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Old 08-11-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
Calibur
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Default The Hall of Heroes

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Old 07-19-2013, 04:07 AM   #2
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Default Sennin - Kinshi Haru (Hidden Grass)

Quote:

Kinshi Haru



Rank––Sennin

Age––28
Sex––Male
Height––6 feet, 1 inch
Country––Kusa no Kuchi/Kusagakure
Division/Station––KISEO/Strike Commander

Nindo; Way of the Stoic:

Just as the material of the carpenter is wood, the subject-matter to the art of living is each person's own life.
The strength of one's character will decide the quality of that life.

I live to help craft a better Kusagakure, to protect it and uphold the virtue of its many lives.
If you test them, you will answer to me.

If you test me, you will fail.

Quote:
Physical Description: [Walk like a dragon]

Clothing: [Fly like a falcon]

Personality: [Sleep like a tiger]
Archetype:

Guardian [Tactician x Myrmidon]
Special: Once per thread, Haru can instantly nullify any Ninjutsu attack two stages lower than his highest Ninjutsu by striking it with a hand.
Description: The leader on the battlefield, with a variety of skill sets and changing styles, the Guardian is always known as the supporting friend or comrade no one can do without. All the tactical skill and prowess allow the Guardian to outdo foe with intelligence, coupled with exercised jutsu ability. They specialise in team combat, either as lead or supporting cast.
Stat Merits: +2 Stamina, +1 Reserves, +1 Tactics
Stat Flaws: -2 Strength, -1 Power, -1 Control

Statistics:

I - Physical

Strength: 1 - 2 + 38 = 37 (+35 Fierce God Fist) = 72
Speed: 1 + 32 = 33 (+ 30 Sleeping Blue Dragon) = 63
Stamina: 1 + 2 + 30 = 33 (+28 Fierce God Fist) = 61

II - Chakra

Power: 1 - 1 + 35 = 35
Control: 1 - 1 + 29 = 29
Reserves: 1 + 1 + 26 = 28

III - Mental

Intelligence: 1 + 26 = 27
Tactics: 1 + 1 + 26 = 28
Willpower: 1 + 28 = 29

Jutsu/Techniques:

Sleeping Blue Dragon Iaijutsu
Stage VI: +30 Speed, +24 Strength
\\Special Technique: Kirioroshi – Shiten Tsuki (Strike – Four Point Thrust)
\\Special Technique: Nukitsuke – Ushiro Kiri (Draw – Back Cut)
\\Special Technique: Nukitsuke – Shiho Kiri (Draw – Four Direction Cut)
Requirements: Speed 30, Strength 25, Stamina 21, Tactics 22, Willpower 14

The Fierce God Fist
Stage VII: +35 Strength, +28 Stamina
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Ago (Fierce God Jaw)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Sentou (Fierce God Punch)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Chikaraashi (Fierce God’s Strong Legs)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Assai Nigiri (Fierce God’s Crushing Grip)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Karada (Fierce God Body)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Kire (Fierce God Cut)
\\Special Technique: Kinshin Senshi (Fierce God Stab)
Requirements: Strength 37, Stamina 33, Speed 29, Willpower 24, Tactics 20

Global Ninjutsu
Stage I: Yoso no Te (Element Hand)
Stage I: Kawarimi no Jutsu (Body Switch Technique)
Stage II: Kabenobori no Jutsu (Wall Walking Technique)
Stage III: Hitoshizeru Bakuhatsu no Jutsu (Hidden Explosion Technique)
Stage IV: Tenkuu Hokou no Gyou (The Art of Walking on Air)
Stage V: Takai Yoso no Te (Higher Element Hand)
Stage VI: Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique)
Requirements: Power 21, Control 20, Reserves 19, Intelligence 17, Tactics 15, Yoso no Te

Grass Ninjutsu & Division Swap
Stage I: Etai Souken (Nature Creation)
Stage I: Kaika (Bloom) –– Replacing: Kusa Maina-Hei (Grass Minor Wall)
Stage II: Shyushi Karamari (Seed Entangle)
Stage III: Kusaki Kengeki (Plant Weapons)
Stage IV: Kusa Shunshin (Grass Instant Relocation)
Stage IV: Jikihi Kodachi (Personal Grove)
Stage V: Kusa Mikon (Grass Wilds)
Stage VI: Boubi Kusa Tentou (Defense Grass Counter)
Stage VII: Makai Sakura Se (Hell's Cherry Blossom Torrent)
Requirements: Power 30, Control 27, Reserves 26, Intelligence 22, Tactics 20, Willpower 19

Grass Genjutsu
Stage I: Fuuka no Jutsu (Enfade)
Stage II: Etai Teichi no Jutsu (Nature's Espionage)
Stage III: Genjutsu Kai –– Replacing: Kakuu Kagai no Jutsu (Aerial Assault)
Stage IV: Kamigami riki no Jutsu (Godly Strength)
Stage V: Heki Ukiyo-ki (False Life Tree)
Requirements: Power 19, Control 19, Reserves 18, Intelligence 16, Tactics 11, Willpower 10

Inventory:

Shinobi Kit –– 0
Body Armour –– 2
Katana –– 3
Mask of the Mother Tree (KISEO Division Item) –– 3
Initial Points Used: 8
Points Purchased: 0
Total Points Used: 0
Remaining Points: 0

Biography:

Part I –– Soul



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Subject Interview
Quote:
Might I just say, it’s an honour.

