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#1 Age and Aging Guide on Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:35 pm

~ Age & Aging Mechanics ~

We, the staff, decided to put up a thread, regarding the age and aging of characters, because we feel it can be problematic for new members to properly assess their character's age. There is many factors, that affect this seemingly little detail, which is actually one of the important things in your character's story! So, listen carefully. Here it comes.

Factor 1: History

The rule number one, in terms of your character's age, is that does your match with the amount of history you've written. If you simply say "After 400 years from that day, he..." we will ask you to write a story for those four hundred years or that you make a character four hundred years younger - in other words, you will need to tone down the age of your character. If your history matches that of a 200 years old shinigami, we ask you to make your character a two hundred years old, not 1000 years old. For older characters, we expect a lot more story, because they have naturally experienced more than younger characters - if you're not willing to write a history of a millennia, then you cannot have that old character. We encourage you to start out with younger characters, because the older ones might need to have some lore fleshed out yo them. The next factor, Tier, will have more on this.

Factor 2: Tier & Rank

This is the second most important thing, that you have to remember, when deciding an age for your character. Our tier system has a rank associated with each tier for a reason, but they too often seem to go unnoticed. Now, we want to remind you to use common sense and aim for a certain tier, that you think you're capable of reaching with your application - then, ask yourself if it's logical to 2000 years old ex-captain, if your probable tier is 4-3. The answer is no. You cannot be that old or have such a rank, if your tier clearly shows that your on the power level of someone hundred years old or so.

Of course, even if you're less than hundred years old, you can be a captain-level combatant, that is you trained for it. Most likely, you will be a civilian, a seated officer or a gillian-class hollow, and your tier will be between 5-1 and 4-1. If you're older than one hundred years, you have better chances at being an adjuchas-class hollow, an adjuchas-class arrancar or a vice-captain, with your tier between 3-3 and 3-1. If you're more than five hundred year old, then you are better off with being 2-1 and only then you're qualified to be a captain or a vasto lorde-type hollow/arrancar.

Factor 3: Species

Each species has a different lifespan and some races were born only recently. Thus, this factor can heavily dictate the age of your character.

Humans: The mortal inhabitants of the World of Living have the shortest lifespan out of all species, as can be expected of them. An average human has the life expectancy of 70-85 years, while they are known to live as long as 122 years at maximum - however, some die younger than expected, while a few live beyond a hundred years. Humans, who have greater spiritual pressure, and are thus aware of the spiritual aspect of world around them, have a greater life expectancy, which is around 90-115 years. The same goes for ordinary humans, who live in reishi-rich environments, such as Karakura Town. These humans stay in their physical prime for longer and are generally more healthy in their late years - some studies claim, that spiritually-aware females remain fertile well beyond what an average woman does.

Quincies & Fullbringers: While the former is technically not a hybrid species, and the latter is, they share one thing in common - their unique lifespan. For quincies, the purer one's blood is, the longer one is thought to live. An echt quincy age biologically one year per every two years, which mean, that their life expectancy is twice that of an ordinary human. 140-170 years is a common age for a dying echt quincy, but those with particular prowess in their inherited powers, are known to live as long as 200 years. A gemischt quincy, in the other hand, ages biologically one year per every one year and half - which sets their life expectancy around 105-130 years - though the more human blood they have, the more closer they are to lifespan of a spiritually aware human. A fullbringer, due to being more human, than they are a hollow, age similarly to gemischt quincy and share their lifespan.

However, there is one 'but' to their aging. When a quincy or a fullbringer lives in an area, that is full of reishi - Hueco Mundo, Soul Society, etc. - their aging will slow down until it stops completely, granting them an eternal lifespan while in a spiritual plane. The moment, they leave this space, however, their will age twice as quick as an average human does, given they have spent at least a century in the 'immortal zone', greatly cutting down their lifespan. Thus, when they set residence in Soul Society or Hueco Mundo, many fullbringers and quincies are unable to ever return back home.

Hollows & Arrancars: When a deceased being has their soul chain corroded away, and they become hollows, the said being undergoes dramatic biological changes. While in their monstrous form, their age cannot be necessarily perceived - their new form has a whole different lifespan, that is based on the number of souls they devour, rather than being dependent on time. When a hollow ascends into the state of an arrancar by removing it's mask, the fact, that they do not age biologically becomes even more apparent. Their arrancar appearance reflects their human appearance at their time of death, and they remain in a kind of 'temporal stasis' through the rest of their existence. This means, that your arrancar or hollow character can be as old as you want, given their age fits in with the other factors, that might affect it.

There has been good reasons in the past, that explain why a hollow character is old, but not ridiculously powerful. The destruction of an arrancar's mask fragment renders them greatly weaker, explaining how the power they gathered for thousands of years simply fade away in a moment. If your hollow form was a weaker form of life, such as a sea cucumber, you might have had to scavenge on the leftovers of others for a millennia before you even became an adjuchas. Maybe you were neutralized by an opponent, or someone stole your power - the more creative you get here, the more likely you are to getting a higher tier, because these stories are interesting.

Born arrancars are an unique, extremely rare variety of hollow species, and because of this, they age like shinigami at first, until they hit puberty or the end of their growth. After this, their aging freezes over and stops for the rest of their life, rendering them indistinguishable from other arrancars in terms of aging process. Please note, that born arrancars are a rare occurrence.

