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Approved Characters / August Flare
« on: February 03, 2020, 02:47:28 AM »
CHARACTER

Name: August Flare

Age: 17

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  N/A

Occupation: 1st year Beacon Student

Appearance: August is relatively unremarkable, physically speaking. He stands at an average 5'9", has short brown hair, and he has a fit and slender body shape. Due to his lack of funds, even his best clothes are shabby and patchwork at best. As such, he tends to wear his Beacon uniform at most opportunities if at all possible, because he wants to present himself as well as possible. Unfortunately, this means that he has to clean his uniform more often, thus leaving it looking more and more worn as time goes on, just like the rest of his clothes. If he must go out without his uniform (either because it would get ruined or if he needs to keep a low profile for whatever reason), he instead wears a patchy coat that's well-worn and even threadbare in a few places as well as a ragged pair of pants with a few rips and tears in places.

However, despite all these traits, there are two details that make August stand out against the masses. Firstly, he has a "presence" about him. When he moves, it is with clear purpose, and when others meet his gaze, they more often than not unconsciously step out of his way. When he engages in conversation, those around him may find it difficult to step away until he dismisses them. Whenever he looks at someone, it is difficult to ignore his gaze.

This leads to his second notable feature: His eyes display an unusual bright orange color that shine with the ferocity of the sun. His gaze is intense, almost always giving off the impression that he's silently judging whatever he's watching. At the same time, his eyes betray nothing of his own thoughts, even as they seemingly bore into the very souls of those he's looking at. 

History: August's first memory is filled with fire. His nostrils are filled with smoke, his tongue can only taste hot ash, his skin only feels the heat licking off the flames. His is vision is blurred from tears as they try to wash away the smoke, and his ears deafened from a cacophonous mixture of roaring flames, distant howls, and his own screams. Everything he might have had--family, wealth, opportunity--is burning down all around him, leaving him with nothing but his name, his body, and the remains of the clothes on his back.

The next thing August knew, he was in a place called "Vale", surrounded by people he didn't know whose voices he couldn't understand. He had only just learned the very basics of language, and lacked the vocabulary needed to describe what he felt. He was confused: he didn't know where he was, he didn't know how he got there, and he didn't know where he was supposed to go or what he was supposed to do.

At first, the child cried. He wanted someone to hold him, to tell him he was alright. But no one ever did. He wanted someone to leave a light on at night, to keep away his fears. But the door was shut and locked tight, and the windows were drawn closed. Not even a night light was left to keep little August safe. And as crying proved less and less effective, August's eyes, which had once stared out into the world with brilliant intensity, slowly faded and darkened. The only thing left in the young child's mind was a single question: why?

"Why am I here?"

Because he had no family.

"Why?"

Because they were killed by Grimm.

"Why?"

Because they hunt people.

"Why?"

No one knew.

That left August unsatisfied. There had to be a reason beyond that. But the Grimm's menace and their animosity went unexplained no matter where he went. When he asked how they survived, he was told about their undying nature and their endless hunger for mankind. When he asked where they come from, he found no known origin. He asked why Grimm refuse to hunt animals, and was given no satisfactory reason. He grew older, and his eyes regained the emotion of frustration.

Eventually, he asked a new question, "What's the difference between mankind and other beasts?"

They didn't have the capacity for creation, they couldn't think, they acted on instinct; there were many answers, but the theme was the same: they were less than than humanity.

"Is that really such a great difference?"

Indeed. No animal could build such great walls or make such magnificent works of art. No beast could master the elements of science like man. No creature that crawled on its belly could wield such destructive weapons of war, no could such beasts resist the temptation to use them like man could.

These answers gave young August a sense of awe. He looked around him and saw the buildings, walls, clothes, and everything else that could only be created by man. He learned of the stories of great men and women who advanced society by leaps and bounds and wondered if he, too, could be like them. He was inspired, and for a brief moment forgot that he was alone in the world. His eyes filled with the feeling of pride.

He asked, "Are Grimm capable of such things, too?" Perhaps that was why man struggled against the Grimm so much.

No. A resounding answer.

"Then, if mankind is so great, why do we struggle against Grimm?"

Because they are many. Because they are unknowable. Because they defy logic. Because they are unnatural.

"Is mankind working to defeat them, despite these obstacles?"

Yes, humanity was united in this aspect, and August was pleased to hear this.

But then, he saw how mankind fought each other in what seemed like pointless, fruitless conflicts. He saw the White Fang perform their terrorist acts, and he heard the reports of people being killed. He asked those around him, "Why do people fight each other?"

He received many responses. Their ideals demanded it, or maybe they just wanted to be heard. Maybe there was no reason at all, or maybe the reason was something that couldn't be explained with mere words.

"Was this conflict necessary?"

No, many would say. The conflict was avoidable entirely.

To those, he asked, "Was the conflict meaningless?"

Yes, many would say. Because it was avoidable, people lost their lives for no reason.

"Is conflict with the Grimm necessary? Does it have meaning?"

Yes, on both accounts. The Grimm had to be stopped, or they would destroy everything. Stopping the Grimm meant saving lives.

"Then why are we not all fighting the Grimm? Why do we continue to fight each other?"

They fight because neither side will put down their weapons. At this answer, August's eyes filled with anger. Why fight pointless conflicts? Why kill people when Grimm already do that enough? Why point weapons at others when there are creatures far more deserving of lead?

But the minority opinion offered a different outlook: Conflict was necessary. If one side does wrong, it is proper to rebuke them. If one side oppresses, it is the others' duty to rise up in rebellion. If one side was weak, the strong must take over lest more succumb to the Grimm.

As such, conflict was meaningful. It honed our wisdom by teaching right from wrong. It taught equality, showing that every man is capable of fighting for a cause. It gave strength, and ensured blades were sharp and ready for any danger on the horizon.

"But does conflict not drive mankind apart?"

Perhaps it does, but perhaps that is the way it is meant to be.

"Would unity not be better to face the Grimm?"

Is it possible to unite such a fragmented people? Surely, it would be better to fight off the Grimm, but would it last long enough to properly finish the job?

August did not like that answer. However, he could not refute it. His eyes had gained reason, and as he grew older, he thought over his conversations through the years. He came upon 4 fundamental truths about the world he lived in: "Grimm were unnatural and deserved extermination", "Humanity was greater than Grimm", "Humanity was divided", and "conflict is meaningful". This, however, left him in an unsatisfactory state. If humanity was divided, then it is likely the Grimm will never be exterminated. Thus, the truth that "Humanity was divided" must be fallacious in some way. If Humanity could not unite, then Humanity could not exterminate Grimm, thus invalidating the truth "Humanity was greater than Grimm".

While he was contemplating this one day, August came across a man with a knife. The man was not there for chatting or friendly conversation.

"Why do you have a knife?"

Because he was going to hurt August if the boy didn't do what the man said.

"Why should I do what you say?"

Because the man was bigger and stronger than August.

"You must be pretty small and weak, if I am the biggest and strongest you can take."

The man wasn't weak, and August better shut up and get on his knees. August did no such thing. The man cut August.

August was scared. Perhaps he was terrified. But more than that, he was angry. This conflict was not necessary. Both his life and that of the man's would have been better off if they had never met. And then August came to a terrible realization: "Humanity divided itself pointlessly, and thus killed itself pointlessly". This made August upset. He did not want to die pointlessly, but, if he did, it would be this man's fault.

"You're pathetic."

Shut up. August did not.

"You should be ashamed. You pick on the weak to make yourself feel strong."

The man wasn't weak. August disagreed. The boy saw a trembling man, barely able to hold onto his knife.

"You'd be better off begging everyone everywhere for forgiveness for living such a squalid worthless life."

The weak-willed man fell to his knees, staring into August's eyes and unable to move or speak. The moment was silent, the man kneeling in fear, the boy staring with righteous anger. The man then begged for forgiveness and ran away.

August thought for some time on that encounter, and on his amended truths. If Humanity pointlessly divided itself, then they needed someone who could unify them. But who could do such a thing? He looked at the old politicians, who had succeeded in careers that relied on Humanity's separation. They were not suitable to the task, for while they had the experience and knowledge, they had benefited far too much from the previous system. He looked to the youthful huntsmen and huntresses, with starry-eyed dreams and with flocks of fans. Perhaps they were suitable, but they were too naive. Their vision was too short-sighted, scaled down to the safety of a single village or the rescue of a single person. They could not wipe out all the Grimm. He looked to the civilians, the everyday man and woman who made up the rest of society. They lacked the ability to lead, and could not secure Mankind's dominance. But there was no one else that in the world left to fill the role, save for one.

It was then August realized his final truth: "The only one who can unite the world is me"

Personality: To say August has a dominant personality would be an understatement. Whenever he speaks, his voice carries throughout a room and bears with it an extraordinary sense of arrogance. He openly challenges authority, questioning policies, opinions, and even orders of those who have the audacity to claim to be his superiors. To those under him, his orders offer no room for dissent or negotiation. While he will listen to the opinions of others before making a decision, once his word has been given there is no longer any hope for discussion.

Yet, in spite of this arrogance, August's words and actions always carry some air of respect. In debates, he never attacks a person's character, only their ideas and arguments. In conversations with others, he definitely gives the impression that he looks down on others as inferiors, but at the same time genuinely seems to believe average people are capable of achieving incredible things and should aspire to higher purposes.

August enjoys the Arts, especially those of language. Whenever possible, he will find time to read both classic and modern literature, especially works of great speeches given by those throughout the ages. He is a proponent of the idea that mankind's ability to craft art is the primary difference between man and Grimm; while the creatures are capable of innovation through their various and sundry forms, they will always be ugly, inferior creatures compared to the majesty and supremacy of mankind.

Speaking of supremacy, while August holds a very, very high opinion of himself, he is not a human supremacist. In fact, he is a strong advocate for faunus rights, and encourages political reform to end abusive practices by exploitative entities. At the same time, he condemns the actions of the White Fang as a divisive terrorist group that hurts its own cause through its actions.

August's arrogant personality can be quite abrasive to others, so there are very few that grow close to him. However, when people do take the time to understand him, August will take great pains to inspire loyalty in them. Through discussion, dialogue, debate, and shared training, he encourages those around him to aspire to better themselves, while instilling in them the idea of a possible world without Grimm.

When dealing with detractors and enemies, however, August takes a much different approach. If loyalty cannot be inspired, he instead chooses to instill fear. He truly believes he has the right idea in his thinking, and will not hesitate those that oppose him as examples to everyone else. "If you do not stand with me, then you have two choices. If you stand out of my way, you do the world a service by not slowing down progress. If you stand against me, you do the world a service by acting as a stepping stone for the world to enter a new age," to put it in his own words.

Aura and Semblance: August's aura takes on a stark orange hue, and he has an above-average quantity. However, due to his lack of prior training before getting accepted to Beacon, he has not learned any techniques or gained any particular proficiency in using it. He intends to change this, but for now he is left with nothing more than basic defensive aura.

August's semblance is not all that impressive: it's little more than a single-target fear effect that, at best, can stop an opponent in their tracks. To activate it, he only needs direct eye-contact with his target, though distance is a factor in how effective it is. In short, the closer August is to the target, the stronger the effect, with the strongest effects taking place at around a conversational distance. There are also many other factors that determine how effective his semblance is, such as the target's mood, disposition, tactical situation, moral standing, and potentially many more. In general, though, the more superior August's position is compared to the target, the more effective the semblance is. On top of that, once he has used it on a target, he can't do so again on the same target for at least ten minutes. Furthermore, the effect only lasts so long as he maintains eye-contact, and can only use his semblance for about a minute at a time on any one target.

The degree of effect of August's semblance can be divided into stages.

At Stage 1, the minimum stage, the target feels a sense of foreboding. If the target is trained in Aura detection, it might feel like the ping of a particularly dangerous enemy. There is otherwise no other effect.

At Stage 2, August becomes an object of fear for the target. While the target maintains eye-contact, they cannot willingly approach August, though they can otherwise move freely.  They can willingly break eye-contact at this point, but it takes a conscious effort to do so.

At Stage 3, the target suffers the same effects as above, but can no longer easily break eye-contact without outside influence and movement is slowed to the pace of a nervous walk. The target can still otherwise move about and defend him/herself, so a clever victim could try to move to a place that breaks the line of sight (such as behind a rock or tree) or fling dirt into the eyes of either themselves or August. 

At Stage 4, the target suffers the same effects as above, but can no longer willingly move. The only things the target can do of their own accord at this point is stand and speak.

At Stage 5, the target can no longer even stand, as the fear becomes so great that their legs turn to jelly and are forced to kneel before August. This is the most severe stage, and it is not easily achieved.

His semblance can affect Grimm, too, but they don't suffer the effects in the same way. If August uses his semblance on a Grimm, they generally will pause in confusion, possibly even stopping in their tracks. If they were in the middle of making an attack, they'll "think twice" before committing, possibly even choosing a different target to strike. This confusion generally doesn't last more than a couple of seconds

Spoiler: ShowHide
This portion of the semblance is something August keeps from people as much as possible, hence the spoiler tags. Read at your own risk, with the knowledge that most characters won't be aware of this true nature.

August's semblance is the ability to dominate people beneath him. When he uses his semblance, his aura literally tries to embed itself into the soul of the target. If he maintains this contact for a full minute and the target is in a sufficiently submissive position morally or spiritually, August can force a connection that binds the target to his will. When this connection forms, August can send telepathic communication to the victim, but the victim cannot respond in kind. This telepathic communication is not bound by distance. Whenever August gives a command, either spoken or telepathic, to the victim, the victim must follow the command or face consequences. The command can be literally anything, though August can choose whether to enforce the command (For example, August can ask for the salt at the dinner table from a victim without invoking his semblance). That means August can issue suicidal commands, or even physically impossible commands.

However, August's semblance does not restrict free will. Any individual under the effect of August's semblance can refuse August's orders, but it comes at a cost, and the cost is determined by what stage of submission August implemented the semblance under. Whenever the consequences for disobedience are about to be invoked, the target in question will feel a severe sense of dread as a warning. The earliest stage August can impose his true semblance on someone is Stage 3, and any individual under the effect of this semblance without the protection of aura will most likely die if they disobey.

Those with aura, however, will experience adverse effects as a result of disobedience. At Stage 3, a hefty chunk of aura is damaged as August's semblance literally rips into the soul, and if the individual has unlocked their semblance, they will lose the ability to use it for about 30 seconds. At Stage 4, a much larger chunk of aura is damaged, and semblances are locked from use for an hour. At the highest stage, Stage 5, disobedience is highly likely to result in death, unless the victim is particularly hardy. If they do survive, their semblance will be lost to them for the day.

On the bright side, punishment for disobedience can only occur once per day, and, unless August is watching, he won't know if someone has disobeyed his orders. While disobedience can result in a hefty handicap, it is still entirely possible to ignore August while under these effects. Furthermore, the connection only lasts for 30 days, unless August resets it.

There is one exception to a target's free will: they cannot willingly directly attack August or knowingly cause him harm while under the effects. There is no punishment for attempting, however they will be unable to follow through on any attempt, as if they were physically restrained by an invisible force.


Combat Behavior:  August's training is minimal and basic at best. He can handle direct combat with most common forms of Grimm, such as Beowolves, Boarbatusks, and the like, and can survive long enough against the more dangerous Grimm for backup to arrive. However, he's at a severe disadvantage against other thinking opponents, due to his lack of nuanced fighting capabilities and a semblance poorly suited to direct combat. And while he might be more suited to a commanding role, his lack of experience can still easily lead to a tactical misstep, potentially leading any team he's leading to their deaths.

His best attributes by far are his charisma and intelligence. His biggest strength is his ability to critically analyze the moral and practical positions of different groups and find weak points in ideological thinking, while at the same time communicating those flaws in such a way that's easily digested by a layman. As such, he's very skilled at demoralizing the enemy, to the point that he can even inspire some members to drop their arms or even switch sides. At the same time, August holds such a conviction in himself that he can inspire the people around him to take up arms and fight for him. If given the opportunity to play politician, August can potentially draw enough of a force to make any plan work through sheer manpower.

The only danger to this is when he's matched by someone with equally powerful charisma, who can attack his own points and reputation. If he loses a moral debate, especially publicly, especially if he loses in combat as well, August's public support will wane and his biggest strength can be turned against him. At the same time, this can work both ways; if August wins in a public arena both in a moral case and in the battlefield, the potential gains could be tremendous. Furthermore, August's semblance acts as an ace-in-the-hole, allowing him to "win harder" if he manages to start successfully eroding his opponent's case.
 
WEAPON

Name: N/A

Primary Form: August's weapons consist of a simple long sword and pistol. It's all he can afford.
(Hexcode = FFA400)

2
WiP Characters / August Flare
« on: October 31, 2019, 01:56:15 AM »
CHARACTER

Name: August Flare

Age: 17

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  N/A

Occupation: 1st year Beacon Student

Appearance: August is relatively unremarkable, physically speaking. He stands at an average 5'9", has short brown hair, and he has a fit and slender body shape. Due to his lack of funds, even his best clothes are shabby and patchwork at best. As such, he tends to wear his Beacon uniform at most opportunities if at all possible, because he wants to present himself as well as possible. Unfortunately, this means that he has to clean his uniform more often, thus leaving it looking more and more worn as time goes on, just like the rest of his clothes. If he must go out without his uniform (either because it would get ruined or if he needs to keep a low profile for whatever reason), he instead wears a patchy coat that's well-worn and even threadbare in a few places as well as a ragged pair of pants with a few rips and tears in places.

However, despite all these traits, there are two details that make August stand out against the masses. Firstly, he has a "presence" about him. When he moves, it is with clear purpose, and when others meet his gaze, they more often than not unconsciously step out of his way. When he engages in conversation, those around him may find it difficult to step away until he dismisses them. Whenever he looks at someone, it is difficult to ignore his gaze.

This leads to his second notable feature: His eyes display an unusual bright orange color that shine with the ferocity of the sun. His gaze is intense, almost always giving off the impression that he's silently judging whatever he's watching. At the same time, his eyes betray nothing of his own thoughts, even as they seemingly bore into the very souls of those he's looking at. 

History: August's first memory is filled with fire. His nostrils are filled with smoke, his tongue can only taste hot ash, his skin only feels the heat licking off the flames. His is vision is blurred from tears as they try to wash away the smoke, and his ears deafened from a cacophonous mixture of roaring flames, distant howls, and his own screams. Everything he might have had--family, wealth, opportunity--is burning down all around him, leaving him with nothing but his name, his body, and the remains of the clothes on his back.

The next thing August knew, he was in a place called "Vale", surrounded by people he didn't know whose voices he couldn't understand. He had only just learned the very basics of language, and lacked the vocabulary needed to describe what he felt. He was confused: he didn't know where he was, he didn't know how he got there, and he didn't know where he was supposed to go or what he was supposed to do.

At first, the child cried. He wanted someone to hold him, to tell him he was alright. But no one ever did. He wanted someone to leave a light on at night, to keep away his fears. But the door was shut and locked tight, and the windows were drawn closed. Not even a night light was left to keep little August safe. And as crying proved less and less effective, August's eyes, which had once stared out into the world with brilliant intensity, slowly faded and darkened. The only thing left in the young child's mind was a single question: why?

"Why am I here?"

Because he had no family.

"Why?"

Because they were killed by Grimm.

"Why?"

Because they hunt people.

"Why?"

No one knew.

That left August unsatisfied. There had to be a reason beyond that. But the Grimm's menace and their animosity went unexplained no matter where he went. When he asked how they survived, he was told about their undying nature and their endless hunger for mankind. When he asked where they come from, he found no known origin. He asked why Grimm refuse to hunt animals, and was given no satisfactory reason. He grew older, and his eyes regained the emotion of frustration.

Eventually, he asked a new question, "What's the difference between mankind and other beasts?"

They didn't have the capacity for creation, they couldn't think, they acted on instinct; there were many answers, but the theme was the same: they were less than than humanity.

"Is that really such a great difference?"

Indeed. No animal could build such great walls or make such magnificent works of art. No beast could master the elements of science like man. No creature that crawled on its belly could wield such destructive weapons of war, no could such beasts resist the temptation to use them like man could.

These answers gave young August a sense of awe. He looked around him and saw the buildings, walls, clothes, and everything else that could only be created by man. He learned of the stories of great men and women who advanced society by leaps and bounds and wondered if he, too, could be like them. He was inspired, and for a brief moment forgot that he was alone in the world. His eyes filled with the feeling of pride.

He asked, "Are Grimm capable of such things, too?" Perhaps that was why man struggled against the Grimm so much.

No. A resounding answer.

"Then, if mankind is so great, why do we struggle against Grimm?"

Because they are many. Because they are unknowable. Because they defy logic. Because they are unnatural.

"Is mankind working to defeat them, despite these obstacles?"

Yes, humanity was united in this aspect, and August was pleased to hear this.

But then, he saw how mankind fought each other in what seemed like pointless, fruitless conflicts. He saw the White Fang perform their terrorist acts, and he heard the reports of people being killed. He asked those around him, "Why do people fight each other?"

He received many responses. Their ideals demanded it, or maybe they just wanted to be heard. Maybe there was no reason at all, or maybe the reason was something that couldn't be explained with mere words.

"Was this conflict necessary?"

No, many would say. The conflict was avoidable entirely.

To those, he asked, "Was the conflict meaningless?"

Yes, many would say. Because it was avoidable, people lost their lives for no reason.

"Is conflict with the Grimm necessary? Does it have meaning?"

Yes, on both accounts. The Grimm had to be stopped, or they would destroy everything. Stopping the Grimm meant saving lives.

"Then why are we not all fighting the Grimm? Why do we continue to fight each other?"

They fight because neither side will put down their weapons. At this answer, August's eyes filled with anger. Why fight pointless conflicts? Why kill people when Grimm already do that enough? Why point weapons at others when there are creatures far more deserving of lead?

But the minority opinion offered a different outlook: Conflict was necessary. If one side does wrong, it is proper to rebuke them. If one side oppresses, it is the others' duty to rise up in rebellion. If one side was weak, the strong must take over lest more succumb to the Grimm.

As such, conflict was meaningful. It honed our wisdom by teaching right from wrong. It taught equality, showing that every man is capable of fighting for a cause. It gave strength, and ensured blades were sharp and ready for any danger on the horizon.

"But does conflict not drive mankind apart?"

Perhaps it does, but perhaps that is the way it is meant to be.

"Would unity not be better to face the Grimm?"

Is it possible to unite such a fragmented people? Surely, it would be better to fight off the Grimm, but would it last long enough to properly finish the job?

August did not like that answer. However, he could not refute it. His eyes had gained reason, and as he grew older, he thought over his conversations through the years. He came upon 4 fundamental truths about the world he lived in: "Grimm were unnatural and deserved extermination", "Humanity was greater than Grimm", "Humanity was divided", and "conflict is meaningful". This, however, left him in an unsatisfactory state. If humanity was divided, then it is likely the Grimm will never be exterminated. Thus, the truth that "Humanity was divided" must be fallacious in some way. If Humanity could not unite, then Humanity could not exterminate Grimm, thus invalidating the truth "Humanity was greater than Grimm".

While he was contemplating this one day, August came across a man with a knife. The man was not there for chatting or friendly conversation.

"Why do you have a knife?"

Because he was going to hurt August if the boy didn't do what the man said.

"Why should I do what you say?"

Because the man was bigger and stronger than August.

"You must be pretty small and weak, if I am the biggest and strongest you can take."

The man wasn't weak, and August better shut up and get on his knees. August did no such thing. The man cut August.

August was scared. Perhaps he was terrified. But more than that, he was angry. This conflict was not necessary. Both his life and that of the man's would have been better off if they had never met. And then August came to a terrible realization: "Humanity divided itself pointlessly, and thus killed itself pointlessly". This made August upset. He did not want to die pointlessly, but, if he did, it would be this man's fault.

"You're pathetic."

Shut up. August did not.

"You should be ashamed. You pick on the weak to make yourself feel strong."

The man wasn't weak. August disagreed. The boy saw a trembling man, barely able to hold onto his knife.

"You'd be better off begging everyone everywhere for forgiveness for living such a squalid worthless life."

The weak-willed man fell to his knees, staring into August's eyes and unable to move or speak. The moment was silent, the man kneeling in fear, the boy staring with righteous anger. The man then begged for forgiveness and ran away.

