An Old Buddy Told Li Merit
Ming I is twenty-four, the daughter of the Ming Hidden City family, her parents both powerful in the civil service. When she was in her mid-teens, she started being able to see and speak to spirits and demons; this was briefly thought by her parents to be an overactive imagination or madness. However, it got sorted out, and then she joined the Temple of Open Reflection, a Spiral Path temple. She spent three years there as a novice, but left instead of joining the order, to her parents' displeasure. She left the Hidden City - it's not clear where she was during that time, but was likely travelling rather than in a single place - and returned four years later, highly polished in the arts of feminine wiles. She spent some family favors that she talked out of her father to get audiences with some of the greater arcane masters in the Hidden City, including the Imperial Alchemist, and was hired by him later that year. She has not been given an apprentice's contract, but is instead a paid employee; he seems to value her spirit abilities more than her potential talent for sorcery, though he is teaching her mastery of multiple elements.