From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Ahlai [ah-LAY] is a lower echelon demon freed from the depths of hell in exchange for her eternal servitude. Released from her bond to the initial Master, Ahlai set forth on a search that ended in the Rouge Isles. Currently linked to Hellfire Rose, Ahlai lurks aimlessly within the halls of the Midnight Squad's base in Cap au Diable.
Work in progress, friends...
All you could ever wish to know about being/owning/working with or around this specific type of demon can be found here.
However, a point to remember about thralls is that they are made into thralls they are not a species that are born, thus the reactions, abilities, and personalities can be highly varied from thrall to thrall. A thrall might be undyingly loyal in spite of any abuse it may endure or it might nurse a grudge until the moment is ripe to seek vengeance. Thralls, given the opportunity, will also learn and grow if they have the desire.
The thrall had always possessed a certain willful nature about her even during enslavement to her first Master, a flaw that led to many punishments at the hands of the Overseers. However upon her arrival in the Rouge Isles, the thrall was a bit unsure of herself and her surroundings and became more compliant, more obedient and willing...until her strength was regained through the link.
Ahlai is more often the more amiable of the two thralls, though still far from a brilliant conversationalist. She obviously enjoys the company of those she's come to trust, however she's rarely the one to start a conversation, but quick to take one up when offered the chance. Mostly a listener, she is very receptive to the problems of others, however her ability to take action on the behalf of those she listens to is severely limited.
But within her outward patience and calm lies a stubborn streak, a headstrong portion that chafes against direct command. Yet recently this has come into conflict with the very nature of the demon she's become. With the general lack of instruction by her Mistress Ahlai grew bored in her idle weeks.
Recently however, Ahlai has become quite a seperate entity from her Mistress. Granted her loyalty lies unswerving with the succubus, she now seeks out companionship or activities on her own, finding things to pass the time during Rose's increasingly frequent and extended absences.
- Even though Ahlai surrounds herself with books, the thrall oddly avoids the act of reading unless absolutely necessary, and does not write at all even though she possesses the skill.
- Ahlai refuses to have anything to do with technology. She has an intense and abiding mistrust bordering on hatred for all things tech. Especially robots. This dislike of gadgetry extends to the use of the standard 'Comm' device used all over the Isles. Ahlai refuses possession of the small device, declining connection with others, depending on the link as the only form of reliable communication between herself and her Mistress.
- Ahlai knows how to knit. A skill she's gained a fair amount of mastery over since Christmas when Synge presented her with a kit as a present. Thus far she's knitted a knife sheath (gift for Synge), a scarf, and a partial sweater(items lost in the hostel).
Physically the thrall is of a fairly average build and height, however since she's almost constantly crouched whenever in a position of rest, she's constantly assumed to be much shorter and smaller than she actually is. Humanoid in form, she deviates further from the norm primarily in facial features. Marked as a thrall her eyelids and lips are sewn together with crude leather stitching, the surrounding flesh having a dark, unhealthy bruised color. Two tiny black and grey horns peek out from within her dense nest of dark red hair, a wild mane that extends down to just below her hips, as do her long impish ears.
Ahlai dresses in whatever manner of clothing she happens to 'find'. Often scavenging articles from trash cans, laundromats, or among possessions of fellow hostel members. The thrall has pieced together several outfits from her nearly constant shop lifting. Most notably is a red and black scarf taken from Jaime Synge and worn almost constantly despite the season.
Another source of her clothing is simple theft, as the thrall occasionally wanders into the odd thrift shop or even outlet mall, selecting those few articles of clothing that grab her interest. Her inate stealth ability working perfectly to sneak in and out of the building unseen by camera or cop.
Many of the thrall's outfits are inspired by her Mistress or clothing donned by other females observed in the Pocket D or elsewhere. Sometimes outright copying a style as close as possible from her collection of apparel.
Once the link reaches its peak strength, the thrall is once more able to transform into a stronger more fearsome creature much more capable of protecting their master/mistress. In Ahlai's case, this form is almost a photo negative of her typical appearance.
Skin tone darkens to a sooty grey, horns lengthen into wickedly sharp points and her normally small frame bulks out, heavy with muscles. Sharp nails appear as well, transforming both hands and feet into monstrous claws, fitting for the fearsome creature she's become. Oddly enough the thrall also sprouts a pair of sooty and mangled black and crimson wings. Perhaps once they were feathered, but now they're burned almost beyond recognition with only the slightest hints of remaining pinions scattered over the scorched and leathery surface. Most notably however is the disappearance of the dark stitches criss-crossing eyes and lips, the crude bindings gone, temporarily at least, to afford the thrall better perception and communication.
However, this form does draw a great deal more energy from the master/mistress all at once, draining them and leaving them weak and relying quite heavily on the abilities of their servant.
