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Old 05-30-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
The Winter Wordsmith
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: London, England
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Default Konkaji Ryuuankamei (YARI; Scout)

Musical Score: Days Like This

Konkaji Ryuuankamei
AP Breaker Applied

Chuunin of Tsuchi no Kuni
Hagane Village | YARI/Scout | Konkaji Clan

Physicality ~ The Lion

A young man of twenty years, long of leg and broad of shoulder, stands with his back to you, a shade over six feet tall.

As you approach, he turns to cast a single almond-shaped eye in your direction, assessing your intentions with an unwavering pupil ringed by a pale brown, almost rose-coloured iris. Moving slightly, he reveals the rest of his chiseled features: a swarthy mask of imperious intensity topped with a crown of sharply styled black hair. You notice that his clothing is quite outlandish, dominated by a high-collared, sweeping, reddish brown coat with dark green and orange trim.

Just below his right ear, behind the sharp corner of his jaw, you catch sight of a small tattoo, thick with tribal lines and explosive angles, but marred by the slim cut of a scar across its upper half. Below his chin, the upper portion of a white tunic is visible, pressed against a powerful chest and secured by a broad belt of black leather. Standard issue military trousers of the same hue flow from there into knee-high, brown leather boots, while an outer belt, festooned with pouches, silver buckles and a hitai-ate, rings the coat at the waist.

He extends his gloved right hand, but not to you. Bordered by a thick, orange cuff, the chocolate brown leather that sheaths its fingers is drawn tight across knuckles reinforced by steel caps. He appears to be searching for something, sturdy yet deft fingertips tickling the air. Gradually, floating white lights coalesce in a wreath about his wrist like fireflies. The man’s mask changes as a gleaming blade appears, his otherwise thick, stern lips drawn tight in a smug grin.

He looks at you again. Time to back away.

Personality ~ The Mask

Kam believes everyone is defined by the masks they wear, and is keenly aware of the way he presents himself to the rest of the world. This has allowed him to come into his own as a Scout specialising in infiltration, using his detached and methodical mindset to select the optimum persona (or Legend Identity) for each situation. Each mask is woven from threads of reality, feeding or shunning the intrinsic aspects of his personality as required to create convincing facades that are never too far from the truth to be disbelieved. Kam is a pragmatist who prides himself on his efficiency and logic, and strives to make use of every discernible trait available to him so that even the oddest of his quirks may be of use.

He makes it a habit of spotting things that others miss, observant to a fault. Often, he will point these out, either leanly or encased in a dark sense of humour, and at times this insight will be a boon to discussion. When this isn’t the case, he can appear arrogant and antisocial. However, this air of superiority is of little consequence. Kam’s resilience liberates him to follow his own moral compass and move at the pace that best suits his own needs, impasses be damned. And with each encounter, he learns, ever the student of human nature, yearning to be truly faceless. To become anyone — anything. His wisdom now extends beyond his years, the product of a mind constantly sharpening its multifaceted edges like a sword collector.

It was why one blade was never enough for him, clan principles be damned. Kam was destined to be different. He takes care of business his own way, favouring the most effective blend of practices to enhance his unorthodox style in nearly all walks of life, combat included. Yet not once will his desire to get things done be impeded by the thirst for glory. To Kam, a job well done is its own reward because a job half done isn’t done at all. And if said job is done properly, then nobody should know that Kam had ever been there. He shies away from the limelight, and never charges into conflict. His movements, like his words, are well chosen and carefully placed to achieve his aims — not the avalanche of rolling rocks and debris, but the pebble at the summit of the mountain, initiating the catastrophe.

Nindo ~ The Hardliner

"I've got my own lines to walk."

Statistics ~ The Mountain

Archetype I: Konkaji Soul Smith
Archetype II: Human Tank
Special: The character gets Kon-Konpon for free.
Stat Merits: +3 to Strength, +2 to Stamina, +1 to Willpower.
Stat Flaws: -3 to Speed, -1 to Control, -1 to Tactics, -1 to Intelligence.

