Travel I, in dreams, when the material world should weigh me down I fly, unburdened by the suffocating chains of reality.
Age: IV Wolf | XXV Biped
Tribal Rank: Dreamweaver
Spiritual (magic) Rank: Conceiver
Biped Syndrome: Yes
Stones ❂: 149.00
This user has no items.
Astral Projection, travel
Greatest Virtues:: Tenacious, Resourceful, Cunning
Greatest Vices:: Impulsive, volatile, selfish
Slight of stature and lithe of limb, a study in deception and dualities. Strength without bulk, speed without length of stride, and poison hidden beneath alluring outer petals. Musculature honed by natural hardships, of running, of climbing, of hunting, cut a slim silhouette, and calico tresses striped black and tawny with licks of red flame crown a figure of only 5’2”. Asymmetric eyes, one the final burst of colored fire from dying autumn leaves, the other venomous green, offer startling insight into the heart of a creature who is a young woman in appearance alone. Skin is permanently a sun-darkened bronze, a snapshot of bygone summers on hot desert plains, and her face is unadorned except for a set of silver rings running the entire length of her right ear. Her feet are clad in nothing more than toughened skin and her clothes are often simple, a loose tunic of coarsely-woven cloth belted at the waist with braided leather. Her most prized and elegant possessions are silver throwing knives, four in all, kept in a sheath at each wrist, one at her belt, and the last in a thigh sheath.
Painted Wolf, a small canine of only 55 lbs with calico pelt of black, tawny-orange and white splashed in chaotic abandon upon her frame. The only order to the reining ataxia on her frame are a distinctly black face and muzzle, and long limbs dipped in white, as well as the tip of her tail. Eyes retain their dual pigments in her canine aspect, and lines of fire snake along the clashing edges of her painted body. Her knives in human form give her teeth in her canine, the four long, primary fangs glinting with a sterling sheen, matched by the six silver rings the follow the sweep of her ear. Ears are slightly larger than a timber wolf’s with delicate, wispy feathers framing her cheeks, floating like dandelion fluff about her hocks and adding volume to her tail.
A heart forged in blood in hardships, creating an outer carapace of false swagger and confidence, of keen wit tempered by cynicism. Ysabeaux is a creature of dualities, for hiding within that impenetrable shell, so deep that even its wearer is not privy to it is a more fragile being, insecure and riddled with the bullet holes of cruelty and familial bonds that were apathetic at best. She is no stranger to death, no stranger to killing, and forming meaningful connections with other living beings is excruciatingly difficult. She is volatile, impulsive--but do not let that fool any into thinking her less than highly intelligent. A petite creature in a world of large and deadly predators, it is brain and not brawn that has turned her into the survivor she is.
In summers bountiful all mated pairs may bring into the world their legacies, but in times of famine may only the strongest, the most elite of her kind procreate. It was in such a time, a scarce summer of scorching heat that those rules were broken, and Ysabeaux was born. On a cloudless night in midsummer, forbidden newborn cries lit a fire amongst the pack. Despair; jealousy; loathing; natural lycaons would have killed her immediately for the betterment of the pack, but the shapeshifters’ humans sides granted them some amount of compassion. Though, perhaps, it would have been kinder had they left her flesh and bone to fill the belly of some starving creature in need and not burdened the pack with one more mouth to feed. A female pup who shouldn’t have been born, who was eating up precious resources, she was given little in either food or kindness.
For every meal, every possession, every piece of shelter the struggle was bitter. On a broken foundation she began building a reputation, taking part in the hunting rituals of her nomadic tribe, both on four legs and two. Even in her human past she was no stranger to her lupine heart. Fragile human body toughened, honed to slender perfection like a living dagger. The distant, automatic loathing from her packmembers began, reluctantly, to change first to tolerance and then something like respect. Successful hunts made for full bellies, which helped to ease the tempers of some of the elder members who remembered best her taboo birth. However, there were still those who would not forgive her the leniency shown to her parents and the delicate huntress had to shove back when pushed, to bring violence before it was rained upon her, and to bear the burden of many scars.
