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Amaterasu

Chaotic Good

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Feb 10 2015, 12:09 PM
Feb. 10, Winter, Year 1

Taking a nap hadn't been exactly a planned delay. Amaterasu couldn't help that - her mortal body had clearly needed sleep, then and there, and even if it had been on a hard floor and not living ground, it had been quiet enough, calm enough, to just drop off for a few hours.

By the time she'd stretched and headed out, following that vivid trail of flowers and warmth once more, dawn was approaching, the sky tinged with light and the air clear and fresh. The slums were stirring with activity, slowly but surely, and she would have loved to poke her nose in, see what people were doing, investigate all the dusty ruins and cramped alleyways for food and treasure and pieces of their lives.

But there was no time to dawdle now, not with Yami looming - and even if it had stuck itself onto that island, its darkness would spread. It always did, creeping out and taking on new forms or using those around it. Rotten tricks, all of them, and it was too soon for that here, this world was practically still a baby. To have such an ancient, cold darkness settling into it made her hackles rise. Worse, a part of her crawled with fear and doubt - she had no worshipers here, no belief to draw upon, it was too soon - and no amount of naps or teasing birds and people alike would chase that away.

But that was why she was here now, after all.

She nosed her way into the church, claws clicking quietly on the floorboards, and leaving a trail of shimmering flowers behind her.
Dec 22 2014, 10:46 PM
Chumhandle: barkBark
Mood: http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/cool.gif
Status: woof!
Sep 19 2014, 03:56 PM

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AMATERASU
"woof"
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Canon: Okami
Alignment: Chaotic Good - She wants to restore and help the world, but follows that goal without much regard for laws or society. In fact, she takes some delight in subverting and ignoring rules (and often common sense too). The happiness and lives of all living things matter to her but her way of assuring them that happiness and safety can be erratic, whimsical or reckless.
Age: Ancient/old as bALLS
Gender: Female
Species: God, wolf
Aliases: Ammy, Shiranui, Shiro, Snowy, Snowball
Banner Quote: Origin of all that is good and mother to us all...
Banner Picture: uhhh this or this, whichever's easier to use!

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Personality/Analysis:
Amaterasu is, to put it lightly, an unusual god.

A benevolent one, sure. After all, she is origin of all that is good, mother of all creatures - caretaker of the vulnerable and defender of the innocent. She also is a wolf, and that makes more of a difference in her demeanour than one might think.

That compassion is still there. Ultimately, Amaterasu wants the best for the world, wants to nurture and care for it and watch it grow and flourish. That hasn't changed. Nor has the limitless, burning resolve and rage when the world is threatened - but her ferocity is different now, tempered with the snarling fury of a beast. This is no boundless, infinite deity, so bright that it's impossible to look upon her form. She is closer, a part of the world she fights for - and inevitably, also limited. Bound to a mortal form, to fur and flesh and the grip of stone, she cannot be too great to understand, too glorious to look upon.

So she isn't.

While still carrying some of her divine dignity, Amaterasu is only haughty when insulted - otherwise, she sets it down at will, preferring to act almost domestic. Benevolence becomes simple kindness, comforting others or coaxing them into fawning over her. Small, simple things - finding a lost pet, repairing an old woman's laundry pole - are as important as vanquishing demons and purifying the negativity and corruption they leave behind. Not that she's solely compassionate - hardly. Amaterasu is prone to pettiness, playing lighthearted pranks on others even when she's fond of them, and resorting to downright immature behaviour when she isn't. Snub her? Look forward to getting pissed on the next time she meets you. It's not dignified, it's not glorious - but it's a very effective way of getting her feelings across, a difficult enough task when so few can hear her voice to begin with.

There is no distance with her. She may be a god, but like this, she walks the same path as those she protects and cares for, and so in the end the god of the sun will expect people to scratch her ears and feed her treats, and be fully content with splattering a bully's clothes with ink out of nowhere to shame them. There's no contradiction here, no split between her power and how she acts. She's restricted to what she herself catches scent of and experiences - it makes her more personal, but it also means that she's fallible, capable of making mistakes just like anyone else.

While she values people and their accomplishments, Amaterasu doesn't hold their laws and society in high esteem. They need order and structure, certainly, and she'll work to help them acquire it, but as soon as that structure threatens to constrain her in any way, she brushes it aside, making herself the exception to every rule. She's a reckless hero, ignoring guards, circumventing rules and pursuing her goal without much need for encouragement. It's an attitude that gets results, but also ends up causing some collateral damage at times - from simple mistake to lives lost when she's inattentive, or not quite perceptive enough. That she might not intend to cause trouble doesn't mean her actions won't stir it up anyways. She might be a god, and genuinely only be working to restore the world, but that in and of itself doesn't let her slide when consequences arise.

