Post by Kai Wren on Feb 20, 2016 19:04:18 GMT -5
___On The Surface___
Age / Apparent Age: 967 / Mid- late twenties
Residence: His workshop just outside Las Noches, Hueco Mundo
Height & Weight: 172cm/69kg
Hair & Eyes: Somewhat unruly black hair combed casually to the side. His eyes are chestnut brown.
Mask & Hollow Hole: The remains of Kai's mask consist of four small black horns that sprout just above his ears and swoop backwards along his hair, as well as a white piece of bone that forms a sort of headgear that completely covers his forehead and extends up and to the sides, stopping just above his ears. He has not one, but eight Hollow holes, all of them just about 2 centimetres in diameter, scattered seemingly chaotically across his torso. Since Kai is not particularly fond of that perforated look, he prefers to keep them hidden under his clothing.
Physical Description: If one were to try and describe Kai on a strictly physical level, average is probably the first word that would come to mind. His figure, while relatively fit, shows little in the way of toned muscles, but calling it scrawny would be an overstatement. As far as notable facial features go, the long, straight nose and angular chin give Kai a shrewd, vivid look, further enhanced by his chestnut eyes, always darting about as if trying to soak up every minor detail. His skin is on the pale side of the spectrum and aside from a few trivial exceptions here and there, it is generally free of blemishes or scars. A black tuft of hair sits proudly on top of Kai's head, almost managing to mask the four thin, 20 centimetre long horns that start just above his ears and run backwards just parallel to its surface. The man's Arrancar nature is also made obvious by the remainder of his Hollow mask, which manifests as a uniform slab of bone that stretches along most of his forehead. All and all, while not physically captivating in any significant manner, Kai still manages to exert an aura of confidence and superiority, whether it is by his posture, voice, mannerisms or sheer strength of character.
Fashion-wise, Kai is mostly conservative and prefers outfits that remind him of the clothes he used to wear while still alive. Even so, he still possesses a standard Arrancar uniform, as well as a formal black suit, just in case. He tends to gravitate towards the green gamma, but other than that he usually tries to stick to neutral colors. When out in the human realm, Kai often ties a bandanna around his forehead in an attempt to at least partially mask his nature and avoid unnecessary conflict. Whether or not this works is something he has yet to discover, but he at least enjoys the look. While working with the kiln, he puts on a set of protective clothing, more out of habit rather than actual need for protection.
Spiritual Description: The color in which Kai’s Reiatsu manifests itself when concentrated is jade green. If one were to focus on it, they would quickly notice that it seems to flow between different states. It could feel smooth and unyielding in one moment, rough and jagged in the next, followed by viscous and sticky, seemingly at random. Individuals who excel at sensing spiritual energy however would be able to spot a pattern, as well as discover that said pattern seems to shift according to Kai’s current state of mind.
|| If one were to walk up to Kai and sniff him, they would feel smoke, ink, tea leaves, charred wood and a little bit of sweat all mixed up in a single odor that has seeped so deep that it has become an indistinguishable part of its owner.
|| He is ambidextrous with a slight preference to his right hand.
|| When around other people Kai generally keeps a friendly and relaxed demeanor. His movements are calm and controlled, he is usually polite, appears interested in what others have to say and tries his best to make them feel comfortable. A true expert in reading people however would notice that there is a certain tension in the Arrancar’s step and that his eyes are always on the move, as if trying to soak up as much information about the other person as possible.
|| Kai has taken the time to educate himself and is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English with a passing knowledge on German and Russian. He is also fairly familiar with modern technology, though not an expert by any means.
___Behind The Eyes___
If we had to summarize Kai's psyche with one sentence, it would most probably be something along the lines of, "Everybody else may indeed be inferior to me, but they are still people, each with their own goals, fears, morals and desires, and each with the right to live the lives they have chosen for themselves." He is a free soul, who will always take care of his own well- being above anything else, but he can be surprisingly kind and compassionate towards others, even if this is often mixed with some other selfish goal. He will not actively try to help people, but he will never go out of his way to harm them either. Should he encounter somebody in need, chances are he will answer their call, if a bit begrudgingly. That being said, he will also shamelessly use the gratitude and trust he earns this way in order to further his own goals, but always within reason and never too obviously. Never lowering his head to anyone, he will gladly lead those who choose to follow him, but will never pressure anybody into doing so. To Kai, the world is his playground and if anybody threatens his way of life he will see to it that they are dealt with swiftly and mercilessly. If on the other hand he has the luck to meet some like- minded individuals along the way, this Arrancar would like nothing more than to share the pleasures that life has to offer, no matter how simple they may sometimes be.
Positive QualitiesConfident | Needless to be said, this quality is practically bound to the aspect of Pride and is one of Kai Wren’s most defining characteristics. With a firm belief that anything he does is correct and that anybody who does not agree with him is inherently wrong, there are very few things that can make him reconsider once he has set his mind on something. Sailing at full speed through his new life, either crushing or swaying anybody who dares stand in his way, there is no telling where his path will lead him. Not that he cares much, of course.
Focused | Years and years of handling molten glass have taught Kai that even the slightest distraction could have very painful consequences. To that end, he has learned to manage his attention with nigh- complete perfection. Whether it is keeping up with the opponent’s moves, handling several issues at once or just working around his workshop, you can be sure that absolutely nothing will be able to distract him from the task at hand.
