Gurōtsu the Addled
"I'm still fairly certain that you don't exist, sir."
Gurōtsu (tien for “gray feathers”) is cadaverously thin, with sunken eye sockets and dead eyes that stare off into the distance. Some say he smells faintly of the grave. He looks like an old, ruffled peasant, his damaged and graying feathers askew, dressed in a ratty, shabby outfit. He tends to wander around in apparent confusion, likely due to his advancing age. He also doesn’t seem able to make clear distinctions between the fully physical and the invisible creatures he insists are present.
Gurōtsu is a benign necromancer, skilled in dealing with the dead and the immaterial. He carries great wisdom in his observations of the world’s unspoken opinions, carried as they are by the invisible kami present in almost all things. He speaks with them to do anything from coax a fire to light to heal a creature of a malicious illness, and carries great power in his ravaged frame.
Still, he is prone to blathering and croaking aimlessly to himself, following the invisible kami who guide him around on their inscrutable quests. He is an instrument of the minor gods which inhabit the world, and as such has no compunction for doing the bizarre.
Gurōtsu is old, so his entire story would take a long time to tell, especially since much of it has been forgotten by the old bird himself. His recent history is easy enough to explain, though: as emissary of the kami of the Forest of Spirits in Tian Xia, Gurōtsu visits many important (and unimportant) people within his land, delivering portents and news to any wise enough to listen. On the last such visit, he visited the daimyō of the Minamoto clan: Gurōtsu explained that he would not be able to serve as emissary for the kami with the clan going forward, as he had a journey of several months, possibly years, to make overseas. Expressing regret at the loss of his occasional advisor, the daimyō nonetheless noted a pleasant coincidence: the old bird’s first location was near enough to a member of his clan who was studying abroad; perhaps he could deliver some letters as he traveled?
Thus, Gurōtsu travels Avistan, led by the will of the kami on his quest but occasionally delivering a letter to its recipient as well. He does not know where his travels will end, but he enjoys the unhurried nature of both tasks. He is accompanied on his journey by Jirōbō, a minor kami, bonded to him to protect him from the trials he will face on the road.
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