- Who Am I...
- Relationship Status
- My Story Is...
Azura was born in the isolated and remote city of the Akaari, an ancient and rumoured to be mythological community, predominately female, who made their home nestled deep in a valley of impassable mountains.
The Akaari lived simple and peaceful lives which were interwoven with their belief and worship of the water goddess Melusine whom they believed made her home in sacred mountain springs and channels known only to their people. She was believed to speak through the high priestess of the village which was Azura’s mother, Seraphina. The gift was prophesied to be passed down to one of her three daughters, their family line connected to the Goddess through ancestral blood. Although much of their language and culture remains a mystery to the outside world, as the story goes, due to the ancient tribe’s loyalty and devotion, they were said to have been gifted by their Goddess the power of second sight, an affinity to heal the injured and harness the element of water, although in reality it was rare that those outside the direct line of priestesses be gifted these skills. It was these these rumours and the greed of men that caused the destruction and obliteration of this peaceful tribe.
Azura’s story and the destruction of the Akaari
The ancient and secret community had existed for hundreds of years without interaction from the outside world until the day Azura turned 16 years old. On that day, she had risen early before even the sun had a chance to do so and had gone roaming alone along the mountain ranges contemplating the rite of passage she was to undergo that day. The sun was just beginning to rise as she neared the city and although she could not see the rise of stone and rock yet her senses were invaded by the scent of smoke and blood and her ears began to fill with screams of pain and fear, growing increasingly louder as she descended into the clearing.
A group of unknown men, foreign men, had attacked in the early hours of the morning whilst the village slept, intent on discovering the secrets of Melusine and her followers. When Azura stepped into the clearing, the village was bathed in an eerie glow of orange and red, and she struggled to adjust her eyes to the scene of horror and violence erupting in front of her. Her two younger sisters lay dead at her feet, mutilated and staring up at her with blank eyes. They must have tried to run for the safety of the forest.
Men in strange brightly coloured garments of materials she had never seen before were methodically setting each home alight and forcing the panicked occupants back inside at random to be burnt alive, beating at them savagely with weapons when they tried to escape. Men, women and children ran for their lives but were pursued and clubbed to death, raped or tortured right beside their fallen family members. Mothers screamed as infants were ripped from their arms and thrown carelessly into the dirt or else their small skulls were dashed against stones. And whilst their sacred idols and temples began to burn to the ground, in the centre of all of the chaos and violence, was a man who stood out as the leader of the group, shouting demands and issuing orders.
Azura watched in horror as his men dragged her mother by her striking red hair, kicking and flailing, and threw her at their leader’s feet. She was easily identifiable as the High Priestess and someone of importance by the elaborate headdress adorned upon her head. Azura watched as the leader, with his dark unkempt hair and grey eyes, forced Seraphina to look at him by gripping her by the chin before pulling the woman up by her hair. He indicated in rudimentary body language that she take he and his men to their most sacred spring but Seraphina and the others remained defiant and mute.
Azura tried to intervene and flung herself at the man who held her mother, barrelling him with her small fists uselessly before she was dragged, kicking and hissing, away. Her arms were pulled behind her and wrists bound with rope, as those blank apathetic grey eyes darted between mother and daughter, registering the emotion on each face and smiled. With one nod, two men gripped her by her elbows and began pulling her away although she heard the man mutter a simple command. “Kill them all. No need to waste time with the old bitch when this one will be easier to break.”
Just as the cold edge of the knife was pressed against Seraphina’s throat she called out to her daughter. “You are the last. Keep Melusine aliv..” The words were cut off with a choked gurgle and Azura glanced over one tattooed shoulder as just in time to catch a brief glimpse of blood running down her mother’s dusty brown dress before she collapsed in a crumpled heap.
Azura was kept captive until night-fall when she managed to evade the men as they slept after having been beaten and tortured for several hours. As news of the massacre spread to the rest of the civilised world, people continued to insist that the Akaari never existed to begin with as the alleged invaders were never identified nor had any of the secrets they may have learned been exposed. Those that do believe the myths are of the opinion that there were no survivors to the slaughter.
