godsoffortune: (yukine)
The Far Shore Mods ([personal profile] godsoffortune) wrote2017-08-14 09:00 am
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Shinki 101 [version 2] 2017-08-29 updated

Shinki 101

Foreword: This guide is meant as a summary of the world-building in “Noragami” concerning shinki, and a supplement to our FAQ. I hope that it will be helpful to players who want to be true to the setting, and in turn make the gameplay more enjoyable by understanding and applying the mechanics.
In order to give some context, in this guide I use Yukine, shinki to the protagonist god Yato, as an example frequently, as well as some other characters. Therefore, there are some mild, out-of-context spoilers.

I have also supplemented this with some links to pages from the manga, shown with *. While it gives the example in more detail, it also has the potential to be much more spoiler-y. I've tried to avoid anything too big or far into the story. (Please pardon the links to fan-translations. The official ones are generally much better with some of the terminology. Please support the official releases!)

Information supplemented from the FAQ is shown with °.
Information specific to the game is in bold, and in the section at the end.


Shinki are spirits called and named by a god to remain on the Far Shore to serve as a god’s divine instrument.*


Memory
Shinki have no memory of their past up to the point that they are first named by a god. After that moment of naming, it is like they are starting a new life.*
Should a shinki become nora or be renamed with a new god, they do not lose any memories of their time as a shinki.

Shinki know that they are dead, but seem to have a natural aversion to thinking about the past in detail. For example, Yukine envies the living, but doesn’t dwell on why or how he himself died.
They can remember general knowledge like how to solve a math problem* and what Japanese school is like. However they are completely blank about things about themselves from the past, for example whether or not they liked math or whether or not they wore a school uniform. However they still are the person they are when they died, even if they don’t remember how they became that person. For instance, even though Yukine doesn’t know whether or not he liked math in the past, he likes math now.

In canon nothing has been shown to give a shinki a ‘nostalgic feeling’ for their past. Indeed, gods usually try to avoid anything that might raise any specific connections to a shinki’s past.
For example, in canon the shinki Mayu ended up with an item related to her past, yet she showed no particular reaction to it. However, to be safe, the gods Tenjin and Yato were both quick to distract the shinki from it.**

Shinki can have base reactions to certain situations, for example, when in the dark, Yukine is exceedingly afraid. Likewise some situations can feel 'comfortable' or make them feel unusually happy even if they don't know why.

Normally shinki do not think about their past from while they were alive. If a shinki starts to think about it, it can consume them. They will become jealous of the living and even start to question how they died. Thoughts like this are also 'contagious' in that just hearing about a shinki thinking about their past can drive other shinki to do the same.
God characters have an innate knowledge that a shinki regaining memory is an extreme cause for concern, because it essentially spells the shinki’s death. They are extremely careful to not talk about this “god’s greatest secret” around any shinki.
Should a shinki regain memory of their past, the 'seal' of their god-given name breaks. The karma of their past turns the shinki into an ayakashi immediately. The only known way of dealing with the fallen shinki is to kill them.

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In the game, shinki will have memory loss as described above. The only exception is regaining memories through the game's regain mechanic. Memories regained that way can be talked about without harm.

Gods who break the secret and talk specifically to shinki of their past will cause their shinki to turn into an ayakashi. The monster will need to be killed, and the shinki can return through the game's death mechanic.

In order to save the canon shinki, they will not be contaminated or fall from new shinki talking about memory regains. It will feel very 'repulsive' and uncomfortable to them though, in the way magnets can repel. They don’t want to get close to that.

Please see the 'Far Shore Mechanics' section for more details.

Shinki who in their canon are very prone to nightmares can still have those nightmares, although they will not know what the dream is about or what it means. °




Physical
A shinki has a corporeal form that can feel sensations such as heat, cold and hunger. *

Hunger is an interesting instance in that no matter how much a shinki eats they never quite feel full.* For instance, Yukine constantly feels a bit hungry. (It's possible that the state of how hungry a person was when they died carries over to them as a shinki.)

Although neither gods nor shinki will die of starvation as shinki are already dead *, it seems that eating is useful on some level for keeping up their energy. For instance, Daikoku worries that a pained-looking Yato hasn’t been eating properly.*

Likewise to food, shinki also need to sleep in order to keep up a good physical condition.

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In the game new shinki also retain these traits.



