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Old 02-27-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default [Yagyou] - Maeda Kouto





Name: Maeda Kouto
Age: 29
Sex: Female
Height: 5'11"

Character Type: Shinobi

Country/Village: Sunagakure
Rank: Jounin
Division: KAZE Investigator/Yagyou

Appearance: Injuries are part of the job, but sometimes you meet a shinobi who's clearly been through the ringer—that's Kouto. The mask she wears is only for appearance in the sense that it hides the mass of scars ringing her eyes, just as her gloves keep the tortured state of her hands hidden. Her lips would be ragged around the edges with the memory of old wounds if not for the sharp red lipstick Kouto applies. Her bright red hair, cut short and wild, is almost enough to distract from her mottled skin, but there's still a sense of wrongness about the woman's appearance that comes from having been pieced back together.

Kouto hides her patchwork skin with full coverage clothing. Her long black coat has become somewhat of a trademark beside her mask; both bear red accents in the form of sharp, angular designs. Her gloves are plain black, as are her pants, but the jounin indulges in boots with red soles with the logic that the contrast is distracting in combat. Kouto wears her hitai-ate openly around her neck and weapons hidden inside her coat. Her Yagyou tattoo hasn't been seen since the day it was carved into her: a phoenix sprawls across much of her arm and torso, predominately black, but with blue and red practically dripping from the bold lines.


Personality: Kouto is cheerful, if rather macabre. It's a side effect of having spent most of her working career alone; she knows what makes her laugh, and is always slightly surprised when others don't share her amusement. "Surprised" sums up quite a bit about the woman, really. She's half a beat off from the typical shinobi, just slightly out of step, and Kouto has become increasingly self-conscious about it since her promotion. Because of this, she never takes her authority for granted, and prefers to work with her teammates rather than assuming control. Besides, what Kouto is really good at is killing; she's less good at leading and talking and pretty much everything else. It's a shortcoming she recognizes.

Nindo: "Do what? Okay."
Clan/Bloodline: N/A
Combo Archetype: Assassin (Quicksilver/Myrmidon)
Once per thread, the user can use their Speed (as long as it is superior to their opponent's) to sneak up behind completely unnoticed.
+3 Stamina, +2 Speed, +1 Reserves
-2 Control, -1 Power, -1 Tactics, -1 Intelligence, -1 Strength

Statistics
Physical
- Strength: 1-1+15=15 (+5 Onken)
- Speed: 1+2+25+2=30 (+25 Onken)
- Stamina: 1+3+20=24 (+15 Onken)
Mental
- Intelligence: 1-1+17+2=19
- Tactics: 1-1+16+2=18
- Willpower: 1+17+1=19
Chakra
- Power: 1-1+14+2=16
- Control: 1-2+16 +2 =17
- Reserves: 1+1+10+4=16

Jutsu and Techniques
Onken
[Stage 5] - Stage 5
[Stage 1] - Slight of Hand

Those Lacking Opacity and Sand Forgotten Arts
[Stage 1] - Sabotage
[Stage 2] - All-Seeing Eye
[Stage 2] - Weapon Concealment
[Stage 3] - Shadow Trace
[Stage 3] - Charlatan's Death
[Stage 4] - Spirit Diminish
[Stage 4] - Swap: Unwelcome Guest
[Stage 5] - Unseen Step

Wind Ninjutsu and Yagyou Swaps
[Stage 1] - Wind Leviathan
[Stage 2] - Deflection Blast
[Stage 3] - Swap: Henshin
[Stage 3] - Swap: Faceless
[Stage 4] - Wind Riding
[Stage 4] - Swap: Encryption
[Stage 4] - Wind Dragon
[Stage 5] - Wind Sword
[Stage 5] - Low Air Pressure

Sand Genjutsu
[Stage 1] - Demon's Mask
[Stage 2] - Mirage Veil
[Stage 3] - Pursuers
[Stage 3] - False Strike
[Stage 4] - Forgetful
[Stage 4] - Mundane World
[Stage 5] - False Body

Inventory
Knee Blade (2)
Wrist Blade (2)
Ankle Blade (2)
Elbow Blade (2)
All-Purpose Heavy Cloak (3)
Weapon Points Remaining: 1
Additional Weapon Points Gained: 4

Biography
In a room in a temple in a desert, a creature lay dying. Not a shinobi, not a person—a thing. They had made it so, spent painstaking hours making it so, had carved and sliced and ripped until her sex and craft and humanity were no more. Its hands had been first—its career. Its body had been next—its future. Its eyes had been last—its hope. They had meant to take everything, and leave nothing.

