"The Lone Dame in Foreign Lands 异乡的孤女 (yì xiāng dè gū nǚ)"
Who is she:
Like a scene out of a Chinese horror movie, a lone damsel sits in the night out in the woods, strumming an ancient Chinese string instrument. Her long straight hair gently swaying along with the willows, her sharp face pale, white and mournful. Who is Lady Cai? What is her role in the story? Truth be told, the name Cai Wen Ji was complete new to me when I heard about this character in the Hills Pack. As it turns out, she was a very minor character, a musician and poet, but with a sad life story. Married at the age of 15 but widowed soon after, she was then held captive by the Xiong Nu 匈奴 clan chieftain for many years. He then made her his wife and she bore him children, but her heart had always yearned for home. It would be 12 years later before a particular famous warlord ransomed her... but only to fulfill his own agenda. This warlord would go on to become one of the most famous person throughout Chinese history. Who was this warlord? Read on the find out!
Character ability 1: "Dirge 悲歌 (bēi gē)"
Every instance a player suffers damage from an ATTACK, you can discard a card (on-hand or equipped), and the player who suffered the damage flips a judgement card.
If the judgement is "hearts", the victim regains 1 unit of health.
If the judgement is "diamonds", the victim draws 2 cards.
If the judgement is "clubs", the attacker discards 2 cards.
If the judgement is "spades", the attacker flips his/her character card over.
Character ability 2: "Sorrow 断肠 (duan chang)" [Enforced ability]
The player who kills you loses all of his/her character abilities until the end of the game.
Ability's relation to story:
The ability mechanics do not have a direct link to the story, but the names of the abilities do. Both "Dirge" and "Sorrow" relates to the life of Lady Cai. After being imprisoned by the Xiongnu nomads, she composed a series of famous musical pieces known as the "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute 胡笳十八拍". Later in her life, she wrote some poems with a sorrowful tone, lamenting her turbulent life. See? What did I tell you? The perfect character for a sorrowful female apparition!
Additional info based on story:
Most famous achievement - Composing poems and pieces of music. Lady Cai was a talented poet and musician. After her unfortunate capture by Xiongnu nomads, she composed "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute", a sorrowful song in the style of nomadic tunes.
It was 12 years later that she was ransomed Cao Cao 曹操, yet Cao Cao did so for his own objectives. She was to a become a pacifier to the spirits for her clan, as by that time Lady Cai was the last surviving member. Even then, Lady demonstrated her memory and was able to recite about four hundred of her father’s lost works of poem and songs.
Cause of death - Unknown. There has been no record of her death, but her legacy lives on. Almost 500 years later, a series of paintings were commissioned by the first emperor of the Song Dynasty called "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute". It is said that some fragments of these 18 paintings survive till this day in Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Cai Wenji Wiki
Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute