Exalted - Kelsim
Kelsim is tall and rangy, with skin the color of black coffee and amber eyes. Her hair is a dark brown with streaks of red and black and blond; she wears it tightly braided and woven with white beads. Her gaze is intense and when she speaks with conviction her eyes seem to glow. She wears a chain shirt under her white, flowing, desert robes.
Kelsim's anima takes the form of a roaring lion's head with Kelsim framed in the mouth. It is blindingly white near her body and flames out in copper and gold towards the lion's mane.
The Kalal are a prosperous tribe of nomads, traveling annually between the Far and Near South to harvest and sell gems and salt. They have done so for generations, and so have mapped out a great many passages and oases through the badlands and the desert. Their life is by no means peaceful, as they constantly have to fend off attacks from other opportunistic tribes.
The sons and daughters of the Kalal all have their fortunes cast the month before their birth. When Kelsim's parents, the co-leaders of the Kalal, went to the tent of Temer, the tribe's shaman and doctor, they did not emerge after the customary hour. For three days the camp waited, on edge, until their chieftan Melik suddenly raced out, shouting for water for the holy man. None of the three told any of their tribespeople what was revealed during those three days, but when the minute of Kelsim's birth was heralded by the roaring of a hundred lions in the surrounding wastes, the men and women of the Kalal turned to each other and nodded knowingly. This child was to be special.
Kelsim has been brought up every inch the tribal warrior princess, and her people follow her fanatically. They fervently believe that she is protected by the clan's ancestral lion spirits and that with her in the lead of the tribe's warriors they cannot be troubled or defeated. Kelsim, for her part, has been taught by Temer that she is destined for great things; although he has never told her what horoscope he saw for her in her birth-casting, she secretly believed that she was destined to unite the scattered cousin-tribes of the Kalal into a mighty desert nation.
Halfway through her twenty-third year, Kelsim became deathly ill. Her clan halted for weeks as their treasured princess burned with fever and raved through the nights. Late in the third week, the dark chill of the desert night was blasted away by an explosion of golden white light from the tent where Kelsim lay tended by her parents and Temer.
The next morning, a perfectly healthy Kelsim and Temer rode out from the Kalal camp, and were not sighted until nightfall; when they returned, Kelsim wore a set of bracers set with a white gem set in the left arm. She called for her tribe to gather, and began to tell them of the Unconquered Sun and her heaven-and-spirit mandated charge to rid the South of evil. At first the Kalal did not understand, but as her speech became more fiery, they could not help but respond. They would have followed her into a war that moment had she directed them to do so, and were shocked when she ended by saying that she would leave alone the next morning.
Kelsim has promised her people that she will return to lead them after a period she refers to as her Questing Time. The last six months have seen her roam the South, occasionally returning to the manse that Temer revealed to her in the desert as part of the fulfillment of her birth-casting.