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NPC Profiles / Yasha Krāsny
« on: August 06, 2018, 05:20:19 PM »

Name: Yasha Krāsny

Age: 39

Species and Gender: Faunus Male, Lion faunus

Symbol:  A battle-scarred, snarling lion with one paw crushing a shattered crown.

Occupation: Labor Union Executive Officer, criminal, White Fang sympathizer

        At 6 feet, 6 inches and 230 pounds, Yasha is a big man.  Possessing a very muscular body, he has the look of a warrior, through and through.  His moderately-tanned skin and short, bristly medium brown hair suggest that he is of Vacuan descent.  Yasha has sharp features and a strong, clean-shaven jawline, with hazel/amber-colored eyes set above a narrow, straight nose.  A long, faded scar runs horizontally across the ridge of his nose and onto the top of his cheekbones.  Courtesy of his Faunus heritage, Yasha bears long and sharp canines that are visible when he smiles and speaks.  Taking these features together, he projects a commanding and imposing presence.  He has two small barcode tattoos: one just below his left wrist, and one over his right latissimus dorsi.
         While out in public or needing to appear respectable, Yasha generally wears a dark red collared shirt with a black tie.  His pants are grey and along with a matching waistcoat and suit jacket, have a barely perceptible striped pattern to them.  With this, he wears black leather dress shoes.  When expecting to perform sustained physical activity, he often wears a black cotton tank top while wearing slim, dark grey cargo pants/trousers that are tucked into tan-colored combat boots and help up by a thick, dark leather belt with a lion’s head buckle.  Over this, Yasha wears a sheepskin-colored leather jacket with an off-center zipper.  Its lapels and collar are lined with fur, giving the appearance of a lion’s mane.       

        Yasha does not frequently speak of his youth, and few, if any, know of his background, other than that he is from Vacuo.  Having grown up in a nomadic clan in the deserts of Vacuo, his childhood was fraught with challenges and adversity.  His clan moved from small oasis to small oasis, but the possibility of Grimm attacks during the treks meant that the tribesman all needed to learn to defend themselves.  It was here that Yasha learned to fight.
        When Yasha was seventeen, disaster struck.  While travelling to a oasis that they had never previously been to, his clan inadvertently navigated into a nest of Deathstalker Grimm.  While the clansmen fought against the Grimm, they lacked the skills of hunters necessary to fight an entire brood of powerful Grimm.  The clan was annihilated.  In the face of the carnage, Yasha fled.  Though it was likely that other members of his clan similarly fled, he never met any again.  Fleeing into the desert, Yasha stumbled through the shifting sands.  Though having grown up in a nomadic lifestyle in the deserts prepared Yasha for navigating the deserts of Vacuo, he was exhausted and without provisions -  nearly all of his belongings were lost with his clan’s caravan to the Deathstalker attack.
        Against all odds, Yasha endured and arrived, near death, at the outskirts of Vacuo’s main city (the one Shade is located in).  An old couple took pity on the youth on death’s door and took him in, nursing him back to health.  Yasha did his best to repay their kindness, but after they passed, Yasha set out on his own. 
       Finding odd jobs here and there, Yasha struggled to make a living.  As a nomadic tribesman, he really had no marketable skills that were relevant in Vacuo’s (sole) major city.  All that was available to him were jobs dependent on unskilled, but backbreaking labor.  After bouncing around from place to place trying to find his own way, Yasha found work in a dust mine dominated by the Schnee Dust Company, in a mining town away from Vacuo’s city.  The work was physically back-breaking and though it paid decently well, there were countless safety hazards, ranging from the risk of cave-ins to the risk of accidental activation and detonation of the mined dust.  It was a tough life.  Furthermore, though Vacuo had a culture of acceptance and tolerance, that culture did not translate well into the Schnee Dust Company-dominated mining town.  Not only did he face discrimination for his Faunus heritage, but he also faced it for his nomadic, backwater origins.
        Nonetheless, Yasha found success in the mines.  A tough and hard worker, Yasha was charismatic and drew his fellow miners to him, representing their interests to corporate management.  From this, Yasha rose quickly through the ranks of the miner’s union.
        Eventually, Yasha became a full-time union worker, gaining a reputation of being an implacable defender of workers’ rights.  Despite his focus on mine workers’ collective bargaining above all else, Yasha’s being a Faunus, made him an unintentional figure in the local Faunus rights movement, seeming to unite workers’ rights with Faunus rights in a broader struggle against an exploitative and discriminatory status quo as embodied by monolithic corporations, especially the Schnee Dust Company. 
        In light of this, Yasha was sent to Vale, where species relations were more tense between humans and Faunus, as compared to in Vacuo.  Taking charge of the mining union’s Valish branch, he has since brought his relentless determination to advance workers’ rights, becoming a major thorn in the sides of both local mining companies and speciesist groups seeking to win over the local miners through the portrayal of Faunus as nothing but wage wedges.

        Unfortunately, when people look at Yasha’s outstanding record as a champion in the labor movement, few realize exactly what it took to win the victories that Yasha has won.  In the beginning, establishing a reliable regime of collective bargaining was tough.  Vacuo, for lack of a better word, was little beyond its dust mines and Shade Academy, as far as an organized society went.  With so many nomadic peoples such as Yasha coming and going, temporary workers were plenty, and so it was easy for corporate management to find wage wedges.  On top of that, despite what Yasha would later assert in Vale, many companies had indeed followed the model of the Schnee Dust Company, using Faunus as wage wedges and strike breakers that further made orchestrating any meaningful collective bargaining difficult.
       It was in such circumstances that Yasha needed to resort to more forceful tactics.  Extortion, blackmailing, bribing, and intimidation - all were necessary to forge the mine workers into a strong union and overcome the threat of wage wedges and strike breakers.  With this, marked Yasha’s descent into the criminal underworld.  While refusing to engage in the more base forms of criminal enterprises, such as human and faunus trafficking, prostitution, and drug distribution, Yasha’s union, for all of the good it brought to the local labor movement, was a criminal racket.  Certainly, many with knowledge of the criminal underworld distinguished Yasha and his associates from more depraved gangsters, for he was a “nicer” kind of criminal, and at the end of the day, his was a noble cause, or at least began as one.  However, it did not change the fact that more than once, blood was spilt. 
       Today, Yasha’s enterprises, which at times are difficult to clearly distinguish from the labor union itself, tend towards white collar crime, primarily in money laundering, fraud, and usury.  Most notably, Yasha’s control of the mine workers’ union as well as allied unions, its pension funds, and its associated political action committees has allowed him to transform illegal profits into ostensibly legitimate funds, especially within Vacuo’s weak government jurisdiction.  While not particularly associated with any other criminal group, his money laundering services and fraud enterprises have seen him rub shoulders with all walks of life in the criminal underworld, such as Obsidian Rose, the notable crime syndicate.  Furthermore, Yasha has sought to divert some of these funds to the White Fang movement, for though he has no particular stake in seeing an independent all-faunus state, his experiences in the mines left him with a strong vendetta against the Schnee Dust Company, as well as other mining companies with discriminatory labor practices that follow the SDC pattern.

        As a person looked up to for his achievements in furtherance of the labor movement, Yasha presents himself as a dignified and respectable individual.  While self-educated, he has an air of sophistication and intellectualism untainted by any pretentiousness or insecure overcompensation.  Often soft spoken, yet bold, forceful, and unafraid to make a stand when necessary, Yasha is admired for the apparent strength of his convictions within the context of the labor movement, giving him an aura of nobility as he champions the common man.
        On a more personal level, Yasha’s sophistication is tempered with a sort of down-to-earth feeling, and many find him likable and charismatic.  He possesses a can-do attitude that marks him out as a dynamic man of action, reliability, and commitment.
        Further down, however, Yasha is a person quite different from what most others make him to be.  His time in Vacuo’s mines under the yoke of the Schnee Dust Company taught him the value of strength and power, and as his position in the public eye grew from his exploits as a rising star in the labor movement, so did his pride.  Having risen to power as a union leader, it has become unclear if Yasha’s continued fight against corporate abuses is motivated by true concern for workers or if at this point, he is fighting for the sake of empire-building.
        This prideful aspect is most clear when it comes to Yasha’s criminal enterprises.  Yasha has long since abandoned any attempt at justifying his criminal enterprises as regrettable but ultimately necessary actions for the sake of maintaining the momentum of the labor movement.  Here, Yasha’s ambitious nature makes him domineering, callous, and ultimately, cruel, as he seeks to carve out his own niche in Remnant’s criminal underworld.
        Nonetheless, Yasha harbors great disdain for the Schnee Dust Company.  He understands that the SDC, with regards to its treatment of Faunus, is unrepresentative of most humans, which is why he has yet to formally align himself with the White Fang movement, but he views the Schnee Dust Company as a symbol of an old, cruel, and corrupt order that must be removed to give way to the new for a better tomorrow.  In this aspect, Yasha harbors a small glint of anarchic idealism, perhaps pointing to the culture of freedom and perseverance that he developed during his youth as a Vacuan tribesman.

Aura and Semblance: Dark Guardian
       Yasha’s semblance involves the creation of a peculiar aura construct that has the appearance of a large, shadowy, muscular being with a featureless face and emanating a smoky aura.  However, the being is not limited to this form and can distort its appearance to reflect Yasha’s frame of mind or whatever he wills it to be.  This shadow construct can and often acts independently of Yasha and is more a reflection of his subconscious.  For the most part, the construct is attached to Yasha, seeming to at least physically originate from his shadow, though the construct can, at any time, leave Yasha for brief periods of time, requiring much more aura expenditure to maintain its separation.  The shadow construct varies in its corporealness, ranging from being merely a thick haze to being fully corporeal.  Generally speaking, the more corporeal the shadow construct, the easier it is to attack directly, causing increased taxation of Yasha’s aura reserves. 
        The construct can directly fight in its corporeal form and is generally much stronger and faster than a person at his or her physical peak, giving Yasha an edge in both surprise and combat ability.  Furthermore, Yasha can expend extra aura to warp to the Guardian while it is separated from him, suddenly disappearing and then reforming at its location.
        One notable ability of Yasha’s semblance is for the Guardian to leave him and instead enter his weapon.  During this time, Passover is empowered, doing much more damage, but in exchange, Yasha’s aura drains at a significant rate, meaning that this can only be done for very brief periods.  Much as the Guardian is not permanently bound to Yasha, it is not bound to Passover during this period and can leave it any time Yasha wills it.

Combat Behavior: 
         Yasha is a very physical attacker and a passionate fighter, easily engrossed by the thrill of battle and the visceral feel of Passover’s blade cutting through enemies.  Despite the power of his semblance in close combat, Yasha prefers to rely on his own skill with his scythe blade than on the raw strength offered by the Guardian.  To this effect, Yasha wields Passover in a way that utilizes and efficiently conserves the momentum of his swings, epitomizing the broad, sweeping strokes of a scythe (more like how Ryu Hayabusa uses the Eclipse Scythe in Ninja Gaiden than like how Ruby uses Crescent Rose).  With this style of scythe combat, Passover’s shorter handle becomes more useful, than a scythe handle of traditional length, as it offers increased control in exchange for blade reach. 
        When Yasha does utilize his Guardian, it usually is for the purpose of surprising an unsuspecting enemy or when the Guardian’s physical strength is desperately needed, such as against larger Grimm.  Otherwise, it is quite possible for Yasha’s opponents to go entire fights against him without realizing he has a semblance that he knows how to use.
        Given Yasha’s preference for close combat and lack of ranged weapons or abilities, he struggles with enemies who are able to maintain a distance from him while being able to do damage to him.  Though Passover has mechanisms for using kinetic dust to create blade arcs that effectively extend the reach of the blade, such range-enhancing mechanisms are limited by the amount of dust available and is not a viable option.

