I'm not promising that this will be a Daily Shayara thing. But hey, it might. I'll start off with reposts of character snapshots, then take requests on characters I've not done them for yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, Alanna ni'Tamra, Lishaya ni'Dasaroi (art by haikujaguar).
Freeze-frame on a girl walking into a nightclub, late at night. Not just any girl - this one announces herself with every step. It isn't just her self-consciously-impeccable posture in the too-high boots. It isn't just the arrogance she radiates.
The brace of Hounds surging around her does the trick. Blank-eyed killers collared and leashed, said leashes gathered loosely in her dainty, latex-gloved hand. The other hand carries, coiled, the whip Jeramie gave her when she was fourteen. Her favorite.
So that's the first impact she makes - a girl in a storm of Hounds.
She's Tamrani, and that means no great height - save that which the boots lend her. Her hair belies her House as well, dyed black rather than her natural dark gold. She's clad in skintight black latex - which is normal for this particular club. This is Need. This is the only place Alanna ever goes.
The boots are high, the gloves above the elbow, and the dress molds perfectly to her curves; no wonder that it takes a moment to get to her face. But when one does, one gasps, for Alanna has a porcelain-doll beauty beyond compare, a dizzying allure.
A deliberate glamour that she applies as expertly as she applies her lipstick, her graceful eyeliner. One wonders why, because she is a natural beauty... but to Alanna, it's not enough to be a beauty. She must be the beauty. You must fall on your sword if she declines to dance with you.
She assumes that this is part of what a Lishaya is.
But get past that, the sweetness of parted lips, and look at her eyes. Truly look at them. And you will see the crack in her beauty.
Beneath it all, there is a coldness, a cruelty.
Beneath the glamour... when she looks at you like that, you remember the Purges.
Make this two snapshots.
It's later. About 2 AM. Eddy's playing "Strangelove", because Eddy always plays "Strangelove" 'round 2 AM, like clockwork. (Eddy also plays certain songs to announce regulars, at whim. Kieran cracked up the time Eddy played "The Masochism Tango" for him. One wonders if Alanna noticed what Eddy was playing when she entered earlier - it was "Thieves", by Ministry.) Alanna's been dancing; her hair is damp, especially 'round the nape of her neck, and her mascara and eyeliner are slightly smudged. She's sitting at a table slightly off the dance floor, but not so far off as to be performance space. The Hounds are arrayed around her.
Her posture is careless now, boneless. And it seems that her mask, if mask it was, has slipped. No more forbidding and aloof - Alanna looks almost... lost.
She's looking toward the dance floor. Kieran's dancing with Kelly Tallart. Alanna looks down, then back up, and you wonder if she wishes that was her. If she didn't have to be what she was, she wouldn't have to avoid Kieran - and Kieran wouldn't hate her.
Or, hell, maybe she's just tired.
She looks away from the dance floor, stretching out one leg, and slowly straightens her glove, pulling it up over her elbow. Her hair falls down over her face.
And one of her guards returns with a bottle of water for her - and the mask slides back on, instantly and seamlessly. Posture straightens, face smooths. And she shoots the dancers a look of contempt.