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Recent Posts

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1
Keep's Registry / Re: Toranosuke no Akechi
« Last post by Caryn on Today at 04:12:33 PM »
Light Random, Birthright Only, please.
2
Keep's Registry / Toranosuke no Akechi
« Last post by Toranosuke no Akechi on Today at 04:11:21 PM »
The Basics

Character Name: Toranosuke no Akechi
Nicknames:
Age & Birthyear:  18
Race:  Short-lived
Caste:  Prince
Birth Territory: Tacea, Terreille
Home Territory: Tacea, Terreille

Birthright Jewel:
Offering Jewel: 

Role: Geisha in training
Faction: Ureshi-sa

Appearance




Play By: Jin Dachuan
Distinguishing Features:

Personality



Personality:

When it comes down to it, the core of Toranosuke’s personality is a being who loves intensely and craves to be loved in return. He is eager to be useful, to do well, to be a good boy and fulfill the expectations of those around him. If he’s having trouble getting something, he’ll come in early stay late until practice makes perfect; if he does get something, he’ll probably still come in early and stay late to help anyone else struggling with their own skills. He wants to be the best that he can be and prove Ryuuen was not wrong to take a chance and invest his time and effort in him. More, it makes him happy to see those he cares about succeed as well.

The Prince is not a particularly effusive soul, but he is so open and honest with his communication that he does not need to be. When he’s sad, he cries; when he’s happy, he laughs; it is simply that he does not feel the need to draw extra attention to his own emotions. He would much rather focus on those of others. He’s got a can-do attitude that refuses to be put down for long, bouncing back from failure and disappointment like a dog shaking off water. Tora can hold onto his cheer and optimism long past the point where others throw their hands up in despair; he firmly believes that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Tora is a steady, clever fighter; without the edge that having darker Jewels would give him, perhaps, but always thinking and adjusting his strategy to meet the situation. He is insatiably curious and thoroughly shameless about playing up his youth and innocence as necessary to get people to underestimate him- or to get out of trouble. It’s amazing how many people who ought to know better will fall for a pair of soulful puppy eyes.

Likes:
  • Dancing in the rain- There’s something cool and purifying about rainfall. Toranosuke loves being out in it whenever he can, whether or not he’s actually dancing, and letting it wash his cares away. His brothers in the okiya still tease him about the time he came back in from meditations with his hair standing on end from a nearby lightning strike, but he insists they were exaggerating.
  • Animals- Tora always had an affinity for the small and furry. And the small and scaly. They offer comfort without judgement. The okiya cats have trained him to cater to their needs almost from his first day there, and he’s got a habit of dragging home strays from time to time. When his Older Brother and Otou-san raised skeptical eyebrows, he rather earnestly sold it to them as an exercise in responsibility. In his defense, he’s only kept the garden snake and one puppy- the rest are rehabilitated, trained, and re-homed (often with one of the Ladies visiting the okiya).
  • His Otou-san- Toranosuke hero-worships the man who saw something in him when no one else did; who salvaged his spirit from an event that had the potential to blot his future forever. It doesn’t matter that he’s not First Son and most favored; he’ll do anything Ryuuen asks of him if it is within his potential, or die trying.
Dislikes:
  • Lying- Lies make him uncomfortable and ashamed. When he absolutely must, he relies entirely on obfuscation instead of outright falsehoods, using smaller truths to distract and redirect the conversation.
  • Thinking too hard on a male’s place- That way lies only unpleasantness. Toranosuke has spent all his life striving to be of service, first to his mother and sister, and then choosing to dedicate his life to the Dragon Mother. To then turn around and insist that he’s too good that service- well, it seems like a waste and betrayal of everything he’s ever worked for. And the fact that gender issues are mixed up with sexual issues just make things worse: Tora will never be on the front lines of male liberation, but he (despite showing no inclinations toward homosexuality himself) had always believed deeply in the importance of love, no matter what form it takes. Just because a male might not adore the female form in one way does not mean he cannot adore her in others.
  • Eeyores- Everyone gets mad or sad once in a while, but Toranosuke strongly dislikes being in the extended company of those eternal pessimists who wallow in the bad things and can never see the good in their lives. They are incredibly energy-draining and damage his chill.
Fears:
  • Being a bad Older Brother- Toranosuke is almost ready to take on a little brother of his own. It’s a lot of responsibility and he fears that he will not be as good at it as his own were for him. That he will miss some crucial aspect of the boy’s education and let both him and the okiya down.
  • Ryuuen’s death- Like many children, Tora fears the loss of his father-figure. He knows it is inevitable someday: death is the natural end of life, and rejoining the Darkness is not something to be feared. But Tora cannot imagine the okiya in the hands of anyone else, even those of the First Son.
  • Becoming a Dagger (and potentially suffering the same fate as those of Ishyo no Izayoi)- Serving the Dragon Mother is the greatest honor and overriding purpose of any geisha, and Tora is no different. But though his resolve remains firm and his dedication great, he can’t help but feel a fission of fear go down his spine at the thought of it after what happened at the Territory Court. Ishiyo’s Daggers didn’t stand a chance against her, and Tora fears that- both helplessness and death without even being able to fulfill his purpose.
Craft Strengths:
  • Diplomacy- Tora has always had an innate gift for insight and a Prince’s eye toward the subtle clues about the behavior of others. With training, this has become a supernatural ability to discern what his target most wants to hear and to present himself accordingly. In the past, he’s pulled of some truly ingenuous feats of persuasion and ingratiation that can’t be solely put to his general adorability and charm.
  • Exploiting weakness- Toranosuke has proven hopeless at the sort of physical enhancement he will need to keep up with the best of the best, so he has found other ways to compensate. The best tactic he has utilized is to not give his opponent the time to use such Craft against him. He excels at opening himself to the whispers of the Darkness that tell a Prince the weaknesses of his prey, and constructing a master strike in his mind from what he learns; often incapacitating or killing his target with one stroke.
Craft Weaknesses:
  • Physical Enhancement- He cannot manage to enhance his sight, hearing or general physical capability in any way. What he has is what he gets- which is pretty damn good, mind you. But if he gets pinned down in a contest of pure strength and speed, he will simply not be able to keep up with a Craft-enhanced opponent.
  • Compulsion Craft- Everything about Tora is designed to tempt or cajole: outright imposing his will on another is abhorrent to him and, frankly, beyond his skill set. Also most of the people he associates with are either his brothers or female, and compelling either group is simply unthinkable.
Life Story

Family:
Mother: Akari no Akechi, blood female, 56.
Father: Kaito no Akechi, blood male, 54.
Siblings: Niko no Akechi, Yellow-Rose Black Widow, 26.

History:

Toranosuke was actually born to a loving family, if one with just enough money to secure the basics in life. They had the good fortune to be blessed with a first-born female- Tora was an unexpected but welcome surprise years later. His parents worked hard and loved harder, teaching both of their children to be grateful for life’s gifts. But when his sister turned 13, and Mother Night bestowed upon her the gift of a snake tooth, the little boy quietly learned the heart of a Blood child’s lessons: everything has its price. The truth was, the family couldn’t afford the caste training his sister needed. Their parents would not discuss such matters in front of them, of course, but after overhearing several hushed debates between his parents (including mention of the possibility of consigning his sister to a Court), his sister decided to take action- for the good of the family.

In the unintentionally selfish way of many teenagers, the girl bundled Toranosuke away one night and dropped him off on the steps of an Altar a few towns away. She thanked him for his sacrifice, soberly explaining that the family needed her fully trained and bringing in money more than they needed a boy-child wasting resources- nor could the family could not risk losing their only heir to Court service for the Aristros in exchange for that training. This was the best way for them both to be healthy and happy. Her kiss to his forehead and disappearance into the night was the last time he saw any of his birth family. He never knew what story she spun to explain his absence to their parents and, with time, their memories dimmed as new people came into his life.

Toranosuke grew up as many motherless boys in Tacea, just one more male face among many for the Priestesses to take care of and try to mold into men. And to their credit, the ones at his temple did their best for their charges. He eagerly dove into any lesson they were willing to give him, seizing any opportunity to better himself and make himself of worth to some family someday as he could not be to his own. He drew a lovely Jewel from the Darkness at his Birthright, but the memory was almost overshadowed by his selection for Ureshi-sa a few weeks later. It was really the first time he’d been chosen for anything, thought worthy, and the boy vowed to make Ryueen proud and bring glory to the okiya with everything he did.

He accidently killed his first Older Brother, Asahi no Saito. They had begun to realize Tora’s ineptitude with physical enhancement and his mentor was sparing with him try and find another way to teach him this facet of Craft. Asahi was pressing him hard and calling out suggestions, with Tora increasingly frustrated and desperate to make his brother proud. He instinctively reached for another of his skills. He could almost see the attack he needed to make, and as he moved, it was so easy that he thought he’d finally tapped into the right Craft to boost his senses. Instead he’d found a way past his brother’s guard, right in the spot Asahi, more focused on his little brother than his own shielding, was not defending. The Warlord died within minutes, still reassuring his little brother that it was alright.

The event might have driven another into depression, severely inhibited his progress, or even led him to leave the okiya entirely. Fortunately, he had as his Otou-san one of most gifted in the Territory: Ryuuen carefully took the young man in hand, counseled him in the wake of the accident, and helped him find another geisha to mentor him. Tora moved on a little sadder, a little wise, but not ruined for life. Instead of backing away from his greatest skill, he doubled down on learning to control his gift for sensing weakness- if he could gauge his strikes more precisely, he would have a better chance of only killing when he meant to.

He’s had other minor incidents and missteps since then- the usual evidence of a healthy young man learning and growing and living. But on the whole, Toranosuke has a bright future ahead of him. He simply needs to make his Offering and become a full Geisha of Ureshi-sa- and to keep his brothers’ spirits up no matter what comes their way.

Show Us What You've Got


Character in Play:

“It’s raining!” Toranosuke’s gleeful squeal, somewhat muffled by the way his face was pressed to the glass of the window, still managed to ring through the okiya. The teenager recalled himself and his dignity as an almost-full-geisha moments later and hastily pulled back, calling on his Craft to remove the faint smudges his skin had left on the pane. His brothers worked hard to keep the okiya spotless and shining and it would be disrespectful to ruin their hard work in any way.

But it was raining, and what a glorious downpour is was! No spluttering spring shower or raging thunderstorm, but a quiet, steadying curtain of rain that had puddles forming within minutes and bowed the nearby trees with the weight of its force. Toranosuke darted for the nearest exit with a beaming grin, adeptly skirting past those he encountered on his way out.

The Prince blew out into the rain with his eyes closed and his face upturned, stilling abruptly from his frantic motion of seconds before. For long moments he simply stood motionless, soaked to the skin within heartbeats, and let the water wash over him. Wash away his fears, his hurts, the little disappointments found in everyday life. Let it wash him clean and fill his soul to the brim with good, clean energy. And when he felt purified once more, Toranosuke opened his eyes and began to dance, leaping from puddle to puddle like the child he’d long since ceased to be.

A few of the brothers watching were shaking their heads with frowns of disapproval at such behavior from the puppy who would soon be representing them to the world and carrying the weight of Ureshi-sa’s reputation on his shoulders. But more watched the half-Jewel with small, sneaking smiles or open grins: perhaps enjoying exuberance they themselves were too old or too dignified to display, or possibly recalling past memories of their own recklessness. Tora said nothing to acknowledge them, but inwardly cheered as he continued to twirl in the rain. This was what he lived for: to bring smiles to his brothers’ faces, a moment of lighthearted respite in uncertain and tumultuous times.

Also, this was fun. That was important too.


Petitions (if any): 

Wanted Ad Fulfillment (if any): 

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Wanted Ad Sponsor:Rated Em

Player Name:Caryn

3
Tacea / Re: Tense Meetings
« Last post by Hae Jun Mhin on Today at 03:29:53 PM »
It was difficult for Hae Jun to hand over the box and the scroll and she forced herself to step back and away as Prince An took both and set them aside.  Her hand formed a fist at her side for a moment before she forced it to relax.  The course was set now. Her father would know she lived, would know her mother didn't and while Hae Jun hoped he would stay away she wouldn't bet on it.  Her father was a Warlord Prince and a father were it one of her children she wouldn't stay away.  But the Regent had responsibilities and he'd chosen them over his family once before there was no way to know for sure if he would do it again.

She responded to the Prince's words with a tense smile as she stepped away and toward the door, "I intend to return to my people immediately so three nights is plenty of time.  Thank you Prince.  I know I'm putting you in a difficult position."

Returning his bow with one of her own along with her thanks for his well wishes she straightened and slipped out the door.  Dak-ho keeping pace with her as she headed for the exit as quickly as she could.  She'd secured a three day grace period, if the Prince meant what he said and she believed him, before her father would know she lived and where she was.  Hae Jun did not want that to be spoiled by bumping into him in the hall so she kept her pace swift only briefly acknowledging those they passed. 

"I'll need to speak with the First Circle when we return to the camp and I'd like your insight into this meeting as we return."  Hae Jun looked up at her escort as they stepped outside into the fresh air and turned for the camp, her people and her children.
4
Keep's Registry / Re: Fausta Sacerdos
« Last post by Caryn on Today at 03:23:43 PM »
Ready for Round 2.
5
Raej / Re: A surprise in the mail
« Last post by Gabriel Silvarin on Today at 03:06:11 PM »
When her arms tightened around him in turn, Gabriel let out a sigh of relief. Acceptance was in that embrace, the innate trust being close to him that could only exist between a Queen and Bonded Male. Anyone else, even Tamara who had shared his bed for fifteen years now, always had a touch of apprehension in their Psychic Scents. That's how it should be. Gabriel was dangerous. He was a walking weapon, trained from a young age to destroy. That he didn’t want that anymore didn’t change his nature. Yet here, with his Queen there was none of that. She knew she held his leash and would not, could not, willingly do her harm. That certainty calmed the part of Gabriel that was always worried about his potential for destruction. For once, he didn’t have to be in control, he just had to be.

“I doubt I’ll be that fortunate, my Lady. Mother Night has a habit of laughing while I pratfall.” He said it with an attempt at his usual good humor, because he WAS happy. Truly. The grief wasn’t exactly fading but the joy was swelling while it remained the same.

That joy took a momentary pause as she seemed to debate how to answer his question, then she settled on the vaguest explanation anyone had ever concocted ever in history. Oh great, so he would have to dig. Maybe she had other Bonded who would give him the details and tell him if it was really her choice or if there was a culprit, and who that was. If that were the case, he would destroy them without hesitation, because anyone who threatened his Queen, even just her happiness, was worth the guilt of forsaking his oath of non-violence to kill. Even better if that culprit were the entire Territory of Pruul… well, maybe except for Michael and his Queen.

Then he started as he realized that yes, he hadn’t even given his name. “Oh, I’m so sorry, yes. My name is Gabriel, Gabriel Silvarin, though everyone who knows me calls me Gabe.” And with that realization his brain also caught up with the whole ‘blind’ thing and he added, “I, ah, have brown hair and green eyes. I look more Dena Nehelen than anything else but some of my grandparents were long-lived.” Those were things that most people would be able to see, but if his Queen could not, he owed it to her to describe it as best he could.

Not wanting her kneeling here on the hard ground with him any longer than needed, Gabe wiped his still wet eyes and then got to his feet, helping Saiph up as well.

“Is there somewhere we could go? To talk? I don’t know that on your front stoop is really the right place.” He looked around, taking in the building anew. “Are you… Is this your Court?” She didn’t look old enough to be ruling, not with only one Jewel that he could sense, but since the Witchstorm Queens didn’t always make it to maturity before duty called.
6
Tacea / Re: piece of your heart
« Last post by Seung Corro on Today at 03:04:05 PM »
Seung did turn to look at Zhihao then. He hadn't honestly expected the geisha to have a high-ranking child... Or, he supposed, to be the secret father of Hinata no Kagen's Queen granddaughter. Rumors had abounded that her unnamed father was Ryuuen Kirijo, the geisha who was so often seen with her when she was small. He had never seen Zhihao to be overly close to the child, and could not comprehend keeping his distance from a child of his body. What had possessed the Summer Sky Prince to avoid his own daughter in such a way?

