|Full Name:||Ren Aizawa|
|Age/Birthdate:||16 (December 5th)|
|Least Favorite Food:||Curry|
|Least Favorite Subject:||...Everything else|
|School:||Infinity Institute (Grade 11)|
|Source:||Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha|
"...I think I can help!"
Ren Aizawa has never quite lived up to the expectations of her accomplished family. A girl of zero renown, she's struggled with finding her lot for as long as she remembers. With a lifetime of mediocrity stretching out before her, Ren desperately wished for a miracle. Fortunately, someone was listening, and her prayers were answered. Deep within the confines of her new school Ren stumbles upon a beautiful ring. Except it wasn't just an exquisite piece of jewelry – it was Souverain Heraut, an intelligent device that grants the ability to embrace the magical energy within oneself and wield it fantastically. Officially forming a contract and becoming a mage-in-training, Ren has transformed from a dull schoolgirl to a majestic champion of justice!
Ren had the misfortune of being born an ordinary girl in an extraordinary family. Her parents were both top researchers in their chosen fields, while her older brother Yuu was found to be a child prodigy at a young age. Of course, many would argue the validity of determining a child's “worth” at such a young age. Though Mr. and Mrs. Aizawa would certainly contest any negative opinions on the matter thrown their way, being the outspoken geniuses they were. Ren was placed into a multitude of “early nurturing” activities as a result of her parents' ideals. It had seemingly worked for her brother – so logically the same should have been true for her.
Well.. not quite it turned out. Ren didn't seem to have any aptitude for the same things as Yuu did. She wasn't musically or artistically inclined or anything of the sort. Ren was overwhelmingly “average”, and seemed much more interested in being a child than living up to any grandiose expectations. Her parents were floored. How could this have happened? Though to their credit, they didn't outright shun her for not embracing what they tried to push onto her. At the same time however they certainly weren't wholly content. They even held out hope that their young daughter would still have time to “catch up” and hopefully find her niche.
Though Ren did nothing of the sort. Entering public elementary school (Juuban) she continued to do most of what was expected of her. Unlike her brother Yuu she didn't shoot to the top of her class or display any sort of advanced level of maturity. As time advanced and it became apparent she wouldn't be bringing home any medals every single day, her parents resigned themselves to loosening the reins somewhat. This had a fairly good effect on Ren for the most part, since she hadn't been completely oblivious to their feelings on the matter. With their focus off of her she was free to spread her wings and pursue the things she wanted to at her own leisure.
The novelty of having little obligations to her parents however began to wear off when she became a teenager. Yuu had been accepted into Ohtori Academy thanks to his academic (and the Aizawa's financial) prowess. Such an accomplishment became THE main topic of conversation for months. Having people come up to her to gush over her ~handsome brother~ and his status as one of the elite got old for Ren quite quickly. A bit of resentment started to build up as customary – though not quite enough for any sibling rivalry to take place. Ren knew Yuu was in an entirely different league than her. A league she couldn't even hope to break into with her lack of obvious talents.
Playing second fiddle to her brother continued to eat away at Ren well into junior high. It prompted her to even try her hand at joining a few clubs and sports. Still Ren found she held no real passion for either of them no matter how hard she tried to pretend otherwise. She yearned to be good at /something/. /Anything/. There had to be some unknown trait about her waiting to be discovered. Ren's gut instinct told her it existed – though gave her no clues as to what direction to take in finding it.
Fortunately enough, the timely invention of the Sister Schools Program would prove to be the catalyst Ren needed to jumpstart her otherwise humdrum life. Her class was taken on a school-sponsored trip to the Infinity Institute to give them a taste of what life in such an advanced establishment of learning entailed. Ren had no idea that during the tour she'd gotten the attention of one of the faculty members who had passively observed the gathered outsiders. And she definitely had no idea that a week later she would receive a formal recruitment package and invitation to join the esteemed charter school. Her parents of course were overjoyed... while Ren was rightfully puzzled. She hadn't expressed any intention to go to the Infinity School, so why had they given her a spot so readily?
