FFXIII: Haerii Zuiun Shion Nov 5, 2012 14:18:18 GMT -5
Post by Al-Cid, Rakesh, Paloma, Mateo on Nov 5, 2012 14:18:18 GMT -5
Name: Haerii Zuiun Shion
Nicknames/Alias: The Undying Zuiun
Age: Between 400 and 500 years old. By appearance, he looks in his late teens to early twenties.
Height/build: 5 ft 10 with a lean but muscular build.
DoB: BF 5XX
Race: Former Pulse L’cie turned Cie’th Stone, now awakened from his fossilized slumber as a human renewed (Haerii Tribesman, Gran Pulse).
Weapon: Can equip Great Katana, Polearms, Swords, Daggers, and Bows/Arrows
Special Skill(s): Swordsmanship, Archery, Dual Wield, Gill Toss, Hunting, Tracking
Sentinel: Provoke, Challenge, Steelguard, Mediguard, Element Guard, Entrench, Vendetta
Commando: Blitz, Ruin, Ruinga, Launch
Magic: With his l’cie brand now inactive, he no longer has the ability to cast magic.
Summon: None... Unless Yojimbo counts... Which is unlikely.
Appearance: His hair is a shaggy, dark brown. As was often the style of the men of his time, thin locks of his hair are sometimes braided. His clothing tends to a Pulsean design that favors airy clothing and too much exposed skin. On the left side of his chest rests the markings of a Pulse L’Cie brand its most advanced stage. Now inactive, the brand remains as nothing more than a scarred reminder of his past failure.
Personality: A man who suffered hundred of years as one of the living dead, tormented for the failure of fulfilling his focus, now lives again as a man without a purpose--without a focus. Although Zenobia was eventually slain by another’s hand, the burden of guilt for his failure still weighs heavily on his shoulders for his failure. Lost and alone, he finds himself living in a world that is no longer his own--a future in which all he loved and strove to protect no longer exists. He is a ghost of his past self, a relic of that which exists no more.
In his sleep, he is still tormented by the nightmares of his living death as a cie’th. Terrifying memories of his madness, of the havoc he wrought upon the steppe by it. These nightmares bring visions of attacking his own kin. He knows not if they are memories, or illusions of his tormented mind.
As this husk of a man he now lives. He’s taken to drinking, and is not always careful with his life, as though he’s seeking solace through death. Yet, something always keeps him from taking his life to atone for his shame. Perhaps it is cowardliness that stills his hand, or perhaps it is a lingering need to restore honor to his family and himself before he can rest.
Born in the wake of the War of Transgression, Shion was the grandchild of his village’s chieftain, and younger son of their most skilled hunter--both father and grandfather were L’cie who used their powers to protect the tribe from wild beasts and vandals that roamed the Archylte Steppe. The tribe itself was descended from a group of refugees, lead by a warrior clan, who had abandoned the Haerii capital after it’s destruction to seek refuge in a secluded valley near the old archaeopolis. Under the protection of the two L’cie, and the L’cie’s clansmen, the tribe managed to flourish through these hard times. The villagers believed that the fal’cie had given these l’cie the focus protect them--a tale that had been perpetuated by the L’cie who wished not to reveal their true focus, lest their family’s dishonor be revealed. The L’cie’s true focus was to slay Zenobia, a butchering cei’th that roamed their ruined capital. However, both chieftain and hunter had chosen to ignore their focus for as long as they could. For it was that their mark, in her life, had been the chieftain’s own wife and hunter’s mother. However, the time eventually came when neither could ignore their focus. They had to fulfill it, or risk becoming cie’th themselves. Thus, the father, and later the son in his own time, set out slay Zenobia. And yet, when the time came to complete the task, neither had the heart to slay the woman who had once been the elder’s wife and younger’s mother. In their hesitation, they were slain instead.
Now Shion was an infant when he lost his grandfather, and just a young boy when his father--the then chieftain--followed. When he asked where his father had gone, he was told that his father was a L’cie was called by the Fal’Cie to fulfill his focus, and gain the honor “eternal life in the peaceful slumber of crystal stasis.”
Young Shion was not sure how being a crystal for all of eternity could possibly be an honor--to him, it sounded incredibly lonely and boring. When he told his mother this, she seemed very upset, and he never brought it up again.
As Shion grew older, so faded the memory of his father. He could not remember what the man looked like, nor his voice. What he did have were stories that the older villages would tell--about how the man had once single handedly slain an entire pack of behemoths that had threatened their village, and from it, their tribesman had enough meat to last through winter. Tales such as this inspired young Shion to train hard, so that he may someday be strong like his father had been--but without the power of a L’cie. He still though the idea of living forever as a crystal was terribly lonely and boring.
