Name: Haneul Wa P'ei K'ai
Origin: Tian Xia
Haneul is originally from Tian Xia. Typically for the Eastern areas, she sports long, black hair, which she usually wears in either a tight plait, often wrapped into a bun on the top of her head for practicality reasons (also often hidden underneath the hood of a cloak), or in intricate hairdos when she has to attend official or important meetings in order to make a bit of an impression. She favours the use of expensive hairpins and decorative wooden sticks for these make-ups.
Haneul is on the short side and though she is by no means slim, there is not an ounce of fat on her. Trained to be fast and deadly, her body is all muscle and she seems to be constantly tense. Her eyes are dark brown, bordering on black and she has the typical features of her ancestors, soft and inviting, though with a somewhat rawer edge to them when she is in a bad mood. Her face is generally hidden behind a mask, adapted to the situation required – she smiles a lot at social functions though that smile rarely ever reaches her eyes, but those who do not pay attention to more than appearances never notice this; she keeps her face neutral wherever business is concerned, not giving away intentions or reactions as all of those could potentially be used against her.
She prefers wearing clothes that are presentable, yet at the same time practical for any impromptu hunting she might have to do. Typically she wears boots with a broad heel to trick people into thinking her taller and which are fantastic for carrying concealed weapons. Generally all her clothes, while appearing tight-fitted, leave enough room to conceal weapons or enchanted items, and highlight her feminine figure, although it may lack a more copious amount of curves.
Her left lower arm is at all times covered by a piece of cotton with a soft leather bracer to keep the cloth in place and not overly strain the skin beneath. Underneath all the material protection, Haneul’s arm sports a myriad of small cuts and puncture wounds from which she has drawn her own blood for the preparation of talismans needed to perform exorcisms.
A cloak is usually within grabbing reach if she is not currently wearing one.
- - quite a nice amount of bishani
- several weapons
- whatever is required for her exorcisms
- concealment charms for her magic
- various dresses and other clothes for various occasions and events
- a small house just outside of Marn’s city walls, tucked away somewhere unseen and accessible via tunnels running under the Historical District, specifically originating underneath the ruins of the old Monastery
- a loyal servant tending to her every whim and taking care of her possessions
Powers and Strengths:
Requirement for the job she is doing, Haneul has been trained from a very young age onwards and keeps training herself, rarely giving herself a break. Her stamina is extraordinary and she can keep going for a couple of days without sleep. As a powerful caster, she is able to handle rather complex exorcisms on her own while still managing to retain some of her energy.
Haneul is a very powerful mage with a sometimes limitless seeming pool of energy to draw from and tap into. Weaving magic comes as naturally to her as breathing and is an innate part of her being; it is part of the reason why she is as strong as she is.
Sensitive to Magic:
Magic coming naturally to her, she also has an affinity to detect magic when used or when someone is a prominent magic user, whether they are currently using it or whether it is laying dormant in their subconscious. Once her senses have attuned to that particular magic, she can track it, or pick it out amongst a crowd.
Mind Control Protection:
Haneul’s mind is protected by many shields erected through her innate magic and with the help of a couple of charms so she is unable to lose control over her own actions and most importantly over her magic through outside influence. In essence, unless something goes really awry, she cannot be mind controlled.
Haneul has learned the basic knowledge of what there is to know about the most commonly used poisons from Shanuri. While she is by far not proficient, the knowledge comes in quite handy sometimes and she has started making use of it in more delicate situations where magic could prove dangerous for detection.
While Haneul’s weapon of choice is magic, some situations require physical combat and over the many years she’s been in the bounty hunting business – and already during studies – she has acquired a decent skill with various sorts of knives, daggers and similar weapons. While she is far from being an expert, she can handle a decent fight and knows how to defend herself.
Invisibility – so to speak: Her handle over shadows and darkness allow her to become practically invisible when she blends into them, except for mages with a considerable amount of skill who could detect her. Wrapping shadows around herself by increasing darkness or sucking out light is a handy skill to have when spying on others or sneaking up on someone. Sucking out light rarely happens though unless she loses control or is extraordinarily pissed at someone or something; Haneul prefers to play with the shadows and darkness already present, rather than touch the light as it gives a more surreal feel to the area and thus makes it more noticeable that magic is being used. The absence of light is generally more noticeable than the addition of a few shadows.