She didn't have much time to ponder the motives behind the school's insistence she become part of their ranks. All the necessary paperwork was filed and her transfer from Juuban was complete. Leaving behind her old school for a brand new one wasn't easy, especially since she'd just made the transition to high school not long beforehand. All of this left Ren feeling very out of her element during those initial weeks at Infinity. The curriculum was varied, and intimidating. While the atmosphere of Infinity did not feel as “elite” as Ohtori, there was still a certain degree of prestige that she found herself struggling to live up to. The uniform got her looks of acknowledgment from people in public. Being an Infinity student meant something. Though it felt good to be looked at in such a way, Ren couldn't totally shake the feeling of being an imposter. What if others found out she wasn't as great as her fellow peers? She would surely be laughed at, and the school would realize it made a grave mistake and cut her loose! But nothing of the sort was in the cards for her. Ren owed her admission not to some random oversight doomed to a swift correction and a miasma of shame – rather, it was her own yet hidden talent, an inborn capacity for magic she could not know she possessed. It was this – this capacity for which she had been selected; this capacity for which her observer had been silently scanning the children. A close eye was kept on her, though interference was restricted. It was much more preferable to manifest magical abilities on her own instead of being pushed into it.
Not long after getting her bearings Ren felt herself suddenly afflicted with a strange compulsion. From somewhere within the school she could sense /it/ – waiting for her to come along and stake her claim. She tried ignoring what she felt in the beginning, chalking it up to her imagination. The draw towards /it/ only intensified, gnawing away at her thoughts so much that it became unbearable. So, without even knowing what she was potentially getting into, Ren heeded the call. The trail lead her deep into the school – deeper than she'd ever been. Finally she arrived at a darkened laboratory. Slipping inside she was met with many odd sights that made her question just what kind of place Infinity really was. With the calling at its strongest within the mysterious room, she eventually sniffed out the focal point – a solitary silver ring with an ornate gold stone in the center and strange runic symbols engraved within its band. Before she could stop herself she'd picked it up and immediately deposited it into her pocket, then made a hasty retreat.
Ren was floored for the most part. Why did she steal the ring? She wasn't a thief! Days went by, each one ending in a failed attempt to return it to the lab. It just seemed like doing so would've been a grave mistake. On the plus side the distraction the ring had been serving as seemed to lessen now that she had it within her grasp. Almost like it had been soothed as a result of being rescued from that musty room. And at times she swore the gem in the center would pulse faintly. Totally /not/ normal behavior for a piece of jewelry to exhibit.
All would be answered in the most spectacular way possible during her usual walk home. She was a bit later than usual thanks to stopping off at her favorite cafe. As she hurried to make it home before it got too dark, a scream cut through the air. Not typically someone who ran into potential danger, Ren shockingly found herself hurrying into the alleyway where the scream originated. What she saw made her blood run cold. A giant monstrous creature was looming over a passed out couple. It was unlike anything she'd seen before, and when it turned to face her the pit in her stomach swelled. She was going to be eaten!
No... That wasn't going to happen! As the monster jumped towards her, Ren intuitively raised her hands. A golden incandescent barrier of light formed in front of her just as the monster would've made contact. The beast roared as it was then pushed back into the rubbish bins lining the alleyway. Ren stood there, barrier still up, eyes wide with surprise. What... had she done that?! The answer – yes. But not entirely on her own. A voice began speaking out to her, and it took her just a few moments to realize it was coming from the ring, now inexplicably floating in front of her. In stunned silence she listened as it introduced itself as Souverain Heraut. Ren wanted to believe she was hallucinating. Although this was no fever dream. The talking ring was as real as the terrible monster currently struggling to get back upright. With the stark reality of the situation setting in, she /knew/ it was up to her to resolve it.
Souverain Heraut responded affirmatively to Ren's internal declaration. He could grant her the power she needed to subdue the creature. All she had to do was repeat the passphrase that had been buried within her subconscious the moment she first made contact with the ring – and the contract would thus be formed. The growls and furious snapping of jaws filled her ears as she closed her eyes and uttered those words of power.