August thought for some time on that encounter, and on his amended truths. If Humanity pointlessly divided itself, then they needed someone who could unify them. But who could do such a thing? He looked at the old politicians, who had succeeded in careers that relied on Humanity's separation. They were not suitable to the task, for while they had the experience and knowledge, they had benefited far too much from the previous system. He looked to the youthful huntsmen and huntresses, with starry-eyed dreams and with flocks of fans. Perhaps they were suitable, but they were too naive. Their vision was too short-sighted, scaled down to the safety of a single village or the rescue of a single person. They could not wipe out all the Grimm. He looked to the civilians, the everyday man and woman who made up the rest of society. They lacked the ability to lead, and could not secure Mankind's dominance. But there was no one else that in the world left to fill the role, save for one.

It was then August realized his final truth: "The only one who can unite the world is me"

Personality: To say August has a dominant personality would be an understatement. Whenever he speaks, his voice carries throughout a room and bears with it an extraordinary sense of arrogance. He openly challenges authority, questioning policies, opinions, and even orders of those who have the audacity to claim to be his superiors. To those under him, his orders offer no room for dissent or negotiation. While he will listen to the opinions of others before making a decision, once his word has been given there is no longer any hope for discussion.

Yet, in spite of this arrogance, August's words and actions always carry some air of respect. In debates, he never attacks a person's character, only their ideas and arguments. In conversations with others, he definitely gives the impression that he looks down on others as inferiors, but at the same time genuinely seems to believe average people are capable of achieving incredible things and should aspire to higher purposes.

August enjoys the Arts, especially those of language. Whenever possible, he will find time to read both classic and modern literature, especially works of great speeches given by those throughout the ages. He is a proponent of the idea that mankind's ability to craft art is the primary difference between man and Grimm; while the creatures are capable of innovation through their various and sundry forms, they will always be ugly, inferior creatures compared to the majesty and supremacy of mankind.

Speaking of supremacy, while August holds a very, very high opinion of himself, he is not a human supremacist. In fact, he is a strong advocate for faunus rights, and encourages political reform to end abusive practices by exploitative entities. At the same time, he condemns the actions of the White Fang as a divisive terrorist group that hurts its own cause through its actions.

August's arrogant personality can be quite abrasive to others, so there are very few that grow close to him. However, when people do take the time to understand him, August will take great pains to inspire loyalty in them. Through discussion, dialogue, debate, and shared training, he encourages those around him to aspire to better themselves, while instilling in them the idea of a possible world without Grimm.

When dealing with detractors and enemies, however, August takes a much different approach. If loyalty cannot be inspired, he instead chooses to instill fear. He truly believes he has the right idea in his thinking, and will not hesitate those that oppose him as examples to everyone else. "If you do not stand with me, then you have two choices. If you stand out of my way, you do the world a service by not slowing down progress. If you stand against me, you do the world a service by acting as a stepping stone for the world to enter a new age," to put it in his own words.

Aura and Semblance: August's aura takes on a stark orange hue, and he has an above-average quantity. However, due to his lack of prior training before getting accepted to Beacon, he has not learned any techniques or gained any particular proficiency in using it. He intends to change this, but for now he is left with nothing more than basic defensive aura.

August's semblance is not all that impressive: it's little more than a single-target fear effect that, at best, can stop an opponent in their tracks. To activate it, he only needs direct eye-contact with his target, though distance is a factor in how effective it is. In short, the closer August is to the target, the stronger the effect, with the strongest effects taking place at around a conversational distance. There are also many other factors that determine how effective his semblance is, such as the target's mood, disposition, tactical situation, moral standing, and potentially many more. In general, though, the more superior August's position is compared to the target, the more effective the semblance is. On top of that, once he has used it on a target, he can't do so again on the same target for at least ten minutes. Furthermore, the effect only lasts so long as he maintains eye-contact, and can only use his semblance for about a minute at a time on any one target.

The degree of effect of August's semblance can be divided into stages.

At Stage 1, the minimum stage, the target feels a sense of foreboding. If the target is trained in Aura detection, it might feel like the ping of a particularly dangerous enemy. There is otherwise no other effect.

At Stage 2, August becomes an object of fear for the target. While the target maintains eye-contact, they cannot willingly approach August, though they can otherwise move freely.  They can willingly break eye-contact at this point, but it takes a conscious effort to do so.

At Stage 3, the target suffers the same effects as above, but can no longer easily break eye-contact without outside influence and movement is slowed to the pace of a nervous walk. The target can still otherwise move about and defend him/herself, so a clever victim could try to move to a place that breaks the line of sight (such as behind a rock or tree) or fling dirt into the eyes of either themselves or August. 

At Stage 4, the target suffers the same effects as above, but can no longer willingly move. The only things the target can do of their own accord at this point is stand and speak.

At Stage 5, the target can no longer even stand, as the fear becomes so great that their legs turn to jelly and are forced to kneel before August. This is the most severe stage, and it is not easily achieved.

His semblance can affect Grimm, too, but they don't suffer the effects in the same way. If August uses his semblance on a Grimm, they generally will pause in confusion, possibly even stopping in their tracks. If they were in the middle of making an attack, they'll "think twice" before committing, possibly even choosing a different target to strike. This confusion generally doesn't last more than a couple of seconds

Spoiler: ShowHide
This portion of the semblance is something August keeps from people as much as possible, hence the spoiler tags. Read at your own risk, with the knowledge that most characters won't be aware of this true nature.

August's semblance is the ability to dominate people beneath him. When he uses his semblance, his aura literally tries to embed itself into the soul of the target. If he maintains this contact for a full minute and the target is in a sufficiently submissive position morally or spiritually, August can force a connection that binds the target to his will. When this connection forms, August can send telepathic communication to the victim, but the victim cannot respond in kind. This telepathic communication is not bound by distance. Whenever August gives a command, either spoken or telepathic, to the victim, the victim must follow the command or face consequences. The command can be literally anything, though August can choose whether to enforce the command (For example, August can ask for the salt at the dinner table from a victim without invoking his semblance). That means August can issue suicidal commands, or even physically impossible commands.

However, August's semblance does not restrict free will. Any individual under the effect of August's semblance can refuse August's orders, but it comes at a cost, and the cost is determined by what stage of submission August implemented the semblance under. Whenever the consequences for disobedience are about to be invoked, the target in question will feel a severe sense of dread as a warning. The earliest stage August can impose his true semblance on someone is Stage 3, and any individual under the effect of this semblance without the protection of aura will most likely die if they disobey.

Those with aura, however, will experience adverse effects as a result of disobedience. At Stage 3, a hefty chunk of aura is damaged as August's semblance literally rips into the soul, and if the individual has unlocked their semblance, they will lose the ability to use it for about 30 seconds. At Stage 4, a much larger chunk of aura is damaged, and semblances are locked from use for an hour. At the highest stage, Stage 5, disobedience is highly likely to result in death, unless the victim is particularly hardy. If they do survive, their semblance will be lost to them for the day.

On the bright side, punishment for disobedience can only occur once per day, and, unless August is watching, he won't know if someone has disobeyed his orders. While disobedience can result in a hefty handicap, it is still entirely possible to ignore August while under these effects. Furthermore, the connection only lasts for 30 days, unless August resets it.

There is one exception to a target's free will: they cannot willingly directly attack August or knowingly cause him harm while under the effects. There is no punishment for attempting, however they will be unable to follow through on any attempt, as if they were physically restrained by an invisible force.


Combat Behavior:  August's training is minimal and basic at best. He can handle direct combat with most common forms of Grimm, such as Beowolves, Boarbatusks, and the like, and can survive long enough against the more dangerous Grimm for backup to arrive. However, he's at a severe disadvantage against other thinking opponents, due to his lack of nuanced fighting capabilities and a semblance poorly suited to direct combat. And while he might be more suited to a commanding role, his lack of experience can still easily lead to a tactical misstep, potentially leading any team he's leading to their deaths.

His best attributes by far are his charisma and intelligence. His biggest strength is his ability to critically analyze the moral and practical positions of different groups and find weak points in ideological thinking, while at the same time communicating those flaws in such a way that's easily digested by a layman. As such, he's very skilled at demoralizing the enemy, to the point that he can even inspire some members to drop their arms or even switch sides. At the same time, August holds such a conviction in himself that he can inspire the people around him to take up arms and fight for him. If given the opportunity to play politician, August can potentially draw enough of a force to make any plan work through sheer manpower.

The only danger to this is when he's matched by someone with equally powerful charisma, who can attack his own points and reputation. If he loses a moral debate, especially publicly, especially if he loses in combat as well, August's public support will wane and his biggest strength can be turned against him. At the same time, this can work both ways; if August wins in a public arena both in a moral case and in the battlefield, the potential gains could be tremendous. Furthermore, August's semblance acts as an ace-in-the-hole, allowing him to "win harder" if he manages to start successfully eroding his opponent's case.
 
WEAPON

Name: N/A

Primary Form: August's weapons consist of a simple long sword and pistol. It's all he can afford.

3
Everywhere Else / ACTIVE GRIM THREAT: SEARCH AND RESCUE! [Closed]
« on: October 16, 2019, 10:41:11 PM »
++Priority Mission++
A Grimm horde has suddenly emerged and attacked a small town on the Western coast of Anima.  This horde is large, and would have easily overrun the town if not for the quick eyes and action of a watchtower a few kilometers East of town.  Thanks to the watchtower personnel's report, a defense has been mounted, huntsmen have been dispatched, and evacuation efforts are underway.  However, the huntsmen are pinned down trying to defend the town, and they are currently unable to assist those who were working outside the walls, including those still at the watchtower.

As a result, you have been assigned a mission to rescue these civilians from the Grimm threat while the huntsmen continue their defense.  There are three major groups that were working outside the town when the Grimm attacked:  First, a group of lumber workers working at a small mill to the south of the town have barricaded themselves inside their office, and reports indicate that a few of them are equipped with small arms to defend themselves.  Second, members of a mining outpost to the north have hidden themselves within the mine.  Reports indicate the miners are unarmed, but Grimm have not been witnessed entering or leaving the caves, at least for now.  Finally, the watchtower to the east has several heavily armed guards, and is led by a former huntsman who has identified himself as "Jet".  While the watchtower is the most fortified location, the heavy fighting has drawn the largest Grimm density, and getting to them will almost certainly prove to be an uphill battle.

Good luck, and good hunting.  End briefing--


Lucas shut off his scroll after reviewing the mission briefing as the bullhead doors open, revealing the sight of open sky and the sound of gunfire.  The drop point is too hot to risk landing, so any huntsmen assigned to this job will have to do the landing themselves.  This is a typical hazard for them, though, and Lucas barely gives the excess elevation a second thought as he dives face first out of the airship.  Instead, his mind is occupied with the mission, contemplating the details they were given and how to best complete the task at hand.  Rescuing Jet first would give us extra firepower to help with the Grimm pinning down the other two sites, but getting to him would probably be a fight and a half.  Not to mention it would take that much longer to get to the less-prepared groups...

Hurtling towards the ground at a breakneck pace, Lucas continues planning ahead as his reflexes take over to negotiate the landing.  His hands deftly unhook the black mechanical-looking lantern from his belt, and the brightly colored windows begin to rapidly spin as his fingers search for the correct dust type.  At the same time, another lantern springs into existence out of thin air, this one cast in a spectral, ghostly green color.  The spectral lantern, falling freely next to Lucas, begins to shine, emitting a bright white light that bathes the area around it in a harsh radiance.  Lucas, now under the effect of his semblance, begins to accelerate faster towards the ground as the wind rushes past his ears and deafens him to everything but his own thoughts.  Yet, just as an onlooker might think the boy was going to go *splat!* against the ground, the spinning windows finally decide on a color, and the lantern door opens on the green window, letting loose a powerful gust of wind. 

The force of the wind dust combined with his semblance's use of kinetic dust quickly slows Lucas's descent, and the huntsmen-in-training lands gracefully in the drop zone.  As his feet touch the ground, the harsh light dims from his semblance, and Lucas flips a switch on his weapon, causing the mechanical lantern to shift into rifle form, as he surveys his surroundings.  He had scanned the area for enemies on the way down, but standard procedure is to check your bearings again once on the ground:  Grimm could be hiding underneath the tree tops, after all. 

However, at the moment, the LZ is safe.  On one end, there are two armored figures, presumably guards, standing with rifles at the ready next to a large turret.  At the other, a small shuttle lays in wait, awaiting rescued civilians.  It seems this area is away from the thick of the fighting, but there's no telling how long that will be the case.  In missions like these, time is of the essence.

