Name: Zephira Acotas (Short:
Zeph) 'Zephira' is a name with a Greek origin, meaning 'Strong
Wind'. 'Acotas' has a native American origin, and it means 'Group
Age: She's seventeen winters
old, so seventeen years.
Sex: Female, but not acting
like a 'proper woman' should.
our world she would be called a feminist. She doesn't hide the
fact that she strongly disagrees with the image of a stereotype
woman, that they should always be ladylike and well-mannered,
stay at home, take care of the household and be subordinate to
can be really stubborn and she always wants to do things her own
way, even if she knows deep inside that another way could be
better, for her or for the results. That has as a consequence
that she is very tenacious and determined, so she won't quit
something she started nor back away from a
can, however, be very sweet too. To people she likes or loves she
sometimes shows her soft side, though not very often. She's
learned to harden against most external influences (for the
reason, see her past), though that wasn't the way she was
supposed to be. Zeph can be described as a diamond in the
That has as a result that she doesn't like to
show weakness, hides her feelings most of the time and never
talks about them to anyone. When she's sad, she doesn't cry. As
far as her memory goes, she has never cried in ever since her
brother said goodbye to her before joining the
Zeph is an early adult (and again: for the
reason, see past), even though the child she was never fully able
to be still hides in the corners of her heart and is bound to
slip out now and then. She never just looks at her surroundings,
she absorbs them into her mind, just like a child would do. She
knows, however, that the heavy burden of responsibility rests on
her shoulders, so she has to push her younger self back. She's
serious most of the time, but she likes to laugh and joke around
when she has spare time, which is sadly very rare.
can become furious when someone insults her or her loved ones,
and she has a sharp tongue when she is. When fighting, she often
says something in the heat of the moment that she regrets later,
but she mostly apologizes after the discussion.
When afraid, Zeph does her best not to show it
to anyone. She also doesn't show when she's impressed, unless she
chooses to. She has a very good pokerface.
the moments she's truly happy, her eyes soften and a tiny smile
lingers on her lips. The remains of her emotional defense stay
standing, but she breaks through. Just like the sun breaks
through the clouds after days of a monotonous grey
might give the impression she's reserved and cold, but only to
people who don't know her. It is very hard to get to know her,
since she flinches away a little from deepening relationships
(I'll explain the reason in
Even though she might seem like a little of an
ice princess to outsiders, Zeph tries to do her best to be polite
and kind to other people.
Zeph is a general sized woman, about five and a
halve feet long. She's slim built and doesn't have prominent
curves , but she's muscled, due to hunting, running, working hard
at home and working in the stables of the royal
wears her light brown hair in a knot or a loose ponytail, so it
doesn't hang in her eyes while she's working and it doesn't
bother her. When the sun shines brightly, it might seem like her
hair has a golden aspect hidden in it. Normally, it just hangs
straight, no curls or waves to detect. That fact would bother a
lot of girly girls in the village and in the palace, but not
Zeph. It's just hair, not important, is her
eyes are very dark of color, almost black but with a hint of
brown in them. Speckles of gold are spread over the darkness.
They can capture light and make Zeph's eyes almost
mouth is thin and rosy, like the heart of a cherry blossom. Her
nose is rounded, not pointed.
has long legs and long arms, which is an advantage while riding
and taking care of horses.
skin is sunburnt, a soft caramel color, as a side effect of her
work outside. Together with the sun, freckles decorate her nose
and cheeks. Freckles are considered a sign of poorness, and
people who have them are generally seen as unwealthy, if not
pover. But again does Zeph not care. No one who works in the
stables could be expected to be rich, could they?
palms of her hands are covered with callus, just like her size-8
feet. Her nails are neglected and bitten.
Zeph doesn't like make-up and never wears it.
She thinks it's dumb and only necessary for dolls without brains.
From her feministic point of view, make-up is invented to appeal
and pleasure men. Like women were paintings made out of meat,
begging to be bought on the market.
clothes she usually wears are a loose shirt with long or short
sleeves, depending on the time of the year, a woolen sweater when
it's cold, thin shoes and woolen or cotton socks, again depending
on the time of the year. To the great exasperation of the ladies
in the palace, she also wears riding breeches or sweatpants all
the time. The riding breeches cause the most indignation, because
proper ladies must ride in sidesaddle and wear a dress. Another
disregard for Zeph. In the winter season, she wears a bonnet and
mittens in addition to her usual outfit.
Zeph doesn't really have the time to get
hobbies, but of one hobby she has made her job: horse riding.
Since she was a child, she had a deep fascination for horses. Not
in the way spoiled courtly girls admired them, all girly and
dreamingly, but in a reality-stuck way. Those girls never thought
one second about cleaning out stinking stables or brushing horses
until their expensive clothes were covered with hair. But Zeph
did all those things happily if it meant that the horse she took
care of was happy too.
