Sousuke, Soldier-Heir of Helgram
"It tends to color your thinking."
"He stood rigidly in his uniform, awaiting orders at the front gate of Helgramways; at casual glance, he could have been just another soldier on guard duty, until you looked carefully at his features and saw the ways in which he resembled his parents. Honors covered much of his upper left breast; a careful observer could make out medals of honor from Helgram, Alars, and from Rebma, including a carefully shined and polished silver dolphin pin. He had his father's stern face and sharp eyes, but both were softened a little by the utter lack of malignacy in his gaze or in his calm, expressionless, disciplined face. His body was a tightly coiled killing machine, only lightly muscled but capable of blindingly fast motion. A small crossbow hung on one hip, a sword on the other. He saluted some unseen person; only her long-haired shadow could be seen, saluting him back. Two other shadows cast themselves upon the ground through the gate, obviously approaching it, one male, one female."
Born as a Summer Rites child in 1333 AY. He grew up friends with Munchausen, Kurz, and Melissa. Carefully trained nearly from infancy to be the perfect soldier and heir to Helgram, he and Melissa (and later Kurz) worked closely together from the start.
The trio gained experience in high-tech warfare from the Wagnerian Jyhad, when Lord Loewen decided to fight a war to keep his army in shape. House Helgram's forces move into shadow and attack six variations of the high-tech shadow of Wagner in a row, gradually refining various strategies through experiment.
Many adventures of theirs followed, until 1387, when Kaname came to Chaos to train with Millard Fillmore, Melissa's grandfather. Lord Loewen assigned the three of them to covertly follow and guard her. She mistook them for deadly assassins and tried to defeat them all singlehandedly. This led to much embarrassment.
At the time, House Helgram had allied with the Stylite order against N'Stylite: Generation 3. The result of this is the disaster which becomes known as Second Altamont. Kurz and Marko fought a duel on top of a pillar as the battle raged around them. Sousuke, Kaname, and Melissa are all known to have been present, but it remains unclear what they did, in part because...
No one present will explain exactly what happened next, although mentioning Second Altamont to a veteran is likely to reduce them to either gibbering madness or homocidal mania. It apparently had something to do with Baron Munchausen, 'the Moon Princess', the Giant Bat of Sumatra, an army of Huggy Corrines, werewolf-vampire Brittney Spears clones, and Andy Jackson fighting Michael Jackson on top of Bessie, the Giant Cow of the Atlan Tepes. Maybe. That may simply be the deranged ramblings of lunatic minds.
Many hijinks followed together, until 1414, when Kaname left for the Jacquiverse to train with Mutsumi. Sousuke, Kurz, and Melissa went into covert operations. During the Chaos/Melnibone War, they provided valuable information to House Helgram; they ended up commanding its defenses in 1424, during a major offensive push against Melnibone. And then...
An attack on House Helgram in 1424 by an elite Melnibonean Dragon Rider corps was blunted when Melissa, Kurz, and Sousuke staged a desperate defense of the House (while most of its armies were off fighting in shadow), followed by Allen von Munchausen, Princess Asuka, and Princess Kaname popping out of nowhere and crushing the Melnibonean commander flat with Munchausen's flying gondola. The commander surviveed, only to be pulled apart by berserk swans. No, really.
Lord Loewen rewarded the trio by promoting Melissa and Kurz to become the first two of Sousuke's Shin Ten Swords.
Personality and Aptitudes
Sousuke is the perfect soldier; he obeys his orders, and always does what he is told. Sort of. There are a few people who Sousuke couldn't allow to die if ordered to do so: Kaname, Melissa, Kurz (and possibly Munchausen, though the man seems to drive him insane). Stiff and formal, he tends to treat everything as a military operation. In part because he's good at that.
This not entirely a good thing, his obedience that is. The problem is that he's supposed to be a leader, but in practice, he tends to let Melissa be in charge, because he's used to obeying orders, not giving them. This has changed some recently, as the current run of crises has forced him to start acting with more independence, and serving as acting-head of Helgram while Loewen recovers from Logruswrack is likely to amplify this trend.