Looking up in the sky, Lucas can see his bullhead speeding towards the coastline in order to help with the evacuations.  He'll be finding another ride out once the mission is completed, but he'll be stuck on the ground until then.  In the meantime, another bullhead approaches the drop zone, and three other figures drop out.  "Probably the rest of my team," he thinks aloud as he walks up to meet them.

As the rest of the team reaches the ground, he wastes no time with introductions, "Lucas Meridiem, Haven 4th year.  Are you Search and Rescue?"

4
The Vale Region / DASE-d and Confused [CLOSED]
« on: August 22, 2019, 02:42:42 AM »
It was hot out.  It's summer, so that's to be expected, and Smokey was prepared.  He was travelling light for once, not wearing his usual attire or even his weapons.  Instead, he sported a pair of cargo shorts, a pair of flip flops, and a blue, worn-out tank top with a faded image of two revolvers facing out to the sides along with the words "SUN'S OUT GUNS OUT" written across the top.  Honestly, he kind of looks like a thug, especially since he still didn't really bother to shave or comb his mop.  Though, his outfit does have one saving grace, and that's the fact it showcases his muscles.

Spying his reflection in the glass window, Smokey can't resist the temptation to flex his chest muscles, causing his pecs to bounce.  Oh yeah, look at that stud.  Unfortunately, a car goes by him, causing the hot air to move around him and remind him of the sweltering heat he's in.  Yes, Smokey was prepared for the heat, but he didn't think it would be this kind of heat.  And this is coming from a guy who charged through a flamethrower!

With a sigh, Smokey briefly wonders if he should head back, but ultimately decides against it.  He had left Beacon to come to Vale in order to get some space for a little bit.  Ever since Billy left the team, the dorm room had felt simultaneously empty and suffocating.  On the one hand, it felt empty without a fourth person, and yet, no matter where he looked in the room, he was reminded of the person who left.  So Smokey decided to come out for a bit of fresh air and to take a bit to not think about things.

And that's exactly what he plans on doing, and there ain't nobody that can stop him.  Nope, nobody at all.

5
Beacon Academy / Arts and Sciences [CLOSED]
« on: August 06, 2019, 10:39:41 PM »
In the late afternoon, long after classes had ended and most students had gone back to their dorms or even gearing up to eat dinner, a lone woman remained in a classroom lab working alone.  In front of her, vials of brightly colored dust are arranged neatly, organized both by type and volume, as well as a notebook that's covered from top to bottom in a neat scrawl.  Clara, still dressed in her school uniform, took two of the vials and measured out a small portion of each, all the while murmuring under her breath.

"Normally, the ratio of dust I'd need for a fog effect is..." she trails off as she measures out a bit of fire dust and ice dust onto the table.  She took a moment to confer with her notes, making sure she had everything right.  However, in the back of her mind a nagging voice echoed.

You won't have time to check your notes out in the field, you know?

Clara shook her head and clapped her cheeks to chase away the voice and bring her attention back to the matter at hand.  Looking back at her two piles of dust, she contemplated her objective.  The goal itself was simple: Clara wanted to create a fog effect, but she wanted to do it while incorporating her semblance, which would make the effect three times as potent.  What does "three times as potent" mean in this case?  Well, that's also part of the experiment.  Perhaps it will make the area of effect three times as big, or maybe three times as thick.  Maybe it will manifest in some other fashion.  She'll only really find out once she tries.

"And besides, isn't now the time to test my limits?  After all, it's best to go out into the world knowing exactly what I can do, isn't it?" she asked to no one in particular.  The nagging echo made no retort.  With a satisfied smirk, Clara gathered up the dust and began mixing them, periodically checking her notes to make sure she's following the process correctly.  Finally, after finishing her preparations, she took the combined dust and poured into a separate vial and moved to another table.  Now on to the hard part...

Taking a deep breath, Clara closed her eyes and focused.  If anyone were in the room with her, they'd see her body glow in a bright blue light, and then watch that light condense around the vial of dust in her hands.  A smile slowly crept across Clara's face.  She was curious.  She wanted to know how her semblance would affect the dust.  She imagined a group of enemies getting enshrouded by the fog, their discipline evaporating along with their vision.  From a distance, Clara was zapping the panicking silhouettes, giggling maniacally as they--

The sound of sparks brought her out of her delusions, and her smile fell almost instantly as she saw the situation before her. 

"Oh, no--"

*BOOM*

A loud explosion shook the lab, scattering vials, papers, dust, and even Clara herself about the room as smoke and ice filled the area in equal parts.  Clara, who had just enough time to put up her aura, had managed to avoid taking any serious damage, but was still knocked back into the back wall.  Her body was covered in an almost comical combination of soot and frost, and she has to wipe away ash from her frost-covered eyes before she can see the aftermath.

And, well, it might've been better if she hadn't seen it.  The lab looked like the latest casualty in a war between a blizzard and a wild fire.  On one half of the room, the tables and chairs were covered in a thin, shiny layer of ice.  On the other, soot, ash, and dust filled the air and covered the walls.  Clara winced as she took the sight in, as a nagging echo entered her mind once again.

Even I could have told you that was going to happen.

"Shut u--Ow..." she tried to complain, but her body was still sore from the aftereffects of the explosion.  She was going to need to sit down for a minute...

6
As the title says, Team BSSM just lost a member and so we need to fill the slot. 

Currently we have Serin Avery, Smokey Emberstone, and Mikado Drak

7
AMA Section / What side of the chess board do your characters prefer?
« on: April 22, 2019, 11:46:05 PM »
So, if you've played chess enough, chances are you prefer one side of the board over the other.  So, my question is "if your characters were chess players, which side would they prefer?"

For instance, Aurelia, Clara, and Toast would prefer white side; Aurelia is a very proactive person in general and would prefer the opportunity to set up her board before her opponent; Clara, in a similar sense, would look to cripple her opponent at the first opportunity; while Toast would simply want to make the first move, and would set up feints to manipulate the opponent.

Lucas and Smokey, on the other hand, would prefer black side; Smokey generally performs best when his opponent comes to him, and he'd set up very defensively; while Lucas is someone who wants to observe his opponent and make moves based on how his opponent plays.

Coincidentally, if all my characters played each other in a round robin tournament, the results would probably look like Lucas-->Toast-->Aurelia-->Clara-->Smokey

8
Teams / Looking for a 1st Year Beacon Team
« on: March 12, 2019, 02:55:25 PM »
Clara just got approved and needs a team.  She's a blaster caster that uses dust to wreck the battlefield.  Outside of combat, she's an outgoing, nerdy girl that likes to rope nearby people into potentially dangerous experiments.

9
Approved Characters / Clara Meridiem
« on: March 08, 2019, 02:42:15 AM »
CHARACTER

Name: Clara Meridiem

Age: 17, born 2nd of Huā

Species and Gender: Female Human

Symbol:  A sword crossed with a staff.  Above it, a goblet pours out coins.  Below that is an infinity symbol.

Occupation: 1st Year Beacon Student

Appearance: Clara stands at 5’6” and has a slender build.  That is, save for her chest, which is rather ample to say the least.  She has dark, straight, shoulder-length hair, light blue eyes, and a tan complexion.  She has angular facial features, like her brother, though her lips are much less prone to frowning compared to his.

She wears a long, cyan, fitted coat that stretches down to her lower calves.  Underneath, she wears dark pants, a light blue blouse, and a pair of sleek boots.

History: Clara was born to two loving parents, a huntsman by the name of Lucien and a dust shop owner named Serena.  She also had an older brother named Lucas.  Unfortunately, her father died when she was very young, and as a result she has few memories of him. 

But many of her family’s friends did, and while she grew up she was constantly told stories of the courageous deeds her father performed and how much of a hero he was.  As a result, Clara grew up admiring her father, even though she never really knew him. 

However, her brother didn’t seem to share her opinion. For some reason, he seemed to hate their father, and Clara could never figure out why.  The two would argue almost daily, but, no matter how she tried, she could never convince Lucas of Lucien’s heroics.  Eventually, the two simply learned not to bring the subject up around each other.

Yet, this still didn’t sit well with the young girl, so she went to the only other person she could ask about her brother, her mother.  And Serena took the opportunity to introduce her daughter to her hobby of fortune telling.  She took out a deck of cards and rifled through them, before placing a card on the counter.

The card depicted an old man on a snow-covered peak with a staff in one hand and a lantern in the other.  Lucas, her mother would tell her, is The Hermit.  The Hermit represents solitude and wisdom, and his lantern acts as a guide post for those who are lost.  Lucas doesn’t travel the beaten path or follow conventional though, he forges his own path so that others can follow in his wake.

Naturally, after an explanation like that, Clara wanted to know what card she was, and her mother happily obliged.  For her daughter, Serena laid down a card depicting a man clad in red and white, standing before a table laden with various objects.  Clara was the magician, who was a master of the elements.  Her mother explained how Clara was talented and resourceful, how she could always find the right tool for the job. When she has a clear goal, there’s nothing that can stop her!

Her mother’s explanation was roundabout, but Clara gleaned insight from Serena’s readings, and would often come back to her for advice and to have her fortune read.  It was also thanks to her mother that she could make up with her brother, despite their differences.  She understood Lucas’s motivations a bit better, and she wasn’t absolutely shocked like her mother when he decided to attend combat school.

That being said, there was still an underlying ideological difference between them, and that difference only became more evident when Clara entered Sanctum.  She, like her brother, excelled in the classroom, and quickly proved to have a knack for manipulating dust.  Like her brother.  She found novel solutions to problems, and had little trouble thinking outside the box.  Like her brother.  She was constantly compared to her older brother, who had done incredibly well at preliminary combat school. It was frustrating, she felt like she was simply trying to escape her brother’s shadow.  Yet, the only thing she could do was simply live up to expectations.

Except for one area.  When given a tactical scenario wherein she was tasked with saving a group of civilians from a Grimm attack, she immediately chose to actively save the civilians from getting attacked, like her father.  It was the only class where she received a significantly lower grade than her brother.  She tried to impress on her teachers that she was defending people that couldn’t defend themselves, yet they would argue that she was merely putting herself in needless danger.  They told her what her brother would do, yet Clara could only see civilians left in danger while Lucas protected himself.

It was then that Clara finally decided she had had enough of living in her sibling’s shadow.  She wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps.  Instead of heading to Haven, where her brother would be constantly watching over her, she told her family she was going to study at Beacon.  Her mother was initially hesitant, but eventually relented, and Clara packed her bags for Vale to begin a story that hopefully wouldn’t be overshadowed by her brother.

Personality: Clara is a very intelligent woman, especially when it comes to dust.  At the same time,though, she can also be a bit empty-headed, and she’ll occasionally forget to eat if she’s engrossed in a project.

She’s also quite outgoing, and loves spending time with friends.  Those friends should be careful, though:  she might try to rope them into experiments, which can possibly lead to explosions.

Speaking of explosions, she gets a kick out of using her semblance.  If she launches an enhanced blast of fire dust at a pack of encroaching Grimm, she might yell obscenities at the monsters, or at the very least tell them to ”DIE!”

That being said, she’s generally cool-headed, even in the midst of battle (so long as she isn't thrown/forced into the midst of a heavy melee or under heavy fire).  As long as she has space to work with, she can be counted on to think for herself, which is a boon considering the variety of dust she keeps with her.  However, she can easily get flustered if she’s left in charge of an entire team, as there’s suddenly much, much more to consider in any given situation.

She also keeps a tarot deck with her in a small pouch, and she'll occasionally read her own fortune.  She might read other people's fortunes if she's close enough with them.

Aura and Semblance: Clara’s aura manifests in a cyan color.  Her aura level and control are typical for a student of her level.

Clara has named her semblance Burst!Burst!, in short, allows her to amplify the effects of the dust she uses in combat.  In more mechanical terms, she expends a “charge” in order to enhance the dust she’s using.  When the enhanced dust activates its effect, the effect is amplified (generally speaking, Burst! enhanced dust is three times more volatile).  What’s more, Clara can use her semblance on any dust she can get her hands on, so long as it isn’t protected by another individual’s aura.  However, if she tries to enhance a large amount of dust (say, an entire crate’s worth), there’s a significant chance the dust will activate immediately, causing potentially disastrous results.  Furthermore, she has to be close enough to touch the dust (or at least the container of dust) that she wishes to charge.  Because of this, Clara normally only uses her semblance on a small amount of her own dust reserves at a time.  (For mechanical clarity, if Clara uses her semblance on an amount of dust greater than 5% of her maximum reserve, the dust will almost certainly explode the moment it is enhanced.)