Name: Passover

Primary Form: a large scythe with a shorter-than usual handle.  There is a sharp weighted end on the other side of the handle.

Secondary Form: The scythe head can rotate upward to make Passover into a traditional warscythe or a large-bladed glaive.  Alternatively, the head can rotate inward for easier stowage.

Tertiary Form: The blade-head can be removed from the shaft, revealing a spear blade, making Passover into a long-bladed short spear or a long iklwa.

Dust Functions: Passover’s head, in which the blade is set, carries slots for dust, allowing Yasha to make arching dust attacks that follow the scythe blade’s motion.  While Yasha could use any dust type, he prefers to use kinetic dust to effectively extend the blade’s reach

History: When Passover was made, as well as under what circumstances it was made, is totally unknown to nearly all but Yasha.  Yasha’s affiliates note that Yasha possessed the weapon even before he joined them in their enterprises, but how much earlier, none can say.  However, ever since Yasha’s elevation in the public eye as a hero of the people, he has kept a distance from being personally involved in criminal operations, and as a result, Passover has seen little use.  Nonetheless, when Yasha wields Passover, there can be no doubt that there will be much blood spilt.

Teams / Third Year Team
« on: July 09, 2017, 01:17:57 PM »
Not many third year student characters, so looking to make a team at Beacon.

My character for this is Airi Okairos

Approved Characters / Airi Okairos
« on: May 10, 2017, 04:55:27 AM »

Name: Airi Okairos

Age: 20

Species and Gender: Human Female

Symbol: an hourglass with the bottom glass bulb shattered and sand leaking out

Occupation: Third-Year Beacon Student

        Airi is 5’10” and around 140 lbs and has long, black hair that can sometimes appear a dark brown in certain lighting conditions.  With pale, peach-colored skin; almond-shaped, medium brown eyes, upon which sit naturally long and lush eyelashes, her appearance can be described as somewhat “Asiatic.”  Along with high cheekbones, a narrow, straight nose, and sharp features, she gives off an aura of self-assuredness, intensity, focus, and cunning.  Were she to give a restrained half-smile, the expression could be mistaken for one of a crafty and wily haughtiness, yet it stands in contrast to one of her rare, genuine smiles that hint at a simpler character that belies her usual apparent self.  Combined with her toned yet slender, shapely, and well-developed feminine body, Airi radiates an exotic, but altogether complicated and intimidating beauty that while making her an object of desire, it at the same time denotes her as one not to be trifled with or underestimated.
        When not wearing her school uniform, Airi wears a burgundy-colored sleeveless tunic that reaches to a little past her hip.  She has a brown leather belt, unsupported by any belt loop and wrapping freely around her hips.  The belt’s buckle is round with Airi’s symbol embossed onto it.  Below, Airi wears off-white/eggshell-colored pants tucked into mid-calf-length slightly-heeled brown leather boots.  On top of her tunic, she wears a white full-sleeved half-jacket with burgundy highlights and a gradual pink sakura theme around the edges of the sleeves.

Reference (Mari Kurihara - Prison School)

        Airi was born in a village in Mistral as the only daughter and the last child of the Sanada family, skilled craftsmen who specialized in woodworking and artisanal construction.  As artisans, they were of some renown in their local area and, despite having a permanent home in one village would frequently travel between villages and communities in order to meet the needs of clients for extended projects.  Being in the more remote parts of Mistral, travelling was not entirely safe, as Grimm often roamed the lands between inhabited settlements.  However, with resident hunters in the region, Airi’s parents felt safe enough to continue their trade and travels. 
        Their perception would prove to be in error.  During one trip, a group of Grimm suddenly attacked their extended family’s caravan in the mountain forests between two villages.  Though a small group of hunters were in the area and had rushed to the scene of the incident as quickly as they could, they were not quick enough to prevent the Grimm from slaughtering most of the family.  As she lay succumbing to her grievous wounds, Airi’s mother passed Airi, who was still an infant, to the hunters, begging them to take her.  The hunters could do little but to take the child.
       The hunters took Airi back to their lodge, but they were a group of young, travelling hunters, and they could not afford to be taking an infant with them on their adventures.  As a result, they took Airi back to Mistral and left her in an orphanage, one that they made sure performed background checks on the prospective foster parents in an attempt to filter out those who would lead adopted orphans into a lifestyle characteristic of Mistral’s unsavory lower class.  It is an unfortunate fact of orphanages that the younger an orphan was, the more likely he/she is to be adopted.  But for Airi, this was a fact that worked out to her benefit, for she was soon adopted by a young couple, the Okairoses.  They were two Atlesian academics that had traveled to Mistral for an extended teach abroad stint at Mistral’s university.
       For much of early life, Airi, having taken the surname of her adopted parents, lived in Mistral, her life filled with books and seemingly destined follow the academic path of her parents.  However, despite being loved dearly by her adopted parents and loving them back in return, Airi, was very much conscious that she was adopted.  After all, with the considerable differences in appearance between her and her adopted parents, it was hard not to remain conscious of it.  At first, her adopted parents were reluctant to provide Airi with the answers she sought about her origins, but as the Okairoses moved back to Atlas and Airi looked more and more out of place and exotic amongst her peers at school, she insisted on learning about her heritage.  Eventually, Airi’s adopted parents relented in their refusal and told her everything they knew, including that Airi’s parents were Mistralese villagers ambushed and killed by Grimm. 
        Though somewhat satisfied from finally finding out the truth about her origins, the Okairoses noted that Airi seemed to develop a strong sudden interest in combat and becoming a hunter, a sharp turn from the academic career that they hoped Airi would grow into.  They attempted to convince Airi to turn away from a future as a hunter, not least because as academics, they were distrustful of the extremely close relationship between the Atlas Academy and the Atlesian military.  When they saw that they could not convince Airi otherwise, her adopted parents gave in and reluctantly blessed her in her desire to become a hunter.  However, the single stipulation they made was that Airi would attend Beacon Academy in Vale, not Atlas Academy.
         Airi attended Atlas’s combat school and performed exceedingly well, known not only for her distinct appearance compared to the other students, but also for her intense drive, perceptiveness, and her tricky fighting style that seemed to rely almost on things coming together at just the right moment almost as much as they relied on Airi’s own fighting skill.  Graduating at the top of her class, she moved to Vale to attend Beacon.  Relying on the techniques she developed at Atlas’s combat school, as well as the more disciplined and regimented training that she received there, no doubt partially a result of the influence Atlas’s military had over the school, Airi similarly found success at Beacon.  Now that she is in her third year, Airi is starting to look towards a life outside of Beacon, as a hunter dedicated to fighting the Grimm and protecting those who can not protect themselves - those like her birth parents.
        At first glance, Airi is quite a serious person, as she rarely smiles.  Having a cool and collected demeanor, she is stoic and goal-oriented.  In pursuit of this, Airi is quite independent and can be described as a bit of a taskmaster, being studious and meticulous in the extreme and expecting competence in both herself and her friends and companions.  For better or for worse, her demanding nature for better or worse, creates a sort of pressure on others to keep up with her performance and expectations.  While some may appreciate this effect Airi has, treating it as source of strength and inspiration for self-improvement and high standards, the appreciation is by no means universal, for Airi is a poor coach.  Rather than nurturing development, she demands exemplary performance at a moment’s notice, being dissatisfied with simple improvement or merely adequate performance.  Nonetheless, Airi’s high expectations creates a sort of unconventional charisma, in which her approval and rarely-given unqualified praise carries significant weight, This stands in contrast to the stinging feeling of inadequacy and disappointment that accompanies a failure to obtain such approval.
       Airi’s drive towards being not merely a good hunter but the best hunter can be readily explained as a result of her feeling the need to avenge the fates of her birth parents.  However, digging deeper, it suggests that Airi, despite being grateful towards and loving her adopted parents, the Okairoses, does not feel fully a part of their family, with some part of her still identifying with her birth parents.  Whatever the cause of her lack of feeling fully a part of her adopted family, it is possible that Airi, for all of her outwardly-appearing confidence, harbors at least a slight insecurity of her fitting in and sense of belonging.
       As exemplified by her semblance, Airi, despite being driven towards performance and effectiveness, favors the unpredictable and unorthodox.  Revelling in puzzles and riddles in all forms, Airi appreciates problem solving, especially when complex and seemingly disparate things interact with one another to create an unexpected solution, and takes delight and finds amusement in seeing her own plans come together as well as those of others.  Occasionally, her love for the unconventional has led others to even ascribe to her a twisted, though not necessarily sick, sense of humor.

Aura and Semblance:
        Airi’s semblance is called Time Remnant.  When using her semblance, she leaves aura-based “imprints” of herself at that exact point when she created the imprint.  These imprints exist in their own frame of reference and are unable to interact with anything outside of them whatsoever, merely appearing as fragmented and semi-transparent replicas of Airi.  These time remnant imprints lag several seconds behind Airi chronologically, with the time lag varying anywhere from one second to ten seconds or possibly even a variable time lag.  Thus, the remnant imprints will copy all of Airi’s prior actions and are, essentially, representations of of Airi several seconds in the past.
        Airi can either send herself back to a Time Remnant imprint, effectively travelling back to her prior location, appearing to be doing all of her actions near-instantaneously in reverse until she arrives at the appropriate position.  Her physical state after having travelled back reflects her state before she did so, meaning she cannot heal wounds, recover energy, etc. through the technique’s use.  Upon arrival, Airi can create a damaging aura shockwave with its power depending on the seconds of lag between the particular imprint’s frame of reference and her own.
        Alternatively, Airi can rapidly accelerate a Time Remnant imprint’s reference frame, speeding up the imprint until it near-instantaneously reaches her in present-time.  Upon its arrival, the imprint will “echo” Airi’s action at that particular point of time, with its actions being able to interact with other things.  For example, if Airi swings her blade at an opponent while accelerating an imprint, the imprint will also swing a blade mere milliseconds after Airi, compounding the damage inflicted (though the imprint’s attack will be comprised of pure aura rather than a physical blade).
        Notably, Airi’s use of Time Remnant imprints does pose a danger to herself.  While Airi can re-absorb Time Remnant imprints that she created, this requires her to be focusing and standing relatively still in order to “reconcile” the imprint’s reference point in the past with hers in the present.  However, if Airi makes physical contact with a Time Remnant imprint without preparing herself to re-absorb it, such as being suddenly and roughly shoved back into an imprint, Airi will enter a time stasis and essentially be “frozen in time” for a period equal to the time lag between the imprint’s frame of reference and her own.  In her frozen state, Airi is invulnerable, maintaining an immovable physical presence where she was frozen, but otherwise she is completely removed from the time frame, unable to act or perceive things occurring around her.  Moments of hilarity can be had should she be frozen mid-air and remain in time stasis off the ground, unaffected by gravity.  Thus, while opponents cannot harm her while Airi is frozen, they can use the few seconds of stasis to prepare a trap for her the moment she exits out of stasis.
        Airi’s Time Remnants imprints suffer the same stasis effect that Airi does when they come into contact with one another.  When they come into contact, the imprint further in the past gets subsumed into the one closer to the present, with the surviving imprint gaining solidity with qualities akin to an aura construct before completely freezing in-motion for a period of time equal to the temporal difference between the subsumed and the surviving imprint.  After that time period has passed, the surviving imprint will cease to exist.