Sousuke is very brave, and very effective within the sphere of his training. Outside that training, he tends to be horribly inept, as he just doesn't get it, much to the frustration of his mother. (And even of his father at times).
Sousuke is very loyal to Nanbara, and will attempt to aid him in anything he can. In his own inimitable way... While he feels sorrow at Kanako's death, there's also a bit of secret relief; as he was worried about what being trapped in Nemuro Hall was doing to her soul, and he is confident she's now resting in the Serpent's coils. His feelings about Suzuka are even more mixed: anger at the death and destruction she's caused, and especially at her stupidity in getting herself banished to another universe and starting off this chain of disaster; unwilling sympathy at being used as a puppet by Yog-Sothoth, and at her current meek and humble behavior; worry about the hatred directed at her by most of the rest of Chaos; and above all else, obedience to the will of the Serpent in taking her under His protection. Of course, this is all before he knows all the truth behind the events of Yogfest...
Sousuke has a great liking of sports, both to participate and to watch.
Reactions to others:
- Anji: A good and gentle man who has suffered much; may he finally rest in peace.
- Atleby: Thank you for seeing to my sisters.
- Cho: I feel most sorry for Kurz, who has lost his father.
- Hoji: At least you are safe. But someone *will* pay.
- Kodachi: My wise, gentle, kind mother, who I love very much. Thank the Serpent you survived.
- Loewen: ...they do not seem to have affected his mind or his abilities, I suppose.
- Mataka: A skillful hellmaiden, I am very glad she survived, even as what she has gone through shames me.
- Tomoe: I wish she had not been so quick to strike, but at least you survived.
- Usui: Surly and arrogant, yet helpful when he chose. He is beyond all praise or condemnation now.
- Yuki: You held them together when disaster struck; I owe you a debt.
- Suroth: Hard-headed and strong willed, I admire her dedication to the good of the Courts, although it made negotiating with her difficult. She and I share many of the same goals for the future of the Courts.
- Fuyutsuki: As the burden of this crisis settled on his shoulders, he seems to have discovered (or recovered) the bearing of a commander. I hope he proves worthy of it.
- Gendo: Like Father, he was harsh but effective. I wonder if they would have liked or hated each other.
- Anthy: She reminds me of mother.
- King Tylor: A very strange king, yet Amber flourishes under his rule.
- Touga: He is up to something. It appears to be something for the benefit of Queen Azalyn; I hope it will not backfire.
- Drake: (nervously) I hope he does not hold it against me.
- Van: A mighty hero, who should be respected.
- Saionji: A great general I would be honored to serve under.
- Eowyn: I understand she carried herself well in the battle at Shinobu Major's trial.
- Juri: I am grateful for your help in dealing with the crisis.
- Corrine: A good queen.
- Makoto: Strangely useless.
- Corey: I respect his strength and reject his ill-manners.
- Nanami: I sorrow.
- Miki: Kaname needs your support. Do not disappoint her.
- Kozue: What are the just deserts for a traitor?
- Utena: It was disturbing to hear of the havoc she wreaked on Akari's team when she went mad. I am glad we stopped her.
- Wakaba: Despite all else, I am glad we were able to rescue her.
- Vash: He confuses me. I am glad he was found, but it is... strange... to think of him as a baby.
Spouses of the Elders
- Yuriko: Just what Tylor needs.
- Suu: It does not surprise me to hear she turned Alarsways into a giant robot when she went mad. Thank you for saving her, Random.
- The Red Knight: His bloodline seems purer than that of the Green Knight, though perhaps Morgan's insanity was inherited from her mother.
- Nabiki: Who?
- Tsuwabuki: May he find the strength to endure and prosper again.
- Madoka: She has reason to be angry; I hope she can remain calm, for Kaname's sake.
The TAMD Generation
- Keiko: We have little in common, but she has served Amber well.
- Michelle: We *owe* you. If there is anything I can do for you, please tell me.
- Mikage: Why did no one investigate Nemuro Hall before disaster struck? I sorrow for Asuka, but he did receive his just deserts.