Bond with the god and blight
Between god and shinki there is a particular bond. A god is aware of his shinki’s state of mind, but not vice-versa. Although the god cannot tell why their shinki is feeling negative in any way, they do clearly feel strong emotions such as fear, anger, lust or resentment. This is manifested as the god feeling an ache over his heart, and an awareness of what the emotion is. For example, when the shinki is feeling afraid, the god has an ache in his chest and knows that his shinki afraid, although he don’t know why. A strong, sustained emotion can cause the god pain.*

The shinki’s negative actions, for example stealing, lying or self-harm, and subsequent guilt over them are manifested in the god as a ‘stinging’ or ‘blight’.* * It should be noted that the shinki will only sting the god this way if they themselves feel guilty over the action. A shinki with low moral values* or who can clearly justify their actions to themselves* will not sting their god.

In the case of a shinki feeling guilty over something that they “weren’t able to do”, for example, defend their god against an attack or arrive at their god’s side in time to help them, that feeling of guilt will be conveyed as an ache. Although there is guilt, stinging happens when the shinki acts on their emotions.


Stinging firmly informs the god in what is 'right' and 'wrong'. However, a shinki who excessively stings their god puts the god in danger. As opposed to an ayakashi’s blight, this blight comes from within. It appears the skin like a painful bruise, being hot to the touch and infectious.* It makes the god feel sick and exhausted, and if it goes on long enough can be fatal.*

Mild cases of this blight can be cleansed with blessed water from a shrine and the shinki apologizing for his wrongdoing. However should the shinki not repent of what he is guilty of and continue stinging his god, the blight will go deeper. This blight begins to be reciprocated in the shinki, appearing also as a dark bruise on the back and neck, advancing with the growth of ayakashi-like eyes.* This is not painful to the shinki, as shown by Yukine going a long time without noticing the eyes growing on his back.
For cases so far advanced, the shinki must undergo an ablution. (A painful purifying ritual.)***

An ablution is a ritual in which three shinki contain the guilty shinki in a borderline barrier called purgatory and force him to confess his sins to purify him.***

At least three shinki are necessecary to draw the purgatory. While it could be possible for more shinki to participate, it also escalates the risk against each of them. In canon, even though there was an option for more shinki to participate, ablution has only ever been shown with three shinki.
The ritual uses the following words: “To safeguard the name, dedicated to [Yatogami (the god’s formal name)] and having its spirit wiped clean… Cast off thine impurity and extinguish thy carnal mind, thou bright, meek, upright soul. Strip thyself of uncleanness and be thou also pure. Purgatory!” (Official translation notes: **)

The three shinki performing the ritual then trap the guilty shinki in a triangle-shaped barrier of borderlines, and force the shinki to repent. During this time the guilty shinki might say things that are difficult for shinki to hear, risking the corruption of thinking about their past life. Or, if unrepentant, the shinki will degrade further into being an ayakashi. Should the ayakashi blight grow strong enough and cover the shinki’s name the shinki’s name will break and he will turn into an ayakashi fully. The former-shinki can possibly break the boundary and kill the other shinki.
An ablution is successful when the shinki sufficiently and deeply repents all their sins. In canon, purifying a very advanced case of blight has been shown as taking all night, with the shinki crying and screaming the whole time. This pain is also reciprocated to the god through their bond. (Even though it feels like they are going to die, they’re already dead, so no problem there.)


The symptoms of blight in both god and shinki can be concealed using particular medicines, although this would be considered a gross deception.

In canon, positive emotions are not shown to be relayed to the god from the shinki. However, naturally a lack of negative emotion weighing the god down will lead to the god feeling more healthy and energetic.

A god can tell a general direction of where their shinki is, if they stop and concentrate on it.

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In the game, all of the above applies to new shinki. In addition, if a shinki is feeling a very strong positive emotion, that will be conveyed to the god.

Characters can find out the ablution ceremony through player characters from canon or from NPCs. In the case of the character asking an NPC, please contact the mod account [personal profile] godsoffortune.




Ayakashi and Blight
Ayakashi are beings of the Far Shore that are basically a bundle of curses and negative energy in a spiritual form. They often take the shape of distorted animals.

Ayakashi affect humans by drawing out their dark impulses, making the human do bad things. These actions range from mischievous impulses and taunting to the most serious actions of murder and suicide.

