Post by Mei Rowan on Jun 8, 2016 12:29:29 GMT -5
[ ROWAN, MEI ]
Quincy of the Order
Quincy of the Order
[ AT A GLANCE ]
Name: Mei Rowan
D.o.B.: August 7th, 1992
Height: 175 Cm (~5’9”)
Weight: 72 Kgs (~158 lbs)
Hair: White, wavy, and about shoulder length
Eyes: Blue, almond shaped, and cold
Positive Traits: Composed, Dedicated, Logical, Accommodating, Idealistic
Negative Traits: Repressed, Perfectionist, Naïve, Rigid, Angry
Loyalties: Mei is outwardly loyal to the Rowan clan, as well as the current Quincy regime, but inwardly she has come to mistrust most, if not all, authority figures and as such has pledged herself to her own set of morals and values. In her heart this is not out any form of political desire, but rather because she has been shunned and rejected by her family and (unconsciously) desires to find acceptance through her own moral excellence. Driven by the need to prove her worth, Mei wishes to ensure a better future for herself, and strives at all times to live up to this lofty, unattainable ideal. And, thus, her true loyalties lie with whatever and whomever she believes will further that ambition.
December 3rd, 1991: Mao travels to Tokyo to settle a dispute between two rival clans; meets Mitsuko.
February 12th, 1992: Mao and Mitsuko marry; the pair return to Beijing.
August 7th, 1992: Mei is born; Mitsuko dies due to complications from pregnancy.
August 8th, 1992: Mao accuses his brother Han of killing Mitsuko, and the two duel to the death; Mao loses, and Han gains control over the clan.
March 15th, 1997: Manifests Quincy abilities- begins training under her uncle.
August 7th, 2000: Given her Taijitu (Quincy Cross), but forced to cease training under her uncle by the rest of the clan. Secretly begins practicing manifesting her bow.
May 8th, 2002: Sent out into the wilderness by relatives with several vials of Hollow Bait in an attempt to kill her.
May 20th, 2002: Returns home alive, having manifested a semi-stable version of her bow and used her “Schrift” for the first time.
June 28th, 2004: Perfects the act of manifesting her bow.
August 7th, 2006: Officially recognized as a Hunter of Rowan clan.
December 10th, 2013: Heavily injured defending Karakura Town during the Incursion.
September 20th, 2014: Returns to “active duty”, though rarely leaves her family home.
November 27th, 2016: Meets Benjamin de la Cruz; is recruited into the new Quincy Order.
Present Day: Currently residing in Tokyo, awaiting orders.
[ ON THE SURFACE ]
Physical Description: Standing above most her peers, at first glance the Quincy looks as if she were just pushing into her mid-thirties than a young woman just entering adulthood. Different from most women her age, if only in her body’s unusual agedness, she often comes across as less a hardened fighter and more retired model, but make no mistake; beneath her pale skin lies a layer of tight, lean muscle more than capable of dishing out all kinds of pain. Snow-white hair flows down to her shoulders in a loose set of waves that partly frame her delicate face and beneath this lies a set of cold blue eyes, dull sapphires that lack the luster and shine of their namesake. Add to this a face not used to smiles and her typical dour aura and Mei could easily be described as “frigid” on the best of days, although there are moments where a more playful, almost whimsical side of the woman comes out to play.
Physically speaking, her presence is more standoffish than one would expect, as she can often be found on the sidelines watching all that occurs rather than standing in the thick of the action. A woman of clean lines and sharp curves, her movements are fluid and graceful, though not naturally so, and this can change to something more rigid and mechanical if she becomes angry. A flat, chilly voice is her preferred method of communication, all soft words and careful lies to make those around her happy. However, on the rare occasion she lets down her guard this frigidity becomes a bit warmer; soft smiles and quiet, mirthy laughs spill from her lips and she adopts a kind, almost joyous aura. Her anger, like much the rest of the woman, burns cold and long, simmering just beneath the surface only to explode in a biting tempest not unlike a winter storm.
