“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”Maya Angelou
Freelance artist living in Moscow. Until recently Thalia was oblivious of her channeling abilities, and had buried all memories of it — just as she tends to bury the other anomalies in her life. Even now she has been taught enough to be safe she rarely uses the power.
Likewise she spent many years unaware of dreaming or dreamwalking, though effects from both always crept into her artwork. Some pieces are prophetic. After a trip to Estonia and a strange meeting with the Pope, Patricus I, Thalia has finally been confronted with her abilities.
Her dream self is an amalgamation of all her previous lives, unable to recall specific memories of her current incarnation. Jon Little Bird gave her the name Nimeda, which is how she identifies herself when in the Dreamworld.
Thalia has a studio in Arbatskaya, the rent paid by an anonymous patron, and she lives in Bazhenov Square, an apartment complex near Filevsky Park. Thalia’s art mixes stylised art nouveau with classical style realism.
Most would view Thalia as a friendly eccentric. She’s sensory, compelled by beauty and typically indulgent to her own whims. Intuition forms a greater part of her rationale, not that she’s incapable of logical thought so much as she’s learnt the value of trusting her instincts. For the most part she’s laid-back and adapts easily; quite content to watch things unfold naturally and to be swept alongside for the ride. See: Nimeda for more information on her core personality through the Ages.
Brown hair worn long to the waist, wavy and haloed with frizz. Porcelain pale and on the delicate side of plain. Naturally expressive with wide grey eyes. Fond of jewellery – fond of anything beautiful, really – though she tends to dress simply.
A mural of tattoos decorate her back, the main feature of which is a voluptuous and ethereal looking woman in the art nouveau style, surrounded by poppies. Unknown to Thalia, it is not a human woman at all, but the image of the Yakṣaṇī who helped protect her from the Sickness.
The palm of her right hand bears the following brand, an injury sustained in Luck (almost):
Her mother often declares she was born facing backwards; that she’s more concerned with antiquity than the brightness of the future. Such an odd child. Thalia remembers those words like a punctuation mark throughout her childhood, but with amusement rather than dismay. In her youth she adored drawing and reading, daydreaming and idling; queen of childhood castles and purveyor of fantastical stories. Her parents did not discourage her, exactly, but they did try to impress upon her the importance of education, of hard work, and of success. It wasn’t until years later that Thalia understood why they had been concerned. It isn’t something she admits to herself these days.
By the time she reached school, her interests grew to encompass both literature and history, which were academic enough subjects to satisfy her parents. Plus, she discovered burying her nose in a textbook left her less likely be disturbed than if she was found drawing. She did not grow out of it, exactly, so much as she learnt to slide herself within the ideals of her parents expectations. Study first, idle later. She kept reams of sketchbooks, but by the time she entered adolescence had stopped trying to garner approval for her scribblings anyway. Truthfully she was not interested in the attention – she did not do it to please an audience; it was a compulsion, an obsession. A necessity.
At university, much to her parents’ concealed disappointment, she chose to study history. It was something of a compromise, since she didn’t actually want to study for a degree at all. By then her sister Aylin was studying to become a psychiatrist at Moscow State, so it was natural for Thalia to fly the nest in that direction. But, despite a sometimes sharp mind, Thalia lacked the discipline to excel in academia. When months later she got Sick, she never returned to her studies.
Art and Dreaming
Adrift in Moscow with no job and no qualifications, it was art Thalia turned to to sustain herself. The majority of her sold work consists of paintings, though she still keeps piles of sketchbooks and sometimes does portrait commissions. Her work features the abstract and fantastical, and much of it has an ethereal quality that has become her signature.
Each morning she sketches anything she has seen in the Dream. Prophetic dreamings are particularly traumatic when they are pulled from her:
She knew as soon as consciousness swept in that it was going to be bad. The cushion beneath her face was wet, the tears still clinging half-dried to her cheeks. Her heart hammered as she pressed a sob into the pillow, begging herself to silence. Grey light drifted passed the curtains, and though the shrill song of birds chirped outside, everything else was still. Frantic, an arm reached out for her bag, and then she was stumbling from the bed, seeking the relief of paper. Her arms burned, the muscles tight, and hunched she drew fast and freehand. Tears pattered, blurring the lines. Her hand was on fire. Blood soaked through the bandage.
The paper ran out before the need, the pages torn and scattered like a storm’s debris when all clean space was gone. No no no no.
The walls were next, until the stub of the pencil snapped — one after the other, all gone, and still her fingers ached (and this, oh this, was what she had been afraid of). She could not stop, not any more than her heart could cease its pumping and leave behind anything but an empty shell.
