Ryoko Saotome - the Blood Moe - Fictional Character
Ryoko is a very polite girl almost always smiling and wearing a pair of glasses. She is painfully formal and has a bad habit of letting people walk all over her in social circumstances. Despite her smile, she is almost always a nervous wreck and fear of one type or another is usually her dominant emotion. She will stand up and refuse to back down for family or friends, but has little to no sense of self-worth. Unlike most people in the world around her, she considers seppuku (ritual suicidie) to be an appropriate response to certain levels of behavior and is terrified of making a mistake that would require it.
The girl does experience moments of happiness, or at least appears to, especially for someone else's benefit (to congratulate someone on an accomplishment, for example) but she only really experiences joy while she is practicing martial arts or sparring someone, especially someone capable of challenging her. She carries around a bokken (wooden sword), but her primary martial instructor was her father, who specialized in unarmed arts. As such, Ryoko is actually less dangerous when using her bokken since she doesn't know how to use it properly, something anybody that manages to disarm her discovers to their woe. She is a devious tactician that enjoys sparring and "friendly" battles in and of themselves.
One distinctive "technique" of hers is actually a dangerously flawed and outlawed experimental technique from ancient days that dealt with trying to convert negative emotions into raw, usable energy. The technique was never perfected and it tends to create dangerous, berserkers whose lives are dominated by the emotion they focused on. In Ryoko's case, it is the Kishu Osore ("Kishu" - "Rider" and "Osore" - "Fear"...implication "Fear Rider", probably bad Japanese, but I like the sound of it). Fear never really inhibits her tactical thinking and no matter how scared she gets, she loses no skill in the application of her martial arts. However there are two problems with this technique. The first is that at her low level of mastery of this flawed technique, she experiences tunnel vision and becomes unable to consider people other than the source of her terror. The second is that she has no idea how to use the energy the technique produces, causing it to erupt from her skin like sickly orange and purple fire, causing horrific burns to people she fights (it sears their spirit) and also slowly burning her own body as well.
Unlike many other Kishu Osore, she fixates on threats to her family and friends rather than herself. If she were the more common self-centered Kishu Osore, she'd likely have become a raging paranoid berserk monster years ago. As it stands, she is more frequently falling into the Kishu Osore and the flames are getting more intense, fortunately she has finally been told the nature of the technique, but she has a time limit to perfect and master it before it consumes her.
Ryoko's problems relate back to her parents. Her father was a fool with weak ethics but tremendous martial talent who taught her a poorly researched martial technique more or less just to see what would happen. Her mother, on the other hand, is an emotionally abusive woman who hung the threat of seppuku over Ryoko's head for years (with the implication that her younger sister would then take on all of Ryoko's duties). Ryoko finds it almost impossible to disobey her mother, though she does subconsciously undercut her parents' influence over her younger sister, and shelter the sister as much as possible.
Ryoko's story would start shortly after she and her sister are accidentally abandoned by their father when an attempt to steal martial secrets from a highly respected city of warriors goes wrong. Ryoko would be eight or ten at this point and her younger sister would be six or eight. Much of the damage discussed above has already been done to Ryoko and even six years later, she is slow to recover completely.
Currently Ryoko exists in a fanfic which exists for the purpose of developing her story, but I haven't played with it in years and I don't have time to add another major story to the list I already have of original fictions. However, I think it possible that Ryoko could be a human resident of the multitude of small dimensional shards in Earth's cosmology in the Divine Blood setting.
Acacia Liuzhi - A Beautiful Death - Game CharacterAcacia's mother was a paranaturalist that was obsessed with finding a real supernatural entity. She succeeded in catching the attention of Yanluo, one of the Yama Kings of Chinese Mythology. A child resulted from the meeting. However, simply having proof of the existence of supernatural things was not enough for Acacia's mother and the woman became obssessed with acquiring power and growing jealous of her daughter who possessed divine heritage. Acacia's mother disappeared on her 18th birthday.
Acacia eventually grows up to be a serene and graceful young woman, eternally young, actually though she's not old enough that anybody has noticed that she stopped aging. She is a psychiatrist and grief counselor and also deals with survivor's guilt as well as soldiers coming off the battlefield. Besides that, she often does work for her father in exorcising ghosts and dealing curses or rogue specters. With the Titanwar going on, Acacia is usually very busy.
This scion of Yanluo has a particular view on life and death that is bound up in her perspective on beauty. To her, something is beautiful when it is useful or purposeful. A person who has had led a beautiful life has contributed to or protected their family, friends, community, country and world. She does not consider treating yourself to the occasional luxury to be a sin, but considers it an ugly life to pursue things only for yourself. Her view on deaths follows this likewise, a man who lived a useless, ugly life and dies in protecting a child at least had a beautiful death while the hero who achieved so many great things but dies trying to flee from battle and abandoning his friends has suffered a disappointly ugly death. Death does not give her fear, she is aware that ghosts continue on and still have the ability to serve and add to the world around them, and may eventually be promoted to demon or even god later.