Azura spent the next few years surviving in the rough wilderness of the mountains of her former home, avoiding the detection of the murderers who still roamed and hunted for both the last Akaari and the secret location of their sacred sites before she finally left for civilisation and to learn about the world she had been kept hidden from. When it was safe to do so, she returned to her village to give her family and tribe members a traditional water burial. Azura visits her the remnants of her home several times a year to perform sacred rituals and uphold the Akaari’s worship to their goddess.
-Skilled at wildness survival, Azura is agile and graceful with quick reflexes, but can often appear awkward and clumsy when out of her natural element.
-Can be naive and childish at times as due to her isolated upbringing and peaceful nature she often lacks appropriate social skills.
-Often mistrustful and guarded especially around men.
-Can be quick to strong emotion, usually anger, due to the trauma and violence she has experienced.
-Outwardly perception that she is weak or easily manipulated however she has a keen intuition that she relies on to keep safe and others misguided in their assumptions of her.
The women of the Akaari travel once every three months to neighbouring mountain villages for pre-arranged fertility festivals and ceremonies. The unions formed on these occasions are out of necessity rather then desire or need. As such, the concept of love is foreign to them and strictly forbidden.
There is no such thing as a male Akaari. When a son is born to an Akaari woman, the child is usually raised in the village for a brief time before they are removed and given away. Traditionally, male infants were drowned at birth but this custom slowly died out over the decades with only the most zealous followers still honouring the rite. Sons of Akaari women are marked with an identifying tattoo and are allowed to return to their birth land to die in old age if they are privileged enough to be called and led home by Melusine. As such, the only males in the community were young infants and elderly men awaiting death.
From a early age, Akaari are taught about the destructive and corrupt influences of men, love and the outside world.
Akaari believe that life and death are closely linked with water.
The Legend of Melusine
In the beginning, many generations ago, the city was ruled over by an ancient royal line whose sons inherited the crown and power which they wielded with the savagery of man. The city maintained contact with the outside world through only one winding trail which was cut through the thick landscape of the mountains, a strategic tactic which limited the risk of attack making the city virtually an impenetrable fortress whose natural resources helped it flourish with wealth created from trade. All was as it had always been until the day the eldest prince became lost on his daily horse ride. He had stumbled into a wild and strange section of the mountain that he had never come across before. When he returned, days later, he brought with him an eerily beautiful, silver haired girl whom he declared to all had saved his life yet he would tell no one how or where he had come to find the exotic girl who barely spoke, whose pale blue eyes were too large and too bright. Melusine, she said her name was although she would reveal nothing else not even to the Prince who slowly became more and more entranced by her eccentric ways and primal nature.
Her appearance within the palace walls caused chaos and conflict amongst the royal family and the city in general. She was considered too wild, too uncivilised, her breeding too poor to ever be accepted. By the time he proposed to her, rumours had already begun to circulate that she had bewitched the young man with magic. Melusine accepted the proposal on one condition; that a private oasis be built for her use alone, away from the palace, nestled amongst vines and nature and that no one, even her husband, should ever be allowed to enter whilst she bathed which the Prince accepted gladly, with little thought or question, so enamoured was he. The King flew into a rage upon hearing the news and forbid the union from taking place however the love struck young couple wed in secret, leaving the Royal family with little choice other then to accept the odd new princess.
Over the years, the couple only fell more deeply in love and were blessed with three daughters however Melusine struggled to fit into her new life and began to spend greater lengths of time roaming the mountainside alone or with her daughters whispering to them secrets that she could tell no one else or closeted away in her private oasis.
Taking advantage of her distance, the King whispered poisonous words into his son’s ears, year in and year out as his daughters grew more and more beautiful and increasingly like their mother, always running wild and incapable of keeping themselves dry. Finally, with suspicion and paranoia in his heart, the Prince secretly followed his wife to the pool where she bathed and watched as her pale legs transformed into scales the moment she plunged into the water, her skin taking on a shimmer of blue. Shocked, angered and disgusted by the transformation, he leapt from his hiding place to confront her but the moment he did, she looked upon his face and he turned to stone right before her eyes, such was the curse of her affliction.
