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Old 08-25-2015, 06:22 PM   #1
Calibur
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Default Muramoto Tatsuo (Leaf // Chuunin)

Voice Actor: Johnny Yong Bosch



Muramoto Tatsuo
aka 'The Talent'


Age: 16
Sex: Male
Height: 5'9"
Station: Shinobi
Country: Hi no Kuni
Village: Konohagakure

Rank: Chuunin
Division: Hada

Budo/Martial Way: Let go your earthly tether, enter the void and become fire.


Physicality:

Shinobi practices present a constant challenge to Tatsuo's body’s natural state. Although primarily mesomorphic, with a balanced, rectangular physique and the ability to gain muscle fairly easily, he was beset by the endomorphic trait of being unable to lose fat at the same rate.

As a child, he was fairly solid in build — stockier than the other children — and, as a result, slow. The fact that he now boasts a more athletic form is a testament to the rigorous training that he continues to endure. Having remained broad shouldered and powerful of stature, his soft skin sits atop a hardening musculature, creating a youthful yet highly functional body. However, despite his age, he is not without scars, and his forearms, lower legs, and areas of his chest and abdomen are decorated with the skin’s sigils of battle. These stand out against the healthy hue of Tatsuo’s tan, gained through considerable time spent outdoors.

While his body may have undergone a distinct transformation, his face has survived the self-improvement process largely intact. Square, blue-green eyes flecked with emerald rest on either side of a rounded, upturned nose. Below this lies Tastuo’s big mouth, which favours big smiles. He can carry off both close-lipped and toothy grins with a playful charm, a quality matched by the thick, sleek, black hair that rambunctiously tufts over the crown of his head and curls in a thick cowlick to the crest of his brow. While creating a rather aerodynamic look in profile, this is not by design. Indeed, no hair product has yet stood a chance at taming the wild look.


Clothing:

Call Tatsuo old-fashioned, but he is very much a fan of simple, practical outfits. No, seriously, call him old-fashioned; he’ll take it as a compliment. He has pretty much worn the same style since childhood, only upgrading in size or sharpening the cut of each item when his changing physique demanded it. Truly functional, versatile clothing means that he can make the most of his days, which are long.

Vests, t-shirts and open-collar shirts (both peaked and mandarin-style) comprise the bulk of his wardrobe, either layering themselves or alternating over a staple of loose trousers tucked into shinobi sandals. His preferred colours are red, white, navy blue and shades of olive green. His favourite garment reflects this: a long, changshan-style jacket, dark green with vermillion piping, and belted with an even darker sash to create an apron effect reminiscent of a martial arts gi.

He will quite often roll up the sleeves of whatever he chooses to wear so that he might free up his hands while showcasing his scars, which are firm reminders of his ongoing service to the Hidden Leaf. He is not all business, however, and over the years has allowed a few accessories to creep into his wardrobe for added style — from fingerless gloves to red-rimmed sunglasses and even the odd woven bracelet.


Personality:

Tatsuo’s whole outlook on life — his value system, his ambitions, any and all existential questions and fears — has undergone a dynamic shift since he was a boy. Some would argue that, at 16, he still is a boy and not yet an adult, given the apparent normalcy of a life committed to longstanding traditions of military service. But these foolhardy optimists wouldn’t truly know Tatsuo even if he punched them in the face while gripping a hard-backed copy of his autobiography. Check it out below; it'd hurt.

He has always held firm to the warrior way. That characteristic has never changed, although his definition of what that means has dramatically. To be a warrior is to forsake both the selfish life of a fighter, of a brawler, of any martial artist seeking enlightenment for self-justification, as well as the completely altruistic, if not meaningless life of a soldier, of a pawn who cares little for their fate. To be a warrior is to have already come across this enlightenment.

To be a warrior is to esoterically ‘know thyself’, thy worth, thy relevance, and thy service to a greater cause. Not war, as the name might suggest, but the life cycle of the universe and the warrior's place as an agent of balance — of natural order and disorder, time and meaning. As such, Tatsuo now views himself as a small piece within a much larger puzzle, and no longer the centre of life as he knows it.

He is surprisingly humble and forthright, having no reason to shy away from sharing his thoughts. He rarely, if ever, wishes ill upon another or judges them without due cause. But he is as far from meek as one can be. He doesn’t bow to just any man. Being a warrior also requires vast reserves of strength, especially of character. He is strong-willed. He forms strong friendships.

He is smart and knows it, but doesn’t flaunt his gifts; he applies them. While he wasn’t born with any outstanding abilities, he came to develop his own prodigious focus, having freed himself from distractions like self-doubt, self-loathing, aimlessness, and even the jealousy of another’s good fortune. He is a self-made man and proud of the fact.

This doesn’t mean that he is entirely without interests beyond his duty. He shares much in common with other boys his age: a pronounced interest in the fairer sex; good-natured sporting competitiveness; a wry sense of humour. He did not forsake his humanity. Rather, he just came to understand it in a way that finally made sense.

Therefore, beneath each of his actions lies a sense of inner peace. This allows him more time to consider his moves, especially in battle. He isn’t quick to anger and doesn’t hold onto grudges, aware of how they will poison the heart from the inside out. When he is angry, though, he means it. It isn’t a flippant annoyance gone awry that has driven him to this point, but a genuine call to ire. And in these circumstances he channels it.

He channels all of his emotions, recognising each as an essential part of his arsenal, each bringing something unique to the table. When he fights, he isn’t necessarily driven by any one of these, but when the situation calls for it, whatever it might be, he knows not to confuse one with the other. Combat more often draws on his cool head. But when he does feel, he feels deeply and fully. He has a strong capacity for empathy and for alternative ways of thinking, and isn't above admitting to his own mistakes.

This can be his saving grace, as not everybody appreciates his focused perspective. Although it has garnered much respect from his superiors in recent years, given his increasingly sterling service record, some have interpreted it as an overbearing arrogance, and others believe it a sham, having known Tatsuo in the years before he was reborn as this warrior figure. Some judgments he recognises, others he misses.

By concentrating so purposefully on his role in the grand scheme of life and death, he has rendered himself oblivious to some of the more petty grievances that exist between individuals. Wisdom and naivety are by no means mutually exclusive, and, at 16, he has barely sampled the host of experiences that life has yet to throw at him. However, his fascination with the learning process and his acceptance that success often comes through trial and error will ensure that he takes each of these in his stride, to the best of his ability.