Mental Projection: Haneul can also animate shadows, a handy skill to frighten, intimidate or even torture certain people whose cooperation is needed. A level up from animating shadows is the ease with which she can call forth her victim’s worst fears as apparitions in the shadows and darkness. She can make them believe that they have seen something that isn’t really there but that feels utterly real to them. For this, Haneul prefers to work in darker areas or even indoors as it often evokes feelings of solitude, abandonment or imprisonment in her targets, which only adds to the strength of this skill. The more people work themselves up into a frenzy, the less work she has with them and the easier it is for her to get what she wants out of them.
For safety reasons when going down this darker path, Haneul also uses her power to slightly manipulate how she appears to those in her hands. They perceive whatever they want to, just like with the rest of the shadows, but it generally isn’t pleasant.
Better Night Vision: The fact that she has a certain amount of control over shadows and darkness gives her a slightly better than average vision at night but no proper night vision as such. It is merely an enhancement that goes hand in hand with her talents. It also allows her to spot those hiding in shadows like herself.
Combat: Her magic can be used for defence as well as offence. While she cannot suck the light out of an area where there are supposedly no shadows, it is fairly easy to work around this as the smallest shadow suffices to give her something to work with; and there are always ways to create shadows, even if they are tiny or well-hidden. Shadows she uses to throw her enemies or her prey off balance when they are attacking or resisting capture. She can also create wisps of shadow that wind themselves around weapons or limbs of her opponents to incapacitate, at least momentarily, them. She can also hurl balls of energy, erect barriers or shields to ward off or deflect hostile spells, as well as put up shields for a few seconds to take the brunt of a powerful attack before they shatter.
Weaknesses and Flaws:
The fact that since she is in Marn she is unable to use magic most of the time is almost physically killing her. As someone who lives and breathes magic, the prohibition to use magic puts an immense strain on her.
Addiction to Magic:
In terms of magic use, the fact that she was practically constantly in touch with it while she was living in Tian Xia or travelling Eyropa, has never made her realise just how much she depended on magic until she came to Marn. She didn’t require the use of magic to be able to do her work, but simply the act of using it on a daily basis without restrictions, without hindrance, simply to feel it had never seemed so natural until the very moment she couldn’t do that anymore.
Now that she is in Marn, Haneul is beginning to realise just how much like an addiction using magic has become and she is starting to feel the toll this is taking on her body. She snaps at people more often, letting cracks appear in her mask, and sometimes randomly starts shivering; nothing all too bad yet, but whether magic use or the lack thereof are creating this condition are slowly planting seeds of doubts in her mind and she is longing to return home more than ever so she can do some research on this topic and most of all, so she can stop feeling this way.
Powerful as she is, her magic requires being used or it threatens to spill and Haneul could briefly lose control over her concealment charms as well as her shields, which could lead to possible detection by battlemages or other scryers sensitive to even the smallest outbursts of magic. She uses a plethora of concealment charms and dampening spells to keep a low profile, some of which need to be replaced or re-enchanted on a regular basis as her magic uses them up fairly quickly. However, no amount of skill in keeping her magic harnessed, whether through her own personal shields or with the outside help of enchanted items, will keep it locked up forever if she cannot release it from time to time in carefully controlled environment so as to avoid detection.
Sometimes, Haneul wants nothing more than go back to Tian Xia, the one place where magic is normal, where it is considered abnormal not to be able to use magic, and it would most certainly be considered sick to refuse or be forbidden to make use of such a skill. Marn is making her realise in so many ways that she hasn’t felt truly at home for a long time; not in the least because she cannot freely be who she is without endangering herself and everyone involved with her. Sometimes, Haneul can’t help but wonder if she shouldn’t just let the rest of Paragon sort out their own messes, pack up and leave in the middle of the night without leaving a trace. Home is calling for her, but sometimes she also doesn’t know where or what home is anymore.
