Sample Application: Chen

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Sample Application: Chen

Postby Chen » 20 Feb 2011 20:07

-Information about the character you are applying-
Name (Full name please): Chen
Canon Appearances (e.g. Game or Book): Perfect Cherry Blossom, Shoot the Bullet, Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Species (e.g. Faerie, youkai, human etc.): Cat youkai

Why are you interested in playing this character?

In general, the weaker characters in Gensokyo seem to have a sillier personality. I’m not looking to be a major power who is expected to act sober and serious, just someone who can frolic on the sidelines. Someone like Chen has just this type of sense of fun.

Describe the character's personality. Please do not limit yourself to one or two personality trends.

Chen is always eager to poke her nose into whatever interesting is happening at the time. Unfortunately, whether it’s because of her all-too-impulsive temperament or just her natural bad luck, many times her joie de vivre backfires and makes a mess. She’s very easily frightened, probably because she’s still affected from when she first met Yukari. Well, since she first appeared to Chen by tearing a giant purple gash into the air that made the cat dizzy just looking into it, and that was filled with strange objects that Chen was frankly glad were beyond her wildest imagination, because she didn’t want such a nightmarish image to invade her imagination any time soon-- who can blame her for being easily scared now?

Chen’s master Ran is like a mother to her. Chen is fiercely loyal to Ran, willing to protect her no matter the cost. Although, to tell the truth, it isn’t very likely that Ran would ever need to be protected, or that Chen would be able to help out in any significant way if Ran faced a rogue opponent strong enough to put her in any danger. Usually, Chen runs favors for Ran around Gensokyo, picking up mushrooms, old books, or various herbs for her newest experiment.

In her spare time- and let’s face it, that’s almost all of her time- Chen likes to escape the formality of the prim-and-proper Yakumo household to play with her friends Cirno (if cats hate water, who better to freeze it?) and Mystia (night-blindness doesn’t stop a cat’s-eye!), along with any other passers-by in the Forest of Magic.

Describe your interpretation of the character's powers and special abilities. How does she make use of her powers, and what are its limits? You may cite canonical source material, but don't plagiarize.

Because of Chen’s upbringing in the forest, she can speak the language of many of the animals that live there: porcupines, tanuki, rabbits, and other cats. Since it was so long ago, her grammar is broken, but she can get a point across if it uses simple words. If she wanted, Chen could use this to get animals to run all sorts of errands for her, but that would be a little harrying, and besides, a squirrel can’t do much that Chen couldn’t do a lot faster by herself. If she meets any particularly interesting animals, though, Chen will direct them right to her cat village in Mayohiga.

Chen’s spell cards specialize in black magic, and she can inflict bad omens on people. As a side effect of this, she has a little bad luck herself. She doesn’t use this ability that often, except to make opponents more likely to just barely collide with bullets during close danmaku contests. Her abilities are pretty weak unless she’s around her master Ran, in which case the tie of shikigami makes her magic more powerful.

Describe your interpretation of the character's history. You may cite canonical source material, but don't plagiarize.

When Chen was just a tiny calico cat, her entire universe was one meadow wide: a small field in the north of the Forest of Magic, almost overgrown with itchy yet comfortable weeds and wildflowers in all colors. Chen didn’t know about the rest of Gensokyo, let alone the outside world—her sole connection to anything beyond the line of trees bordering the meadow was the occasional strange creature soaring by above, and the even more occasional flurry of color and light in the sky.

Chen spent her time playing with the other cats, squirrels, and groundhogs in the meadow. On a typical day, one could find her playing hide-and-go-seek in the tall grasses and being “it” in a round of bramble tag. At high noon, she would take a short nap; at sunset, she would join in the looking-for-cloud-pictures game, before settling down for another round of sleep.

A relaxed lifestyle, to be sure. But it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t that the games in the meadow weren’t enjoyable, or that the spot wasn’t a comfortable place to live. It was just a little repetitive.
So when she saw, strolling through the field, a huge fox-like creature with nine tails looking questioningly at the other animals, her curiosity took over. She abandoned her game of bramble tag, bounded in front of the fox’s path, and brightly said “Hello!”