- “A royal duty to defend against tyranny... To strike down chaos where it lurks... To become a shining beacon that beats back the darkness... SOUVERAIN HERAUT, SORTIE!”
A pillar of light immediately exploded into the sky, surrounding Ren completely. In the next instant her clothes melted away, and the floating ring expanded, unrolling into a shiny silver rod. The golden stone shaped itself into the “cap” of the rod, which soon took on the shape of a stately scepter. Floating in front of Ren still, the device launched forth several searing flares of magical energy that proceeded to conform to parts of her body. In a flash her barrier jacket was formed, providing Ren with protective armor fit for a monarch. Only once the last piece was in place did she finally reach out and take Souverain Heraut in hand, accepting her new destiny as its master.
Transformation complete, Ren stood proudly in the alleyway. She could feel the weight of the magic now at her fingertips. The monster didn't seem as scary, either. With Souverain Heraut under her command there was nothing to fear. Again the creature leapt at her, though this time Ren nimbly avoided it by flying backwards into the air. Not content with giving up its prey, the beast followed, and an exhilarating aerial roof top chase played out between the two opposing parties. Ren continued to avoid her opponent's blows, taking advantage of her smaller build to lose the perusing behemoth in a crack between two buildings just big enough for her alone to fit through. Emerging from the other side unscathed she slowed to a stop, panting heavily in response to the adrenaline rushing through her veins. She felt so alive!
Souverain Heraut spoke again, imploring her to use a spell to strike back at their enemy. Knowing continued evasion wouldn't bring an end to the fight, Ren complied, flying up higher to get a bird's eye view of the pacing monster down below. Relying on further encouragement from Souverain Heraut, she focused her magic into conjuring up a swarm of golden jewels in the air around her. Radiating with her spiritual heat, they sizzled and crackled with concentrated intensity. With a flourish of her scepter she commanded them to strike, each gem zipping off to cut through their intended target like a hot knife through butter. The beast roared in pain, crippled from the surprise strike. Ren clearly had it on the ropes now! It was time to finish this.
An elegant golden circle of magic appeared beneath her feet, spinning as preparations were made. Souverain Heraut declared himself to be shifting into Engagement Mode before the scepter morphed into a glittering rapier complete with a jewel-encrusted basket hilt. Thrusting it forward, tendrils of energy spilled forth, billowing around the blade ominously. Fully charged with power, Ren dove at the defenseless brute, letting out an echoing war cry. The moment the sword sunk into inky flesh a dazzling explosion of light lit up the entire block. And when it faded, the only thing left behind was Ren standing in a smoking crater.
Coming down from the battle was no easy feat. It took soothing words from Souverain Heraut to coax Ren into dispelling her transformation. The scepter disappeared, leaving the ring peacefully within her palm. Sirens started blaring in the distance, snapping Ren out of her trance enough for her to make a hasty retreat. She didn't stop running until she got home and up to her room, collapsing face-first onto her bed. As she lay there catching her breath she played out the tumultuous events in her head. Bringing the palm in which she clutched the ring to her chest Ren stayed curled up that way until eventually slipping into a quiet slumber.
The first act upon awakening the next morning was a thorough interrogation of Souverain Heraut. His answers were at times both vague and forthright. Using the term “Mage” to describe what Ren was, he commended the magical aptitude she displayed during the previous night's scuffle. A dedicated training regimen, he insisted, was what she was in need of, and vowed to teach her everything. Ren was taken aback. It was weird to be putting her trust in a talking magical device... but Ren's heart told her Souverain Heraut would not steer her wrong. And passing up the chance to nurture her emerging magical talents sounded like a bone-headed move to begin with. So with a steely gaze, Ren pledged herself to giving it her all.
Now with a noticeably brighter future ahead of her, Ren chooses to defend the interests of the common man, and beat back the forces of evil.
