Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nova Brezoianu - Prey/Slave

NAME: Nova Brezoianu

AGE: Appears to be in her mid to late twenties.


Nova is a nymph who rescued a badly beaten maiden from the clutches of a small band of slavers by luring them into her swampy woods, where they were snapped up one after another by the carnivorous plants sacred to her. However, Nova herself fell in love with the young maiden as she nursed her back to health, and delayed escorting the
virgin back to her people. The maiden's pious parents prayed to the gods, offering generous sacrifices to Zeus himself, who sent his messenger Hermes to warn Nova that she should not to delay any longer returning the maiden to the human settlement if she wished to avoid
his wrath. Nova agreed, but when she reached a cave shelter along the way, her heart was sick with love for the maiden, and she delayed her longer, pretending to be lost in the cave's murky depths, thinking to hide from the father of the gods. But when the parents' supplications
continued to rise up to Zeus, he sent Athena (in the guise of a hunter) to show another band of slavers where to lie in wait for Nova when she would venture out of the cave for food for the maiden. Thus Nova was captured, and Athena gave the slavers specimens of Nova's
carnivorous plants, showing them how to care for them, thus giving them power over the nymph's life or death. Athena also showed them how they might fetch the handsomest price for their prize by sailing for Ireem, which is well known to have an eager demand for slaves of all
kinds, let alone a nymph in pristine condition, and sent a warm following wind to speed their journey. Finally, Athena (still disguised as a hunter) saw to the return of the maiden at last to her kingdom and pious family.

Meanwhile, Nova's slavers saw to it that her plants were replanted in the Palace gardens at Ireem, and the gardener provided with Athena's instructions about their care. Nova herself was kept in the harem for a time, until she fetched a handsome price--fully twice the price,
indeed, that Athena had promised them--when sold to a powerful Magus.
The relationship lasted only a year, however, for the Magus was vulnerable to strong drink, and in a drunken stupor succumbed to the temptation of a vulgar street duel, during which he miscalculated and was forced to hastily disappear--literally in a puff of smoke. Nova
was permitted to return to his estate to await his reappearance... but to this day he has never returned.

Finding herself somewhat free, yet unable to escape Ireem without her plants (or a vessel to carry her), Nova has taken refuge in the caves and temple labyrinths beneath the palace, venturing forth occasionally to earn a few dinars as a dancer or at the hammam, and spend them at market. It's then that she is sometimes overtaken by the slavers potentially lurking behind every pillar. But she is uncommonly willful--being practically a goddess herself--and can be very slippery if not restrained properly. Eventually, the hearts of her temporary
masters have always softened for her, they relax their guard, and she darts away at the best opportunity. If she can make it back to her refuge, she is relatively safe for a time, but eventually she must venture out again, not just for food and water, but because her spirit
yearns to see the sun and moon and stars, for fresh air and the expanse of the outdoors, and it drives her mad to remain cooped up for long.

The Palace Guards have instructions never to allow her into the Palace unless she is carefully restrained under strict supervision, lest she recover her plants and thus the means to finally escape Qasr al Abeed once and for all.

Nova appears human in every way, except: 1) her heartbeat and breathing rate are 10% faster; 2) her body temperature runs almost 10°F hotter; and 3) her irises are an intense, luminous amber color that is rarely encountered. Though not necessarily immortal, she heals much faster than humans, does not age, and will live for aeons--as long as she is not killed outright, or long separated from the carnivorous pitcher plants sacred to her, to which her life force is

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