Characters: Shadowchasers-The Ophidia
A group of half-human, half-snake Shadowkind who are known for their bad relations with humans, due to them thinking of them as meerly prey. As a result, they did not take well to the Great Treaty. Eventually, an ophidia leader named Saramanda tried to openly rebel against the Treaty by leading a rebellion but was quickly overwhelmed. And when punished, she turned informant by becoming a Submitted in order to avoid the death penalty. Since then, she had been branded a traitor and relations between the humans and ophidia have taken a major strain. They serve as main antagonists in Power Primordial
until the aboleth's introduction.
Tropes shared for all ophidia:
- Expy: Of the yuan-ti from Dungeons & Dragons, changed to make the species more mutable story-wise.
- Only One Name: As mentioned in "Soulscape", ophidia do not use surnames.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Female ophidia have them, although a narrative says that they're always completely non-functional. (On another note, some also have hair, another trait reptiles aren't supposed to have; combined with the fact that ophidia some ophidia have definite human features and can breed with them, their origins may be more closely linked than both races would like to admit...)
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Most ophidia tend to be antagonistic towards humans.
- Snake People
- To Serve Man: Their species traditionally regards humans as prey, although only evil ones actually do it.
The ophidia empress, who rules the race mostly by default, given the fact that she has been given a blessing and the form of an anathema by their dark goddess, Seghulerak.
- Big Bad Wannabe: During Power Primordial she is manipulated by the true Big Bad into fighting the Shadowchasers for much of the fic, and then disposed of when it is clear she is about to be apprehended.
- Disc One Final Boss: The Shadowchasers thought that she was the Big Bad for the first half of "Power Primordial"
- Half the Woman She Used To Be: She meets her end this way when the Demonic Guardian attacks her with his weapon, cutting her in half in the process.
- High Priestess: Of Seghulerak, naturally. Secretly, Seghulerak is a goddess whose power is in a steep and steady decline; one of the biggest duties of anathemas like Taramanda is to keep other ophidia from knowing that, and to make them thing that their goddess is still powerful. Taramanda goes so far as to forgive Hebi-Na when there is risk that the secret will be revealed.
- Hunter of Her Own Kind: She doesn't truly hunt other ophidia, but her usual method of executing an underling who has failed her is to devour him. (The ophidia believe that an ophidia killed this was is condemed to eternal slavery by their dark goddess, a Fate Worse than Death most likely.)
- Irony: After her death, the Demonic Guardian says to Jinx that it is possible that she is doomed to be Seghulerak's slave forever, saying that she was a ruler in life but a slave in death. Jinx doesn't find it funny one bit.
- Killed Off for Real: The Demonic Guardian kills her after her second duel with Jalal.
- One-Winged Angel: Her usual form looks much like Hebi-Na. Her true form (which she assumes only when she is about to feed on a victim or is infuriated) is so horrific that it frightens even other ophidia.
- Pragmatic Villainy: She shows this in one very important scene. After Ember escapes from their Neo Domino base, and Hebi-Na fails to recapture her, which requires their clan to abandon the whole base, her advisor Hssim tries to pin all the blame on Hebi-Na (as he has done for most of the fic). However, Taramanda sees it differently: the entire crisis could have been avoided if Hssim had not, numerous times, come up with stupid ideas and given bad advice. Hssim is lucky to escape with his life after this, but he does lose his job as her advisor.
- Signature Card: Hundred Eyes Dragon in her first duel with Jalal. Sun Dragon Inti and Moon Dragon Quilla in her second one.
- Something Only They Would Say: Calls Jalal "wyrm-waste" during their first duel, which only confirms to Jalal that the ophidia were in charge of the Dark Synchros on the loose.
- Break the Haughty: Later on in Power Primoridal, Taramanda starts realizing that their plans have been failing because of his prioritizing of getting Hebi-Na blamed, and as a result loses his position as her advisor. And in his last appearance, he loses the last of pride and dignity when he is defeated and arrested by Gears.
- Jerkass: And how!
- Light Is Not Good: Is forced to use Edmund's Worm Deck during his duel Gears.
- Noodle Incident: We never really figure out why he and Hebi-Na have a grudge with one another in the first place.
- Smug Snake: Both figuratively and literally.
- Treacherous Advisor: Not to Taramanda, but sometimes he tends to do things that could ruin their plans just so that he could get Hebi-Na in trouble.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Them?: He asks Taramanda at one point on why should they bother dueling the Neo Domino Shadowchasers when they can just hire a professional gun instead. Taramanda then tells him that due to an alliance Jalal made with a group called the Knights of Domiel (whose name she avoids saying out loud), any assassination attempt on any Shadowchaser (except Jalal himself) is thwarted and the would be assassins disappear without a trace. (In other words, many people have tried to "just shoot them", but they have never succeeded.)
- The Anticipator
- Married to the Job: Magdalene claims the reason he's stressed is because he hasn't taken time off in so long.
- Properly Paranoid: After being forcibly taken to another planet and made to duel Gears, he's so concerned that he might be losing his mind that he talks to Magdalene on his own initiative, despite the fact that having her agree with him and being labeled insane would be a Fate Worse than Death.
- Straight Man: To Hssmin
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Being declared insane by a monitor reduces an ophidia to a status that is barely better than a slave in their community, and while Taramanda technically can override this decision, she never does. As a result, the ophidia are more afraid of Magdalene than they are of Taramanda. However, among the ophidia of Neo Domino, she seems the least malignant, and acts pretty much like any psychologist does. (On the other hand, she seems to have no objections to Taramanda's plans.)
- Our Zombies Are Different: Uses a lich-themed Zombie Deck during her duel with Gears.
- The Shrink: She's something called a "monitor", an ophidia who is trained to determine if an ophidia is mentally ill (more of a problem for them than it is for humans) and control the ones that are. (It is implied that in the past, a monitor's job involved focusing the rage of insane ophidia so that it was unleashed upon enemies. In modern times, however, monitors tend to take actual training in psychology.)
- Signature Card: Fushioh Richie