Combat Behavior: 
        Airi’s combat style is heavily based around her semblance, and even when she is not using her semblance, it’s impact on her fighting is apparent.  Because of the threat of involuntary stasis, Airi’s style focuses heavily on agility and hit and run, typified by darting into land to strike at an identified weakness before just as quickly back out to find another angle of attack.  Airi semblance, in particular, aids her in this hit and run style, providing her an additional option to “run” through the “travel back” ability while allowing her to capitalize on an enemy’s openings using the time remnants’ “travel forward” ability.  For opponents unfamiliar with her style, Airi is unpredictable and predatory, just as likely to advance for a strike as to retreat.  While Airi is a very skilled swordswoman who is more than capable of holding her own through bladework alone, it simply is not Airi’s style to engage an opponent long enough for more than a brief exchange of blows.
        As far as combat mentality goes, the unique demands of Airi’s semblance requires her to multi-task and be constantly aware of not only her and her opponents but also of any semblance time remnants out on the field in order to utilize her abilities to optimal effect.  This has caused Airi to look at fights from a very four-dimensional perspective involving as much strategy and planning as in-the-moment instinct, sometimes leaving opponents baffled when they fail to recognize the timing and anticipation required for optimal use her abilities and instead attribute a bout gone in her favor to sheer luck. 
        Neither Airi’s semblance nor her weapon leaves her with an option to engage targets at range.  While she is exceptionally agile, in both a finesse and an acrobatic sense, it is nowhere near comparable to a functional gap closer, leaving her vulnerable to opponents who are able to maintain their distance from Airi or otherwise suppress her such that she cannot close in to engage.
       As a side note, Airi is ambidextrous, and while Fateweaver, being shaped for her right hand, means she usually wields Atropos in her left, Airi has been known to occasionally wield Atropos in her right hand, gripping it while wearing Fateweaver, if for no other reason than to throw off opponents by switching things up.


Name: Fateweaver; Atropos

Primary Form:
        Fateweaver is a gauntlet with clawed fingertips that Airi wears on her right hand.  Atropos is a Swiss Saber

Secondary Form:
        Neither of the weapons transform, but Airi carries a spool of threads on her right hip.  In the palm of Fateweaver, there is a small clasp that allows Airi to easily attach the threads to her gauntlet.  The threads, being made of synthetic gossamer, are very strong enough to carry some weight and dig into and lacerate flesh yet thin enough to be difficult to casually see.  Airi often uses them to bind and constrict her opponents.  The mechanism that interacts with the clasp underneath Fateweaver acts as a weighted end for the gossamer threads, allowing Airi to throw the threads when they are unclasped to Fateweaver and the spool is unlocked.

Dust Functions:
        In the upper-arm section, Fateweaver has room for five dust cartridges (Airi prefers a standard loadout of fire, lightning, ice, kinetic, and gravity) that allow for easy casting.  Fateweaver is not equipped to particularly focus the dust.  It’s dust function is more geared towards free-casting.  This is in contrast to Atropos, which has a slot for a single dust cartridge, most often of kinetic dust, in its guard and instead focuses any dust usage into an arcing slash that follows its blade.

        Fateweaver and Atropos are weapons created by Airi during her time at Atlas’s combat school.  While Airi insists that they are just tools that can be discarded and replaced as needed, their long length of service in Airi’s possession has endeared the weapons to her.  In particular, Airi often tinkers with the weapons in her spare time.  In fact, it was such tinkering that led Airi to develop the gossamer thread device to Fateweaver, which it originally did not have when created.


Worldbuilding / The Republic of Bergenstahl
« on: October 02, 2016, 03:50:20 PM »
        Located on the Dragon Isle, the continent to the north of Vytal, the Republic of Bergenstahl, is a heavily industrialized fortress-city.  Originating as a remnant of the oppressive regime that lost the Greyed War, Bergenstahl is a city-state constantly under siege by Grimm and the elements.  A paradoxical state emphasizing order and control at the expense of individuality and personal freedoms yet valuing ambition with a marked disdain for complacency, Bergenstahl maintains a very minimal, isolationist presence in international affairs as the stigma of its origin continues to follow it, and the Grimm presence ensures its focus remains on issues close to home.

Emblem of Order: ShowHide

Bergenstahl's Location

Geography and Ecology
Spoiler: ShowHide

        The Republic of Bergenstahl lies in the center of the Dragon Isle, closer towards the south and sitting in the mountain ranges just northwest of the continent’s eastern CCT relay station.  The land in this area is characterized by tall mountain ranges with expansive volcanic plains at their bases.  Several large magma chambers lie underneath the region, leading to many volcanoes.  However, many of these volcanoes are dormant or are actively tended to by Bergenstahlen geologists to mitigate the chances of violent eruption.
         While it has been ages since the last massive violent eruption in the region, volcanic particulates semi-regularly blanket the region, courtesy of geologists’ attempts to alleviate dangerous pressure buildups.  When the geologists eject the particulates from the volcanic vents, the particulates clog the air, and precipitation-seeding techniques used to flush the particulates from the air create hot, noxious sleet storms.
   The volcanic plains are dominated by rocky soil that is conducive to growing only weeds, wild grasses, and small shrubs, leading to little natural fauna apart from rodents and small, grazing animals.  Thus, Bergenstahl can be described as a windy cold desert region.
   In recent decades, toxic pollutants desecrate the environment as a result of Bergenstahl’s industrial processes.  Were the Bergenstahlens able to maintain their output without sacrificing their environment, they would, but the constant threat of Grimm has ensured that environmentalist concerns are always of least importance.

The City of Bergenstahl
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        Bergenstahl is formed from three regions.  The first is the oldest, and is known as “the Old City.”  Built into the mountains that separate the cold desert plains from the ocean coast, the Old city was the location of Bergenstahl’s first settlement.  Much like the dwarven mountain halls of lore, Old Town bores deep into the mountains with a combination enormous grand halls and winding labyrinthine shafts and tunnels.  Though few people live in Old Town anymore, Old Town is still maintained and used as a military garrison and industrial installation.
        The second region is the “Port Sector” and is located on the coastline, connected via rail to the other regions.  Built by the oppressive regime to serve as the port servicing the Old City, the Port Sector is little more than a fortified port.  As the only region where foreign visitors are allowed in Bergenstahl, the Port Sector serves as the seat of international diplomatic relations in Bergenstahl.
        The third region is “New Bergenstahl,” built on the plains beneath the mountains and the Old City.  New Bergenstahl city is a collection of interconnected residential, commercial, and industrial hives, appearing as monolithic towers linked by railways and skybridges.  Impossibly tall spires and exhaust-belching smokestacks stretch into the bleak sky while the same buildings feature countless levels of basements and sub-basements that bore deep into the earth and form great subterranean halls, bunkers, and shelters.  New Bergenstahl contains an outer and an inner wall.  While the outer wall protects the entire city, the inner wall separates the citizens and New Bergenstahl proper from the shanty towns and slums of the city’s many refugees.
        True to the needs dictated by the environment, Bergenstahlen buildings are visually harsh and oppressively utilitarian, with particular attention towards protection against Grimm and volcanic activity. Enormous heat sinks, thick blast doors, and ablative heat shields are standard on nearly all buildings, while durable shelters exist in many city sectors for use if the preventative measures fail.       

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        Bergenstahl began more than a century ago as a self-sustaining hard rock mining colony known as Bereich Siebenundvierzig (hence called “Area 47”).  Founded by the oppressive conformist regime, it was a starting point for the exploitation of the region’s natural resources.  Originally purely industrial in nature Area 47’s first inhabitants were engineers, skilled laborers, geologists, and scientists, except for a small military garrison to ward off Grimm.
        In the early years, life was tough, as the conformist regime was purely interested in Area 47’s industrial capacity, and so offered little support to the colonists beyond the requisite industrial infrastructure.  Faced with the general lack of arable soil, the noxious volcanic sleet storms, the toilsome life of an industrial worker, and the Grimm attacks drawn toward the resulting dissatisfaction with such a life, Area 47’s first inhabitants took shelter in the mountains and learned to attune their technology and and their society to the harsh landscape, building agricultural vaults, and developing atmospheric suits necessary to survive in the environment

        During the Greyed War, Area 47 continued its role as an almost purely industrial installation and produced materials for the Conformists’ war machine.  Even as other Regime bases across Remnant started to fall, the colonists continued to produce, unaware of the war’s progress apart from the few shreds of information brought with the few Regime refugees well-connected itself to discover the installation and seek refuge there.  For years, Area 47 remained isolated from the outside world, and though the colonists assumed from the eventual lack of contact that the Regime had lost the war, they remained too busy fighting off Grimm to take much advantage of their newfound independence.

        Area 47 was eventually discovered by Atlesian engineers sent to survey the Dragon Isle in preparation for the construction of the continent’s CCTS relay stations.  While the natural instinct of the Area 47’s inhabitants, as Regime remnants, was to take up arms against the Atlesians, the small military garrison and the constant threat of the Grimm made such hostile intent foolish.  On the other side, taking into account Area 47’s almost purely industrial war in the war, the Atlesians, weary from years of war and innumerable losses, decided to leave the installation alone.  Separated from the leadership of the Regime, the conformist culture, the Atlesians reasoned, would soon fade and return to mankind’s natural propensity towards individual freedom.
        In the following years, the Atlesians were, for the most part, right.  Since the fall of the Regime, Area 47, either to reintegrate into the international community abandoned the conformist culture of the Regime adopting the individualism and progressivism championed by the four kingdoms.  Contact with the outside world brought trade to Area 47, especially with the many villages and towns that sprung up around the Dragon Isle’s two CCT relay stations.  Through Grimm incursions continued, life in Area 47 - the continent’s Northern Bastion of civilization - seemed to improve, even if only a little.

        Unfortunate, the modest prosperity was not to last.  In the catastrophe known to Area 47’s inhabitants as “the Long Night,” Grimm hordes suddenly rampaged through the East, overrunning the towns and destroying the continent’s eastern CCT relay station.  Area 47, by virtue of its strong defensive position in the mountains weather the initial waves.  Cut off from the rest of Remnant, the people of Area 47 did their best to ride out the onslaught.  What they hadn’t prepared for, however, was the influx of refugees that fled the ravaged lowlands and sought safety in the Northern Bastion.  While many in Area 47 did not want to take in the refugees, citing limited food, seeing the refugees being slaughtered by the Grimm nonetheless resonated with the inhabitants and their own struggles against the Grimm.  So, Area 47 took in the refugees.
        With the influx of refugees, the installation’s food supply teetered on the brink of exhaustion and civil society collapsed as citizens fought among themselves for whatever limited resources they could get their hands on.  Most notably, the leaders of the city’s workers unions, mines, and manufacturing forges soon carved out small semi-feudal holdings.  As resources became scarcer and scarcer, the rivalries between these leaders eventually descended into the free-for-all conflict that was part gang war and part civil war.  Thus began the Guild Wars. 
         Soon, the military, having sealed the entrances to the mountain city through calculated cave-ins to keep out the Grimm, intervened.  However, despite being most well-armed and most well-organized of the factions, it simply could not defeat all the others by itself.

         Eventually, the Guild Wars ended when a cadre of young up-and-coming individuals from across the warring guilds began to gain influence.  Seeking to unite the population, the cadre revisited aspects of the old Regime’s conformist culture.  By stressing unity and shared self-sacrifice, along with portraying the city’s descent into chaos as the result of years of complacent and corrupt leaders and the influx of thankless, thieving refugees, the cadre appealed to the basest emotions and simplest fears of Area 47’s people, riding the resulting wave of nationalistic populism to swell in numbers to the point of being able to either absorb many of the Guild Wars’s factions or eradicate them outright.
        The cadre, now named the Bergenstahl Unity Congress (BUC), came to control every aspect of Area 47’s society.  It distributed medicines to the people, portraying them as nutritional supplements designed to stave off hunger and deliver synthesized nutrients as a food substitute.  With internal peace secured, the BUC mobilized Area 47’s population to fight the Grimm that remained outside the installation’s mountain walls.  Through much sacrifice, the Grimm were pushed back, and the BUC was able to create out a small, fortified domain amidst the multitudes of destroyed and deserted settlements that surrounded the eastern relay station.

