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Talim (Soul Calibur)

Talim


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Soul Calibur was one of the major fighting game series on consoles during the turn of the century. Talim appeared in the 2003 release, Soul Calibur II.

She’s a rare example of a Filipina character from a non-pinoy source. As well as a good mix of magic and martial capabilities.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: The Last Priestess of the Winds.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Sanput (father), Lidi (mother), Kalana (grandmother).
  • Group Affiliation: Village of the Wind Deity, she also briefly protected a group of orphans with Yun-seong.
  • Base Of Operations: Southeast Asia, Village of the Wind Deity (Probably in the Philippines and most likely in Laguna de Bay in the province of Rizal Philippines based on real world research of her name and tribe), but usually mobile.
  • Height: 4’9” Weight: 93 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Talim is a descendent of a long line of shaman and priestesses of the wind deity. As such, she has a natural affinity with the occult.

She is said to be extremely talented in this regard in an age when such mysticism is starting to die out. It’s quite possible that she is the most talented priestess of her tribe for several generations.

She is able to hear things from the Wind (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Awareness). She was able to mystically purify a boy who had been tainted by the Soul Edge (although this was a rather arduous endeavor for her). She may well have other occult abilities that have not been demonstrated.

She also exercises some control over the wind (Air Animation), but this is only used as a finishing move.

Wind dance

She has also been trained from birth in the Wind Dance, a ritual to honor the Wind deity. The martial art in question is likely known as Arnis given what region she’s likely from. Arnis covers both tonfas and bladed tonfas incorporated in a ritual dance like the one she uses.

In modern day linguistics the many different styles of this and other Filipino martial arts often collectively get lumped into Eskrima for simplified nomenclature. But there are several different styles and variations of martial arts practiced in the Philippines with and without weapons.

Talim is talented with these techniques as well. Thus, she was able to adapt the dance into an efficient martial art using the ritual bladed batons as weapons rather than ceremonial pieces. Talim is also extremely agile and one of the fastest characters in the game.

Her very high speed and agility, and her small size, make her a difficult target.


History

Soul Calibur 2

Southeast Asia was thrust into an age of turmoil when Western Europe’s influence began to spread across its lands. In one particular region of Southeast Asia there lived a tribe of people who could control the winds.

Talim was the daughter of this village’s shaman. She was reared to be the last priestess. During an era where faith in the Wind Deity had waned, Talim possessed unparalleled potential to be a shaman.

Four years before Soul Calibur II, Talim was reading the winds just as she had done many times. But a violent evil aura that seemed to devour everything in its path surged into her body. Talim lost her consciousness and did not awaken for days. That was the day when the Evil Seed spread across the world.

When Talim was 15 a westerner brought a peculiar metallic fragment to their village. The westerner touted the object as a “vitality charm”. But Talim immediately recognized the evil within the piece of metal. It was the same malevolent energy that she had felt on the day she collapsed.

She immediately vowed to return it to its rightful place. And so the young priestess left on the journey, even though her elders strongly disapproved.

Soon after Talim left the village she sensed the resonance of the same evil aura from other parts of the world. She knew that everything would soon be consumed by illness if the evil force continued to spread. Talim solemnly vowed to find all of the fragments and seek their rightful place.

No matter how far she was from her home, Talim could feel the wind. She was not afraid no matter how long the journey. For she knew she would be fine as long as the winds were with her.

Soul Calibur 3, part 1

Talim continued to follow the aura of the evil fragments. She eventually learned that they belonged to an evil sword Soul Edge. Although she was nervous about being in the outside world, Talim collected several fragments.

Having sensed another source of evil energy, Talim traveled to a certain mountain range. She gazed at the steep ravine and the giant flow of water wheels built in the flowing river. As if guided by the voices of the wind, she arrived at a small water wheel. A small group of small children lived there.

Learning that one of the children was ill, Talim came in. The aura around him was filled with waves of evil. Talim realized that the boy himself was giving off the evil aura. When asked for an explanation the kid, who appeared to be the leader of the children, just smiled sadly at her.

Talim could not just leave the boy in misery. She decided to tend to him, and grew accustomed to living in the valley.

Soul Calibur 3, part 2

A cheerful young swordsman then visited the village. He went by the name of Yun-seong, and he was gathering information regarding Soul Edge.

