voidbearer: Post War (Muse: Saori 2)
[personal profile] voidbearer

PLAYER INFO.
Handle: Ax
Contact: [plurk.com profile] axiomaticgrue
Are You Over 16: Y
Other Characters Played in Consignment: N/A

CHARACTER INFO.
Character Name: Kimura, Saori
Genre: Modern Martial Arts Fantasy

Character Appearance: Here you are Note: The PB has changed from the Test Drive, this is an update to reflect the fact that she has taken a portion of her half-sister into her. The WindandRain account is an older one.
Character Age: 482 years old (Appears mid/late 20s)
Pick A Number: 733

World Setting:
Saori's world is exactly the world as we know it up until the year 2013. It's a modern day setting focused on Japan with only one difference- the concept of subjective reality. History itself has happened as the textbooks say, everything from World War I to the Cold War, the tragedy of September 11th and beyond. However, there's more to it than that depending on the individual's beliefs. This world is also filled the gods of new and old, existing because at one point in time there was a group of people who worshiped them, built a shrine to them, etc. Despite that religion or belief dying out over the course of time, that god will live on. They retain all the powers they came into being with as long as they are remembered. They don't need a following to remain in existence, but it is necessary for a memory of them to stay intact. If this does not occur the god experiences a great deal of pain and agony until they are able to convince a mortal of their existence. Gods and supernatural entities often circulate stories about themselves to foster remembrance. That's where folk tales come from. Even if it's just a story in a book nobody reads, that's enough of a buffer to prevent the harm that comes from forgetfulness. Written by a mortal at one time, that means the memory is sustained in the metaphysical subconscious of the human species. These gods influence or may even be the direct cause of the major events that occur on the planet, such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, initiated by oil drilling by the Nippon Oil Corporation when they managed to dig deep enough to awake and arouse the fury of the earth god Jiwari, who then took it upon himself to punish the humans for disrupting his three-thousand year sleep. But the reason for these events occurring depends on who's looking at them. Followers of Jiwari see this is a retribution from the mighty earth god, where the rest of the world merely sees it as a horrible natural disaster that rocked the Japanese state. It is completely dependent on the view of the individual, thus making the concept of subjective reality a very real thing.

However, over the course of time the gods have slowly started to retreat back to the Kakuriyo, the spiritual world. This occurred back in the World War II era when Emperor Hirohito, upon the defeat of Japan during the war, was forced to declare that he was indeed not a divine descendant of the sun god Amaterasu at the "request" of Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Because of this declaration of denying the divinity of the Emperor, the country fell into a state of crisis concerning their faith in the gods. The dwindling faith combined with the destructive force of the atomic bombs annihilating part of the Japanese populace sent most of the old gods reeling, nopespidering if you will, away and back to their own divine realm to leave mortal affairs to the mortals. Not all of the gods left the mortal realm but a good majority did. This doesn't mean they don't watch the world they are tied to, merely that many are not present. This happened all over the world at various points, as the Olympians, Asgardians, and other supernatural lords slipped into a place where they could observe without interfering with the mortals, and where they could dwell without the need of belief that may one day dry up.

Culturally, the entities called gods by mortalkind all refer to themselves by many names. Olympians, Aesir, etc, though Saori's people go by Myojin. They are what you'd expect, fairly traditional, reclusive, often high-handed and arrogant. They mostly desire to live and be left in peace, and respond violently and harshly to intrusions upon their space but will often take an interest in groups of mortals, or specific individuals. It's generally frowned upon to reveal oneself, but that restriction has become looser thanks to the war. It made things easier, when it came to identifying commanders and the like.

The world itself has four divisions, the Mortal World which is where Saori and most humans and gods that choose to dwell there live, Heaven, the divine home of many names (Tengoku, Tian, Olympus, etc), Hell (Jigoku, Tartarus, etc), and The Land of the Dead. That would be where the dead go, not to Heaven or Hell, and it's segmented off from the other three realms by it's gatekeepers, Gods of Death like Hades or Izanami.

Then comes 2013, where a major shift happens. Conflict between the supernatural powers of her world had been brewing for some time, but what finally brought it to a head was a single misplaced word. A companion of Lord Kiyomaru, a careless high priestess named Sakiko, accidentally let slip the location of one of his banes in the presence of a mortal sworn to Hell. Some gods have such banes, objects capable of sealing their powers, and when this object was collected by a demon it was used to bind Kiyomaru into a mortal body. He was imprisoned by human demon-followers inside a bank vault for four whole days before Sakiko managed to find a way to free him. Summoning up one of the various plague gods, she unleashed one of the most vicious of Heaven’s family upon the small city of Nagaoka.

The chaos surrounding Kiyomaru’s rescue is what ultimately led to the conflict, as the sudden, public and terrifying appearance of the Fevered Dream was an extremely rude awakening for the mortal population. The god was rescued, his captors slaughtered in a tidal wave of divine wrath, but not quietly. Seeking to create more fear and make it easier to deal with their ancient enemies, the infernal hordes released videos of the attack to media, quite clearly depicting a nightmarish creature demolishing a building and killing everything that got in it’s way. Similar incidents followed all over the world as all the dark and evil things chose to capitalize on the chaos to tip mortalkind off as to the existence of the supernatural once again. Not all mortals listened or believed, choosing to shove their heads into the ground, but none escaped the effects. Demons attacked at night, monsters pretending to be benevolent entities slipped words into the ears of politicians, and the humans already working to further the aims of Hell sought to create a worldwide pandemic of fear. Steeped in darkness as it was, hellspawn found it easier to manifest in the human world, vengeful ghosts became more and more common, and there was simply no way for Heaven to allow this to stand.

The early skirmishes were not terribly unlike they’d been in the past, individual entities fighting duels over territory, clashes occurring all over the world well out of mortal view, but gradually the demonic forces began to change their tactics. They employed human servitors to seek out priests and allies of individual spirits, or simply attacked in broad daylight and in cities, attempting to create even more fear. And it worked, affording Hell’s forces more and more power, and weakening Heaven’s. Foreign gods opted to focus on defense, guarding their own domains rather than helping one another, each trying to keep the people of their nation safe without much thought for the future. They were confident in their power, unwilling to shake off eons of rust to aid what they saw as outsiders. There were exceptions, of course, but by and large the general consensus between the various pantheons was to focus on the domestic. Right up until Yukino, Saori's half-sister, was killed in battle. Truly killed.

The death of one of their own galvanized the gods into joint action, awakening the eldest of them to act against the demons and the fearful humans they’d rallied to their cause. If one could fall, then all could. Old alliances were rekindled as the masters of the various pantheons finally united together instead of fighting only to protect their own homes. The world shook as they made their presence known, abandoning subtlety in favor of simply ending the contest. They did this by going into the various underworlds and destroying the pathways to Earth, and rooting out the cults that had begun to spring up among humankind and removing them. The elders, the true masters of their pantheons, stepped in and crushed the demonic rebellion, sealing the gates to Hell in the process.

Recovery is still an ongoing process on all sides, as no place on Earth escaped unscathed. Mountains had shifted, oceans had moved, storms had raged, and the human population had suffered greatly. The demonic servitors had largely been wiped out, and the faithful had taken heavy losses as well, but even the ordinary people had to deal with the fallout. For them it’d merely been a period of geological and meteorological upheaval, as the vast majority still refused to believe that anything supernatural had occurred. It was, quite simply, like shoving their heads in the sand and trying to make the best of things and that’s something humans were very good at.

