Credits
Art: Armorbeast
Song: Ghostflowers ~ Otep


The Brythians are a forgotten peoples whose origins lay among the Gauls of Galatia in the 7th century BCE. They enjoined with the Gamir (aka Cimmerians) invading the empire of Assyria and migrated eastward. At one point, they had conquered and built a city of the dead from those they slaughtered only to meet with misfortune as they found it was easier to conquer than to rule. As conquerors, they began mixing their bloodlines with Semites (who had conquered and absorbed the Sumerians who preceded them) and darker-skinned peoples like those from the Kingdom of Kemet (Egypt).

From the Egyptians, they adopted the worship of cats bringing with them various big cats captured on their travels and, more commonly, domesticated smaller breeds. They would worship the goddess Mafdet, slayer of serpents, in the form of Brid as they intermarried with Continental Celts. They incorporated Mafdet into the Celtic goddess Brig and then integrated with a much older Celtic group calling themselves the Beli Mawr (another name for Belinus) who had a cult devoted to cats.

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They became identified with the war-chief Belgius who successfully invaded Macedonia in 279 BC and the much older Belinus becoming part of the cult that elevated him to the status of godhood. To them, he was Bolgios; the god of lightning, and they were the Host of Belgius later known as the Belgae (aka Fir Bolg, the Men of Lightning). They were among those peoples whose ancestors had constructed megalithic stone structures across Europe before making their way to England and Ireland. They were known for their savagery in battle and their mastery of the spear both as a throwing weapon and as battle stave.

By the time they arrived in Britain, there had emerged a tribe called the Gáe Bolg, a name meaning spear of mortal pain/death (balu-gaisos) and it is from them that the Brythians came top be known. They were known as expert metalsmiths who had learned the skill of making an unbreakable type of sword that would not tarnish or rust. The Brythians would never reveal their secrets of creating this metal even to their fellow Belgae making them seem more like alchemists and witches. They believed, in turn, that they would be given a privileged place among the gods by protecting this secret.

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As their numbers dwindled, they withdrew to a hidden valley that could be more easily defended and their existence became more myth than reality. It was also said of them that their women were more brutal than men as prisoners were turned over to them to be butchered like animals. Pregnant women, in particular, devoured their still-beating hearts in order to pass on their strength to their unborn children. While ruled by men, it was also women who served as the metalsmiths and as priestesses in the Cult of the Cait Sith (aka Faerie Cats).

These Cait Sith were spirits of the dead, more specifically, the spirits of those who worshiped them and became black cats (Cait Sith) themselves when they died.. They had further developed their religious beliefs into worshiping a triple goddess called Aufaniae who intervened on their behalf to protect them. When Arthmaël came to rule the tribe, he took the dark-skinned high priestess of the Cult of Aufaniae as his bride like his father and grandfather before him, leading his people to prosperity until the birth of twin daughters brought prophecies of doom and destruction soon to befall them.

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Given the names Nefertari and Nefertiti, names derived from their Egyptian ancestry, both were beautiful children and only good fortune followed their birth. But trouble did follow the twins because they were both wild by nature and violent in their behavior especially towards one another until one day their caretakers discovered Nefertari feasting upon her sister like a wolf feeding on a fatted calf. Fleeing to escape punishment, Nefertari would live beyond the reach of her people becoming a huntress leaving animals she had killed as gifts of atonement to the less fortunate.

Nefertari also became her peoples' unseen protector as something about her was different than other humans. Then came the foreigners seeking Brythian steel and bringing with them shapeshifters to do their searching for them. With Nefertari away because game had become increasingly scarce during the changing of the seasons, they found the Brythians stronghold. Sensing something amiss, Nefertari returned to find her peoples massacred and set out after those who had wrought this destruction in a rage. One by one she set their captives free while leaving the remains of those she killed ripped apart and their heads tied aloft in trees.