Upon hearing this, Talim warned him about the dangers of the sword. The young man appeared to give in to her harsh tone. Thus, he remained in the valley for a while slyly waiting for an opportunity to gain information. At first, he made Talim apprehensive. But she sensed no evil coming from the young man and eventually came to accept him.

The young boy’s condition eventually grew worse. Then an idea came to Talim. She thought it would be best to pass the evil energy through her own body and out into the wind currents in the sky.

The treatment continued for several days. The evil energy was released little by little, to be purified in the atmosphere. But the impurities that remained in Talim’s body slowly piled up like sediment. These ate away at her purity as a priestess. Her ability to read the wind grew weak.

Soul Calibur 3, part 3

It was the first suffering she had ever experienced, and far greater than she could have imagined. She was losing a part of herself, something that had always been with her. Something more precious to her than words could describe. She may have given up at that point, but Yun-seong encouraged her and she persisted in her endeavor.

Despite her best efforts to treat him, the boy’s health continued to decline. His fever persisted day and night. He would not last long at this rate.

Talim pondered releasing all of the energy to the wind at once. It would be more of a large scale ritual than a treatment. Furthermore, performing it with the impurities in her body would be dangerous. But she could find no other way. The boy, however, flatly refused her idea.

The boy vented his anguish, but in the end it was Yun-seong who stepped forward to convince the boy and stop Talim and the other children from arguing with him.

Soul Calibur 3, part 4

Talim opened the boundaries of her heart, overlapping her being with the serene winds that cross the heavens. Miraculously, when the ritual ended, not a single remnant of the evil energy remained in either of their bodies.

Something had flowed throughout their two bodies and exorcised the evil energy in an instant. Talim had seen it — past where the winds blew, far to the west, a shining light had appeared. It was overflowing water, pure blue sky, and a single sword. It was a beautiful and fleeting vision, like a crystal formed over countless ages.

Without even understanding why, Talim felt her heart grow hot. After watching over the boy to help him recover, Talim continued her journey, with the many thanks of the children echoing in her ears. Something waited for her in the West. Every time the pure breeze touched her, her heart fluttered with that premonition.

Soul Calibur 4

Amidst a blue light that brought to mind shimmering waters, a single blade shone brilliantly. Talim repeatedly dreamed of the blade, ever since her vision. Yun-Seong accompanied her, though he did not seem able to understand the danger that Soul Edge posed.

Then almost immediately after they crossed paths with Yun-Seong’s countrywoman, Mi-Na, he vanished. He must have sensed that Mi-Na would try to take him back to their homeland and fled.

Talim parted ways with Mi-Na and went on alone. Then, one night, she beheld countless lights shooting into the west. It was a beautiful sight, but Talim sensed evil behind it. Soul Edge had grown in power and time was running short.

From that day forward the vision occurred to her more frequently. The sword whose power at first seemed so pure grew more formidable before her, until finally it seemed capable of wiping away all that existed around it. Talim had since grown anxious of this power that great could only warp the balance of nature.

As the winds circled the world, she could hear them screaming.


Personality

Talim is a pure hearted soul. She follows the guidance of her deity and tries to do the best she can to rid the world of evil. She seems somewhat traditional, but at the same time she defied her tribal elders by embarking on her journey to do so.

She is extremely level headed and cool in nearly every situation. In this she is the opposite of Yun-seong, her foil. She is also extremely selfless and was willing to help the village boy despite the great personal risk it posed to her.


Quotes

“Don’t worry, Talim, believe in yourself !”

“I must return the fragment to its rightful place !”

Yun-seong: “I gave this little trouble-maker a good talking to. The rest is up to you.”
Talim: “No matter how bad I feel, I won’t give up. So I don’t want you to close off your future, either…”

“It’s beautiful…”

“Wow !”

(About Yun-seong) “He’s headstrong, but he’s a good person. In the end, I’m sure he’ll make the right decision.”


DC Universe History

Talim and her abilities are vague enough that she could easily be entered whole cloth into the DCU without any problems. There really isn’t a whole lot going on in the Philippines anyway and she would likely rub shoulders with other members of the mystical community.

She’s probably a little too pure for Constantine to seduce though. Most likely she’d be one of the minor characters in the background during major mystical events and have a few low connections with various mystically oriented heroes.