Melusine wailed in grief at the loss of her lover and the betrayal of his actions but soon turned to rage as she thought of the way the city and the King had manipulated, mistreated and judged her and their love. The skies above opened, a bellowing storm arising from thick grey clouds as bolts of lightening and thunder rained down alongside sheets of pounding violent rain. The city trembled as the water of the river that snaked through it’s centre began to rise, flooding over banks turned to mud and obliterating anything in it’s path. Her daughters, the three princesses, fled the palace walls, skirts drenched as they ran through the storm to find their mother in the one place they knew she would be. Rocks began to fall, crashing down from mountains above, landing with purpose onto turrets and towers as stone walls came crumbling down, reduced to nothing more then rubble.
A mob of frightened and angry villagers accompanied by the royal guard found Melusine just as her daughter’s did. Lost in her grief and rage, she appeared more demon then human as her clouded eyes and pale arms raised towards the heavens. Though they crowded around her protectively, the three young girls could do nothing to stop the sea of angered faces which circled their mother as heavily armoured soldiers dragged her with little resistance to the shadow of a large sweeping willow tree from the branch of which they strung a thick corded rope, the other end they looped tightly around her neck. As her feet lifted from the ground and the breath escaped her body in choked gasps, her daughters screamed, held back by strong hands, as they lost both parents in one day. A priest, specially selected for the task, murmured an ancient prayer of banishment and exile as the life seeped from her body, the words designed to trap and bind the witch’s soul to the water of the mountain. As a final act of revenge, the ritual specified that her form be limited to half woman, half fish so that she would remain cursed to belong to neither land nor sea.
The city all but destroyed and the spirit of the woman who had caused it lurking around them, it’s people began to flee. The King’s body lay crushed and forgotten beneath stone. Amongst the ruins and rubble, Melusine’s three daughters stayed to form their own world, one without the corruption of men, creating a safe haven of specially chosen women. The old paths travelled were destroyed, blocked by boulders and new ones were made, kept hidden and secret to only those who knew where to tread. And so the tribe of the Akaari were born, Melusine’s blood line kept alive through her daughters and their daughters and so on with one female in each generation chosen to act as High Priestess.
- My Appearance
Azure has long raven colored and often tangled hair that falls half way down her back with strips of white like snow caused by the shock she experienced at such a young age.
She is small in stature at about 5’3 and has very pale porcelain like skin which is marked with an array of elaborate tribal and cultural tattoos which she has had since a young age, like most Akaari girls. She sometimes wears a traditional row of piercings beneath her bottom lip and along her neck line.
She is most usually dressed in a dark blue satin hooded coat decorated with silver stars to conceal her identity should she be recognised. Beneath the hood, she is often dressed in a faded white singlet with torn edges cropped just above her hips, a long flowing skirt made up of iridescent swirls of purple, green and blue and dark boots woven from the hide of different animals.
She wears at all times a silver anklet with moon and star charms and a large golden locket with a sea green emerald set in the centre that was gifted to her by her village’s high priestess when she turned 10 years old. Hidden inside the pendant is a lock of her mother’s cobalt hair taken from her corpse before Azura gave her and the other villagers and elders a sea burial and a tiny vial of mountain water from a sacred Akaari spring.
Azura carries with her at all times
-The Story of creation- A sacred text detailing the legend and origins of Melusine and her legacy.
- My Secrets Are...
Intricate and sacred knowledge and secrets of the Akaari and the legend of Melusine
Rumoured to possess the power to heal and see into the future. Last of her kind.
Can call on the Goddess Melusine to harness control of the element of water.
Azura also harbours a secret that she has yet to fully process or accept though it weighs heavily on her mind. Could she have been the one that started a chain of events that eventually led to the genocide of her people?
- I Believe...
in the legend of Melusine, the healing properties of water, nature and the natural order.