Ru is a herbalist and expert in Chinese medicine - but her true calling in life is both the study and practice of ancient disciplines of the occult, delving into the rites, mysticism and religion that made up 'magic' on Earth-That-Was. Consequently, she thinks of herself as a Historian, a Witch and a Healer.
Here stands a thin woman, rising only to a height of about five-foot five. She looks young, in her early twenties, her facial features an elegant cross between asian and caucasian traits, commonly enough seen amongst the many whose descent stems from the Core worlds. The woman's dark-brown eyes are sharp and incisive, speaking of a vivid intellect behind them. Glossy, straight black hair falls down around her face, reaching just past her shoulders, evidently well-taken care of, with lighter, auburn highlights in a few places.
Ru is quite thin for a woman of her age and height - but walks with a self-assured, almost noble grace, holding up a straight back and neck, the steady gait of someone who possesses powerful inner strength. Her most distinctive feature is her right arm - below the elbow, the woman's original forearm is obviously missing. Instead, she can be seen wearing any of a variety of cybernetic prostheses.
Ru's Cybernetic Arm
The device is obviously very high-quality, expensive manufacture - the design is sleek and black, though not in the slightest bit human-looking. Most of it is lightweight, the thin, fiberglass frame spanning across where her forearm would be, with the major motors and components visible within it. The hand itself resembles a more stylised version of a human hand and fingers, rather than a real one, the digits somewhat longer than the ones on her real hand, sleeker and thinner.
Ru was born on Jiangyin - though her parents were immigrants from Londinium, who wanted to start a new life on the Rim, away from the Alliance. At an early age, during the war, Ru was caught in an Alliance air-strike of an Independent outpost on the planet - the event caused the death of her father who was serving there, and the loss of her right forearm.
Life on Jiangyin was not easy - due to her mother's profession, many of the locals considered their family to be witches and an unclean presence. Finally, an unfortunate incident faced them against a mob in the township, causing the traumatic execution of her mother. Ru was only able to escape with her life due to a friend of the family who sheltered her and managed to arrange passage off the planet. At first angered at the loss of her mother, Ru felt an obligation to find out the cause of her death - embarking on a long trail of research and investigation into the history of witchcraft, religion, the occult and its persecution, travelling all across the Rim.
Before long, Ru found herself taking to the old texts she found earnestly, eager to learn and explore the old world of the mystical - left almost untouched since the Exodus from Earth-That-Was. At last, she found that she had trully become that which her mother had been killed under the suspicion of being - a witch.
Ru As a Historian
Ru has spent six years travelling the Rim on a variety of ships - and occasionally visitng the Core worlds, investigating and researching magic, paganism and the occult, both on the Earth-That-Was and in a contemporary setting, specifically how mysticism and spirituality affects the lives of those living out on the Rim. Ru has a voracious appetite for knowledge and a keen intellect - as well as an extraordinary gift for languages. Collecting ancient books and making contact with settlers on the remotest of the settled worlds, she picked up not only what she set out to find, but also an in-depth knowledge of a whole variety of cultures, tracing back to the ancient times on Earth-That-Was and their languages. Similarly, fascinated by religion as a whole, its effect on people and its history of controlling the masses, led her to learn some areas psychology and sociology, familiarising herself with theories on how culture and organised religion shape and influence individuals.
Over the course of her six-year journey, Ru has accumulated an impressive collection of books, but has found herself rather short on money, finally making her way back to the Border worlds. Her efforts have not been in vain - during this time, she has written two books, one of an anthropological persuasion, 'Cultures of the Rim', the other a more sociological treatise on mysticism, spirituality and magic and their effects on human civilisation, entitled 'Destiny and Destination'. Neither sold particularly well, however, and both have been largely glossed over by the relevant academic communities in the Core worlds - not least because of Ru's utter lack of any sort of academic status, having not so much as been to High School, let alone any kind of respectable University.
Although Ru is perhaps not quite prepared to admit it, yet, the ultimate purpose of her studies is to create - or at least evolve, a new religion. Having delved so much into the mysticism of Earth-That-Was religions, familiarising herself with the various pagan traditions and the occult, it occured to her that the old practices are unsuited for life in the Verse, after mankind's exodus. Just as religions had to adapt in the coming of the Enlightenment and the modern age, mutating to stand up to the revolution of science, so she feels another evolution of mystical belief must occur for ancient magical traditions to survive into the 26th century and beyond. Travelling across the worlds of the Rim, getting to know their inhabitants and local culture - as well as keeping in touch with the cultures of the Old World - she seeks to reconcile the two and create a new breed of paganistic mysticism that could be embraced by the people of the 'Verse, providing a ready and potent alternative, to what she sees as the unhealthy influence of Christianity.
Ru is a strong believer in individual freedom, holding for the most part by the Wiccan adage that, as long as one's actions do not hurt others, there is no such thing as 'sin' or any inherent 'evil' in some deeds as opposed to others. However, she is not a pacifist - her past has taught her that life in the Verse, especially out on the Rim is often harsh and brutal, between the attacks of pirates, the Alliance and Reavers, as well as local populace inflicting pain on each other. Ru holds unshakeable faith in the values of personal freedom, which puts her in stark opposition to the values of the Alliance. Her policy is that of tolerance - tolerance of everything but intolerance. Those who seek to deprive others of their freedom, their will to choose their own lives, she views on a level separate from the rest. There is no reason to tolerate those who do not tolerate others.