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bury me in satin;

Name: Anapa
Biological sex: Male
Skin colour: Brown
Hair colour: Black
Eye colour: Dark brown
Defects: None
Your player name: Aspelta

Detailed appearance: Anapa has a long, thin face and nose, high, pointed cheekbones, a pointed chin and a naturally downturned mouth. His ordinary expression is with a flat mouth; when he is upset or disapproving it downturns; and only twitches up slightly at the corners when he smiles. He has thin lips, floppy black hair and penetrating eyes. He is tall compared to others of his age, but his growth is slowing down while others are speeding up, so this is not indicative of his adult height. He has long, bony fingers and is pale for his ethnicity, although still dark by Shaman’s standards. His frame is slender and he has pointed elbows and rather large feet. Nothing about him is especially physically attractive.

Duomorph appearance: Black and brown jackal-dog hybrid. Not carrying this form over into Shaman, for now.

Personality:Anapa is calm, quiet and patient. He is a perfectionist, and likes everything to be “just so”. He is not used to sharing, particularly his space or his work, and finds compromising difficult. He struggles somewhat with social interaction and is awkward around people – usually, he prefers the company of the dead to the living. Anapa has never been seen as a real heir to the throne, which is just as well since he has never coveted it. He actively tries to avoid Saif and Kosari’s contention for the throne, disliking the drama that the rest of his family is wrapped up in. He is, however, loyal to them – even Izeti and Kosari, who he doesn’t like so much.

Habits:Anapa has a knack for wandering about unnoticed, especially in larger groups of people. He often has to interrupt to make himself heard, and has no qualms about doing this – he is not shy. He does not speak loudly and never raises his voice, but he does have a voice which makes others stop and listen. He tends to be very still and does not fidget.

Ambitions: Are kept to himself, if indeed he has any beyond perfecting the art of embalming.
Age: 17
Ethnicity: Canid
Gender: Male
Sexual orientation:Either asexual or greysexual.
Religion: Does not believe in gods or, indeed, has even heard of them; his nome follows a number of cults, largely divided into ancestor cults and universal cults (worshipping/celebrating universal truths, such as life and death). Anapa is inaugurated into the cult of death.
History: Will come later.

Anything else: Using 2 coins from my bank to give him Mediumship and Death Sensing.

Sample post:
Anapa touched the warm sand with the tips of his long, pale fingers, exhaling slowly. Feel the beast. Be the beast.

His forearms lengthened and slimmed, his elbow jarred painfully as it moved about, and he felt his body squeeze and tighten. He had been crouched before; now he experienced the odd sensation of having his hindquarters rise as his legs shortened. The joints were always the most painful, for some reason. He could handle the dull ache in his bones, but the shifting ligaments forced him to bite his tongue to keep down the cry.

“Very good, Lord Anapa,” Tetaba drawled in his gravelly tone. He had also morphed into the creature of the kingdom, but with such apparent ease that Anapa felt a twinge of ire. “If you can return to your common form, that will be all for today. There is a sand storm coming, and I must return home.”

It took several attempts, none of which were pleasant. When tutor and student finally parted ways, Anapa caught himself wishing that he could go back to bed instead of to work. With no small sense of resignation, he pulled his hood up over his head and stepped back out into the scorching mid-day sun. Atelli was waiting for him outside.

Atelli was technically older than Anapa, but he neither looked nor acted it. His round face and large, wondering eyes gave him a permanently childlike air. Slender but unfit, with short legs in proportion to his torso, he always puffed a little to keep up with Anapa’s deliberately long strides.

There was no exchange of greetings on either side. As soon as Anapa started walking back towards the mortuary, Atelli threw his hands up in an exaggerated groan.

“Back to work?” He sighed a little more heavily than people realistically did. “I was hoping to spend some more time with the living.”

“May I remind you, Atelli – ”

“Here we go,” Atelli muttered under his breath. Anapa chose to ignore him and continued doggedly on.

“ – that your post far exceeds your station, and is more honourable than you are.”

“Lord of Death,” Atelli sighed again. “My mum ends up nursing the Lord of Death instead of some normal richie, so now I’m stuck in a morgue with you for the rest of my life.”

“My condolences,” Anapa replied dryly. Atelli just grinned.

It was quicker to walk through the palace than to go around. The limestone walls offered a sharp relief from the outdoor heat, and Anapa inhaled the cool air gratefully. It would be better in the mortuary, which was situated below ground at the very banks of the river. They traversed the narrow corridors, with Atelli remarking on this or that and Anapa replying quietly whenever it suited him to. Now and then, they passed open archways leading to other chambers. Some were silent, but from many the rise and fall of the idle conversation and meaningless gossip to which the courtiers were prone could be heard. Anapa ignored them all, bar one which caught his attention by its content.

“… a foolhardy quest indeed! Everyone knows Saif is as barren as the desert.” The speaker, a middle-aged male by his voice, prattled in a stage whisper. “It is his eternal shame that his legacy is limited to raising the bastard son of his mortal enemy.”

“Would you rather Kosari?” Another hushed male voice replied, as Anapa stepped curiously into the archway.

“I would – ” his companion started, but broke off sharply as he realised the conversation was no longer private. “Prince Anapa.”

Anapa surveyed them with as much interest as his upper class upbringing permitted him to show. The room’s contents numbered three men, all of whom were sat idly about smoking and gossiping like poor women. The two with their backs to the archway whipped about and scrambled to their feet quite comically as the first speaker dropped Anapa’s name. The latter got to his feet more slowly, eying Anapa and Atelli with caution. Presumably, they were wondering how much of their borderline treason had been overheard.

The first speaker, whom Anapa knew from the court as a man of great confidence whom others chose not to trifle with, gave a rather strained smile. “How fares your work, my lord?”

