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The biggest event of the season- of the year, even- is the Anniversary Fair, and it is here again! We have a scary story contest. Our plot events are still going strong.


Autumn will be here until December. All of Terrene is cooling by degrees; those in Ashfield scarcely notice because it never truly gets cold there, though they will notice the decreased rains and humidity. Winds pick up, particularly in the southern areas. Ghost types are more common this season.







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 Zahir Das
 Posted: May 9 2017, 05:54 PM


Zahir Das
Zahir's appearance, as his personality, seems as though it varies widely depending on the circumstances that he is in. This is true; it is mostly in the way his body language, his posture, his facial expressions shift fluidly as he needs them to. When he is entirely alone and relaxed, he has a forward-leaning hunch, as though he was literally carrying the world on his back. One thing that does not change, however, is his commitment to hygiene. Being lifelong friends with an adept surgeon has instilled within him the importance of cleanliness. He does his best to remain clean-shaven; he bathes frequently and always carries a bar of soap on him; his nails are kept free of dirt and other debris, and so forth.

The man has a long, rectangular face with rounded, non-threatening features. His eyes are dark, sunken, deep-set; this gives his resting, neutral face a constant expression of worry. They are framed by long, dark eyelashes and unarched, thick yet soft brows. A wide and prominent nose often attracts the stares of the more impolite; it is the most obvious feature of his face. His dark hair is kept short and tidy, and his hairline has barely begun to recede.

He stands just below average at about 5'5", but with a well-proportioned body made fit by years of constant movement and physical labor in the Suffering Universe. His skin is naturally bronze, declaring his mixed ethnicity, and it easily tans to even darker hues. In clothing, he follows the trends, but usually a watered-down version of the trends, typically choosing clothing that is practical and won't make him stick out too much.

Upon his arrival in Terrene, his forehead will be graced with the brand of the hierarchy that accepts him into their fold, and the raised and scarred skin there will remain the rest of his life, declaring that he was received by Beta.

Face Claim / Image Credit: Sacha Dhawan, 24

▣ Intuitive ▣

One of Zahir's few natural talents is for reading situations and, particularly, people. It is almost entirely subconscious; rather than actively observing and analyzing what is happening around him, or taking mental notes on what body language is being displayed, he feels a situation, senses what the big picture is, what the important details are. He senses a person's conscious and even subconscious desires and goals. Often it takes a little trial and error, as obviously he is not perfect in this, but more often than not, Zahir's instincts are on point.

▣ Chameleon; People-Pleaser ▣

Zahir wields his instincts as a tool to allow him to be on just about everyone's good side. He doesn't want to make any enemies whatsoever; ideally, everyone he meets should feel neutral or positively toward him. He doesn't have a lot of shame and will gladly prostrate himself for another if that means getting on their good side; unless, of course, there are others around him who would be displeased with such a show. The more people who like him, the better, because that means there are less people out to get him and more people who will help him and protect him if and when he needs it. He is a social chameleon and will easily blend into any situation and become anything that those around him want him to be.

▣ Complementary ▣

Extending from his need to please everyone around him, Zahir has always found that he has very few goals for himself, other than survival. Therefore, if he finds someone who or some situation which will benefit him and increase his chance of survival, he will adhere himself to them, or to it. He will mold himself to become their extension; what they cannot do, he will force himself to learn to do it. Whatever aid or assistance they require, he will be the one to fulfill their need. The more time he spends with a particular person or in a particular situation, the more this trait applies itself.

▣ Acquiescent ▣

As he does not have any passions, really, other than a passion for remaining alive and for gathering as many resources and friends as possible to further that one goal, Zahir easily acquiesces to others wishes. He has no strong opinions and desires for himself, so when someone else suggests something, he is swift to agree, unless of course that thing contradicts with one of his other traits. So, no, if everyone else was jumping off a cliff to his death, he wouldn't follow suit. Not to say he wouldn't consider it, because... what if they knew something he didn't? He knows he's not the sharpest scalpel on the table.

▣ Subservient ▣

Unsurprisingly, Zahir makes an excellent follower and would, presumably, make for an exceedingly poor leader, if he ever was forced into a situation where he had to lead, delegate, and make decisions for himself and others. He bends to the wishes of those around him, especially those who have an authoritative presence. He is quick to follow orders and has no qualms with being beneath those who are in power, as long as their power extends some sort of benefit to him.

▣ True Neutral ▣

Zahir is definitely Neutrally aligned, and though he has certain traits that lean him toward both Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral, he fits best in the True Neutral alignment. He has no conviction toward upholding either good nor evil; he prefers the world to be good, of course, but he does not feel obligated in the slightest to force the world to be good. He is quite apathetic towards things that do not involve him, so why encourage the world to be a better place if it won't benefit him in the here and now? Additionally, he prefers a structured society as opposed to anarchy, but if there is a law in his way that he knows he can break without getting caught, he will break it without too much fuss. It's all about his survival.

▣ Organized, but Flexible ▣

He is a man with a plan; Zahir is never not planning out his next step. His mind is very organized and he is hardly ever forgetful of things he sees, hears, or otherwise experiences. However, he is not stubborn or strict or overbearing in his planning, nor does he become overly upset if a wrench is thrown into his plans. He'll simply start over and make a new plan.

▣ Self-Effacing; Self-Loathing ▣

"I'm not good enough," and variations thereof are probably the most common thoughts to cross through Zahir's mind. He is obsessed with being prepared, with being able to fulfill the roles given to him, with being able to survive. And yet, he hardly ever feels satisfied with his progress. There is always something more, something further, something else. And he hates himself for not being able to attain his unrealistic expectations of himself.

▣ Paranoid ▣

One of Zahir's most dominating traits is his constant paranoia. It existed before the Suffering, but the Suffering magnified it exponentially. He saw too much gruesome death, and as a man who didn't have many goals before the chaos struck, he became absolutely obsessed with survival. He saw even the most prepared people taken down by the nonsensical disasters that raged around them; he knew that if he took even one misstep, he would be next. Every second that ticked by was another roll of the dice to see if he would survive or not. His paranoia became so much a part of him that, even in the new world, he won't ever be rid of it.

Zahir was the middle child of his parent's seven children; though his parents were kind and well-meaning, they both worked long hours to support their many children, and particularly as the middle child, he was often overlooked and forgotten. While he did not hold this against them, it did much to set the foundation of his personality and it opened the door for certain events to take place in his life.

In his early childhood, he was nearly a perfect student. Though his grades weren't off the charts, he was a good and attentive student, more out of a desire to please his teachers than any real interest in succeeding or learning. However, the theme of his life continued, and his teachers took minimal notice of him: he was not a trouble-maker, nor did he show any signs of being a savant or genius. He was as he always had been: Middling. Average. Always so easy to overlook, though through no real fault of his own and never through any particular malice of those he sought to please.

The first real attention paid to him was not the sort of attention his was hoping for. Bullies were common in middle school settings, and apparently he had come across as an easy target to a few of the older, bigger kids of his grade. It was always something with them. They wanted his lunch. His pocket change. His homework. They didn't like his clothes. They glance he gave them. He knew what it really was; they craved the feeling of being powerful. So he gave them what they wanted, and never resisted the mild beatings. Still, it instilled in him the knowledge that, no matter where he was, there was always a reason to watch his back. He was doing his best with the situation he was in, but in the future, he didn't want to be in any sort of similar situation again. It sowed the seeds of his paranoia.

One day, a savior appeared. Young and fiery, a blur of perfect skin and perfect hair and perfect words and fists that banished the demons that had plagued him, in more ways that one. His bullies certainly never had more than a passing snarky word to offer him after that day. More than that, however, was the realization that someone out there thought that he was worth... something. Her face as it was then was burned into his mind, and even as he aged, and even as he met her time and time again, he was always able to bring to mind the image of the young Arshia, passionate in her defense of him.

Zahir's school experience was much calmer after that incident, though equally as lonely- until his junior year of high school, when to his surprise and hesitant delight discovered that he was sharing a chemistry course with none other than that same Arshia. He recognized her, of course. He was sure he would never forget her face, no matter how much it might change with age. Her sure and bold personality ensured that they became fast friends. He was her puppy, following her around wherever and whenever he could; she never chastised him or pushed him away. All she did was give. She gave her time and companionship and knowledge to him, allowing him to increase his GPA and perform well on tests which eventually allowed him the opportunity to apply to more prestigious colleges. He applied to all the same ones she planned to, of course, as he was immediately smitten with her. Most significantly, however, she gave him friendship and happiness as he hadn't before experienced, despite his efforts.

The year they were apart was lonely, but not as bad as he had anticipated. Though they did not keep in constant contact, he knew of Arshia's post-high school plans, and knew that he would eventually run into her again. And, of course, they did, in university. Once again, Arshia proved to be everything that was good in his life, providing him with more than he had ever hoped to gain from their friendship. She helped him discover his talents, and even suggested the major that he ended up committing to. She helped him with his studies, even for the courses they did not share, as Arshia's intelligence knew no bounds. He often felt guilty, knowing that he could never possibly repay her for all that she had done for him. What was his meager friendship in comparison with the many gifts she had given him? And yet, for some unknown reasons that never failed to baffle him, she never pushed him away.

Unlike Arshia, graduation day was not a day he was looking forward to. Who knew where they would each end up? It seemed like too much to hope for that they would miraculously find jobs in the same city, that they could live in close enough proximity that they could maintain their friendship. He kept his anxieties to himself; he knew Arshia wouldn't dampen her ambitious spirit for anyone or anything, so there was no use wishing that they could stay in university forever. Still, in the back of his mind, he prayed to the universe or whatever deities were out there that fate could conspire to keep them together.

Fate did not let him down.

Their graduation was interrupted as the earth shook and tore itself apart, bringing the stadium full of expectant, eager graduates and their proud family and friends down with it. The metallic tang of shorn steel beams and blood was what he would always remember most about the event; the scent was infused forever into his memories.

He never got used to the smell of blood, despite how constantly he was around it. Arshia became a practicing surgeon faster than anyone would have anticipated; she had the knowledge, and the practical, physical skills came as naturally to her as anything. Zahir had gotten his wish- he was by her side day and night, his business degree thrown to the wayside as he became something more like a trauma nurse, assisting Arshia as she strove to save the world, one dying person at a time. Even from the beginning, she never lost her cool, calm, collected demeanor. She was a pillar of strength for everyone she encountered. Very little good was left in the world as the days, weeks, months dragged on, the world becoming progressively worse, making less and less sense. But Arshia was a steady light in the dark, dark world.

Until she disappeared.

Right before his very eyes, she vanished. They had just finished a surgery, he was helping her clean up, there was a bright flash... and she was gone.

He had lost her, and the world punished him for it.

Time became distorted almost immediately after Arshia vanished. But of course it had- Arshia had been holding his entire world together, so why wouldn't everything succumb into complete and utter chaos and terror as soon as she was gone? The world around him slowed, while he seemed to move so fast. Too fast. He grew hungry, thirsty, tired, suffering from starvation and dehydration before the world could revolve from night to day. They had been tight on resources before, he and Arshia; but now he was consuming them five times faster, while the world produced them five times slower. He experienced years while the world lived through months.

He had always known that he would die a pathetic death. But he'd hoped it wouldn't be so... lonely.

Jani - Central - She/Her

 Posted: Aug 16 2017, 11:31 AM


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