Emotionally stable | It needs to be noted that compared to most other Arrancar, Kai Wren is actually very level- headed and not at all prone to the maniacal disorders or sudden outbursts of uncontrolled emotions that his kin so often suffers from. If placed in a room with a group of normal people, he could very well pass as just another average human. This, alongside with his rather peaceful demeanour our may put him at odds with other Arrancar, but to him, this is just another sign of his own superiority.
Cunning | Thanks to the countless years spent as a Hollow, Kai has developed the ability to think on his feet and quickly adapt to new situations. He is also subtle when he needs to, knows the value of deception and is generally adept at swaying people’s minds in his favour.
Empathic | A trait not often found in Arrancar. If Kai gets the opportunity to help a troubled soul out without this getting in the way of his own plans, he’ll most certainly do so. Not only does this tend to make people friendlier, which is always a good thing in the long term, but it is also one of the best ways to exert influence over others which Kai thrives on.
Charismatic | It is a waste of both time and energy to make enemies, especially for one who just wants to live his life in relative peace and comfort. Realizing that simple fact, Kai has worked quite a lot on his social skills and is usually able to make most people at least tolerate, if not like him. There are however a few rare types that Kai really seems to dislike and it gives him some sort of twisted pleasure to piss them off as much as he can, even if it is counterproductive in the end.
Observant | A keen eye for detail is something every good glassmaker needs and the workshop is certainly not the only place where this talent can be put to good use. Very often, Kai will notice small details that other miss, which can be invaluable both inside combat and out. This also gives him a limited ability to read things like people’s gestures, expressions and posture, which only serves to improve his skill of dealing with social situations.
Content | Strangely, Kai Wren is currently relatively happy with his life. He is neither dead, nor a mindless beast, can continue practicing his craft in relative comfort and his powers allow him to do pretty much whatever he desires, even if within certain limits. That however, doesn’t mean that he is prone to just sit idly and cut himself off from the rest of the world. On the contrary- he leads a very dynamic lifestyle, has a habit of traveling across the world and experiencing new things. After all, the world is filled with so much marvellous things that it would be a waste not to enjoy them all.
Creator | Many would argue that the Arrancar's sole purpose is to destroy. Kai Wren is the living evidence of the exact opposite. A creator by soul, he will not destroy or kill, unless given no other choice or motivated by some other feeling. Even his powers as a hollow are like that- no matter how effective they are at taking lives, in their core, they are just another manifestation of the glassmaker's desire to create things, rather than wipe them out of existence.
Negative QualitiesPrideful | Even though Kai can certainly be charming and kind, deep inside, he firmly believes that he is vastly superior to pretty much everybody else around him, which means that he will use almost any means necessary to achieve his goals with little or no remorse. Still, this doesn't mean that he will be purposely be cruel or harm people just because he can. In fact, if there is a chance that he can get what he wants without doing harm to anyone, he would usually choose the more peaceful path, even if it is longer.
Manipulative | What happens when you mix excessive pride with charisma? You get a person who is great at influencing others and will use that influence to get what he wants from them. Although his inner sense of morality stops Kai from abusing this power of his too much, he will nonetheless try to gain the most out of every "friend" he makes, even if it means misleading them.
Abhors authority | Rank, power and social stature mean little to one, who is completely certain that he is vastly superior to everybody else. The only cases when Kai will follow an order from somebody else are if the said order matches his own goals or if ignoring it would be more troublesome than simply going through with it. He also has a habit of treating everybody else the same way, regardless of who they are or how strong they may be, which is not exactly a winning strategy when dealing with unstable Arrancar, suffering from with anger- management issues.
Overconfident | If there is one drawback that can really endanger Kai Wren’s life, this would have to be his overestimation of his own abilities. Even when facing a clearly superior opponent, he will not back down easily, relying on his cunning and intelligence to compensate the difference in power. Sadly, things rarely work out that way. Some enemies are just too strong to defeat, no matter what means one uses. Much to his own peril, this is a fact Kai finds hard to accept, which means that his best hope is just surviving long enough to become sufficiently strong, so that this drawback of his won’t matter so much.
Erratic | Having no specific goal in life rather to simply enjoy it to the fullest, Kai often finds himself going after whatever whim strikes him first. Whenever he discovers something that truly intrigues him however, he will usually forget everything else and focus all his attention on that, until his curiosity is fully sated.
Undependable | Great! It seems you have somehow managed to get Kai to do something for you! Too bad he’ll probably just dump it somewhere along the way in favour of something more interesting. And what if you are his superior, you might ask? Well, chances are, he will just make a half- assed attempt at what you’ve ordered him to do just so he can return to pursuing his own interests. If you really want to have Kai do something for you, your best bet would be to try to present things in a way that will also seem fun or useful for himself.
Thick- headed | Trying to make Kai change his mind about something he has already figured out can be a long and tiring task. If one wants to take on this ordeal, they will have to be armed with solid facts, nerves of steel and a fair amount of luck, and even then success is not guaranteed. A little extra motivation in the form of some sort of reward could prove to be quite helpful, though.
Holds grudges | Considering all the facts, Kai is a pretty nice guy for an Accancar. Abuse that fact however, and you will face something much worse than a disappointed look. If you've done something to earn the Glassmaker's resentment, you can be sure that he will remember. It may be months, or even years, but when the right moment comes, he will not hesitate to remind you just how much you've done wrong.
Dishonorable | Some people wrongly believe that pride comes with at least some sense of honor. Those people have never fought Kai. From his point of view honour is something to be had between equals and since nobody fits that description, he has dismissed it as a foolish and pointless ideal. In battle, he will use any means necessary to achieve victory as long as they do not contradict his own morals.
Egotistic | No matter how much he may try to fool others or even himself, the main force that propels Kai forwards is his own ego. His opinion of himself is so high that it would be overbearing if it were not for his moral code and his tendency to act nobler than he truly is.
LikesWinning | This is fairly self- explanatory. Whether it is victory in combat, successfully a new ally, or even beating somebody in an argument, Kai simply thrives on being on top.
New and different experiences | Figuring out that his new life as an Arrancar is a great chance to do all the things he couldn't have even dreamt of as a human, Kai has set off to see as much of the world and its peculiarities as he can. This is also true for people. Kai finds himself irresistibly attracted to those who just don't seem to fit the norm.
A challenge | According to Kai, there is no real fun in winning if you don't at least put some effort into it. This extends to everything, from his work with glass, to his taste in women. For him, the sweetest victories are those he had the hardest time earning.
Flattery | Complements are a surefire way to please Kai’s ego. Even obvious flattery often works and is more often than not enough to get on his good side.
Glassmaking | It would be a little strange for someone who calls himself "The Glassmaker" not to like practising his craft, wouldn't it? His passion ever since he was a human, creating things out of glass remains one of his favourite pastimes. Now, with his new abilities as an Arrancar, he is constantly discovering new ways to perfect his creations.
Followers | What better balsam for your pride than to know that there are people, who would do as you say, just because they believe in you and your abilities? Wherever Kai goes, he will use his wits, charisma, and if necessary even combat abilities to turn those he deems worthy into his allies. With enough connections, who knows how far he could reach.
Laws and rules | According to Kai, there is only one rule everybody should follow. Each person should be free to pursue their own desires by whatever means they deem necessary, unless those means include stripping this very same right from somebody else. Everything more is just an attempt to force one's own morals and view of the world onto others, effectively crippling their right to choose for themselves.
Pointless destruction | As somebody who enjoys to create things, Kai has an innate dislike for anybody who just kills and destroys for no apparent reason but their own twisted pleasure. What this means however, is that he may end up at odds with the majority of his own race.
Boredom | For somebody as eccentric and energetic as Kai, being stuck in one place with absolutely nothing to do can be pure torture. Fortunately for him, he currently has all the freedom he needs to pursue his whims.
Idealists | With his completely self- centred and chaotic nature, it is no wonder that Kai feels a slight disdain towards those who choose to bow to some pointless ideal, which more often than not isn't even theirs to begin with. From his point of view, these people are just wasting their lives and discarding their own personality for something that will neither benefit them directly, nor will it actually make much difference in the grand scheme of things.
Prejudice | Never one to judge others solely based on their race or looks, Kai firmly believes that everybody should be given a chance to be whatever they want to be, no matter who or even what they are. Everybody who just jumps to conclusions due to some petty prejudice is certain to earn his contempt.
Tea | There is just something about the smell of tea leaves that makes Kai sit back and reminisce about the past. As a human he never started work without first drinking a hot cup of tea, boiled in the fire of the furnace. It is a habit that the Arancar has picked up once again and it never fails to bring him comfort.
Order | Kai is a firm believer in the words that a messy workplace is a disaster waiting to happen. This of course is completely understandable, given that in his line of work, a single mistake could spell anything from a nasty burn at best to a fiery inferno at worst. This attitude however has turned Kai into somewhat of a neat freak and has given him a somewhat low opinion on those who in his mind fail at a basic human task.
FearsNothing I have done matters | First and foremost among the things capable of truly shaking Kai is the fear of complete and total oblivion. The fear that in spite of what he has done, in spite of all his efforts to defy death and be remembered everything will ultimately be in vain, his legacy amounting to nothing, his name merely mentioned as a footnote on a forgotten page in a dusty old history book.
Everything I am is a lie | The other big gnawing fear that sometimes makes it hard for Kai to fall asleep is the sneaky suspicion that he is not truly the person he believes he is. That the Kai Wren in his memories is gone for good and that he is nothing more than a sorry Hollow who thinks that it is somebody else, merely an echo of a person who once was.
___Strength Of The World___Aspect of Death: Pride
Due to some rather... extraordinary circumstances stemming from Kai's past, his aspect of death manifests itself in a much more mild and controllable fashion, compared to that of most other Arrancar. Still, even though he has managed to evade becoming a slave to his own nature, the fact remains that he is still an Arrancar and no matter how much of his human self he has managed to preserve, it has been forever tainted by one of the most dangerous and malicious aspects of all- Pride. Realizing full well what has happened to him, Kai has chosen to embrace this new influence and the power it brings, rather than try and deny it. For better or for worse it is an inseparable part of him now, so he can at least try and make a good use of it.
Hollow Power: The creation and manipulation of glass
A glassmaker in life and a glassmaker in death. It is to be expected, really. After all, this is the skill that moulded Kai into the person he is today, so it is only natural that it would form the base of his abilities as an Arrancar. While using this ability, he does not need any tools nor materials. The only things that really matter are his focus and power. With a simple touch, Kai can create a finite amount of glass that he can then shape and manipulate according to his needs. It is a versatile ability good for both offense and defense, but it has its limitations. For example, this is nowhere near as precise as the true glassmaking Kai practices in his workshop, but it doesn't need to be- a jagged shard will pierce the enemy just as well as a fine- crafted spear. There also remains the problem that glass created this way doesn't last for more than a few hours, but at least such a limitation is mostly meaningless in a battle.
