Aynaet du Marais (ine-EYT doo mahr-AHYS), colloquially known as Ayn (aɪn), is a late-stage juvinate vampyre character who was turned from human at the age of 19. She is currently 972 years old. Aynaet is played by the user SsVivid. She most closely aligns as a lawful neutral character with evil tendencies.
Aynaet, as a juvinate, stood at 5'3", bound to grow several inches when she evolved into a full vampyre. She had a feminine figure (for a juvinate), and her most notable feature was (and is still) likely her tight backside. At the time, Aynaet would probably be described as petite. She had a severe, round face with sharp cheek bones and a long nose (again, as far as juvinates go). Her eyes and skin were the dead greys common to her kind, except for a pair of powder-pink lips. Compared to the average, her eyes are fairly shallow-set. Aynaet's hair, usually pulled into a tight ponytail on top of her head, turned a briney pink and has a healthy gloss to it.
As a vyreling and beyond, her evolution grew her body several inches, standing her at 5'11 when in full bat form (counting ears), and 5'4" as a humanoid. Upon reaching evolutionary maturity, her skin tone became a grey-bronze faintly reminiscent of the original chocolate skin tone she wore as a human, and, depending on her form, she either has sleek, bright pink hair (still usually pulled into a tight ponytail) or a warm, pink-colored membrane. After being formally and ceremonially inducted into the Foryx Coven, her eyes took on the coven's signature cyan-blue tint instead of the natural red of most vampyres.
As a juvinate, Aynaet wore a curious mix of hardened and feminine attire. She wears practical jogging pants, but they are belted tightly and form-fittingly to her legs. She wears sturdy boots, but they have short, stylish riding heels embellishing their otherwise plain make. She wears a fitted, flexible tunic-shirt, but it has a feminine cut and shows her cleavage, and she embellishes the look with a pair of elbow-length gloves.
As a vyre, she followed the same theme, keeping her stylish boots (though she had to craft new ones to adjust for the catlike feet of her full form) and tight, buckled joggers. However, she adopted a more dignified long-sleeved tunic with wealthy gold embellishments and a wide, off-shoulder neck. She still wears black gloves and a vampyric medallion around her neck.
She has been trained to proficiently use a shortsword and, sometimes, a shield, but more often than not Aynaet leaves the sword in its sheathe just sticks to the vicious tooth-and-nail hand to hand combat of vampyres. More than anything, when fighting, this character behaves in ways that are highly aggressive and take advantage of whatever edge she can get.
Aynaet was born under the name Anette du Val to a humble couple living on the outskirts of Ardougne. Her father was a pacifistic miner who made his wages harvesting rune essence day-in and day-out, and selling it to the wealthy mages in the marketplace for a few coins. Her mother was a seamstress who served the upper class and tended their clothing, and was also an outspoken Saradominist who loved to tell young Anette about all the goodness of their patron god. Anette didn't have much taste for the whole set-up, but their family wasn't so wealthy, so she didn't have much choice. If she got anything from the experience, it was a charming taste for style and decoration after spending so much time in the presence of elaborate, expensive clothing. Naturally, she also learned many of the domestic chores her mother took care of over the course of her adolescence.
More than any of that, Anette kept herself sane by finding a hobby. She was lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a lonely old man who had retired from knighthood with the Ardougnian guard who needed some company. In exchange for spending time with the old man, Anette recieved tutorage in common swordplay and learned her way up into a decent competence with the little bronze shortsword the knight gave her to practice with.
At eighteen, Anette was more than restless with her common lifestyle, not unlike nearly all youths at that age. She knew that hanging around much longer would inevitably get her married off as a housewife, and she also knew that asking to run off for adventure wouldn't sit well with her parents, so she came at it from another angle. Word had reached Kandarin that, far to the east in the evil swamplands, there was a holy campaign running to help free the emprisoned humans who were trapped in the dark kingdom. She came to her parents - especially her "holy" mother - and told them of her intentions to go join that righteous fight. She was useful with a sword, and thought more good could come of her using that skill than of stitching up skirts for luxurious women. With lots of reluctance and even more concern, she said her goodbyes and was permitted to leave home for the east with a sword, some rudimentary armor, and several packs of food. At least the family was realistic enough to know that they would probably never see their daughter again.
Shortly after her nineteenth birthday, Anette arrived at the outskirts of Morytania. She met several adventurers like herself who intended to make good of their fighting by helping to liberate the ghettos of the swampy kingdom. She learned the basics of the land and the basic operations of the organization that called itself the Myreque, and soon found herself acting as a guide through the swamps for both fleeing refugees and new adventurers wanting to join the fight. She served humanity this way for several months, and while her cause was good, her motives were deceptively insincere. What she truly enjoyed about the work was the danger and the thrill, the rush she got from conquering a massive swamp snake or outsmarting a horde of skeletons. The goodness of her accomplishments barely meant anything.
Anette was leading a little girl through the swamps and took a risk, trying to hasten their trip and get the girl out sooner by taking a more dangerous path that cut straight through the haunted woods. She was come upon by a vyrewatch named Adrijana Vaeyl and, much to Anette's dismay, the vyre had knocked her to the ground, leaving a gash across her chest with its claws before she could even raise her silver sickle to defend herself. She never knew what happened to the little girl, because the world spun around her and went dark.
The next time Anette awoke, she knew instantly that she felt wrong somehow. It was only moments before she realized why, gazing dazedly at the soft little claws growing from her fingers. She was alone, with no explanation or guide, and stuck in a state of delusional confusion. Only one thing stirred her from her distraction, and when it did, it was sharp: two humans were sneaking through the swamp 100 paces ahead, hot arteries throbbing in their necks. She wanted some.
Anette went wild. She assaulted the unsuspecting pair and ripped them to shreds bare-handed, spilling almost as much blood as she sucked out of them. When she finished, not only did she realized that she still wasn't satisfied, but it also dawned on her - slowly but thoroughly - that she did not regret their deaths. They were delicious, they were dead, and she didn't mind. What she was feeling was enthralling and beautiful, and for months now she had been fighting against it. Well, not anymore.
Over the next few months, she plagued the swamps shamelessly, draining victims dry far beyond need and into the realm of gluttony. Her flaxen blond hair even began to grow in pink, saturated by all the blood she sucked into her body and stained her skin with. She shed her given name, Anette du Val, and took on a new identity to match her new life: Aynaet du Marais. No longer was she a peasant girl from the green valleys of Kandarin, but rather, she was a fearsome creature of the night, born in the thick swamps of Morytania. Of course, she would eventually learn that she had a long way to go before she was genuinely fearsome.
Aynaet eventually made her way to Meiyerditch, where her thirst became regulated by the tithes and the vyrelords who she initially resented for their control over her. Even still, she did occasionally find a chance to indulge beyond her allotted measure of blood as a juvenile. It was after spending a year adapting to a new life that she was taken under the wings of an older juvinate and his full-vampyre creator who took pity on her circumstance. She bonded with them over several decades, during which they helped her to adjust to her new body and grow into her own as she developed. It wasn't terribly long before she became a juvinate herself, and was recognized as a formidable monster, at least for her stage of development. She took happily to the merciless standards of the race and never gave up her insatiable thirst, always taking an extra sip or cup or bucket of blood where she could.
Unfortunately, her mentors were both destroyed on the same day by an adventurer working for the Myreque. They were both full vampyres by then, serving as vyrewatch, and found themselves caught at the wrong end of a charged ivandis flail. Aynaet managed to get over the loss without too much trouble - it was a loss of a couple of good friends and some great resources for aiding her growth - but more than anything it left her without ends. She went out looking for some kind of purpose to channel her energy into so she didn't go on another glee-fueled killing spree (which, while it sounded wonderful, was likely to get her in trouble in a bad way) she - ironically - took to seamstress work for the vyrelords. At the very least, this was more interesting than her mother's work, since vampyres often had more macabre, severe tastes for their garments. Nevertheless, she abandoned the trade after about five years, uninthused by the prospect of sewing clothes for a living when it was the very life she had left her family to avoid.
So it was that she searched out a coven to serve, and it didn't take long; the Foryx stood out to her as a group who were worth wasting her time on. She made a point to go through the ins and outs that were required of her to be welcomed into the family's network, and was eventually welcomed into the coven on a sort of trial basis. However, it would still take a long while and the task of proving herself and her loyalty before she was fully inducted.
Initially, she was just a gruntly juvinate who got tossed between superiors for menial tasks and long lookout shifts. She continued to fight with her constant, gnawing cravings for blood and often coped by spending her free time sitting in the Canifis bar, slowly nursing a glass of cheap room-temperature blood for as long as she could manage. She didn't take immediately to relationships with the coven, either; there were very few other juvinates alongside her, and most of the ones who were there were younger by decades and still not very established into the vampyric world.
It didn't help that she was assigned into the service of Lady Arya, who was at the time engaged to Lord Lothorian. Though Aynaet was prepared to serve obediently and properly as the vyrelady's handmaiden, it seemed that the vyrelady herself didn't want anything to do with servants or gentry. The woman was uncomfortable being waited on, which caused Aynaet a great length of conflict, since to neglect Lady Arya's needs would be to defy her coven lord's orders. In addition, the vyrelady had been matured for so long that she could no longer empathize with the plights of a juvinate - there was a day when Aynaet was ordered not to bother with a pungent hoarde of garlic buried under her feet because Arya herself, being matured and immune, was not disturbed by the scent. Eventually, the pair came to the understanding that Lady Arya's wishes were for Aynaet to leave her be, and that any questions would be answered under the premise that Aynaet was fulfilling her duty.
Eventually, she was given her initiation task; the feat she had to successfully perform in order to prove her value to the coven and earn the right to an induction ceremony. Lord Foryx sent her on a misson into the depths of Mort Myre to ally herself with a team of vigilantes with similar interests. She was expected to take a minimum of three targets from those vigilantes and kill all three, and to do so before she next returned.
Much to her pleasure, the task proved to be untrying. Once she managed to find the camp, she was quickly given her first target, and the man was eliminated within the week. She caught him alone in the marshy lands between Canifis and Paterdomus; all it took was a few quiet steps to get into position, and the man was dead before he knew he was in danger.
The second target went similarly, as she found him in a small party of three. The man's two companions were collateral damage, but her target had been hit, and that was what mattered. Ayn was never much of one to feel remorse for the people careless enough to put themselves in harm's way.
The third was more difficult, but still not especially so; she came across a party of a dozen paladins that included the woman who was to be her third hit. The woman was clearly leading the pack, but to Ayn's good fortune, they were on a quiet path and were not on their best guard. She let her body dissolve into juvinate mist and slide low over the ground among the hazy swamp grasses and began to reform next to the woman who was her target. She was unfortunate enough that, at the last moment, one of the paladins in the party realized what was happening and managed to spray her half-mist figure with a bottle of holy water. A painful, acidic burn ate itself into Ayn's shoulder, but the turn of events didn't stop her from thrusting her claws into the back of her target's neck and ripping out a handful of vertebrae. From there, the target fell dead and Ayn's only task was to escape alive. The paladin's had seen her, but it didn't matter; she was racing in the other direction before they could rally their weapons.
Though her feeling of accomplishment was acute, Aynaet did not recieve a speedy congratulations. Her tasks fulfilled, she was thrust straight back into routine life and repetitive sentry duties. She was told that Lord Lothorian and his family, which included two sons and, for a while at least, Lady Arya, had gotten themselves into trouble and that the Foryx needed to lay low. She even came under the suspicion that Lothorian was in hiding, and that meant he would not be free to perform any inductions of any sort.
To pass the time, Aynaet allowed other pressing matters to come to her attention. She was acutely aware that the time for her next evolution into a vyreling was due at any moment, but she was lagging shamefully behind in some of the skills that she was expected to have developed when she became a member of the vyre ranks. Most important on this list was a vyre's ability to perform telepathy with other vampyre-kind, and the related ability of a vyre to telepathically intuit a mortal assailant's next move in combat. In addition to that, she also hadn't managed to develop any semblance of blood or shadow magic, and the lack of these things caused her concern. Lord Lothorian had agreed to be her mentor and Aynaet was initially honored by the offer, but between his duties as a lord, his escapades with Alucard Draculea, and his chronic lapses into hiding, the vyrelord never had time for tutoring a juvinate. So it was that Ayn turned to Hawke Foryx, one of Lord Lothorian's two sons. He offered to give her lessons on the skills she was lacking, and she gratefully accepted. It wasn't too long before she was establishing telepathic connections without any interference and could pass messages clearly with her mind. Vampyric magicks, of course, took a bit longer since they were more alien to her and cannot be easily demonstrated through a connection of the mind, but that is to be expected of any powerful magic.
Aynaet's initiation into the coven did eventually come. It was small and intimate, a private meeting between the juvinate and her Lord. It started with the vyrelord presenting her with a gift of her choosing from his personal armory. She selected a finely crafted shortsword made of a silver-steel alloy, enhanced decoratively by an inlay of shimmering blue daeyalt metal. This sword replaced her battered iron shortsword which was now nearly a century old and in comparably poor condition. From there, the coven lord offered Aynaet a drink from his own vein, and presented a rush of power to her from the magical energy that filled his treasured fountain of blood.
Stricken with the rush of power, she fell to her knees and her evolution from juvinate vampyre into vyre was forced into motion. She spent the next several minutes - or hours, it was difficult to tell - writhing on the ground as all of her bones broke, her joints dissolved, her skin stretched and contracted and reformed itself, and her body took on its final, most magestic shape. Eventually, she managed to regain her consciousness and rise back awkwardly onto her feet, when for the final time she had to get accustomed to a new body.
Now that she had reached her matured form, Aynaet was faced with the reality that her opportunity to start achieving goals was imminent and that the time to pursue them was at hand if she was at all going to see them through before the turn of the millenium. She carefully began to place herself in the face of her superiors more often, but was wary and patient enough not to make herself obvious or trying. She spread her name eagerly between those she encountered, and began to voluntarily take on challenging endeavors more readily. However, since her goal was to grow her own influence and reach for power, she faced the challenge of breaking into a circle of aristocracy that had no interest in her; she was still just a vyreling who had barely familiarized herself with her own wings, and such individuals rarely command the attention of power-weilding vyrelords.
So it was that she went to her coven lord, Lothorian. She presented him with an author that, in theory, would be mutually beneficial. Ayn offered herself as an "intern," of sorts; she would serve as a personal grunt to his aristocratic work, specializing in the tasks specific to the bureaucratic side of his responsibilities and gaining a proficiency with them which surpassed that of regular underlings. In turn, she would gain from him exposure to the vyrelords and name recognition among those who she intended to, one day, call her equals - or even her inferiors. It didn't matter if they spoke about her as a servant in the beginning because, as far as Aynaet was concerned, she was nothing until they were talking about her at all.
However, when she presented this offer to Lord Lothorian, she was turned down in favor of a startling counter-offer. It turned out there was something that the vyrelord wanted more than a special diplomatic handmaiden, and what that was could indisputably help Aynaet achieve her own goals of clawing her way into the aristocratic circle. They came to an agreement, and a new step in Ayn's plan became clear. However, the exact nature of her task will for this moment remain unexplained.
Uncovering New Dangers
Part of the agreement Aynaet had reached with her lord saw her promoted rapidly to the peaks of the vampyric social caste system; in days, she was established as a member of the prestigious vyrewatch, and often was tasked with patrolling the Sanguinesti region and its adjacent Mort Myre. It was during this time that she stumbled across a perplexing new hazard in the swamps, accompanied by a demon known as Torak who was familiar with her coven. She set the toes of her catlike vyre feet onto the ground at the edge of a swampy pond, only to have them begin to sizzle and burn in an alarming and painful way. Aynaet managed to quickly move away from the hazard, but found herself concerned that something unidentified had caused her such acute harm so easily.
With the help of Torak's water magic, she evaluated that something about the scummy pond water had caused the alarming phenomenon and was able to bottle some in a vial. As a member of the 'watch, she recognized that it was her duty to identify and, if possible, eliminate the threat as quickly as she could manage.
Over the next few days, Ayn identified a number of properties about the strange water. It seemed to be thick with what appeared to be normal pond scum, but in the sample vial - and every other sample vial she managed to collect - there were particles settling near the bottom that seemed to shimmer slightly when seen with the dim light of Morytania's twilight. In addition, the substance had an faint but offensive aroma reminiscent of garlic. Most importantly, though, the substance seared her skin violently upon contact and could be found in nearly a dozen of the scummy ponds across Mort Myre and the Haunted Woods, dotted across the expanse of Morytania. It became clear that she needed outside knowledge to figure more out about this fluid.
Eventually, the substance's traits were all evaluated and the aggressive swamp scum was dubbed blood algae.
Living as a Vyrewatch
Reluctantly, Aynaet began to recognize that she was not in a position to advance further in the vampyre hierarchy. She was too young to take power by force, and there were no vyrelords within her reach from whom she could absorb it. She could also tell that Lord Lothorian and his kin, at that point in history, were not going to be useful tools in her endeavor. So it was that she resolved to wait.
Aynaet fell into the background and bade her time. She served as a dutiful guard to the Sanguinesti realms and passed her time with hobbies. When she was not spending time as a seamstress or trying to slake her vicious and still-unrelenting bloodthirst, she took to two new practices. She found a fellow vyrewatch, older than herself, from whom she could learn the basics of suggestion - a very powerful skill mostly unique to vampyrekind's strongest. She began to learn how to wield it, and though she did not do so quickly, nor with mastery, she was taking the first steps.
Furthermore, she began to pursue an experiment. From the ghetto of Meiyerditch, she plucked two slaves - two of the sweetest, with blood she thought to be the most savory and desirable. She stole them away to an old grotto in the myre and trapped their weak bodies there, and she began to nurture them. When not watching over the realm, she brought them nourishment; she brought them meat from the fattest snails, great mushrooms from the swamps, pearfruits and fresh vegetation when she could find them. She set them up with hot fires and made sure they had all the water they needed. She found a set of cards for a human game left in the bar one day at Canifis and brought them to her hidden couple. They were provided with comforts, like fine straw and hair and grass and feathers to stuff into their bedsacks. She even resisted tithing them as often as she could.
It wasn't too long before their skin was a rich, healthy pink, and they began to grow in liveliness. She was pleased with her pets and, though she had to check and re-check their chains and locks more often, it was time to start the next phase of her experiment. She gathered food more carefully. Their diet became rich with swampfruits, particularly a sweet little bulb she found growing in the reeds. Slowly, she worked their food down into nothing but these bulbs, with only as much of anything else that they needed to maintain nutrition. Aynaet strained to recall the rules of the human diet from her childhood centuries before, but with her own intuition and some conveniently disguised chats with human strays, she managed to do alright.
As she expected, before long, Ayn's pets had grown in flavor and quality. Their bloodstreams were tinged by a sweet, syrupy tartness that was thrilling and like no blood she had ever found before. The experiment went on for years, decades. She tried feeding them different diets, ones high in meat and protein, ones with lots of vegetables but no fruits, ones with lots of fresh water or with lots of juices, ones with almost nothing but grains or rich tree bark. She sampled all of the different possibilities and, though she controlled their diets and kept them trapped in a hovel, treated her pets very well. They were kept comfortable and provided with much more than they had ever been given in the ghettos. They were, rarely, allowed short supervised field trips to see their old friends and families, and were even allowed to make requests of Aynaet for entertainment or comfort. (She wouldn't always acknowledge them, but they weren't punished for asking, and sometimes they were rewarded.)
Though the couple did at some point mate and produce two daughters who were kept with the family and its lifestyle, the original pair eventually died and she began to experiment with replacements. She tried her experiment on humans who, at first, had foul and bitter blood, who were already fairly healthy, who were very near death. She tried catching some fresh adventurers, though overall their types were much less worth the trouble, fight, and unruliness, since they tasted the same in the end and, over the years, two of them even managed to escape from her prison and take the others with him. She quickly concluded that it was better to start with humans whose spirits had already broken.
It was 250 years that Ayn kept up this lifestyle, experimenting on humans and staying, growing in strength, in the background. She began to finesse the results of her blood pets, understood well how to care for them, and though she was no master, even used them to practice her budding abilities with the art of suggestion. With the centuries, her gnawing thirst for blood, though she learned better what measured helped her cope, never subsided. Her hair and membrane, which had gone white on the day of her turning and grown pink from blood, slowly deepened into a richer, fuller bloody red. And, though she wondered on occasion, she made no progress towards discovering who the vyre was who first turned her. Still, the feeling in her gut told her that the beautiful creature who was to thank for this gift of strength and immortality was not gone, nor out of reach.
- Aynaet doesn't really have anything in particular against humans. She doesn't mind being cruel to them and she thinks that they are endlessly delicious, but when neither behavior is called for she doesn't mind when they are in her vicinity and might actually be able to cooperate with one without gnawing on his jugular.
- Aynaet often finds herself in the Hair of the Dog nursing a glass of blood very slowly to ease her cravings without violating any boundaries that would disgrace her from her superiors.