mage is capable of casting various shields and barriers at a moment's notice. Whilst some of them might be briefly wished into existence in order to intercept a single strike, perdurable multi-layered spheres might protect from the most vicious of assaults for an extended period of time. Furthermore, as a result of harnessing the power of a notion, such comprehensive defensive techniques actually shield the caster from more subtle adverse effects as well, for instance toxins, extreme conditions, or mental attacks. Seasoned practitioners typically maintain a complex spherical ward on their person which balances power and imperceptibility for the ability to foil any potential surprise attack and offer basic protection at all times.|
|Restrain (抑える, osaeru)||Rough equivalent to the traditional Bakudō which includes spells cast with the aim to incapacitate the target. Some of the most common forms include chains, ropes, manackles, bands, or energy constructs which completely enclose the enemy. Depending on the amount of energy and resolve employed to form such a technique they might range from simple spells which briefly disrupt the opponent up to nigh-inescapable constructs which distort space and time around the target in order to minimise their mobility and chances to regain it to the absolute possible minimum.|
|Restore (戻す, modosu)||When necessary, the mage might cast a potent healing spell to completely recover one's body and mend grievous damage. This extends to physical damage as well as various adverse status ailments. Even though they require a substantial amount of energy, their ability to restore the caster to full fighting condition in the thick of battle might prove invaluable.|
|Unveil (暴く, abaku)||This technique is employed to counter powerful illusions. With its use the caster may metaphorically strip away almost any kind of illusion so that one regains the senses and unaltered perception of the surroundings.|
|Redirect (そらす, sorasu)||Some techniques might not be easily defended from. Other times, it may be more beneficial to steer the enemy attack away, possibly even back at the original caster. In such cases the mage might use Gainendō to dominate a Reiryoku-based technique and enforce a drastic change in its trajectory. Such a sophisticated display of Reishi manipulation is partly powered by the user's resolve.|
|Disperse (散らす, chirasu)||The most sophisticated and, at the same time, most effective way of defence against techniques which consist of spiritual energy. Certain attacks might boast unpredictable properties so that a barrier or a change of trajectory may not be sufficient to neutralise them. Whenever the mage deems an enemy's technique particularly dangerous or is simply unsure as to its exact nature, one might employ this kind of spell to dissolve that technique back to its constituent spiritual particles, thus rendering it completely harmless. This is because their elements are cleansed from the original intent during the process of disintegration.|
|Dominate (圧する, assuru)||This peculiar spell may be the most dangerous ability at the disposal of a Gainendō practitioner in spite of its indirect nature. Protracted usage of such complex and powerful techniques as conceptual spells consumes vast quantities of energy. However, the caster may alleviate that issue with the employment of an absorption spell. Very similar in function to the Sklaverei of the modern Quincy, this technique allows one to swiftly assimilate ambient Reishi particles from the surroundings. In fact, when employed with high enough focus the mage may disintegrate Reiryoku-based techniques within his vicinity only to obtain a portion of their power.|
Meiandō (明暗道, "Way of Dark and Light"): A classification of sophisticated techniques developed by Katashi Hamasaki. Whereas each spell has its own name all share the same category and do not require any incantations to function at full power. Instead, the generation of two distinct focal points of opposite energies is essential. Furthermore, provided proper vocalisation every technique exceeds ordinary Kidō in terms of effectiveness. In short, the art consists of manipulating "dark", or negative energies, and "light", or positive energies. The dark aspect of this art involves the ethereal and as such allows to generate highly elaborate and convincing illusions. These illusions cannot inflict direct harm on their own, although affected individuals experience everything they perceive just as if it were real. Conversely, the light aspect focuses on the employment of the physical in that it is capable of exerting tangible forces upon its targets. This means that the caster can not only mend grievous physical injuries in a matter of moments but also assault the adversary with kinetic and concussive forces. In the end, it is possible to deploy both energies conjointly to produce the most complex manifestations of this art. First, the practitioner creates the sheer form with dark energy and then grants it corporeality with the use of light energy. Consequently, one may generate completely functioning constructs or entities.