So is drinking this fine tea! Mmm. Pour yourself a cup. Much of what I am about to say is already on the record, but I've been informed you would like me to start at the beginning.

My grandpa, Jurou-sama, emigrated from Bear fifty years ago with only his beat up cello in hand. My only treasure was discovering I shared his talent, one of my few joys and only source of income, when I was good enough. He was something else. We were quite the pair. And one day, we were invited to play in a variety concert at one of Sougen's smaller theatres. I was seven, just a cricket out of the long grass, but he took me, shoulders in hand like this and says: ’Son, just as the carpenter’s material is wood, and the musician’s is that song of the soul that yearns to be played, you, right now, young Haru-kun, you are crafting your life with your own two hands. It is the strength of those hands that will decide what kind of life that’s going to be. The audience does not matter until you say it does. I need not tell you to be strong. You already are.’

Well, the pressure fell away and my music took on a new fervour. That’s when my mother noticed something strange. I grew a third arm, grasping for the bow. Yes — my chakra's raw intent. An unbidden Yoso no Te. I believe it was the instant my coils activated, a moment of zen beyond my perception. My parents told neither me nor Jurou-sama about the incident at the time. So on the day of the concert, when he and I were practising on stage and I was concentrating on his playing, visualising my harmony in my mind’s ear, it happened again. Suddenly my part sounded impossibly real, and even when my grandpa stopped playing, I had to finish. He was sitting back, cello at rest. Heart attack. This time I saw the arm. And I blamed myself. Then I discovered my parents’ lies, and I blamed their ignorance, their presumption that I was too immature to make any other choice than the one they feared.


Then you made it anyway.

I came to train in Kusagakure because I needed to understand what I did; what it meant and how to control it. Was it evil or the potential for something good? Why had my grandpa let me finish, weathering the attack in silence? I took some belongings, left the cello, just another kid at the gates looking for answers. But I was curious about what else I could do. My guilt was replaced by concern and the need for absolute control. I’d killed one man aged eight. What of eighteen? I was so focused on finding a way to trust myself again, friendship was a foreign concept. I had set about crafting my life with my own two hands — a good pair of hands. Steady, reliable — the kind you'd want to anchor your Genin team. If I hadn't been so distant, more people might have wanted me. But I went where directed, duty over passion, and found that my chakra would simply come as bidden. Maybe I was overthinking it. Or perhaps my heart simply wasn't in it.
Part II –– Heart



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Inoue Chiasa, Jounin / MOED - Adept
Quote:
And a bit emotionally stunted, I guess. At the time, of course. I mean, er—

It’s fine. He requested you, so speak freely.

He remembers me?

Clearly. Now why do you think that is?

He liked me. Fancied me. Asked me out… Years ago, of course! We were teenagers. I said no and usually, that would be it. But Haru had come to the dojo seeking sword skills to improve mental discipline and catch a break from his Genin team between missions. After getting shot down, he couldn't turn tail, so he stayed. And because he knew I knew he liked me, and didn't mind seeing him around, he relaxed a bit. Told me how he needed to be in control of situations, and tried to voice caution when his team overexerted themselves. He was projecting so, after staging an unsuccessful intervention, the other two faked a scenario designed to force Haru into going all out. It put the boy, Hyouma— Shit. Sorry, sorry! But, oh my god, Hyouma-sama! That’s right! Put Hyouma in dire peril against a masked assailant, Kohaku. She was the strongest of the three, supposedly, but was hospitalised. Haru…found it harder to trust people after that.

He trusted you enough to ask you out.

Not without a push. During the weeks of her recuperation, Ko and Hyouma grew close, found love. Haru felt it put a strain on mission protocol and stepped in. They told him he knew nothing of love. Dared him to ask again when he’d felt it. They didn’t know what he'd been through.

And he didn't find love with you.

No. But I like to think I helped him wise up and learn a thing or two about us girls, even if he did get a little infatuated in the process. He was thirteen, I was fifteen, but it could never be. I liked older boys. Like Ryota. When he asked, I didn’t have time for Haru any more. He remembers me, sure, but he probably hates me.

And if he doesn’t?

…Then I should have said yes.
Part III –– Pain



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Subject Interview
Quote:
Yes — speak to her if you can.

We will try to chase Chiasa-san for commentary, although such a high profile member of the Ashi Kuki will be hard to lock down given the current climate. Let us press on. I find this emotional journey of yours rather compelling. What happened after you parted ways?

