Rena Mei is what many would call an old soul. Extremely insightful and intuitive, she can sometimes appear aloof and overly demanding with regard to others' abilities, a fact noted by many of the music students she teaches. In truth, however, like any good teacher she knows when to push and when to praise, when to pressure and when to encourage, and is always more than willing to offer a kind ear or a shoulder to cry on to those in need. Although a classical musician, her passion is in the more soulful melodies, and she tends to have a rather down-to-earth, straightforward attitude. Despite her constant contact with the supernatural, she does her best to live a normal life, refusing to let any of her impairments -- or gifts -- get the better of her.
Conscience : 4
Courage : 3
Self-Control : 3
Kinfolk Gifts (7) -- See Talk Page
Social Attributes 1 dot (5)
Skills 2 dots (4)
Willpower, 4 dots (4)
Backgrounds, 1 dot (1)
- SLOT 1 (+learn or +teach)
- Name: +learn Brawl 1
- To/From: Jericho Nichols
- Approved By: Weaver
- Slot Status: Locked as of 11/19/10
- As part of his chiminage, and in light of the recent appearance of several Spirals in the area, Jericho has decided to teach some of the local Kin how to protect themselves, including Rena.
- SLOT 2 (+learn or +teach)
- Approved By:
- Slot Status: Open
- SLOT 3 (+learn or +teach)
- Approved By:
- Slot Status: Open
- SLOT 4 (+learn or +teach)
- Approved By:
- Slot Status: Open
- Enigmas 1 from Starcaller, approved by Luna (4/12/10) As the frequency and intensity of Rena's visions increased after her arrival in Crystal Springs, the kin appealed to Nick for help upon suggestion from Rommy. Nick's wide network of contacts connected her with Stars, who agreed to help her learn to understand and perhaps better control her visions.
- Brawl 1 from Jericho, approved by Weaver (11/19/10) As part of his chiminage, and in light of the recent appearance of several Spirals in the area, Jericho has decided to teach some of the local Kin how to protect themselves, including Rena.
Blind: Rena was diagnosed with congenital blindness before she was one year old. In this life, she has never known sight.
Heightened Hearing: Though visually impaired persons often learn how to better use their other senses, Rena seems to have an even more heightened sense of hearing than normal.
Sensitivity: Rena comes from a long line of sensitive women, from both sides of her family, and from a young age heard discussions from her mother, aunts, and maternal grandmother of their experiences with the supernatural, both as Kin and otherwise. She is very in-tune to the supernatural energies around her, able to feel and hear things that others may not. Only recently has Rena begun to accept and develop this facet of her being, however, having previously resisted this gift when it has made itself known.
Sight from Beyond: Rena's visions began to manifest themselves in her teenage years. Though she cannot see, she has extra-sensory experiences of smell, sound, taste, touch, etc. This can come in the form of anything from vague whispers to feeling like she is at another time and place. The messages are often cryptic and it is not always easy for her to distinguish these perceptions from reality, though in the case of stronger sensations such as suddenly being in a different place, the effect is generally more easily distinguished.
Oracular Ability: After a flood of visions greeted Rena upon her arrival in Crystal Springs, the Garou community stepped up to help her learn to make the most of her ability. Though she still has not learned to completely control her reactions to them, she has learned to better interpret her visions as well as the other signs around her. Her recent absence from Crystal Springs has been dedicated to this training.
Performance (Stringed Instruments, Cello): Rena is a professional Cellist, currently performing with the Crystal Springs Symphony Orchestra. She is currently looking for a new jazz ensemble. A music teacher, she specializes in cello but has the ability to teach young students of other stringed instruments such as violin and viola.
Crafts: Over the years, Rena has learned to do small repairs on musical instruments, such as sound post adjustments, bow rehairing, etc.
Resources: Although she does not reach for stardom, Rena's music career has allowed her to live comfortably, and she's been able to save up a small sum for use if someone she knows is in need, or if she needs to finance travel arrangements. She also has posession of her grandfather's cello, a beautiful instrument whose worth is not just sentimental. Her small apartment can be found above a bookshop in a nice part of town, where she enjoys relative peace and quiet.
Fame: Rena is well known among the local classical music community as a classical performer and teacher. Branching out from classical music into jazz-fusion and 'world' music, Rena has made a small name for herself on a national scale among music buffs, as a member of a jazz quartet, as well as for her beautiful solo performances. More than anything, the young woman is known for the passion with which she plays, almost able to sing emotion through the strings. For performance purposes she generally goes by her first two names "Rena Mei."
Music Examples: Edit
Kol Nidrei, Max Bruch
The Eternal Vow
Mood Indigo, Duke Ellington
Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G
They say that many of my grandmothers' gifts were passed down to me, though in this life I only ever met one of these great women before she passed on. When my father Nikolao came to the mainland to study a program in Coastal Agriculture, he never thought to stay away from his native Hawai'i. He couldn't have expected at the time that he would meet Anne Marie Luthier, a young and passionate music student from British Columbia, and what's more, a Children of Gaia Kin. It was not exactly love at first sight, for my mother, though stunning with her fine French-Metís features, had an even more truly remarkable voice. Their courtship lasted for several years, before the music teacher and the engineer finally married, making their home on Vancouver Island to be closer to my mother's parents while they were still living. My brother and I were born shortly thereafter, pushed forth into a world filled with love and wonder in the happy home of two very compatible Kin. My brother was given the name Renee Iokopa, and I was named Rena, or "Melody" for my maternal grandmother, because even in the womb my love for music was apparent. Mei, my middle name, was given to honor my father's mother.
