ZAHIR | KNIGHT OF THE RED
BASIC INFO» Name:
Zahir Moulouya» Titles:
The Jackal of Moulouya» Age:
Vastime / Knight Captain of the Red, The Order of Saint Marcus» Height:
6'5 ft / 195 cm» Weight:
235lbs / 106kg» Face Claim:
Azuki Nagamitsu from Touken Ranbu
A bright individual, if a bit shy at first meeting, he brims with hope and belief. Zahir understands first hand the wrong that can be done in the world, but Zahir believes that the rights of the world and the good in it will prevail. As long as one ray of light still shines in a world of darkness, hope remains, and it's up to each individual to decide whether they will take the step forward to carry it or not.
It sounds naive, but Zahir would make the distinction that naivety is predicated on ignorance. If someone betrays his trust, he will boldly stand to give them another chance and offer benefit of the doubt. Not because he thinks that there is good in a person's heart that simply needs to be carved out and given the chance--though he does roughly think like this--but because it would be the brave thing to do. He acknowledges that someone can fail him time and time again, but a golden heart requires patience, and to abandon someone is to walk the path of darkness.
Something of an adrenaline junky, nothing is more satisfying than to feel that surge of energy, awareness, the tingling sensation down your spine and throughout your veins when put at the forefront of your own mortality. Zahir was a long-term acquaintance with this feeling, but only grew to like it once he found safety in a group of people he could rely on, something that provided a contrast to the feeling. A family. Before then, the sensation was just anxiety and a paranoia.
Zahir enjoys being social, but he doesn't think himself very good at it. It's easy to do once he's familiar with someone, close to them, but it's a gradual development. Rushing into forming a relationship with someone, of any kind, is a bit daunting. Everyone is different, and while Zahir doesn't want to have to change himself and conduct to better complement someone, he understands that not everyone will get along.
In turn, he often tries to cater to the people around him in other ways. Not through a change in personality so to speak, but by expressing himself and his emotions and concerns clearly, through communication and action. Zahir enjoys caring for people and helping them. It fills him with the warmth of fulfillment.
Back then, North Africa was still wildly desolate. What used to be Morocco was part of the wastelands, where malovelent creatures held free reign. Still, life finds a way. Nomadic tribes roamed across the continent for their own reasons. Some have just been doing so for such a long time that it was culture. One tribe, like some others, formed from a collection of banished people that came from loose societies that occupied cities relatively more habitable than beyond its borders. They were branded with marks that made sure they would never find refuge in other cities.
Life was hard, but it was the only one some children knew. In this tribe, when a child was born it was common practice to not name them until they are of an age of independence, such that they could look after themselves. It was just a tradition, something of a coming of age, and also a pragmatic approach. Mortality rate amongs the youth was high, and growing too attached could become burdensome on the group.
Tradition and law were two different things. Zahir received his name from the get-go, fortunately blessed with loving parents. Unfortunately, death was in inescapable presence in the wastelands. Life was hard, and disease, lack of hygiene, roaming hollows, demons, bandits; any number of factors contributed. Zahir's parents passed from ailment, without means to appropriately treat it.
The boy was soon to follow. At sixteen, Zahir sustaned an injury to his knee. Without proper care, it began to rot. The old, sick, and injured were often abandoned. Zahir was able to take care of his parents, so they could continue with the group until they perished, but they were an exception. Most other families didn't develop as strong of a relationship as his, let alone strong enough bonds with the other tribesmen. No one could afford to care for him, so he was left behind.
Zahir rested in the ruins of a city running along the Moulouya River, determined to survive. Like everyone else, it was all he really knew. He persevered, fortunately happening across some animals that scavenged the city remains, or took shelter in it from the harsh weather. From them, he took their meat, their skin, their bones, everything. He ate them for food, tanned and fashioned leather from their hide, and used the animal bones to fashion a sort of peg after amputating his rotting leg.
Eventually, other passing tribes took notice of the lone survivor. No one would take him with his injured leg. Perhaps that was more painful than cutting his limb off.
Still, Zahir persisted for six years. Living in one spot enabled him to fashion a home, establish a collection of resources and personal items that even made it comfy. Most people wouldn't dare stay in one place for too long for fear of the environment, or other hungry entities. It might've just been luck that Zahir had only faced hardships within his means, and for that he thanked the stars every night.
Over the years, many tribes came to interact with him, curious about his survival, sometimes just to share meals with him. The loneliness and yearning for human connection that he received from his parents had him welcome the travelers with open arms. Sometimes, tribes would stay with him for an extended time, and Zahir let them use his quarters, eat with him, drink his water. Some viewed this as an opportunity and took advantage of his good will. Some went so far as to steal from him.
Even in times where Zahir knew of it, at most he would confront and demand his things back. He wouldn't dare attack them or kick them out, desperate not to alienate himself from yet another group of people.
No matter how you approached some situations, not all could be easily resolved. Even with his non-violent approach, a tribe leader he caught pocketing an old wristwatch Zahir found in the city fiercely denied the claims. They became furious at the suggestion, and the tribe left, not willing to stand for the insult. Sad as he might've been, Zahir felt there was nothing he could do about it.
The stars stopped watching over him after that night. His luck had run dry, and Zahir's abode was happened upon by a group of bandits. Beyond his knowledge, the bandits had earlier came across the tribe, and found the leader in possession of the wristwatch. In exchange for the lives of their tribe, the leader directed them to where more plentiful resources and treasures could be found.
It was the first time he faced other human beings. Zahir stood his ground, and just as he always did, survived. Lucky as he might've been, no matter what, it still took a great deal of strength and ability to survive alone in the wastelands for as long as he had.
Although he understood the danger posed, until this moment Zahir never really understood how risky it was to stay in one place. Feeling there was no other choice, Zahir abandoned his home.
He made his way eastward, finding himself an Algerian city. To a certain degree, Algeria was in a better off state than Morocco, still holding together as one nation. The circumstances were still grim, however. Without a mark to brand him, Zahir was able to integrate himself into the society, but the culture wasn't too different from the tribes. Algeria was disjointed, its citizens untrusting of one another. The main difference was that goods could be traded amongst each other with currency rather than barter. Work could be found under other people rather than just scavenging for yourself, and the safety of the city allowed for some level of development.
The greatest boon to ever come to the Algerians after the eruption of World War Three was the formation of a continent-spanning Empire. In two years, Algeria came under the Iron Banner of Vastime. Things became drastically different. There was an improvement in order and social welfare; the community and culture began changing accordingly. As he saw it, things were definitely better.
It was a rare warmth, for the first time in a long time, to feel a sense of belonging. Knowing what things were like before, and how they were now, Zahir felt a great deal of appreciation towards Vastime.
When Zahir came across the Knightly Orders, he jumped at the opportunity. He considered himself a physically capable man, and becoming a seeker was an opportunity for stable income and state-sanctioned privileges. He didn't aspire for too much, but the way the knights worked together, the way they talked, it seemed like a sense of camaraderie the man was always searching for.
When enlisting into their ranks, one of the proctors recognised him. A full fledged knight, he called his friends over and approached Zahir, calling him "The Jackal of Moulouya". He shared his story and established a friendship with them. Despite his bum leg, the knight accepted him. In a year's time, when Zahir saved up enough money for a modern prosthetic--a fully capable machine leg--his friend took him on as a personal seeker.
Initially, Zahir was content with life as a seeker. But through his friendship with the knights and his peers, Zahir was encouraged to grow, become stronger: aspire towards glory, valour, and service as a knight of Vastime would. Inspired, he consented, and officially became a squire.
Over the course of a year he was taught the origins of the order, their values, combat arms, and physical training. Already a capable fighter with full mobility, Zahir took the Trial of Arms and passed with flying colours. Formally, he became a Knight Companion.
Along his newmade and long-time friends, Zahir formed an envoy troupe. They combatted foreign presences, guarded resource transports, protected messengers and foreign ally liasons. A great deal of it was essentially mercenary work, but it was the happiest Zahir had ever been. It was a journey of tempering, where his fellow knights sought combat, victory, glory, and even performed missionary work by spreading the good stories of their peoples, the Saints, and even their own. The Jackal of Moulouya. Ibrahim the Brave. The Conqueror of Adjuchas. They held their heads high and proud.
It was still a life of danger, and people were bound to be lost along the way. As were the beliefs of the Knights of the Red, Zahir honoured them, praising their efforts and the fulfillment of their martyrdom. The troupe was his family. As proud as he was for their accomplishments and their life well lived, alongside his brother knights, he also wept and mourned their passing.
After years of their journey, the troupe returned to their home city at the call of World War Four. Global tensions were rising, and their travels made it clear what was soon to come. Patriotic as they were, the troupe enlisted into the Vastimian Military, many of them made Knight Sergeants for their accolades. By extension, Zahir entered as an e5.
The troupe was separated, as many of them qualified for leadership roles and would be needed on many fronts. Zahir was sent to participate in the Northern Conflict, the Mediterannean Theatre against Shadow Fall occupied Europe. During his tenure, for his valour in battle and leadership, by the end of the war Zahir was promoted to E7.
When Shadow Fall retreated from the Earth and Europe was liberated, Zahir retired from military service. Promoted to Knight Captain, he sought to reunite his old troupe, a want with no realisation. After the war, some members of the troupe had no desire to return. Some made other commitments, found families, decided to stay in the military, or even just go onto the next part of their journey and life. Some had fallen during the war, to which Zahir resolutely honoured each and every one of them. He'd respect their decisions, happy for them more than anything.
