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|Subject Post 1Subject: Joshua Approved [2-1+] Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:27 am|| |
The Desert Tempest (Leftover from life)
• Appearance Age:
The Gotei 13, Sixth Division, Vice-Captain
• Appearance Description:
Joshua has a lithe build of about average height. Exact measurements put him at five ten to five eleven, and a hundred and fifty pounds. He is not the kind of man who blends into a crowd; he has long hair that goes down to the middle of his back that is a deep red color, similar to blood. He has deep brown eyes that usually hold the light of a joke in them; by that I mean it is rare to find Joshua in any mood other than laid back, joking, and lazy. He strays into serious during real fights, but even then he’s likely to crack a joke or two and make conversation, much to the annoyance of many of the people he’s fought.
Even the way Joshua dresses makes him stand out, especially in Seireitei. He eschews the normal garb of the Shinigami for garb similar to what he wore during life. A long dark coat between navy and black that he keeps buttoned at the top, and a matching hat both with some gold /orange highlighting replaces the traditional black garb of the Shinigami. He keeps his arms wrapped in bandages for the most part. A pair of light pants and brown, supple boots complete the outfit.
• Appearance Picture:
Joshua is a laid-back individual, well known for slacking off his work to either nap somewhere or to gamble. He finds that life is best lived if enjoyed, and so does things more on a whim than most. This has gotten him into trouble in the past sure, but it doesn't mean he would change his actions even now. If there is work to be done, he'd rather be off enjoying a good skirmish, napping, gambling, or generally doing something enjoyable; this of course has its limits. He puts little stock in most of the ranks, and constantly tells those in his own division to skip the formalities and relax.
Though many question Joshua's credentials due to his general lack of work ethic and attitude, few can debate his loyalty. Joshua would give his life for those he fights beside, though he'll use his blade to keep them safe long before it comes to that. He holds most of his loyalty to his Division, though his loyalty to the Gotei overall has never been in question.
Above most, Joshua is a people person. He has an outgoing nature that makes conversation easy both for him and with him. While he may be a lazy vice-captain when it comes to work, he has one of the best relationships with the members of his division. He is by nature a kind person, willing to help others if they need it. Especially if they are women. He has a flirtatious streak a mile long, though for the most part he’s harmless.
This mostly refers to how he handles battle; he is a confident and composed combatant. In the chaos of battle has proven to be a calm center. While he is not the best are giving out orders to other people he is good at getting his own jobs down, and at leading by example.
This is probably the biggest reason that, despite acting like he doesn’t want to deal with it, he has never missed a shift on Earth. He cares for people, both those he fights with and those who get caught in the fighting. He doesn’t like to see people in pain or being drawn up into a fight that they have nothing to do with.
Though he doesn’t let on about it much, Joshua has a certain amount of cunning in him. Enough that he has cheated to get the outcomes he wants out of several of his bets. Believe it or not though, these outcomes are almost always beneficial. He cheated a coin toss to join the Shinigami Academy, after all.
Luck over Ability
More of an overarching thought rather than a true piece of his personality, it influences his personality all the same to a great degree. He is quoted as believing that lives are based more on luck than on skill. Because, “You can have all the skill in the world and still have a bad day,” to quote Joshua. That doesn’t mean that he believes skill to be useless; he simply believes that luck has more to play with fights than most want to believe.
Gambling, fighting, women, jokes, lazy afternoons, food
Early Life [1650 – 1664]
Joshua’s early life was spent in a small portside town. He was born to a family of simple means; his father worked on the docks either helping load the ships that came in and out of the town. As such, much of the time was spent watching ships come or go over the horizon, and it gets a boy to thinking; thinking of far off lands and grand adventures, and of life on the open ocean or other far places. These were some of the reasons that Joshua, when he could walk, accompanied his father to the docks often, and where he started working from a young age. Because of how often he was there, he became well known and well liked at the docks. So, life went on in a rather normal fashion for many years.
At the age of ten, things began to change slightly. Joshua began to notice things. It started out only as momentary images at the edges of his vision. Faces in a crowd that looked family, but couldn’t be since the people he recognized had already died. Or, even stranger, it would be people at the edges of his vision in the sky. As soon as they would appear though, they’d vanish. There were other things he would notice from time to time; great hulking shapes of things he couldn’t make out, but they never remained either. As such, he eventually dismissed it as childhood fancy and endeavored to ignore it. He’d manage to be successful…for a little while.