Truly there can be no alliance with a thrall that does not exist also with the Master or Mistress. While acquaintanceships and perhaps even certain familiarity may form, one must never forget that a thrall is a tool bound to another, and subject to the whims of that individual and therefore never really free to form their own alliances.
Hellfire Rose, a succubus and long time resident of the Daemon Consortium, currently holds Ahlai's link and more oddly enough, the loyalty of this highly willful thrall.
The relationship Ahlai has with Rose is much more relaxed than that had with any over her previous Masters, the succubus giving the thrall almost free reign, few true orders, and little direction. And while some thralls might have been disgruntled with such a lax Mistress, Ahlai thrived, finding ways to fill her own time, learning and growing.
Make no mistake, however, the thrall is fiercely loyal to Rose, willing, without thought to protect the succubus by whatever means, against whoever.
More specifically the link between the two, strong as it might be allows for only the flow of energy that the thrall needs to survive. This includes abilities that allow the thrall to know exactly where her Mistress is at any moment, able to trace the flow of energy back to it's origin.
Until recently the thrall along with her Mistress and many other of her acquaintances resided in a hostel for various creatures of magical or supernatural origins called the Daemon Consortium. However as members disbanded and the leaders themselves abandoned the converted Circle of Thorns temple the magics that supplied the crucial energy died, shutting out the few remaining members permanently.
Ghost Widow Patron
Like her Mistress, Ahlai, when presented with the choice of leaders within the Arachnos group chose to follow Ghost Widow. The thrall has no concern for the organization other than the occasional objectives she may complete for them in seeking a distraction. However she does enjoy the knowledge of soul magics shared by the powerful ghost and uses the new abilities taken from that regularly. The ranged abilities are especially helpful, as the thrall no longer needs to chase down her victims.
Vanguard & Oroborous
These organizations and others the thrall is occasionally affiliated with are no more than brief alliances, temporary Masters if you will. Ahlai feels no lasting loyalty to them in any case, merely accepting the challenges they present as opportunities to grow and learn.
Jaime Synge Surprisingly the thrall has formed a lasting companionship with this human despite the several incidents that have occurred between the two. Almost in spite of this Ahlai often goes as far as to seek him out for company in her Mistress' frequent absense.
Helios Pride Even though this being became (at Zibeon's behest) Ahlai's second Master, the female thrall never held the same attachment and fondness for frequently absent Master. His lengthy dissapearances made for little progress in strengthening the link between the two, the bond slowly decaying until the thrall took it upon herself to grow strong enough to shatter the failing connection between them.
The thrall herself never held negative feelings towards Pride, however her current Mistress deeply mistrusts the ambitious entity, these feelings extending form Ahlai's opinions as well.
Nerzana From the very first meeting between these two, there was something about Nerzana that Ahlai didn't exactly trust. The thrall especially didn't trust how close she was with Rose, and after the attack on Zibeon in the hostel, the thinly covered mistrust became open hostility.
Zibeon Perhaps the most notable and most elusive affiliation held by Ahlai is that which she shares with the male thrall, Zibeon. The two rarely interact, however Zibeon, called Zib by most, served under the First Master with Ahlai and subsequently introduced her to the Daemon Consortium and Pride, who soon became her second master.
During a recent altercation this relationship has recently soured (to say the least) and the thralls have not been around one another since. However, this is probably for the best, for Ahlai has sworn to kill the male thrall despite Rose's orders to watch and wait.
A relatively new ability gained since her duration in hell, Ahlai wields this dark energy with a frightening skill that only seems to grow. These abilities fall solidly within the melee range, however the thrall seems to derive a certain satisfaction from being 'up close and personal' with her opposition.
Beyond enhancing her blows with negative energy, Ahlai also possesses the ability to summon tentacles of this same energy forth to ensnare foes, freezing them in place.
This thrall holds a fairly unique ability among her kind, in that she's able to heal herself at an astounding rate, wounds dissapearing within moments of being opened, damage gone almost as it's inflicted. However, this power is quite limited as it seems to have been intended as a means of escape, not truely a means of battling through.
These regenerative properties also seem to give the thrall increased stamina and energy, so she requires less sleep than her male counterpart.
Possessing the same ability as Zibeon, Ahlai's teleportation power is perhaps an echo, being somewhat less powerful and lacking in the range possessed by the other thrall.
However, the functions are mostly the same. Ahlai being able to teleport herself over a distance of a few hundred yards instantaneously, however the thrall has to be able to see her projected arrival point and cannot teleport through solid objects.
She is also able to teleport others to her location, this ability is much stronger with a much greater range than her self-teleport, able to recall individuals (allies) with a known location through solid objects without having to see them directly. However unlike Zibeon, she does not possess the ability to teleport foes at whim.
