Making of a Realm
Race: Changeling (Blood Hag)
Date of Birth: October 19th
Age: young adult (presently 16 years old)
Height: 5’1’’ ft.
Weight: 99 lbs
Ameno Uzume is small and lithe. She has long black hair and, like all changelings, heterochromatic eyes (one brown, one green) and pale white skin. By human standards she is considered attractive. Perhaps the best hint at her true race is her fingernails: Uzume inherited the hag’s claws, which she files and paints constantly in an attempt to conceal them, especially at times when she is anxious or concentrated.
In all ways she attempts to keep a well-groomed and tidy appearance wherever she goes (one never knows when an opportunity for a performance will happen). Being small, she avoids slouching and walks as tall as possible.
Uzume is very much an idealist – she has a very clear picture of how things are, and how they should be, and she would like to strive to achieve it. She is in a good mood by default, and is usually optimistic. She attempts to mediate conflict when it happens, because she likes everyone to get along, if not perfectly, at least as well as possible. She attempts to be rational, but most of the time she is a more emotional person than she would like to admit.
She thrives in a society setting because of her natural diplomacy, ability to read people and entertainer’s training. She also has splendid memory, being able to easily recall things read or heard most of the time. Still, for all her people skills, Uzume is terrible with animals. She has never kept pets and could not convince a dog to sit in the shade if her life depended on it.
While she would never admit it in a lifetime, Uzume is somewhat intimidated by larger creatures (few are not larger than her, in fact), and hates it when someone points out how small she is or mistakes her for a child. Not only is this rude and uncivilized, it is also something she can do nothing about.
The Story so Far…
Uzume was born in Tian-Xia, in the province of Minkai, to a ranger called Ameno Shinichi and the hag who enslaved him.
Ameno Shinichi was, at the time, a vassal of the noble house of Higashiyama who was sent on a mission to accompany a tax collector on his rounds in Minkai. During the journey, the party got lost and found refuge in a cabin belonging to a lone woman, at the edge of the woods. Unfortunately, the hostess was in fact a Blood Hag in disguise, and during the night she murdered the entire party with the exception of Shinichi. He became her lover and slave, and was destined to remain so until the changeling’s birth.
Meanwhile in Minkai, Shinichi’s brother Hideyoshi and his father Iyashi began to worry when the tax collecting party failed to return within the expected timetable. Sensing something may be amiss, Hideyoshi assembled a search party and requested permission from his lord to seek out his brother. When eventually they found the cabin, the changeling was days old. The hag was defeated, but only Hideyoshi survived, and sorely cursed at that. He took the infant and ran back to Kasai, but never made it – the curse worked through him quickly. It was the best that he could manage, to reach the abode of a family sworn to Higashiyama. To this family he entrusted his katana, his wakizashi, the babe and a shakily penned letter, all of which were to be delivered at Ameno Iyashi at the Higashiyama compound. He passed away shortly after.
Ameno Iyashi – or Grandfather Iyashi, as Uzume knows him – was left to care for his three grandchildren in the Higashiyama compound. Uzume grew up to become a striking young lady, and at the age of eight enrolled in a geisha school, being in love with art and beauty and hoping to secure for herself a position of influence and prestige both in the world of entertainment and, depending on what connections she could maintain, in the world in general.
She grew up in full knowledge of her species – Grandfather Iyashi researched extensively on changelings and their nature, and let Uzume know all that he learned. Iyashi knew that most changelings receive a call during adolescence, to seek out their origins and perhaps turn into hags themselves. In order to prevent this, he educated Uzume as much as possible on what she could expect and what she might become. With the exception of her siblings, Grandfather Iyashi is the only living person who knows of Uzume’s true nature.
Less than a year ago, tragedy struck her family once more. One evening, Grandfather Iyashi came home in a panic, urging his grandchildren to take whatever they could carry, and ushering them off into a ship out of Tian-Xia. He had discovered something terrible – something that concerned the Jade Regent, and which could be the spark that finally brought about a civil war in Minkai. He also had proof of his discovery – a bloody handkerchief and a small scroll of parchment, which he delivered to Takeshi for safekeeping. The three siblings boarded the ship and set off to a distant land – that was the last they saw of their Grandfather.
Uzume finds herself now in a strange land, with two goals: to secure a safe haven for herself and her family, from which to grow and expand, and eventually return to Minkai to confront the Jade Regent with a formal accusation and restore her Grandfather’s honor; and to pursue, whenever possible, the career she dreamed about.