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Setting a trap, a shapeshifter lured Nefertari to a location where they ensnared her in netting and beat her with clubs until rendering her unconscious. She awakened to find herself chained in a cage under heavy guard as a slave whose fate would be to be sold in the ports of Ptolemaic Egypt. Seeing this wild creature and hearing that she had an Egyptian name, she was purchased and resold into the House of Pharoah where she was forced to fight for the amusement of Ptolemy VIII. Living in a pit with his menagerie of big cats, she was treated no different than the animals and killed several of her handlers who got careless with her.

Amazingly, the big cats in the pit with her accepted Nefertari as one of their own and she accepted them as her new family. During one of these fights, Nefertari broke free splashing the blood of her latest victim upon Pharoahs favorite daughter before plunging her clawed hand through the girls chest removing her heart completely in the process. Unfortunately for Nefertari, one of the soldiers protecting the girl rammed a spear through her chest and she fell unconscious. When she came too, Nefertari found she had been flayed alive and tossed back into the pit to be devoured by the hungry big cats.

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Nefertari should have been dead by now having either bled to death or been devoured by her "family" as she would have expected. Instead, the other cats had kept their distance and she felt even greater power as if something ancient had awakened within herself. When Pharoah came to see what was left of her, he saw nothing where at least her bones should have remained. Sending his soldiers into the pit to find her, he saw Nefertari emerge tearing them apart and leaping from the pit coming within inches of reaching him. Pharoahs guards intercepted her sacrificing themselves so that he might escape and she set out after him.

With the palace beset by the big cats set free by her escape, Nefertari realized it would not be long before more soldiers would arrive and that she had to escape. As she sought a way out, she happened upon one of Pharoahs lesser queens sensing immediately she was another of his daughters. Escaping with the young woman as her captive, Nefertari defleshed the girl taking her skin as her own and leaving her for her pursuers to find and think was her. Pharoah would recognize his daughter even without her skin but he would never find Nefertari to exact revenge because of the chaos befalling his kingdom.

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Living many lives over the centuries, Nefertari became well-traveled learning much in all her years. Yet, she would live in the wild for most of this time becoming known by many names all relating to her being a predator. In the 19th century, a family on a big game hunt encountered Nefertari who killed them for killing her animals for pleasure rather than necessity. To her, they were murderers no different than humans killing other humans so that she felt little remorse for what she had done. Having left only the child alive to tell what she had seen, Nefertari thought none would believe the girls' story of seeing her family torn to pieces before her eyes.

Sir Edward Marsh was a man who believed in myths and was known for his adventures. When word reached him of the deaths of his sisters family, Marsh was on his way to begin the hunt for their killer. Any ordinary man might have accepted that his family had been slain by lions as authorities were claiming. But, Marsh had reason to believe what the girl was saying as his sister Aliza had also been defleshed and he had heard of a cat-creature which stole the flesh of humans to appear human itself. In fact, he had brought down such a creature at the point of his rifle and been arrested for murder when it was found to be human like any other.

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He had escaped punishment only because authorities were superstitious enough to believe his story and that of the guides hunting with him. It was enough to teach him that these creatures could be changelings and he needed to catch this one alive to prove he was no fraud. When his expedition successfully tracked her deep into the jungles of Africa, most would not live to tell what they discovered. Marsh had prepared well for this hunt shooting her with enough tranquilizers to literally bring down a full-grown elephant before knocking her unconscious with the butt end of his rifle.

As before, his prize reverted to her human form and he would keep her under heavy sedation to prevent Nefertari from escaping. Returning to civilization, Marsh placed his prize in a heavy, reinforced steel cage and allowed her to regain consciousness. He would discover the woman understood his language and that not only did she look like his sister, she sounded like her also. Explaining herself to him, Marsh became intrigued by the stories Nefertari told to him and fell in love with her on the sea voyage back to Great Britain. When Marsh arrived back in his homeland, he stepped off the ship with his Aliza telling a story about rescuing her.