|Meiandō (陰陽道, "Way of Dark and Light")|
|Beniyoruame (紅夜雨, "Crimson Evening Rain")||Potent gust of wind reminiscent of Tenran emerges from the caster's palm to entrap the target in a violent twister that exerts tremendous pressure. In consequence, the victim is mangled and crushed within several seconds. In the end, their grisly remains are shot upward and dispersed across the area when the spell fades out.|
|Kūkidan (空気弾, "Air Bullet")||This simple offensive spell functions in a way comparable to that of the ever popular Shakkahō. However, it is an ovoid projectile of extremely condensed physical forces that deals kinetic damage upon impact, and one much more stronger at that. Additionally, the spell is considerably faster and harder to spot due to its semitransparency. The caster may fire a number of Kūkidan in rapid succession.|
|Kyozetsu (拒絶, "Repulse")||The spellcaster accumulates tangible force in one's palm and unleashes it in the form of a potent shockwave. Said pulse might serve as an area-of-effect attack that deals considerable concussive damage or as a way to block or reflect an impending strike, whether physical or spiritual in nature.|
|Shinsei (再生, "Rebirth")||Potent healing spell which mends grievous physical injuries and may regenerate lost limbs in a matter of moments.|
|Shiratsuki (白月, "White Moon")||The most powerful light-type spell. The caster condenses positive energies into a large gleaming sphere of white colouration that looms over the area. Anyone who gazes upon the White Moon, sans the mage, is subjected to three consecutive, increasingly more potent impulses of tremendous gravitational forces. The first impulse exerts ten times the standard gravity, the second a hundred, and the final, decisive one, thousandfold gravitational power. Armour shatters, shield cracks, body and bones break and become liquified under the horrible pressure as the spell embosses its mark on the surface directly beneath the ominous sphere. Needless to say, the technique is a high-level one with a sizeable area of effect.|
|Gaikan (外観, "Semblance")||A particularly insidious illusion spell. The caster might subtly affect the target's overall perception so that the way one interprets all external stimuli is slightly modified. The ensuant personal mock-reality disguises the true words, actions and events that occur with highly convincing yet significantly different alternatives. Many an enemy does not notice that something is amiss until it is too late, whether a mere insult is in fact a release command or an ostensibly low-level technique conceals a deadly strike.|
|Kokugatsu (黒月, "Black Moon")||The most powerful dark-type spell. The caster accumulates negative energies into a big dim sphere of black tint which looms over the area. Anyone who enters the Black Moon's shadow, except for the mage, is subjected to a potent illusion. The world drowns in nigh impenetrable darkness, with only the pervasive cold, unintelligible whispers and elusive shapes accompanying the affected person as one attempts to find their way back to the reality. An all but futile struggle, for the spell invades the mind of the target and affects it directly, without the need for proxies such as mundane or spiritual senses. In order to surmount the charm one has to afford a tremendous exertion of willpower, one that provides the most brief of glimpses upon the reality behind the gloomy veil before it envelops the target once more. Brief windows of opportunity all too easy to miss, never to reappear again.|
|Kontonriku (混沌陸, "Disorderscape")||This spell manifests the illusion of a large otherworldly stairwell. All individuals affected by the spell are placed in a pocket dimension of highly varying directions with notions such as "up" or "down" rendered virtually meaningless. The caster is not subject to these distortions, which grants one a significant advantage over the opponents.|
|Satori (悟り, "Edification")||This spell cleanses whatever status ailments afflict a target and restores one's morale should it falter. This effect extends to poison and psychological torment, among others.|
|Teiden (停電, "Blackout")||Impulse of dark energy emanates from the caster's body to sweep over enemies within a moderate distance. Temporarily overcome with perceptual stimuli they are rendered vulnerable to the follow-up. This effect can be resisted somewhat with composure and strong resolve.|
|Yuiitsu Muni (唯一無二, "One and Only")||The technique produces a number of immaculate shadow doubles of the caster which can then act of their own accord. While purely incorporeal they seem indistinguishable from the original even when perceived through Reikaku. They will, however, disperse as soon as they are struck.|
|Dark and Light|
|Eienue (永遠飢え, "Hunger Everlasting")||A powerful, if otherworldly offensive spell. As the caster accumulates energies of both types a distinct loud ringing may be heard. Subsequently, a giant skeleton emerges from the ground. This ghastly entity is not an illusion but a potent magical construct which proceeds to grab the intended target with tremendous physical strength and then bites off the enemy's head. Attempts to fend off the entity with brute force are largely futile, though the construct is somewhat vulnerable to Kidō.|
