Champions of Pulp
Luan is an attractive Chinese woman of thirty years, she stands at five foot three and possesses and athletic but graceful build. She keeps full dark brown hair cut shoulder length as a compromise between vanity and functionality. She is more often found wearing functional clothing due to her time in the slums of Hong Kong, so she wears trousers and boots more often than not. This does not mean she cannot bear a more presentable appearance when called upon.
Luan was born in Nanking to a prominent physician who, while he had longed for a son, was nevertheless pleased at his growing daughter’s intelligence and drive. He was also a bit concerned about her fascination with martial arts but decided to channel that drive rather than suppress it. He found a teacher for her, a wizened but still formidable master who did not discriminate…much. Luan flourished under his teachings and proved an able student, learning not only martial arts but other skills such as acupuncture. At last Luan had grown old enough to where she began to question her place in the world. Was she destined to simply be some man’s bride, to raise children (preferably man child)? Fate, as they say, intervened when she rescued a diplomat’s son from a riotous mob who blamed him for the burning down of a bar. He was innocent and ultimate his name was cleared, but at that moment the Chinese wanted blood, especially that of a round eyed barbarian. The man, Sedgwick Smythe, was grateful for Luan’s assistance and his father moreso. Sir Samuel Smythe had been a former member of the Explorer’s Club and recognized courage and intelligence when he saw it, and he was a man who honored his debts. He asked Luan what she would want in return for the service she had provided. Luan thought long and hard on it and she decided she wanted to be a doctor, but to learn Western medicine. Samuel pulled strings and managed to get her into Oxford College. To her chagrin, Master Lao insisted upon coming with her to “keep her out of trouble”. Trouble was exactly what the pair ran into time and again over the years she attended medical school, engaging in adventures between classes and torturous training bouts, with young Sedgwick tagging along. Luan and Sedgwick became fast friends More than once the young Chinese student was almost expelled for her shenanigans, but fortunately some of her teachers recognized her talents and she managed, barely, to stay in school. Ultimately she graduated, but now a new problem presented itself; where would she practice medicine? Sedgwick, now a bureaucrat of some small influence, had married and been assigned to Hong Kong. He attempted to aid her in finding a position, but Luan had decided both he and his father had done far more than she could ever do to adequately repay them. She fought on her own and in large part through sheer stubbornness managed to find a place in a Hong Kong hospital, there to take on new challenges…
Luan is not one to back down from challenges or excitement. In fact, she thrives when obstacles are thrown in her way. She is a charitable soul and spends much of her spare time helping the poor in free clinics. Luan is also something of a romantic. Her time in Great Britain had exposed her to mystery novels, most notably written by the likes of Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers.
Luan is a skilled doctor, well versed in Eastern and Western medicine. Due to her love of mystery stories, she has a more than passing interest in forensic medicine . She is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and knows conversational Japanese as well as several other Eastern languages (She can ask “Where does it hurt?” in almost every language spoken in Asia). She also has a decent understanding of Latin. Luan is a highly skilled martial artist, having mastered several Kung Fu disciplines drilled into her head by Master Lao along with a more than passing skill with various martial art weapons, most notably the Chinese sword. Her teachings have moved more and more into philosophical disciplines which have opened her perceptions and skills to abilities that might almost be considered supernatural. She can move with prenatural stealth and when one is not looking she can seemingly disappear or appear from seemingly nowhere. These tricks are mostly a matter of timing and sometimes facilitated by distraction. Luan’s perceptions are a bit sharper than a normal person’s due to her teachings.
Luan has never learned how to drive a car nor does she have any idea how to use a pistol.