Friday, August 12, 2011

Mr Mephistopheles

It's been a week now since I introduced you to my Lemurian characters, so it is high time that I put up another one. This fellow has been a character of mine for around 12 years now. His character career started in my ill-fated, go-nowhere novel "Quest for Lemuria" where he co-starred with Astrid and a girl named Kaitlin. When that novel fell flat for the third time, I moved him here, into my "epic lemur novel".

His name is and has always been Mephistopheles.

Mephistopheles is an aye-aye, also referred to as an "aiay". Like all good aye-ayes*, he acts as an advisor, in this case it is to the Queen Ranavalona (you'll meet her tomorrow). His middle finger is slender and bony, the so-called "magic finger". Mephistopheles also claims to have the ability to communicate with Lemures (lemur spirits of the dead) and can fortell the future. This is not entirely accurate and has led him into a bit of trouble, especially when it concerns the existence of Aurelia and the gender of Ranavalona's unborn kit (Rakoto).

After Rakoto's birth and subsequent fostering-out, he becomes the kit's closest acquantince, almost a friend. He educates the kit and develops a fatherly affection for him. He is serious and stern in nature, and does not quite understand humour.

He is a lemur of medium size, with grizzled grey-brown fur, darkening to black around his rump and tail. His belly has a slightly reddish tinge and he has a little tuft of white fur under his chin that extends in a stripe down his belly. His ears are large, dark and hairless. His muzzle is shorter than other lemur species, and his golden eyes, surrounded by paler fur, look larger than they actually are. He sometimes wears a cloak, as some of the diurnal lemurs find his appearance a bit distubring.

(* "Madagascar" reference)

And here's a selection of images of Mephistopheles (and other aye-ayes) from over the years:




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