|Genshiyo (原始世, "Pristine World")||The most effective defensive spell. With the joint energies of the light and dark aspects of Meiandō the caster might protect oneself or another person with a complex, multilayered sphere. This typically invisible, though translucent grey upon impact, barrier is covered with intricate patterns of symbols which denote its manifold defensive properties that can block powerful strikes, no matter their exact nature. Normally, the mage maintains the barrier active throughout any engagement to offer continuous comprehensive protection. This stems from the ward's ability to reject various phenomena, whether physical or metaphysical, owing to its own dual-type properties. The ward might be readily replenished after sustaining damage with an exertion of the caster's will, albeit the price for that valuable trait is reduced overall durability. This means that Genshiyo is much more vulnerable to high-power attacks than a shower of light blows.|
|Kodomonodōri (子供の道理, "Children of Reason")||This potent spell produces tangible entities. The light aspect is responsible for their semi-physical bodies and the ability to interact with the real world while the dark grants them form, purpose and a trace of self-awareness. These nebulous sword-wielding beings born of magic act as the mage's ethereal soldiers. They are fairly strong, although their main advantage stems from their numbers. They disperse when struck with sufficient force. However, they may reform and continue fighting on their maker's behalf as long as one makes the effort to sustain their existence.|
|Kogarashi Maisōshiki (凩埋葬式, "Withering Wind Burial Ceremony")||The greatest offensive spell which combines the light and dark aspects of the art, comparable to Kurohitsugi in terms of function, yet substantially greater in terms of magnitude. First, the caster moves both arms in front of the chest and puts the tips of fingers together to form an "o" shape. Once a sufficient amount of energy is gathered the mage aims at the intended target and unleashes the spell. A large gleaming circle manifests around the opponent who is then suppressed by enormous exertion of tangible forces. Meanwhile, four ethereal pillars with hollow tips emerge from the ground only for a sizeable prism of an embellished sarcophagus to follow shortly. The profound forces pass through the hollow pillar tips as they circle about the target to rapidly grow in strength until the victim is brutally mangled and crushed with might that distorts spacetime and forces reality itself to writhe in agony. In the end, the grisly remains are swallowed by the sarcophagus which proceeds to solidify and linger, a grim parody of an actual funeral. A memorial to whomever was worthy of deploying such a radical measure against them.|
|Kuroshōbi (黒薔薇, "Black Rose")||This composite offensive spell requires carefully measured proportions of light and dark aspects. The caster spreads what seems like a giant ink blotch from within one's shadow. This peculiar substance proceeds to rise and ensnare any potential targets within a moderate radius. Then, it stabs them with numerous extremely sharp spikes. The spell might "reach out" toward and pursue airborne opponents, though gradually loses in effectiveness the more it extends. Nevertheless, when used properly it is a powerful crowd control technique, or a means to overwhelm a singular oppponent.|
|Nibunhō (二分法, "Dichotomy")||One of the most powerful offensive spells that can be generated with the light and dark energies of Meiandō. Typically, the caster channels the technique by outstretching both of one's arms forward and clasping one's hands, forming a 'blade' with one's fingers. Subsequently, a giant translucent grey wedge of pure energy bursts forth toward the intended target. Markedly, Nibunhō is not designed to cause widespread destruction but rather exert frightening piercing force upon the target in order to bisect whatever has the misfortune of finding itself upon its path, whether a Kidō barrier, shield, armour or the body of a spiritual being. Once the spell accomplishes its goal or is succesfully blocked it simply fades away into nothing.|
|Saisei (再生, "Renascence")||A comprehensive healing spell. Depending on the amount of power the mage pours into Saisei one is capable of healing grievous physical injuries, curing afflictions and restoring morale, up to and including the regrowth of lost limbs. Nevertheless, the spell requires a considerable quantity of spiritual energy to accomplish such a feat.|
Tokikūkandō (時空間道, "Way of Space and Time"): Perhaps the most profound type of Kidō, a classification of complex ancient techniques of uncertain origin. Interestingly, some of the spells that belong to this category have been transferred in diminished form only to become high-level traditional techniques, with Bakudō #81, Dankū being one of the more prominent examples of the process. Regardless, the art concerns arguably the most cardinal aspects of the universe, that is space and time. Needless to say, an outstanding talent, remarkable insight, considerable experience and great power are all essential requirements to comprehend and practice Tokikūkandō. For it grants the ability to stop or alter the flow of time or distort the plane of existence, to prevent or reverse events and perform techniques of astronomical defensive or offensive properties, feats as astounding as they are perilous to attempt. Only the brilliant mind and unswerving focus of an advanced Kidō specialist ensure a sensible degree of control and likelihood to succeed. On the whole, the knowledge of the art is obscure and a top secret, limited to the ranks of Kidō Corps and the higest authorities of the Soul Society. Some of the spells that belong to the category of Tokikūkandō are strictly forbidden from use due to their capacity to tamper with the state of existence itself. Consequently, the deployment thereof is normally confined to high-level emergency situations, if permissible at all.
