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Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

December 24th, 2013, 3:32 am #1

Name – Chimaed (KIH-may-id or CHIH-may-id)
Age – 26
Gender – Female
Alignment – Was previously chaotic evil, now up in the air.
Social Class – Commoner
Occupation –  Witch
Race – Selkie -- Natchiqapiaq, whose seal form imitates a ribbon seal
Nationality – Green Turtle Key Native
Weapons – As Chimaed primarily uses magic and undead minions, she doesn't have many things to be directly used as weapons. She does have a staff used to channel her focus when she is using magic, which can be used as a weapon. It is carved intricately from driftwood, and attached at the top is he bare white antler of a caribou, curving to one side with its spikes pointing to the sky. Hanging from this staff are several fur and cloth dolls, which consist of the material stretched over a hollow wood or bone head. The eyes are sewn on bits of seashell, and they are un-dyed but sometimes decorated with feathers, porcupine quills or beads. These dolls contain the souls that Chimaed has taken with her necromancy.
Aside from this, Chimaed always carries her antler snow knife and her flint ulu, even when she is where she has no real use for them. They're not to be used in combat usually, but could do in a pinch. The snow knife is used mainly to cut snow into shapes, often for igloos, and the ulu is used for many things, such as cutting fish and removing fat from animals skins.

Physical Appearance – As a human, Chimaed is of compact build. She stands at 5'6" and her bearing is straight-backed. Her form, were it ever to be seen under the heavy furs that she customarily wears, is voluptuously hourglass shaped. She has small shoulders, strong arms and legs that are slightly short for her long torso. Her skin is a deep, rich brown, but is patterned with pale patches that match the markings that she has as a seal. These markings are symmetrical and ribbon-like, draped over her shoulders to meet at the nape of her neck and in a v-shape between her breasts. From this meeting point they split and run around her waist, meeting in a loop around her back. Below this they split again from her stomach and drape down her hips, forming an oval that runs down her thighs and meets at her knees.

Chimaed's face is rounded, with full, soft cheeks that only slightly show the cheekbones that run under her skin. Her lips are full and plush, but the line of her mouth is ever serious, curving slightly downwards under a wide nose. The outward curve of this nose is gentle, so it does not protrude much from her face. She should seem simply solemn, though pretty, were it not for the iciness of her eyes, which were once brown but due to her involvement in necromancer now have white irises. From a distance it would seem that her pupil simply sits in her sclera, but close up one can see the slight greyness of her iris, which often adopts faint shades of her surroundings, seeming sometimes to be tinged with blue, other times orange. These sit under gently sloped eyebrows. She has a small, dark birthmark next to her right eyebrow. Her ears are small and rounded and her hair is a short but dense hedge of curls and is kept at around an inch long.

While on Green Turtle Key, she wears the clothes belonging to the native culture: caribou hide pants and a jacket-like shirt, single-layered with fur inwards for warmer months, double layered with fur both inwards and outwards for the colder months. Her boots are sealskin -- not from ribbon seals and not slain by her -- with a whale skin sole. The hood of her winter jacket is lined with polar bear fur. The clothes she wears tend to be more akin to those worn by men, though they are often delicately decorated with beads, seashells or porcupine quills.

Whenever she is not on Green Turtle Key, she tends to wear the lightest clothes possible, because most places are too warm for her. She often surprises people on the mainland by complaining of the heat in autumn and wearing only the lightest jackets and cloaks during those balmy winters. She hasn't had enough experience on the mainland to form any sort of style, but she does like earthy reds.

Whatever it is that she wearing, Chimaed usually wears her bandolier, which is adorned not with weapons but with a line of about fifteen dolls, the same as the ones hanging off her staff. They contain the souls taken by her necromancy. Whether or not a doll is empty is not immediately apparent, but if you lean close enough, you may hear a hum of energy coming from an inhabited doll, sometimes even a whisper. More of these dolls of course hang along the antler on her staff.

In her seal shape, she is roughly as long as she is tall when she's a human. Her fur is a deep, silky grey, but for the pale ribbons that loops around her neck, mid-section and above her tail fins. As she is like a ribbon seal, she has no external ears in this shape, and her eyes are as white as they are when she is a human. Chimaed has not inhabited this form for a long time, so it is at this point largely unfamiliar to her.

Personality – So much about Chimaed has been so abruptly unsettled that it's hard to tell who she is right now. The first place to start, then, would be to find what hasn't changed. The most evident thing to anyone who meets her is that she is very reserved, showing very little emotion. Anyone who bothered to think about it and pay attention to her would figure out that this is merely a facade covering up some deeper motion that occurs within her, for subtle emotions flicker across her mask-like expression, appearing in her strange eyes. It must be partly due to those odd eyes that she is so hard to read. This mask, undoubtedly developed as a method of protection, is rarely broken. Smiles and laughter are rare, since most jokes are met with what appears to be a stern disapproval. If she ever cries, she certainly doesn't do it in front of anyone else, even when she is injured or faced with a grave situation. Perhaps she cried in front of Aputsiaq at times, but no one would ever know because she never seems to feel the need to share anything about herself.

Chimaed clearly struggles with the idea of friendship, especially in the mainland sense of the word, because in her childhood, friendship was not chosen but necessary to survive with the people you happened to live near. Then, after the manipulations of Aputsiaq, friendship was something that happened to her. Again, it was not a choice, not an effort she made towards a person, and all the emotion that followed was almost like something inflicted upon her. Thus her method of interacting with people is very confused. She has no intention of "making" friends; in fact, who knows if she needs friends? What purpose exactly do they serve?

Chimaed's mask is only ever broken for two purposes. One is when she does actually laugh at something, but this happens rarely. Her sense of humour is cruel; even as she tries to reform herself, she is most amused by death and by the suffering of others. There was a time when she would even hurt Aputsiaq for a laugh, pulling at his fur or setting up traps and pranks to anger and inconvenience him. It was the kind of thing that seemed worth it up until the point at which he punished him. Thus even this humour is bitter for Chimaed, for she would either find herself hurt for it or laughing in the midst of a battle, surrounded by death. Humour isn't enjoyable for Chimaed, it's something that helps her get through the darkness that surrounds her. For a long time, it helped to convince her that she enjoyed what she was doing.

