Lightning struck the ship not far from land. ‘Emashi wasn’t the only one to see it, but she was the only one to jump into the water. Someone had to save them. When the second bolt struck, she was in the water. The light of the moon burst through the clouds. Those on the small dock were blinded; confused. Many wandered away in a daze. They didn’t see a young woman swimming like a fish, pulling one sailor after another to shore.
All her parents knew was that she was exhausted the next morning. She had snuck out to watch the storm with some friends; those who realized what happened covered her in a blanket until the glow faded and snuck her home. That was only three weeks ago. With characteristic fearlessness her friends convinced her to sneak out a few more times and “discover her elemental powers,” but her sharp-eared mother had her grounded before long.
‘Emashi grew up thinking that the Dragon-Blooded were the only real Chosen. The Dragon-Blooded were the virtuous Chosen of the mighty Elemental Dragons. Besides them, there were the god-blooded, and there were strange things and monsters, and there were the Anathema. She saved people, so she must be Dragon-Blooded – perhaps water? But the lightning, and the silver-white glow… air? And the powers that flowed from her didn’t feel elemental at all. She’s starting to worry that she might not be Dragon-Blooded after all, and that leaves few good options. It’s not easy to ask your parents if your real mother was a god… a flashing, shimmering woman who swam next to her in the depths that fateful night, with a silver ring on her forehead.
She knows she’s hunted, though. Someone has been asking about her around Pech – perhaps several someones. She thinks it’s probably just the sailors wanting to know who saved them, which is bad enough. (Her mother would ground her for a century.) Her friends think it’s the Wyld Hunt – or the Anathema – or V’neef Kharavi – or the ghosts of the sailors she couldn’t save, though they don’t tell her that last one. It would be cruel. Regardless, someone has been asking about a young woman matching her rough appearance. It’s only a matter of time until they find her.
Like many women in the Pearl, ‘Emashi wears copious amounts of silver jewelry. Her family wears saris covering much of the face, and she does as they ask, though she doesn’t completely buy into the tradition. She has deep brown eyes, with carefully applied kohl. Her skin is a rich medium brown with terra cotta undertones. Her favorite color is robin’s-egg blue.
‘Emashi has just one animal form so far: her totem, the giant arapaima. She hasn’t discovered her war form yet, nor even realized that she can hunt animals for their forms.
Ordinarily, ‘Emashi is respectful and compassionate. She practices a proper physician’s bedside manner often. Among her friends she also giggles and gossips, at least when it won’t hurt anyone. Right now, though, she’s more sedate, and more introverted. She’s been told she can’t talk to to her friends for a week yet (though they come up and whisper things in the window while she works, and she shoos them away before the healer hears them). Honestly, she’s nervous. She’s frightened. She’s not panicked yet, but she’s getting there. She doesn’t know what she’s becoming yet, and she’s afraid of the answer.
When Nakotch Detla first came to the Pearl (before she was V’neef Detla), carrying her mother, ‘Emashi was the one who directed her to V’neef Kharavi for aid. She followed her into Sandpiper, wanting to see what the famed surgeon would do. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed into the V’neef estate. She was still concerned, though, and curious about Detla’s fate. ‘Emashi made sure to approach Detla when she was in the marketplace some time later. ‘Emashi’s positivity and visible compassion warmed Detla’s heart, and Detla’s courageous story enthralled and fascinated ‘Emashi. The two have been friends ever since. She also helps take care of Vatli Butterfly sometimes, when the little girl’s relatives are busy – which is all too often.
Intimacies: “I will be as great a healer as V’neef Kharavi” (Defining), “V’neef Detla” (Positive, Major), “Vatli Butterfly” (Positive, Major), “My Friends” (Positive, Major), “Suitors in general” (Negative)
Young ‘Emashi hasn’t had the chance to practice many worldly skills. She can help with the rice harvest and catch fish in the lake. She’s athletic enough, and can run, balance, swim, and climb her way into all kinds of trouble. She can’t dance well. (Her parents always looked down on it.) She knows how to read and write and do simple figures. As may be obvious from her background, she knows nothing of spirits and the ways of essence. As a No-Moon Lunar, she is likely to learn quickly.
More than anything, ‘Emashi wants to be a healer. V’neef Kharavi is her idol, quietly worshipped from afar. She begged her mother to apprentice her to the local healer, and last year she finally relented. ‘Emashi has an excellent talent for the work, and the old man grudgingly admits that she will surpass him quickly. Since the incident, however, she has felt her breath flowing through her every time she touches someone. Her power doesn’t cure the diseases of those she treats; instead, they’re made stronger, hardier, more durable by her power. They become vigorous enough to recover on their own. It wouldn’t work on every injury, but she’s never had the need to treat soldiers with arrowheads buried in them. She doesn’t quite realize what’s going on yet, but it won’t be long before she puts it together.
‘Emashi has never been in a real fight. Given that her native animal form is a giant fish, it’s unlikely to be of much help if she gets attacked.
- Klatang Tapatli, her mother the rice farmer. Strict, helpful, humorous.
- Klatang Koptat, her father, a fisherman who is often away. Adventurous, loving, businesslike.
- Popot Denkto, a friend who was on the dock with her. Adventurous, clever, smart-mouthed.
- Tlalok Ihuatl, a suitor whom ‘Emashi finds insufferably immature. Sincere, melodramatic, eager.
- Patli Achat, the neighborhood healer and her mentor. Irascible, tenacious, bossy.
- How does ‘Emashi feel about her parents? Has she realized how much they love her, or is she still in the “parents are too strict” phase?
- Does ‘Emashi know Adach Molo? What does she think of him?