Nim and Nymue

In colour! ❤

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New sketches

Finished two sketches this weekend! (The bottom one you’ve seen as the hypothetical meeting between Nim and Nymue, I just cleaned it up a bit). I’ll start colouring them soon and explain the other one then. ^-^

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Inspirations

Out of curiosity, I decided to collate a list of my in progress stories, and what initially influenced their creation.  The results are surprising, I have a lot of inspiring dreams! ^-^

Belaya – The first (I can’t even speculate as to what originally inspired her)
Seiya – split out bits from Belaya’s story, unused elements
Tesla – Merlin tv series
Kanna – split out of Seiya’s story
Kazane – Dead or Alive vg, 47 Ronin movie
Ryuzu – split out of Seiya’s story
Milla – dream
Veritas – Expanded from Belaya’s story
Nyssa – detective stories, Locke anime
Sadi – split out of Belaya’s story
Azelie – a ball-jointed doll of mine, dream
Alice – dream
Gabriel – dream
Sephra – Dracula movies, another ball-jointed doll
Elda – dream
Flora – dream
Ruvé – split out from Belaya’s story
Myobi – Tokyo Babylon anime
Clemency – Wonder Woman movie
Nephtalie – Atlantis movie, Myst: Riven vg
Nim – model Nastya Kumarova
Emily – Sailor Moon fanfic
Zeyna – dream, Dead Rising movie
Cerynn – dream
Chiruka – Kdrama Black
Nymue – dream
Nira – dream
Luella – dream
Merope – dream

 

Memory Keeper

I’ve been procrastinating all month from my Nanowrimo novel, watching movies, sketching, writing mini essays.  But I have been making notes for my story of Mnemosyne, the lady who deals in memories.

Her alternate name is officially Nymue now (different enough from Nim I think, and the spelling that Mallory uses in Le Morte D’Arthur), and being an Arthurian character has opened whole new wonderful doors of possibility!  During my research into Nymue in all her incarnations, I have discovered some fascinating facts, and so the outline of my story is slowly coming together.

Here is what may be the first chapter 🙂


 

“Welcome to Favian Pawn Shop.”  Nymue greeted pleasantly, looking up from the fashion magazine she had been flipping through.  It had been a slow day, and she was bored.

“Who’s Favian?”

“I am.  It’s my surname.  Nymue Favian.”

The stranger pretended to peruse her wares for a while.

“I need a loan.  I brought this for collateral.”

They produced a green glass urn from beneath their cloak.

“I trust it’s worth three hundred?”

Nymue nodded, she had a keen eye.  “Yes.  Here, just sign this.  This is your slip.  You have three months.”

“Oh, I assure you, it won’t take that long.”  The stranger said, then slipped out of the shop without a word.

Nymue picked up the urn, examining it from every side.  The glass was hazy with black swirls, like shadows.  She could feel the deep memories attached to the item, and placed it on the shelf as indicated by the number on the ticket.

 

Nymue awoke in the middle of the night.  She thought she heard a sound but though she craned her head to listen, there was nothing there.  She must have been mistaken.

As she stared into the blackness of her bedroom, the thought of the urn returned unbidden.  Try as she might, she could not rid herself of the image of the smoky green glass, concealing the memories within.  A memory she wished to see.  The power of this desire was almost frightening, she had never wanted anything so much in her entire life, all the millennia of years she had been alive.

And so she gathered her robe and lit a lamp, quietly descending the stairs and unlocking the inner door to the shop.  Nymue and her daughter Inogen slept in a loft, and she padded quietly across the wood floor, careful not to wake her.

Nymue placed the lamp on the table and reached for the urn.  The swirling shadows in the glass were even more haunting, and alluring, in the flickering light of the flame.

She hesitated for a moment.  She had a strict policy of not peeking at the memories contained in the objects in her shop until the term of the lien had passed and they were officially in her possession, but she simply couldn’t resist.

She closed her eyes, cradling the urn in her hands, and used her powers to unearth the memory hidden deep within.

‘Pelleas!’

Nymue gasped and her eyes snapped open.  She tightened her grip upon the urn, for fear of dropping it.

The memory was unknown to her and yet deeply, intimately familiar.  Like waking from a half-forgotten dream.

But why had she forgotten..?

Unnerved, she took the urn and stowed it within her purse before going to see the one person who might know.

 

“Leitha!”

A woman emerged, looking somewhat haggard.

“What is it at this hour?  It’s the middle of the night.. Oh.  It’s you, Mnemosyne.”

Nymue nodded to her compatriot.  Where she ruled the domain of memory, Leitha ruled the domain of forgetfulness.