Mid to larger sized ayakashi are able to speak. However what they have to say is limited to simple vocabulary, prompting a human to commit an evil act or otherwise entice them. For example, "Cut him! Cut him! You've almost reached paradise." or "Your mama is with us. Come here. Come here..."
Within range of a god, shinki or spirit they will also say "smells good", as they smell delicious and good to eat to ayakashi. They will attack in an attempt to devour the target.

Ayakashi mostly come to the Near Shore through vents from Yomi, the underworld. A large surge of ayakashi spilling from a vent leads to a sharp increase in bad happenings in the Near Shore.

Where there is a lot of negative emotion, a ‘storm’ of ayakashi gathers. For example, it would get stormy around a high school around the time of final exams due to all the pressure and high emotions of the students. A variety of ayakashi would gather there.


Gods and their partner shinki often come across ayakashi in the course of fulfilling prayers for their followers. Gods are able to dispel the ayakashi using the skill ‘Rend’ in conjunction with their shinki.

Ayakashi can give blight to a god, shinki or spirit merely by touching them. The blight appears as a painful dark bruise, is hot to the touch, and is contagious by direct touch.
Shinki in vessel form are resistant to blight. For instance, a sword shinki is not blighted by cutting an ayakashi, and an animal shinki is not blighted by using its teeth or claws to bring an ayakashi down.
Clothing is also effective to prevent being blighted by touch. For example, an ayakashi can be kicked because the shoe would protect the skin from direct contact. However it is not advisable to risk prolonged touching an ayakashi, even though clothing. The blight can slowly creep through clothes, and secretions from an ayakashi such as slime or saliva can also cause blight.
It is possible for a spirit or shinki to die from an ayakashi attack. Although it would be extremely debilitating and painful, it is unlikely for a god to be killed by ayakashi.

Blessed water from a shrine or temple, such as what is found at the entrance for ritual hand washing, can cure blight from an ayakashi’s touch. Splashing some water on the blight makes it disappear.

Ayakashi can be deterred by blessed water as well. For example, the god Yato opened a bottle of water in the mouth of a large ayakashi when it tried to eat him. The Ayakashi quickly spit Yato and the water up, and was incapacitated for a moment.
Smaller, weaker ayakashi would be able to stand the water even less. While it would harm them, it would not kill them, as only the ‘Rend’ ability can kill ayakashi.

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In the game, all of the above applies.



Interactions with the Near Shore
Gods, their shinki, and ayakashi: these beings of the Far Shore live in the ‘blind spots’ of people.

Similar to how you don’t remember every person you’ve passed on the street, or how a few of the waitresses in a restaurant might escape your notice, so the people of the Far Shore are.*
If a shinki calls sufficient attention to himself he can be noticed and interacted with normally.* Ayakashi are further back in the blind spots, so they largely go completely unnoticed.
Animals, children, as well as others who have a reason to be 'close to death' can more easily notice things of the Far Shore.*

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In the game, the above applies normally.

Should a god or shinki have a picture or video of themselves posted to social media, people of the Near Shore would not notice them properly unless they were playing close attention to the image, or were a person who was ‘close to death’ enough to notice things of the Far Shore.°




Borderlines and Other Abilities
All shinki are capable of making a ‘borderline’.** It is a boundary that is able to keep out what the shinki wishes.* Fine control over it can be learned, but basically it is used as a wall to keep out ayakashi, or as a slicing weapon.

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Learning Borderline example from a rp thread:
First make your fingers into a halberd like this. [Yukine makes his hand into a loose fist, then extends his thumb, middle and index fingers.] Then, while thinking about drawing that line between you and what you want kept out, draw a line with your hand.

Line! [Swiping his hand through the air he draws a line that gets transcribed on the ground. A thin line of light springs up, running a few meters up and down the street.]

Like that. Want to give it a try?

[[video of Yukine learning borderline, for visual reference.]]
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Shinki must learn how to make a borderline, however it can be explained to them by any shinki or god. A clear enough explanation is sufficient for a shinki to be able to do the technique themselves, although it will take practice.
The borderline variants must be learned as well, either taught by another shinki or explained by a god. Although, as with the basic borderline, a relatively simple explanation or a demonstration will be enough for a shinki to start practicing doing it for themselves.
Gods cannot make a borderline themselves.

As nothing can destroy ayakashi except for a shinki wielded by a god and the god’s ‘Rend’ ability, a cutting borderline can only wound ayakashi. It can also be used as a weapon against other shinki, and is capable of causing damage to things of the Near Shore. A weaker shinki's borderline can be cut through by another borderline or a shinki weapon.*

Finer control over the borderline includes being able to cut only what the shinki wants to cut *, using it as a defence against spells*, as well as having better control over what can pass through the borderline*.

The strength and effectiveness of a borderline is completely dependent on the shinki’s mindset at the time. Confidence and knowing themselves to be ‘above’ the target will make for a stronger borderline. This is in part why training to make a line against an ayakashi is effective, because it’s easy for the shinki to imagine themselves above it, as well as naturally wanting to be on the other side of a line from it. (See the following “Shinki Spells and Songs” section for more details about strength.)

Shinki who do not have a god-given vessel name cannot do the shinki techniques of borderline and spells.

Shinki can know the status of their borderline (ie, if it's being weakened and how much more it can stand), and so they can also feel when their line is destroyed.

Lines do exert energy to make and maintain. It's not a huge amount, but maintaining a borderline for several hours on end will take a shinki to the brink of exhaustion.

Shinki can learn the ability to do an ablution against a corrupted shinki. See the “Bond with the god and blight” section for details.

Shinki can draw borderlines against gods, and even capture them with it.** A cutting borderline cannot kill a god, but it can injure them.


Shinki can teleport themselves between the Near Shore and Far Shore by using their god's shrine. They can use another god’s shrine for that teleportation, so long as they have that god’s permission. They cannot take mortal people with them, but can take other shinki or spirits. They cannot teleport to places around the Near or Far Shores the way gods do.


Shinki have a sort of ‘lightness of body’ as a spirit that enables them to jump extremely high and far. They are not able to float, hover or fly.

Shinki enable their god to 'Rend' an ayakashi, killing it.

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In the game, all of the above applies.

Note that shinki in the game do have to learn how to make a borderline, but as mentioned they can learn the technique from any shinki or god who can explain it to them. It will take the shinki some practice, but player shinki pick up how to make a borderline relatively quickly. We encourage players to take whatever feels like a reasonable amount of time for their characters to learn it.

In the game, shinki and gods are allowed to teleport pets between the Near and Far Shores.




Shinki Spells and Songs
Some shinki are able to learn spells. Examples in canon are a spell to render a person immobile, a sleeping spell, and a spell to hide someone.*

Using a spell requires the target's name and a mindset of complete superiority over them. Depending on the situation and personality of the shinki, doing so can cause the shinki to sting their god. Therefore, spells should be used with caution.*

The strength and effectiveness of a spell is completely dependent on the shinki’s mindset in that moment. It is all about the perceived status between the shinki. A unique hafuri (blessed) vessel like Kazuma might seem like the highest-ranked of all shinki, but if taken by surprise or given a chance to doubt himself he can still fall to another shinki’s spell.**

As described in canon: “A shinki’s strength doesn’t come from his or her power. It comes from their status. People have this latent hierarchy, and that hierarchy translates into power. If he feels inferior to Mizuchi… he doesn’t stand a chance against her, even if he is a blessed vessel.”*
This perceived status can go to such subtle roots as calling someone with the –san suffex showing their status above them, or having bowed to the other shinki in the past when asking a favour. So long as the shinki has a mindset of inferiority in any way, they will be weaker.


Calling a person's name is the key that binds one with the spell, as well as releases one from the spell.
In the case of nora (shinki with more than one name), all the names must be called before a spell can be used on them or released.

Some shinki are able to learn ‘songs of spells’ or ‘spell songs’. As the name suggests, these spells are sung and thus require a higher level of proficiency. Some examples in canon are a song sung by a group of children shinki to capture other shinki, and a song to make ice to extinguish a supernatural fire*. (Official translation notes about two songs: * *)


A name is not needed to affect a target with a song, nor does calling a name release a target from the effects of a song. Their effects can be undone with a counter-song. It takes time and skill to be able to implement it.
(Where a counter-song for the effect is not known, it is possible for an exceptionally talented shinki to compose a counter-song on the spot.* However, this is quite rare.)

As ‘singing’ is an essential component of these spells, a shinki must be able to sing with some degree of proficiency.


A shinki cannot successfully cast a spell directly against a god, but they can be cast against other shinki and humans. It would be impossible to cast a spell directly against an ayakashi, due to the need of knowing the name, but ayakashi can be affected. For example, an ayakashi setting supernatural fires would be thwarted by the fire fighting song.

Spells are success-or-fail. If a spell fails, nothing happens.

