Name: Hu Xiaomei
Species: Asian Small-Clawed Otter
Birthdate: Midsummer, though she is unaware of that.
Age: between twenty and twenty-five.
Build: Athletic and slightly delicate.
Origin: the Farthest of the Eastern Islands
Languages: Fluent Easterner, and a halting, broken Woodlander.
Occupation: Former slave and apothecary apprentice. Now she is an Herbalist in her own right.
Eyes: Dark brown, almost black, and slightly almond-shaped
Hair: Thick, long, and pitch black. Usually she wears it in a tight, low braid.
Scars: Oh, more than a few, usually from her former master's wrath. Her forearms have light, faded scars where he often whacked her with a split bamboo rod.
Fur/Markings: Soft, chocolately fur with lighter belly.
Attire: Though she lives in the Southsward, and has for a few seasons, Mei still prefers the clothing of her own culture. Be cause of this, it's usually up to her to make it herself. Most of her yukata are green or brown or tan, because while she can sew and embrioder, she can't weave cloth, and has to trade it. Usually she can do this at the Abbey, or with other beasts on the broad road that stretches by her little home. That being said, she will occationally wear a pair of rough breeches and a blouse, if she's got some serious work that needs doing on her land.
Accessories: Not much. She has a favorite basket and knife for harvesting, and a few carved combs that she wears when she needs to dress up. And, of course, there are the little trinkets and stones that Derry has bestowed on her.
WOC: Mei is the anti-thesis of a fighter. Timid by life as a slave and by nature a more gentle personality, she would rather run than fight. Though, if it were for her adoptive son, Derry, she would do what she could to keep him safe, even if it meant attacking a fully-grown badger in it's prime.
Appearance: Mei is pretty, in a quiet, understated way. Her eyes are bright and dark, her hair is shiny well-brushed, and carefully braided. She dresses carefully out of what was, in childhood, her master's instruction, and is now habit. While she is healthy now, the evidence of malnourishment and a brief, nasty period of starvation can be seen in her delicate stature and thin wrists.
Personality: Timid and sweet by nature. Slavery under a harsh master furthered that timidity and shaped her into a small, soft-spoken little thing, one that for a while would hardly ever make eye contact and would appologize and bow at every scrape and mistake (real or imagined) she made. She's a little better now. She is friendly with her neighbors, talks easily enough when trading with beasts, and even lets travelers stay in her home, sometimes. She has a sharp mind, and though grasping a concept is easy for her, Woodlander always proved to be a difficult language to learn. She has Derry translate if she needs to.
Special skills: A skilled herbalist, knows what plants can heal a creature or lay them low. Has proved a decent seamstress. Can grow things rather easily.
Weaknesses: A timidity that can be crippling, in the right circumstances. Derry. She's allergic to strawberries. Is almost too giving of herself and her time. She has the occational bout of insomnia.
Fears: Loosing Derry. Getting enslaved again. Loosing Derry. Sharks, spiders, and small, crawly lizards.
Likes: Her language. The little home that she and Derry carved out together. Rice. Oh, how she misses rice. The smell of basil.
Dislikes: Being the center of attention, being a burden, having to deal with too many new creatures at once, especially imposing-male-type creatures. Being alone.
History: Mei is from the far Eastern Islands, and was once a slave belonging to a Warlord's extensive estate. She was fortunate enough to be one of the slaves put to work in the Fortress, helping the herbalist. He was a stern, violent man, much like the Warlord himself, and often beat her and yelled. But it was better than toiling in the fields and ocean, where the overseers were rewarded by their creative cruelty. She would have been sentenced to live out her days there, but there was an attack on her Warlord's estate from an old enemy, and she escaped in the melee.
She swam in the open seas for two days before she was picked up by a trade ship, crewed by beasts who had a grasp on her language. They agreed to take her across the sea, and in return she helped aboard the ship where she could. She slowly acclimated to them, started to learn their language, and was beginning to feel happy when the ship was attacked. She and a few others managed to escape, one of which was a pregnant Sea Otterwife. She had her cub, a male she named Derry, in the boat at sea. The birth weakened her, as had the loss of her husband to pirates, and shortly after making land she slipped into death, leaving Mei with the child.