Custom Archetype: Warrior

Archetypes: Taijutsu Specialist + Polymath
Special: Once per thread, the Warrior can will their body into a zen-like state of martial prowess, increasing any one of their Physical stats by their Willpower stat for a single post while retaining full Taijutsu bonuses.
Description: Warriors are aspiring combat specialists who strive to augment their mastery of a defining hand-to-hand style with rigorous training in complementary weapon- and chakra-based schools. Having earned a reputation as 'the cavalry', these individuals will seek out the thick of any fight, tirelessly motivated by the opportunistic ambition to become indispensable powerhouses. This knack for reinforcement also puts them in good stead to become academy teachers or division masters-at-arms.

Stat Merits: +2 to Intelligence, +1 to Tactics, +1 to Speed
Stat Flaws: -2 to Reserves, -2 to Power

Primary: Physical
Secondary: Mental
Tertiary: Chakra


Statistics:

Physical

Speed: 1 + 1* + 10 = 12 [+15 Ekitai Kenfu] = 27
Strength: 1 + 10 + (1AP) + (2 TP) = 14 [+15 Jigi o Eta Senshi] = 29
Stamina: 1 + 10 = 11 [+12 Jigi o Eta Senshi] = 23

Mental

Willpower: 1 + 12 = 13
Intelligence: 1 + 2* + 9 = 12
Tactics: 1 + 1* + 6 = 8

Chakra

Power: 1 - 2* + 10 = 9
Control: 1 + 8 = 9
Reserves: 1 - 2* + 6 + (1AP) = 6


Jutsu and Techniques:

[Ekitai Kenfu / Fluid Fist Style]

Stage I [Speed 5, Strength 3]
Stage II [Speed 8, Strength 6, Control 6]
Stage III [Speed 11, Strength 9, Control 8]
Bonuses: Speed +15, Strength +12

[Jigi o Eta Senshi / Well-Timed Warrior]

Stage I [Strength 4, Speed 4]
Stage II [Strength 7, Speed 7, Intelligence 6]
Stage III [Strength 10, Speed 10, Intelligence 8]
Special: Rebound
Special: Deflect
Bonuses: Strength +15, Stamina +12

[Global Ninjutsu]

Stage I
Kawarimi no Jutsu (Body Switch Technique) [Power 2, Tactics 2]
Kakuremino no Jutsu (Magic Cloak Of Invisibility Technique) [Power 3, Willpower 2]
Stage II
Kinobori/Kabenobori no Jutsu (Tree Walking / Wall Walking Technique) [Power 5, Control 4, Reserves 4]
Chakra Hikari no Jutsu (Chakra Light Technique) [Power 6, Control 6, Intelligence 4]

[Konohagakure Katon Ninjutsu]

Stage I
Katon: Ichi (Fire Element: One) [Power 4, Control 4]
Katon: Tanebi no Jutsu (Fire Element: Cinder Technique) [Intelligence 3, Reserves 3]
Stage II
Katon: Ni (Fire Element: Two) [Katon: Ichi; Power 7, Control 7, Intelligence 6]


Inventory:
[0] Shinobi Kit
[2] Limb Armour (Forearms + Shins)
[2] Short Sword with Ring Pommel (20" blade)
[3] Round Shield (mid-sized)
Item Points Remaining [1/8]


Biography:

Quote:
You are not a hero, and you will never be immortal.


"Huh?"

Always a ninja, never the hero. If you'd told me five, six years ago that that would be my future, I might have quit then and there. See, I had it in my head that I was destined for greatness, that I was special and that when I realised my gifts, I'd be able to protect the Fire Country, a cut above the rest. I adopted the warrior way at an early age, convincing myself that it'd give me a leg up on that destiny. I was driven; I struck at opportunity. But opportunity often has a way of striking back...because what do you really know when you're eleven?

Act I: Live Fast

My first nindo was something along the lines of "Live to fight, fight to love, love to live" but it might as well have just been 'love to fight' because at the beginning, that's all I thought being a shinobi was about. Where in my mind was the sacrifice? Where was learning about compromise, hard truths? What about my limits, my breaking point? We all have one. Hard to visualise though, when you can't see past the end of your nose or the cage bars of your overactive imagination. I weathered the Academy exams like all Morimura children seem to, standing tall and firm like the trees of our homeland. Aye, I did that...but I still didn't pass. And my parents? Well, their generation under the Hachidaime had been brought up with a very particular set of beliefs and no son of theirs was going to fail Konoha when he had so much to offer -- not when he was the only child in both of their lineages to show shinobi potential in a hundred years. I introduce to you Muramoto Norio and Midori, proud citizens of the Fire Country and stalwart members of the town's Forestry Guild. These are long-standing servants of the life-giving Flame who follow their own special code -- call it their Way of the Woodcutter: "In light of day or dark of night, we clear the path for Konoha's might." It's hard to beat material like that.

My parents had real focus. They knew what they wanted, for themselves and for me, and they set their minds to achieving those goals. I, on the other hand, was too much of a generalist, spread too thinly in my studies because I was too besotted with the idea of being a magnificent, multi-talented shinobi to face the truth. You might well one day be able to do everything, but having it all at once? That was the impossible dream, the kind that can strangle you in your bedsheets at 3am, the nightmare of ambition. I was soft, arrogant, naive. At the very least, I didn't give up. I was convinced that I was a fighter, but fooled into thinking that an uphill battle would make a level enough playing field for me, which naturally just made it steeper. If it wasn't for the talk of the younger kids, who took to calling me the Comeback King while I was repeating the year, I wouldn't have discovered that I actually had it in me to put my mind over matter attitude to good use. By the time I was twelve, I was a certified genin, and that, to me, was all the evidence I needed that putting the work in yielded results.

There was something there after all. Sadly, I was still no wordsmith, so when I tried to recapture the divine ideal in my parents' code with the travesty that is "I fight for Fire with Fire", all I made was a flimsy forgery of an original that was set in stone and wood and heart and memory. Mine could never compare, but like fire, the sparks of my efforts continued as I pursued the daily grind, convincing my team to pick up the others' slack with any mission that was going and training to put some strength and skill behind those 'prized fists' of mine. Yet at some point before the chuunin exams, I had to admit that I was still coming up against a brick wall. The exams were a big deal, and for me to be a big deal, I needed to come out on top. In other words, I needed a miracle. To find that miracle, rather than looking within, I asked for time off, starting with my thirteenth birthday, to make a warrior's pilgrimage to the nation's sacred sites; I thought that the answers lay out there and that I had done everything I could, never the one to blame. Teenagers, eh? I'm fairly sure the Brass had seen it all before. They gave me one week; they weren't going to have me out there messing around when I was in the employ of the country. At least I was gracious. I decided to cut a path straight to Hi no Tera and strike out from there, but my arrival at the temple marked the end of my journey because I thought I'd found what I was looking for.