Yet he could see the similarities. Yumi no Kagen's expressive brown eyes, the full-lipped Tang mouth. Her face was rounder, the seed-shape favored by Taceans as the height of beauty, but Zhihao was there nevertheless. The Clan Queen of the Kagen took strongly after her mother, but in her face there was also Tang... a realization that, in a less scrupulous head, could lead to the end of her rule before it had even begun. He could see why Zhihao had kept this information to himself. If Yumi's Kagen name had not previously disqualified her, this certainly would. A Queen with such a volatile secret could not possibly hope to take the throne and hold it for twenty-four years, as tradition demanded.

"I am sorry," he said. "I didn't know." It was torture, now, to be told to stay away from his child, to give her space. That had never been his way. When Ji Yoon's children had died, he'd come to her at speed and stayed even as Soon Mi had handled the planning with Sang Hwan. If his daughter was in pain, then he wanted to be there to fix it. Zhihao had remained away from his daughter her entire life... and he could only imagine what torture it would be. To never touch a child with his blood in her veins, to be denied that parental immortality that meant so much in Tacean culture. To the Taceans, Seung himself was immortal, a living ancestor. For them, their children were their immortality, and Zhihao had refrained from laying that claim for the good of his child.

It would have been inspirational, if it were not so sad.

"I will take your advice under consideration," he said. He returned to his desk and forced his mind back onto the business of ruling. "The Queen at the convent. Xiong Teng, isn't she? I met her in 188; she was quite clever. How severe is her injury?"
7
Tacea / Re: piece of your heart
« Last post by Zhihao An on Today at 02:47:13 PM »
Zhihao paused at the question, coffee cup held halfway between his lips and the saucer. It would do him no good to lie. Seung Corro was likely one of those who could smell falsehoods as they were uttered, and a solid string of trust was necessary between spymaster and regent. If his biases were known now, they could be more easily checked later. Zhihao’s bond to Hinata would make him obviously inclined to favor the Kagen, but there was more to it than that, and the man who now ruled Tacea needed to know just who he shared his meals with.

“I have one,” he said, the words tasting strange on his tongue. He had never uttered this to anyone save Hinata and Ryuuen, and now there was to be a fourth person who understood the secret burden that he’d carried in his heart the last two decades.

Zhihao set the coffee cup down. “A daughter. Rather like your own Hae Jun.”

He paused, eyes drifting shut a moment, and inhaled slowly, the weight of the moment settling over his shoulders. Zhihao breathed out. “Yumi no Kagen is my child,” he said, eyes opening, and he thought he felt the air in the room change. If Seung looked at him now, would he see the ways his features aligned with those of the Kagen Queen? They had the same broad cheekbones, the same narrow-bridged nose. Zhihao usually wore a full face of makeup when he and Yumi appeared together - geisha formality, yes, but also to disguise how her looks favored his.

“She does not know,” he said, after a moment. “It was too dangerous to tell her when she was younger. Children are not fond of secrets. And now… I do not know how to say it. I have been by her side constantly since she was brought to live with Hinata, but I have never been a father to her.”

He sighed. “Were I in your position, Prince, I would like to think I would show restraint. Respect her wishes. Allow her time to come to her senses… but I cannot be certain. Perhaps a letter would be a fair compromise - it would be her own decision whether to read it. Whether to respond. Hae Jun was clear she did not want to meet with you...  but I think hearing your reasoning for your actions from you personally would go a long way towards soothing the hurt she clearly feels.”
8
Tacea / Re: Collected Correspondence
« Last post by Seung Corro on Today at 02:41:04 PM »
My daughter,

I have not written in some time, and wish to reassure you that this is not for a lack of care for your well-being or a lack of interest in your life. The running of a Territory is much more complex when one must be Steward and Master of the Guard as well as the ruler itself. At least a portion of my duties may soon be given over to the Territory Guard, but even so I am faced with rather more work to do than many Dragon Queens ever face. Hopefully this is a temporary measure, and I will soon be free to return to my usual duties.

This news you have given me is troubling. You must reassure the Territory Court that Toyani no Kagen's actions are not encouraged, condoned, or supported by Tacea; I have limited ability to sanction her from here, but I am sure that Hinata-sama is already speaking to the Clan Queen of the Kagen on what may be done to prevent her from bringing her particular brand of havoc to our mainland. Please keep me appraised of the situation as it develops. While I am still concerned for Lady Kagen's well-being in a Territory known for its violence against her Caste, I am more concerned for what her impulsive actions will do to our attempts to create a positive diplomatic relationship with Dena Nehele.