Ren relies on the innate magic produced from her linker core as well as Souverain Heraut, her chosen intelligent device which aggrandizes her abilities and aids in spellcasting. The device itself is rather steeped in stateliness, taking the standby form of a ring so baroque in aesthetics that it would be at home in a museum dedicated to lost treasures. The same florid display is just as prevalent in its active mode – a silver, bejeweled scepter. Her spells are focused through it, the intricacies of which are largely handled by Souverain Heraut, and mostly takes the form of flashy, glittering blasts. Furthermore, there is a secondary active form that her device is able to shift into – Engagement Mode! The scepter twists itself into a snazzy rapier fit for close-quarters melee action. The blade hums with power and will cut through most targets as though they were made of wet tissue paper.
Recently, her device has been upgraded to Souverain Heraut Lustre, granting her a much lighter barrier jacket that emphasizes speed over her former dedicated barrier capabilities while simultaneously granting her both melee and ranged attacks. Heraut takes on a new form as well -- a brilliant white lance which allows her to charge through enemies in a flash. Additionally, she can conjure up phantasmal duplicates of her lance that are much smaller in size which can be launched on her command, similar to spears.
Interestingly enough, Ren is able to perform a rare technique with Souverain Heraut known as Core Fusion, which she discovered during the final battle with Jaren and Citadel. By merging her linker core with Heraut's own core she accesses a new transformation -- Sovereign Mode! In this state her combat capabilities are greatly increased, allowing her to deliver swift punches, jabs, and kicks that really pack a wallop. Simply put, she is the weapon, her body reinforced by several layers of barrier spells that all must be penetrated in order to really damage her. Unfortunately, she cannot maintain this form for extended periods of time as it severely drains her (and Heraut's) reserves, making it a risky gamble that should only be undertaken in the direst of situations.
Plots: Current and Past
- The Jewel Seeds: Possibly the first real ongoing magical conflict Ren found herself involved in. A set of dangerous Lost Logia that were loose on Earth and being collected by Fate Testarossa for a then unknown reason. She, along with Lera Camry and Endo Naoki, aided Nanoha Takamachi who was also collecting them. Everything came to a boiling point in the Garden of Time where they confronted Precia Testarossa, Fate's "mother" and the person behind the girl's dogged determination in retrieving the seeds. In the end Precia fled to Al-Hazard, thus putting an end to the destruction she was willing to wreak. It also left them with Fate as a new ally, which was perhaps the best possible outcome (aside from Earth not being destroyed, of course).
- Jaren Zastava: Ren then found herself the target of a rogue Midchildan mage named Jaren Zastava, who seemed adamant about taking Heraut from her. Luckily, she received backup in the form of Lera, whose whole reason for coming to Earth was to track Jaren down. Formerly an assistant of Lera's mother, Mera Camry, he stole a device she'd crafted, Broken Ground, and fled to Earth to be an all-around thieving jerk on a much grander scale. Further investigation revealed he was working for some mysterious employer interested in magical artifacts and devices. After weathering several attacks, including a very personal one where Jaren used her brother Yuu as bait and another where he managed to take Soaring Sky from Lera, there was a final showdown pitting them against him and the newly found, massively powerful Lost Logia known as Citadel. But what Jaren didn't know is that his continued harassment forced the bond between Ren and Souverain Heraut to deepen. Heraut's until-then unknown past was revealed to his master by himself. He was a tool originally created for the sole purpose of combating overwhelmingly dangerous Belkan threats. His master before Ren realized this and was able to tap into Heraut's true capabilities in a desperate bid -- though the act cost him his life. But with Citadel determined to teleport back to his homeland of Belka -- which would inadvertently take Tokyo Tower and the surrounding area with him -- Ren and Heraut had no choice but to undergo a merging of their individual cores and unleash the very same power that utterly consumed Heraut's previous wielder. With it, they were able to successfully stop Citadel, while Lera's own newly gained abilities allowed her to finally beat Jaren down into the dirt and reclaim Broken Ground.
- Locks and Keys: Pure hearts are being stolen! Ren is suitably shocked, and mobilizes to help stop the one's responsible. A series of skirmishes ends up leading them onto a strange ship in space where they face down murderous drone knights. They target her and Heraut specifically upon becoming aware of them, and in the end everyone is forced to retreat. Then, Endo finds a special slot to slide Stern into, and much to Heraut's dismay the Belkan device is upgraded! And shortly after that, so is Ren's! Heraut unlocks new functions in response, and together the group manages to defeat the knights and return to Earth in one piece.
