Tomoe ("Howling")

Cursed and Overweight Female Halfling Sohei Monk


The stats of Tomoe and Roukan are on their respective pages.


Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.
-Zen Koan, The Gateless Gate

Tomoe was (is?) a slave of Kōreishi no Aojiroi, a rich, mysterious, powerful, and influential Tian-Min (assumed) necromancer. Her name, which she was given by her hermit master in the woods of Kyojin Mountain Range (specifically, Mount Kosaka), is Tien for “Howling”. She was born in the slave quarters of Kōreishi no Aojiroi’s manor in the heart of Kasai, Minkai, on the continent of Tian Xia.

Tomoe takes herself and her vows very seriously. She sees the rules she has chosen to live by as a method of controlling her own actions, after being a slave for much of her life, but isn’t sure how to make the theory and nebulous ideas into a real, personal reality for herself. She is a monk who has seen others living in true zen quiet but is unable to find it herself, as a result of a life of extreme turmoil, slavery, and constant threat of death or mutilation through experimentation at the hands of her slave-master. Her calm is a thin veneer put over everything she does, and she tries to conduct herself in a manner that makes her seem reliable, as she strives for complete control in herself.

She is a pack-trained warrior, and views her allies as valuable and worthy of respect. She places the needs of allies before her own at times and always seeks to keep her “pack” in working order. She is constantly looking for ways to integrate the skills of new allies into her tactics.

Tomoe is on morally-loose ground, never having proper religious training as a former slave. She knows the things her slave-master did were evil, but isn’t sure what was evil and what wasn’t. Regardless, she views a few things as “evil”: slave ownership, cruelty, unreliability, betrayal, laziness, deception, theft, selfishness, vivisection/experimentation on the living, necromancy, and willful ignorance. She doesn’t kill without reason, but sees black-and-white distinction between “combatant” and “non-combatant”, as her order imparted the importance of protecting of the weak to her as her sacred duty. The ability to quickly determine which is which in a scenario is important to her.

-is unsure of how she should behave in high-class settings when she isn’t forced into serving as she’s used to, so tends to try to go unnoticed and watch others for cues.
-has extreme reactions to being restrained or tied up, descending into panic attacks pretty easily if unable to meditate during her restraint.
-very emotionally attached to Roukan, as he is literally her only “family” still alive.
-has always been prone to addictive behaviour, particularly eating. This, exacerbated by the Runelord Curse of Gluttony which her master had placed on her, has resulted in her getting too fat to even walk, though Gretchen has applied some magic to the situation to allow her to continue to function as an adventurer… unfortunately, the spells involved have also intensified the effect of the curse, which nobody knows exists yet.
-is a big fan of sweets, and currently tends to try to have a small supply about her whenever she can.

