Name: Zhou Lei
Weight: 140 lbs
Occupation: Marnian Battlemage
Zhou Lei is (obvously) a man from the eastern empire of Tian Xia. He has brown skin, thin, dark hazel eyes, and lustrous straight black hair he keeps well trimmed and no longer than two inches. He is lean and quick, average height for his people which is shorter than the average human or elf in Marn.
His accent is quite thick but he does speak the language of Thar Shaddin properly otherwise. Zhou is not in the habit of expressing his emotions physically and it can be difficult for white skinned natives to read his features when he is being deceptive. He can be quite frightening when he wishes to be cruel however, which is often.
Zhou Lei has few personal possessions. He maintains a journal written in an obscure dialect from the East and has a few changes of clothes at his disposal. He has his own sword, a broadsword of exquisite craftsmanship.
Everything else he needs is provided by the City. Like all battlemages, Zhou is free to take what he wants from not only the city's extensive armory but also from any shops in the city without having to pay. This is a slight abuse of power on his part, but there isn't much anyone can do about it.
Abilities & Powers:
Kung Fu: Lei is agile and well trained in the use of his sword as well as unarmed combat. He is more than a match for anyone but the finest in terms of skill and can use his small size and quickness to his advantage well. His feats border on super-human and have been known to amaze onlookers. He has the flexibility and balance of an acrobat.
One Hundred Swords: By spinning his sword in a dizzying pattern around himself, Lei can create a whirlwind effect that should not be physically possible. Zhoul walks, twirls, and assumes various sequential stances while his blade creates a barrier of steel that cuts anything within reach on nearly any angle he chooses. The blade itself is not magical and will not cut through things that are too thick or resistant.
Teleport: Lei can effortlessly teleport himself up to 10 meters in any direction that he can see. He can perform this feat a dozen times a day and can blink many times in rapid succession. He can blink through anything he can see through, such as glass.
Heightened Awareness: He can sense the presence of other beings around him without the need to see them. This makes him essentially impossible to sneak up on without the use of stronger magic.
Blind Spot: Lei has the ability to become invisible to one person of his choice whenever he likes. He can only remain invisible to one person at a time, but can freely change who that person is.
- He is completely untrained in the use of ranged weaponry of any kind. It would not be difficult for him to learn to use a bow, but he has not tried.
- Being small and agile means that he lacks strength and the fortitude to withstand harsh blows.
- For reasons that are kept a secret, Zhou cannot betray the city or the judges. He must obey orders he is given, whether he wants to or not.
- If Zhou were to somehow teleport into something solid, it would be very messy.
Zhou Lei was born in Dalouxiu in the empire of Tian Xia. The youngest son of a noble family, he was trained extensively in martial arts by the local monks. He saw little of his father, Zhou Bao, while growing up as he remained in the care of his mother Zhou Shou, his 4 brothers and 2 sisters, and the family servants.
Lei's martial arts training was mainly meant for recreation and as a last resort for self defense if someone were to get past the guards, but Lei took a strong liking to it and the sense of superiority it gave him over opponents he could beat. He became skilled enough to bully his older brothers around and gained a reputation for being strong and abusive.
While training with the monks, Lei discovered that he could push himself hard enough and move fast enough to appear to blink from one place to another. This technique was not unusual to the monks, who taught him to enhance his gifts and use them most effectively in combat. Over time they were able to teach him other tricks as well including the ability to appear invisible to an opponent in combat.
Despite his efforts, he was not allowed to enlist in the military because it was against his father's wishes and was uncustomary for someone in his position. He could be one of the most powerful and frightening people in Dalouxiu, but he could not go against custom or his father.
When Lei was 18 a military campaign against the Western empire of Caelteth Eyrop passed through Dalouxiu. Taking advantage of the inevitable confusion caused by thousands of men on the move, Lei slipped into their ranks by killing a soldier and wearing his uniform. The procession traveled along the northern trade route, through many strange and inhospitable regions before it reached resistance from the Eyropas. A long battle was fought on a Thar west of Shaddin, but the eastern army was unprepared for the type of resistance, both magical and conventional, that they encountered. Logistical and communications errors bogged them down, the failed to receive any of the promised reinforcements, and the southern invasion force never even made it to the border, allowing the Eyropas to focus their full might on Lei's force.
Many men tried to desert the battle but they stood no chance alone on foot. Lei used his abilities to steal a horse from one of his officers, and on it fled east toward Thar Shaddin. On his way, while he stumbled blindly through the night, he encountered a strange man who had followed the battle and said that he was an ally of Tian Xia. The man spoke Lei's language fluently. He said that he saw potential in Lei, and that he should come to Marn rather than go home.
While in Marn Lei was offered a position he couldn't refuse within the special ranks of their elite guard working directly for that man, who he learned was a vampire known as Belatucadrus.
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