The other reason her mask may falter is when she is struck by sudden, violent anger. This happens surprisingly often, sometimes triggered by almost nothing, or else conjured up within in her simply for the sake of fighting. She reacts very violently to small things, such as laughter at her expense, or the failure of people to listen to her. Since she doesn't know too much tenderness towards people and rarely asks for help, she has no qualms about reaching out to hit someone, or worse. She's rarely surprised when someone tries to fight back either. Anger like this is the only way she can get through any sort of fighting anyways; that and laughter.

It's hard to say what about Chimaed is currently approachable or commendable. She definitely not incapable of compassion, she's just trying to learn how to apply it to someone other than Aputsiaq. Since she has been broken down somewhat by her acceptance of this new group of vulnerable natives, she has become perhaps a bit more kind and more willing to ask for help. She wants to protect these people, though she really hasn't a clue why, and she doesn't well know how because her ability to cooperate is maladapted. One truly good thing about her is that she is ever inquisitive, always seeking knowledge, such as the current attempt to expand her magical abilities into shamanic practices. At this point her nature could be changed quite easily, so she could learn to act kindly and compassionately, or perhaps she could fall back into her old ways. Only time will tell.

Abbreviated History – Chimaed was born on Green Turtle Key to parents Ebele (mother) and Chinwe (father). She had an older sister - Sekai - and two younger brothers - Tatenda and Tendai. At eleven years old, she began to see a large white wolf in the distance at night, who she believed to be an amarok. Over the years, he continued to appear in the distance, growing closer and closer, coinciding with the growth of her magical powers. Soon, he began to appear to her while she slept in the shape of a wolf made of smoke, telling her that he could enhance her powers and make her great. Chimaed at first resisted, but eventually gave in.
-At age 14, she left her family and people to live with this wolf, Aputsiaq, in a tower that once belonged to an old wizard. Aputsiaq, who was born of wolf mother and werewolf father, wanted to live a sedentary life imitating that of people on the mainland. He taught her necromancy and magic, and she clung to every word from his mouth because she was deeply and violently in love with him, since it had been he who had taken her virginity (though that was against her will). Within two years, they were going out and raiding the natives for food and supplies, and lived a life of luxury in their tower.
-Chimaed and Aputsiaq wreaked havoc and soon had control over a lot of Green Turtle Key, as they were greatly feared by the natives, who knew them as the Amarok and the Wolf-Witch. Some even paid tribute to them to avoid begin attacked by them and their undead creatures and supernatural creatures, not that this necessarily guaranteed their safety. Chimaed had a sadistic streak at this point, both towards strangers and towards Aputsiaq. She was often punished for the latter.
-For nine years they terrorised Green Turtle Key, but by chance Chimaed was injured during a raid. She passed out from blood loss and awakened to find herself under the care of an old woman shaman named Palluqtuq, who intended to heal her wound and also to exorcise the evil spirit that she thought possessed her. Chimaed intended to let the wound heal, all the while pretending that the exorcism was actually doing something. However, Palluqtuq's efforts worked in some way because Chimaed began to feel more kindly towards the clan of humans that had taken her in. As her doubts about her previous life grew, Aputsiaq began to appear to her again as a spirit, eventually coming to abuse her for her abandonment. Chimaed resolved to be split from him utterly, news which Aputsiaq didn't handle well. He began to work on summoning a small army of undead, with the obvious intent of making war against her and the people who she had chosen over him.

Full History – Chimaed first saw him when she was about eleven years old. She had gone outside to relieve herself at night, and there, in the distance, was movement in the snow. She strained her eyes to see what it was, and first she saw the shadow, stretched across the ground by the moonlight. Then she saw the shape of a great white wolf, larger than even herself. She knew it was watching her, even if she couldn't see its eyes. Thinking that it was an amarok, she ran inside and waited in fear for him to be gone. She checked again and again throughout the night, but he was always there, waiting patiently. When the sun rose, he was gone.

From then on, she saw him often, standing far away and observing her. He struck fear into her heart Whenever she tried to show her parents or siblings, the amarok would disappear. They didn't believe what she told them -- her parents didn't even really believe in such things since they had come to Green Turtle Key from the mainland. This land of snow and ice, with all its tempestuous ways, had less effect on these half-Ashokan, half-Sotoan adults than it did on Chimaed, who had been born there.

The amarok was there for years, haunting Chimaed's nights wherever she went. At times he even intruded on her dreams. Sometimes his form was different, seeming more human, to the point where he stood some nights on his hind legs, with clawed hands loose at his sides. He came closer and closer over the years, an approach so slow that she didn't notice it until one night, when she was thirteen, she could his pure white eyes and the lick of red fur on his forehead. That winter, his oppressive presence began to anger her, and while everyone was sleeping, she marched out to face the amarok. He was at his most wolfish, and he simply sat there while she approach, his front paws placed evenly in front of him. Chimaed stared him in his eerie, snow-white eyes, and angrily demanded why it was that he watched her. He did not respond, and all throughout her tirade, he just stared at her. When she shrieked that he should leave, he did just that, and pawed off across the flat sea ice.

For a while, the amarok was gone, and Chimaed was unafraid for the first time is years. They moved inland for the spring, to the village they inhabited on the coast, and he did not follow her. At least, that's what she thought, until she woke up one night with a start, and saw smoke spilling across the ceiling. It flowed over the whalebone rafters, travelling as one body. She panicked, thinking that something was on fire, but when she sat up and looked around, she saw that there was nothing out of the ordinary, not even the smell of smoke in the air. As she turned her head up to watch, the smoke took shape, moulding itself, until it became recognisable as a wolf with a long face and a lick of red fire between its eyes. The amarok's very soul had come to haunt her.