The Voyage That Changed A Life [1664 – 1665]
Late into Joshua’s fourteenth year, he finally decided that he was to set out on a journey. His mother had died of fever a couple years back, and his father had become morose since her passing. Those facts aside though, there was not much left for him in the town he had grown up in. He recognized that if he did not set out there was a high likelihood he would never set foot five miles beyond the place he was born. So one day he took what belongings he needed, packed them, and took a job as a ship-hand. He had a day to say his goodbyes while the ship took on provisions. There were heartfelt goodbyes, tears, food, and cards. All great, but none of which is important to this story so let us move on. He would spend close to a year on the ship, and it gave him the chance to see many exotic locations. A valuable experience. However, it would be trumped by the events of a single night.
Throughout his travels, he had seen more of those strange people he had seen before out of the corner of his eye. The sea is strangely full of souls you see; spirits of those who have died to shipwrecks, storms, murders, and so on. Some of them are restless and rise above the ocean’s waves. At first Joshua simply believed he was seeing things again. But after witnessing a man attempt to run across the water after the boat, and noticing that no one else seemed to notice this, he decided the more logical answer was that he was crazy. Which was strange since he certainly didn’t feel any different from usual; maybe he had simply always been crazy? Since he could not be sure of the answer, he opted to keep these thoughts to himself. That was a strangely reassuring thought at the time; he was sane enough to know it was a bad idea to tell those around him he believed he might be crazy. Now armed with conflicting evidence about his sanity, he went about his normal work.
Despite being rather tired later that night, he was still wracked with the worry about his sanity. So, since it was a surprisingly clear night he decided he’d get some fresh air. On his way up the stairs, he got this strange shiver of a feeling up his spine. Where it came from became readily apparent; the ship was not very large, so at nights only one or two of the crew needed to stay topside to keep it running properly. When Joshua came into the open air, he found the sky ablaze with a rush of colors as literal fire and lightning flew off into the sky. Presumably, they were aimed at the strange monster with a white mask that was floating above the ship on bat-like wings. The one throwing the, for lack of a better word, magic was an old man who had joined the crew at a previous port.
The old man eventually won the fight with a well time blast of what appeared to be fire straight to the face of the creature. Well, what would you expect a young man who just witnessed MAGIC happen to do? Put frankly, over the next month or so Joshua pestered the old man every day about trying to learn. The old man had patience, but everyone has a breaking point and finally the old man buckled. Over the course of another half a year, Joshua trained under the man when they had a moment’s privacy. By the time it was over, Joshua had learned a whole two spells. This was an accomplishment actually since the spells had long incantation that required memorizing, and then Joshua had to learn how to harness the necessary energy; what he now knows to be spiritual energy. The day after Joshua learned the second spell, they made port and the old man vanished.
The land they made port in was one of sands as far as the eye could see. Such a place was new to Joshua, and something called to him here. He heeded that calling, and left his sailing days behind him. It was in this landscape that Joshua would learn the what would become his most valuable skill; the art of wielding a blade.
Of Blades and Sands [1465 – 1473]
As a human, using magic was a rather tiring experience. At this point in his life Joshua was only capable of using the magic he had learned three times in a day. Simply put, they shouldn’t and couldn’t be relied upon as his only means of defense; both against the strange white-masked creatures that he simply referred to as monster, and against human threats; all it would take was an unlucky day, a wrong move and he’d end up dead. His first thought was to pick up a gun of some style, a weapon that was slowly gaining a stronger and stronger following. However, he had seen several people with firearms throughout his travels thus far and had seen the fatal flaws of the weapon; maintenance and reload. In the kind of environment he current resided in, maintenance would be an even larger issue than normal. So after a brief amount of thought, he crossed a firearm off the list of possible weapons.
He could have gone to a bow, but he decided he’d look into training with a sword. The main draw was the strange difference in the type of swords used in this region as opposed to the kind he was used to seeing. Instead of a straight edge, the blades were curved. Instead of immediately looking for someone to train him, he waited to see exactly how the blades were used. It took a little while, but eventually he found a pair that broke out into a fight.
Actually, he didn’t find them so much as he was in the right place at the right time. He had a basic understanding of how the language worked in this part of the world…that is basic for a five year old. Regardless, he was in the middle of negotiating a room for the night when an argument broke out behind him. The finer points of the argument eluded his base understanding of the language but had something to do with either a mule or one man’s wife…or maybe both. A few more heated words, a shove, and suddenly the pair drew their swords.
