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Soshijutsu (素子術) is the collective term for the martial arts that makes use of the ability to telekinetically manipulate the elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth and, to a rare extant, Energy. Each individual practice is given the suffix "-jutsu," and the four main disciplines are called: Kajijutsu for Fire, Kazejutsu for Air, Mizujutsu for Water, Tsuchijutsu for Earth, and Seijutsu for Energy. Most sub-techniques are also given the same suffix.
The ability to telekinetically manipulate the elements is largely hereditary but the gift can pop up randomly in a member of a family every once in a while; that said, just having the abilities can imply potential soshihito ancestry. Either way, most lucky enough to have these gifts can usually only manipulate one or two elements; only a few handfuls of others are able to manipulate three or more, and those who can use all five are extremely rare. People who can are collectively known as soshihito (素子人), (masc. soshidansei (素子男性), fem. soshijosei (素子女性)), regardless of whether or not they are actual practitioners. Soshihito who use a specific element are often also termed with the corresponding prefix. People who can use the sub-techniques are often termed similarly.
Soshihito normally discover their abilities between the ages of five and eight, but they can potentially lie dormant for most of their lives, sometimes until as late as forty.
The action past and present tense suffix for using the techniques is "-mage," and the past tense suffix is "-maged".
Soshihito are most common throughout Fuso and Marlakcor, but are is also seen in parts of Arquperio (Eurodysia and Aquilonis), Nekcroz, Ingdjiva and Maritymir; but, actual practitioners are rare in west of Fuso. Alfheim, where magic reigns across the continent, is the sole known place where soshihito are nonexistent.
Mizujutsu (水術) is the art of manipulating water.
The style of mizujutsu is mostly fluid and graceful, acting in concert with the environment. Mizuhito deal with the flow of energy; they let their defense become their offense, turning their opponents' own forces against them. Even when mizuhito do take an attack stance, their moves always appear to flow from one to the other.
Mizujutsu's strength is its great versatility. Rather than supporting a separate set of offensive methods, mizujutsu employs defensive techniques that can be transformed into attacks and counters - defense into offense. Instead of simply deflecting an attack, mizujutsu's defensive maneuvers focus on control, achieved through turning an opponent's own strength against them, rather than directly harming the opponent.
Mizuhito also possess the ability to alter the physical state of the water they manipulate, between liquid, solid and gas, at will. Changing the phase of water allows for multiple techniques in the course of a battle, from encasing an opponent in ice to hiding behind a wall of mist. Ice and steam/fog can also be molded in a diverse range of shapes. Ice provides a degree of hard lethality since it can be molded into spikes or blades to pin down or impale opponents. Steam or mist can obscure a battlefield and mask movement. Mizuhito also possess the ability to breathe an icy mist that freezes water and other substances.
Almost all forms of mizujutsu involve moving and shaping a body of water to the mizuhito's desire. By simply levitating a large mass of water, mizuhito can move water anywhere they wish, even parting it under the surface of a lake or sea, allowing them to walk along the bottom of a basin without the need to swim. These large bodies of water can also be used as weapons, either by shaping them into gigantic whips, swung repeatedly at a target as a snake-like body, formed momentarily into a razor-sharp edge that can cut through even metal, or simply dropped onto an opponent to smother them or put out a fire. On the sea or ocean, a mizuhito can create giant maelstroms.
Mizuhito are also able to manipulate water pressure, allowing them to use water to grasp other objects or cut through without simply parting around them. Water can be used as a semi-solid while being able to move and flow like a liquid. Water can be pressurized to such a level where it can slice through metal. Mizuhito can also use this to avoid sinking in water, effectively allowing them to walk on water.
Chijutsu (血術) is a sub-skill within mizujutsu, recognized as the darkest and deadliest of all specialized sub-techniques. The practice of chijutsu essentially allows a user to manipulate the water inside another body, or their blood, allowing control over a victim's individual movements.
However, it is not entirely without a helpful use. Chijutsu can be used medically. Having a chihito chimageru a patient can be used to restrict blood-flow and make it easier for surgeons to operate without the mess of blood. Chijutsu can also be used to remove clots and restore blood-flow or even restart a heart, so long as it hasn't been too long since the heart stopped beating.
Due to being such a dark art, most Qirsyllvian societies outlaw the practice outside of medical use.