-aided by a monkey which somehow escaped confinement in – or snuck into – her master’s lab, picked her cage’s locks (she was being punished for reading in Aojiroi-san’s library), and helped her through the subsequent locked doors within the house. She escaped into Aojiroi-san’s teleportation circle, which was connected with his estate in the city of Akafuto, allowing her to escape out into the city and beyond carefully over several days, losing sight of the monkey as soon as she was outside of the city safely
-met and was properly raised by an old halfling hermit in the bamboo forest immediately northeast on the eastern edge of the Kyojin Mountain Range, who brought her from the forest into the mountains to train and avoid notice
-bonded to Roukan (a worg) and trained how to fight with him in battle; she didn’t fear Roukan despite his natural inclination toward evil, as her master had taught her that the intent was everything, not moral guideposts which serve only to blind one to the complexity of the spirit
^ Roukan worked hard to overcome his violent tendencies, yet still expressed a desire to be free of his instinct and fully walk her path with her. She arranged a casting of Atonement for him to have the supernatural aid to accomplish his desire
-she was taught how to read and write, about philosophy and “thinking beyond want” (which she doesn’t really understand, honestly), and other such concepts while evading the occasional hired slave hunters
-the hermit was killed when they were eventually found, but Tomoe didn’t realize until that moment that the slave hunters also wanted to find him, being an escaped slave as well
-escaped across the sea to Absalom
-while living and training in Andoran (in the Falcon’s Hollow area, prior to journeying with what became the founding members of the RoundTable Adventuring Guild), Tomoe was introduced to several gods, to which she developed a religious following. A female gnome from Tian Xia who she spent a lot of time with introduced her to the fairly-new belief in Aria, the Cherry Blossom Princess, stating that Tomoe would likely find a lot to agree with in the faith. Indeed, the halfling has, but was in opposition to the pursuit of “excess” that the faith celebrates for most of the time she spent training… unfortunately for her nose-in-the-air opinion of that aspect of the goddess’s portfolio, she’s taken very strongly to excess since leaving the monastery, as evidenced by her ever-expanding waistline, and her attitude has slowly shifted toward indulgence in her gluttony as her resolve has crumbled
-she has a thing for Amarro. She’d never say so, but if she ever got drunk and he was nearby or mentioned, that secret would likely escape… to her eternal (sober) embarrassment
-Gretchen met Tomoe on the boat from Kalsgard after the halfling helped put Mikhail to rest, and the witch thinks the monk is “adorable”, and has become obsessed with making her even fatter. This is possibly because the tiefling is so damn skinny (and not very pleased with that) and somewhat domineering, and because the halfling proves to be less than resistant to food, despite her complaints to the contrary
^ related to this, when Tomoe informed Carrock of her theory that the weight gain is a curse, Gretchen volunteered to perform magical and mundane experiments to find out whether or not that is true in his stead. Unfortunately, Gretchen’s actual intent is to simply see how fat she can make Tomoe get; seeming unaware that that course of action could possibly kill the halfling
^ ^ Gretchen dramatically reduced Tomoe’s weight with a Polymorph Any Object spell to allow her to fight in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament, unknowingly intensifying the curse’s effects upon its victim
^ ^ ^ the discovery of the intensification of the curse following Tomoe’s return from the tournament has allowed Gretchen to determine that there is, in fact, a curse upon Tomoe, though that is only empirical knowledge; she has still not been able to determine with magical probing that which she knows for sure, and now also fears triggering yet another intensification of the curse by meddling with it. Nonetheless, Tomoe had returned as fat as before, and so has received another casting of Polymorph Any Object to reset the significant amounts of weight she is enduring, a solution which the witch knows is short-lived and now possibly going to result in the halfling’s death from a heart attack if the spell is suddenly dispelled (as was the case during the encounter with Echian’s Antimagic Field during the tournament). Gretchen searches for answers, both for her own sake and because Tomoe’s plight is actually dangerous to the unfortunate halfling, while Tomoe tries to overcome through sheer willpower that which cannot be… The advice of Echian about targeting the source of the curse is weighing upon the weighty halfling’s mind, and likely to give her her next path to follow
^ ^ ^ ^ her wish for freedom from the curse was almost immediately upon her mind when offered a wish by Chyvvom, a contract devil whose realm she was sent to during the Acadamae’s “Breaching Festival”. Despite knowing that the devil was endlessly torturing others who’d signed contracts with him, the pudgy halfling was at her wits’ end: the curse was beginning to reach an event horizon; she was eating barely anything and hungry (in varying degrees) constantly, yet was gaining weight at an alarming rate again. In fear for her life, she asked the devil to remove the curse, though his writing of the contract was entirely one-sided, and besides her needing to remove the weight she’s gained on her own, if the contracts were destroyed, she would immediately return to being cursed. Nonetheless, with a stroke of the pen on the notarized contract she was freed from the terrible ongoing hunger pains which she was forced to endure daily, and she broke down in tears of relief… then immediately snatched up her naginata and charged the devil: she would not be a slave to him, and with his defeat, she was able to gather both copies of the contract. Thus, she is freed (in a sense) from her curse, just as she is freed (in a sense) from the contract she’s been forced to agree to. She has given the contracts to Carrock to safeguard, and has devoted her ongoing energies to losing all of the weight she’s packed on in her time freed from the addiction.

“Two Souls ~Tomoe” (“Scars of Time”, Yoko Shimomura)
“Joshu’s Dog ~Roukan” (“Voyageur”, Enigma)
“The Muddy Road ~Traveling the World” (“Les Djinns”, Trentemøller featuring Djuma Soundsystem)
“Neither Mind Nor Buddha ~Combat” (“Kaguya Hime”, Juno Reactor)

Tomoe ("Howling")

RoundTable Adventuring The_Social_Moth