Nickname: Samurai, Sam
Full Name: Jen Ko
Description: Jen is five and a half [animal] feet tall and weighs in at roughly 180 [animal] pounds. He has black and gray ringed fur, a ringed tail that has thick fur near the middle but comes to a point at the end, a thin (decieving) physique, and an almost tattoo-esque spiral scar with a slash through it on his right wrist; the sign of Ko island.
-(Be forewarned; since Jen is, well, a samurai and thus oriental, and I can think of no other way to describe how he dresses without great struggle, I'll be using terms for japanese clothing that I'm unsure whether anyone will know or not. This should help… probably. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_clothing) Jen wears a pair of rectangular, wooden sandals, some grayish/tan umanori hakama, a kimono of the same color, and a light, loose, dark gray traveller's cloak.
-Jen speaks with an accent, but none so thick that he can't be plainly understood. Whether or not he has an accent rarely matters though because he speaks only when nescessary, and with as few words as possible at that. He has a very reserved personality and is slow to anger. When he does get angry though he has a hard time letting go of it, meaning he WILL hold a grudge and he WON'T forget about it.
Possessions: Jen has a thin, curved, single edged samurai sword that has been in his family for generations uncountable, a pair of sandals, a shallow, conical hat of woven reeds, his grey cloak, and a pouch of gold (about fifty pieces give or take).
-He has almost squirrel level reflexes and agility.
-He's a trained samurai, and has had unfortunately frequent chances to hone those skills.
-He has learned many secrets and techniques on his travels.
-He can block arrows with his sword and catch them out of midair.
-Jen has seen many friendly creatures betray each other and sometimes even him for vile reasons, so he doesn't trust anyone completely, no matter how long he's known them.
-He holds a grudge indefinately.
-He is always on edge.
-He is ignorant of local customs.
-He lives by a very rigid code of morals and honor, limitting his actions.
Background: (Warning: May take more than one sitting to complete)
Jen was born on an island so far away that there aren't even any legends about it in Mossflower's corner of the world, an island called Ko. Ko was part of a small archipelago in a far off, temperate sea, and was home to the archipelago's capital, the port city of Ruwen. Anyway, back to Jen.
Jen was born the second son of a high ranking noble, a position that wasn't much envied, because while the first son inherited the family's wealth and rank, and the third son was virtually free from all responsibility, the second son had to uphold the family's honor and protect its name without ever recieving a reward. One upside to being the second son however was that, in order to better protect his family's honor, Jen was taught the secrets of the samurai.
He was trained by the king's own masters for twenty years, always learning something new all the time, but just three months before he was supposed to complete his training and be declared a master himself, his elder brother, now the head of the family since their father's death, lead a coup against the emperor. Several other families on eight different islands united beneath his banner in a quest for power, but the emperor still controlled the majority of the archipelago. The battle raged on sea and land for three weeks straight without stop. Villages became ash piles, lush valleys and mountainsides were stripped bare, and ships from other lands slowly stopped coming in order to avoid the civil war.
Geru, Jen's older brother and self proclaimed emperor, gave Jen a choice on the day his armies marched on the capital. They met alone in the woods between the city and the encamped army. His offer: join him and become successor to the throne over even his own sons, but if he supported the emperor, to put it bluntly, die. Jen sat and stared at his brother for a long time, so long that Geru got up and left. Finally, in the evening and as Geru was massing his forces to charge the city, Jen got up from the ground, walked down to the docks, and simply walked aboard the last ship in the harbor, a merchant ship from the mainland almost a hundred leagues away, taking the family sword with him. The captain of the ship recognized Jen and asked him why he was leaving on the eve of battle.
Jen simply watched the city begin to burn from the deck of the ship as it began to put out to sea, "My whole life, my only purpose for staying has been to protect my family's honor." He didn't say anything else for a long time.
"And?" The captain prompted at length, leaning against the mast.
Jen watched in silence until the city was merely a glow and a pillar of smoke on the horizon, then turned to go below deck, answering the captain without looking back, "I cannot protect what has already been destroyed."
