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Age/Appearance: Amalthea's exact age is completely unknown. Unicorns are immortal; as old as the sea and the sky and endless as the stars. Being one such creature herself, Amalthea has been around for a very long time, perhaps since the beginning, but perhaps not. However, a very recent chain of events has led to her somewhat accidental, but very magical, transformation into the form of a human girl. So now, though still herself, she carries the shape and body of young, mortal woman, appearing to be about eighteen or nineteen years old.

As a human, Amalthea is very beautiful. She is a petite girl, with pale white skin and long, silver-blonde hair. She is graceful, charming and mysterious. Though she appears altogether human at a glance, there are some tell-tell signs of her fantastical nature in the faint silvery-purple star in the center of her forehead (though she can cover it well enough with her hair if need be) and her deep amethyst-coloured eyes, that while beautiful in colour, show no reflection. Sometimes if you look into them, you can see images of a serene and spring-covered forest, or cool blue lakes.

History:Story Information on Wikipedia

Personality: Although they are the same being, Amalthea is strictly the personality of the Unicorn while she is in her human shape. The Unicorn while she is a unicorn, does not have a name, or at least does not have a name that we know or could say. She was given the name Amalthea by the same magician who had turned her into a human, only after the transformation had occurred. As a human girl, Amalthea has a completely different experience in her life than she would have had as her true self. She learns and sees and feels things almost completely different. She even sometimes thinks things differently than she would have as a unicorn. So while the same, she is also slightly different; different enough that in the novel, when she finally does return to her true form, the Unicorn herself says that she will miss Amalthea - the human girl who shared her immortal soul for a short while.

Amalthea has a tendency to be a very quiet girl. She spends a lot of her time, watching things and just sort of...existing. She is not altogether shy, but tends toward being rather aloof. It would not be unusual for those who did not know her well to find her somewhat arrogant. But her arrogance comes strictly from her being a 'unicorn,' and not out of her believing herself to be a better 'person,' than anyone else. Her aloofness and habit of being somewhat reclusive comes from her being so used to solitude for such an unimaginably long time, that she keeps herself distant from most people out of both habit and apprehension. Almost as if she isn't sure how to act around other people, and yet just arrogant enough that she also isn't sure if she cares enough to learn how. Her loneliness however, is far more pungent and sad in her human state. When she was a Unicorn, she never really noticed that she was the only one around - that was simply the way of the world. But as a human, she feels the separation like a wound, but has no experience on how to deal with it. In fact, she does not know or have experience with hiding any of her emotions. So when she is sad or angry or happy, it is very obvious. She wears her heart on her sleeve, so to speak. It should be noted however, that she does not cry. It is believed that as soon as she is human enough to cry, then it is possible that she will become too human to return to back.

Amalthea does not like being human. Even though she rarely, if ever, views herself as one. Not wholeheartedly anyway. Everyone else is human. She is... something else. But the sad truth of things is that she becomes more and more human every day.

On the flip side of this, she also has trouble dealing with having once been a unicorn. The trauma of the change is sometimes too much for her, and her mind just kind of pushes it all back into half-remembered memories and fuzzy dreams. Somewhere in the back of her mind she is always aware of what she is; that she was once a unicorn and that she is on a search for all the others of her kind. But at the same time, the thought isn't always the most prevalent. If a person were to ask her who or what she was, she might actually have a hard time answering them. If she answered that she didn't know, or that she didn't quite remember, but she was sure that she should, she wouldn't be lying. But also, she does not have amnesia. She just simply does not have many human memories to recall - very few human experiences. So on some of her worst days, she can be a little bit confused. And it is entirely understandable, given her circumstance.

At night, she dreams of being a unicorn, and running from a terrifying and monstrous creature called the Red Bull, she dreams of being trapped in burning-cold cages that scream and shrink in on her, she dreams of searching for a her people and fearing she may be the only one alive, she dreams of being chased by harpies and strange faces that do not know her, she dreams of death and old age. She dreams of all of this and then wakes up in the body of a human girl. It's entirely understandable that she is often confused in her own body, because... who wouldn't be?

In her interactions with others, Amalthea is well-spoken; a proper Lady. But at times, she can be surprisingly blunt. And also a little bit pessimistic, taking on a 'well, you're going to die soon anyway, so what is the point' attitude that can be a bit of a downer on occasion. But that only comes out when she is feeling particularly out-of-sorts. Being a human has been a very traumatizing experience for her. She has never before known what mortality feels like. But in her human shape, she is very mortal. She can die. The trauma of this new and terrifying thing overwhelms her quite often. It plagues her nightmares while she sleeps. It makes her feel trapped and useless and confused. That surfaces from time to time, and when it does, she is not above taking it out on others around her. Though, if called on it (though few actually would dare to do so) she would correct her behavior.

Humans, as Amalthea knows, have always thought very highly of themselves - known themselves to be capable of great things, and of being very smart and brave and beautiful. But Amalthea knew humans when they were still grunting and poking things with sticks. They are not as old or as wise or as powerful as a unicorn. They are not even as old and wise and powerful as a tree. Because of this knowledge, Amalthea is a little bit arrogant. Not rudely so. But she has an unusual perspective on things. In her eyes, mankind is still just a collection of children. They are too young and do not live long enough to be of any true importance. To her, flowers are just as important as any human. A horse or a dog or a cat. She could never hurt any of those things. To her they are all precious and beautiful. But she does not believe that humans are entirely justified to be so boastful about their own importance. -- "A rhinoceros is as ugly as a human being, and it too is going to die, but at least it never thinks that it is beautiful."