Another thing Zeph likes to do is shooting with
her bow and arrows. The pleasure of hunting with those doesn't
come near the feeling of being busy with the horses, but she
likes it very much. The feeling of stretching the arrow back and
feeling every single muscle, not only of her arms but of her
stomach and her shoulders also, working and experiencing the
smallest amount of pain is amazing. Then letting the arrow go and
flow through the air faster than the eye could follow is even
mentioned, Zeph is good with horses. But not the usual 'good'.
She can sense the feelings of horses, and sometimes even their
thoughts. Horse thoughts aren't the same as human ones, more
disorganized and instinctive. They don't think with words, but
with senses and images. Zeph can choose to say things in their
minds, like orders or appeasements. They will listen to her and
they trust her unconditionally, but when the horses are panicking
they shut their minds and exclude Zeph out of them. They have no
control over that.
Zeph is also a great archer, as that's what she
likes to do. She had to hunt for her family before she went to
work in the stables of the palace, and then she used her bow. Her
aim is very good: she can pierce an apple on the head of another
person from a distance of 350 feet. Since her arms are so muscled
from all the work in the stables and at home, it's easy for her
to shoot fast and far.
Another ability of Zeph is that she's very
quick. Her body is slim, and that allows her to move fast and
precise. She can also hide in small spots and enter places many
other people can't.
She's very smart too. Not book smart, but she's
innovative and good in making connections between events. She has
an attentive and alert nature, and not many things escape her
noting. So sometimes she notes too much and gets into
likes her hobbies, horse riding and archery. Especially horse
riding is her passion: she adores the feeling of freedom when
galloping through a field, only the horse and her, wind in their
freedom is another big like for her. When a door closes, she gets
a little nervous, no matter how hard she tries to suppress the
feeling. Her doorway to the world outside, her freedom, is cut
away from her and that makes that a feeling of uneasiness sprouts
in her stomach.
likes the wind, as did her mother. Her name fits her personality:
a strong wind. It doesn't decrease or be ignored easily, and it's
strong and steady. It carries small things, like a few leaves or
a few pieces of people's hearts.
loves the smell of vanilla. When the wind comes from the south
and travel further north, it brings the sweet and overwhelming
scent of vanilla with it. In addition to that, she likes all
things with vanilla in them: vanilla cookies, cake, or other
baked goods,and orchids. Orchids are her favorite flowers, since
they have that delicious smell.
also has a strong love for her family and friends, even if she
does rarely show it. They know, but sometimes it irritates them
that she acts so distant most of the time.
Zeph dislikes lying people. She can't stand if
someone's being dishonest to her or anyone in particular. What's
the point of lying when it usually doesn't lead to any good and
is discovered anyway? Another reason why she loves horses: they
never lie - unlike humans.
Sycophants are also detested by her. They're
like slipping snails on the feet of mighty people, sticking to
them. Then they turn into parasites when the person has
accomplished something. It was like they didn't have a life on
Zeph hates small places. Even though she's small
and could hide in them, she has a kind of claustrophobia. Humans
aren't made to be locked up in cages or rooms, they're supposed
to run around in meadows and forests and fields and
Another dislike would be chicory. The bitter
taste of that vegetable makes her gag, if not vomit. Zeph doesn't
understand how in the world people could get that through their
throats, it's disgusting!
as I told you before, she also doesn't like make-up (for the
reasons, see General looks).
Zeph was born on the fourteenth of August, when
the days start to cool down. Her mother, Ariana, died by giving
her birth, which was very common in those areas and time. Her
father, Melanion, couldn't handle the dead of his true love and
became permanently drunk.
Because Melanion didn't take care of his baby
daughter, Zeph's older brother Lux did. Then Lux was only 8 years
old. He fed her and played with her and hummed lullabies for her
when she couldn't sleep. He told her stories and made her laugh
when she was sad.
the years passed by, and Lux taught Zeph how to shoot with a bow
and work with a knife, how to hunt, how to ride a horse. He
taught her all things he considered important, even taking care
of the household. The young Zeph was already convinced that not
only women should clean, do the laundry and cook, but out of
respect for her brother she reluctantly agreed to clean the
house, because Lux had to work on the fields of their small farm,
and her father was in no condition to do anything else than drink
When Zeph turned ten, the King's men knocked on
the door of their small house. They demanded Lux to join the
army, as was expected from every young man over 17 years old. No
discussion was allowed, so Lux had to pack his bags immediately
and leave his parental house, on his way to the war that ran
across the frontiers of the country. When saying goodbye to Zeph,
he gave her a delicate earring. He had worn it for years, in his
left ear. It had been their mom's: one had gone with her in her
grave, and the younger Lux had impulsively taken the other one.