"Do you want to die, boy?"


Did I? I don't think I'd even considered that little existential gem before, having been barreling through life just fine up until that point. But those were the stranger's first words to me when I happened upon him talking with a monk -- I think I was actually eavesdropping -- and interrupted their flow of conversation. I thought he was going to kill me, this arms master sporting a ridiculous number of blades and scars to go with them, but he was actually asking me a question. Flustered, I considered my response carefully and constructed the best answer I could hope to give, something about continuing to live so that I could keep fighting for Konoha and protect its people in the name of the life-giving Flame. I was the kind of gibberish that heroes always spout, so no surprises there. I'd probably read it in some history book. The guy dismissed me on the spot, naturally, clearly looking for a different answer, but he did leave me with one rather cryptic instruction, which I then dismissed out of spite: "You are not ready. Come find me if things change, though I doubt they will."

Ready to do what? Die? Train? I convinced myself that I didn't need his help, and that was my wake-up call; I didn't need his help because I could help myself. I was better off sticking to my guns and training my way. The problem was that the main thing that needed maturing and strengthening was my mentality, which I could not enact myself. I failed to grasp the irony of the situation as I shut myself off from friends and family in the effort to build and burn my own crucible of fire and return as a chuunin who could show that swordsman what the word 'ready' actually means.

Act II: Die Young

Well, I wasn't ready, and I failed the exams, in part, because of that. Who did I blame? My logic wasn't just circular, it was spherical, so instead of levelling my contempt at just one person, I targeted everybody...except myself. Above all, I hated that swordsman. His words haunted me as I sat in the dirt of the arena, disgraced by my failure in the first round of physical bouts. They scathed me as I washed my hands raw in the locker rooms, tutted in my eardrums on the cart ride home, and rocked me to a fitful sleep in the many nights that followed. They were no longer his words, they were mine too now, and every attempt at being that Comeback King left me feeling more like a court jester. The skill gap between myself and my peers began widening beyond anything I could easily explain away, with Akane taking over as team leader when she was promoted to chuunin and even Isamu transferring into a field medic's training programme. And then there was me: me, me, me, me. And Snow -- there was also a lot going down in that arena that I hadn't even cared to consider.

When war did break out, I'm ashamed to say that I treated it like a distraction; I was happy for the chance to direct my rage elsewhere, though everyone will eventually learn that that never really works. That said, being on the cusp of a mental breakdown made me somewhat unpredictable in battle, and I met with victories that might not otherwise have occurred. I can't believe I'm saying this but, at the time, I actually considered myself to be something like the Hokage, out combatting evil in the wilds. I still hadn't even thought of what it meant to die, despite my downward spiral. I treated it like some kind of chaotic whirlwind, where pushing myself far enough in any direction would eventually break me free of its grasp and elevate me to the clouds. I was special, wasn't I? The first in a hundred years...that was what my parents had said, once upon a time. Well, that time had passed. My younger cousin saw to that.

I don't know...it's hard to talk about, but I was in a dark place. I was remorselessly self-destructive, charging into battle to obliterate a nameless enemy. Most of the time I didn't even know why I was fighting, I just wanted to hit something, make an impact, make a difference. Maybe die doing it? Go out in blaze of glory?

Well, I got to see that wish come to fruition. We were sent to knock out an enemy's early-warning outpost on the mountainside. Two teams, ours and another, Akane leading the strike force. There was an encampment...but there were families. I should remember this better but some things you just block out, and maybe that's for the best. I do know that the tower was down and we'd radioed in by the time we heard the first rumble. The other team had cleared our exit route, leaving Akane, myself and a newly promoted chuunin by the name of Jurou to wipe out the rest of the resistance. It was time to go, but she stayed. It was time to go, but she stayed. There were...families. And...Akane couldn't let them die in the collateral...because we knew what was coming -- something I knew I could never meet head on. I was afraid, as was Jurou. He high-tailed it out of there first, but Akane went the other way, chasing after a woman and her children who were running across the slopes. She was crazy: she knew the risks; she knew the odds. I don't think she saw the mountain collapse. I enduringly hope not. I did. The outpost disappeared like matchsticks in a flood and even Yukigakure was engulfed.

I must have spent hours out there on the snow, clawing through so much of the stuff my fingers were practically frostbitten by the time I found her body, pulled it out, sat with her, held her in my arms. But who was I to be that person for her? Me, who had blamed her and everyone else I could lay my eyes on for my weakness, who had run from death while she had run towards life in the face of death. I don't think I knew these things at the time but I sat there all the same until a shinobi patrol came looking for us as night closed in. My mind had never been so quiet.

In the wake of that...I-

It forced me to reevaluate things. What was death to me now? What was life? What was I doing? Could I even call myself shinobi when I didn't understand what it meant to be one, to be deserving of that privilege?

In the aftermath, Fire Country underwent a kind of renaissance, accruing vast stores of new technology from the vanquished. There were changes. This time I didn't have to request leave because it was actually requested of me following a psych evaluation. Like others who had survived the war but come back troubled, I took about a month and returned home to Morimura, to the first people that I owed an apology. They were just happy I was even alive. Others from the village had not been so lucky. Had it been luck, or had it been fear that had kept me alive? That didn't sound like the right motivating factor for a boy who supposedly wanted to protect his country. Akane had probably been trying to protect it from itself. There were lessons there, abundant in everything she had done. Yes, she had defied her own orders. Yes, she had endangered her team. But those weren't the facts of the matter, nor the questions I laboured over in the weeks to come.

I turned fourteen during my time there, about two and a half weeks in. It wasn't a celebration that I thought I deserved though, so I packed my things and set off the night before, travelling through the night to spend the day alone. Now, I don't remember whether I'd planned it, or whether my feet had randomly led me there, or whether I'd gotten lost in the torchlight and the forest had somehow sent me to its own predetermined destination, but I eventually found myself walking up the steps of Hi no Tera. I knelt before the idol, one year older and humbled, hobbled, by the impossible weight of my own ego. I don't know how long I was there. It was a voice that finally stirred me, waking a wisp of fire in my gut, a piece of a memory that I had held onto for so long it felt like forever, and I turned. There stood the swordsman, almost exactly as I remembered him. I could feel my anger rising, but the hatred towards this seeming agent of my destruction never came. Bile came -- I remember the taste. The anger was mine, at me. And then he asked me:

"Do you want to die, boy?"

