Before she was born Emi heard not only the sound of her mother’s heartbeat but also two soft voices in her head – the goddess Daikitsu and the god Abadar.  The voices spoke to her in the months before her birth, telling her about the wonders of the world awaiting her.  Upon her birth in Quain, Tian Xia, there was great celebration in her village – her snow-white fur and blue eyes indicated she was an Oracle, the first one born in over a century among her people.  She was marked by the touch of the gods upon her and her future.

When still just a toddler, she started receiving training as a healer.  Qi Zhong began speaking to her, guiding her through her lessons so her skills would not bring pain as many types of healing often did.  Though as mischievous as any kitsune youngster would be, she also grew to understand the need for cautious thought and discipline as the voice of Abadar showed her all that could be accomplished through order, keen judgment, and well-thought out laws.  As her lessons intensified, Irori began speaking to her as well, guiding her in her pursuit to gain more knowledge about not just healing, but also the world around her and to work at bettering herself in the process.  When she had some free time to herself, Emi discovered she had an affinity for metals and metal working.  Intrigued by its properties (not to mention the sparkle and shine of worked, polished metal pieces), she sought instruction on bending and shaping metal to create functional materials that were also aesthetically pleasing.  Soon after her talent for crafting simple, yet fanciful weapons emerged, Daikitsu began speaking to her more often to enhance and encourage her latent abilities.

As she grew, the voices spoke to her more often, pushing her to venture forth from her homeland – to travel and explore, to learn and create.  Unable to resist the pull of the voices upon entering her teenage years, she wrote a letter to her parents telling them of her need to follow the will of the gods and go wherever it would take her, and then left in the middle of the night.  She wandered for a short time, first around Quain, then several other of the successor states to hear what stories she could and refine her skills as a craftsman of metals.  However, remaining in Tian Xia was not enough – the gods continued to speak of fascinating tales of other people, of minerals bearing exquisite metals, of diverse materials and methods of healing.  Captivated by the lures thrown before her, less than a year after leaving her home village Emi made her way to the great city of Goka.  With whispers of fantastical, creatures, peoples and cultures tempting her, she booked passage to the lands of the Inner Seas. before the voices urged her to leave Tian Xia and see what other peoples and cultures could teach her.

During the first bit of her sea travels, the crewmen thought she was simply a silly girl, sent off by her family for some unknown reason.  After all, Emi rarely came on deck and, when she did, she merely watched the sea and sky, or simply listened to sailors as they spoke and spun their bawdy yarns amongst each other.  However, shortly into the journey, a violent storm struck the merchant vessel as it sailed between the continents.  As the ship floundered, the crew, certain they would all perish, prayed to whatever gods and goddesses of the seas and travel they could name.  Emi calmly walked on the deck from her small cabin, closed her eyes, and opened herself to her gods and goddesses, asking for their help to save the ship and the people on board.  Abadar and Desna answered her prayers.  The captain and crew were awed by the sudden appearance of a giant butterfly-like creature the size of a small dragon breaking through the clouds above them, trailed by a veil of luminescent moths.  The Night Monarch slowly flapped its wings, driving away a section of the storm while the moths drifted down to light the ship and the surrounding water.  The crew’s eyes were pulled away from the spectacle by a chorus of ear-piercing screeches to see a flock of sea eagles above and before them, leading the way to safety.  Once clear of the storm, Emi smiled and bounced her way below decks again, leaving behind a bewildered but grateful group of sailors.

Upon reaching the shores of Osirion at Totra, the captain begged Emi to continue traveling with them as their good luck charm, but she declined since the voices led her onwards.  Venturing forth, she quickly found her way to Sothis.  And there our story begins …

Author Elli
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