When he was old enough to do so, he started joining the elder boys and men in their hunts. It was during one such hunting trip that the group was overtaken by an unexpected storm. It was a storm that brought with it torrential rains and flooding. The party hastened to the safety of shelter within the caves that could be found in the face of some nearby cliffs. However, enroute, Shion was caught in a landslide that sent him tumbling down a ravine.
It was some time later that he awakens to find himself inside what seems to be a shallow cave. The wounds sustained from his fall seemed to have been tended to by someone, and yet, after looking around, he found that he was alone. Or at least, he thought he was until he noticed a large dog staring at him from the far wall. It was not a dog he recognized, and he wondered who it could have belong to, or if it was a wild one. The dog seemed to be sleeping, so he warily took his time in quietly sneaking out. However, the dog noticed, and let out a bark that startled the boy.
It was then that he noticed another standing by the entrance--an old man who held the appearance of what Shion assumed a wandering swordsman would look like.
Shion soon learned that the stranger had been the one who saved his life and mended to his wounds. The boy asked the man his name, so that he might know who it was that saved his life. The man only responded that it had been a long time since he’d used his own name, but those he encounter seem to want to call him Yojimbo--"I do not know why that is..."
Having never met anyone outside his village, before, Shion was extremely curious about the man, and started asking him questions about his travels: where was he from, if he’d been to other villages, if he’s seen any other people from other tribes, was he a warrior, how strong was he...
Some questions the man would answer, but overall he was reticent with his words. Shion got the impression that the man did speak with people that often. Then, it was not long before the old man informed the boy that his party was searching for him nearby, and he should return to them.
With a thank-you and a good bye, Shion rushed to return to his party, and with them returned home.
However, in the weeks that followed, he grew curious about the man that had saved his life. It was not too long before he decided to seek out the man. When rainy season passed, and the land was dry one again, he sneaked away from his village by chocobo to find the stranger. It would be a year, and several explorations later, before the boy would encounter the wanderer again.
This time, the man had been near the ruins to the far south of the steppe. It was there that Shion witnessed the man take down a great flying beast. The manner in which the swordsman had done so was far different than anything he had seen before, and with a power far stronger than any normal man was capable. It was then, for the first time, that the boy realized that the man before him was no normal man at all--but what was he? Nevertheless, so impressed was the boy, that he soon decided that he wanted this man to teach him the way of the sword.
To what would become the wanderer's consternation, or amusement (years later Shion would reflect on this and wonder), the boy started tracking the man all over the steppe. Whenever Shion would ask the man to train him in the way of the sword, the man would refuse and tell the boy to go home. Still, the boy was persistent, and no matter how much the wanderer seemed to try to avoid him, Shion would constantly try to hone his tracking skills to find the man, and ask again. Eventually, perhaps worn down by the boy’s persistence, the man relented.
Afterward, Shion would periodically find time to wander away from his village. At first, it was in the middle of the night when others were least likely to notice. Eventually, after his absence was noticed, he would give the excuse that he was going on “solo hunts”, much to the consternation of his mother and elder brother. Both are extremely worried about him going off alone, and sent elder tribesmen to follow him, yet the boy often managed to elude the trackers. They would tell him not to wander alone, but Shion was a stubborn child who didn’t always listen to reason once he got something to do on his mind. It was in this stubbornness that he took greatly after his father, his mother decided.
Months passed, and eventually, Shion grew more and more curious about his master’s power, that on one night, Shion asked about it, “You’re really strong. Far stronger than anyone I’ve heard about, maybe even stronger than my father. You’re a L’cie, then, aren't you?”
At the boy’s question, there was a shift in old man's posture that gave Shion the distinct impression that the man was annoyed, “To think, for but one moment, I might have thought there was some potential to be found within you, yet. I stand corrected.”
Shion was confused about the man’s response, unsure how to take those words. Before he could ask what the man meant, his master concluded the lesson, and sent the boy home while telling the boy not to seek him out again. It would be many months before Shion was able to track down his master again, and during this time, Shion thought about what he had seen, and of the man’s words, and his negative reaction to Shion asking if he was a L’cie.
So it was when the boy finally found the man wandering through Vallis Media, Shion asked outright, “If not l’cie... then are you fal’cie?”
“You... Again." Was the man's response, before he turned to his dog added, "Is there no escape from this annoying child?”
The dog barked, and the man never gave confirmation toward one way or the other. Instead, he continued forward with training the boy. Sometimes, after lessons, the boy would try to get information from the man. Part of Shion wanted to know more about what happened to his father, so he’d try to strike conversations with the strange man, asking questions like, “Legend tells that when a L’cie fulfills his focus, he gains eternal life... Peaceful slumber through crystal stasis. Is this true.”
“Is that what they say? I never paid that much attention.” Would be the man’s vague, and only, response to such like of questioning. Never could Shion get much more detail from the strange man, and was often left to ponder his questions and observations on his own.
Many years passed, and the boy became a young man. As he grew older, and as the welfare and provisions of his village became more important to him, less and less did he seek out the wandering samurai, until eventually it was been three years since their last encounter.
At his much of his mother’s insistence, he’d finally found a girl that he liked well enough--although he secretly found her to be quite homely and more often boring than not--and asked her to be his wife. Together, they had a son.
And then, it was during one hot summer that a commotion arose through the village. A hunting party that had been seeking game near the old Haerii archaeopolis had returned, three members short. As it turned out, Zenobia, the butcher, had slain these men. One of the victims had been man whom Shion thought of as his best friend, and thought of more fondly than his own brother.
It was on this day that he learned the truth of his grandfather and father’s focus, of Zenobia, and of their failure to complete their duty. At first, he was angry. But then, a desire to vengeance stirred within him, as did the need to put an end to Zenobia, and restore honor to his family. Yet, talented with the blade as he was, he knew he would be no match for a creature as powerful as this cei’th. It was then that he remembered the mentor, whom he had not seen in years. Resolution to complete their focus settled within him, but first, there was something he needed to ask of the old man.
Thus, after bidding his wife and infant farewell, he left the village and sought out his old master once again. He eventually found the wandering samurai along the northern highplain, and when the old man noticed Shion’s presence, Shion bowed before him, “Master, I come to you in dire need. Please, bestow upon me the power of a L’cie.”
“Foolish child, too young to grasp the meaning of that which you demand. Return to your village. Waste not my time,” was the man’s answer.
And yet, Shion had always been a persistent man when he set his mind to task. He would have this power, and so, he said, “I’m no child anymore, Master. I know what I ask. I know about what I did not, before. I know of the Undying—of the fearsome Cie'th who defy fal'Cie will, driven by an intense loathing of all that lives. Zenobia, The Butcher, is of their number, and I, of her line. She has slain those who are dear to me, so I must now go now to stay her blade, as my father and his father before him once attempted. The Butcher's den is in the old Haerii archaeopolis, at the northern edge of the steppe. There, at the scene of her foulest atrocities, I will expunge her taint, and restore my family's honor. To do this, I need the power of a l’cie.”
The man did not respond to Shion’s words for a very long time. Such that, Shion started to wonder that perhaps he had drawn the wrong conclusions from his observations. The man had never admitted to being a fal’cie, nor l'cie. Perhaps, he had been mistaken all along, and this man was just as he presented himself to be--a wandering samurai.
But then, the man finally spoke: “ Vengeance will cost you. If not your present, then your future.” There was a note of warning to his master's voice, but it was one that the Shion did not heed as he pressed forward.
“I don’t care,” Shion stated carelessly in his haste, “Whatever the cost, I must complete their focus.”
“So be it.”
Shion stood, and it was so suddenly that he found himself impaled through the chest, by his master’s blade, that he hadn't even noticed when the other moved.
He found that he could not breath, as the world started to spin. For a moment, he felt as though he was everywhere, and yet nowhere, as visions he could not quite decipher consumed all he could sense, until spewing him into darkness.
When he woke, the old man was nowhere in sight. As memory returned, he hurriedly brought his right hand to the wound of his left chest, only to find none. Instead, what he found there, was a brand.
So it was, on that day, Shion became a l’cie--the very thing that he had once, as a small child, decided never to become.
And on that day, Shion set out toward the old Haerii archaeopolis to fulfill the focus that been given to his father, his father’s father, and now himself.
Unfortunately, this was a focus that he, too, would fail. In the arrogance of his youth, he had overestimated his own power, and was defeated in battle. Unlike his forefathers, he managed to escape from the butcher with his life, however, that life which awaited him would be one soon filled with the madness of guilt for a focus unfulfilled.
In his despair, his brand advanced, and he turned into a cei’th.
Man, now monster, thus wandered the steppe, forever tormented by the madness of this living death. Eventually, he became a Cie’th Stone--one of the fossils that cried out for their focus to be fulfilled, until the day his undead remains were discovered by a group of six L’Cie, almost five hundred years later.
Then, just a few years later, the Merge happened.
The fossil of Shion’s cie’th stone shattered.
He awakened to find himself on the steppe, yet it was not the steppe he remembered. His village was no longer in it’s valley, and the ruins of Haerii, which still towered even in his day, are now nothing but rubble. Cocoon, which used to be an ominous presence in the sky, of which horrifying stories were told, was now nothing more than a shell supported by a pillar of crystal.
As for his brand, although formed to it’s most advanced stage, now appears but as scarred flesh--inactive. His l’cie powers--present no more.