Player: Mindy G
Character Name: Tomoe Oda
Alias/Nickname: 'Yūrei', 'Ghost, The', 'The, Wanderer'
Age/Date of Birth: 52 / 12th day of Snowbound, 3067 ADW
Apparent Age: 25-30
Hair Color/Style: A pale, mother-of-pearl to platinum white in colour, the Yūrei 's hair frames her features in a wild mane. Long, uneven and thick lengths frame her features in dishevelled strands while the majority of its mass is gathered high at the back of her brown to spill in an unruly, spreading halo. The longest sections reach mid-back, however there are two rope-like, long plaits which extends from the nape under the main mane of her hair. These braids fall almost her entire height, swaying and dancing around her ankles. They are secured at the ends by sinew ties and wrapped layers of blue cloth. Both have bou tassels attached to the ties.
Eyes: At first glance her eyes may be called simply blue, but the iris is in fact a mix of azure and violet flecks. (Very similar in appearance to a Siamese or Ragdoll cat). Like all Kojintora there is no white to the eye, with the vibrant blue iris extending across the entire visible surface. The pupil is slitted and can shift to a thin line that is almost non-existent or an inky oval. In instances of direct light hitting her eyes in darkness, the pupils will also glow a pale pinkish-red, revealing her night vision.
Marks/Scars/Tattoos: Her pelt is thick enough to disguise any minor scarring upon the skin beneath. Only small nicks and scratches from an active lifestyle and physical training can be found if one looks for these marks. The most notable mark on her body is hidden by robes however: a diagonal, raised scar down her left arm, beginning where her bicep meets the shoulder and carrying slightly diagonally into the armpit at the back of the limb, standing out from her fine pelt. Reaching almost to the edge of the shoulder blade on her back, it continues in an upward slant around the outside of the arm and stops short of the arm pit. Its length is hidden by her robe sleeve and accessories. The cut almost crippled her left arm completely.
Physical Appearance: In the prime of her racial age group, this Kojintora is strong and lean. Her feline traits resembles those more closely with a lion, covering her in creamy white fur with no markings and a long tail tipped with a long tuft. She possesses sleek muscle definition especially in the abdomen, biceps and thighs from a highly physical lifestyle and ritualistic training, accentuating what might otherwise be a slightly lanky frame due to her height. Her facial features are long, set into an oval-shaped face with a subtle jaw-line, and bearing thin, mocha brown lips. Her cheekbones are very high and pronounced, seemingly more so by the acute almond-shape of her eyes. Her nose is wide and straight, undeniably feline with no bridge, slanting directly down from between the brows. It is tipped in a caramel-dusky nose pad. Although she could not be said to possess real eyebrows, the hair on her face is a little thicker along the brow bones.
Carried Possessions: -A small rosary of polished, grey stones known as 'mala' or 'prayer beads'. These are always tucked in between the layers of her obi (sashes).
-Attached to her belt at the base of her spine, half hidden under the sashes knotted there is a small satchel pouch the size of a hand. This contains the very bare essentials such as flint stones, some sprigs of herbs and other day to day trinkets. She rarely carries ryn.
Clothing and Armor: From head to toe, the Yūrei wears many shades of blue which dominate her robes. The sash which gathers back some of her mane is a pale powder blue satin, while her forearms are wrapped in lengths of the same fabric.
Beneath these bindings are individual robe sleeves of blue-grey colour and embroided with faintly iridescent vines along their length to match the flower designs on the lower half of her clothing. These sleeves are not attached and are merely tied in a criss-crossing fashion across her collar bone with pale blue hemming. Under the lengths of satin wrapped over her forearms are other layers of charcoal and gold cloth. Silver beads wrap her right wrist while a heavy leather guard covers the back of the left hand. Bou tassels, hessian in colour, hang from this wrist.
Her breasts are covered only by a black bikini-like garment and in front of her right shoulder a silver medallion engraved with Migotian script. Three long plaques hang from this to her ribs, also engraved with the foreign hand.
