|Age:||69 (at time of death)|
Ying Zi was a dwarven Shadowstrike operative in the Magicracy of Alent. She had a history with Janus Todd and was raised among Chaos Dwarves in Yamato until the Cataclysm struck and the demons invaded. She was saved from her war-torn homeland by Durin Halfstaff who took her under his wing and turned her into his white mage apprentice. Ying Zi spent the next years training in Alent and eventually joined Shadowstrike with the secret assignment of spying on the Anti Mage Police from within at the behest of Richelieu. Her investigations led her and her partner Ombre discovering a conspiracy within the ranks of the Anti Mage Police. However, before they could inform their superior, Lieutenant Irinthiel Maurath, about their findings, Ying Zi and Ombre were killed by an angry Sarquil mob in the Threshold Riot.
Saved from DarknessEdit
Ying Zi was born in Kusomachi to a family of Chaos Dwarves, worshippers of Mardük. Her off-kilter personality and hyper-enthusiasm wasn't regarded fondly in her strict community, not to mention her natural talent for white magic, but she made the most out of her living conditions and helped fellow dwarves mine ore for the armies of the Yamato Empire.
During her teen years she met with a wandering dwarf named Janus Todd, and the two had a brief romantic relationship. However, Janus eventually chose to pursue the path of necromancy and left her but not before giving her a present which was a purple wool cap with a skull symbol on it. Since that day, Ying Zi began wearing the wool cap which became part of her trademark attire.
By the time the Great War was raging and the Grand Alliance invaded the empire's lands, Chaos Dwarves were desperately defending their positions from the Alliance's soldiers while also transferring troops to defend Vulpengaard Keep as the dwarves were oathbound to aid Distreyd Thanadars, high clerics of Mardük. Ying Zi ended up among the dwarves transferred to Vulpengaard and witnessed the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep first-hand and got injured.
The battle would've been the end for the young dwarfess if not for the timely arrival of a cadre of mages, who weren't affiliated with either the empire or the Alliance and showed up to take valuable tomes to safety from the keep. One of these mages, Durin Halfstaff, sensed Ying Zi's aura of white magic and, curious to learn more, decided to take her to safety.
A Magic StudentEdit
By the time Ying Zi woke up, she was in a different environment far from her war-ravaged home. She came to learn that Durin had saved her and that she was now in Alent, a city of mages and endless possibilities for those brave enough to take them.
Durin, who had become a member of the influential Council of Mages in this Magicracy of Alent, offered to take her as his apprentice so that she could hone her white magic under his guidance and use it in the service of Light while leaving her past as a Chaos Dwarf behind. Once Ying Zi learned that her homeland was more or less a lost cause after demons had invaded it in the Cataclysm which had put an abrupt end to the Great War, decided to take Durin up on his offer and became his apprentice in the white arts.
She proved to be a talented student although she was also more liberal than her more conservative master. She often spent time with various men, openly flirting with people and acting ditzy. Her enthusiastic actions became somewhat infamous in the magicracy much to Durin's annoyance.
Charting a New CourseEdit
Eventually Ying Zi decided to spread her wings and, believing she had learned what she'd needed from Durin, she joined the Anti Mage Police which was in desperate need of white mages. Although Durin was saddened to see a promising apprentice leave, he let her go, and the two remained on relatively good terms afterwards as both had gained something from the other and wouldn't forget it.
During her time in the Anti Mage Police, Ying Zi came to know the recently promoted Captain Schtolteheim Reinbach III who both admired the dwarfess's skills and enthusiasm but was also annoyed by her ditziness and wanted to transfer her to some unit where she wouldn't cause any trouble. She also caught the attention of Councillor Richelieu who gave her a covert assignment to spy on the AMP from within should there be any foul play going on within the force.
- "A white mage could be useful to us, I'll give you that. Have you been properly briefed on what to expect while working with us? We don't have room for mistakes."
- "Undercover work, daring rescues, exciting spy stuff? And if Charming here is any indication, lots of tall handsome fellows!"