Chiyujutsu (治癒術), the art of Healing, is a special ability possessed by many mizuhito that enables them to heal those who have been wounded, including themselves. This is accomplished by drawing upon the life-giving properties of water, which are used to heal numerous types of physical wounds and illnesses. Healing can also alleviate certain types of stress caused by mental strain. Though the technique is effective in many contexts, it is limited in scope. For example, healing is ineffective in treating birth defects, such as blindness or random complications associated with birth. In most instances, healing is also ineffectual when treating scars or fatal injuries.
Shinreijutsu (心霊術) is a variation of the healing technique which allows the user to instill a balance or an imbalance within spirits. To perform the technique, a mizuhito encircles the spirit with a thin stream of water, which begins to glow when the technique is taking effect. When used to change a spirit's negative energy into positive energy, the water, followed by the spirit, will begin to glow a golden light, at which point the spirit dissipates or assumes a pacified form. When the technique is used to change positive energy into negative energy, the water and spirit emanate a purple light. When used against humans, this variation has the potential to destroy their souls.
Tsuchijutsu (土術) is the art of manipulating earth.
Tsuchijutsu differs from the other soshijutsu arts in that it maintains a distinct balance between offensive and defensive capabilities (though mizujutsu involves a more refined version by channeling defense into offense). Tsuchijutsu uses a balance of strength and defense to overwhelm opponents. It is also worth noting that solid stances are preferred by tsuchihito.
Tsuchijutsu is not limited to rock or soil alone. A tsuchihito can also manipulate coal, gems, crystals, and other earth-based materials like meteorites or other things.
Tsuchihito can use the earth to form protective barriers like walls or wear earthen armors, and can even smash through solid rock with single punches or kicks.
Furujutsu (振る術), or Seismic sense, is the ability to perceive an environment by feeling acute vibrations through the ground. Similar to sonar and echolocation, seismic sense enables the practitioner to detect earthen objects and objects in contact with earth when out of sight. The technique provides a specific mental-map of the user's surroundings, detailed enough so a blind person can navigate effortlessly. It can also be used to detect when someone is lying by feeling their heart and breathing rates through the earth.
Kinzokujutsu (金属術) is the manipulation of metal, which is made of earth. Kinzokujutsu relies on manipulating the residue earth particles inside the metal. When the metal is highly purified, however, such as platinum, there are no or not enough particles left to use, rendering the material impervious to the technique. Zedylrian Steel is also impervious to kinzokujutsu, but no one is sure why, since it's not exactly the purest metal on Qirsyllviar.
Sunajutsu (砂術) is the manipulation of loose sand rather than large rocks. Since the sand is loose, it requires some form of kazejutsu techniques to perform properly.
Yoganjutsu (溶岩術) is rare ability allows a tsuchihito to phase-change earth into lava, or lava into earth, and otherwise manipulate existing lava with great dexterity. Since the earth is liquid instead of solid, it requires some form of mizujutsu techniques to perform properly.
Kajijutsu (火事術) is the art of manipulating fire.
Kajihito use their chi as a source for their kajimage. This facet of kajijutsu is a sharp contrast to the other soshijutsu arts, which manipulate already present sources of their element, though kajihito can also control or enhance flames nearby.
Kajijutsu is known for its intense and aggressive attacking style and general lack of adequate defensive moves, although kajihito can modify offensive maneuvers to function as a defense, such as creating large walls of fire or shooting down incoming attacks with fire jabs.
Kajijutsu uses concentrated barrages of fire to overwhelm opponents before striking a fatal blow. Swift, whirling kicks and punches generate diverse shapes for offensive attacks.
Circular motion is also a crucial element to the skill as it seems to "power up" and enhance the kajihito's flames. When creating lightning (see raikojutsu below), the kajihito often move their arms in slow, circular motions, similar to mizujutsu but with more tension. Kajihito often use whirling kicks or punches to power their attacks.
Kajihito can also control the size and intensity of any nearby flames and can draw them in to manipulate them at will.
Raikojutsu (雷光術) is a sub-skill of kajijutsu that allows a kajihito to produce and guide a bolt of lightning from their fingertips. Physically, generating lightning involves a circular motion with the arms. Mentally, it involves a complete absence of emotion as well as peace of mind, thus allowing an individual to separate the energies of yin and yang, also interpreted as positive and negative electrical potential, respectively. When the forces collide, the kajihito guides rather than controls the lightning's direction. This process is taxing on a soshihito's qi reserves due to its complexity. Lightning attacks usually take much longer time to initiate than standard fire attacks, but a well trained kajihito can generate the lightning at a much quicker pace than a novice.
