Ammoll is a Nekomata, a kind of cat demon based on Japanese mythology. In this universe, Nekomatas have four faces, two additional heads, two tails and tendrils for feet. Ammoll is capable of eating or speaking through any one of her four faces. She has a one-eyed cat’s head on her right shoulder which she calls the Glaring Cat and a grizzled, mutilated bird’s skull on her left which she dubs the Terror Bird. The face on her stomach is called The Orefice.
Her main human head has a third eye and cat ears. Unlike all other mythical creatures in this universe, Ammoll is unable to assume human form. This drove her into hiding in the wilderness for 5 years after she turned 18. After the age of 18, she became unable to assume human form again. She spent her years in the forest carving pictures on trees and drawing in the sand. It was only when she met Ethieus, another demon with two faces, that she was drawn out of seclusion. Having been raised to believe that she was human, Ammoll had no knowledge of her actual origins or species, and it was Ethieus who told her that she was actually a Nekomata and explained why she had super-human features and abilities.
Ethieus and Ammoll have been travelling together for a year now, looking for a community of mythical creatures that will accept Ammoll in her Nekomata form. Ethieus says that he will marry her as soon as they can find a town to settle down in.
Despite all that Ammoll had been through, she is an optimistic, carefree person. Ammoll is friends with everybody and believes strongly in personal freedom. Ammoll is a teacher of ideals of love, harmony and making peace with one’s own body. Her painful upbringing has made her a stronger person and has taught her to find contentment in creating her own path.
After spending 5 years alone doing nothing but drawing and practicing yoga, Ammoll got very very good at both.
*drumroll to get you well-oiled for a very prolix run*
Ammoll was born into a very religious family. Like most mythical creatures in this world, her body automatically assumed human form shortly after she was born. Ammoll’s mother was a Nekomata, while her father was a human being. Ammoll’s mother was killed in an accident shortly after she was born. Ammoll’s father married a second wife, another human being. Ammoll’s father decided that Ammoll should be raised as a human being, with no knowledge of her mother or her actual species and powers.
Ammoll’s father was by and large absent in her upbringing, mostly leaving it to her step-mother. This was not a wise decision, as Ammoll’s step-mother was highly resentful of her. Ammoll’s step-mother, knowing of Ammoll’s birth mother’s identity as a Nekomata, was convinced that her demon-spawn step-daughter would grow up into a full-fledged Satan if her energies and ambitions were not kept in rein. Ammoll’s step-mother believed that only ramrod-stiff, iron-fisted discipline and a devoted indoctrination of religion would save her step-daughter from her intrinsic demonic energies.
Ammoll was thus raised to walk in the path of religion, to lay foot-after-foot on each designated place of her march and never to be allowed to put a toe out of line. She lived largely secluded from the evil influences of the outside world inside her family’s sprawling mansion. Memorising passages word-for-word from her religious books was a necessity; one word mis-repeated would earn her an arm full of stripes from her step-mother’s rod. Her step-mother believed it necessary to repeatedly tell Ammoll that she was inherently evil and malformed, and that treading the path of religious obedience was her only hope of making something of her existence.
Had any drifting spirit on the walls witnessed how Ammoll had been raised, though, they would have testified that her step-mother’s fundamental intentions were only vaguely related to wanting to save her step-daughter from treading the path of evil. It was hiddenly conspicuous that Ammoll’s step-mother’s true resentment of her came from the fact that Ammoll was the only living link left between her father and her deceased mother. Should Ammoll grow into her mother’s full visage, and assume her true identity as a Nekomata, her father would have never ceased to have been reminded of her mother before her; and his heart would have been swayed to nostalgic reminiscence painted in his own flesh-and-blood, rather than his now-living second wife.
It was thus that Ammoll’s step-mother casually vascilated between stridently castigating and thrashing Ammoll and callous indifference in regarding Ammoll as her own offspring; or anything worthy of acknowledgement and aid.
It was such, however, that the cloak of religious indoctrination and strident discipline had not fully cast its shadow over Ammoll’s intrinsic tendencies. For Ammoll had an unwaning proclivity towards the spiritual and ephemeral, an innate connection to mythical forces. This was a signaling undulled by a lifetime of religious upbringing and hateful admonitions of all that lay beyond the boundaries of religion.
Ammoll was not a simpleton. Ammoll was keen on building this connection and finding its origins, plying on efforts to materialize it like strand after strand of fine silk, till a concrete rope was formed. One the rare occasions that she was allowed to venture outside, she would pay the village children to have decks of tarot cards and books which wrote of higher dimensions outside religion smuggled to her.