        The BUC quickly re-ordered society according to its vision of a structured, industrious, and harmonious society.  Renaming Area 47 “Bergenstahl,” after the region’s informal name, the BUC reorganized the collection of competing guilds and unions into a system of rigid, super-stratified pseudo-castes that emphasized order, hierarchy, and control.  The BUC then sought to reconnect with the rest of the world, using the slow airship and nautical ship travel to contact the Kingdoms after the loss of the eastern relay station.

         By the time, Bergenstahl reestablished contact with the world’s powers on the other continents, it had completely relapsed into a totalitarian society as a means of ensuring order and stability in the face of the ever-present Grimm threat.  While many denounced Bergenstahl for its choice of social structure, it was nonetheless apparent that its defensively-militarized existence secured from the Grimm the eastern flank of the still-surviving communities centered around the western CCT relay station.  Though whispers abounded that Atlas wished to launch a campaign to reclaim the eastern CCT relay station while at the same time conquering and de-establishing Bergenstahl, purging the last known vestiges of the Regime from Remnant, Atlas’s difficulty in reclaiming the neighboring CCT station on its own continent meant that any such plans never materialized.  With further crises elsewhere in Remnant, such as the Faunus Rights Revolution, Bergenstahl, which had since elected to close itself off from the rest of Remnant except to engage in some international trade, faded into obscurity far from the public eye of other nations and became little more than the occasional political boogeyman used to rally people against any perceived sign, real or fabricated, of a resurgent conformist movement.

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        Bergenstahl is best described as an oligarchic meritocratic dictatorship structured as a federation of worker unions, guilds, and bureaus, formally called “Abteilungs.”  Government power is based around the 10 Abteilungs. 
        The leaders of each Abteilung together form an executive body, called “the Directory,” that wields near-absolute authority over all of Bergenstahl’s affairs.  The Directory is a council of equals, and as such, there is no formal hierarchy within it, with only informal hierarchies of personality, political acumen, and exercisable power existing.
        Each Abteilung manages its own affairs, and within the bounds of general Bergenstahlen law, each Abteilung regulates how the Bergenstahlens affiliated with it conduct business.  The Abteilungs are independent of one another, except where the Directory mandates otherwise.
        The Abteilungs’ leadership structure varies from Abteilung to Abteilung, but generally, leadership is chosen through both a direct and indirect democracy in which lower-level members directly elect mid-level members, who then directly elect upper-level members.

        Outside the formal government structure is Bergenstahl’s single political party - the Bergenstahl Unity Congress.  Representatives elected from all levels of society and from all Abteilungs represent the interests of their constituencies at BUC events.  As Bergenstahl’s sole party, the totalitarian BUC is all-encompassing and omnipresent in its power.  At the top of the party hierarchy is the Standing Committee, which comprises of the Premier, Vice-Premier, and General-Secretary, and four others.  These seven party members determine the overall direction of the party and its objectives. 
        The party creates a network of contacts and method of alliance-building that affects the official government structure and helps bridge the Abteilungs.  Indeed, many of the leading members of Bergenstahl’s Abteilungs are also leading members of the party.  Because the Directory’s members are officially all of equal standing, party ranking particularly helps determine the hierarchy of the Direktorium members.
        Officially, the BUC does not control any government institution, but this varies with institution.  For example, the propaganda and academia Abteilungs tends to be dominated by the BUC while the military, mining, and manufacturing Abteilungs tend to passively resist BUC control, with the military even having a tradition of autonomy from the party apparatus.

Social Structure
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        Just as Bergentahl’s government is based on the Abteilung system, the city’s social structure is also built around the Abteilung system.  In this regard, the Abteilung system is a meritocratic hyper-stratified pseudo-caste system that sorts citizens by skillset, temperament, and type of contribution to society.  The sorting is done via a rigorous examination administered after completion of schooling at the age of 21, factoring in the citizen’s performance on the actual examination as well as school performance.
        Each Abteilung is divided into 5 cohorts, with each cohort being subdivided into 5 standard ratings and 1 special political rating.  The cohorts and ratings form a social ladder into which citizen has a place based on his/her performance and contribution to society.  The Abteilung caste system is so omnipresent in daily life that a Bergenstahlen citizen’s political affiliation, career aspirations, social status, and social relations are all one in the same and defined by the Abteilung caste system.
        Despite technically being a classless society, Bergenstahlen society can be roughly divided into four broad groups: the upper class (the first two cohorts), the middle class (the middle cohort), the lower class (the last two cohorts), and the Unwelcome (refugee non-citizens).  In Bergenstahl, one’s rank means everything, so it is extremely uncommon, almost taboo, for individuals between social classes to associate in a non-professional setting
        However, unlike in a true caste system, citizens are allowed to move between Abteilungs, through ludicrously difficult aptitude tests, and up and down the social ladder within an Abteilung, through increased performance according to the various standards of each Abteilung.  Furthermore, a person’s ranking and caste have absolutely no bearing on his/her child’s future ranking and caste, as all children are collectively raised by the state away from their families, and are left to achieve solely on his or her own merits.
        While the majority of people in Bergenstahl are human, there is a sizeable Faunus population.  The Faunus are fully integrated into society, as Bergenstahl is a post-racial society with a single classification type: citizen vs. non-citizen.  As long as a person is willing to contribute and dedicate him/herself to the wellbeing of the state, all are equally welcome.

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        While the official culture promoted by the government’s propaganda apparatus is one of unity, community, perseverance, self-improvement, and self-sacrifice, in reality there are three distinct major cultures in Bergenstahl.
        The first culture is that belonging to the overwhelming majority of citizens, namely those of the bottom three cohorts.  Of the three culture systems, this is the one most similar to the culture promoted by the government and is based on the notion that the original colonists of Area 47 needed to selflessly unite in order to form a community strong enough to endure the harsh environment and frequent Grimm attacks.  Emphasizing meritocracy, conformity, and social harmony, this culture teaches citizens to be industrious and obedient followers of the ostensibly infallible social hierarchy.  Furthermore, emotion is reviled as dangerous subversives to mankind’s rationality and logical perfection, both making mankind weak and allowing them to be preyed upon by the dark creatures of Grimm.  Individuals are treated as mere instances of the great societal machine, and with the help of the powerful emotion-suppressing ReinenGeist drugs, the suppression of emotion and individualism grinds citizens into utterly faceless anonymity.  As long as one abides by the chain of command and performs well in his allotted place, he/she will advance in society. 
        The second culture is the culture of the upper class.  Though not explicitly endorsing individualism, culture here emphasizes personal ambition and constant self-improvement.  Citizens in this culture are not required to use ReinenGeist and are taught to be utterly single-minded and relentless in their attempt to climb the social hierarchy.  While in the lower classes, perfection is a state to be maintained, in the upper class culture, perfection is an endless journey.  This culture originates from the notion that the original colonists of Area 47 more than just survived their terrible conditions, but instead refused to bow their heads and thrived, overcoming adversity with the furious wrath of a mortal eternally defiant against cruel and capricious gods.  Taking this lesson to heart, the citizens have embraced a sort of extreme Social Darwinism and made Realpolitiks the name of the game, turning the upper-class in a snake pit filled with hyper-ambitious perfectionists constantly seeking to outdo one another and with no qualms about betraying each other.
        The third culture is not precisely a Bergenstahlen culture, as it is the one embraced by of the Unwelcome refugee-non-citizens who dwell in the hinterlands between the massive hives-towers and beyond the inner wall.  Cut off from mainstream Bergenstahlen society, the refugees, looked down upon by Bergenstahlens as the freeloading, lazy vermin of the earth, hold on to their original cultures.  Cherishing their individualism, they look to their family and friends as the source of their strength and attempt to survive knowing that such personal relationships will always be there for them to fall back on.
        Nonetheless, Bergenstahl’s state of almost perpetual total war against the Grimm somewhat unites the three cultures.  People in Bergenstahl are grim and lacking in humor.  Taking nothing for granted, they are stoic and always conscious of the possibility that the city-state may fall as Grimm finally breach its defenses.  Bergenstahlens dismiss both past traditions as unnecessary anchors and grand overarching visions of the future as fragile luxuries that almost always shatter when confronted with harsh reality.  Focusing on realism and practicality, they are self-reliant and place a premium on empiricism, though not to the degree that it precludes deductive and inductive reasoning. 
        Even with this bleak and cynical rationalism, occasionally, small threads of unreasoned hope shine through in individuals on a personal level, suggesting that for all the strength of the emotion drugs and the government’s/party’s monolithic totalitarianism, in at least some, a flicker of mankind’s original innocent spirit remains.

ReinenGeist and IEx7
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        ReinenGeist is a family of powerful psychotropic drugs that is used by the majority of Bergenstahlen citizens and firmly binds them to the austere culture advocated by the BUC.  Developing upon the minor psychotropic effects of the original health supplements and drugs distributed by the BUC shortly after the Guild Wars, Reinen Geist and its derivations are notable for suppressing select neuroreceptors and neurotransmitters, thus subduing most emotions while possibly amplifying others.  For the most part, emotions described as contributing to social and interpersonal discord are abolished, allowing for a more harmonious, obedient society.  This also has the effect of reducing Bergenstahl’s negative emotion signature, making it appear less as a beacon of such emotion to Grimm than a city of its size would otherwise appear.
        Unfortunately, because individuality is heavily tied to one’s emotional health, ReinenGeist has the secondary effect of suppressing semblances - the expression of one’s soul and individuality - to the point of their existence being almost completely forgotten among the lower classes.  However, the erasure of individuality via ReinenGeist creates a sort of emotional tabula rasa from which the government constructs its value systems and emotional cues as a sort of model for the emotionally blank citizens to follow.  With emotional brainwashing, artificial semblances can develop, giving Bergenstahl’s leadership a measure of control into the otherwise random or genetically-passed semblances of the city’s citizens.

        IEx7 is another family of biochemicals derived from the original health supplements and drugs.  However, unlike ReinenGeist, IEx7 focuses on the user’s physical performance.  Rarely consumed by the general public, IEx7 enhances the production of certain hormones and provides more effective oxygen-binding proteins as well electron receptors for use in anaerobic respiration, among other metabolic functions, making it well-suited for citizens working in more physical labor-intensive and dangerous jobs.  Furthermore, the Aleph variant is notable for containing the stabilizer agents necessary for the function of a number of synthetic stimulants including the military Abteilung’s specialized ReinenGeist derivative, and is particularly essential for the function of the aggression enhancers used by the professional soldiers.

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        Bergenstahl is a militarized state, primarily due to its history and development as an industrial fortress city.  The military can be broadly divided into three groups: the conscripted forces, the professional forces, and the “Jäger" Korps.
        The conscripted forces make up the overwhelming bulk of the military and is formed from Bergenstahlens completing their 3 years of mandatory military service before they officially become adult citizens.  Such soldiers are Bergenstahl’s first and last line of defense against the Grimm.  Though sufficiently trained, conscripted forces lack the expertise of their more professional comrades and rely on both numbers and supporting combat automata to defeat Grimm by drowning them with the sheer volume of their fire.
        The professional forces, as their name suggests, are soldiers who completed their mandatory military service and opted to serve again, joining the military Abteilung as permanent members, even after retirement.  Due to its professional nature, the professional contingents are small but are given much more intense training.  Filling the role of shock troops, they learn advanced military tactics and strategy and are given aura training, namely in aura shield, heightened senses, and endurance techniques.  Furthermore, they regularly undergo ideological indoctrination and use psychotropic drugs and synthetic stimulants.  In particular, the Kämpfer soldiers take a ReinenGeist variation synthesized to quell their emotions in combat and solidify adherence to the command chain.  The heavily-altered IEx7 Aleph derivation they use improves metabolic functions in the body, with a further variation being used prior to entering combat to stimulate the adrenal glands and other steroid functions.  Combined, IEx7 keeps the soldiers in an enhanced fight-or-flight stress response frame of mind while ReinenGeist ensures the response is limited to purely “fight,” with no consideration of flight.  Under the exhortations of these stimulants, Kämpfer soldier are reliable soldiers and fanatically loyal and vicious warriors.
        The last distinctive group of soldiers in the Bergenstahlen military is known as the “Jäger Korps.”  Fulfilling the role of hunters in other nations, the Jäger Korps epitomize the total-war approach the Bergenstahlens have taken to fighting the Grimm.  Jägers display particular aptitude in using aura and semblances and are given training to develop these skills even further.  Tasked with leading military assaults on specific objectives in Grimm-held territory, Jägers, are given more latitude and are treated like special operations forces, with teams based on personal compatibility.  This suits their secondary purpose - that of the Bergenstahlen military's manhunters and assassins.  In this capacity, they are akin to the field operations division of military intelligence, and it is this secondary purpose that in recent years has become the more frequent purpose for the Bergenstahlen “Jäger" Korps.

