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 Origin: Mask

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Mystic Elder
Mystic Elder

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Location : Los Angeles, California

Origin: Mask Empty
PostSubject: Origin: Mask   Origin: Mask EmptyThu Jan 07, 2016 6:19 am

The "nickname" Mask comes from a pivotal event in her history, which also resulted in her being sent to the Sentinel Academy. Lirhys was born an identical twin. While her sister was the more rebellious, Lirhys was the wilder of the two. Growing up in the Tankir forests, they often found themselves in mischief. Their Merging was pretty typical albeit earlier than normal at the age of 11. They were inseparable and as such they found themselves visited by a pair of spirits. The Huntress, a beloved Tankir spirit that normally only bonded with upper nobility Talodari as well as her chief companion, The Lioness. The stories told about the Huntress & Lioness Kotada are revered in Tankir, so much was expected from these twins. They underwent their rite of passage and fashioned their weapons. Lirhys, bonded with the Huntress, loved the bow, the spear and the javelin. Her sister, bonded with the Lioness, loved the short swords. Their skills with those particular weapons were the easiest way to differentiate the two.

Shortly before their 13th birthday, they were hunting in the forest when they stumbled upon an Advan fighting with a Tankir Kotada. The Advan defeats the Kotada and kills him. The Advan tries to reap the spirit instead of letting it release into the Great Cycle, so the two girls interrupt him. Lirhys fires off a couple of arrows that are deflected by magic as her sister uses her speed to charge in for the attack. Lirhys sends her pet falcon, a minor spirit that cannot sustain a merger, back to the village to get help. The two girls actually hold their own against the Advan due to their seamless teamwork, but the power of the villain is too much for them and he turns the tide against them. As the Advan gains the upper hand over her sister, Lirhys nocks an arrow and fires it, but she's unable to penetrate his magical barrier. Her sister is stabbed and as she goes to try again to save her sister, she finds that she's out of arrows. She searches around for her javelin that had been knocked out of her hand during a melee encounter. She spots it as her sister is still embroiled in a close quarters fight with the Advan. She reaches the javelin, only to see her sister being run through by the Advan's sword.

Overcome with rage, she hurls the javelin at the Advan with all of her might and in that moment, she feels her connection to The Huntress strengthen. The javelin pierces the magical barrier of the Advan and impales him through the side. She rushes forward as the Advan tries to pull the javelin out. She grabs her sister's short swords and slashes his throat with the sword in her right hand before thrusting the left hand sword into his chest for good measure.

With the rage subsiding, she feels all of her energy start to subside as she falls backwards next to her sister. "Don't leave me... Huntress... use me... save her," Lirhys cries. Her sister looks at her wounds and makes a prayer to The Lioness to protect her twin. Lirhys places her hand on her sister's abdomen hoping that she'd be able heal her with the Huntress' help. The Huntress tells the young girl that she does not possess the power to heal others. Lirhys could see her sister fading away and there was nothing she could do to save her. Lirhys asks, "Huntress... reap them both. I'll learn how to heal or something and find a way to restore my sister and the Lioness. Give me the power to reap them both. I won't lose my sister." The Huntress admires the girl's resolve and Lirhys grants the Huntress control of her body in order to perform the Reaping of Lioness and her sister. By the time help arrives, Lirhys is unconscious and both her sister and the Advan are dead.

Lirhys wakes up a few days later and fears that the Huntress was unable to perform the reaping. She doesn't notice her changes in mood and temperament. Her abilities are also inconsistent. At first, her village thinks that the death of her sister has been throwing her off, but her parents are the ones to notice that some of her mood swings seem identical to her sister as well as the things she says at times. Things become undeniable for them when they observe her flirting with a boy that her sister had a crush on. Lirhys was the tomboy of the two and preferred to train instead of pay attention to boys. Her father calls her to go shooting with him, which was something Lirhys never passed up an opportunity to do, but she didn't want to shoot. She didn't even have her bow on her, which was equally odd. She did have her sister's swords hanging from her hips. Her father throws his bow to the boy she's talking to and draws his swords. He tells her that if she's going to wear those swords, then she better be able to use them.

