Enter the Gentle Wind
I. Basic Information» Name:
Fuuen (風燕, literally “Swallow Wind”)» Alias:
None.» Appearance Written:
Fuuen is, first and foremost, a rather composed-looking figure. He is rarely seen without a calm, almost amused-seeming smile on his face, and some might even go so far as to call this his most defining physical feature. Such a comment would surely be even more meaningful when one considers that Fuuen sports exceptionally long, bright violet hair, kept out of the way only courtesy of a high ponytail. His eyes are quite sharp, almost menacing simply in passing, and are much the same shade as his hair, rather piercing when his gaze is directed in a harsher manner. His attire is simple, a light purple kimono which borders on lavender, accompanied by a darker purple hakama and a functional indigo vest, which features a high collar and only the barest of gold trim. He lacks any sort of ornamentation, and wears only a quite plain set of tabi and sandals on his feat. Overall, his appearance suggests a certain level of enlightened refinement, an elegance that is born of simplicity rather than simply functioning in spite of it.» Appearance Image:
I. Personality» Passive:
Fuuen acts much as the winds from which he takes his name, simply watching the events of the world occur as a disinterested observer. He has no interest in engaging in conflict directly, as not only do the majority of battles simply not concern him, but it would be a disservice to his sword to involve it in something relatively petty. This detachment does not extend to simple interpersonal interactions, however, as he simply could not imagine an existence where he cared neither for events nor people. At that point he may as well simply not exist, and such an end is hardly enticing for anyone.» Lighthearted:
While it is unclear whether this is a consequence of his rather apathetic attitude toward the world, or vice versa, it is a simple fact that Fuuen often finds some source of amusement in almost anything. Whether it be something faintly interesting, such as a caterpillar on a leaf, or something that most would never laugh at, such as an instance of irony even in the darkest of events, Fuuen always searches for something to smile at. Why would he wish to live a life he cannot enjoy, particularly an indefinitely long one such as his? He rarely tells any sort of jokes, at least not directly, but he is certainly one for short quips and interjections, rarely anything impressively hysterical, but generally enough to merit a chuckle if nothing else.» Proud:
Fuuen's pride is something of a complicated issue. He is not proud of himself, per se, as he has no self or identity he can remember of which to be proud. Rather, he is proud of his accomplishments with the sword, and of the many things he has seen in the world. He considers his swordsmanship to be something developed for its own sake, not for the purpose of killing, and he would never deign to sully his blade unless it was absolutely necessary. Indeed, he rarely draws the sword at all, and when he does it is only to practice forms, rather than for actual combat.» Retrograde Fugue:
While most beings develop an attachment to their memories and experiences, Fuuen did not, and this is perhaps the one thing which concerns him. He does not strictly remember even the most pivotal events in his life, but simply knows that, at some point in he past, they did occur. His memories are not specific events that he can recollect, but rather take the form of his understanding that, at some point in the past, a specific event did occur to him. How specific he is able to be with these memories varies wildly, but he is able to say absolutely that a great deal of detail has undoubtedly been lost. He does not mind the loss of these memories in themselves, per se, but is more concerned about what they might have contained, and more importantly, what he may have lost. In recent times, his memory seems to have become more stable, and he is able to accurately recall things as any other being might be able to.
I. History» Life and Death:
Fuuen does not remember much of his past. In fact, he remembers almost nothing at all related to his personal life. He could not tell you where it was that he was born, where he grew up, what he did with his life or anyone that he knew. So far as he is concerned, his time among the living is simply lost to the sands of time, and he does not much care to look through that particular desert for something he simply feels no attachment toward. In fact, he cannot even remember how it was that he died. His fairest guess is that he was likely killed, presumably in combat and by a sword, but even these meager details are purely conjecture, based upon his own proclivity toward the battlefield.