One thing Kai is frustrated about however is that while his power as an Arrancar is certainly something new and useful, he is yet unable to replicate his feats as a human. While still a master at his craft, with skills probably still unmatched by any mortal, no longer can he capture the light of a distant star in a bead of coloured glass, nor can he create a set of mirrors that act as windows to each other. The knowledge is there, but the bond is gone. For now, the soul of the glass remains silent and whether or not it will ever return only time can tell.
Legendary artifact: The thirteen glass bottles
Kai Wren's ultimate achievement as a glassmaker, both during his life as a human and after, each of these bottles is worthy to be considered a legendary treasure, fit for any king. Beautifully decorated on the outside, every single one of them is a marvel to behold, truly unique in its own way. In spite of their breathtaking elegance though, the reason why most people desire them is a different one altogether. Without exception, every person who had ever possessed one of the bottles had quickly risen to power and glory beyond their wildest imaginations, blessed with a ridiculous amount of luck, far exceeding what could even remotely be considered normal. It is also believed that the bottles can purify everything poured in them and that they are virtually indestructible, but so far nobody has dared using them for something so mundane, let alone tried to destroy them. Currently, only ten of the bottles have been found, spread all over the world in museums and private collections. Little do their owners realise however, that there is even more to them than the legends speak of.
Even while alive, Kai Wren was not an ordinary glassmaker. If we used modern terms, he would most probably fall under the type of humans, referred to as "Fullbringers". Capable of manipulating the very soul of the glass he worked with, the man was able to create astonishing pieces of art that forever sealed his name in history. But even with a skill as powerful as that, one could never hope to achieve what Kai Wren managed to do. Inside every one of those bottles, he created a small world, almost as rich and detailed as the real one. The man's skill was so great, that one could very well live their entire lives there, if they wished to. The way he achieved that miracle however, ultimately led to his untimely demise. During the creation of every one of those bottles, Kai Wren tore a small piece from his own soul and embedded it into the molten glass, carefully melding them into one complete whole. The end result was like nothing the world had seen before.
However, even though Kai is back in back in possession of the three "lost" bottles, their full potential is for some reason locked to him. He can neither enter the worlds hidden inside, let alone travel between them like was intended. There is also that one critical flaw in their design that continues to plague Kai's nightmares. Should somebody ever amass enough power to break one of the bottles, it would land a crippling blow on the Glassmaker's soul, and should more of them suffer the same fate, he may very well end up being destroyed by his own creation. Even though the amount of energy necessary to do that would have to be truly monstrous, Kai is still extremely careful not to reveal the bottles' true nature, for this is a weakness that could easily lead to his downfall.
Zanpakutō: Kai's Zanpakutō takes the shape of a Chinese Jian. The blade is straight, double- edged, just over 70 centimeters long and while still obviously metal, it possesses a peculiar jade-like hue. The guard is narrow, grey in color and has the traditional shape for this type of sword that can best be described as a pair of wings facing away from each other. The sword ends in a long, comfortable hilt wrapped in cotton and comes with a plain wooden scabbard for safekeeping. It is a versatile weapon suited for both stabbing and cutting, but this flexibility comes at the cost that the sword doesn't truly excel at either. Even so, this is a design that has been perfected for over two millennia and has proven itself on countless battlefields and there is no doubt that in the hands of a master, it is a precise and deadly weapon.
In combat Kai is methodical and unwavering. Rather than zip around the battlefield, he opts instead to stand his ground and focus on defense, generally preferring to mitigate the damage instead of evading it. His combat philosophy is simple: lure the opponent into a false sense of security before unleashing a devastating barrage. To that end, he uses his glassmaking ability to shape the surrounding terrain to his advantage by creating cover for himself, obstacles for his opponent and generally making it so that he always has a ready source of glass nearby. As far as sword technique is concerned, Kai likewise prefers to stay on the defensive and makes ample use of ripostes and counterattacks, which he usually uses to create an opening for his other abilities. He is an avid supporter of the Cero as opposed to the Bala, under the reasoning that a single powerful attack is better suited to his rather passive fighting style.
While this type of combat augments Kai's strengths rather well, it does have a few glaring weaknesses, the biggest of which is that once he commits to a fight, chances are he won't be able to retreat easily. This is the reason why Kai tries to choose his battles carefully.
___Legacy Created___Current Allegiance: Technically, Kai is loyal to Las Noches, but will actively avoid getting mixed up with politics or power struggles.
|| Born September 9th, 1049
|| Started apprenticeship as a glassmaker in the summer of 1063
|| Became widely renowned as a master of his craft 1074
|| Completed his life's work and dies shortly thereafter on August 13th 1076
|| Became a Hollow the next day- August 14th 1077
|| Reconnected with the first part of his shattered soul in 1086
|| Regained his memories as a human in 1148
|| Lived as a Hollow until 1314, then became a Gillian
|| Transformed into an Adjuchas around 1547
|| Tore off his mask in 1889 after reaching the peak of his power
|| Traveled the world and learned how to live as an Arrancar until 1980
|| Joined his brethren in Las Noches in 1981
|| Somewhat settled down and created a workshop for himself in Hueco Mundo in 1998
|| Is currently trying to regain his lost powers as a human with little success so far
Kai Wren, the Glassmaker
The now well- known ancient Chinese glassmaker by the name of Kai Wren was born a little more than a millennia ago in the town of Xingyuan in the most western part of the country. His parents were both just simple farmers who owned some land, but still managed to provide Kai and his five brothers and sisters with everything they needed. It was a peaceful and prosperous time back then, a true golden age for the country when even the poor could allow themselves to relax once in a while. In that regard, Kai's early childhood was truly happy. Food was never scarce, there were plenty of kids his age to play with and from time to time, his parents even found the money to buy him something nice. What more could a small child possibly want?
