Vash, occasionally known by the moniker of "The Stampede", is a hyperactive, slightly-silly, generally friendly individual, who hides a monumental secret - he is the Lunar of Death, bound to a human body. Currently, he is pretending to be his own Lunar Knight, and is acting as the emissary for the Order of Lunar Knights.
Vash appears as a tall, skinny man somewhere in his early to mid twenties. His blonde hair is spiked to ridiculous extreme. His eyes are a rare shade of blue-green; they and his slightly-pointed ears speak to Lunatopian ancestry. He is never seen without his signature red coat, which he wears over elaborately-created black leather armor, or a bundled stone cross.
Vash has two, distinctive personality 'modes' - the outer face he wears towards most of the general public, and his inner, true personality, which he keeps hidden in all but times of the most desperate need.
Vash's 'Outer personality' almost defies description; silly, brash, and loud are the words taht come to mind. He often acts out in the craziest of ways, all with the best of good humor and the brightest of smiles. He's always good for a laugh, but many find his ludicrous antics deeply annoying. He simply adores children, and can often be found entertaining them in the cities he passes through. A staunch pacifist, he can often be found loudly proclaiming his allegiance to 'Love and Peace', along with a silly pose and a huge grin. Those who don't find him intolerable (and sometimes, those who do) admit (sometimes grudgingly) that he's incredibly, weirdly likeable.
InnerEditVery rarely do people get glimpses into Vash's inner personality, though due to the nature of his position as an emissary for the Lunar Knights, he is showing his true colors more and more these days. A small, nostalgic look as he gazes at old ruins; a genuine, sad smile on the night of a full moon; these are the greatest glimpses most get into the inner workings of his mind.
Scratch away the silly surface, and the change in Vash is incredible. A sharp mind, an inhuman patience, wait behind the facade. Should circumstance force him to become serious, Vash proves a canny, witty foe. His dedication to peace is real, and he absolutely will not kill a sentient opponent if he has any say in the matter. There is usually something vaguely sad to him, as if merely existing causes him pain of some form; at the same time, he also carries a fierce joy in living and an immense respect for every form of life.
Vash's powers and abilities are as unique as the man they belong to, and incredibly varied due to his nature as the Lunar of Death.
An expert marksman, Vash's above-human reflexes and speed make him all the more dangerous, as do his millenia of experience with his chosen weapon. Any other man might use these skills to become the deadliest man alive, but Vash has used his expertise in a different way - to focus on millimeter-perfect nonlethal, disabling shots. He rarely misses his target once he takes aim, though if he should, he is just as skilled in first aid and the saving of lives as he is in the taking of them.
Just like a Lunar Knight, and to an even greater extent, Vash can manipulate and absorb Lunar energy in a variety of ways. Most notably, he uses a combination of spiritual energy from Wisps and his own Lunar mana as a potent 'bullet' for his gun in times of trouble.
When running low on personal energy, he can pull Lunar from Ketuluna or any of the other Lunars, being connected to them on an even more fundamental level than the Lunar Knights. He can also draw strength using an existing Knight as a conduit, and can lend his strength to other Knights, though not to the extent as the Lunars who actually chose them.
As a Lunar himself, Vash emits Lunar energy; to combat this, he deliberately places limiters on his own power to lower the amount of energy he gives off.
Vash is the Lunar of Death, and as such, is an accomplished and powerful necromancer.
The title, however, is deceiving - necromancy is simply the art of manipulating the energies of death itself, and Vash performs only the 'white' sphere of that art. He is able to communicate with the souls of the dead and ease their passage into the next world, as well as free souls trapped as undead by black necromancy. He has set himself up as the greatest enemy of black necromancers there is, and the amount of power he has to back his spells allows him to do things that no truly human mage would have enough power to do.
Wisps, fragments of lost souls that have lost almost all traces of conscious thought, hold necromantic power; as such, Vash can use them as sources of energy, cleansing them into pure mana and drawing them into himself to power spells or other actions. Manipulation of wisps and the energy within them forms a large portion of Vash's power.
Using them, he can create objects with physical and metaphysical form, though most commonly, he uses them to create barriers or shields, or to form the wings he uses when he needs to move quickly or gain an advantage in a combat situation.
