Nissabella Rose

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Nissabella Rose

Postby Nissabella Rose on April 10th, 2012, 5:27 pm

Nissabella Rose


Season of Fall, Day 18, 492 AV

Physical Description

Light-boned and lissome, Nissabella stands at medium height at 5'5", but seems taller at first glance because of the extraordinarily slender, elongated lines of her fragile Symenestra frame. In fact, her short torso and long, lean arms and legs gives the impression that she is all limbs and no body. This lanky, spindly appearance is only mitigated by the conscious, studied sinuousness and grace with which she carries herself from years of dance training. Her slim hands and feet are tipped with sinister night-black nails, which have been filed into short, sharp claws that for all their delicacy possess a surprising durability and strength.

Tumbling to her narrow waist, her abundant sable-black curls surround a heart-shaped face with wide, prominent cheekbones and a pointed chin. Her features are long and mobile, constantly animated with emotions that flicker across her face like fluttering moths. Though slightly warmer in hue than other Symenestra's, due to the faint dusky undertones inherited from her Benshira surrogate mother, her skin is still translucent enough to show the spidery tracery of grey veins beneath. The sallow pallor of her skin vividly sets off her deep golden eyes, whose rich color shines all the brighter in contrast with the large ink-black pupils at their center. When Nissabella smiles or scowls, her full, pale lips part to reveal long, sharp canine teeth capable of dispensing poison, giving her entire face a startlingly predatory air.

Character Concept

Like many people who choose to make a living out of art, passion flows through Nissabella like blood. She tends to lead more with her heart than with her head in life and is deeply attuned to her senses and emotions, delighting in the gleaming softness of silken fabric, the moonlight-pale glow of an opalgloam, and the play of shadows across a cavern wall. However, hers is a passion tempered by the discipline and self-control bestowed upon her from years of rigorous dance instructors teaching her to master her fear of falling and injury, to smile through pain and weariness, and to make the difficult techniques of Symenestra aerial dance appear effortless and magical. Just as she has trained her muscles not to tremble or give way under strain, Nissabella has also learned not to rush headlong into every situation, but to choose her passions and devote herself to them wholeheartedly.

For Nissabella, the entire world is her stage. She uses gestures and movements as often as words to communicate and loves the look of wonder in an audience member's eyes when she flourishes her silk sashes or performs a gliding leap over empty air. As of yet, Nissabella is only an Egg in the hierarchy of aerial dancers, not even a Spiderling, let alone one of the exalted Weavers. Her teachers have praised her hard work and creativity, however, and she is hopeful of attaining higher status soon. She is extremely proud of being an aerial dancer, believing it to be the most beautiful and outstanding art form ever created. Vain and prone to occasional fits of temper, she might have become an entirely self-absorbed prima donna of a dancer in time, were it not for the other great passion of her life, second only to dancing.

While most Symenestra embrace or at least tolerate the practice of the Harvest, Nissabella is among the small but vocal minority of dissenters known as the Esterians, who oppose the use of surrogates to carry Symenestra children. Sympathizing with the plight of the captives, she fiercely believes that the Harvest is an offense against Viratas' directive to respect all sentient people who bear blood. Even dying to give birth would be preferable to the Harvest's barbarism. This passion steadies the flighty dancer and keeps her feet on the ground. Not only does Nissabella seek to spread awareness of the Esterians' beliefs with her self-composed dance routines, but she also fully intends to follow through with those beliefs by giving birth to her own child and refusing a surrogate when she marries and starts a family, even if it means dying in the process.

Character History

Sired by Vidario Rose, Nissabella emerged into the world amid the death throes of a Benshira woman who served as her surrogate mother, whose name she never learned. Nissabella and her older brother Valdys, born from an Eypharian surrogate mother, were raised by Vidario and his wife Silvara in the shadowy, silken underground city of Kalinor. Nissabella enjoyed a relatively peaceful and comfortable childhood in which her natural talents were nurtured and her desires indulged. From an early age, the young girl was joyous and graceful; her mother claimed that she sang more often than she wept and danced before she could walk. In addition to her regular schooling, her parents enrolled her at age eight at Kalinor's school of aerial dance to join the ranks of those wondrous performers who seemingly soared through the air on wings of silken fabric and staged jaw-dropping, gravity-defying ballets.