So, time slowly but surely ticked on, until young Kai was about thirteen. He had already begun to learn how to be a farmer and truth to be told, he found it to be a rather interesting thing to do- from just a tiny little seed, one could grow all sorts of plants, which then became tasty meals by the hands of his mother. Little did he know however, that farming was not going to be his calling. One day, a travelling merchant passed through their small village to sell charms and trinkets that the simple farmers normally couldn't acquire. Among them was a small turtle made out of glass. Even as he looks back now, Kai has to admit that it was rather roughly made, but back then, it captivated him like nothing else before. Suddenly, all thoughts of becoming a farmer vanished from the little boy's head, replaced with just one simple desire- he wanted to create glass. With a trembling voice, he asked the salesman where he had gotten the small brilliant turtle and got an expected, but frightening answer- the capitol city of Bianjing, situated almost on the other end of the country. Even with his initial enthusiasm slightly extinguished however, Kai did not let go of his new goal. He swore with a sincerity that only a child could possess that one day, he was going to become the greatest glassmaker there was. And then, for better or for worse, something deep inside him changed. It was as if Fate itself had heard his words and offered to make him one of the chosen few, destined to forever change the world with their actions. He was going to become a legend. By the way, his parents did buy him the glass turtle, even if it took a little persuading. He keeps it to this day as a reminder that one should always stick to their dreams, no matter what difficulties lie in their path.
A little after that incident, somewhat strange things started to happen to young Kai.. Maybe it was the consequences of that fateful event, or maybe just his coming of age, but the fact remained that the boy started hearing things... seeing things. Voices nobody else seemed to notice that constantly whispered to one another, silhouettes of people that disappeared as soon as he focused his attention of them. Frightened and confused, Kai tried to ignore them, but night after night the sounds and visions would haunt his dreams, filled with cries of anguish and desperation. The only thing that seemed to calm them a little was the small glass trinket- whenever the boy held it tightly in its hand and focused on his dream, the voices drew quieter and the shadows drew back a little. This was only a temporary decision, however. As soon as he fell asleep, the invisible voices would return louder than ever, torturing him in his nightmares until the first rays of the morning sun finally brought salvation to the small boy.
It was perfectly clear that things couldn't last much longer like this. With a pained expression and tears in his eyes, Kai finally mustered the resolve to tell his parents about about the horrors he was facing every night. Surprisingly for him, they did not believe him to have gone insane, nor dismissed his worlds as just a childish whim. Genuinely worried about their son, they called the local priest to take a look at the boy. The holy man's verdict however, was something they hardly expected. According to his words, there was nothing wrong with their boy. It was not a curse that plagued little Kai, but an extremely rare gift- a gift to see beyond the veil that separated the physical and spiritual world and to communicate with the beings that dwelled beyond. Bewildered by this strange new turn of events, the simple family of farmers once again turned to the priest for advice, hoping that he would know what was best to their son. The answer however, was hardly one they liked. Kai would have to go to the city temple of Bianjing to become a priest himself and learn to control his abilities. So, with nothing more than his glass charm and a promise to return once he was finished with his training, Kai was taken away without protest. After all, it seemed that destiny itself had decided to lend the boy a hand and take him to the city where he could fulfill his dream.
There was only one problem. Kai was being taken there to become a priest, not a glassmaker. He did not protest, though. After all, even with his childish mind he realised that he'd probably never get another opportunity like that. And as far as the voices were concerned... he already knew how to deal with them. The only thing left to do was to convince the priest to let him go before they reached Kaifeng. So, one day on the way to the capitol, the boy simply turned to the old man and stated with a clear voice, "I don't want to go to a temple. I want to make glass." Surprised, the priest told him that becoming a monk was the only thing that would help him calm the voices. Kai simply replied that the glass would protect him. The man's only reply was silence. When they finally reached the capitol, he took Kai not to the temple, but to an old and respected of glassmaker, instructing the man to accept the child as if it were his own and teach him the craft, for it was Buddha himself that was speaking through him. The bewildered craftsman could do nothing else but to accept. His surprise however was absolutely nothing compared to Kai's. It was like the world had just decided to hand him everything he desired. Contrary to what one might expect though, the boy did not feel happiness at the first moment. Deep inside him, a sense of guilt was born. He knew how hard it was for ordinary people to make a living, he knew that millions of other children wouldn't get what he had been given no matter how hard they worked. But he accepted it anyway. If Fate had wanted to put him on this path so badly, then he would take it by the reigns, instead of leaving himself to its mercy. He was going to make the absolute most of his new future and there was not a force in the world that was going to stop him.
And so began Kai Wren's glorious days as a glassmaker. In a year, he learned the craft to perfection. In three more, he surpassed his teacher. By the age of 25, he became the best artisan in the city. From a timid village boy, haunted by voices, he had become a confident young man, admired by his peers and feared by his rivals. And the shadows that used to haunt him? Kai still saw them, clearer than ever, but they disturbed him no more. His glass was keeping him safe. It just seemed to... respond to his wishes. With just one movement, the young men achieved what other craftsmen would do in five. The material felt almost alive to him. Stranger still, the ghosts seemed to be afraid of the young glassmaker's creations so much, that almost none dared to even come close to his workshop, let alone cause him any trouble.
