May-Ling Shen
Appeared in Highlander: The Series: They Also Serve
Born 785, T'ang Dynasty; Ch'ang-an
First Death 810, concubine poisononed by senior wife
Teachers Yau Chuan Chou
Pupils Kiem Sun, Duncan MacLeod
Origin Chinese
Watchers Ian Bancroft
Status Deceased, head taken by Michael Christian, 1995
Occupation Competitive diver, warrior, and concubine
Portrayed by  Vivian Wu
May-Ling Shen was born to the Shen family, since she was of small stature and delicate features, they had her instructed in the ways of the concubines. They planned to sell her when she was of age. In 810, May-Ling arrived in the Forbidden City, having been purchased by a petty official at the Emperor Xianzong of Tang's court as his newest concubine. Yat Yang Ku became inordinately fond of his newest and youngest concubine. A few months after the new concubine's arrival, Yat's senior wife became jealous and poisoned May-Ling to dispose of her.

May Ling Shen

When May-Ling revived, she fled the Forbidden City in confusion. While wandering through China, May-Ling was found by Immortal Yau Chuan Chou who took her in and taught her what she was. While grateful to him, May-Ling understood that he wasn't skilled enough to teach her all that she needed to know to survive in The Game. She left him and sought out the greatest martial arts expert in China and beseeched him humbly to teach her. He at last agreed, and taught her all he knew. May-Ling was a determined and skillful student. When she could finally defeat him, she moved on, becoming, in later centuries, a teacher to many other Immortals. She became known as a warrior who happened to be a woman, not a woman warrior.

In 1276, Chinese warrior Kiem Sun of the Song Dynasty suffered his first death in battle against the Mongol hordes of Kublai Khan. May-Ling became his first teacher. Five hundred years later, he still regarded her as a master and sent his young friend Duncan MacLeod to learn from "Master Shen." He didn't mention that she was female. In 1774, Watcher Kahn Hsing was assigned to Watch May-Ling following the death of his previous assignment, Zhang Shi the year before. Two years later, she settled in Outer Mongolia, telling villagers that she was a wealthy widow. It took her less than two months to become an integral part of village life. Her Watcher Kahn Hsing found great amusement in her repeatedly sending prospective students flying through the air to land in the dirt.


May Ling and Duncan

In 1780, Duncan MacLeod arrived in the village seeking the "great teacher Shen". Kahn Hsing took note of his arrival and enjoyed the sight of the barbarian hunched over and holding his "assets" just before May-Ling flipped him into the dirt. The barbarian, however, sought enlightenment and trained for months with Master Shen. Hsing feared his Western thinking would never allow the barbarian to become proficient in Eastern methods of fighting. In the winter of 1781, when she deemed him skilled enough to defeat her, May-Ling took Duncan MacLeod as a lover. They parted soon after as friends. When May-Ling moved on eight years later, Kahn Hsing asked the tribunal to let him retire. The Tribunal purchased him a modest farm in his home village.
In the early 1990s, May-Ling Shen settled in Hong Kong under the guise of a professional diver.

May ling before her death

She had a lap pool added to her palatial home and swam there daily when she was in residence. Following the murder of his previous assignment, Darius, at the hands of renegade Watcher James Horton in 1993, Ian Bancroft was re-assigned to Watch the stable and proficient May-Ling Shen. He hoped to retire and write his memoirs after his time with her.

Two years later, on February 8, 1995, while swimming in her pool, May-Ling was surprised by a young up-start Immortal named Michael Christian.He was not there to challenge her, but to murder her.  He refused to let her arm herself and beheaded her.