Such is the life of an average Washingtonian, which is why I wear clothes that are mostly year-round good choices: a bit too hot for warm temperatures, and not warm enough for cold temperatures, but good for the average temperate day which still makes up the majority of the weather, especially when averaging things out. Of course, that means I have to actually wear them, rather than wearing just my t-shirt and shorts, so we're entering the time of year where I'm gonna be wearing my warmup clothes (jacket and pants) almost full-time.
But anyway. Work was...rather stressful. Would love to talk about it, but I'm not allowed to. So instead, I'll talk about the Whirlwind story. I did a little more for the character himself. I decided that there was a gap in his backstory: I knew how he got his katana in the first place, but the sheath coming with that katana would not have been customized.
That got me thinking, and eventually, I came up with the idea that he has had a grand total of one loss in his entire career as a bodyguard: when he was a child, before he had earned the name Whirlwind. Someone skilled and strong enough to break his sheath left a scar on him from running him through. Said person managed to kill his employer, leaving him out of work, but was impressed with his skills, offering to train him.
He accepted, and it was from this person that he got a lot of fame, until said person's death. He got back into the same line of work he was in, where his legend spread further, until the modern day, after whatever war he was fighting in.
But I also decided to develop an idea.
I talked about the techniques yesterday that his lancer gets. I was thinking that, basically, his lancer has an incredibly rare, but powerful, ability, and that others have it in some form as well. (This I already knew, because, after all: who was going to teach him? He needed something to trigger the realization.) These powers, these kis that combine trick-ki with attack ki, come in four "elements": Holy, Earth, Fire, and Darkness. These already-rare people are further made rarer by each only being capable of one type.
Holy Ki is represented as being the Wrath of the Gods: lightning in particular, but also blinding light.
Earth Ki is represented as being Nature's Blessing: water/ice attacks, rock attacks, instantaneous self-regeneration, body augmentation, the like.
Fire Ki is between Holy and Earth, and is both the weakest and strongest of them: weakest, because it lacks specialization and is easily combated by something existing on most of the planet (that is, water). Strongest, because it represents Blessing of the Gods, and Wrath of Nature: it can leave damage which cannot be healed, and can boost the physical performance of the fighter because they are "enlightened", making it harder for them to be hurt.
Darkness Ki is also the weakest and strongest of them: it is an "element" of trick-ki mixed with attack-ki where the user lacks any association with the others, so at its simplest, it's just a slightly unusual attack. At its mid-level power, however, Darkness Ki consumes ki, acting as a form of anti-magic. And at its strongest, Darkness Ki can be used to physically "consume" things other than ki, making it instantly-dissolve things that it touches.
Of course, these abilities are all rare. They also are all with their own weaknesses and quirks. For instance, Darkness Ki doesn't absorb energy so much as it makes energy disappear from the intended target, so a Darkness Ki user will burn through their energy reserves very fast and collapse easily from it.
These kis are not superior to normal, non-elemental kis (which make up 99.99% of kis, seeing as how these "elemental" kis are a special power in of itself that is rare, and mind you not every fighter even uses ki since knowledge of ki isn't exactly everyone-knows-about-it because it's just common enough to not be rare but just uncommon enough to not be standard), just being specialized fighting styles that use ki as a central point.
They all have the same basic principle, though, and that's fighting an opponent using deceptive, confusing maneuvers, which use these attacks as augmentation and are meant to deal real damage while lacking tangible ways of having given it, a way of extending ki to its fullest.
Gives a nice touch to it without overpowering it. Again, I'm not talking, "tossing fireballs", here. I'm talking, short-ranged, quick bursts of energy: there, then gone. Things that can blast an opponent back, and cut an opponent even if not directly hit, but which don't leave an entire battlefield rubble.
Plus, not the protagonist, so you just know it's not gonna be overpowered! At least comparatively.