Asrai are a race of aquatic, fairie-like creatures who can live for hundreds of years but still resemble young and exquisitely beautiful maidens, with skin that is cold to the touch. Their ideal habitats are watery or icy environments, and they can only appear at night – if they are so much as touched by sunlight it will kill them, leaving only a puddle on the floor. Capture has the same effect – if they are taken as far as their captor’s home (against their will only) they will become nothing more than a puddle. They are mortally afraid of sunlight, but they love to bathe in the light of the moon, especially when it is full. They are very rarely seen, only venturing out from their hiding places every century or so, because of their fear of the sun. They are capable of entering cryogenic sleep, and are able to remain in this state for a hundred years at a time.
Their blood is known to have healing properties: drinking it will cure disease or other forms of internal damage, and applying it to a wound or broken bone will heal the injury, leaving a faint silvery mark for a few days. It is said to taste just like ice cold water. The potency of these powers depend on how much energy the Asrai in question has. Asrai themselves can benefit from this too, with their own wounds automatically healing when they bleed. Giving willingly will not harm them, provided they don’t give too much.
Eye Colour: Her eyes appear as two softly glowing, ethereal white lights.
Hair Colour/Style: Her hair is ice blue, straight and silky smooth, coming down to the base of her shoulder blades. She cares a lot about her hair, so it is always in good condition.
General Appearance: Elva’s skin is steel blue and transparent, cool to the touch, like glass when she is not moving and flowing water when she is. The only place where it isn’t smooth and glossy is the soles of her feet, which are slightly roughened for better grip on icy surfaces. There appears to be some kind of cloudy, star-filled liquid, deep ocean blue in colour, circulating inside her (the ‘stars’ are actually tiny ice crystals, a spontaneously forming manifestation of her power, glowing because of the high concentration of magical energy in them), obscuring her organs and bones. The tiny snowflakes suspended in the liquid are randomly distributed around her body, but form clusters in her hands and feet where the blood flow doesn’t move them around so much, and appear like freckles upon her face. Because of these her whole body can be seen glowing faintly in the dark.
She has a slender, elven face with long, pointed ears (about 5cm longer that a human’s ears) and dainty, fairy-like features. Asrai are generally stunning, and she is no exception. Her eyebrows are thin and gracefully arched, the same ice blue as the rest of her hair, and her lips are a slightly lighter, more opaque shade than the rest of her skin, and appear to be lightly dusted with a fine layer of sparkling frost if they have not had contact with anything for more than a few minutes. Her fingers and toes are webbed, the thin folds of skin that join them almost completely transparent with only a hint of colour.
There is no hair anywhere on her body apart from the hair on her head and her eyebrows. Her body also lacks other features commonly found on humans, such nipples or a navel – her body is completely smooth, like a sculpture that hasn’t yet had its final details added. Her bones are made of a substance almost identical to ice - the only thing that stops them from melting or shattering is the marrow, which contains a permanent store of power that neither she nor anyone else can access, making it as strong as normal bone with the melting point of glass. Her organs and organ systems are also very different from humans’: her digestive system is missing – the only thing she can eat or drink is water, which goes straight from her throat to her blood. Her circulatory system is also different – it is open, like an insect’s, with blood flowing round her body in currents similar to the ones found in the ocean, without the assistance of a heart. Her respiratory system is a bit like her digestive system, with oxygen flowing directly into her bloodstream. She can function without oxygen, which only serves to speed up the conversion of water into extra blood by a barely noticeable amount, so she can spend as long as she wants underwater or any other environment in which she can’t breathe.
Clothes and Armour: She wears no armour, only a simple dress of white, floaty, chiffon-like material draped loosely around her body, from bust to mid-thigh length, which flutters in the slightest breeze.
Powers/Magic/Skills: Elva’s powers are ice-based, like the rest of her, and she can either manipulate water or ice around her, or use the stored magical energy that she draws from being around such things. She can recharge either by drinking water or being immersed in it. To get from her minimum to her full potential she must either drink around 5-7 litres, or be completely submerged in water for about an hour. Cold, fresh water works best, otherwise it can take up to 30 minutes longer. She can also gather energy by being in contact with ice or snow, where the same principles still apply but with a few differences - she would have to be standing on either substance for around two hours. While she is fully charged with power, there appears to be a higher concentration of snowflakes in her blood, and the currents flow more quickly, moving the liquid faster around her body. Using her powers is easier when she is in contact with water or ice, as although these conditions do not affect her strength or skill directly they allow her to constantly recharge, replacing her power as she uses it.