Powerless to do anything, Chimaed hid under her blanket as the spirit floated nearby, whispering in a voice that only she could hear, telling her of the magical power she had hidden in her breast, of her great potential. "To become a shaman," it told her, "You would have to torture yourself, and even then your people know nothing of the true power of magic. They cannot raise you to be as great as you can be, for you are indeed greater than most. But I know how, Chimaed, I know how. Accept me and I will show you."

Chimaed didn't want to believe him. She knew she had magic, or at least she had guessed, since she'd managed to make a few odd things happen around her without trying. She had pushed over her little brother when he was being annoying while not even touching him, and she had managed to set a fire just by thinking about it. But the haunting of the amarok's spirit made her revolted at her own powers. At first she told herself that there would be no way that she would ever submit to him for the sake of power. She would be a shaman, and a pure one at that, and she would exorcise this malevolent being from her presence. Chimaed screamed at him in her mind, too afraid to speak, and he answered her. Sometimes he screamed back, but no one ever heard.

But he came again and again, not every night, but still several times a week. He followed her even when the family moved onto the sea ice for winter, and before long his whispering voice had worked its way into her head. Despite herself, she began to look down at the shamanistic practices of her people. When spring came again and she observed her clan's shaman at work, she felt like laughing at him in all his futility. What did he know? Certainly not what she was teaching herself, which was how to light fires and to cast monstrous shadows on the wall, terrifying her siblings when her parents weren't around.

The amarok came again and again, and he told her his name. He was Aputsiaq, he was the offspring of a she-wolf and a human werewolf, thus why he could stand on two legs near the new moon. He knew of the ways of the foreigners on the mainland, he knew of their magic and of their greatness. He could teach her how to do what he was doing, to detach her soul from her body and to make herself invisible to everyone except to those she wanted to be seen by. He could teach her to do many things, to have power over life and death not only in individuals, but each in its entirety.

It came to the point when, at fourteen, she laid back on these nights to listen to Aputsiaq's whisperings, and he came closer, hovering over her body. Finally, one winter night, she spoke to him for the first time since she had screamed at him in the snow a year before. "I want to know, but I'm afraid to leave," she whispered, "I can't leave my family and everyone else, can I?" Aputsiaq said nothing, he simply descended on top of her. She felt his tongue on her neck, though it was but a brush of smoke. She felt his pressure on her body, his fur against her skin even though she was wearing clothes. He nuzzled her, his body between her legs, and soon he made her feel things she couldn't understand. Chimaed didn't know if it was agony or joy, hatred or compassion. When the sun rose and he spilled out onto the ceiling and out of the door, she didn't know who she was any more.

That day, she stared at her family and kin with dead eyes, she did not react when her sister's marriage to the shaman's son was negotiated. She was leaving that night, she knew it without even knowing if she wanted it. Aputsiaq came that night, except not as smoke. He stalked in, completely silent, he watched her get her things together and finally, he picked up her seal skin, which had been rolled up at the end of her bed, and stalked outside. She followed him across the moonstruck land, walking until the sun rose over the sight of a desiccated tower at the edge of the woods. She knew that she would live there with Aputsiaq, but she didn't even know if she wanted to. Whether or not she did, it was inevitable.

The tower had once been part of a castle, but the rest had sunk into the ground. It had been built long ago by a strange wizard from the mainland named Thumose. He hadn't known that the weight of the stone would melt the permafrost, and that the castle would inevitably crumble and sink into the mud, as he had disregarded all the knowledge and wisdom of the natives of Green Turtle Key. How long ago this was, Chimaed did not know. Aputsiaq certainly talked like he knew him, speaking of the power that the people on mainland could have because of their sedentary lifestyle. "Not like the nomads here," he said, "They don't stay in one place long enough to really know anything." Aputsiaq may well have known him, and it seemed at the time that it was very likely he did. To Chimaed he seemed eternal, infinitely powerful and possessing of the world's greatest wisdom. To her, he was like a god.

True to his promise, Aputsiaq taught her, under the condition that he keep her sealskin in a box. He told her that it would diminish her power to be so closely attached to her animal form, though sometimes Chimaed doubted the truth of this. What she had not realised before was that he was a necromancer. He could not sustain his power for long, as it waned when he became entirely a wolf at the full moon. That was why she was important -- because he could not be fully sedentary unless he had another who could, on any given day, raid the natives for their food and supplies.

He taught her some basics of magic, including soulwalking, but also how to steal souls and put them where she wanted them to be, how to modify and reanimate corpses so that they wouldn't freeze in the cold, how to control them. He even taught her the language of the mainlanders, showing her how to read it from old books that had been left in the tower. What she got was power alright, and where Chimaed had at first not known what she wanted, she became convinced that this was the road she desired to take. Her eyes soon changed from brown to white, indicative of the growth of her necromantic powers. She was hungry for knowledge and the power Aputsiaq offered her, or perhaps she was simply hungry for him, taken over by the impetuous desires of her youth after he had forcefully introduced them to her the night before she left her family.

Truthfully, it was hard for her to tell the difference between these desires. Her love for Aputsiaq grew to encapsulate her entire existence. She had no more family or friends, so he became her family: he was her parents and her siblings, and he had in him all the friendship she ever needed. She would never marry, for any such earthly bond would pale compared to the way her soul attached to Aputsiaq's. He fulfilled every need and desire that she had, and any that he failed, such as letting her become a seal again, surely did not matter. She had him, that was all she needed. She existed for him.

At 16 years of age, Chimaed was well-trained enough that Aputsiaq began to lead her out on "expeditions." They would find the nearest group of nomads and attack them in the night, leading a group of shambling dead and some of the wild creatures of the island that Aputsiaq had managed to take under his thrall -- Wendigos, Keeluts, Adlets and even things without names. Such raids added to their small army of the undead and could give them enough food to last them months. Soon, the Amarok and the Shadow-Witch were feared across the island. Their reign was absolute, unshakeable, and it held for many years. Some clans even began to pay tribute to them to avoid being attacked, not that this always saved them.