She can only use Burst! once every 30 seconds, however, and only about 10 times in an hour.

Whenever she’s about to use her semblance, her aura manifests and glows brightly, giving a clear sign to anyone watching as to what she’s about to do.  She has to channel her semblance like this for about three seconds, standing relatively still for the duration. However, once she completes the channel, she can “sit” on the charge for about 10 seconds before deploying the dust, if she chooses.  The cooldown begins once the charge has been expended, not when the initial channel completes.

Combat Behavior:  On the battlefield, Clara acts as a “blaster caster”, using dust to wreak havoc on enemies at medium to long range, be they human or Grimm.  With the variety of dust available to her, her tactics change depending on the situation:  she can choose to do as much damage as possible with fire dust, or she can decide to use ice dust to lock enemies in place.  If her team needs defensive cover, she can use earth dust to erect walls and barriers to block enemy attacks.  And this is only a short list of what she’s capable of.

Furthermore, she can add Burst! to her attacks, whose effects can easily shift the tide of battle in one fell swoop.  With her semblance, she can potentially do things like freeze an entire enemy team in place with ice dust, scatter a pack of Beowolves with wind dust, or just create a fiery blast by enhancing fire dust.

However, this versatility and power is reliant on dust.  In fact, all of Clara’s battle prowess is reliant on dust.  If she is deprived of dust, she’s stuck with nothing more than a glorified club and a soul-powered forcefield.

Even with dust, Clara’s fairly immobile.  She could use wind or kinetic dust to maneuver herself out of a pinch if she needs to, but if she’s constantly harried, she’ll crumble under the pressure.  Keep in mind she needs to stand still to activate her semblance.

Speaking of which, Clara’s semblance is powerful, but it comes with a hefty cooldown and a limited number of uses.  If she wastes a charge of Burst!, a huge chunk of her firepower is gone.  Furthermore, if an opponent manages to get up close, Burst! may be closed off as an option, as the enhanced effect may include her in the onslaught.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most of her dust-enhanced attacks will have a bit of wind-up (i.e., sparks coming out of the tip of the weapon when she prepares lightning dust, frost for ice dust, a flame for fire, etc.).  This can tell opponents what attack she’s planning on making before it’s fired, giving them more time to react.

WEAPON

Name: Torchlight

Primary Form: Torchlight is a staff that stands a little taller than Clara.  Near the top is a windowed, revolving cylinder with different chambers for her various types of dust.  Above the dust cylinder, the staff eventually comes to a sharp point, resembling a square pyramid.  This point isn’t sharp enough to be used as a spear, though the staff is durable enough to be used as a club if need be

Whenever Clara launches a dust attack with Torchlight in this form, she points the tip towards her intended target and the dust launches from there (think Weiss’s ranged attacks against the Nevermore in vol 1.), and has a max range of about 300ft.  Individual attacks use about 5% of her reserve of that particular dust type.

Primary Dust Functions:

Fire: When preparing a fire dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to glow red and ignite, before a red bead of energy is hurled out towards the intended destination.  On arrival, the bead explodes in a 10ft radius, dealing damage to those caught in the blast and setting flammable objects on fire.
With Burst!, the radius is increased to just under 20ft, and the damage is significantly increased.

Ice: When preparing an ice dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to accumulate frost, before a icy bead of energy is ejected from the tip.  Upon impact with an area, object, or creature, the bead explodes into an icy blast, causing whatever it hits to ice over. 
With Burst!, the radius of the ice blast is increased to about 15ft, and any ground affected by the blast becomes filled with icy spikes that can further impede movement.

Wind: When preparing wind dust, the tip of Torchlight starts to generate a small breeze, before a green bead of energy is shot out.  (Note: this wind up is difficult to see, giving it a small element of surprise)  When the bead detonates, a blast of wind knocks any nearby creatures or loose objects within 10 feet away from the center of the blast.  It doesn’t do much damage unless the blast knocks a creature into a wall, tree, or other obstacle.
With Burst!, the radius of the wind burst is increased to 20 feet, and the damage (both from the blast itself and from colliding with any potential obstacles) is also increased.

Lighting: When preparing lightning dust, the tip of Torchlight sparks with electrical energy.  However, instead of shooting out a bead of energy that detonates into a blast, a bolt fires out from the tip in a straight line, damaging the first thing it hits.  The bolt is very fast, difficult to dodge, and is effective at long range, making lightning dust a “go-to” option for Clara.
With Burst!, the bolt’s damage increases, and the bolt “arcs” to up to four nearby targets, dealing the same amount of damage.

Earth: When preparing earth dust, the tip of Torchlight seems to “leak” dirt for a brief moment, before a bead of brown energy is ejected.  When the bead detonates, a boulder is formed.  While landing the boulder could potentially do heavy damage if it connects, this dust is most often used defensively, usually to block off passages or create obstacles for Grimm to overcome.
With Burst!, the boulder is bigger.

Kinetic: Unlike every other type of dust, this dust has no unique wind-up.  This means the only warning opponents get that an attack is heading their way is the white bolt of energy coming towards them.  This bead is also fairly quick, and this combination of factors makes Kinetic another “go-to” dust type for Clara.  On hit, the dust does a decent amount of damage and knocks the target back.
With Burst!, the damage and knockback is increased.  This is the only dust type that is purely single-target.

Gravity: When preparing gravity dust, the tip of Torchlight glows purple for a brief moment before a bead of purple energy is hurled towards an intended destination.  On arrival, the bead pulls everything within 10ft directly towards it.  The effectiveness of this pull depends on the weight of the creature.  The pull itself does not do any damage, though any collisions that occur as a result of the pull might.
With Burst!, the range of the pull extends to a 20ft radius, and the force of the pull increases.

Secondary Form: The tip of Torchlight opens up, revealing a “Dust-thrower”.  Like the primary form, there’s a bit of a wind up before the thrower activates.  Also, while Burst! can enhance the potency of the thrower for a short time (generally 1 round or 5 seconds), the thrower can continuously spew dust for as long as there are resources to fuel it.  The thrower generally only reaches a max range of 15 feet though, and Clara’s semblance does not extend the thrower’s range.

Secondary Dust Functions:

Fire:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to glow red and small flames may ignite.  Pretty much acts as a typical flamethrower.

Ice:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to accumulate frost.  After activation, the thrower spews ice particles, which can quickly freeze over enemies and objects that stay in the cone for an extended period of time.

Wind:  Before fully activating, opponents will feel wind start to pick up within the cone.  During activation, anything within the cone will get blasted back.  At the same time, Clara can use this to blast herself in the opposite direction, making this a useful escape tool.

Lightning:  The thrower will spark with electricity as the thrower warms up until it finally starts to project bolts of electricity.

Earth: The thrower will initially start to leak dirt during warm up.  However, once in full swing, the thrower will spew “liquid earth” that quickly solidifies into a solid form.  Useful for creating more intricate defensive barriers if the need arises.

Gravity:  The thrower will glow purple during the warm up phase.  Once fully warmed up, the thrower will pull everything within the cone towards Clara.  This is useful in the occasion Clara needs to pull a teammate or civilian out of harms way, though she could end up pulling enemies toward her as well.

History: Torchlight was built during Clara’s time at Sanctum.  The overall design was based off of her father’s weapon, though the dust thrower and the cylinder more closely resemble her brother’s weapon.

10
WiP Characters / Clara Meridiem
« on: March 06, 2019, 03:32:54 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Clara Meridiem

Age: 17, born 2nd of Huā

Species and Gender: Female Human

Symbol:  A sword crossed with a staff.  Above it, a goblet pours out coins.  Below that is an infinity symbol.

Occupation: 1st Year Beacon Student

Appearance: She is a girl.  She wears clothes sometimes

History: Her past happened

Personality: She has interests, hobbies, and stuff

Aura and Semblance: Clara’s aura manifests in a cyan color.  Her aura level and control are typical for a student of her level.

Clara has named her semblance Burst!Burst!, in short, allows her to amplify the effects of the dust she uses in combat.  In more mechanical terms, she expends a “charge” in order to enhance the dust she’s using.  When the enhanced dust activates its effect, the effect is amplified (generally speaking, Burst! enhanced dust is three times more volatile).  What’s more, Clara can use her semblance on any dust she can get her hands on, so long as it isn’t protected by another individual’s aura.  However, if she tries to enhance a large amount of dust (say, an entire crate’s worth), there’s a significant chance the dust will activate immediately, causing potentially disastrous results.  Furthermore, she has to be close enough to touch the dust (or at least the container of dust) that she wishes to charge.  Because of this, Clara normally only uses her semblance on a small amount of her own dust reserves at a time. 

She can only use Burst! once every 15 seconds, however, and only about 10 times in an hour.

Whenever she’s about to use her semblance, her aura manifests and glows brightly, giving a clear sign to anyone watching as to what she’s about to do.  She has to channel her semblance like this for about three seconds, standing relatively still for the duration. However, once she completes the channel, she can “sit” on the charge for about 10 seconds before deploying the dust, if she chooses.  The cooldown begins once the charge has been expended, not when the initial channel completes.

Combat Behavior:  On the battlefield, Clara acts as a “blaster caster”, using dust to wreak havoc on enemies at medium to long range, be they human or Grimm.  With the variety of dust available to her, her tactics change depending on the situation:  she can choose to do as much damage as possible with fire dust, or she can decide to use ice dust to lock enemies in place.  If her team needs defensive cover, she can use earth dust to erect walls and barriers to block enemy attacks.  And this is only a short list of what she’s capable of.

Furthermore, she can add Burst! to her attacks, whose effects can easily shift the tide of battle in one fell swoop.  With her semblance, she can potentially do things like freeze an entire enemy team in place with ice dust, scatter a pack of Beowolves with wind dust, or just create a fiery blast by enhancing fire dust.

However, this versatility and power is reliant on dust.  In fact, all of Clara’s battle prowess is reliant on dust.  If she is deprived of dust, she’s stuck with nothing more than a glorified club and a soul-powered forcefield.

Even with dust, Clara’s fairly immobile.  She could use wind or kinetic dust to maneuver herself out of a pinch if she needs to, but if she’s constantly harried, she’ll crumble under the pressure.  Keep in mind she needs to stand still to activate her semblance.

On top of that, Clara’s semblance is powerful, but it comes with a hefty cooldown and a limited number of uses.  If she wastes a charge of Burst!, a huge chunk of her firepower is gone.  Furthermore, if an opponent manages to get up close, Burst! may be closed off as an option, as the enhanced effect may include her in the onslaught.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most of her dust-enhanced attacks will have a bit of wind-up (i.e., sparks coming out of the tip of the weapon when she prepares lightning dust, frost for ice dust, a flame for fire, etc.).  This can tell opponents what attack she’s planning on making before it’s fired, giving them more time to react.

WEAPON

Name: Torchlight

Primary Form: Torchlight is a staff that stands a little taller than Clara.  Near the top is a windowed, revolving cylinder with different chambers for her various types of dust.  Above the dust cylinder, the staff eventually comes to a sharp point, resembling a square pyramid.  This point isn’t sharp enough to be used as a spear, though the staff is durable enough to be used as a club if need be

Whenever Clara launches a dust attack with Torchlight in this form, she points the tip towards her intended target and the dust launches from there (think Weiss’s ranged attacks against the Nevermore in vol 1.)

Primary Dust Functions:

Fire: When preparing a fire dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to glow red and ignite, before a red bead of energy is hurled out towards the intended destination.  On arrival, the bead explodes in a 10ft radius, dealing damage to those caught in the blast and setting flammable objects on fire.
With Burst!, the radius is increased to just under 20ft, and the damage is significantly increased.

Ice: When preparing an ice dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to accumulate frost, before a icy bead of energy is ejected from the tip.  Upon impact with an area, object, or creature, the bead explodes into an icy blast, causing whatever it hits to ice over. 
With Burst!, the radius of the ice blast is increased to about 15ft, and any ground affected by the blast becomes filled with icy spikes that can further impede movement.

