Chenzi Ames: the demonic, mechanical ghost seer.

Chenzi Ames is part demon. She grew up with Locksley and Jules in the Bone Scythe assassin guild. She appears around 21 years old, 5'7", with porcelain skin, dark eyes, and short hair. She runs the Leviathan Street clan's garage/chop-shop in Downside. She's the go-to for sky racers and anyone wanting serious machine work. She's the top source for high quality, if stolen, parts. She's both a clockwork artiste and a mechanical Doctor Frankenstein. She's always cannibalizing other machines for the parts she needs, often without permission.

In addition to being a masterful tinkerer and a brilliant weapon smith, she can also see ghosts, but that's a skill she'd be ecstatic to be without. Ever since could remember, ghosts were always trying, and sometimes succeeding, to possess her body in order to resolve whatever issues they had tying them to the mortal realm. Various healers, priests, shamans, witches, mages, and sorcerers have all tried to help her, but with little success.

The only one who was ever able to help her was a nine-inch tall familiar with sorcerous aspirations. A demon minken named Hex spent over a year perfecting a complicated protection spell to keep them out. When it was finally finished, the spell was tattooed in five vertical lines, from the hairline on the left side of her face, down her throat, to her heart. The spell prevents ghosts from possessing her body, but nothing can stop her from seeing them. Whenever a ghost gets too close for comfort, the shield spell activates. Once activated, her tattoo, which is normally only visible under ultraviolet light, turns black, as if ink is oozing from her pores.

Chenzi's demon blood comes from her mother, Anlai Ames, a highly skilled thief. Anlai's partner, both in business and life, was a human named Gyan Tor. There wasn't a ward Anlai couldn't get past or a safe Gyan couldn't crack. They made an impressive team, and were well respected in certain criminal circles.

When Chenzi was five years old, her parents left one night and never returned. They stole from the wrong person and died trying to escape. With no other family, Chenzi was cast out into the streets. She survived by selling trinkets. She scoured garbage bins for parts and created clever toys out of scrap metal. She slept rough, earning just enough to feed herself. She had only been on the streets a few months when a charlatan tarot reader who called herself Madame Dulcineia discovered Chenzi had the real, and exceedingly rare, ability to talk to ghosts. Dulcineia took in Chenzi and set her up with all the mystical trappings of a Ghost Seer. People from all walks of life would pay good coin to speak to their long lost loved ones.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, perhaps, Chenzi was discovered by the Bone Scythe guild when she was nine. They had no interest in her ability to see ghosts, though. They were only interested in her stellar mechanical ingenuity. She blossomed in to a remarkable weaponsmith, earning her a distinguished position in the guild. Until Locksley declared war on the guild, that is. And then Chenzi's weapons helped Locksley and Jules bring about the guild's demise. Unfortunately, none of her weapons could have protected them from the demons the guild sent.

Always seeing challenges as simply problems waiting to be solved, she wouldn't let an amputated arm slow her down. She designed and built herself a mechanical prosthesis made out of a high tensile titanium and tungsten alloy. The new biomech arm was fused directly into her shoulder socket, responding to her will no differently than her flesh and blood arm.

She possesses a wonderfully creative mind, but she's not remotely organized. In fact, she's a bit of a hoarder. Among her stacks of notes, bins of pieces of metal and gears, she also has stacks of newspapers, and towers of books.

She's always scribbling notes on random scraps of paper. If no paper is within reach, she'll simple write on someone's arm. Not her own, of course. She'll just grab the nearest Leviathan and roll up their sleeve. The scraps are then tacked on the wall or strewn across her work area with no apparent rhyme or reason. At least a quarter of her time in her workshop is spent trying to find the right note or tool for her current project. It doesn't help that their house spirit is a mischievous grimling named Ratchet, who takes great pleasure in moving things around when no one is looking. Not that Chenzi tends to notice, anyway.

She two pets. One is a lazy, three-legged pit dog named Chowder who rarely leaves her side. He's much too friendly to be any sort of effective guard dog, though. He's more of a therapeutic companion, helping her through traumatic experiences with the lingering dead.

Her other "pet" is a mechanical octopus, or rather, an "octomaton," but unlike real octopi, he has an aversion to water. It makes him rust. His name is Rodger, and Chenzi built him when she was twelve. She had intended him to be her assistant, but she didn't count on his artistic nature. He spends the majority of his time on arts and crafts, but he will deign to hand her the odd tool between brush strokes.


One of his favorite pastimes, though, is knitting. He spends hours lovingly creating sweaters, scarves, mittens, and socks for the Leviathan Street clan and Auntie Cora's orphan misfits. His color blindness is a bit of a hindrance, though. He chooses balls of yarn based on the aesthetics of the names of their colors, which tends to make for some rather garish combinations. The clan and children love him, though, and they wear his monstrous creations with pride.

No comments: