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Vivian Nakani-Maisuradze

Guitarist and singer of Band 1

0 · 110 views · located in Earth, brah..

a character in “Gods of Metal”, originally authored by Iye Khara, as played by RolePlayGateway


Name: Vivian Nakani-Maisuradze. Of course, the vast majority of people find her last name very difficult to grapple with, so fans and others will typically shorten it to ‘Vivian N.K.’, or just use ‘Nakani’ since it tend to be the more stomachable of the two. One of her biggest pet peeves is people mis-pronouncing her surname, or thinking that the surname ‘Nakani’ is Japanese (it’s not), but she refuses to change it or shorten it officially. Friends, or those close to her, can simply refer to her as ‘Viv’.

Birthdate: She was born April 12, 1980, and is therefore thirty two years old. She rather resembles that age--perhaps slightly older--with the first semblances of lines and wrinkles emerging on her face and speckles of grey beginning to emerge amidst her hair (which would be visible if were she not in the habit of dying her hair anyway).

Role: Vivian is the vocalist and co-lead guitarist of Band 1. She never received any real formal training for her voice (and as a consequence damaged her voice in her early efforts, as she lacked knowledge of the actual techniques). Similarly, she is a largely self-taught guitarist, and learnt largely by listening to whatever it was she was trying to play over and over again until she (thought she) got it right. As such, she learnt several things completely wrong (such as the way she holds her pick, which is considered incorrect as it makes double picking more difficult), and essentially got used to playing the guitar incorrectly, though it is indistinguishable now from ‘correct’ techniques. She also has some experience and skill with bass guitar.


Appearance: In terms of appearance, people tend to find it difficult to determine Vivian’s ethnical background; indeed, it is generally guessed from her appearance that she is Japanese, which irritates her to no end because she isn’t even Asian. She’s ethnically Georgian, but the fact is that most people don’t even know what a Georgian looks like; it doesn’t really help that Georgians are extremely diverse in terms of appearance, with some resembling Asians, others appearing Hispanic, and some who could be mistaken to be Middle-Eastern. Ultimately, her appearance is reflective of her parents’ origins in Eastern Georgia. She will make this very clear to you if you mistake it.

With regards to physicality, Vivian is...kind of a big woman. And that's not meant in regards to being fat. She's just big. Vivian stands at full height at 196 centimetres (approximately six feet and five or so inches), which is, y'know, kind of an impressive height, one which she is well accustomed to using to her advantage. But if that were all, then she wouldn't be big--she'd just be tall. It just so happens that Vivian's shoulders are more than two feet across, and her long-lived dedication to physical strength and dominance has granted unto her a physique less like that of a middle-aged woman and more likened to that of a bruiser or a rough-n-tumble thug of sorts (which is understandable, given that's more or less exactly what she used to be). Her upper body is rippling with musculature indicative of a considerable measure of physical strength, a build she has maintained over the years via stringent, punishing physical regimens in a constant quest for physical dominance.

With regards to facial features, though it could be argued Vivian's features themselves are attractive, her face itself...just isn't. Put bluntly, she just isn't a particularly attractive woman. Well, attractiveness is a highly subjective category, but generally you can’t really call her beautiful, nor pretty, nor sexy (she has way too much musculature to have a ‘sexy’ body :B), and she sure as hell couldn’t be called cute by anyone with their head on right. A youth and continued life steeped in violence, alcohol abuse and habitual smoking has that effect--or perhaps her uncontrollable urges of anger and violence have contorted and ruined any beauty once present permanently. Or, just as likely, she might have simply never been beautiful. Either way it does not matter, as physical attractiveness has never actually made sense to Vivian and she's essentially blind to qualities like 'beautiful' or 'ugly' when applied to human beings. It makes no sense to her.

Sharp, defined features adorn a long, dark countenance; high, prominent cheekbones carve out a significant portion of her features, surrounding a small, slightly pointed nose (that's evidently been broken one or two or three times in the past), under which rest thin, dark lips ungraced by lipstick or artificial colouring, often bearing a discontent scowl--arguably that scowl of hers could be called her default expression, so naturally does it come to her. Her eyes, in something of a contrast to the rest of her, are a surprisingly beautiful forest green shade, vaguely almond-shaped, whereas her hair, in its natural state, is a lustrous black sheen, straight in tendency and falling to around her chest. However, Vivian has never let her hair remain in its natural state, opting to style it into dreadlocks and highlighting it with red and orange streaks. Due to her longterm altering of her hair, the lustrous black has dulled to a faded sort of black tone.

