nicknames ben (usually called this), benny, birdbrain (just by his closest friends)
mother -- cougar
father -- amur leopard
dominant -- thick body [AA], long tail [AA], ear spots [Aa], light paws/tail tip [Aa], three-toned pelt [Aa]
recessive -- partial body spots, dark nose, green eyes
carrier -- solid-colored ear, dark paws/tail tip, two-toned pelt, dwarfism
never worried about what others think of him or of making mistakes, ben has the odd ability to keep up a conversation with nearly anyone.
despite the job description, ben is actually very cheerful towards other hunters. he believes being hostile and angry towards comrades causes conflict and failure.
however, when not around fellow bounty hunters, ben is quite unpleasant. outside of his comfort zone, he gets irritable and angry. in particular, defectors should watch themselves if they ever are found in ben's path.
ben has never been one to rush into decisions. often he needs a bit of time to decide what to do in difficult situations. if he's ever found in a position where he must think quickly, he often gets frustrated and can't think straight. he's working on it, though.
to those he can empathize with, ben is quite intuitive. he can easily sense how others are feeling and knows how to proceed accordingly. one thing he will never understand, though, is why defectors choose the life that they did.
ben loves his routines. typically he follows the same pattern every morning and gets very irritated when hunters don't complete their daily tasks.
ben would not be able to survive on his own. not because he doesn't have the skills, but mostly because he can't stand being on his own. he craves the company of his friends and is very extroverted.
If you asked me today, I wouldn’t be able to tell you my parents’ names. Even my mother, who I vaguely remember being around, never revealed her name to me. All I can remember is that she was a cougar with light brown eyes. It never really mattered to me, though. I didn’t need a mother after I was done nursing. My owner sold me to a large Coliseum fighting business called Vitiosus when I was young, and I began training as an arena fighter with a small group of other cats, most of whom didn’t make it past their first year. The training never bothered me like it did some of the others. It was part of life, why get worked up over it? It was hard and sometimes I thought I was going to die, but...some part of me actually enjoyed it. I liked the challenge.
I did, though. I survived. Three other cats and I lived to see our first real battle. When I was about six months old, our human trainers decided that the four of us would go into this new bracket of fights; dual team fighting. They paired us up; me with a liger named Venator and the cheetah with the lynx. We were young, nervous...and most of all, eager to begin our victorious new lives. The old black jaguar who had been assisting our training named Aida had prepped us for the glory and excitement of winning a match. I became close friends with my fighting partner, who had informed me he liked to be called Hunter. Hunter and I often stayed up late in our cages, discussing in hushed whispers what moves we would practice and different scenarios on how to win. We both wanted to be successful...at least, that was my impression. Just before I turned a year old, we were put into our first real fight.
We were paired against two young male lions. Like clockwork, we practiced our moves. We were a well-oiled machine, whereas the lions were two awkward bricks who seemed like their only goal was to throw themselves at us whenever they got the chance. It took a while, but eventually both of the lions lay in bloody heaps at our paws. Completely lifeless. We only bore a few bruises and scrapes. I remember looking at Venator in shock; we had just ended two lives. He was dead-faced, panting, almost angry. Later, in our pens next to each other, I told him, "Venator, we killed someone tonight." And he replied, "We'll do what we have to to survive, Ben. And please call me Hunter."
I never asked why he wanted to be called Hunter, but from that moment on, that was the only name I knew him by. From the get-go, he was better at it than I was. He was methodic and could take down cats easily; I hesitated. He always ended up stepping in and saving me at some point during our fights. He never complained about it. He just did what he had to to win the match. At some point, though, I got used to it, as well. I quit hesitating, and I began killing, too. I began to enjoy the thrill of the screaming crowds, the feasts they gave us afterwards, the sweat under my fur, the little prick of claws and teeth against my pelt. Hunter and I became stars; higher-ups from all over the city would come to watch us take down cat after cat after cat. We knew everything about each other's moves, each other's thought processes. We knew exactly what the other was going to do a moment before we did it. We began to know each other as brothers. The other cats in the Vitiosus began to call us Emesh and Enten jokingly. In the arena, no one could stop us.
