Lien Silva's story started in California. Her grandfather, Thiago Silva, was an Acolyte and retainer of a Master Akashic Mage, Feng Chi. Feng Chi's mission in California was to spread Martial Arts and the way of the Do. He built and funded branches of martial art academies to recruit new members into the Akashic Tradition since he believed that the way of the Do needed to adapt with the times and constantly develop and evolve.
Thiago Silva was recruited from Brazil to help in this endeavor. He went on to become an influential teacher in their Academy. It is because of his reputation that his sons took over the Academy upon his passing. They were dedicated to not only keeping their family name as a part of Martial Arts history, but to help the Akashic Brotherhood in their endeavors. It is in this environment that Lien was born into.
Despite being the youngest Silva and the only girl, Lien's capabilities excelled far beyond what they could hope for. She outshone her brothers (much to their jealousy) and put those who were years older than her to shame. So good was the girl that she easily decimated the girl's division and petitioned to join the boy's division by the time she was eleven.
Unfortunately, with so much raw talent the ego was soon to follow. She was the star pupil of her Academy and she knew it; it didn't help that she was the granddaughter of Thiago Silva. Lien was a bratty, know-it-all who didn't take her studies and practices as seriously as the other students. She didn't need to back then, simply being talented was enough and she thrived on that.
Sheng Manchu, a recent Akashic Master, was ready for his first apprentice and wanted to see what talent Silva's Academy had. Lien Silva was pushed forward as the star pupil as they figured she might interest Feng Chi. Much to her brothers' chagrin, Sheng Manchu did find her to have the talent and abilities to Awaken and so recruited her as his apprentice.
He came to the Academy to teach her, and to say that Lien was thrilled would be an understatement. She practiced diligently, much more than she had before. It was the way Sheng Manchu taught the lesson that did it; he showed her the symmetry of motions and the beauty they created when they are done in and out of battle. When she saw the patterns he began to show her how they are connected to the body, and from the body to the soul and the mind. It was this revelation that fascinated Lien. While she was doing a set of intense katas over and over again, fatigue and exhaustion got a hold of her, so much so that by approaching the second hour Lien could barely breath. Still, Sheng Manchu pushed her, until finally she was gone, no energy left, an empty husk that just went through the motions. As soon as she was emptied, her body and mind were set to be broken. Outside energies coursed through her as she went beyond the physical, beyond the mental. She found the void, the emptiness. Some how, from there, she found the power of Chi to fuel her, and through that she Awoke.
She was fourteen when she left to join Sheng Manchu in an ashram in the middle of nowhere in China. At first Lien was excited; she was one of the chosen ones, one of the elite. However, monastery life soon turned out to be not what she had expected. She believed it to be a life of Martial Arts, training, fighting, and competitions. She found it to be a place of meditation, craftsmanship, poetry and scholarly pursuit. Sheng Manchu explained that the way of the Do is more than just martial arts, it's the way of life, it is in everything you do and everything you touch - the yin, the yang and more; complete harmony.
While Lien did try to learn this lesson, she was too caught up in the 'awesomeness' of Do and Martial Arts and, sadly enough, caught up in the awesomeness of herself. She still maintained her skills and she took to the arts like fish to water. She excelled once more. She bested those in her class easily and began to grow cocky as old habits returned. She neglected most of her practices, duties and chores. She was a smart ass and a brat. The authority figures there, the Masters, were too stuck in their old Traditional ways for her; so she rebelled, ignored most of her classes and would rub it in their faces when she succeeded anyways. She was their quintessential slacker kid who would ditched all of her classes and still showed up to ace the final exam. She relied on her raw talent to get her through and it worked, at first. As for the Masters themselves? They have seen such egos before, and thankfully they had the patience to simply smirk and shake their heads at her.
It was when she was about sixteen years old that it caught up with her. It happened during a competition with a rival ashram. She was one of the star students of her age group and weight class and was a sure bet to win. When she fought against their master student, however, well, she was humiliated thoroughly. He decimated her; his moves were sharper, more precise, and he had a greater arsenal of katas and rotes that she was not aware of or knew how to defend. It was more than an eye opener as a person of equal strengths and rank manages to hold such confidence and such power over her. She was thoroughly humiliated and knocked down by more than a few pegs. It was at that point that Lien had a moment of revelation, when the decision was cast. She had the talent, the fists, the kicks, how could he win?
It was time for her to re-evaluate her life and the meaning within it. The beat down she received proved to her that there was more than just martial arts that was needed to reach Enlightenment. There was so much more in fact that it was mind-boggling. It opened up her eyes to how off-course she was and it made her realize that enlightenment must be sought elsewhere. Unfortunately, despite the revelation, she felt furious about how she was allowed to stay in the dark until the fight; while she should have been mad at herself she easily blamed the ashram. Two nights later, after much rubbing in of 'I told you so' looks from the monks (well, they gave her more of a knowing look since they realized it has finally sunk in to the girl that she was wrong all along, but of course she interpreted it differently) Lien decided it was time to leave.
Sheng Manchu was there when she tried to sneak out. He asked her where she was going. Lien responded that it was time for her to leave; she couldn't stand it in the ashram anymore, everything was the same, everything was old, traditional, and while yes she should practice, this place simply isn't for her. The fight opened her eyes, she realized there were more styles out there, that she must adapt and learn from more than just one style, one teacher, one school. Just as she must learn new crafts and skills in the way of the Do, she must learn new styles and develop her own if she were to ever succeed. Sheng Manchu simply smiled and he let her leave. When the Monks asked where she was, he told them that she was on the right path to Enlightenment.
