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Vānima Anastil (VON-ih-muh AN-uh-still Vel-DRISS)

The Veldriss

Written by J. L. Gryphon

Ambient sounds courtesy of tosha73 and EminYILDIRIM

Greetings to those below. I am Death, though Azrael is the name I prefer. Today is a touchy topic. Today we will discuss Vānima Anastil, but the world might know her better as Vānima the Veldriss. I confess, those below, that I hesitate in writing this. To talk about Vānima is like walking across a balance beam extended over the void. One wrong step, and you could plummet into darkness forever. Then again, that could sum up Vānima’s entire life. She’s teetering, you see, swaying, tempting the abyss with a foot she’s dangled over its edge just to see what will happen. Well, not just to see what will happen.
In spite of herself, I think, she’s looking for someone down there, someone she believes she cursed, though she would never admit it. Rather, she can’t admit it because the moment she would, would be the moment she’d break. She can’t be wrong, you see. Not about that. But that’s what I mean about teetering over the void. There is so much unknown; so much only I know; and so much she has fought desperately to forget, reimagine, or reclaim. Those last two efforts in particular are perhaps why the world is broken now. Or at least, it’s one piece of the puzzle that, if completed, may finally answer the question: Why?
“Ssā, be a dear and bite Anāriel for me, would you?”
—Vānima the Veldriss

The Important Bits

Einion: “It is important to be a witness. The Veldriss is not what people think she is.”   Vekk: “The goddess is whatever she wants to be. I just do what she tells me.”  
—Einion Jaxinar and Vekk Luzell having a religious dispute

by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

With all this in mind, I think I will do something different today. I could tell you about her history, the choices made, and all the sad, crumbling events that led us all—even me—to where we are today. But I don’t think it would do any good. I don’t think it would help anything. What’s done is done, and in this case, knowing does little to change that. What I will do instead, then, is tell you the important bits, what you need to know within this singular moment. And that is:  
Vānima is on the move.
  She’s currently laying plans to do what she thinks she needs to do. Or rather, what she thinks my master wants her to do. It began two years ago when my master appeared to her in her palace. Vānima has claimed to be a goddess for the last 150 years, but only my master is divine. That is an important fact to keep in mind, especially these days. Amidst this, Vānima’s tempting of the void has begun to stir certain things within its depths. The world is and always has been balanced on the edge of a knife, but lately, that knife has started to tip. I know this. My master knows this. And so he appeared to Vānima to tell her that, to tell her that her long, pitiable story was finally coming to an end, and that soon I would come to collect her.   At least, that was the plan.  

A Self-Made Shadow

“The Veldriss has always sought this blemish on her good name. She has sought to eradicate Anāriel Anastil and erase all traces of her existence, myth or no myth.“  
—Marian Rilet
by Jae Rue from Pixabay
  As I said, Vānima is on the move. I cannot begin to tell you how many people have tried to run from me. But when my master gave Vānima her warning, that’s exactly what she began doing . . . in her own unique way. You see, she’s convinced herself she needs to fix what she claims to be the one mistake in her life, and if she does so, she’ll manage to escape my wreaths of shadow. The trouble for her is that her efforts in fleeing from me are so far proving quite ineffective. Unlike her brother, Seeré, I know exactly where Vānima is. When you stare into the void, the void stares into you. The same is true that, if you surround yourself with me, of course I can see you, making you all the easier to catch one day. In Vānima’s case, that gleaming palace she lives in, a palace so near the Sicarius catacombs she built, is a bit of a “dead” giveaway.   Hm-hm, excuse my joke. I don’t mean to seem callous or uncaring. I just find it somewhat amusing that, for as much as she fears me, she keeps calling me back with yet another soul to collect. Some I’ve collected from her dungeons. Some I’ve collected from that rippling, splintered place she calls The Hollow where the scáth live. A few I’ve even collected from her own bed, especially in the early days when she was still trying to break the bonds in her head. I don’t mean to be her constant shadow. She made me that way. Choices made and all that, I suppose.   So you see, especially in her case, since I doubt she’ll stop killing anytime soon, it’s impossible to run from me. But you won’t convince Vānima of that. Not even the dragons can get through to her these days, which explains the plan they are currently debating. We’ll see if that plan happens. As always, it will come down to choice. Choice is law.  