Character History: Saori Kimura was originally born into an inconspicuous, but well-off Jitō family during the latter years of the Muromachi Shogunate, the only child of a baron with four brothers. Her father was Toshi Kimura, and her mother was known as Mayuka. Her family dwelled in the Hakata region of what is now the Fukuoka prefecture of Japan and they were respected for their kindness. On the day of her birth, her father brought her to the shrine of Tesshin, the most venerated local deity and the divine patron of his house. Placing her before the altar, he asked the priests to help him determine the course that the girl’s life should take, that she might bring prosperity to the house and follow the wishes of the gods. After much deliberation, prayer, and consulting with the spirits they told him to allow the girl to choose her own course, and that she alone would determine the fate of their family.

As such, Saori was raised quite differently than many, instead of receiving the traditional upbringing one might expect of a noble girl she was given a much broader one to compensate for the family’s lack of a male heir. Singing, dancing, storytelling, shamisen, and the more esoteric cultural arts like tea ceremonies and flower arranging were imparted on her by her mother and her aunts. On the flip side of this, her father and his brothers taught her the finer points of horsemanship, accounting, hunting, calligraphy, and even some of the more feminine forms of self-defense. This was an unusual choice for them to make, to collectively raise a daughter as one would raise a son, but without another heir they hoped to give Saori everything she could possibly need to survive and thrive, as well as provide her with the tools to choose her fate when the time came for her Gempukku, a coming of age ceremony.

The girl’s childhood was actually fairly pleasant, as her entire family doted on her. She was still instilled with all of the proper virtues and values through strict discipline, but typically Saori was a model of good behavior and was rewarded for it. She excelled at the physical side of things, and much to the chagrin of her father she took a liking to naginatajutsu and battōdō, two vastly different martial arts. Naginatajutsu was traditionally considered to be acceptable for noble girls, while the other was thought a masculine art. Her uncles discouraged it out of a desire to spare her the ordeal of becoming a warrior, but Toshi was adamant that Saori choose her own path, and that the words of the priests be respected.

At the age of ten, a series of events was set into motion that would forever change the course of Saori and her entire family. The shugo, or governor, of the province visited the Kimura family, as was his right to do. His visit was routine, and he was quite familiar with the entire family, including the girl. He was known as a harsh, cold man who had little regard for the gods and their ways. The governor disliked the Kimuras already for Toshi’s strict adherence to the old ways, and often sought to find ways to break his faith in the divine. He was even rumored to have employed maho, blood magic wielded by maho-tsukai (dark mages) who consorted with demons and other foul spirits so that he might find a way to overthrow the shogun and replace him.

It was during this visit, however, that a most inauspicious thing happened. The shugo had passed by a shrine to Tesshin and refused to pay the proper tribute, thus earning the ire of the shrine’s owner. The kami decided to punish him by sending a trio of its winged hound servants, hainu, to hound the man until he repented for his crimes. The first night, the dog spirits yowled and barked like a pack of wolves, leaving the entire household sleepless. During the day they prowled the grounds, preventing anyone from leaving. The second night, they continued, though their cries took on a more intelligible sound, demanding the governor come out and speak to them. When he refused, they remained a third night, demanding that the household expel the governor or they would suffer the ire of a great and mighty myojin. At first, the family considered it, the brothers debating amongst themselves in secret, using Saori’s room as their meeting place. The finally decided that it wasn’t their place to expel the governor, and that they would continue to shelter him. Only her father, wise and penitent, disagreed, but he was outvoted by his brothers.

Saori, of course, had overheard their discussion and she disagreed with it whole-heartedly. Her father was right. The gods should be granted audience, as was their right. When the men had left her room, the girl slipped out and went to a side-gate of their home and opened it. She called out to the hound spirits, inviting them to come and deliver their message to the obstinate governor. They bounded inside, tearing through the house and confronted the man, demanding that he revisit the shrine and offer up a tribute of rice, multiplying the usual amount by three for three days defiance.

Unhappily, the governor agreed so as not to be slain by the spirits, but he had been so embarrassed at the hands of such a child that he decided to vent his frustration on her family. The tribute was taken from the family’s wages, a substantial cut from their already low finances. Additionally, taxes were hiked within the Kimura’s lands, and two of her uncles were stripped of their titles and land, conscripted into service in the shugo’s personal guard. This placed even greater strain on the family, as they had to provide appropriate accoutrements for court samurai as well as give out their stores to prevent their population from starving.

During the following winter, when things seemed to be at their worst, tragedy struck when another uncle was stricken with a horrible wasting disease. This unnatural ailment was a slow, painful death, clearly an ill turn sent to punish the Kimuras for some transgression. This sickness began among the household servants and continued to claim lives,eventually laying low all of the family, including the uncles who’d been pressed into service. Dishonored, they were forced to return. On their deathbeds, the child sat with her family, force to watch them suffer and die. In those days, when an entire generation was wiped out by disease, the family was considered to be marked, cursed by fate. The villagers mourned the dying family, but tradition and taboo along with a decree from the shugo prevented them from taking any action. The girl was visited in the moments following her family’s death by a sorcerer, a dark mage employed by the wicked governor, to teach her a lesson. He told her that she would die alone, unloved, and despised by all.

And the moments following that, she ran, like any nine year old girl would do. Eventually, she ended up coming to one of the various shrines not far from the village. And, hoping that the spirit would listen to her plea, she began to pray. As she knelt in penitence, a great winged dog swooped down from the sky and spoke to her. The hound sadly informed her that the curse was beyond even the god’s powers to heal, but that there was a way to save her family’s memory. Saori was shaken by this revelation but agreed, asking what the hound’s price was for such a great boon. The creature replied that she should remain at the shrine, working and learning from Tesshin, and that all would be clear in time.

This marked the end of Saori’s childhood, and the beginning of her life as an acolyte. Day in and day out Saori worked, growing up in the service of Tesshin. Each year on her birthday she was allowed to ask him one question, and every year she would ask him the same one. “When will you tell me how to restore my family’s memory?” and each year the wise old kami would respond with “when you are a little older and a lot wiser.” This answer invariably irritated Saori, but she accepted it as the price of serving a deity.

When she turned sixteen, it was time for her to undergo her Gempukku, the ritual to determine one’s true calling. The locals all gathered for the ceremony, eager to know what their former lord’s daughter would become. The common consensus was that she’d likely stay at her job as a miko, however when the priests asked the gods what their intentions were for her they were inconclusive. As the rite came to an end, a hainu appeared before the gathered crowd and informed them that the gods had declared that Saori would remain in the shrine, to be educated. Thus the people left, and Saori’s focus remained ever forward, her future held in trust.

Her days were peaceful and quiet, filled with meditation, learning, and the crafts of art and war, as well as learning of spiritual matters. In her mind she was being groomed to be a priestess, to perhaps redeem her family’s name by serving the gods that way. The powerful god had other plans, however, and after her Gempukku, her training began to grow harsher. Saori worked her body to the bone, learning to wield not only a blade and her fists, but also magic, the spellcraft of the divine. It was brutal, particularly when Tesshin involved other deities, fully intending to involve her in some way in something greater. He taught her everything that he could, treated her as a disciple, and possibly a successor. The storm lord fully expected her to eventually turn from him thanks to the difficult conditions, her belief changing, her resolve wavering, but it never did. At the age of twenty-seven, after eighteen birthdays under his tutelage, the now woman again asked “When will you tell me how to restore my family’s memory?” This time,Tesshin responded differently.

“You have proven your devotion, by staying here, believing in me. This time, I will grant you the means that you seek.”

The wizened old spirit commanded her to enter the central shrine and gaze in the mirror that rested on the altar. This was no ordinary mirror, instead an enchanted vessel that housed the soul and memories of the ancient one. This was an act that marked the end of Saori’s youth, and catapulted her into an entirely different form of existence. The mirror empowered her, filling her with the wisdom of the Earth and the power of the Heavens, melding the ancient god’s memories with the young woman’s body. As it happened, storms raged, thunder crackled, and the entire region was dominated by a massive typhoon for three days. By the end of the third, the weather had begun to return to normal, but Saori was forever changed. Tesshin had known change was coming, a time when the gods ceased to matter. Rather than fade quietly into memory and turn his responsibilities over to lesser spirits, he had opted to blend his soul with hers, entwining their fates, giving him the chance to retire and offering her a chance to become something more than a frightened, cursed woman. He thought too, perhaps, that new blood in Heaven’s family might help them grow, to see and change the course they were heading towards.

She was still fundamentally herself, he reasoned, and he hoped that the knowledge he’d imparted and the dedication she’d shown temper her strength and help her on her newfound path. She was stronger, faster, with dominion over the weather, the temperance and wisdom granted to her by her long years of study, the longevity of eons, and spiritual servants. But she also had responsibilities, with which she took to with great joy. Bringing rain, offering succor, and punishing transgression were her duties, and she felt like she finally had purpose, a responsibility to the world. With Tesshin’s former servants, and a few other creatures, she managed to take care of business without much difficulty. The other gods gave her a title as well, the Daughter of Wind and Rain.

Saori’s ascension, however, did not entirely cleanse her past. The curse placed upon her family was a lingering one, put in place by dark powers at the behest of the shugo’s pet mage. These evil beings sensed the change in her destiny and Tesshin’s interference, but were unwilling to break the pact with the governor. Instead, they performed great works of vile magic, conjuring a demon and tying its thread to her destiny. The demon, Hatsu-no-Oni, took on the form of a brutish warrior who carried a massive, wrought iron cleaver into battle. The dark gods assumed that the newly awakened divine spark within Saori would be unable to stand up to Hatsu, but this too was an eventuality that wise Tesshin had prepared for. In Saori’s mentoring, he had trained her to bind and seal demons as an exorcist.

It was many weeks before their first meeting, but the demon assaulted her shrine as directed by his masters. He was a creature of overwhelming strength, and she was hardly a match for his brute strength in her immature state, but she was cleverer than that. Tesshin’s wisdom prevailed, and she managed to enact a binding ritual, freezing him in place before driving a steel stake through his heart, sending him back to Jigoku, a place best described as Hell. Humiliated, the monster reformed in a year and a day, and began plotting his revenge.

Saori’s life was fairly uneventful for quite a long time, peacefully outliving the shugo, and the entire population of her home. She wasn’t human any longer, and her duties and responsibilities kept her busy. Gradually, however, she started feeling stranger and stranger, her mind having great difficulty with processing the slow, steady crawl of time. She saw generations of families she’d known in her youth grow old and die, and their children do the same, while she remained almost the same. As someone who was born a human, with all the expectations of death, it began to weigh heavily on her mind. She was never meant to live that long, and began to understand that immortality had a price. Tesshin had, however, also laid the groundwork for this eventuality.

When she first started having difficulty focusing, one of her servants, another hainu, brought to her an enchanted mirror and a scroll. The scroll taught her a secret ritual of the gods known as the Rite of Quicksilver, the act of implanting one’s memories into a mirror to stave off mental decay. The downside was that losing the mirror for more than a few days meant losing the memories, and her powers until it could be recovered. She decided it was worth it, and for the first time in the 18th century, Saori used the ritual. This sealed away the majority of her memories, and forever entwined her to the mirror. Saori was sure of who she was, what her purpose was, but without looking into the surface she had no idea about the less meaningful days of her past. Extraordinary days, people, and places remained after the ritual, but the mundane, day to day life was simply sealed up, though there were blurry aspects to her early life too.

It wasn’t long after this incident that her world began to change, most notably with the end of Sakoku. Her homeland, no longer isolated from foreign influence took on a vastly different shape. The old ways began to wane as people discovered the Western way. War, Religion, Fashion, Music, Technology, everything changed within a few years of Perry’s black ships. This altered the balance, and pulled the population’s attention and focus away from the spiritual and more towards the scientific. For the first time in millennia, the power of the gods in Japan began to wane. They were still a part of the land, but no longer were they the sole masters of their domain, as mortal belief shifted away from the past and towards the future. Nothing changed for humankind, and outwardly very little was altered for the supernatural world , but it was a usurpation that many gods did not enjoy. Though lesser spirits and servants found it harder to manifest and work their will, almost like there was beginning to be a veil between the spirit world and the mortal one.

Saori, as one of the newer members of the Heavenly family, was tasked to travel and see what sort of strange land these ‘Americas’ were, and to try and meet with their gods of Science and Technology. The goal was to discover why they sought to tear the people away from the ways of the past. Unable to disobey an order from a more powerful myojin, she travelled to the United States in 1876. She had quite a few misadventures, from nearly getting sold to a brothel, to working a restaurant on a railroad, to wandering the desert of Arizona.

The Americas were not a hospitable place for an apparently unaccompanied ‘Celestial’ woman, and she faced persecution from all walks of life, as most believed she was a poor railroad worker’s wife. This lead to several violent conflicts, including a particularly memorable fistfight in Silver Bell, Arizona, that resulted in the deaths of at least a dozen men. The incident was sparked by a local gang leader, who felt Saori an easy mark. He was mistaken, and his gang paid the price for their aggression. Separated from her home she may be, but a god was still a god, and she sought to bring a kind of wasteland justice to the West. Rumors began to spread throughout the West of a mysterious woman who came into towns asking for water, and those that gave it were rewarded while those that denied her were punished. She continued to roam the Americas for another few years, observing the death of the Native American gods as they were trampled under the boot of progress. This saddened her, but there was little she could do to stem the march of progress.

Gradually, she made her way east, where she had her first encounters with the new American “gods”, four in all. They referred to one another as Ideals and each was once human as she was, and thanks to the burgeoning belief of the land they ascended to a position not unlike hers. These men represented the ideals of Progress, Patriotism, Privilege, and Preference. She only met one in person, an elderly gentleman named Brigham Young, the embodiment of Preference and a religious leader of the period. When she entered Salt Lake City, Saori was approached by several of his disciples and was asked to speak with him. Agreeing, mostly out of curiosity the goddess spent several hours alone with the man, discussing philosophy and religion. This was a pivotal moment for her, as it marked the first time she had spoken with a foreign ‘divinity.’ Young treated her with respect, and informed her that the other three were interested in their foreign visitor, having kept an eye on her travels throughout the Americas.

This conversation was instrumental in Saori’s development as a divine being, as she began correspondence with the other three Ideals. A young immigrant inventor named Nikolai Tesla represented Progress, a politician named Theodore Roosevelt was Patriotism, and the wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie represented Privilege. In their letters to one another, the Ideals passed on the seeds of idea to the goddess. These concepts, Privilege, Progress, Patriotism, and Preference were entirely foreign to someone who’d grown up in a feudal society. They gave her a fresh perspective, one that she would bring back to Japan with her a few years later.

When she finally did return after nearly twenty years, Saori reported her findings to the greater deities, who’s influence over things had continued to wane. They had mixed feelings about the Ideals and the thoughts that they shared, but after much discussion they agreed that perhaps these were worth investigating. Finally, Saori was allowed to return home to Kyushu and her little shrine. The locals had kept it in reasonable shape, the rural nature and strong traditional identity of the area helping keep them pious. In her absence, the spiritual servants she’d inherited from Tesshin had taken care of things, though there was little cause for her to worry thanks to the waning belief that humanity was suffering from. Many of the older gods schemed to take back their absolute control, hurling themselves futilely forward, summoning storms, a great earthquake, stirring monsoons, and even sowing the seeds of a war with the rest of the world with that goal in mind. Contrary to their hopes, these disasters instead drove people to seek answers in science and among themselves rather than finding it in prayer. They wielded vast individual power, and still had their individual servants, but that was not the same.

Time passed quietly for Saori in her little shrine, and thanks to the changing world she had more time to work on and practice the things she cared for. The war barely touched her home, isolated as it was, so she kept out of it. This left her with time to think, a veritable eternity. In solitude, she pondered what she had experienced, and the letters exchanged with the American Ideals. The virtues they embodied were of course not without flaws, but at the core they were all beneficial. This sparked a great change in her, when one day the young god decided that she would break from the established and do something to progress herself. Stagnation, she reasoned, would lead to ruin and death. Rather than try and change things back to the way they were, she instead opted to embrace the world that the humans now lived in. In the later part of the twentieth century, Saori moved out of the shrine and began travelling Japan as a wandering fortune-teller.

While she had been living a fairly mundane for the last several centuries, her enemy Hatsu-no-Oni had not remained idle. Dwelling within Jigoku, he had remained hidden, watching the world change with a mixture of bemusement and malice. Demons, unlike gods, weren’t so concerned with the source of their power, so embracing change as a means of using mortals broached no argument from any. Hatsu had hatched a plan to get back at Saori for his embarrassing defeat, by stealing the mirror she had left hidden in her shrine. She was gone, but the mirror remained on the altar, a symbol for faithful locals of her watchful gaze. It was regarded as a novelty by adults, an old story for old people by the youth, and a poignant reminder of times long passed by the elderly. Hatsu had little difficulty taking it from its resting place, the spiritual servants she’d left to watch it far too weak to stand up to the mighty dark spirit.

Immediately after it left the grounds of the temple, Saori knew, and then she didn’t, her memories and powers fading. She awoke in a hospital bed several hours later, suffering from a near complete lack of memory. The mirror, however, did not remain long in the demon’s hands. Hatsu knew that he hadn’t the means to destroy it, so instead he cast it into the sea, hoping it would be lost for all time. Fate, however, had decreed otherwise. The wise Isora, Lord of the Shores, noted Hatsu’s presence and instead caused the mirror to drift from Kyushu to Shikoku, another of the home islands, where it was picked up by a fisherman. The man knew what it was and so he brought it to the local priest and had it placed in a rural shrine that needed a new one. Hatsu, none the wiser, opted to spend time on Earth, exploring the delights of this new world.

Saori, on the other hand, struggled to get by in the world without knowledge of who she was or where she was from. She was given a name at the hospital, Etsuko, and was eventually released into the care of a kind nurse. The nurse, Yuuna, helped her settle into a routine, aiding her to build a new life. She’d been in Takamatsu, on Shikoku when she’d lost her memories, one of the few large cities in the prefecture at the time, the vast majority of the island still quite rural. Yuuna arranged for ‘Etsuko’ to work as a delivery girl, driving a truck for a package company. For a number of years, Etsuko lived with Yuuna and her pet dog, and she was fairly happy, even coming to accept that her memories might never return.

However, inevitably something had to change. On a delivery to a coastal city, Etsuko entered a shrine complex, taking supplies to a local priest. It was here that she was noticed by Isora, the patron of the temple. The Lord of the Shore suddenly gained a much clearer picture of the situation, immediately recognizing the divine spark in the young woman. Sending a servant to follow her, the god soon learned more of her: that she was missing her memories. On a whim, the mercurial but kind Isora opted to help. He located the mirror again, his servants having very little trouble finding the lost artifact and he set events into motion for Saori to make a delivery to the shrine where it was kept. Etsuko replaced the usual deliveryman, who Isora poisoned with a spoiled oyster, and in doing so she came into contact with the mirror.

Power surged back into Saori as soon as she spotted the object, and now she remembered everything. Her name, her job, her benefactor, her powers, and most importantly: Hatsu. She vowed to seek out and end the demon, after she repaid a debt. Returning home, Saori spoke to Yuuna, and swore that if it took a thousand lifetimes she would repay her for her kindness. The nurse was stunned at this revelation, incredulous until the reborn god proved herself with a display of divine power. Yuuna, for her generosity, was repaid a thousand fold as the goddess showered her with jewels, gems, and other treasures collected over her incredible lifespan as well as a promise of a return. With that settled, off Saori went to find and destroy the demon.

Hatsu, for his part, had no idea what was coming. He’d taken up residence in the United States, finding the culture to be more to his liking. So for the second time in a century, Saori left Japan and took to the New World. Her fury was heralded by a singularly massive storm that engulfed the entire East Coast, an absolute expression of divine anger. Hatsu sensed this, and met her head on, certain of his victory. Without words, God and Demon met on a small island on the Susquehanna River known as Three-Mile Island. Their conflict was swift and brutal, damaging a great deal of the surroundings. Fists, flame, electricity, and swords clashed for only a few moments before the demon fell. Fully awakened and comfortable in her power, Saori shattered him utterly, once again returning him to Jigoku. In his body’s death throes, however, he lashed out and superheated the surroundings with infernal flame.

The resultant heat caused a catastrophic meltdown of the area, which neither of them knew was actually a nuclear site, overloading the coolant pipes. Acting quickly, Saori called down a massive storm, and a wall of wind to prevent anyone from entering, all the while frantically assisting the workers with everything she possibly could. Learning that the core needed cooling, Saori insisted that she be allowed to help, and the desperate workers couldn’t really argue. The plant workers were incredulous as she tore open a melted coolant valve and flooded the reactor, preventing a total meltdown and a worse disaster. She slipped away in the confusion, not wanting to draw even more attention to herself. To this day, some of the workers still talk about a guardian angel, and others say they saw some sort of walking tornado.

Following the incident Saori returned home to Japan, and took up residence once again with Yuuna. The nurse was delighted to have her back, and had welcomed her home with open arms. Deciding that perhaps it was best to integrate herself into modern society, she kept the name and resumed her former job as a delivery girl. The work was menial, but it gave her a sense of belonging, as well as affording her the opportunity to stay with someone she’d grown to care a great deal about. It was also just something that she enjoyed doing, a simple, repetitive task that afforded the god ample time for her own pursuits.

By this time, the divine responsibilities of the gods had faded into the stuff of legend, the world utterly divorced from the idea of magic. The gods existed still, but their role in the makeup of reality was vastly diminished, and because of this Saori had less and less contact with her own kind. Yuuna had continued to work at the hospital, despite the vast wealth Saori had provided and the two took frequent trips around the world together. It was during one of these trips that Saori began to suffer from more memory-problems, this time similar to the first, the weight of centuries pressing down on her mind.