Your brother tells me that he is departing for Raej soon. I hope that this means that you have acquired more information on the matter of Yua no Ariake's enslavement, and may soon be in possession of proof that her situation is not legal, even by the terms of Dena Nehelean law. Have you news about Lady Ariake's wellbeing? He says that you have worked with her, but he has not had occasion to lay eyes on the lady himself.

I do have some good news. Your sister, Hae Jun, is alive; she rules the Hanwa. I have an address which I believe to be good if you wish to write to her. Please pass on to her my good wishes, as she has no desire to receive my letters.

Your father,
Seung Corro
9
Tacea / Re: all of these tricks I would try
« Last post by Seung Corro on Today at 02:24:07 PM »
Seung shook his head. "Couriers are well available to the Territory Court, even in this interregnum." He had been hamstrung in some ways, but the ground he had already worked for control of the foreign relations Tacea was forming had fruited well: he had no shortage of ability to get messages and packages to the other Territories of the Realm. Though he supposed he should look into mainland contractors for the businesses that the Shingetsu hadn't yet become involved with... A matter for Kyou's inbox. "Thank you for the offer."

He couldn't think of anything that would irritate Ji Yoon that he hadn't yet mentioned. It went without saying that an insult to her family, even an oblique or unintentional one, would be a bad move; he supposed that Akira's concept of offense might be different to his daughter's, but he would attempt to be trusting and not condescend by reminding the Warlord that the Kagen as a whole were still at least not friends with the Corro family. Those bridges would take more time to cross, and beyond that, proof positive from Toyani's hands that her intentions were true.

Think of Toyani reminded him of one more thing which might predispose Ji Yoon to enjoy Akira's company. "Your sister will be ruling in Lesser Caecian, which should give you--as a member of her Court--invitations to social events. I'm sure Ji Yoon would enjoy the opportunity to see how the Blood of Dena Nehele celebrate their holidays with someone who understands the Tacean culture." His daughter would likely have her own invitations, but he didn't know if she would go alone and unescorted...

The Warlord Prince looked back to the clock that ticked away on his desk. "Thank you for bringing the meal," he said, "but I have promised to have an after-hours meeting with my Queen. If you will excuse me, Lord Kagen?"
10
Tacea / Re: piece of your heart
« Last post by Seung Corro on Today at 02:04:05 PM »
Every word out of Prince An's mouth grated against Seung's temper. For a Warlord Prince, he was incredibly difficult to rile, but knowing that his daughter wanted nothing to do with him had raised his anger to a dangerous level. He laced his fingers together tightly behind his back. Who was protecting his daughter? Did she have surviving escorts? His daughter was much like her mother: compassionate, but given to impulsive decisions. Was this another one? Could he convince her to change her mind?...

A letter wasn't enough. The cardinal rule of war was to never count a combatant dead unless he saw the body, and the same applied to never assuming someone was alive unless he saw them in motion, speaking, even shouting would be worth it just to see Hae Jun alive. Zhihao had no reason to lie, but Seung doubted. Hae Jun was his daughter, one of his last links to her mother, who had died so young. Perhaps he should never love Queens; it only brought them to rotten ends.

"The only mature Queen," he echoed. What had happened to his people while he was tending to the concerns of the mainland? So many of the Queens had remained behind to try to quell the volcano. Though he tried to focus on the good news that he had been given, his mind kept pulling him back to his wife. Jang Hye. Had she been afraid when she died? Her Rose wasn't strong enough to reach him the way Koyomi's Green had been. He let his forehead hit the glass of the great picture window. None of it mattered! He couldn't change how Jang Hye's life had ended any more than he could travel back to the eighties and bring Koyomi back.

He covered his mouth with his hand. "She is my daughter," he said. "My child. I taught her to fight, I have thought she was dead for fifteen months." Seung didn't leave the window, but he turned to look at Zhihao. "I'm ashamed to admit I don't know if you have children, Prince An. Do you? What would you do, were she your child?" Every inch of him wanted to leave the Court, leave the city, tear Kyutai apart until he found his daughter and could see with his own eyes that she was alive, that she survived.
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