|English||"Spirit Way Corps"|
|Purpose||Presiding over Spiritual Law|
The Kidō Corps (鬼道衆, Kidōshū) is the branch of the Soul Society's military that concerns themselves primarily with magic. Among their duties are opening the Senkaimon, hunting down dangerous users of magic, and publishing spellbooks of the 198 Spells once a century. Rarely seen or heard from, they keep mainly to themselves and rarely interact with other Shinigami openly.
The Corps are composed of nothing less than the greatest and brightest spellcasters within the Soul Society, and it's believed that the average level of skill within the higher echelons of the corps is slightly above that of Byakuya Kuchiki himself, with most members possessing the skill and ability to cast spells into the nineties with little issue and often without an incantation. Although their reserves are often lacking in comparison to more developed Shinigami.
The greatest of them, by contrast, are some of the most powerful beings within the spiritual realms. Possessing immense power through their mastery of Kido. Their First Commander once remarked that were they to revolt and defect, they could have the entire world of the living enslaved within the span of a single week.
Although few are privy to the secrets of the Kidō Corps, or even rarer still, the hierarchy with which it's supported. Many a Shinigami have caught themselves wondering about their inner workings, and how it is to be one of these esteemed spellcasters of Soul Society. Few would imagine that it's anything less than the cordial and professional relationship often found within the Gotei 13.
Those few who do learn the truth however, find that it's extremely different from anything they could ever have imagined. According to one of the few individuals ever to have been released from the corps, Kazuya Kuchiki, the Corps are composed of several types of people. Some are mere scholars, happy to delve into the secrets of magic and assist in the creation of new spells and formulas. Others however bicker among themselves and fuel their ambitions to rise to the top, and throughout the centuries, it's not been unheard of for two members to kill one another out petty rivalry and competition.
Largely disinterested by power, most of the members are instead driven to these lengths in their desire to have their genius acknowledged. Because in an organization which prides itself on knowledge over all else, a keenness of mind is the greatest claim to fame and fortune anyone could ever have. It's widely believed that to rise to the top of the Corps you not only need to be exceptionally talented at the noble arts, you also need a high degree of political acumen and a silver tongue. Commanders and Vice-Chiefs alike rarely remain in charge for more than a few months if they don't consistently manage to stay several steps ahead of their ambitious colleagues.
Curiously, these attempts at their posts, or in some cases, lives, are rarely struck down against. With many members having come to regard these happenings as a necessary trial - as every single mage is fully aware of their own extraordinary talents when compared to the more unenlightened Gotei 13. After all, to lead a band of elites, one needs to be even more exceptional and resourceful oneself. Until the elected official has survived or even more impressively, foiled numerous attempts at their lives and positions from other members, their reign over the Corps are mainly superficial.
119 years ago Tessai Tsukabishi was the Kidō Corps Commander and Grand Kidō Chief of the Kidō Corps while Hachigen Ushōda was the Vice-Kidō Chief. Due to events that saw Tessai sentenced to imprisonment and Hachigen to be put to death the two escaped into exile in the Human World leaving the Kidō Corps without leadership.
In the beginning, the Kido Corps suffered from a lack of organization, they managed to accomplish their stated goal. But often just barely in time for a new century, they were disjointed and largely uncooperative. With the upper members fighting amongst themselves, to put an end to this, a formal hierarchy was introduced as well as splitting them into four primary divisions, with each division focusing on a single aspect of the Kido Corps work.
Each single division was then put under the watchful eye of an appointed Master (親方, "Oyakata"). These being exceptionally skilled Kido Masters with strong leadership qualities and with great skill and talent within the divisions forte. Within these divisions, the Masters possess a degree of power that is surpassed only by the Commander, who they answer to exclusively. Directly under the Masters is their Assistant (助手, "Joshu"), which is the second-in-command of that division.
The dynamics between Masters and Assistants is noted to be similar to that of Gotei Captains and Lieutenants.
These divisions are the Gakushaka, which are concerned about researching, creating and discovering new spells or variations, while also being responsible for the century-edition of the Central-One-Hundred-And-Ninety-Eight-Spells granted to the Gotei 13.