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None had made the journey with Marsh who had been involved in his expedition and he was able to convince authorities that the skinless woman was obviously not his sister. She was, however, suffering amnesia having suffered greatly at the hands of poachers who were the real cause for the tragic events that befell her. In the coming weeks, Aliza would be placed in an asylum as her experiences had seemingly made her mentally ill. It was while she was in the asylum that Marsh met and won the release of another woman named Rhianna Ellis claiming to have fallen in love while visiting his sister.

No one would ever suspect that Nefertari had been Aliza and none would suspect that she had now traded placed with Rhianna Ellis. Like himself, Ellis was a blueblood whose family had placed her in the asylum because she had become gripped by a murderous desire to kill people. While Nefertari normally killed people or took new skins from the recently dead, she also possessed this ability to exchange skins changing their appearance as well as her own. This would fix another issue as his niece had returned home to be with her mother and had become suspicious that this was not the woman she knew she saw murdered.

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Marsh had always hated his sister as she had been a loathsome woman even his parents were quick to see married to be shed of her. Meanwhile, the family of Rhianna Ellis could not be more pleased that she made such an amazing recovery even if Aliza now seemed to believe she was Rhianna for some reason. Now free to be involved in a relationship together, it was only a matter of months before the two were married. Should anyone question Nefertari on her knowledge about the Ellis family, she would explain that her time in the asylum was the reason she did not remember.

Their passion for one another would also lead Nefertari to begin forgiving the world for what it had done to her and created a desire to atone for what she had done to others. She would learn to be a "proper" lady to better serve her husband as his wife and even took up his interests. As an explorer, Nefertari began searching for her roots becoming an archaeologist and a historian while pursuing an education from private tutors. Using her instincts, Nefertari became an expert on the Belgae and developed an affinity for the nation of Belgium as a result.

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Locating the place where her tribe had met its end, Nefertari discovered that the survivors she rescued had returned to bury their secrets before marrying into other tribes. Nefertari found a cache of weapons which remained as pristine as the day they had been forged and began building a new estate on the land to safeguard it against future development. Bearing the title of Lady Rhianna Ellis Marsh, Sir Edward also called her by Nefertari explaining it was because of her beauty and "Beautiful Queen of Slaughter" because he alone knew her past history and who she really was.

Nefertari intensely loved her husband and, when he died, her loss seemed to attract a mysterious figure to her lurking in the shadows. When he finally revealed himself, he offered to bring her husband back to life and brought a dead dog back to life to prove his ability. Nefertari was no fool and her keen senses alerted her to the evil within this trickster. This mystery man would himself be tricked when Nefertari learned he knew far more about her than she herself knew. She would learn she was Unholy, a creature cursed with true immortality where only the destruction of the world itself would end her existence... and even then, she would be reborn with its rebirth!

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Revealing what he had to her would also, inadvertently, make his own identity known to her. He was the Collector of Lost Souls and he sought to steal from her the very element that made this possible. But, he could not simply take it from her as he had to grant her / her hearts desire and it was promising to resurrect her husband that was his means for doing this. Knowing she was not powerful enough to defeat him on her own, Nefertari lured him to the land where her ancestors were buried in order to summon their spirits to aid her. Others would also come to her aid calling themselves the Unforgiven and defeated the Collector using their combined powers.

Building a modern forge capable of achieving the extreme heat needed to rework a sword created by her ancestors, Nefertari created bladed finger armor. These nearly indestructible, razored weapons would serve as her claws as she developed the identity of Black Manx after a breed of domestic cat born without a tail. Using enchantments and primitive alchemy known to her ancestors, she infused her bones with this same metal making them almost unbreakable. Nefertari then joined the Unforgiven seeing in them a way to redeem herself further as she had learned that it was not just this world, but a series of worlds where her path had been a much darker one.