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As of the start of (ooc) February 2017, characters have limited access to books that have directions for spell casting.
It will take characters at least one in-game month (three ooc months) to learn a spell, whichever method they are learning by. We ask that players have their characters make a reasonable effort to learn these abilities.
Please refer to the ‘Far Shore Mechanics’ section for more details, as well as a list of the available spells and songs.

New shinki must be called by their vessel name in order to be bound by a spell.




Vessel form
When their god calls their vessel name (the 'on-yomi' reading of the kanji on their body plus '-ki'), the shinki will transform, coming to their god’s side as they do so.
Shinki who have a strong will can resist transforming when their god calls them. Shinki cannot transform on their own.

The shinki can transform into only one item (per name). They cannot chose what form their vessel will take. However the nature of the master and the attributes of the spirit come together and materialize into a shinki’s vessel form..
The god can wield the shinki, wear shinki, ride shinki, etc. It really depends on what their vessel form is. (For a visual example, please try watching this.)°


A shinki is meant to help a god fulfill their purpose, and in many cases that will involve killing ayakashi.
Simply wielding a shinki allows the god to destroy an ayakashi. Essentially, they combine their power with their shinki's in order to 'Rend' the ayakashi, which is a specific spell used when the ayakashi is caught off-guard or is sufficiently weakened.

A god calls his shinki into their vessel form by simply calling their vessel name. For example, “Come, [Sekki]!” The shinki will then change into a beam of light, coming to their god's side and materializing into their vessel form. In the case of clothing shinki, the god is immediately wearing it. In the case of most items, the god is immediately holding it.

The shinki must be within hearing range of their god to be called into shinki form. However once they hear the call and transform, they will travel as a beam of light to materialize at their master’s side.

The god and shinki can communicate by speaking to each other, however what the shinki says can only be heard by his god, as well as that god’s other vessel-transformed shinki, while in that form. There are some exceptions, such as beast shinki being able to speak to others.
Also, the shinki is able to have a perception all around them, and is therefore able to watch their god’s back no matter which way their vessel is facing.

Their vessel form can be picked up and held by others. However there is a sense of 'wrongness' about another god trying to use it, and the shinki would not be able to use their full abilities or powers. For instance, a vessel that is a knife would still be able to cut in the usual way, but not be able to Rend an ayakashi.

It is possible for the shinki to have some small control over their own movement. For instance, Yukine’s body instinctively ‘moved on its own’ to defend Yato, shown by the sword flying a short distance on its own.** Later, Yukine also exhibits control over the wrapping of his blades, using them to bind the enemy's wrists.

A shinki in vessel form can still draw a borderline and use song spells. They cannot cast regular spells.

A shinki in vessel form must be called by their true name by their own god to revert back. No one except the god who named them can revert a shinki.

Shinki are able to 'evolve', through a demonstration of putting the name given to them, that is their very life, on the line for their god. They become a 'hafuri', or blessed vessel, and it is a very rare occurrence.** There are only three known hafuri in Noragami, and most characters don't know much of the third.
Although widely regarded as an extraordinarily good thing to have happen, some gods and shinki view becoming a hafuri in a darker sense because of the second meaning of 'hafuri', that is 'buried'.

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In the game, all of the above applies.
Shinki are called by their regular name to revert back, as that is their 'true name'.

Although there are some canon examples of shinki who can speak to others while in vessel form, it is quite rare. Players considering this ability should explicitly mention it in their application to be approved by the mods.

Shinki have the potential to evolve into hafuri through the experience points system.




'Nora'
Also called ‘strays’, these are shinki who have more than one name.* (‘Nora’ is also what one particular girl stray is called as a name.)
Generally nora are looked down upon in the god’s society, holding a stigma similar to that of a prostitute, and seen at best as vessels with which to do ‘dirty work’.* Nora are known to hold no loyalty as they take on names against the god who originally named them.

A god's perception of their shinki's state of mind still applies. The god will be aware of a nora's condition just as much as their regular shinki's. Should a nora do something they feels guilty of, they will sting all the gods connected to them.

The nora themselves find advantage in their multiple names, one tangible example of which is that all the nora’s names need to be called before a spell can affect them.*

In the case of a nora, if they are in a vessel form then called by another god by that other vessel name, they will (should they will it) transform into the new vessel and go to the other god.**
Any god with a name for the nora can call them to revert them to human form. For example, once Nora transformed for Ebisu (god1), Yato (god2) can still revert Nora to her normal form.* Anyone who does not have a name for the nora will not be able to revert them, just as no one besides their own god can revert a normal shinki.