Acacia is served by a former ghost of high esteem, promoted to a divine spirit due to her actions in life and in death in helping organize the paperwork and business of Yanluo. She also has access to a spider demon for defense, another former ghost who was promoted to be responisble for punishing the ghosts corrupt government officials. In addition to this, she has a small group of human followers including her secretary, a lawyer and a private investigator who know about her nature to greater or lesser degrees. She is well on the path to becoming the Goddess of Beautiful Death.
Unbeknownst to Acacia, her human mother made a deal with the Titans and is now an undead entity that thrives on the blood of the living.
Sa - Survivor of a Serial Killer Academy - Game Character
Four is a number connected with death in Asia because it is a homophone for one of the words meaning death. Sa is the number four in Korean. Sa is not this character's real name, of course, but this young woman was one of several children that were identified as "potential sociopaths" and later kidnapped by an aging serial killer who wished to leave behind a legacy in the form of a protege.
Sa's elder sister was also taken, but soon died in an attempt to escape and get help. For most of her childhood, Sa had to survive through the classes and tests as well as the attempts by other students to kill each other. Those attempted (and successful) murders grew with each year as the students became more and more mired in their kidnapper's world view. Sa, however, managed to survive every attempt and respond by slaying her attackers. Somehow the fact that she never actually hunted anyone was something she kept hidden from their "mentor." Once the few remaining other children who resisted the teaching had been killed (attempting to escape or by one of the tests), Sa began planning her own "escape." One key difference between her escape and that every other attempt was that she made killing all the other students and the teacher the first step.
Once she escaped into the world, she began to wander from town to town and do odd jobs for money and survival. Her danger instincts kept her on edge, but she never fell to the desire to kill people. Due to being on the fringe of society she was often targeted by people that thought she made vulnerable prey. These died in the same way as anybody else that threatened her.
Sa hallucinates that her sister's ghost appears. Paradoxically, she knows the hallucination is a hallucination, it has even confirmed that itself, but it still does not go away. The ghost appears the age of her sister at the time of death and never says anything, however, it grows bloodier when there is danger around, a visual manifestation of her own awareness of threats. Sa thinks that the ghost, her conscience maybe, does not approve of her refusal to completely rejoin society, but Sa herself is afraid that some bit of training she's not aware of exists that will eventually turn her into a monster.
Sa is a different variation of the Heigou character which will be described later, who herself is a variation of the Karasu character. The Karasu character eventually became the raven girl "Acacia" in my Zodiacs campaign setting, so she won't appear on this list.
Kiyone Harnen - Amaterasu's Eclipse - Game Character
Kiyone is the biological daughter of Benten, the Japanese Goddess of Beauty and Fortune, and an American Marine. She has a beautiful mix of African and Japanese features with one feature that is alien to both ethnicities: gloriously golden hair. However, as far as Fate is concerned, Kiyone is the daughter of Amaterasu.
Raised by her father, Kiyone eventually became a US Marine herself and was responsible for teaching the MCMAP techniques to other marines. Benten kept a close eye, but never revealed herself. She managed to prevent the Titanwar from touching this daughter, though as war in the mortal world rose up, Kiyone started to aim for a battlefield assignment. In response to this, Benten arranged to ruin her daughter's military career by inducing a night of highly publicized debauchery that was firmly out of Kiyone's character. In truth, Kiyone's goddess induced debauch was fairly mild compared to what a lot of other soldiers got up to, but her position made it more interesting to the public. One of the women up for a controversial combat posting and she gets caught in a night of bisexual shenanigans? The press was all over it.
Faced with a dead end career, Kiyone left the marines and ended up in Japan advising movie makers and acting as a stunt trainer. Then she moved up to doing stunts on camera. Eventually, her beautiful and exotic nature combined with her martial upbringing put her on the screen as an actor. She started out as a named villain of the noble demon variety in a series of movies, but her character grew popular and she eventually was moved to her own set of movies and her character now acting as a hero rather than a villain.
Amaterasu discovered Kiyone's existence almost by accident. She was confused as to way Benten had not visited her daughter yet and made a visit to the other goddess to suggest that she do so. Benten politely declined. Amaterasu ordered her to visit her daughter. Benten refused. Amaterasu suggested that she herself might take up responsibility as Kiyone's divine parent and Benten refused to give up her parentage before Fate. Amaterasu threatened punishment on Benten, but Benten still refused. Amaterasu pushed the matter until Benten declared that she would never visit Kiyone and draw her into the war...a declaration which Fate took to be a renouncing of the relationship. Amaterasu immediately took up the thread that Benten had just dropped and arranged for Kiyone to be visited. Benten could do nothing but realize she had been tricked and watch her daughter drafted into the war.