I did. I wanted to die. I wanted to escape, to end my shameful existence. Maybe he saw the tears in my eyes, maybe not, but he gave me time to answer. The question had a whole new meaning to me now. Or maybe it had always been the same meaning but perhaps I had simply been deaf and blind to the words. I must have counted all of his blades twice in that time, wondering which one would hurt the most if I was to commit the act of seppuku with it, but somewhere amid all that pain, at the lowest point of my life, came the thought of Akane, the girl I never knew, and my entire world view changed, melting like snow. I knew my answer. I didn't care that it was raw, formless, and the opposite of everything I had trained myself to believe.

"Yes, I want to die, but to die well."

The swordsman's verdict was wordless. He merely nodded, dropped a shield at his feet and told me to pick it up. And I did.

Act III: Wake Up

His presence there that day would remain a mystery for years to come. I assumed that my birthday had happened to coincide with some auspicious event, but when he chose not to make another pilgrimage, I was left to wonder.

His name was Kensai, or at least that’s the name he gave me. He spoke little, but every word he uttered had purpose, each sentence a gruff demonstration of necessity. He had no reason to do otherwise; he had not come to me to be a friend, but to teach as he knew how, as he had been trained: strict instruction for a student with stricter still self-discipline. My attitude to each exercise would become the deciding factor what came next, body conditioning being at the bottom of that ladder, followed by hand-to-hand, weapon forms and tactical application. I was still soft, so the former always came first, but gradually I came to experience each aspect in concert. His was a master stroke. I could only imagine who he had once been to know all that he did, where he had come from to carry himself so and why…me? In that first year, getting conversation out of him was like squeezing water from a quarry. In the end, I learned not to ask, because that way usually led to five hundred push ups and an ironic hour of water carrying. Lessons in self-control, he called them, but the message was clear and soon received.

I will always remember his first lesson. It started right after I plucked that shield from the floor of the shrine: a sturdy kick to the chest. I was defending out of reflex, exhausted from my travels, but he kept attack all the same: down the stairs; across the path, with the monks looking on; to the base of a tree; around it; back to the shrine; onto the steps. He was relentless in his duty. Though it seemed cruel at the time, I realise now that I was in no real danger because I was strong enough to survive. He may not have seen that at the time, taking it upon himself to initiate the terms of his unspoken contract with brutal efficiency, but in pushing me to my limit he brought out my determination, resilience and fire. He only ceased, satisfied, when I began to fight back and gave me my first lesson in philosophy.

"You are not a hero, and you will never be immortal. Remember that, honour that. We are only tools, weapons, manipulated by the laws of nature in grand orchestration, try as we might to rebel. You have shown me your mettle. Now what kind of weapon will you be, shinobi?”

Try as I might, I could never shake the truth of those words. Even after returning to the Hidden Village, passing my psych evaluation with flying colours and initiating this new life in which I would find that honourable death, each mission would only compound that sentiment. I was a tool of the new republic, a tool of the city-state — a scalpel, a sword, a shield, a crowbar, a dressing to apply pressure. Was there personal honour in that? Where was the self-determination? Well, it wasn't where I thought it was, but it could be found.

“Do not confuse your own moral compass with that of existence. We give life and take life in its endless waltz, the cycle that moves the world. You wish to end this? You might as well try to still the wind or drain the oceans. Nothing is above that.”

Kensai was right, of course. Sensei was always right. I couldn’t resist the pull of his logic, no more than the waves could ignore the moon. Murderers and pacifists might think themselves beyond this natural order, but in their dichotomy lay the balance that held the world in check. I therefore came to view the shinobi role in much the same way. Some of my peers would refer to the war in Snow as a necessary evil, and maybe it was 'evil'. Maybe Konohagakure had taken things too far at first, but the casualties on both sides spoke to me of that balance and of the cycle correcting itself.

With each mission presenting the opportunity to better understand my duty as an agent of this natural order, my skills quickly grew. In absence of self-importance, self-service and glory hunting, confidence, discipline and precision began to blossom, and before I knew it, earn me a reputation as a bit of an enigma. Who wouldn’t be confused by this dramatic turnabout? Who wouldn’t question my motives? Some came to accept that this change, whatever it was, was to be for the best while others, naturally, had their reservations, mainly that this ‘born again’ perspective was a sham to appease my superiors. Yet they couldn’t argue with my results, so I let those do the talking. Little did I know that I’d somehow adopted Kensai's stoic silence! By this point, he had set up shop on a site near the edge of the Village, a little plot of land beyond the walls where I could continue my training. And no, I wasn't just being taught how to die. With all this talk of demise being in the natural order of things, you’d think I was heading towards a dark place again, but there was more to my learning than that. By the time I was fifteen and mature enough to fathom my purpose on a fundamental level, my sensei began to speak of life.

"Remember, live well and live fully, but only so that you might better wield your sword, brace your shield, or learn to stay your hand.”

Living was also the natural way of things. Living beyond one's means was the perversion. The mark of a great swordsman, I was told, was being able to discern and act upon the difference, but to accomplish this without ever needing to draw one's blade. At first, my interpretation was entirely literal and I began to favour a concert of the shield and Fluid Fist, cutting to the heart of any conflict with these as my weapons of choice. Only later, when I discovered the hidden wisdom, did my methods begin to change and my results sing a different tune. That was when I really started turning heads, the Brass included, and when a certain mission — my last call to arms as a genin — came in, specifically requesting a team with my particular skill set.

Things were going down in Teitetsu. A new group of smiths and miners had encroached on one of the local quarries’ dig sites, setting up a blockade to an ore deposit that belonged to the Kusanagi guild. They vowed that their steel was better, their products of a higher quality, and their claim to the land therefore greater. The guild’s letter expressly requested someone who could diffuse the situation before the smiths turned to violence. They had chosen to bypass the shinobi who were known to operate out of the town in order to enlist an outsider who would be recognised as a direct line to the Hidden Village’s current authority. Most of my peers were tasked elsewhere at the time, engaged in Operation Wildfire while I had opted to remain and fulfil my immediate duties to the rest of the country’s citizens, not to mention Kensai. He claimed he had something special to teach me beyond a lesson in how to trust my teammates to succeed. As it wasn’t glory that I craved, I caved. I stayed and my decision bore fruit. With shinobi activity in nearby Fukou, this situation had to be contained and neutralised with finesse. If at all possible, I was also to gain the trust and support of this new smithing guild to further the power of the Hidden Leaf. I was sent alone, but with the promise that upon my successful return I would finally be promoted.