A Reasonable Hope

Litzana: “As for the Veldriss . . . I do not know.“   Kieran: “What’s not to know? After what happened at Clearbrooke, you don’t think Vānima was the one who burned it? Of course she blamed it all on that Anāriel Anastil Black Unicorn nonsense. Pretty convenient scapegoat if you ask me.“   Litzana: “Maybe Anāriel deserves being blamed.“  
—Litzana Riel and Kieran Quinn debating Vānima and Anāriel Anastil’s historic rivalry

by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

  To be fair, I suppose I can see her logic, though. If it is true choice is law, then it stands to reason if she makes enough choices that lead her one way or another, perhaps the so-called “ruling” might change. That ruling being her death sentence, of course. Vānima is a Sithuwaye, after all, despite what her current face might show, meaning if she is going to die, we cannot simply wait around for old age to claim her. That will never, ever happen. She would quite literally live forever without this ruling, which is probably why she still has hope she might escape. It is also why a weapon is required to accomplish this particular collection. My master told Vānima what his chosen weapon was when he appeared to her. Or should I say he told her whomhis chosen weapon would be?   They say when the unicorn rides from the east, it will mean the end of all things, which is why it’s something of a wonder Vānima named her sister, Anāriel Anastil, “The Black Unicorn.” Anāriel abandoned her blood name and all that goes with it a long time ago, but after over a century of running, my master has decided it’s time for her to return. So, as far as Vānima is concerned, the race is on. Kill Anāriel before Anāriel kills her. And kill anyone else my master might choose as a replacement for good measure. Herein lies the problem.  

The Danger of Assuming

Vānima the Veldriss had given no instructions except to her, revealed no name except to her. But now her task to accompany these Lessers would close, the restoration of the Balance would begin, and the world would change . . . one way or another.
—Savanastra the Sun Dancer musing to herself about an upcoming attack

by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay – Modified by J. L. Gryphon

  I wonder if Vānima thinks killing enough people will appease me, make me leave her uncollected in exchange for my swelling stores. But even if that were true, I’m afraid none of this is up to me. I don’t collect without governance. The decision lies with my master. And if her goal is to appease him, as I think it is, then, well . . . that’s impossible, too.   You see, if anything, my master would prefer sparing her. He would spare her, except the irony is Vānima won’t let him. As I’ve said in the past, I’m not good, but I am merciful. My master is merciful, too. But Vānima doesn’t understand this. She doesn’t even understand the concept. The scary thing is, though, she thinks she does. And because she thinks she understands, she’s closed to new data. Nothing, no matter how contradictory to her assumption, can change her mind now. And so when the time comes, she’ll stubbornly charge down her chosen path and completely miss the foot trail marked with a little wooden sign that reads “Last Chance.” At least, that’s what I think will happen. Which is why I say appeasing my master is impossible. She can’t appease him because, well, there’s nothing to appease. He’s not angry. He’s just . . . sad—sad she lost her way. He tried to help her. He tried many times. But she quite literally killed his last attempt. I was there . . .   As for me, I don’t know. I don’t . . . think I’m angry with her. I was but . . . not anymore. Now I think I’m just . . . resigned. I’ve observed her for a long time. I know her, as much as you can know someone in my position. So I think when the moment finally comes, it will not gladden me. It certainly won’t change all that has come before. I think, if anything, it will feel like watching a friend reject an intervention.   Perhaps things will change. I hope they will. I hope I’m wrong. There is still a chance for Vānima, even now. But how many people can actually say they’ve achieved their potential?

Signed your resigned narrator,   Azrael the Star of Death


Book Information

  To learn more, hop on over to the books page OR hop on over to the teaser and get a sneak peek of Chapter 1! For more articles like this one, have a peek at my Worldbuilding Journal and explore Orosta.  

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Image by J. L. Gryphon via Artbreeder
Divine Classification
False Goddess
Lawful Evil
Current Location
Other Ethnicities/Cultures
Honorary & Occupational Titles
  • Her Majesty Pharota Vänima the Veldriss of the Royal House Anastil
  • Divine Daughter of Velherr
  • Our Mother Protector
  • The Savior of Rhye
  • The Goddess-Pharota
  • The Dragon-Pharota
  • Pharota of Mirrors
  • The True Immortal
  • Empress of Rhyastil
  • Her Highness Phrasai Vänima of the Royal House Anastil
Currently Held Titles
Date of Birth
The Month of Kafziel, Day 23, 14716 NS
Year of Birth
14716 285 Years old
The White Citadel
Current Residence
The White Citadel
Black (currently)
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Pale gray (currently)
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
Known Languages
  • Sithuli (1st – fluent)
  • Orostian (2nd – fluent)
  • Zishlyn (3rd – fluent)
  • Lingua (4th – passing)

Family Tree

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