There was absolutely no doubt about it now. Kai was different than the rest- he and his glassmaking were... special. There was no other explanation to the things that were happening around him. Within just a few years he, a complete nobody, had risen to the elite of the city. He had accumulated enough riches to secure his family for life, his name was known in every major city and he was widely considered to be the best of his generation. And all of this was due to his own superiority. But then why did the void inside him still remain? Why did it feel that no matter what he did, in the end it wouldn't matter? There was only one solution Kai could think of. He would have to become even more skilled and create a masterpiece that would forever carve his name into the sheets of history.
And so Kai Wren continued to practice his craft, using his affinity to glass in order to create pieces of art like no other with seemingly magical properties. Using the money he made, the legendary glassmaker slowly, but patiently forged connections with the highest nobles. His creations became almost legendary, fabled to bring good luck and fortune to whoever was wealthy enough to acquire them. And that is when Kai received the task of his life. The Emperor of China himself had taken interest in the young glassmaker and his legendary skills. His order was like nothing the young man had been tasked with before. He would have to create thirteen glass charms for the emperor and his children to symbolise their dynasty's unity and to forever connect them to the land that was rightfully theirs. Of course, the order was strictly symbolic and Kai realised that all too well. Even so, he decided to do it for real. He was going to use every ounce of skill and power he had within himself to create a miracle that nobody had ever seen before, the ultimate proof that he, Kai Wren was simply the best there was not just in the city, not just in the country, but in the entire world. Thirteen glass bottles, each of them an astonishing work of art with the ability to shield their owner from the whims of fate and containing a small piece of the land itself, as seen through its creator's eyes. This was going to be a legacy that would forever immortalize his name.
With his goal firmly set in his mind, the Glassmaker began work. Tapping deep into the very core of his abilities, he commanded the glass like never before and it was not long before the first bottle started taking shape. Something however, was bothering him. Even though he had surely managed to imbue it with an extremely strong aura of luck and prosperity, he still couldn't figure out how to trap a piece of the world inside of it. It was simply not something a glassmaker had the aptitude to do. What the young man was trying to achieve rivaled the abilities of a god and would require him to violate the very rules of the world.
Even so, he knew there was a way. If he couldn't create it from scratch, Kai would simply have to take something that already existed inside of him and transfer it to his creation. The village where he was born. The image flickered before his eyes, combined with a palette of emotions he believed were long buried inside of him. The hope of a small boy, who believed that he could become something more. Yes, that would have to do... Grabbing the molten lump with his bare hand, Kai immersed himself into this long forgotten sensation... and ripped it right out of his very soul, forcing into the molten glass. The pain was like nothing else he had experienced before. But the Glassmaker pressed on. With trembling hands, he put the finishing touches on his creation before collapsing on the ground. He had done it. The bottle named "Hope" had been created and it far exceeded even what Kai had expected. Perfect in both appearance and function, it contained a perfect copy of the land, where he was born, hidden to all but those who knew it was there. The price he had had to pay however, was simply excruciating. A part of Kai had forever been taken away from him, leaving nothing more than a bleeding hole in his soul. Even so, the young man was determined to continue. The first step had already been taken and there was no turning back. Not only was his pride of an artisan in the line, but he had finally managed to figure it out. His whole life up until now was simply meant to prepare him for this moment, to have him create the thirteen glass bottles. A part of him was certain this would spell his doom, but Kai was prepared. He had been given a chance for greatness and he had taken it, so it was only natural to pay the price. His only regret was that he hadn't been able to live a little longer, to see what other wonders the world had to offer. But hopefully, this was something that could be fixed.
It was time to finish this. Getting back on his feet, Kai Wren started work on the second bottle, which he named Faith. After that came Kindness, Charm, Truth, Courage, Trust, Joy, Ambition, Resolve, Focus, Skill and finally- Destiny. By the fifth bottle, the man had lost the ability to think properly. By the ninth, he couldn't even remember his own name. But he continued working nonetheless, driven by a force his shattered mind could no longer comprehend. And then it all ended. As he put the last ornament on the bottle called Destiny, Kai's mind finally gave in. Collapsing on the cold floor on his workshop, away from the searing flames of his kiln, the Glassmaker stretched his lips into a faint smile, before closing his eyes forever. This was it. His contract with Fate was complete. He was finally free.
Kai Wren, the Hollow
This is where Kai Wren's story should have ended. He had nothing binding him to this world anymore, so his spirit would simply pass away to start anew in the Land of Spirits. Unfortunately for him however, this was not the fate that awaited him. Crippled and deformed, the Glassmaker's confused soul dragged itself away from his body, unable to understand what was happening to it. There was pain... so much pain that it just wanted to curl up and die right now. But it was not given the chance. A Hollow is born when its heart finally gives in to the despair. With so much of the man's soul already injured, this didn't take more than a couple of minutes. With one last scream of suffering, the being formerly known as Kai Wren shattered into a million pieces and reformed as something completely new.
Immediately, the newborn beast faded back to the deserts of Hueco Mundo, driven back by the strange, painful aura of the glass that surrounded it. Once it finally set its feet on the desert sands however, the creature suddenly realised that there was something wrong with it. The soul it was born form's only desire was greatness, so it had no real purpose, only an insatiable hunger, pulsing inside of it. To make matter worse, there were voices... thirteen tiny voices ringing in its skull, so frightening and yet so alluring that they caused shivers to run across its monstrous body. Puzzled and enraged by sensations it could not comprehend, the Hollow returned to the world of the living and started devouring every soul that crossed its in a desperate attempt to sate the hunger inside, hoping that this way, the voices would stop. It ate dozens, but to no avail. With every passing day, the call drew stronger until the creature could no longer resist it. Finally giving in to its allure, the beast followed one of them to its source. It was nothing else but a small glass bottle, coloured in gold, with splashes of red, dotting its smooth surface. Unable to resist its magnetism, the Hollow slowly and cautiously drew nearer and nearer, carefully touching it with its claws.
