Before his 1578 Awakening in a Korean monastery, Hyemyŏng rose through the monastic ranks, gaining the immense respect of both the monks and the laity for his wisdom and empathy. It had helped that he was an abandoned infant with the mark of the tulku (reincarnation) of the last Choson Emperor. Though an eminent monk, Hyemyŏng always wrestled his superiors' will with his lighthearted approach to life. At 16, when his insubordination proved insuperable, he was ejected from the monastery, causing him to lose face and to confront a life he'd never known: that of the laity.
Armed with an indomitable spirit, Hyemyŏng nevertheless faced his humiliation and - in the process of finding his way in the world outside the monastery - he Awakened. Now, having risen through wisdom, application and amiability through the Akashic ranks to speak before the Council of Nine, Hyemyŏng still treats everything with a certain breeziness that belies the complexity of his thinking, but at the same time shakes others' faith in him.
A short, thin Korean man; his apparent age is around 55. Shaved head, round face with rosy cheeks, gentle, laughing eyes, pursed smile. Flame-shaped birthmark on neck. Hyemyŏng hides his small, graceful frame beneath a patched turumagi (outer jacket), which hangs over a gray shirt and part of his baggy gray pants and pair of leggings. During Council sessions, Hyemyŏng wears his purple changsam (formal robe) over these clothes.