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0 · 221 views · located in Starsea

a character in “Wolves Amid the Lambs”, as played by Iye Khara


Name: Ankura's the only name she's ever known, the name Jiang gave her not long after she took her in. She's always gotten the impression that the name is faintly demeaning, something less than kind in Jiang's obscure dialect of the Oriomos tongue, but she's never learned just what it means and she's content not to.

Nickname: 'Brat', 'runt', 'idiot', 'waste of space', 'stinkbeetle', and 'ass for brains' are all fairly popular, at least with one Aun Jiang.

Gender: Lady.

Age: A youth of but fifteen years old.

Sexual Orientation: The transient lifestyle she and Jiang lead leaves little room to contemplate matters of love and sexuality, though Ankura is at the age where such sentiments-- if they will ever exist-- begin to emerge whether she likes it or not. She hasn't quite yet realised that the idle exchanges she sometimes trades with girls her age whenever she and Jiang stop for a night or two in a town have begun to assume the form of callow flirtation.

Affliction: Ankura is a Mazikin.

Description: As two companions go, Ankura and Aun Jiang could not be more unlike one another, certainly not in appearance. Jiang dwarfs the brawniest of town and city guards; what chance has frail, pale-skinned Ankura, small and slight, of keeping up with such a behemoth? Ankura seems, however, blissfully unaware of her fragility, or seems simply not to care, not if the impish gleam in her keen brown eyes or the grin that seems instinctive to her pale lips are any indication. Her dark brown hair sweeps close along her jawline and frames a cunning, faintly pretty face, with heavy lidded eyes and a high forehead.

Creed: Ankura believes in helping those in need with a vehemence that might make even the most selfless of saints blink-- after all, when you fear that every selfish urge is the influence of an evil thing rooted deep inside you that seeks every opportunity to overthrow your sense of self and supplant it with malice and self-service, you tend to avoid indulging them. Her ardent belief in lending a hand to the weak often puts her directly at odds with Jiang, but it's been a long time since the other woman forcibly prevented Ankura from bothering; these days, she grudgingly allows Ankura to do as she will. After all, it took Jiang, who respects only strength, a long time to realise strength could be more than how hard you can swing a heavy sword-- it's strength of will, the strength to do what you believe in. Ankura's got that in spades.

Motivation: Ankura goes where Jiang goes, and whatever her caretaker has decided is her objective will be Ankura's in turn. Generally speaking, her own goals are fairly simple: help people wherever she thinks she may, and do whatever she can to help Jiang. That may entail advising her stubborn caretaker if her (admittedly broader) knowledge inclines her to believe Jiang needs the advice, or earning Jiang's eternal chagrin by settling her brewing fights with words, or-- very rarely-- aiding her in a fight by way of the destructive magics Ankura wields, however reluctantly. She also hopes to cure Jiang of her smokeroot addiction somehow, and ironically, it's only her commitment to Ankura which impels Jiang to care if she ever finds such a cure; after all, if the smokeroot kills her early, then Ankura would follow.

Fears: Losing Jiang is a fairly obvious one, and not only because Jiang's death would spell Ankura's own demise-- hell, not even only because without Jiang Ankura would have no clue what to do with herself, no direction and no real purpose. That comes second only to the deepest, most gnawing fear: the fear that she may lose her endless struggle against the Mazikin monster inside her skin, might be twisted and deformed by it into the mindless, murderous creatures she has so often watched Jiang slaughter like ants beneath her boot.

Likes: Ankura delights in the written word-- if she had her way, she'd be traveling with a cart that's just bursting at the seams with every kind of book you can imagine, but given her caretaker's austere ethos, she's settled instead for carrying as many as she can in her travel pack. She also loves to play the trickster; anybody who sticks around her too long may suffer an endless stream of riddles and puzzles, and she used to be quite the practical joker too until Jiang... er, expressed her discontent with that particular facet of her personality. Yeah, that didn't last long.

Dislikes: If there's one thing Ankura inherited from Jiang, it's a strong dislike-- mingled with her own sense of pity-- for the weak. Just what defines the weak, however-- that's where she and Jiang part ways. Ankura believes weakness is the inability to overcome one's base desires and temptations, the inability to defeat oneself, and for those who fail and succumb to their basest urges, she has only contempt. She also really doesn't like smokeroot; Jiang's addiction isn't so bad, but she's seen how dangerous it can get, what it can do to a person.

Strengths: Despite her age (to say nothing of her disdain for her abilities) Ankura is a powerful Mazikin, with a formidable command of destructive magics. More importantly, she is a highly disciplined young woman; this owes as much to her own constant vigilance against her Mazikin nature as it does to her upbringing at Jiang's side, as the grizzled old warrior taught her much about the importance of mastering yourself and maintaining the integrity of mind, body, and spirit. And of course, all that reading does have its benefits-- Ankura knows much about the world she has traveled incessantly in her fifteen years, much of its peoples, its flora, its fauna, and its dangers.

Weaknesses: Suffice it to say, one thing she decidedly didn't inherit from Jiang was her strength; Ankura is a wraith-like little thing, thin and weak, and in a fight she's better off casting magic from afar (or better yet, not being involved in the fight to begin with). She's also prone to bouts of instability, manifestations of the Affliction her discipline normally enables her to keep in check, in which her magic may lash out with a vehemence that she simply can't control.

Personality: For all her years traveling with Aun Jiang, the gruff warrior seems to have rubbed off little on Ankura, who retains an impish delight for everything about life in general. It could well be that her mischievous streak is a rather benign manifestation of the predatory instincts of the Mazikin within her, though the excuse does her little good when her pranks and mischief run afoul of her dour caretaker. However, for all her roguery, Ankura remains a profoundly unstable girl; between her remorse and self-hatred for binding herself to Jiang, her uncertainty about who and what she is, and the endless struggle to restrain the malevolent instincts within, Ankura is perched precariously between freedom and falling prey to the arcane sickness that festers deep inside.

Equipment: As with her caretaker, Ankura travels light, carrying only her supplies, a dagger Jiang has tried (and mostly failed) to teach her to use in self-defence, and of course, her many, many books.

History: Ankura remembers nothing before she knew Jiang-- her earliest memory is of the warrior's broad retreating back as Jiang walked away through the burned out husk of a tower's ruins, the desperation of a child that knows only that it cannot survive on its own. She remembers reaching out to Jiang, and then, with the instinctual power that only a Seeing Afflicted wields, binding the woman's soul to her own. She had been only five years old then, with neither memory nor identity, but when that thing that lay within her lashed out and forcibly bound itself to Jiang as a means of survival, she knew on an innate level that from that moment on, their destinies were intertwined, that one could not go on without the other.

Jiang knew it as well, and Ankura learned to hate herself for the instinct to survive that had led her to punish the other woman with the burden of her life. Still, with nowhere else to go-- even if their souls weren't bound by the magic of the Seeing-- she has remained by Jiang's side, enduring her caretaker's scornful silence and violent outbursts of anger. She lives out her life in hopes that she may atone for what she-- for what the thing inside her forced upon Jiang, but in some sick sense, looking back on it, Ankura can't help but admit that she wouldn't change what happened that day even if she could. Jiang, that strange, sharp-edged woman who feeds and clothes her and does all she can to help Ankura fight back against the thing inside her that impels her to act on base, cruel instincts... she's all Ankura's got. And Ankura knows on some level that she's all Jiang's got, too.

So begins...

Ankura's Story