Orphaned almost from birth, and given up into the care of a near-extinct Shinto order of warrior-priestesses, Kurenai has spent the last sixteen years in intensive martial training, learning to harness the secrets of Kihaku-Kenjutsu. Gifted with enhanced reflexes, superior healing, and the ability to draw upon a "spirit blade", she was recruited by the Japanese Ministry of Suprahuman Interest, which had been secretly funding the temple and keeping it from slipping completely into the dustbin of history. Sent to America as part of a metahuman "exchange program" and enrolled in the Academy of Tomorrow, she struggles to come to grips with a world far larger than she ever imagined.
Her code name is the result of a particularily horrific mistranslation of her Japanese-assigned moniker "Daiken Megami." Now that she is fully versed in the English language, and realizes how badly the translation was done, she's currently considering adopting an entirely new codename.
Healing: 7, Kihaku-Kenjutsu: 6, Reflex Enhancement: 6
Acrobatics: 6, Jujutsu: 5, Sword Training: 7
Advantages: Eidetic Memory
Flaws: Honor Code, Magic Beacon, Nth Metal, Social Misfit
Languages: English and Japanese
Attribute: Willpower (6)
Kurenai has spent many years cultivating a high resistence to mental manipulation, be it telepathy, mental domination, anything similiar, a vital trait for someone trained initially for hunting demons. Regardless, at best she could hold off a telepath like Xaviar or Emma Frost at full strenght but for only a few minutes. She also seems to have far less resistance to technological-derived means of mental manipulation.
Knowledge: Demonology (4)
Kurenai has been rigerously instructed in Demonlogy, or rather, Asian Demonlogy: Their habits, signs of what to look for, strengths, weaknesses, and so forth. She would be at much more of a disadvantage trying to apply that knowledge outside of the Pacific Rim.
Power: Healing (7)
Kurenai is able to focus her chi into a powerful healing ability, as needed
Limitation: Kurenai has to "actively" focus to draw upon this ability...in that it is not "always on", and by default heals at the same rate as any other normal person. She also can not draw upon her Kihaku-Kenjutsu power and heal at the same time, meaning she almost always has to pull back temporarily from battle when she heals.
Power: Kihaku-Kenjutsu (6)
Kurenai has spent practically all of her life training in an exceedingly rare martial art known as Kihaku-Kenjutsu; it allows her to focus and channel her chi into what would best be described as an ephemeral melee weapon, although it's more a form of mystical telekinesis. The "blade" itself is almost invisible until used to strike, parry or deflect, and even then, only a bright, glowing outline of it can be seen; this gives her a tactical advantage in combat, although she can cause the blade to be fully formed and visable; many magic users will also have no trouble making it out as well.
The weapon itself appears to be comically oversized, manifesting as a giant blade over 8' in length, 3' in width, 'sharp' on one side, with a 'blunt' edge on the other. Despite its size, Kurenai wields it as if it possesses no mass at all, allowing her to move with it in a fashion that would normally violate basic Newtonian physics.
The edged side is incredible sharp able to cut through all mundane materials (metal, stone, wood, etc) as well as many exotic alloys, although it is obviously unable to penetrate the highest tiers (Adamantium, Uru, etc; it is especially weak against Nth Metal)
She is able to make any number of attacks, slicing through cars and trucks through ease, using the "blunt edge" to make large sweeping attacks to knock people off their feet, and hold it up as a shield to deflect/absorb attacks of a strengh up to a bursting shell.
Limitation: Kurenai must "go through the motions", actually wielding and using the blade, even though its merely a manifestation of mystical force. If her hands are bound, or she is otherrwise unable to pantomine using her sword, she is completely unable to draw upon it's abilities.
Power: Reflex Enhancement (6)
Kurenai can draw upon chi-enhanced reflexes during battle, boosting her dexterity and reflexes
Limitation: Kurenai has to "activately draw" upon this power, meaning sheis not super-dexterous by default. She is also only able to use her enhanced reflexes and one other ability (either speed and fighting, or speed and healing, but not all three together). She also can not maintain these enhanced reflexes for very long periods of time, and usually reserves them for active battle or field duty.
Skill: Acrobatics (6)
Kurenai has trained in a wide variety of acrobatics, evasive manuvers, and even parkour.
Skill: Jujutsu (5)
Kurenai also has jujuts training as a "backup", but is far less skilled in hand to hand combat.
Skill: Sword Training (7)
Kurenai has trained extensively in three main Japanese sword-based martial arts: kenjutsu, iaijutsu, and battojutsu. Thus, she is quite formidable even wielding a completely physical bladed weapon as well.
Advantage: Eidetic Memory
Kurenai is naturally gifted with a photographic memory; combined with her dedication and discipline, she often easily excels at learning new things.
Flaw: Honor Code
Blade Mikos follow a strict code of honor. Killing is strictly forbidden, except when there is absolutely no other choice with regards to self-defense (and even then...). It also demands deference to "law and order" as opposed to mere "justice", which would make it difficult for her to act against, for instance, a powerful businessman who may be doing immoral or unethical things, but has the law firmly on his side. She's also unlikely to operate any sort of peace-keeper without some form of official government imprimatur. It also tends to firmly discourage romantic entanglements and material attachments.
