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Old 08-11-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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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)


Kinshi Haru


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.

Physical Description: [Walk like a dragon]

Clothing: [Fly like a falcon]

Personality: [Sleep like a tiger]

Guardian [Tactician x Myrmidon]
Special: Once per thread, the Guardian 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 variation of skill sets and changing style, 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


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


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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


Shinobi Kit –– 0
Body Armour (Chest) –– 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


Grass Military Archives /// KISEO Reviews // Strike Commanders / Sennin, Kinshi Haru

Might I just say, it’s an honour, sir.

I appreciate that, but it’s I who should thank you for taking the time to oblige my request. I’d rather this record be delivered straight to the hands of the librarians than filter down through the ranks, where anyone might lay bare my life. It may make for good stories, but private’s still private.

I understand, sir. I do.

Then knock off the honorific, pour yourself some of this fine tea you’ve made, and let’s begin. Mmm— definitely a good start.

Then start we shall. At the beginning, if you don’t mind? Or as close to it as you remember…

Hm, the beginning. I’d like to say it was a simple time but things were anything but. My family worked hard to eke out a living. My grandpa, Jurou-sama, had arrived decades earlier to do the same thing, hailing from the lands of Bear with only his wits and a beat-up cello to his name.

They say some things skip a generation. When we discovered I was blessed by the same talent to play, my parents supported my wish to learn from Grandpa Jurou. As I remember it, they wanted to see me excel in the city that had grown up around me, rife with burgeoning theatre-fare, and do well for myself if it made me happy. Little did we know there were more strings to my bow.

I started my music career at the tender age of six, busking on the streets near my house and drawing crowds. I didn’t care why they were there, I was simply glad that they were. The police would send me packing every so often, but when Grandpa Jurou joined me, even they couldn’t complain. Our duelling cellos brought coin to my cap and joy to my grandpa’s face.

Eventually, our blend of the traditional and modern drew the eye of a concert hall producer, who invited Grandpa and me, all of seven years old, for a one-time performance in one of the city’s smaller theatres. I was over the moon. Nervous, and out of my mind with the responsibility resting on my shoulders, but more excited than ever before. And it was Jurou who comforted me…and guided me. His words…

Do you remember them?

Always. You’ll probably recognise the message. I imagine you’ve heard me say something or other of the sort from time to time. I’ll try to get the voice right. Ahem.

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-chan — no, Haru-kun — you are crafting your life with your own two hands. It is the strength of your character that will decide what kind of life that’s going to be. The audience does not matter until you say it does. Only you matter. Imagine that they are not there, only us. I do not need to tell you to be strong, for you already are. It is time you realised that. They will too.

Oh. Ah, I see. So that’s—

Aye, the roots of this tree run deep.

Y-yes. I see now that they do.

…Those had better not be tears so soon. Believe me, we're not there yet.

Ofcoursenot. Of course not. Go on.

Aye. Well, from that moment, I played without pause, without question, possessed by the joy of this revelation in my personal power, no matter the pressure put upon me. I understood it best whenever I played with him, but began to feel the same way in my solos too. It was in one of these transcendent moments practising that my mother noticed something from the stalls. I grew a third arm.

Th-third arm? That-that’s not in the public record. How did we miss that? How could we miss that?!

Easy, compadre. It’s not…that. It was the raw intent — it was my chakra. The Yoso no Te technique?

But that's not…

Possible, I know. Yet stranger things have happened. I think my coils activated in that moment of zen, because the fingers were grasping for the bow, trying to help me play. Of course, it felt weird; I had my eyes closed at the time. Stood up so suddenly, I nearly dropped my cello. Naturally, I convinced myself it had been my imagination, but my mother had seen it all. I found out later that she’d told my father, but neither wanted to tell me or Grandpa Jurou, and I carried on, oblivious.

It happened again?

It did. Mmm. Yes…

More tea?

Please. …Thank you.

He and I were practising together the evening before the concert. I was concentrating on his part, listening to where mine would cross over and imagining the sound. Suddenly it sounded so real. It was perfect. I didn’t want it to end. Even when my grandpa stopped playing, I continued. I finished the piece and opened my eyes.

He was sitting back. His cello at rest. His head was…it was tilted back and his mouth was drawn into a smile. It’s how he left me.


Heart attack.

This time I saw the Yoso no Te growing from my shoulder. He hadn’t known about the first time, and was probably shocked into arrest by something so beyond his ken, but I like to think, from his smile, and the grace with which he’d weathered his own death, for my sake and my music, that he knew it to be a blessing. Like I’d finally found the hidden strength he’d known to be there all along. Well…

I didn’t see it that way, then. I tried to wake him. When any loved one dies in front of you, a piece of you always seems to go with them, but it's so much worse when you’re a child. The idea that they’re never coming back is unfathomable.

It got harder when I then realised it might have been averted. My parents didn’t want him to know because they’d thought it would crush his spirit, which hadn’t been as alive for a long time as when playing with me. And they hadn't told me because they’d thought I would have given up the music to run off and play at being a boy soldier. Made me — makes me — so angry, still. If they’d thought me so strong willed that I could have decided something as life-altering as that, but not believed in me to want to harness my strength and control it as a musician, then they were just spouting ignorance and fear.

I came here originally because they didn’t want me to. And I stayed at first because I needed to understand how I’d done what I did. I had to know what it meant. Was it evil; was I turning into some kind of demon? Or was my grandpa right to believe in it? Was it the potential for something good?

You had recently turned eight.

Yep. Took a few belongings, left my cello. Just another kid at the gates looking for answers. No different.

Did you ever go back for it?

There was a time when I might have been ready to, but I’d outgrown it. It was a child’s size. So, no. But there was something I did bring with me and that’s still sacred to me. It’s a song I composed before I left home. A duet for cello, in honour of Jurou-sama.

Is it one of the—

No, you won’t have heard it. I’ve never played it. It’s nothing as a solo piece.

Understood. So, coming to the Academy, those formative years, please — continue.

I was curious. Very curious about what I could do. Part of me resented those possibilities, but any resentment was quashed by concern, and the need for absolute control. If I’d killed a man at age eight, who's to say something worse might not happen at eighteen? I think you could say I was more focused than my peers, and perhaps a little more distant. I couldn’t really trust myself, and I didn’t trust my parents, so making friends was an issue. I simply set about crafting my life with my own two hands, and that was that.

It turned out that they were a good pair of hands to have. Steady, reliable hands — the kind you'd want as the anchor to your Genin team. If I hadn't been so emotionally removed, I might have had the other kids clamouring over who should get me, but I was appreciated anywhere. With a friend here and a mentor there, I grew up in comparative comfort. Still, without the joys of my past, I never did experience another incident. My chakra would come as bidden, but therein lay its limit. Maybe I was overthinking it, or perhaps my heart simply wasn't in it.

There were the nights when my grandpa’s absence made me sick with grief, and days when the silence of a life without music jarred me senseless. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my parents, if only a little. I suppose you could say there was an emptiness to things. But that didn’t make me special. Plenty of the other kids had similar stories. Just because the country was in good hands overall didn’t mean life wasn’t hard on the ground. It’s a perspective that certainly aided my time as a Detective further down the line: there’s always more than one side to a story.

So let’s skip forward a few years and get closer to those days. Could you please describe your time as a Genin?

Other Info:
  • Grasslands Theme: Rosewood Dreamin'
  • 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: The Path of Wind ~ Joe Hisaishi
Closing: Stay With Me ~ Kevin Olusola
  • 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:


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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