“We need to talk.”

 

Inogen came downstairs, yawning, to open the shop and found a hooded figure standing outside.

“Oh, you startled me!”

“I came for this item.”  The figure handed over the slip.

“Just a moment.”

Inogen disappeared behind the counter, scouring the shelves.

“That’s odd.”  She said, puzzled.  “It doesn’t seem to be here.”

“Is that so?  Then she broke her own rules.  Terribly rude, I must say.”

Inogen turned at the decidedly frosty change in the customer’s tone.

“I’m sure my mother would know, if you would just come back in a little while..”

The stranger’s eyes flashed red beneath their cowl and Inogen was thrown back into the wall, collapsing into a heap.

“Mnemosyne should learn that some memories are best left alone.”

With this chilling statement, the stranger stalked away, tearing the ticket in twain.

 

Nymue returned to the shop shortly after dawn and was shocked to see the destruction which had been wrought.

“Inogen!”  She gasped, running heedlessly through the glass and debris to her daughter’s side.

There was no response, but she was still alive and Nymue breathed a sigh of relief.  It was then that she noticed the ticket fragments upon the carpet.

A chill seized her heart.

“I’m sorry, dearest.. this is all my fault.”  Nymue confessed, regret suffusing her voice.  “But I will make it right.. I swear it.”

 

Nymue set Inogen’s unconscious body upon the bed, then turned to the full length oval mirror in the corner.

She took a deep breath.

Oh myrrour of wonder, polysshed by the devyne, by spirytes of the eyre

In surface of the glass I loke, and summon thee.  Merlyn, heede my call.

Nymue’s sonorous voice rang out, casting her spell upon the mirror.

She could not force him to answer of course, and she held her breath as she waited for a response.

Finally the mirror flickered to life and the visage of her former lover appeared to her, still handsome even after all the years.  The passing of time did little to alter either of their features, but the wisdom of the ages was reflected in his eyes.

“Nymue?”  Merlin said, with suspicion and curiosity mingled.

“It has been many years, Merlin.”

“Yes, you sealed me in a tree for a hundred of them.”  He noted pointedly.

Nymue cringed inwardly.

“What do you want?”

She sighed.

“I’m not sure if you know, but during those years I served Arthur as advisor in your place.”

“I recall hearing something of the sort.”  Merlin nodded.

“While I was in Camelot I fell in love with a young knight named Pelleas.  A mortal.”  She continued.  “He was noble and just.. but for his love I did something which I regret deeply.”

She looked pained and Merlin cocked his head at her.

“What did you do?”

“Before we met, Pelleas had been in love with a haughty princess named Ettara.  She spurned him, even after tricking him into winning her the gold circlet during the Tournament of Youths.  She committed an indiscretion with Gawain, and Pelleas came to realize she was not so pure as he thought.  Some time later we fell in love and were married.. but I could not forgive Ettara for her cruelty.  And so I cursed her.”

Merlin was taken aback.  “You did what?”

“I cast a spell on her so that she would fall deeply in love with Pelleas.  Since his love for her had faded, I wanted her to feel what it was like to suffer, pining for someone who would never return your affections.  I had heard she died of sorrow.. but I was wrong.”

Nymue shook her head, then looked up at Merlin, her green eyes pleading.

“I don’t know how it happened, but Ettara has returned, seeking vengeance.  She attacked Inogen while I was away, and now our daughter will not wake.  I know things have been complicated between us.. but you are the only person I can turn to.  Please, help me, or I am afraid Inogen will die!”

Merlin’s gaze grew somber.

“I do not blame you, Nymue, for what you did so long ago.  I was half mad, you were right to seal me away in that tree.  And even if I harboured some resentment, I would never let our daughter be harmed.  She is innocent.”

He nodded in response to her silent hopeful entreaty, then shimmered, his visage vanishing from the glass, and his real self appearing in the room a minute later, standing before the mirror.

“I will help you, Nymue.  Both to revive our daughter, and in dealing with this witch from our past who has gained some unholy power.”

“Thank you, Merlin.”

She gestured to the bed where Inogen slumbered, unmoving.

Merlin retrieved crystals from his bag – carnelian, emerald, onyx, and ruby – and placed them upon the bedposts.  He then draped a sable blanket across her body.

Oh daughter fayre, by virtue, feythe, hope, and charyte

By your freedom and vertues. To abyde eyer duryng

In th’exemlapyre of devyn boke:

Yn parfyt hele may you be

As he spoke, symbols blazed to life, glittering upon the fine fur.  Light issued from the crystals, forming an X across the bed with two sides joined, like a stylized eternity loop – Dagaz, the rune of illumination, awakening, and the new dawn. Inogen had crossed through a place of darkness and was returning to the warmth of the light.

