Baku Species in World of Wizard's Peak | World Anvil

Baku

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The benevolent baku feed on dark spirits and nightmares. These celestial spirits float in the Ethereal Plane adjacent to the Material. They dwell near mortal settlements attracted by the laughter and play of children. These good spirits protect innocent mortals from evil fey and aswang that come to feed on their purity.

Baku have become more common in the Kirinal Concordance Zone. The influx of minor creepy-crawlies from the Kirinal Pit create a rich feeding ground for hungry baku.

The shy baku prefer to remain hidden in the Ethereal from the mortals they protect. Those lucky enough to catch a glimpse report brightly colored chimeras, a mix of elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, and oxen. Young baku are the size of cats, while elder baku can grow up to 9 feet tall at the shoulder.

Childhood Companions

A friendly baku by nnie

Every child in the Zone that participates in the ritual known as the Celebration of Children, unknowningly receives a young baku assigned by the Heavenly Council of Ki-rins. The baku and the child grow up together with the baku serving as the child's unseen protector and constant companion.

Children with magical or spiritual gifts can become aware that their "imaginary friend" is actually real and actively defending them from bad things.

Especially good children can coax their baku out of the ethereal when no one else is around. The baku enter the Prime to play with their friend and cuddle with them at night.

"Mama! My friend wants a piece of candy too!"

"Stop being greedy, my love! Your baku eats bad dreams, not candy!"

— Every child to every mother.

Spirited Away

The friendly baku operated in happy anonymity for a hundred years in the Zone until an especially Bad Shatter when the Far Realm manifested in the Pit.

Soul eating monsters invaded the world and parents throughout the Zone panicked when they realized that every child around the Pit had disappeared in their sleep.

Once the Far Realm faded away at dawn the next day, the sleeping children all reappeared in their beds. Their baku had pulled them into the ethereal to protect them from the monsters that threatened them.

Column of Flesh into Space by Branden L

Everything Grows Up

Bond 2/18/2023 by Chris L

As every child grows up, their bakus grow up too. The day finally comes when the child is strong enough to not need their baku anymore.

Usually, the baku slips off unnoticed, also ready to live its own life. But those children who've formed an unusually strong connection to their baku have it harder.

Their friend appears to them when the time comes. They say their goodbyes through tears.

Baku
Celestial spirits sent by the Heavens to protect the dreams of innocents and children. They dwell in the Ethereal, usually hidden from those they protect.


Cover image: by Amy Winters-Voss

Comments

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Dec 29, 2020 20:16 by Amy Winters-Voss

What a delightful and tender version of the baku! <3

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Dec 29, 2020 21:56 by Chris L

Thank you for your beautiful art!


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Dec 29, 2020 20:41 by E. Christopher Clark

So, so cool! I especially love the inclusion of the quote and the mother's response "Stop being greedy, my love! Your baku eats bad dreams, not candy!"

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Dec 29, 2020 21:59 by Chris L

Thank you!


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Dec 30, 2020 15:29 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Awww I love this version of the baku! <3 What a great companion for children.

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Dec 30, 2020 16:53 by Chris L

Thanks! I was trying to lean into a benevolent spirit after usually focusing so hard on nasty beasties.


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Dec 31, 2020 11:11 by Andrew Belenkiy aka Teyvill Dost

Thank you! Now when I think of the capital of Azerbaijan, it's far better to remember this magnificent creature than its namesake of a town xD

Dec 31, 2020 14:50 by Chris L

Lol, I think it's a case of convergent linguistics! I definitely stole this from Japanese folklore1


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Jan 6, 2021 20:33 by TC

Oooh I really love these creatures, and the art is so sweet too! I would've loved one of those as a kid. I especially like the Spirited Away sections, its a really nice touch.

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Jan 6, 2021 22:22 by Chris L

Thank you! I liked that bit too!


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Jan 10, 2021 03:28 by Sailing Ocelot

This is a very sweet article... I love the Spirited Away reference, and how some children are acutely aware of their special Baku. It's sad they have to say goodbye :(

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Jan 10, 2021 14:57 by Chris L

That's just part of growing up in the Zone! I do love how the little details just pop up as I'm writing.


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Jun 11, 2023 22:27 by Molly Marjorie

I love how these creatures exist in this intermediary point, where they are almost imaginary... almost.

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Jun 11, 2023 23:36 by Chris L

They're some of my favorite creatures in my world. They live in the space between sleep and waking, the real and the mythological. I like to mix things up like that!


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Jun 28, 2023 12:53 by Han

I want to pet them!! Do they roll around aaa


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Jun 28, 2023 13:03 by Chris L

Of course they roll around! And they want belly rubs and tail skritches real bad! Glad you liked it!


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