They did not cut deep enough.
Maeda Kouto was unflappable. It had been said of her since her first day at the academy. Some pointed to her five older brothers, some to her father's stoic countenance, but whatever the source of her nerve, Kouto excelled at the shinobi arts. She shied away from no lesson, and her failures did nothing to dampen her resolve. There was something driving Kouto. It steered her to graduate ahead of her class, and to continue to progress doggedly through her genin years.

It was soon clear that where Kouto's teammates were daggers, she was a scalpel. The girl had a very clear sense of what had to be done, and did not shy away from doing it. She did not shy away from much. Terms such as sadist and sociopath were whispered, but Kouto did not show any signs of guile or manipulation, or of cruelty extending beyond the pragmatic. A problem best left for later, it was said, and so Kouto was left.

Tragedy struck just before the teenager and her teammates were to be promoted for exemplary work in the field. Her father and brothers were attacked while underway with their goods. He and the eldest son were the only two recovered—in pieces, not alive—Kouto's other four brothers were lost to the desert. She was watched anxiously for change, but no cracks appeared. If anything, the girl was calmer as a chuunin, more put together. A personality emerged from underneath the killer. Kouto was well-liked, if still grim, but considering her family's fate, no one was surprised if her humor was darker than preferable. She remained close with her mother, a tired, bent woman from Zoukei.

The years changed Kouto, as they change everyone. She grew stronger, and faster, learned diplomacy and how not to kill. For many years, she worked with others; for many years, she worked alone. The chuunin had no desire for glory or recognition, which was fortunate, as her work often went unnoticed. It was enough for Kouto to know that she was keeping small problems from becoming big problems. The rank suited her.

It was the Sasori Ryodan that ended Kouto's long-lived anonymity—not that she knew them by that name. She was promoted without warning, pushed into a position of high-visibility, and while Kouto was lamenting whatever mistake she had made to get noticed, they approached her. No faces, no names, just a proposition. Return to being hidden, continue her work from beyond the grave.

It occurred to Kouto then that she was being watched, had been watched for years. She had the skill set of any respectable jounin, yes, and the mission success rate of a god, but Kouto had always been very careful to downplay her skills around teammates—when she had them, that is. It would have taken a keen eye indeed to see anything but a reclusive assassination specialist behind the reports. The group that had found Kouto and read her well enough to push a promotion to weigh the odds in their favor... they were a group to fear.

Kouto was given a week to decide.

It was a busy week.
Death had never daunted Kouto, but the assignment still came as a surprise. It seemed that being a jounin really did bring increased responsibility—the responsibility for a nation, apparently. "Suna no Soushoku"... Kouto knew who they were, what they had done. Obviously, they all deserved to die. Still... assassination?

The woman saw to her weapons, allowing the ritual to soothe her. The facts were these: people had died, were dying, would continue to die as long as the priests were a threat. If she cut off the head, the rest of the proverbial snake would follow. If there was anyone in Sungakure that could be risked to attempt it, it was her.

Kouto smiled as she packed her bag. She would be dead in a week, anyways. Haha.
It came as a surprise to no one involved that Kouto's desperate mission went awry. She was captured—not before wounding several of the cloaked men, but captured nonetheless. Kouto expected torture, then death; she had not been prepared for the men to try and turn her to their own ranks. When they could not coerce Kouto, they set out to break her. It was a slow process, and they relished it.

Kouto endured.

For three months she festered, presumed dead—hoped to be dead, really, because the alternative was worse. The alternative was reality, which found Kouto crippled and mutilated on the floor of a forgotten room, half-buried in sand. They had emptied her, drained her of skill and hope and sight, hoping to find anger underneath. What they found was nothing. Devoid of her profession, of her loyalty to Sunagakure, Kouto was empty, nothing but a hurt little girl with no way to fight back.

Her country fought back for her. Hours before Kouto would have died, the temple was taken. Her body was found, recovered, and only during the sealing process discovered to be alive. The jounin was healed, over days and weeks; as her body was rebuilt, so to was her mind. Sunagakure gave Kouto back what had been taken—her hands, her sight, her hope. Those who watched expected anger, but found none. Kouto had been loyal enough to go to her death without question. She would do it again.

She was still in the hospital, remembering how to live, when Hideyo Izanami paid Kouto a visit. She had a very particular set of skills, the woman began, and Kouto had laughed in her face. By accident, mainly.
"Your laughter is inappropriate," Izanami said stiffly. Kouto tried to quell it.