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        Due to the volcanic and tectonic activity in the Bergenstahl region, the city-state relies very heavily on geothermal energy.  This is supplemented by some wind farms that take advantage of the windy cold desert climate, but the maintenance costs of wind farms, especially considering the frequency of artificially induced chemical rain and sleet around Bergenstahl, make wind power much less attractive than geothermal energy.
        Beyond that, Bergenstahl can be described as in the middle in the road as far as technological advancement goes - advanced in some areas, and underdeveloped and backwards in others.  Due to the city’s history, mining, metallurgical, materials science, and industrial operations optimization technology is advanced.  Similarly, advancements in chemistry, fed by the demand for more efficient chemicals to aid industrial production is also advanced.  The need for increasing the city’s limited crop yield and agricultural output led to advancements in biochemicals, particularly resulting in many strains of genetically-modified crops and biological supplements.
       In contrast to its highly developed technologies stemming from heavy industry, Bergenstahl’s technology falls behind in areas of light technology, particularly with regards to consumer electronics and household goods.  Given the austere preferences that arise from Bergenstahl’s almost-constant state of intense war (with the Grimm), the city-state tends to neglect development in such areas in favor of technologies that would provide tangible, immediate benefits towards the survival of the community.

Industry, Trade, and Economy
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        Bergenstahl features a communist command economy, with virtually all of its industries, capital, and means of production being state owned, guaranteeing that in times of emergency, the government can muster whatever resources it needs to ensure the city’s survival.  In furtherance of this, Bergenstahl maintains its own monetary system that is completely isolated from the world currency market, ensuring that the BUC maintains complete control over monetary policy.  All points of exchange between Bergenstahl’s own currency and foreign currencies are closely mediated by Die Eisenbank, a state-owned bank that is tasked with specifically dealing with international trade accounts
        Owing to its roots as a mining facility, Bergenstahl’s primary industries are mining, metal production, and heavy industry.  As a byproduct on the city’s focus on heavy industry, Bergenstahl’s chemical industry is also rather developed.
        Because of the ecology of Bergenstahl, the city-state’s agriculture industry is comparatively weak.  Nonetheless, agriculture is considered particularly important to the city because of Bergenstahl’s history of vulnerability to food shortages.  Using every resource and technology available, Bergenstahl boosts its weak agricultural output through highly-controlled agri-vaults, bio-engineered crops, and extensive chemical fertilizers.  Even then, Bergenstahl relies on international trade to supplement domestic food production.
       With regards to international trade, one of Bergenstahl’s few area of participation in the international community, the majority of trade is between Bergenstahl and the still-surviving settlements on the Dragon Isles.  In particular, because of Bergensthal’s limited naval capability and the paramount importance placed on securing the city-state’s food supplies, most imported foodstuffs come from the continent’s western region.  Most non-food imports, such as various personal goods and luxuries, come from overseas, passing through Port Sector.
       Furthermore, Die Eisenbank has an office in each of the four kingdoms, and from these overseas offices, it engages in more traditional investment banking activities, such as providing corporate loans and underwriting securities.  The bank, reflecting its country of origin, has a reputation as being cold, methodical, and impersonal in its approach to business.  With decisionmaking dictated purely by esoteric risk analysis algorithms, the bank is unyielding in its enforcement of debt covenants and unforgiving in collection.  However, because Die Eisenbank is state-owned, it offers a particularly deep capital pool, compared to private banks, making it attractive to clients who do not want to have to deal with creditor consortiums to finance ambitious projects.

Approved Characters / Auric Herz
« on: September 20, 2016, 11:22:34 PM »
Name: Auric Herz

Age: 32, born Saraal 8

Symbol: the Rising Sun vertically bisected by a spear with blade facing down

Occupation: Inactive Hunter, Political Activist and Journalist

Appearance:  6’3”, 200 lbs.; Toned and muscular on a medium-sized frame; dark brown/black eyes framed behind rimless, rectangular glasses; loose, chin-length black hair; long, straight nose; prominent cheekbones, eyebrow ridges, and chin; strong jawline covered in a moderate stubble; weathered-looking eyes; scars running from left temple to below left cheek and down left side of lip; eyes bear a look of intense conviction and confidence in his political beliefs that evokes more pure, somewhat-naive faith than it does intolerant self-righteousness

Generally, Auric wears a long-sleeve shirt and a vest or cardigan with dark blue slim-cut jeans, along with an afghan scarf and desert boots.  He also often wears aviator sunglasses.

Auric is originally from Mistral, in particular from a small village in its western regions, and attended Sanctum primary school before moving up to Mistral’s hunter academy, Haven Academy.  There he performed well, though not particularly well so as to warrant any notable distinction.  After graduation, he became a hunter serving his home kingdom.
   For a number of years, Auric served Mistral as a hunter well.  Like the many other hunters, he frequently took missions, actively sought to curtail Grimm expansion, and defended the kingdom’s populated areas from Grimm incursion.  The adventurous life of the hunter suited Auric well, as he came to appreciate the high degree of personal freedom he had, where his only responsibilities where those to the people he swore to protect.  In this manner, Auric lived the life of a real, down-to-earth hero of the people, and though he drifted from village to village in order to meet the Grimm threat wherever it appeared, he integrated himself well at every village.
After several years as a hunter, disaster struck when an abnormally large Grimm congregation attacked the Mistralian village that he had assigned himself to.  Cooperating with a number of other hunters that also protected the several villages in the region, Auric prepared to stop the threat at any cost, for the sake of the people.  Auric, in particular, was given the task of defending the region’s orphanage and local convent, as was another hunter, with whom a romantic relationship was budding.  However, while the hunters fought valiantly, the number of Grimm was simply too great for them to handle.  Wave after wave of Grimm came, and eventually, Auric was knocked unconscious by a particularly large and vicious Death Stalker, severely injuring him and giving him the noticeable scars that ran down his face.  His partner rushed in to save him, and while she succeeded, it was at the cost of her own life.  By the time Auric awoke, the convent and orphanage was in ruins, and the bodies of orphans, sisters, and his fellow hunter lay among the rubble.  The village, as a whole, had been saved, thanks to the sacrifice of several other hunters.  Still the sight was too much for Auric to bear.  The villagers and surviving hunters found him he cradled the body of his beloved partner while at the same time surveying the death of the innocent children that came as a result of his failure.  The survivors tried to console him, stating that the attack was large beyond prediction and that he had done his best in attempting to minimize the death and destruction in his assigned area of the village.  Unfortunately, their words did little to ease his pain, as all he could think of was that his best was not enough and that he had failed both his beloved and the people under his charge.
After that particular Grimm incident, Auric spent several months continuing to drift from village to village, though he lacked the enthusiasm and enjoyment of life that he felt before the attack.  For him, it felt as if the world had simply lost his color.  Eventually, the villages contact lost with Auric, and the other hunters were forced to conclude that he was dead.
Almost a two years later, Auric turned up in Vale, having sought to leave Mistral and the shame of his failures that he associated with the kingdom.  Once in Vale, Auric still drifted around, as beyond being a hunter, he really did not have a direction in life.  To survive, he did odd jobs in the city of Vale, scraping up a very meager lifestyle, though due of his continuing depression, he lacked the will to really settle himself down and find a decent job.
One night, after coming back from a late odd job, Auric saw a two children being attacked by a members of a street gang.  As it turned out, the two ragged-looking children were faunus, and they had stolen a small amount of bread from a local bakery that the street gang had extorted protection money from.  However, it did not take much to see that the punishment sought to be doled out by the gangsters was far in excess of the crime.  With the gangsters yelling racial slurs, it appeared as if they were going to beat the children to death.  The sight tugged at the Auric’s old self-imposed duty to protect the defenseless, and he was galvanized to intervene.  Though he did not have his weapon with him, his hunter training still allowed him to be more than a match for the street thugs, and he defeated them, beating them down for preying on the impoverished and oppressed.  Having saved the children, Auric escorted the faunus children back to their home, which was an orphanage built specifically to deal with faunus children.  The sight of the orphanage particularly echoed with Auric’s past.  There, he spoke with the manager of the orphanage, during the which the orphanage simply was stretched thin by the number of faunus children that were coming in and the lack of funding the state was giving them, especially compared to what other non-faunus orphanages were receiving.  From the manager, Auric learned of the racial discrimination that faunus faced in the big city and that while it was often hidden, perhaps even suppressed, well in the more affluent districts, in the poorer, run-down districts, the discrimination was very much alive and well.  The manager’s only conclusion as to why the disparity in treatment existed was that the more affluent people, the people who could really make a difference in the kingdom, lacked real understanding of the faunus rights problem and were, either intentionally or unintentionally, simply ignorant of it.  However, the manager explained that she continued to have hope and that the hope was embodied in a young, educated faunus man whose mastery of oratory and incorruptible ethics led the drive in the local civil rights movement.  The more the faunus woman spoke of this man, the more it was obvious really just how much faith she was putting into him, and this faith intrigued Auric.
In the months that followed, Auric’s developed a growing interest in the Faunus Rights movement.  He had come to meet the charismatic faunus who held the hope of so many of his people in his hands, and after hours upon hours of discussion, Auric came to respect this faunus and see the virtue behind his cause.  Remembering what the faunus orphanage manager said to him before about the ignorance of the well-to-do Valish people, Auric resolved to do his part in bringing the charismatic faunus leader’s message to as many people as he could.  With this, he became a journalist, specializing in writing on a number of Vale’s social and government issues.
Over the years, Auric became increasingly involved in the Faunus Rights movement, and though he never became a member of the leading rights group, he was well-known among the community as a friend of the Faunus people and shared in their commitment to bringing about a post-race Vale at all levels of society.  Auric’s credentials as a journalist similarly developed over the years, and he landed a position at a major publication while also gaining a reputation as a brutally honest and respectable, if somewhat liberal-leaning investigator who was not afraid to get down-and-dirty and really dig deep to bring as accurate a depiction of Vale’s issues as he could.

   Auric, at first glance is relatively laid-back person.  Perhaps developing from his time as a hunter among Mistral’s outer villages, he has a very much go-with-the-flow type of attitude in which he appears somewhat unconcerned with the past or present, but instead lives purely in the here and now.  In fact, Auric can be said to have a personality that has really lent itself well to his almost Bohemian lifestyle in which he feels little tie to any particular place and instead moves from place to place.  As a journalist who frequently takes to the field in order to really, in essence, experience the plight of those whom he writes about, Auric has great capacity for compassion and empathy, and he possesses a genuine, unqualified interest and concern in the well-being of all people, that allows him to easily blend in and be welcomed in each local community that he comes across.  On a personal level, Auric, is quite charismatic, and he possesses the very uncommon ability to put others at ease, as if his presence alone is reassurance enough that their problems are no longer problems, or at the very least, are no longer solely their problems and instead are a burden shared by Auric, in his typical style of compassion and empathy.
   With that being said, Auric is true believer in the mission to bring a better life to all people, particularly the downtrodden and the disadvantaged.  When combined with his career as a journalist, this often manifests as an insatiable search for hard truths, and more than once has he run into trouble for digging too deeply and questioning the status quo.  However, no matter what kind of adversity he faces on his searches, Auric has never been one to stop and yield to the pressure from others that would like to see his journalistic exploits put to an end, lest their sensitive secrets be leaked to the society at large.