That is, no one but ourselves.
-- i know the water's sweet but blood is thicker --
Before I was even a year old, we began to hear the strange stories of the far-away Empires in Massilia. They were interesting stories to hear, sure, stories of cats running away and living in the wild on their own, but that's all they were. Stories. Hunter, however, was in complete awe. I told him off, reminded him that the arena was what we should be focusing on. After a long talk, he agreed, and never brought it up again. I thought it was over, until about two months later.
The night that Hunter became a Defector, I became a Hunter and Hunter permanently became Venator. Sleeping in my pen, I heard loud crashing and snarling and clanging. I opened his eyes to chaos; cats were running rampant outside of their stalls. Some were attacking each other, some were attacking humans, and most of them were going for the exit door. Panicked, I realized Hunter wasn’t in his stall next to me. I accidentally pushed against his gate and realized that someone had opened it up, so I took off to find Hunter and make sure he was safe. What I found was something else entirely.
Hunter was yelling at some cats to make a break for the door, so I naturally followed them. But when I got outside, I was immediately attacked by a stranger. After struggling for a moment, Hunter stepped in and ordered them to stop. Hunter and I spoke-- and I quickly realized what was happening. They were chasing after those rumors? That’s why cats were losing their lives? Because of some fairy tales? I was furious; I couldn’t lose my brother over just some stupid bedtime story. I wasn’t going to let Hunter leave without a fight, so I attacked. After fighting, I realized that I was vastly outnumbered. Eventually, two cats had me pinned down, and out of exhaustion and betrayal, I was nearly unconscious. I can vaguely remember someone telling Hunter to kill me; and Hunter was about to do it. I saw Hunter’s paws advancing towards me, claws sheathed, blood splattered on his face. I remember feeling defeated. How could my brother do this to me? How could he turn his claws on my throat without a second thought? Was he never actually the cat I thought he was? Did I care for him more than he cared for me? But a tiger stepped between us, and said, “Don’t kill him. He’s your brother, and one day he’ll come to his senses and realize that his way of living here isn’t natural. Leave him here; the humans will take care of him. He’ll join us one day.” Immediately after, I blacked out.
I woke up in a damp, dark, and cold room. I was sore and ill, but only because I knew that Hunter was gone. My brother had left me, and I hadn't been able to do anything about it. Quickly after I woke up, though, I realized I wasn't alone. A voice spoke to me, and I recognized it as the voice that ordered Hunter to let me live. He told me he was Hunter's father, Gethral, and that I had to stop any more cats from escaping. He knew of a group of cats called the Bounty Hunters; his younger brother, Gunner, was taken from Rome to Massilia to help the Bounty Hunter cause. He told me what the Hunters did, and what their mission was...and that I had to be the start of the Roman Hunters. He told me that I had to kill him to prove to the humans that I was trustworthy enough to be a Bounty Hunter...and after a lot of arguing over the topic, Gethral attacked me, and I finally ended his life. I took his body to the humans, and they assumed I was loyally bringing back an escapee that I had captured. Since they had already begun discussing the possibility of a Roman Bounty Hunter program, they immediately put me in the middle of it.
And my brother, Hunter, was no longer known to me as Hunter. He was Venator, the Traitor.
They had already set aside a section of the city to be our living space and training area. It was completely cut off from the rest of the city; apparently the Roman Bounty Hunters were a secret. Only city officials went in and out. Over the course of the next year, cats filtered in. They all knew their goal, and they were all ready to train. The humans, at some point, decided that I was to be the leader...but not yet. First, they needed someone with experience who could teach us how to be real Bounty Hunters instead of just Coliseum fighters. They needed a cat who knew what they were doing.
After a year of training and gathering forces, Scaeden walked in.
-- oh, if the sky comes falling down for you --
Scaeden was a scrawny, lanky, dull-looking lynx. At least, that's the image he put off. His scars made him seem old; his slouch made him seem weak. But his eyes sparked with experience and his claws were sharpened with brutality. It just took us a while to recognize that.