Chimaed had learned from Aputsiaq things other than magic, things that struck deeper in her soul. She had learned how to lavish in her power, how to love to hurt others just to see the fear in their eyes. She had learned how to eat until she could no more, simply because they had so much stolen bounty around them. She imagined herself as one of the "queens" of the mainland, as Chimaed, Queen of Green Turtle Key. And still Aputsiaq was her king, even when she acted with the malicious intent to harm him, and even after that, when he punished her in turn, leaving her crying and weak and helpless in the dark tower. After all, their love was increased even by their hatred. To Chimaed, they had become the same thing because she had never learned that hatred is not always a part of love.

Their reign of wanton destruction lasted nine years. Chimaed grew into an adult woman, but she hardly changed, and she thought she never would. That was, until one of their raids went wrong. During the fight, a man managed to stab her arm with his snow knife before he ran off in fear. Chimaed called out for Aputsiaq, but he never came. She bled and bled and bled, then passed out in the snow.

When she came to, she was in a bed in one of the houses belonging to this clan. An old woman was working to bind up her wound, a rare female shaman named Palluqtuq, who was convinced that she could heal Chimaed not only of the wound but of the evil spirit that had possessed her. Chimaed was, of course, cynical. She would wait until her wound had been healed, playing along with Palluqtuq's attempted exorcism, and then she would escape in the night when she was well enough. She acted as if there truly was a spirit fighting back against the shaman's spells, even pretending that it was the spirit that flung shadows upon the walls, rumbled the longhouse and tried to hurt Palluqtuq and anyone else nearby. But the act stopped being fun after a while because a sort of guilt began to nag at her. Palluqtuq had taken her into her home -- the tiny, sectioned-off portion of the longhouse -- and they consequently spent a lot of time together. Chimaed began to enjoy the woman's company. For the first time, she appreciated the care someone gave to her, and following that, her doubt began to flicker.

As if he could sense her quavering, Aputsiaq came again, just as he had when she had been a child. His soul rushed across the ceiling as smoke, and he descended to swirl around her head, whispering words of love and persuasion at first. But Chimaed had begun to hear a falsity in them, and the more she questioned it, the angrier Aputsiaq became. Night by night, his whispers became louder, until he came to bark and howl at her, clawing and biting at her body while she was unable to fight back. Finally, Chimaed could take it no longer. She told Palluqtuq one morning, in a rare moment of vulnerability: "I have been pretending -- I am not truly possessed. But there is a spirit that keeps coming to visit me, the spirit of the Amarok, Aputsiaq, and he hurts me at night so that no one can hear. I don't know what I can do."

To her surprise, Palluqtuq merely smiled. "Perhaps you had no spirit possessing you, but that does not mean that my spells and exorcisms did not work. As for him, I can keep him away." She cast enchantments and amulets and scrawlings all about the habitation, and Aputsiaq came no more, though she heard him for a few nights, pacing outside and howling in a voice that only she could hear. Chimaed saw him one more time, again at night, standing out in the snow. She knew his eyes, and could feel them on her, even if they were too far away. Even as she watched him, sitting as still as ever, she saw other shapes advance from the line of trees behind him: undead, shambling into place behind him. It was a simple threat: should she leave him, it would be war, against her and the people she had to decided to adopt as her own. This threat had to come to fruition, as Chimaed could not go back to him and to the cruel life they had led together. In that moment, she resolved to stand firm against him, fighting until one or both of them died.

Misc. – Birthday: October 23rd
-Chimaed sleep talks and sleepwalks with surprising violence. She often wakes up yelling or finds that she has hit or scratched herself in the night.
-Chimaed has yet to even see alcohol and has hardly ever eaten plants in her entire life.
-Chimaed is a surprisingly accomplished throat singer, though she hasn't gotten to play a vocal game since she last saw her sister -- which was obviously years ago. Sometimes she just sings and makes noise to herself.
-Some appropriate music:
Richard Einhorn - Pater Noster (More about Chimaed and Aputsiaq than anything)
Agalloch - Our Fortress Is Burning I-III
Forest Swords - Ljoss
[+] spoiler

This profile has been approved by Dnan!

Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

December 24th, 2013, 3:33 am #2

Chimaed's Abilities
Abilities Thread
  • Spell: Soul Trap – When a living thing dies, or when an undead creature releases its soul, Chimaed is often able to seize this soul and trap it in one of her dolls, so that it can be used for the art of necromancy. This isn't an easy task however, as Chimaed needs to be in a situation where she can stand still for a moment, close her eyes and extend her mind outside of her body to find the soul floating away. Sometimes souls are caught in things like branches or thorny bushes. Once she has found the soul, she has to actually take it back and contain it in one of her dolls. Non-magical animals present next to no trouble, but are mostly useless for inhabiting the conventionally used corpses of humanoid beings. Sentient/humanoid souls may be taken with a bit more struggle. The easiest ones are the ones who are deferent and haven't much will, and also lack magic. The souls of those with a more firm personality are a struggle, especially if they had significant magical abilities in life, which are just slightly manifest in their spiritual form. Once a soul is placed in one her dolls, escape is virtually impossible, so it may remain there indefinitely. However, if the doll's head is broken, the soul may escape if it wishes to.
  • Spell: Raise Dead – One of the ways Chimaed can use her souls is by placing the soul in a dead body, which must be the same or similar to the type of creature it was in life, otherwise it won't function well. Thus a horse's soul can't be placed in a humanoid body, nor can a humanoid soul be placed in a horse's body, though a horse's soul may function reasonably well in a mule's body and a human's soul may do well in an elf's body. Before even that, however, the corpse must be treated, or else it won't last long. This can take a while, as it involves replacing the blood with a certain clear potion that permeates the body, preserving it from the weather and rot, serving as a substitute blood that carries magic and allows motion. Bodies are often prepared with other modifications, such as a heavy wooden or bone mask and collar that prevents damage to the head. The potion takes several days to make at the right time of year, and the whole process of a preparing a body by draining it, replacing its blood etc, can take several more days. The resulting creature lacks much will of its own and requires simple, mental directives, or else it would do nothing. It cannot perform magic, it usually moves slowly, but it's sturdy enough and will continue to be animate so long as the head is not significantly damaged. At the moment, Chimaed can handle up to three of these undead, assuming she can get the resources to create them.
  • Spell: Incarnates – Another way that Chimaed can use her souls is to transfer them directly from the doll into the world. The result is an Incarnate, a smoky-shadowy spirit of indistinct shape with glowing eyes that is under Chimaed's mental control. These are quicker to make than simple undead, but more problematic because Chimaed has to submit them to her will. As Incarnates can use magic but little else, it's best for Chimaed to use the souls of the magical, but those tend to be the ones that are more resilient to her will. Thus it is entirely possible for an Incarnate to subvert Chimaed's will and turn against her. Unlike the regular undead, Incarnates require less direction, so longs as their intent is aligned with Chimaed's and they'll fight more valiantly and intentionally for their own survival. Again, their main weapon is magic, as they cannot corporeally strike or hold anything. They can pass through walls if they are thin enough. Incarnates are, however, subject to physical attacks, especially those with a sharp weapon. It is rather easy to slice up an Incarnate and watch its soul dissipate on the wind.
  • Seal Skin – Like other selkies, Chimaed can turn into a seal by putting on her seal skin. In this shape, she is indistinguishable from any other seal, save for the distinctive markings of her race, and she has all the advantageous features of seal (eg. able to hold breath for a long time, fast swimmer). However, without the skin, she's absolutely powerless to change her shape, and should the skin be destroyed irreparably, she would lose the ability entirely and could never regain it.
  • Spell: White-Bladed Fury – Since assimilating shamanic magic into her repertoire, Chimaed has learned to make temporary blades, as well as whips and ropes, if she so pleases, of what seems to be solid light. The light can also be reformed at her whim. Whatever shape she chooses, the blade lasts up to ten or so minutes, less if it takes a beating, like if she creates a sword and blocks repeatedly with it. After that, she'll need an hour to be able to use this skill again. The blade behaves like any normal, physical blade in most cases, but it's 20% more effective against undead creatures and any who despise the light and 40% less effective against ethereal and spiritual creatures (not undead) or light-loving creatures. Also, this spell loses strength in the darkness and is thus at its strongest in bright daylight, though being around firelight or magical light helps too.
    Chimaed can repair a damaged blade etc. by bringing it close to a light source, where it takes but a few seconds to fix itself. There's only 3-5 times she can do this before it breaks down, however.
  • Magic: Soulsnatcher – Using the same techniques she would use to trap a soul, Chimaed can prematurely pull a soul from a body. However, at the simple level, she can only successfully take a soul from an undead being, given that it is not autonomous, and that its raiser is of intermediate level capabilities. If the raiser if of greater practice, she may be able to still take the soul of wounded individuals. If she can sever the bonds the soul has to the body, she can store the soul like any other, or simply release it. The only situation in which she can take the soul of a still living being is either if they are already on their way to death or if they willingly allow it to happen. Prematurely removing the soul of a living being can have some unexpected upsides, in that the soul can be stored and placed in a still-living body (even that of some other species, as it will be able to adapt) and attempt to push out the soul still in the body. If the soul is ejected from the body and not taken by Chimaed or another at just the right moment, it will truly die, being dissolved or having passed on or done whatever it is souls do, and cannot be retrieved.
    Even when Chimaed cannot fully remove a soul, performing a "soul wrench" but attempting to remove the soul can provide a useful distraction. The effects of such an attack are brief but terrible: the person will temporary lose contact with many of their senses while still feeling an excruciating pain that does not truly come from the body. Once the soul is released, the person will experience weakness, tachycardia, nausea/vomiting, confusion and lingering pain. This attack has a 25% of permanently loosening the soul's attachment to the body, thus making a person more likely to die in any unrelated incident even years later.
    However, Chimaed also puts herself at risk when performing this magic. It requires concentration, which leaves her exposed to attack during the manoeuvre, and it exposes her own soul to attack from anyone who has abilities dealing with spirits or making mental attacks. Her victim or anyone else may even be able to use the extension of her soul as a bridge into her own being. Also, there is a 30% chance that some small part of Chimaed's soul or mind will exchange with part of her victim's, so that she may receive some memory, habit, or concept that is not truly her own, and the victim may receive something of hers as well. Such exchanges will not always be immediately noticed.

Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

December 24th, 2013, 3:36 am #3

About the Natchiqapiaq
(Pronounced NAHT-chee-KAH-pee-ahk)

The breed of selkie to which Chimaed belongs is widespread and highly mobile; while many inhabit Green Turtle Key and its surrounds, Natchiqapiaq are found on the coast of Soto, especially around the Southwestern Island, and other cold/temperate islands in the Elenlondian Oceans. Due to this wide range, there are many other names than Natchiqapiaq (which is the name given by inhabitants of Green Turtle Key), the most common one on the mainland being the Striped Selkies.

As is with all Selkies, the Natchiqapiaq have two forms: they can either be seals, or by removing their sealskin, they become humans. Without the skin, they cannot become a seal again. What distinguishes the Natchiqapiaq is that, in their seal form, they resemble a ribbon seal -- roughly 5-6 feet long, with black fur with a looping white pattern that varies slightly between individuals. Generally, however, the pattern loops around the neck/shoulder area, around the front flippers or over the back, and at the very end of the body. Natchiqapiaq can be distinguished from regular ribbon seals only by observing their underside, where all the white "ribbons" connect, rather than being loops that are separated from each other. Thus there are often mix-ups by hunters who are trying to spear a ribbon seal rather than a selkie. Their human forms are somewhat more varied, with many skin colours lent by breeding with humans from various parts of the world. Whatever they look like, however, the skin is lightened with the same ribbon pattern that the seal form has.

Natchiqapiaq usually do not have firm ties to any particular place. They tend to operate as a nuclear family, with the father, mother and unmarried children, though it is not uncommon for various other groups to form. Thus it is that though they may gather with others of their kind, forming villages and travelling together, they often split apart to go on their own ways when circumstances require it (eg. if the an area goes through a phase of being too cold or too warm). Nor do they necessarily form exclusive villages -- it's not uncommon for Natchiqapiaq to assimilate, especially in Soto, and other races are generally accepted in the villages or groups they form. Thus it is common to find a Natchiqapiaq who has settled down with a human or elf or some such, or even those who have chosen a merfolk spouse. As they can also commune with seals, unions with seals are not uncommon. Such individuals are often forced to abandon their more nomadic families for the sake of their chosen love, a choice which is the subject of many tragic ballads and tales, even amongst humans. Such stories often take on a cautionary tone amongst the Natchiqapiaq so as to discourage such behaviour.