When I arrived, I led a small delegation of the Kusanagi master smiths and a representative from the miners’ union to the offending group’s encampment. I spoke of my authority and of the illegality of their situation, but all they chose to hear was the fact that the shinobi valued those who could contribute the most. Thus, they brought forward a swordsman who, wielding their steel, would prove the validity of their claim. His exploits as a protector of the region were well known to the Kusanagi but somehow his services had been bought. I proposed a new deal. If he could beat me in a trial of combat, we would discuss a renegotiation of the contract on their terms, but if I won, using only my fists and my shield in the defence of the Kusanagi, this new guild would be beholden to every condition put forward by the delegation. I’ll admit, it was a gamble. His skill with the cleaver sword was undeniable while his age and experience exceeded my own, but there, on those gravelly flats, victory was not to be claimed by weapon quality or physical strength but by whomever had the tactical edge. That advantage went to me, for as soon as I had disarmed the man, having led him into a trap with my back to the rocks and his blade stuck in the quarry wall, he fell to my fists -- to the science of combat. I returned to the Hidden Leaf with a further reward in tow: a pair of trusty arm guards and greaves straight from the Teitetsu forges.

Act IV: Knuckle Down

The day of my promotion to chuunin was...strange, bittersweet. I knew that I would be promoted, so the pride was there but not the surprise. However, I also thought I could expect a special lesson from Kensai, but to my confusion, he seemed almost perturbed by my celebration of a job well done, asking only of what I had learned from my confrontation. I spoke of using my mind rather than my heart to fight, thinking ahead of the enemy whenever I could. When he asked if I was proud of my achievement, I knew he was disappointed in the self-satisfaction I was emanating. I dimmed my heart and lied. He smiled. He asked me if I was completely sure of my answer, and whether I considered myself a strategist. He could see right through me, of course...and that was the lesson. He was testing my ability to truly use my mind, winning the battle of wits before my sword was drawn. He then brought out a board and began to set its checkered face with shogi pieces, issuing a challenge. If I held this pride in my abilities as a strategist, surely they were something prodigious and I would be able to beat him. Upon my fourth and final defeat, he spoke not of my tactical ability, but of something else.

"Pride is a possessive genjutsu, meant only for you. When a child takes their first step in a room of seasoned soldiers, their pride means nothing. When a winner is awarded by a panel of masters in the art, pride is next to nothing. When one reaches enlightenment, pride will cost them everything. And when nature gives life or rips it away..does she feel pride? Does she even feel? Should you?"

In the week that followed, I tried my best to suppress the pride of every small victory, but the very act of doing so was a distraction. How could my master simply choose to live without pride? Or maybe the question was 'what had been the price of his?'

I'd been meditating-turned-sleeping on the matter when the alarms first sounded to warn of the invasion. By the time I'd geared up and stepped foot outside, that blaring bleat had been joined by another, a suffocating song duelling for dominance in the space between my eardrums. Only combat soothed me that day, my first taste being a group of about a dozen of those strange skeletal people near the hospital. I had never fought so many at once, but though they had the advantage of numbers, they were clearly handicapped by a lack of free thought, more rapid dogs than logical opponents. I had to abandon my sword in the chest cavity of one when I spied another rabble at the end of the street, and high-tailed to the hospital where I knew I could be of greater help. As the skirmishes continued and we clashed with a wave of counter-Leaf-nin practically pulsating through the streets from the direction of the Main Gates, we managed to hold the line until, believe it or not, the ANBU intervened.

Things got strange after that. Well, a different kind of strange than sacrificial summonings and deadly man-beast-things prowling the rooftops and eviscerating my brothers- and sisters-in-arms. Political strange. Public opinion strange. I withdrew from the shifting sands that encapsulated the culture of suspicion at the time; Sanada, ANBU, Centurion, Hokage... As far as I was concerned, without explicit facts made public, the bare information that we had to go on wasn't enough to form an opinion. Kensai's teaching had probably shielded me from the dangers of that sinkhole. Mistrust, doubt and aimless hate were just more cancers of the soul that I could frankly do without. Most importantly, I didn't take pride in what I'd done; defending the Village had been a necessary action. So when I next faced Kensai to continue my training, we simply greeted each other wordlessly, with a nod and a look, as if the averted catastrophe was another one of nature's balancing acts.

When the Hidden Leaf divisions were restructured, I like to think I rode that wave with the same kind of professionalism. I went into Hada, which was the natural choice, finding that my missions were streamlined into slightly more distinct categories, if little else. Certainly, the only diplomatic missions that I'd be included in any time soon called for my skills as a protective detail or a brawler.

Take, for instance, that joint venture with Omoi infiltrators that had me shadowing them as we investigated a crime boss in Kousai who was recruiting. I was the youngest at sixteen, but my physique helped give me the illusion of age and experience so that I could enter the fray in order to prove myself worthy of the man's employ. The plan was that the three of us would brawl our way onto his shortlist and get a read on his location so that a jounin strike team could be called in to take him and his cronies out. I anticipated that I would succeed, glad that I had rid myself of any moral qualms about the lengths than I might need to go to show my ruthlessness for getting the job done. What we didn't anticipate was the fact that only two of us would make it past the battle royale, and that the boss had a missing-nin up his sleeve who somehow detected and engaged our backup. We had to change the plan and attack directly. Good thing we didn't have to fight that nuke, because she scrapped tooth and nail with the team and damn well nearly killed them all. In the end, they got her, but the Boss got away from us -- from me.

The shame was something I hadn't felt in a while, the opposite of pride and a debilitating sensation that I hadn't braced myself to quash. In the years that I had known Kensai, never once had he spoken to me as one might a friend or, at least, a mentor to a protege. I had to deduce that it was simply not his way to show concern and speak on the level, as if at some point we might become equals. His way was the proffering of wisdom, either through gruelling instruction or some form of subtle test. So his words to me upon my return came as another surprise. He spoke of an age-old proverb adopted by the Renchishin for their martial art, one of my own, the Ekitai-Kenfu: “When the student is ready, the master will appear.” He told me that had I not been ready, he would never have appeared that day at the temple; had he never considered me capable of overcoming an emotion like shame he would never have chosen to train me. How could he know, I asked. He couldn’t tell me the answer to that, but he claimed he could prove the validity of his reasons and gave me a mantra to utter whenever I felt the shame rise to the surface:

“Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become…”

Whatever I chose to become, he added, would be up to me, but his lessons, he claimed, were all to prepare me for this relinquishing of human weakness, which he trusted that I was capable of doing. Kensai trusted me…to do something that I didn’t yet trust myself to do. Unlike before, there were no sage words of reason with which to overcome my emotions — that change would have to come from me, and I imagined that it would take weeks of ceaseless reminders to ‘let go’ for it to happen.