The Jishouka, which is in charge of maintaining the Senkaimon, and which also serves as a place to advance knowledge of the different planes of existence, alongside advancing the field of temporal and spatial magic. Infamous spells such as Jikanteishi and Kukanten'I were discovered by the Jishouka.
Members of the Yorutai are feared throughout the spiritual realms as exceptional battle mages. Although few in numbers, the Yorutai composes an elite fighting force whose prime purpose is to track down and detain practioners of the Noble Art gone rogue. Their secondary purpose is to kidnap individuals which they then bring to the Kageka for experimentation. Most of these unfortunate individuals are never seen or heard from again.
By far the most feared and secretive of the divisions, the Kageka, also known as the Shadow Department are specialists of the kind of knowledge that few would deem wise to pursue. They pore over dusty tomes containing dark rituals of ancient times, and perform terrible experiments for the sake of advancing their craft. The spells wielded by these people are often exceedingly cruel in nature, as few of their members possess anything resembling conscience or humanity. One might even call it a requirement.
The Gakushaka's (学者課, "Scholar Division") primary purpose is researching spells both new and old in order to provide a spellbook containing the Central One-Hundred-And-Ninety-Eight spells by the end of the century. Far from being an easy task, these spells are carefully handpicked to achieve a grand number of primary uses, given how ninety percent of all Shinigami will never learn spells beyond those 198.
Like with any division of the Kidō Corps, the Scholars prize magical ability and power. However, unlike many of the other divisions, the knowledge of magic, and how it might be utilized, researched and improved is a lot more important. Hence, while these individuals are often skilled in their own way, they're undoubtedly the weakest fighters in the Corps, and most recruits are placed in this division until they've made themselves stand out. At which point they may apply to any of the other divisions, many of them do indeed remain within the Gakushaka due to its effect on the daily lives of Shinigami.
New recruits of the Gakushaka are usually tasked by them to enter the Human World in search of lost magical forms and ideas which can be improved upon through their knowledge of Kidō, mortal magic cannot for instance bring back the dead as Jiangshi. Kidō however, most certainly can.
The Master of the Gakushaka is at the moment unknown.
The Jishōka's (事象課,"Phenomenon Section") is the section of the Kidō Corps that maintain the various Senkaimon used to travel between the realms, likewise, they're also in charge of discovering how to best utilize spells that concern fundamental forces such as Space and Time. Although their research is extremely dangerous and some would profess, should be illegal altogether their progress is vital due to the immense amount of power such spells grant a mage. Furthermore, as their abilities expand they hope to one day be able to access any spiritual realm in existence, even those who are normally quite difficult to travel to, such as the Torrential Lands and beyond.
As a Division in which top-secret experiments and spells are being made, attempted and refined, only the most trustworthy of individuals are permitted to become part of the Jishōka, although it is by most considered to be a tremendous honor. As their profession implies, most of them are supremely skilled within spells and forms of magic that deals with the forces of Time and Space. Infamous spells such as Jikanteishi and Kukanten'i were discovered and perfected in this division.
As were the vast majority of spells and forms of magic dealing with the art of Teleportation and Translocation. Less advanced and harmless spells from this division might be sold at Kidō Enclaves throughout Soul Society to give the organization additional funding.
It's master is currently unknown.
Among the four divisions, the Yorutai (夜隊, "Night Corps") are undoubtedly the most combat oriented, for their role is a difficult and oftentimes, exceedingly dangerous one. This Division has only two objectives, although both are equally crucial, firstly, they hunt down Kidō Masters who have strayed from their ways and defected from Soul Society. In the hands of an unscrupulous and selfish individual, the forces of magic can inflict a tremendous amount of damage, not only to the caster, but also the world around them at large. Should such an individual manage to find their way into the Human World, they could accomplish the most horrific feats and threaten the very balance of souls. In times past, oversights of such people have lead to the loss of countless human lives and have frequently had far-reaching consequences for the world at large.