Now he gave it to Zeph. He told her to always wear it, and asked
her to please keep thinking about him, not to forget him. He
promised to send her letters from the camp.
late summer turned to autumn, and then to winter. Occasionally, a
letter would arrive, addressed to Zeph. From Lux. She never found
a single letter to her father, only a P.S. in hers. "Tell Dad I
said Hi." Nothing more, but then again, Zeph didn't know if her
father would be able to read it anyway. There had been no
improvement in his behavior. He was still drunk every second of
every day, and didn't even bother to come out of his bed anymore.
The only reason his room didn't smell like the ass of a pig was
the cleaning Zeph did. The only reason he wasn't dead was the
food Zeph brought him. But he never thanked her. He probably
never even thought about it.
Zeph had taken the responsibility of running the
farm. She worked on the fields, she hunted for food and she still
managed to clean up the house. Her childhood was taken from her,
and the usual desires of a ten-year-old were being pushed deep
into the corners of her heart and her mind.
the winter of the same year, another letter was found in their
hallway, but it didn't come from Lux or anyone else that could be
expected to send Zeph and her father letters. It was from the
King's men. In the letter was told that Lux had perished in
battle. The words were cold and distant, black on white, no
feeling attached. But Zeph's world collapsed. Her brother, the
only one she ever cared about, was gone. Gone! His joyful
laughter, his capturing way of telling stories, his patience when
he taught her something new, his warm gaze when he looked at her
- all that was gone too! And she would never, never, see him - or
all those things - again.
When Zeph came to that realization, her heart
stopped beating for a while. And then broke forever. The
unhealable crack that had found his way to her most vital organ
hurt for years, and still hasn't stopped hurting.
Even though her heart - and her mind, too - were
irreparably damaged, not a single salt teardrop escaped Zeph's
eyes. She just sat on the hallway floor, unmoving and still as a
statue. On the outside it might have seemed like she didn't feel
a thing, but on the inside, she was feeling too much. The agony
that flamed up her chest was unbearable, and her mind was
indescribably miserable. Her emotions weighed on her like tons of
water on the bottom of the ocean. But after sitting there for a
while, she got up, laid the devilish letter on the kitchen table
as she passed by and started to clean up the house while wearing
a pokerface. That she was still only ten years old, didn't mean
she couldn't be strong.
never told her dad a thing about Lux's death. She didn't know why
exactly, but he probably hadn't even noticed Lux had joined the
army. Besides, she had never gotten even the slightest feeling
her father might care about his children. All he seemed to notice
in his life were his bottles and his drunk dreams.
Zeph's life carried on as it always had, now only with a hell
load of pain resting on her heart. Every time she noticed
something funny or a little mood lifting - and that wasn't very
often -, she had to think about her lost brother, and what he
would think of it. Her light pleasure immediately faded when she
pictured him laughing loudly, his head thrown
That was why Zeph always flinched away from
deepening relationships: she had loved her brother so much, and
then he had left her. As a ten-year-old, she had made the
connection between loving and pain. So if she never loved anyone
again, they couldn't hurt her anymore. She never thought the
loving and caring about someone could be worth the pain of
Five painful years later, nothing had changed
much; Not her father, not the farm, not her work and not the
agony over Lux. One day in mid-spring, she found her father lying
in his bed, not moving and not breathing. Dead. Involuntary, she
thought about how he didn't look very different dead from alive.
Zeph didn't feel much over Melanion's passing away, only relief
that she didn't have to clean his hellhole anymore, and maybe a
little pity. He had obviously cared a lot about his wife, only he
had not been able to handle the loss of her. Of course, she was
doing much better to her own opinion. Only later Zeph would
understand that pushing her feelings away hadn't been that much
greater a solution.
decided her father had died of his addiction to alcohol. As a
goodbye to him at his funeral, she whispered that he should tell
Lux she said 'Hi'.
knew her life at the farm had ended. Without her father, she
wouldn't be allowed to live there on her own, a fifteen-year-old
girl. That was the reason she sold it, farm animals included, and
went to the village to search a job. The only things she took
with her were some clothes, food, what was left of money and the
earring Lux had given her. And also her favorite horse, named
Indigo is a grey-with-black horse, something
that isn't seen often in those areas. He is a sanguine stallion,
and he had the strangest clear blue eyes. Thence his name,
Zeph didn't really expect to find work in the
village. Most people didn't have enough money to pay someone, and
the few who had weren't looking for a dirty, plain girl that
didn't have experience with anything but farming and hunting. But
by lack of a better plan, she could always go beg for money on
for once in her life, she was lucky. Only afterthree days, she
came across a kind old lady who recommended her to go to the
royal palace. She told Zeph there would always be a place for a
small girl like her.
With a spark of hope in her heart, Zeph made her
way to the palace. She had no idea what she would like to do as a
job, but she guessed being a maid would be okay. In the palace -
and around it - there was a rule about 'men's work' and 'women's
work', as it was called. Men could work as counselors,
supervisors, inspectors, soldiers, attendants, butlers, body
guards, and many other things. Women were allowed to work as
maids, cooks, escorts, laundresses, seamstresses, cleaning
ladies, and stuff like that. To her regret, being stable master
or one of his apprentices was 'men's work'.
that was just the one thing she really wanted to
When arriving at the castle, she was redirected
to the chief over the woman's work, a firm, middle-aged woman.
Zeph was rejected for the job of maid, and every other job at the
palace for that matter, because she accidentally tripped over one
of the chief's cats. The look on her face had made Zeph suspect
that the woman would hold grievance against her for the rest of
Disappointed and discouraged, Zeph made her way
to the gate to go back to the village, until she suddenly
stopped. She smelled… horses. She looked to her right, and she
saw an enormous building - well, enormous for her, since she
never saw anything bigger than a regular house. That must be the
stables. She debated to herself whether or not to go inside, but
the go-inside side of her mind won, so she did.
While walking past the separate boxes, she
admired every single horse she passed. They all had shiny hair
and twinkling eyes, a sign that they were taken care of very
well. Almost all of the horses there had a royal pedigree. These
were quality horses.
While mesmerizing,Zeph thought about her brother
once again. Wouldn't Lux have thought this was wonderful as well?
He had shared her love for horses, and had been equally as
fanatic about it as she was. A sharp jab of pain raced through
her chest, but Zeph was used to it. Every single time she thought
about what Lux would think, what Lux would do, or anything
involving Lux at all, she braced herself against the familiar
thoughts were interrupted by the loud voice of a young man that
asked what she was doing. She didn't answer. The sudden voice had
scared her stiff. Then the man approached, examining the way she
was leaning against a sorrel. Zeph guessed his age was around
twenty years, his handsome features still youthful. Then he
looked her in the eyes, detecting her anxiety. The man told her
not to be afraid, and that he was impressed by the way she could
approach this horse. It was one of the most temperamental horses
in his stable, so he said, and the only one who the horse allowed
to come closer than a few feet, was him. Until now. Then he
repeated his previous question about the reason of her being
Zeph told him about that she had wanted to get a
job here, but that the chief of the woman's work disliked
man, who apparently was the stable master - which was very odd
because he still was quite young for such a job - stayed quiet
for a moment, and then told her he might know a solution for her
'solution' was that Zeph should disguise herself into a boy, and
then he would agree to hire her - him - because he saw her bond
with that horse. He didn't know how she did it, or what she did
exactly, but he knew there was something.
plan works, and Zeph is allowed to work in the stables. She has
to follow the orders the stable master, Viggo, gives
Mother - Ariana *Last Name
died right after giving birth to Zeph, at the age of 26
Father - Melanion Acotas
'Melanion' is also a name of Greek origin, like
Zeph's, meaning 'Black'. He died because of his addiction to
alcohol since Ariana's death, at the age of 42
Brother - Lux Acotas
'Lux' another name with a Greek origin, and it
means 'Light'. He perished while fighting for his country at the
frontiers at the age of 18.
Horse - Indigo
He's named after the - for a horse - unusual
color of his eyes. He might not be actual family by blood, but
Zeph considers him just that. He is still alive, and
approximately six winters old.
Zeph lives in a fantasy world that's similar to
our Middle Ages. Her country is called 'The West Kingdom', and is
in war with its neighbor 'The East Empire'.
More precisely, the village Zeph lives in,
Thronia, is located very close to the capital city, Center, and
the royal palace. The farm of Zeph's family is in the outskirts
of the village. Thronia and Center lie about five miles away from
each other, with forest and fields in between.
climate of that area is moderate. The summer can be very hot, but
in the winters are harsh and often it snows. The whole year
through, however, it rains a lot - or, as mentioned, it
P.S. If this information doesn't fit your
story, kkolivia, feel free to change it!
of the customs of the people of The West Kingdom is that they
don't count age in years, but in winters, because the winters are
the hardest of seasons to survive. Most of the babies die of the
cold in their first winter.
Another custom of the people is that they call
things by their name. Just look at Center, the capital city.
Although it isn't necessary, they generally prefer to name their
children with a meaning.
Healthy young man with their age above the
seventeen winters have to join the army and go out to war. The
country needs every hand - and life - to save