As for clothes, Mei prefers to wear things on the colder end of the spectrum with soft blues, stark whites and shining yellows all tucked away within the confines of her wardrobe, each in various styles and trends. Her usual outfit tends to consist of a white/blue blouse and a pair of loose fitting jeans, though this can vary depending on both the weather and her duties. Along with her standard array of traditional Chinese garbs, the woman also has a set of custom tailored “battle garments”, cut in the Rowan style, that she only wears when out on patrol or acting in an official capacity on behalf of her clan. Made up of an elegant blue-gold qipao, a set of thigh-high boots of like color, a pair of fingerless-elbow length gloves, and a long, hooded cape that drapes over her frame, the outfit is as practical as it is revealing, designed less to protect her from the rigors of combat than to distract her enemies and disguise her movements in crucial, desperate moments.
Reiatsu: Mei’s reiatsu is a stark white, tightly coiled around her frame in a swirl of complex fractals and multi-pronged polygons that resemble what one might see in the midst of a strong blizzard. Unlike most of her fellows, the Quincy’s spiritual pressure tends to stay underneath her control, wrapping around her body in a snowy veil most days instead of spilling out without restraint. Each clump of spiritual power shifts, twisting and curling in on itself like wind-swept snow as they transition from a soft off-white to a brilliant, blaring snow-glare. Encapsulating the furious potential of youth, her reiatsu’s unyielding movement hints at the power hidden within the storm. Much like one would expect, this frigid burst of spiritual pressure seems to suck the warmth from those nearby, draining all sense of heat and happiness away with naught but a single, frozen touch.
Spiritual Description: To those who don’t know her, Mei’s aura comes across as empty and controlled, kept under tight wraps and unleashed only when she wishes it. And, to all but the most insightful of sensors, this is true; her reiatsu feels devoid of emotion and lacking in warmth, as if is void of both feeling and purpose. To those with keener senses, however, the woman’s spiritual pressure is anything but. Raw and visceral beneath the surface, the Quincy’s aura displays the depth and breadth of her emotions, each one spilling across her soul with the force and fury of a winter storm. This isn’t to say that she actively suppresses her feelings from coming across externally, but rather that she controls them, only letting them touch her spiritual pressure on the rare occasion she believes such a display warranted, a habit which only reinforces the flat, empty feel she exudes.
[ BEHIND THE EYES ]
Personality: The simplest way to describe Mei is that she is, by and large, a very reserved woman. Reticent and regimented almost to a fault, she can be difficult to talk to at times, often dragging conversations out with pointless formalities that serve little to no purpose other than making her seem more “proper” than anyone else. This behavior, however, stems less from a wish to alienate others than it does an overwhelming sense of self-loathing, as years of emotional abuse from her family has left her deeply scarred. Because of this, Mei does all that she can to make herself seem better than she believes herself to be, falling back into practiced protocols and rote, empty formalities whenever she feels emotionally threatened.
Honest and surprisingly verbose when not hiding behind her routine politeness, the Quincy tends to favor casual language when she speaks with those she trusts, referring only to her closest friends and confidants by their given names unless specifically asked otherwise. In all other situations, however, she will speak with the utmost rigidity and flatness, throwing up a wall of meaningless etiquette that few have the patience to tunnel through. Though obviously capable of expressing her emotions, Mei prefers to keep them under wraps at almost all times, only allowing the barest amount to show unless it is necessary otherwise, a habit that has both helped and hindered her in equal measure when it comes to social interactions.
Often hesitant to act without thinking, the woman is a logical being at heart, living and breathing by the strict rationale of reason and fact. While this does reinforce the impression that she is a cold, unfeeling machine at times, it is also one her greatest strengths, as she is easily able to detach from the feelings of the moment and weigh things out to determine the best course of action.
Morally speaking she can be a bit staunch, proclaiming a firm trust in steadfastness of tradition and protocol even if her true beliefs lie elsewhere. She has a strong (if unrefined) sense of right and wrong that isn’t quite defined by her clan, and will stand up for what she believes in if pushed hard enough on the subject. Beyond this, Mei is a rather contained individual, living her life with little connection to the world outside the Quincy clans. However, that does not mean that she is a total recluse, as she does find time for a few hobbies in between her duties to clan and crown; ikebana (flower arranging), origami (paper folding) and cooking all take up what little freedom she has, each one chosen for their meticulous and easily controllable nature.
