Wu Mai, was born the son of a mid-level scribe of the imperial court. His father taught him reading and math at an early age and Wu would seek out the imperial tutors to teach him more advanced subjects when ever they were free of their official obligations. Wu showed great promise with the abacus and sciences, and there was talk of Wu apprenticing under the Imperial Alchemist until his father drew the emperor’s wrath and was killed in front of the court. Wu and his mother were forced out of the palace and evicted to the streets.
Living on the streets, Wu provided for his family by taking jobs for peoples alchemists and developed a talent for making cheap fireworks. He also began gambling, and loosing, often on Xiangqi tournaments. While lying in the gutter after a severe beating by his creditors, Wu was taken in by an ancient alchemist who taught him to make medicines and perfect his explosives recipes. The old man also taught him to practice Wushu to calm and focus his inner Chi. The old man was so well respected that as long as Wu lived with him, none of his creditors would mess with him. When the old man died, Wu disappeared.
Already famous at home for his huge explosive fireworks, Wu followed the trade route from the Far East to the Oasis seeking greater fame. Due to a fair number of accidents in his apprentice years, Wu developed a skill in mixing potions, medicines and salves along side his skills with mixing black powder, but not until he had already badly burnt the right side of his face and his hands. Wu’s skills in making large, bright, over the top explosions and firework shows earned him great fame in the far east. Unfortunately, his legendary bad luck in gambling earned him powerful enemies. So he took his show on the road to try and earn greater fame and just maybe some fortune along the way, so that he may one day return home.