Just a simple, demure girl, all alone in the world
Sumiko is a young human woman. Standing just over 5 feet tall and weighing a mere 105 lbs, she is often called “a slip of girl”. She has a creamy pale complexion, dark brown eyes, and long black hair that she keeps pinned in a simple bun by a multitude of metallic hair sticks. Her clothing – which consists of long-sleeved and high-necked robes and tunics, worn over wide-legged pants – are usually in shades of red, pink and white. She is often carrying a courtier’s fan; painted across its surface is a distant snow-capped mountain seen through a screen of cherry blossoms.
Sumiko is the sole surviving member of her monastic order, all other members having been killed by the King-Priest of Ishtar and his minions when they ambushed the monastery while Sumiko was away, attending to business in Southern Ergoth. Upon discovering his treachery, Sumiko swore to avenge her sister-monks’ deaths by killing the King-Priest and any of his minions that dare to stand in her way.
She was raised in the House of the Five Falling Lotus Blossoms – a teahouse renowned for the quality and skill of its courtesans – in the Sentinel Mountains east of Ishtar. While some may have thought it strange to have a teahouse in such a remote location, it served the women who worked there well because the House of the Five Falling Lotus Blossoms was also a clandestine monastic order of female Ran-Eli monks, master martial artists who had perfected the horimono, beautiful full-body tattoos that allowed them to access a variety of supernatural powers. Playing the part of demure courtesans interested only in the feminine arts – poetry, dancing, music, and tea ceremonies – no one suspected them of being fierce and deadly unarmed combatants, which is exactly why nobles and wealthy merchants alike hired the courtesans as secret bodyguards (and sometimes assassins).
Sumiko carries a pair of ancient ivory knitting needles that she often uses as hair sticks when not using them to knit. But like all things that come from the House of the Five Falling Lotus Blossoms, the knitting needles are more than they appear to be because Sumiko can transform them into a pair of nunchaku. They were given to Sumiko by her grandmother who was the head of their order. She explained to Sumiko that the nunchaku are a family heirloom, passed down from (grand)mother to (grand)daughter since the founding of the monastery. Legend has it that the nanchaku were made from the bones of Li-Peng, a famous monk from antiquity known for his great wisdom and equally great fighting prowess.