It felt as if a giant hand had suddenly reached inside its head and rearranged the broken pieces to its liking. And then a connection was formed. This was no mere trinket. It was a fragment of a soul... its soul? No, this was wrong. The creature was no longer this "Kai Wren", who was speaking to it through this shard of glass. And yet, the voice was so strangely familiar and so compelling, that the Hollow could not even think of disobeying it. The orders, at least, were simple. Find the other bottles. Fix what was once broken. And so the beast did, tracking artifact after artifact, forming an unbreakable connection with each and every one of them, allowing what was stored inside of them to freely flow towards it. Pictures, feelings, thoughts- the very essence of a man already dead slowly settled within the creature, reshaping its primitive existence. As contact was made with the last bottle, the Hollow was surprised to discover that it could think. Not very clearly, but enough to realize that it was just bestowed with something priceless. It was Kai Wren, and it was not at the same time. It... he was starting to think like a human, but he was still a Hollow. The Glassmaker had done more than just to imbue the bottles with his soul. He had tried to trick Fate itself. And he had succeeded. But there was still a long way to go. In his current state, Kai Wren could not fully understand all the information he had received. He needed to evolve. He needed to grow. And the part of him that remained undoubtedly Hollow knew just how to achieve it.
With his newly gained intelligence, combined with his natural aptitude for hunting, Kai set out to devour as much of his kin as possible without a speck of remorse. Unlike him, they were just feral animals, whose souls were only good as food for himself. For more years than he could count, Kai Wren, the Hollow roamed the desserts and forests off Hueco Mundo, defeating every single enemy that dared stand before him and hunting down the rest. Even those, who should have overpowered him with little difficulty, ended up as his prey. After all, Kai could simply out-think his enemies and that was a huge advantage in a world of mindless beasts.
And so, slowly but surely, Kai's perseverance started to pay off. He was changing. First came the growth. It was as if the power of all the creatures he had engulfed was bubbling up inside of him, transforming his body into that of a towering black giant, composed of thousands of tortured souls, screaming in pain, desperately trying to take control over the rest. Subduing them took time. A lot of time actually, but Kai knew he could not fail. With not just one, but thirteen chains to anchor his conscience, Kai methodical crushed his disorganised opposition, annihilating every trace of personality they had left, ensuring that the only voice in his head was his own. From there on, it was easy. Thanks to his new body, he could consume even more hollows, including those that were as big as him. Any new opposition that appeared with the new souls was brutally annihilated like before and the gillian quickly found himself growing in power year after year, waiting for the change that would finally allow him to reclaim all of the original Kai Wren's legacy.
Sure enough, after what felt like an eternity of roaming the grey deserts and underground forests, Kai's body started to shrink. His power on the other hand peaked like never before. Even so, he still felt that he needed more. And so he feasted and feasted until one day he felt that he had reached the invisible threshold that his entire existence was dedicated to diiscovering. The time had finally come. With a mighty roar, Kai Wren ripped his mask from his face, marking the end of his existence as a Hollow. He had won.
Kai Wren, the Arrancar
Against all the odds, Kai Wren had made it through the journey that probably only one in a million survived, all while retaining his identity. Not without help from the original Kai, of course, but he was now as much part of him as was the former Hollow that was formed by his fading spirit. Having regained full access to the information his former self had left for him, the now completely human- shaped Arrancar couldn't help but chuckle.
It would appear that the Glassmaker had managed to cheat Fate itself. His story should have ended with him sacrificing his life in return for having his name forever sealed in history. However, he had managed to achieve not the immortality of being remembered in history, but the other kind, the one usually reserved solely for gods. And all of this he had achieved with his own skill, for his first death had merely been a stepping stone to greatness. Long ago, he had mustered the courage to sit down and speak with the spirits he had been so afraid of as a child. By the time he had to make the bottles, the Glassmaker knew the full details of what came after death and had prepared accordingly. During the years, he had mastered his ability to bend not only the glass' soul to his whims, but his own as well. He had everything he needed in order to show the world that he was his own master. As he tore his soul up while he created the bottles, Kai did not just put random thoughts and emotions inside. Just like glass, he moulded the pieces of himself in such a way, that they would call for the Holow that he would inevitably become and connect to its psyche, effectively preserving a large portion of his original self intact. The plan had worked like a charm.
As he steadily made his way through the sea of sands, the Arrancar couldn't help but notice that the Kai Wren who had created the thirteen bottles and the Kai Wren who was walking right now were not completely the same. Yes, they shared a lot of their memories, views and ideas, but ultimately, he was something completely new. The thought lingered for a while, sending a chill down the Arrancar's spine. What if... No, it was not like it mattered. Right...? That was right. He was now a creature that was far superior to nearly all of its kind, having transcended the majority of their flaws from the moment he was reborn. It was going to be a bright and interesting future for Kai and most importantly- one he would choose for himself. Now, what was he going to do first... Yes, he knew. His death had robbed him of years he yearned to reclaimed. Maybe he would travel the world, learn a few languages, see how things have changed. There was also the fact that he needed to perfect his new abilities, for conflict was inherent to his race and Kai was sure it would not pass him by. After that... Well, it would be nice to have a place to call home. Maybe even open a workshop while he was at it. There probably wouldn't be many in this desolate land who would appreciate what he created, but this was a skill Kai would definitely hold on to. Besides, he hadn't felt the heat of molten glass in a long time...
