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Motivation: teach the people of the Threshold how to take care of themselves and live righteous lives

Caste: Zenith

Anima Banner: An orchid of golden fire blooms and rotates in the air.

Some say that destiny shows in the blood, but the woman named Fire Orchid lives to prove that people forge their own destiny every time they choose to take a stand for what they believe in. She was born into Gens Karal to one of Lookshy’s greatest Dragon-Blooded generals, but time proved that she would never be a Dragon-Blood herself.

Nevertheless, she refused to accept the humdrum life of a Child of Earth. Like her famous mother, she elected to make a career in the Seventh Legion and proved her bravery on the battlefield time and again. As the years passed by, Fire Orchid made her mother proud (at least as proud as a Terrestrial hero could be of a mortal daughter) and rose to the utmost heights of mortal rank. Decades of honorable service earned Fire Orchid the Legion’s respect and a healthy pension, and she retired to an idyllic farm to live out her sunset years in peace.

Peace was not written in her destiny, however, which became undeniable when the Fair Folk emerged from a freehold hidden nearby to menace her quiet village. Her friends and neighbors panicked and fled and even tried to negotiate, but the raksha showed the villagers no mercy. None of her civilian neighbors seemed to understand what Fire Orchid did, that the only way to deal with such a heartless, alien menace was to fight back. She resolved to teach them this by example, and as she did so, the power of the Unconquered Sun came upon her. “Strike down the unrighteous with your fury,” the god’s voice said to her, “and teach others with your wisdom.” With that, the weight of age lifted, and an orchid of burning Essence wove itself in the air around her.

She drove off the Fair Folk and saved the village… for the moment.

In the aftermath, the bravest of the villagers lavished praise on their resident veteran warrior and treated her like the answer to all their problems.

They offered to rebuild her home for her—or even a temple if she wanted one. Anything she asked they would have gladly given. Yet, Fire Orchid knew that she could not stay there and fight the next raksha raiding party that came to terrorize the village (or the next, or whatever threat came after that). Over the villagers’ pleas and protests, she announced that she would soon be leaving. Of course, she wasn’t going to simply abandon them, she explained.

Instead, she was going to impart to them the skills and the confidence they would need to defend themselves. As they rebuilt their homes, she trained them in some basic light-infantry tactics and squad-level teamwork and preached to them of the righteousness the Unconquered Sun expected of Creation. When the Fair Folk returned some time later—and with a much larger force than the last—they found not a rabble of helpless farmers, but a brave and competent community that was willing and able to take care of itself.

The raksha were forced back once again, and this time, all Fire Orchid had to do was inspire her neighbors before the battle and help them mop up afterward.

She left the village the next day, knowing she would never return. The Fair Folk, she realized, would go off seeking easier prey, and it was up to her to find it before they did. In every Child of Earth, she believes, is a soul of heroism. Some smother it with wickedness or apathy or fear, but nothing can truly kill it while a person yet lives. Fire Orchid has made it her mission to encourage and nurture that soul, for it is the most important part of humanity.

Whether she teaches others how to take care of themselves or inspires others by her own Exalted example, her every action is devoted to making sure people become the heroes she knows they can be.