Zheng Lao Ka Character in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil

Zheng Lao Ka

The legendary warlord who secured the future of the continent with his own two hands and gave its people a future

Shogun Zheng Lao Ka, Dhamusa (a.k.a. The Six-Step Shogun)

It is better, I think, that I will leave no record of what I witnessed. The terrors of the Age of Desolation have no place in this brighter future - nor do I.   This future has no need of butcherers, nor warlords. I will wither and wilt, and my breath will give birth to the next generation who will, gods willing, know nothing of the struggles of their forebears.   Some things, I believe, should stay buried. Forgotten, in the ash of yesterday.
— Zheng Lao Ka, when asked about his memoirs

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

For much of his life, Zheng Lao Ka was the absolute pinnacle of the physical condition - the brutal, nightmarish conditions of the Age in which he lived demanded no less. Even after the Age of Desolation had ended, he continued to maintain an excellent standard of physical fitness even well into his late 80's, almost obsessively - as if he could not help but continue his physical fitness rituals even so long after the wars of the Age of Desolation had ended.   He was in many ways blessed with incredible vitality - he seldom became sick, got no serious diseases, and lived well into his 90's.

Body Features

Though he was not tall, he was incredibly well built and muscular - though because his body shape was so lithe, it often belied his true power and made him easy to underestimate. As the years went on, he became increasingly scarred and marred by liver spots and wounds and burns, giving him quite the scarred appearance by the time he reached old age.

Facial Features

His face was described even during his formative years as "grandfatherly" and "kind", and very much not befitting the warrior and commander he would in time prove himself to be.

Identifying Characteristics

His most identifying features were often said to be his eyes, which carried a soft, gentle kindness to them, and his skin, which was bedecked with liver spots even from a young age to further cement his air of "grandfatherly-ness" that pervaded his life.

Special abilities

Zheng Lao Ka had no special abilities - he was simply superhumanly skilled with a blade, such that in a meager six-steps, he was said to drive his blade Cloudburst deep into the hide of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, King of The Yema, and distract him long enough for The Spirit Kings to arrive and drive him off for good.

Apparel & Accessories

It was said that the great Zheng Lao Ka never wore armor onto the field of battle - though rather than out of any kind of bravery, this was instead done out of sheer neccessity, as during the incredible scarcity that plagued the Age of Desolation, armor was in shockingly short supply and the ever-giving Zheng would often give intact armor suits to his troops, favoring instead a simple Yukata robe with few other decorations or adornments.

Specialized Equipment

The only specialized equipment he wielded was his legendary katana, Cloudburst - a beautifully made sword crafted from a rough, unstable steel-silver alloy(Due to metal and ore scarcities during the Age of Desolation) that was said to have gleamed like the midday sun at all times. This sword, though initially unremarkable and rather mundane, became the stuff of absolute legend after it was used to slay a nameless Yema on the field of battle, bathing itself in divine blood that would prove vital to allowing it to plunge itself deep into the scaly hide of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, King of The Yema, during Zheng's final duel of the Age of Desolation.   With these legendary achievements under its hilt, it's little wonder then that this once mundane blade became a legendary magical artifact that, in time, became the familial heirloom of the Lao Ka family - a weapon that once split the very clouds and sky asunder to wound the legendary Platinum Dragon, Lord of the Skies and Head God of The Yema.   Sadly, though it endured countless centuries in the hands of the Lao Ka family, it was eventually stolen away by agents of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon that it once wounded, and hidden away in parts unknown that it might never rally the people of Zheng-Kitar ever again.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Born onto the blood-soaked streets of a nameless village late into the Age of Desolation, Zheng Lao Ka grew up knowing nothing but death, blood, and warfare in an age where extinction hung over the heads of the people of the continent of Kitarr(Later Zheng-Kitar, named in his honor). Growing up, he did anything to survive and, by the time he was in his late 20's, had already come into rule over the small shogunate-led country that had established itself in the area of his village as the leaders had all been exterminated in an earlier Yema raid on the area.   Now that he had been put in charge of the small shogunate-led nation, Zheng spent the rest of his 20's and 30's fighting a desperate, losing battle on multiple fronts against not only the forces of The Yema that sought to exterminate the people of Kitarr on all fronts, but against bandits and even other Kitarrans who sought to enrich themselves before the coming apocalypse, who had turned traitor and joined The Yema, or even who refused to accept unity in the face of the coming end, seeking to conquer the land for themselves before setting out to "save it" through whatever doomed plans they had. Most notably, he warred against several other Kitarran Nations and slew a notably powerful Demon Queen that had established herself in the pre-Arrival Era, saving its people from her hideous clutches before going on to slay a notably powerful Yema with his own two hands.   In time, he would meet The Six Great Ancestors through his friend Fu Gong(One of the Ancestors), and would dedicate his now-considerable land and resources towards buying time for these six martyrs to carry out their plan that he hoped would save the entire continent of Kitar - becoming the greatest ally and patron of The Six Great Ancestors by granting them unfettered passage through his lands, granting them the resources and information they needed, and doing anything in his power to further their quest along.   And finally, in the act that earned him the right to be immortalized forever in the name of the continent for which he fought(Renamed Zheng-Kitar in his honor after his death), he would lead his forces on one final, doomed final stand in an ingenious bid to mislead The Yema about the true threat to their power, placing himself as the final villain they must defeat to divert their attention away from The Six Great Ancestors and their ritual - even though this meant pitting himself against Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, king of The Yema.   However, in a legendary accomplishment that would go down in the histories forever, Zheng Lao Ka fought against the mortal incarnation of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon and, in a feat that tells volumes of his superhuman, near-divine skill with a blade, managed to wound the great king of The Yema and last an entire minute in combat against him, taking Six Steps during the fight in which he managed to close the gap and dig his blade Cloudburst deep into his platinum scaly hide, buying him and The Six Great Ancestors enough time to enact their ritual to summon The Spirit Kings who would go on to save Zheng and drive off the king of The Yema from the land of Kitarr forever.   With the continent in ashes and almost all of his armies dead, Zheng stood as essentially the sole survivor of the Age of Devastation - the last living survivor of an entire continental extinction, who lived long enough to meet The Spirit Kings in person and live out the rest of his days in a quiet, peaceful retirement in the area where his home village once stood in an estate granted to him by The Spirit Kings themselves for his valor.   WIth his death that was attended by all walks of life and all beings who lived at the time(And even The Spirit Kings themselves), the land of Kitarr was renamed in his honor and to commemorate his sacrifice - without which even The Six Great Ancestors could never have succeeded in their task.