In truth, she's a little flighty too, distracted easily by new sights and sounds, or even physical beauty. Long explanations bore her - she knows what's going on already, she wants to go out and do things - and someone telling a speech might well find her having long since left or fallen asleep.

Despite all this - or because of it, because she is a flawed, limited protector who tracks her goal through a world that's lost faith in her - she ultimately gives far more than she takes. For all that she will play tricks and rush into things and do what she needs to regardless of what anyone else says and does, she loves the world she's meant to shine upon, its often frustrating populace included. There is no malice in her, though she will take on threats with a divine wrath that's fearsome and utterly single-minded.

One of the central themes of Okami is that the people and their gods need each other. They are inextricably bound together. Amaterasu had to earn the faith and love of the people to give her strength - and their prayers to her, for her, in the battle against Yami were what ultimately kept their world from falling to evil. So if it came to dying again, sacrificing her life and her powers for the safety of the people and ending up a memory in an old tale, she would do it in a heartbeat. No matter what, as long as people exist, so will the gods - and their old harmony will be regained.

And a new world won't change that in the least.

Roleplay Sample:
To be a god means to snarl defiance and incandescent rage at this eight-headed fiend that sought to corrupt all she held dear, that has somehow wormed its way to even the Celestial Plain and even now tried to somehow spread its taint, its own virulent strain of hatred and death.

To be a god means to fall, plummet downward with fangs embedded in armoured hide, because even the sun has times when it must fade and set. She endured the pain of Orochi lashing back at her, fire and ice and poison and lightning searing her fur. She endured the hurt of going unrecognized in the village as she shadowed Orochi's movements, learned with growing foreboding of how he planned to gain a stranglehold on her land, her children. He made himself into the twisted shadow of a god, with rituals and offerings of lives, and so she faced him once more, hackles raised and ready to court death for this.

She remembered the cold embrace of stone. The shift of seasons and years and decades was little more than a fleeting moment, in one way, but in another, an eternity of feeling faith drain out of the world, as if the land and its people were bleeding to death. But she was stone, and a dead wolf named only as a hero, not a god.

The sun's light wavered.

To be a god means to drift through the land, unseen or overlooked. She banished the taint of evil everywhere she could, but in a hundred years evil had taken a strong root, and always she felt the evil gathering once more to the north, a tide of darkness she didn't have the strength to burn away yet. Not much is hidden, to a god. She knew that eventually she would go to the north, seeking out the darkness hidden within ice and snow. She knew that when she did so, the darkness would blanket the land, snuff out even her light.

But she will do so regardless, because even if the people of this land do not know her, even if she is a faint glimmer, forgotten by the rest of the world, still she will fight for them.

If gods gave up just because no one believed in them, nothing would get done.

To be a god means divine light, purifying and restoring the ruins of the world – but it also means smaller things. Smoothing over the problems one village or another was dealing with, remembering names and faces and habits. When she came across one of the young men of the city, fainted in a circle of dead and dying greenery, it was a matter of seconds to restore it to life, the ink dripping from her tail brightening every strip of soil. After a moment's thought, she coaxed a tree out of the ground as well – the spot needed more shade. Waking up the boy takes a little longer, and a few sloppy licks to the face. He was still a little pale even after that, so she scooped up one of the white rabbits come to browse at the new patch of grass and flowers and shoved it into his arms.

That is how things go – the great and the small. Not every restoration is a battle against a greater darkness. Sometimes, it is just easing suffering by a little, strengthening the people so that in return they begin to believe once again.

And some of it – well, perhaps just because the noblewoman was complaining loudly about how many stray dogs were running around on the streets didn't mean she deserved to have her fine kimono suddenly soaked by a mysteriously small raincloud. But it made the children nearby laugh which, Amaterasu felt, served as a fine balance to a snob's anger.

Besides, there was little more amusing than having someone serve as witness to a divine act, and react with awed confusion. One day, it would be seen as a sign from the heavens again –

And that was a day not long in coming. She just had to vanquish the core of the darkness first, so that at last, the world would fall into its rhythm of mortal and divine that had for so long been shattered.

That too, was what it meant to be a god.
History: time to fall asleep while you read this link

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Abilities:

Divinity: As a god, Amaterasu is far more capable than a regular wolf. Most notably, she's very difficult to kill - she can be struck down, but only something that can directly oppose the force of the sun's light and life is generally capable of a mortal blow. Even so, she's not truly dead, merely left as a statue, and restoring even a fragment of her power will revive her once more.

Kung-fu Wolf: Being a god has many perks. One of them is that Ammy is far stronger and more agile than a wolf is generally expected to be, and she can perform some pretty acrobatic stunts, jump pretty high, backflip... even do some pretty impressive kicks if she doesn't have a weapon at the moment. Regarding weapons though, she can seamlessly switch between bashing something with a reflector, lashing at it with a divine rosary or swinging a blade without any need for dumb things like, say, hands or fingers. Her fighting style is highly flexible and she can even summon two weapons into play, though the second can only be used for a moment. In those times, she can use her reflector as a shield, fire individual beads of a rosary or suddenly lunge with her glaive.