She fills with anger at her father's interruption, uncommon for Lirhys, and when he attacks her, her reflexes are quick enough to dodge the attack and draw her right sword just enough to block the second half of the attack. They go back and forth in the road, which isn't abnormal in the village as her father loved to put on training demonstrations, but this felt different. It felt like less of a demonstration and more like a test or as if he was trying to pull something out of her. The smile on her face is first met with a familiar grin on her father's face before his grin turns to sadness. He moves to disarm her of her left sword, but when he does, she drops the blade and grabs his left sword instead. It was a move that he had not shown Lirhys. "You are not Lirhys. Not completely. What have you done, my daughter?" She falls silent as she drops his sword to retrieve her sister's left blade. She sheathes the swords and tries to walk off, but her legs are entangled by tree roots. She looks at him irritated, "Let me go, Father. I'm tired of whatever this is." He walks over to stand before her again, "Answer me. What have you done? You are not acting like yourself at all. This is not grief, my child, this is something completely different. Now you can answer me or I can take you before your Grandfather and he will get the answers." Defiantly, she remains silent.

Keeping his word, her father drags her to her Grandfather's residence. It was her mother's father and one of the Elders of the Village. His spirit granted him the power to commune with spirits and gain an understanding of The Great Cycle within the Forests of Tankir. He was a spiritual leader for their village and this particular forest of villages. Lirhys had always been close to this grandfather, so seeing her hands magically bound came as a slight surprise. He was not surprised to see them at his door, however. Her father begins to explain, but her grandfather stops him and continues most of the details. "I am aware of her condition. I had thought that I trained my daughter to be more perceptive than this. It has been weeks and she has been growing more and more out of balance. She is too young to house so much. It was brave and honorable what you did, but it was very foolish. You have interrupted the Great Cycle, Lirhys." Her father looks at him and asks him what happened. He responds, "That is your daughter... both of them. The Huntress is a spirit of vengeance. The old legends say that before she agreed to a Kotada Bond, she used to keep the forest is order by reaping evil spirits and holding them within herself until her will reformed them. Lirhys used the Huntress to reap the Lioness AND her sister's spirit. Her "mood swings" are simply one sister releasing control to the other. Kotada are always in control of their symbiotic bond and she is sharing herself with her sister who also still wants control of the shared actions. Huntress and Lioness are handling the bond easier as Lioness is subordinate to Huntress, but the twins are not so simple. Two willful young girls and all..." Her father is first shocked by what he is hearing, but then he becomes horrified and angry. "Why would you do that to your own sister?" A tear falls down Lirhys' cheek as she listens to both men, but when her father questions her, she fires back, "To save my sister! Huntress can't heal someone else and even if she could I didn't have the time to figure out how. She was dying, so I asked Huntress to save her. I will become stronger until I can restore her and Lioness to her own body." Her father yells at her, "You have defied the rules of the Great Cycle! For every action, there is a reaction." She interrupts and shouts back, "I don't care about your stupid rules. I only care about saving my sister!"

Her grandfather strikes his wooden staff against his floor and it pulses with a powerful, yet harmless shockwave that separates the two of them and silences them. "That's enough from both of you. Sweet child, I understand why you did what you did, but I'm afraid it does not work like that. Neither Huntress nor Lioness possess the power necessary to return your sister to the Realm of the Living. You would have to find spirits capable of both healing another and necromancy. Since your spirits cannot, there is still no guarantee that you would have the aptitude and strength to develop these abilities. Even if you could, you might not learn them in time. By keeping her Kotada spirit housed within you, you are putting too much of a strain on your own life force. You will die far before your time, young one, if you continue this. Necromancy is forbidden within the Forests of Tankir, so our only option is to allow your sister and Lioness to flow into the Great Cycle. I know that is not what you wish to hear, but we do not want to lose you as well." Her grandfather envelopes her in a loving hug and she cries uncontrollably repeating that it is not fair and that she shouldn't have died. Her grandfather tells her father to inform Lirhys' mother of what he has learned. He nods and leaves. Her grandfather looks into Lirhys' eyes and knows what she is planning to do. He sits down and says plainly, "If you disobey and flee, you will be outcasted. This will no longer be your home and you will not receive the blessings of the Forest. Please do not do this, Granddaughter." Lirhys grimaces a bit before answering, "We promised that we would always help and protect one another. I couldn't protect her from the Advan. I have to help her now. I'm sorry, Grandfather." The heavy feeling of loss hits him once again as he knows that he only has one option remaining since he knows that his daughter would accept exile as well to stay with her remaining daughter. "Then you will be sent to the Sentinel Corps. Becoming a Sentinel will allow you the opportunity to avoid being banished so that you can see your parents again, but you will have to leave Tankir and your connection to the Forests will be lost I'm afraid. If you survive their Academy and missions, you may be able to find a way to prolong your life. Their ways are very different from ours, Lirhys. My true hope is that you will make peace and let your sister enter the Great Cycle, so that you may live for both of you." There was no making peace with the situation. He had given her hope that within the Sentinel Corps, she could find the means to keep herself alive long enough to find a way to bring her sister back. All she had to do was grow stronger and survive.

Lirhys' father did not receive the news well, but her mother trusted in her father's wisdom. If he said this was the best option, then she knew that there was a reason. Lirhys' father goes out on patrol when she is taken from the village to the edge of the Forest. In anger, she breaks her bow and leaves it in her room. When her mother asks where her bow is, she replies, "Dead." Her mother gives her a hug and tells her not to be angry with him. They leave the village and most of her friends don't come to see her off either. This cold treatment hurt her emotionally, but it also made leaving easier for her. It's easier to leave when you're feeling like an outcast already. The trip to the edge of the forest takes a full day since the forest folk prefer to walk and be closer to nature instead of flying like most non-forest Talodari. When they arrive, there are three figures waiting for them. One looks to be a simple merchant. To her left is one who seems to be her bodyguard and a younger girl around 14 or so. She seems to be the merchant's apprentice. The female merchant looks to her apprentice and tells her to get Lirhys' things on the wagon. The merchant and Grandfather speak in private. He explains the situation and passes along other information including a full report about the Advan attack and other activity in the area. The bodyguard pulls a chest off of the wagon and takes it over to the two young Kotada male warriors who accompanied the walk through the forest. He retrieves a second one and takes it over to them again. They open it and the chest is full of materials that the Tankir need for their crafting. Lirhys' mother fights back tears as she tells her to take care of herself and be happy no matter what she does or where she goes. Her mother places her forehead to her daughter's and they share a silent moment. With her grandfather done speaking in private with the merchant, they turn to head back to the village. "Mother... we will see you again. I promise you."

The merchant was no simple merchant, but in fact a member of the Cloaks, the intelligence and resource gathering faction of the Sentinel Corps. They are also the most frequent choice for recruit retrievals since they interact with so many people in so many places that no one could ever be sure if they're actually a member of the Sentinel Corps or just working with/for them. Tankir is the region she primarily operates in, so she has to pass Lirhys off to another Cloak traveling into Yujia. From there, she went to sleep in an inn with her new guardian and when she awoke, she was in the Great Receiving Hall of the Sentinel Academy. She didn't know where she was or who the other kids around her were either, but she could tell by the banners hanging on the walls that she had arrived.

Her dual personality became apparent as her new classmates and dorm mates would find that she seemed like two different people from day to day. She is also very secretive about herself and her past, predominantly because performing a Reaping is already taboo, but to reap her own sister along with her spirit creature would cause her to be outcasted at the Academy as well. So since no one knew much or really anything about the real her, the joke became that every time you see her, you wonder which of the masks you're going to encounter.

She arrived at the Sentinel Academy in 5187 KE.

"I Will Strike First and I Will Strike Last. Order calls for your neutralization."
Kautuka - Mystic Hybrid | The Art of War
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