Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hunter Melise

Hunter Melise is a Milne-Edwards Sifaka, called in the story a "piebald sifaka" or "pied simpony". Her kind normally make their homes in the rainforests on the eastern ranges of the island. She is one of the Queen's Hunters - her profession is to wander Madigaska and hunt down - and kill - any monkeys or monkey sympathizers. She rides a tawny antelope (probably an impala or a springbo, I haven't decided yet) and has a small clan of ringtailed mongooses which she uses to track down and subdue her targets.

Melise was taken into the Hunter Pack as a yearling female and trained in combat - both with and without weapons. When she graduated, she was paired up with another female of the same species, called Cheri. Whilst they were never exactly friends, the two worked well together and were often sent on missions to weed out the monkey vazaha, kill them and bring back their tails. On a solo expedition, she was sent to track down a vervet monkey known as "Chike" (whom you should meet eventually) and stumbled upon Aurelia and Matthieu instead. As soon as she saw Aurelia's big blue eyes, she knew she had located an heir, and sent word out to the Queen. As a Hunter, she has been trained to recognise monkey artefacts and read their words, and she is also able to swim - a rare trait in a lemur.

Melise is a lanky sifaka. Her head is round, her ears very small and tucked close to her head. She has red eyes. Most of her pelt is brownish-black, but a white band of fur wraps around her belly and sides, meeting a thin line of black down her spine. Where the white meets the black, the fur is a dirty-brown. Her tail is black.

Like all Hunters, she is cold and dispassionate, dedicated to her duty and seeming to lack in empathy. She resents being out-ranked by Noir, a mere male, and in his presence resorts to sarcasm and subtle jives. She is in general, sharp tongued and nasty. However, as mocking as her words may be, and as willing as she is to kill for her Queen, she is not sadistic, just efficient.

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