I took some holiday and faced the music. I’d known love once before, in Sougen, but the city I loved had grown up without me: taller; more brightly coloured. Then again, some parts had become more run down. Strong parallels, there. Walking the old beat, listening to the street musicians — long dormant bulbs were lighting up inside me. Then I stepped into the shade of my old atrium and it was a Sakibou parade. Same building. Same steps. Same two-bed flat, but emptier. Just mum at the door, dad by the window. Same hunch, though he looked thinner.

I held it together through two cups of tea and a million moments where a shouting match seemed on the cards until they brought out my little cello, which they’d kept in pristine condition along with Jurou-sama’s, even when times had been hard and money scarce. It was all they had of ours. And my return, they said, had proved them wrong. That they hadn’t known what was best for me. They were just glad to have me back. And that was…everything I wanted to hear. Just like that. It didn’t feel real. I doubted their honesty. Then I doubted the haste with which I’d left. I felt sick, confused, but boy, did I need that.


How so?

Emotion is confusion, and love is pain mixed with hope, sometimes. Other times, it’s a different, heady concoction. I was allowing myself to feel again. I was done controlling. Because some things, you just can’t. Like Hyouma and Kohaku. I admitted I wasn't qualified to judge, and they did their best to forgive me. I feel Hyouma did the worse job. Kohaku had a higher threshold for failure.

Her murder came out of nowhere. Nomad kill squad from Sound crashed a mission shortly thereafter. In our grief, the only thing Hyouma and I could agree on was that the team had to die. No one could replace Ko. We put ourselves forward for Sakibou, to be recognised in the tournament and both push for graduation on merit. The winner could be petty and dedicate their hollow victory to Ko. We fought to a standstill, but we both knew I had more in the tank that he couldn’t match. He’d already reached his limit so he surrendered, leaving me to win that year. Got my precious Chuunin promotion while some hotshot sponsor picked up Humble Hyouma for special training before the official Exams.


You sound bitter.

I’m not. The taste in my mouth was, the achievement ashen given the circumstances. What we truly wanted couldn't be won.
Part IV –– Proof



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Minami Maiko, Chuunin / KISEO - Officer
Quote:
In all our time together, I still feel like I only got a taste of the good stuff. Haru kept the hard feelings close to the chest and wore the easy ones on his sleeve. We did have some fond times though, and I was his first. He was so awkward and cheesy and gentlemanly in the beginning, somewhere between being the most natural version of himself and trying too hard. When his music became part of the package, he was beautiful. So enlivened. Driven. Looking for other ways to use his gifts. I understand why we had to end things.

I would like to return to that. Can you describe the beginning? You two would have been fourteen, fifteen.

When I met him? He certainly wasn’t flavour of the month to anybody at the precinct. Captain Takeshi doesn’t suffer fools gladly now, and had even less patience then, and Haru had a lot to answer for. After he graduated, he’d had two successful six-month tours as a Hanibuke protector, but no incursions. No work, really. That changed when he decided to deploy as a hunter, following his 'song of the soul', and his first assignment in that arena became his last. He'd thought to corner his quarry on home turf near the Stone Ring, but their fight spilled onto the hallowed stones and out of of Haru's control.

The collateral damage to the Ring that day is a sore spot among my brethren, but some acts do have a way of cleaning one’s slate.

Those were a long way off! Anyway, someone must have been pulling for him, because all he got was a demotion and a transfer to our precinct.

Perhaps Captain Takeshi?

Beats me. Haru was the last person he wanted working for him. He was plainly vocal about that. Smacked him with desk duty as soon as he arrived, a prison of paperwork. He moved up from desk, to traffic, to beat cop, then down again, trying to prove himself by going above and beyond, but often half-cocked or without backup. The Captain’s no-nonsense leadership and gruelling standards definitely helped curb most of these habits with time, forcing him to learn. Personally, I think he was just getting better at pleasing the captain, reshaping rather than replacing the working parts.

Playing to the man’s favour?

In a way, but also becoming more resilient. Starting to accept his flaws and adapt his strengths, but not compromise his values. Take things in his stride. For all our failings, he was really maturing when we got together. A heavy heart, but an honest one too.
Part V –– Gambit



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Yamato Hyouma, Jounin / MOED - Nou Commander
Quote:
I’d be lying if I claimed there was never a point where I considered Haru my enemy. We had never been friends. Not truly. Something about him had always grated on me. Maybe it was how he never let things go, doggedly pursuing a goal to completion. That was the only way he was ever satisfied — nothing left unfinished.

A blessing and a curse?

More the latter. It came out in his work: finding cause for Ko and I not to be together; giving closure to his time at the Stone Ring with an audacious hunting tactic; attempting to repair his sullied reputation by policing beyond his remit. It all backfired, but still he pushed the envelope. Sometimes until it tore.

It seemed he was able to find some joy. Not everything backfired.

If you’re talking about Maiko, that was the worst part! Poor girl never knew it, but she started as an accessory to one of his obsessions. He was right to end things after stringing her along for all those years.

What do you mean?

