Shika mizu possess power over water, males sporting antlers from which water perpetually falls, while the stronger females are able to manipulate the element, sometimes allowing it to swirl around them as a mane. Though powerful, these are the most passive of the spirit deer, content to wander the foothills of the Alasre Mountains where they are highly regarded by local villagers and townsfolk. Temples many hundreds of years old are still in use in places the deer frequent, erected so that monks could study the nature of these deer, and train to better themselves by example. The shika mizu are not tame, but they seem to know when a person’s intent is benevolent. It is said that if one goes into the forest outside a shika mizu shrine, and meditates for eight days and nights, on the eighth evening, a benevolent person might meet a shika mizu that will give them some of the water flowing from their antlers or mane. Such water should be kept safe, for it will bring them good luck, and grant them abilities beyond what any magic user their age would normally accomplish, as long as they use it wisely.
While many species of deer can be found throughout the west, only a few are known to roam other planes of existence. The so-called spirit deer – shika mizu, maza iteiri, and fia puca – tread the line between the living and the dead, said to be harbingers and messengers each with their own role to play in our world. As creatures born of another plane, little is understood about their magic, which seems to be a sort all of its own, related to the life energy that gives all things breath. They cannot be wounded or injured, and at certain points in the day they may cease to interact with this world at all, fading away until they appear as ghosts, or disappear altogether. Each variety of spirit deer derives its power from a celestial body – the fia puca draws from the moon, the maza iteiri from the sun, and the shika mizu from the two of them together. Each deer sports a small flame that flickers above its head, and will protect this flame at all costs, for if it goes out, the deer will vanish, its tie to this world broken.
Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin