Feb. 10th, 2012

ninjasin: ([Claymore] Slapfight)
Player Name: Sin
Contact Info: NinjaSin@gmail.com
Other Characters Played: n/a

Character Name: Taryn Erikson
Canon: OC

Canon Background: n/a

AU Background:

Taryn Erikson was born in the province of Yheathiel to a family that still secretly followed the Old Religion despite the Church's presence. Taryn's father was a large, strong man that was part of the Riftguard, fighting to protect them all from the corruption and denizens of the Rift. Upon her thirteenth birthday, Taryn was bestowed her birthright in a ceremony performed by her father, revealing that she was the next in a long line of werewolves. Her father was one and she bore the wolf's blood inside her. To awaken it, her father attacked her and forced her to defend herself, eventually drawing on hidden strengths that brought about her first change, taking on her werewolf form in the midst to survive.

Now that she was a full werewolf, her father taught her about their family and how they kept it secret lest the Church decide they were abominations that needed eradicated. Having free control over her ability to shift between woman, werewolf and wolf, Taryn had little trouble blending in. As she came of proper age, she followed in her father's footsteps and joined the Riftguard. She lost her family after she'd been in service for several years when one of the former soldiers of her father had become a Corrupted One. He hid and controlled the taint so well that even her father didn't detect it when the man joined them for dinner. Taryn arrived back from patrol to find her parents slaughtered and the man responsible for it doing unspeakable things to the remains. This would be the first time she felt the dangers her father warned her about being werewolf take her over, her anger so great that she took werewolf form and ripped the man apart with her claws. When she regained control of herself, she took her father's armband adorned with a crystal, burned the house and left, never to return to the Riftguard.

Some in Yheathiel considered her dead, killed in the fire. Some saw her as a criminal that killed her family or worse – the creature that had fallen to the corruption of the Rift. Regardless, Taryn was a deserter, having left the Riftguard without permission, without word, disappearing into the night. The truth was her hatred for the Rift had grown to such a degree that she believed the Riftguard weak and ill-equipped to handle the reality of what the corruption could do. So, she searched for something powerful that would strike deep into the heart of the corruption and destroy it.

Her search took her into the northern provinces, following old wives' tales and fairy riddles, until she found a cavern in the mountains that held a great horror . She'd never encountered a dragon before and though said to be wise and good omens to cross paths with, this one was injured, corruption seeping into even a great dragon's body. It attacked Taryn, cursing her, and the werewolf fell the her rage again. She doesn't remember much of the encounter other than grabbing a large two-handed crystalline hammer from the dragon's treasure trove that she swears called to her and fighting back.

When she regained her senses, she was laying in werewolf form outside the cavern, down the mountainside, covered in her own blood and that of the dragon's. She still clutched the hammer in her grip, but her extensive injuries soon claimed her consciousness. Taryn doesn't even know if she killed the dragon or not. She awoke days later in the beastmen town of Alilany in Lerrian, being nursed back to health, vaguely recalling a dream where an old man spoke of Fate and the path ahead of her and the crystal in her father's armband shined with purpose. But Taryn wasn't ready. Destiny might have thought she was, but she was cursed by the dragon, unable to return to her human form. So, she joined the beastmen and became a part of their culture as she found it comfortable with her being stuck with fur and her own doubts in herself. Twice now she'd been confronted with corruption infecting others and twice she had succumbed to her rage that made her more beast than man. Until she found peace in herself and a way to break her curse, she would stay where she was, stay a part of the beastmen. Clearly, the Rift and its corruption weren't going anywhere.

After a few years with the beastmen, Taryn felt calmer and sought release from her curse. The beastmen held a lot of wisdom and knowledge she'd been unaware of as a human in the Riftguard, so she went to see a powerful sorceress the others spoke of with both fear and respect. Some even spoke of this sorceress with reverence for being outside the grips of Corruption though she was something many would believe to be of the Rift. (Player Note: this sorceress is intended to be Evangeline A.K. McDowell being apped by another player.) Despite the respect afforded and the promise that she was uncorrupt, Taryn took the crystalline hammer, now known to her as Mitternacht, with her for it truly was a bane to those holding the Rift's corruption inside while granting Taryn minimal protection against the latent effects of being in a tainted location.

The sorceress tested and questioned Taryn. Believing to understand how Taryn was caught between her honor as a human and her rage as a werewolf, she was able to lessen the curse so that on the three nights of the full moon, and only then, she could take her human form again. Whether that was all the sorceress could do or simply all she would do is a question that remained unasked and unanswered. Was there a lesson in this partial removal for Taryn to learn? The sorceress certainly liked to hear herself lecture the werewolf on what life, fate and destiny was.

Still feeling unable to return to her former life, Taryn (now with the beastman epitaph of Shadow-Walker) felt herself at an odd place in the path of her life. She helped crush those of the Rift that may have ventured far enough north through the provinces to reach Lerrian, but with the word of Stratholme's fate reaching her ears, she feared not only for humanity but also for the beastmen that had taken her in. What if the surrounding kingdoms became infected with the corruption? What if the queen who's lands border Lerrian to the south were to fall? Taryn wouldn't have it, but the leader of the beastmen wouldn't be moved to deal in politics with the humans.

So Taryn followed the traditions set in place and formally challenged the leader. In this tribe, the largest of the beastmen, only the strong ruled. They two met in combat and after a brutal battle, Taryn took the life of the beastman and claimed the title of Rhya – the leader. And it was from here, from this new position supported by the beastmen's traditions, by her own strength, that she would deal with the spreading corruption, the politics of the humans. And maybe she would remember what it was like to be human again.


Personality:

Many would call Taryn as hard-headed and stubborn as a rock. She is very single-minded at times and once she's made a decision, it's hard to shake her from it. When she believes she is right, she has depths of determination and willpower that will see her through even the toughest times and allow her to make the hard decisions. Sometimes those decisions involve dealing death, but being a werewolf and part of the beastmen tribes, she holds strength and honor higher than anything. Yet, if she is unsure – something she doesn't show outwardly often – she will constantly question her actions and whether she made the right decision. She is the type of leader that needs an advisor, but not just someone intelligent, but one that can calm her and one she trust. And she's very aware how hard it is to find both in the same person.

Though Taryn's strength is more literal in nature along with the strength of mind to follow things through, that doesn't mean she only praises such obvious kinds of strength. Strength, to her, lays in many places, in many forms. The one who can hold their tongue and not speak in the face of torture, the one who can move past petty offense to give comfort to one who needs it... these are all forms of strength that she also holds in high regard. Being strong doesn't mean being brutal, though might on the battlefield is highly prized.

But the strong only exist because there are weak to protect. That is where Taryn sees honor being important. The strong have a duty to protect the weak just as the weak have the duty to get stronger. It is only when the weak stop trying, stop striving to be stronger, that she directs her contempt at those particular weak, culling them if necessary to keep the people strong and healthy. The only time where her reason becomes unstable is when it comes to Riftspawn and Corruption. She has a very deep-seated view of what is wrong and what is right. Corruption is the greatest wrong there is to her.

Taryn holds a burning hatred for the Rift and all associated with it. This hatred is so great that when it seems to hit too close to home, gets too personal, Taryn is liable to find herself in a bloodrage where she becomes little more than a furry chainsaw of death set to destroy all that is corrupt. She is well aware of this and it does frighten her. It makes her question her destiny to return to the world of the humans and strike fear into the heart of the Corruption. And because of this apprehension and self-doubt, she cannot fully unlock the power in the artifact she holds in her possession.

Combat Style:

Taryn is a werewolf, so she towers at seven feet tall with a thick, furred hide, sharp fangs and claws when in her werewolf form. She fights with a very direct style, typically using a large two-handed sword that she can wield one-handed in her werewolf form or other large two-handed weapons. Between that and her natural weaponry, she can tear through ranks of common soldiers/enemies with efficiency. Whereas she can use a bow, she prefers more direct confrontation than anything ranged save for throwing her hammer at foes.

Being a werewolf, she has a few abilities that can be seen as either racial or magical. She possesses a moderate level of regeneration making common weapons not as effective against her as they would others. With proper observation of her opponent (actually taking time to watch them), she can strike a blow with her claws that will continue to bleed and sap her opponent of their strength until they take the time to bind the wound. With a similar amount of observation, she can strike barehanded at an opponent and knock them to the ground where they are stunned for several seconds, only able to defend themselves. She can howl with such a volume that it can knock anything flying out of the sky nearby and even stun those standing before her. This ability takes a lot of energy and cannot be used frequently. Taryn can also blend partly into the shadows around her and flank an opponent... or escape if necessary (this doesn't work if there aren't any shadows around).

But being a werewolf has its drawbacks. Damage from silver weapons doesn't regenerate nor does her regeneration function while in human form. She also suffers from occasional berserk rage when she's faced with what she perceives as a personal affront, flying into a violent rage where she has a hard time telling friend from foe. It never lasts long, but it is a great concern of hers. Note about the rage – personal insults/affronts done over the crystals will not provoke the rage. The source must be in her actual presence.

Kingdom or Faction: Faction - Luna's Call (Faction Leader upon official formation of faction), Kingdom – Amestris (Passive – originally from and served in Yheathiel)

Primary Role: Commander – Rhya (Faction Leader)

Soldier or Siege Company:

Taryn commands a beastmen force that's skilled in guerrilla warfare tactics, specifically fighting in forested or mountain terrain that doesn't fair as well in open ground. Primarily foot soldiers and archers, though there are shamans/magic users to help support the soldiers on the battlefield. All have natural weaponry in some form to aid in close-quarter combat as needed if disarmed.

Tarot Cards:

Past - Judgment
Present - The Chariot
Future – Wheel of Fortune

Title: The Shadow-Walker, Voice of Thunder, Riftbane

Artifacts:

Mitternacht – A crystalline two-handed warhammer created not long after the meteor fell into Crescent Bay and those of the Rift became a threat. Crafted by a trio of magic users – one human, one beastman and one fairy – Mitternacht was made to be the weapon wielded by the vanguard o the forces meant to eradicate the Rift early on, but was lost when political machinations lead to an assassination of the promised leader. It eventually fell into dragon hands where it was kept until the time when it would be needed again.

The hammer has several special properties:

It allows the one bearing it and those in its presence to travel through tainted grounds as if they possessed guardian crystals. Unlike those, it won't crumble after a week and end its protection, but the blackened hammer will start driving the hammer's wielder insane. Leaving the tainted lands for at least a full day and bathing the hammer in the clear water of a stream/river/lake/natural body of water in the moonlight will restore it and its wielder.

The hammer deals additional damage to those of the Rift and anyone corrupted by the Rift beyond that which other crystalline weapons deal. It can be thrown up to twenty yards away and return to the hand. If the hammer is swung in an intended death blow on someone who bears no corruption or taint of the Rift, it will deal no damage and knock the wielder back.

Optional properties meant for mod discretion/plot potential: (these are what Taryn has no access to and won't without character growth)

Being an ancient, powerful artifact, if the wielder is resolute and holds no doubts in themselves or their cause in the face of Corruption, the hammer will 'whisper' Riftspawn/daemon weaknesses and guide itself to strike true.

On a full moon, when the wielder is at one with themselves, the land around and in harmony with their purpose, the hammer can cleanse the taint of corruption in another if that person asks for release from the chains on their soul. The result is either cleansing if the person was virtuous before becoming tainted or death of they were not.


Setting Considerations: If possible, I'd like the phase of the moon to be a factor. For example, the full moon brings out stronger emotions be they passion or anger, while the new moon instills calmness and self-reflection. The crescent and gibbous moons would stir magics and the half-moon would lead to self-reflection and internal balance.

Notes: If this application is accepted, I would like to bring the character in with the Luna's Call faction already established as there should be at least one more character apping as part of the faction, with a potential for three.

Sample Post:

Question: Your liege has called upon you to perform a task of great importance. Upon what do you rely to complete it?

Just as with a battle, one doesn't simply rush headfirst into things of great importance. Though I may be headstrong and at times impatient, I'm aware that it's important to approach a task with a clear head and a plan. Taking a moment to analyze the situation, I will identify what aspects of it play to my strengths and what play to my weaknesses. The parts I find that I am not properly suited for will be delegated to those who will do a better job, those I trust to carry out my orders and keep me informed. One can turn the tide in a battle, yes, but one alone cannot win a war.

Question: What does your presence bring to your kingdom?

I am the strength and honor of my chosen people. I stand resolute and visible like a pillar of stone weathering the elements. Given my human heritage, I do understand more about the ways of humans than many of the beastmen do, straddling both cultures. I bring to my chosen people protection against Corruption and claws that will not hesitate to shed blood to ensure such taint never touches the land and those I hold dear. And should I falter, I hope my presence is removed by someone stronger than me that can do what I could not.

Question: Why do you deserve to rule this land?

Deserve? I earned my right to stand as Rhya. When I saw weakness in the previous leader – may Fortune see his soul honored – I challenged him as per custom and was proven the stronger. It is not a question of 'deserve' but a question of strength. Should I become weak and another claim Rhya from me, than I 'deserved' to lose my position and, most likely, my life.

Question: What is god to you?

God isn't what the Church claims. Whatever they believe is the Shining Father is just the manifestation of a few zealots that received an omen from the Fates that they didn't agree with. And instead of accepting what their path was to be, they decided to create their own religion so they could comfort themselves with their decision to ignore how there is a predetermined end for them. One cannot fight the Fates, but they can ignore them. In the end, they still walk the path of Fortune and come full circle.

Question: It is the eve of a great battle, and the troops have made camp for the night. Where are you and what are you doing?

I'm walking amongst my men, breaking bread with them and sharing tales of great victory. Why would I be in my tent away from them, pouring over maps and trying to see if there is anything in my battle plan that needs last-minute alterations? Many of these men are going to die on the morrow and I have a responsibility to know them, to be able to speak of their honorable sacrifice once the battle is over. The commander that is only seen in the distance from the common troop, that never gives them recognition, will not fight as hard as they would if they know they won't be forgotten.

Question: The pressures of court have become too much for you to bear, what do you do?

Court isn't my best arena, so it comes as no surprise that there will be a time when I find myself overwhelmed. As I can be quick to anger, the smart thing to do would be to let my adviser handle Court. Yet, leaving would be a sign of weakness, so I would make sure my adviser is with me to help diffuse any potential disasters. If that's not possible, I will find a way to continue.

Question: You are given the opportunity to bet everything you have for great fortune, should you win you will be granted the wealth of kings but should you lose you will lose everything. What do you do?

I refuse the bet without hesitation. Riches are meaningless in the face of Corruption. Money may be able to buy a person many things, but surrounding oneself in it leads to softness of both the soul and mind.

Question: What do you do in the face of great adversity?

I face it head on and endure. I am a warrior, so I will not run, seeing to it that the threat is ended properly. Death comes for us all one day and if the Fates have deemed the end of my path is near, I will make sure that I take the Great Beast with me, ripping it's tongue out while within its jaws. Honor comes to those that stand tall in the shadow of adversity.

Question: For what cause are you willing to sacrifice yourself?

Corruption will not spread. Corruption and the Rift will be defeated. Let me make myself clear. I will see to my last dying breath that Corruption will meet its end. It is a plague that will be wiped from the face of Dagaria when the rest of the land stops being weak, stops compromising when it comes to the Rift. And I will not live to see a land without it. This fact saddens me, but it is where my path ends if I am strong enough to see the course.

Question: A celebration is being held in your honor. Lavish food, gifts, and even people are offered at your table. What do you take or do in celebration of your achievements?

I will feast! To refuse such a celebration would be an insult to those honoring me. I will eat first, take the gifts that I like the best and then distribute the rest to my men and those close to me. The first share goes to the greatest in station, but to keep all of it when unnecessary is dishonorable.

November 2014

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