Combat Behavior:
Interestingly, despite his Bohemian, laid-back personality and lifestyle, Auric fights as a lancer in a very technical and precise manner.  His fighting style emphasizes leverage, range, and positioning in order to bypass defenses or when necessary, pierce through them, embodying the lancer’s precision.  With Altai, Auric can unleash a quick barrage of thrusts, each targeted to throw a target’s off balance so as to open them up for the single fatal thrust.  Though it would be incorrect to say that he does not fight on instinct, as his understanding of a lancer’s technique has become closer than second nature to him, when he fights, it seems as if he does not allow emotions to impact his fighting style, and he keeps calm under pressure.  As a departure from the general lancer technique, however, Auric does not solely aim for a target’s main body.  He has been known to target an enemy’s exposed limbs, whenever the ability arises, with the aim of pinning the limb to the ground while using Altai’s separation ability to continue the fight.
As a lancer user, Auric is vulnerable against enemies who are able to engage him from beyond the length of his weapon, as he possesses no ranged weapon.  His semblance helps remedies this weakness, but it is in no way a sustainable way to fight at range.  Furthermore, Auric’s lance is somewhat longer than most weapons, and so is at a disadvantage against enemies who have shorter weapons and who manage to fight him from within the optimal reach within his weapon.  At this range, Auric has to rely on using Altai as a blunt quarterstaff, which he has had much training in doing, but it is nowhere near as effective as his normal fighting style focusing on Altai’s lanceheads.

Aura and Semblance: 
Auric’s semblance is the ability to toss a small aura projectile that harmlessly marks a target, with the aura mark giving him the option to suddenly teleport to its location or in the very near vicinity, briefly becoming a dark, wispy blur as he does so.  With the usage of a kinetic dust semblance focus, Auric can accelerate his speed after his arrival at the aura mark’s location.  He mostly uses his semblance so as to mark a target, jump to it, and then use the kinetic dust focus to create a very powerful and very fast aura-assisted thrust that can shatter most defenses.
   Besides using his semblance as a powerful gap closer, Auric tends to use his aura passively, preferring to employ it as a means of bolstering his natural agility and his combat technique.


Name:  Altai

Primary Form: 
Bident lance with the twin spearheads being more akin to prongs then actual spearheads.  Altai’s main body is completely metal and is formed from two long pieces of metal that twist around each other in a helix before ending in the twin prongs.

Secondary Form:
   Altai can ravel and unravel its twin prongs so as to join them together in a single stake, or to continue the split between them further down the Altai’s shaft.  Similarly, the rear butt of the spear is also made of twin shafts that can ravel and unravel like the forward twin spearheads.  The shafts can separate and reform into individual shafts so as to split Altai into two and give Auric twin spears.

Dust Functions: [/u]
   Each of the prongs have recesses in which dust charges can be stored.  Auric primarily loads lightning dust into each piece of the helix so that the prongs became electrified and an electric arc can exist between them, giving Altai an electrified quality.  Even when separated, the ability for the twin prongs to arc electricity between them, within a reasonable distance, is not diminished.  Alternatively, the lightning dust can be used to propel the electric arc outwards, using the twin prongs as conductive focusing rails to direct the arc into a ranged weapon.

Auric also uses kinetic dust loads for Altai so as to help strengthen the speed and add more momentum behinds his attacks with Altai. 

   There is not much storied history behind Altai.  It was the weapon that Auric carried with him since combat school, and he has wielded it ever since, though for a while he rarely needed, given his retirement from the huntsman’s path, he finds himself needing it more and more as his journalistic endeavours place him in situations of ever-increasing harm.

AMA Section / FunkyMonkey's AMAA
« on: September 19, 2016, 05:25:35 PM »
Ask almost anything about my characters, and Bergenstahl

Approved Characters / Lyra Savoy
« on: September 17, 2016, 12:38:13 PM »

Name:  Lyra Savoy

Age:  19, born 31 Frost, 59 AC

Species and Gender: Human Female

Symbol:  A rising crescent moon bordered across a horizon by the setting sun

Occupation:  Second Year Atlas Student

      Approximately 5’6” and 125 lbs., Lyra possesses long, straight snow white hair that drapes behind her and covers up to her back.  Her body is well developed, and attractively feminine, yet while beautiful, she does not quite radiate the aura of breathtaking beautiful that others would expect.  Instead, Lyra gives off the impression of a young and vulnerable innocence that is rather disarming and invokes in some an instinct to nurture and protect.  Her round, violet-colored eyes seem distant, while her narrow, straight nose and tightly-kept lips seem to never betray the slightest bit of emotion.  When set together in her pale, oval-shaped face, Lyra’s facial features make her appear almost doll-like.  Occasionally, a person who looks deep into Lyra’s eyes may see within them the burning radiance of limitless willpower and the ambition to dominate, but more often than not, such radiance is hidden behind her perpetually placid expression and disguised by her aura of unspoiled innocence.
      Outside of class, Lyra typically wears a white blouse with a black and purple bodice over it.  Over this, she wears a standing-collared, long-sleeved jacket that is primarily white with purple segments and accents and flares gently around the ends of the sleeves.  Her outfit includes violent knee-length skirt that is hemmed with white lace as well as knee-high stockings and narrow, slightly-heeled low-cut boots.

      Lyra was born into the Savoy family, a rich and old Atlesian family, as the youngest child.  However, since a very young age, she had proven to be a rather sickly child.  Lyra easily fell ill, and the family doctor recommended that she be kept from participating in strenuous activities, as she was susceptible to overexertion from even simple activities.  To this end, she was kept within the family mansion, far removed from the dangers of the outside world that cause her harm, no matter how improbable or insignificant.  Everything she would ever need, from education to medical care, would be provided to her within the walls of the Savoys’ home, and so, for most of her life, the mansion encompassed the entirety of Lyra’s world.
      In the Savoy home, Lyra lived a life of idyllic purposelessness.  Though her imprisonment was without a doubt well-intentioned, she grew increasingly restless and disconnected from the outside world that she knew existed beyond the walls of her home.  Every time she read a book, surfed the Web, or listened to the stories from her family’s servants, it brought Lyra great sadness to know that she would never be able to experience any of these things firsthand.  She would forever be nothing but a spectator in  this life.
      By the time she was ten, Lyra’s aura was unlocked, and with it, she found an an activity that would provide a much more interesting alternative to reading or surfing the Web.  With nothing better to do, apart from being homeschooled, the lonely girl explored her aura and semblance abilities.  While her experience with her semblance was limited, as was the amount of inherent and ambient aura available to support it, Lyra was engrossed by how was she able to manipulate the streams of aura, making them spin and dance according to her will.  With her aura and semblance, she felt free and in control, a feeling that her health situation was rarely amenable to, and she kept pushing the limits of her abilities, if for no reason that purely to see just how much freedom and control she really had.
      As Lyra grew older, her health started to improve, and she was allowed outside her family’s home with increasing frequency, though she was never allowed to stray too far away from the building, even on the estate’s grounds.  By this age, Lyra was entirely resentful about being unable to leave the confines of her home, and buried herself even further in her semblance, which she controlled with increasing experience and expertise.  Indeed, Lyra came to be sort of a trouble child within the family, not because she went out and caused trouble, but because she refused to pursue the musical career her parents intended for her after discovering her frail physicality, despite her immense talent with several musical instruments, least of not the lyre, of which the significance of it to her name was not lost.  Nevertheless, Lyra was restless and eager to see her abilities with her semblance develop to new heights, particularly at a combat school or a hunter’s academy, like Atlas, though she knew her parents would never consent to letting her attend such institutions.
      Eventually, Lyra went travelling with her family in order to showcase her musical talent in hopes that she could gain admittance into a renowned music conservatory.  It was not something that she wanted, but it was something in which she had little say in the matter.  During that trip, Lyra and her family were attacked by radical faunus separatists, who had hoped to use the attack on the Savoys, a well-known old human family, as a demonstration of their capabilities and resolve.  The Savoys had bodyguards, but the nature of the ambush left them in disarray and easily defeated by the separatists.  When the separatists defeated all of the bodyguards and stood unchallenged before the Savoys, they left Lyra and her family alone, hoping to take them hostage and use them as leverage in future negotiations.  Unfortunately for them, this would be a grave mistake.  Lyra, being frightened by the separatist attack, instinctively activated her semblance, turning it against people for the very first time.  The unbridled emotion felt by Lyra empowered her control over her semblance, allowing her to overwhelm the separatists who were not aware that she possessed such power, or that she even knew how to use her semblance.
      After the separatist attack, the Savoys had hoped to return to the status quo, but Lyra, feeling truly liberated and empowered for the first time, far beyond the freedom she felt when first using her semblance, refused to continue pursuing a dignified career in music, instead insisting on going to a combat school, and then to a hunter’s academy, in order to train her abilities.  Though her parents tried to overrule Lyra, her force of will left them little recourse but to acquiesce, seeing as potentially how dangerous her semblance was if Lyra was left unchecked and undisciplined.  So began her education at Atlas's combat school.
      At Atlas’s combat school, Lyra’s inherent physical fragility developed over years of shelter and imprisonment within the family estate made the combat training particularly difficult.  In fact, she barely squeaked past the physical requirements of the school and those of the Atlas academy entrance exam.  However, the countless hours Lyra spent developing her semblance helped her compensate, allowing her to continue following her dreams and enter Atlas.

      Lyra, thanks to her sickly and sheltered early childhood, is a rather demure and quiet person.  She is quiet, reserved, and shy, and in many ways, her personality still reflects that young and vulnerable girl she one was.  Lyra, for the most part, keeps to herself - the result of her lack of friends when growing up.  Furthermore, she tends to be quite meek and quite often defers to others for direction, probably due to a lack of confidence that arose from her physical frailness when compared to others in school.  When combined with the upper class mannerisms that she grew up with, these personality traits make Lyra appear, while refined and lady-like, remarkably fragile and delicate in sensitivities.
      However, behind her dainty exterior, Lyra possesses a remarkably strong force of will, courtesy of years of having nothing to entertain herself with as well as the unique psychological demands of her semblance in which she must force her constructs to move and bend according to her will.  When she commits herself towards a goal, she is absolutely unyielding.  Nothing can divert her from her objective, and the way in which she brushes aside all other considerations grant her, at times, all the callous imperiousness of a demiurge.
      As a result of her lonely childhood, Lyra greatly values friends.  Unfortunately, because she has had little experience with others that she could call peers (most of her companions were servants), she finds it difficult to make friends.  Her lack out outgoingness make sure that being introduced to new environments is a difficult undertaking.  However, Lyra feels great attachment to those few friends she does have and would go to great lengths to protect them even despite her fragility.
      Lyra, academically, performs decently well at Atlas.  Though her primary purpose at Atlas is to train and further refine her aura and semblance abilities, she is naturally studious enough to pass other classes, courtesy of having been confined to her home with little more than her books, semblance, and the internet to keep her busy.  Notably, though, Lyra has a disdain for history.  She views it as nothing but the same spectator sport that she was forced to live with for years on end, and much prefer being able to "see" history through field trips and the like than read about it in another book. 
       Despite her domineering “true” personality, Lyra is surprisingly open-minded, considering her extremely sheltered upbringing.  This may be because for Lyra, the only thing important is for her to improve her abilities, and by extension, the only thing important for others is that they improve themselves.  Anything aiding her progress is good, and anything hindering her progress is bad, with everything in between simply being of no consequence.  With such a worldview, Lyra displays none of the prejudice against Faunus that may be expected from old Atlesian upper class families, as to her, faunus are simply people and have done nothing to inhibit her own development.