It was precisely then that Sensei decided to attack me and catch me off guard, and as he drove his elbow into my sternum, sending me tumbling through the wall of his shack and across its splintered floorboards, he snarled: “What does your shame tell you to do now?” And as I clutched my chest in disbelief, the only answer that my spinning mind could fathom was: Nothing. Nothing. My shame had no control over my actions. My body righted itself of its own volition, knowing what to do in the situation. My eyes ignored the fact that a thick layer of dust coated every inch of the lean-to’s interior, my nostrils closed themselves to the stench of decay and disuse all about, and it wasn’t until I had expended every ounce of my strength and stamina in the minute or so that I was able to hold my own against him that I made sense of these buried memories. Sensei had never once lived in the shack, never once opened up to me about his past, never once seen me beyond our sessions… I had known the man for three years but he had no earthly tether at all. I knew nothing of any substance that explained the man’s presence here. He was a ghost — a godsend — a void. And, in a way, he was even helping me to ignore my fears regarding that fact, as if covering his own tracks.

I was gradually overcoming fear itself and taking ownership of my role as an agent of the natural order, giving meaning to every action I took. Though I didn’t fully understand its complexity at the time, the concept felt right. I felt unbeatable in my convictions, overpowering emotion with reason, and untouchable when I was in the field. That was when I died.

Act V: Just Breathe

It was mid-afternoon off the coast of Yokuchi no Kagarinai, myself and a Seishou tracker named Eiki lying camouflaged in the belly of a skiff that we were charting soundlessly across the water. Our quarry was an individual who had been presumed dead but appeared nonetheless to assault a team near the northern border. We had been dispatched to pursue the rogue shinobi and capture her until the affected team arrived to escort her home. The value placed on this intel was dear. We believed she was holed up in a deep-sea fishing vessel that sat amid a number of coracles and outrigger canoes, all pulled into the bay by a recent storm. We had no reason to suspect that we were also under surveillance. None.

The attack came from above. The faint shadow of a falling form through the tarp was our only warning. I struggled upright but by then it was too late. Knees connected with my chest, feet splintered boards, three bodies in all crashing into and through us, capsizing the boat and dragging us into the deep, pulling at our clothing, our hair, scratching at our eyes, pummelling us with slow motion fists and feet, throttling us from in front and behind, features bulging, bubbles rising. Shame caught in my throat as if to stop more air from escaping my lungs.

Let go my earthly tether…

I had to fight back. I wasn’t ready to die. Punch, kick, head but, stab, lash, elbow…but still I sank deeper.

Enter the void…

This was really it, my part in nature’s orchestration played out to its early conclusion, so many lessons learnt but unused.

Empty…

There was no air left, pressure and darkness closing in. My attacker had left me to sink, his feet growing distant as they scrambled for the surface. AlI I remember after that is a feeling, accepting what was to come.

Then rejecting it. I know I’ve told you what I’d been taught to believe, and how I was well on my way to becoming a fearless, peerless agent of nature’s status quo, but there was more to me than just a tool fashioned by a master craftsman. My part was bigger than that and Kensai…he trusted me to be more. Maybe that meant defying his expectations. Dammit, I needed to live.

I might as well have been entering the world for the first time when I came to. I could barely breathe but I greedily drank in all the air I could, gurgling and coughing my way to my first great gasp before collapsing. My eyes felt like they had never been used before, still filled with water, and the only thing I could make out beyond the brown smudge of my surroundings was a strange, floating oval above me. The only thing I could feel that wasn’t related to the burning of my lungs and limbs was a warm pressure on my chest. The oval descended, moving past my field of vision until it was replaced by a mass of white. I might have been going blind, but I wasn't deaf because I very clearly heard the whispered words that followed: “Enter the void, empty, and become…”

Then the oval was gone, the pressure was gone, and the speaker withdrew. A crash startled me. Other voices started to flood my eardrums with heat. My head pounded. Something hot and wet was running from my nose as I rolled onto my side. Then someone pulled me by the shoulder and sent me crashing onto my back again. Dark forms gesticulated overhead while I feebly raised my arms over my face. Two of the figures quickly swept around me and got their hands under both of my shoulders, dragging me across the floor, throwing me into something hard before pushing me down to the ground again. I remember debris sticking to my face as I slid across the floor. My memory of the event is so vivid. If only my senses hadn’t been so vague. I was empty after all. I had no grasp of my earthly tether. I’d entered the void and come back wanting. My next coughing fit was accompanied by the laughter of those assembled and a singular voice…not the one from before. Hands pulled me to my knees, held me there while my face was turned this way and that. I crumpled when something connected with my solar plexus. I’d come back from the dead just so that I could die again and remember it this time.

But this time there was no solemn acceptance of my fate. I was done with that, and with that floodgate opened, all the emotions I hadn't dared let myself feel came cascading down: fear; anguish; shame; anger; the joy to be alive; the pride of living; the greed of desiring a moment longer; fury, stronger than the anger aimed at my attackers. I was heading toward an emotional flatline that would probably kill me long before my enemies did. My emotions had nowhere else to go, welling up like a bubble that might burst my heart at any moment. I was shaking. I had to let go.

And become…

Fire.

When next that hand came for me, I think a snapped its thumb, spun, kicked its owner’s knee, stumbled upright and knocked the man down altogether. Pulled forward, I ducked, twisted, barely conscious, my body moving as if possessed of something else. Fire. Grabbed from either side, I spun again, feet sliding, body lifting, sleeve ripping, knuckles finding the soft parts of one face, back foot breaking the hard parts of another. I was no master of the Ekitai-Kenfu, but something had come over me. Fire. This was no live-giving Flame; rather, it was hellbent on taking lives away. More figures advanced but I think I did too, as their dark forms swarmed towards me far faster than they should have. Palms to stun, fingers to gouge, knuckles to crack, elbows to shock, feet to command the floor.