Though initially intimidated by the perilous-looking art, Nissabella quickly took to the study of aerial dance and became fascinated with its poses and gestures, the use of fabric swaths as decorative drapery or connective props, and the feats of hanging suspended from minuscule structures or moving fearlessly and effortlessly across empty air. These skills did not come naturally to her, and under her instructors' strict tutelage, Nissabella had to learn discipline and self-control as well as grace and artistry. She rose early every day to practice acrobatics, tumbling, and wall-scaling to improve her flexibility and strength. After regular classes was over, her evenings were spent studying dancing gestures and techniques and memorizing their names, meanings, and the precise movements involved. After she finished regular schooling at age fifteen, Nissabella devoted all her time to developing her skills and creating new dance routines.

Shortly before Nissabella's seventeenth birthday, rumors from the Nest whispered of a new surrogate, a beautiful young Benshira maiden who danced for hours on end and called it prayer to her god. Like many captured surrogates, she prayed for freedom and release, though their prayers rarely managed to reach the ears of the gods from their underground prison. All the rumors grudgingly agreed the Benshira surrogate was a surprisingly skillful and spellbinding dancer, at least for a ground-bound surface dweller. Partly for a lark, but mostly out of curiosity, Nissabella and her fellow dancers persuaded some of the female Symenestra who tended the surrogates to let them take their places for a day, to meet this marvelous dancer. When she first saw the Benshira, Nissabella felt strangely drawn to her, perhaps because the drops of Benshira blood in her veins or simply from her own awareness of her Benshira surrogate mother.

Unlike her fellows dancers, who simply hung back and gawked at the Benshira, Nissabella approached her and tried to strike up a conversation in broken Common. At first, the Benshira surrogate was understandably wary and hostile, but even her rebuffs and Shiber curses could not stanch Nissabella's sincere fascination with her dancing. While her fellows never came back, Nissabella returned to the Nest again and again, feigning interest in the surrogate's health but truly more interested in learning more about the Benshira's various dances. Seeing the Symenestra's attempts to imitate her steps gradually thawed the surrogate's coldness. From correcting her movements, the Benshira unbent enough to teach her the simplest of her people's swirling, sweeping dances. In exchange, Nissabella showed her a little of the aerial dance style. They exchanged advice and instructions in variously accented Common, delighting in the common language of dance and movement. Sometimes, they even laughed together.

Before long, though, the Benshira's burgeoning pregnancy and all the woes that came with her condition prevented her from dancing with Nissabella. The Symenestra continued to visit as often as she could, but all she could do was stand by the surrogate's bed and try to comfort her. Finally, she came to the Nest for another visit, only to discover the Benshira surrogate was nowhere to be found; the girl had been taken to the Place of Purging to give birth. Only then did Nissabella realize how she and the girl had become friends. An agonizing bolt of grief and guilt cleaved her heart when she thought of the Benshira's inevitable suffering and death. A day later, the Benshira girl's corpse was dropped to the cavern floor far below and a mewling baby joined the Symenestra's ranks. Nissabella was the only one who mourned this occasion, for she couldn't shake the certainty that, even though enlarging their population was a worthy endeavor, the horror of using surrogates was too high a price to pay.

From that day forward, spurred by the memory of her Benshira friend, she began to protest the use of surrogates and swore that, once she had her own family, she would carry her own child to term. She even sought out the group of female Symenestra dissenters known as the Esterians, who shared her beliefs and strengthened her resolve. Nissabella continues to practice her aerial dancing and has even begun devising new dance routines that incorporate the surrogates' sorrowful life-stories into their movements. Several of her dances also include elements of Benshira dance, in honor of her deceased friend. Nissabella has encountered considerable ridicule and criticism from her family and friends for her unorthodox ideas, which has been difficult for the young Symenestra. For now, though, she firmly clings to the belief that sympathy and sensitivity, and not scheming, are the better part of strength and survival.

Post Creation

After suffering a mild ankle sprain in the spring of 512 AV, during which she visited the Place of Purging for treatment and met a young doctor whom she more than suspects to be a fellow Esterian, Nissabella has otherwise continued pursuing an aerial dance career with moderate success. Following her recovery, she auditioned for a soloist part in a major production and ended up winning the part, beating out several other aspiring dancers, and catching the eye of Kanasa Curare and Avarys Anthurium. She also lost her heart to the handsome Avarys during the audition, as he partnered her and captivated her with his elegant good looks, superb dancing, and charming compliments.

