Keneng

Keneng is a ronin with a natural propensity for stealth, diplomacy, and the theatrical.

Character Quick Facts
Race Silverstari
Weapon of choice Theatrics
Religion Traditional
Current Location Black Lotus Camp
Role Superstitious Fence

Physical description

Bu_Keneng_by_AimzICR.jpg

A little over twenty, almost frail in stature, and fairly short, she doesn't strike much of an impression when people first meet her. She does, however, have an impressive array of masks, and is very, very rarely seen without one (and even if she is, her face is usually obscured behind a layer of carefully-applied opera makeup). Her long dark hair is either in a tight braid, or swept up and pinned in a bun with a pair of chopsticks. She tends to favour robes with long sleeves or garments that are loose and flowy, without any particular colour preference, and she avoids cloth with any kind of pattern or decoration. Her earrings are couple of dull stones encased in glass.

Very few people have actually her her face without a mask; even fewer people can even remember what she looked like before she started playing actress. Keneng uses gestures and motions in order to express her feelings, seeing as her face is invisible to everyone. Every gesture is sweeping, elegant, and dramatic, even the little ones; a conversation with her can occasionally look like a display of tai-chi.

Personality

The most obvious trait is a supersitious nature. She likes to keep track of the days, colours, animals, directions, elements, and numbers, and takes careful notes of things which can seem utterly mundane or unrelated before taking any course of action. She once canceled a business venture because an unlucky number of birds were seen flying to the east, much to the confusion and consternation of the merchants she had pledged to; she also started her business venture with Akeno because of his unexpected victory against her in a card game several months ago. When something happens that she views as ill-omened, her initial response is usually to panic… something which her cousins have exploited many times for their amusement.

Aside from her obsession with luck, she is also incredibly business-minded and, like the Scorpion her family once was, she has an incredibly strict sense of loyalty. She would never lie to either her family members or to anyone within the Black Lotus, though she would definately lie about them to an outsider. Her preference though is, generally, not to lie at all, but rather to deflect, distract, and dodge topics which could be incriminating, awkward, or boring. She's one of the few current members of her family who actually choses to wear a mask, though mostly out of an affinity for play-acting and deception than any loyalty to the clan she never belonged to. She's worn masks since her genpukku ceremony, and it's now more habit than anything else which has her keep, maintain, wear and make new masks on a day-to-day basis. Generally good-natured, she has an unusual sense of humour (which tends to border on the nonsensical). She loves a good party just as much as she loves a quiet conversation; her moods tend to change as rapidly as her decision about what is lucky for the day, or as often as she changes face.

History

As a third-generation ronin of the Black Lotus, Keneng always had a place within the clan. After her genpukku ritual - which she has never spoken about - she started being involved in trading missions, helping to sell the goods that the Black Lotus were able to "aquire". Eventually, she got good enough that a lot more was trusted to her than should have been for someone of her age, but it's a responsibility which she takes seriously. However, given her focus on getting the best prices for the camp's goods without having the merchants asking too many questions, she's found herself to be a little lacking in skills that others take for granted, such as being able to take a punch to the face without falling over. She's able to hold her own in a fight, providing the fight is about fifty feet away and she's able to shoot from cover. It's not something she dwells on, though, because her "weakness" provides much-needed balance; this is something she finds endlessly amusing.

When her uncle married, and brought two new cousins into her family, Keneng had no reservations about welcoming them into her family. First of all, they were twins, and that bode well. Second of all, they were opposites who contrasted and complimented each other. Thirdly, they knew how to enjoy a party; they also were a lot less straight-laced compared to Keneng's other siblings (which has been both a source of exasperation and entertainment in equal measures).

Five years ago, when the shugenja Akeno came to join the camp, Keneng approved of having another person who respected the spirits as a part of the Black Lotus. However, it wasn't until a card game that Akeno earned more than just polite respect. Whether it was an accident, or he was able to cheat without her noticing, or just the way the cards fell, Keneng lost the game, and declared that the former Unicorn must be incredibly lucky. She's since seldom taken any business venture without speaking to him first. About five months back, she broached the idea of running a business together ("My savvy and your luck? It's perfect harmony!"), which resulted in the two of them running a stable together: him with the horses and she with the cash.

Possessions

Most of Keneng's possessions are hardly ever seen, given her large sleeves, voluminous clothing, and magic haversack, but those who know her know what she's capable of.

  • outfit - a padded tunic, to provide a little protection; an under-shirt with long detachable sleeves; culottes, to make it easier to run, jump and climb should the need arise, but loose enough to pass for a skirt; and an obi.
  • collection of masks (of varying material and decoration)
  • daisho - to give her a bit more legitimacy as a merchant when in town, though she doesn't particularly know how to use the katana
  • ranged weapons - shortbow, crossbow, throwing darts, blowgun
  • close range weapons - warfan, nekode, nunchaku
  • a hidden diary, in which she keeps track of things which are important (to her)
  • poison-pellet earrings - she got the idea from a play she read once, though it's more likely she'll try to poison someone other than herself
  • boots - contain hidden daggers, though have yet to be used
  • a small casket of makeup and face-paint - just in case she ever gets the chance to act out that one-person play she's been rehearsing. Or all her masks go missing.

Relations

Akeno - since that fortuitous card game, Keneng thinks quite highly of the shugenja. Whether her admiration goes any deeper than his apparent good fortune is anyone's guess.
Kyune - their relationship is unusual, at best. With her access to the outside world, Keneng is able to buy the lotions, candles and other miscellany that the spirit-geisha needs for her business, and also acts as her manager whenever Kyune needs her to. While Keneng is glad to have a friendly spirit on her side, she still treats Kyune with a little distance, more out of respect than wariness. There are worse things than flower spirits, after all.
Mei Feng - she's young, but she's got a sensibility that few at that age have. Keneng has a lot of respect for her, but her opinion about the girl is reserved until she gets to know her better.
Kei and Eira - her beloved cousins, as exasperating as they are entertaining. They're family, and that means the world to Keneng, as much as she will depreciate that fact. Pranks and good-natured joking was always part of their relationship. Now, with Eira gone, Keneng seems to be profoundly affected. Not as much as Kei, but still.

What's in a Name?

Keneng means "possible"; her family name, Bu, is derived somewhat from Bayushi, though Keneng seems to be the only one in the family who uses it, simply because of the pun involved. Bu Keneng means "impossible".
Of course, the sentence "All things are possible" makes her laugh so hard that she can't breathe.

Current State

Luxuriating in a hot bath.

Family

Grandfather: Shen Bayushi
Father: Bu Zuo Tian (No Yesterday)

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