Primary: Physical
Strength: 1 + 3 + 11 = 15 + 12 [Akazano Namakemono] = 27
Speed: 1 - 3 + 10 = 8 + 8 [Baisuu-Tou-Ryuu] = 16
Stamina: 1 + 2 + 9 = 12 + 9 [Akazano Namakemono] = 21

Secondary: Chakra
Power: 1 + 9 = 10
Control: 1 - 1 + 9 = 9
Reserves: 1 + 9 + 1[TP] + 1[AP] + 1[GMAP] = 13

Tertiary: Mental
Intelligence: 1 - 1 + 7 + 2 [Thread] = 9
Tactics: 1 - 1 + 8 + 1 [GMAP] + 1 [Thread] = 10
Willpower: 1 + 1 + 9 + 1[TP]= 12

Techniques ~ The Avalanche

Ninjutsu / Global Shinobi Techniques

I: Kawarimi No Jutsu / Body Switch Technique [PWR 2, TAC 2]
II: Kabenobori no Jutsu / Wall Walking Technique [PWR 5, CTR 4, RES 4]
II: Chakra Hikari no Jutsu / Chakra Light Technique [PWR 6, CTR 6, INT 4]
III: Chakra Tsuitou no Jutsu / Chakra Hunting Technique [PWR 8, CTR 8, RES 6]

Doton / Earth Release

I: Daichi Idou no Jutsu / Earth Platform Movement Technique [PWR 3, WIL 2]
II: Rikujou Douyou no Jutsu / Ground Shaking Technique [PWR 7, CTR 7, INT 6]

Teitetsukon / Konkaji Soul Forge

I: Kon-konpon / Soul Root [PWR 2, INT 2]
I: Seisei-ken / Summon Blade [RES 3, WIL 2]
I: Konjoumae / Soul Lock [PWR 3, TAC 2]
II: Migakiageru / Finest Shine [PWR 5, RES 4, CTR 4]
II: Bakuhakame no Jutsu / Blast of the Furnace Technique [PWR 7, RES 7, WIL 6]
III: Kencho Atsui! / Strike it hot! [WIL 9, INT 9, RES 7]
III: Yousetsutou / Welder’s Knife [PWR 10, RES 10, TAC 8]

Akazano Namakemono / Forbidden Sloth Style

III: Strength +12, Stamina +9, Speed +6 [STR 10, STA 10, TAC 8]

Baisuu-Tou-Ryuu / Multiple Sword Style

I: Strength +5, Speed +4 [STR 5, SPD 3]

Inventory ~ The Student

Item Points Max: 8
[0] Shinobi Kit
[1] Khukuri
[5] Konken: Routaika "The Elder Master"
Item Points Spent: 6
Item Points Remaining: 2

Biography ~ The Protector

The Tale of Nami-Nami

As a child, Ryuuankamei was widely regarded as abnormally normal, average in size, aesthetics and expectations, with no discernible distinguishing features. The other children would tease him, calling him ‘Nami-Nami’. To them, the bright lights of the forge, he was the grey smoke, formless and lingering. Even the runts and under-achievers had more clan currency when he entered the academy aged eight because at least they aspired to greatness, whereas Ryuu seemed content to fade. This wasn’t the case; the young clansman was simply happy in the middle. Polite, reserved and content just to be, he never wanted for much. His mother was incredibly supportive and his father, though busy as a Soul Smith, was able to provide a relatively plentiful lifestyle for the family of three.

He was actually quite selfless, but this was interpreted as weakness. Little did the other children know, the resilience with which he withstood their assaults for years was his standout feature: resoluteness inherited from his father and bravery from his mother. Her comforting words were also a constant salve. It was she who professed that his invisible strength was his sleeping Konken.

She died from an ill vapour when he was ten, ripping away Ryuu’s safety net. Without her as his true north, his compass wavered, as did his morals. He began to exact vengeance on his classmates, angrier than he had ever had cause to be. Angry at the world for pushing him to be a person he didn’t want to be until something had snapped. It felt connected. Depression turned to anxiety then fear. Fear that he would lose what little he had left if he didn’t rise to their taunts and prove them wrong. He didn’t want to; he never had. He had been content with the innate knowledge that his peers were wrong on all counts, happy to weather a storm that would pass. But none of that mattered any more.

Dispelling all distractions, he worked with single-mindedness to outdo each nascent naysayer, showing them up in and out of class until one act of humiliation went too far and earned him the ire of his instructors. They would have expelled him had Ryuu’s father not stepped in to explain the full circumstances and soften their punishment to a period of exclusion instead.

The bullies, exposed and robbed of their easy target, chose to follow suit, demolishing any fledgling friendships the boy might have had by convincing the whole academy cohort to alienate him. Having long since given up trying to forge bonds with the other children, Ryuu didn’t care too much, preferring his own company. The isolation was a welcome respite. He returned to complete his education six months later, in which time his father had stepped up as a parent and a tutor, recognising his son’s latent capabilities and warped priorities. The combination of his mentorship and the Village’s counselling had reigned in Ryuu’s vengeful streak, helping the boy make sense of his grief.