From the brim of childhood, at the age of seven, Ammoll began seeing visions of spirits who casually wafted through the walls of her house. Occassionally more benevolent ones would drop by her to greet her, or even bring her sweets and biscuits. Very friendly ones even brought her books and toys and stopped to ask her how she was doing. Any attempts to raise such happenings to her step-mother, however, would result in her being chastised for wasting her time on “frivolous and ungodly nonsense and delusions”.
When Ammoll got slightly older, as she approached adolescence a little way off, she discovered that it was possible to see things from her forehead. Ammoll soon learnt that she could view things with both her eyes closed, from the top of her head. Her forehead vision was slightly…more unique though. There were certain people in the village who Ammoll saw as human beings when she looked with her eyes, but who turned into hideous creatures of unknown origin when she looked at them with her forehead. A governess who she had always assumed was human, from her forehead’s point-of-view, turned into a walking scarecrow covered in blazing flames. A local librarian who looked like a respectable middle-aged man with a moustache appeared with the lower body of a fish’s tail. A little girl who used to help her run errands was seen as 12-foot-long dragon with a donkey’s face, covered with metal scales. (Ammoll soon learned, however, that revealing these discoveries to her parents was not only futile but also hazardous; telling them that “Mrs. Alice is a talking scarecrow” earned her 20 lashes and had her sent to bed without dinner for a week.)
The manifestation of Ammoll’s true capabilities increased in instances and intensity as she grew older. At 12, she had learned to levitate and walk in the air. At 15, she learned how to make shadows grow darker and hide her under their intensity.
Ammoll, as far as life went, was fairly carefree about her existence in spite of the constant of religious and emotional abuse looming over her. Her time and the gaps of her existence were preoccupied with talking to spirits and finding out more about the spirit world. The spirits helped her learn to float on air, and on very rare occasions, were persuaded to dump water onto her step-mother’s head unseen, when her belligerence and causticness really became unbearable. In return, Ammoll brought them food from her kitchen or made them handicrafts and trinkets as a token of appreciation. In her adolescence, she came across a spirit which was particularly fond of ham sandwiches and another that was so pleased with an oragmi boat that she made for him that he permanently wore it as a hat.
Yes, spirits have heads. No, they don’t need to eat, but it doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy doing so as a luxury. The majority of the spirits Ammoll came across looked like rotting corpses with exposed veins, hollow eyes and bared fangs. Had they lived in a more modern country, they might have been scouted by a talent agent to model for Junji Ito. Perhaps it was a little weird for a girl in her early teens to be casually chatting with rotting corpses and making them sandwiches—but bear in mind that they were the majority of the company she had.
In spite of her pretanatural connections, however, Ammoll knew that she was largely safe because her abilities and nature were no conspicuously obvious. Well, they weren’t until she was 18.
When Ammoll headed towards her 18th anniversary of coming into existence, she had one day woken up with a large gash over her forehead. There was much panic and horror inside Ammoll’s person when she stared into the mirror only to realise that the gash had opened up to reveal a third eye that had long been there. Ammoll’s only reaction was to grab all the bandages she could and bind them around her forehead, secretly praying to anything that nobody would notice and just believe her if she said she had hit her head against a ledge. They did. So everything was calm for about two weeks.
Then she woke up due to searing pains at the sides of her head to find out that she had sprouted a pair of cat ears. Wearing a bonnet around the house all the time seemed very odd to her step-mother and father, but they didn’t think much about it when she protested that her head was cold.
Only to wake up on a random day and find that she had been lying on two tails which had grown out of the base of her spine. And that black, silk-like vines were beginning to grow out of her calves. So ankle-length skirts and wearing a long cape around the house became her latest fashion idea.
She knew not whether to feel at her nadir of horrification or a brief moment of token relief when her final alteration took place; when a miniscule cat’s head appeared on her right shoulder, and a bird’s head on her left and a second face materialized on her belly. Well, by this turn, that only meant that she’d have to wear several layers of scarves around her shoulders and wrap bandages around her waist before wearing her dresses.
She had protested to the spirits for help, but this time, once they realized what the developments in her person meant, they became suddenly and completely terrified and stopped talking to her. Ammoll had reached a point of desperation; this became the first time in her life that she was frustrated and terrified enough to actually seek out the fellow “monster people” she had found with her third eye. Her begging for an explanation amounted to nothing. For the “monster people” she had discovered were both shocked and petrified not only by the fact that she could see what they were---but because they could see that she was quickly becoming something more heinous than their own forms.
