A Fury is a Fearsome Force Picture

Natalia Dandolo is a "Fury"- Class Wraith. Her rage is on par with fabled furies from mythology. She can be a fearsome force of feral rage when driven to such limits. By human standards, she is quite grotesquely hideous. However, in the afterlife, such standards are debatable. She is considered something of a curiosity.

Since her initial concept in December 2014, Natalia (Neid*) developed into her own character.

Initially conceived as a (male) barb-tongued dandy companion and witty foil to another character, Zimmer, Natalia certainly evolved as her own person with her own valid narrative.

Like Dyusha from Three White Crows, Natalia (Neid) has especially grown close to me as her development progressed over the years.

The series After That, Comes This, speculates the questions pertaining to the afterlife- where do unguided or dissatisfied souls end up? Do these souls enter a realm of limbo? Is this realm similar to our Earthly society in terms of social structure and dynamics? After That, Comes This explores the possibilities of disgruntled souls struggling to continue into an urban society not unlike our own, marred by civil conflicts and spiritual battles from within and from outside forces.

When Natalia Dandolo leaves the mortal coil due to anorexic complications after a collapses bridge accident, her soul, already wracked and consumed with vehement envy, enters a city of the afterlife only the wrong and wronged are relegated.

Admitted as a skeletal, grotesque wraith of her own personal vice, Envy, Natalia is confined to the rubble-laden city outskirts, haggling for her own meager sustenance and clawing to seek a contract with the “higher” placed souls as their familiar , as well as their vice manifest**.

Reduced to being nothing more than a utilitarian “fury” and leading an existence of inhumane servitude, Natalia lapses into episodic, almost feral rages against her masters, rendering her an “undesirable” candidate as a familiar.

Her life had not always been this grisly.

As a human, Natalia lived a canal city similar to Venice.Her father ran a successful gondola company of several men. Born rather chubby, she led a happy existence with her doting father. However when he remarried after Natalia’s mother’ death, his new wife proved to be an unhinged maniac obsessed with beauty. When the father died, the stepmother abused Natalia into anorexia.

Between the anorexic condition and her stepmother’s unrelenting abuse, Natalia was broken into a bony, furious, sickly, dejected creature. Confined from her former neighbors and friends, Natalia was isolated at a girls’ school where she was groomed to become a “fine lady of breeding”.

However, her years at this school sowed the seeds of her raging envy. Outwardly, Natalia was cold, deadpan and monotonous- this alienated her from her peers and pedagogues. In and around the school grounds, she was known as “The Ghost” because of her persistent silence frigid nature and withdrawn nature.

In the company of her peers, Natalia envied their seemingly effortless beauty and perfect tempers. But she especially seethed with internal envy at those who had ideally affectionate family and friends. Jealously consumed her from the inside-out.

With her stepmother’s maniac obsession growing madder, Natalia dreaded the holidays. Holidays entailed days of being confined into tortuous back-straightening devices (though her spine was normal) and enduring her stepmother’s scalding tirades.

Having received news her stepmother passed, Natalia, -as her peers and teachers observed- remained unmoved. Shortly thereafter, Natalia came to live on her own, with only the family’s raddled staff present.

Assuming she was liberated from her stepmother’s tyranny, Natalia eagerly attempted to regain past friendships. She even tried hosting parties. However, her stepmother’s treatment reduced her to an ghostly (and as the city deemed her, quite “ugly”) shadow, and her reputation of being cold and dead entrenched her in the city’s eyes as one whose society should be avoided.

Faced with such rejection, Natalia fell into a stupor of bitterness. She obsessed with beauty, hoping people could love her if only for her outward appearance. Her anorexia heightened, and she grew dangerously underweight, believing if she was merely “thinner” a man might think she was beautiful and marry her, thus easing her loneliness.

during a festival one winter, Natalia, alone, bitterly made her way through a boisterous crowd on a bridge. Under the weight of so many reveling, the bridge collapsed.

Natalia and the merry-makers were crushed under the watery rubble. When dragged out from the pile in the canal, Natalia’s last words to the man who yanked her out, “Do you think I am beautiful?”

Now serving the afterlife as a wraith and familiar for service, Natalia had several masters, all of which exploited her- until her 8th master, or rather, mistress.

Her new mistress was an aristocrat who committed suicide when her own daughter died from Anorexia. Learning of Natalia’s circumstances, the noblelady took the wraith-familiar under her care and re-humanized a previously untamable Natalia . She and Natalia formed a mother-daughter bond, thus both found their own “heaven” in what one could deem “hell”.

Their happiness was short-lived, however.

Her mistress during one battle-when Natalia had depleted all her power in attempts to save her mistress-forfeited her own afterlife to preserve Natalia.

Due to her failure, Natalia was deemed unfit for service and placed in a “dead” state.

It was not until Prof. Zimmer sought her service that was she was revived and reinstated as a familiar and vice manifest. She now is under the employ and protege of Prof. Zimmer.

Initially unnerved by the Professor being an anthropomorphized fox (he hails from a world of a anthropomorphized canine and feline hierarchy) Natalia gradually trusts and grows to cherish him as a friend as well a respected employer.

Though she does struggles with her own feelings morphing into something else for the vulpine professor, Zimmer himself can only entertain brotherly regards towards her.

*(Neid, being her current title of address, since she is known as whatever translates to Envy in whatever native language her new master carries. In the case of her current employer, he is equivalent to German, thus Envy becomes “Neid”.)

**(A vice manifest is a personification of a specific person’s signature vice, often serving the person as their familiar and power source as a means of spiritual form enhancement.)
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