Aura and Semblance:
      Lyra’s aura and semblance abilities are her strongest suit.  Her semblance is the ability to control excess or ‘loose’ aura, in the perspective of aura as a form of energy.  When one’s aura affects the environment there is work being done to manipulate it, fueled by aura energy.  However, the translation of aura energy into other forms of energy that can interact with physical matter is inherently inefficient, meaning the full input of aura does not equate to the energy output in the desired form.  Thus, excess aura accumulates.  It is this excess that Lyra is able to harness and manifest into various constructs.  The more aura reactions occur in an area over time, the more excess accumulates, and the more Lyra is able to manipulate.  Conversely, in reaction-starved environments, Lyra has little to work with and cannot maintain her constructs, with even creation being difficult.  Without Lyra's willing the constructs to maintain coherence, the constructs rapidly degrade, returning to their natural free state and disrupting nearby aura flows due to the release from control.
      In terms of practical usage, Lyra, being able to feel the ambient free aura before it fades as a result of separation from the soul source, shapes the aura into constructs.  These constructs typically appear as spheres, polyhedrons, or planar shields that Lyra moves around, rotating them or morphing them along their axes.  They are corporeal, providing them with the capacity to do physical damage.  The nature of the constructs as coalescences of free aura that need to constantly absorb more aura in order to maintain their forms as a result of the natural tendency of free aura to degrade when removed from their source results in a sort of disruptive dissonance in the vicinity of the constructs as a result of the constructs attempting to leech aura from nearby sources.  Described as a moderate, but unable-to-be-ignored buzzing sound similar to the white noise from a television or radio set, the leeching effect is slow but continuous.
      Should Lyra desire, she can abruptly release her hold over the constructs, the resulting reaction creating a minor explosion as the natural dissipation of the captured aura, previously kept in check by Lyra's semblance, occurs in an accelerated state.  The accelerated dissipation reactions reacts with free aura in the area, creating a feedback effect that detonates such aura and leaves what can be described as an "aura burn" - an injury that feels initially like a web of electric shocks and leaves a painful burning sensation in exposed tissue, despite leaving no physical evidence of injury.
      Despite all the freedom that Lyra’s semblance may grant her, she is still limited by her own aura reserves, impressive as it might be.  Manipulating the aura constructs, does, in fact, require Lyra to expend her own aura in order to keep them under her control, lest they rapidly degrade.  Simply creating a construct does not require much aura from Lyra, nor does moving a construct around.  However, using these constructs in a way that conflicts with other forms of energy, such as using the constructs as shields or as weapons to pierce through aura, dust, or energy shields, requires significant more aura.
      Lyra can augment her semblance with dust, and she has experience using fire, ice, lightning, and kinetic dust to impart their respective qualities onto the aura constructs as she desires.  Fire makes the constructs hot in temperature and produce a burning effect, as well as a slight area effect as the flames flicker about the construct.  Ice dust causes the constructs to have a chilling effect, cooling the temperature around them dramatically, and overall producing a more solid feel to the construct.  Lightning dust electrifies the constructs, allowing them to electrocute enemies they come in contact, as well as allowing them to conduct electricity.  Kinetic dust allows the constructs to physically impact other objects with much greater force than one would guess from their apparent size and movement speed.  Lyra primarily uses kinetic dust.

Combat Behavior:
      In combat, Lyra relies heavily on her aura and semblance.  This is both a reason for and a result of her very underwhelming, at least by Atlas standards, abilities in physical combat.  Because of her poor close combat abilities, Lyra tends to hang back in a fight instead of engaging and instead tries to stick behind her more able teammates for protection, doing little so as to minimize the attention drawn to her.  From here, she waits for aura to be expended in suitable quantities by the combatants.  Once she has harnessed enough aura for her own use, she engages in the fight, bringing her semblance to bear. 
      With her semblance, Lyra has a very domineering fighting style.  She uses the full force of her constructs, usually involving multiple constructs at once, to keep enemies confined to a defensive posture as she attempts to mercilessly batter them into submission.  Quite creative in the construction and use of her constructs, Lyra is able to apply her semblance in many ways, including relentless bombardment by aura spheres, severe laceration by the edges of rapidly spinning constructs, and impalement by spear-shaped constructs.  Lyra does often keep at least one aura construct nearby her at all times in a fight so as to be able to quickly creates shields and other defensive applications as the need arises.
      As previously mentioned, Lyra is a physically vulnerable combatant, especially when she is not using her semblance.  She lacks adequate close range and long range capabilities without her semblance, and the extent of her speed and agility is limited to dodging and avoiding attacks.  This means that enemies that close in on targets quickly to catch them off guard and enemies that know to target Lyra before she can harness enough ambient aura for her semblance are enormous threats to her.


Name:  Elegance

Primary Form:
      Elegance is a folding fan that is bladed among the outermost edge and features sharpened, reinforced spines that can make severe lacerations.  With a radius of about ten to twelve inches, it hides its lethal nature and is not readily discernible as being a deadly weapon.  Elegance, though durable, cannot be used to block blows, and can only withstand glancing or redirected hits.


Name:  Obsession

Primary Form:
      Obsession is a set of small knives that are usually hidden in Lyra’s clothing.  The knives are able to be used as throwing knives  Like Elegance, the Obsession blades are durable, but their small size and design make them infeasible for blocking anything more than a glancing blow.

Dust Functions:
      The Obsession blades are inscribed with lightning dust etchings.  These etchings, when activated, both creates a localized electric polarization and ionizes the air in the nearby area.  As a result, when activated outdoors or in areas of high static or free/exposed electrical activity, lightning or large static electric discharges will occur, striking the Obsession blades and carrying the massive current into whatever the blades are embedded in.
       In order to be able to maximize the ionization effect of the etchings, Lyra carries small containers of lightning dust on her person, allowing her to create powerful lightning arcs without having to rely on external sources to electrify the easily-electrified vicinity around her blades.

       Elegance and Obsession are weapons crafted by Lyra at Atlas's combat school.  With her primary emphasis being on her semblance, she aimed to create weapons that would make her appear harmless while still be deceivingly lethal.

Approved Characters / Alexandra Reinhardt
« on: September 11, 2016, 02:20:20 PM »

Name: Alexandra “Alex” Reinhardt

Age: 18, born 16 Zinnober, 60 AC

Species and Gender: Human Female

Symbol: an upturned crescent moon bisected by three arrows travelling up

Occupation: First Year Beacon Student

      Standing at 5’9” and approximately 132 lbs., Alexandra is shapely and well-endowed, but her otherwise slender, lithe and toned figure is reminiscent of the body of a dancer.  Alluringly attractive, Alexandra has an oval-shaped face in which lie her pale green, almond-shaped eyes that radiate liveliness and attentiveness, occasionally with a twinkle of mischief.  Her high cheekbones and thin, straight nose together help exude a sort of patrician nobility and highly-refined upbringing that would otherwise be intimidating were it not her breathtaking but genuinely friendly and inviting smile that can disarm even the most hard-hearted of people.  She possesses long, straight, blonde hair that reaches to the middle of her back and flows behind her, adding a hint majesty to her already elegant gait.  Altogether, her irresistibly beautiful physical appearance has often inspired lust in men, a fact that she knows well how to turn to her advantage.
      During missions, Alexandra wears a single-piece combat bodysuit that sheaths her entire body in a durable polymer fabric made of impossibly-fine fibers and is reinforced with metal and composite plates, though only at the most vital areas in order to allow her the physical freedom and unencumbrance she needs to perform her athletic and agile maneuvers.  Small lights periodically course up and down her bodysuit following nodes that react to her aura usage.  The bodysuit is predominantly a dark, almost midnight blue color while also bearing light grey sections along the inside of her thighs and arms and the side of her torso, wrapping around towards her shapely lower back and posterior.  The bodysuit’s armor plates are a dark steel color.  On her feet, she wears narrow, slightly heeled combat boots accompanied by armored greaves.   Alexandra also usually wears multi-spectrum goggles, though she doesn't pull them down over her eyes and activate them unless needed.
     Outside of carrying out missions and attending class, Alexandra’s clothing style varies as her wardrobe contains a number of outfits in a variety of colors.  She most often wears, as is her favorite style, simple, yet finely-made sundresses and flats that suit her lady-like yet friendly demeanor.  In ultra-casual settings, she may wear sweatpants and tight t-shirts or tank tops that hug close and show off her shapely figure.  In short, Alexandra has a variety of preferred styles, but she is never one to be restricted to the point of obsessive exclusivity as far as outfitting goes.

      Alexandra Reinhardt comes from an older, established family in Vale from which many veterans of the kingdom’s various wars hail.  Many family members, direct and extended, have died by the blade in defense of Vale, and it in a way, service to the kingdom has been a sort of family tradition.  However, with the end of the wide-scale Greyed War, the Reinhardt family moved beyond merely providing soldiers.  It began to contribute agents to Vale’s cause.  They would prove to be especially valuable during the Faunus War as a number of Faunus leaders and revolutionaries would be quietly but mercilessly eliminated at the hands of assassins tracing back to the Reinhardt family.  Whatever moral issues came with their activities were quickly swept aside and dismissed, as for the family, protecting the human government and ensuring the survival of the state was the most important concern.  Thankfully, few realize the full extent of the Reinhardt family's participation in that conflict, while their publicly-known actions during the war further cemented the family's reputation as part of Vale's old honorable warrior aristocracy.
      With the entry of Vale into the contemporary era, the need for warrior families has faded far into the realm of distant memory.  Settling down and branching out into occupations that better fit the changing times, family members extended their reach into areas such as law, financing, and industrial transportation, leveraging the family’s reputation as stalwart servants of Vale to help them get a head start.  Still, Vale needed hunters, as always, to protect against the tide of Grimm darkness, just as it still needed agents to protect from threats within and without.  To answer this need, the Reinhardts, no matter how seemingly integrated into the modern world and away from the notions of stalwart heroisms of old, would always be ready to serve.
      The middle child in a family of five children, Alexandra was raised with the expectation of honoring family tradition and becoming a Valish agent, or at least, a hunter.  Unlike her older siblings, who, despite being impressed upon with similar expectations, decided to pursue other occupations in pursuit of their passions, Alexandra never doubted her eventual life path and instead embraced it.  Growing up, she lived two lives.  The first, was her public life, which was founded upon the social functions and interactions that were expected of a child of such a noteworthy family.  In this life, she was refined, elegant, and sophisticated - a picture-perfect poster child for all that was noble and good in the kingdom’s polite society.  In her other life, she was Alex, the immensely talented girl who, with the forgoing of the family tradition by her elder siblings, was to be the inheritor of the family’s true legacy.  To that end, she trained tirelessly, intensely tutored in many manners of combat and profoundly educated in small, private classes with the children of other traditioned, veteran families about the harsh truths of the precarious position of mankind in a world beset by darkness and turmoil.  It was this life that was her true life and to that end, she drilled herself relentlessly until she passed the Beacon Enrollment Examination and was accepted into Beacon as a way of formally dedicating herself to her family’s tradition, with the path of the hunter being a stepping stone on the way of her travelling the path of the assassin.
      Alexandra’s outlook on her future would be severely complicated, however, when shortly before she entered Beacon, she attended Vale’s cotillion ball, along with the children of other notable families.  That night, she had a great time, living under the mask of her false life and experiencing all the luxuries of life in Vale that were made possible only by the labor and sacrifice of the kingdom’s warriors, hunters, and agents, such as those from her family.  During the after party that followed the cotillion ball, Alexandra snuck out into the mountains overlooking the city, accompanied by a boy barely older than she with whom she had grown rather close during their academy education.  The boy was an Atlesian, hailing from a distinguished warrior family, and had come to Vale as an esteemed guest under the patronage of a local family.  Like her, he intended to return home and follow family tradition, though for the boy, it meant joining the Atlesian military and serving on the battlefield.  There, as they sat together and watched the light of Remnant’s shattered moon bathe the rooftops, the boy, in a heart-felt confession, spoke for the first time about his nervousness and hesitation to follow in his family’s footsteps and join the military.  He conceded that it was an immense privilege to serve, being that Atlas’s military prestige was on the rise.  But, he confided in her that more than the possibility of death, it was his fear of bringing suffering to his family that he feared the most.  He had seen too many friends and family members killed in service to Atlas, and while he noted that falling in combat brought a sense of honor and fulfilled duty, it was little consolation to those who were left behind.  Having seen his older sister so often secretly crying over the loss of her fallen husband, he could not bear to bring anyone else the same pain.  Taking Alexandra’s hand in his and kissing it, he shared with her his conclusion that there had to be more to life than simply killing many others in the name of some distant ideal the he feel less and less connected to with each passing day before it was his turn to be killed. 
      Alexandra would later spend much time thinking and rethinking about what her companion had said to her that night.  His situation was indeed very much like hers, which made his thoughts and concerns all the more relevant to her.  She had never before questioned her ostensible purpose in life.  Was the destiny that he had described really all that lie at the end of her future?  This question would always linger in the back of her mind as she prepared to enter Beacon Academy.