Amaterasu's feelings toward Kiyone are in question. Even Kiyone herself is not certain whether the Goddess sees Kiyone as a useful tool and soldier, or whether she really sees her as a daughter. Certainly, she has rarely deigned to even speak to Kiyone, but that is hardly surprising given most of her children suffer similar lack of attention. What Kiyone does get from Amaterasu is heavy amounts of duty and assignments, many assignments.
Kiyone's tasks in the Titanwar are two-fold. On the movie screen, she acts as a propaganda figure that Amaterasu uses to spread acceptance and assimilation of Japanese culture to individuals outside Japanese ethnicity. This builds Legend which builds the power of the Amatsukami, which aids in the battle against the Titans. More directly, Kiyone is assigned to investigate and eliminate titanspawn and titan cultists.
The epitaph "Amaterasu's Eclipse" comes from the visual nature of her coloration: golden hair and eyes around dark, nearly black skin. This is accentuated by her gear, all relics built based on the image she has in Japanese movies. Yellow coat surrounding black clothes. Currently the meaning can also be found in the fact that if Kiyone has appeared it might mean that Amaterasu has turned her face from you and decided to punish your sins by sending her "daughter". However, Benten warns that if Amaterasu does not treat her as appropriate for a mother to a daughter, that she may yet find that there is another meaning to Amaterasu's Eclipse.
Naomi Silver - Dislikes Mass Produced Things - Fictional Character
Naomi Silver is a consultant, business analyst or private investigator, however you want to label it. She herself doesn't limit herself to particular labels. Some of Naomi's clients come to her of their own accord, usually with tasks she's not particularly interested in but which pay enough to satisfy her. However, a number of Naomi's clients come to her because, whether they know it or not, she decided they should come to her. And some of Naomi's clients never realize they were her client at all. For these, she deals in information.
For example, a union boss comes to ask her, bribe her or maybe threaten her to say how she plans to advise a major shipping company as regards whether they should establish a presence in the local docks or not. Instead he finds himself facing someone who seems to know every little detail about his life, down to the way he likes his coffee, the name of the FBI agent he's acting as an informant for and many other things besides. Then she offers him a solution to the problem most forefront in his mind if he give her two pieces of information. The first relating to the interior design of a particular Chinese ship and the second any one piece of information which no one but him knows about.
Naomi deals in small pieces of information. Things that one person considers unimportant and incidental while someone else considers an intimate detail of their lives. She quite easily manages to pick out things about people that they rarely think about as important but which seem dreadfully important when a stranger knows them out of the blue. It leaves people unbalanced and unready to deal with her, and in that state they reveal all sorts of details. It is hard to tell when she is investigating you, because she doesn't question the normal types of people and the questions she asks seem so unimportant. She learns about the way a person likes their coffee from a barista during a conversation that the barista takes to be about something else entirely and then uses that to intimidate someone with her intimate knowledge.
Quite often, if you find yourself in front of Naomi Silver's door, it is because she wants you to be there.
However, there are some mysteries she has difficulty with, such as her own origins. She can't remember much of her life before the age of 12, when she was living in orphanages, group homes and foster homes. She is well aware that it is not normal to be missing so much of her memory, and she hopes to fill in those holes eventually.
Winter Ogawa - Patient Zero - Fictional Character
Winter is a stage 3 sphinx and stage 2 vampire. She is also an EPA agent in the magical disasters department. Winter was at ground zero for the outbreak of the Pandora Pox before it changed 10% of the world's women into beautiful, supernatural heroines. Originally, the basis of the pox was a minor potion that induced personality shifts and minor appearance chances in women that drank it. It was a rather manipulative and unethical way for a certain movie studio to produce starlets geared specifically for certain genres of movies. Add in some chaos that resulted in messing up the amount of creature essence in each potion and a bit of flu to the overall recipe and the potion triggered the Pandora Pox Pandemic, not to mention revealing that, yes, magic is a thing.
Due to being a sphinx, Winter rarely speaks in direct statement. Doing so would trigger her power as a sphinx to test whether the statement was true or false. An incautious statement or discussing too many facts would tire her out and eventually cause her to pass out. So she speaks in questions and riddles. Thankfully, she can still express her snark and attitude in writing.
Winter was the first person infected with the sphinx version of the pox and also managed to get herself infected with the vampiric version before her primary infection took hold. Her roommate, Soda, is the patient zero for the deva pox.
She is of the opinion that the pox was not entirely accidental, but that it was sort of a result of the collective human instinct that magic was returning to the world and heroes would be needed. She also doesn't think that magical people with heroic leanings were just supposed to spring into existence. Without the pox, she thinks the return of magic might have taken a few more years and by the time it was dangerous, there'd be plenty of wizards, warriors and so on who had lots of experience to deal with it. Now they have potentially world-ending problems popping up all over the place and people have to scramble to deal with them.