Separate names with a comma.
So. I know there is a name for this, or a source material I poached, but to be honest I have trouble remembering. It might be the memory palace method, it might be something I read on sleeper agents or hypnosis, but here it is. For lack of memory of my former names, I have assigned names to each kintype/former life. These names act as keys. When used, they are meant to slide me more towards the identity of one or the other, so I can control the shifts to some extent and explore whichever kintype I please on command. I have no real "off" key, except for perhaps my name this life, but all I really aimed to do was to heighten my focus on one identity or the other for introspective purposes (and fun, really), and to keep them from bleeding into one another.
To some extent it also works with Teresa, she shoots to the front if someone irl calls her by name. She's decided not to try assigning her former self a name, her reasoning is complicated but sensible enough. Something about how she doesn't really feel reincarnated, more continuing where she left off, and the name culture of her people. She doesn't want to "label herself from years ago like a thing". I suppose it would be akin to dubbing yourself from ten years ago something different.
I was noticeably different in each life though, so giving them pseudonyms works just fine. The names, for the curious, are:
Sesha Aravan, gorgon.
—this name was taken from the names of two characters in the Mahabharata: Sesha the nagaraja, and Aravan the son of Ulupi, a naga princess.
The meaning of Sesha's name, according to Wikipedia:
["Shesha" in Sanskrit texts, especially those relating to mathematical calculation, implies the "remainder" — that which remains when all else ceases to exist.]
Aravan is a patron of transgender communities, among other things.
I also chose these because I am fairly certain there was an 'ah' sound in my real name.
—this name was taken from a couple of Akkadian words warped together and put into a name-like form. It would take me an hour to find the page again, and explain exactly what I did, but I mostly put some battle-oriented words together and made them sound right. The name feels close to right, if not perfect. Š, for the confused, makes a 'sh' sound. So without all the cool squiggles, [ta•ha•ze•ish] works. The I is a long ee sound.
Update on the gorgon situation: hasn't gone away. The gender seems to fluctuate a bit, but that might be influenced by my current gender and sexuality. I did research, and it is possible that male gorgons existed, though the universal issue is that gorgons seem to have misleading sexes, or be intersex. Gorgo Aex seems to display both male and female secondary sex characteristics.
What I'm getting is a feminine male. Silver eyes, pale skin, baby blue hair/snakes though how that works is blurry, and some kind of slim silvery gauntlets with wicked claws, possibly scales beneath the dermis. Dressed well in black and navy, trained in some physical activity with the grace to prove it, with venomous fangs that drop down from the roof of his/my mouth. Eyes don't automatically turn people to stone, but do paralyze, has some sort of hypnotic voice and an unearthly wail. Can talk to/glean information from snakes, especially snakes created from clipped locks of hair.
We'll see if this persists.
So we... I... am experiencing some sort of thing. Past life, kintype, something. Teresa was likely dormant at the time, as the echoes I have lack her voice but not her essence.
Which would be a shocker, considering I'm stuck to you by a magical disaster on a soul-deep level. I was probably in your/our subconscious or something. As feral as your id and not awake enough to cause trouble. Teresa
Right. Anyway. The pieces I have so far:
• possibly a hitman
• lived in a city, or worked in cities
• did not live in ancient greece, more modern
Now, I'm a skeptic, and it might be a character for a potential story manifesting in a very visceral way. I can also see how it might have been influenced by several of my favorite anime characters smooshing together. But the persistent fascination with gorgon characters over the years could also be a clue, just like my dragon fixation was a clue. The snake fascination could be because I'm poisonous, scaly, and sharp-toothed, and Teresa bears even more resemblance than I do to a viper, buuut.... we'll see.
Ahh, alliteration. Anywho, Teresa and I have been negotiating over what our dream house would have inside. I don't really want a dark, fiery bedroom, but that'd be cool for a bathroom. Especially if that means we get a hot tub with colorful lights, and textured tile makes me feel rather comfortable.