There was one case which plagued Haru. Some detectives were on the trail of a person of interest, chasing them across his traffic duty and, of course, Haru saw this as an opportunity to help. He caught up, knowing the streets better than those gumshoes, but was beaten. And, this time, couldn’t let it go, even after Takeshi shut down his off-the-books digging. Something had happened when they'd faced off that had created the unshakable impression that this case was meant for him. He needed access to the records, and who should work as a clerk in his precinct? If there is one thing I could say about him back then, it’s that he wasn’t afraid to play the long game.

It helped that Maiko was a fan of live music. He asked her out with the promise of a concert, for which he brought his cello down at the end of their date and serenaded the neighbourhood, performing publicly for the first time in, oh, ten years. It was for the cause, but it was also a big deal to him. He didn’t have to do any of these things, and it never had to lead to a long-term relationship, but I know he liked her, and could have loved her. If only it hadn’t been founded on a lie. Although he’s never told me outright, I believe there were some times when he considered giving up his vendetta and just accepting that it had led to something unlikely and beautiful as a result. There’s no other way to explain how long he waited before taking advantage of her trust to get at those records.


And when he did?

He got more than he’d bargained for. The fugitive was a spy with a history, first evading a hunter at the Stone Ring and then stealing intel on a number of projects in the years after. His person of interest. And mine.
Part VI –– Duet



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Subject Interview
Quote:
I was eighteen when my path led me back to Hyouma.

We have spoken to him. He paints an…interesting picture. A rather dark portrait.

Hm. Well, whatever he’s saying, I’m inclined to agree. We’ve all made mistakes. Done things to serve ourselves at the expense of others. I’m no saint. He knows me, probably better than I know myself sometimes. I’m lucky to have a friend like him to keep me in check.

Yes…how did that happen? After your access to the records office.

He told you about that? Hm. I knew he wouldn’t pull any punches. Probably better from him. Legally, I toed the line. Morally, I crossed it. But at the end of the day, a Sennin has to go where called to do what needs to be done. We live in the grey areas. And deliver results. Mine, in this case, was a solid lead that could help vindicate my career mishaps and, I resolved, heal old wounds in the process.

The big question was how to approach Hyouma. This time it had to be different; I wanted someone to trust, not a tool to use, so the way I went about it had to be genuine. Like when you’re talking down a hostage-taker, and you show them the person behind the badge who cares that everyone makes it out alive. But Hyouma had never seen the real me: the song of my soul; the song that yearned to be played. I auditioned for Sakibou’s main stage event that year, which I’d heard the Kusakage and all non-deployed military personnel would be attending, with a duet titled ‘Kohaku’s First Dance.’ To most everyone there, I’d be playing to Naohiro-sama, and the song would resonate patriotically, but I made sure Hyouma knew the true subject by introducing the performance with a message he’d recognise: a song about first love, for those who have felt it, those who have yet to, and those it has never left.


I recall it... You brought two cellos onto the stage. We’d...never seen anything like it. Your second cello...fastened to the back of your chair? Revolving — on a platform — a duet. The Yoso no Te arms played a harmony to equal your melody. I remember, Kohaku-sama himself stood for the ovation.

And some would say that was the greatest accolade, in front of tens of thousands. But they were not present in the room when it was just Hyouma and me, and tears in his eyes. He said she would have liked the song, even though she had professed to be a terrible dancer. I cut to the chase. Said I needed his help. Anything less and he’d have seen through my actions, and I now had everything to lose. Fortunately, Hyouma recognised and respected this. He went out on a limb and let me tag along on his case because he knew how much it meant. He knew the real me, so he knew the real stakes. And we got the guy. Together.

Now, that wasn’t promotion-worthy. I had to keep my involvement to a minimum to allay any of Takeshi’s suspicions, but Hyouma had some sway with the higher-ups, and there was a good case put forward for my advancement to Investigator.
Part VII –– Homeward



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Kinshi Susumu, Father
Quote:
My son, Investigator for the Hidden Village. Heir to the people’s hearts. He wasn’t yet their hero but..he was getting there. He was ours.

Why not a hero? If he’d captured the people’s hearts, would that not be enough?

Good question. I don’t rightly claim to know much about what makes a man a hero to so many, but it was undeniable that the depth of his feelings were made plain to see that day. And he seemed happy to continue wearing them on his sleeve in the months and years that followed, well into his early twenties. His music became renowned to the point where people started calling him by other names: the Cellist; the Maestro; Golden Bow; Greensleeves, on account of that shinobi magic he loved so much. They saw fit to see it all before his work for the Village. He was an artist first and foremost. Came to settle in Sougen. Just down the road. Brought only good things to our city. Made himself right at home, tryna’ make a difference.

And what would you say were the highlights of his tenure there?