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In the game, shinki are able to become nora by having other gods name them. All of the above applies.


'Cracked Shinki'
New gods can't name average wandering spirits, but as they gain more followers they may gain access to the opportunity to rescue and name spirits. (Further detailed information will be available on the Prayers/Missions page soon.)

A spirit that was attacked by ayakashi and is being corrupted by ayakashi blight can be saved only by cutting out the infected areas. This leaves them severely wounded.
A spirit that is badly injured will become a cracked vessel upon being named.
A cracked vessel is, as the name implies, physically fragile. While the shinki can still rend, gods will have to be careful how they use their shinki, or risk hurting or even breaking them.
Another symptom of their damage is that while in vessel form, they lose a sense. Most commonly the shinki cannot speak. (We will allow players to choose which sense the shinki will lose, such as speech, sight or hearing.)
The shinki can still draw a borderline, in both human and vessel form. It does not have a 'shinki power' or any other abilities except for borderline and rend.
The injured shinki heals physically over time, however a cracked vessel, because it was damaged at the time of naming, can never fully recover or be complete as a shinki. In vessel form it remains cracked.

Should the shinki be later released and named by another god, because the spirit is now healed and clean at the time of naming, it would be able to become a normal shinki.
Should the shinki be released and then later renamed by the same god, the vessel will remain cracked for them, because of their previous bond. Once a shinki has taken a certain form for a god, they will always take that form for them, even if they are given a different name.

The cracked shinki are different from the soulless shinki.
Cracked shinki have more personality, and more of a relationship can be formed with them.
The player that earns the cracked shinki uses them as their own NPC.


The Far Shore Mechanics
This section will further address mechanics specific to 'The Far Shore' game.

Entering the world
Shinki arrive outside the Meeting Hall of the gods in Takamagahara° with whatever they had on their person when they died. Basic tech/weapons would be included, like comm devices, knives, guns, etc. Anything more than that would have been taken away.° They are blank on everything of their past before arriving in this place, but they are aware that they are dead.

Gods get an explanation° of what's going on, more or less, so hopefully they are the sharing type! They also have to find their shinki, but gods see their shinki's deaths, so they will recognize them on sight.


Memories in game
In order to not 'break the world', but rather stay true to the rules of the world, the mechanics for new shinki remembering a part of their past are handled differently.

Can a god speak freely to a shinki about their past? Not entirely. Gods have a strong innate sense that telling their shinki about their previous life or their death will have dire consequences. Shinki also have a natural aversion to talking about their own past. Gods may slip here and there about how 'such and such' may remind them of 'so and so time' as long as it is vague. It will confuse the shinki and make them feel uneasy though.°

For example, in the case of something like a nickname from a god's and shinki's shared past, the nickname can be used but the shinki will only think of it as a nickname with no particular meaning. Should the god speak in specific terms about the significance of the nickname, that is, to tell a story of the shinki's past, it will cause the shinki to fall into being an ayakashi.

To put it another way, the god directly telling the the shinki that 'this was true of you in the past' or 'this happened to you' will trigger the shinki's fall. The god obliquely saying 'I knew someone like that' or 'I know someone who this happened to' is passable.

In the case of shinki who have a god castmate who knows them well, the shinki may pick up on passive information about themselves. For example, that the god knows about powers they have that the shinki has not discovered for themselves, or the god mentioning something like "you were really cool, how you handled that back then." The shinki can come to understand that those statements are about them, but wonder just how the god knows about that power, or when that was that they were cool.
Shinki who start to gather that those passive comments are potentially about their own past will be struck with a sense of discomfort and even dread- the kind of feeling that makes them think, 'I shouldn't think about this too hard.' It is like a fierce but unconscious self-preservation instinct.
To the shinki that past did not happen, as far as their memory is concerned. It's blank, after all. And just how much the god knows about the shinki is part of the 'god's greatest secret.'

What memories a shinki and god can talk about are limited to the ones that the shinki regains. A new shinki can regain a memory without any ill effect to themselves or others around them.
Once a new shinki regains a memory, they can talk about it with others, including their god. Should the conversation wander to other memories however, the instinct gods have to preserve the "god's greatest secret" will prevent them from speaking about it any further. If the shinki gets told and remembers any further memories they will be transformed into an ayakashi and need to be killed.