Roleplay Sample"Damn, things sure have changed around here!" It was to be expected, really. After more than a millennia of doing nothing else but happily munching on his own brethren, Kai was not at all surprised to find the modern world a little too different than the one he had left so many years ago. There was not much he could do about it, though. Time waited for no one and the Arrancar was certainly no exception. All he could do now was move on and adapt.
Kicking a nearby dustbin in a slight fit of frustration, Kai continued his stroll around the night streets of Kaifeng- the city, where he lived while he was still a human, as well as the final resting place for his body. There was something he needed to get from here, but he had no idea where he could find it, or even if it had actually survived that long. Still, he at least needed to try. And the first step would be finding something to guide him in this maze of neon lights, strange vehicles and even stranger people. Something like... Tourist Information? Gazing suspiciously at the large blue sign, hanging above a small glass pavilion, just a few metres away from him, the Arrancar just sighed and headed towards the entrance with quick, energetic steps. A tourist in his own city, eh... It would appear that the whole adapting thing was going to prove a little harder than usual.
And... it was closed. It was just past midnight, after all. Not that it mattered much. With a single strike of his hand, Kai shattered the glass door and walked inside completely undisturbed. He grabbed a handful of leaflets from the shelves and started to quickly scan their contents. Fortunately, it only took a minute or so before he found what he was looking for. "The Museum of Glass." If the item he was looking for still existed, his best chances of finding it were with that place. There was also his grave, of course, but Kai didn't want to think about this option too much. First of all, considering how the city had expanded, it was likely buried under a Shopping Mall or something. And second... even if by chance his burial place had remained intact, Kai wasn't exactly too fond of visiting it. Perhaps there were some kind of perverted souls who would feel pleasure from such a thing, but the Glassmaker was not like that. Even if the trinket was buried with the body, he wouldn't try to retrieve it. There was just something about defiling your own grave that caused shivers to run along the Arrancar's spine. No- he was going to just check the museum and if it was not there, he was going give up on the search. It wasn't that important anyway.
Landing on a nearby roof with a mighty leap, Kai took a quick look at the leaflet in his hand and then shot through the night air, heading to where the museum was supposed to be. Almost immediately however, his attention was attracted to a familiar, old structure, towering in the distance- The Iron Pagoda. Built roughly around the time Kai was born, it used to dominate the surrounding landscape and was considered one of the most beautiful buildings of its time. Judging from the leaflets, it was not the only part of the old city that had survived the onslaught of time. Parts of the palace and some of the temples were also still intact, much to the Glassmaker's delight. Maybe when he was done with the museum, he would go take a look and see how they had changed over the last thousand years. Yes, the experience was definitely going to be worth it.
First things first though. With a well- measured leap, the Arrancar landed back on the asphalt road, right in front of a large, concrete building, which, judging from the large label in front of it, was just the one he needed. As he took a closer look at the letters however, something caught his eye. It was his name! And what was that? They had a whole exhibition dedicated to him? Now that was something Kai Wren definitely couldn't miss. Simply bursting through the door like he had done back in the pavilion, the man headed towards the part of the building that was supposed to house a large number of his creations. In spite of the darkness, he managed to find his way fairly well. He was a Hollow, after all and the shadows held little secrets from him. In this case however, Kai wondered whether it wouldn't have been best if he had suddenly gone blind right about now.
In front of him hung a giant poster of what was most likely supposed to be himself blowing glass. What it really depicted however, was a fat bald man, who looked like he was suffering from a bad case of constipation. This was how history had remembered him?!? Completely blown away from the ridiculousness of the situation, Kai did the only thing he could- he simply burst into laughter. Echoing around the empty corridors, the sound caused all of the glasswork in the museum to resonate ever so lightly until the Arrancar managed to catch his breath. History could be so cruel sometimes... Finally regaining hi composure, the Arrancar strolled into the exhibition hall, fully prepared for the worst it could throw at him. To his pleasant surprise however, things were actually not as bad as he had feared. Although a few of the exhibits were definitely not created by him, many of his actual works had actually survived. But Kai let them be. He was not here to sight-see. At least not yet.
Quickly going through all the smaller exhibits once and then twice, Kai bit his lip in disappointment. It wasn't here... And how could it be? After all these years chances were it was destroyed long ago. Well, at least he had tried his best. That counted for something, right? And it was not like his trip here was in vain. Coming back was definitely worth it, even for the pure nostalgic value.
The sound of sirens reached the Arrancar's ears and made him realize that it was time to go. If he wanted to, he could always return, but for now there were other matters to attend to. And so, Kai Wren casually strolled out of the building, past the crowd of policemen who felt nothing more than a strange chill, and headed towards the city centre. Little did he realize however that deep underground, in a vault where they kept all the objects that, for one reason or another, had been deemed unsuitable for public display, sat a small cardboard box containing a tiny glass turtle. Fate, it would seem, always had the last laugh.
___OOC ___Player Alias: No preferences here. Kai is good, but anything goes, really.
Do you want a grade?: Yes, please! I’m hoping for a bigger number, but that is for you to decide.
Were you referred by anyone?: Nope.
Other Characters: Nuh-uh.