So that means I get free reign with the master bath, and hell if I'm not gonna make the most of it. If I can't live in a real volcano, nothing's gonna stop me from making a fake one. Rock walls, textured and arched a bit to look like a proper cave, with divots for candles (and maybe some skulls). Channels in the wall with indirect lighting in oranges and reds to make glowing streams of water that become a nice sink. If we have the heating come from under the floor it'll be even sweeter. An alcove with a few steps up leading to a hot tub with red, orange, and yellow lights underneath. A waterfall shower. Is there a way to get lava lamps built into the walls? Teresa
Dunno. I'd want the toilet hidden by a low wall, and maybe we could add a few stalactites as a sort of screen. And we need a proper light for applying makeup.
One of those big clunky lanterns, like you find in mines. Set that up at the right angle, hide the mirror behind a vine screen. The cabinets for towels and such could have rock-like fronts that you pull out, but blend in with the wall. Teresa
I like that. I'm going to continue the theme you started with the vine screen, and have one or two green floor mats. You know we might slip.
We can negotiate. I want another waterfall, just a decorative one, opposite the sinks, with lights to make it look like lava. Teresa
I don't know if that exists. But they have those ball-shaped fountains, and those look cool.
Maaaybe. What about fiery towels? Teresa
That's more doable, so long as they're huge and fluffy. We can also get gold veins in the walls while we're at it.
Yesss. And the closet door... paint it gold, do it up like a royal vault or something. Teresa
I like. Or a curtain, and the bedroom door can be behind another curtain. Lava themed.
Definitely. And we can put, no NEED to put glow-in-the-dark paint between some of the rocks in the walls. Teresa
I don't think that kind of green would look good with the candles and accent lights. Maybe some on the ceiling, like glow-worms.
Given essentially no memories of day-to-day life to work with, I've decided to analyze ušumgal anatomy to figure out how we hunted. It's a composite creature both similar and very different to lions, some sort of bird of prey, and at least in my subspecies there were reptilian traits, possibly crocodile.
There were no huge differences between the sexes besides the horns, since I don't remember growing any but there clearly were some judging by the carvings I've seen. Ušumgal are also described as one of the three horned species of dragon birthed by Tiamat. However, either the horns replace the 'mane' or it is there in both sexes. A lion's mane, while nobody really knows why it exists besides displays, does function to protect the neck during a fight. I remember my skin being relatively loose or something, and when I shook out (like a dog) the scales around my neck would rattle as a warning. I can't imagine a male doing that, shaking out with those ridiculous horns would be a recipe for disaster.
Next we move on to the forefeet. Also lionlike, and scaly like the entirety of my body, though there was something between the toes to make me silent. Protracting claws, and a dewclaw. Perfect for gripping prey.
The wings... might require a post in their own right. I still don't understand them. Birdlike design, but the 'feathers' are all elongated scales, like fingernails. They were armored like that for a reason, and I can see how it would be effective, but flying... could I have flown high or silently on those wings? I know they were massive, but I wonder... I do get instincts to use them to fight and strike, beating someone away from my side. I don't really remember my colors, so I'm unsure what any kind of display would have looked like.
The hind feet are what give me the real trouble. I'm unsure if it's eagle or owl in the mix, and if either what species, but I have birdlike rear legs and feet with four toes, one facing the rear, and a set of talons. Lion hindlegs are designed for pouncing. Bird legs are designed for gripping prey and perching on branches. I realize my human body has nothing to do with my kintype, but given the strangeness of my toes, the flexibility of my pinky toes in particular, I'm tempted to say it's owl feet on my old body. Given my feline attributes the talons might also protract, but I'm unsure.
I also had a long, scaly tail proportionate to my size.
My head... the eyes were either blue, gold, or green, and likely with secondary eyelids. Exceptional night vision and keen eyesight during the day as well. I imagine my nose was relatively awful, but I had a Jacobsen's Organ in my mouth. My teeth were all ridiculously sharp, to the point that I think they were more crocodilian than leonine. I'm not sure if I had prominent canines. I'm not sure if I had a rough tongue, though I likely did.
Lions tend to attack more with their mouths than their claws, and birds of prey strike the killing blow with their beaks. Crocodiles are well known for using their mouth as the weapon of choice. Given that, I imagine the same for me as an ušumgal. I only have a hard time picturing it because humans fight with their hands.