Taikajutsu (耐火術), or Lightning redirection, is a sub-skill of raikojutsu that allows an kajihito to absorb lightning into their body as energy and release it in a more desirable direction. The technique was developed by kajihito after studying master mizuhito redirecting force rather than opposing it head-on. Lightning redirection works equally well for both natural and generated lightning.
Kazejutsu (風術), is the art of manipulating air and wind.
The key to kazejutsu is flexibility and finding and following the path of least resistance. Kazejutsu is notable for being almost purely defensive, as well as the most dynamic of the four main soshijutsu arts. Kazehito can overwhelm many opponents at once with large and powerful attacks that could prove fatal.
Air movements can also be used as a levitation aid. Kazehito are able to jump high and far by riding on strong gusts of wind and can also slow or deflect falls by creating cushions of air. The constant movement required by this art makes kazehito naturally flexible and agile, making masters of the art difficult to hit. Even without the use of the art they can easily maneuver around an opponent by ducking, jumping, and side stepping, appearing to flow around their opponents without expending any energy at all, letting the opponent tire themselves out and thus creating exploitable openings.
Kazehito can also enhance their movement in battle; they can run swiftly by decreasing air resistance around them and even sprint across or run up vertical surfaces by generating a wind current behind themselves to propel them forward. When used by a skilled kazehito, this technique can enable the kazehito using it to travel at a speed almost too swift for the naked eye to be able to see properly. A master kazehito can use this technique to briefly run across water as well
Hishojutsu (飛翔術) is the art of flight, a complex and extremely rare skill that has been demonstrated by very, very few kazehito. It was such a unique ability, that it was believed to only exist in legends. It is presumably achievable through a complete denouncement of all earthly desires, which results in true freedom. The principle behind flight is to become one with the wind, mimicking its freedom from limitations and inhibitions, in both the physical and mental sense. Once a kazehito has embraced these principles, they can fly and hover. However, the kazehito is still at the mercy of the surrounding environment.
Seijutsu (精術) is the art of manipulating another person's life energy.
The capabilities of seijutsu are not well understood; what is known is that it is used to manipulate a person's life energy and can impart them with knowledge instantly, remove their soshihito abilities completely, or restore it. This art can be perilous to the user, which is why so few have ever used it.
Seijutsu is an extremely powerful and potentially dangerous technique. If the seihito's spirit is even slightly weak, or bendable, they will be infected by the spirit of the one they are using the jutsu on. As a result, the bender can be corrupted and even destroyed.
- Toyotomi Sugako
- Ijin-tenno (Tatsuhiko) of Yamatai
- Osaragi Shigekazu
- Many in the Yamato Imperial Army & Navy
Notes & Trivia
- Soshijutsu is primarily inspired and based on the Bending Arts of the Avatar universe.
- The prefixes and suffixes are all Japanese terms:
- The suffix "-jutsu," means "art."
- the prefix "soshi-" means "element."
- The suffixes "-hito, -dansei, & -josei," mean "people, male, & female" respectively.
- the elemental prefixes "mizu-, tsuchi-, kaji-, kaze-, & sei-" mean "water, earth/soil, fire, wind, & energy" respectively.
- The mizujutsu sub-technique prefixes "chi-, chiyu-, & ki-" mean "blood, healing, & spirit" respectively.
- The tsuchijutsu sub-technique prefixes "furu-, kinzoku-, suna-, & yogan-" mean "shake, metal, sand, & lava" respectively.
- The kajijutsu sub-technique prefixes "raiko-, & taika-" mean "lightning, & refractory" respectively.
- The kazejutsu sub-technique prefix "Hisho-" means " flight/flying/soaring."
- The future-tense and present-tense action suffix "-mage" means "bend/bending". However, the past tense action suffix is "-maged," is not a Japanese term but an author-anglicization of the former suffix.
- The coined terms for the techniques for using the elements and the people who use them, Soshijutsu, Soshihito, etc. etc., are excepted worldwide because Fuso is the place where the art was wholeheartedly founded.
- There were other terms and techniques coined and used in many places throughout history, but none lasted more than a generation due to lack of serious progress, and said terms have been lost to history.
- Mastering the sub-techniques of an art presumably makes it more difficult, or near-impossible, to master sub-techniques of other arts. This presumption has been tested and challenged countless times throughout history, with mostly indiscernible results.