Smiling River has never known his mortal family. Abandoned as a baby inside Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland's eastern shore, he was taken by a hunting party of may-may-gway-shi to their freehold, the Blackwater Hunting Grounds. Hidden in the most secluded part of the wilderness preserve, the Hunting Grounds became Smiling River's new (and only) home.
His constant exposure to the freehold's potent Medicine awakened the latent Nunnehi spirit within him, and Smiling River emerged fully into his faerie nature simultaneously with his first step. As a youngling, the boy was curious; pestering his elders with questions about rocks, water, fish, and anything else his active mind could fasten on. When he became a brave, his inquisitiveness only increased.
Unlike the other may-may-gway-shi of his tribe, Smiling River actively seeks encounters with mortals who visit the wildlife refuge. He often appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to assist lost explorers to safety, asking them questions about life outside the Blackwater Refuge while guiding them back to the area's designated trails. In the manner, he has gained an erratic education about the outside world of mortals. Although he does not understand much of what he has learned, he has determined that one day soon, he will put his newfound knowledge to the test and explore the vast lands outside the refuge.
Smiling River is skilled in Wayfare, Spirit Link, and Primal, but knows almost nothing about other faerie Arts. He has superb hunting, swimming, and wilderness skills, but is woefully lacking in most "civilized" abilities such as driving and etiquette. Although he speaks English, he can neither read not write the language.
In mortal seeming, Smiling River is short and muscular. His dark hair hangs in loose, tangled curls to his shoulders. His face is open and friendly, and he carries himself with the grace of a wild creature. When roused to anger, he projects an almost feral sense of menace. In his fae mien, his face is almost hidden by his mane of unruly hair. his skin has a fine coating of otter like fur. He dresses in handmade clothing and usually carries with him a few painted rocks to give as gifts to people who are especially kind to him.
The world is a big place, and Smiling River wants to explore every part of it. His family does not agree with him, though, believing that he should stay within the safety of the freehold and its environs. His need to know as much as he can about the strangers who visit Blackwater cannot, however, be ignored. As soon as he is able, he is going to step outside the confines of the wilderness preserve and see what happens.