Her defined torso if left bare to above the navel where many layers of obi are wrapped around her waist. A thick, cushioned layer of midnight blue printed with tiny white flowers and hemmed with pale gold lays against her skin, a turquoise blue sash loosely tied around this and the lengths left to flutter among her garments, with a white sash securing it all over the top. A sturdy leather belt rests upon her hips, with a another clipped onto this front and back, hanging down her left thigh. The second belt is more decorative, embossed with silver blossoms and hung with a cluster of leather pieces. Even more bou tassels hang around her hips upon hessian cords.
Long lengths of the same fabric which forms her sleeves fall in a long kimono dress, with a narrow pleat in the front and a larger section draped from the back, her tail protruding through the slack over the top. This kimono is embroided with the same iridescent silk in violets and blues with the design of sprays of flowers and scrolling vines travelling up its length.
Her legs are left bare, with an oddly non-matching length of leather sashing tied above the knee of her right leg.
Below the knee loose and flowing spats secured with a leather guard at the upper and buttoned down the outer side cover her to the toes. They are hemmed with more pale blue satin but have no embroidery upon them like the kimono. Underneath, her wide, padded and paw-like feet wear leather sandals with no sole.
Weapons: Yūrei does not use weaponry, however she is capable with the bō staff if needed. Her primary weapon is her own body, trained in precise and acrobatic styles of martial arts/ hand-to-hand combat.
The racial weapons of claws on both hands and feet are also used during combat, making her strikes twice as damaging as they can slice open flesh very easily.
Likes: Fresh snow, the nights of Fairyeve, watching the leaves change during fall months, rice wine, fishing, listening to folktales and legends. Quiet and peaceful environments, mountains, the feel of silk fabric against her fur. Reason and patience are two virtues she admires in others as well as the ability to resolve conflict without unnecessary violence. Milky broths and cooked fish are her favourite dishes. She has a soft and mothering fondness for children. Cats are always welcomed in her presence. Like some felines, she has a fascination with trickling water and will sometimes choose to rest in rock pools.
Dislikes: Ignorance of her race and being considered unintelligent/savage/primitive. Strong spices, sweet food, green vegetables. Dishonourable methods, lying. Unruly, loud and chaotic locations such as markets. Hot or humid climates. Deep bodies of still water or oceans, consequentially she not fond of boats as a result. Will avoid potatoes vehemently. Brash people who use their fists as their first answer disappoint her. She will hiss at any dogs who come too close.
Merits: Fiercely loyal, tenacious, calm. Always keeps her word. Holds honour in high regard. Agile, swift and flexible (excluding left arm). Good climber.
Flaws: Cannot swim. Underlying prejudice, stubborn, foreign, obsessed with getting her children back, unarmed, limited strike range, little to no armour, vulnerable to magic, weakened and stiff left arm (due to injury).
Worst Fear: The dread of failing due to weakness, both physically (which has much to do with her injured arm) and mentally plagues Yūrei almost every day. While she fights to keep this atychiphobia under control with meditation and willpower it will surface often and damage both her self-confidence and her resolve. As a knee-jerk reaction she can become extremely restless, agitated or make impulsive reckless decisions to try and remedy this.
Never finding her sons or that they will perish before she can save them.
While unafraid of humans in small numbers (five- ten people), she becomes highly anxious in crowds, assaulted by agoraphobia, feeling surrounded and as a result will not dare venture into the midst of busy areas such as marketplaces or streets.
