[sticky entry] Sticky: Character Summary

Mar. 6th, 2015 12:40 am
kuukokujinjanozenko: Hiroe is pleased and intrigued (Default)
Name: Hiroe (博恵) Matsudaira
...aka Kuukoku Jinja no Zenko
...aka Bó Huì ("plentiful wisdom") in China

Setting: Original (can easily AU into any Shinto-based supernatural setting)

Brief History: Hiroe is pretty much a normal teenage girl growing up in Tokyo and finishing up her high school career. That is, not counting that she's actually a 500 year old fox spirit, a secret she keeps quite carefully--partly to avoid overzealous priests and onmyouji for her own safety, and partly ensure that her parents (that is, her body's human parents) don't learn the truth about her.

Basics:
Age: 17 (or 500-ish)
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 120lbs
Nationality: Japanese
Build: Slim but curvy
Playlist: Classical Japanese/Rock/Pop mashups
kuukokujinjanozenko: A traditional shinto fox mask (Zenko - Mask)
Just a permissions post for Zenko's abilities, since they're in some ways relatively invasive and she uses them relatively freely:

Illusions: As a fox-spirit of some rank, Zenko can generate large, complicated, extremely realistic illusions that affect all the senses, and does so both for pranks and as a matter of course. Are you okay with your character getting illusioned?
Superhuman Senses: Zenko has greatly heightened senses of hearing and smell in particular, compared to humans, and can gauge people's emotional states or identify them easily by scent. She can also sense spiritual power and other similar supernatural distinctions. Is it okay if she snoops in this manner? If so, let me know if there's anything remarkable she ought to notice.
Dreamwalking: Zenko can slip into the subconscious of a sleeping (or otherwise not-fully-awake) person and enter their dreams, either to influence them or just to explore their psyche from the inside and learn secrets. Is it okay if she uses this ability on your character?
Fox Fire: Zenko can form and control spirit-fire that can burn with heat, or alternatively, can burn away spiritual impurities (e.g. injuries caused by evil spirits), as well as harming spirits directly. Is it okay if she uses this on your character?
kuukokujinjanozenko: Hiroe is pleased and intrigued (Default)
Player's Name: Paul

Characters Played Here: The Doctor (Eleventh), Alric Caelegart

Character: Hiroe Matsudaira (also the fox of the Lonely River Shrine, aka Kuukoku Jinja no Zenko, although it's also a pun on kuko being a category of fox spirit)

Series/Canon: Original Character

World Description: The world Hiroe comes from is essentially like the real world--except that many facets of ancient mythology are real, or at least have a real counterpart, even if if the myths aren't entirely accurate. Spirits exist, and there are many spirits well adapted to living in modern settings, whereas others are less so; some can fake human form to hide out, whereas others live within objects, but many are forced to retreat into ever-reducing wild areas or take shelter within shrines. Although they have powers humans don't, spirits have to be careful not to reveal themselves to humans, or they can suffer the consequences at the hands of priests, or overzealous onmyouji and other sort of sorcerers out either to protect humans from the "monsters" or looking to enslave spirits for their own uses. Ushio to Tora and the Monogatari series are good references for this sort of setting in general.

History: For a few centuries, a fox lived at one of the many Inari shrines in the Edo area, well before it became known as Tokyo. The shrine developed a local reputation as a good place to go with maladies, to pray to Inari for health and pay respects to the foxes, Inari's servants--and a bad place to cause trouble. However, the shrine's fame never spread very far, remaining something of a local secret. This was fine by the fox of the Lonely River shrine.

However, times changed; the fox had always ignored the goings-on of the human world as much as she could. It was all rather dull and more or less a lot of the same nonsense--downtrodden peasants looking for help, which she was always happy to provide, and great figures of the day vying for power over one another. She was most aggravated when this constant bickering led to the commoners or priests especially suffering, or when it later brought flames down from the sky, causing serious damage even to the Lonely River shrine.