Sexual Preferences/Orientation:
Amalthea, even as a unicorn has always been quite feminine. Graceful and delicate and soft. But sex was nothing that she ever thought about or considered until she was thrown into a human body, and even then, its a little arguable on how much she takes it into consideration.

Being human is terrifying to Amalthea. She can feel so much more as a human. Fear and anger and pain and joy and love. It's all amplified because humans have always been such emotional and destructive creatures. As a rule, Amalthea has never disliked humans. She has always felt superior to them but that comes more from her separation from them, her immortality and her natural magic than actual distaste. But now that she lives among them, and by many accounts, has nearly become one herself, she has warmed to them a little. As a human, she does feel deeper affection for other humans. Not all of them. But the ones that she has gotten to know. In comparison to how long she has lived, she has had very, very little interaction with many humans, but she does enjoy their company - especially now.

Her understanding of sexuality is loose at best. She understands how it works, more or less. But only to the degree that a child understands it. ("When a boy and a girl love each other very much...") She knows that sex happens, but she never really thinks about it. Sex is something that humans do, and she doesn't often think of herself as being a human.

There is also the issue of physical human contact. In all her life, human or otherwise, she has had very little of it, and the majority of that contact has been with human females; young maidens who would call to her and she would go to them and let them touch her mane and ride on her back, and she would lay her head in their laps while they sang. Most men would not dare touch her. Either as a unicorn, or as a human-shaped unicorn, because it is quietly understood that she cannot be touched by just anyone. Whether it is out of magic or fear, people who encounter her instinctively resist touching her if they are, in fact, the sort of person who should resist it. The only exception to this is people of a certain 'pureness.' Pureness however, does not exclusively mean virginal or feminine. There are men who could touch her, as well as people of varying degrees of sexual experience, but they would have to be a certain kind of person; selfless, righteous, brave, understanding, but most importantly they have to have a certain sense of innocence about them. (And that could mean a variety of things in this, or any world.)

Her lack of experience with the simple act of just being touched - a hand on her shoulder or a comforting hug - lends her to be far more inclined to let women near her. But that does not mean that she has a distinct sexual preference towards them, if at all. She simply would feel more comfortable around them in a physical sense. For instance, it would not be startling for her if a woman wanted to hug her. But she would likely be very uncomfortable if a man wanted to do the same. Archaic as it might be, men, in her eyes, are much more dangerous. She would have to trust a man very much for her to let them touch her. But that does not mean that she would never allow it. If it was the right one, she might even appreciate it; the experience of something new and good. In fact canonically, she does fall in love with a man. So her sexuality, while vastly unexplored, leans more towards heterosexuality.


Powers: Currently, Amalthea's magical ability, though not completely restricted, is significantly suppressed. As a unicorn, we know that she has the power to revive people from the dead, has abilities in protection as well as the ability to make things thrive and flourish. She could even sleigh dragons if she wanted - and has. As a a human, Amalthea has very little access to her magical abilities. She cannot heal with a touch, she cannot protect. And the longer Amalthea remains in human form, the harder it will be for her to become a unicorn again. It is possible that her fate is to lose herself entirely and grow old remembering her days as a unicorn as only a distant, faded dream, and then die.

Her magical ability, while in her human form, is very subtle. Her presence brings a sort of lightness and calm to things; people are a little bit happier and hopeful; gardens and flowers might grow better around her; the weather might seem just a bit better with the winds not so harsh and the rain not so cold. She also might be a little more resistant than others to minor spells and enchantments. Though even as a unicorn she has fallen victim to magic, so clearly she is not immune to it entirely. But these would all be things that happened without her even thinking about it. She cannot use magic consciously.

When it comes to others, if people are not looking for her magical ability, they would likely not even notice its existence. But then again, people who do know to look for it, can quite easily tell what she truly is. Powerful magic users, or non-human creatures, or maybe just a person who truly wants to see a unicorn, all would see her for what she truly is. Even when she is at her most human of selves.

As stated above, and further expanding on the whole ordeal with touching her, there are some legends which say that only maidens may touch a unicorn - all others will see their hands turn to the hoof of a donkey, or the claw of an old hag. These legends have proven to be mostly, if not entirely untrue. For example, her companion, Molly, can touch her quite easily and nothing gruesome has befallen her, and Molly is neither a virgin nor a young girl. But in the case of Amalthea's magician companion, or the haggard old king, neither would so much as dare touch her. Canonically, there is no example given, but I am inclined to believe that... nothing would have actually happened to them, either. Amalthea/The Unicorn is a representation of magic and purity. Those who 'dare not touch,' dare not, because they should not. It's a sort of self-containing magic. Impure creatures are inclined to leave her alone. As a unicorn, this magic is very very powerful. As a human, it is again, very subtle. People who would seek to taint her would feel guilty about it; a strong sense of wrongness or discomfort. Most would avoid touching her altogether, others would at the very least, hesitate.

Also, on the subject of touch, it is possible that if one does touch her, no matter their degree of 'purity,' they would be somehow 'bonded' to her. Not in a strict manner of the term. But there was an instance with a cat, who would not let her pet him, because he did not want to belong to her. He had known that if he had let her pet him, he would have been hers. And cats do not like belonging to someone. There is no reason that this would not apply to any other creature in the world - mankind included. But what that means entirely, could be many different things. Love or friendship or loyalty or devotion or... something else. I think that could be very interesting to explore.

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December 2010

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