Personality: The Yūrei is an outwardly strong, quiet and enigmatic creature, speaking not a word and seeming to project an ominous, sorrowful resolution. This hardened being is not the face which she always wore; among her family and tribe, this Kojintora was known for her patience and contemplative qualities, her compassion. This caring and introspective side is now hidden and poisoned by the pain which has seeped into her, breeding instead a deep-seeded desire for revenge which she struggles to keep in check. This demeanour seen now is a personality shaped by repression, brutality and necessity to survive, incredibly tenacious when needed. There are many flaws which she now struggles to suppress, including a rage born from being separated from her sons which simmers under the surface of her stoic facade, erupting with little warning on occasion. When the violence has passed and blood has been split, she is always inflicted with guilt over her lack of control and will often retreat further behind her taciturn behaviour then before. Afflicted with shame over her anger she will often meditate for hours to reign the hot temper back into its cage. Only memories inspire her to try and maintain some traces of who she was, afraid that her fury and vendetta will one day hollow her into nothing more then a shadow of those who destroyed her life. In the quiet and the silence she will remember her sons and know that not only is she fighting to be reunited with them, but that she must not destroy who she is to do so...
History: A tribeless mother determined to find her lost cubs...
Born the first daughter in five generations of her bloodline, the white Kojintora Tomoe of the Oda clan had one elder brother, Hatori, whom she adored and respected as a mentor. Growing up within the tribe who populated the small village on the central bank between two rivers which wound their way through a forested canyon in the north of the Migoto continent, her home was called 'Juntairu-Ai', literally meaning 'Twin Rivers'. Protected by the high stone walls from both attack and the worst of the elements, their shallow ford was fertile with fish, fed by spring waters melted from higher up in the slopes. The Oda clan were largely isolated and unknown to the rest of the world, hunters and fishermen who had survived in their hidden village for centuries.
Raised in accordance to Kojintora society tradition, Tomoe was chosen a husband at a young age, a very eligible hunter's son Uzumi. As a wife, she attracted marriage propositions from many parents for their sons, prized for her unusual, snowy fur, the first to be born with the trait for many years in the clan of mostly mottled greys. As she grew, both her father and her brother trained her in basic martial arts and the values of a monk as well as survival skills, while learning cooking and basic domestic tasks from her grandparents. As a child she wanted nothing more then to be as graceful as Hatori when she watched him practise his silent katas.
Tomoe grew into an independent young woman, capable in both battle and as a member of the tribe. When she reached the age of forty, she was married to Uzumi and was genuinely happy in the union. Having grown up with the warrior as a childhood friend, she had fallen in love with him even before their marriage and it was not long until their first child was born.
Tomoe gave birth to a son the spring thaw after their marriage, another rare snow-white and strong child they called 'Akira', meaning, 'bright'. The following year saw a pale grey and dappled liver brown male cub born to them, 'Yuu' or 'gentle'.
Uzumi was considering taking the advice of his father and undertaking the Council's trial for a place among them to oversee the tribes. As a strong and respected hunter and now a father, he was looked up to by many in the clan.
The Oda's quiet and introverted lifestyle was interrupted the next winter however, when a group of armed men from the north western world wandered into their canyon, seeking shelter from the snow season. Dressed in ragtag leather and fine clothes, they were mercenaries and brigands hailing from Niprestra, a small regiment of fifty men who called themselves the 'Crow Eaters'. Under the leadership of the Warrior Arkady Vashingo and an old Sorceress known only as the Hag, they had fled bounty hunters in their home land and sailed south, stumbling upon Migoto and the eastern coast.
The Council were wary, especially of the old Magi among the group, but not completely unsympathetic. The Oda had little contact with even the native Migotians, although they trusted them as little as all Kojintora do. The Oda allowed them to camp further down the western river bank from their village and stay until the narrow pass to the rest of the island cleared and they could move on. After all, the Oda had been hidden so long they had never had to fear raiders and there were few among the clan who remembered the last human to discover the village...
The first problems arose when the men started to ask for more fish from the Kojintora's stores and when the Council ruler, Aranaki, tried to explain that these things had to be carefully rationed to assure that neither side went hungry, Vashingo accused the village of keeping food for themselves while starving the Humans. To avoid violence, Aranaki gave the last of the dried fish from the smoking hut to the men; now the Oda would likely be lean for the winter months, but they were outnumbered by the group. Soon the 'requests' became more demanding, such as the use of their houses when the men's tents strangely went missing, meaning the Humans now had a foothold in the huts on the outer edges of the island bank, bringing them closer amongst the Kojintora than many felt comfortable with.