Few though they were, he gradually came to appreciate the people who strove to befriend him. He didn’t make it easy for them, and a good number still feared him, but his Genin team had been selected for this reason. The girl, Isuka Rie, was a free spirit and also something of an outsider, while the boy, Chinen Tora, had been the only antagonist to escape Ryuu’s wrath. There was little trust to be had, but all three had gained enough perspective the preceding year to share a grudging respect for each other’s accomplishments and station. It was deemed a sound starting point.

Ryuu received his Konken at age twelve and realised that his mother had known the truth of his soul all along. He named the blade “Routaika” in honour of the other elder sage who had prophesied its arrival, to remain by his side when she could not, and vowed never to waver again. To remain calm under fire, no matter the heat. His confidence rose but so did his pride. His goals leapt skyward when he realised all he had yet to achieve, and he was careful never to skew or blur the lines he would have to walk to reach those pedestals. As a shinobi he would face many challenges that could threaten his balance. Thus, while his precise knowledge and well-rounded abilities were a boon to each mission, he would always put his own interests first.

A Forbidden Master

The temptation to hold power over another never left him. When he wasn’t seeking to one-up his teammates, he was quietly honing his Konken skills, hoping to perfect his manipulation of the elder master’s talents and, in so doing, gain full control of the blade’s potential. Yet he was still too young and inexperienced to comprehend the magnitude of his task, wielding the sword as if it was part relic, part plaything, somewhere between reverence and frustration. In truth, he had little control over anything in his life. He worked and lived as the Village and his clan directed. So when his team brought the justice of Hidden Stone against a band of Skyhawk pirates led by their lord and captain, Iryoku Hayabusa, recovering a cargo of stolen artefacts and jailing the ringleader, Ryuu revelled in the success. In fact, he was so smitten with glory that he chose to visit the imprisoned captain before the trial and gloat, as was his right.

Despite the long hours of interrogation, the Skyhawk captain met Ryuu with remarkably high spirits — too high for the Genin to crush. Ryuu left, defeated and humiliated, but returned day after day in an attempt to win their battle of wits, as if doing so would prove something. Multiple cross-examinations over the whereabouts of the pirate’s base by the best that Iwagakure had to offer hadn’t broken the man, so Ryuu never would. Yet with every loss, he gained something: perspective. His motivation for visiting soon changed, backed by a growing respect for a fallen enemy, the recognition of his own shortcomings and an eagerness to engage in the conflict of learning hard truths. Hayabusa was plain-spoken but clearly well-educated, tactful and world-weary. He taught the boy lessons almost against his will, very much in control of their conversations, fluidly traversing the rocky landscape that was Ryuu’s limited grasp of ethics and geopolitics until the days before the trial, when their interactions touched on more personal topics.

The pirate became reminiscent, telling Ryuu of the family he would never see again: his brother, the travelling conman; his father, a rather infamous rogue who had recently outlived his second wife; his sisters, twins living in Daichi. Each offered glimpses of a layered, flawed but still human criminal. No simple crook or master villain bent on evil. Like lenses falling into place, each glimpse, story and conversation revealed a deeper kinship — an unexpected friend, mentor and true elder master — but one who would be ripped away with the new day. Without a confession to soften their sentence, the Daichi courts found the pirate guilty on the multiple charges of grand larceny, racketeering, arson, kidnapping, aggravated assault and resisting arrest. Ryuu wouldn’t have refuted the evidence even if it was in his capacity. It didn’t make letting go any easier. Fortunately, Hayabusa had anticipated this, and left a selection of his personal effects for his sole visitor, among them his long, sweeping coat and a letter.

In it, the captain thanked his young friend for the humanity he had shown during those final weeks and bade him continue to be a good man who would trust in his principles and instincts, remain vigilant in light of the many-layered world’s many perspectives, and be wary of the danger of blind faith in any calling. Finally, he asked that Ryuu carry out one last favour by visiting his sisters, who had contacted him before his arrest with a plea for help. The coat, which had once belonged to Hayabusa’s father, would identify the Genin as an ally. There was no address. The clues pertaining to that subject had been planted long ago, deep in their monitored conversations. The pirate lord’s gamble assured his sincerity, a trust that was met in kind by the young clansman, who set this new goal on the near horizon. As a Genin, he was still bound to his code and the lines therein, and a trip to the capital at that point was simply not on the cards. However, with the freedoms of a Chuunin, it could be.