She can use stored energy for a variety of things:
• Icicles - Elva can summon icicles, which she can then use as weapons in combat, either as swords, spears, or knives, either holding or throwing them. Her preferred fighting style is with two roughly 30cm long icicles which she dual-wields like twin knives. Limits: The biggest she can summon while at her maximum power level is around 1 metre long and 8cm in diameter at the base. The icicles she creates have the same appearance and properties as normal ice, and are prone to melting or shattering when they come into contact with heat or hard surfaces. They take about a second per 5cm to form.
• Lashing Hail - Elva can also send a shower of stinging hailstones shooting from her outstretched hand towards a target, which would leave a normal person with many minor cuts and scratches on any area unprotected by clothing. If it is actually raining or snowing, she can use the material falling around her as well. Limits: The most she can muster at full strength is something like 80cm³ of hail, travelling at a similar speed to an arrow from a bow. As with the icicles, this is very much the same as normal hail, and could melt to sleet before it gets there if the air temperature is too high, making the attack more wet and unpleasant than stinging and harmful, and if there is a strong wind it can alter the path of the hail.
• Blizzard – Similar to the hail technique, Elva can create a blizzard around herself and send it out in any direction. It takes the form of a pillar of swirling air, thick with snow, like a mini hurricane. It can be used either as a distraction, to blind her opponent, or to hide herself from view. Limits: At full strength the mini storm can be about 2 metres tall, with a total of 2m³ of snow being blown around inside it. It will keep going for about 3 minutes, before the wind stops and the snow is left in a pile on the ground. The snow can also melt into rain in higher temperatures, or be blown away by another wind.
• Frozen blanket - Elva can freeze the surface of a body of water by touching it and channelling power into it. Not a very useful skill in battle, but she can use it on ground as well if the temperature is low enough and there is enough moisture present (a layer of morning dew or a puddle is enough), to make it smooth and slippery. She doesn’t have too much trouble walking on ice, but most other people would slip and slide. Limits: at full strength it can be up to 15cm thick and 2x2 metres across (when in use on still, cool, fresh water – this technique is not as effective on hot, salty or running water). On the ground the thickness depends how much water there is, while the maximum size is the same. It forms at the same rate as icicles: 5cm per second.
• Cool touch – By channelling enough power into her fingers, she can freeze anything she touches. Frost covers her fingers and hands like a delicate, lacy glove, and forms on anything they come into contact with. Limits: On humans, this is enough to give frostbite at full power, or at least make the area she touches go numb. Frost will not form instantly if the surface she is touching is too hot – she would have to maintain contact long enough to cool it down to a suitable temperature first. The time this takes depends on the surface.
• Frozen mist – By freezing the water droplets in the air around her, Elva can create an icy fog around herself. This can be used to hide herself from an opponent (if it is thick enough), but is otherwise more for show than anything else. Limits: The maximum size of the area she can cover is about 3m², and reaching up to 2m high. The thickness and longevity of the mist depends of how much moisture is in the air, and how cold the air is. The frozen droplets will eventually sink to the ground and settle there. However if it is too hot for them to remain solid for that long, the droplets will simply melt and turn back into water vapour.
• Ice shield - Elva can also create a shield of ice by holding her hand up in front of her, palm facing away, and letting it grow around it. These can either protect her from attacks or be thrown at the opponent. Limits: These shields, at their maximum size, are about I metre tall, 50cm wide and 5cm thick. They can’t block too many attacks before they melt or shatter. They also form at the same rate as icicles, expanding by 5cm per second.
• Snowball – not the most deadly of attacks, but Elva is rather skilled in the art of making and throwing snowballs. She does this by creating and shaping the snow into a ball either with her stored power or by using her hands and snow from the ground, if there is any. Limits: The biggest snowball she can form with her stored energy is about the size of a football (also the maximum weight she can throw), while snowballs handmade from naturally occurring snow vary greatly in size, depending on her patience and the quality/quantity of the snow available.
Side effects: All her magical skills cost a bit of her energy, in the form of her blood. If she uses up too much of it she will become dehydrated, overcome with a raging thirst.
If her body or surroundings are too hot, her powers will be reduced considerably and eventually rendered unusable, regardless of how much energy she currently has stored. Her optimum temperature is 0°C, give or take another 10°C. 20°C is when she starts to feel a slight blockage, and 40°C is when she can no longer use her powers.
When she uses up all her power she will lose consciousness, and whatever glowing crystals remain in her blood will disappear. The flow of her blood will become slow and sluggish, quite hard to see, and she will stop breathing, making her look very dead. The only way to revive her is to return her to water, and wait for her to regain consciousness. This can take up to an hour.