|Tokikūkandō (時空間道, "Way of Space and Time")|
|Bōheki (防壁, "Bulwark")||Arguably, the ultimate means of defence in terms of reliable protection from any type of directional attack. Rumoured to be the original spatial distortion spell in the form of a barrier that subsequently gave birth to the diminished Dankū of modern bakudō, Bōheki lives up to its reputation. An intermediate display of the Way of Space and Time it is nonetheless a high-level technique no doubt. The caster fashions a rectangular shape by joining the fingertips of both hands in front of the chest in order to summon the spell. Afterward, a sizeable translucent prism adorned with two stylised barbacans and a row of battlements in-between manifests to block the impending strike. Bōheki is exempt from the well-defined limitation of Dankū and as such may intercept spells of greater destructive power than a hadō superior to #89. This is because the two layers contain miniature warp within. Should the outer surface of the barrier shatter, said warp distorts the enemy attack. This property might either extinguish the strike or stall if for several seconds. In the extremely rare event the second layer is overcome as well, more often than not the mage has had sufficient time to prepare in the meantime. Naturally, the price for the perdurability of Bōheki is energy consumption and effort greater than required to deploy a functional Dankū. Nevertheless, this is an acceptable price to pay for an advanced spellcaster.|
|Bunretsu (分裂, "Schism")||The Way of Destruction is well-known for the myriad of elaborate, oft-dazzling forms spells of this category boast in stark contrast to their crude purpose. As one of the basic Tokikūkandō spells, Bunretsu is ostensibly unimpressive in terms of appearance but compensates for that shortcoming with lethal effectiveness. Spatial manipulation is an intrinsically versatile ability, one that might be employed differently for a variety of reasons. The goal of Bunretsu is to turn that power into a tool of death. The caster can produce several translucent medium-sized discs of distorted space. While simple enough at first glance they possess unimaginable cutting ability as a result of their essential properties. These controlled miniature planes of warped dimensions are launched toward the enemy to slice through their defences and bodies like a hot knife through butter. Few, if any, conventional means of defence are capable of withstanding reality-warping techniques so that evasion is the better solution by far.|
|Hakanai Sabishī (儚い寂しい, "Transient Desolation")||The Way of Binding offers a plethora of spells designed to constrain, stall or otherwise impede the enemy. Some of them are simple and effortless to cast while others achieve near-permanence with their sheer effectiveness. Be that as it may, Tokikūkandō includes a spell that rivals the greatest of bakudō owing to the somewhat peculiar properties thereof. With the use of Hakanai Sabishī the caster may enclose the target within a hermetically sealed prism of translucent dimensional barriers. The resultant cube is cramped and extremely sturdy. While the target might still move, if in a highly restricted manner, the compact size of Hakanai Sabishī prevents most sensible means of escape. This is due to the fact that the spell virtually separates the bound individual from the rest of the universe; any powerful technique unleashed to destroy the cube from within will be contained within and the ambient energy present in the atmosphere is not accessible for as long as the barriers hold. Their nature as dimensional distortions renders them exceedingly difficult to overcome otherwise to anyone who does not boast a pertinent special ability or is a gifted Kidō specialist oneself. Nevertheless, the spell is a temporary one. The duration depends upon the decision of the mage responsible. Usually, Hakanai Sabishī lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to a couple of minutes. Then, the prism fades away of its own. And while this means that it is bound to disperse sooner or later, however brief that period of time is it creates a perfect window of opportunity for the caster to prepare a suitable follow-up.|
|Hassha (発射, "Catapult")||The status of the Way of Space and Time as an advanced art in itself notwithstanding, not every display of this category of Kidō has to be sophisticated. In fact, an adept practitioner might perform both profound and simple spells that all benefit from its arcane properties. Hassha is a prime example of the latter. Developed for the purpose of energy efficient offence, the spell weaponises brief contractions of space. The result of a momentary compression of the fabric of reality is a sudden outburst of primordial forces that deal considerable kinetic and concussive damage to anything and anyone within the proximity of the strange phenomenon. Trivial to perform for an advanced master of Kidō, the spell might be employed repeatedly at a fairly high rate to continuously damage, stun and disrupt singular opponents as well as small groups of enemies alike. Pre-emptive means of defence may reduce or sometimes successfully block the brunt of such attacks, though due to its fleeting nature Hassha grants next to no time to actively block or evade otherwise.|