Abstraction is the name people have given to schools of magic influenced by, but not part of, an element's power. Just as water holds the abstraction of foreseeing, and wind holds the abstraction of speed, Vash has power over a wide range of effects outside his main focus on Necromancy. He shares the abstraction of War with Rynsaeth, the Steel Moon, and injury and violence also fall under his domain. As such, he can call these things to others, or send them away, creating areas of ground where no one can do harm or injury to anyone. Using his power over abstractions, however, is incredibly taxing, something he is usually unable to do without removing both of his limiters; if he does such a power without fully releasing, it drains him to near-unconsciousness.
In order to avoid discovery of who and what he really is, Vash willingly limits his power, reducing the amount of Lunar he emits but, on the flipside, sacrificing large amounts of his true strength to do so. When under the influence of both of his limiters, he is brought down to the power levels of a normal human mage with years of experience, slightly enhanced strength and reflexes, and speed just above the level a human could achieve. The limiters, interestingly enough, are powered by Vash's own energy.
Vash's Cross is the focus of his powers, the equivalent of a normal Lunar Knight's Lunar Weapon. Carved from the remnants of his intended vessel, it acts as storage for a large amount of his reserve energy, as well as containing his Lunar Crystal. In it's normal state, it draws Lunar and spiritual energy, and passes those energies to Vash and takes energy in in a kind of constantly-fluctuating resonance.
Vash keeps a binding on the Cross at all times that acts as his first limiter, inhibiting his access to the large reserve of energy stored within and the amplifying powers of his Crystal; the binding is in the straps that hold the Cross' cloth wrappings in place, though there are also binding sigils woven into the cloth itself.
Vash's coat serves as his second limiter, and works in two separate ways - first, it limits the Lunar energy that Vash produces, keeping it from affecting the outside world; and second, it binds back Vash's incredible soul, an effect that Vash describes as being kept at arm's length from his own body. This has the effect of restricting how efficiently he is able to use his body, lowering his agility, reflexes, strength, and senses, as well as his preternatural healing speed. Part of that particular binding is also in the straps on his Cross, and Vash considers it the most important binding he has on himself. In essence, it completes the job of making him near-human in every way.
The binding itself is stitched as a pattern on the coat, fed by the energy that it saps from Vash, and blends in with the other mending that has been done on the coat in its many years of service. Rendered in the same color of red that the coat is made of, the stitching gives it a somewhat-shiny effect, enhanced to anyone who can see Mana.
The coat is made of durable material, and only needs to be replaced every fifty to a hundred years, though it has been destroyed before it wore out in the past. There is a special shop that Vash commissions his coats from, passing himself as his own descendants every time he visits to make a purchase.
Coming soon! :D
Throughout most of his long, long history, Vash has attempted to avoid forming lasting bonds with normal humans, especially Lunar Knights, due to his own immortality - the risk that any close friends will recognize that he never ages is always present, and he also wishes to save himself the pain of losing them. Even so, through the four millenia he has been alive, he has broken this rule numerous times.
Currently, most of his important friends and allies are Lunar Knights, due to his work with the Order.
One of the last Lunatopians, Volkmar is the Lunar Knight chosen by Sayara, the Black Moon. Vash and Volkmar ran into each other completely by accident, but Vash attached himself to the man, much to his annoyance. Vash, at least, now considers his favorite little sister's Knight to be a friend and steadfast companion, and it does seem that Volkmar is coming around.
Kurai is a Lunar Knight hailing from Ariadelvento, and chosen by Zephyr, the Gale Moon. During the Lunar Incident, he and Kurai became good friends as they worked alongside the Heroes to stop the rogue Ketulunans from destroying Allorum. After Volkmar became the Moonless Devil, and Vash's identity was revealed, the two have become even closer. Vash considers Kurai his brother in all but blood, and Kurai seems to feel the same.
'Guo is the Lunar Knight of Void and a Vuotoan. A young man after Vash's own heart, he is currently Vash's student. Hilariously bonded to the most cynical of Lunars, 'Guo is an optimistic idealist who believes in justice and world peace. He and his mentor have become incredibly good friends, much to the despair of his patron. 'Guo is still unaware of Vash's true identity, and Vash intends to keep it that way, though he dreads the day when he will have to sever ties with his student in order to protect his secret.
The Lunar Knight of Steel and a native of Chalybs, Rin Tezuka also has no arms below the elbow, and is an excellent painter. Vash took her in as a student after being introduced to her by his other student, 'Guo. He was shocked when the girl deduced his identity on her own, and made it his own personal responsibility to take care of her. Rin reminds him very much of Sayara, and he considers himself a mix of a big brother and father-figure to her. Still, he respects her independence and encourages her to make her own choices in life.