Finally, Vashingo tired of the arrangement and made the decision that the villagers had reached the end of their usefulness. The Oda's tolerance was beginning to sour towards the guests, the Hag had sensed and if they left it any longer the non-humans might have a chance to prepare for defence. The Crow-Eaters had decided the canyon would be the perfect strategic point for basing their camp in Migoto, allowing them to hide from any bounty hunters who had followed them this far. Its occupants were only standing in the way. So giving promise of whatever they wanted from the village, Vashingo gave the order to wait until nightfall and then attack. The rule was simple: leave no 'flea-ridden cat' alive.
In the dead of night the bedlam erupted. The council's houses and temple was set ablaze with the leaders and the monks still inside and the brigands who had watched the tribe for months wasted no time in attacking the homes of those warriors they had deemed the most threatening. It was an efficient extermination which happened in minutes. Tomoe's escaped the temple, only through the sacrifice of her dying brother Hatori and her first instinct was naturally to protect her children. She did not know where Uzumi was in the chaos, but Tomoe gathered as many children as she could, including her sons, herding them across the ford and up the side of the canyon, to escape to the alpine forests above.
They were pursued as a few men spotted the fleeing group and broke away to chase them down. Tomoe forced the youths to run ahead of her, further from the village and through the snow, into the woods. When she thought they had escaped far enough, she pushed the children into the hollow of an old tree, under a snow drift and told them to keep quiet while she led the Humans away. Akira, a monk in training himself, wanted to fight with her while Yuu cried for his mother not to go. Tomoe kissed them and whispered: "I will come back to you, I swear it..."
Unfortunately, the mercenaries split up, some following her obvious trail and others beginning to rip the forest apart dangerously close to the precious hiding place. Desperate, Tomoe managed to double back on the men pursuing her, rushing them from behind and with the element of surprise, finishing them off.
She ran with all her strength back to the children, only to burst into the clearing to find corpses. Frantically she searched the dead children, finding some had tried to fight, but most of the dozen cubs were missing. Finding a dying girl she was told that the Humans had taken them for slaves.
In a rage and afraid for her sons, Tomoe raced after the brigands for rescue the children. However this second group was greater than the small splinter who had chased her before and although outnumbered three to one, she seemed oblivious to all pain, shrugging off superficial wounds. She fought like a wild animal, shouting for her sons the entire time, but their numbers defeated her. She was cleaved through the left arm by a swinging strike from behind, nearly severing the bone, blood loss forcing her to drop. Finally, she felt her head pulled back by her mane and a cold blade pressed to her neck: Tomoe passed out, thinking her throat had been slit and she was dead...
When the monk awoke she was surprising alive: Vashingo had decided to keep her as his personal pet, staying his man's hand at the last minute. The Hag warned him he should kill the animal and promised if he let her live she would be the death of him. Vashingo laughed and told her if the Kojintora gave him any trouble he would hand her over to his men as a plaything before letting them finish the job...
Tomoe had been brought back to the ruins of the Oda village and was kept in Vashingo's own hut, one of the few Kojintora which survived the massacre. Only herself and two other females had been kept as personal slaves for the riffraff. She witnessed the bodies of her husband, her mother and father piled onto bonfires or thrown into holes in the river's ice. Listened to the jeers of the mercenaries talk of how effortlessly they had taken the canyon as their own and searched for any sign of the children...
Eventually one of the other females told her she had overheard talk that the children were taken North, to a land called Auraton, to be sold. It was then Tomoe swore she would follow them and find the children, quietly conspiring with the other two, Hinata and Akemi, to escape.