|Ichiji Teiton (一時停頓, "Temporary Setback")||Kaidō is the default choice whenever a mage needs to mend broadly defined damage. Concussions, lacerations, burns, fractures, poison are all detrimental effects that can be healed with the power of Turn Way. Even depleted reservoir of spiritual energy is capable of being replenished with the use of proper spells. Be that as it may, Kaidō, just as the bodies it seeks to restore, has some fundamental limitations as to what it may achieve. Lost limbs or severe psychological trauma often require the deployment of more elaborate solutions to recover. Notably, the Way of Space and Time offers one such solution which is not only independent of advanced equipment but also comprehensive in function. The caster may select a single person, either oneself or another, and undo any form of damage one has sustained with a properly adjusted Time spell. Stab wounds close, grievous burns turn back into smooth skin, fractures fuse. More than that, mental damage is mended as well, whether torment, morale or trauma. Ichiji Teiton is an intermediate spell of Tokikūkandō that may literally restore a wounded individual back into full fighting condition at the cost of moderate energy consumption.|
|Jigenjō (時限錠, "Time Lock")||Flexibility is one of the greatest assets of Tokikūkandō, if not as pronounced or readily apparent as the monumental power of its spells. Jigenjō is a highly peculiar display of this category of Kidō, owing to its intrinsic properties. Namely, the technique places a temporary time lock on a single instance (例, rei). The instance is a vague concept, one defined by the mage as the spell is cast. There is one essential restriction placed on the rei: it has to be a single instance of something. Perhaps a devastating Cero is approaching, an enemy is closing in, or the caster needs to set up an elaborate trap where timing is of utmost significance. Whatever the case, Jigenjō places a time lock on that specific instance to briefly halt the individual, action or event. Needless to say, this may serve a wide variety of purposes, many of them beneficial in high-level combat. A basic Tokikūkandō spell by definition, the effort required to engage a time lock is proportional to the magnitude and quantity of the instances concerned.|
|Jikangire (時間切れ, "Being Out of Time")||To experiment with a notion as profound as time is exceedingly dangerous, to say the least. However, a learned veteran specialist of Kidō might be able to harness that fundamental power as long as one remains cautious. Insight is another crucial trait required to succeed while tampering with forces few may understand. Tokikūkandō bestows the ability to manipulate time. Enormous, such power is not one easily controlled and one that normally belongs to the domain of divinity. Nonetheless, there exist some brilliant approaches that help the greatest of mortal mages to reach out toward this power and use it for their own purposes, if briefly. Jikangire is the spell that may stop time. But rather than foolishly attempt to halt the grand wheel of time and perish due to the inevitable overexertion, the mage might devise another method to achieve such a towering task. Instead, one employs Tokikūkandō to disconnect oneself from the time continuum so that one might easily focus one's entire skill and power on a process that is incomparably less demanding than the suicidal former. The result is that the following period of what seems to be several seconds to the caster is an amount of time so insignificant to those outside the influence of the spell that even the most perceptive invariably fail to notice. However momentary that detachment allows the mage to evade a crippling impending attack, consider the current situation undisturbed or, more maliciously, set up a lethal trap for the adversary. For while for the duration of Jikangire neither party can affect the other, everything returns to normal once the spell wears off. Thus, the time-locked techniques the mage might have cast in the meantime take their effect immediately afterward. For all that, the spell requires a significant cooldown period before it may be used again.|