Her frightened mind unhooked from the pressures of her body, and time gushed unchecked. She was sobbing when everything stilled, curled somewhere on the floor, and agony was the first curious guest to investigate her returned consciousness. She did not notice the shelter of arms at first, nor the soft sooth of a voice. A blanket warmed her shoulders, and cool swipes ran against her brow. She sank into the comfort, wordless and miserable.Luck (almost), following the dream in Alluvion
- Her first major sale was the portrait of a woman surrounded by the ethereal glow of sunrise; except, in Thalia’s mind, it was not the sun at all, but the woman. It sold for a large amount and kick-started Thalia’s career. Note: this piece heraladed the return of channeling.
- A neo-classical style portrait skewed with fantastical embellishments; the woman, her chin tilted defiantly, has burnished gold eyes and flowers for hair. It was a parting gift for the proprietor of Artskaf (and Thalia’s old boss) and is the only piece displayed not labelled for sale. Note: A depiction of a wolfkin.
- A gift for Pope Patricus I, featuring the gardens and view from Il Palazzo Apostolico di Castel Gandolfo. It features elements from the dreamworld hidden in plain sight, including an athene noctua owl and an arboreal.
It isn’t unusual for Thalia to spend a lot of time alone, lost in work or study (and recently travel), though she’s not a loner by nature. In the past she has avoided attachments, due to those people’s dreams infiltrating her morning sketches, often offering uncomfortable insights.
Now that she has accepted her talents, and even grown curious of them, she has recently begun to make more lasting connections.
Aylin: Thalia’s sister, the person to whom she is closest in the world. Aylin struggles to understand or accept the “strangeness” in Thalia’s life, and thus of late Thalia has found herself confiding less out of a desire not to worry her.
Nox: Met by chance at a cabaret show, Thalia overheard him talking with friends about “monsters” and asked him to identify one of her sketches. As it turned out, she had seen Nox’s dreams before, though she did not remember them. He is now a close friend (probably her only friend).
Patricus I: The Pope. He sought her out in Estonia following a dream, wanting to impart a warning for he believed her in danger. Philip was instrumental in allowing Thalia to understand and accept her dreaming and prophetic abilities. Though she doesn’t understand why, due to Nimeda’s fondness for him, Thalia also feels great affection. Thalia accepts this as natural, though she finds his distant manner frustrating. It seems unlikely they will see each other in the Waking world again, though Thalia suspected she would see him again in the dream.
- Dane Gregory, who she met on the metro, and agreed to go on a date with. He stood her up.
- Jon Little Bird, a man she recognised from her sketches and ran from in fear; she hasn’t seen him since.
- Rune, a girl Thalia met by chance and designed a tattoo for. Later, a man looking for Rune broke into Thalia’s apartment.
- Calvin Johnson, a wolfkin Nimeda urged to help Thalia in her waking life following the break-in, as she was not sleeping.
- Emily Shale, the woman who taught Thalia how to channel safely.
- Koit and Eha, a mother and son Thalia stayed with in Estonia, when she found the gold pinecone.
- Sage Parker, who she has never met in person, but was introduced to through Nox. Despite his stalkerish tendencies, Thalia is quite happy to maintain a friendship. He helped her find Lake Baikal.
- Kemala, another tourist who Thalia met in Siberia. She had intended to go sight-seeing with her, but ended up injured instead, after swimming in the lake at night.
The Golden Pine Cone: Discovered in Luck (almost). Pursuing the location of an image she had drawn on a whim, Thalia ended up in Vijandi, Estonia, where she discovered a box at the bottom of a river. The box was responsible for burning her hand, and inside was an intricately carved golden pine cone. It does not appear to do anything, but was seen to glow in Eha and Koit’s cottage. Unknown to Thalia, this ter’angreal was possessed by Soren and hidden by Nimeda. Angered by the theft, Soren has vowed to retrieve the stolen item. Thus was the warning the Pope Patricus I found Thalia in order to impart.
Strange Shard: Discovered in Dream, Memory, and Blood.
Other Waking Lives
In each Age, she is always born both a Dreamer and a Dreamwalker. Her prophetic abilities usually spill forth into creative endeavours pursued by her Waking self. See: Nimeda for more information on her dreaming lives.
1st Age: Thalia Milton. Before her rebirth in the next Age, something invariably happens to release her dream-self from her tie to the Wheel, only to become tethered once more during her next life.
2nd Age: During the Age of Legends, she is born Alethea Sayre Maelsouvra, a researcher particularly interested in the nature of and connection between souls, dreams and memories. A failed experiment leads to the tethering of her soul to the Dreamworld, where she continues to exist between being reborn. Until this experiment (which kills her Waking self), there is cohesion between her Waking and Dreaming self, and thus she remembers Dreams.
3rd Age: Miraseia, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah. Depending on her influences in this life, she may ultimately end up fighting for either the Light or the Shadow. Due to the unknown nature of Dreamwalking for most of this Age, her Waking self invariably suffers the brand of insanity (this being what leads her to the White Ajah, and sometimes the Black). Most often this is also the life in which she actively represses her creative outlets due to not understanding them. Her dream-self is highly susceptible to negative forces in the Dreamworld.
4th Age: None known
6th Age: See: Lethe
7th Age: None known