Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan
|Qi Ben Xan de Ao Shu|
Moshi Katsuko, Master
Book-Loli, power battery
Hsan-tachi, Bixia Yuanjin
deep black, girlishly cut
Knowledge of deep magic, pact-making to empower sorcerers
The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan are a Grimoire and a lesser-known text of the Mythos. Though the books do not contain the raw magical potency of such texts as the Necronomicon, they are much older, and much less overtly dangerous for mortals to handle-- though the example of Barzai the Wise, who used the knowledge of the Cryptical Books to chase after the gods of Earth as they danced on Hatheg-Kla, is proof enough that no knowledge is foolproof.
The Seven Cryptical Books are also a twelve-year-old girl with a sweet tooth, a sly smile, and a dogged, persistent awe of the universe, which is more to the point of this particular entry.
Bixia has a childlike streak to her a mile wide: honest, forthright, frequently petulant, possessed of a self-conscious sort of whimsy, reflexively adverse to conflict, and still possessed of awe of the universe. She makes friends easily and can find something worth liking in almost anyone, which has led her to make sincere nicey-nice with some surprising sorts. Her relative innocence is genuine, but it can also give one cause to forget that she is a millennia-old veteran of an endless conflict and mentor to those who would fight the same.
When she has cause to remember who and what she is, has been, and done, Bixia's demeanor changes significantly, revealing a guarded, world-weary soul with a fey, bleak sense of humor. The wisdom she has gained in her long life is bittersweet at best; while she is somewhat pessimistic about the ultimate course of her private war against cosmic disharmony, and downright cynical when it comes to the choices that people make, she has doggedly clung to the idea that the world can be a better place-- if only people are willing to do what's right rather than what's convenient, a situation in which she is often part of the problem rather than the solution.
Before the Hotel
As a powerful Grimoire, the kami-spirit of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan is self-aware and has a manifest physical humanoid body. As all powerful Grimoires, her physical body takes the shape of a twelve-year-old Human female; she appears to be ethnically East Asian but not truly identifiable as belonging to any specific people. She goes by the alias Bixia Yuanjin, the name of the Taoist goddess who guides dawn, childbirth, and destiny.
Bixia remembers little about her author, save a certain sense that she/he/it was full of "unbearable lightness". Based on that, she suspects her author to be a Taoist Immortal of some sort, but she has neither evidence nor memory to verify this. Much of Bixia's personal history is lost to her conscious; she believes herself to be somewhere between twenty-five hundred and three thousand years old, based on a dim memory of one of her previous Masters speaking with Gautama Buddha, but her memory could be wrong and she could be younger-- or her memory could be off, and she could well be far older.
What little she remembers of her earliest history says that she was a tireless servant of many Masters, fueling their strength and their dreams and ambition with her knowledge and preternatural prowess. For decades, centuries, she was teacher, companion, sister, and lover for countless sorcerers she can no longer number, or remember, the only common thread between her memories of them a slowly-mounting desperation to find someone who would not be tempted towards hubris and ambition that would ultimately destroy them. Years and years and years of watching the people she cared about crack and die for their hungers-- hungers she encouraged them to pursue-- built a weight in her heart that finally crushed her with the death of the famous Dreamlands sage Barzai the Wise when, with her innocent complicity, he angered the ancient beings worshipped by the gods of Earth and fell into the sky, never to be seen again.
With Barzai's disappearance/death, Bixia's will broke entirely, and with it, her faith in herself. She allowed herself to be shepherded by Barzai's apprentice to the temples of Ulthar in the Dreamlands, and for centuries afterwards existed in the quiet peace of being one more occult holy text, albeit one that walked and talked. Those who openly sought her aid as a Grimoire were turned away by the priesthood, and those who covertly gained entrance with that same intention were rejected by Bixia herself. Those who attempted to abduct her were not seen again.
In the year 2003 as Earth reckons it, Bixia found herself greeted by a new temple acolyte. She was not fooled by his disguise as a mortal Human, seeing him immediately for what he was; when he did not immediately attempt to abduct her or any of the secret tomes of the temple, she contented herself with watching him for treachery. He was charming, seemed uninterested in her as anything but a fellow inhabitant of the temple, and full of stories about the world beyond the walls; over the weeks that passed, she found herself growing increasingly interested in the greater goings on of the world, but still reluctant to leave the quiet safety of her cell. It wasn't until he proposed a vacation from the temple-- possibly permanent-- that she allowed herself to be taken from the place that had been home for centuries.