But again, we come back to the claws. Lion forepaws are designed for walking silently and gripping prey. Owl feet are designed for gripping prey and holding it in flight, as well as branches. They have a special addition in their anatomy that allows for keeping the talons closed without actually clenching their muscles. How accurate their anatomy is to my old body I don't know, but it's my best shot. The only thing I can think of is that whatever my kind hunted was big enough to require four feet specialized to grip, or we needed the forepaws during the kill and the hindlegs to carry prey home... but in all honesty the arrangement of griffin legs makes more sense. Maybe we dropped out of the sky onto the back of larger creatures?
I also have to keep in mind that ušumgal were born, alongside other dangerous beasts, to kill gods. We were very literally built for war against things that could summon storms and create the universe. There wasn't a lot of time for evolution, or trial and error, Tiamat whipped out what she thought would do the job... but those hind feet. No jumping power, just a death grip. I hate to ascribe to the idea that all gods were just massive humans, but maybe if my hind feet grabbed their thighs that would leave my forepaws and teeth free to maul them? But all of that weight on my clenched toes when I rear up...
I'll just have to keep thinking, I suppose. Maybe I'll remember something helpful.
It's... depressing, how they bomb the old sites in Iran and surrounding countries. There aren't many references to my kind. But I've found a few, and I'll keep them here.
I had more crocodile traits, a long scaly tail and a scaly hide, but these are all accurate enough.
My goodness, this is exciting. I get to be social! I have a job, which means money, and coworkers, and making kids happy. It's at an arcade/bowling alley thing, Fast Lanes, and while I'm incredibly nervous because I don't know things like how to change my schedule or call in sick, I'll be busy and that's what matters!
It's also exciting for another reason.
Can everybody say 'feeding grounds'? A bunch of excited, happy people, all in one place, every day. Granted, it's not a discotheque, but it'll do. Not to mention the managers seem nice, so if our sexuality ever gets out I doubt chaos will ensue. Teresa
Teresa and I are just similar enough to avoid detection as a plural system. They may notice mood swings, or confidence shifts, but Teresa will answer to my name on a normal day, so it should be fine. I'm more concerned about making sure I get Halloween night off and making myself some gas money.
I do wish I could get blood, but the dragon's only comfortable asking that of people we know, and we're both too nervous to ask. Teresa
Today was a great day! HouseofChimeras and solarsuntzu came up to visit, a little powwow of the Arkansas kin, and I'm still giddy. Friendly friends. Yay!
Okay I sound like a five year old, but in all honestly I'm ridiculously thrilled about it. Apparently they had fun too, because they're planning to come back. Talking with other plurals was really a relief, Teresa was addressed directly by name and she's a happy camper. I'm so glad we did this. If I keep writing it's just going to be endless gushing about how fantastic this was, so I'll just end it with an emphatic than you on behalf of Teresa and myself to everything that led to today happening. Kinmunity, Discord, etc. I'm so happy, I could dance on a roof. Whee!
Calm down already. Yeah it was fun, I like having them around. Let's hope we can show them a good time next visit too. I'm thinking High Rise and the park-garden? Teresa
Maybe the fountain park, it's on the way. And the pizza place.
Definitely, I want to see their faces. Teresa
So hopefully it'll be just as awesome. I highly recommend trampolines to any flying kin out there!
I really wish humans could withstand the heat of a live volcano. I wish there was a volcano near me. I want to dive into a volcano very badly, I can't remember if it's dark under the surface of the lava or blinding. Probably bright. I miss my claws, I miss sinking them into the rock and feeling the life of it all pulling up my arms and into my heart.
I'm hungry, but humans don't take kindly to having a girl sink her nails into their arm. The earth around here doesn't respond to me, and I can't ask anyone I know for blood. I can't bring myself to grab my dog for something like this, and like hell a fish will work. I should figure out a way to feed before I go crazy. If I'm not careful I'll likely grab my stepbrothers under pretenses of a hug, and my headmate doesn't approve of that. Teresa
Hello all. This is MY chance to put my mark on the map, so to speak. Seeing as my partner is the only one acknowledged in real life, the only places I can be me are this f****** website and her mindscape. Call it cabin fever. She'll insist on editing my language to keep it safe for public consumption, too.