The truth of the matter, however, is that Fuuen, known as Otonashi Masaru in his life, was a ronin duelist of moderate renown in the late Edo period, born in 1815. His skill with the sword was exceptional, though not what one would call unrivaled or other such hyperbolic terms. Indeed, he is at best a historical footnote from this time, and the only facet of his life which saved him from absolute obscurity was the entirely unique style of swordplay which he applied to dueling. Though fundamentally built upon iaido, as a great many dueling forms were, Masaru applied this in a manner which was unorthodox, to say the very least. Rather than using any sort of blade which might have been considered quickly accessible, Masaru used a blade which he had personally requested, and paid for with every koku he had. Modeled after the famed monohoshizao of the duelist Sasaki Kojiro, Masaru's blade, which he christened the Yuudachi, was 6 feet in length in its entirety. While normally a blade of this length might have hindered one's ability to draw it quickly, Masaru had cut a sizable amount of its sheathe away, allowing him to draw it in a wide, forceful swing rather than the usual motion.
Of course, those who lost to a style so absurd and out of touch with proper swordplay were left rather shamed by the occurrence, and their families, students, and teachers began to despise this ridiculous ronin, who devalued the duel with his comical approach to combat. Masaru put no stock in this mockery and ire, of course, and continued to duel with little care for the outcome. There was no final duel which put him over the line, as is often the case in tales like his, no opponent who was a notch above him or too well-connected for him to get away with defeating. No, he was simply declared a public nuisance by the shogunate, and a bounty was put on his head. His last duel was in the year 1866, and while normally it would not be worth mentioning such a thing, his opponent was none other than Sakamoto Ryoma, under his alias of Saitani Umetaro. Masaru lost this duel, though he considered it to have been among his best, and only three days later, he was found and killed by several members of the Shinsengumi. Though he was able to kill only a single one of them, untrained as he was in genuine combat against multiple opponents, he was content enough with the life he had lived, and yet as he felt the final vestiges of life fading, he wished he could have had one more truly great bout with the man who had bested him not three days ago.
His body was simply wrapped in a burlap sack and tossed away into the sea, as there was hardly much concern about a vagrant like him. His sword was nearly thrown away with him, but out of respect for the craftsmanship of the blade, and for whoever it was that might have forged such a thing, they instead simply took it to a plain, unremarkable hill in the nearby countryside, and plunged the thing into the ground. The sheathe was nearly taken as a trophy, but such a thing would have been of questionable honor, and so it was left with the sword. Such was the end of Otonashi Masaru, a man who nearly disappeared entirely into history.» Afterlife:
Fuuen's first memory, or rather, the memory he is able to place earliest in his personal timeline of events, is simply of himself standing atop a hill, bathed in moonlight and entirely alone. He finds this peculiar, as he is able to rather vividly remember the details of the place, as if he were standing there now. The wind blew gently, but with a surprising bite from the frosty air, and rocked a single tree that only barely blocked out some of the moon's rays. Leaves fell around him, slowly and not in especially great number, and in the distance a few animals called out. It was a peaceful scene, and he very nearly wondered if any human had been here in a great many years. It was only with the presence of a blade, jabbed unceremoniously into the ground alongside this tree, with a scabbard hanging from a single branch, that gave any indication as to the presence of men. Taking this blade, he inspected it carefully, and upon finding the kanji 幽太刀 upon its hilt, found it charming in a way, and took sword and sheathe as his to keep.
The rest of Fuuen's memories are, unfortunately, less clear. He knows that he has fought a great many duels, never for the sake of his own honor, but always to defend himself. Most of the challengers sought something from him, but he is unable to place what exactly. Some sort of title? Prestige? If there was ever a single thing Fuuen wished to truly remember, it would be why so many needed to die by his hand. He cannot even remember the events of these duels, nor how he felt about them at the time. He only knows that, at some point in his life, they occurred, and in a great number. He believes that such a thing has not happened in quite some time, however, as these fights seem rather distant, far off from more vivid memories. It is a difficult thing to place, of course, but he tries his best.