- Ramon: A potent warrior, but slow to anger. A good combination.
- Shinobu Major: What are the just deserts for a traitor?
- Shizumaru: I wish there had been a kinder solution.
Spouses and lovers of the TAMD Generation
- Damask: Makes less sense than Allen. Though at times he has a surprising grasp of military matters.
- Atsuko: I must admit her competence.
- Gabrielle: Your rescue was timely. Thank you.
- Inaba: Were you the downfall of a once-loyal warrior? I am not sure even the Serpent will be able to find mercy for you.
- Rimururu: Unfortunate that this has happened.
- Young Rimururu: If you want to make a new beginning, Helgram has suffered many losses and would be glad to have your skills.
The UnS Generation
- Beowulf: He once more proved his reputation as a defender of the innocent. I salute him.
- Demetrius: I did not ever think I would say so, but I wish we had had his skills to support us.
- Jacqueline: The reason why I have never learned mind-shifting.
- Kanna: Someone you want on your mission.
- Kentaro: Useless.
- Kuonji: An angel of darkness who fights for the light.
- Moonshade: A hellmaid of most puissant might. She could use more discipline though.
- Motoko: I will do what I can for her, for your sake.
- Mutsumi: She does well to hold up in these circumstances. May she and Kaname be supports for each other.
- Naru: Congratulations on a superb finishing move. I am sorry that your parents did not prove worthy of your respect.
- Nausicaa: Goodbye. May you fare better in the Dreaming then you did in life.
- Shinobu Minor: I do not know if House Aesir will accept her, but I think she would be a good leader for them.
- Sumire: An excellent naval commander, and beautiful as well. I do not understand my brother's aversion.
- Thoric: Mother always says that a crisis will either make you stronger or break you, and that only by being tested can you become strong. I think he is living proof of that, and his strength in this respect only grows.
- Vice: Amber can forgive much. Though for good reason, I now see.
Spouses of the UnS Generation
- Davros: ...I do not know what to say.
- Kaede: You showed much honor in accompanying your wife. Goodbye.
- Lily: I don't know who keeps stealing her clothing either.
- Mitsune: She seems to have made tormenting me her life work.
- Ruka: A great naval commander, as I understand it.
- Aburatsubo: He has proven more competent than I had estimated.
- Akari: She proved herself a surprising asset when we worked together to hold and rescue Princesses Utena and Wakaba. Thank you for guiding the dead of the Courts home to the Serpent.
- Asuka: It takes a great person to overcome hatred and bitterness; I thank you, for the sake of my homeland.
- Chloe: Perhaps her work in defending the Logrus and the Courts will put to rest these rumors about her past deeds.
- Deirdre: She is a woman of many skills. Many poorly mastered skills.
- Hanajima: Very confusing.
- Haru: A good man and strong soldier.
- Jewel: She does her duties well. I hope you and Kurz are all right.
- Kanako: Goodbye, sister. May the Serpent cherish you in his coils, until your time comes to be born again. I do not know what this duplicate of you is like, yet, but if she proves true... perhaps some part of you has survived and can give you a better legacy.
- Kaname: My old friend... thank you for your help and support, from the bottom of my heart. You mean more to me than I can find the words to say.
- Other-Kaname: ...I do not know what to think. At the core, she is Kaname, and yet different enough to be a person in her own right. Strangely, I think she has helped me to understand Kaname better.
- Kurz: What made you decide to help Tomo? <sighs> I hope you are all right, and Jewel managed to keep you safely out of the disaster that struck home.
- Kyou: Needs to learn to control his temper.
- Makoto Minor: A good cook.
- Melissa: Thank the Serpent you have survived. Can you and the rest of the House forgive me for not being there?
- Minako: I hear she has become sane. I am having trouble picturing this.
- Miroku: He saved the Logrus, and spoke well at the memorial service. All honor unto him.
- Allen von Munchausen: Thank you for helping them. Again you turn up when least expected, yet badly needed.
- Nanami Minor: She has proven her skills.
- Nanbara: A good job on leading the assault, brother. The House is in your debt.