Shinigami & Visored: The individuals, that have passed to afterlife in Soul Society, are granted a supernatural longevity - however, do not mistake it for immortality, as such a thing would be an offense against the transmigration cycle, which shinigami are sworn to protect. A natural lifespan of a civilian, who does not tap into their spiritual potential and enter the training to become a shinigami, has the life expectancy of 900-1000 years. However, those that do tap into their true potential and proceed to master it, are known to live as long as 3000 years. Now, we will explore the different landmarks from the shinigami's (re)birth to their death and reincarnation.

When a shinigami is between the years of 20 and 200, puberty and most of their growth will be completed. This period of time is the most crucial for development, as the young shinigami are better at learning things, when compared to the older ones. At this age, they will advance in power more quickly, and thus, most unseated shinigami and junior lieutenants are at this age. Before the 200 years of age, a soul reaper enters the peak of their physical prime, where they stay for the next three to five centuries. Whereas in their first two centuries, they are a blank canvas, at the start of their third, they've already became a painting - usually at this age, they begin to master the skills they've picked up in their youth. The thought of captaincy becomes realistic, in case they aren't one already; at minimum, they are high seated officers or senior lieutenants, or at least stand on equal ground.

After their seventh century, a shinigami is in their early thirties, and their level of skill and power enters a deep stasis - meaning, that soul reapers of this age have already met the deepest end of their spiritual evolution. Eighth and ninth century brings them closer to mid thirties, while at the age of one thousand years, they'd be around late thirties. The next millennia will be one of slow aging, as in the end of it they are often in their early fifties or late forties. Twenty-second century marks mid fifties, twenty-fourth century brings the late fifties, while twenty-sixth comes with early sixties - after which the aging becomes more rapid. Next fifty years will see you in your mid sixties, and the next half a century in your late sixties - in the end of next two hundred years, you'll be on your early eighties. And soon afterwards, you will meet the inevitable end of your life at the hands of old age; it can be one century after, or five centuries after, but the fact is, most don't live to three thousand years of age. However, exceptions exist in the immensely powerful.

Visored follow this system, with a shorter lifespan due to the parasitic hollow powers, that will, once they reach an older age, greatly drain their health. Their lifespan is still around 2600-2800 years of age, which means, that the difference between a visored and a shinigami is very small.

Modified Souls: Physically, an artificial soul knows no aging. Their host bodies are often preserved or created out of non-living material, so that time would have an effect on them. However, there is a limit to the ages of modified souls, due to them being the youngest species in the world - the earliest of the modified souls were developed 115 years ago, though different projects and types of modified souls might have a later date to it's beginning. If you're making a modified soul, check their lore thread for historical details.

Bounts: Often perceived as ageless due to the fact, that they can live eternally by devouring souls of mortals and spiritual beings like hollows do, bounts are not truly immortal. They age like a spiritually-aware human does, with a life expectancy of 90-115 years - however, in addition, they can extend their life by taking the life of another. By absorbing a deceased soul, they stay in the age they are in for a decade, from where they will age normally; with each dead entity they devour, they gain five years to their own life. However, when they devour a soul of a living being, they can take all of the years they had left, with the downside of killing the said person; for example, if the victim was in their 20s, then the bount would get to spend sixty years in their current age, given that the person had the potential to live to their eighties. The amount of years gained can be stunted by a disease or another type of issue on the life expectancy of a victim (like if the victim was about to die in a few weeks from a cancer). The ability comes with a downside, however. After you feed once on the souls of others, there is no going back; unless you feed on another soul before the years the previous meal gave you wears off, your body is going to catch up to your real age. And if you're a three hundred years old bount, the process will leave nothing but a skeleton behind.

It's worthy of noting, that bounts have not existed since the dawn of humanity, but rather, were given birth to by Yuusuke Kagamine, in the 1400s. Thus, your character has to be younger than six hundred years.

Factor 4: Skills & Abilities

When creating a character, you should think if their skills and powers match with their age. Are they old enough to have a bankai - which takes around ten years to train for in terms of character biography - or another shikai ability? Is their number and level of skills decent, if you look at your character's age; obviously, a eighteen years old cannot really be a master of any martial arts, while a two hundred years old definitely could. In reverse, your character's abilities, such as an exceptional regeneration or mastery of Kaido, might affect your age by extending your lifespan.

Rule of Immortality: The greatest delusion of the spiritual and mortal entities; a being can live thousands and thousands of years, but eventually, those of old age will die, one way or another. Being with a limitless life-span die, by being defeated by someone stronger, or by taking their own life; more than five thousands years of existence tends to drive beings into depression, that always ends in the same thing - defeat or suicide. Then, there is a few entities of true immortality, who seemingly have no way of dying, such as Soul King and Aizen; seemingly, is the keyword. Soul King is more of a title, that is passed down on whoever absorbs the power of it's essence; the former Soul King dies, when it's power is taken away, presenting an exception to it's immortality. Aizen, in the other hand, is "truly immortal", meaning he cannot be killed, because he's fused with the Hogyoku - this is, in fact, false, as even the stone, that can make one's wishes true, has to face death someday. Once the energy, that the Hogyoku uses to fuel itself and it's master's desires, ends, the spell of immortality will simply cease to exist along with the stone, effectively rendering the master mortal again. So, yeah, you can always avoid the death and seek out methods of prolonging your life, but there no lasting way of avoiding the flow of the cycle of life and death.

No one stays in the top for all eternity.

© Erida Seika

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