The Lunar Knight of Fire, and until now resident of Chalybs (though he was born in Ignis), Shin is a very withdrawn individual. He and Vash don't actually have much of a relatinship yet, though it was Vash who discovered that Shin was a Lunar Knight. Unstable and volatile, Shin's powers overloaded when direct contact between the two caused him to intake some of Vash's Lunar energy. Since then, Vash has deliberately avoided the boy in order to keep something similar from happening again.
While not exactly a Lunar Knight, per se, the Knight-King of Ketuluna is now officially considered part of the Order, due to the agreement between Xïza and Vash. Vash harbors a deep distrust for the current King of Ketulunanox, due to the Lunatopian Massacre he caused years ago. After learning the truth behind the incident, the animosity he felt for Xïza has gone, but he still cannot bring himself to trust the King. Still, he trusts the goddesses who chose him, and went to Xïza for his blessing in recreating the Order of Lunar Knights. Xïza currently knows Vash's secret, but whether or not he cares, precisely, is up for debate.
(Section coming Soon)
Vash's relationship with his various siblings differ for each of them. As a rule, Vash and his siblings are on good terms, and the others each respect him as they would an older brother. Technically, Vash is the oldest as the first Lunar created, but there are a few of his siblings he looks to as 'older'. This list only includes the members of his family Vash has a special bond with, or that affect his current situation.
The Black Moon and Lunar of Darkness, Sayara is, as Vash will gladly tell, his favorite little sister. The first Lunar whose ensoulment Vash was personally involved in, they have the closest relationship among the siblings. Vash and Sayara were out of touch for several centuries before they ran into each other in the company of Volkmar Gamlxltoe, and because of this, Vash blames himself for Sayara's recent troubles, which culminated in Volk becoming the Moonless Devil.
The Blue Moon and Lunar of Water, Rasen is Vash's only 'older' sister. The wisest of the Lunars, Vash constantly looks to her for advice, often on critical matters, though usually on personal problems Vash himself is having. He looks up to her and trusts her judgment, and in many ways, she's like a mother to him. Currently, her self-blame for the actions of Seth Dezari have left Vash with an intense disliking for the man.
Despite the apparent similarity of their elements, Vash and Kerrian are complete opposites in terms of personality; whereas Vash is gentle, kind, and goofy, Kerrian is harsh, abrasive, and sarcastic; where Vash is an idealist and an optimist, Kerrian is a cynic and a realist. This makes it even stranger, then, that the two are actually on incredibly good terms. Their common ground, it seems, is a sense of humor - while their styles are completely different, both have a tendency to see the ridiculousness of any given situation. While neither would go so far as to actually call each other 'friends' (indeed, Kerrian himself would adamantly deny it), there isn't any denying that they're most definitely not the enemies they would make each other out to be.
Several figures from Vash's past heavily influenced who he is today; those figures who had the most profound effect on him are listed below. All of these people are long since deceased.
One of the scientists who created Vash, Shiira was possibly the largest influence on his early life. Originally cool and callous towards him, she warmed up quite a bit as he began to mak a serious effort to fit in with the Ketulunan refugees, becoming somewhat of a mentor to him. Their relationship is difficult to quantify; Vash himself still doesn't quite know how to describe what they had. He'll freely admit that he loved her - indeed, it was the first and only time he's ever truly loved someone - but that love is difficult to define. It wasn't the love of one lover to another, but similar; in his own words, she was almost his "sister, mother, and girlfriend, all at the same time." She was also his first (and only) LUnar Knight; after her death at the hands of an angry mob, Vash swore never again to take another Knight and risk becoming attached to something so much less permanent than he.
Shiira's philosophies of personal responsibility and beliefs in the sanctity of life formed the basis for Vash's own worldview.
A scientist who worked beneath Shiira and Kiran, Soroe Eriks was also a seer and the first Lunar Knight of Water. After Vash awakened, Soroe was assigned to studying him and helping him adjust. The two quickly became fast friends. In addition to his mystic abilities, Soroe was also a bard and a writer of some repute; his views of the past and the future contributed to Vash's very long-term view of his own near-immortal lifespan. He still thinks fondly of his first and best friend, and made sure that his writings and music are preserved through the ages.