She traveled extensively with what money she had. The first place she visited was Thailand. It was close by and cheap to get to. Lien became involved in petty thievery to support herself and her habits; besides, she didn't think of it as stealing so much as liberating an object from a person to teach them a lesson about materialism. She usually pick-pocketed loose change or snatched things from tables. It was never expensive objects but something small and simple to pawn off or barter. She did it so often that it became a habit, a compulsion. Besides petty thievery she also hustled in amateur fighting rings until she found a teacher who she believed could teach her what she wanted. When she did find such a teacher she would join their academy, camp or gym and work for them to pay off her debts - usually they agreed when they found that this slip of a girl has more talent and knowledge than they expected.
After Thailand was Brazil, the birthplace of her grandfather's Martial Arts. While she is half-Chinese, Lien felt more complete once she managed to explore both sides of her roots. She stayed there for nearly a year as she trained hard and found so much inspiration. She saw martial arts that had little to do with fighting and more to do with dancing, such as capoeira. This play on the art was one of the more influential things she had experienced. The method of teaching was completely different but just as effective. Once she began to realize that you can have martial arts without the violence, it became a bit easier for her to grasp martial arts influencing other parts of her life.
After Brazil, however, she moved to the United States. With her new experiences she began to simply wander now, aimless except for where Fate and chance land her feet. Capoeira taught her to look into other methods of learning and perhaps to apply that to her training. Soon conditioning and Martial Arts took a back seat as it became a way to support herself; instead Lien began to grow a bit more through her experiences on the road. Slowly, but surely, she is learning.
Lien is a girl who is in the middle of a transition. The start of her life was a charmed existence; she was talented, incredibly so, and hand-picked to be Awakened into a Mage. Since then she continued to show great talent, unfortunately she didn't develop a humble side to go along with it. She took advantage of her raw talent for the longest time to get by, and now it has caught up to her. While she is skilled in Martial Arts, her Do is lacking due to her intense focus on Martial Arts and little else. However, there was some benefit to her antics as a kid, since her goofing off days instilled in her a bit of a prankster spirit that loves to challenge and be challenged. She still has her overconfidence and ego unfortunately, but she is starting to let it go.
Time on the streets and being away from the ashram and her comfort zone has taught her a few more things. Without a vigorous schedule or an authority figure over her head, she lifted her head up and began to realize there is more to life than being stuck in an ashram. While she had something similar to a Bravo nature back in the ashram, her inner Sage started to peek through while traveling. She is slowly coming to accept that there is more to the world than fighting and training.
Her talent is partially to blame for her rebellious streak and indifferent attitude towards authority figures. She didn't want to hear what the old farts say and preach because she believes they are stuck in their ways. While they claim to 'flow like water', the fact that they haven't updated their techniques and katas since God knows when is proof that they are more similar to 'sitting like stone'.
In an older time, if she were a lot more mature in her ways and thought, and honed her prankster spirit, she'd be the homeless and wandering Kung Fu Master. The one who people thought was a lame old fool or perhaps a disciple of the Monkey King.
- Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
- Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3
- Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
- Talents: Vigilance 3, Athletics 4, Sensitivity 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 2
- Skills: Crafts 1, Do 2, Escape Artistry 1, Martial Arts 4, Meditation 2, Melee 1, Stealth 2, Survival 1
- Knowledges: Academics 1, Linguistics 2, Medicine 1, Occult 1
- Spheres:Forces 2, Prime 1, Life 2, Entropy 1, Mind 1
- Arete: 2
- Willpower: 8
- Backgrounds: Arcane 2, Avatar 2, Resources 1, Mentor 2
- Merits: Concentration 3, Iron Will 3
- Flaws: Age 1, Overconfident 1, Compulsion - Stealing 1
Freebies: 1 Attribute (5) + 2 Talents (4) + 1 Skill (2) + 1 Arete (4) + 3 Willpower (3) + 6 Merits - 3 Flaws (3 net) = 21 Total
GM Info Edit
Martial Arts: Hard-Style, Shaolin Kung Fu. (Throw, Blow to Pressure Point, Spinning Kick, and Damaging Block.)
Athletics: Gymnastics; she was taught to push the body to the limits, perfect her balance and generally hone her body as well as her mind (except she kind of focused more on the body and very little on the mind.)
Academics: Normal high school education. Yes, they gave her a normal education in the ashram as well. Heavy focus on philosophy and spirituality.
Language: Portuguese and Mandarin.
Resources: Lien manages to scrape up enough money from petty thievery, competitions and cage/pit fights (especially when it is a spectacle) to be able to afford a very small, barely furnished apartment with meager food and basic necessities; that is when she hasn't found an academy or a gentle soul to house her.
Dexterity: Catlike Reflexes
Do: Iron Shirt - Character gains a number of bonus soak dice equal to his Do rating versus bashing damage only. The character always takes one level of bashing damage if there is no way it could be soaked by his normal Stamina.
Crafts: Tailoring - Lien knows enough to repair torn shirts, make sure pants last longer than they usually would and basically enough to remain clothed for as cheap as possible.