Lost in the Dark

The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.

郷家 神樹 (Shinju Gouka)
4 January

-The Basics

Name: Shinju Gouka
Age: 17 (physical), 20 (actual)
Birthday: January 4
Height: 5'8"
Gender: Male
Hair: Light brown
Eyes: Dark brown (natural), White-blue (blind, current)
Dominant Hand: Left
Occupation: N/A
Interests: Architecture, Music, Literature


On the surface, Shinju Gouka is a quiet, somewhat friendly young man with a desire to help those who are kind to him, though he is cautious and somewhat serious around strangers, due to his lack of vision and general physical weakness.

There is a darker side to him, however, possibly made darker by the recent acceptance of the parts of himself he previously denied. Though he was originally very self-conscious when he came to the City, he has regained the pride in himself he had as a younger man, along with the sense of entitlement that came along with having wealthy parents. He can be scathingly sarcastic to those he dislikes, or even outright insulting, but to his friends, his sarcasm is mere poking fun, and he won't hesitate to explain that if his words offend. Still, if he were more physically able, he would not hesitate to be violent to those he dislikes, even alarmingly so, without regret or mercy. Thankfully, however, he has lost the strength he once had, and makes up for it only with harsh words.

In the face of harm, if he feels he is protected, either by his friends or his guide-wolf, he will not hesitate to let his mind be known. But in the case he is alone, he will be very cautious with his words and actions--a trait that may earn him the title of coward, one he would roll his eyes at. If he is alone, his number one concern is his own safety--however, if a dear friend is in danger, and he knows they can't handle it themselves, he won't hesitate to do what he can to help.

Kept even more hidden is the torment he feels from the events he's been through during such a short period of his life, in his own world and in the City. Though he is slowly beginning to recover from it all, he can't deny that there is always the feeling that his mind may snap for good. He does not delude himself into thinking he is stable, but he does his best to keep together and focus not on all of the pain he's gone through, but on the things in front of him.


Shinju, an only child, was raised by a wealthy couple, and was often spoiled by them with gifts and trips to places all over the country--but even with this, the thing he enjoyed the most was spending time with his often-busy parents. They made sure to instill in him the importance of helping those less fortunate, and he grew to be a polite and helpful young man, if not with a bit of an ego.

A few months before his 18th birthday, Shinju's house was burned to the ground, taking his parents and everything he knew with it. While he was in the hospital for a serious (but not life-threatening) injury, he further found out that his school and friends had met the same fate not two days later, and he attempted to commit suicide.

Soon after he recovered physically, he was sent to a psychiatric ward of sorts to help repair the emotional damage. For several weeks, however, he continued to refuse the idea of living, loathing everyone around him for forcing him to survive. One day, he received a visitor who planted the idea of revenge in his mind (to this day Shinju still can't remember who), and he slowly began to be more compliant to the doctors, aiming for that one purpose.

On the day he was to be released, he met a girl he'd once known from school who had gone missing a while before either of the fires. Piecing together the clues, he realized that this girl was the one who called herself "Ryoko", the one who he believed was responsible for everything he'd lost. Though he attempted to assault her, he was (somewhat forcefully) escorted out of the building. Upon leaving with the other patients, he and the others were attacked by those who claimed to follow Ryoko, leaving only Shinju alive. The sight of this caused him to black out and lose his memories.

It was at this point when he became a guard for a company known as ECLIPSE, a large conglomerate that controlled most of the economy. Soon he became somewhat dependent on his superior, Commander Rokein (head of security and son of the CEO), who was surprisingly caring to him. Several weeks into his amnesia, Ryoko appeared in disguise, and fooled him into believing they had promised a meeting before he lost his memory. She led him to what seemed to be an exact copy of his own house, strangely enough, and his memories came back to him.

