Arkham Lykoi/Kharma Asylum
|Date of Birth||July 30, 2007|
|Date of Death||December 27, 2017|
|Subspecies||50% Canis latrans thamnos ortus |
25% Canis lupus ortus
12.5% Canis lupus rufus
12.5% Canis lupus familiaris
|Birth place||Inferni, Bleeding Souls|
|Death place||Inferni, Bleeding Souls|
Nobody stays kind forever.
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Arkham is a medium, warm grey with a characteristic dark saddle over his back and a lighter grey underside and feet. He's about the size of a small wolf, due to his mixed blood, but his large ears and pointed face are distinctly coyote. His right eye is a milky white, blind and damaged, and a rough, uneven scar stretches over his brow to the middle of his forehead. His remaining eye is a deep red, common on both sides of his family.
He typically wears a worn brownish cloak and smells of fresh mint. Having broken his leg several times, he walks with a slight limp, which has worsened in his old age.
Distant and aloof, Arkham -- who has not used his birth name since spring 2009 -- is generally wary of others and prefers to keep to himself. He has no taste for idle conversation, and will quietly excuse himself if he does not find himself interested or otherwise engaged. He is polite and well-spoken, but there is not often a pretense of caring. Nevertheless, he enjoys the company of children and typically has far more patience for them than for adults.
Kharma Asylum harbors a deep-seated self-loathing of himself and his bloodline, though his prejudice against Lykoi typically applies to the male members of the family more than the females, and he cares deeply for all of his children.
Arkham was born to in Inferni to its matriarch Kaena Lykoi on July 30th, 2007, which happened to be his father's birthday. He was the secondborn of a litter of four, though one of his sisters, Eris, had a different sire. As a child, he saw very little of his father, Laruku Tears, who only seemed to come to either to take his mother out, or to drop off food, neither of which involved really interacting with Arkham or his siblings. He didn't really question this though and instead spent his time playing with his littermates, since all of his half-siblings were much older.
When he was four months old, Kaena disappeared from Inferni, presumably forever, leaving her eldest son Gabriel de le Poer to take over. Eris also disappeared with their mother. Afterwards, Arkham and his other sister Rachias moved into the seized Syemv house with Gabriel and his mate, Faolin. Arkham's only full-blooded brother, Andre declined to join them, signaling the beginning of a rift that would separate him from the rest of his family forever.
Adolescence and fire
Arkham continued living in the house with much of the rest of his family, even when his sister moved to Clouded Tears for several months to live with their father. Meanwhile, Andre's aggression and apparent hatred of his family lead escalated a playfight with Arkham into a rather serious brawl and first attempt at murder. Gabriel intervened. Shortly after, Andrezej abandoned the clan. The last of his litter to remain in Inferni, Arkham was relatively content where he was and rarely strayed from the territories or its surrounding beaches. Instead, he poured through stories and books, content to experience things through others' words.
However, on March 31st, 2008, Arkham stirred in the middle of the night when he heard Gabriel leave the house. Curious, he followed his half-brother at a distance and witnessed him dousing the nearby forest in gasoline and setting it on fire. Shocked, confused, and feeling incredibly betrayed, Arkham did not return home that night, instead fleeing in an opposite direction as the flames spread to consume the entire valley.
Deaths in the family
On his own for several months, Arkham explores the world he never really cared to know. He spends a short time in the company of another loner, who taught him to fight with knives. In mid-July, he goes to the area where most of the valley had resettled and finds that Inferni is at war with a new pack named Dahlia de Mai. Ashamed of his family and not wanting it to be obvious he was related, Arkham begins introducing himself as Kharma Asylum and masks his scent with fresh peppermint. He becomes further distanced from Inferni, and the Lykoi brood specifically, after preventing his half-brother Samael Lykoi from raping his sister Rachias. The divide goes further still, when he discovers that Andrezej raped their niece Talitha de le Poer and was subsequently killed by Gabriel and Corona Lykoi.
Denouncement of Lykoi
Arkham reunites properly with Rachias in the fall of 2008 and learns that their father is ill. He promises her that he will visit him, but does not manage to do so before Laruku dies in a fire set to his cottage in December. Sitting near the remains of the cottage, Arkham encounters Gabriel for the first time since the spring fire and asks why he did it. Unsatisfied with the answer, Arkham decides here to formally disown his family. At the end of the winter, Arkham and Rachias leave Nova Scotia and resettle in Ontario, near a village named Thornloe.