Ah…the whole thing? Helping the communities and the businesses. Getting the balance right. Charity work. Volunteering. Solving his fair share of crimes and meeting new people all the while. Opening up just the right amount. I don’t know where he got it from. My parents would’ve been proud. His granda— He'd have been proud of the concert hall! Haru exposed some corporate construction scandal. In the trial, he made his case that damages be paid in full through community service: rebuilding what they’d torn down, but building it back better. And when it was all said and done, my boy stood side by side with the men and women who worked those yards, laying brick one day, soothing souls with songs the next. Painting, planting. He led the way and we all mucked in. It was like...an awakening. My son was growing before my eyes. Connecting with everyone he came in contact with.

Mm. Everyone, you say. So it was all good times. No setbacks.

Huh. If you're talking about the girlfriend, they ended things about a year in. Mutually, I’m told, not long after he'd cracked that case wide open. My wife and I were prepared for it. I think he was too. There were...reasons, he said. Not just the distance. I didn't push. But aside from that, yes. I can't recall a single major setback, even after he left us again. He left us with friends in the department. Men and women we could trust. Who trusted him.

Indeed. Enough to vouch for a Jounin promotion. For duty “above and beyond the mandate of one’s position … rooting out discord and strife, conspiracy and criminality … restoration of the community” and “serving one’s unit with valour becoming of an officer.”

That’s our boy.
Part VIII –– Necessity



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Yoshida 'Golden Boy' Saki, Chuunin / KISEO - Detective
Quote:
Golden Bow? Pfft. Yeah. I’d heard that one. I never put much stock in what a shinobi chooses to do off the clock. It’s when he’s on that matters.

So you weren’t impressed?

I wouldn’t say that. Depends what you’re talking about. You just leave the golden monikers to me, ’n the silvers to Tora. We’re talking shadowed steel when it came to Haru-sama, which I’m still inclined to call him. I can count on the one hand the number of times I’ve actually seen him draw his sword, and that’s since meeting him when I was fourteen. The number? ‘Only when necessary.’ He knew how to get into their heads; knew how to win a fight without drawing a lick of blood. This one time, he walked into a bank and actually made a robber piss himself before voluntarily turning himself in. And it wasn’t all on account of the genjutsu, either. When he came back to the Hidden Village, he was even more than he’d been made out to be, and he served with every ounce of his being. I mean, have you met the guy? Seems taller and broader than a shade over six foot, doesn’t he? Even now, we’re practically the same height but I still always feel like I’m looking up.

You worked cases with him back then?

Yeah. If it were anyone else, I’d feel compelled to correct you and say he worked cases with me, but it was a little strange. He reminded me… Hm. He reminded me of someone I’d looked up to in the past. And it threw me. Threw me for a loop. Because we worked well together. Hammered out a super high solve rate between us. Well, and the rest of the department. And, I guess…I didn’t actually see much of the Golden Bow side of him. I could see where it'd left its mark. But, as I said, over the years, he gave the job his all, so it’s safe to say the music suffered. Sure. But it had never been a crutch of any kind. He didn’t depend on it to give him stature or status. The way he brought some of us young’uns along. How he worked with other Jounin like Hyouma-sama, even after everyone was mixed up into different divisions. Keeping his head on straight — Lieutenant rank was practically made for him.
Part IX –– Wards



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Peer Interview

Kita ‘Silver Tiger’ Tora, Chuunin / KISEO - Detective
Quote:
Yeah, sure. You want I should make this quick? Met when I was nineteen, I guess, twenty. Worked with the guy over five years before Gar…before the shakeup. Before he got Lieutenant. I reckon there was some peace to be made with the cost of his promotion, but he never showed it. He took over security in the East when the prisoners broke out, in charge of cordoning off the region near Sougen, developing screening processes, staffing the checkpoints and sending teams to flush out fugitives in hiding. You know, man behind the curtain stuff. Then he got called back to the Village. Batsu, my guess, wanting all the eggs in a basket, within cracking range. And that bastard, Akira, didn’t help matters — one of Man’s lieutenants who tried and failed to poach Goldie and me, but got a fair few of the youngers for his SS squads. Stuck Haru like a knife in the back, but not to the temple.

He didn’t appreciate the competition?

Nah. Didn’t appreciate those jack-hats in the SS stealing away officers under his command with Scarlet promises that couldn't be kept. But he made sure to play the game, or at least appear to be playing it, for the benefit of the division. There were times when it was knife edge in the bull pen, the SS swooping in with little more than a piece of paper from the shitter which they claimed gave em rights to our detainees, our files, our cases. Haru stopped things from getting messy. When I couldn’t be there, of course. Heh.

So you’d say he had a good handle on events? After all, a lot happened in the space of just a few months, including the tumultuous rise of our great leader, Fukumen.

Had to. Even with everything going on, Captain Matsuyama had him in charge of captured prisoners who could be repurposed for the greater good. You know…serve time on the outside. He was their handler, but that’s as far as my clearance gets me. I reckon they keep pretty tight wraps on most of em who serve, about their pasts, but mine is not to reason why; mine’s to catch the scumbags still out there breaking laws unchecked. There’s more than enough of those to go round.
Part X –– Command



Grass Military Archives /// Kinshi Haru // Sennin Review 01 / Subject Interview
Quote:
Another tea?