Flaw: Magic Beacon
Kurenai's abilities inhabit a shadowy space between the mystical and the martial. While not a magic user herself, she practically glows to the mystical senses of all but the most basic users of magic, at all times. While this "glow" doesn't confer any special abilities, it can attract unwanted attention and make certain infiltration attempts all but impossible. There is no way for her to conciously "dampen" this beacon effect.
Flaw: Nth Metal
Kurenai's abilities are not magic per se...however, she is almost completely unable to penerate Nth metal, nor is she able to effectively block attacks from Nth metal weapons.
Flaw: Social Misfit
Kurenai was raised in a strict and largely cloistered martial environment almost from birth, in an very traditional Japanese manner, albiet with an oddly feminist twist. While raised with a handful of other girls, she really does not understand what it is to be a normal teenager in the modern world, doubly so in the West. She comes off as rather innocent, stiff and overly formal, and struggles with any number of social cues and expectations that "the kids today" would have no trouble with.
They called themselves "The Blade Mikos"
Shinto shine maidens who took up sacred and hidden styles of martial arts, dedicated to hunting down and rooting out chaos and disorder, especially of the demonic variety. For centuries, they took in orphaned daughters, gave them personal names based on color, and the same familial name, trained them up, subjecting them to a rigorous, even grueling training; not all would make the final cut, and thus, even at the height of their influence and power, only a handful of Blade Miko's emerged in every generation.
Their fortunes waxed and waned over the ages, reaching it's final ascendancy during the Edo period, under the Tokugawa Shogunate. Few who remember the Blade Mikos believe that their order died out in the mid 1800's, that Midori Kagemaru was the last of their kind, having met her fate at the Battle of Hakodate, the final conflict of the Boshin War, where the old ways gave in at last to the oncoming tide that was the Meiji Restoration. Fewer still are aware that the last Blade Miko temple still stands, a few miles outside of Noboribetsu, deep in the mountainous wilds.
The Order very nearly did die out, until the Japanese Government "rediscovered" it in late 1963. With a renewed interest in cultivating it's own metahuman resources, primarily to fill the ranks of it's Defense Forces, the Japanese Diet quietly authorized a small series on ongoing payments to the Temple Mothers of the Order, preserving the Blade Mikos from true extinction. For the most part, the Temple was left alone...every so often, men from the Government would come and select she who was deemed "the finest" the current generation, and she would go off to serve. Beyond that it was a seemingly idyllic life, despite the hard work and dedication required, in a surprisingly feminist atmosphere, as no men were allowed to serve in any capacity in the Temple itself.
In 1997, a baby girl, orphaned by a car crash, with no immediate family to her name, was brought to the Temple, and offered up to be raised by the Order. The name "Kurenai", having recently become available, was assigned to her, and training began in earnest when she was old enough. Beginning first with practices to cultivate patience and focus, then moving on to martial arts, especially kenjutsu and iaijutsu. Finally, having demonstrated the focus, dedication and drive to advance to the next rank, a ten-year old Kurenai was allowed to study the secrets of Kihaku-Kenjutsu, the mysteries of the Spirit Blade Warfare.
In mid 2013, the Ministry of Suprahuman Affairs finally paid a visit to the Temple, asking the Mothers to select a new recruit to be taken away to help keep the peace in Japan. A contest was held, and while Kurenai was not the immediate favorite as she was the youngest of those in competition, she managed to ultimately best out the other five fully qualified Blade Mikos. Soon afterwards, a more liberal government gained control of the Diet, and the new Prime Minister decided to begin farming out local metahumans to participate in student exchanges. Kurenai was selected to head to the Eastern Coast of the United States, although many of the more conservative elements objected, due to how socially isolated she had been during her childhood. The more liberal faction won out, beliving that living in America would be exactly the thing to bring her up to speeed, and a deal was struck with Emma Frost and her Academy of Tomorrow, to bring Kurenai up to her full potential.
(But fish out of water does not even begin to describe poor Kurenai's situation starting out)
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|Academy of Tomorrow|
Kurenai struggles valiantly to maintain a 4.0 GPA while keeping the school free of demonic influences.
Headmistress Frost is one of Kurenai's favorite-est people in the world (or certainly at least in the Western Hemisphere) and she works hard to impress her.
Kurenai's schoolgirl crush knows no bounds when it comes to her Tommy-senpai. Poor Storm Shadow!
On the night she was sent back to Japan, Kurenai made a romantic connection with one of the Cuckoos, who made her last night truly remarkable and gave her hope for the future. That connection grew stronger as it drew Kurenai back to America, and she is at least reunited with her love.
He's the literal Son of Satan! She's a violently enthusiastic teenage warrior! They fight crime! Or at least serve as the awesome Criss Angel-ified version of Doctor Strange and Clea, bound together as they are by a mystic pact, as Master and Apprentice.
|Kurenai Kagemaru's Wanted List|