Graduating the exams became his foremost priority, any boyish dreams of glory replaced by the selfless desire to see the family of an enemy delivered from harm. That need, and the urgency with which it was required, pushed him to succeed where otherwise he might have failed. He scraped by, but passed nonetheless. Few did; the competition was fierce so he had proved himself fiercer. While his few friends and teammates were out either celebrating or commiserating upon their return to Iwagakure, Ryuu packed, taking advantage of the brief respite permitted the administration while they updated his papers and arranged new assignments.

Red Light

Though it took Ryuu nearly two months following Hayabusa’s execution to unpick the wrinkles of clues lodged in his subconscious, he surmised that Iwagakure’s best had made quicker work of the coded wordplay and already beat him to the punch. When he found himself in front of a boarded up building in Daichi months later, he feared the worst. Fortunately, he soon discovered that the tenement’s residents had been relocated to another district. What followed was a day of firsts: Ryuu’s first visit to a Red Light District, his first time in a brothel, his first and next experiences being thrown out of one, and his first use of fabricated identity to further his goals. This dual-layered guise transformed him into a survivor of the Skyhawk operation pretending to be a seventeen-year-old deck hand in search of his relocated family. Hayabusa’s coat was still the key to finding the man’s sisters, but only by making himself thoroughly conspicuous and ubiquitous while wearing it would it work.

When he found a brothel where he was finally permitted to stay, he patted himself on the back for such ingenuity. Yet when he was then led further inside and up a staircase lined with females ranging from his own age of fifteen to more than three times that, he realised that his back might not be the only place to get attention that day. His host, a twenty-something girl with wild red hair and a look of danger, had managed to out-whore the others to claim her prize. Initially, Ryuu didn’t want to suspect her motives. A large part of him wanted her desire to be proven genuine. But the knife held at his groin and forceful hand pinning his chest to the bed moments later dispelled all lustful notions. Well, most.

The young woman’s questions focused so deliberately on the coat that Ryuu realised his quarry had already found him. He stripped away the surface identity to pass himself off as the deckhand, plucking insider knowledge from his conversations with her brother, and satisfying her enough to leave him locked in the room. She returned with another girl, slightly younger and blonde, but otherwise cut from the same cloth. Introducing the blonde as Seika and herself as Shisome, they pressed him for more details, but he was reluctant to reveal his true identity despite their incredibly persuasive attempts. He couldn’t know if it would help or hinder to explain his part in their brother’s capture and execution, so he stuck to his script, even if they saw through parts of it. It seemed to be enough for them to share their plight.

A local mobster had forcibly relocated a number of legal tenants from their buildings to a street under his 'jurisdiction', blackmailing the majority with tax or eviction. Matters were made worse by the arrival of Stone shinobi who promised aid only if the sisters betrayed their brother. Their adamant defiance earned them a place on the police force's black list. Shunned by all, they had turned to Hayabusa, their only hope. And Ryuu was a deck hand. With knowledge that he shouldn’t have. They locked him in the room and left a second time to decide how far they could afford trust him. Later that evening, he was joined by Seika in search of answers. She didn’t interrogate, but simply wanted to know how her brother had fared at the end. She could probably see through Ryuu’s facade but indulged him for the sake of closure. The message meant more than the allegiance of the messenger.

The pair spoke for many hours, much like Ryuu had with her brother, but there was an easiness to conversing with the eighteen-year-old. Seika’s raw emotions exposed her true self, highlighted in stark contrast against the walls of secrecy he had erected. Furthermore, although she was related to a criminal, she did not share his crimes; nor should she share an unfair punishment. Ultimately, it was her idle comment on how well the coat seemed to suit its new owner that dispensed with his remaining reservations. He told her that he was a shinobi and one of the team who had captured Hayabusa. He suffered her punches and kicks to plead understanding of that fact. Not forgiveness. He couldn’t ask for that. All he could ask for was the belief that he knew things because Hayabusa had come to trust him, enough to entrust his own sisters’ safety into the boy’s care. He was there to help, and help he would, however he could. For his promise, he received an angry and tearful kiss, a fierce, unbridled need to which he responded in kind, sealing his promise as if in stone. The next morning, in more ways than one, he awoke as a man.

Green Light

The brothel’s inhabitants lacked the manpower to fight back and so Ryuu, being far from a diplomat, decided to be their sword — their strong-arm. He would fight fear with fear, setting his shinobi trappings aside and assuming the role of a visiting bastard son, enraged by the treatment the women had received. When the usual bunch of the mobster’s underlings arrived later that day to take their regular cut, Ryuu met them as Kam. He put down three of the four men, sending the last one back with a clear message, but trailing him nonetheless. When more were issued to return in force, he followed them back to the brothel, whittling down their numbers on the way with guerrilla tactics and then dealing with the remnants in the street. He demanded that they leave the residents in peace, threatening to take more permanent and direct action if his demands were not met, then disappeared into the shadows before the police could arrive.