Battle Strengths: Elva is a reasonably fast runner, and intelligent when she needs to be. She has no combat training, but she can deal some painful (though not deadly) blows. She relies on dodging attacks rather than guarding against them, and running away if all else fails. Being able to heal wounds instantly, providing she has the energy, is another advantage.
Battle Weaknesses: She is not the strongest when it comes to unarmed, close range combat, and although she heals quickly, she breaks easily too. Her skin is delicate like a baby’s, easily cut, and although she can heal her wounds she does lose blood when she is hurt, and her blood is her power.
Personality: Elva knows very little about the world, society, and other people’s ways of thinking, having spent so little time out of hiding. Even when she isn’t hidden away she doesn’t really seem to be there in her mind – she comes across as fey and dreamy, lost in her own distant world, where she spends most of her time. She completely lacks self-consciousness, never appearing to be shy or embarrassed, and has no awareness of the significance or consequences of any actions, be they her own or other peoples’. As a result she is unflappable, and her demeanour is instead calm, serene, and oblivious to pretty much everything. She says little, and when she does speak it rarely makes sense.
What she does have are emotions, albeit vague and fleeting ones, and even if she does possess only a very basic understanding of them. She can’t separate or put names to her feelings, for instance she would not know that she was experiencing a specific emotion called ‘fear’ and that the conventional reaction that goes with it would be to flee; only that she wanted to run away and hide. Her emotions never seem to reach the surface, however, either because she doesn’t know how to express them or because she doesn’t see why she needs to. Her demeanour will remain the same: distant, dreamy and un-phased.
She is, in fact, quite perceptive of what other people are feeling, even if she doesn’t know what to do with this information, for instance, to comfort someone who is upset. She sees other people’s emotions as she does her own – she can’t put a name to them but she does see a vague outline of what they are, their raw, basic principles.
Her mind is unbound by the influence of society and other people, meaning she has only her own sense of right and wrong (which is slightly under-developed) governing what she does. She always lets her emotions tell her what to do, believing that they are the core of her being, the foundation of her mind, the one thing that always is and always will be right even when everything else doesn’t make sense.
The strongest instinct she has is the one that tells her never to go near sunlight, which she will always obey without fail.
She will never judge people or label them based on first impressions or stereotypes. She looks at the world as it is, and the few opinions she forms will only last a few seconds before she looks again and sees new things, things she missed before, a completely new, different and fascinating world. She doesn’t realise that other people don’t think the same way as her, and so she will get very confused when their reactions are different from what she is thinking.
She is also very innocent, naïve and gullible, believing anything she is told, and is easily preoccupied by just about anything, which can make it hard to get her attention. She seems to drift around like a strange, otherworldly ghost, without care or purpose.
Elva, like all Asrai, has spent a large number of her years frozen in a cryogenic sleep, deep beneath ice and water. She was born of the ice, deep beneath a frozen lake, one that was home to many Asrai. It is a sleepy community, if anything, with only small groups or individual Asrai waking and surfacing during a full moon to bathe every hundred years or so.
Elva was doing just that one night, when she became hopelessly entangled in something – a fisherman’s net. She was hauled aboard, giving the fisherman the surprise of his life as well as hers, this being her first encounter with a human. The fisherman quickly became smitten with the ethereally beautiful creature he had caught, and decided he wanted to keep her with him forever. Elva was just as intrigued by him, but as his boat touched the shore, the foot of the icy mountains that ringed the lake, the first rays of dawn began to seep into the sky.
Gripped by pure, unrestrained terror, Elva fought to free herself from the net, eventually winning and stumbling as fast as her unused legs could carry her towards the mountains. The fisherman gave chase but she was saved when he caught his foot in the net he had caught her in. The sun had nearly risen by the time she found a cave, where she curled up into a tight ball and waited until the sun set again.
Finally, when it was completely dark outside, she ventured out on shaking legs. She quickly realised she had no idea where the lake was, and instead set off in the wrong direction, wandering for days through ice and snow, seeking shelter when day came and continuing when it was dark again.
She travelled further and further, stopping only for a decade or so of sleep every now and then, and still wanders, seemingly aimlessly, searching for her home.
Very nice! I like this. I have no problems with approving it - but, just as a tip, it might be handy if you add some times to Elva's powers. For instance, how long it takes her shield to fully form (is it a matter of seconds, less, more?). Just something to think about. :3
I look forward to seeing her around the BA, and maybe RP with her!