Name: Rhuka Lyall
Primary Occupation: Sweeper
Secondary Occupations: fortune teller, thief
Weaponry: collapsible staff, two boot knives, ceramic bodice knife, small gun
Height: 5'3" (with her boots on, at least!)
Build: slim to average, a little on the busty side, and a little more on the hippy side that she'd like
Face: oval, eyes a little on the small side, has a strong, prominent nose, lips are full, more handsome than pretty
Skin tone: medium-tan
Hair: medium brown, wavy, falls a few inches past her shoulders, sides puled back and gathered behind the head with a small hair tie, bangs reach down to her eyebrows.
Dress: dark brown, nearly black, cargo pants tucked loosely into black boots. On the outer right hip of her pants there's a pocket specially intended to hold her collapsible staff and hidden inside each boot is a boot knife. She wears a red-brown short sleeve top with a bust line low enough to give her easy access to a bodice knife if needed but high enough to keep it from being too easily noticed. Over that she wears a charcoal denim jacket with a pocket stitched inside it especially to hold a small gun.
Physical weaknesses: due to her small size her physical strength is limited, she has some trouble with her left knee due to a past injury, but using a support brace on that knee usually keeps it in check.
Emotional weaknesses: self-doubt, she worries that although she is good at what she does that one day she'll run into someone strong enough that even her ways of compensating for her limited physical strength won't be enough; she wants to be as good as she was told her dad was at being a sweeper but doubts she can. She has apiphobia (fear of bees).
Rhuka Lyall's father was a sweeper until Rhuka was about two and her mother died. after that he quit being a sweeper and got a steady, safe job and focused on raising Rhuka. Back in his sweeper days he was known as Bulldog Lyall because he wouldn't give up on going after a bounty he set his eyes on until he got it. Her father died when she was 16, after that she moved in with the MaGwynn family, a family that was friends with her dad. The MaGwynn family runs a small bar and deals in information as well as drinks; knowing this, the bar was frequented by many sweepers. Between this and the fact her father, who she idolized, was a sweeper before she was born she became interested in the occupation. She managed to bag her first good bounty shortly before she turned 18.
Under the encouragement of the MaGwynn family Rhuka also learned some of the basics of information gathering and computer hacking. When money was short it wasn't uncommon for her to sneak into a place for the MaGwynns to negate her tab at their bar. Other times she would offer to cast rune stones or read tarot cards for money. Having a morality that leans a little to the gray, she finds nothing wrong with robbing from her targets if she gets a chance to and is so inclined to help herself financially.
Besides all this, Rhuka had an interest in fortune telling and the spiritual from a young age. She picked up the basics of rune-casting and tarot and eventually stumbled across someone who taught her about totemism, the way of calling on power animals. Although she only had access to a teacher for a short time she learned meditation and breathing techniques, what her two prime power animals were, wolf and weasel, and how to call upon them to heighten her reflexes and perception slightly to make up for her lack of physical strength due to her smallish size. She also developed her own method of fortune telling based on rune-casting that uses stones with representations of different animals on them based on what she learned of totemism and power animals.
She was taught self-defense initially by her father, then the MaGwynns, but because of her father's reputation from when he was a sweeper and her own obvious interest in learning self-defense and becoming a sweeper several sweepers who frequented the MaGwynn's bar helped her learn as well. One of the first things drilled into her was the use of leverage to make up for her lesser physical strength compared to men and how to use the agility her small size allowed her. She favors the use of a staff because it increases her reach and can easily be used to just incapacitate an opponent, yet can still be deadly if absolutely necessary. She has an interest in bladed weapons and pole arms, although she's only bothered working to master the use of knives, as she feels larger bladed weapons are too awkward for her to use. She also learned how to use a gun at her friend's insistence and developed a good aim, although she rarely makes use of one unless it's necessary .
Rhuka comes across as a rather laid back person, someone hard to get a rise out of in most situations and easy to get along with. She has a sense of humor that's a bit odd and even borders on morbid or even perverted at times, but is mostly just weird. She has some insecurities, however; she intellectually knows she's good at what she does, but emotionally she worries she's not good enough. When she's feeling most insecure she puts up a confident, almost cocky, front. She likes a good read, preferably fantasy, and listens to a wide variety of music (although I don't see her as much of a country or rap fan), but has a particular preference to music with good lyrics. She dislikes people who needlessly cause others pain and misfortune.
totemism is the use of power animals to meditate and to increase one's reflexes, perceptions, and even intuition in order to strengthen one's connection with nature and the spiritual. A subtle discipline, it focuses on the internal use of one's energy and will and the connection to one's two prime power animals. Although myths involving totemists tell of some being powerful enough to gain physical traits of their power animals there is no actual record of that being possible. A few have bragged of being able to grow claws, but all of those have proved to be fakes attaching fake claws to their nails. Regardless of how Rhu makes use of it, the intended use of the discipline is spiritual growth and connection to the flow of nature.
the workup on this was fun... granted, the first night I did the initial writeup while drinking a Mike's and had a bit of redoing the next time I got to it (the lesson, hard lemonade does not make for top level writing, and my spelling is actually semi-decent when buzzed and I still make more sense than 75% of the kiddies on Gaia Online). I wanted to make a character that has some things in common with me, but is yet pretty different. I wanted to incorporate some of my spirituality into her so I tried to adapt totemism into the Black Cat universe, gave her two primary totems (I believe that there are two totems that one has that hold the most influence, they can loosely be described as the internal expression totem and the external expression totem), one of which is one of my primary totem (weasel), the other of which I connect to but is not a primary totem by any means (wolf).
of course, a character needs weaknesses, so I made her smaller than me since size does limit strength. as for the knee injury, someone like her who feels the need to prove herself is likely to take some risks and put herself into a situation where she could get hurt. that she wind up with an injury that, while not permanent, would last a while is only to be expected. one thing I decided to add was the apiphobia, I'm VERY apiphobic and so is she, and considering we've got Shiki, who uses insects, this makes a possible serious weakness should she be put in a position where she may come into conflict with him. also, emotional and psychological weaknesses can also be more serious than any physical weakness, that's why I decided to play up the insecurity and need to prove herself. because of those she could easily wind up getting in over her head and taking dangerous risks.
whee... this was fun!