At first, Ysabeaux thought the persistent, nagging fatigue was simply an accumulation of constant vigilance against ill will, and the vivid dreams merely the construct of an exhausted mind. In her dreams she would travel the plains, most often as the painted wolf, and visited upon her were the strangest of companions. Sometimes they would speak, sometimes they would give her things, and sometimes, more often than that, they would try to kill her. “You are small and perhaps shall taste delicate, like chocolate,” One said to her, reaching with enormous hands for her white-tipped tail. Ysabeaux had woken up then, drenched in a cold sweat, her heart hammering as if she had indeed evaded some ethereal predator.
Another night it was an old medicine woman, draped in beads of jade and diamonds, who stopped her on her dreamscape travels. Though experience had told her to run from such entities, Ysabeaux found she could not move. Black lips pulled back from pearlescent fangs, and yet the witch just laughed, circling her, running fingers with too-long nails down her canine body. “Yes,” said she, “These, these will do nicely.” And with those long, bony fingers she reached into Ysabeaux’s mouth and ripped out her eye teeth.
That night she woke, choking on the blood trickling down her throat. In panicked fray she felt her mouth, only to find teeth intact with no explanation for her apparent injury, but lying beside her were four glittering silver knives, one for each fang. Only they would travel with her between the solid and ethereal realms, whether as tooth or dagger, they never left.
Metal was precious amongst her people, and the old hatred of her pack flared hotter, stoking long-dormant coals when her gift was known to the others, though the price to acquire it was not. Her next dream, returning to where her sleeping body lie as dawn was fast approaching, saw the Alpha’s eldest son creeping up upon her, stone dagger in hand and eyes burning even in the gray light. It’s just a dream, her inner self screamed, even as her canine body leapt towards the throat of the prince of her tribe.
She woke next to his cooling body, blood soaking into the ground around her and covering her in crimson splatters. That was her last day amongst her people.
It was the perfect gift of discretion, the iron alibi. But how, one would ask, could it have been her who committed the crime, when she was asleep in her bed all night? Ethereal self would take on physical aspect while her body lay dormant, though the price for such actions was high, both for herself and her employers.. Sleep without rest, taking the same physical and mental toll as it would to remain in the waking world all those hours. Eventually she had to well and truly sleep, and often after travel on the astral plane she was plagued by hellish nightmares, those other creatures who traveled amongst that dimension who tried to follow her through. It was on one such night, fleeing the constructs of her own mind that she stumbled into the dream of another, and on her final ability. It was a stranger, a tavern worker, who dreamt of a green meadow in summer and a pretty girl. Ysabeaux crashed into their picnic, calico hair flying wild about her face and green-and-russet eyes wide. The landscape wobbled and blurred as the stranger’s mind tried to make sense of something not within his subconscious, and though she could not make sense of it at the time the shifter could feel his mind fraying, a weak and unimaginative thing that was not reacting well to her invasion. Ysabeaux escaped, finding herself drowning in the blessed dreamless darkness, and it was only chance that had her walk into that tavern, and find a young man who muttered to himself even as he served drinks, who, upon seeing her face, dropped his tray and ran screaming from the room.
It was not an enemy of flesh and blood that drew her to the wonders and neutrality of Eshteth, but those made from the stuff of nightmares. One sojourn too many onto the astral plane, one brush too close to ethereal monsters that sat up and took note of one among them that didn’t belong. Through clumsiness or carelessness she had left a trail behind her, back onto the solid corporeal world and someone, some thing had picked up the scent and followed it as it would fresh blood. It had grabbed her, pulled her back, taking not only her astral self but her physical body and bending, ripping, twisting it through time and space and its own version of reality. Ysabeaux had fought, oh how she had fought it, but the undertow drug her into depths mere mortal minds were not meant to withstand. In that abyss she fought, she died, she was reforged, locked within the form of the painted wolf, her abilities hobbled, the core of her bipedal self locked away in a cage of blood and oblivion. In that new life she waded through each circle of Hell, slogging ever upwards, until the raging fires became water and lungs remade took their first breath of real air, and she found herself in a wide channel, the shores of Eshteth a glimmer upon the horizon.