The entirety of Vivian's upper body is armoured with tattoos of a wide variety; the most readily apparent, and largest one, would be the Motörhead War Pig across her back, adorned with bullets, chains, spikes, and the name of the band itself in arching letters over it. Many are related to Egyptian mythology, the symbols of which are a passion of hers; examples include the large, flaming ankh on her left bicep, an Eye of Horus on the back of each hand, and an Uraeus on her lower back. Other tattoos relate to her favourite bands, such as another Motörhead War Pig on her right bicep, or the Obituary tattoo across her right forearm; she also has one of Death's original logo (in red) at her collarbone, Deicide's '666' on the bicep above her Obituary tattoo, amongst smaller ones. And some of her other tattoos are, to be frank, simply rather gruesome in nature. For example, she has one across her lower left ribcage of a grievous wound, exuding crimson blood, revealing metallic rib bones (also, as it were, dripping copiously with blood); it’s rather similar to this, except, as said, with metal bones instead of...bone...bones. She has another spanning the upper right portion of her back just beside the War Pig and running all the way down the back of her right arm, depicting a corpse wrapped in what looks like spiderwebs hanging from a tree of tormented skulls and faces that extends down her arm, eventually devolving into a mass of skulls set against brimstone and blood, an inverted cross on the nape of her neck and an inverted pentagram that looks like it has been carved into the flesh of her shoulder. The first tattoo Vivian ever got was a tattoo of the letters of 'DEATH' across the knuckles of her right hand, which she did herself when she was thirteen using a sewing thread and pencil lead...ostensibly to remind herself always of her own mortality, but mostly because she thought it looked cool and because woohoo unsanitary home-made amateur tattoos.

With regards to attire, Vivian gravitates towards typical metalhead/crust punk fare-- always has, it seems. Upper body apparel consists largely of any variety of t-shirts, the majority with the sleeves sloppily torn off, emblazoned with all manners of punk and metal bands, their names, their logos, and assorted images involved. Over this she will invariably wear a very dear leather 'battle jacket' or 'cut-off' (ie a leather jacket with the sleeves removed), adorned with all kinds of punk and metal patches, and covered in studs and spikes squaring at the back around a patch of Napalm Death's bar-code skull; she loves the battle jacket because it throws her beloved tattoos and muscles into immediate attention of anyone who sees her, sending, she likes to think, a pretty immediate and clear message. Her lower body is most always clad in a pair of regular-fit dark denim jeans, sometime with a tear or two in them because messed up clothing is totally metal, tucked over a pair of leather harness boots, with a rusty old copper bullet belt slung low around her waist and bike chains hanging from the loops of her jeans (for those unaware: a 'bullet belt' does not, obviously, mean a belt of real bullets. It's a belt of bullets with the gunpowder removed, popular with metalheads and punks. :v).

Personality: You could say Vivian is a sweet and kindly soul who knows nothing but love for everyone she meets, but if you did said that you'd be dead wrong, and she'd kick your ass. To say Vivian is kind of a bellicose woman would be akin to saying that if you walk up to a severely pissed off lion and then blow a raspberry at it, you just might get torn to shreds. That is to say--yes, she is one hell of a bellicose woman, and by most regards many would say she's just not a nice person. At her best, Vivian is rough, fierce, and stubborn, with an admirable fire and passion for her music and her bandmates--but that persona can quickly take a turn for her worst, and she becomes cruel, callous, and violent, very often towards the very people around her. She's a veritable machine of ruthless invective, busting out the most blasphemous swears and curses as casually as nouns and verbs, and her sense of humour pretty much consists of dry, deadpan sarcasm, thrown in with a heavy dose of pessimism and what can only be described as a natural tendency to, accidentally or intentionally, insult the people around her. Vivian is also highly averse to anything she perceives as an attempt to control her or attempt to 'help' her, as she is a fiercely independent and self-reliant woman and believes there is nothing she can't do on her own if she decides it's what she wants to do. Unfortunately, and in direct contrast to this statement, she is also heavily addicted to cigarettes and alcohol, to the point where she goes nowhere without at least two packs of smokes on her, and is literally capable of drinking a twelve pack of beer and barely feeling it the next morning—and in times of stress she will resort to harder drugs.