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As a socialite, Nefertari continues to use the identity of Lady Rhianna Ellis Marsh uncaring that people know her now as Black Manx and to honor her husbands' memory. They never had children of their own because Sir Edward had suffered a fever early in life that almost took his life and which left him sterile as a result. They adopted children who would be raised by other families with them overseeing they were well cared for, a tradition she would continue in his memory. To her way of thinking, it was now her human persona that was a mask allowing her to do good works through her generosity... and it was her identity as Black Manx that was her true identity.

Nefertari's professional life is as a fashion model who moonlights as a cat burglar because she loves stealing "pretty things" which seems to stem from her love of tomb raiding. Her vast knowledge of history and human nature aids her in these endeavors while often returning items that possess more than monetary value. Most she steals from she'll make charitable donations in their name to compensate them for their loss. Others she steals from have things to hide so they don't report the theft and some of these she steals from to return the items to their true owners. Although she likes to play the role of "sex kitten", she's no dumb blond and anyone getting on her bad side will discover she possesses an extremely violent side with no fear of killing if need be.

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Powers & Attributes

Black Manx is a shapeshifter in that she perfectly copies the look and sound of anyone whose skin she's wearing. Because she did not learn of her powers or that she was Unholy until after she had been "skinned", her immortal form lacks its own natural outer layer of flesh. Because her blood flows through this skin, it has certain abilities to heal but will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Nefertari has learned how to control the pigmentation of her skin and hair to change its color or to add elements like freckles, birthmarks, and even tattoos. As Black Manx, her skin becomes gray with striping she learned from another Unholy was because she had been a Drow (a dark elf) in one of her many incarnations on a planet called Ava'Larra.

To change the actual shape of her flesh, Nefertari needs a new skin and seeks out bodies that will be pleasing in their original form. This is the form it gives her unless she chooses to return to a previous form to please her admirers at the cost that it's a far more painful experience. Using the same enchantments on her claws that she used on her bones, her claws can become like liquid metal so they can be absorbed into her hands. The metal in her body has an organic quality making it non-magnetic and she can summon some of it externally to form a thin, veneer exo-skin for added protection.

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Nefertari can also assume a more muscular "werecat" form where her strength is greatly magnified as is her angrier, more violent side. Her ability to control cats manifested at an early age and her fondness for felines lead her to surround herself with them often joking that she's just a "crazy old cat lady". Nefertari prefers to fight barehanded with only her teeth and claws to rip and tear possessing fighting skills learned over the centuries. Her body is lithe and flexible like a cat with spring-like reflexes. Like all the Unholy and Unforgiven, Black Manx possesses markings in the form

Like all the Unholy & Unforgiven, Black Manx has a spirit beast. These are markings in the form of animals either real or fantasy on their bodies and that manifest externally as real creatures. Hers is a black panther which has the ability to perfectly blend itself with shadows known as a Paindeal (for which she's also known as Pain Dealer). She can also manifest this in the form of smaller "shadowcats" formed from darkling energy moving through solid objects like ghosts. Other than as companions and extensions of herself, she rarely uses them for battle because she can be harmed if they are harmed if only by causing her sharp, stabbing pain.

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Personal Information ~
  • Real Name ~ Nefertari (aka Lady Rhianna Ellis Marsh) // Marital Status ~ Single/Widowed // Children ~ None Known To Be Surviving
  • Date of Birth ~ August 14th 1750 BC // Place of Birth ~ Britain
  • Race / Ethnicity ~ Caucasian // Gender ~ Female // Occupation ~ Fashion Model, Entrepreneur, Cat Burglar
  • Hair ~ white / black // Eyes ~ green // Height ~ 6ft 2in // Body Type ~ Slim / Muscular
  • Group Affiliation ~ The Unforgiven
  • Classification ~ Antihero, Shapeshifter// Legal Status ~ Fugitive
  • Relatives ~ Unnamed
  • Strength Level ~ Class 2 // Endurance ~ Class 5
  • Known Aliases ~ Black Platinum, Pain Dealer, // Citizenship ~ Multinational