After our fist day of training with Scaeden, we realized we should not take him so lightly. He was fast, smart, and careful; he seemed to know your moves before you knew them yourself. And he knew moves that none of us had even heard about. Hunter after Hunter, he took us down. He was brilliant. We quickly became accustomed to his odd strategics and crazy training ideas. He was our true leader, and I was his loyal Silver.
During the first few weeks of Scaeden's presence, we began to form a circle of friends. Me, Scaeden, Andra (a quiet, stone-faced female serval), Jax (a reserved, powerful female jaguar), Lenore (an outspoken, aggressive female cougar who seemed to have the idea that killing me was her top priority), Ace (a friendly male ocelot/cougar hybrid), Ulixes (who still does not have an owner/gender/species/etc. let me know if you want him/her!), and Oceanus (an observant melanistic female leopard). We spent a lot of our time together, and I thought Scaeden was content, but I was wrong.
He missed Massilia far more than we thought he did. We didn't notice, though, not for a while. After a few weeks of Scaeden being around, the bells began to ring.
We had all been prepared for what the bells meant, but we had never lived through it. The bells indicated there was a break-out; cats were escaping the city. We took off, and made our first debut as the Roman Bounty Hunters.
We caught the escapees in the streets, and they had no idea who we were. They quickly caught on, though, that we weren't on their side. They fought back, but they were not prepared. They were losing, quickly. That is, until I got confident and decided to take on a huge tiger. It was going well; right away, he refused to fight me. He thought I was insane. I got him in a headlock, then called out for help to get him pinned. Andra came. She suggested that we knock him out. So I did just that; or I thought I did. While he was laying on the ground, I took a moment to exchange a few words with my serval friend...but the tiger was not out. He leaped for me-- or that's what it seemed like. I flinched away, just a moment away from death, and it wasn't until a moment later that he hadn't been going after me at any point.
Andra screamed and I tried desperately to help her. But the tiger's paw found my head and I was knocked unconscious onto the ground.
That was our first Bounty Hunter experience. I realized quickly after that that being a Bounty Hunter was nothing like being a Coliseum fighter. Andra was dead. Sure, cats died all the time in Coliseum fights...but this was different. This cat actually had a choice. He wasn't killing because he was told to. He was killing because that's simply what he was; a killer.
Overall, the battle had been successful. We had stopped a few cats from escaping, but not the big tiger, unfortunately. Apparently after I passed out and after Andra was killed, Scaeden stepped in and tried to take down the tiger but with no success. The small lynx had a new huge scar on his shoulder to show for it. For a while after Andra's death, things were somber. Cats were bitter that someone had died; they didn't understand that this was a dangerous job. They began forming a sort of rebellious crowd against Scaeden and against his tactics. Leading them was a big lion named Hercules. They were angry and bitter and hostile, but they never tried anything. Not for a while, at least.
A few months later, Scaeden announced that we were going to lead an attack on the Defectors themselves. No one argued. We were all eager to get outside of the city and see how we could fare against the Defectors in their own territory. But as we were patrolling the forests, which we began calling Defector Wood, we were ambushed and we lost miserably. But the cats thought that we were Defectors; so when we woke up inside their camp, Scaeden saw the perfect opportunity for the biggest Bounty Hunter introduction ever. We pretended to be Defectors for a few days. We ran into sort of an issue when two leopards named Laertes and Cassandra burst into the Defector camp, called the Hollow, one day, announcing that they were from Massilia. Cassandra recognized Scaeden as the Massilian Bounty Hunter leader, but she convinced Laertes to keep his mouth shut, for whatever reason. We were safe, at least for a while.
Of course, I saw Venator there. I was still furious at him, and I couldn't talk to him. He had grown, put some feathers in his mane, gotten a new scar. He thought I was angry because he had betrayed me and left me behind; and he was right. I absolutely loathed him. I wanted to kill him right then and there. But I couldn't. I had to keep a level head for our plan. He thought he convinced me to give him a second chance; but I was only giving him the benefit of the doubt. I still hated him with all I could muster.
When we were finally supposed to attack the Defectors, Scaeden went a bit off course. He snatched Laertes out of the crowd and began to drag him out of the Hollow, presumably to kill him. That wasn't part of the plan. I had actually begun to like Laertes, despite our difference in opinions. So I chased them. But again, I found myself chasing after something I didn't quite expect.
When I reached them, Laertes was standing over a pool of blood, a dead Hercules at his paws. I froze, terrified. Laertes had saved Scaeden from Hercules. As I worked my brain trying to figure out what had happened, I was attacked from behind. By none other than my ex-brother, Venator.
-- there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do --
The liger had figured out we were attempting to bring them back to the city with us. He was furious, and I realized something about Venator. He didn't care. Even when he pretended to care about me, this was the second time he had tried to kill me. He only cared about me as long as he thought I was on his side. The moment we showed any sort of disagreement, our alliance turned to dust, and I was nothing to him.
I should have killed him. But I couldn't do it. I wasn't like Venator. I couldn't kill him just because he disagreed with me, or even because he betrayed me. I couldn't kill him because of how close we had been. I owed him. He used to save me. He used to kill for me. Now his teeth were at my neck. And I couldn't bring myself to fight back, because some small part of me still saw him as a brother.
That was when Jax leaped in and saved me. She ordered me to go get Scaeden, so I took off, trusting she could handle Venator on her own. I found Scaeden and Laertes a few minutes later, just walking through the woods, assuming no one would follow them. Scaeden told me that Laertes was going to show him the way back to Massilia. I took a moment to note that Scaeden had never been truly happy in Rome. He hated it here. He didn't care about me as much as I looked up to him. He just wanted his old friends with his old life and his old city. But I couldn't lose a second brother. Just as I was about to go after them, Cassandra appeared behind me, holding Venator's throat between her jaws, ordering me to step back. She was trying to get Laertes back to Massilia, as well. And she knew that I couldn't let Venator die. I tried to play it off that I didn't care, but Scaeden told me he had let his brother die, too, and that I didn't want to make the same mistake. I saw how broken Scaeden was and how much pain and regret he was living through, and I made a vow that I wouldn't make any of the same mistakes Scaeden had made. So I saved Venator instead, and let Scaeden go.
As I was returning, I found Jax's unconscious body laying in the woods, badly injured. I picked her up and dragged her all the way back to Rome, but right before I got there, Cassandra appeared, asking if she could join the Hunters. After realizing that she would have a lot of useful information, I agreed, and gave her Jax to carry to the humans to make them trust her. She did, but she went through some intensive mental training anyways. I walked back into Rome as the second-ever Roman Bounty Hunter leader.
-- oh brother i will hear you call --
For the next few months, we continued training, built up the Bounty Hunter program, had several more battles, realized that the Defectors (who called themselves the Ferox) were going to start leading raids into the city of Rome itself, and became powerful. Jax stepped up to be my Silver Hunter, as well as my mate and best friend. At some point, Lenore was killed. It was hard, being the leader of such a dangerous job.
But someone had to do it, and I was ready to start a new era, where being a Bounty Hunter was no longer dangerous.
skills and statistics
tactics -- 9/10
endurance -- 4/10
speed -- 2/10
strength -- 8/10
defense -- 6/10
attack -- 9/10
-- experienced battle training --
ben has grown up his entire life in rome, training to fight. he is extremely experienced and was a deadly fighter in the coliseums.
-- knowledge of leadership --
although he mostly learned by example, ben picks up very quickly and easily learned how to be a leader. as a silver, he knew very well that one day he could have to step up and take responsibility in a higher role, and has thus far done a very good job.
-- human communication --
trained by humans and raised by humans, ben knows how to interact with them pretty efficiently. he can even pick up on some of the more important human words, such as his name or "defectors", though he usually relies on his silver, jax, to tell him what the humans are saying.
-- excellent thinking process --
ben is very clever, especially when given the time to think something over. he rarely makes decisions on a whim and is typically very rational and level-headed about even the most stressful, complicated, and intense situations.
-- emotionally attached --
ben is very attached to a lot of cats, and it often times gets him in uncomfortable situations. he fears losing his loved ones and cannot stand the idea of any of his friends dying. it makes him determined to fight for them, but if his emotions were ever to be used against him, he would be stuck.