In the third week, when the swelling subsided and the risk of infection passed, Tomoe could move her arm enough to flex and arrange her fingers through the memory patterns of her katas. It was a small victory, but one which spurred her to make her move. The same night, Vashingo returned from the campfire to the house, drunk on rice wine taken from their stores. The way he looked at her told Tomoe what he planned to do even before he attacked her. She used it to her advantage: over the previous weeks, she had been disguising the extent of her ability to move from the humans and now Vashingo sorely underestimated her. Gritting her teeth against the pain, the Kojintora used the chain tethering her to the house's support beam to lift herself, snapping her powerful legs around the drunken man's neck and snapping it before he could scream for help.
She took the keys to her chains from the corpse and waited in the dark hut until the other men outside fell asleep, drunk and with full bellies and the fire died down to glowing embers, early into the morning. Releasing her fellow Kojintora, she fled the village ruins into the canyon forest with Akemi and Hinata.
They could have simply left then and there, escaped and fled north, but Hinata was full of hatred and a desire to make the Humans suffer for the death of her own children...
She begged Tomoe and Akemi to stay and help her send the northern devils to Hell for their sins...
Tomoe finally agreed, the answering anger still fresh in her own heart convinced her to avenge her people...
Using careful tactics they had plotted during her restraint, the three Kojintora snuck into the village over the following nights, stole their food supply, furs and flint stones, salted their drinking water to leave them only rice wine and prowled the edges of the tree line during nights, just out of shot of the archer's bows, making enough noise to keep everyone paranoid and to make certain that no one got any sleep. They picked off lone sentries or any man who ventured too far from the cover of the huts and in six days she had reduced the surviving twenty-four men to twelve. Tired, cold, hungry and jumping at shadows, they were no match for the furious Kojintora who attacked them around the last campfire.
Hinata was careless in her fury and died in the battle as she was pierced with a sword through the back, splitting her heart. A wounded Akemi held her as she died while Tomoe advanced on the last survivor: the Hag
The Hag had laughed as the Crow-Eaters died at the white Kojintora's hands, cackling that she had warned Vashingo. While the old Sorceress revelled in her madness, the Kojintora stood over her. As Tomoe reached for her, the Hag spat a curse upon her and fell back, impaling herself upon a fallen man's sword and ending her own life...
Akemi and Tomoe stayed there at the village; Akemi was bleeding slowly from an embedded arrow and was too weak, thus it was left to Tomoe alone to bury what remains of their people that could be found and mark small stone altars for the souls that could not with loving sorrow. Hinata was buried with one of her daughters. In contrast, she dragged every last Human to the river and sent their bodies downstream, cursing their names and warning their spirits to never return to the canyon.
Now Tomoe knew what she must do. She travelled with Akemi as far as the coast of Norgar where the two Migotian Kojintora were forced to part ways. Akemi knew she was dying-- the arrow wound had become badly infected and it would only be a matter of time until she perished. Not wishing to slow Tomoe down, the fellow Kojintora Monk requested that the white mother go on and leave her in the marshlands just beyond Norgar. Akemi blessed her and said she had faith that Tomoe would find the children...
In the new world, no longer part of a clan and alone, Tomoe was an outsider. She learned quickly and the hard way who to trust in the Northern world. News of a strange Kojintora from the Migoto continent searching relentlessly, night and day without rest, for her lost children soon became a tragic story told around local fireplaces in Valspar. The tale changed as it made its way to Beldomin and beyond, soon small hamlets were aware of the ghost-like figure before she even made her way into their midst.
The local urban story earned the traveller a few names, the most common becoming that of 'the Ghost': many who saw her said her pale eyes, white colouring and quiet solemness reminded them of a sad spirit wandering from the grave.
Soon Tomoe let the moniker precede her. She began to use her native word for the alias, 'Yūrei' and no longer bothered to inform others of her true name. As the weeks turned into months and her search led her to many disappointing and heart-breaking dead ends, more and more of the once gentle Monk began to shed away...