Nymue may have been the goddess Mnemosyne, but the power of memory was not so practical a gift in this instance.  She had studied the magical arts from her lover Merlin during the days of Arthur, but though she had managed to trap him when he was least suspecting, her sorcery was not so potent as his own.

Merlin finished casting his spell, and the light dissipated.

“Mama..”  Inogen whispered faintly as she stirred upon the bed.

“Thank all the gods!”  Nymue exclaimed and fell to her knees, clasping her daughter’s hand tightly.

Merlin approached and placed his cool palm upon Inogen’s burning forehead.

“She has a fever but that will pass as the evil magic leaves her completely.  She should rest now.”

Nymue nodded as Inogen sighed and drifted off to a peaceful sleep.

“Now we need to discuss what is to be done about this Ettara.”

Nymue nodded reluctantly.

“Yes.  Let me call Leitha, she may be able to shed more light on the matter.  For this all started with a memory I saw, one which was once mine, but that I was made to forget.”

 

 

The Seventh Sign

Someone in a writer’s group posted a question that for some reason made me look up the movie the Seventh Sign. Which I am now watching! Besides being an entertaining movie with Jürgen Prochnow and Demi Moore, it manages to seamlessly combine elements from many different biblical texts. This is not meant to be a religious analysis, merely one from the point of view of a fascinated writer and observer. 🙂

First there are the Seven Seals (which would have been a more fitting title, however it was already used) which were said in the book of Revelation to be portents of the End. The seals themselves are oddly vague, but the results are interesting. Dead fish, hot to the touch, washing up in Haiti. Snow falling on Valdehar, the place which was once called Sodom (ie Sodom and Gomorrah). A river of blood. A red moon.

The basic plot, Abby (Demi Moore) is a pregnant woman who tried to commit suicide last time she miscarried. She rents out the top room of her house to a boarder, Prochnow – who is not explicitly said to be Jesus, but it is implied. He is the one who is running around breaking all the seals, seemingly indifferent to the chaos, and the pain that Abby suffers as each seal is broken.

Abby finds out that the End is coming, after all the Seals are broken.  The Hall of Souls, the Guf, is empty, and the first baby to be born without a soul, her baby, will herald the End. She becomes determined to stop the final seal to break the chain and save the world. She meets a priest sent by the Vatican to investigate the signs, who pledges to help her.

Abby meanwhile is having nightmares, of a Roman soldier with a silver ring who strikes Jesus, who she recognizes as the priest. She also sees herself as a woman who offers Jesus water, but runs away when the soldier asks if she will ‘die for him’.

The Guf referenced in the movie is a word from Judaism (also called the Otzar), the Treasury of Souls, located in the Seventh Heaven where Gabriel would select a soul for a baby about to be born. Prochnow also mentions the folklore that sparrows can see the souls of a newborn descending to Earth.

I have watched this movie numerous times before, and was aware of the Guf being based on a real story, but today I was fascinated to discover that the Roman soldier Cartaphilus and Abby’s past alterego were also based on texts.

Cartaphilus is the name the movie gives to Pontius Pilate’s gatekeeper, the character they ascribe to the legend of the ‘Wandering Jew’, a man who, due to some injury to Jesus, was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. In the movie, it is the priest who wants to hasten the End along so his eternal life will finally be over.

Interesting note: It is also this same ‘Wandering Jew’ legend which the movie Dracula 2000 referenced, making Judas the one who was doomed to live forever, the true identity of Dracula – a notion which years ago greatly inspired the plot of my own story of Dracula, and the seer Sephra who comes to live with him. So i learned something about my own writing today!

As for Abby, in her past life she is meant to be Seraphia, also called Veronica, a brave woman who offered her shawl to Jesus, when he was carrying the cross, to wipe the blood from his face. In some versions she also offered him water or wine but was turned away.

Abby’s quest to find the truth, while being observed silently by Prochnow, is mirrored by that of the priest who is confirming each of the signs which will spell his own salvation. It’s quite a fascinating dichotomy, that the woman meant to save the world has lost her faith, while the one who wants to hasten it, even committing murder, pretends to be a man of God. While Prochnow is resigned to the role he plays and the fate of the world, which Abby is able to avert at the last moment by giving her own life to save her child. The ultimate act of hope.

In a sea of ‘Apocalypse movies’, The Seventh Sign is intelligent and well constructed, without all of the supernatural and demonic theatrics.

Quite an inspiring and uplifting story, despite the tearful ending. *Sniff*

^-^