Rachias gives birth to Arkham's children, Myrika Tears and Cassandra Asylum in May 2009. However, hardly a month later, she returns to Nova Scotia, citing a desire to find out more about their father's family. Arkham is outwardly supportive of this initiative, but is inwardly crushed that she would want to leave while their children were so young. They exchange letters for a while through a messenger bird gifted to them by the pack in Thornloe, but they lose contact when Rachias disappears from where she said she'd be. Despite the fact that Rachias had always been far more forward about her feelings than he, Arkham harbors a secret fear that she left out of disgust of their incestuous relationship, and the children they'd produced as a result of it.
A very doting father, he raises his daughters alone. He is determined to not be the absent parent his own parents were, and to somehow make up for the fact that their mother had apparently abandoned them. While he still had contact with Rachias, he often spoke to them of her, and read her letters aloud. As the time since the last letter increases, however, he stops talking about her, and is quiet when the topic strays in her direction.
The family is on friendly terms with the hybrids of Thornloe, but never seek to join, instead living in a cottage a short distance from the pack's territories. Through the pack's influence, they adopt a more humanized way of life than what Arkham knew growing up. Arkham learns to ride and tend to horses alongside his daughters, and he trains them in both Lupus-form combat and hand-to-hand combat with knives while improving his own skills.
Shortly after Myrika and Cassandra's first birthday, Arkham announces that he will return to Nova Scotia to look for Rachias. The girls insist on accompanying him, and the family sets out in late May 2010. Two weeks into the journey, they are caught in a severe thunderstorm, and their horses scare in different directions. Arkham's horse Hemlock trips and falls into a deep ravine, where both of them break their legs and are trapped. They remain there, undiscovered, for nearly a month, and in desperation, Arkham kills and eats the horse.
When he is finally able to crawl out of the ravine, Arkham is very weak and malnourished. He stays in the area for a while, trying to get his strength back. He half-heartedly looks for signs of his daughters, but while he believes strongly that they are alive, does not believe that they are anywhere nearby anymore.
In late September, Arkham resumes traveling southwest towards Nova Scotia. He retains a stubborn limp from his fall and finds it difficult to hunt. Instead, despite his guilt, he frequently stole food/supplies from other travelers. He is lucky for a time and is able to escape most hostile situations without major injury, but in November, he breaks his leg again and is almost killed by a band of coydogs. He survives, but has difficulty traveling through the winter, and grows weak again.
The spring brings him better luck, and gradually, his limp starts to go away and he is able to hunt successfully once again.
The abandoned search
In July 2011, just before his fourth birthday, Arkham arrives at Inferni. He speaks with his mother Kaena at the borders and confirms that Rachias had not been there since before their last letter. He visits Andre's grave and speaks briefly with his nephew Ezekiel de le Poer, who is Gabriel's son. Forcing himself to accept the likely fact that he would not find Rachias there, or anywhere, Arkham sets out to return to Thornloe.
He runs into Myrika as he is leaving and spends a week with his daughter. However, Myrika declines to return to Thornloe just yet, and Arkham knows that she intends to join Inferni out of curiosity.
The lost and found
In September, Arkham is abducted by wolf slave traders and brought to Freetown, where he is auctioned. He is then taken southwest to upstate New York, where he remains until his escape the same November. He heads back north, but gets lost and is unable to reach Thornloe until March 2012. The pack has long since become casualties of a raid and the village left ransacked. Arkham stays for several weeks, then leaves again.
In mid-April, he runs into a roving pack of dogs called Sonnerie, all descended from various sighthounds. The dogs are friendly and readily made room at their fire for the lone traveler, welcoming his stories and eager to share their own. Aleksei Tarasova, in particular, is very interested in Arkham and flirts shamelessly with him, much to the chagrin of her son Domovoi, who sees Arkham as small, weak, and unworthy of his mother's attentions. Arkham, for his part, likes Aleksei well enough, but does not return her advances. However, neither does he make an effort to turn her away, and in his loneliness at the loss and abandonment of his family (both on their part and his own), succumbs to her company on multiple occasions. He remains with the dog pack for many months.
Arkham doesn't do well traveling alone. He has convinced himself by now of the reasons he gave for Rachias's abandonment and is bitter towards her and himself for allowing their relationship to go where it did. He is loath to return to Inferni's vicinity a third time, but cannot think of where else he had reason to be. In November, he runs into Ezekiel and learns that Myrika now leads the clan.
In January 2013, he comes across Aleksei's dog pack Sonnerie again and learns that she bore him four children -- Avaiki Asylum, Gehenna Asylum, Neraka Tarasova, Avernus Tarasova -- in mid-October. Domovoi, whose father had also been a wandering loner who left before Aleksei gave birth to him, is furious at Arkham for his abandonment and assaults him violently at the first opportunity. Aleksei, however, never had any delusions of Arkham's feelings for her, and had never expected him to stay. She does not understand her son's fury, and interrupts the fight to tell him so. Arkham, who had been unwilling to fight against Aleksei's son, is mildly injured, and Aleksei tends to him.