Though he cannot remember, the reason for these duels was quite simple. He had taken up residence in a nearby temple, doing little but practicing with his blade, and rumors began to spread of a mysterious swordsman who guarded the temple. Such a thing was rather inaccurate, but rumors are not known for their perfect trustworthiness. Countless swordsmen who wished to prove their worth ventured off to the abandoned place, either for glory or simply to show that they were skilled, but all of them grossly underestimated their opponent. He was a spirit who had nothing to do but practice, and no interest except
for that practice. Unbound by physical constraints and the mortal coil, Fuuen's swordplay simply continued to develop. If he found himself at a roadblock, then he simply practiced until it was overcome. No thought was put toward the actual nature of these challenges he faced, and not once did he consider that the stops he was treating as simple inconveniences were monumental challenges that would have been considered the peak of a normal swordsman's capabilities.
Other than that, the only thing Fuuen can actually remember is World War III, and even then he doesn't so much remember it as understand that the events he knows of are most likely that war. Judging from his faint recollections, combined with official record of the events, Fuuen has come to the conclusion that he did not engage much in the war at all. This is, in fact, entirely accurate, and one could more accurately say that Fuuen did not so much as impact even the slightest bit of the war. The extent of his intervention was but a single duel, with a young invader who opted to attack the temple Fuuen called home. It was short, decisive, and without mercy, a far cry from the usual friendly bouts that he had provided his old challengers. This invader had been different, not simply wishing to test his skill, but seeking to destroy, and forcing Fuuen to dirty his pristine techniques with violence. It was not something he particularly relished.
Since that time, little else has happened in Fuuen's life, and his memory, or lack thereof, has hidden nothing particularly damning from him. He has since left the temple he once protected, partially because he had tired of it, but moreso because as the years passed, he found that challengers seemed to come less and less. It had been a pleasure to provide those who wished to challenge him a worthy fight, but if he was to continue doing so, testing those who wished to be tested, he would need to move on from that singular place. So it was that Fuuen truly took his self-given name to heart, and began to wander the world like the winds. Where he is now, none could say but him.
I. Equipment» Yuudachi:
The Yuudachi (幽太刀, literally “ghost sword”) is Fuuen's personal blade, which he carries strapped to his back at all times. It is a masterfully crafted sword, though the name of its smith has been lost to the ages, and even the kanji which denote the swords name have begun to fade over the centuries. The sword is a total of 6' in length, taken in its entirety, and 4 and a half of those feet comprise its blade. While normally such a sword would be imbalanced to a nearly comedic degree, its hilt has been crafted so as to provide suitable weight to counterbalance the otherwise unwieldy weapon. Thanks to this design, while the sword is by no means easy to use for anyone who is unfamiliar with it, Fuuen himself is capable of using it with all of the precision and finesse of any other sword.
I. Special Traits» Limitless Potential:
Due to the nature of his life, or perhaps the nature of his death, Fuuen's potential for swordplay is quite literally without end. If there is some difficulty in training, or concept he cannot grasp, then through pure trial and error, countless attempts to achieve perfection, Fuuen will eventually understand it, no matter how difficult. It may take a great deal of time, but so long as he applies himself to his training, Fuuen can overcome any obstacle and continue to pursue the impossible ideal of genuinely perfect swordsmanship.» Passive Spiritual Power:
As Fuuen has no training in spiritual abilities of any kind, he cannot actively engage in any sort of spiritual attack. However, this is only true if made under the assumption that he is making said attack with the intent
of spiritual application, something which he would never do as a pursuant solely of swordsmanship. What truly brings Fuuen's swordsmanship to a frightening level is that, through nothing more than his nature as a Plus, and his own sheer skill and talent, spiritual energy in his vicinity will bend to the will of his blade and bring power which would be otherwise impossible to his techniques. What this means, simply put, is that Fuuen exudes no spiritual power of his own, and has within him only the barest amount necessary to exist as a Plus spirit in the first place. However, he is still entirely capable of performing astounding spiritual feats through his Fugaku Sanjūrokkei.» Fugaku Sanjūrokkei (36 Views of Mount Fuji):