One was a fat curved blade, while the other was slender and shorter. One was a scimitar, he knew that much; he was used to calling them Cutlasses though. The two men didn’t waste time with more words as the blades flashed out and the clang of metal began to ring out. Several people began to back away, a woman screamed somewhere. Joshua simple turned around, leaned against the counter, and watched. Joshua had always had keen eyes, and he put them to use to make a decision. He had watched people fight before, and he had seen people fight with the straight swords of his native country. Hacking and slashing, more stiff than fluid. The man using the fatter of the two swords fought more like that, though there were differences in the way he moved. The other man was more fluid, the slender blade flicking out. Yet it rarely made contact with the enemy. It was more as though he was probing than actually striking.
That changed in an instant. The man with the slender sword took a single step, there was a flash as the blade struck out and under the other man’s, and then there was the smell of copper and a crimson stain. The man with the fat sword had taken a hit low, just above the pelvis on the right side. The blade had gone straight through (mainly because the strike went above the pelvic bone and through the spine); he collapsed instantly, dead. It was that efficiency that gripped Joshua’s attention. Granted, he knew that it was the skill of the user as much as the blade. Joshua was forced to take note of something though by witnessing the interaction; he hadn’t been thrown off by the death of the man. To be fair, he had seen death already and all. But…it didn’t bother him. This may have spoken to something being wrong with him. Who knew?
Now, I could bore you with the details of how he searched for a master to train him in how to wield the strange blade, and the trials of training. But, to be fair it is not incredibly relevant to the later years of his life, and his life thereafter. So I’ll sum it up simply; Joshua found a man to teach him how to wield a shamshir after a year and a half of searching, and spent nearly six years under his tutelage. Joshua progressed fast, showing natural talent and skill with the nimble blade. Through this time, he also practiced his magic to some degree. After roughly six years something gripped Joshua and he left. Some part of him felt that he needed to be out and about the people he was working with and around. He spent half a year as a vagabond before he met up with a local mercenary troupe. This leads to one of the most important turns on the story; death.
Path to Death [1473 – 1476]
He would spend close to three years with the mercenary troupe he had joined up with. It was during this period of his life that Joshua gained most of the battle experience that would make him a natural Shinigami later on. It was also during this time that he learned about what some would call his two great downfalls; women and gambling. It was also during this time that the majority of Joshua’s feelings concerning luck vs. skill would be cemented in his thoughts. This didn’t stop him from training with his blade as he was taught to, however. He very quickly gain fame and prominence in the region for his skills, and for his streak of bad luck when it came to both gambling and women. Yet, he always had a laugh in his throat; he was the kind of man to take those sort of things in stride, and there were many that respected him for that. There were equally as many that despised him for the work he did, but few of them ever tried to confront him about it.
To be fair, Joshua was a mercenary in the truest sense of the word; he would do nearly anything for money and for the experience with only a handful of stipulations. His skills with the blade made these stipulations worth it usually. He was hired for all sorts of things, from bodyguard duty to soldiering in a battle. It was also valuable experience to the young man, but it was all dangerous as well. At any time any one of these jobs could be his last, and he was in no hurry to see what the other side held. But, he didn’t see that as a reason to be reserved with what he did, and carried on enjoying his life and experiences.
Unfortunately, fate had a plan for him already. He took on a job that was offering a very large payment; the job was supposed to be relatively straightforward and simple. Dangerous, but simple. The local ruler was dealing with a rebellious vassal of some sort, and wanted as many men for a raid on the lesser’s town as possible; the town was effectively its own fort or small castle, and the vassal had many loyal soldiers who would be fighting for their lives just as Joshua band of mercenaries, and the lord’s soldiers would be. Joshua of course choose the job, and in typical fashion he went out gambling the night before. On this night, he won; he should have taken it as a sign of things to come.
The next day the battle started, and boy was it bloody. We’re talking people getting arms lopped off, evisceration, decapitation; the whole nine yards. Joshua did his fair share of murder during this event. But only one of the battles is important to us; his last. He had been separated from the rest of the mercenary group, and was moving through one of the side streets of the city that hadn’t really been swallowed up by the fighting. As he exited the he found himself in a small plaza, one that led straight up to the lesser lord’s home within the city. Standing in the middle of the square was a man that Joshua recognized. He cracked a small smile.
“So this is where you ran off to, huh Caellach?”
Caellach was a fellow mercenary, and at one time the leader of the troupe that Joshua served in. They had also been friends, despite all the trouble Joshua tended to cause off the job.