-- abandonment issues --
after being left multiple times by those he thought closest to him, first venator and then scaeden, ben has an issue with abandonment. he fears that one day all of his loved ones will chose to leave him, though he knows that is irrational.
mentors and apprentices
scaeden -- when scaeden was leader of the roman bounty hunters, he taught ben almost everything he needed to know about leading, as well as moves, tactics, and information on the defectors.
venator -- growing up, venator and ben trained together and consequently helped teach each other.
ben's armor is heavily influenced by the barn owl. when he was living in the hollow with the defectors, he hated being outside of the city. he hated the forest and the trees and the noise and the bugs. the only thing that fascinated him, however, was the owls, because they were silent and watchful. he was interested in how they caught their prey without as much as a rustle, and was inspired enough to request his armor to look like an owl.
the headdress is optional, and he rarely wears it. it is difficult to get on and quite annoying to wear. the only reason he wears it is for celebrations or banquets.
everything on ben's armor is made of leather of various thicknesses and dyes, except for the maroon cloth.
ben only has one scar; a small one on his nose. it was given to him by the defector tiger who killed his friend andra.
-- when ben and venator were young, they were called emesh and enten. this is a reference to the sumerian tale of two brothers, emesh and enten, who were created by the air-god enlil to create grain, trees, and prosperity. enten created livestock while emesh was in charge of agriculture. the brothers, however, began to argue over who should be the "farmer of the gods". they each stated their cases in front of enlil, who decided that enten would win the quarrel. emesh then bowed before enten's feet and praised him as the true "farmer of the gods". however, the quarrel between emesh and enten is thought to be the sumerian parallel to the story of cain and abel, in which the story ends with cain murdering abel.
-- ben has a love for owls. some nights he takes jax out to the woods just so they can look for them and watch them hunt. she thinks it's kind of nerdy but she does it anyways.
-- ben has a really bad habit of thumping his tail on the ground really hard when he's thinking about something. he usually doesn't even notice until his tail starts to get sore.
bounty hunters -- 90%
friends/family/loved ones/comrades -- 10%
defectors -- 0%
father -- insanis [amur leopard; alive; solus]
mother -- unnamed [cougar; status unknown]
sisters -- oceanus [half sister; melanistic amur leopard; alive; bounty hunter]
tatiana [half sister; amur leopard/cougar hybrid; alive; bounty hunter]
brothers -- laertes [half brother; amur leopard; alive; shadow empire gladiator]
benedictus is closed for more family relations. sorry!
tbd -- will fill out later
taken from a roleplay with Asante-Sana
"Hmph," Ben replied simply. He didn't really have to say much more. She would know. She would know that it was bittersweet. No, probably not even that. Mostly bitter. Ben didn't know if he was a good leader. He didn't want Scaeden to be gone. He didn't want to have the responsibility that Scaeden had on his shoulders when he was leader. He didn't want to be looked up to. He didn't ask for this. Ben had never thought about the fact that he could possibly be the leader. He had been content with the idea that Scaeden would be around forever and he'd never have to step up. But now he was gone and Ben didn't know what to do about it.
Jax would know what he was feeling. He let her head rest against his leg, and he automatically let his tail make short, slow strokes across her hip. It felt natural being next to her, and nothing was ever awkward.
So he chose to sit in silence for a while and admire the heat that radiated from her head where his leg touched and thought about how sick he felt looking at her wounds. He should have stayed behind and helped her fight off Venator instead of chasing a caged bird finally learning to fly. Scaeden wouldn't have been stopped, and it wouldn't have surprised Ben one bit if the lynx would have attacked him just to finally get away. In other words, Ben was holding onto a lost cause when he should have been keeping hold of something that would actually stick around with him.
After a couple minutes of silence, Ben leaned down and pressed his forehead against Jax's. "I'm sorry, Jax," he said. "I shouldn't have even bothered with him. You were getting hurt and I was just...yeah. Trying not to lose something bigger than any of us." He sighed, then said suddenly without thinking about it, "Will you be my Silver?"