Marvel Universe History

Talim is likely from a line of decendants of Tagalog Tribes that worship the deity of the wind and rain known in the real world as Anitong Tawo , and in the Marvel Universe as Anitun. Also, a priestess is a “babaylan.”

Considering in the Marvel U there is a heroine named Anitun who gets her powers from that same goddess and is but one of a long line of such champions, perhaps Talim was one of that line. And/or the greatest babaylan of her generation.

Anitun has just had an appearance in Iron Man and the Encyclopedia Mythologica, so there’s lots of room there for fodder.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Talim

Dex: 10 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Originally Thrill of Adventure, but now more leaning towards Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Wind priestess
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 026 HP: 040

Powers:
Air Animation: 04, Awareness (ML): 06, Detect (Soul Edge taint)(ML): 07, Shrinking: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Detect has the Discerning bonus as well a +10 range bonus (+2 FC).
  • Shrinking is Always On and Form Function.
  • Air Animation is catastrophically marginal and only used as a finishing move.
  • For further details on these hazy ill defined powers see I Heard it in the Wind section below.)

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics, dodging): 05, Animal Handling (birds only): 4, Artist (dancer): 05, Martial Artist: 03, Occultist (identify artifact, occult knowledge, rituals): 06L, Weaponry (melee): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Languages (Tagalog), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (paired bladed batons).

Connections:
Village of Wind (high), Hong Yun-seong (low), Seung Mi-na (low).

Drawbacks:
SIA (purifying the taint of the Soul Edge), Gradual Loss Vulnerability (becoming tainted by the Soul Edge, all powers except Shrinking).

Note:
Although Talim is a mere 15 years old this doesn’t count as having the Age (young) Drawback due to the fact that it’s the XVIth century and most people at that age were getting married and having children so she is more or less taken as seriously as any “adult” would be.

Equipment:
Syi Sarika and Loka Luha [BODY 05, EV 04, R#00, +1CS to Block]. In Talim’s village it is tradition to dance using bladed tonfas toshow respect for the wind. Though not usually used as weapons, these twoseem to work well enough for Talim. Due to the fact that they are village relics they are considered to be master work weapons and thus have slightly higher stats.


I Heard it from the Wind

Again Talim’s mystical abilities are extremely hazy. Her ability to sense the strife the Soul Edge is causing seems like pretty straight forward Awareness and she obviously can somewhat sense both the Soul Edge’s fragments and taint, but there are no real bench marks to go by for any of this since it just kind of happens off panel.

Even her Occultist ability is questionable. She’s got it no doubt, but the ability is never defined other than the wind guides her and we only get a vague notion of the rituals she does.

She also cleanses a boy who is tainted by the Soul Edge. This could be either Mystical Damage Transference or Exorcism. She does suffer negative effects of losing her Powers so it could be a backlash from DT or perhaps it’s just her Loss Vulnerability kicking in.

The ritual was a bit time consuming and seemed to take at least one hour perhaps even several hours.


Pet: Alun

Dex:03 Str:00 Bod:01 Motivation:
Int:00 Wil:01 Min:01 Occupation:
Inf:01 Aur:00 Spi:01 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 004

Powers:
Claws: 01, Flight (Winged): 05, Shrinking: 06, Telescopic Vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Shrinking is Always On and already figured.

Alun is a small tropical bird that Talim has. It’s barely seen and thus doesn’t give me any reason to think it has any special stats beyond the norm for a bird.


Design Notes

Talim’s mystical abilities are extremely hard to pin down. I’ve offered up my best theories and guess work as noted below, but most of her magical abilities are plot driven and quite often happen off panel as part of the storyline, so the upper limits and exact nature aren’t clearly defined.

Curiously this makes her more worthy than a lot of the other SC cast of a wu, since she’s:

  1. An obscure Filipino character.
  2. A mystical character with vaguely defined powers.
  3. A fairly decent mid-level martial artist.

What I’m basically saying is that she could easily be inserted into a lot of different campaigns and areas as needed to fill the void when a new original character is needed with adjustable powers to into a role. In other words she’s useful to have lying around.


By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Soul Calibur video game.

Helper(s): roto13, Sébastien Andrivet, Darci, Shire Meadows, Adam Fuqua, Bill Chamberlin.

Writeup completed on the 9th of December, 2012.

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