It was only a few decades later when she learned of a true outrage: the shrine was to be closed. She had been somewhat mollified when after the firebombing, repairs had been arranged--but it seemed that, somehow, since that time, some basic degree of piety had been lost. Laws which had protected the shrines had eroded, the economy had turned sour, and the Lonely River shrine just wasn't "important enough" to be saved. It was infuriating, but also a direct, personal threat: she knew well that a spirit, especially a fox spirit, wandering about among humans was asking for trouble even in a more respectful era, and she couldn't very well allow herself to become homeless. Everything had become modern and strange while she wasn't looking, and she no longer even knew enough about a human's day-to-day life to disguise herself convincingly. The fox of the shrine worried over the matter for a time, until a fortuitous solution presented itself.

A young couple--the man holding a junior station in the government, and a descendent of the vaunted Matsudaira clan itself--came to the shrine, among the many who visited in the last days before it was due to be closed. This couple had been having difficulty conceiving a child, and prayed for Inari's blessings to rectify that situation. To the fox, this was the perfect solution to two problems at once: it was, perhaps, time she learn more about humans, who had so dominated the world, and what better way to learn about humans than to grow up as one?

Kitsunetsuki, or fox-possession, was nothing new--but to grant the blessing of fertility, and then possess the unborn child within days of conception, was something else entirely. The fox had only planned to learn about humanity while also laying claim on two well-to-do, highly protective guardians; and the couple would get a child to raise, just as they'd asked for, so everyone got what they wanted. Nine months later, the fox-in-human's-clothing was born, and the new parents named their daughter Hiroe. The girl was perfectly human in appearance and even in aura, so long as her fox powers remained dormant, but revealing certain traits when drawing on her true nature--however, she also had a physical, human body, meaning she could no longer change her shape freely.

Expecting she would gradually revert more to the fox as her human body grew old, she set herself to learning voraciously about humans while the opportunity presented itself. To her surprise, however, not only did it take some time to master the underdeveloped infant human brain and muscles--but she even found herself developing real affection for her human "parents," and decided even before she mastered speech once more (at an astonishingly young age, to her parents and everyone else around her) that she would have to keep her true nature secret from them as long as they lived.

Therefore, Hiroe grew up a relatively normal, if fairly well-to-do and extremely precocious child. She seemed to learn everything with astonishing ease, as though she had done it all before--at least until she started attending grade school and running into things the fox had never known, but between her fox-like wits and her head start on reading and writing, she remained a top student. Even so, having developed a habit of taking her studies a little too casually on subjects she felt were already familiar, she exhibited some bizarre gaps in her understanding regarding modern technology in particular: she learned to text like a pro, like any Japanese kid, but on the subject of how texting worked, she could have all sorts of inventive and completely absurd ideas. Curious about the human world, she began reading about everything she could and experiencing everything human life had to offer, sometimes without heed to the dangers that might be involved.

Personality: Contrary to what one might expect of a fox-possession, since it began at such an early stage of development and continued for so long, there is really no separation between the girl and the fox. Hiroe is Zenko, and Zenko is Hiroe. However, she's reluctant to reveal this, since she assumes someone will get bent out of shape about either the ethics or the implications of her situation, or just go after her because they have a bone to pick with spirits in general. The result is a girl with some 500 years or so of memories and experiences in a traditional Japanese environment, plus another 17 years of childhood and schooling in modern Tokyo.

Hiroe is, as a fox, above all else, innately curious, and a natural troll. Although she takes her service to Inari as seriously as she takes anything, a top priority for her is always having fun at whatever she's doing, whether that means playing pranks, making jokes, or just watching people and commenting for her own amusement. She can't help but poke around at anything mysterious, even if it's not particularly safe, and she has a strong sense of justice--not so much out of moral outrage, in all but the most heinous situations, as a sense of piety. There are things Heaven frowns upon, and people who do that sort of thing ought to be punished; and, in true fox style, the best punishment is having their minds messed with until they regret their wrongdoing. She has a special talent for sophisticated, large-scale multisensory illusions, and doesn't hesitate to use them to make a point if she feels it's called for or that it would be a hoot.

Another typical feature of her fox nature is her tendency toward vanity. This takes many forms, and depends somewhat on whether she's seen as Hiroe or as Zenko. In her persona as a human girl, she takes a great deal of pride in her family's reputation and history, in her parents, in her academic accomplishments, and especially in her appearance and friendships. As the fox, she can be far more scandalous, and will go to much greater lengths to draw people's attention (the better to tease them about it, as well), but is also exceedingly proud of her age, particularly regarding her connections among and experience with the spirits, as well as her service to Inari. In either form, she adores few things more than being adored, and will flirt endlessly, or at least as long as it's flattering to her.

As a fox, Hiroe has a phobic dread of dogs--even small ones will make her rather uncomfortable, but large ones will freak her right out, and can potentially bring on anything from extreme distraction to panic attacks. Contrastingly, she has an abiding love for aburage and good sake (the latter of which is, infuriatingly, hard to get, at her body's age). She also has a fondness for various luxuries she couldn't enjoy with the body of a fox, but can fully delve into with her human body; chocolate in particular she adores, as rich as she can get it, at every opportunity.

As much as her life as Hiroe may have begun as a self-interested ploy, she has actually developed a quite sincere affection for her human parents. As much as she keeps her true nature secret for her own protection, she's no less motivated by a dread that the truth would hurt them, lead them to reject her, or both. On some level, this biases all her relationships with humans: as popular as she is at school, she has a swarm of friends, but no really entirely close confidant. There's simply no one she's met to whom she feels she can completely open up, one of a very few points of emotional vulnerability.

Why do you think your character would work in this setting?

It's about time for Hiroe to go off to college, anyway--and where better to learn more about adult humans and how they interact with the strange and unexpected than in a peculiar setting like New Dodge? Besides, it's such a strange offer, how could she really refuse?

What will your character do for work? Probably at the chocolatier or cafe.

Inventory: Nothing really special--mostly just clothes, jewelry, some books. As Zenko, she can create her own costumes, after all, so anything she brings will be relatively mundane, for use as Hiroe.

Samples:

Third-Person Sample:
Hiroe--or as she called herself when engaging in more mystical activities, Kuukoku Jinja no Zenko--landed soundlessly on a rooftop. Nearly weightless as she was, she could have walked as casually on water or the leaves of a tree. As usual, she wore a traditional fox-spirit mask that revealed her lips (the better to tease and to smile impishly) with a shrine maiden's costume modified to be more revealing, bordering on scandalous. She was, after all, a fox, and knew of no such thing as too much attention. Her tails--five of them--and her ears showed, as well, black-furred to match her long hair, with silvery-white tips.

As soon as she had arrived, she'd sensed something peculiar afoot in this strange town. It wasn't the technology that got her attention. She was used to seeing a mix of things she understood well enough to use, and those that made no sense to her at all, and had only a vague sense that there was something anachronistic about New Dodge. She was far more interested in the scent and the presence of something not human--many somethings not human, in fact--but no sign of a conflict going on. The publicly known presence of magic was only more reason for her to be cautious about how she investigated; but she definitely had to find out what the non-humans were up to, here. In particular, whether they were somehow abusing the humans in secret, or had somehow found a way to settle in and be accepted by them. Either way, she simply had to know, whether it meant she had to stop them, or to learn their secret.

Of course, there was no reason she couldn't enjoy the investigation, and combining a little spying with a little playful questioning could be a great diversion while she was hanging around this "New Dodge."

First-Person Sample:
Network post from the TDM.

Profile

kuukokujinjanozenko: Hiroe is pleased and intrigued (Default)
Hiroe (博恵) Matsudaira

March 2015

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