While difficult to talk to, formal to the point of frustration, logical enough as to seem robotic, and emotionally stunted on the best of days, if one is patient enough to earn her trust, Mei proves to be nothing more than a sad, lonely girl in desperate need of (and willing to do almost anything for) the love and acceptance of her family, even if it costs her her very self.
Goals: “A goal? Well… if I had to pick just one, I would have to go with impressing my family. I know if can simply prove to them I’m not a failure, they’ll come around. Other than that? I have no idea. True love? World Peace? Those are things normal people want, right?”
Achievements: “…I am sorry, but I do not have any. True, I did learn how to control reishi at the age of five, but so has every other Quincy. And yes, while I did teach myself how to manifest my bow, that is not an achievement; it should be something any Quincy can do on instinct, not a skill one must learn. In truth, I am nothing special- just an ordinary, useless woman…”
[ GUARDIAN ANGEL ]
Quincy Cross: A small, ornate silver Taijitu (a Chinese symbol most often called “Yin-Yang”) no larger than a coin hangs from a thin steel chain, a family tradition that goes back long before the current standard pentagram for Quincy was created. Forged for her by a master silversmith just before her eighth birthday and imbued with reishi, the Taijitu symbolizes the immortal nature of the spiritual realm and the thoroughly mortal effect all Quincy have on it. Unlike most of the Rowan clan, Mei prefers to wear hers wrapped around her wrist rather than as a belt of necklace, as it allows greater ease of access.
Spirit Weapon: Mei’s bow is a simple thing to look upon; following in her mother’s footsteps, she wields a plain, utilitarian weapon without ornamentation or excessive design. Form as a sleek white-blue short bow of Chinese make roughly three feet long, the bow fires equally slender arrows with blinding speed and precision, making it a weapon more for hit and run tactics than a straight up brawl.
R -- “The Reject”
Every Quincy, whether they're aware of it or not, possess a Schrift: an idea that describes their unique abilities to others in a letter and a word. For Mei, this is “R -- The Reject.”
This Schrift describes the innate nature of Mei’s powers. Like all people, Mei has things about herself that she refuses to accept, little (or not so little) quirks of her personality that she does not even recognize as existing. Unlike most, however, Mei’s self-denial goes so deep that it has become the fundamental driving force behind her soul, and as such her powers responded by enforcing that refusal to conform onto the world. Ironically enough, her sense of self comes from this innate rejection of who she is and, were it not for her abilities, she would have long since lost herself in a haze of mind-altering substances in a quest to “find herself.”
Mei’s first manifestation of this Schrift is the ability to “drain” the spiritual energy of anything that comes into contact with spiritual particles under her control; this does not mean that she absorbs the energy drained by her ability, but rather that she weakens/lowers the “power” of anything spiritual within range, allowing her to more easily dodge or block blows, among other things.
[ LEGACY CREATED ]
Origin: At the age of 42, Mao Rowan had made a career for himself as a mid-level member of the Communist Party of China and had taken leadership of the Rowan clan from his aging father. In the winter of 1991 he traveled to Tokyo, Japan to broker a peace deal between two rival clans, and was given lodging by the Minami, a small family that had been mediating the feud for sometime to little avail. It was here that Mao met and fell in love with Mitsuko, the eldest daughter of the Minami and a woman with a fiery disposition. Caught up in a whirlwind romance, Mao’s two weeks in Japan grew to two months, and in the early months of 1992 the two were married. Less than a week later, the newlyweds returned to the ancestral home of the Rowan outside Beijing, eager to bring a new child into the fold.
However, not everyone within the clan agreed with this decision, and tensions quickly began to boil within the rank and file of the family. Generations of selective breeding and arranged marriages had kept the blood of the clan “pure”, but now that Mao had “contaminated” it by marrying a woman outside the clan (and without running it by the family to boot), many among them had begun to call on Mao’s younger brother Han to lead them. Despite the murmurs of discontent, Mao strength kept everyone in line, and on August 7th, 1992 the Rowan clan was gifted with its newest child; Mei Rowan.
While the birth of a new child would normally be cause for celebration, the moment was marred by tragedy; unforeseen complications with the pregnancy forced a cesarean section and, just hours after giving birth, Mitsuko fell into cardiac arrest, dying without ever holding her newborn daughter. Consumed with grief and suspecting foul play, Mao accused his brother of murdering Mitsuko and, in a fit of rage, challenged him to a duel to the death.