She and the baby wandered the shores for almost three days before being picked up by a Long Patrol and taken in. Derry was nursed by an aging matron of a near by holt, and Mei slowly regained her own health. Eventually, she felt the need to take Derry and for them to be on their way. She rather liked the hares and the badger that quietly commanded them, but there was so much mountain and so many hares. She wished for a quiet place, on that was more her own. So after Derry was weaned and walking, they packed up, thanked the hares and the otters that had been so kind and good to her and her baby, and set off.
They took the main roads, and eventually found a little home on the great south road that was abandoned. It had been for some time, it seemed, and after halting inquries to the neighboring farmer, found that the original owners had retired to live in Redwall Abbey, some three day's journey to the north, and had passed away last season. The house was vacant, and no one had claimed it.
Mei and Derry and their new friend, a boisterous Northland squirrel with a booming voice and thick accent, worked all of spring to get the house liveable again. That was a few seasons ago. She has since expanded her garden to something sprawling and lush, and turned the house into something that her Eastern tastes prefers.
Every few seasons or so, a Long Patrol will meander her way. She enjoys putting them up and listening to the latest gossip and news.
Love Interest: Derry, her adoptive son, happens to be the love of her life, as most children are to their mothers. But she has been getting a certain kind of lonely as of late, and thinks perhaps Derry could use a father figure, too.
Aliases: Scamp, Rascal, and the like
Species: common Sea Otter
Birthdate: High Summer.
Origin: a life boat in the seas of the Coast of the Western Shores
Ethnicity: His father was from the Northern Cliffs, but his Mother was from a small Island not far off the southernmost boundaries of Salmandstron
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Unruly and sand-colored.
Fur/Markings: Dark, solid brown, downy and thick in texture.
Attire: A mix of his mother's Easterner and more common Woodlander styles. In the cooler seasons, he's kept in a pair of warm breeches, a tunic, and a little noragi vest. In the warmer months, he generally runs about half naked.
Accessories: Derry can always be counted on to be carrying at least one small stone or another. He collects them. He's also got a little fishing rod that's almost too small for him. Oh, and his stuffed otter, Nook. He's had Nook for ever, and it shows.
Appearance: Short for his age, and plump in a way that looks like it will give way not to fat, but to an impressive stockiness. Bright, intelligent eyes and soft, unruly hair the color of wet sand. He's always smiling, it seems, and nearly always dirty.
Personality: Derry is a bright child, one that is rambunctious and talkative. He will talk you into a stupor if you let him. He loves to have someone new to talk to, visitors and travelers and traders. He already knows how to read and write, and is rather proud of that fact. He's also rather proud of the fact that he can be helpful to his Moma. He likes to be useful, even if sometimes he doesn't like the chores he's given.
Special Skills: An impressive swimmer, even by otter standards. He's fluent in both Easterner and common Woodlander. He can cartwheel, and will show anyone who will let him.
Weaknesses: Sweets. He's not as good with math as he is with reading.
Fears: Getting lost in the great big woods that border the property on one side. Sharks, though he's never seen one.
Likes: Catching small, crawly lizards. Fish with spicy broth. Being curled up all warm on a cold winter's night.
Dislikes: Taking medicene or being sick. Getting soap in his mouth. Making Moma angry or disappointed.
History: Derry was born in a life boat in the sea, and nearly died before he could even open his eyes. He and his adoptive mother nearly starved on the shore, before getting picked up by a long patrol and being carted back to civilization.
He doesn't remember anything about that season in the mountain, or even the season spent traveling with his mother, to find a home to call theirs. Most of his memories are of the patch of land they reside on, and the one- room cottage they live in. It's been an ordinary childhood, and a quiet one too, since it's really just him, his mother, and the semi- regular visits from their neighbors and travelers.