Entry 1 for the Character Design Challenge.
This is based off of one of my favorite fairy tales, Story of a Mother (by Hans Christian Anderson). It begins with a mother tending to her
sick infant (whose sex changes depending on the retelling, as the original did
not specify its sex). She falls asleep and awakens to find that Death has
stolen her child away. She sacrifices much of herself to get her child back
(bleeds for the brambles blocking her path, trades her eyes for safe passage
across a lake, and gives Death’s
groundskeeper her hair so she may enter), and finally arrives at Death’s
greenhouse, where each life is represented as a plant. She takes two plants
hostage, pleading for Death to return her baby; Death reveals that one of the
plants she is holding is the life of her child. Death returns the mother’s
eyes, which he found in the lake, and shows her the lives in store for the two
plants, one a horrible existence, the other a life of luxury. The mother concedes
to let Death take her baby. In some versions, the story ends there. But in the
version I prefer, Death takes the mother as well, as a gift for her
selflessness, so that she may stay with her child in eternity.