Alignment Was previously chaotic evil, now up in the air.
Social Class Commoner
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