The Natchiqapiaq of Green Turtle Key are more likely to remain where they are, simply because they find the rest of the world to be too warm for them. This is a common enough complaint that there are family groups that come from all over to stay there. They tend to follow a similar life to that of the natives of the area: they are nomadic, moving about according to the seasons. They move inland for the spring and summer and live in a village for the season, hunting and fishing around the lake and in the river, sometimes on the shore. In the winter, move out onto the sea ice to hunt the animals of the ocean. They have a certain advantage in fishing, since they can hunt as seals, but they have to be careful of dangerous animals such as orcas. Even so, they often go out on boats and whale like the other inhabitants of the island, and they are more efficient at locating prey.

However, there is the occasional unfortunate accident in which the human inhabitants of the island mistake a Natchiqapiaq for a seal, and kill them in their hunting. Thus there are often tensions between clans of Natchiqapiaq and clans of natives, some running for many generations. However, when those aren't present, the Natchiqapiaq readily commune with the natives and will often share food and resources with them.

The Natchiqapiaq of Green Turtle Key also share much of the religion that many natives follow. Unlike the religions of the mainland, they don't believe in a creator-god. They do believe in a goddess who is the mother of sea creatures, Nuliayuk, who sits at the bottom of the sea, her hair making up the dense forests of seaweed. There are other deities of the sun and moon, or those watch over a species of animal or have a hold over the weather. A very strongly held belief is in the different sorts of soul present in a living thing -- the animating presence that puts life in the body, then the spirit that is separated from the body after death, and finally the element of an ancestor's soul with whom they share a name. Souls must eat souls, which is the great peril of life, because the souls of prey must be placated with rituals. When the soul of an animal is released from its body, it inhabits another of the same animal, and if it is offended, it will not again sacrifice itself to be eaten. If not this, then breaking a taboo may incur some other misfortune, such as illness or poor weather.

The main difference between the beliefs of the Natchiqapiaq and the natives that the former believe in a goddess, Ilanaaq, who is the protector of all seals and especially their own kind. She is the mother of all selkies, being an immortal sea-maiden who fell in love with a seal and gave birth to the first generation of selkies. Thus her fondness for both her children and the race of her lover leads her to protect the breathing holes they use in the ice and to also benefit humans by feeding them on fish, whales, and any race other than her beloved ones. There are many stories in which a selkie in their seal form is about to go up to a breathing hole in the ice, only to be told by a mysterious whisper in the ocean that is surrounded by hunters, waiting to strike. The voice then directs the selkie to another hole nearby, which is safer to breathe from. She is also said to lead the way in battles against humans that have slaughter a selkie, or else to curse them with misfortunes for doing so.

As magic is not all too common amongst the Natchiqapiaq, anyone born with magic is likely to become a shaman. This is no easy process, since they must learn all the exhaustive arts of shamanism from another shaman. This involves the seeking of solitude and ascetic behaviour to commune with the spirits and gods. A full shaman is an important medium between mortals and the immortal gods and the spirits of animals. They are often moral guides for the people and are responsible for making up for broken taboos. They also heal sicknesses and deal with possessions by the evil spirits that wander the wintry wasteland.

Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

May 24th, 2014, 6:14 pm #4


Chimaed with her seal skin

Gale's beautiful work, depicting this.

Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

July 9th, 2014, 4:12 am #5

Name – Aputsiaq
Age – ???
Gender – Male
Alignment – Chaotic Evil
Social Class – “King” of Green Turtle Key
Occupation – Necromancer
Race – Half human-werewolf, half arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos). Often mistaken for an amarok.
Weapons – At any time, he has his claws, teeth and muscular strength. When in his more humanoid shape, he uses a ~7 foot staff made of a large, twisted piece of driftwood. It shows the marks of carving in some places. It is not often used for melee combat but is merely a conduit for his magic.

Physical Appearance – Aputsiaq’s form is constantly changing due to the influence of the moon. Thus, he slowly transforms between completely wolfish and a humanish wolf over the course of the lunar cycle. These transformations are gradual and hold true during the day and when the moon is covered. The only features of his appearance that remain the same through these transformations are his eyes and his fur. His eyes have white irises, which is characteristic of a necromancer. If one were to get close enough to see, they would see that these eyes have the slightest blue tinge, reminiscent of his former eye colour. His fur is always white, but for the lick of red-brown fur on his forehead. It sprouts like a flame from a point between his eyes.

At the full moon, Aputsiaq is at his smallest and most lupine. Even so, he’s not very small: he towers above other wolves, being four feet tall at the shoulder. Under his white fur are hidden powerful muscles, though they are elegant and lean in this form. His face is long and tapered; the effect of this makes him appear noble and aloof.

At the new moon, Aputsiaq regains his humanoid features. He stands on his hind legs, which are still digitigrade, and has developed a flatter, more human torso. His paws have developed opposable thumbs and longer fingers, which still bear claws and black pads and his arms are similarly humanoid to match his hands. His head remains canine, with no distinguishable change from his full moon form. He reaches a looming 8height of 6’7” in this form, and his muscles seem more bulky, but are not at all stronger. Due to the thickness of his fur, Aputsiaq never has to wear clothing.

The times when the moon is waxing and waning leave him with a body in between these two forms. It is not always pretty to look at and it is hardly ever convenient. Though he gains opposable thumbs about a week after the full moon, they are somewhat painful for him to walk on, for his back hasn’t quite caught up to this transformation and so still forces him to walk on all fours. Aputsiaq has adapted to these contortions somehow, even though his body is frequently afflicted with deep, internal pains. He always carries himself with power and confidence, perhaps due to the constant grace with which he handles himself. Thus, even when he is deformed from this transformations, one might not immediately notice them because of his overall air of aloof authority. It certainly has something to do with his face, or his eerie eyes, but he no doubt had to train himself to it over the years.