Canon gods will be naturally terrified of the emergence of shinki who can remember even a portion of their past, and may choose to completely avoid contact with that god and their shinki to avoid 'contamination'. The past is something that canon shinki don't think about, but when they start to it can consume them.

Canon shinki, instead of reacting with curiosity born from the contagious nature of the past, react to new shinki's memories with a sort of repulsion. Similar to how magnets repulse each other, there is something that prevents them from getting too close. It rubs them the wrong way and they don’t want to get close to it..
For example, I've had Yukine react to that repulsion with irritation and explain it away as being too close to his own experience with envying the living and subsequent absolution.


Gods, Names and Nora-ing
Should a shinki wish to become the servant of a different god, it would be proper of them to ask to have their current vessel name removed by their god before becoming named by another god.

Once a shinki takes a form for a god, they will always take that form for that god. The god cannot release and rename a shinki and have the shinki's vessel change.

When a god drops from the game, the shinki’s vessel name disappears. However, a shinki can choose for their newly-assigned god to give them the same name that they had with the previous god, and the character can appear in the same place on the body. (A clarified version of this answer °)

Players are welcome to make their shinki characters nora. That is, to become named by more than one god.

It is possible for a god to name a shinki against their will. OOC-ly, this must absolutely be planned out and agreed upon before being played out in the game.

OOC-ly, please discuss naming shinki with all players involved, and once it is played out please update your information with the mod team on the god and shinki pages.


Powers
Shinki powers (the one you filled out in your app) are restricted to use only when the shinki is in vessel form.

Ayakashi can only be defeated with Rend; a character's 'natural' (from their own canon) powers can help to weaken the ayakashi, but cannot ultimately destroy it.°
A character can use their natural powers at any time. However, players should keep in mind any particular requirements for those powers that may be unique to their character’s own world but lacking in Noragami's modern Earth environment.

A character's natural canon powers can be used to amplify their shinki power and skills. °

Shinki retain what they would innately know, and would therefore also know about their own natural powers and abilities. They wouldn’t remember how they learned to use these abilities or any other story or circumstances surrounding them, but they would remember how to use them. °


Spells and Songs
As of the start of (ooc) February 2017, characters have limited access to books that have directions for spell casting. From these books, characters can learn:
Spell of binding: Freezes a person in place. The target can still speak.
Spell of silence: Renders a person unable to speak.
Spell of truth: Makes a person tell only the truth. (Unlike the canon spell 'resound', it does not force the target to speak when they try to remain silent.)
Although they are all nearly the same difficulty, 'truth' is the most challenging of the three.

Characters also have limited access to books that have directions for spell songs. From these books, characters can learn the fire fighting song or a song to stifle lightning.
The lightning song is more advanced.

It will take shinki at least one in-game month (3 ooc months) to learn a spell or song, either from the books or from another shinki. Because the Far Shore’s library is a mess, the chance of finding a book of spells is random.
Message the mods at [personal profile] godsoffortune to request a book.

Gods can't perform spells or songs. But, like with borderlines, they can try helping to teach shinki as far as describing it.
Characters are also able to IC-ly contact Yukine [personal profile] returnedfromtheline, the one canon shinki, to ask them about spells and songs. Depending on the IC interactions, characters may be able to learn spells seen in canon: ‘bakufu (binding cloth)’, ‘inko (official translation) / umbra (unofficial translation) (solid shade)’ or 'rakusui (sleep fall)'. ('Roro (resound/articulate)' is a questionable spell that will likely not be taught to new shinki.)

In regards to the learning time, we would basically like to see the characters go through a reasonable process of learning a spell before using it. 
Think of it as you've been given some mechanical parts and an instruction manual, and are told you can make a car run with this. It's very difficult to figure something like that out without more help than the manual can give, unless perhaps you are a genius with machines. And the more complicated the machine, the harder it is.
After a lot of time, practice, and trial-and-error you'd be able to make it work.

As a benchmark from Noragami canon, Yukine had a mentor to learn from, and it took him a month of diligent study (as in, he had literally nothing else to do but study) to learn a few common spells and one song.

For a song spell, some level of competence in singing would be required (otherwise it's not a song anymore). We would like to believe the bar is relatively low, but if a character can't even carry a note in a bucket, they won't be able to pull off a spell song.

The only two song spells available now are the fire fighting song and the song to stifle lighting