(This is a bit of a mix between a backstory, a character sheet, and miscellaneous information concerning Zanfib Black that I jotted up for about an hour a
day over a few days. I definitely don't consider it a finished product, on the grounds I haven't gone over it with a fine tooth comb and an anal-retentive
OCD complex, and on the simple grounds my characters always remain open to expansion. )
Ah, Zanfib. How wonderfully ignorant and brilliant plans come to amazingly twisted and perfected fruit. To understand him, you must understand his parents. Parents that should have never been parents.
They were a pair of mages, you see, and if anyone ever combined the mass of their egos, the black hole that would erupt would surely swallow our galaxy. How exactly they were able to put down their vanity mirrors and see each other remains a mystery to this very day. How exactly they were able to think of each other past their own, diluted self-improtant views is also baffling. Their decision to have a child is easily explained by gross stupidity. They thought they could produce a perfect mage, a master of the arcane, a powerful spellcaster. You may notice 'happy child' is not to be found in these expectations.
Such came Zanfib, who, for all you harry potter fans.. is a squib. A being who is incapable of magic. Zanfib Black, the family name coming from the ringtail family's distinctive fur coloration, could not use magic, had no inclination for magic, and thanks to his non-parents, would soon come to hate it, mock it, and look down upon all who used it.
They sent him to the best of arcane schools, the tution of which would rival SAIA, oblivious to who they were dealing with, and what they would unleash. Never a touch of love, never warm guidance, never true parenting. Zanfib would never know these things. He knew only expectations, and goals that seemed failures to him. So he went to the schools of magic, where he never learned a single spell. And yet he would learn all manner of power, using the school as an impromptu firing range. He occupied his time cheating on tests, and fouling up their experiments. He became a master of vanishing from class, and yet the teacher would mark him as present. People would argue with him, only to be turned into gibbering fouls. Sometimes, he would even mind-slave people to do ridiculous, silly things. He ruined a professor or two with such nasty games. And yet he never cast a spell. he could even do this while in the midst of an anti-magic field. It baffled everyone in the school, except for one person who knew why.
And it certainately wasn't his parents. No, ignorant egoists that they were, they thought him some new breed of mage. Thank gods the headmaster had an intelligent mind that he actually used. He saw the troublesome and dark-natured ringtail for what he was.
A psion. A master of the mind and the tremendous force that it holds. He was, in essence, a living joke that the universe was having on his parents. He was what all mages played at, using their minds to wrestle with magic, and yet failed to become, which would to use his mind to harness his mind, and the power that it held. He was not a mage, and never would be one.
The headmaster saw this, and had Zanfib sent to a specialized tutor. Someone who would hopefully be able to wrangle the withdrawn and misunderstood being into control.
~~~~~~~~~INTERMISSION! PSIONICS IN FURRAE AND THE GEM DRAGONS!~~~~~~~~~~
Psionics are rare in Furrae, where magic is dominant and technology has only begun to climb, psionics remains a small and secluded power known only to a select few, and wielded by even fewer. There are cubi in the world, who are partially telepathic, for they can read but not send their thoughts. Some members of the insectis race dabble slightly in psionics, but never go far. And mythos are always a toss up. About one out of every hundred of them knows a psionic trick.
But as of this writing, there is only one race in Furrae that is wholly psionic, and that is a reclusive sect of dragons. Known as the Gem Dragons, they are named for their crystal-like scales, and are a race of dragons that have, for generation upon generation until present in which is has become a very part of their blood, forsook the use of magic in favor of mastering the mind. They come in perhaps a dozen varieties, althought it is hard to tell because of their reclusive nature.
Their nature is easy enough to understand. While friendly and sociable enough (they are noted to be very humble in nature, a contrast to many of the mainstream dragons), they have gone through their share of political turmoil and upheaval. Some time ago, the leader and elder of the Gem Dragons, a massive amythist dubbed simply 'Zen', got into a terrible arguement with many of the prominant draconic leaders of the time. While many a conspiracy abounds as to the exact nature of the argument, only a select few facts are actually known. It did not come to blood, but Zen announced his peoples' retreat from draconic society, effectively banishing his people from the dragons, and vice-versa. The Gem Dragons left, every last one of them in an event that will make many an elder wyrm fume in fury.