Wind: When preparing wind dust, the tip of Torchlight starts to generate a small breeze, before a green bead of energy is shot out.  (Note: this wind up is difficult to see, giving it a small element of surprise)  When the bead detonates, a blast of wind knocks any nearby creatures or loose objects within 10 feet away from the center of the blast.  It doesn’t do much damage unless the blast knocks a creature into a wall, tree, or other obstacle.
With Burst!, the radius of the wind burst is increased to 20 feet, and the damage (both from the blast itself and from colliding with any potential obstacles) is also increased.

Lighting: When preparing lightning dust, the tip of Torchlight sparks with electrical energy.  However, instead of shooting out a bead of energy that detonates into a blast, a bolt fires out from the tip in a straight line, damaging the first thing it hits.  The bolt is very fast, difficult to dodge, and is effective at long range, making lightning dust a “go-to” option for Clara.
With Burst!, the bolt’s damage increases, and the bolt “arcs” to up to four nearby targets, dealing the same amount of damage.

Earth: When preparing earth dust, the tip of Torchlight seems to “leak” dirt for a brief moment, before a bead of brown energy is ejected.  When the bead detonates, a boulder is formed.  While landing the boulder could potentially do heavy damage if it connects, this dust is most often used defensively, usually to block off passages or create obstacles for Grimm to overcome.
With Burst!, the boulder is bigger.

Kinetic: Unlike every other type of dust, this dust has no unique wind-up.  This means the only warning opponents get that an attack is heading their way is the white bolt of energy coming towards them.  This bead is also fairly quick, and this combination of factors makes Kinetic another “go-to” dust type for Clara.  On hit, the dust does a decent amount of damage and knocks the target back.
With Burst!, the damage and knockback is increased.  This is the only dust type that is purely single-target.

Gravity: When preparing gravity dust, the tip of Torchlight glows purple for a brief moment before a bead of purple energy is hurled towards an intended destination.  On arrival, the bead pulls everything within 10ft directly towards it.  The effectiveness of this pull depends on the weight of the creature.  The pull itself does not do any damage, though any collisions that occur as a result of the pull might.
With Burst!, the range of the pull extends to a 20ft radius, and the force of the pull increases.

Secondary Form: The tip of Torchlight opens up, revealing a “Dust-thrower”.  Like the primary form, there’s a bit of a wind up before the thrower activates.  Also, while Burst! can enhance the potency of the thrower for a short time (generally 1 round or 5 seconds), the thrower can continuously spew dust for as long as there are resources to fuel it.  The thrower generally only reaches a max range of 15 feet though, and Clara’s semblance does not extend the thrower’s range.


Secondary Dust Functions:

Fire:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to glow red and small flames may ignite.  Pretty much acts as a typical flamethrower.

Ice:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to accumulate frost.  After activation, the thrower spews ice particles, which can quickly freeze over enemies and objects that stay in the cone for an extended period of time.

Wind:  Before fully activating, opponents will feel wind start to pick up within the cone.  During activation, anything within the cone will get blasted back.  At the same time, Clara can use this to blast herself in the opposite direction, making this a useful escape tool.

Lightning:  The thrower will spark with electricity as the thrower warms up until it finally starts to project bolts of electricity.

Earth: The thrower will initially start to leak dirt during warm up.  However, once in full swing, the thrower will spew “liquid earth” that quickly solidifies into a solid form.  Useful for creating more intricate defensive barriers if the need arises.

Gravity:  The thrower will glow purple during the warm up phase.  Once fully warmed up, the thrower will pull everything within the cone towards Clara.  This is useful in the occasion Clara needs to pull a teammate or civilian out of harms way, though she could end up pulling enemies toward her as well.

History: Torchlight was built during Clara’s time at Sanctum.  The overall design was based off of her father’s weapon, though the dust thrower and the cylinder more closely resemble her brother’s weapon.

11
RPG Discussion / Is Ice Dust OP?
« on: February 23, 2019, 03:00:13 AM »
So, this is another post where I rant about something that’s probably fine but has potential abuse cases that can be cleared up by mod rulings.  This time it’s about ice dust and how, in my opinion, it’s the single best type of dust to use in pretty much every circumstance in any given fight.  Now, before I continue, this is going to primarily concern pvp bouts, not threads run by a thread mod who throws swarms of Grimm or a giant boss monster at a team of characters.

Now, ice dust is generally used for one thing: it freezes things.  In combat, most of the time it’s used to freeze an opponent in place.  I’m going to refer to being frozen in place in this manner as “snared”.  When someone is “snared”, they can’t move, but are most likely still capable of reacting and fighting. 

But how would a character escape from this “snare”?  Well, they would have to break or melt the ice, it’s pretty much the only way.  Otherwise, the character is just stuck, at least until the ice melts on its own, I guess.  Now, let’s compare that to the commonly listed effects of other types of dust.  Fire generally just increases the damage of an attack.  Sometimes it’s used to ignite flammable objects, but most of the time the effect is an instantaneous blast.  Wind dust is most often used to create a knockback effect, increase the speed of a shot, or just a flat increase in damage.  Pretty much any effect created with this dust is instantaneous unless the character spends a continuous amount of dust to create a continuous wind effect.  Kinetic dust (possibly also known as repulsion dust) is similar in this regard, as is gravity dust.  The effect is either a push or a pull that lasts for a brief moment, and doesn’t create a long-lasting effect except in rare circumstances.

The only types of dust that consistently generate longer-lasting effects like ice dust are lightning and earth dust.  Earth dust generally creates, well, earth.  Depending on how it’s used it can harden an attack to make it hit harder or be used to create a defensive barrier which can last however long it needs to in some circumstances.  Lightning dust, on the other hand, seems to generate a variety of effects, depending on what’s convenient to the user.  In some cases, lightning causes a hampering slow, in other cases, it causes the jitters.  In my character Lucas’s case, it causes characters to potentially drop whatever they’re holding.  And while those effects can lead to heavy advantages in the right scenarios, none of those seem to be as blatantly strong as a straight-up snare.

The ice snare is the only case where the affected individual has to pay attention to the cause.  Even in the case of lightning dust, there’s nothing the character can do about it once they’ve been struck, so they can just carry on fighting with the knowledge that the “debuff” put on them is temporary.  However, if a character doesn’t have a way to deal with ice, they’re just stuck until the ice-user arbitrarily decides they can go free.  And that’s why I say ice dust crowds out every other dust option on the market, at least at the moment.

Now, I’m not calling for a nerf or any kind of balance change, I just wanted to bring up a talking point.  Due to the nature of the site and the variety of characters that can be created, any kind of blanket restriction would have to come with an asterisk.  With that said, though, does anyone else feel this way?

12
Teams / Looking 4th year Haven team
« on: February 21, 2019, 05:22:43 PM »
So, this is probably going to sit here a while, but I figured I'd post something anyways.

Lucas got approved, and he'll probably need a team.  His semblance is a lantern that creates AoE "debuffs" (i.e. fire damage increased in the area, knockback increased, creating fog clouds that obscure vision, etc.) that changes depending on what type of dust is used.  He tends to work best as a scout, using his slippery nature and misleading abilities to confuse enemies and keep out of harm's reach, though his teamfight presence is arguably just as impactful.

Personality-wise, he's the lawful good, bookish, stoic type that tends to keep to himself.  He tends to put his team and the lives of others ahead of the mission at hand.


13
Approved Characters / Lucas Meridiem
« on: February 10, 2019, 04:52:45 PM »
CCE9AE

CHARACTER

Name: Lucas Meridiem

Age: 21, Born 1st of Machlud

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  A lantern.  An infinity symbol is painted where the flame would normally be

Occupation: 4th year Haven Student

Appearance: Lucas stands at 5’8”, has tan skin, and is lean in build, making him appear smaller than he actually is.  He has sharp, angular facial features and dark, black hair that he keeps short and combed flat.  The gaze of his pale, green eyes is equally pointed, and his expression seems to be set into a permanent frown.

His combat attire consists of a pale green, hooded overcoat that stretches down to his mid-thigh.  The pockets of the coat are outlined in a yellow trim, and the top left pocket displays his symbol.  His pants are a dark forest green that stretch down and cover the top part of his black boots.  He keeps Sophist’s Lantern strapped to a belt that wraps around the waist of the coat, and he wears brown gloves with brass plating on the knuckles (which are useful in the event that he ever has to throw hands).  Underneath his coat he wears a black turtleneck.  He also wears a green bandana around his collar, as well. 

History: Lucas was born in Mistral to two loving parents.  His father, Lucien, was a huntsman, and his mother, Serena, owned and operated a dust shop.  A few years later, his sister, Clara, was born, and, for a time, the family lived happily.

However, as is often the case for a huntsman’s family, tragedy struck a few years later.  When Lucas was six, he answered a knock at the door, where he was greeted by a somber face.  A friend and comrade of his father had come to tell the family terrible news: Lucien had been killed in action.

Lucien had apparently died saving a family of strangers in the midst of a Grimm attack.  The family’s child had been trapped under debris, and Lucas’s father had gone to assist him.  However, after the child had escaped, an Ursa caught Lucien off-guard, creating an opening for other Grimm to attack, which created another opening, which led to another opening, and so on and so forth.  Fortunately, the family whose child he had rescued had managed to escape, and Lucien Meridiem would be remembered as a hero.

Remembered, not welcomed

It was never said, but, in his head, Lucas made that distinction.  There was a funeral service remembering his father.  There was a plaque in the shop’s front entranced labelled “In Remembrance of Lucien”.  Lucas remembered his father, but he could never again welcome him home again.  People would come up to him on the street and tell him that his father died doing the right thing.

But each and every time, Lucas would wonder, ”If he was doing the right thing, why did he have to die?”

It was thoughts like these that guided most of his childhood.  As he grew up, he heard other stories of “valiant” heroes who died in conflict.  Even in fiction, the self-sacrificing “heroes” would always be painted in the most positive light, and that bothered the young boy to no end.  He never related to them, first of all.  He always felt more of a connection with the characters that told the “hero” he was a blind idiot, and that there had to be another way.  Lucas always noted that those characters never seemed to die.

Strangely, though, Lucas seemed to be in the minority.  Other kids he grew up with, even his own sister, seemed to be more enamored with the reckless idiots of the world than the sensible ones.  And every time his friends or his family would express their admiration for “self-sacrifice”, Lucas’s thoughts would return to the night he heard a knock at the door.

He didn’t want to go through that again with his friends.

However, simply arguing with them with (what he thinks is) logic and reason wasn’t going to be enough to dissuade them from chasing their dreams.  Nothing would, really.  So, Lucas decided to do the next best thing and enroll at combat school.  If his friends were going to be dumb enough to risk their lives for the sake of strangers, then he’d make it his goal to make sure his friends came back alive to the people they actually know.

Surprisingly, Lucas thrived in the formal training environment.  Growing up, he always quiet, studious, and disciplined.  Given his philosophies on not recklessly risking his life or the lives of others, he would always approach problems with the intention of keeping him and his team alive first and the mission second.  Judging from the high marks he received, his teachers seemed to agree with him.

When it came time to transfer to Haven, Lucas passed the written and theoretical exams with flying colors.  His only stumbling block came in the practical portion, where he barely completed his objective just as time expired.  However, examiners noted that his aura had only taken minimal damage.

During his time at Haven, he’d gained a reputation for taking slow, methodical, and stealthy routes to completing missions, much to the chagrin of more “action-oriented” classmates.  However, he also carries the distinction of never losing a teammate while out on a mission, an honor he plans to hold onto for as long as humanly possible.     

Personality: If asked to describe him in a few words, most friends would say Lucas is “aloof and intelligent”.  He tends to keep to himself.  Even when he’s out with friends, he stays relatively quiet, only chiming in with occasional one-liners when appropriate.  He tends to avoid confrontations, most of the time choosing to walk away from arguments (even if he’s in the right).   

Other people would describe him as a “teacher’s pet”, as he tends to sit in the front of the class, get high marks, and often tutors others in their areas of struggle.  He doesn’t do any help for his image when he offers advice in practical combat (that instructors would most likely agree with) but fail to deliver in the arena himself (though, he’d argue its because fighting isn’t his specialty).

The last descriptor people would use is “cynical”.  Lucas is not the person to go to for a shoulder to cry on.  He’s a firm believer in the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.  When on missions, he’s likely to tell his teammates to not risk their lives on a lost cause.  In this regard, he has trouble getting close and opening up to people.  Because of this and his philosophies, some of his methods might be called outright cowardly.

In fact, to some, he probably is cowardly.  But if anyone asks Lucas, he’d say he just has a different view of heroism:  ”My heroes have to come back alive.” 

Aura and Semblance: Lucas’s Aura manifests in a pale, ghostly green color.  His overall level of aura and control is typical for a student of his level.

His semblance takes the form of a freely-floating ephemeral lantern.  Lucas can move it at will, and it moves at about the same speed as a typical huntsman in a full sprint (relative to Lucas).  It can travel out to a range of about 300 feet.  It doesn’t have a physical body, and any strikes aimed at the lantern pass through it.  Summoning and dismissing the lantern is instantaneous, though he can only summon the lantern to a spot within 5 feet of him.  While the lantern is summoned, Lucas has a general idea of where it is at any given point, though he can't "see" through it and otherwise has no idea what's happening around the lantern if he can't directly see the situation himself. 

The lantern can also switch between a dormant state and giving off light.  In either case, normally, the lantern requires negligible aura consumption, allowing Lucas to shed light indefinitely.  The light’s radius extends out to 15 feet.  This light can be affected by dust use, and, depending on what type of dust is used, the light produces various effects.  However, combining his semblance with dust in this way is more strenuous on Lucas’s aura control, and using his semblance in this manner drains his aura reserves.  The more unique types of dust used at once, the more aura is consumed.  At his current level, Lucas can use three different types of dust at once.  Dust used in this way is drained directly from the stores inside of Sophist's Lantern, which allows Lucas to manipulate what effect his semblance is taking despite being possibly hundreds of feet away.  The drain-rate is about 5% of his stores for every 5 seconds for each type of dust used, meaning Lucas can channel one particular type of dust continuously through his semblance for about 100 seconds.  His semblance reserves drain at about a rate of 2% per 5 seconds if one dust type is used, 5% per 5 seconds with two, and 10% per 5 seconds with 3 unique types of dust.  Once his aura reserve runs dry, he'll need a few hours to recuperate before he can channel dust through his semblance again. 

Spoiler: ShowHide
This is a list of dust effects Lucas can manifest with his semblance.  If certain combinations are not listed, assume the combination would manifest in a combined form of the individual effects.

Key: (F)Fire, (I)Ice, (E)Earth, (W)Wind, (L)Lightning, (K)Kinetic, (G)Gravity

(F): The area increases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably hot.  Ice quickly melts, fire damage is increased, and fire spreads more easily.

(I): The area decreases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably cold.  Any use of ice dust is granted an increased Area of Effect if activated inside the light’s radius (if an effect only affects a single target, the area increases to a radius of 5 feet).

(E): Small particles of sand gently float down amid the lantern’s AoE.  Structures made with Earth dust within the light’s radius are more durable and require less dust to make.

(L): The area becomes filled with static.  Creatures will notice feeling “tingly”.  Metal objects will become charged and stick together if brought into contact with each other.  Notably, if a weapon can transform, that weapon will be unable to shift while in the radius.  If creatures touch a metal object or another creature, they will receive a shock (akin to a minor
static shock).  Compasses and other objects affected by electric currents will start acting haywire, as if a magnet was placed directly on the object in question.  Interestingly, attacks using lightning dust might “arc” from the initial target to another within close range. 
 
(W): The area experiences in increase in wind activity, as heavy gales blow through.  Flying creatures experience mild turbulence, and light, loose objects get blown away.

(K): Everything within the lantern’s light travels faster.  Bullets accelerate through the area, while running speeds are moderately increased.  Knockback effects are granted increased potency, and, generally speaking, attacks deal more damage
 
(G): Everything within the area experiences an increase in weight.  Movement speeds slow, bullets drop, weapons become harder to wield (but do more damage).

(F)(I): The area becomes enshrouded in thick fog.  The light from the lantern is visible from outside the fog, as are vague silhouettes, but everything else is heavily obscured.

(F)(W): The area rises in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, fire spreads much more rapidly inside the radius than if either effect were used alone.  Adding kinetic dust (K) would further increase the rate of spread.

(I)(W): The area lowers in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, open flames are quickly snuffed out within the radius.  Adding kinetic dust (K) makes the winds more violent. 

(E)(W): The area becomes enshrouded in a sandstorm.  Figures and objects become difficult to make out, and sand particles are dispersed evenly throughout the radius.  Breathing can become uncomfortable while in the radius unless precautions against sand are taken (i.e. covering the mouth with a cloth, such as a bandana).  Silhouettes can still be made out, though fine details are obscured.  Adding kinetic dust (K) can increase the wind speeds of the sandstorm, making it nearly impossible to fly or see.  Alternatively, adding lightning dust (L) can distribute an electric charge throughout the radius, causing a small amount of consistent environmental damage.  This is in addition to the normal effects of lightning dust.

(E)(L): Similar to a combined version of the individual effects, but earth dust constructs made within the radius will hold a magnetic charge.  If metal were to touch these constructs, the metal would stick to it and require some effort to remove.  This property would persist for 10-15 seconds after the lantern effect ends/switches, depending on how long the effect was held for.

(W)(K): The winds in the area become incredibly violent, and the area becomes filled with extreme turbulence.  Flying creatures, such as griffons, will have a terrible time trying to fly through the area and have a chance of being ripped from the sky outright.  Larger Grimm, such as Giant Nevermores, won’t be knocked out of the sky but will have trouble navigating through the area. 

(K)(G): A combined version of the individual effects.  Notable in that the speed boost and debuff of kinetic and gravity, respectively, effectively cancel out.  However, since objects such as weapons will experience in weight, attacks will hit incredibly hard while in this radius. 

Combat Behavior:  If he’s alone, Lucas prefers to avoid combat if at all possible.  Ideally, he’d rather not have enemies know he was there at all.  If he needs to give enemies the slip, he can use his semblance or Sophist’s Lantern to make smoke screens and other distractions in order to give him a chance to hide or get away.

If he is forced into combat, Lucas will try to stick to long range with his weapon’s sniper form, and use the spectral lantern to harry his opponent(s) with environmental effects.  He’ll fight to escape, looking to mitigate the threat rather than outright eliminate it (i.e. freezing a pursuer’s legs, sealing off a corridor with earth dust, etc.).

Generally speaking, this kind of “flighty” fighting style lends itself to reconnaissance and “search and rescue” operations, both of which Lucas excels at.  Simply using the light from his semblance, he can distract Grimm while he evacuates   

Working in a group, however, changes how he fights.  He’d still prefer to use stealth if at all possible, but he’s very good at coordinating with allies in a wide variety of situations.  If the team he’s with is equipped to go in guns blazing, his semblance can enhance the damage of his compatriots while also covering for their weaknesses.  If the party needs to retreat, he can cover them with smokescreens.

In the event of pitched battle, Lucas’s first move will almost always be to hide, preferably in a spot with a good vantage point of the fight that’s within range for his semblance.  From that point, he’ll act as a phantom on the battlefield, hampering and debuffing enemies with his semblance while allies take them down.  He’ll often go through entire fights without firing a single shot, as shooting his weapon could reveal his position and force him to find a new spot to hide in.  If he does take a shot, it’s to cripple an opponent or to assist an ally in a way that his lantern alone couldn’t handle. 

The worst possible thing to happen to Lucas in a fight is to be forced into a melee.  While he has plenty of tools to give most opponents the slip, enemies that are particularly persistent or can see through his smokescreen shenanigans will find that he’s not particularly effective as an out-and-out combatant.  While Lucas can swing around the heavy Sophist’s Lantern and its dust effects, he’s not proficient in close-quarters combat.

Furthermore, if he tried to use his semblance to gain an advantage in melee, he’d be subject to the lantern’s effects as well (this also applies to his allies.  Teammates that prefer melee will often find themselves on the wrong side of Lucas’s abilities if either they or he make a wrong move).  If he can’t get away from an enemy, Lucas won’t be able to manipulate the battlefield to his favor.

It’s also worth noting that, while the lantern has an incredible leash range and doesn’t give away Lucas’s position, the area under the lantern’s influence isn’t very large.  Groups of intelligent opponents that split up will force Lucas to choose which enemy to target.

Furthermore, Lucas’s battle strategy hinges on him having dust.  If he doesn’t have dust, his semblance is reduced to nothing more than a glorified night light.  On top of that, Lucas can’t just keep feeding the lantern dust, either.  If his aura reserves run out, he, again, won’t be able to utilize dust effects.

Lastly, the lantern itself doesn’t do any damage (save for one effect which is used rarely).  By itself, Lucas’s semblance doesn’t accomplish anything, and is mostly just kind of annoying.
 
WEAPON

Name: Sophist’s Lantern

Primary Form: Sophist’s Lantern takes the shape of a large lantern. It has 8 “windows”, or compartments, each of which contains one type of dust save for one, which contains several cannisters that Lucas uses to create smokescreens with.  Only one of these windows opens, however, and Lucas chooses which compartment uses that window with a series of buttons located underneath the handle.  When the window opens, the lantern acts as a “dust thrower”, ejecting the dust in a manner akin to a flamethrower out in a 20ft cone.

Alternatively, the lantern is heavy, and Lucas can swing it at an opponent when forced into close quarters.  It makes a nice *thunk* sound when it connects.

Surprisingly, Sophist’s Lantern makes for a poor light source.

Secondary Form: A section extends from the bottom of the lantern that quickly transforms into a barrel, scope, action and everything else needed to form a sniper rifle.  The windows of the lantern become the butt of the gun, and the handle is moved to the side, allowing Lucas to still manipulate which type of dust he has primed.

Dust Functions: In lantern form

Fire:  A typical flamethrower.  Can do a lot of damage fairly quickly

Ice:  Freezes opponents caught in the blast

Earth:  Used to quickly erect a barrier of rock.

Wind:  Blasts enemies away

Lightning:  Shocks enemies within the cone, possibly causing them to drop anything they’re holding.

In rifle form

Fire:  The shot explodes on hit, causing extra damage.

Ice:  The shot freezes the target on hit.

Wind:  Enemies will be knocked back on hit.

Lightning:  Shocks enemies on hit, Possibly causing them to drop anything they’re holding.

Kinetic:  Knocks back any enemies hit, similar to wind dust.

History: Lucas created his weapon shortly before entering Haven, modifying it over the years to better suit his needs.  It used to function as a proper lantern as well, but scrapped that portion when he gained the ability to keep his semblance’s light on indefinitely. 

14
WiP Characters / Lucas Meridiem
« on: February 09, 2019, 08:49:01 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Lucas Meridiem

Age: 21

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  A lantern.  An infinity symbol is painted where the flame would normally be

Occupation: 4th year Haven Student

Appearance: Lucas stands at 5’8” and is lean in build, making him appear smaller than he actually is.  He has sharp, angular facial features and dark, black hair that he keeps short and combed flat.  The gaze of his pale, green eyes is equally pointed, and his expression seems to be set into a permanent frown.

His combat attire consists of a pale green, hooded overcoat that stretches down to his mid-thigh.  The pockets of the coat are outlined in a yellow trim, and the top left pocket displays his symbol.  His pants are a dark forest green that stretch down and cover the top part of his black boots.  He keeps Sophist’s Lantern strapped to a belt that wraps around the waist of the coat, and he wears brown gloves with brass plating on the knuckles (which are useful in the event that he ever has to throw hands).  Underneath his coat he wears a black turtleneck.  He also wears a green bandana around his collar, as well. 

History: Lucas's past is Dark and Mysterious.

Personality: Edgey af.

Aura and Semblance: Lucas’s Aura manifests in a pale, ghostly green color.  His overall level of aura and control is typical for a student of his level.

His semblance takes the form of a freely-floating ephemeral lantern.  Lucas can move it at will, and it moves at about the same speed as a typical huntsman in a full sprint (relative to Lucas).  It can travel out to a range of about 300 feet.  It doesn’t have a physical body, and any strikes aimed at the lantern pass through it.  Summoning and dismissing the lantern is instantaneous, though he can only summon the lantern to a spot within 5 feet of him.

The lantern can also switch between a dormant state and giving off light.  In either case, normally, the lantern requires negligible aura consumption, allowing Lucas to shed light indefinitely.  The light’s radius extends out to 15 feet.  This light can be affected by dust use, and, depending on what type of dust is used, the light produces various effects.  However, combining his semblance with dust in this way is more strenuous on Lucas’s aura control, and using his semblance in this manner drains his aura reserves.  The more unique types of dust used at once, the more aura is consumed.  At his current level, Lucas can use three different types of dust at once.

