- This is the story-based description of Ki. For the official rules on ki-wielding characters, go here.
What is Ki?
Ki is the most natural kind of energy available to modern power wielders. It is an unexplainable force that emanates from a living thing's soul. Consequently, all living creatures, and even plants posess some fragment of ki, no matter how minute. Also, ghosts posess ki, but the majority of raised undead creatures do not. While a soul does not consist of ki, it is the source of ki, and so, ki is considered to be spiritual power. Ki is the most traditional and common of the many kinds of high-level combat powers existent on Earth.
Ki is a radiant and empathic energy. While invisible in its dormancy, it is still detectable to those with the proper means to do so. For instance, one ki fighter can usually easily pick out another. Additionally, those who are intimate to ki's nature understand that the ki that still resides within a person's body strongly reflects their moral alignment, especially when that alignment is on either extreme of the gamut. Ki ejected from the body takes a naturally light bluish color, but this color may be different in certain individuals. Color has not been directly connected to any personal trait of the wielder, though it is said that a ki wielder can change one's ki color to whatever is desired with brief training. External ki is always a source of intense light, regardless of the color it assumes.
The Benefits of Ki
Most living things, and even most people do not posess a passable amount of ki to be recognized as power wielders. They live with it, largely unaware of its existence. Ki is developed through specialized martial arts, which is to say that even most expert martial artists do not have full command of their ki. Most sentient beings, even those with heavy combat training, posess a power rating of 100 or less, and are considered "mortal".
Those who do enhance their spiritual power to exceptional reaches enjoy a greater bond between their being and their body. The most elementary of augmentations a ki wielder posesses is the augmentation of one's own body. Speed and strength are both primary assets, as is the ability to take physical punishment, as the entire body asserts itself with the artist's transcendant willpower. These traits eventually become a part of the fighter's state of mind, and remains active on his person at all times. The spirit and body can only be estranged then if one completely relaxes oneself in meditation.
External Ki Manifestations
Ki fighters in training soon gain the ability to produce manifestations of their ki outside of their body.
It begins with a refined control of their bodily reinforcement; they become able to shift and exude their defenses to specific parts of the body to repel particularly life-threatening attacks. They then learn to completely eject a body of ki from their body (known as ki blasts), which has a naturally volatile and explosive nature to it. These are the quintessential staple of ki-based combat. Most ki training also sees the development of blasts into streams, which, in substance, is merely a ki blast still linked to the body's ki, which is then forced to explode from a single point, continuously. This creates a "wave" of energy similar to the release of water from a fire hose.
Additionally, often as a result of panicking situations or a need to bear one's ki energy from rest in a hurry, a fighter learns to cause all of his internal energy to leap outwards in every direction, causing a small, explosive shockwave strong enough to turn away projectiles and halt opponents in their tracks.
Ki fighters quickly become connected to other living entities outside of their person, gaining a certain intuitive sense to the presence of other bodies of ki. Experienced ki fighters and those who have trained specifically can delve into the general moral design of a person's soul. Generally speaking, however, this sense is used to locate fellow ki-wielding opponents, or to avoid ki-based attacks.
Overall Benefit Analysis
Wielders of ki are enormously independent fighters, compared to other varieties. Because their energy source is constant and unwavering short of their own deaths, they do not need to hold reservations for giving every fight their all. When they are defeated, their energy continues to protect them, and they can exert themselves to their fullest for longer than others.
It is also supremely difficult to separate a ki fighter's energy from the body's use, short of murder. They are extremely resistant to taint and external influence, which is not something every power wielder can brag of.
Because of the exceedingly natural manner in which ki is developed into a highly personalized fighting force, a great deal more power wielders are ki fighters than any other kind. This creates an enormous support community for ki wielders. They are far more likely to find friends and allies than users of other energies. In addition, ki's instinctive and basic principles make it ideal for mixture with other power types, for fighters who seek to command the best of many worlds.
The Caveats of Ki
Frequently, professional wielders of ki receive a bad reputation because most of their powers lack discretionary traits. While it is possible to develop a more stealthy fighting technique, ki combat generally implies explosions, burning, and broad swaths of destruction. It is only through a general, indiscriminate lack of understanding by the public that ki fighters have not been singled out as menaces to civil safety, whether they are the aggressors or the defenders of innocents. Alaris, specifically, places a deep mistrust in ki wielders because of their cataclysmic potential. It is known that the Demosthene Ascendancy has a dislike for ki wielders as well, but only those that expel ki outside of their body -- which the vast majority of them do.
In addition, because ki fighters usually draw exclusively upon their own ultimately limited bodies and souls for power, they tend to fall behind in forceful output as compared to those who use more abstract or less limited sources of power.
Their very traditional and straightforward methodology also has more or less stagnated the different kinds of fighters that are produced, making ki-wielding martial artists rather predictable foes to counter. It is said by a few, however, that the potential for true greatness in ki fighting simply has not yet been unlocked. The spiritual combatants must simply wait until someone daring and unbound by ritualistic training decides to experiment in new ways upon untold facets of sentient ki.
Ki wielding is the longest-standing tradition of power, and thus, has some of the oldest and most respected schools teaching its traditions.
Currently the most well known teacher of Ki is the new Turtle Hermit, Hitomi Owaarii. Students wishing to learn must discover the location and be accepted, Hitomi is not known for seeking out students.
The Shoten Style of combat is taught by Onikara Shinto.