Lord un Jeong:
This mysterious person has been an almost constant companion to Haneul, helping her and guiding her through various stages of her life, always being a good friend to her. He gives directions and provides helpful insight from time to time. Should she ever receive orders and Lord un Jeong would tell her to do the opposite or drop everything and leave, she would follow his word rather than her orders, which could make her a liability.
Haneul’s parents had considered her birth a blessing by the almighty celestials, a gift by the golden-eyed dragons themselves . They had been trying for so many years to have a child that they had almost given up all hope to ever have offspring, thinking either one or the other couldn’t reproduce. They had never consulted any healers on the subject, afraid of what the answer might be. And then finally, their prayers had been heard after all. In honour of the celestials, they named their daughter Haneul, meaning ‘heaven or sky’. The name was a dedication as well as hopefully a blessing for the little girl.
From early on it was clear that Haneul was not the most typical representation of a happy village kid. She wasn’t very social and had trouble getting along with the other children, preferring to stay in their own backyard and conversing with imaginary friends – in the eyes of her mother and father at least. This worried them as they didn’t understand what they had done wrong, and since they knew that she wasn’t physically sick, they began to worry for her mental health. When an imperial magistrate was passing through the village on business, Haneul’s parents grabbed him and pleaded with him to have a look at their daughter, even though neither of them knew what to expect from such an inspection.
Unusual as it may have been for a girl of her tender age to show an affinity in detecting creatures slinking out of rifts in the astral plane and speaking to them, the imperial magistrate was amazed by her powers as he unintentionally witnessed her conversing with one of these spirits, instantly asking her parents for permission to take her along to have her entered into the Imperial University of Magical Studies, assuring them that she was perfectly healthy, physically and mentally, but that she needed to be trained with the particular skill set she possessed. It was with a heavy heart that her parents agreed to this and watched their seven year old daughter depart with the magistrate.
Haneul was still young enough to have her magic shaped a little by the tutors that were assigned to her, yet at the same time it had taken enough of a path for them not to be able to completely control where her abilities went. She enjoyed her time at the college and made quite a few friends, though she never got too attached to any of them. She still preferred to be on her own or in the company of one particular person who had grown to be quite close to her over the years. No matter where she went or what she did, the latter was by her side, though not always revealing his presence. Over time, she had grown so used to him being around that she practically missed him when he wasn’t. He had come to call itself Lord un Jeong.
The young woman came to be rather good in wielding her magic and it soon became clear that she had a particular affinity for the Yi Jing system, her sensitivity to magic aiding a great deal in tracking down those in need of punishment. Once it was established that her talents would be most useful in such a line of work, she received special training for exorcism and in all other skills required for effective hunting.
Under the official seal of being a bounty hunter for the empire of Eyropa with an exorcist qualification from Tian Xia, Haneul specialised in torture and execution, hunting down rogue or feral shifters, or anyone else evading the punishment the authorities had in store for them. She started out with this career straight after her studies, travelling all over Tian Xia as an exorcist for the empire for a while until she felt compelled to travel elsewhere and explore the world a little further. This idea found its roots partially in a personal interest and partially in a suggestion from Lord un Jeong that better things were waiting for her in the next big empire, namely Eyropa, where she then spent time with various teams of other bounty hunters until she finally found one she settled with. There were four of them, one remaining behind to do paperwork while Ysoria, Diota and herself worked the field. Their combined talents made for a successful group and they advanced in levels of hunting proficiency without any trouble whatsoever until they reached level 4, only a step below the most dangerous targets.
The years spent hunting contained many adventures, some good, some bad, but most of them memorable; except for the regular required testing. Time passed quickly and Haneul didn’t realise just how many years she spent with Ysoria and Diota before Lord un Jeong urged her to move on to higher things and requested her to travel to the city of Marn and look up a woman by the name of Shanuri whom she was to help in her endeavours.
Haneul has been followed her trusted guide’s directions and has travelled to Marn to find Shanuri. It has been a few years since she’s joined the Hammer Cell under Shanuri, specialising in various aspects of assassination. Though she is unhappy in Marn, she feels that the war that is being fought is worth the trouble and so she remains, lending her skills to the greater good, willing to suffer herself to please Lord un Jeong.