For the next ten years, Jen moved from place to place as a nomad would, never staying in a town or dwelling for longer than a month. For the first two years after he departed from the ship at a port named Khafta, he traveled through a mountainous land of wind and rock, staying with the bats that dominated the land. For a time he entered into the service of lord Palewing, king of those lands. He moved on again however when he was framed by the king for a murder the royal had commited and was forced to fight his way out of a secret below-ground prison full of creatures that knew of the king's numerous terrible deeds.
Trusting a legend he'd been taught as a child, Jen continued to head east toward the rising sun, and the paradise that was supposed to lie there. Past the borders of the giant mountain range he entered a desert and joined a band of nomads, learning the ways of the desert with them as his masters for several years. Eventually however, he found the same vile hearts as he'd found in the mountains, when he was sold into slavery as a gladiator. He escaped by sheer coincidence. The cage he was held in had been made for a badger or some other large beast, so the bars were spaced further apart than usual. With a little bit of discombobulation followed by a pinch of recombobulation, he slipped through the bars, stole his sword back, and struck out into the desert.
With the knowledge imparted to him by the nomads who had sold him out he was able to survive as he continued east. Heading from oasis to oasis in a meandering zigzag, he traveled deeper than even his old nomad… aquaintances, had dared to go. They feared it because by the time he reached the middle of the desert, he hadn't had a drink of water for three days, but he was determined. He walked for two months straight, getting water from wherever he could.
He arrived at the desert's edge, at a pitiful outpost town called Ferr, half alive. He dropped unconscious in the middle of town and the innkeeper nursed him back to health. Jen was grateful and did what he could to repay the favor, staying at Ferr foor many years. Eventually he belived that his days of searching for an honorable place to live had ended, but then a warlord came up from the south, leading an army of vermin. Jen tried to defend Ferr, but the other townspeople simply gave in to the warlord. And so, slipping away once again in the night, Jen headed east.
It had been nine years since he'd seen the sea, and when he saw the heaving, foggy mass stretching all the way to the eastern horizon, he remembered just how far from his old home he was. The animals of the coast were coarse like sand, and bitter like the saltwater probably in their veins. Storms and pirates battered the seaside constantly, and almost all the villages had solved the latter problem by joining them. Jen knew instantly that this wasn't the place for him, so with some careful negotiating and a sackful of saved gold, he convinced a captain to take him to the next habitable island, a sizeable island country named Sampetra.
They spent a month crossing the ocean at full sail, and Jen recieved naught but irritated glances and rough words whenever he tried to do anything. So, rather than talk, Jen spent his time aboard the ship training himself to listen. During what he calls today, the Crossing, he taught himself to see without opening his eyes, and the other sailors were distressingly eager to help him hone his new skill for battle using bows and arrows. This was the time of year they were supposed to be on land enjoying their pay while the ship was in drydock.
When they arrived at Sampetra, Jen saw from a distance that the entire island was inhabitted by vermin, and asked the captain to take him somewhere else. The captain refused, telling him that he was either getting off here or swimming the rest of the way to Salamandastron. The captain shuddered at the name even as he spoke it, and so, knowing from their quality time together how vermin-esque the ship's crew and captain were, Jen decided this might be a good place to go. He'd given up on finding anywhere honorable months ago. Now he was just looking for someplace where they wouldn't sell him into slavery.
So, without any other option, Jen got off the ship at Sampetra. Keeping to the fringes of the vermin society, he moved to the other end of the island and found a disused fishing boat. Leaving a pouch of gold tied to a stake on the beach where the boat had been in case anybeast came by looking for their boat, he set out for the place the captain had mentioned, Sally-something.
It took him five months of eating fish and drinking storm water and regretting not bringing any more supplies, but he eventually made it to land. Well, more accurately he crashed on a reef and swam for three hours to shore. He found himself in the middle of nowhere, on a beach with nothing but marshland further inland. Convinced he'd been tricked yet again but determined nonetheless, Jen wrung out his clothes and struck off up the beach, going around the swamp.
As of now, he's decided to stay in Mossflower for a while because, though he's only met bandits and vermin so far, he has the gut feeling that there's something in this forest that might be worth staying for. Something... honorable.
OOC: Should I make an abridged version of his background? I have a feeling that would be a good idea.