- —Irinthiel Maurath and Ying Zi
After the captive necromancer Razravkar Dominus had been broken out by prison, Captain "Raine" Reinbach sent Lieutenant Irinthiel Maurath to assemble a team called Shadowstrike which would investigate the case while reporting directly to him and no one else.
This was done discreetly as it was unclear who had been behind it and also because it became apparent that the only way the culprits could've succeeded in the jailbreak would be if someone from within the Anti Mage Police had been collaboaring with them. It was thus imperative that Shadowstrike shouldn't attract too much attention during its investigations in order to find out who within the AMP might be a mole.
When operative Schatten came to report to Raine about the team's findings and brought a prisoner identified to be a member of the Union Workers to him, Raine introduced Ying Zi to the operative and told him that her white magic would become useful and that she'd be assigned to the team until they had solved the Razravkar case. Ying Zi immediately began flirting with Schatten much to the latter's dismay, and the two hurried to Irinthiel's office.
Irinthiel was somewhat amused yet annoyed by Ying Zi's constant chatter, and she quickly put her in her place by explaining what a difficult and potentially long-winded their assignment would be and that they'd have to be discreet. Ying Zi seemed happy about it anyway, especially after she learned that several eligible bachelors were assigned to the group as she came to meet another male operative, Ombre.
The team witnessed a surprising turn of events when Councillors Durin and Omaroch d'Zarnagon entered the office. Ying Zi hadn't expected to see her old master there, and the two exchanged pleasantries briefly before Durin focused his attention to Irinthiel and demanded to talk to Razravkar who he had questions for.
Ying Zi realized that if the councillor wasn't allowed to meet the necromancer, he'd start suspecting something, so Shadowstrike had to stall him for now before easing his suspicions somehow. Thus she told Durin that he could meet Razravkar the following morning. A timely intervention from Omaroch ended the awkward scene although he too asked Shadowstrike for a favour: digging up information on what had happened in the Threshold district earlier. Omaroch had a few questions of his own for Razravkar and promised to join Durin in the interrogation tomorrow.
Once the councillors had left, Ying Zi was worried if she'd acted out of line. However, Irinthiel, albeit annoyed, commended her for quick thinking which had bought them some time. They didn't have the real Razravkar in custody for interrogation although the councillors were still unaware of that. They decided to keep the deception up because so far only they and Raine knew the truth about Razravkar's disappearance.
Irinthiel sent Ombre and Ying Zi to dig up information about the Threshold incident as well as any of the details regarding the murder of Bill Clinton which Razravkar was accused of. Meanwhile Irinthiel and Schatten would figure out a way to use a decoy for the itnerrogation once the councillors stopped by at the jail.
Heart of DarknessEdit
While Schatten and Irinthiel were busy putting up a show for the councillors who had come to interrogate Razravkar who was actually a decoy planted by Irinthiel, Ying Zi and Ombre studied reports on the Clinton and Razravkar cases in Irinthiel's office. After leaving quite a mess behind, the dwarfess suddenly discovered interesting bits of information from the files regarding the necromantic dagger which had been used to kill Clinton, and she dragged Ombre with him to the AMP warehouse where evidence collected from crime scenes were kept in.
The duo eventually entered the warehouse after passing several checkpoints and located the dagger they'd been searching for. While there, they also met with fellow AMP officers, Corporal Gregor Kurgan and his aide Efran Predibah. After exchanging a few words with the two, they departed, not wanting to divulge too much information about being there on behalf of Shadowstrike to investigate the crimes committed by Razravkar.
Ying Zi and Ombre eventually informed Irinthiel and Schatten about what they had found out about the dagger and then attended the King and Queen's Ball which was held in honour of Alent's new Sarquil refugee population as well as the delegates of the Grand Alliance who were visiting the city. Ying Zi got increasingly drunk and flirty by being around so many handsome men much to her companion's dismay. Unbeknownst to the group, the disguised demon Lust was in fact affecting the very air in the building, unleashing people's passions and making them act more flirty and lecherous than usual.
Ying Zi's eyes spotted a familiar face in the crowd, someone she hadn't thought to see here in this city after all these years: it was none other than Janus Todd, the dwarf she had once spent time with in Kusomachi. She immediately hurried to the crowd and reunited with Janus who was equally surprised to see Ying Zi there. The two had a somewhat awkward conversation, and Janus tried to slip away, but Ying Zi, affected by Lust's magic, dragged him to the table so she could introduce him to the rest of her Shadowstrike team.
The group had a somewhat awkward chat as Ying Zi presented Janus to them, but the conversation soon came to an abrupt end when they were approached by Rain, a woman they knew was accompanying Captain Razoul of the Black Guard. Rain had recognized their AMP uniforms and asked for their help, claiming that she and her companions had sensed that something odd was going on and that Razoul was acting strangely.
She had come to believe that a demon or two might be behind the odd behaviour between people who were acting rather lustful. She also claimed that one of her companions, Stylianos Kinley, had happened to overhear Razoul shouting something about demons in one of the inns in the Sarquil Downs and that they should investigate the inn just in case.
Although skeptical of the girl's ramblings, Irinthiel eventually relented and sent Ying Zi, Schatten, Ombre and the reluctant Janus with the girl to go check up on the captain. They were joined by Stylianos as well as Mathias and Antigonus de Ardyn. Once they reached the inn and entered the room of the Sarquil lieutenant Lamashtu al-Khadra whom Razoul had reportedly escorted there, they were met with a rather awkward sight: Razoul and Lamashtu were having sex right in front of them although Razoul seemed as if he was druggged, and Lamashtu wasn't at all shamed to see people barging into the room during such an intimate moment.
Ying Zi and the others were about to leave the room, believing everything to have been a false alarm and wanting to leave the pair in peace, when Rain, fueled by the dark magic which had been affecting people in the ball, finally snapped after seeing Razoul, her boyfriend, in the arms of another woman. She ended up shooting a crossbow bolt straight into Lamashtu's leg...and much to everyone's surprise, Lamashtu seemed unaffected by it. The group suddenly felt something was off, but the strange magic which was affecting them was dulling their senses so they were easily distracted from the gruesome sight while Lamashtu casually pulled the bolt out of her leg.
It was then that Stylianos, using the dark power within him, accused Lamashtu of not being the woman she claimed to be, and Mathias soon came to help him by trying to make Razoul wake up from his odd trance. Lamashtu was amused by these accusations and then, to everyone's surprise, transformed into a voluptuous succubus and revealed herself as Lust, the demon who had been behind people's lustful actions at the ball. She had dragged Razoul to the inn to have fun with him while also using the opportunity to drive a wedge between Razoul and Rain by seducing the captain.
Lust unleashed her magic on the group, intending to force them to bend to her will, but a timely casting of a protection spell from Antigonus saved the group. Ying Zi helped the warlock keep the spell up, which annoyed Lust who eventually unleashed more of her power and shattered the magic shield. However, by that time the rest of the group had regained their senses and realized what they were up against. Lust decided to switch locations so she could finish her act with Razoul in peace, and she fled with the captain by crashing through the window but not before unleashing a horrific, demonic lion on the group.
It was then that Orkis, a barbarian dwarf, crashed into the room and attacked the lion in a blood frenzy much to everyone's surprise. Confused by the sudden appearance of this dwarf but nevertheless grateful for his assistance, the group engaged the lion in battle and found it to be a resilient and powerful opponent. While Ying Zi and several others battled the lion, Rain, Stylianos and Mathias left the room to pursue Lust and save Razoul from her.
Eventually the combined efforts of the team managed to weaken the lion enough to set it on fire, and the team fled to the street below to aid Rain and the rest of the team in battle against Lust. However, as they traversed through the now burning inn, they saw what Lust's unleashed magic had done: it had triggered the transformations of several succubi into their true forms, and the demons were now attacking any non-demon they could get their hands on. A night of love had turned into a nigh of terror.
Once outside, the group met with an even more horrific sight: more succubi were flocking towards Lust, and now the demoness was also accompanied by small, shadowy monsters whom she had given birth to. These nightmares attacked the group, and only the timely arrival of Sarquil and warriors of the Black Guard led by Vitani allowed the battle to become more even although the demons' strength was still vast compared to theirs.