Personality – Aputsiaq likes to maintain an appearance of dominance over everything in his life. His feelings, be they anger, tenderness, amusement, whatever, are always enacted deliberately. He does not feel sadness, if this appearance is to be trusted. Thus it would seem that his situation in life is almost always his choice, and where it is not he has conquered it. If he has not conquered a situation thrown at him, such as Chimaed leaving him, he will. Even the changing of his body due to the moon seems intentional, as if he wouldn’t be letting his body change if he didn’t want it to.

As such it is hard to know how Aputsiaq really feels about anything, though anger is probably the barest emotion he feels. He tends to be angry when things act out of his control and expectations, and thus he will be only calmed when he has put the offender back where he/she/it belongs. This, plus his immense physical and magical power, makes him appear invulnerable, for whereas others have to build themselves armour to protect themselves and their actions, Aputsiaq’s armour is his actions, his feelings, his entire being. He displays his power openly, uses it ruthlessly, and is not afraid to make irreparable decisions. He seems to have every eventuality planned out, as if his moments of silence are spent calculating what he would do in such and such situations. His reactions are always immediate, his decisions effortless, and the results oftentimes devastating to everyone but him.

Aputsiaq laughs at death. As far as he is concerned, he controls that too. He is amused and comforted by the suffering of others because he apparently experiences none himself. In his days with Chimaed, he could massacre a tribe with her, eat some dead people and not even be the slightest bit concerned. He could have sex with her the same day, even while she still felt squeamish and upset and protesting. In this way it seems like Aputsiaq takes no notice of what other people are thinking and feeling, though he undoubtedly does notice. He observes emotions and predicts them and uses them in his manipulations. Where it would seem that he just doesn’t care about someone’s emotions, it is likely that he is behaving that way to elicit a certain reaction.

Even though Chimaed is sure that his actions and appearances are all deliberate, she sometimes wonders if love was truly possible for this beast. What if all he did, his moments of tenderness and his anger, were not as intentional as he made them seem? What if he truly was weakened by love, and his anger at her betrayal was his greatest moment of weakness? She can tell two stories to herself: one of Aputsiaq the unconquerable, and one of an Aputsiaq who puts up a façade of sureness to hide the same turmoil that conquers every other being.

History – Aputsiaq’s history is known only to him: he has not shared the entirety of it with anyone, even Chimaed. There is no physical record of anything he has done, since he does not bother himself with writing things down and no one he has known could do that. Thus he has always been a mystery and an enigma to Chimaed especially, since his past has only appeared to her in stray mentions and inferences.

Chimaed’s version of the story is this:
Aputsiaq was the child of woman named Dannac who came from somewhere on the mainland. She was magically gifted and may have studied necromancy. Her career was interrupted when she was bitten by a werewolf in the dead of winter, perhaps when she was in her twenties. She found it hard to live amongst humans, since her inevitable attacks would result in people hunting her and chasing her out of everywhere she wanted to settle. At some point, she somehow discovered that she would not harm animals when transformed and, if she was around wolves, she could commune with them and keep her wits about her so that she would not forget herself. Since she couldn’t find anywhere on the mainland where she could live with wolves without being too close to humans, she chose to move to Green Turtle Key. She joined a tribe, fully explaining her condition and selling herself as a healer, and changed her name to Ilannaq, meaning “friend” in the native language. On the days preceding the full moon, she would leave her tribe and isolate herself.

During one transformation, she came across a wolf pack and felt even more welcome amongst them than she did with the tribe. So, she never returned, but lived with the wolves both as a human and as a wolf. At some point, she mated with a wolf whose name Aputsiaq translates to “Hawkstruck,” as he had apparently gotten scars from an encounter with a hawk in his youth. Hawkstruck was Aputsiaq’s father. Aputsiaq had no siblings, and was born on the full moon as a pup.

From there, Chimaed really doesn’t know much. Aputsiaq grew up with the wolf pack but her learned human ways from his mother. She taught him to read by writing in the snow and on bark and at a certain point, she taught him magic. He was better at it than she, but his abilities diminished around the full moon. She taught him necromancy, perhaps beginning with small animals. At some point, Ilannaq had grown to feel disdain for humans, finding that the nature of wolves was more dignified and intelligent and that when, mixed with a human nature, the result was something superior to both.

Somehow, Ilannaq and Aputsiaq left the wolf pack. Sometimes Chimaed worries that they killed the wolf pack. They came to the old wizard Thumose’s tower, though Chimaed has never really been sure if Thumose was there when they came. Sometimes Aputsiaq talks as if he knows Thumose. Chimaed is certain that if Thumose was still around, Aputsiaq and Ilannaq would have killed him, or else extorted information and training out of him. Aputsiaq and Ilannaq made a living by using Risen (however they got them) to get food for them. Ilannaq most likely died at some point, but Aputsiaq has never mentioned it.

Chimaed has no idea how long Aputsiaq has lived in the tower and how long it took him to notice her. She just knows that he began to appear to her, at first in the distance, then closer. He Soulwalked to her one night to tell her that he’d teach her and nourish her magical abilities if she would leave her family. Sometimes he hurt her, but she finally agreed after he had sex with her. He took her to the tower and there they lived, practicing necromancy together and eventually performing attacks on anyone in the area to take their food and goods. Nine years after Chimaed ran away with Aputsiaq, she was injured in a fight and taken in by a tribe called the Abenaki. She learned to love the tribe and turned her back on her life with Aputsiaq. Enraged, he launched attacks against the Abenaki and Chimaed had no choice but to resist.

Aputsiaq’s feelings about anything, unless they are angry feelings, are unknown to Chimaed. She has no idea what his early memories are like, she has no idea what happened to anyone that ever interacted him and how he came to be where he is in life. The germination of his personality is a mystery to her. Did he ever feel sorry for any of his actions? Did he ever grieve over the death of his mother? Did he have friends when he was young? Did he have loves she didn’t know about? All such things are speculation, and Chimaed’s opinion on the answers to these questions constantly wavers. Likely she will never know, and so it will be a mystery to the world forever.