Phantom Step, Lunging Palm Strike, Capture Step, Cross Counter Attack: Asking Hand. Techniques begging to be used were swimming before my mind’s eye even though it was the only one that could see properly. I can only imagine that I must have looked like some kind of crazed, drooling, drunken boxer, for I kept going. Even when my oppressors regained their wits and drew blades, I retrieved a wooden crate from the floor, wielding it like some make-believe shield. I'm glad I did, if the sheer number of impacts that it absorbed was anything to go by. My senses were gradually returning to me but my vision was the last to come. Only then was I able to safely flip the crate and catch it by the hilts of two embedded short-swords, swinging them into two incoming thugs like a hammer that broke into a dozen piercing shards. I jettisoned the swords, one into a leg, the other pinning a hand to a wall, and advanced on the last of my tormentors.

My brain couldn't yet make the connection between one of the terrified faces I was seeing and the mob boss from the fiasco at Kousai, even when I caught up with him at the door to the storeroom and pulled him back in, charging him with my shoulder and sending him sprawling, spine first, into a stack of crates. That was when the fire finally went out.

It took me weeks to piece those memories back together, most of them spent in a hospital bed where making those connections would start to reshape my reality.

Kensai had been there. He had known. He had saved me but…he had known, maybe all along, and then abandoned me to that boss, Kozue, the one from Kousai who had also known. Why leave me in such a state, even if the reason, clearly, was for me to save myself? What if the man had been wrong about me?

I couldn’t bring myself to call him 'Sensei', and not once did he visit me in the hospital. My family did. Eiki’s family did. He’d died that day; Kensai hadn’t saved him. He hadn’t had a twisted teacher with a perverted moral compass looking out for him in his moment of need. And I had to tell Eiki’s parents and sister that he was murdered in an attack that was meant for me. All of Kensai’s lessons couldn’t keep the emotion at bay this time, as if the key to all my locks had been lost on the sea floor.

I started to wonder if maybe it was better this way. As in the Fluid Fist proverb, I had been forced to become devoid to gain totality. That totality was fire, the sum of all parts, the ability to feel fully and deeply turned into indomitable will. However, I couldn't reconcile this with the mantra that had birthed it…not yet.

Eventually, I was given a clean bill of health and discharged from hospital for my official debriefing, my inevitable reunion with Kensai looming large in the corners of my mind. Sitting at the end of a table, I listened as a Seishou representative spoke in turns with my Hada supervising officer, explaining how our mission had been a bust, with not only the target escaping but Eiki's body having been pulled from the river, along with that of his assailant who had bled out from kunai wounds to the gut.

I was grilled for details and revealed as much as I could bear to say, which was practically everything that I knew to be accurate. My suspicions about Kensai were just that and I could tell them nothing more concrete than the fact that someone had rescued me. I needed to deal with the identity of that individual myself. They then shared their own suspicions regarding external forces, including the theory that somebody who knew about my past missions had tipped off Kozue. They were already investigating the Missions Office on other counts so maybe I was wrong. Maybe Kensai's actions had been altruistic.

The boss from Kousai had finally been captured, paralysed from the first thoracic vertebrae down. That was one mission accomplished. He was now undergoing interrogation, but if Kensai was involved he would have taken precautions, his handiwork too sleight to be caught that easily. My handiwork in the storeroom was the final topic of conversation. While it was regrettable how events had played out for Eiki, I had made my division proud and done right by him by finally putting an end to the matter. If I was willing to get back to work so soon after my recovery, the Brass had another mission in the planning stages that could use someone with my talents. I asked for a day to decide; they gave me two.

Act VI: Burn Bright

As was his way, his game, my teacher decided that I should find him, but he was not in his usual spot by the run-down shack, nor the cemetery, where I stood watching them dig Eiki’s grave, contemplating where he might be that held more meaning. In the end, this led me to the conclusion that the place I needed to be would require that I pack my gear and leave the Village, accepting as I did so that it might be for the last time. I couldn’t predict a favourable consequence to our confrontation. I found him in the late afternoon, meditative before the shrine to the life-giving Flame at Hi no Tera, and waited for him to sense my presence at the foot of the stairs. Like two shogi players, we held our ground for minutes, testing each other for a sign of weakness. I broke the silence because I knew he never would have.

"How did you know about the boat?" I asked, wanting to uncover everything at once but holding my rabid curiosity at bay. "Were you watching me the whole time?"

Kensai lit an incense stick without turning, placing it in a nearby sconce. "Yes."

"Then why save me only to leave me?"

Silence, then a wry "You know why."

True, I had figured that out, but there was more to be said. "But that means you would have known they would find me. You wanted it that way."

No comment.

"You planned it, didn’t you? You tipped them off in the first place."

Kensai’s silences were clearly meant to rile me, but I found his unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions childish. I took command. "Speak, coward!" It seemed that suggesting he indeed felt fear was enough to snare the man’s attention, but instead of confirming or denying the charge outright, Kensai felt a chuckle would serve him better.

"You’re irritated because you realise you were fooled. Well done, boy, but that emotion you’re feeling will do you no good."

I was adamant that his belittling remarks wouldn't abrade my confidence. I was in control. Then he said something that turned the power struggle on its head.

"I bet you think that’s the only time I’ve done something like this to you. For you."

That sucked the wind out of my chest and into the cavity left by my stomach as it dropped. If that was true, then Kensai’s scheme was more elaborate than I had assumed. "Why?!" I demanded tersely, revolted at the lengths the man was willing to go to for the sake of a lesson. It all boiled down to this. Monks paused to look at us, their attention forcing the sword master to stand and trot down the stairs, chiding me with a glare that suggested I was making a scene unbecoming of his student.

He came right up to me, until his breath was hot on my face. "To awaken your true self, of course." I was even more confused by his words. He responded with a series of probing questions. "You have asked yourself many times the purpose of my teachings, have you not?" I nodded. "You know that at the edge of knowledge lies the beginning of understanding, do you not?" I frowned at the reference to Ekitai-Kenfu philosophy but confirmed it nonetheless. He withdrew, his tone pacified. "Well, now you are aware that at the edge of life lies the choice of death…or the beginning of enlightenment. Which did you choose?"

I was stunned. All this for a gamble… "It doesn’t matter what I chose. You pulled me out before I made that decision, so why didn’t you offer the same decency to the boy who was with me?"

Kensai was clearly disappointed by my show of empathy. "You forget, don’t you? These are all orchestrations of the universal construct. His life was of no consequence, and because of that, he died. You, however, the child who came to me, lived. Think on that."

I did, for all of about two seconds. "Only because you were already moving the pieces out of turn, old man! My life has no more worth than his… You just don’t buy what you’re selling, do you? Turn into one of nature’s agents and suddenly you get to bypass the order and act as murderer, advocate, judge, jury and executioner? That’s not what you taught me."

My words seemed to slide off him like water from a duck’s back until I accused him of perverting his sacred code. I could see the anger that he held in check in the quickness of his breaths. "That is because you never needed to learn the true meaning of the universal way — only the limited interpretation that would serve you best…the one you made for yourself. All for that moment, when it was your beliefs that would shape your fate. Like me, you chose a different way, deciding that your life was not yet due because it was made for greater destinies…"

"No…" I didn’t want to hear any more.

"Because you believe as I do. As the others couldn’t."

"No…" Only a moment earlier I'd been concerned with his abhorrent logic: that we were more alike than I could bear. But now...others? What did he mean? My mouth felt as dry as the deserts of Kaze no Kuni, like a sandpaper tongue sliding over sandstone teeth.

"Yes, boy. You are the only one who has come back from the brink of death…stronger. Someone else. Something else. A true warrior."

"How many…how many others….?" Before me.

"It doesn't matter. They took my lessons to heart, believed them wholesale and chose death, chose their version of the natural order…"

He had indoctrinated all of them, and almost had with me too. "So this is just some…twisted experiment to you." I felt sick, but I held down the bile, the swooping waves of nausea. "We’re all pawns…you, the king. Life means nothing to you…" My face was mass of shaking, aching pain — revulsion, cold fury, judgment. "You have no honour. You’re no warrior."

In less than a second, his massive fingers were around my neck, a pressure upon my chest from the heel of his hand like the one I’d felt before. It was a vicious palm to my collarbone that knocked me into the hard bark of a nearby tree. The monks stilled their hushed murmurs. Sometimes I think I can still remember that deafening silence in my nightmares, the accompaniment to my agony and Kensai’s anger. His face contorted briefly as he calmed his voice to issue a cold, cruel threat…his favourite. Maybe I’d simply been reading it wrong all along.

"Do you want to die, boy?"

I could hear every syllable of malice in the precise, measured timing of his query. He sounded ready to finally give me my wish, willing to show just how serious he was by wiping his only success in god knows how many years and failed attempts off the face of the earth. It was then that I realised that this demonstration of zeal was an attempt by Kensai to prove that the power still lay in his hands, but it didn’t. I played my own advantage in response, a desperate move but the only one that might result in my survival. I didn’t know what the man’s end goal was and why he needed someone like me to exist, but I did know that I represented the culmination of a process that might have been decades in the making and one which could ruin him if eliminated.

"Do you not want to see how it all plays out from here?"

The focus of his eyes wavered, as if for the first time he had been posed a question that required genuine thought. Then, flaring his nostrils, he backed away with a snort. "This game is yours, boy. Enjoy the feeling."

My feeling right then was the desire to vomit. I neither enjoyed it nor let it get the better of me until my former teacher had left the temple grounds. He was referring, of course, to my emotional awakening, which he saw as a weakness. Well, both my ability to feel and my constitution have since improved, although I still bear the responsibility of being Kensai’s creation…not quite Frankenstein’s monster but on some days...close to it. I have done all I can to rid myself of his dominance and assert control over my own life. I feel more alive these days than I ever did before, reunited with the things that make me human. But I still do believe that I can be an asset of the natural order. I have to be, now that Kensai has somehow fooled himself into believing that he should be the one to alter it.

You can try to change the course of the mighty river if you stand apart from it, but if, like me, you are dedicated to preserving its higher order (and I still believe that I am) you have to be able to navigate its fierce currents first. Make waves large enough, then maybe, just maybe, you might help shape its development. It's the tide of time, the ebb and flow of human nature, the universal cycle of birth and rebirth that we must all follow, for better or worse, rather than allow ourselves to be swayed by the hand that dips from the shore.

My Nindo, my Budo, reminds me of that, a memento of my past, given by the hand that dips but worn smooth by the current of humanity. My humanity — my totality — my path to zen.

I walk the warrior way.

That is my Will of Fire.



Other Info:

Various influences include:
[+] Captain America (Steve Rogers) of Marvel Comics
[+] Prince Ashitaka of Princess Mononoke
[+] Bolin of The Legend of Korra
[+] Tien of Ong Bak 2
[+] Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) of DC Comics
[+] Ip Man, as portrayed by Donnie Yen
[+] Jacen Solo, the Star Wars Legend

The Way:

Intro:
Rameses B - Miracle
Outro: CloZee - Falcon (Dropout Marsh Remix)
Pilot: Extra-Curricular Studies (+1AP Strength, +1AP Reserves, +1AP Kakuremino no Jutsu, +1AP Chakra Hikari no Jutsu)
Episode I: Counterfeit Merchandise (feat. The Fist) (+2 Strength, +Rebound)

Last edited by Virtual Dream; 03-22-2018 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:56 PM   #2
Junge
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Numbers check out. WoF might want your bio to be a bit longer but I'm fine with the short stuff. I'll Half-Approve.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:41 AM   #3
darkbeauty
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We totally have to RP at some point. I think our Chuunin would have fun. Half!
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:28 PM   #4
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Half-Approved for ya. Been wondering when this guy would see the light of day!

Edit: What the hell is an Expanded Universe? Pretty sure you mean Legends or other made up fireside bedtime stories or some such. :P
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seikon View Post
What the hell is an Expanded Universe? Pretty sure you mean Legends or other made up fireside bedtime stories or some such. :P
My mistake. Call me old-fashioned

Thanks for the half-approvals, everyone.

Lookin' forward to it, DB!
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:17 PM   #6
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Half'd. The stats check out, and you marked where you used your AP on jutsu. May WoF have mercy on your soul, cause that bio is hella long.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #7
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Holy. Moly.

Okay, it's taken me a very long time to get here because I know how your characters are generally written and it takes a lot of mental preparation for me to trudge through such a biography. I apologize for the delay.

There's nothing inherently wrong with it and I don't want to insult you, your writing style, or your depth of detail, so please take that for what it's worth. I'm just going to say that you've put a heck of a lot of effort into a piece that really doesn't need that sort of length and description. Perhaps it's because I view a biography as more of a reference and a partially completed story that is generally expanded upon through the course of roleplay, but I feel it's only necessary to briefly overview the character's history and a few important events. The novel regarding every nuance of each moment seems excessive to me.

Just as a suggestion (and it is only that... I've no intention of stifling your style or creativity) for the future, consider editing down those elaborate tales a bit so that your GM doesn't cringe and close the window. I know it's partially the odd juxtaposition against my own minimalist style that's getting me here, but I thought I'd mention it. No offense intended.

Regardless, Leaf GM approved. Off you go.
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