Shaman of the Owl Totem
Name: Benjamin Kootenai Martin
Known Aliases: Gray Owl, Gray, Owl
PoB: Taholah, Salish
DOB: Aug. 12, 2040
Hair: Brown, with black & white specks
Ben is remarkable for his shoulder-length brown with black & white specks, which he does to mimic the common feather patterns of an owl. He favors a duster colored in Native American design, and bearing the totemic design of an owl; with the cape resembling the shoulders of an owl to the point of having feathers hanging from its edges. Aside from these nods to his heritage and totem, he dresses in the everyday fashion of modern Seattleites.
Ben rarely makes an appearance during the daytime, unless necessary due to shopping necessity and what-not. It’s easy to mistake him for having a hangover at such times, as he winces through the day light and with an ever-present cup of soy-caf from the local Starbucks in hand. Ben is quiet and reserved and often comes across as “stoic.” All of this makes him something of a loner, and he has a small circle of friends. Those friends would replace the notion of his stoicism with that of a wise listener.
Ben is a shaman of the Owl totem who lives in the Kirkland neighborhood of Bellevue. He is of Quinault Indian descent, but moved with his parents to Seattle when he was twelve. His grandfather gave him the name “Kootenai,” which coincidently means “white owl” in Quinault. He has fond memories of his youth living in the village of Taholah; from the packs of neighborhood dogs roaming the streets, picking driftwood from the Quinault River, buying licorice at the village’s only store, or wandering the forest and fire lanes outside of the village.
At age 14, Ben was beaned in the head by a line drive during a softball game and knocked out cold. While he was out, he had his first vision, in which he was an owl on Mt. Olympus perched in a tree. He listened with the owl’s ears, tuning out the extraneous noise to hear the rustling of a mouse in the foliage below. He lifted quietly into the air on the owl’s wings, weaving through the branches of the forest while keeping his head fixed firmly on the noise. Finally, he saw the mouse exactly where his keen hearing had put him, and oblivious to the ghostly hunter above. With a smooth pivot to bring his claws to bear, he dropped onto his pray. As his claws snapped shut, Ben suddenly jumped into a sitting position on the pitcher’s mound, surrounded by his concerned and confused teammates.
When his parents found out about what had happened, they sent him to Lake Quinault Lodge to learn the ways of the shaman with the basket weaver, Harvest Moon.
After learning the ways of the shaman, Ben returned to Seattle and moved to the Bellevue District. He occasionally visits the Mayadeva Center for enchanting supplies, as it was the closest talismonger shop to his apartment. It was there that he made friends with the owner’s son, Rajiv. As much as he wishes that Rajiv would pursue his awakened nature more strongly, he wisely accepts that Rajiv must follow his path where it leads him. Rajiv also introduced him to Indian cuisine through the restaurant he works at.
Ben has made a decent living from his enchanting, but when Rajiv mentioned that a grood family friend was a shadowrunner, Ben realized a part of him deep within that longed for that danger. On reflection, maybe it was his totem giving him a subtle nudge, but he expressed his interest with Rajiv, saying something like, “I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at that.”
A month after that conversation, Ben was roused out of a deep sleep by the chirp of an owl in his bedroom in the early morning. There was no owl in his room, of course, but in looking around the room he did notice his cell phone lighting up with an incoming call. The ringer was turned off so as not to disturb his sleep, but he knew right away what Owl wanted. He picked up the phone and found that it was Rajiv, who started off the call with, “you know my friend who does shadowruns?”