- The Family
- Mr. and Mrs. Aizawa (Parents): Ren's relationship with her parents has improved from where it once was. Still, their attempts at showing affection can be categorized as "awkward" at best, but Ren knows their hearts are in the right place. They've begun questioning her about plans for her future, however, which is starting to put a strain on Ren's daily life just a tad. She can't quite imagine how they'd react to her telling them she plans on fighting bad guys as a magical girl for the foreseeable future...
- Yuu Aizawa (Brother): The quintessential "Golden Child", Yuu is a smarty-pants. He's also very good at being an older brother, which can sometimes be a pain, but Ren appreciates his concern for her nevertheless. Yuu's graduated from Ohtori and has now entered University, meaning he's so busy that she doesn't get to see him much these days outside of important family events.
- Friendly Sorts
- Souverain Heraut (Intelligent Device): Ren and Heraut have been through a lot ever since she accepted him into her life. Things are much less mysterious between them ever since the Jaren incident -- he's even revealed himself to have quite the (mostly unintentional) sense of humor. Ren wouldn't trade him in for anything in the world.
- Nanoha Takamachi: A very adorable, hard-working little mage girl. Ren has come to see her as a true ally in the struggle against bad things and will react appropriately should someone threaten the tiny redhead. Though she worries about her tendency to take nearly impossible tasks onto herself. Still, she seems to handle them well...
- Lera Camry: Another mage! And she goes to Infinity too! She and Lera are pretty much best friends forever, now -- especially after working together to put an end to Jaren's dark plans. Ren would do just about anything for the Midchildan-Who-Is-Posing-As-An-American.
- Fate Testarossa: Fate-chan has come a long way. Once an enemy, now a good friend and ally. Ren treats her like the little sister she never had and constantly worries about her well-being, considering all she's been through with her "mother" Precia. The Garden of Time Incident was the definite turning point, and even though Ren looks back on it not-so-fondly, she's happy nevertheless that Fate came out of it with a new beginning.
- Eri Shimanouchi: Stumbled upon her within the barrier of a particularly aggressive Familiar and ended up saving her life. After that it was only logical that they hit it off. Ren is especially worried about Eri's views on her own status as a magical girl. They've kept in touch and have become the best of friends. Ren will readily drop everything to help Eri-chan -- no question about it!
- Endo Naoki: An old classmate from Juuban that Ren ran into at the arcade. Turns out he's pretty cool. AND A MAGE. They've developed quite a close friendship since that initial meeting (certain disagreements aside), which only continues to grow... perhaps into something more? Answer: YES. IT HAS. THEY ARE AN ITEM. THE BEST ITEM. <3333
- Kinzo Hiroyuki: Met him during a witch fight he participated in. Once identities were revealed Ren realized he went to Infinity! They've chatted in the hallways upon seeing one another since then, with her considering him to be a pretty nice guy. She chooses to overlook the apparently dark past-life he used to lead -- he seems genuinely repentant and determined to be on the side of good. And that's all that counts.
- Mai Tokiha: During the same meeting with Mamoru, Ren met Mai, a waitress at the Linden Baum Diner. She and Mamoru seem to be close friends, so Ren had no trouble starting up a conversation with the high schooler. She recommended a dish that Ren ended up enjoying greatly which makes her good company to keep!
- Setsuna Higashi: Setsuna-san has definitely gone through quite a bit. From being a member of Labyrinth to a becoming a Pretty Cure is quite the turnaround. Ren is happy for her, however, and supports her relationship with Lera 100%!
- Not So Friendly Sorts
- Jaren Zastava: The jerk with the sideburns as he was often referred to. Was trying to do some really bad things that got his butt kicked by Lera, Ren, and everyone else. Nothing but a distant memory now, thankfully. Phew!"
Logs / Cutscenes