GHOSTS OF YIN-JIN
Heaven's Oath Fraternity
Name: Cai Shi Lin
Wulin Name: Fire Lotus
Sect: Heaven’s Oath Fraternity
City of Origin: Chiwen
Fire Lotus wears the finest silks with a veil that conceals the terrible burns she endured. She wears her sword proudly, and her hand rarely strays from it long. Her clothes are still the pale white of mourning, although it has been several years, and she wonders if she will ever wear another color again. The only joy she knows now is at the end of her blade- the moment it pierces the heart of one more evil soul, destined for hell.
Shi Lin had the perfect life, and why shouldn’t she? Raised by strict parents to be the very model of the perfect lady, the faithful wife, and the devoted mother. Her husband was a powerful man in the courts, summoned regularly to serve in the Heavenly Spire, and their young son- born under the auspicious sign of the dragon- destined for greatness. What greater blessings could heaven bestow?
Until she found those damnable stairs… chasing after her playful son who was chasing after some wayward toy. There was the smell… A room full of the horribly burned corpses of men, women, even children. She turned to find her husband then, smiling- telling her everything would be alright. The servants whisked her son away, and she was paraded before courts, and parties, and all the social functions she once enjoyed… smiling and laughing, pretending like everything was alright… all with the unspoken threat of what would happen to her son if she failed to play her part. How had her entire life been such a lie?
He was wrong. Everything would not be all right. The Heaven Hunters came, her home became a battle field- her servants, merely slaves to the Cult of Fuxi- and her husband their master. She remembers the flames, the choking smoke everywhere. Men with swords fighting, her babies cries calling to her from somewhere in the mansion. She couldn’t find him, so much smoke, so much blood…
When she awoke she could hardly think the pain was so great. She’d been badly burned, she screamed for her son- but the grim looks of the men around her told her that everything was lost. She closed her eyes and hoped she would die.
When she recovered, it was in the care of the grim men who had come to kill her husband. They offered her a sword- to fall upon and end this life- or to wield, and end the life of others. Her choice. She has held that sword everyday since. She does not know what this new life will bring her, and she despairs it will never fill the hole of all she has lost- but what she does know… is that it will not be a lie!
Artwork Copyright Hugh Alan 2016