A Kwannon-jin of the Eastern Hsien, the Heng Po are commoners; Hirayanu Shinma attuned to the element of Water with the ability to turn into fish. They are often mistakenly referred to as Changelings.
The fish are useful, if unpredictable companions. They like helping people find lost things on one hand and on the other take years to fulfill a quest. They are in no hurry about anything. The worst of them can be so fickle as to switch sides in a conflict or dispute just for the joy of contrariness. Others are social creatures who enjoy being in a crowd. Heng Po have a reputation for righting ancient wrongs but usually ask for payment. Knowledge that they have done a good deed is never good enough. On top of that they are hoarders, which may help explain why they are so good at finding lost things and they are as adept at finding information as random junk. They'll sell rumors to anyone who can meet their price but have a tendency to embellish the tale. It isn't lying in their eyes, it's making the story more interesting. Many Shinma listen to the stories just because they are expertly told. Buying information from the fish will give you something valuable but you'll have to find it under layers of exaggeration. These hsien are intelligent and perceptive, usually, and know when to keep the tale from getting too tall or exactly how much to charge for their services, though those costs rarely make sense to anyone but them. In fact, the less sense it make the more they like it.
- Kwannon-jin Fortune: Water
- Hsien-tsu - Those Heng Po who incarnate into children annoy their parents constantly by being underfoot wanting attention but never making any achievements to make them proud. They are usually make mess after mess without ever helping to clean. Even more than the average child they will jump from one interest to the next and never finish what they start. Their one bright point is that they are good at water activities like sailing, fishing, or swimming and if they aren't pushed to it they will provide more seafood than the family could ever hope for.
- Hsien-jin - Only slightly more responsible than their younger siblings, they remain untidy social butterflies while answering human prayers and serving the Kamuii well, if in their own time. They like to talk to fishermen and sailors and see who can come up with the most impossible stories. The fish don't always walk away the winners but the fun is in listening and talking.
In their Wani Form, the Heng Po are easily told apart form their Suijen cousins; only the Heng Po have small dorsal and ankle fins. They have webbed hands and feet and skin color ranging from deep green to chartreuse. The males have drooping whiskers, like catfish, that give them a comical look. Both male and female have blunt noses and bodies covered in thick scales and, as a rule, wear little clothing. Usually they take the form of carp though some prefer sturgeon or Yangtze dolphins.
When using the Mask of Shintai the male's whiskers grow barbs, fins grow larger and become tipped with sharp spines, the skin color deepens and the lips swell into a sneer. Eyes become more bulbous and glow with an unsettling purple light. They look like primeval, bipedal sea monsters.
Most Heng Po align themselves with the Wu Hsien as they aren't particularly interested in high ideals or enlightenment. Self-interest is much more, well, interesting. I few with close human friends may join the Xian Mu. In general the fish are part of Shinma society but not really in it. While they'd like to be more noticeable in Hsien society they aren't well trusted.
Luck & Curse
- Luck - With a love for lost things, either valuable or less-so, the Fish-folk have a knack for trivia dealing with lost things. When searching for lost items, they get +2 dice to any Intelligence or Perception rolls.
- Curse - Heng Po have a problem with haste. While they do enjoy searching for things, their time is theirs. Impatient patrons will get make them go even more slowly. To hurry at anything they must make a Willpower roll at difficulty 8, or 9 if they are being rushed. In general it takes a fish twice as long to accomplish something as anyone else.
In Wani Form, Heng Po can breathe water like land creatures breathe air. Additionally their scales give them 2 extra soak dice.