Sexuality

Mostly Asexual. He had a hard time allowing himself the luxury of love, and though he did eventually marry and have children it was said to be a mostly loveless marriage, as he had an incredibly difficult time being emotionally "there" for his spouse due to his many traumas.

Education

Zheng was afforded no official education, due to time of incredibly strife and turmoil he was born into during the waning years of the Age of Desolation - he grew up in a time of endless slaughter and carnage, and learned on the streets and in the hills through his own efforts.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Led the defense of the continent of Kitarr and rallied its people beneath his banner.   Slew one of The Yema in single combat.   Fought the king of The Yema in single combat and managed to land a vicious blow against him, buying enough time for The Six Great Ancestors to summon The Spirit Kings with their sacrifice and save the continent from extinction.

Failures & Embarrassments

Many would argue that of all the beings to live and die in history, Zheng Lao Ka can be said to have had no failures nor embarrassments - though he himself seemed to consider each of the billions of lives lost during the Age of Desolation a personal failure on his part.

Mental Trauma

Zheng was beset by countless traumas during his latter years due to the unspeakable horrors he witnessed during the Age of Desolation - having grew up in an environment where blood, death, and destruciton were commonplace and in a time where a common Yema tactic was to enact wicked brutalities and destroy the young and elderly as well as critical infrastructure to inflict as much morale damage as possible on civilians. Coupled with his decades of life during this hideously brutal time, and Zheng emerged a man wracked with survivor's guilt and post-traumatic stress, such that he found it almost impossible to settle back into civilian life during his retirement.   He found it incredibly hard to fit in during the peace that followed his success, and felt indescribably "hollow" without troops to lead and wars to fight - he was a deeply troubled man who tried to get his demons out through the poetry he penned, but who was nonetheless beset by night terrors, jumped at shadows, and found it hard to give affection to his wife and children even long after the danger had passed. So intense was this trauma and guilt that wracked him, that he never managed to get used to a life at peace - never allowing himself creature comforts or entertainments due to the damaged mental state he was forced to live with even after the Age of Desolation.

Intellectual Characteristics

Zheng Lao Ka was a tactician and General to the core - a pragmatist whose every waking thought was consumed with the best logical outcome to any given scenario, constantly focused on how he could protect the most amount of lives. This mindset continued even into peacetime, and is part of the reason that he found it so difficult to give love and support to his family.

Morality & Philosophy

Zheng's only philosophy was survival for most of his life - everything was done in pursuit of the survival of the many, as he lived for the better part of four decades with the looming extinction of everything he ever knew hanging over his head at all times, like a nightmarish Sword of Damocles that would never vanish. Once the Age of Desolation ended and The Spirit Kings drove back The Yema and their extinction armies, he would spent the next four or five decades trying to leave this mindset behind to live in the peace he fought so hard to protect.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

During the Age of Desolation, he was driven solely by the obsessive motivation to buy the land of Kitarr and its people even a second longer to live - he would and often did anything if it meant holding back the seemingly unstoppable tide of extinction that was coming at the hands of The Yema. All he did was in pursuit of this goal - this maddening desire was, alongside the plans of The Six Great Ancestors, his sole light of hope in the darkness that pervaded the Age of Desolation.   Later, as he endured through the Age of Desolation and the arrival of The Spirit Kings, his motivation became finding the happiness he had been robbed during his time before the arrival of The Spirit Kings, as well as helping to foster a land in which his children and the people of this new land could thrive in.

Savvies & Ineptitudes

An excellent warrior, leader, poet, strategist, empath, and thinker   Inept at being relaxed, parenthood, living in an age of peace, trusting others, caring about himself, leisure activities

Likes & Dislikes

Likes: Peace, Leading Armies, Being in Command, Protecting Others, Writing Poetry, Watching others be happy, Children, Dreams   Dislikes: Violence, War, The Yema, Being asked about his past, Surprises, Sleeping

Virtues & Personality perks

Above all else, Zheng Lao Ka was a man of unconquerable virtue and infinite valor - he would stand in defence of anyone or anything, and would give up any part of himself if it meant keeping those he cared about alive one second longer. He dedicated himself zealously to the protection of others, and lived his entire life in pursuit of that task - like a mindless machine he threw himself into violence and war, shouldering all the burdens of others onto himself if it meant sparing others pain. He would do anything to help another person no matter how ridiculous, and never could stand to abandon his fellow men or women to any dark fate, no matter how dire or hopeless.   He was also a massively inspiring leader - his infinite optimism and endless valor shone like a beautiful incandescent lighthouse in an ocean of despair during the Age of Desolation where hope was almost extinct.

Vices & Personality flaws

Though it could be considered a virtue, he was infinitely stubborn - once he set himself onto a path, almost nothing could change his mind come hell or high water.   Otherwise, a great many of his flaws did not become apparent until long after the threat of The Yema had passed and, thanks to the grace of The Spirit Kings, the land of Kitarr was being reborn and rejuvenated by their infinite and awesome power. During this time, it became painfully and sadly clear that, for all his great virtues and heroic deeds, Zheng Lao Ka was a man who found it almost impossible to exist in peacetime - he was a deeply troubled man who never quite managed to shake off the traumas that lingered within him, of the slaughters he witnessed and the death he saw and did with his own hands, and of the indescribably horrific acts he bore witness to.   Because of this, his greatest flaw was a complete deadening of his emotions and an almost complete inability to properly care for himself in peacetime. He found it hard to have hobbies or friends, found it difficult to relate to his children or be a proper parent to them(Though he loved them dearly), and in summation found himself longing in some twisted way for the battlefields of yore - where he felt he had a purpose. Even after he turned to poetry, haiku, and the like to quell his troubled heart, he never quite shook the feeling of emptiness that pervaded him during peacetime.

Hygiene

Zheng was said to clean himself almost obsessively once The Spirit Kings saved the land and granted him the ability to live a peaceful, retired life - once described by his children "as if he were trying to be rid of the blood that had stained his hands". As such, it is believed to be a quirk brought on by his intense psychological trauma in the aftermath of the Age of Desolation.

Social

Reign

Zheng's history is a bit murky, but from what remains of his life he came into the rule of a small shogunate-led nation around the end of his 20's based solely on merit alone - as all the rest of the leadership were killed in a brutal Yema attack. Once he came into power, he quickly rallied the armies of his small nation and quickly rose to prominence in the waning years of the Age of Desolation and continued to rule for the better part of two decades until the end of the Age, when The Six Great Ancestors succeeded in sacrificing their bodies and souls to summon The Spirit Kings to save the continent.   With the arrival of The Spirit Kings, Zheng's reign came to an end as he and all surviving citizens of the ruined continent of Kitarr ceded total authority to their new gods, arrived in the flesh. Afterwards, Zheng lived a peaceful life in retirement while offering occasional advice and aid to The Spirit Kings as, with their new mortal shells, they rejuvenated the land.

Contacts & Relations

Almost all of Zheng's contacts and relations died in the final days of the Age of Desolation as The Yema brutally and systematically exterminated them - with the sole exception of The Six Great Ancestors, with whom Zheng Lao Ka was supposedly their first, greatest, and only true patron that believed in and supported their quest from the very beginning, even while others on the continent decried the six as zealots carrying out a plan that was doomed to fail.   Rather notably, it is said that Zheng was rather close friends with Fu Gong, one of The Six Great Ancestors - who may have been a father or mentor figure to Zheng during his formative years.