Thank you, but no. I’ve had more than enough for one sitting. And there’s more to be said.

The Chuku.

That was when we knew what to call them. Men in black. Shadows. Ninja Bane. All kinds of names to familiarise ourselves with the unfamiliar. They were a short-lived plague that ravaged our ranks and our trust in each other. In our own abilities. Our likelihood to live to see the next day.

“We were shocked.”

Verbatim. When they first appeared, around…ten months ago, a team of mine was one of the first to face them. I was running a trial mission to flush known holdouts for escapees near the eastern border, commanding teams of Chuunin remotely when they ambushed one trio in the field. I knew from my men’s screams that they’d found something they weren’t meant to. We had good intel on who we could expect to find, and it wasn’t them. I had to intervene, but even I wasn’t fully prepared. Two of them had my three on the ropes, injured. One maimed. They weren’t shinobi. Didn’t move like us. Fight like us. Didn’t seem to feel pain like us, either, even after I broke one in two. The body…it vanished, like smoke from a snuffed lantern.

Lent credence to the case of why I abandoned my post, against mandate. The Brass had been looking to see if I could command, remain impartial, centred. Delegate. They decided to give me another chance, in time. First, we had to deal with the problem. Capture one alive.

I wasn’t part of that mission, but I did what I could, working behind the scenes, training the men and women of KISEO to do what I had done. Overwhelm, find and attack the mind when the body seemed unassailable, attack the body when the mind was weakened. They weren’t demons, though they wished they were. They were men. Women. If they couldn't be defeated, they could at least be beaten back, their energy sapped, their offensive abraded. I was teaching shinobi in pairs, partners to fall back on trust and instinct when there was no time for planning, who could fight as one, two to a shade. It wasn’t perfect, but it saved lives. At the end of the day, that’s what I’m here to do.


How did you feel when Mamotou-sama condoned their actions, these men from Bear?

…Betrayed.

And when public opinion of shinobi diminished?

Angered. But not by the people. By the forces at work, goading them into their distrust.

Motivated?

A man possessed. I was green-lit for the strike on Bama that cut out the Chuku’s heart. From the moment we inserted into the village, it was over for them. Overwhelmed.

I’m glad you mentioned that. We’re waiting on the paperwork to come through for your personal action report. The official statement doesn’t cover much, but we have our sources, and have it on good authority, off the record, that it was you who led and directed the Jounin team sent to defeat and capture their leader, and that you, almost single-handedly, vanquished a four-man squad of Chuku agents while your unit took the prize. And yet you have never claimed responsibility for the act. Why is that?

Hm… You ask a good question. Tell me. If it were true, and I was responsible, would it not be…selfish to ask the people for accolades beyond any which Fukumen might personally bestow? What does it say happened next, on the record?

Well, that you— Hah. So that’s a confirmation, then?

It is what it is. I’m not looking for glory. That’s taking your eye off the quarry. But if it finds me, I’ll accept the position gratefully and move on to my next mission. Bama wasn’t the endgame. There was more for a Strike Commander to do.

And Sougen’s favourite son. And one of Kusagakure’s most ardent, hard-working, philanthropic figureheads. All this and you still hadn’t been recognised formally for that part your service. You were one of the more talked-about local legends.

Truthfully, that was the furthest thing from my mind. I wasn’t aiming for a top spot. You don’t ask for Sennin. At least not in this country. I know some places value acts of heroism and selflessness alone, but Fukumen demands more and, even then, needs someone he can trust to get things done above all others. Knowing this, albeit not for my own gain, but just understanding what it is that our leader asks from all of us, I got back to the mission. Bridging divides in a country that was growing to despise our kind. Using the reputation I had built for the betterment of the communities I served. As I do now. The mission hasn’t changed.

But your station has.

Well, that was Fukumen’s call, not mine.

And your peers. Lest we forget, high praise from both Captains of KISEO and the Nou Commander will get you far as a candidate. Who’d risen with “consistency”, “certainty”, “clarity of purpose”, “growing into his gifts” but who had “not yet plumbed the depths of his vast potential.” Their words.

Truly?

Truly. So let us turn to the five months since. Tomorrow we will go into greater detail, but a rough timeline of events today, from your perspective, will put us in good stead.

Well, as Sennin, I had every bit of freedom the office permitted, so I set up a command for all Eastern Operations. EON. An offshoot of KISEO, but with plans to expand. Based in Sougen. I have my own self-sustaining, adaptive team of trusted men and women who function across the country in their normal roles but will rotate into action as and when they are called upon, or if I must take a mission abroad. It’s a very interesting organisational structure. Very organic. But it works.

Even with the EKD station set up to match our every move. It hasn’t been without its setbacks, but we do what we can to prove that there is more holding the East Ops Nexus together than just my good name. Tora’s been more outspoken in recent weeks about the workload, but they all know why we do it. I don't have anyone working with me who doesn’t want to be there.


