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Itsumaden are hybrid creatures in Japanese mythology.


Appearance

Itsumaden has an head similar to that of a human and a serpentine body, with a birdlike beak and wings, as well as birdlike feet and legs with an especially sharp talon on them.


Origin

According to the Taihei chronicles, in the autumn of the year 1334, this ominous bird spirit began appearing in the night sky above the capital's ceremonial hall. It would breathe fire and cry in a wretched and eerie voice, Itsumademo! Itsumademo!, "How much longer?! How much longer?!". The court nobles were all quite disturbed, and chose an expert archer to shoot the creature down. When the huge bird fell from the sky, it was found to be a chimeric beast with the body of a snake, a human-like face, claws like daggers, and a wingspan of around five meters. Apparently it had appeared around the time of a plague, when the bodies of the innumerable deceased were being dumped on the capital's outskirts. The monstrous itsumaden, it is said, was born from the bitter spirits of all those abandoned dead, and flew about shrieking in sympathy for them.


Powers

Itsumaden may at times belch fire from their mouths. The fire itself is not harmful, but some humans find its cry and the fire to induce despair. Still other find inspiration by it, and there have been reports of itsumade helping lost travellers find their way, or helping people to avoid a potentially disastrous situation with their strange abilities.

It is also said that a person allowed to starve to death becomes an itsumaden, which haunts whoever refused to feed it in life, crying Itsumademo! Itsumademo!; "How long, how long?", how long will I be neglected?