The battle was long and hard for both sides but, in the end, Han won out over his older brother, slaying him and gaining control over the Rowan clan. Deeply affected by the struggle, Han took the (now orphaned) Mei under his wing, declaring that no more clan blood would be spilt on behalf of a child, no matter how “pure” she was in the eyes of the clan. Faced with the threat of yet more deaths in the family, those who disagreed with Han’s decision soon learned to channel their anger in less obvious ways, and by the time Mei turned one, the Rowan clan was once again at peace.
Without parents to raise her and with her uncle understandably distant, the task of looking after Mei fell to the servants of the Han’s household; and old mercenary turned butler named Tao, a cook who would answer to “Chef,” and a kindly old woman by the name of Asami. Tao watched over the child most days, while Asami tended to her more intimate needs and Chef kept the whole makeshift family fed. Four years passed without incident, and Mei quickly proved herself to be a curious, independent child, asking every and anyone who would listen about everything, though more often than not her curiosity was met with angry glares and half-hidden threats when it came to the rest of her family.
Although hostile, Mei’s relatives proved to be a treasure trove of information, and she happily absorbed it all alongside everything Asami taught her. Etiquette, protocol, politeness, math, science, literature, and a dozens of other lessons were crammed into every waking moment of the toddler’s life as she learned how to act, think, and behave. Occasionally she would inquire about her parents, and each time she would be rebuffed and redirected to another topic, though never quite denied an answer. Despite this, life moved along comfortably, and Asami soon began setting up small play-dates with the other servants children for Mei.
It was on one of these play-dates that Mei witnessed something that would change her life forever. One of the servants, a Gemischt Quincy that worked as a part-time enforcer for the clan, had been practicing with his bow outside the compound when Mei and several other children stumbled upon his makeshift archery range. While the other children marveled at the man’s clothes (and some even mocked him for the odd outfit), Mei instead asked him about the glowing blue thing he had in his right hand. Though the question earned the girl a vicious round of teasing at the hands of the other kids, the servant soon pulled Mei aside and asked her a few, pointed questions about what she saw and how often she saw such things.
The next day, her distant uncle came and sat Mei down and began to tell her a story. It was a story of spirits and monsters and a people called the Quincy that were born to fight them, a people that had been forced to the brink by a terrible disaster. Mei sat, enraptured as her uncle spoke to her of these things, his voice filled with more feeling, more passion than she had ever seen the man express. And then, Han told her another story. A story about a man who fell in love with a woman, but whose family refused their love. A story of how the man had lost his wife to tragedy and, in his grief, attacked his own brother, nearly killing them both before the brother triumphed.
When he had finished, Han gave the girl a simple choice; she could take the story he had told as nothing more than that, go to bed early, and when she woke up she would never have to hear about such things again. The memory of it would fade, and she would return to being just a normal girl. But if she didn’t do that, things would change. She would change. Gone would be the simple days of living with the servants, of being an ordinary child of mixed birth. She would be a Rowan, a true one, with all the responsibilities that entailed. And the hatred that she has seen, the prejudice that she had brushed against but never truly seen? It would increase a thousand fold. But, if she was willing, Han would train her.
It was then, at the tend age of five, that Mei chose to follow in her parents footsteps and become a Quincy.
Rise to Power: After that day, things changed for Mei. Playdates were replaced with long hours of practice, nap time became study hour, and the girl’s previously quiet life became a whirlwind of new and terrifying knowledge. Spirits, monsters, Shinigami, Fullbringers. Hollows, Arrancar, Quincy and more- it was a lot for the child to taken in, almost too much, but she held on, refusing to retreat from the onslaught of knowledge her uncle offered.
Though difficult at first, Mei’s new lifestyle soon became routine, and within a month she began to show signs of progress; her theoretical knowledge of the spiritual world, while limited, had grown in leaps and bounds, and her practical abilities weren’t far behind. Already she could muster a loose collection of spirit particles in the palm of her hand and, with a effort, force it to take a rough geometrical shape.
While Han was thrilled at her progress, the rest of the clan was not so happy- it was one thing to let an impure child live as a member of the family, but to train it in their ways? To teach it how to harness the power of the Quincy, as if it were one of them? Old arguments began to seep back into the rank and file of the clan, though they never amounted to any overt action.
No, those within the family who disagreed with Han’s decision had learned from Mao’s death, and so channeled their displeasure in more subtle ways. A passing comment here, a snide remark there; nothing major on their own, but together? The insults, the silent jabs, the refusal to treat her as anything other than something less than began to take their toll on young Mei. She grew quieter, more polite, and lost that childish spark of curiosity that had driven her to accept her uncle’s teaching.
Time passed and the girl grew; though changed, Mei refused to give up her training, and within three short years her uncle deemed her ready to begin learning how to manifest a bow. Unfortunately, however, this revelation proved to be the tipping point for the rest of the Rowan clan. They had accepted her, reluctantly, as one of their own, and had tolerated her being taught the basics of their craft, but no more.
What had once been a quiet, subtle subversion soon become a roaring defiance of Han’s leadership and, faced with fighting a civil war or ending Mei’s training, he chose the only reasonable option. Capitulating to the demands of his family, Han agreed to end Mei’s training, and swore to never again attempt to teach her the ways of the Quincy, with one caveat; she would still be given her cross, the Taijitu that he had commissioned for her when he had declared her worthy of becoming a full Quincy. The rest of the clan (reluctantly) agreed, and on her eighth birthday Mei was given her Taijitu and released back into the custody of Asami, Tao, and Chef.
To the majority of the Rowan, that seemed to be the end of it. The impure child had been cowed, Han brought back in line, and the catastrophe of having an impure Quincy within the family proper averted. But, for Mei, things were far from over.
Unwilling to simply abandon the world that her uncle had shown her and yet unable to openly defy the rest of her family, the girl chose instead a third option. When the sun shone she would be meek, a quiet, obedient girl who never questioned the authority of those who claimed to be her betters. But at night? At night she would rebel, practicing the techniques her uncle had taught her while exploring ways to create new ones. It would be hard, she knew, hiding it from everyone, but a part of her, a quite, silent part of her that she refused to recognize, reveled in the challenge, in the chance to prove them wrong, to show them that she wasn’t what they thought she was.
Two years passed without incident and, though she had yet to make much headway in crafting her own bow, Mei had proven (to herself if no one else) that she could improve without a teacher. Her control over reishi had grown greatly; no longer were her shapes rough, fuzzy outlines that only just resembled what she intended. Now they were solid and easily identifiable, with hints of small, finer details beginning to show through.
Her family, for the most part, was satisfied with the girl’s behavior. Unfailingly polite and formal, she had molded herself into a near perfect servant, obeying the whims and dictates of her relatives without a hint of rebellion. But old grudges die hard and, for some of the Rowan, not even their successful cowing of Han was enough; to them, Mei’s death was the only way to remove the blot on their clan’s honor, and so they soon engineered means for her to removed without direct action.
Taken in the middle of the night by several of her relatives, Mei awoke one morning to find herself deep within the mountains of north-western China, surrounded by the shattered remains of half a dozen vials of Hollow Bait. Forced to flee from waves of Hollows in an unfamiliar wilderness, the girl quickly found herself cornered in a small cave, bloodied and about to be devoured. It was then, just as her life was about to be snuffed out, that it happened; the world slowed around her and, in a moment of pure clarity, she created a weapon, an unstable bow that she used to fight back.
Though hard-fought, the girl eventually managed to drive off the beasts that hunted her, utilizing her half-formed bow and the strange, persistent clarity she found only in the most desperate of situations. Weeks passed as she travelled the countryside, barely subsisting off the sparse wildlife but, eventually, Mei managed to find her way back to civilization and a phone. Not longer after that she was back home, and the men who had plotted to kill her exiled from the clan.
In most people’s minds this would have been considered a resounding success. She’d survived unbelievable odds, made it home, and triumphed over the very people she’d longed to prove wrong. But to Mei it was a hollow victory; all she’d ever wanted was to be accepted by her family, to be loved just as much as anyone else, but she wasn’t. No matter what she did, how hard she tried, or how perfect her behavior was, her family would not give her what she wanted, what she needed.