With his amnesia gone, he attempted to choke the girl, only to be met with claws in his chest--the girl wasn't completely human, he discovered--and the poison from said claws paralyzed him temporarily and clouded his eyes. When he found he could move again, a day later, he contacted Rokein and was rescued. However, his vision was permanently lost, as no doctor had ever seen his sort of condition before.

When he recovered, he dedicated himself to his job, intent on killing Ryoko once and for all. Due to his ruthlessness and apparent refusal to speak with his coworkers, he was called "Hellfire"--as the pronunciation of his last name can mean such in Japanese--and avoided by most. However, there were a few good friends he managed to make, and he truly appreciated them.

-In The City

Shinju's experiences in the City have no doubt changed him and his outlook on life. Though previously he would have turned away most who tried to talk to him, he began to open himself up a little more, becoming friendly and polite to those he met. Though he often dislikes the City and the way it seems to treat its residents as toys, he wouldn't give up the friends he's made there for anything. A few experiences the City has forced on him that have been major influences, including the mafia-related dream, where he was framed and nearly convicted of his then-girlfriend's murder; the undead invasion, when he was forced to kill the aforementioned (then ex-)girlfriend; and the bodyswap event, when he was finally able to see again, even if for a short time.

During his time in the City, he became tired of senseless violence, and decided against revenge, instead deciding to use his abilities to protect others as best he could. He'd mostly lost all hope of returning to his world, seeing that while he'd been there for almost two years, many of the other citizens (including several good friends) had disappeared, assumed to have returned home. Though he'd gotten back together with his girlfriend, Emeraude, he's found himself lonely. Thanks to his over-protectiveness (perhaps even possessiveness) and a few poorly placed words, he's completely lost the friendship of one of the few people left in the City. This, along with the disappearance of so many people, has left him shaken and a bit unstable. Every day it seemed to him he was losing the people he cared about, whether by physical or emotional distance.

That instability started to outwardly affect him, causing him to lash out in a way unlike his usual behavior. At his girlfriend's apparent suicide, he completely snapped, losing his mind to the point of believing killing the citizens of the City would free them from its grasp. He went on a murdering spree, killing four before running out of stamina, due to his injuries, and killing himself. Though all were revived shortly afterward, Shinju realized what he had done and lost his will, letting Kaito, who was overwhelmed with emotion at seeing his best friend, lover, and sister killed, stab him in retaliation. He was eventually healed and taken to the hospital, where he lay quietly for about a week, until he disappeared, replaced by his homunculus-lookalike, Despair. He was unaware of what happened during this period by his own memory, though he feels some amount of guilt and responsibility for the fact that the doppelganger continued his cycle of violence.

He believed he didn't deserve any kindness, and would have likely allowed anyone, especially those he killed, to do with him what they liked. Though he'd gained back a bit of hope, thanks to the invasion of his room at the Heart Bank, it was crushed when he subsequently saw the deteriorating mental state of his girlfriend, was essentially called useless by the man he looked up to, and discovered that the vocaloid he'd wanted to be friends with feared him. He no longer had any desire to speak with others, preferring only the company of his recently acquired wolf, Amaterasu. Despite the fact he thought he couldn't help anyone, he still couldn't stand leaving people in need if they were right in front of him.

During the series of kidnappings relating to the Shadows, Shinju became a bit of a shut-in, but sending his beloved companion to help the others. After discovering that the dark version of Emeraude was the one responsible for the events, he became a bit nervous, but it wasn't until the true Emeraude made a post--laughing at Kresnik for being kidnapped--that he came close to the breaking point. All of a sudden, everything he knew about the woman he loved was wrong, and he couldn't handle that. He ceased to take care of himself, only eating and sleeping at the insistence of Amaterasu.

After the acceptance of and rescue from his Shadow, Shinju remained in the hospital, waiting for his many wounds to heal. His refusal to take care of himself and the lack of sleep before the kidnapping and injuries only made his physical state worse, and he was too weak for any healing magic to have effect. Restricted to the hospital bed until his tendons healed, unable to walk, he relied on visitors to provide him with distraction from his thoughts. Alone, he fought with himself over what he truly felt and believed, greatly changing his personality and how he interacted with others.

-Appearance and Abilities

Shinju is of average height, with a thin build and messy, layered hair. He is of mostly Caucasian descent, though he has some Japanese heritage (from his great-great-grandfather) which shows through his eyes. He has three major scars: one on his upper arm (which he tends to touch subconsciously when nervous or remembering something unpleasant; from the time his house burned down), one on his chest (from being blinded), and one on his wrist (self-inflicted). Along with those, there are also several others--light ones from his days as a security guard, a few more noticable ones from his fights during his bout of complete insanity (such as gunshot and stab wounds to his chest and shoulder), and even more inflicted by the hands of his Shadow (including slashes across his achilles tendons, several from where glass shards embedded into his back, and other knife wounds along his arms, chest and sides). He always wears his silver and garnet pendant--the only thing he has left from his parents--though it's often hidden under his shirt.

As would be expected, Shinju is able to read Braille, and his hearing is extremely sensitive. Academically, he is excellent at math and writing, as well as visual art (though he is unable to do much of it without his sight). Physically, he was once adept at judo and kendo, as well as competent with the use of his katana, knives, and gun, but he's been so heavily injured and scarred during his time in the City that he's lost the strength he once had and has been all but forced to give up his training and weapons.

For those with enhanced senses, Shinju's blood (and to a lesser extent, Shinju) smells of the poison he was blinded by, as it constantly flows through him. Shinju himself is completely unaware of this.

Emeraude Iserath: Former girlfriend. They met even before the City was discovered, and were in a relationship for several months. He broke off the relationship with her in the hopes she'd find someone better than him, but ended up getting back together with her after the telepathy event, in which he accidentally crushed the hopes of Emeraude's then-boyfriend, Kaito. Shinju blamed himself for her deteriorating mental state at one point, but after he accepted his Shadow, he realized she had been unhinged all along, and he had been convincing himself otherwise. He feels a little bit of resentment towards her and himself because of the pain he went through from their relationship.

Amaterasu Okami: Guide wolf and companion. Despite the fact that Amaterasu's only been in the City a comparatively short time, Shinju feels a great closeness with the goddess, giving her love and taking care of her in return for helping him around the City. She's one of the few in the City that can make him sincerely smile.

Kresnik Ahtreide: Close friend. Though at first Shinju was a bit taken aback by his distant demeanor, he's grown to consider Kresnik as someone he can trust with his life, and enjoys talking to him when they meet. With the several events leading to Shinju's obliterated self-confidence, the commander seemed to have lost interest in interacting with him, but after the kidnapping by his doppelganger, Kresnik reestablished their friendship.

Kaito Shion: Rival(?), former friend. Though initially the two were friends (though Shinju was a bit exasperated at Kaito's lack of knowledge about real life), through certain events, Kaito's trust in Shinju was completely crushed. Though the vocaloid said he forgave Shinju for his actions, later the young man found that he was terrified of him, and broke off contact, unable to stand the guilt. After Shinju accepted his darker side, he begun to embrace his dislike for the vocaloid's stubborn, ignorant attitude, and though the vocaloid gave a sincere apology for hurting him, he still can't help but dislike him.

Kaede: Friend. They're able to understand each other, and are sympathetic to each other's situations due to the great losses they've both suffered. Shinju thinks that she's just as human as anyone else despite her powers and past, and wants to convince her of that. He's taken up the position of reining her in when need be, but defends her from any harsh words from others as well.

Sariel: Friend of sorts. Shinju's relationship with the fallen angel is complicated. Though he can get along with Sariel well, they often end up throwing sarcasm back and forth. Shinju is happy to help the angel keep her dangerous and unkind reputation. He feels she's one of the few people who don't seem to hate him in some respect.
|x| Original character. Journal created for the roleplaying community Unter Allen. |x|
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