And how are you dealing with Druid’s Heart in the region?

It’s true that crime and officer injuries have both skyrocketed of late. I have had to step in personally on more than one occasion. But we are managing. I train all officers under my command to fight in unison with any partner they’re assigned. And while the EKD is still infringing on our turf, they are struggling just as much. More so, even. They were brought into existence to fight shinobi. Druid’s Heart users are unpredictable. More often than not, we have to watch out for the EKD going too far in trying to negotiate the difference. And while that puts civilian and shinobi users they come into contact with in even greater peril, it’s shown that the EON has the clear advantage. That we truly protect the people.

So you have your work cut out for you?

I manage, but I couldn’t do it alone. No one man could organise a whole cultural fundraiser for the Druid’s Heart rehabilitation efforts and still have my day job.

That’s what you’ll be getting back to after the review?

And a few other things.
Other Info:
  • Grasslands Theme: The Path of Wind
  • Musician –– Concert cellist and accomplished singer
  • Artist –– Sketches in his free time and is a renowned painter, having adorned many an abode with murals commissioned to order.
  • Character Influences:
    > Adult Gohan - Dragon Ball Z
    > Briareos - Appleseed
    > Athos - The Three Musketeers
    > Nanashi - Sword of the Stranger
    > Iori Sengoku - Gamaran
The Saga Continues:

Grassland Journeys | The First Scroll
Outset: Kohaku's First Dance
Closing: Stay With Me
  • Encounter #00: One of the Few
    AP Limit Breaker
    18AP to Jutsu: Draw – Back Cut, Draw – Four Direction Cut, Fierce God Punch, Fierce God’s Strong Legs, Fierce God’s Crushing Grip, Fierce God Body, Fierce God Cut, Fierce God Stab, Walking on Air, Higher Element Hand, Shadow Clone Technique, Grass Instant Relocation, Personal Grove, Grass Wilds, Defense Grass Counter, Hell's Cherry Blossom Torrent, Godly Strength, False Life Tree.

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Old 05-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #3
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Default The Weapon: Shoda Kagero (Chuunin // Hidden Cloud)



Unity Squad 080: NPCs




Name: Saionji Miwa
Alias: "Highwire"
Age: 19
Archetype: Assassin
Shinobi Rank: Chuunin
Military Rank: Corporal
Division: Intelligence - Investigator




Name: Ingakankei Akihiro
Alias: "Beast Mode"
Age: 18
Archetype: Druid
Shinobi Rank: Chuunin
Military Rank: Corporal
Division: Combat - Shock Trooper
Pet: Jun (Clouded Leopard - Chuunin Rank)



Name: Yamane Ren
Alias: "Shrike"
Age: 18
Archetype: Lightning Dilettante
Shinobi Rank: Chuunin
Military Rank: Corporal
Division: Engineering - Field Mechanic

-------------------------------------------------------------

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Old 10-08-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default Chop Shop // Reformatting

-------------------------------------

For Kam:
Soul Armour - Phantom Furnace
Tiered abilities for advancement in soul forge*
- feet - jets of hot air and sparks from boots (propulsion, blast in kick)
- arms - jets of hot air and sparks from between plates (propulsion, escape, blast from elbow)
- helmet - glowing eyes and short range heat/spark optical blasts*
- chest - smoke vent, covering field of play in white, near-opaque, cloying smokescreen

-------------------------------------

Nunchaku no Jutsu


A: Strength
B: Speed
C: Stamina
D: Tactics
E: Willpower

Style Basis: Iaijutsu/Weapon

Style History:

Nunchaku, often termed ‘nunchuks’, ‘chainsticks’ or ‘danger sticks’ are weapons of force, speed and unpredictability. Yet knowledge of these practical attributes is always preceded by a rather mythic infamy, as rice flails converted by farmers into improvised armaments during a time of revolution. And so, as simple peasants’ weapons, they are often relegated to the footnotes of armouries, their usefulness in modern warfare undervalued and their presence on the battlefield almost nil. Few beyond the shinobi are privy to the unabridged history of the weapon - one which inspired its adoption by the masters of many schools as a form of supplementary training to build coordination, quickness and self-restraint.

Its origin is one of nobility, sacrifice and resilience.

In a time when the domains were united, aristocrats serving the government as officers, tax collectors and the like were known to practise fighting arts as a necessity, their very lives and livelihoods bound to these roles as protectors and keepers of the law. Yet when the prohibitive legislation tied to their positions denied them the chance to scale other government occupations when the economy dipped, most were reduced to beggary before being granted to right to work for themselves as merchants, farmers and craftsmen. Naturally, they were wont to revolt, only to have their rights further reduced, including the privilege of working for the government or bearing arms.