You may call me Teresa. I don't d*** around, so you can always expect the utmost honesty from me if you ask a question. Unless I'm feeling playful, in which case most people tire of my word games rather quickly. I'm trying to socialize better, so four out of five times you can count on me to be straight with you. The other fifth of the time usually involves me talking about a myriad of torture techniques just to hear myself talk. But anyway.
I refer to myself as a demoness because that's easier to say than 'vilified magical entity' or some such. I'm not from around here, like my ušumgal partner. She was dying, I needed to get out of Dodge, so I threw together a binding spell and voila. My soul is stuck to hers, and now no j****** can summon me to do their bidding for some cliché reason. My kind were persecuted and hunted down for use as batteries, for lack of a better term. Maybe generator. Humans overall had next to no magical ability, and my kin were chock full of magical energy. So they would capture and bind us, using rather crude methods and natural energy to link our power to the human in question. That's where warlocks came from. For all intents and purposes, I register as a demon in this world, and many of the tales surrounding demons match me fairly well.
In the mindscape, I'm shaped mostly like a female human, but covered in bright red and russet scales. I have a long, thin tail with a fork at the end, claws, fangs, and yellow cat eyes. My hair is black, long, and a bit coarse due to being antennae-like structures rather than keratin deposits or whatever humans have. My birthplace was a cave system within an active volcano, a kind of city that lived on the pulse of the mountain. Magma and the ocean are the blood of the world, after all. Language is a sacred thing, and we all had public as well as private names to prevent another holding power over us. The exact terms were 'given', 'written' and 'taken' names, 'given' by our parents or society, 'taken' by us to use in friendly company, and 'written' names were what you might call True Names written on our souls. Teresa is a taken name and my partner has seen no need for a given name, and as she's the only one I interact with on a regular basis it doesn't much matter.
I enjoy scaring people and otherwise unnerving them, partially because I am unnerving and partially because it's fun. My only real 'hobby' is writing, but the term is a bit too banal. Writing is a sacred, powerful thing, and the written word is equally important. But I don't do it out of any religious obligation, I just enjoy it.
That said, that's all I can think to write about myself. I'm willing to expand on this. Do people even ask questions on these blog things? Teresa
Alrighty. I wanted to babble about my kintype and figured this was the best place for it! Research is hard because there honestly isn't much information on it, and in addition to that in my previous life I wasn't exactly in this dimension, from what I can tell. Another reality, I'm fairly certain not another planet... my headmate is from the same place and agrees, so.
The reason I can get any kind of information at all here is because apparently the deity figures of my world had business in this one. The first dragons recorded were in Akkadian mythology, or thereabouts. Two primordial gods depicted alternately as dragons or humans created the first gods and monsters, and Tiamat's first... eleven children, I think, were dragons. From there our kind spread across the globe, adapting and migrating. Or so I'm lead to believe from what I've read, and it feels true. The three types (or forefathers?) of horned dragon were called Mušmahhu, Bašmu, and Ušumgallu. You don't actually pronounce the 'u' at the end, so I write it ušumgal. And that is exactly what I am... with a few tweaks.
Ušumgal are described as lion-dragon-demons. To be more accurate, they're leonine with birdlike characteristics, and scales. Like a skink or a saw-scaled viper, they have unusual scales. These scales look enough like feathers that they're depicted as such in carvings and seals. They also have birdlike wings and hind legs, substituting scales for feathers. They have toxic blood and are overall terrifying, aggressive, and physically powerful. They don't breathe fire or anything, but they are venomous. I also had a long reptilian tail.
I've sometimes thought I could see my colors, but I must admit that my dreams and such look like a spilled bag of Skittles and neon lights. I know Teresa's colors, except for her eyes because sometimes they're yellow and sometimes they look white, but I just know I wasn't clay-colored or grey like the carvings.
I remember stone beneath my paws, a carved passage like the inside of a manmade temple. I also remember being bound and injured, but Teresa and I can't decide if that memory is mine or hers. And I remember tearing humans apart, hitting trees during a fight, men with weapons everywhere shouting and holding nets. I think they killed me. I don't know why.
I'd like to expand on my part in the whole thing, but unfortunately she's being territorial so I'll let this be her article. I'm writing the next one, though. Teresa