It is worthy to note that this happened not long before the Dragon/Cubi war. More conspiracies abound, reinforced by the Gem Dragon's open refusal to take part, which was a further affront to the mainstream dragons. And yet there are further rumors, rumors that many cubi survived the war through the aid of strange, psionic entities who never revealed their true selves, and vanished quickly afterwards.
They have been an autonomous, self-sufficent, and hidden society since. In contrast with the current dragon society of the day, they are stable, growing, and maturing. But they remain a secret race, hidden from the world of Furrae. They can do this with ease, due to a number of factors. They prefer to dwell underground, often in a large labyrinth with but a single opening to the surface world. And if they do emerge, they are largely nocturnal, flying low and fast in the cover of night. There is also their psionic prowress to be consider, which can be used to considerable effect in the field of subterfuge. Also, the only race that knows of them truely would be the other dragons, who often react angerly to such questions, and teach all that they are a deranged race of brain eating lizards.
Those that do know them know them to be a friendly, if neutral, and fair people. Due to the Dragon/Cubi War, many tri-wings have secretive connections with these secretive dragons. They keep a loose connection with powers that be, forever remaining in the shadows of the sidelines, content to study their powers in a perpetual pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and it takes a great calamity to draw these powerful, mind-shattering Dragons of Gem from their retreat.
On a more mundane topic, they favor eating giant spiders, and are known to far less greedy than the average dragon. While they may keep a small cache of powerful, psionic items, you won't find them sleeping on beds of gold, no. They find giant mushrooms to be far more comfortable. They are led by a single elder, elected from a particular blood-line, but their position rarely comes into call, for they are mostly a self-governing soceity. One worthy thing to note that seperates them from ordinary dragons is their incredible cohesiveness. Most dragons are arrogant, untrusting, and usually unfriendly along with being quite solitary. Gem Dragons, however, have a collective humble nature, and are willing to give a chance or two within reason. This also extends to their fellows, which makes the entire race like one, massive family. It is suffice to say that if you attack one gem, don't be surprised when two more teleport into its lair.
And such they are. And luckily for one young ringtail, a certain headmaster was acquited with a certain dragon.. One who was the current elder of their race.
~~~~~~~~~~~INTERMISSIONS GIVE YOU CANCER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zanfib was sent, alone, outside of the city's borders. He had been instructed to head to a cave. And although he had probed the headmaster's mind as best he could, he could not figure if this was just some dumb prank to get rid of the obnoxious ringtail. He figured that once again he was shunned, because he was different, and they were perhaps looking down upon him as they always did. He was right in the midst of that train of thought when a voice, strong and echoing, sounded through his mind.
No, young one, not here. You will not be dismissed as strange and inferior, for we are equal. We are one and the same, you and I.
And he looked up, into the mouth of a large cave, right as a draconic head popped out, black-skinned and covered in translucent, sparking purple scales that matched the deep violet of his eyes.
We are psions.
Meet Fazshmere, grandson of Zen, the infamous Gem Dragon from ages past. Now, it would be prudent to note that beyond the psychic training he receieved, this would be one of the few times Zanfib would see Fazshmere act in a serious, professional manner. Ninety percent of the time, he was a whimsical, silly and raving lunatic that would give Lord Ikaarion Daryil a run for his money. Imagine a stupendously powerful psion, infused with the power of draconic blood, and then mix in Dimanika's sense of humor. Meet Fazzylicious.
Although he was a complete opposite personality to the ringtail (and took no small pleasure in harassing Zanfib on these grounds), the dragon taught the budding psion a great deal, and Zanfib continues to return to the dragon's lair from time to time to see if he is ready for the next lesson. It is suffice to say that Fazshmere is one of the few true friends Zanfib has, and truely respects. Even if he is a complete sodding wanker who likes to play 'Gender-Swap Tuesday' with entire towns.
That was more than a few years ago. It's nearly a decade later, and while Fazshmere continues to pop up at the most inopportune times, Zanfib has been on his own for a while now. He's done well, quite well financially, and continues to train and learn as a psion. Although he has managed to come to terms with a few of his many issues, he remains an over-all angry personality, tends to be arrogant, and it doesn't take much to make him snap at someone.
And speaking of his issues, they tie together with his financial success quite well. During some of the duller moments in Fazshmere's care, when he was letting his brain recharge and wasn't attempting to wrangle his way out of Fazshmere's latest prank, Zanfib occupied his time sketching and writing short-stories. When he began applying the discipline and focus of psionic training, this quickly developed in graphically illustrated written novels.