It turned out that Caellach had been hired by the lesser lord months ago, and was being paid a great amount to see to it that no one got to him during this fight. That left the two at something of an impasse, and there is only one way for mercenaries to solve such a disagreement. They drew their weapons, and they fought. The short of it is that Joshua lost; Caellach wielded an axe as well as any man that Joshua had ever met, and a tricky change in swing caught him unprepared with a hefty blow to the leg. It made him pause long enough to catch the blade of the axe with his chest, and as sudden as that it was over. Two men who had been friends had fought; one died, one lived. There was no hatred in the meeting, no hard feelings at its end. Unknown to either at the time, all this had been was the start of a new adventure for Joshua.
Death…it is a strange experience. To this day, Joshua couldn’t tell you the specifics or how long he was out. There were memories relived, faces that burned their way into his memory for the rest of time, and then darkness. There were other things, but they have faded to a strange gray haze. The next thing he remembered was his eyes opening to a strange world. Strange, because it looked like the only world he had ever known, and yet looked nothing like it. Not even his clothes were the same. The worst part; he was unarmed once more. Where he sword had gone, how he had found his way to this strange place, and why the people he was noticing were dressed it such strange garb; the answers were most certainly not apparent to him.
Given time, things slowly began to clear up for the young man. This was Rukongai, the place that souls went to when they died. He was familiarized with the layout of the Rukongai and into Seireitei. He also discovered Shinigami, the beings in charge of this world and of dealing with the strange white-faced monsters that Joshua had seen in life. It turned out that death wasn’t so different from life when it came right now to it; people were still the same and life still kinda sucked unless you made the best of things. If Joshua’s time in Rukongai(roughly nine months) did anything, it was to reinforce his bad habits picked up in life; namely gambling and cheating. It also gave him a decent look into the way the afterlife was handled at the ground level.
He would only spend nine months in Rukongai because it turned out that the spiritual power that he had possessed in life had followed him into the afterlife. However, it seemed to have gone dormant for a time until Joshua found a way to forcefully wake it back up. He did this during a small altercation between himself and a couple of men he may or may not have swindled out of their earnings in a recent card game, but that’s neither here nor there and not very important. What is important is that he blasted one of them in the face with a fireball and the rest ran away. Give it a couple days, the onset of hunger, and Joshua went to have a discussion with the Shinigami. Bing-bang-boom, Shino Academy here we go.
Shino Academy & Shinigami Life [1477 – Present]
Note: This section has been thoroughly condensed and may see expansion in the future. This is done in the interest of time and my own laziness/want to finish this app.
Joshua completed the curriculum of the Shino Academy in four years, shaving two years off the normal. It was noted in his files that he may well have completed it in less time (estimated around two to three years) had Joshua not continued to be lazy with his studies and work ethic. That said, the qualities of a good leader began to show themselves during these years as Joshua’s easy going manner made him well liked with his peers and mentors, and when he did take action he was quick and decisive with it. He originally joined the Third Division, but transferred out after a while because as he put it quite frankly, “Captain Ichimaru creeps me out.” From there he switched to the Tenth Division and remained there for many years as he trained (half-heartedly) and enjoyed himself. After all, if you want to enjoy yourself there are few places better suited for it than under the leadership of Vice-Captain Matsumoto.
Unfortunately, things never stay simple. Joshua spent several hundred years as an unseat member, enjoying relative obscurity when it came to events. During this time he managed to discover the name of his Zanpaku-tou (which turned out to be a rather curt lady who insisted on taking a Japanese name because of propriety much to Joshua’s chagrin). Then of course you had Aizen’s betrayal, which was the beginning of the end of Joshua’s stint as a nobody for the most part. When Ender arrived and really shook things up with his attack Joshua was forced to reveal the fact that he was much stronger than he had ever let on. When the divisions were re-organized, he was moved to the Sixth Division as a seated member.
Give it a few more years, a couple deaths, a couple promotions and he found himself in the third seat of division six under one of the most stuck-up captains in the Gotei. Granted, Byakuya wasn’t THAT bad of a guy. Just…really stuck up on his pride, wealth, the place of Shinigami, the propriety of their post, the need for order, the need for routine, etc.; it was the complete opposite of what Joshua was used to and how he acted.
That was why, roughly seventy five years ago, when he was promoted to Vice Captain he gave the smallest of groans (his captain was in attendance at the time and he really hoped he didn’t make it that obvious). After all, not only did it mean he was stuck under Byakuya’s rule, but it also meant that he could no longer bask in the light of obscurity and fluff of his jobs…without retribution that is. He still did, and does, because that is how Joshua acts. He makes up for it with his report with his division, his loyalty, and his quick thinking and acting in times of crisis.