Aputsiaq's Abilities
  • b]Wolf Senses[/b] – Aputsiaq has the same senses as a wolf does, meaning his sense of smell is 100x stronger than that of a human, his hearing is also more attuned to distant sounds and he can hear noises higher than humans can. However, this means that he is colourblind, and has trouble seeing things more than 150 feet away. Even so, his peripheral vision is more accurate than that of a human and he can see things within the range of his sight more clearly than a human does. His night vision is also very good.
  • Inhuman Speed – Aputsiaq is generally faster than an average human, but this fluctuates according to the moon’s phases. At the full moon, he is 50% faster than a human, but at the new moon he is merely 15% faster than a human.
  • Inhuman Strength — Aputsiaq is also stronger than an average human: 60% stronger at the full moon, 35% at the new moon.
  • Master Necromancer – Aputsiaq is capable of sustaining an army of up to 75 undead (Rise and Incarnates) at the new moon, though he has to slowly cull this army as the moon wanes until the army is but 20 strong during the full moon. Aputsiaq is also able to conduct necromantic magic over greater distances: he can harvest souls from within a 50 foot radius and he can transport them as far as he likes, making it possible for him to keep his receptacle-dolls very far away, namely in his tower. Aputsiaq can also see spirits/souls and interact with them through this ability.
  • Soulsnatcher – Refer to Chimaed’s ability of the same name, as Aputsiaq’s ability is exactly like hers.
  • Consume Soul – Aputsiaq can absorb or “eat” a soul, completely obliterating it, to heal his wounds. The soul must be near him – it cannot be taken from the receptacle far away – and it must be already detached from the form it inhabits. A soul that once possessed magic will heal up to 50% of the bodily damage done to Aputsiaq, a humanoid soul without any magical abilities will heal 25% damage and an animal’s soul will heal 25% at most. The souls of the recently deceased will often put up a fight at this treatment, and as this can dislodge Aputsiaq’s soul and potentially kill him, he most often chooses to reap the souls of the fallen from his own army of undead.
  • Soulwalking – Aputsiaq can voluntary detach his soul from his body and re-enter his body so long as it is left undamaged. When detached, he is manifested as a pale, misty substance which would become black if his body is destroyed while he is soul walking, essentially meaning that he would be stuck as an Incarnate unless he found another body (normally dead) to inhabit. This substance can take whatever form he pleases, but it usually defaults to an extremely fluid version of whatever he looks like at the time. This misty form is especially susceptible to breezes and thus can be blown about, though it is hard to separate the substance while Aputsiaq still lives. Thus he cannot be cut apart or hit by anything solid, as it will simply pass through him. In this way, Aputsiaq can simply move through a substance so long as it is porous; well-made walls will still stop him. Flames will have no effect on Aputsiaq, but electricity may “disrupt” him by scattering his substance, meaning he must exert a great deal of will. Certain magical attacks that do not convert their energy into flames, force or objects may injure him or kill him in the shape, as will enchantments of a similar nature.
    Once detached, Aputsiaq’s soul does not need air. However, his body, which will remain frozen in place, is extremely vulnerable. He will still be affected if his body starves or goes without water, though he will not feel this as pain but only as a weakening to his mind and abilities. He will not be able to sense anything his body does, so it can be damaged without his knowing. He will, however, know if the body is carried off somewhere because he feels an instinctual tether to his body no matter how far he goes. If his body is killed, he will be unable to return to it unless he finds some way to heal it, and he will be stuck as an Incarnate.
    The soul’s senses are different in this form as well. There is no sense of touch or temperature for the soul. The soul can “see” in a rather strange way: it cannot perceive colour or even light, but will instead sense everything as mass and shapes as far as the body’s eyes would see. Hearing is also complicated; it is very easy for a soul to pinpoint where the vibrations came from but it will have trouble determining what sound is what. Aputsiaq has had a lot of practice and so can “hear” with great ease, though he cannot identify new noises. Even the act of moving is complicated, since there is no way for the soul to move off anything. It is merely a matter of throwing one’s intent forwards, of focusing on a spot and going there. Talking is a similar practice, and the resulting sound is like the howling of wind and doesn’t sound much like the body’s voice does.
    Finally, the detached soul can see other souls. They appear as light, in a metaphysical way. This is the one thing the detached soul can touch, though the result can either be a sort of connection of the mind or an assault on the soul. It is even possible for Aputsiaq, in this shape, to try to squeeze the soul out of someone’s body or remove parts of it, thus rendering limbs completely useless. However, living souls are very feisty and will fight back whether or not the victim has had any training: Aputsiaq could be scattered, as electricity will do to him, thrown back to his body or he could experience a sort of mental pain and an exchange of memories.
  • Cthonic Communion – Aputsiaq knows how to interact with the darker denizens of Green Turtle Key. He does not need to share their language, but he can communicate with magical intent, sometimes accompanied by vague vocalisations or words for ease. Sometimes this “talking” can take the form of commands, which is very useful when preventing weak-minded Wendigos from eating him. However, just because he can communicate with them does not mean he can get anything out of them. He does best with Wendigos, as they are easily manipulated by offers of food and they do not resist the command function of this magic very well. He has had some success with the island’s giants, Tornit, but they have poor memories and do not adhere to his wishes for very long. The various wolf-like creatures, such as the Akhlut and Keelut will listen to him but are too full of their own intent to do what he wants.
  • Second Self – Aputsiaq can conjure a puppet of himself which is impossible to distinguish from him but for its lack of magic and its inability to produce any vocalisations and blood. It has all his physical abilities, however, being as strong and fast as he is and possessing his full weight. It takes about 50% the amount of damage that Aputsiaq can before suddenly disappearing. If cut, it will appear hollow. It is immune to electricity and fire and all such elemental or magical attacks, unless the magical attacks are converted into physical force. It cannot be healed and can only be conjured once a day.