Celestial Brush: Ammy's tail function as the Celestial Brush - a brush capable of using ink to change and directly intervene in reality. This is what lets her use her array of Brush Techniques - but even without them, she can use it to smear on enemies, blinding and bogging them down briefly.

Sunrise: The first of her brush techniques, and the must fundamental, it... makes the sun rise. That's it, really. It can prolong daylight in an area or just make it suddenly day when it was night. It's best not to consider the mechanics of how it works, as she's not rerouteing the sun to appear above her each and every time. It just... rises. Because gods. However, as it's her technique, it's got a fair bit of power behind it, and can be used to dispel curses in the area around her.

Rejuvenation: The brush technique of restoration. Using ink, she can restore something that has been broken or gone missing to its former glory - however, the bigger the object, the more ink it takes to restore it, and she can't go around slapping ink on anything bigger than a small building at the most. It also doesn't work on anything organic - it won't heal wounds, but it will repair a statue's lost arms or something.

Power Slash: This is basically an invisible sword. Ammy can draw a straight line and cut whatever that line touches - it's a strong blow and can go through wood and even rock, but it won't instantly kill anything living.

Greensprout: A trio of techniques revolving around nature, these basically let Ammy bring singular withered trees or patches of dead ground back to life, as well as create water lilies to stand on in water. She can also create short-lived trees from her own power, which can block attacks. A side-effect of Bloom is that her steps cause flowers and grass to grow temporarily around her paws, so when running she'll leave a trail of greenery behind her.

Cherry Bomb: Ammy can create large, light paper bombs which explode in a fireworks display - but the detonation tends to be explosive enough to do some damage to its surroundings, especially in combat. She can only create three at a time, and they're very fragile.

Waterspout: This brush technique lets her manipulate water, mainly for quenching fire, filling containers or watering plants. Water-like substances also count - she can also manipulate alcohol and even lava in a similar way. For more ink, she can create a brief, localized burst of rain.

Crescent: The counterpart to Sunrise, Ammy can enforce or prolong nighttime. That's all it does and it's only here because I kept in Sunrise, go away.

Galestorm: She can also create short, violent gusts of wind, strong enough to blow down or at least disorient anything in the air. It can also snuff out fires and blow things around if they're not too heavy.

Inferno: Just as she can manipulate water, Ammy can also guide fire from one thing to another, be it lightning torches or setting an enemy on fire. Her reflector, Solar Flare, is a constant source of fire for her to use. She can also use a stronger variation of this technique to create a small sphere of fire that sets everything near it ablaze, but it takes a lot more ink.

Veil of Mist: This brush technique creates a low-hanging haze in the area which temporarily slows time for four seconds, affecting everyone except Ammy herself. Abilities which circumvent time entirely won't be affected by this, but only if they're pulled off before the mist activates.

Thunderstorm: Much like the ones before it, this lets Ammy guide and manipulate electricity from an active source - such as her glaive. She can also pull lightning from clouds, if there's a storm brewing, or create a single powerful lightning bolt on her own.

Blizzard: And lastly, this involves the creation and manipulation of ice. With a lot of ink, she can flash freeze the area around her, but mostly this is good for taking the cold energy of one thing and freezing another with it - as usual, she needs a source, and her rosary can act as one.


Equipment:
  • Solar Flare – A reflector constantly giving off both light and heat, as it holds a fragment of the sun's fire. It's basically a mirror that's on fire all the time, it'll hurt if you get hit with it.
  • Tundra Beads – A rosary that chills the air, imbued with the power of frost. Ammy can either shoot the beads out individually or use them like a whip, and it's got some nice range on it.
  • Thunder Edge – A glaive that crackles with lightning. It's called a glaive but unlike actual glaives in real life it's just a big sword.
Weaknesses:
Most obviously, Ammy is mute, and incapable of speaking in a way that most people will understand. Those with some connection to the gods or divine - or just anyone who understands animals - will be able to hear her, but otherwise she has to settle for charades or spelling out individual letters to get her meaning across. She also has a direct connection to the sun - her powers are dependent on it, and will vanish in the event of an eclipse, for as long as the eclipse lasts. Just as she is particularly effective against darkness, she is also vulnerable to it - concentrated negativity, hatred or anything dark is super effective, and can even strip her of her powers. She's technically mortal, as things stand, even if she can turn into a fancy statue when she dies, and if you beat up on her enough she'll definitely go down. Also she's bad at swimming and doesn't like getting wet and it makes her fur smell which totally counts.

Her brush techniques are all reliant on ink, which she has a finite amount of - she can fire off three basic techniques, or one big one such as a large Rejuvenation or one of the secondary elemental techniques before she has to wait for it to refill, which takes a full post as an arbitrary measurement.

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