Arkham feels guilty for conceiving a new litter, but knows he cannot abandon them now that he knows about them. He tells Aleksei that he will stay and admits that he has no where else to go, anyway. Domovoi, unaware of this conversation, again assaults Arkham the moment he is left alone. This time, when Aleksei steps between them, Domovoi is unable to stop himself before (accidentally?) shoving her. Aleksei falls and snaps her neck falling on the edge of a toppled table.
Enraged, Arkham attacks Domovoi seriously for the first time. The two have a rather vicious fight and Arkham's eye becomes irreversibly damaged after getting beaten in the head with a garden hoe several times. After being alerted to the situation by none other than Arkham and Aleksei's children, other members of the pack intervene just in time to stop Arkham and Domovoi from killing each other.
The long walk
The pack keeps the two from seeing each other while they recover. In late February, Arkham is well enough to travel and takes his leave of the pack. Avaiki and Gehenna choose to follow him, interested in the other half of their heritage and angry towards their half-brother for the death of their mother. Neraka and Avernus, however, choose to remain with Domovoi and the pack, uncertain of their mysterious father, and preferring what is familiar. Arkham is conflicted about "abandoning" any of them, but neither is he comfortable forcing them to come with him, especially knowing that there is only one place for him to go.
The journey is slow and difficult for a still-healing loner and two puppies, who are easy targets for theft and general antagonism. Not well enough to engage in another serious fight, Arkham flees with his children in the face of most dangers. He is forced to spend a majority of his time hunting, both to feed his family and to make up for what is systematically stolen from them. Still, the slow pace of travel allows him ample opportunity to bond with his son and daughter, who are rife with questions about both him, his family, and Inferni.
In late April, Avaiki and Gehenna begin shifting. Unfortunately, in her eagerness to begin practicing the lively dances she'd seen her mother perform, Avaiki twists her ankle, further slowing down the party as they make their way south.
The trio arrive in Nova Scotia in late July and are accepted into Inferni by Vesper at the beginning of August.
Home is the hole in your heart
Kharma is not particularly happy about his return to Inferni, but gradually comes to terms with the fact that he has no where else he wants to go or to be. He decides, more or less, that he will probably die in Inferni. He's glad that he can at least spend time with Myrika again, though the awkwardness born from Myrika's decision to lead Inferni between them grows over time. Kharma respects Vesper, Myrika's mate, and is fond enough of their children, but ultimately finds he's unable to form any meaningful relationships with them.
On a few occasions, Kharma is able to see his albino daughter Cassandra Asylum, but while they both obviously still care deeply for each other, Kharma's membership at Inferni, and Cassandra's mysterious past, divide them. With his second litter as well, Kharma begins to lose touch as Avaiki and Gehenna reach adulthood and come into their own. They are curious and adventurous, attributes he once had, but now has difficulty relating to.
Kharma's avoidance of Kaena and areas where Kaena spends time continues to distance him from his family, as Kaena's perpetual position as matriarch, retired or otherwise, keeps her at the center of the clan. Myrika's closeness with her grandmother also drives a bitterness in Kharma that he lets fester and grow. That Gehenna would also leave caretaking duties of his unexpected child to Kaena instead of Kharma also leaves him cold.
Kharma does not begrudge his children for their relationship with their grandmother, but he resents that Kaena can form these relationships now when she had abandoned the clan when he was a child.
Eventually, Gehenna and Avaiki take their leave of Inferni. And after Kaena's death and Myrika's departure from the clan, Kharma no longer has any immediate family he has significant bonds with. He becomes a hermit within Inferni, keeping to himself when possible and distancing himself from most Infernians and Inferni affairs. He's grateful to Vesper for continuing to allow him to stay, despite this.
In April 2017, Kharma is afflicted with the Spring Sickness. Generally unwilling to seek help, he suffers alone, loses a lot of weight, and becomes dangerously weak. Though his condition gradually improves, he never fully recovers his former strength and has difficulty walking without pain for the rest of his life.
In November 2017, following the conclusion of the Inferni-SalsolaWar (of which Kharma took no part), Inferni moves back to its ancestral birth place on Hell's Coast, Kharma's childhood home. The winter journey is rough on him, now over ten years old. He falls ill again.
Unwilling to be a burden on the clan as it continues to face hardship, he quietly leaves Inferni territories and moves northward along the beach. By chance, he encounters his daughter Cassandra, who had not been in Nova Scotia for several years. Though her own health was also flagging in the difficult winter, she cares for Kharma and is with him when he passes away in late December.