With great reluctance she again performed the Rite of Quicksilver, knowing that without it she’d risk insanity, but not sure if she’d forget Yuuna. When Saori pressed her mind to the mirror, the two friends shared a tearful goodbye…that was completely unnecessary. When Saori was ensconced in meditation she discovered that she could actually be more selective in her memory alteration. The first time was an act of despair and confusion on the part of a human coming to grips with immortality, but this time it was a calculated act on the part of a god. When she re-emerged she had removed much, but kept the essence that made her…who she was. Yuuna was overjoyed, and the two moved on with their life, eventually entering into a romantic relationship. Years of closeness had led to that, and feelings had developed.

By this point, Saori was well over four-hundred years old, but had physically aged only a handful of years since her transformation. Yuuna, on the other hand, had just turned thirty. As the first mortal Saori had ever loved, this meant something to the goddess. The awful realization that she was immortal while her friend was growing old was quite a shock, and it kept her awake for many, many long nights. Eventually, she decided to confer with the other gods, seeking them out alone in their shrines. First she went to Isora, only to be told that there was no way, so she approached Fuujin the Wind God. Fuujin told her that to conquer death was something few mortals could do, but Saori wouldn’t accept that either, as she had managed it. The Wind laughed and suggested she go to Hokkaido and speak to Gama, the Lord of Longevity and Memory.

Gama was one of the more traditional members of the family, and one of the lesser known but most powerful, which made her reluctant to speak with him, but eventually her kindness overran that fear and she made the journey. Gama received her and listened to her question with a grim expression. He agreed that it was quite tragic, but that for him to help extend the longevity of Yuuna, Saori would have to pay a price. Without flinching, she agreed unconditionally, which gave the elder pause as he’d not expected that. Moved by the younger god’s passion he requested that Saori share with him a glimpse of her mirror. Unquestioningly, she did so, baring her mind to him and sharing her innermost secrets, a tribute few were willing to offer. Memory’s second request was for Saori to do him a favor in the future, without question and whenever he needed it. This too was agreed upon, and the bargain was struck. The two performed a ritual, forging a mantle of power in the heart of a thunderstorm, a blessing to offer her love. Saori returned home with the gift on Yuuna, and the two continued their existence for a few more years, peacefully cohabitating as lovers, traveling companions, and close friends.

Peace however, is rarely permanent, and this idyllic little life Saori had carved for herself could not last forever.

Saori’s involvement in the war came relatively early, as she was a known quantity to at least one demon. Her home specifically was targeted, as were the people she’d grown attached to as friends. The attack came swiftly in late fall, starting with a fire set to neighbors homes and fanned by dark magic into an inferno, catching Saori and Yuuna both off guard. They were both immortal, true, but the humans living near were not. It forced Saori to divide her attention between fighting her old foe Hatsu and on creating a rainstorm strong enough to put out the flames during a season when she was at her weakest. The fight didn’t last long, and Saori was forced to retreat with her partner, leaving some neighbors dead, and the survivors in terrified awe of the quiet woman who brought them packages.

Now with a personal reason driving her in addition to duty and a desire for revenge, Saori joined with her family and left Yuuna in Heaven to help the injured. She was paired with her wintery counterpart Yukino and dispatched wherever they might be needed. The pair had never truly gotten along at family gatherings but as they fought side by side they developed a strong bond. Throughout that winter, Yukino took the forefront and involved them in many encounters with demons and mortals alike while Saori acted in a supporting role. This worked very well for them, but unfortunately Yukino grew over-confident, and as winter moved into summer, she was unable to maintain the pace. Saori did attempt to caution her, warning that neither one of them could lead for a year alone, that they’d have to take turns. The willful winter goddess refused to admit it, though, and as a result became the first immortal casualty of the struggle.

Yukino was defeated in a duel not far from Heraklion (Crete), by a demonic entity named Khadi, who’d manipulated the pair of weather goddesses into the conflict after learning of Yukino’s brash behavior. The Mediterranean climate, along with the season, made a poor place for her to fight. That, coupled with the discovery of her bane (a small silver key) by one of his minions, created a no-win situation for her. She was killed, cut down by his sword, permanently and completely. However, her power had to go somewhere, and the only vessel nearby who was suitable? Was Saori. Furious and heartbroken at the death of her companion, and suffused with a new command over cold, she returned the favor. Driving the dark spirit into the sea, she trapped him in a prison of nevermelting ice, and called for help from the sea goddess Salacia to entomb him at the bottom of the ocean. The salt queen obliged, dragging Khadi down into the darkest reaches of her domain, quite content to add him to her garden.

Saori’s role in the remainder of the war was to act primarily as a shock troop on the offensive, leading the charge beside family and allies. She acquitted herself well, winning many personal victories but was not particularly noteworthy when compared to other kin. The campaign was successful in the end, and after roughly three years of routine warfare it ended when Zeus and the Jade Emperor made their way to the final gate and closed it off. Peace was restored, and the corruptive influence of Hell was purged from the world.


Saori, for her part, had to come to terms with her newfound responsibilities as well as come down off a period full of heightened anxiety and hard choices and she’s not coping with it well. She wants things to be as they were, but that’s simply not possible. Her newly married life with Yuuna is gradually settling back down to a quiet, dutiful existence, but she still feels a yearning to do something more. To perfect herself, to become stronger, and to help her world recover from the disasters that’ve befallen it. For the moment she’s doing what she can to aid the reconstruction, volunteering her time and energy towards repairing the damage with her love at her side. But if the opportunity to better protect her world came up, she will most certainly take it.

Character Personality: Saori Kimura is a quiet, reserved young Myojin with a progressive attitude and noticeable kindness in her dealings with her fellows. She is quite companionable, relatively easygoing, and difficult to offend by people who are clearly on her side. She has a strong sense of responsibility, of duty, and of certainty in her actions that only a long-lived entity can truly have. Conversely? She has a lighthearted, almost childlike way of seeing things, a curious fascination with new things, with learning, and with personal growth. Life is still an experience for her, and there are so many things about herself that she believes need perfecting that she's not quite set aside her humanity. And she probably never will, not entirely.

In a lot of ways, Saori is somewhat atypical from the classical deity one might expect, the petty, wrathful, almost vindictive sort that is quick to take offense in particular. She has experienced life outside of her homeland, and her interactions with the American Ideals especially have given her a bit of insight that her older relatives don't have. Exposure to the dynamic forces that reshaped one continent has irrevocably altered her worldview, and as such she's become an advocate for change. She does not hide in a shrine, she doesn't demand worship, and she doesn't insist on being treated as something different or unattainable. She is very down to earth for an immortal, able to see value in humanity and derive a sense of self-confidence from her human side rather than seeing it as a weakness, a perspective only shared by a handful of others.

Saori’s dealings with most mortal individuals can be summed up by how long she’s dealt with them. She has difficulty empathizing with most people, finding their concerns a little difficult to relate to, particularly fleeting things like wealth and power. She does like being around people, but often comes across as awkward because she doesn’t always know how to deal with them, so her default response is to remain agreeable, if somewhat awkward. It's easy that way, and it leads to less trouble in the long run, which is preferable. It's practical, and it's not too far off base. She likes to come off as gentle, a little naive, and relatively easygoing, as it has always engendered fond feelings in others, which is something she, on a practical level, knows is useful.