      Alexandra is an overall cheerful and friendly girl.  Her mannerisms, including her gait and the way she sits with one leg tightly crossed over the other and both slanting slightly, bear evidence of her upper-class, lady-like upbringing.  These traits also exude an air of general self-confidence that are further reinforced by the steady assuredness with which she speaks.  However, rarely are people off-put by this sort of personality aura, for Alexandra is exceedingly friendly and outgoing.  Fun to be around, she is, for the most part, light-hearted and enjoys trading friendly insults and using good-hearted sarcasm with her friends.  Despite a strong competitive streak, she genuinely enjoys being with friends, supporting them, and seeing them succeed.  When Alex speaks in close conversation with others, she does so in a way that induces those she is speaking with to feel as if they are the absolute most important things in the world to her, making them feel peculiarly special and good about themselves, which contributes to Alex’s attractive personal charisma and immense popularity.
      Having been released from the more rarified and stifling atmosphere in which she grew up, though its effects plainly still linger with her, Alexandra can be a bit of a tease.  She sometimes leads people on, especially male friends, with subtle gestures that can readily be interpreted as hinting at something more than simple friendship or just as easily be read as evidence of nothing but a close friendship.  In fact, she does this with such skill that it is difficult to know if Alexandra does this unknowingly or purposefully.  Whether consciously or subconsciously, she would never intend to emotionally hurt a friend with her teasing habits, but it is safe to say that she derives a thrill from egging people on and then gently denying them.  Regardless of her teasing habits, Alexandra does maintain a considerable degree of femininity and knows how to leverage it well to obtain what she wants
      Overall, many of Alexandra’s social traits show that she has a bit of an uncommon innocence in her.  For all of her playfulness. she seems to be untouched by the more unadulterated and unfiltered of human emotions, leaving her with a certain wholesomeness that suggests a much simpler upbringing than the one she has had.
      Unfortunately, a more complete picture of Alexandra’s behavior will show that quite the opposite is true and that her upbringing, colored by her drive to carry on the family legacy, has had quite an impact on her personality.  In combat and during missions, it is almost as if she is a completely different person.  Alexandra may occasionally slip in a moment or two of playfulness, but while on the job, she is defined by an insatiable drive towards efficiency and the utmost professionalism.  All that matters is the objective, and all other concerns are subordinated as merely accessories to the objective.  This may derive from the hours upon hours of relentless, intense training she experienced in preparation for her entry into the world of unconventional problem solving.  She maintains the ability to so thoroughly separate the personal from the professional, and with this separation, morals and ethics can become buried as Alexandra grows increasingly stone-hearted, merciless, sometimes even cruel, all in the name of completing her mission.  In these situations, she does not complain, nor does she question the work required of her, but those closest to her know that sometimes days after missions, Alexandra may fall into a deep melancholy and reject the company of others as she sits alone to contemplate over and over again what her Atlesian friend once asked her about life: “is this it?”

Aura and Semblance:
      Alexandra’s semblance is the creation of glyphs.  These glyphs may be freestanding or may be attached to an object.  The vast majority of the time, Alexandra’s glyphs have the effect of either pushing or pulling objects away from or toward its center.  Each glyph requires a paltry amount of Alexandra's aura, perhaps as little as one percent of her total reserves.  She may control and alter the strength of the glyphs as she pleases, but the general rule is that the stronger the force, the greater the aura drain.  Furthermore, Alexandra may also control the speed at which the glyphs are created, with varies primarily depending on the amount of aura she expends to “rush” the creation of the glyph from about two to instantaneously.  This usually requires about three times the amount of aura compared to the amount required if it were created normally.  Exerting a great deal of aura (usually in the range around approximately twenty percent of her aura) will allow her to create glyphs that can tear an individual limb from limb, if said individual was caught in the pull of multiple glyphs.  In another example, a multitude of glyphs of standard strength created within a rather short of span and appearing near-instantaneously will similarly require her to expend a great deal of aura. 
      Alexandra’s primary use of such glyphs is to hold her, sometimes upside down and midair, opening up to her a whole new range of attack angles.  In a similar application, she uses such glyphs to provide a semi-adhesive surface across which she may move with freedom and without having to worry about falling to the ground.  Alternatively, Alexandra may fire physical ammunition at her glyphs, allowing them to ricochet and bounce between glyphs to create a bullet-trap effect.  Additionally, Alexandra may launch herself or others from these standard glyphs, greatly aiding in her mobility and ability to cross the field of battle.
      Finally, Alexandra has available to her a type of glyph separate from her much more standard push and pull glyphs.  These glyphs, marked by a different pattern on their faces from her push and pull glyphs, come in pairs that are linked in nature.  One glyph, when attacked with a high-velocity projectile, will disintegrate said projectile and cause a corresponding projectile of aura to be launched from the paired glyph.  This process necessitates Alexandra to exert a considerable amount of aura, about twenty-five percent for a several-second barrage, so it is an ability she only uses sparingly.  In this particular application of her semblance, Alexandra can use aura foci to impart elemental effects to the aura projectile.  Fire, ice, lightning, and kinetic dust are the most common elements of foci she uses imparting the corresponding effect to the aura bullet.  For Alexandra, foci is stored on the nodes on her armored bodysuit.

      Alexandra possess an impressive aura reserve, though overwhelmingly, use of this aura reserve goes toward her semblance and sustaining her body through the highly acrobatic and athletic feats that she regularly incorporates into her fighting style.  This leaves her with little aura to be used for other purposes.

Combat Behavior:
      Alexandra is first and foremost a rifle user.  As a result, her natural instinct is to engage vulnerable, high-priority targets first, preferably through single, long-ranged, high-precision shots combined with her cunning and considerable stalking and ambush skills.  This speaks to her drive for efficiency, as it minimizes her own energy expenditure while creating the least collateral damage and giving the least time for targets to respond. 
      In the more duel and teamfight-centric setting of Beacon, this tactic is very rarely advisable.  As opportunity presents itself, she will always attempt to target the weak and the vulnerable first, but as need demands - and it so often does - Alexandra will instead change tactics and fight by seizing and maintaining absolute control over the possible avenue of attacks.  She is trained to be constantly and simultaneously aware of the many possible avenues of attack, using this awareness to avoid incoming attacks.  At the same time, the awareness helps her to facilitate her own attacks, which are based on the strategy of saturating targets, possibly through the user of her semblance, with as many accurate and highly leveraged shots as possible from as many disparate angles as possible in order to create whole multitudes of concurrent lethal vectors that overwhelm opponents.
      As is befitting a ranged rifle user, Alexandra tries to maintain a respectable distance between herself and threats and generally avoids close combat.  If she is forcibly engaged in close combat, she will use her semblance and her exceptional athletic and gymnastic agility to reposition herself and re-establish the distance between herself and said threat.  Alexandra relies heavily on her augmented agility and astounding flexibility to evade strikes.
      However, this reliance reveals Alexandra’s weakness.  The maneuvers that Alexandra makes her hallmarks place such a strain on her body that without aura, she would quickly tire out.  Indeed, some may contend that the maneuvers she attempts are beyond the limits of an unaided individual in the first place.  Whatever the case, Alexandra’s remarkable agility is utterly unsustainable in the long run and taxes her aura reserves extremely heavily.  This leaves Alexandra very vulnerable against those rare foes who can keep up with her maneuvers and keep her engaged at close ranges.  Furthermore, because Alexandra devotes almost all of her aura towards her semblance and her agility, she is rather fragile, particularly when she gets tired, and has to rely on her body’s own natural strength endurance to keep her on her feet, which considering the nature of Beacon's students, is inadequate, to say the least.


Name:  Vector

Primary Form:
      Vector is a scoped, modified designated marksman rifle.  It is in a bullpup layout to minimize barrel length and increase maneuverability without sacrificing effective range and muzzle velocity.  As befitting assassins and Alex's own combat mindset, Vector was designed to be very utilitarian.  Much of the rifle's platform is stripped down and somewhat skeletal in appearance, a result of maximizing accuracy and precision while minimizing weight that would otherwise hinder Alex's high-mobility fighting style.  Because of the absolute focus on performance without compromise, Vector was not built to transform into any other forms, and Alex would not have it any other way.  Tungsten armor-piercing ammunition is primarily used with Vector, though it is capable of accepting other bullets in Alexandra’s inventory, such as white phosphorus munitions and ice dust rounds.  There is an option for a flash and sound suppressor attachment.

Dust Functions:
      Beneath Vector’s barrel and in front of its lower receiver and trigger assembly is a revolving dust launcher that stores vials of dust for use in various situations.  These vials are not semblance foci, and instead offer one-time purely elemental attacks as an alternative to the physical ammunition fired from vector.  Though Alexandra’s exact dust loadout varies with the mission, she tends to utilize the classic elemental trio: fire, lightning, and ice, the most.

      Vector was hand-crafted by Alexandra during her private training.  The rifle was made expressly to provide a weapon system that would synergize with her fighting style and natural proclivities, and so, it holds no sentimental value to her, apart from the fact that it was tailor made for her.  Vector is very much merely a tool to get the job done.


Name:  Gemini

Primary Form:
      Gemini is the name for a pair of twin, electrified kali sticks.  They are intended as last resort weapons for close combat, and to that end, are rarely used by Alexandra outside of the specialized function it fills beyond its combat role.

Secondary Form:
      The Gemini sticks can be joined at the base and then telescoped so as to form an electrified fighting staff

Tertiary Form:
      Each of the sticks can transform to have a sharpened tip, effectively turning them into stakes with which enemies may be stabbed and impaled.  Similarly, the sharpened tip function is available when Gemini is joined together into its staff form, turning it into a spear.

Dust Functions:
      With high-quality lightning dust and small gas canisters stored in the base of each rod, Gemini is able to become a pair of plasma torches with which Alexandra, given time, can cut through metal.  This handily allows her to create her own unorthodox entrances with which she can fulfill her missions.

      Like Vector, Gemini was crafted by Alexandra during her private training.  Conceived of as a weapon meant to fulfil the gaps in her combat technique left by Vector, Gemini is, and will always be, a secondary weapon, though a useful one at that.

Other weapons:
      Alexandra carries with her a hidden combat knife at almost all times.  She has also been known to use explosive dust charges to round out her fighting style, as well as obscuring and disorienting grenades (such as smoke and flashbangs) to use as situation demands.  It important to note that Alexandra’s smoke grenades come in both flammable and nonflammable variety, providing her with the option for a makeshift incendiary grenade.    

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