Back when I drew this, skunks were also another first for me. Ri'kinto practically developed himself after I came up with his initial concept.
He was raised in a wealthy family but was seen more like an outcast because of the awakening of his Auran lifeforce. Despite having talents that were unique even for Aurans, his family saw him as a failure since pursuing the life of an Auran Sage meant giving up all chances of him ever achieving the same wealth as the rest of the family (a matter they didn't like). In response to becoming the scapegoat of the family, he turned his own powers against them, which worked a little TOO well. Simple accidents suddenly because his fault, and whenever his siblings got in trouble, they ALWAYS found a way to blame him for it.
Eventually, a wandering Sage came upon the family and, needing shelter, finally convinced them to give him a place to stay for the night. During that time he discovered young Ri'kinto and his Aura, and soon convinced his family to let him leave with the Sage to train him in the ways of the Auran Sages. Not wanting to lose a son (or a scapegoat), but also realizing that him being gone would mean an end to all the random 'accidents' occurring from time to time, they let him go.
A few months after Ri'kinto's initial training, a group of assassins came upon him and the old Sage. Ri'kinto assumed that they were sent by his own family, though he had no way of proving it. Regardless, he and the Sage managed to fight them off, but not before the Sage took a fatal blow which took his life not long after the fight was over.
Not having anywhere to go or anything else to do, Ri'kinto traveled from town to town and happened to come upon another Sage... Akosha Terias. Akosha had already been traveling with Mikaou and Mai Tao, and she offered to take him in on their journey to the East. Ri'kinto had no reason not to, so he decided to tag along to see what happened.
Ri'kinto could easily be classified as the 'mage' of the group, since he has a rare Auran power of not being exclusively chained to any one single power. Instead, he could manipulate his Aura to perform various tasks as they're needed (spells, as he calls them). He is no stranger to the harshness of the world, and his fighting experience comes not only from the training given to him by the old Sage, but also the verbal fights he got into with his parents and the brutal physical fights he got into with his siblings.
His personality would probably be described as "apathetic" but in reality he just has no way of showing how he feels, so he merely stays quiet and out of the way until he's needed. Akosha has noticed many times when he would seem to be struggling in his sleep, as if fighting off a nightmare, but he seems to have no memory of these after waking up in the mornings.
When drawing him, I admit my intention was to make him the 'pretty boy' of the group, and though I meant to give him a rail-thin body (evidence of his neglect as a child), I still think he's a bit thicker than I prefer. Ah well, this likely won't be the first time I draw him, so...
Ri'kinto Valez © Aelius (me)
Background from Terragen