|Ken'o (嫌悪, "Aversion")||There are many viable ways to defend from the enemy strike, some less direct or obvious than others. Barriers and wards, while precautionary and effective, are also passive by definition. Interestingly enough, certain individuals might favour a more active approach. To merely withstand the attack is one thing, but to turn said attack against the assailant is a substantially more impressive display of prowess. Ken'o bestows the ability to readily alter the notion of directions around the user's person. In consequence, one may not as much wrestle control of the enemy strike, a deed either difficult or impossible under normal circumstances, but simply guide them toward a different destination point. There is no effort wasted in attempt to dominate a Kidō spell or a Zanpakutō technique. Instead, the local distortion of space directs the attack, no matter its exact nature or delivery, wherever the mage wishes to. Naturally, this includes a hasty return of the impending technique back to one's original caster or, alternately, forcing the attack to hit another enemy, among others. Considered an intermediate spell, Ken'o is extremely flexible and its utility in battle is highly appreciated.|
|Kūhaku (空白, "Blank Space")||The absolute defence. Even the most elaborate and sophisticated of majestic wards are not infallible. They are impressive, no doubt, yet warriors and mages of superbly honed skill and immense power are capable of overcoming them. For high-level combat is a contest of perseverance and ability, a veritable clash of wills that struggle for supremacy, and no conventional means of defence is immune to the prowess of a worthy opponent. Be that as it may, there exist obscure, arcane techniques which seem to laugh in the face of reason and transcend the limits of reality. Kūhaku is one such majestic spell. The existence of the spell is top secret, known only to the most adept and reliable members of the Kidō Corps. And select few may actually deploy the technique in all of its minimalistic yet astounding glory. Already in its far more popular and recognised, diminished form as the Bakudō #81, Dankū, the defensive spell is a high-level one, wielded only by masters of Kidō. The true form of the technique is something fundamentally superior, however. With it, the Kidō specialist can detach oneself from the physical plane of reality on a dimensional level. What appears to be a translucent prism that encloses the mage's body is in fact the borders of a perfectly isolated pocket dimension. The caster remains visible and audible, though audiovisual contact is the most one may accomplish as long as the spell stays active. This is not a matter of perdurability but the sheer fact that the user separates oneself from the rest of universe so that any form of attack, conventional or not, cannot actually reach the target. While harmless for the duration, the caster might rely on this technique to defend where any other means of protection would surely fail.|
|Mukiryoku (無気力, "Torpor")||Arguably, time is the more hazardous aspect of Tokikūkandō to deal with due to its far-reaching influence on the state of existence. However, an expert practitioner of the art is capable of exploiting a number of brilliant methods to precisely control the magnitude and effects of pertinent spells. To that end, Mukiryoku was conceived as a useful yet relatively simple technique that combines marginal risk with low energy consumption. For the Way of Space and Time revolves around more than just strictly scientific phenomena and harnesses the power of the relevant concepts. This means that rather than actually modify the flow of time the mage may choose to merely alter perception thereof. With a single sweeping impulse of the spiritual pressure one can change the way affected individuals experience time. To be exact, the caster causes them to perceive seconds as tens thereof. A minor change, one could say, but its effectiveness in battle should not be underestimated. Since the user is unaffected, one renders the enemies vulnerable to swiftly executed attacks as they gaze in a charm-induced torpor at the ostensibly sluggish actions. Nevertheless, the effect is temporary and wears off of its own. Additionally, repeated usage in quick succession causes a resistance of sorts to develop gradually, though it does not persist once the battle is over.|
|Omoi Futan (重い負担, "Heavy Burden")||The notion of space is an essential aspect of the entire existence. Extensive in its scope, the manipulation thereof is a versatile ability no doubt. Provided in-depth knowledge of the mechanics that determine the way universe functions one might use the power to perform many an astonishing feat. With that in mind, Omoi Futan is an intermediate spell that exploits the aforementioned knowledge for an unobvious yet completely consistent usage of the Way of Space and Time. Gravity is not a force of its own, but rather the result of the curvature of space caused by uneven distribution of mass and energy. While the Tōkikūkandō expert cannot control the latter one has a lot of sway in terms of spatial