Her motivations in life are somewhat skewed towards more ephemeral, conceptual things. Possessing things isn’t important to her, and neither are people.  The only current exception to this is her partner, Yuuna, whom she is ferociously protective of.  The thing that she strives for more than anything else in herself is perfection. Saori wants to be the pinnacle of whatever it is that she applies herself to, unflinchingly working at whatever it is that's caught her interest for as long as it takes to master it. This applies to music, art, martial arts, dance, cooking, and any number of other skills. This drive towards perfection has given her a great deal of faith in herself, an inner flame that propels her forward, guiding her to surpass herself, surmount her problems, and be the best that she can, no matter the situation. What she's motivated towards with regard toothers, however, is responsibility. She takes her duties very, very seriously and she's more than willing to put herself out there to make sure that her responsibilities (real or perceived) are met. If that means getting hurt, she'll do it, and if that means killing, she'll do that too.

She does not abide by or care for mortal laws and morals, as to her the ends do justify the means. If killing one person will save thousands of lives? She'll do it without hesitation. If removing a city will save a planet? There's no question for her. The same feelings are extended towards other immortals. If they're going to do something that impinges on the safety of her world, or will destabilize it into another war then she will attempt to stop them if the costs of doing so don't outweigh the costs of letting them act. It's really as simple as that and she's seen, or has memories from Tesshin, of men (or spirits or other gods) with good intentions bring nothing but ruin by accident, meaning that if the time comes to make a hard choice, she will take the choice that benefits the most people with the most certainty. She doesn't gamble often, not where something important is at stake. None of her kind do, without a great deal of convincing anyway.

It's worth noting that in private she truly is good natured, despite how she might feel to the contrary. She likes to pretend that she's a good bit harder than she is, because she's been through a lot of difficult times, but it's not the real Saori. She will act as necessary, making hard choices and sacrifices as her responsibility and duty dictates, but they do wear on her, especially when she's alone. Saori does cry, she does get upset, and she does feel bad for all those choices she's had to make because they are hard and because for all her experiences and responsibilities, Saori is still a young woman at heart. One who was given a responsibility that transcended her mortal life, yes, but she's not old enough to have forgotten where she came from, yet.

Saori can and does act like that youth around people that she's learned to trust. She can be a little childish at times, another thing she won't readily admit, and she can pout with the best of them. Because again, despite her age, she is young enough that she still has a kind of idealism in her mindset. She's been given a wakeup call in the form of a war, but that hasn't completely erased the hopeful spark of youth. Not yet, anyway.

Trust with regards to her private life is an odd thing for a Saori, for a number of reasons. She's never really felt that she's needed to extend her trust to anyone outside of her family and her lover, and this is especially true in the wake of the war. She's not unwilling to offer it, but only in doses, never completely, and she's rarely quick to extend it without a good reason. A careless word had actually started that war, after all, and Saori is not at all interested in sparking such a conflict again, nor being at the center of it, so she's decidedly choosy about what she shares and who she shares it with.

Under pressure, Saori generally retains a cool head, and it takes quite a lot to genuinely upset or bother her. If she is pressed hard enough, however, and her fuse reaches it’s end she will snap completely, her demeanor breaking from a quiet, simmering buildup into a furious and horrifying rage, the kind you'd associate with divine wrath in mythology. When she blows up, Saori reacts violently, lashing out with her fists and her divine magic, absolutely willing to destroy without regard. She generally keeps her emotions in tight check to prevent such an explosion, but a few times, such as when she fought Hatsu she was unable to contain herself, and she cut loose, damaging the area around her as badly as he did.

Saori isn’t the kind of person to dwell on anger, even though her temper is quite a sight. Even after a violent outburst of anger, she can let it go, the centuries of life allowing her to quickly shift her emotions, almost like flipping a switch. She can be petty, and remembers things for a long time, but her anger doesn't fester and consume her life. Small slights and little grievances she can forgive, as they're simply a part of life, an attitude that many of her kin do not necessarily share. She accepts that difference and embraces it, feeling that it is important to be progressive and act in a manner that befits a being with her level of responsibility.

She lives by the saying ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick,” very rarely willingly tipping her hand in any situation where strife could be involved. Generally, she prefers to avoid conflict by deflecting problems until such a time as she sees something as genuinely offensive or angering, but when the time for it comes she is relentless and absolutely savage. Whether in wordplay or swordplay, she has very little room in her heart for mercy.  Not since the war with Hell, a conflict that changed her outlook on mortalkind. She'll act on her more vicious side without much hesitation if the situation calls for it, lending her an underlying air of menace when her temper is roused, though she'd prefer to remain as relaxed and calm as possible.

She is not an overly proud individual, thanks to Tesshin’s teachings, but she does prefer to be treated with courtesy by strangers. If someone treats her rudely, they can expect a curt response, and possibly a lecture or worse if they push her enough. This perceived humility has served her rather well as a means of subterfuge, and while Saori herself is not an openly deceitful person, she enjoys not being the center of attention. She's not shy, merely reserved, not wanting to put herself out there when she'd be better served by observing and speaking or acting when it matters most. That being said, when faced with topics that she holds dear, or if she finds someone she values being slandered, she will speak up.

Finally, fears. Saori has very few honest fears about sundry things like spiders and bees, but she has a terrible fear of death. She is not willing to die, she is absolutely, positively terrified of losing the life she's gained. She's overcome death once by avoiding the curse, but she also has never truly conquered that childhood terror. This was reinforced by Yukino's death, her final death, and the horrific pangs of loss she felt about that, and one of the biggest reasons her will to live is even stronger now is that she has to continue existing so that Yukino will. There are a few situations where she'd be willing to sacrifice herself, and nearly all of them revolve around saving her world, her family, and her partner. She is willing to risk great bodily harm, but death? A true, final one? Only if in the process her entire family, or her world are preserved.

Character Powers & Skills:

Powers:

Weather Manipulation: Saori is a god of weather, so it's only natural that she has control over it. She is able to call up weather of all sorts, ranging from simple rainstorms and gusts of wind to massive fog banks and thunderstorms. With the absorption of Yukino's soul, she's also recently gained the ability to create snow and ice, blizzards and other weather phenomenon associated with winter. The actual act of doing something any larger than a small, localized area takes time and concentration, but she's fully capable of blanketing an entire region in snow and ice, driving rain, or thick fog. Naturally the size of this would be limited to a smaller area by the game rules. Another limitation to this is seasonal. It is significantly harder for Saori to generate large swaths of summer weather in the dead of winter, and vice versa with winter in summer. The same applies to hot and cold climates, as the natural state of the area is outside her sphere of influence. In her own world, that would be governed by a totally different god, so it falls outside her purview. She's not going to be freezing a desert or making it rain in a tundra, basically. She's quite creative in her use of these abilities, as during the war it made a great deal of difference in battle.

Supernatural Body: Saori, like all gods, possesses a body that is simply stronger, faster and more durable than that of a mortal being. It's something that came as the result of training under Tesshin and the tutors he brought to her as much as by simply undergoing apotheosis. Not every member of Heaven's family possesses the same gifts, however. They are given something appropriate for their role and domain. In this Saori falls somewhere near the middle of the pack. She doesn't have the raw physical might of a mountain god for instance, but she's significantly tougher than a spirit of fortune.

For her size, she is incredibly strong, easily capable of tearing through stone walls or lifting up cars to throw as missiles. Her body doesn't seem to suffer strain from lifting things heavier than herself, largely due to the spiritual nature of her physical self. This does have limits, as like anyone else routine heavy lifting does tire the body, but her upper lifting limits are just higher than a normal person.