“Please, tell no one,” the librarian-merman urged her, “tell no one. Hide it as best as you can. You must hide it. You have to.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” stuttered a young brunette who appeared as a dragon, as she fitfully hoarded her dragon babies around her, “but please---spare my family. Please, please don’t let the humans know.”
Ammoll was now alone, of her own existence. She knew not where to turn or how to undo her predicament. The humans who had already damned her would only do the unspeakable to her. The spirits who were her only avenue of reliance were now inexplicably horrified by what she had become, too.
Ammoll knew not what was her true existence or person.
Ammoll had guessed that it was only matter of time before the condemnation of the human world came upon her as well. Increasingly frustrated by her increasingly eccentric behavior, her step-mother demanded chastisement for her unruly behavior.
“This child is getting spectacularly out of hand,” she proclaimed to her husband, “I have had enough with your mollycoddling her and writing of her nonsense as ‘child’s play’! If we do not rein in that child of Satan’s loins, you know what will become of her; you will lose your child forever! Her demonic proclivities will claim her soul, and Satan will snatch her out of your arms!”
Ammoll seemed all but engulfed by a sea of mordant despair and bleak confusion. She no longer knew how to exist.
Damnation’s axe began its sudden descent to puncture the neck of her despair’s nadir when Ammoll’s step-mother declared that more invasive actions had to be taken.
Nary a warning and Ammoll’s step-mother broke down her door to find her in the middle of dressing. No words can describe the sheer horror that glowed in Ammoll’s eyes. When righteous wrath and holy disdain gripped her step-mother’s physical vestige, she cried in the name of the one that she believed in that Ammoll’s full demonic nature had surfaced from its innate core and that her efforts to save her had come and gone in vain. Ammoll’s damnation was no longer an alternative. That which was evil manifest no longer had the autonomy or sovereign right to be in this family; or the world. Step-mother picked Ammoll up and threw her out of her room; Ammoll scrambled to her feet and sped down the hall before Step-mother could lay her hands on her again.
Step-mother pursued Ammoll out of the mansion, into the forest behind their house. Ammoll had never run. A very sheltered life in luxury’s lap’s seclusion meant that time outside of talking to spirits was reserved for painting and reading rather than physical activity. But she was running now. Faster than she ever had. Faster than any human being ever could possibly. A feline energy shot through every vessel and channel in her body with each rapid bound. The only thing in her vision was the expanse of endless black forest ahead of her. The houses, village lights and structures dissolved into blurs washing past her eyes like streaks of water shooting out of a hose. At some point, she was damn well sure that she had collided with a brick wall straight in the face; had she? She didn’t bother to look back.
She just ran. Running was the only thing she could do now. And her mind went blank of all her life before and behind her. Everything was now null. Every fear and pain and cherished moment of joy was now negated into a dull numbed twitch between a high and near-fainting. Was she still running? The black appendages where her feet once were weren’t making contact with the ground. She had begun levitating subconsciously. She was gliding even faster than she could run. But she didn’t care what her medium of escape was; the hollow of darkness repeated itself before her, chanting its echo into her mind and calling her in the whir of the wind.
The human world had cast her into Hell for her nature; she was now above its judgement and rules. A horrid, whirring freedom screeched into all four of her ears and ate into her being by pricking into her skin.
A demon that floated right though human standards.
Ammoll didn’t initially know this, but Nekomatas are considered one of the most feared species of creatures in existence, due to their mastery of dark arts and soul magic. This was why the spirits who were once her friends grew scared of her when they realized that her Nekomata abilities were beginning to manifest themselves, and why even other mythical creatures ran away from her.
Ammoll is able to levitate and pass through solid objects unharmed. If she tries, she can enable anything she touches to turn invincible as well. Ammoll’s cat-like nature gives her super-speed and incredible flexibility and dexterity.
Ammoll specialises in short-range offensive attacks, and her Nekomata abilities allow her to fight close-range combat unharmed. Most melee or elemental attacks just pass through her, if they can hit her at all. Ammoll has two sets of magic-infused claws which allow her to inflict very deep wounds on her opponents, or even scratch right through metal armor. Ammoll’s magic allows her to sink her claws straight through an enemy’s body.
Ammoll’s psychic abilities, as it has been established, allow her to detect the presence of other mythical creatures, even when they’re in human form.