Beneath this however can be found a rather different persona. A persona that is far more vulnerable and conflicted than Ash would tolerate anyone to see on the surface. Her confident swagger and tough, no-nonsense scowl, her indomitable stature and pissed off, 'don't give a fuck' attitude do not assuage the fact that she remains dissatisfied with the state of her life, and has been so for as long as she can remember; it is not far-fetched to say that even with her own successful metal band on the rise Vivian has yet to understand what it means to feel happy with life. At this point her band represents the fine line between her current state, a bare semblance of content with life, and a complete loss of interest in life itself; she lives for her band and in the music she plays finds a reason to live. The comfort she used to find in loud music, violence, and drugs is rapidly waning even though her tendency to fall back on them certainly isn't, but Vivian believes that the drugs are the only things that can keep her mind from wandering to all the things she sees wrong with herself and the world--that trying to give up on them will ultimately make her suffer even more than depending on them. She is headed straight for self-destruction, and consciously or subconsciously, she knows it. Vivian is plagued by fears, sorrows, despairs, and anger exacerbated by her use of drugs and lack of connection to others: they have festered within her, as she has never truly had an outlet for them besides her music, refusing to grant her peace and calm for a moment. At this point, she hardly remembers the pain that first drove her to begin using drugs because it has become mired with many other pains that are only intensified by the drugs that she previously used as an escape from reality, a way of dealing with stress and sadness. Her abrasive and wholly unpredictable personality mirrors her fear of personal pain and abandonment--Vivian has convinced herself that if she keeps others at arms length with her wild and aggressive attitude, she can avoid making connections, and thereby the pain of the inevitable severance of those connections. She has come to fear the pain of losing those she loves and cherishes, and believes that by avoiding true friendship and love she can remain untouched by this grief.

Background: Vivian claims that she was born in the province of Kakheti in Georgia, and that she immigrated to the US at age sixteen with her family. According to her, she had a falling out with her parents very soon after the family moved from Georgia, and left home to begin her career as a professional musician.

In actuality, she was born to two Georgian immigrants who had immigrated at a relatively young age to the US with their own families and, despite their financial destitution, fell in love at the callow age of seventeen. Their relationship progressed rapidly—too rapidly, it would seem, and it is likely that it was that impatience and their inexperienced passion that led to what would occur later in their lives. By eighteen, the woman was pregnant with a daughter, and as a result Vivian’s parents chose to get married at that point. Despite their poverty-stricken status and their consequential residence in one of the worst slums of their city, they were optimistic—and drastically unprepared for the true stress of the outside world and raising a child in that world.

Especially when that child was Vivian.

From the very beginning, Vivian proved a bellicose and difficult child, at home and at school—and very unstable. When she was dropped off at school on the very first day of kindergarten, Vivian cried the whole time because she believed her parents were trying to get rid of her and that they were going to leave her there forever. After that, the phone calls from school began coming in—Vivian was flatly refusing to do assignments, calling them stupid, she blatantly flouted the rules and instructions of the teacher and the school, and she reacted with sheer antagonism to attempts to exert authority over her, or to communicate with her. Later, teachers told her parents that Vivian was bullying the other kids when they tried to talk to her or get her to play with them, and was known to shove and punch kids that she thought were making fun of her or insulting her when they were only talking to her. Her grades began to fail, not necessarily because she was stupid—in fact, it was noted that when she did decide to do an assignment, or when she took an interest in something, she could be remarkably quick-minded. The issue became that she simply didn’t care about school, and didn’t give a fuck enough to really try. Her parents’ relationship, previously one of love and harmony, deteriorated and soured. Young and inexperienced as they were, they began to bicker, argue, and then shout and yell at one another--why did Vivian have to be so damn difficult? What was wrong with her? Whose fault was it? Deep down, Vivian, even as a child, knew she was the cause of it, locked in her room because she hoped that if her parents didn't see her they'd forget about what was happening and maybe things would get better. But she couldn't stop being the belligerent, violent, antagonistic delinquent she had already become even as a child--in fact, the domestic troubles made it only all the worse. It was uncommon that the yelling would turn towards her, but it did happen at times--but most of all it was her parents yelling at one another that truly made a mark on the child, because she knew she had started it all off. In the end her father decided he didn't want to deal with her or her mother anymore, and when she was twelve, he up and left--at least, that's what her mother told her. At any rate, when she came home from school that day, he was gone, and she grew up hating him because she believed he'd abandoned them both. However, the fact is that deep down, she is intensely guilty, because she believes she ruined her parents’ relationship, that she is responsible for her father’s departure, and that therefore, she is responsible for what happened to her mother.

