Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Half-Sister of the Empress, Imperial Treasurer
Fo-Wen Ma is the eldest illegitimate child of the former emporer, Hao Bu Lu Paei. She is surprisingly close to her half-sister, whom she is said to contrast like night contrasts day. She is tall, has a very memorable and distinctive face, and is said to have a very kind and soft-spoken demeanor. Fo-Wen is said to attire herself most frequently in the traditional garb of a political adviser – which is appropriate to her station as Imperial Treasurer.
Unlike her elder half-sister who currently occupies the throne of the empire, Fo-Wen has been married for several years, and has eight children. The eldest, Ro, was born in 1641 and the youngest, Mao Wei, was born in 1656.
Those in tune with the politics of the Empire know that there is a faction among the Nada’Athi nobility which favors Fo-Wen for the throne in the event that her sister dies childless, even though illegitimate children are generally excepted from the rights of succession.
Given Zhaon Lu Paei’s current age – and without a husband much less a child – it seems quite likely that the empress will indeed die childless.