It was not long after my birth that my mother began to fear that something was wrong with her newborn girl, though her mind was also occupied with my brother. Renee's Baptism of Fire had revealed that the two Kin had given birth to a new cub, and he was brought into the Stargazer tribe of my father, while I was named into my mother's tribe. At the age of three months, however, when I still had yet to focus on faces, and toys seemed only to interest me if they came accompanied by bells or rattles, my mother took me and her worries to the doctor, and before the year was out a diagnosis of congenital blindness was confirmed. Having been born into a musical family, however, I was quickly put on the path to finding my lifelong love. Bouncing on top of the piano as my mother played, I grew to adore the beautiful sounds and vibrations that came from within. It was not until I put my hands on a stringed instrument, however, that I found my true place. By the age of six I could already pick out a few scratchy melodies on the cello, and would spend hours listening to the classical music disks my mother had on hand.
Gifts and Changes
When we were thirteen, Renee's and my world began to change. I was practicing for a recital just before our 14th birthday when my first "vision" came. I felt voices gather around me, whispering and scratching through the cello bow as the air seemed to grow thin. Suddenly all sound seemed to melt away, and I could smell the moist rotting of the deep forest, and feel the soft squish of decaying leaves beneath my feet. A nightingale cooed in the near distance. There was a sudden burst of sound, and something rushed towards me, growling and snarling, before knocking me to the ground, sinking sharp teeth into my shoulder. My mother found me screaming and thrashing on the floor of my room amid a mass of sheet music and a broken cello bow.
Having had several Garou brothers, my mother had a Gift for calming down almost any situation, and began to give me instruction in the same. It helped a great deal that through music I had already learned how to transcend the current moment, to let my spirit soar to the beautiful sounds vibrating through the instruments around me. When my "visions" came, I gradually learned to just let the moment wash over and through me, rather than being filled with abject terror.
As the next couple of years passed, Renee became more irritable, prone to taking off on his own. It was soon after our sixteenth birthday that our father told us that the Stargazers would be leaving for the east, and that Renee would be sent away before them month was out. My brother was devastated. The next day, as he was preparing to take off to the woods alone, I begged him to let me come with him. It would not be long, after all, before we would no longer have the opportunity to spend time together. Renee relented, but he took off impatiently, clambering through the forest, breaking through branches, still always keeping my hand wrapped tightly in his. As the night grew colder, it became apparent that in his conflicted and turmoiled state he had gotten lost. I could hear the panic and anger rising in his voice, the quickening of his already agitated breath, and suddenly, a strong sensation of Deja-Vu poured over me. The decaying leaves squished beneath our feat. A nightingale call rose into the air. I concentrated on relaxing, feeling the warmth build up inside me. I reached out to envelope Renee in my arms, letting the energy flow into him. I could feel his body shaking violently, and within moments there was the sudden burst of fur against my skin. And then, I was falling, rolling down an embankment, having been thrown backwards as my brother fled.
I had no hope of finding my way from the forest alone. The night frost settled in, biting at my limbs, and I felt moisture wash over my feet. Two hands pulled me into a stand, and I suddenly felt the warmth of the sun splash on my face, a salty breeze tugging at my hair. The two women at my side had sturdy, warm hands, and their hair smelled of vanilla and a mixture of sweet blossoms that I couldn't identify, but that calmed and comforted me like whispers from some distant memory. "Our little Rena Mei is growing into a beautiful woman. Remember, we will are always with you. Don't be afraid of what is to come."
I didn't really have contact with Renee after that. My parents said that others from the Tribe were able to track him down after his Fox Frenzy, and he was taken East with all the rest. Three months passed, and a letter finally came in the mail. As my mother read it to me, the words sounded distant, aloof, as if my brother were fulfilling a duty rather than any desire for contact. Eventually, the letters petered out and stopped. Soon I had other things to preoccupy my mind. I finished high school and started at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. The years passed in a whirl of practice sessions, performances, and music students. My mind seemed to have quieted too; the warnings subsided. Until recently.
I guess fate brings a good many of us here to Crystal Springs. There is just something about this city. The threads of energy that run through it like so many different melodies interwoven in the darkness. I came here originally for a job, on a hunch. The opportunity to be Principal Cellist at the Crystal Springs Symphony Orchestra was only part of the draw; my visions had already begun to nudge me along. And now that I'm here I know it is no coincidence that here I found family along along with a whole network of supportive beings, who have helped me to better understand my Gifts and accept that there is some role for me to play in this great mystery. I can only hope that if a time comes when I am needed, I will not be lost in the tide.
- Visions: Rena's Gift allows her to receive visions and interpret omens warning of events that are to come.
- Brother: Rena's twin brother, Renee, is a Stargazer who went East with the rest of the tribe. She has not heard from him in many years, if anyone's interested in playing a comeback!
- Rena is Rommy Akana's cousin.