Family Ties

Any and all of Zheng's Family was brutally killed by the time he was in his 30's - though with the arrival of The Spirit Kings and his eventual retirement in the peaceful new Age, he eventually settled down and had kids, creating the family he had always been denied during his earlier years.

Religious Views

Though the exact specifics of his faith have been lost to time, Zheng Lao Ka was an ardent believer in the ways of The Spirit Kings such that from the very beginning he trusted in The Six Great Ancestors and their plan to save the continent during the Age of Desolation by offering themselves up as sacrifices to wake The Spirit Kings that they might save the land.   While not a zealot, his quiet, passionate belief was so intense that it led him to persevere against all odds and endure until The Spirit Kings could arrive to save the day - even fighting against gods to give The Six Great Ancestors time enough to complete their ritual.

Social Aptitude

Zheng's social aptitude is written of quite well in the history books, but beneath all the flowery prose it seems to have been best summarized as "practical" - even in his late 20's and all of his 30's, he is said to have not possessed a great charisma nor social aptitude, but instead led through example and military prowess. To him, he proved himself as a leader with his kind, quiet, grandfatherly demeanor while proving that his plans and strategies had merit enough to give he and his fellows a fighting chance against The Yema that sought to exterminate them.   It certainly helped, many conclude, that he would in time go on to challenge gods if it meant buying the continent and its people a single second longer to live.

Mannerisms

Zheng's mannerisms, as they are described and written about, were those of a determined, practical man who lived in an age where excess or frivolity would and often did spell death for anyone who fell into their vices but for a second - as such, his mannerisms were simple and spartan for the simple fact that he could not afford to act otherwise due to the limitations of the Age in which he lived.   Even later, when he survived to see The Spirit Kings save the land of Kitarr and breathe life back into its land and people, he is said to have had extreme difficulty adapting to a life where every second of every day meant death came ever close to his doorstep - and was often said to have nightmares and waking terrors of the extinction armies of The Yema even long after their threat had passed.

Hobbies & Pets

He had neither pets nor hobbies, even as he lived into the new age of Kitarr(Later Zheng-Kitar, named in his honor) - his mannerisms and traumas meant that he could not live a life in pursuit of either.   The closest he ever came to having a hobby was his love of poetry and haiku, once The Spirit Kings drove off The Yema and their extinction armies - as a man who found it difficult to have hobbies because of his traumas, his love of calligraphy, poetry, and haiku was often described by his own words as "a way to commit his demons to paper, that he might be free of them before the end".

Wealth & Financial state

Due to the Age in which he was born, Zheng never accumulated a large amount of personal wealth for the simple fact that, during the Age of Desolation, there was no large stockpiles of wealth for him to claim - instead, all of his belongings and wealth, as with many rulers of the Age, were dedicated and sacrificed to arming and equipping his armies to better fend off the withering assaults of The Yema that were, by the time of Zheng's birth, cloes to completely exterminating the continent and its people.
Rest well, Zheng-Dhamusa.   We commit your body to the soil you protected, that it might flourish and grow;   To the air you breathed, that it might sing your name;   To the water you drank, that it may flow freely once more;   To the flame you sheltered, that it might one day roar again;   To the light you fought for, that its glories may never be forgotten;   To the dark you banished, that it may never haunt our shores again;   And to this great continent of Kitarr, that it may remember you forever.   Zheng-Kitar! Zheng's Heart. Zheng's Land. Let it be so, forever.
— Eulogy given at Zheng Lao Ka's burial by The Spirit Kings
Alignment
Current Status
Deceased
Species
Honorary & Occupational Titles
The Six-Step Shogun, The Godslayer Samurai, The Lotus Blade, Grandpa Zheng, Zheng the Great, Zheng-Dhamusa
Life
41 BSK 55 ASK 96 years old
Circumstances of Birth
Born into the waning years of the Age of Desolation, he grew up knowing nothing but death and war
Circumstances of Death
Died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by friends, family, and The Spirit Kings themselves
Birthplace
A village in the lands of modern-day Seoghar
Place of Death
His familial estate, where the village of his birth once stood
Children
Current Residence
Buried at the top of Mount Tianshi
Pronouns
He/Him
Gender
Male
Eyes
Burnished Gold, Kind
Hair
Long, coarse, black(Later bone white)
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Tanned, covered in Liver Spots
Height
5'11 (1.80m)
Weight
171lbs (77.56kg)
Quotes & Catchphrases
You will go no further, King of the Yema.   Your fight is here, with me, on this hilltop - here, a man will face a god, and show the world that you can bleed. Dare you face my blade, King of Fools? With a billion burned souls howling your name?   Six steps from the end of the world. Let's see if you can keep up.
— Zheng Lao Ka to Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon during the final duel of The Age of Desolation
Belief/Deity
Other Affiliations

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