Relaxed Character ProfileCharacter Name:
Xihe (羲和), Apprentice Priestess of Huo Re Temple (火热寺庙). Her birth name was Wu (烏).Gender:
- Just shy of 152cm (5'), with a very slender build and smooth pale skin. Her natural skin colour is actually a warm sandy hue with pink undertones, but years of avoiding exposure and wearing cosmetics has lightened it. She has very little muscle and impressions of her bone structure are frequently visible on her small frame.
- Her dark hair is jet black with a ruby red sheen. There is a completely natural streak of deep ruby colour, approximately 5cm wide, on the right side of her head. This was one of the many things taken as a sign of the girl's future as a High Priestess. She does not have fringe, but if her hair is down it is apparent that the non-uniform long length has some very strange layers. As Xihe is an apprentice priestess, when appearing formally her hair is typically styled in a variety of elaborate updos, wrapped around supports and decorated with trinkets. Her "daily" style is a bit less involved, but not by much. Her hair is pulled back from her face, and five loops of hair are wound and pinned to fan out behind her head like a halo. She then has two braids that emerge in front of the loops, positioned high on her head—one entirely made of her red streak of hair, the other symmetric on the other side. A significant amount of her hair is left down, reaching the tops of her thighs, with a shorter layer that hits slightly above her waist (the same length as her braids) pulled in front of her shoulders.
- Example of Hairstyle:
- Her eyes are a very dark red that shift to a much brighter shade when she is channeling her spiritual powers. She often wears eye makeup with winged eyeliner, accenting an almond shape that her eyes don't quite actually have.
- Layers upon layers upon layers, wrapped in some more layers. Most of her clothing is combinations of black, red, orange, and yellow in various shades, tones, and textures. Her outfits often feature embroidery and gold accents. Embroidery is one of her primary hobbies, as it is expected that she make and upkeep her own clothing. It almost seems amazing that Xihe can wear so much clothing at once and not vastly overheat, but it doesn't bother her. Her wardrobe is a point of pride. Most of her outfits consist of a long-sleeved undershirt and underskirt, a skirt, a long-sleeved jacket, a waist sash, another jacket (often made of sheer fabric and having very wide sleeves), and one or more shawls. Her skirts are very long, so her feet are rarely seen, but her soft slipper-like shoes are always exquisitely embroidered. She typically wears gold jewelry and accessories, often accented with rubies.
There are very different expectations for what Xihe should wear depending on whether or not she is training in the temple or in the view of public eyes. On a typical day of her apprenticeship she might wear a simple tunic with a long skirt and jacket over it, but if she is to be seen by anyone outside of the temple she serves as a representation of their reputation and must be significantly more elaborately dressed.
- Example of Clothing:
• Prideful, often arrogant
• Sensitive, incited quickly to anger when easily insulted
• Resistant to new experiences
• VainStoryline Specific Information:
- [Relaxed] Silver Discordia:
Wu was very young when her mother abandoned her at the Huo Re Temple, but she was old enough to remember it. It is the theme of all of her recurring nightmares—that moment when the warm hand let go of hers and the other woman disappeared down the seemingly-endless stairs...and somehow, even as a child, Wu knew that the woman who feared rather than loved her was never coming back. If it hadn't been for her psychic ability, she wouldn't have been able to stay there, either. But her connection to the spiritual world was very clear even at a young age. When the Temple Elder spoke on her behalf, mentioning that he had seen her in a vision, even the few remaining skeptics were convinced.
She began training immediately, eschewing all typical military school and childhood experiences for a different, but very similar, life. They named her Xihe, after the Goddess of the Sun, and the temple elders and priestesses took it upon themselves to train this child. The primary difference between Xihe and other children was merely that she interacted with them so little—she was immediately thrust into a world of adults and expected to act accordingly. "Playtime" was traded for spiritual tests; bedtime stories swapped for fire reading. Like all children, Xihe longed for love and approval. She has always worked very hard to meet (and hopefully exceed) expectations. Most of the others in the temple have families of their own—brothers and sisters with nieces and nephews, or spouses and children. Xihe never gained that kind of closeness, even for those who felt fondly for the odd little girl among them.