Similarly, Saori's body is a great deal more durable than a mortal one. She can take a serious pounding without any real problem, and her body actively regenerates itself. Cuts heal quickly, bones that were broken set themselves within hours, bruises and minor scrapes vanish all but instantly, and even truly horrific wounds heal much, much faster. She is not, however, capable of reforming herself from major injuries constantly. Doing so takes concentration, a kind of healing trance that she enters, or time spent convalescing. Durability wise, she can take a hit from a demon capable of cracking a mountain without going down, but she relies more on dodging than on tanking hits. Weather, cold, heat, none of that bothers her, and she can survive in any environment without difficulty. She doesn't need to breathe, either, her body being tied to the air as it is.

Her speed and grace is where Saori's physical body really shines. She is as fast as the wind, and moves with a preternatural fluidity clearly drawn from the movements of air around her. That isn't something entirely metaphorical either, as her spiritual body is tied to such things and her responsibilities as a goddess are intrinsically linked to the wind. Her steps are light, her movements are almost liquid, and even on the ground she is incredibly agile. This is not entirely from natural gifts, but also from her martial arts training, and one of the hallmarks of any supernatural martial artist. Running up walls, and performing wire-fu without the wire are the sorts of things her body is conditioned for. She is also capable of flight at similar speeds, though over long distances she will grow tired if she's carrying much of anything beyond clothes, so she generally prefers to walk or take a much slower ride on a drifting cloud.

A final note on the body is her senses. She is able to feel the flow of magic and other natural forces tied to weather. It's a kind of second sight, sensing airflow or the way the wind is shifting, where rain will fall if not bothered with, that sort of thing. The arcane sight is much the same, she can just feel magical or spiritual energy in the air around her.

Anima Abilities/Spellcraft: As a being of magic, Saori is capable of calling on magical energy known by her people as Anima. Anima's primary function is in working spells, but can also be used to enhance or repair the body. It acts as a supplement to her body's natural functions, empowering her in one way or another at the expense of Anima energy. The energy is recovered the same way as any other, through rest, eating, and general relaxation. Activities such as meditation, acupuncture, and the like make that go faster. At it's core, though, Anima is essentially mana. It's the essence of life, and it's used in spellcasting.

In Saori's case, this largely means elemental magic. Like her command over the weather, this is tied directly to her position as a weather spirit. Saori has a masterful degree of control over her Anima magic, and is able to use it in a wide variety of ways. The most obvious application for a storm god is through electricity. She can create it, she can throw it, she can direct it to arc between things, create a cage out of it, or put on a light show with it. The next major school for her is air, and she uses that to create shields and walls to defend herself and allies, move things around, make noise, and send things flying. Also creating air bubbles for people who can't breathe underwater, or blowing away toxic gas. Water comes next, and her abilities there are similar to air. Barriers, snares and snags to slow enemies, primarily. Finally comes the one she isn't so good with. Ice. She's still learning how to use this, as she's had months as opposed to centuries of practice with it. So far she's learned to flashfreeze things or throw out blasts of razor sharp ice crystals/hail. These various elements can all be mixed together to create a variety of effects, as well. Each school can also be used to empower nearby allies, increasing their fighting potential by sheathing their fists or weapons in electricity, allowing them breathe underwater, deflecting or absorbing attacks with water, or creating a shell of razor sharp ice around a fellow combatant's body to punish attackers.

Branching away from elemental magic, Saori is also practiced at using one other sort of magic: Rituals. These are spells that generally require a great deal of work on her part to cast, and a vast expenditure of energy. The most common ritual she knows is a simple blessing. It confers upon the blessed a mark that will allow Saori to easily locate them, and keep them safe from natural lightning. The next is a mark of selection, a greater blessing that acts as a sort of warning for Saori. If a marked individual is hurt or in mortal peril, it will call out to Saori and obligate her to come help them. It's taboo to actively choose to abandon one marked this way, and this could theoretically cause her problems if she offers these willy-nilly. Next would come the ability to bind and command lesser spirits. Saori is able to bottle these up to create enchanted objects like a jar that never runs out of water, or a box that constantly blows out gusts of wind. The effects are limited to whatever kinds of spirits she can find and affix to the object. The final ritual Saori is apt to use in game is something much more major: the Rite of Quicksilver. This is something of a sacred thing for a god, as it involves the removal of memories. Said memories are placed in a vessel, usually a crystal or stone, and stored. The crystals, when touched, can share those thoughts with anyone, so they are usually jealously guarded. Saori is no exception to this, though she is loathe to use the Rite. The rest of the rituals Saori knows are all of only cultural significance, such as the ritual of Gempukku (a coming of age rite performed on nobles), various luck dances and demon-warding chants, and things of that nature. They're basically things that only have meaning to believers from her homeland, or to scholars and cultural anthropologists.

Shapeshifting: This is a fairly minor talent of Saori's, but one worth noting. She has four total forms. The first is her true shape, that of the actual spirit. She never uses this shape save when interacting with her fellows, or as a means of proving her inhuman nature to a doubting thomas. It stands eight feet tall, but confers no real change in her abilities other than height. The next is her human shape, the one she frequents. It's rather plain and ordinary, but it's the most comfortable for her, and for people around her. It is always the same, not useful for disguises at all, as the face is set by her preference. Third is that of a large black crow. That too is rather ordinary, and it hinders her ability to fight, but it's excellent for spying. Finally, she can take the shape of a small white furred dog. This is pretty much an ordinary dog, and it's useful for tracking by scent and getting into places without being obtrusive. Any form retains her physical resilience, but only the human and “true” form are capable of speech, magic, or anything involving hands. Sadly, dogs do not have opposable thumbs.

Divinity: Saori is, as far as her world is concerned, a god. This comes laden with responsibilities but it also has a few benefits. Namely immortality. Saori is functionally immortal, and therefore does not age. She is over four centuries old and retains the majority of her memories, save those removed deliberately. If her body is slain she'll get back up a few hours later, though this is clearly altered by game rules

Skills:

Martial Arts: Saori is an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter with a wide variety of training in a plethora of combat styles. She is a masterful swordfighter and a skilled archer, all talents honed over centuries of practice.

Survivalist: Saori, having learned to hunt as a youth, kept up the practice and eventually got good at it. She's certainly been in the woods before, and she can track or fish well, build a shelter, or light a fire all without much in the way of tools.

Driver: Saori oddly has some skill as a driver. She's worked as a delivery truck driver for some time, and actually enjoys getting behind the wheel, so she's made an attempt to get good at it.

CHARACTER SAMPLES.
First Person POV:
Again please note that the account for the game is [personal profile] silverthreads, and that [personal profile] windandrain is an old one used for a previous game. I'd like to change accounts, and was the anon that asked here. I'd like to make sure this is noted as having had permission. Thank you!
Test Drive Meme Top Level
Saori has a pointed philosophical conversation with Suyumkhe
Saori laughs at Luke Skywalker and then converses


Third Person POV: Driving through some of the more damaged areas of Ehime was always a sobering experience for Saori, her mind vividly reliving the vicious battle that'd taken place there not even a year prior. Overturned cars and burned out hulks that used to be houses pockmarked the landscape alongside lightning-scarred trees and shattered temples. In her mind's eye she could still see Hatsu's cruel smile, lit by a blue-white flash of electricity stabbing out of the sky, she could still feel his hot breath in her face and hear the clash of their swords as they met. Small wonder so few mortals had returned to the area in the wake of what they saw as a violent superstorm, and even less wonder that local priests had decreed the area cursed by Heaven. They weren't wrong, at least completely, but Hell had been the one to despoil the area not Heaven. Foreigners sometimes came through, curious to see what a forsaken landscape looked like firsthand, and she herself went through on some drives when she felt she needed a reminder of what had happened and how surreal the last few years truly had been.