From then on, it got no better. They were forced to move to a tiny, rundown apartment, and even then could barely hold onto that. She remained the delinquent she had become, and eventually her mother just stopped trying to change that—eventually, her mother just stopped caring about anything at all, and became mired in drugs that made her verbally and physically abusive towards her daughter. She became a husk, a shell of a human, and any interactions with her daughter were either nonsensical rambling, or curse-laden shouting matches. However, Vivian still recalls and treasures those few moments in which her mother was lucid and capable of coherently thinking—in which they could actually talk. They were few and far between, but they were precious to her.

As she went through the years of her adolescence, Vivian was witness to many people simply disappearing from her life, one way or another. When she was only eight years old, her only friend at the time disappeared, and she never found out the true reason--that he had been killed in the midst of a drive-by shooting between two local gangs. Such patterns repeated themselves as she matured--friends and loved ones disappeared, moved on, departed, leaving her behind. Each time her connection to someone was so quickly removed, it brought about pain and sadness, causing Vivian to eventually come to the conclusion that in order to avoid such pain she had to ensure she never made such connections in the first place. From that time on, she became even more reserved than ever, reacting with hostility and rejection to attempts to interact with her from just about anyone. As a result of her self-imposed lack of contact with others, Vivian began to use cigarettes, easily accessible to a young teenager in that area, to relieve stress and anger, progressively getting into other drugs such as alcohol when cigarettes began to lose their effectiveness. Drugs would continue to play a significant role in her life from then on, as she eventually was never to be found without a pack or two of cigarettes on her at any given time. At the same time, Vivian sank into the poverty-stricken, destitute underworld that existed in the slums their apartment was located in, getting into fights constantly, and in general making life all the worse for herself.

It was around this time, or shortly before, Vivian began to discover music--specifically, rock music, and then metal. She can't remember how it was she got that first CD--Motörhead's 'Overkill'. But she does remember that from the second the double bass drums kicked in, and then the bass, and the guitars, Vivian had found something she'd never had before--a feeling she couldn't describe. But for a moment, while, as Lemmy Kilmister sang in the song, "when the music's good and loud", everything that was going on in the world around her just didn't matter. From there, it was just a matter of going through more and more CDs, more and more bands, more and more styles. She went from Judas Priest, to Megadeth, to Deicide, to Nile, to Carcass--from heavy metal, to thrash, to death metal, to grindcore, to crust punk, and beyond, her musical taste evolving and giving her something to feel beyond the desperation of the situation. The abrasive, distorted guitars, heavy assault of bass drum beats, and furious, vicious vocals, they all appealed to Vivian; it was like all the rage, sorrow, anguish, and fear she had been feeling all those years suddenly was put into a form she could hear, understand, relate to. She never expected that she’d actually ever play the music she loved, but just listening to it, life suddenly grew brighter.

It became a lifeline. If not for that one Motörhead CD, all those years ago, maybe she would have lost hope and perished long before she had a chance to make it out of that life. Maybe she would have become like her mother--a hollow, lifeless shell, a mere reflection of what might have once been a human being, driven not by soul and feeling but by alcohol and drugs. The music gave her a soul, a voice, a breath, and she never stopped listening from that day on. She scrounged together money to buy band tees and to buy new CDs—overall, she suddenly began to emerge from the destitute, angry shell she had become, and realised that she was steadily beginning to find happiness in her life.

Of course, I'm sure you're all expecting the all-too-cliche 'BUT ONE DAY...'. Sadly, I must indulge this cliche--but read on.