Unfortunately, Ran didn’t know how to speak cat language, so she didn’t understand. “Oh, what’s this?” she muttered, which Chen didn’t understand either because she didn’t speak Japanese. When Ran lifted up the kitten by the scruff of her neck and stared into her begging eyes, though, they both knew that someone was going home.

With Ran’s help, Chen picked up some aspects of life in Gensokyo fairly quickly, like learning to fly and shoot danmaku. The latter in particular appealed to her cat senses like hundreds of little balls of yarn- at first she had to be taught to dodge the bullets instead of trying to paw them around. Other things were much harder to learn, though, like the Japanese language, and how to properly act at the dinner table.
Eventually, though, Chen was a full cat-youkai resident of Gensokyo - speeding around in the Forest of Magic, helping Ran arrange festivals at the Yakumo house, and generally having a good time in Japan’s hidden paradise.

What motivates your character? What do they have as long-term goals, even vague ones?

Chen wants to grow her village of cats to house all sorts of like-minded animals from the forest. She also aspires to Ran’s position of master, wanting a shikigami of her own. However, that goal is caused more by how funny she finds the title ‘shikigami of a shikigami of a shikigami’ than any sort of ambition. In truth, she wouldn’t want to take on any major responsibilities yet, or act formal like Ran does towards Yukari. The residents of the cat village could be considered three-layer shikigamis, but that’s pushing the envelope and not really accurate.

Chen theoretically has those long-term goals, but given that she usually spends all her spare time playing around and hasn’t made much progress on either of them, it’s unclear when she’ll actually start working on either one. It could be said that she has a problem with motivation, but it’s more that she’s easily distracted.

Your character was walking down the road one day and a noisy youkai approaches them and begins causing trouble, including making boasting threats. How does your character react?

If a regular fairy comes barreling out with a challenge, then Chen’ll take them on! It’s likely that the fairy would be too weak to even have a chance of weaving through a single spell card, that the challenge would be more a trial of stupidity than one of bravery. That’s no reason that Chen and the fairy couldn’t have an exciting scuffle anyway, though. She could even the stakes by dodging her own danmaku along with her opponent’s, or she could graze with both paws behind her back! A little bit of friendly danmaku play is the perfect cure for a lazy dreary afternoon.

Of course, there’s always the chance that the haphazard fairy will be the next Cirno or Sunny, and strong enough to pose some problematic curtainfire. In that case, Chen can always attempt to recruit a shikigami of a shikigami of a shikigami…

Your character meets an old acquaintance while running an errand; they approach and ask you for a favor. How does your character respond?

Of course Chen would help out an old friend! Even if the person asking her for a favor wasn’t an acquaintance but a complete stranger, she’d probably help out if it sounded interesting enough. A new acquaintance is even better than an old one, right?

However, there’s no guarantee Chen would be as helpful as she intended. It’s entirely possible that the acquaintance, new or old, would come back and find the cat pawing at a butterfly or stomping around in a mud puddle.

Describe a short scene of your choosing involving your character. This scene must include at least one line of dialogue originating from your character, and must have at least one other character present.

The flowerbed, the house, and the intently watching youkai Ran and Cirno turned into a blur as Chen spun quicker and quicker.

"Wheeeee!" she screamed. Now this was crazy fast!
Just before a state of terminal dizziness set in, Chen released her tight grip on the basket she was clutching, and with some effort, turned it to face outwards. The heap of seeds inside the basket shot out in all directions, blanketing the soil in a huge spiral of sunflower, daisy, and red pumpkin seeds.

"Is that good, Ran?" Chen, out of breath though she was, hovered there beaming.

"Well, Chen... I normally plant the seeds in straight rows and groups so they all get sunlight and the food is easier to harvest." Ran saw Chen sink down to the ground, her face drooping, and quickly added: "...Ah, but I think this is nice too! It's certainly faster than my usual method." Chen's expression played in reverse back to the smile. Cirno, meanwhile, flew off spreading the contents of her own basket. "Ha! Take this, dirt, it's Seed Sign [Dandelion Assault]!" she yelled, hurling fistfuls of seeds at the ground all around her part of the garden. Ran started her more methodical approach to planting, digging neat parallel rows for each species of plant in her area. Chen hurried over to help and ripped her claws into the loose dirt, digging more approximately straight lines on the other side.