"I'm sorry, it's just—you have no idea, do you?" She was met with silence, and the jounin sobered. "That other group, the Sasori Ryodan—they pulled this same thing on me before I went off to die." Kouto had thought it impossible, but Izanami stiffened further.

"You were—"

"I never said yes," Kouto interrupted, feeling it was necessary. "I actually was tortured for three months, that wasn't some initiation ruse. Or I'd be super dead now, right? Kazekage's orders, and all that." Kouto waved her hands ambiguously to dispel the bad air, then caught sight of them and lowered them, self-conscious. The sennin across from her relaxed slightly.

"Then it should not be a problem," Izanami said shortly. "Yes or no?"

Kouto smiled, the expression tugging at her stitches. "That depends. Why?"

"Well." Izanami clasped her hands in front of her. "You are unquestioningly loyal to Sunagakure."

"So were the Sasori Ryodan."

The woman scowled. "You're not crazy."

"I kill people for a living."

"Don't be obtuse."

Kouto put up her hands soothingly. "Fine. I'm loyal. So are dogs. What makes me so special?"

Izanami gave the jounin a long-suffering look. "You're capable of working patiently, alone, in high-stakes scenarios, but of adapting and improvising when things go awry. Your mission reports say that much about you. You are not rash, you do not act selfishly, and you have a very—"

"Particular set of skills, yes. I'm good at killing people."

"Better than good. A 98% success rate is outstanding." Kouto smiled, but did not speak, and eventually Inazami continued. "You are also... discreet. You never once submitted a request for promotion, despite your skills. You like the shadows."

Kouto considered this. "Not the shadows," she decided, after a time. "More.. the empty streets."

Inazami's face flickered. "The night shift." They sat in silence, for a time. It was Kouto who spoke first.

"I'm in, I suppose. As long as you promise not to ask me to kill the Kazekage."
She joined Sunagakure's special forces. Not much changed—or rather, nothing changed, beyond the promotion she had never had a chance to experience. After over a decade as a chuunin, command came slowly to Kouto; she continued to work alone until she had her feet back under her, then slowly started branching out. The jounin was just starting to feel like one when the Kazekage's adviser was kidnapped. Her new division started pushing her, then; Kouto was among the first to scout out Dedashi. She was recalled once the city was mapped, still not considered ready for the front lines, and that was how Kouto came to be in Sunagakure when the prison doors were thrown open.

KAZE gave her names, faces—prisoners considered too dangerous to be let live, to be eliminated at any cost. Most fell to her blade, as did any that got in her way in the meantime, but Kouto was heavily wounded in the process. Most would have cut their losses and assumed a less dangerous task, but not Kouto; with a single-minded determination, she continued to hunt those prisoners that eluded her.

It was foolhardy and reckless, both KAZE and Yagyou division leaders told her afterwords, but she completed her assignment.

Kouto was good at that.

Thread Log
[03/09/14] Yagyou Creation Reward: 2 GMAP spent on Shadow Trace and Charlatan's Death
[04/02/14] The Night's Shift's Strength: +2 Reserves, Mundane World
[04/08/14] Our Discontent: +2 Speed, Slight of Hand
[08/04/14] AP: Swap: Encryption
[08/14/14] Warning Sirens: +2 Control, Spirit Diminish
[11/12/14] Sand Arc: Phase II] Rewards Wind Dragon, Unseen Step
[11/17/14] AP: +4 Weapon Points
[12/11/14] Bound and Determined: +2 Power, +1 Reserves, False Strike
[01/26/15] Ballad for Fallen Soldiers: False Body, +1 Reserves, +2 Intelligence
[06/21/15] Sand Arc Rewards: Low Air Pressure, Unwelcome Guests
[07/31/15] The Trail's End: +1 Willpower, +2 Tactics

Last edited by Kana; 08-03-2015 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
Hitoko
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If another EoE or someone could re-check the math, that'd be lovely. I'm laying a half-approval onto this. Although I'd personally like more of the character's personality explored throughout the writing, I do like the ex-Sasori Ryodan and the whole torture concept and such. That, and I'm just excited for more folks in Sand.

Solid character, and all that good jazz.

Last edited by Hitoko; 02-27-2014 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #3
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Alright, this is a good story but there are quite a few holes. The biggest ones are promotion reasoning. There isn't much here except that it happened. I'd also like more about why she was picked for Yagyou and more reasoning behind that. It's close...patch up those holes and you'll have yourself a character.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
Oakapea
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Managed to get some of what Hitoko wanted when I made the edits for you, Kana. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu~
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #5
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Looks good. I have no problems giving this a Sand GM Approval
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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Approved and such.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:31 PM   #7
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Approved for you Abby.
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