One day, listening to the vicious assault of Carcass's 'Corporal Jigsore Quandary' through an old CD player she had managed to scrape money together for, she returned home. She was almost eighteen years old, in her last year in high school (when she felt compelled to attend, anyway), at the time. She walked into the apartment, the lights dim, casting the rooms in an ominous shadow. That wasn't altogether unusual. Her mother didn't tend to bother with lights when she was too busy drinking, smoking, or injecting herself into a mindless stupor.

Her mother wasn't in the main room, so Vivian called out--when she got no reply, she knew it already. Her mother was passed out. Probably on the floor again. Which meant Vivian would have to pick her up out of another pool of alcohol and rest her on her bed so that she wouldn't seem completely lacking in...any kind of dignity at all.

She walked into her mother's bedroom--it was just as dark as the rest of the apartment, of course. The reek of alcohol and smoke was heavy in the air. She flipped a lightswitch, and was greeted with a familiar sight. Her mother was sprawled across the bed (for once, Vivian noted irately, on the bed, and not the ground), surrounded by bottles of beer and cigarette butts that had been tossed aside. A syringe was sticking out of her arm--apparently, Vivian thought with annoyance, she had passed out before removing the goddamn thing again. Figures.

She walked towards her mother, and then stopped. There was something wrong this time. The body was ashen, the skin pale and colourless, and, to the touch, so cold it was like all the frigid air of the underworld had been forced into one human shell. When Vivian pressed her hand to her neck and felt no sign of the familiar faint but present pulsing of blood, she realised her mother had overdosed and died hours ago, alone and in pain.

Her immediate thoughts afterwards, Vivian can't really remember, because she doesn't try to. She remembers being violently sick, and soon after, the blaring of police sirens, flashing red and blue lights, being led away by people she didn't was all like some sort of surrealist movie, a blurry dream that one wakes up from and only remembers bits and pieces of. Except she never woke up from it, and she remembered it all, no matter how much she forced it out of her mind.

When she finally snapped out of her reverie and became fully attuned again to reality, she was living alone. The apartment was gone, but the new one was just as ratty and dishevelled. She didn't remember bringing anything here, but her CDs were stacked, almost strangely, in a neat manner, her clothes were laid out just as nicely, and there was some sparse food in the refrigerator. Her cigarettes and alcohol were gone--presumably, since she was of age to be emancipated, she had been given the choice to live on her own, and Vivian could only assume she had taken that choice over the prospect of foster families. The last few days were a blur to her. Somehow, she had gone from the room with her mother's corpse in it to this unfamiliar place; somehow, she had gone from feeling horrifically sick to almost hopelessly empty.

Piecing her life and her self back together after that became Vivian's priority. She was dangerously close to devolving into what her mother had become in her last few years of...not life, but existence: a shell. But she had music; she had something her mother had never had, and she could feel that feeling that her mother had never felt in time to save herself. That made all the difference. Because Vivian never again felt that empty feeling. All she had to do was turn on the music. Even if it became overwhelming sadness, despair, sorrow, rage, angst, it never again became that overbearing, crushing emptiness that Vivian had felt for one moment--and which her mother had felt for years before succumbing to it.

After a while, Vivian decided to start learning guitar, thinking it might help her get past everything. She never expected it to become anything more than escapism because she never expected herself to ever be able to play maybe a few power chords, but certainly nothing like the records she listened to and longed to replicate. She went and bought a rather cheap electric guitar with a little amplifier, and brought it back home, and began to play.

From the moment her pick hit the strings (well, the second time, because the first time all she did was drop the pick and make a weird noise) she knew something was about to happen. All she had done was play an open E, and even then she hit the note rather incorrectly, being an amateur, the sound produced wasn't that good--but it reverberated within her like nothing else.

From then on, it was playing guitar, from the moment she woke up to the moment, her eyes underlined with the strains of lack of sleep and her entire body screaming for rest, she reluctantly lowered her guitar and dragged herself to bed. It was an addiction stronger than any cigarette she'd ever smoked and any alcohol she'd ever drank. And she got to be exceptionally good at it, in her own way--having never received lessons and learnt purely on her own and by observing guitarists at concerts she went to, Vivian learnt several things, like how to hold a pick, completely wrong, but she got used to it, and figured out her own way to make it work. And it did work—very well. She put all her soul and heart into it, and the results astounded even her when she discovered she was more than capable of playing the music she had always loved.

