Shaking Down Shadows
A Shaman of the streets
Age: 25, Hair: Black, Eyes: Blue, Skin: Caucasian, Height: 6’00, Weight: 170.
Xipe has that elven slim build that humans might call a “swimmers build”. His coal black hair is cut rather short but fashionably and usually stuffed up under a hoodie of some type. Covering the lower portion of his face is a black mask that he appears to have no issue breathing through.
Loose fitting cargo pants are tucked into scuffed and worn boots to complete the street ensemble. Where skin shows other than his face, the black lines and bright colors of tattoos follow. On his visible face there is only a single black tattooed tear under his right eye.
Xipe died the first time during child birth. His mother was a human Latina from Tenochititlan and his father was an elf from somewhere in the UCAS. His mother was working the streets in Tenochititlan when she was picked up by the elf. Their night of nuyen fueled passion produced Xipe nine months later. As his mother had no nuyen for a corp hospital, she tried to have the baby herself in one of the Tenochititlan barrios. The baby appeared to be still born and the orc midwife tossed it out onto the streets.
Out on the streets two little girls playing mistook the baby for a doll and took it home. Wrapping it in warm blankets they didn’t notice the frail chest start to rise and fall as the warmth brought life back to the baby. When it started to cry, their mother ran into their room and discovered the baby. Always wanting a boy, not to mention the extra government money she would get from another child, she kept the baby. She took to putting stocking caps on the boy to hide his eleven heritage as much as she could but as he grew older that became harder and harder.
Xipe grew up running the streets of the desolate barrios with is sisters Olma and Julietta. Possibly due to his interesting birth his lungs were never quite right and he seemed unnaturally susceptible to the myriad of pollutants in the dingy outskirts of Tenochititlan. Corp funded health care paid just enough to get him a mask to keep most of the pollution out but not enough for medication. As you might imagine, growing up in that environment, as an elf, wearing a breathing mask, he was a target for bullying and learned to fight for himself early on. Xipe and his sisters attended the local corp funded school for the under privileged in the barrios. There Xipe learned to speak English as well as Spanish with fluency.
Xipe died the second time when he was twelve years old. After a particularly savage beating he has taken from a larger and older boy, he was left to bleed out in the gutter. His sisters had run away to get help but they had strayed far from home looking for food and it would take precious moments for them to get back to him. His breath came in ragged gasps and thinking it was his last moments, Xipe pulled his mask to the side and took a breath. The air stung his lungs and he collapsed into a coughing fit, blood falling from his lips into the muck filled gutter. Without consideration he concentrated on his breathing and tried to suck in air, thinking he could force the air itself to help him breathe. Reflexively he had summoned an air spirit and it slid down his throat as he lapsed into death. Working quickly the spirit forced his lungs to start to work again and after a few seemingly eternal moments Xipe’s eyes blinked open.
Xipe’s eyes opened to a new world and at first he thought he was dead and seeing heaven of some type. The world seemed more alive and in the barrio, more dead at the same time. He blinked several times and then choked as the air spirit pushed its way out of his nose and mouth to form beside him. The spirit swirled around Xipe, a tendril reaching out to gently slide the mask back across his face and Xipe remembered to breathe finally, lapsing into a coughing fit.
“Who…wh…are you?” Xipe asked.
The air spirit swirled and settled at his side as if waiting. Xipe cocked his head to one side and nodded, “Remolino it is then.” (Remolino = Swirl in Spanish)
Xipe tried to stand and found he was unable to and looked at Remolino, “Can you help me stand?” The spirit whirled around him and helped him to his feet. After doing so, the spirit seemed to dissipate just as Xipe’s sisters returned with help. Xipe tried to explain what happened to his sisters but they tried to convince him it was just his imagination and a result of the beating he had taken. They helped him to the local barrio bruja (witch) for help in healing his wounds.
Xipe made it to the home of the bruja known as Teno with the help of his sisters. Teno was a shaman and a follower of Bear. After a rather long wait in line, they entered the home of Teno. As soon as Teno saw Xipe he got to work examining the boy. After a few moments of looking him over he turned to the girls and asked them to leave the room. The girls sheepishly walked out and Teno sat on the examination table beside Xipe.
“So hermano, how long have you been a child of aguila?” (eagle) Xipe was confused and seeing that confusion on the young man’s face, Teno nodded in understanding. “That soon eh…” Teno patted Xipe on the shoulder and then placed his hand there for a moment and seemed lost in thought.
Xipe saw Teno’s hand start to glow faintly and his eyes widened. Magic! Such a thing was taboo in the barrios unless you wanted Aztechnology to take you away. Xipe was definitely uncomfortable but the calm reassuring touch of Teno on his shoulder held him from sprinting away in terror. After a few moments he opened his eyes and looked at Xipe. “Follow me.”
Xipe followed Teno into the other room and down a back alley. After several more twists and turns Xipe found himself in a small cave. There were several things there that Xipe had no concept of what they could be for. This was Teno’s lodge and there he showed Xipe the new wide world he had entered and introduced him for the first time to his new best friend, Eagle.
After that day, Teno would see Xipe once a week and they would talk or walk the streets. They spoke of many things, spirits, the corporations and life in general. Teno told Xipe that he would have to move to another city soon as if he stayed in one barrio too long, the corp would find him. Teno had become a friend to Xipe and because of this Xipe was sad to see his friend leave. Teno mentioned that he was going to leave the country and head north. He showed Xipe his papers that he had made so he could cross the borders. He also showed Xipe a second set and explained them to him.
“You cannot stay here hermano, you put your whole family in danger. If the brujas de sangre (blood witches) find you, they will kill you all.” Xipe thought about how he really did not belong here and pulled up his stocking cap to tap one elegantly pointed ear in thought as he sometimes did. Realizing he was doing it he considered the ear and frowned. Xipe understood then that he did need to leave and that night he packed his few belongings into a bag and slid out into the night with Teno.
Xipe and Teno made their way up through the tribal nations and into Seattle eventually. Teno had friends there and the settled in the area known as Redmond. Teno continued to help Xipe on his path but eventually Xipe moved out and got his own small apartment with a few friends there in Redmond. Xipe knows the gangs in the area and has, so far, kept himself from being absorbed into any of them. Two of his friends are in the “Spiders” but they have been cool with Xipe so far. They aren’t good enough friends to know he is a shaman or they would have tried to recruit him by now. Xipe still keeps to himself, being an elf in Redmond isn’t too different from being one in Aztlan.