The Rock IV
The History of the Hengyokai
From the beginning the Yokai (Immortal Spirits) and Henge (Mortal Flesh) were separate and although the Henge were sometimes aware of the Yokai, they were often scared or violent in their dealings with them. The Yokai, on the other hand, were always aware of the Henge. Some were jealous and devious in dealing with the Henge, some were benevolent and kind, but all the Yokai were involved with Henge almost to the point of obsession.
In the times when the Forest covered all of the Earth, Snake and Spider, the most mean-spirited of all the Yokai, tried to control the Henge for they had tasted blood, and it awakened an insatiable hunger within them.
Spider wove a web to catch the Henge while they dreamed and visited the land of the Yokai. While they were trapped, Snake would bite them filling them with a poison of the spirit. When they awoke, the Henge would leave their homes in the flesh and wander out into the Forest where Spider and Snake were waiting for them with eager, drooling mouths to drink their blood.
One night, they trapped a young boy Henge who was best friends with the Yokai, Dog. The next morning, when the boy left into the Forest to follow the call of Snake, Dog followed. When he caught up with the boy and saw what was happening, he became enraged and attacked Snake and Spider, driving them off.
Dog then grew worried for the boy wouldn’t awaken, no matter how much he barked or whined. Not knowing what to do, he ran off to find Crane and Owl, the oldest and wisest of the Yokai.
Meanwhile, Snake and Spider snuck back to the boy and dragged him off to their den, where they hid all the bodies of the Henge they had killed. While they were feasting, Dog returned to the spot where he had fought the other two with Crane and Owl to find the spot deserted.
In a panic, he began to cry, till Owl told Dog to use his nose and follow the boy, which he did. Dog, Owl and Crane came upon Snake and Spider just as they finished feasting on the boy.
Owl and Crane became angry and Snake and Spider cowered from their wrath as Dog whined at the death of his friend. Crane cursed the two evil Yokai, for they had broken the barrier between the Yokai and the Henge that had been in place since the beginning. “You have started War, you foolish crawling things. From now on there will enmity between you and all those like you and those of us who seek to help the Henge. This is what you have wrought, Weaver!”
Thus began the War of the Yokai, which was waged by the Yokai who wished to help the Henge against those who wished them harm. It raged on for many lives of the Henge and even the most insensitive Henge felt its repercussions. During the fighting pieces of each of the Yokai were ripped off by, tooth, nail and talon. These pieces fell to Earth and became animals, of the flesh, like Henge, but in the form of the spirits that birthed them.
In the end, the Yokai who wished to help the Henge won, and Crane himself felled Snake in the final battle. He tore his body to pieces and these pieces grew into the Yuan-ti, who were forever after the enemies and predators of the Henge. As part of the aftermath to ensure that a war of this magnitude would never happen again, the surviving Yokai agreed to merge themselves with Henge heroes and thus the Hengeyokai were born. They lived in the world of the Henge, but retained the personalities and immortality of the Yokai. They could take the form of Henge, of the animal that resembled their Yokai selves and a hybrid mixture of Henge and Yokai.