Physical appearance Edit
She was of Chinese descent, with dark brown, almost black eyes. At an older age, her hair had gone silver. (OAR)
She was married to Pei Kau-yung, a flag officer in the Federation Navy, and was assigned as one of the colonial administrators of Operation Ark, as well as its senior terraforming expert, leading the Alpha terraforming crew that first prepared the planet Safehold for human colonization.
Along with her husband, she opposed the creation of the Safeholdians' anti-technology mindset, and was removed from the Administrative Council by Eric Langhorne and his followers. She and Kau-yung had very public falling out, which was staged to give her husband a place in the middle of Langhorne's staff. She and those thirty percent of the original command crew who agreed with her (the "techies") united in the Alexandria Enclave in the south of Safehold, where they stored humanity's ancient knowledge and even shared it with native Safeholdians. Sticking to Operation Ark's original mission plan, they also used pre-electric technology.
Following the destruction of Alexandria, Pei Kau-yung launched an attack on the "Archangels", killing most of them. The surviving ones, most importantly Maruyama Chihiro, painted her as a treacherous archangel reminiscent of Luficer in Old Earth's christian religion: she was hence remembered as "Shan-wei, Dark Mother of Evils", the personification of evil in the world of Safehold. (OAR)
However, after the Brethren of Saint Zherneau found records of humanity's true history, and especially once Merlin Athrawes arrived in Charis, the leaders of that kingdom and its clergy began to see Shan-wei in a different light, realizing that she was one of the few "archangels" actually worthy of reverence. (BHD)