A novice in this disicpline, she's slowly gaining Mastery over these abilities with the help of her Mistress and the Ghost Widow.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Ahlai carries few things with her, having no need for equipment to tap the energy she needs to perform assigned tasks. However, the thrall does have an obsession with possession of certain items. Odds and ends picked up from here and there legitimately, or, more often than not "found". Those items she typically brought back to the Daemon Consortium hostel and stored in her assigned room until the group slowly died off, leaving the magical barriers and powers that kept the base functioning to fail resulting in the thrall completely losing access to her possessions, her room, and her home.
Until recently this was an accurate description of the thrall's room and cluttered possessions:
The tiny partitioned room, one of many in the dormitories, is filled with the many "treasures" gathered during her time in the Isles. Most notably a large stone gargoyle fills a good portion of the room, the cot shoved up against the far wall to make room for it. Even then the massive piece hardly leaves room for anything else, making it a mystery how the thrall managed to wedge it into place, much less utilize her room which is also cluttered with other bits and pieces. Broken maces, tiaras, clam shells, snakeskins, dried palm fronds peek in and out between the books on the shelves that line the room. The books themselves being an odd collection ranging from worn second hand paper backs to heavy tombs rough with age and pulsing with a faint energy of their own. These latter additions to her personal library are hardly utilized for the knowledge they contain, but merely held in safekeeping, most of them having been taken from among the many libraries kept by the Circle of Thorns.
Currently Ahlai has lost most of her gathered items and knick-knacks, retaining only the few items she carried with her constantly such as her knitting kit, necklaces, trademark scarf, and a few various other small items.
At this point the thrall herself has no concrete understanding of her beginnings.
Only the briefest flashes of memory have even alluded to what manner of creature or being she was before being condemned to the depths of hell. She since the brawl in Orobouros, the thrall has had a good deal of time to reflect, thoughts connecting and leading her to believe that Zibeon himself might somehow be involved in her past.
The only thing she does know for certain is the fact that there was something before. This something has recently come to include two memory fragments uncovered by her Mistress and elaborated upon by Synge's efforts.
The first is a massive book, gilt-edged and hard bound. Hand-written with black ink in a language unrecognizable to the thrall, however with Synge's Wyrd channelling the memory broadened, leading Ahlai to believe that perhaps she wrote in this book, recording a history of some sort with possible collaborators.
The second is the quill pen, a large white plume with a wickedly sharp gold-tipped shaft assumed to be the writing instrument used with the book.
The First Master
Pride & The Daemon Consortium
New Mas- err...Mistress
Conflict and Disbelief
The strife between the two thralls began in a casual trip to Orobouros on one of Rose's many expeditions in pursuit of knowledge with Synge and Zibeon tagging along. Upon arrival to the floating island dimension the male thrall began acting out, muttering seemingly unwarrented slurs and insults at Ahlai. Zibeon's words escalated into a full out attack upon Hellfire Rose which was met by a swift retaliation by the female thrall, having drawn upon that final means of protection and transformed into her fully demonic form.
The scuffle intensified into a full out brawl, complete with the appearance of Zibeon's Master at the time, Zilvas Darkbloom. With her own Mistress injured the female thrall fought hard against the pair but the battle proved to be a stale mate at the end despite the powers seemingly awakened within Zibeon. The stand-off ended abruptly with Synge's assistance, binding the dangerous thrall.
Afterwards, feeling much the failure, Ahlai spent a good deal of time alone, wandering the large, increasingly empty halls of the hostel. Alternately seeking to avoid her male counterpart and plotting his slow and lingering death, she found herself wondering if in fact his words were false. The accusations playing constantly in her head, the thrall scoured her memory for some glimmer that she could use to prove him false. If to no one else but herself.
Yet other problems arose, the obvious decay of the hostel becoming more and more evident, leading eventually to the unceremonious failure of the portal magics that allowed the thrall access, cutting her off from her precious collections of books and piles of 'treasures'.
Ousted from the hostel, both Ahlai and her Mistress have sought occasional refuge in the vast library of the Midnight Squad and with much time on her hands to reflect, Rose has once more started a search for knowledge. This time an inquiry into the whys and hows of Zibeon's behavior in Orobouros.
Questioning Ahlai, the oddly blank portions of the thrall's memories are discovered and with a careful application of Soul Magics perhaps given more potency by the link, the succubus reveals two fragments of memory buried within the darkness. A massive book with a strange, unreadable script and a gold-tipped quill pen. Assuming these clues would trigger a somewhat similar awakening in the female thrall Rose resolves to find this book. Ahlai, herself however is somewhat hesitant in revealing the hidden memories, but as its the wish of her Mistress, she complies.
Encountering Synge among the books of the University in Cap au Diable, the conversation turns to the mysterious tomb of her memories. His assistance is offered and accepted, returning once more to the Midnighters Club. Coming forth with a ratty ship's log, Ahlai's interest is sparked, Synge triggering his abilities to drawing forth more information. The attempt however grows violent when the thrall attempts to break the connection and it ends, as so many of their encounters do with Synge injured and Ahlai shaken by the thread of memory plucked free.