Problematically, there were a number of members without a satisfying end. Four went missing during the war, considered MIA. It was likely that they may have been killed but unconfirmed. Some were not so clear. To Zahir, these members were family; he'd be certain to do his due diligence in ascertaining their whereabouts. To the best of his ability and authority, he found three members with missing or blacked out records. Likely called to a higher purpose for the nation. Two others had their records discontinued. No MIA label, no explanation of where they've been or went to; it was unlikely that they'd be used for certain operations, otherwise their records would be cleaned or missing. These two were stranger than any other.
Regardless of the various reasons for it, the current circumstance was one Zahir had no satisfaction in, and he was intent on doing something about it. The three that likely were called to higher purpose were ones he didn't need to worry about; to a fault, he had faith in what Vastime would have them do. He also knew that they would be fulfilled in their services. The rest needed to be found. If they were in danger, Zahir would find them and bring them home. If they moved on from the life of a Knight, he'd be sure to ascertain it first-hand. If they were dead, he'd give them a proper ceremony to honour them. Wherever these Knights might be.
POWERS» Prowess of a Knight Captain of the Red:
To rise to his status and position, Zahir underwent plenty of training and tribulations, all of which served to harden his spirit and body. Zahir possesses military training, a refined physique, and is equipped with considerable martial knowledge and experience, not to mention his aptitude in surviving the harshest of environments Earth has offered in the last two centuries. This also means he has access to informations, networks, and equipment befitting a Knight Captain of the Red. With his connections and pulling a few strings, despite his retirement, the man could even leverage a bit of his authority as a previous E7 in the military.» Bionic Right Leg:
Zahir lost his right leg when he was young; fortunately, Vastime's technology, especially in cybernetics and physiology, are advanced enough to have him unimpeded whatsoever. His right leg is replaced with a mechanical prosthetic that perfectly mimics the functions of an actual leg. There is no delay of intention, a life-like skin placed over it, and a reinforced structure that can withstand just as much damage as his real body can. It's equipped with a few extra gadgets and even a compartment to hold small important tools that could get him out of a sticky situation.» Three Pillars of the Last Star:
Four abilities drawn from his spiritual energy which appropriately reflect Zahir's idea of being involved in combat. In Vastime, modern technology and weapons are the go-to for proper combat, but they can't always be the end-all reliance. When the going gets tough, that means the only thing you can really rely on is your friends and your body. For that, each pillar aids Zahir in doing what he does best, and the most important part of being in combat: Survival. And maybe a little extra on top of that. The different pillars do work simultaneously.Pillar of Fortitude:
Zahir can place spiritual markers of designation around him, denoting enemy or ally persons. A person cannot have both markers on them. He has two utilities to draw from this:
Pillar of Defiance:
- When Zahir gets closer to an enemy marker, spiritual abilities from the marker have reduced potency on himself and ally markers. From 20 metres and beyond, no change in potency. For every metre of distance closed, there is a drop off of 5% of an attack's potency. At the ten metre difference, skills are half as effective against him, and no further reductions are made.
- Ally markers have reduced potency on himself. this means taking damage from allies can be inconsequential and friendly fire is of less concern, but supportive abilities are of reduced effect on him as well. Zahir cannot attack someone with an ally marker, or a rebound effect occurs where the damage comes back to him.
Zahir augments his physique twice over for four posts. Stronger, faster, and specifically an increase to his durability against spiritual/energy-based attacks. If he manages to bear it all successfully, all the spiritual attacks he has sustained throughout the four posts is built up, absorbed to an extent. At the end of the physical boost, Zahir can expend all that built up energy into one attack, whether it's with his fist or through a medium.Pillar of Resolution:
Zahir holds the unique physiological disposition to interact with spiritual energy in a tangible sense. Often times it's not a very noticeable or functional utility. A lot of the time, people use spiritual energy in forms meant to be interacted with, whether it be a construct or platform, or even a barrier or weapon. Where it becomes noticeable is when the forms spiritual energy can take aren't meant to be so solid.
If a Cero were to be shot at him, provided he has the durability to withstand it, Zahir can treat it as if it were a solid coming his way, and with enough strength, physically tear apart the Cero and split it in half with his bare hands. Or if a spell was cast to persuade his mind, if Zahir could effectively resist, he could also grasp it and toss it to the way side, or maybe even at another person. This ability does not inherently make him any more resistant to spiritual energy and the effects it may possess on its own, but it does enable a different interaction with it.
SKILL SHEETSWill Skills
- Willpower/Determination: Elite
- Mental Deduction: Adept
- Focus: Adept
Human Reiatsu Sheet
- Durability: Advanced
- General Speed: Adept
- Strength: Adept
- Martial Skill: Advanced
- Power Control: Adept
- Physical Augmentation: Advanced
- Spiritual Adaptation: Advanced
- Mediumship: Beginner