This is Fuuen's personal sword style, honed and developed over the centuries to be as efficient and as perfect in form as possible. It is a style which is not meant for combat, but this does not mean it is ineffective if used in such a way. A sword is a sword, after all, and as much as Fuuen dislikes applying his knowledge to something as base as killing, he is capable of doing so if he must. The style is named after a series of paintings by the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, and each of its techniques shares the name of a painting from that set. This naming convention comes from Fuuen's fundamental approach to swordplay; that there are many approaches and considerations one might make, and that while all techniques must rely on the same basic core of a sword against a foe, there is no reason one cannot be creative with positioning, sword direction, and even the battlefield itself. It should be noted that, at present, Fuuen does not remember the majority of his techniques, as a consequence of his inability to properly remember the things he has done. While this knowledge is still somewhere within the recesses of his mind, as well as his muscle memory, he cannot currently access these techniques. It is his hope that, put into the right situation, they may return to him.» Notable Techniques:
- 1. Kanagawa oki nami-ura: The first by merit of its worth, and by merit of Fuuen's pride regarding it, Kanagawa oki nami-ura is a technique which would be flatly impossible using a single blade. By focusing his mind on the infinite possible paths of a sword, Fuuen is able to manifest each and every one of these possibilities within a single slash, overwhelming the foe in countless strikes in one moment. This ability alone would be enough for many swordsmen to consider the peak, but Fuuen still believes he can do better, as the weaknesses of this technique are simply too much for him to be content with it in its current form. First and foremost, anyone who is well versed in the sword (a Master or higher in Zanjutsu or Weapon Skill) is able to note the otherwise imperceptible moment of pause that marks Fuuen's focus becoming centered, and can take advantage of this to catch him before the strike is able to be made. Beyond this, there is the simple matter that each of these strikes, other than that of the sword in his hand, is made of spiritual energy, and so those with heightened defenses against those sorts of attacks, or who can absorb such energy at a high level, will have little trouble with the overwhelming number of otherwise relatively weak blows.
- 2. Gaifū kaisei: Relying on the premise of intentionally directing a foe by merit of an otherwise obvious attack, Gaifū kaisei is comprised of nothing more than a strike which is, relative to most of Fuuen's motions with the sword, rather telegraphed. This is, of course, the precise intent, and Fuuen has designed the trajectory of the slash just so that a backward step, away from Fuuen himself, is by and away the most natural and effective manner of avoiding the attack. The truly clever aspect of this technique is not this slash in itself, but the quickness of one's recovery from it, as if it is properly performed, one should be ready to make a follow-up attack in a matter of moments.
- 27. Bushū Tamagawa: Functioning similarly to the Kanagawa oki nami-ura, Bushū Tamagawa is comprised of a quick slash from above, typically aimed at the head or shoulders of the opponent, though any part of the body is perfectly targetable. Upon this slash's completion, however, four afterimages of the sword follow after it, striking every bit as powerfully as the initial blow and deepening the wounds inflicted. This attack is intended as a simple all-purpose strike, able to be applied offensively or defensively depending on the situation, and is one of Fuuen's most frequently used maneuvers.
- 35. Shinshū Suwa-ko : The first of the defensive maneuvers, rather than offensive, Shinshū Suwa-ko is a simple approach to evasion, and some would even say it hardly merits being named as a technique. Nevertheless, it is functional and effective, and that alone qualifies it for a place among the 36 Views in Fuuen's opinion. It is intended as a method of avoiding horizontal or high strikes, and consists of a quick crouch, done just so as to allow for the true purpose of this maneuver, which is a rapid forward leap with Yuudachi held parallel to the ground. This alignment allows not only for streamlining, but for an exceptional cutting edge if the foe is too slow to respond in time.
I. Skill SheetSkill SheetGeneral Skills
- Durability: Beginner
- General Speed: Beginner
- Strength: Beginner
- Weapon Skill: Adept
- Willpower: Adept
- Mental Deduction: Advanced
- Pain Endurance: Beginner
- Focus: Beginner