Faced with this revelation, the girl made a decision that day; if she could not earn her family’s love and respect by being herself, then she would become someone else. She would do anything, be anything, say whatever it took to earn that which she yearned for.
Though it was not a conscious thing, the effects of her choice began to show almost immediately. While she had been polite before, now she was even moreso, relying on formality and protocol for near every situation. Any order she was given, she obeyed; any task, she performed. Only her attempts to perfect her bow showed her continued rebellion against what her family had done (and was still doing) to her.
The years passed quickly for Mei after that as she found herself turning fourteen and changing, however slowly, from a girl into a woman, now with the abilities to prove it. Two years prior she managed to perfect the act of creating and maintaining her own bow, a feat that had surprised her entirely family when she revealed it, though only for a short while.
By the time her fourteenth birthday rolled around, she had proven herself to a capable Quincy in her own right, enough so that Han did something no one expected; he made her an official Hunter of the Rowan clan, complete with all the responsibilities and privileges that entailed. No longer would she be forced to do everything her relatives said, no longer could she be considered “less” than they were by rank alone. Now they were equals, in more ways than one and, though it was not what she was looking for, it was enough to make Mei happy, at least for a time.
Call to Action: Almost seven years passed, and in that time Mei trained, fought, and bled for her Clan. With each passing month her power grew and grew until she was the strongest in her family, strong enough that not even her Uncle could best her. Things were, at last, looking up for the young Quincy; though she had yet to find the acceptance she longed for, the abuse that had marked her entire life had dwindled to a mere trickle of what it once was, and her powers, though mysterious and difficult to control, were beginning to answer her call.
Unfortunately for Mei, however, the semi-happy life she had lived for the last few years was about to come crashing down around her.
It began, as much did in her life, with an order from a family member. Her uncle, now in his mid fifties, sent the girl, now a woman, to mete out a trade agreement with one of the clans in their sister country of Japan. The meeting was to take place in Karakura Town, the current nexus of spiritual power in the mortal realm, and he wanted his best fighter there, just in case things went south. Mei, of course, agreed, and soon found herself in the small suburb.
It was supposed to be a simple meeting, more a formality than anything else, but it quickly devolved into something far worse than anything anyone could have imagined. Karakura exploded, Hollows ran rampant, and thousands were slaughtered without mercy as the forces of Hueco invaded the city. By the time she managed to drag herself to her feet, it was too late- their meeting place had been found by a horde of Menos, and it was all Mei could do just to escape with her own life. Despite this, the woman still tried to help, fighting back as hard as she could against the overwhelming flood of Hollow and Arrancar that had poured into the city until, at last, she collapsed from exhaustion, unable to go on.
Heavily wounded in both the blast and the subsequent fighting, Mei was carted off to a (rather overworked) local hospital just hours after collapsing, a place where she stayed for several weeks before her family finally found her. Though nowhere near in stable enough condition to be moved, the Rowan clan took the woman without a care for her safety, whisking her away to the family compound outside Beijing where she would stay, slowly recuperating from her injuries.
Nine months after the Incursion, Mei had finally healed enough from her wounds to leave her bed, and was quickly put back to work by the clan, though not as a warrior. Deeply affected by her failure in Karakura, the woman fell into a spiral of depression, shrinking back into the shell of formality and protocol she had built up over the years, wilting under the constant barrage of insults her family threw at her.
Time passed slowly after that- still weakened by her injuries, she rarely left family compound, preferring most days to wander the grounds and, occasionally, practice with her uncle. Two years went by, and, though her physical wounds had healed, the mental scars of her failure still lingered. Life, however, was not done with Mei, and by the end of November she was presented with a chance to change things.
A visitor, Benjamin de la Cruz, Grand Commander of the Quincy Order, had come to the clan, looking for recruits for the Order; a new King had been crowned, and he needed strong soldiers to fight for him. This Benjamin, “Benji” for short, had seen the rank and file of the Rowan clan and found them lacking so, in a desperate move to curry favor to the new regime, the clan presented to him their strongest fighter- Mei.
Though she had weakened in her years of inaction, the woman’s strength proved enough to convince the young Commander that she was worthy of joining the Orders ranks. Not a day later she found herself on a plane to Karakura Town, tasked with watching over one of the Order’s safe houses within the city, a place that she has only just begun to venture out of...