distortions so that one may emulate that effect accurately. Consequently, the caster is capable of substantially increasing the pull of gravity in a selected area that one only needs to visualise in order to define the borders. By default, the magnitude of amplification is approximately a factor of three. Not disabling, perhaps, especially to the stronger of spiritual beings, yet the influence is far from negligible. Movements become sluggish, weapons heavy, while ranged techniques veer off-course and drop toward the ground earlier than predicted. More than that, the warp causes minor time dilation to those within the field of the spell that further hampers their performance. The duration of Omoi Futan is not set in stone since the mage actively sustains the technique. This means that one can also adjust the factor of gravity increase. While more straining to the mage, a greater one might be necessary to slow down the more powerful opponents to any meaningful degree.|
|Riyū no Shukuteki (理由の宿敵, "Nemesis of Reason")||The absolute offence. The effectiveness of the vast majority of techniques designed to maim or kill the adversary exists on an intrinsically reasonable scale, ranging from laughable to earthshaking. Nonetheless, even the most grand displays of the intent to destroy are limited in some fundamental ways. Whether long casting time, crippling sacrifice or low speed, they normally require an enormous price to pay for their might and allow a chance to defend or escape to enemies proficient enough to offer appropriate resistance. And whilst Riyū no Shukuteki is not utterly different from others in this particular regard, the inherent properties of the dreadful spell reduce such chances to nil to anyone but the most seasoned and powerful of warriors. Developed by Fumio Enomoto and based on the essential tenets of the Way of Space and Time, the technique's sole goal is to erase the enemy from existence. The caster outstretches the left arm toward the one who has managed to force one to call upon its awesome power, risen and with the fingers fanned. Subsequently, the mage channels the profound energies of Tokikūkandō to warp the very fabric of reality and collapse space itself upon the target with a gesture as simple as the clenching of a fist. Conditioned body, armour, shield, energy barriers are meaningless; the dimensional implosion relentlessly compresses anything within the grasp of the spell into a hyper-condensed mass the size of a single particle. Then, the sheer atrocity against reason this technique represents explodes in a world-shattering release of staggering fury. This is the last resort, the ultimate spell at Tōkikūkandō expert's disposal. Currently, there exist no known feasible means of defence against its astronomical might. For the time being, the only viable solution remains to prevent the mage from employing the technique in the first place, a monumental task of its own.|
|Seifuku (征服, "Subjugation")||An intermediate spell of tremendous attack power yet relatively humane properties. Where the Hassha is a fairly simple offensive technique that combines low energy consumption with mild damage output and disruptive properties, Riyū no Shukuteki is an ultimate technique of horrible power that should only be employed as a last resort against a vicious enemy. And somewhere in the middle of that scale is Seifuku. Under normal circumstances, the power of this spell registers as high-level when compared to the traditional Hadō. Provided that the caster has spread one's spiritual pressure beforehand, said Reiatsu might be employed to perform this insidious attack. To elaborate, the mage asserts firm if brief control over the ambient spiritual energy through the medium of one's spiritual pressure. Then, a sizeable contraction of the plane of existence results in a powerful implosion with the intended target ideally in the centre thereof. Only passive and pre-emptive means of defence are capable of reducing the inevitable damage for the inherent properties of spell render it relentless. Owing to the size and placement of spell any endeavour to evade is bound to be hindered at best and foiled at worst when the enemy is forcefully pulled into the epicentre of the implosion as the fabric of reality is compressed. Furthermore, the spell is an instant one. All it takes is to perform a single rapid hand seal that consists of clasping the practitioner's hands in front of one's chest. In consequence, the implosion occurs immediately in a fraction of a second. More than that, however straining that is the mage might decide to promptly repeat the spell should the previous instance fail to deal desirable damage to the target. Nevertheless, a Tokikūkandō expert can adjust the magnitude of the power output for the best results.|