• Reiatsu Color:
Joshua's reiatsu shows up in a simple, solid white color
• Zanpakutô Spirit Name:
"Really? Can't you pick something in my language? Something...nicer?"
". . . dammit . . ."
Mikadzuki (Crescent Moon)
• Zanpakutô Spirit Appearance:
Mikadzuki stands roughly five foot six inches tall.
• Inner World:
• Sealed Zanpakutô Apperance :
Joshua's sealed Zanpaku-tou is so ordinary and uniform that is doesn't deserve a sealed form picture.
• Sealed Zanpakutô Abilities:
Mikadzuki is capable of bolstering the effects of Kidō channeled through her, increasing the power of the Kidō by 20%
• Shikai Description:
The sword Joshua is seen holding here is Mikadzuki's shikai form. It shortens and becomes thinner than your average Zanpaku-tou.
• Shikai Abilities:
Mikadzuki amplifies of Joshua's Kidō spells, increasing their strength by roughly 20% and reducing their cost by 40%.
One of the most significant abilities of Joshua's Zanpaku-tou is his ability to imbue it with the properties of channeled Kidō. What this means is that Joshua can select a Kidō and channel it into his Zanpaku-tou. When he does this however, the Kidō imparts several of its properties onto the Zanpaku-tou rather than simply being delivered through the blade. A good example of this would be Hadō 33 Shakkaho, which ignites Joshua's Zanpaku-tou with the same red destrutive energy and lends more damage to his strikes. Only one Kidō may be imbued at a time, and while a Kidō is imbued into Mikadzuki Joshua is unable to channel Kidō through her.
Burst of Speed
A different application of Kidō and hoho techniques, Mikadzuki helps energy flow through and around Joshua to surround him in a corona of white reiatsu and temporarily boost his speed immensely (roughly 400%). During this movement Joshua's manueverability drops, however, and taking an type of offensive actions during this movement will cause the ability to deactivate. This also has the problem of not being a teleport-style skill (such as shunpo) so Joshua is still bound by terrain and obstacles.
A complex Kidō/zanjutsu based attack made possible thanks to Mikadzuki, Joshua flares his reiatsu and uses the energy to generate semi-solid clones of himself. Afterwards, these clones will immediately launch at the enemy target utilizing Burst of Speed. When they reach the target they will strike out with their blades before fading away. Joshua is capable of generating between one and three clones per attack, and must wait a round before he can attempt to do so again. This attack consumes a decent amount of energy, limiting how often Joshua can make use of it.
Below is an example of Sword-master's Onslaught and Burst of Speed.
• Bankai Description:
(You may fill out your Bankai Description, but unless you get staff permission, you may not use your Bankai right off the bat. There are expectations, however.)
• Bankai Abilities:
(You may fill out your Bankai Powers, but unless you get staff permission, you may not use your Bankai right off the bat. There are expectations, however.)
Unique Combat Techniques
Similar in principle to Shunko, but adapted for the use of a blade rather than hand-to-hand combat. In this case, Zanko is used to increase the power of sword swings through several methods. Primarily, the reiatsu of the user is flared and surrounds them in a style dependant on the user (for Joshua it is in the form of an extension along the blade and an almost flame like appearance along the back of the blade). The concentrated energy is used to increase the "sharpness" of the blade and attacks but effectively aiming to bypass the usual field of reiatsu/demonic energy/hierro/etc that surrounds people. In a way, this gives users a way to strike opponents that would normally have too much of a defensive advantage over them. Additionally, this energy can be released in a form of a short range energy blade. Instead of simply doing damage however, this energy blade would aim to decrease the defenses of the struck target. Assuming the attack is effective, it imparts a 15% decreases to the defenses of the target for two posts. Using this attack will, for the purposes of the following attacks in the same post and one post after, remove the increased sharpness effect of Zanko.
These are the effects that Joshua has managed to find thus far. This technique is a work in progress however, and he has only a fundamental understanding of it at this point.
- Durability: Adept
- General Speed: Advanced
- Strength: Adept
- Weapon Skill: Advanced
- Hoho: Adept
- Kidō: Advanced
- Zanjutsu: Advanced
- Hakuda: Beginner
- Willpower/Determination: Master
- Mental Deduction: Advanced
- Pain Endurance: Advanced
- Focus: Master
Last edited by Genpaku on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total