As she passes by what appears to be the remains of a bus-stop, Saori did a doubletake. A young woman stood there there, thumb stuck out in the universal sign for hitchhikers. Curious, she slowed the car to a halt and rolls down the window, peering curiously at the youth. She was dark haired and possessed a dusky complexion, clearly from elsewhere, and was wearing a spotless white business suit. That alone was enough to make her suspicious, given the disrepair of the land, but it's the way she approaches, that almost too happy smile that really sets her on edge.

“Heya!” the stranger says in a cheerful tone, “You got a sec? I'm looking for the Daughter of Wind and Rain. You wouldn't happen to be able to point me her way, would you?”

That name. Saori's eyes hardened into a flinty glare. Few outside her immediate family should know that name, and the list of outsiders she'd told numbered less than four. Her hands clenched on the wheel, leather creaking under the woman's sparkling gaze. The tension in her body was more than enough to give her away, she was certain of that. Who was this woman? What in the Stars name could she want? And how was she so bold?

“Or...I guess I've found her, huh?” the brunette smirked, tapping her chin and opening the car door as if she'd been invited. Saori growled at the uninvited intrusion, but the other woman tsked. “Temper, temper. I just want to make you an offer dear. And I think it's in your best interests to hear me out.”

Fists balled, the goddess switched off the car and shifted to a more guarded position, ready to spring if this was anything more than a talk. “Explain, then. Your offer and a reason I should not break your neck for knowing my name here and now.”

“Such harsh words for a potential friend, dear Saori. My offer is very simple. I know you're restless after the war, and I know how hard you and yours fought to keep this world safe. And I know that you'd do anything to eliminate further threats to your Earth.” She held up a hand, forestalling a question that was already about to jump out of Saori's mouth. “And I happen to work for an organization that could give you both adventure and guarantee the safety of your world.”

“And what organization is that, miss?” the myojin answered, lip curling upwards in irritation. “I know of no mortal group that could do what my family could not. And Hell is dealt with, we're in no danger.”

The woman leaned forward, her face coming uncomfortably close. Her skin rippled slightly, “My name is Ninlil, dear girl, not miss. And the organization I represent, The CDC, is both the salvation and the danger. My offer is this: come with me, work for us, and your world will be left in peace. We'll reward you with whatever your heart may desire. Trinkets have little value to one of your kind, I am ware, but more power? The capacity to bring change to your world? To make things grow, cleanse the taint, make things better for your family...” The woman's eyes flickered up to meet Saori's, her smile growing sympathetic. “For your wife, too.”

Saori jerked back as if struck, her pensive expression returning to it's earlier anger. Her marriage too, had been carried out in secret, and no mortal should know of it. But there was something off about this, all of it. No one should be so confident, so assured. “And if I refuse?”

The woman's look didn't change a bit, though her hand extended, palm up. A small image of the earth, an illusion formed of wind and sand appeared there, spinning. And then it began to burn. Smoke curled up from that globe. “The CDC will just have to pay you a visit. And if you thought Hell was a bad enemy to have, sweetie...you've got no idea what'll come. Say yes, for Yuuna's sake if nothing else. Surely you don't want to see us destroy what you guys have left. I mean, we'll do it, but I'd rather not. ”

Growling again, the goddess leaned back, away from the rapidly vanishing illusion. “What would I be doing, then? And why should I not kill you, right here and now.”

“Oh, all you'd be doing is helping us clear out other planets. Nothing too different from the war, just...not a war on your own turf. Lots of danger, plenty of nice people, and like I said before, we won't come start trouble. And, as for the why? Well, I wish you wouldn't. It wouldn't do you much good, either way. We'll still come, and then I'd be dead and your planet would be dead and that gets neither of us anywhere does it?”

The last bit washed over Saori like it was nothing, she rationally understood the consequences of what might happen, especially if this woman was telling the truth. Murder would accomplish nothing. It was the first part that got the gears turning in her head. Destroying worlds and fighting wars for rewards and her world's safety? It was not something she'd considered moral, but if the woman was being forthright, then what choice did she really have? She knew what her relatives would say, she knew what Yuuna would say, and she knew...deep down...that she did want to gain new experiences. And she would learn, while she was there. If she found this woman's claims false, then she'd simply kill her and be done with it, and if she wasn't then Saori would be learning about this new threat and how to deal with it.

Stubbornly, she stuck out her jaw and replied, “You'll let me tell my wife I'm leaving, yes?”

Ninlil nodded, her smile no less genuine than it had been. “Absolutely. I'll pick you up at nine tomorrow, let's say. That should be plenty of time, right?”

Nodding, Saori closed her eyes and turned back to the road. The key clicked in the ignition, and as the car started up she had the uncomfortable sensation that she'd just done something very, very foolish.

“Tomorrow, then.”

And with that, the stranger vanished, leaving Saori alone and uncertain. What had she just agreed to? What would come of all this? Ugh...too much to go over, and lots to prepare...

CHARACTER ITEMS.
Pick a Team: The two teams I feel would work best for Saori are Green and Blue. Green as she's definitely capable of joining in an assault situation. She's a skilled combatant, with the abilities to succeed in nearly any role on the battlefield. I feel Blue would also work as she is fully capable of performing a variety of logistics and coordination roles. She has an understanding of tactics, a commanding presence, and unique abilities to help nearby allies. Moreover, she can fly, has inhuman senses, and has experience in using those roles to complete missions. She's also capable of being disruptive, using her control of the weather to aid allies or hinder her enemies, and she has performed this role well during the war on her homeworld.

Reason for Joining the CDC: Saori's reasons for joining the CDC are threefold. First and foremost, she wants to protect and repair her home. Her responsibilities to her world, her family, and her wife are paramount to her and if by working for the CDC for a while ensures their safety then that's a burden she's willing to bear. Secondly, a reason tied to the first. The CDC is an unknown quantity to her people. She wants to learn more about them, she wants to learn how they operate, and she wants to learn strategies to stop them if they were to decide to add her version of Earth to the list. She's always been the curious sort, after all, and it's a reasonable strategy. She has, after all, acted as an investigator before (with America). Finally, the selfish reason: Saori craves the excitement she'd come to know during the war with Hell. Yes it was terrifying, and yes it was dangerous, but it was a rush she'd never had before. It showed her a whole new way of doing and thinking, and pushed her views of perfection in a different direction. Joining the CDC would give her a chance to grow more perfect, to learn and hone the skills she'd gained even more, and in doing so fulfill her duty to hearth and home.

Mission Freebie: The power to purify objects, people, and the land around her of taint, magical or otherwise. She desires so to cleanse areas of her world that have been despoiled by demons.

Personal Item or Weapon: Her personal sword, a tsurugi named Cloudshifter. The only magical properties it possesses are that it remains incredibly sharp without the need for honing, and if it is ever broken, simply holding the pieces together will reform the blade as good as new.

Character Inventory:
A wallet with a driver's license and a photograph of her wife and several family members, a single gold coin, and a library card. And a small silver locket containing a shard of her soul's mirror and a lock of Yuuna's hair. Finally, six small silver wires that she braids into her hair
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木村沙織

August 2015

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