"I bet Ran would finish faster if she used her tails to draw the rows. Just fwish, fwish, fwish, and bam! They'd trace out all the lines," was the impatient suggestion of the fidgeting fairy waiting in a spot of shade for Ran to finish.

"That might work," said the cat digging side-by-side with the meticulous kitsune, "but I don't think she wants to get dirty." Compared to Chen's stained-past-recovery skirt, Ran's clothes were as spotless as they had been hanging on the clothesline that morning, not to mention her pristine fur. She was even hovering an inch above the ground so the soles of her stockings wouldn't touch the dirt. "Besides, Cirno, if you want us to be finished faster, why are you the only one not helping?"

After the field was satisfactorily sowed, Cirno came out, empty basket in hand, and shouted "Yayyy, we're done! Now can we pick the other fruit?"

Ran floated over to last autumn’s garden and knocked on one of the watermelons she had grown, producing a hollow wet thump. "Yes, let's go ahead. This one feels ripe enough. First, however, can you spray some cold mist on both of us? We're absolutely sweltering."

Cirno scrunched up her eyes as a look of concentration appeared on her face. Hundreds of tiny crystals of frost materialized in the air surrounding both Chen and Ran, a blizzard frozen in time and temperature, and then quickly melted and evaporated, leaving a cold moist air breezing onto both of their faces. "Ahhhh...." They sighed in the refreshing burst of cool wind.

Newly invigorated, the trio approached the garden they had cultivated the season before. Juicy tomatoes and cantaloupes, beaded with condensation and glistening in the noonday sun along with the other fruits and vegetables, lay ready for picking.

"You two handle the tomatoes and tangerines, I'll get the watermelons." At that suggestion of Ran, Chen and Cirno skipped jauntily over to the fruit patch and begin to load their baskets. The vines of the fruit had grown so thick, they almost smothered the ground, so the youkai had to hover above the fruits and carefully pluck them from above. Following Ran's advice, Chen scoured each tomato for brown spots before placing it carefully into the basket, while Cirno's strategy for telling good fruit from bad was to freeze it solid and see if it shattered. Well, ice preserves food, so it wasn't technically a bad idea, just good for the wrong reason.

Soon, all three of them had baskets full of succulent ripe fruit, and they tromped tiredly back to the house. "Thank you for helping us prepare for the winter festival, Cirno," said Ran, to a flurry of Cirno’s nods. They started to slice the tomatoes, Ran using some of Yukari's borders (Whatever that meant, Chen did not want to know or come anywhere close), Cirno with her blade-sharp icicles, and Chen with her claws ("Be sure to wash them for at least three minutes, you've been playing in the dirt the whole time.")

The trio worked late into the night, making smoked cherry and peach pie, huge bowls filled with plain cooked rice and roasted yams, and hollowed-out gourds packed with sweet potato and appleseed kinton. By midnight, Chen was having serious trouble keeping both eyes open. Cirno was also having problems staying upright, and her sugar cookies stared to look more like misshapen spiderwebs than snowflakes. "Would you like to go to bed?" asked Ran, who was still as lucid as ever. "You've done enough; I can finish on my own." How on Earth could she not be sleepy one bit? Are foxes nocturnal or something?

"Noohhh...." drawled Chen, "I can stay awaaaake..." she yawned, not helping her case.
She had to keep herself awake somehow. Ducking her head in a cold bucket of water was completely out of the question, and for Cirno that probably wouldn't affect anything anyway. But she was determined to help Ran prepare as much as possible for tomorr...
Chen slumped down on the floor snoozing, a cauliflower husk still tightly gripped in her hand. Ran laughed softly and carried her off to bed, while Cirno drowsily stumbled into her own guest room, and after the late-night fox put the finishing touches on tomorrow's feast and retired to bed herself, the three had dulcet dreams of eggplants, blue cornflowers, and cherries jubilee.
"Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap."
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