Apparently, she must have caught some other people's eyes before then or since, for Nissabella received the surprise of her life in the summer when she was chosen to be the Moth Queen for this year's Morning of the Moths. The honor of being chosen for the highly sought-after role delighted the young, vain dancer. However, at the Morning of the Moths festival itself, she and the Ochya were stunned when another young Symenestra dancer, Soraya Orchid, sought to crown herself the Moth Queen on her own authority. Though Nissa's first impulse was to order Soraya thrown in the Sac, the other girl's desperation and willfulness unexpectedly aroused empathy and pity in the Esterian's heart. To everyone's surprise, including her own, Nissabella suggested that she and Soraya both be crowned Moth Queen, which was met with approbation from the audience and even from Nessora Hyacinth, the female co-ruler of Kalinor and a personal hero of Nissabella's. The entire event, though surprising in many ways, turned out to be a triumph for Nissabella, who will never forget officiating over the Morning of the Moths festivities and hearing her name cheered out by the crowd.

Despite her growing fame, however, Nissabella failed to win any other notable parts in subsequent dance productions and still remains a chorus dancer and Egg in the Cobweb dancing school's hierarchy. She more than suspected that this is due to her Esterian beliefs, which she fears she may have shared too freely among her fellow dancers and superiors. As a result, Nissabella strove to keep herself from voicing any further revolutionary or dissenting opinions, even in the face of overwhelming temptation or provocation. However, her Esterian ideals were hardly dispelled, only sublimated into the realm of art, where they can be portrayed in interpretive dance routines that showcase the surrogates' suffering and the Esterians' morality for all to see.


Skill Points Level Acquisition
Dance 35 Competent 25 SP + 10 XP
Acrobatics 35 Competent 15 SP + 10 RB + 10 XP
Weapon: Whip 10 Novice 10 SP
Interrogation 1 Novice 1 XP
Rhetoric 2 Novice 2 XP
Seduction 3 Novice 3 XP

Language Fluency Acquisition
Symenos Fluent SP
Common Basic SP

Lore Acquisition
Lore of Symenestra Culture SP
Lore of Esterian Beliefs SP
Acquaintance: Avarys of the Anthurium Web XP
Acquaintance: Soraya of the Orchid Web XP
Acquaintance: Kanasa of the Curare Web XP
Acquaintance: Luvadros Orthilia XP
Recognizing a Fellow Esterian XP
Combining Different Dance Styles XP
Benshira Dancing XP
Myrriam's Story XP


  • Silken body wrappings in topaz and beryl-yellow
  • Black silken leggings
  • Plain silken undergarments
  • Thin cloak of scarlet silk
  • Black exoskeleton armor
  • Slim-fitting violet dress
  • Thin sandals

  • Pocket of twelve multi-colored sashes (heirloom)
  • Waterskin
  • Silken knapsack
  • Bone comb
  • Wooden brush
  • Soap
  • Fruit Rations (1 Week's worth)
  • Eating knife
  • Flint & Steel

  • Leather whip

Nissabella makes her home inside the single room of a hollowed-out stalactite hanging from Kalinor's ceiling. Thick silk cords connect her home to her parents' house, as well as the home of her brother. Nissabella's room is dominated by a large, hanging hammock with thin sheets and blankets for sleeping. The only other furniture are a table and chairs. Niches along the wall serve as a storage space similar to a chest-of-drawers for her clothing and belongings, and layers of soft, jewel-toned fabric are strewn across the floor like silken rugs.


100 GM SP
-1 Whip
-0.8 Average dress
+359.2 Spring 512 income
-135 Spring 512 living expenses
-135 Summer 512 living expenses
-135 Fall 512 living expenses
+552 Fall 512 income
605.2 GM Total

Thread List

Name Date Players Summary
Genesis Spring 23, 512 AV Luvadros Orthilia Two Esterians meet at the Place of Purging. Esterians always get along, right?
First Steps to the Dance Spring 72, 512 AV Poison Nissabella auditions for a part in a major aerial dance production.
Morning of the Moths Summer 1, 512 AV Poison Nissabella is unexpectedly chosen to become this year's Moth Queen.
A Memorable Performance Fall 31, 512 AV Poison Opening night of the fall dance production.
An Evocative Etude Fall 53, 512 AV Solo Nissabella practices a self-choreographed dance depicting a surrogate's plight.
The Harvest Festival Fall 55, 512 AV Open Nissabella attends the festival of Notok.
A Meeting of Rebels Fall 58, 512 AV Nyela Carum A group of Esterians gather to support each other after the festival of Notok.
Starving Artist Winter 41, 512 AV Avocet Oleander Nissabella encounters an old friend while shopping in the market.

User avatar
Nissabella Rose
Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
Posts: 49
Words: 70825
Joined roleplay: April 10th, 2012, 5:17 pm
Location: Kalinor
Race: Symenestra
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