Path of Lava Crossover Ficbit – Mirror Lands

Good, Kenshin thought, setting down his borrowed hand-ax. Leaving the pile of sticks and split wood, he walked out of sight to stop and stare into the depths of the koi pond. She’ll be distracted.

He watched gold and black scales flash through the green of water lilies. Drew calming breaths, and let his gaze lose focus, fixing on his own reflection in breeze-rippled water….

And his image vanished, shifting away with the physical world as the wanderer slipped into the Mirror Lands.


The redhead dodged the silvery slash of a spirit’s naginata, dropping to one knee as a warrior to a commander, hands spread wide and empty. Shadows feathered his movements like raven wings, shimmering in the light of ten suns. “I am an ally of Kamiya!”


The rurouni dared to lift his gaze from the shapely bare feet under multiple layers of river-black, reed-green, and foam-white silk kimonos, to the silvered wolf fur and blue-glowing eye-slits of an ookami mask. Beside the spirit that had taken the form of a Heian era Hakken lady stood two others in flame and ebony samurai armor; demon-masked helmets glowering, recurved bows over their shoulders, thumbs ready to loosen blades in their sheaths.

You knew they would be here, Kenshin reminded himself. They, or something like them. Else our enemies would simply have stalked through the Mirror Lands, and murdered Kaoru-dono in her sleep.

But knowing and seeing were always so very different….

“I am Himura Kenshin,” he said firmly, knowing he knelt before the very embodiment of the dojo itself. “Follower of Prince Inari. Student of Hiko Seijuurou. Ally of the Beast Courts. Battle-child of the Matsuyama Hakken.” The list of his deeds could go on for hours; he hoped the dojo’s spirits matched their keeper, and they would pardon his brevity. “I am he who carries the name Draws-the-Killing-Blade.”

Thumbs relaxed a fraction. The ookami mask tilted, wolf ears silently quizzical.

:Why are you here, child of trickery?:


22 thoughts on “Path of Lava Crossover Ficbit – Mirror Lands

  1. Well, Kitsune Confirmed (not that it was a surprise). Also interesting phrasing. “I am he who carried the name Draws-the-Killing-Blade”. Not “I am”, “I am named” or even “I am called”.

    Even the last would imply respect form his enemies. But describing the name as something ‘carried’ heavily implies Kenshin see that name as a burden not a source of pride.

    Himura Kenshin was the name he claimed (“I am”). Is he looking for a ‘deed name’ to outshine and replace DtKB?

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  2. Kenshin better introduce himself to the local guardian, spirits he said. I was thinking more of local kami. Which, well, in this context are about the same thing I guess.

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      1. Maybe every place has a sort of self, and the more ‘place’ it is, the harder that self is to bend?

        So a magic castle spring from nothing just the other day may be frail as an eggshell and liable to vanish the moment the wizard loses their concentration, but a castle built over years by hundreds and thousands of hands, and lived in for centuries may have accumulated immense weight from all of that?

        Mix in a little computer science side, and if the genetic base is broad, you have to bend every different imprint a little differently, while any single imprint, even if it is massively strong, once you’ve found a weakness, you can use it over and over again?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. :nodding: I’ve already got the concept that worked-items are harder to elemental-magic, and Old Things are treasured exactly because they’re solid. (I’d kind of assumed survival bias, there, but… if being had, and loved, and used makes things stronger, and people kind of influence the stuff they live in, that would explain why the Orc Fortress of the Elements even HAS a central elemental.)

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      3. This is what the “other sides” of caerns in Werewolf are supposed to be like – a spiritual stronghold reinforced and shaped by the pack that held them.

        …And this is why taking over a caern/spirit nest is such a Huge Deal. You are besieging not only a physical place, but the spirit of the land itself. Who likely does not want you there, if the current keepers have been treating it well.

        …But kill the defenders, and the spirit still needs someone to feed it, so….

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      4. Now I’m imagining Hogwarts having a spirit. Imagine all the knowledge it has about everything that went on there.

        Considering its age and being a stronghold of ancient magic, it wouldn’t be out of place.

        Will have to see if I can incorporate it into my story. If not, well, I have other ideas.

        So many ideas…

        Liked by 4 people

      5. @Maestellagames: I am currently playing Hogwarts Legacy and if that game is anything to go by, Hogwarts’ spirit would be one of those Trickster Mentor characters with their “whimsical” stat maxed out. It’s almost like the castle takes teaching ideas from all the professors and then propagates them throughout itself so the students have an environment to apply everything they’re learning in school. And get them used to the idea that magic just Does Weird Shit so they have an easier time rolling with it later as adults.

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      6. Don’t forget foundation sacrifice! It’s a nasty bit blood magic but it has a solid backing in European folklore. Can’t get a building to stand? Bury somebody under it (ideally a volunteer but not always) The Tower of London is supposed to be built on the head of Bran the Blessed and I know there’s supposed to be a monastery built on top of a monk.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. It might also be worth noting then that foundation sacrifice-and relics really- are a way to make a genus loci and then a God. Find something you love then kill it but keep loving it anyway. Ghost stories are built on less. Depending in the stories that’s what the God of a city was to a Roman-the first person to die there to be buried there (or to be killed there and buried there) and then you honor and remember and worship that person’s spirit until they becomes strong enough to keep a city safe.
        And I think it’s called a Barghast in England? Is said to be the spirit of the first person buried in a cemetery who becomes the shape of a black dog or rooster or cat and protects the dead of the cemetery.
        Sorry spooky folklore is my jam. And genus loci are just cool!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Building dedication ceremonies use to be pretty obviously done with a sacrifice rather stronger than a bottle of champaign and a cut ribbon, yeah.
        They’ve spent a lot of time trying to explain away the bodies under the corner-stones, same way the baby bodies were tried to explain away.

        After all, children were the future, so what bigger sacrifice could you offer?
        (plus, cheap– you hadn’t spent anything on them yet, other than maybe raiding you were already going to do)

        The version of “first person to die defending it” would fit a lot better for “my” world, or a haunting by the first attacker– more along the lines of a death-curse, but with the option of a death-blessing.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Depending on the world there are all sorts of tricks.

      In a WIP, it entirely turns on spells that are cast and maintained by wizards. This produces an effect that can be broken but can also be altered. A genius loci is less flexible either way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. /:Why are you here, child of trickery?:/
    “You name me child of trickery and at the same time expect me to give you a straightforward answer on this matter?”

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