... and then puberty hit, and Zanfib found an all new way to occupy his time and bury his issues.
The introduction of the estrogen-bearing gender into Zanfib's life caused some very subtle yet powerful changes in the ringtail. He found he had a hidden series of talents that the prime and proper would scoff at in public, but envy in private. It didn't take an earth-shattering event for Zanfib to connect the dots.. and start writing (and drawing!) novels of an entirely different nature.
When he started into the porn industry, he did not do it for money or fame, but merely another outlet for his parental origin frustrations. He took up a pen name, toying with his own name to become 'Black Fan Zib', and quietly published a novel. Oddly enough, it was an instant hit, and out of pure curiousity Zanfib continued to produce. The second book was an incredible success and launched Zanfib into an illustrious, if lustful, position as a recognized author.
The third book was an experiement on Zanfib's part. He thought he was just testing the limits of his authoritive ability, but here's the truth. Zanfib is a heterosexual, with deeply buried homosexual tendacies. He'd be bisexual, if only he had had real parents. But, such as the case, the third novel was these buried traits peeking to the surface.
He wrote a novel depicting a homosexual couple in a slice of life setting. While he thought it rather ordinary, it was an instant HIT in gay communities world wide, and was coveted by many, and banned by more than a few! The result was a series of statues being erected for him in those clothing optional cities, and then pen name could not hide him from his fame. Zanfib Black became a whispered name in excited circles.
The fourth book was a return to his roots, and came out as ordinary by his track record. However, in response to the many requests he had been getting, the fifth book was a sequel to the third, and left off promising a third book.. at a massive cliffhanger.
He was promptly canonized as the Patron Saint of Porn, and rumors began to spread he would start making movies soon.
Fans would be left waiting, however, as he finished up a few other novels along the way, launching two more series, one that favored heterosexuals and one that was pretty much a grab bag of all kinds of different tastes. It was his ninth book that netted him a job offer from none other than the cubi clan of Nact'Larn. Nact'Larn herself was counted amoung the thronging group of Black Fan Zib fans, and summoned the ringtail to her chambers.
Being male and attracted to women, Zanfib agreed, and found himself in directorship of a new movie studio. The movie studio was owned and run by the Nact'Larn clan, but under the sole-leadership of the now infamous ringtail. Using the studio, he produced three movies, 2 that were rendations of his novel, and one that was a standalone, netting him even more fame and fortune.
Now Zanfib lives a rather affluent life. A luxurious penthouse, a hover limo with driver (a cubi, Nact'Larn no doubt), and a considerable amount of wealth. He has only been recently working on his tenth book, which shall be the third in the series, something the fans have been waiting for..
And that is Zanfib Black. The most wonderful catastrophe of a person ever to live.
Family - Abhorrible. The schism began to grow impossibly deep when Zanfib started going to Fazshmere instead of magic school. At that point there was basically no contact between them. When Zanfib's career as a graphic porn novelist kicked off, it brought outrage from his family, who attempted to disown him and strip him of his name. Zanfib normally wouldn't have cared, but seeing a chance to irk his fail-parents even further, he fought them in court. And won. Now the Black name belongs to and is distinctly related to porn, lust, and all things naughty.
Gem Dragons - Good! As obnoxious as Fazshmere can be at his time, Zanfib and the elder are on a good pupil/tutor relationship, and Zanfib has had the chance to meet many more gem dragons, and is accepted amoung this secretive species. However, per his loyalty to his mentor, Zanfib would never reveal the secrets of these secretive dragons.
Nact'Larn Clan - Excellent. Zanfib's books are in regular circulation amoung the clan, the infamous leader herself is said to recieve the first printed copy of all his books, along with now being on Zanfib's short list of editors for the books and series. The movies which Mr. Black produced out of her studio have filled Nact'Larn coffers, and rumors now abound that the cubi clan is considering making the being ringtail a permanent member.
Fan Base - Astounding. Ever since his real name became public knowledge, even his arrogant, abrasing persona couldn't keep his fans at bay. He's described as a rebel, a poet, an affluent connissour in the ways of love, and many other things that reinforce his theory that his fan base is completely insane. Ironically enough, the more the ringtail tries to retreat into privacy and drive his fans away, the more they are drawn to him.
General Public - Mixed. Sometimes they're his fans, sometimes they're not. If the ringtail is astoundingly lucky, they don't know him at all.