The group fought its way towards Razoul who was now shielded by Rain from Lust's attacks while Vitani too tried to reach the captain. They witnessed the demonic lion, which was now aflame, leaping out of the inn and, after a brief skirmish with Lust, it vanished into one of the nearby alleys. The group focused on the battle ahead once more, hoping they could reach Razoul in time before Lust and her terrifyingly beautiful minions would finish them all off.
They were ultimately successful in saving Razoul and Rain from Lust's clutches with help from Orkis and Stylianos among others as well as Janus who cast a necromantic spell which reanimated any dead combatants in the vicinity to act as meat shields and protect the still living people from Lust's minions. Lust was defeated as well when she and several other women--humans and demons alike--were affected by what appeared to be a spell of unknown origin. Ying Zi wasted no time and helped capture the disoriented demoness and then helped heal injuries of some of the combatants before sending them to the nearest infirmary to recover.
Ying Zi oversaw the cleanup operation for a while but eventually left it in the care of other AMP operatives. She, Ombre and Schatten decided to take Janus with them and seek out Irinthiel. Ying Zi was already formulating a plan which should help them solving not only this recent demon mess but also their prime objective: the fugitive necromancer Razravkar Dominus.
Garden of FearEdit
A Gathering StormEdit
Ying Zi and Ombre ultimately lost their lives while fighting against the overwhelming Sarquil mob. Their sacrifice bought the rest of their allies enough time to survive the onslaught until reinforcements arrived.
Two weeks after their deaths, Ying Zi and Ombre were given a proper funeral which the rest of Shadowstrike as well as their other colleagues from the Anti Mage Police attended although their true names would never be revealed to the public. They took their knowledge about the identity of Torch 44 and the possibility of a deeper conspiracy within AMP which was tied to the necromancer manhunt and the mysterious deaths of Bill Clinton and Razravkar Dominus, to their graves.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- An affectional nickname given to her by Janus Todd.
- Ying Zi
- The alias she adopted while working for Shadowstrike. It, like all the Shadowstrike operative names, meant 'shadow', and she chose the name from the language which the Shang and the Chaos Dwarves used in Yamato.
She had brown eyes, dark, wavy hair, and a curvy figure. She's clad in the purple Anti Mage Police uniform and one of her most distinctive features was the purple wool cap with a skull symbol which she was once given by Janus Todd as a gift.
Personality and TraitsEdit
- "If you want me to handle things delicately, Charming, I can go slow! Sometimes you've gotta make some looo...oh, sorry. Ying Zi ready for duty, Lieutenant!"
- —Ying Zi to Schatten and Irinthiel Maurath
Ditzy, openly flirty and loudmouthed who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. However, despite her occasionally erratic behaviour, she did have a sharp, analytical mind which she put to good use whenever she got serious and focused on the task at hand. She had a tendency to call people with nicknames such as referring to Schatten as Charming and Ombre as Handsome.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
She's a skilled white mage despite her youth although her occasional recklessness and impulsiveness prevented her from reaching her full potential. She could cast medium-level spells and was an agile enough to fight with her daggers if need be although her skills in melee fighting weren't near her skills as a mage. This flaw in her CQC skills ultimately led to her demise at the hands of an angry Sarquil mob.
Durin saved Ying Zi in Yamato and took her under his wing as his apprentice. Ying Zi proved to be a good student until they parted ways when she decided to put her skills to use in the Anti Mage Police. They remained respectful and polite to one another whenever they met, and Ying Zi never forgot Durin's teachings.
Ying Zi enjoyed Irinthiel's company and respected her as a capable commander of their unit. Irinthiel saw Ying Zi as a somewhat annoying yet useful operative and found her antics somewhat amusing at times. Irinthiel felt that she was responsible for Ying Zi's death in the riot and felt that both she and Ombre deserved better than to be buried without their real names being revealed to the public.
Janus and Ying Zi had an affair as teens and although years passed, the flame hadn't flickered out just yet. Their reunion in Alent seemed to stir emotions in both of them although their paths had become so different from what they used to be. Ying Zi seemed certain that they could rekindle their friendship, but Janus remained more distant and was somewhat flustered by her flirty behaviour.