“Slow,” Anapa admitted, but smiled rather wolfishly as he turned away from the archway. “But my father indicated it might pick up. He left the palace this morning muttering about treachery.”

The simultaneous paling of all three men’s faces would have been perfect if Atelli hadn’t ruined the moment. Anapa did not doubt that as he swept down the corridor, Atelli’s eager and rather morbid barrage of questions about the subject could be heard from the chamber.

“Never mind, Atelli,” Anapa sighed.

As it happened, he never made it inside the mortuary. The rest of the journey through the palace and gardens went uninterrupted, but a figure Anapa couldn’t very well ignore was waiting for them outside the stables. Anapa exhaled calmly, mentally preparing himself for a conversation he was certain he wouldn’t like.

“Atelli, will you go on ahead and ensure everything is clean,” he muttered.

In spite of his quiet voice, she heard. Indeysta always heard everything; she said it was a mother’s job. She smiled at Atelli as he scurried away, before reaching out to grasp her son’s bony, long-fingered hands with her own soft, warm ones. Her hair was down, tumbling past her shoulders in youthful brown locks which were as sweet as her perfume. She inhaled.

“How was your lesson, habibi?”

“Satisfactory.” He twisted his fingers affectionately in hers. “Do not keep me waiting, mother.”

She inhaled again, obviously preparing herself too. “I spoke to your aunt Izeti this morning. We should visit, while your father is busy with the sea people.”

Anapa quirked an eyebrow.

“She is your aunt, Anapa,” Indeysta implored.

So she was, but he seemed to do as well without her. There was nothing he could do to sway his mother’s mind; he knew that look. She wouldn’t force him to go anywhere, but her eyes would fill with all the sadness of a genuine mourner and she would sigh in that impossible way of hers. Whether Indeysta lived in a fantasy of happy families or whether she simply yearned for it, Anapa was never quite sure. This was, after all, the woman who had fallen in love with Saif.

It was settled, wordlessly. Anapa told himself that the joy and gratitude in Indeysta’s huge, soft eyes made any length of time in Izeti’s company worth the while.


Whenever he had to visit his aunt’s cottage in the abandoned workmen’s village by the ancient catacombs, Anapa always reflected, somewhat savagely, on how little it looked like a hideaway. Izeti had chosen the biggest and brashest of the available homes, and insisted on creating a sorry replica of the royal gardens by planting anything which would grow out the front. Fortunately the village was never visited, but even so – anyone who cared to glance in would realise immediately that the cottage was occupied.

Izeti had the door open before they reached it, and shared her sister’s embrace with great warmth. It was incredible how somebody so cold could be warm in equal parts.

“Anapa is here too,” Indeysta said breathlessly, her dark brown eyes shining. Izeti glanced over her shoulder.

“Ah, yes.” It was more of a greeting than he was usually offered. Izeti didn’t seem to notice him unless Indeysta pointed him out, or unless it suited her to. “Kosari is inside,” she added with no small glimmer of pride, “he has been training hard all day. Come.”

The two sisters, still holding hands, flitted indoors. Glumly, Anapa crossed over the threshold and observed the pair of them already engaged in animated conversation. Or, at least, Izeti was engaged in animated conversation – about her son. Indeysta, always content simply to be in the presence of family, smiled and listened.

Aside from the two women, the scene inside was so staged it was comical. Every surface had been scrubbed within an inch of its life, and the only artefacts on display were ones Izeti would have placed carefully. A rare book on magic and a pot of water were perched on the edge of the low table, which had been pushed carefully to one side to accommodate Kosari. Anapa’s fifteen year-old brother-cousin was lying face-up on the ground, counting each sit-up as he did them.

“Ninety-nine… one hundred!” Kosari sat up with one of his trademark smiles – the kind he thought was irresistible, and Anapa thought was stupid – which wavered instantly when he saw who was standing in the doorway. “Anapa.”


Kosari glanced across at his mother and aunt and lifted one hand to touch his hair self-consciously. After a moment, he rose to his feet. Seeing that he wasn’t about to get a word in edgeways around Izeti, he turned reluctantly to his only other available company. The silence between them wasn’t long, but it was long enough.

“How is… you know…” Kosari waved his hand and glanced back over at the women as though hoping one of them would rescue him. “Your work?”

“Not especially lively.”

The younger teen frowned slightly. “How lively can a mortuary be?”

Anapa sighed. Fortunately, they were both rescued by Izeti, who appeared from nowhere to clasp her son’s forearm.

“Kosari is ready to avenge my husband’s death,” she declared. “Even Saif cannot stop him. Order will be restored to Canidia at last.”

“My sister,” Indeysta said gently, “could we possibly discuss something else? How is – ”

The remainder of her words were lost on Anapa, who inhaled sharply as a furious pain shot through his skull from the tip of his spine. Headache did not adequately describe the agony, since his head did not ache – it burned. It was as though someone had swung an axe into his skull and left it there. The cottage interior blurred into a mess of colours which was then semi-covered by Anapa’s long, thin fingers, which he lifted automatically to his temples. It was more than pain. A familiar chill washed over him, and he felt sick to the stomach.

“Anapa!” Indeysta’s voice penetrated the foul sensation. He became aware of her hands gripping his shoulders with uncommon strength, and realised she was preventing him from slipping to the ground. “What is it?”

Izeti’s face, peering over her sister’s shoulder, swum in and out of vision. She had the decency to look concerned, at least. “Is someone going to die, Anapa?”

Anapa inhaled again; his breath shook. The pain had faded somewhat, but he could almost taste the bile at the back of his throat. He sought his mother’s eyes.

“Everyone.” He mumbled. “Death is coming for everyone.”

To be continued.

    • Accepted -

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