- Orien: A very strong fighter; I do not understand why he hid behind that mask. If it was a subterfuge, it was perhaps too effective.
- Ota Minor: Needs to stop thinking about harems.
- Random: Her personality... quirks, have served brilliantly in bringing the Courts back to sanity after the disaster.
- Setsuna: I honor his deed, in facing certain death by entering the Logrus to bring out the Gloom Device and my sister.
- Shigure: He does his job well, I suppose.
- Shiori: Thank you, for your help in scouting and defeating Cydno, and in purifying Helgramways after.
- Suzuka: She served well, if sometimes rashly, in the final battle. You have made a start on redeeming your mistakes.
- Telemain: He may have been a good man, but he had no common sense if he tampered with Primal Chaos. At least he sacrificed himself like a soldier when his mistake blew up in his face.
- Tohru: I owe her a service to atone for my mistake. My honor demands no less.
- Tomos: That must have *hurt*.
- Uo: You can't just punch every problem. Sometimes you use a sword or a gun.
- Violet: Elegant, graceful, but not in my field.
- Yomiko: You would have served my sister better had you informed our parents before everything went to the Void. Still, you have redeemed yourself some in the fight at the trial, and your performance at Helgramways.
- Yuki: I understand he's a very skillful unarmed fighter.
Who Wants to Marry a Chaos Lord?
- Admiral Ryoko of Ember: Disturbingly wild when off-duty, but very competent when she wishes, and a fellow officer I can understand. She had some good advice, and I think she may prove a solid friend.
- Lady Cassady of Dannai: A skilled hunter and good painter, she seems like a nice person, but... there is something missing, some shared understanding.
- Lady Yomi of Chanicut: I think we understood each other so well because of decades of dealing with Tomo without going completely insane. And I suppose shared adversity *does* build a bond.
- Lady Tomo of Chanicut: I do not know whether to thank you or throttle you for getting me into this. And I still do not know how you talked Kurz and Melissa into going along with it.
Sousuke goes through a lot of equipment, but is known to have a fairly durable suit of armor and a magic blade named Splitter which he's managed to hold onto.
After survivng one assassination attempt from a group of fire and water elementals at the Helgram wargames, learning of the 'death' of his sister Kanako and of her misguided secrets, meeting his new sister Suzuka, and hearing the aftermath of all the other disasters of Day 4, Sousuke was feeling rather stunned by the flood of events that he has little idea how to cope with. After taking refuge in an unambiguous mission, locating and destroying the group responsible for the defeated invasion of Shamber.
A series of other missions were brought off mostly successfully, culminating on the capture of Galatea, the Chaos- and Arcadia-side partner of Kozue and Shinobu Major - and in the process, rescuing Jewel from her brainmunched state and stopping Galatea's Option Zeros for destroying Arcadia.
He woke up the next morning to find himself press-ganged by Tomo into "Who Wants to Marry a Chaos Lord," her Trump-o-Vision attempt to 'find him a girlfriend'. After a lot of initial confusion, he played along until he could find out what was going on and why his friends and parents went along with it; much to his surprise, he found himself enjoying himself by the end of the day, not least because he had someone in Yomi who knew how it felt to be fond of an old friend and yet want to throttle her. However, it didn't last...
The next morning, Kaname came down to Helgram to brief him on the Fate/Destiny? Pattern duplicates... and in the middle of the conversation, he was trumped by what turned out to be Kaname's duplicate. Yogfest '32 struck as his Kaname was trying to trace the call, and Other-Kaname pulled them through to her place as the only way she had to break the call. Trapped on the other side of Yig, Sousuke joined up with Michelle, Akari, and Akari's team to rescue Utena and Wakaba from their madness-induced flight, before making it back to Chaos in time to investigate the takeover of Helgramways. The assault was fraught with difficulty and teetered on the edge of disaster, but everyone survived in the end.
After welcoming Akari and her team to Helgramways, Sousuke went to talk to Lady Suroth, trying to avoid a Chaosian civil war over the throne; although trying to find a compromise she would accept was difficult, things are looking relatively favorable at the moment.