|Ugokinashi (動きなし, "No Motion")||Hohō is the art of supernatural mobility. A skill so useful as a supplement to other, more directly combat-oriented abilities that many of the most devoted specialists still find the time to train the former. And while the utility of Hohō is undeniable, some unique techniques may accomplish respectable feats of high-speed movement through alternate means. Kidō on the whole is renowned for its versatility and the more sophisticated categories thereof are a pathway to many abilities one could consider unnatural. Ugokinashi is one such peculiar spell. The caster focuses upon a specific point of destination. Then, one uses the esoteric qualities of Tokikūkandō to locally distort space in a very precise manner. In consequence, the mage is capable of, for all intents and purposes, performing genuine teleportation. There is no need to move physically. Rather, the spell warps the plane of reality in a way that transports the caster from one place to another in a negligible amount of time no matter the actual distance. Furthermore, such mode of broadly defined movement is not subject to certain fundamental restrictions present during the employment of Hohō. For instance, because the mage's body itself does not technically move, one might make use of Ugokinashi whether bound by a Bakudō or another means as, generally, their properties do not impede such a feat. Additionally, most attempts to intercept the mage when travelling from one point to another are futile for the fact they exist in normal space prevents them from affecting anything within the tunnel of warped reality the spell exploits. Extremely useful no doubt, the technique is not a viable replacement for Hohō altogether, though, due to energy consumption involved. Nevertheless, it is an invaluable asset as long as it is used deliberately and sparingly.|
|Unmei no Gyakuten (運命の逆転, "Reversal of Fortune")||One of the several spells that let one control time itself, and also the more complex one. To halt the flow is remarkable feat of magic prowess without a shadow of a doubt. Yet, out of all the hypothetical possibilities this is by far the easiest one to achieve. The ability to truly alter the currents of time is something fundamentally superior. Something that may be considered reckless and bold at best and heresy at worst. Regardless, the possibility exists. In a display of tremendous skill in the art of Kidō as well as strong resolve, the mage might grasp the time continuum and force the flow to reverse. What this entails is that quite literally, onee is capable of turning back the time. Needless to say, this is not a task easily accomplished. The exertion required is strenuous, and a considerable price has to be paid. For every second the caster puts back the clock 108 weeks of life are taken away from them. Extremely long-lived as a powerful Souls tend to be, this is still no small sacrifice to make. Nevertheless, the sheer magnitude of potential change this presents is inestimable. As long as they are recent, tragic events may be averted, crippling wounds undone, lost lives restored. Still, every mage has some limits that even outstanding skill cannot surpass. Three minutes are the most one can potentially manage before natural stamina is completely drained.|
|Yugamekyō (歪め鏡, "Distorting Mirror")||Probably the most fanciful Tokikūkandō spell at a devoted practitioner's disposal despite its nature as a supplementary technique. Moreover, even though indirect and elaborate it is also one of the more dangerous ones due to the fact of it being an excellent force multiplier. Last, but not least, Yugamekyō serves as a great example of skill in the manipulation of space. Through finely controlled exertion of spiritual pressure the mage metaphorically grabs the fabric of reality and distorts the plane depending on one's whim. As a result, the notions of direction and distance become severely warped in a sizeable area. Left and right, up and down, front and back change unpredictably while one attempts to traverse the distorted plane. An enemy attempting to close in might find oneself meandering helplessly about the intended target or a Kidō blast unleashed in a specific direction may vanish only to suddenly reappear somewhere in the distance. Saturation and area-of-effect attacks are largely useless, or at least highly perilous. This is because Yugamekyō is no meagre illusion; the spell violates reality in a very palpable manner. A Tokikūkandō expert is virtually unhindered by the ensuant distortions. In fact, one is fully capable of exploiting said warped space to strike at the clueless opponents with nigh impunity. All the same, the technique is not entirely without flaw. Just as the caster may reach one's enemies they hypothetically may reach the mage. Individuals brilliant enough to analyse and discern the pattern of the distortion network can somewhat alleviate their predicament.|