Ai, Keeper of the Peak
Ai, Keeper of the Peak
My powers can really take over when I'm upset.
Li Ai lived on Shing Jea Island in Cantha during Emperor Usoku's reign. She first met her husband-to-be, Li Bo, when he found her painting at the Panjiang Peninsula in spring. Bo interrupted Ai while she worked, causing her to ruin the painting which in turn infuriated her. Despite the bad first impression, Ai eventually warmed up to Bo and began a relationship with him. Although Bo had planned to take Ai back to Panjiang to propose to her years later, it was Ai who proposed to him first. Seven years after the proposal, Ai gave birth to their daughter Li Lan whom Bo loved with all his heart.
When Emperor Usoku began the unification of Cantha circa 1637 CC (1127 AE), Bo, along with several other Shing Jea clansmen, was called to serve in the imperial army and join the emperor's forces on the mainland for the upcoming offensive against the Kurzicks of Echovald Forest. Bo often sent letters home and described his experiences in the army to his wife and daughter while training both his combat and music playing skills as well as befriending fellow soldiers such as the unusually tall and strong woman Hyo-Sonn.
After witnessing the horrific acts committed by Usoku and the Ministry of Purity during their campaign to unite Cantha, Bo and Hyo-Sonn defected from the army and fled back to Shing Jea. Bo eventually perished at the age of 32, however, leaving his family in Hyo-Sonn's care. His last letter was addressed to both Ai and Lan, and he professed his love for them while encouraging them to keep on living.
Two years after Bo's death, Lan passed away at the age of 12. It is not clear whether Ai tried to save Lan but failed, or if Ai's magic was unleashed during her grieving and she accidentally ended up killing her daughter. However, the deaths of her family left a lasting mark on Ai whose grief would only increase as she began blaming herself for Lan's death.
Unbeknownst to Ai, however, Lan continued existing as a ghost and observed Sunqua Peak where her mother Ai, who was wracked with grief, was meditating. Ai's inner turmoil attracted demons to her who feasted on her doubt, fears, guilt, and sorrow, and her elemental magic deeply disturbed the natural and spiritual balance on the mountain as a result. Scared to confront her unhinged mother, Lan disguised herself as the deer-like Spirit of the Mountain and sought aid from travelers to save her mother and the mountain.
By the time Dessa and her team of fractal explorers ended up in Sunqua Peak Fractal which depicted a distorted view of the historical event, they encountered Lan, disguised as the Spirit of the Mountain, who asked them to help her restore harmony to the mountain. The spirit's rather casual tone and mispronounced words made Dessa suspicious, but she nevertheless suggested that the fractal explorers do as the spirit asked.
By the time the party reached the mountain's summit, they discovered Ai as the Sorrowful Spellcaster meditating in grief. Lan was hesitant to approach her mother after witnessing how much in turmoil Ai really was, and she believed that her presence would only agitate Ai more. Lan decided to drop the act of posing as an enlightened spirit by turning to more casual talk although she still refused to reveal her true form. Dessa began putting the pieces of the mystery together after realizing how much the spirit cared for Ai, but decided to see the quest to the end.
Ai lashed out at the explorers, however, first telling them to leave her alone with her pain and then threatening them before attacking them. Although the explorers were able to quell the elementalist's rage after a clash, they soon learned the true source of the elemental imbalance as Ai's doubt, fears, guilt, and sorrow manifested as demons which took her over and attacked the party. After a fierce battle, the explorers were able to weaken the demons enough that Ai managed to drive them out, thus calming down the weather around the summit.
Once the explorers had collected letters written by the late Bo to his family and delivered the letters to Ai for closure, the disguised Lan finally approached her mother to tell her that she was safe. By the time the spirit began praising Lan for her qualities, Ai realized that the spirit was none other than Lan herself, forcing Lan to reveal her true form. When Ai questioned why her daughter had hidden herself, Lan responded that she had been scared of her mother's magical outburst and had been unsure how to approach her until the explorers had assisted her. Ai apologized to her daughter about what her unleashed powers had done and how she felt responsible for Lan's death, and admitted to missing her and feeling alone. Lan comforted her grieving mother, stating that Ai would never be alone.
- Channels the Elements
- Wracked with Grief
- Stolen skills
- Sunqua Peak Fractal: Dancing with Demons — Accept the harbinger's challenge and complete the Sunqua Peak fractal with no one in your group being defeated. (5 )
- Sunqua Peak Fractal: Here and Now — Accept the harbinger's challenge and defeat the final boss in Sunqua Peak. (5)