Eventually, Vivian realised she could take this skill, and do something with it. Do something besides infuriate the neighbours, that is, entertaining though that was.

It was the summer of 2000, aged twenty, when Vivian first joined a band. And then joined another. And then another. In rapid succession, one after the other. Her extraordinarily bellicose attitude and domineering persona outweighed her guitar skills for many, and her stints with most bands were short-lived, either because the band quickly decided to kick her out, or because she herself got fed up and quit. The longest she ever remained in a band was with rising death-thrash band Catatonia--and after a year and a half of success Vivian's combative nature and an intense animosity between herself and the rhythm guitarist/singer tore the band apart and they all went their separate ways. Back to square one, Vivian ended up piss drunk in a bar, wondering whether there was any band out there that could be taken in a direction she desired, before it hit her (so hard she promptly fell off her barstool and slammed her face on the bar on the way down, but that aside). Start her own band, of course! With her own band...she could take it anywhere she wanted, make it anything she wanted--it'd be hers. And the idea carried over even after she...well, wasn't drunk, which meant it had to be a good idea.

Vivian put out advertisements in the local music section of the paper, and put up pamphlets in the local music store's billboard; a band was being formed. The genre was ______ and she wanted good musicians to come and audition. The whole time she had no idea what was going to happen--or if she was even doing it right. Maybe no one would show up. Maybe no one would even take the little tags with her phone number on it, maybe no one would show any interest at all. Then it'd be back to irritating the shit out of the neighbours whilst cycling through an endless series of bands that either didn't satisfy her or ended up fed up with her. Good times.

But then, people did start to respond. She was getting people eager to audition, eager for a chance to be in a band--just as eager as she was to lead a band of her own. In the end, she chose those whom she deemed most technically skilled, those whom she thought could play the fastest, the roughest, the most viciously, and yet be capable of sophisticated, skilled playing as well. Each person was, in essence, a prodigy in their own right. Vivian chose to take up the mantle of singing as well, though she had relatively little experience with it; she adopted her own unique style that makes her sound...well, you'll read below. The band was christened 'Band 1'.

That was...maybe four years ago, maybe less, maybe more. Since then Legion has become more than just a chance for Vivian to make the guitar more than a method of escapism. It became more than her. They were playing shows, writing materiel, signing a deal with a record label, writing an album, getting fans, getting people who actually liked their music. They have become one of the premier metal bands of the metal scene, and any good metalhead knows the name of Band 1.

And for the first time in years, Vivian was feeling what she thought it felt like to live and truly enjoy living.

Playing Style: Vivian is a highly technical player in the sense that much of what she plays is very difficult to replicate, using various different techniques such as pinch harmonics, tremolo and hybrid picking (which she has adapted to a heavier, more metal sound than it is usually used for), as well as sweep picking, and pick tapping. However, she does not consciously use these as ‘techniques’, or use them just for the sake of making her music more complicated; she finds effects and ways of playing that sound good to her, and that’s what she uses. In terms of musical style, Vivian often employs a very harsh, overdriven guitar sound, giving it almost a sort of chainsaw sound that causes her notes to blend together at times into a vicious haze. Her style often utilises chromatic, atonal scale soloing, changes in time signature that can be either abrupt or very subtle, high-speed, palm-muted chord progressions, and minor-key shredding; Vivian utilises extremely high-speed shredding, but keeps it to very controlled, maintained patterns so that it doesn’t come off as just playing ridiculously fast for the hell of it.

Vocal style - that depends on the genre, which is to be decided.

Instrument: Vivian plays an pitch black Neal Moser Morpheus utilising also various Metal Zone distortion effect pedals to give her guitar an extremely overdriven sound. She tunes the guitar to dropped A, which results in extremely heavy riffing.

Other: Vivian is a fluent speaker of Georgian. She has a very slight accent indicative of her origins in Georgia--not the country, but the state. She typically does a good job of hiding it, but the way she talks in and of itself is reflective of this heritage. She is asexual in that she is not only entirely uninterested in sex, but also unable to understand the concept of physical attraction; however, she is capable of falling in love. She just doesn't want to.


So begins...

Vivian Nakani-Maisuradze's Story