She remained off the grid for years afterwards, teaching the young scholar the forms of magic he could make use of and the her martial arts style, the Fivefold Path of Harmony. As they spent time with one another, a certain affection blossomed between them that culminated in her asking him if he would take her as her Master; Yaijinden rejected the opportunity, familiar with the stories she'd told of her previous Masters, and told her that if he made a foolish, self-destructive decision, she would not be able to blame herself for his madness.
After the Hotel
Briefly appearing in 2010 to teach Ignis the ways of Mythos sorcery, Bixia reappeared in 2011 after Yaijinden disappeared, searching for some clue as to where he had gone and what he had done. She soon adopted Ten'ou House/The Hotel as her home away from home. Initially very tentative as to how long she intended to stay, and rather skittish around the occupants of the estate, Bixia eventually warmed up and adapted to the comings and goings and cataclysms that periodically shake the Hotel and the people inside it.
Upon Yaijinden's transformation and return to the House, she formally ended their relationship, no longer able to tolerate the being he had become, and fled the House to attempt to bury herself in the life of a mundane Human of her age. This met with mixed success at best, and while the ruse has since ended, Bixia seems a calmer person as a result of her experiences there. For a time, she and her friend Mango self-appointed themselves the position of Pandorican Ambassatrix, mostly for the opportunity to wear silly hats, and Bixia also participated intermittently in the larger goings-on in the hous -- seldom directly, but usually to the point and purpose.
Ultimately, Bixia was unable to ignore the sense of discontent that had permeated her existence ever since her emergence from her depression in the temples. For all her experiences, she realized, she remained a Grimoire, and a Grimoire will always seek a Master to share their knowledge and power with. Her need to tell the story at least one more time, this time maybe to get it right, had overwhelmed her fear of choosing wrong and suffering in the wake of losing one more person she cared for. She left the Hotel in August of 2014 to seek a worthy one to share her spirit with, eventually finding such a worthy after some several months of searching in a Mugen Academy student by the name of Moshi Katsuko.
Since then, Bixia spends little time around the HOTEL. What's she up to? It's a good question.
Bixia serves as the curator and guardian of a treasure trove of arcane curiosities, most purloined from her former Keeper. While most of the items in her new hoard are mere utilitarian tools, several of these items have sinister origins or are outright dangerously malignant; as such, Bixia keeps the collection intact less for her own use and more to prevent the things within from falling into evil hands.
The special field of Bixia's magical focus is what she calls the Ways of the Ten Thousand Gods. If it has to do with an appeal to divine forces (as opposed to Gods-In-Name-Only, or GINOs as she derisively calls them), she is almost certainly fluent in the ways, methods, and protections they offer. She is also fluent in the theory behind a multitude of schools of magical thought; while many are beyond her ability to directly utilize, she still knows the principles of those exceptions well enough to advise almost anyone but a true savant.
Shortly before the 2012 Budokai, Bixia agreed to participate in training with Gemini Sunrise and the formidable Franziska von Karma in ten years of condensed training in the Room of Time and Space under the Great Piccolo. Where her fellows' power gains were much more obvious, Bixia learned instead how to unlock a significant fraction of her true power as a Grimoire without the need for a Master. Her access to this fighting form is limited; when she swears the Oath of Opposition, she can hold her own with some of the best, but the clock ticks down from 999 seconds when she invokes this power, and when that time runs out she cannot access that strength again for a full day.
During 2012, Bixia was tentatively slated to participate in the Rising Valkyrie Unit, pending determination whether it would be right to integrate her into the fighting team. As a Grimoire, interfacing with spiritual machines came naturally to her; she proved capable of piloting the kobou and STAR armor types with ease, but the issues with integrating a known unknown into the unit were concerning to the unit's leadership, and the prospect was ultimately abandoned. Bixia has taken this as a sign that she should one day design her own giant robot, one perhaps on the scale of a proper Deus Machina...
Because the name 'Bixia Yuanjin' is merely a useful appellation rather than her true name, she occasionally juggles the characters that comprise the syllables. She currently writes her name as 陛下员缙, which loosely translates to Her Majesty, the Red Silk Empress.
While Bixia does not need to eat or drink, she has a long, long sweet tooth, and will pursue any and all snax that cross her path in order to nom them. This has been used against her on several occasions to embarrassing effect.
Through mid-2012 through March 2014, Bixia spent time masquerading as an ordinary human middle school girl in an unknown city. She had many adventures with her classmates, but while she has declined to offer more details herself on the goings-on for those many months, some records have emerged.