A short, birdlike, elderly Shan woman with long black hair, streaked with silver.
As a patron grants the services of her son, Sokune Takio, a skilled samurai as well as a Shan Fire Projector.
Shenzen sees the discovery of void runners as a chance to expand her already considerable knowledge. She hopes that those under her patronage will bring back books, art and information about the wonders of the universe beyond Retra.
Shenzen was born the first daughter of a high level functionary of the Immortal Court of the Glorious Empire of the Eternal Shan. Her mother held sway over a massive swath of land near the capital and the Sokune family often dined with the Imperial family.
Shenzen’s mother hoped that her daughter would follow in her footsteps and did everything in her power to prepare her for her future position. Shenzen was provided the best tutors in all fields from calligraphy to astronomy to to medicine to swordplay to court politics. Unfortunately, she proved completely incompetent and disinterested int he last of these fields. Shenzen simply did not care who was currying favor with who, what flutter of a fan meant that one hated a rival, or what the Emperor’s favorite kind of nut was. Once she discovered the wonders of the world that could be discovered though science and learning, she cared little for the politics that made that world go round.
Thus, though it disappointed her to no end, Shenzen’s mother was forced to pass her power on to her son, a boy who was not so bright as his sister but who had a double dose of the killer instinct and cunning that made for a brilliant courtier.
Shenzen was relegated to a role as a researcher and librarian at the Golden University of Ever Rising Knowledge, the center of study at the Imperial capital. It was a life that she excelled at. She never rose very high in the ranks as the social competition in academia proved just as fierce as at the Emperor’s court, but none could deny her brilliance and her superiors often jockeyed to have her assigned to them so that they could lay claim to at least partial credit for her discoveries.
She hardly noticed when the Ravnivori conquered her land. It was only a minor annoyance as she was forced to remain away from or sneak into the library for several months while the invaders laid siege to her city. Afterward, she simply returned to her quest for knowledge, hardly caring that her new superiors were foreign conquerors as long as they did not interfere with her work. Fortunately, those superiors were wise enough to stay out of her way.
Shenzen’s disinterest in the outside world was only shattered when that outside world expanded. The discoveries and possibilities available on other worlds was a draw that she could not deny. Though she did not have her brother’s power or money, she had amassed an impressive amount of money from her salary and from awards given due to her many discoveries. Since she seldom spent any of this money, she had quite a treasury by the time void runners were discovered.
She wasted little time in buying one and less in gathering a crew, boarding her ship and streaking off into the void. That first trip garnered her numerous specimens and tomes as well as another ship. One of the societies that she discovered was so impressed by her quest for knowledge that their ruler gifted her with a Dragonship to show his admiration.
Shenzen has returned home, now, retiring from the University so that she may examine the wonders of the universe. These wonders are brought to her by her two ships, both the Dragonship and her first Tradesman. Though she already has a backlog of material to research that will last until well after her death, her thirst for knowledge remains unslaked and she is looking to add a third research vessel to her fleet.