Exalted: The Legend of Denandsor
"Dancing Spear" Ping
The formerly mute Dragon-Blooded.
Slender, athletic and quick, Ping is possessed of shoulder-length sandy blonde hair and slightly lighter skin. Her face was once pretty, but her lifestyle as a warrior has taken it’s toll- in addition to a particularly ugly scar across her throat, a blow from a Fair Folk lord’s greatsword bisects her left cheek and a second, vertical slice leaves a bald patch on her scalp running down into her forehead. She only seems comfortable in her Lookshy-style lamellar armor, and the spear which earned her a nickname is rarely far from hand.
Ping was once a helot of Lookshy, and despite the fact her looks virtually guaranteed marriage into a wealthy family, she choose to join the military instead, preferring to challenge herself rather than living an easy life of idle leisure. She was assigned to the same squad as Jian Huren, under the supervision of their officer, a captain by the name of Yushoto Lin. While in the field during one of Lookshy’s many mercenary campaigns, Ping took a mortal wound to the throat. To everyone’s surprise, it was Lin who intervened, sealing the wound before she lost a fatal amount of blood, but the damage was worse than he could heal. Ping would never speak again.
When Jian Huren and Jun Wei enacted their plan to desert the Lookshy armies and seek fortune as a mercenary band, Ping went along with them, more out of personal loyalty to her compatriots than a real desire to leave her homeland. She served Jian Huren faithfully, improving her skill with the spear tenfold as she could adopt a more flowing style rather than being locked into a formation.
Invasion of Great Forks
Ping was with Jian during the Lookshy invasion of Great Forks, and has since transitioned from being a mercenary to being a dedicated and loyal soldier of Denandsor. While her disability prevents her from attaining any meaningful rank, she has not made any dismay known. She is officially part of the fang lead by Jian himself, but acts less like a regular private and more like Jian’s personal bodyguard.
Season 1: Burn the Past
Ping accompanied the Denandsor Circle back to Great Forks to seek aid from the legendary Lunar sorcerer Fallen Star. While Fallen Star refused to help the party, Ping along with her fellow soldier Sweetmilk proved instrumental in defeated the Fair Folk noble named Prince of the Sunset Tower.
Following that, she continued with the Denandsor Circle to Nexus and participated in the Grand Tourney as part of a team with Sweetmilk and Ejana Min Sho. During a match against another team that contained a Blood Ape, Sweetmilk lost her life saving Ping from the demon’s assault. The experience broke Ping on a spiritual level, and ever since her trademark cockiness as fled, replaced with solemnity.
She traveled back to Denandsor as part of Yushoto Lin’s caravan. Unlike her fellow ex-mercenaries, she holds very little ill will towards their old commander, and does not mind serving under a different commander for a time. At some point during the journey, Lin and Ping’s were intimate together, and when they finally arrived in Denandsor Diamond Azure caught Lin and Ping having a “moment”.
During the Battle of Denandsor, Ping served as bodyguard for Jian and Yushoto Lin. She didn’t see battle until midday of the first day, when she and Lin charged with the Iron Carp against the Ape Tribe. It was there that Lin was momentarily caught behind enemy lines when the cavalry executed a hit-and-run attack, and Ping charged along into the Ape Tribe lines to rescue him, in the process being gifted by the Earth Dragon with a Terrestrial Exaltation.
When she Exalted, Ping’s ability to talk was restored to her. She continued to fight valiantly on the side of Denandsor, coming to terms with her new powers as she went. It was during the closing chapter of the battle, when Jian was preparing for the final confrontation with Ma Ha Suchi, that she was able to confess her feelings for him- that she had been in love with Jian for a long time, that she was unable to express her feelings due to being mute, and that she slept with Lin out of a feeling of rejection and loneliness. Jian said that he would respond to her feelings later, but even after the battle did not speak to Ping for nearly three months.
After travelling through the Celestial Pathway and being temporarily stranded on Sand Turtle Island, Jian and Ping were finally able to talk. While he cared for Ping as a friend, Jian said that he did not return her feelings, and the two were able to walk away as friends, although Ping did express that she did not know what she wanted with regard to her feelings about Lin.
During the restructuring of the Denandsor military, Ping remained in her role as a soldier. As a reward for faithful service, she was gifted with a black jade Direlance she named Trueheart.
Season 2: Against the Tide
When Jian left on a journey to practice his swordsmanship, Ping was left in charge of the military, and she failed hard. With the exception of the portions of the military under Yorei Aruto, “Eagle-Eye”Huan, and Yushoto Lin, the army turned lax and logistics got out of hand. Ping lacked the officer’s training to manage the entire army, and was in way over her head. Thoroughly ashamed by her performance as army commander, Ping spent most of her time after Jian’s return helping him clean up the mess she helped create. Ping was also put under the tutelage of Yorei Aruto, in order to give her the necessary training she would need to be an effective officer.
When the Denandsor Circle departed to warn Celeren of the impending assassination attempt and invasion by Lookshy, Jian asked Ping to accompany him as part of the Denandsor retinue. Grateful for the distraction, Ping traveled to Celeren.
During the week before the actual invasion, Ping did not have much to do, and turned herself to training. She could be frequently be found in one of the Celeren castle’s courtyards, accepting all challengers from the garrison and often sparring four or five soldiers at once.
Ping fought alongside the Circle during the attack on the Lookshy fleet. She was moderately wounded early in the fighting- nothing life-threatening, but left her vulnerable- and spent most of the battle watching over the captured Teresu Hisoka. Being out of the fighting so early did nothing to soothe her injured pride, and she returned to Celeren in a deep depression.
While riding out to the Battle of the Soulbroken River, Ping finally had a chance to express her disappointment in herself to Jian. She was able to admit that she felt directionless in life, not certain even if she wanted to be a soldier anymore. While Jian was not able to assuage her feelings, Ping did end up resolving to find out who she wants to be.
During the battle, Ping was asked to protect Batbayar Arbogassu from the ravages of battle with Dragon-Blooded. While Ping was able to defeat six Terrestrial Exalted officers of Lookshy and , before her armour failed, allowing an enemy spear to penetrate and catch her in the side of the abdomen. When it came time to chase down the withdrawing Lookshy force, Ping declined, being too injured to reenter battle with compromised armour.
Ping kept to herself, like usual, on the way back to Celeren, and the few days that passed while the issue of royal succession was settled. When Ping was offered a reward from the newly crowned Queen Xinyi Wu-Tao, Ping requested three bars of pure black jade, intending to ask Cedrick to craft her a proper set of armour that can withstand the stress of Exalted combat.
While the rest of the Circle departed for Great Forks, Ping stayed behind. While she was sad to be passed over, she knew why- despite being Exalted, she wasn’t as skilled in battle as Crimson Princess, nor did she have the special skills of Ghost River, or the personal connection to the core Circle as Lin. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she spent the time planning on what she planned to do next.
After spending few years helping make sure that the army stayed organized while Jian’s focus shifted to his Officer’s Academy, Ping asked for leave from the army. She left Denandsor for a time, trying to learn new things, sharpen her skills, and more importantly, discover her purpose in life.