Her place in the temple kept her isolated from some of the realities of war—no one that Xihe knew joined forces pushing back Jovian expansion, but she still saw the sobs of sisters learning they had lost a brother and the whispers of Priests and Priestess advising stern-faced armored men and women. Like the others, she used her connection to seek information and advice from the powers beyond this current life to aid the Martian cause. She has seen battlefields that she has never visited and felt the agony of soldiers she has never known. Her powers have increased in the many years of her training here, but lately there have been murmurs among temple council that she is not living up to her potential.
Things only became worse for Xihe when the Temple Elder announced he had a prophetic vision of her future. She would indeed become the powerful priestess to safeguard their future, but she must leave Mars to gain the experiences needed to do so. Leaving the temple, the only life she has never known and the only way she knows to succeed, is exactly the last thing Xihe wants. She fears what might be outside of her home, or what she might encounter on foreign planets, but she cannot
defy the Temple Elder.
Everyone else has been buzzing with activity to prepare Xihe for her pilgrimage, but she can't swallow the lump in her throat even as she fakes yet another smile. So far the only vaguely interesting thing about this unwanted forced trip away from the only home she's ever known has been meeting a familiar. This caused quite a stir. Xihe was with one of the temple council in the treasure storage room, where they were presenting her with some jewelry to wear on her voyage, when a spark seemed to catch fire on her robes. Before anyone could move to smother it, the fire formed into a crow with three legs, the bird seemingly made of a sooty-looking flames. This creature, which could not be parted from her, has become her primary source of distraction from the confused sadness she feels at having to leave Mars.
• Communication ability with ghosts and spirits
• Can read flames for answers to queries and glimpses of past/future
• Has a familiar, Jin Wu (金烏), a crow made of dark, smoky fire and having three legs. He does not speak, but communicates with Xihe with nonverbal cues. He appears and disappears constantly, doing so in what appears to be a spark of flame to appear and smoke blowing away when he leaves. He can amplify Xihe's psychic abilities with his presence, as well as run small errands.RP Sample:
She awoke with a start, arms trapped within the heavy blankets, groping towards escape. Her long dark hair was plastered to her skin with anxious sweat; she started shivering as soon as the night air hit her exposed skin. Xihe dragged the coverlet back towards her shoulders, pulling it closer and seeking the warmth. Her mind still reeled with confused images of shouts and screams, blood and fire.
The light was on now, the concerned face of the night maid peering around the sliding door. She knelt respectfully at the entrance. They made sure to keep as close an eye on her as possible; Xihe was valuable, after all. Someday Huo Re would be famous, when they were known for having the most powerful priestess in the land. Even the high leader would seek her advice, someday.
"It was a vision of the war, but nothing new," she replied calmly, fingers nervously reaching up to comb through her hair. "I'll look into the flames in the morning."
The dark-haired woman smiled and bowed gently. "You'll be leaving soon, miss. I'm sure they'll appreciate anything else you can tell us before then."
The casually-delivered cut through her. Xihe tried not to scowl in reply, to twist up her face and spit out a comment about how quickly everyone seems to be interested in forcing her out. But she couldn't say that. The master had spoken. His vision could not be contested. And if she did not willingly submit to this—did not do as her destiny demanded—it would not only be bad for herself, but would bring shame and dishonor on all the rest. She felt her chest tighten at the thought. This was all she had
. Even if she had to leave now, at least she could come home! If she resisted, she would truly have nothing.
It was not a happy thought to fall asleep to. When the light was extinguished, she knew that she was still not alone. They were watching and listening; she had no real privacy nor expectation of it. And that was why she pulled the covers tight over her face, ignoring the stifling feeling, and swallowed the sobs so no one would hear it, only begrudgingly letting the tears stream down her face and dampen her pillow.