This is why the Yorutai were eventually formed, and they're trained at using Kidō exclusively in combat, their skill within the art of destruction and binding are virtually unparalleled within the corps and their grasp on the fragmented wills ever stronger. As far as this division is concerned, each member is a valuable soldier and deliverer of justice and retribution, therefore only the most offensively gifted of individuals are permitted entry into the Yorutai. They're the closest thing the Corps have to an organized battle force as a result, and an encounter with them is something few would wish upon themselves - their mere presence helps keep overambitious mages in their place.
Their second function, and one which they perform more rarely is to collect objects of interest which they believe might lead to great breakthrough within the art of Kidō, these individuals usually have magical abilities which the Corps have not yet had the chance to study. Although they commonly declare differently, this collection is almost never voluntary and the Yorutai are prepared to use brutal or otherwise wicked means to coerce these individuals to come with them. Most of them are never seen or heard from again, as the Kidō Corps are not likely to hand over interesting subjects until they've exhausted every bit of knowledge imagineable from them.
The current master of the Yorutai is unknown.
The Kageka (影課, "Shadow Department") is the smallest of all the Divisions, yet simultaneously the one most feared. In contrast to the larger divisions, the Kageka rarely move out in the open or converse with other members of the Kidō Corps. Their Headquarters is located in the deepest levels of the main building, protected by an elaborate network of wards, barriers, Shikigami and other threats. No members of the other divisions ever make the slightest attempt to spy on the Shadow Department, the wise know that even if they managed to get past all the traps they could never erase what they've seen. Considering that screams can at times be heard in the corridors from the Kageka, most mages avoid it like the plague. Due to it's secrecy, few members of the Corps are aware of what exactly they're doing, only the Masters and their Assistants, along with the Commander and Vice-Kido Chief are allowed to visit the Shadow Department. Anyone else who gets caught, is usually terminated to preserve their secrecy.
What the Kageka truly research however, is dark secrets and hidden forms of magic, Necromancy, Curses, Forbidden Spells, all of these are meticulously researched, improved and advanced within the Kageka. As a result, they have permission to practise spells within the confines of their Headquarters which would otherwise have had them sent to the Maggot's Nest. Although such spells may only be cast within the confines of their private headquarters, and only for the purpose of research. Yes, the Shadow Department is keen on experiments to further knowledge of magic. As one would expect, these experiments are top secret, and never mentioned anywhere other than in clandestine meetings between them and the leaders of the Corps. For the good of magic, all other causes must give way, and it's through this mantra that they've managed to justify doing the most terrible and horrendous things to other living creatures. Experiments involving the use of a force as absolute and wild as magic are never pleasant, and often lead to a slow and torturous death.
Such was the case when the Shadow Department entered the Maggot's Nest and performed countless experiments on the inmates in an attempt to advance the rare art of Henkoudou. Twisting, tearing and ripping at their bodies until they either lost their mind and turned into ravenous beasts, were reduced to babbling vegetables or were warped into grotesque forms unable to sustain life, dying a miserable death as a result. Though the Kageka considers the event an overwhelming success, due to the many breakthroughs they made within the period, the unfortunate wardens who had to live through the experience has described them as being "sick to the core". While they might certainly oppose the idea, the simple truth is that few members of the Kageka have anything that even remotely resembles a proper conscience - having given themselves permit long ago to use the art of magic to harm, maim and destroy others for the purpose of research. The Masters and Assistants of other Divisions therefore tend to view them as a necessary evil. Because many of the greatest advancements have been made by the Shadow Department, proving the merit of experiments unmarred by empathy.
The Kidō Corps Commander (鬼道衆 総帥, Kidōshū Sōshi) and Grand Kidō Chief (大鬼道長, Dai Kidōchō) retain complete sovereign over the entire Kidō Corps. The first title denotes control over the entire organization while the second title denotes the most powerful Kidō practitioner in Soul Society. They are assisted by the Vice Kidō Chief (副鬼道長, Fuku Kidōchō), the second in command of the Kidō Corps.
|Kidō Corps Members|
|Hachigen Ushōda||Vice Chief||Gakushaka||Discharged|
|Kazumi Takeda||Vice Chief||Yorutai||Active|
In keeping with their secretive nature, the Kidō Corp standard uniform includes face-coverings.