As princes became paupers, they moved into villages to survive this harsh new world, only to be met by the resentment of those already in situ. Defending themselves on all sides, from their new neighbours and the bandits who later arrived to exploit the sudden boom in food production, these ‘farmer princes’ were forced to refresh their fighting skills. Deprived of their traditional weaponry, they resorted to improvising staffs from sticks, tonfa from millstone handles, nunti-bo from fishermen’s gaffs and kuwa from hoes. The nunchaku was one of the few weapons developed by design, compensating for a lack of reach with sheer force and swiftness. While at a disadvantage against longer weapons like swords, it became a favourite against mobs of opponents brandishing short range weaponry and bare fists.

Easy to conceal and carry, it was the perfect tool for self-defence and gaining the upper hand in a street fight. When wielded alone to accompany unarmed techniques, or paired with another, its hardened handles could deliver blunt force while its cord could be wrapped around attacking weapons and limbs to immobilise or disarm opponents. Many centuries later, the descendants of its inventors would ascend to positions of power once more, only this time as shinobi, masters of concealment, with their forefathers' improvised combat mechanics honed into fully established schools.

Style Information:

Construction

Typical nunchaku consist of two equal lengths of wood connected by a rope (himo) or chain (kusari), each section either rounded or given an octagonal cross-section to create an edged effect. The ideal length of each piece will be long enough to protect the forearm when held in a high grip near the top of the shaft (kontoh). The ideal length of the connecting cord will be just long enough for the user to lay it across their palm with the sticks hanging perpendicular to the ground. The weapon should also be balanced so that the practitioner can perform more advanced ‘low-grip’ moves such as overhand twirls. Weight will generally sit towards the sticks’ outer edges for maximum control of swing arcs. The most common materials for the shafts are strong, flexible woods that have been hardened under mud for several years then finely sanded and stained for preservation. However, metal shafts do exist, as do telescopic/retractable handles, nunchaku with knives and scythes on their tips, and those with blades concealed inside the rods.

Style Requirements: Nunchaku (single/dual)

Stage I
Requirements: 4 Strength, 4 Speed
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 2 Tactics, 2 Willpower

Stage II
Requirements: 7 Strength, 7 Speed, 6 Tactics
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 4 Tactics, 4 Willpower

Stage III
Requirements: 10 Strength, 10 Speed, 8 Tactics
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 7 Tactics, 7 Willpower, 6 Intelligence

Stage IV
Requirements: 16 Strength, 16 Speed, 11 Stamina, 14 Tactics
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 10 Tactics, 10 Willpower, 8 Intelligence

Stage V
Requirements: 20 Strength, 20 Speed, 16 Stamina, 16 Tactics
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 15 Tactics, 15 Willpower, 13 Intelligence

Stage VI
Requirements: 26 Strength, 26 Speed, 23 Stamina, 20 Tactics, 16 Willpower
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 19 Tactics, 19 Willpower, 18 Intelligence

Stage VII
Requirements: 34 Strength, 34 Speed, 31 Stamina, 25 Tactics, 19 Willpower
Bonus: +5 Strength, +4 Speed
Specials: 26 Tactics, 25 Willpower, 24 Intelligence

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Old 08-23-2017, 08:53 AM   #5
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Default Character Sheet Amendments

Musical Score: Days Like This

Konkaji Ryuuankamei



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 = 10

Tertiary: Mental
Intelligence: 1 - 1 + 7 + 2 [Thread] = 9
Tactics: 1 - 1 + 8 + 1 [GMAP] + 1 [Thread] = 10
Willpower: 1 + 1 + 9 = 11

Techniques ~ The Avalanche

I: Global Ninjutsu

Mental Requirements: Intelligence 4
Chakra Requirements: Power 6, Control 6, Reserves 3
I: Kawarimi No Jutsu (Body Switch Technique)
II: Kinobori/Kabenobori no Jutsu (Tree/Wall Walking Technique)
II: Earth Release Ninjutsu: Doton

Mental Requirements: Intelligence 6, Willpower 2
Chakra Requirements: Power 7, Control 7
I: Daichi Idou no Jutsu (Earth Platform Movement Technique)
II: Rikujou Douyou no jutsu (Ground shaking technique)
III: Konkaji Soul Forge: Teitetsukon

Mental Requirements: Intelligence 2, Tactics 8, Willpower 6
Chakra Requirements: Power 10, Reserves 10
I: Kon-konpon (Soul Root)
I: Seisei-ken (Summon Blade)
I: Konjoumae (Soul Lock)
II: Bakuhakame no Jutsu (Blast of the Furnace Technique)
III: Yousetsutou (Welder’s knife)
IV: Forbidden Sloth Style: Akazano Namakemono

Physical Requirements: Strength 10, Stamina 10
Mental Requirements: Tactics 8
Stage III Stat Bonuses: +12 Strength, +9 Stamina, +6 Speed
V: Multiple Sword Style: Baisuu-Tou-Ryuu

Physical Requirements: Strength 8, Speed 6
Mental Requirements: Willpower 6
Stage II Stat Bonuses: +10 Strength, +8 Speed
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)

Last edited by Calibur; 12-16-2017 at 06:21 AM..
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