Shoken

AKA Athena, God of Wisdom

Shoken is a horrible rumor given flesh and form, one of the terrible Vasto Lorde who lurked within the depths of Hueco Mundo with a small tribe of natural arrancar as 'kin'. Shoken made herself their steward and watched over them, granting protection from the dangers of the Hollow world even as they provided the satisfaction of some base feeling for their 'lord'. It all came to naught one 'day' when a battle group of shinigami, seeking to assault the territories of the Espada happened upon this village while Shoken was away. The massacre was swift and merciless, the un-prepared arrancar had grown soft under Shoken's protection and proved no match for the shinigami and the last of them fell before Shoken's very own eyes. The frenzy the Vasto Lorde visited upon these trespassers devastated the shinigami with only a few survivors of the ferocious assault, half-crazed with madness reports of what they had seen revealing the presence of the Vasto Lords. But the assault had taken it's toll on Shoken and the loss of those in her care caused the menos to fall into a catatonic stupor in the depths of Hueco Mundo.

The predatory gillians and Adjuchas were never ones to pass up easy prey, especially one like Shoken and in that slumber the Vasto Lord perished to the talons and claws of her lower kin. For a time there was peace but then Shoken was reborn by Harubo of the Olympians into Athena, and the fires of vengeance for the shinigami who killed her charges and Hueco Mundo who killed her burns hotter then the brightest star.

Appearance

Shoken bears only a single remainder of her time as a Vasto Lorde, a bone-white 'mask' that bore a raised ridge down the center in a style like those of ancient Spartans. Upon her transformation, it became nothing more then a peculiar helm that she can remove at will and wears in war-times. Curly blond hair the hue of honey lays beneath, the ringlets long enough to reach her shoulders when not tied back out of the way of Shoken's calm face. Deep brown eyes bear the appearance of age behind the woman's obvious years and brim with wisdom that can warm another's heart, complimenting the soft features of one who could inspire un-told heroics in others. Elegant, aloof, and beautiful Shoken bears disfigurement in a deep angry scar crossing diagonally across the bridge of her nose from above her left eye down unto her right cheek, telling that this woman isn't afraid to get her own hands dirty when needed. Her apparel is mutable, better to fit the occasion or to blend in where she is not wanted, but the most common is a virgin white tunic and long skirt, a wreath of ivy acting as a belt about her waist. Despite the billowing nature of her preferred garments, Shoken is un-unmistakeably a woman (with assets to make Bleach proud). When garbed for war, wearing her helm and carrying the Calx Aegis and Labyrs into battle, Shoken truly does seem to be Athena in the flesh and it's not hard to believe the heroics she performs.

Personality

Athena is a driven and focused individual who always tries to take a larger view of the matters at hand. A natural commander, Athena carries an innate sensation to ensure the welfare of her 'charges' that carries over into her tactics and reactions to stimuli.

While Athena honestly feels that the destruction of the Soul Society and the Espada would bring un-rivaled chaos and destruction to the world and all in it, the 'slight' she was paid before her re-birth burns hot beneath a cool exterior and so she never doubts her intent. That said, Athena does tend to under-estimate her opponents at first due to her previous power and despite her efforts has been unable to break herself of this habit. Though when exploited in such a fashion, she is always quick to remind the offender. 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'

Abilities

Athena's essence was invariably corrupted by her abrupt re-birth into an Olympian, losing the majority of her Hollow powers that make a Vasto Lord such a dire threat in the process of gaining the abilities of an Olympian. As such, she's commonly joked that it was a lateral promotion rather then an actual gain.

Labrys: Both the name of Athena's chosen weapon and what it is, the Olmypian can almost always be seen with this perfectly symmetrical double-headed axe clutched in her right hand. Commonly used in forestry, Athena has turned this bronze-colored weapon to the darker purpose of cleaving shinigami and arrancar flesh both from bone in great hewing cuts with the saw-edged blades. A task, Athena notes with pleasure, that Labrys is able to accomplish quite well since it bares similarities to a zanpaktou in that it is an extension of her spiritual pressure and can cut spiritual entities like shinigami. While extremely sharp, Labrys is otherwise un-notable for any special powers or abilities though (aside from returning to her hand if thrown) Athena has boasted that it is sharp enough that just looking at it's edge is enough to cut someone. (OOC Note:Those able to keep up with high-speed sonido are able to tell that this 'ability' is Athena simply dashing forward to cut at her opponent with startling speed and retreating back to the position she had been in before as if nothing had happened.)

Calx Aegis: The name of the large round shield that Athena wields in serious battle, it is large enough to protect most of Athena's body when used defensively and bears the grim image of a snake-haired woman in the center of the shield. However, Calx Aegis has a far more sinister power whenever Athena uses her spirit energy and the woman's eyes glow yellow. Those looking at Athena at that time find themselves cursed by the shield and beginning to turn to un-living stone by it's power. Fortunately, it appears that the more reiatsu that a person has, the slower the curse works and healing kido has proven able to remove the curse. Restoring the petrified is even possible, as long as it occurs before the transformation is complete because once that occurs only a captain's bankai of a healing zanpaktou could restore a victim of Calx Aegis.

Extremeño Hierro: Athena's extremeno hierro is the only ability that remains un-tainted from her life as a Vasto Lorde, aside from merely 'good' sonido, Athena's steel skin is the stuff of rumors. Difficult to even break the skin, Athena has no fear of wading into a crowd of opponent's with weak reiatsu and demonstrates the same fearlessness against those able to inflict only minor wounds. Unfortunately, it does not defend as well from kido based attacks and against such attacks Athena must resort to using the Calx Aegis to defend herself.

Sonido: Hardly the devastating speed it was before her 'transcendence', Athena appears merely quick to shunpo or sonido experts and can still be spied as blur to most unless she truly pushes her limits.

Transcendance

"Incidere weave of Fortuna, Athena"

The result of her transcendence by Harubo, Athena has gained a release-like state that she uses only in moments of extreme danger to herself or her mission. Upon her transcendence Athena takes on a look of practiced perfection that harkens to her days of the pinnacle of Hollow evolution, but those subjected to it find the 'perfection' a front to hide the surges this state allows. While in her transcended state, Athena's extremeño hierro becomes nigh impregnable to physical and kido attacks, a juggernaut of defense that has been coined as 'perfect' by those unable to pierce it. Only the sharpest blades or strongest kido attacks can penetrate this 'perfect defense' but then..those are the sort of attacks most likely to cause Athena to transcend. Fortunately, her physical strength is boosted along with her extremeño hierro to give Athena the power to pull off ground-shattering swings of her Labrys to hasten the end of any fight. And hasten the end of a fight Athena has to because her transcended state is extremely tasking on her reiatsu and body, the form she has not meant to sustain such physical stress for long periods of time. Despite these admittedly impressive augments to her abilities, there is a good note for her opponents in that Athena discards the Calx Aegis when transcended since any opponent she must use this ability against, is likely to resist the curse for a very long time.

Gestalt Thinking: A side-effect of her natural leadership capabilities, Athena is able to join the minds of those she is battling with, as long as their reiatsu is weaker then her own, to provide un-paralleled coordination among those she leads. It bears no effect upon her own capabilities to fight however except to distract her if she is guiding this gestalt in mid-battle.

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