The prostitutes made their appreciation equally explicit that night, but even as the youth rested in sated slumber surrounded by a dozen naked forms, hired killers sent to eradicate the danger he posed were infiltrating the building. Picking off the residents one by one, they had killed two of the older prostitutes and a serving girl before Ryuu woke as Kam, who meted out a gloves-off, sword-drawn and fangs-bared retaliation that spilled onto the street from a burning room. Unbound by rage and despair, the young shinobi slayed two of the attackers and viciously disfigured the third. He also received numerous minor injuries himself, including a deep cut across the clan tattoo on his neck, before fleeing from the approaching authorities. He was protected from the fallout by the neighbourhood's residents, who banded together to cover up his involvement with vague yet coherent witness reports of a drunken brawl. However, with the police vowing to maintain a stronger presence in the area, Ryuu could leave town, satisfied that he'd made a difference.

He was different now; that much was also apparent. Things had taken a dark turn, albeit with glimmers of hope among the vestiges of his dying innocence. The single line of his straightforward existence had fractured into multiple pathways, littered with new masks for the many-faceted Kam, born of fire, danger, wrath and desire. And the need to balance the scales. The belief that were was always another way to right the world's injustices. You just had to be prepared to go deeper, even into the shit, to uncover it. He applied to become a Field Operator and spent much of his subsequent time out of contact as an prolific Investigator, immersing himself in an underworld he needed to better understand until it became his ally. His second skin. He favoured deep cover operations, moving from strength to strength as a highly capable sleeper agent. When his travels took him to distant regions, he grew proficient in soaking up their varied cultural identities, perspectives, prejudices and nuanced dialects. Wisdom, he now knew, came at the expense of one's pride in wilful ignorance. Hayabusa had taught him well.

When the Jondori incident shook the country, Kam was one of many operatives dispatched to investigate the once vibrant city for evidence of foul play, though the event was later revealed to have been a natural disaster. Though his findings helped shape the political narrative, they had no bearing on the shake-up to follow, which resulted in a reshuffling of the shinobi divisions. The closest alternative to being an Investigator was a Scout, although changing jobs required that Kam adapt his modus operandi from long-term, deep cover approaches to high impact recon as the point man for infiltration, acquisition and extraction. Though the chuunin had grown fond of his job, he had already acknowledged that there were more ways than one to get things done, and so viewed this new status quo as simply another line to walk, and to master.

Ever the student. The young lion. The hardliner. The mountain. The avalanche. The protector. The Mask.

Appendices ~ The Secrets

Legend Identity I: Keiichi "The Killer"
Legend Identity II: Iryoku Hiro, The Last Skyhawk

Konkaji Tattoo:

Other Info:
  • Kam has developed a habit for smoking exactly one cigarette per day without fail, waiting for a perfect reason to give into his vice. He prides himself in being able to stave off temptation better than most, but accepts his imperfections nonetheless. They make him more human.
  • When Kam became an Investigator, he immersed himself in the corrupted underworld of business. Hence, he is often seen as quite the shady character, even by those who know him well, and seems to know a lot more about certain disreputable topics than a shinobi typically should.
  • Special mention goes to MizaelTengu on DeviantART for his help in reimagining the character and in bringing my designs for Kam's Soul Armour to life. Check out the full suit of Konyoroi armour pieces here.
Missions ~ The Voyage

Preface: All Aboard! (+1AP Yousetsutou)
Prologue: Setting Sail (Doton Edits, +1GMAP Tactics)
Mission I: What Science Has Wrought (feat. Ryuuichoroh Uryu) (+1 Intelligence)
Mission II: The Natsuki Job (feat. Yamakazi Jirou and Kiyama Hien) (+1 Intelligence, +1 Tactics)
Interlude: Valentines GMAP and Bonus (Strike it Hot!, Finest Shine)
Mission III: To Rebuild and Restore (feat. Kiyama Hien) (+1 Willpower, +1 Reserves, Chakra Hunting, Forgetting BTR Stage II)
Timeskip: Six Months the Wiser (GMAP and Donation AP) (+1 Reserves, AP Limit Breaker, +1AP Reserves, +1AP Chakra Light)

Last edited by Bass; 04-01-2019 at 05:51 PM..
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