Spoiler: ShowHide
This is a list of dust effects Lucas can manifest with his semblance.  If certain combinations are not listed, assume the combination would manifest in a combined form of the individual effects.

Key: (F)Fire, (I)Ice, (E)Earth, (W)Wind, (L)Lightning, (K)Kinetic, (G)Gravity

(F): The area increases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably hot.  Ice quickly melts, fire damage is increased, and fire spreads more easily.

(I): The area decreases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably cold.  Any use of ice dust is granted an increased Area of Effect if activated inside the light’s radius (if an effect only affects a single target, the area increases to a radius of 5 feet).

(E): Small particles of sand gently float down amid the lantern’s AoE.  Structures made with Earth dust within the light’s radius are more durable and require less dust to make.

(L): The area becomes filled with static.  Creatures will notice feeling “tingly”.  Metal objects will become charged and stick together if brought into contact with each other.  Notably, if a weapon can transform, that weapon will be unable to shift while in the radius.  If creatures touch a metal object or another creature, they will receive a shock (akin to a minor static shock).  Compasses and other objects affected by electric currents will start acting haywire, as if a magnet was placed directly on the object in question.  Interestingly, attacks using lightning dust might “arc” from the initial target to another within close range. 
 
(W): The area experiences in increase in wind activity, as heavy gales blow through.  Flying creatures experience mild turbulence, and light, loose objects get blown away.

(K): Everything within the lantern’s light travels faster.  Bullets accelerate through the area, while running speeds are moderately increased.  Knockback effects are granted increased potency, and, generally speaking, attacks deal more damage
 
(G): Everything within the area experiences an increase in weight.  Movement speeds slow, bullets drop, weapons become harder to wield (but do more damage).

(F)(I): The area becomes enshrouded in impenetrable fog.  Anything inside the fog becomes nearly impossible to see, and creatures inside the fog are essentially blinded.

(F)(W): The area rises in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, fire spreads much more rapidly inside the radius than if either effect were used alone.  Adding kinetic dust (K) would further increase the rate of spread.

(I)(W): The area lowers in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, open flames are quickly snuffed out within the radius.  Adding kinetic dust (K) makes the winds more violent. 

(E)(W): The area becomes enshrouded in a sandstorm.  Figures and objects become difficult to make out, and sand particles are dispersed evenly throughout the radius.  Breathing can become uncomfortable while in the radius unless precautions against sand are taken (i.e. covering the mouth with a cloth, such as a bandana).  Silhouettes can still be made out, though fine details are obscured.  Adding kinetic dust (K) can increase the wind speeds of the sandstorm, making it nearly impossible to fly or see.  Alternatively, adding lightning dust (L) can distribute an electric charge throughout the radius, causing a small amount of consistent environmental damage.  This is in addition to the normal effects of lightning dust.

(E)(L): Similar to a combined version of the individual effects, but earth dust constructs made within the radius will hold a magnetic charge.  If metal were to touch these constructs, the metal would stick to it and require some effort to remove.  This property would persist for 10-15 seconds after the lantern effect ends/switches, depending on how long the effect was held for.

(W)(K): The winds in the area become incredibly violent, and the area becomes filled with extreme turbulence.  Flying creatures, such as griffons, will have a terrible time trying to fly through the area and have a chance of being ripped from the sky outright.  Larger Grimm, such as Giant Nevermores, won’t be knocked out of the sky but will have trouble navigating through the area. 

(K)(G): A combined version of the individual effects.  Notable in that the speed boost and debuff of kinetic and gravity, respectively, effectively cancel out.  However, since objects such as weapons will experience in weight, attacks will hit incredibly hard while in this radius. 

Combat Behavior:  If he’s alone, Lucas prefers to avoid combat if at all possible.  Ideally, he’d rather not have enemies know he was there at all.  If he needs to give enemies the slip, he can use his semblance or Sophist’s Lantern to make smoke screens and other distractions in order to give him a chance to hide or get away.

If he is forced into combat, Lucas will try to stick to long range with his weapon’s sniper form, and use the spectral lantern to harry his opponent(s) with environmental effects.  He’ll fight to escape, looking to mitigate the threat rather than outright eliminate it (i.e. freezing a pursuer’s legs, sealing off a corridor with earth dust, etc.).

Generally speaking, this kind of “flighty” fighting style lends itself to reconnaissance and “search and rescue” operations, both of which Lucas excels at.  Simply using the light from his semblance, he can distract Grimm while he evacuates   

Working in a group, however, changes how he fights.  He’d still prefer to use stealth if at all possible, but he’s very good at coordinating with allies in a wide variety of situations.  If the team he’s with is equipped to go in guns blazing, his semblance can enhance the damage of his compatriots while also covering for their weaknesses.  If the party needs to retreat, he can cover them with smokescreens.

In the event of pitched battle, Lucas’s first move will almost always be to hide, preferably in a spot with a good vantage point of the battle that’s within range for his semblance.  From that point, he’ll act as a phantom on the battlefield, hampering and debuffing enemies with his semblance while allies take them down.  He’ll often go through entire fights without firing a single shot, as shooting his weapon could reveal his position and force him to find a new spot to hide in.  If he does take a shot, it’s to cripple an opponent or to assist an ally in a way that his lantern alone couldn’t handle. 

The worst possible thing to happen to Lucas in a fight is to be forced into a melee.  While he has plenty of tools to give most opponents the slip, enemies that are particularly persistent or can see through his smokescreen shenanigans will find that he’s not particularly effective as an out-and-out combatant.  While Sophist’s Lantern can transform into a mace and use dust effects, he’s not proficient in close-quarters combat.

Furthermore, if he tried to use his semblance to gain an advantage in melee, he’d be subject to the lantern’s effects as well (this also applies to his allies.  Teammates that prefer melee will often find themselves on the wrong side of Lucas’s abilities if either they or he make a wrong move).  If he can’t get away from an enemy, Lucas will find trouble manipulating the battlefield to his favor.

It’s also worth noting that, while the lantern has an incredible leash range and doesn’t give away Lucas’s position, the area that is under the lantern’s influence isn’t very large.  Groups of intelligent opponents that split up will force Lucas to choose which enemy to target (he’ll aim for a commander, if there is one, otherwise he’ll target snipers).

Furthermore, Lucas’s battle strategy hinges on him having dust.  If he doesn’t have dust, his semblance is reduced to nothing more than a glorified night light.  On top of that, Lucas can’t just keep feeding the lantern dust, either.  If his aura reserves run out, he, again, won’t be able to utilize dust effects.

Lastly, the lantern itself doesn’t do any damage (save for one effect which is used rarely).  By itself, Lucas’s semblance doesn’t accomplish anything, and is mostly just kind of annoying.

 
WEAPON

Name: Sample Text

Primary Form: Sample Text

Secondary Form: Sample Text

Tertiary Form: Sample Text

Dust Functions: Sample Text

History: Sample Text

15
WiP Characters / Arashi Kawa
« on: November 30, 2018, 03:57:04 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Arashi Kawa

Age: 30


Species and Gender: Male Human


Symbol:  An silhouette of a smiling man carrying too many swords at once while running away


Occupation: Huntsman


Appearance: Kawa stands at 5’10”.  He wears loose clothing that gives him a seemlingly “average” body type, but in reality, he has very well-defined musculature due to years of training and fighting.  He has a faint goatee, and his hair is short and messy. 

His clothes are simple, a shirt with long and baggy sleeves and some trousers underneath a hooded cloak.  He wears a conical hat which, along with his hood, he uses to conceal his expression.  He’d honestly look positively unremarkable if it weren’t for the twelve swords he has strapped to his waist and back.



History:  Arashi Kawa’s past is dark and mysterious…



Personality: Kawa’s soft, smooth, and low-pitched voice gives the impression that he’s a laid-back, easy-going person.  In fact, that’s not far from the truth:  there’s nothing he’d like more than to sit back in a quiet bar and casually drink the nights away, especially if he can chat up pretty women.  In most situations, he’d prefer to talk it out over resorting to violence.

However, his years of huntsman experience have given him certain habits that prevent Kawa from truly relaxing.  His eyes always quickly dart around any room he walks into, looking for traps, weapons, and angry meatheads.  He doesn’t trust easily, and he immediately mistrusts any beautiful woman that starts a conversation with him, especially if they’re faunus.  In his experience, if she’s hot, and she strikes up the conversation, something’s probably up. 

Furthermore, he’s a smooth-talker and a schemer.  He’ll use the guise of innocent conversation to gather information, using his keen observation skills to find details in words and appearances.  For instance, he spots a necklace on a woman, and he asks about it.  If she says it’s from her ex, then he’ll reasonably deduce that she’s not over the ex, since she’s still wearing a gift from him/her.  He’ll also play dumb and drag out conversations in order to prep his semblance if things look like they’ll go south.     


Aura and Semblance: Kawa’s focused too much on mastering swordsmanship and his semblance to train his aura in the finer uses.  It manifests in a light blue color.
He never gave his semblance a name, but it allows him to telekinetically wield up to 10 of his swords from as far as fifteen feet.  With two in his hands, he can essentially use 12 blades at once.

However, he needs time to get to this level.  He needs to spend a fair amount of time (generally speaking, around three posts) focusing his aura into each blade before he can let his semblance take over.  This involves physically touching the sword with the palm of his hand.  If he lets go of the sword during the charge-up period, he’ll have to start over.

Similarly, the maximum range of his semblance is fifteen feet.  If a sword completely crosses that threshold, it will fall to the ground, and Kawa will have to re-charge that blade if he wants to control it with his semblance.

Once he has a weapon charged, though, he can control it as if it were still in his hands.  The swords won’t be moved against Kawa’s will unless a force is applied to them that would move a sword in his hand.

Kawa can use his semblance for an extended period of time, even while using it to its limit.  With all 10 swords under its influence, he can keep it active for an hour before needing time to recharge.  On top of that, there is no visual cue when he’s using his semblance, a fact Kawa takes full advantage of.
     

Combat Behavior:  Starting off with weaknesses, Kawa has no damage potential outside of a fifteen foot radius.  As a huntsman-level combatant, he does have the agility and speed to close gaps rather efficiently, but if anyone keeps out of his circle of pain, he can’t cut them.  He has no guns, and doesn’t use dust.

Secondly, his semblance takes a long time to ramp up to a point where it shines.  At the very early stages of a fight, Kawa is merely a swordsman, albeit a very good one.  Hitting him hard early will pay dividends later on.

Thirdly, if he gets to a late stage with many of his swords out at once, he can be “reset” if his weapons are pushed outside of his semblance’s range, or vise versa.  Keep in mind that, while he can consciously move all of his swords at once, he still has to consciously move them as he moves.

That all being said, Kawa is a damn good swordsman.  In fact, it might not be unfair to think him as one of—if not the—best swordsman on Remnant.  He’s learned to use a massive variety of weapons, ranging from standard broadswords, to cutlasses, to rapiers, and even huge buster swords.

When adding on his semblance, things start getting nasty.  At first, Kawa will use his semblance to play mind games with his opponent:  he’ll sheathe the blade he just charged and draw another.  He’ll then wait for an opening and use his semblance to strike in three directions at once.  Bonus points if he can pull this off without his opponent understanding what happened.

As fights go on and more swords are added to the air, Kawa becomes increasingly aggressive.  Not only does his damage potential skyrocket, but his defensive capabilities rise as well.  With more swords comes more ways to deflect enemy fire.

On top of all that, if an opponent steps into the fifteen foot “Circle of Pain”, they’re going to have a hard time leaving due to the sheer volume of steel coming at them from all directions. 

In Summary:
+ Master Swordsman
+ Astronomical Damage Potential
+ High Defensive Potential

- Very Low Range (15 foot radius)
- Long “Ramp-Up” Time
- Progress in “Ramping-Up” can be undone with clever strategy   
 

WEAPON

Name: “The Dirty Dozen”

Primary Form: Kawa carries twelve different swords of varying shapes and sizes.

Standard Broadsword x4
Buster Sword x1
Rapiers x2
Katana x1
Cutlasses x2
Scimitars x2 


Dust Functions: None


History: All of these swords are either keepsakes from fallen comrades or trophies from defeated enemies, save for the scimitars.  Those were his first blades.

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