"Motion is cruel, we must always keep moving. If we stop for even a moment, the world will pass us by. Always go forward, even if you trip, or fall, keep going and your dreams will always be in reach."
|Blood Type||A Positive|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul King|
|Position||Captain of the 2nd Division|
|Previous Position||Corps Commander of the Patrol Corps|
|Previous Division||Onmitsukidō Patrol Corps|
|Base of Operations||2nd Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Story Debut||Bleach: Days on End|
- "Smile of Shadow and Elegance."
As a Human she lived in Egypt at the time of the Old Kingdoms where she acted as the shadowy arm of its great kings, an assassin loyal to the Third Dynasty. She is said to have been flawless in her craft to such a degree that no record to hint at her activities exist. To the world at large, she was little more than an advisor to the first king of the Fourth Dynasty, Sneferu. She passed away in the year of 2585 BC at age 63 due to an illness that was as of yet incurable in her lifetime. Her disembodied spirit was eventually met with a Balancer of Souls and with the performance of Konsō she left the World of the Living behind, ascending to the afterlife known as Soul Society.
Her years in Soul Society have been spent well, with the realization that the Pantheon she worshipped were not in this realm, she thrust her service upon the Soul King, fulfilling the role she could succeed at best. She was an agent for him, an observer for the Balancers of Souls who had begun losing his favour. She served as an early member of the Onmitsukidō until one botched assignment led to a confrontation with the Balancers and her imprisonment in the Dangai. Her time there was spent honing her craft in what little way she could until being freed in 99 BC during a conflict with the Balancers and the newly formed Gotei 13 under Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto for which she would eventually be recruited once her skills came to light.
Nephthys is a woman of average height, relative to modern Egyptians, and a relatively slender build for her age. She has fair skin suggesting that she did not spend often in the sun as one would expect of those in ancient Egypt. Her hair is black and resembles a pageboy style, with her hair hanging down past her ears, though her hair ends in a series of spiked tips hiding this fact somewhat, it is also longer at the back. She has curved and sharp ending eyes that come across as intense due to her red eye colour and the khol applied around her eyelashes. She has thin, flat eyebrows that are largely obscured by the bangs of her hair. She has a short but pointed nose and rather flat lips. As a member of the Gotei 13 she dons a customized shihakushō consisting of a sleeveless shitagi, a black kosode with white, transluscent sleeves, a black hakama and white hakama-himo and a white obi sash tied around her waist, as well as a pair of white tabi and straw waraji. Instead of the typical haori that is used to signify one's position as a Captain, Nephthys wears a jeonbok in a similiar manner, the body of the robe is white whilst the back is emblazoned with the symbol of the 2nd Division inside the symbol of the Gotei 13. The jeonbok lacks sleeves and comes attached with a hood that has been painted to resemble the visage of Anubis, with red, black, and, blue dyes. A pair of cloth-made ears have been sewn into the hood to further the resemblance.
Nephthys embodies the dual faces of a coin, a largely conflicted individual. In the sense of nobility she carries herself with the grace and style of a noblewoman, acting with elegance, politeness and an eye for the decorum of whatever situation she happens to be in, addressing everyone with a high degree of formality unless they insist on a more informal approach, and generally applying proper etiquette as needed. At the same time she is a master of cloak and dagger, the shadowy game which nobles play in order to advance their goals and positions. She is not without her own quirks regarding either however. Despite her prim and proper visage, she is brutally honest with regards to her own thoughts and feelings, never shying away from them though it is often disguised under heavy wordplay so that only those looking for it would realize her stances. She greatly dislikes violence, often talking up the ideal of Pacifism, though she does not shy away from the act of harming another, having long grown desensitized towards it and having accepted the irony of how centralized it has become with her life, both as an assassin and as a Shinigami maintaining the balance of souls.
As one who is honest to a great extent, she also values the honesty of other very highly but has become a bit jaded with regards to how easily she believes that trust, thanks in no small part to her long life and her sordid roles. It takes a great deal of effort before Nephthys will take someone's honesty as sincere, a fault that she has no issue admitting. Though her outward demeanour is that of a so-called proper lady, she can nonetheless come across as cold and aloof to those that she has only met recently but becoming visibly relaxed in the presence of those she can trust. She has developed the belief that those people who walk the moral high ground are the people that would make the greatest of villains, for, if they deviated from the path they originally walked they would already have a great foundation from which to sow chaos and undo the good they had done, whilst someone who started out negatively would have less of an impact. This belief causes her to be hard on those that she sees as naive or exceedingly focused on some sort of moral code. This has led to a great deal of friction between herself and Johnny Law, who fancies himself as a paragon of justice. She also has a great deal of respect for those who are wise and powerful, but does not always approve of them. Such is the case with Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto who she respects as a master warrior but has, several times, made it known that she disapproves of his methods as a leader.
She has some understanding of how the cycle of reincarnation works and has taken the time to incorporate it into her own beliefs surrounding the deific figures and afterlife of her homeland. It is to Nephthys' understanding that the Soul Society, and the Dangai before it, are but steps along the road of the Duat. It is a trial, a rite, and a passage. She has yet to reach the ending where she will have her heart weighed on the scales by Anubis, guardian of the dead. She is certain that her actions in life and those taken once she became a soul have accrued a great deal of sin and as such resigned herself to the ultimate fate of being consumed by the Ammit. Though she could accelerate the process by granting herself an early death, she also believes that this would be a disservice to the lives she herself has claimed and expresses a wish to meet with Anubis at the end of the journey so that she might hear how many of her victims were considered worthy of moving onto Aaru. As the deities she knows lack any sort of real representation in Soul Society, she instead professes her services to the Soul King in the mean time, as it is the closest thing that could be considered a divine spirit.
Nephthys has a great deal of fondness for canines, even owning her very own dog, a Scanian terrier named Gōhi (僅火). This love of dogs has developed partly out of her reverence for Anubis, hence the painted hood she wears styled after him. She does not drink often, but on the few occcassions where her fellow Shinigami convince her to join them, Nephthys has proven to have a very high tolerance for the consumption of alcohol, easily outdrinking her compatriots. Her free time is often spent treading the various Rukongai districts for one reason or another, typically bringing gifts bought with the extensive stipend she receives as a Captain. Though quick to deny it if brought up, Nephthys has a bit of a sweet tooth, for massa sovada and other sweet breads in particular. Her favourite food is falafel made from chickpeas. She works together with Hanashi Saika on a series of short stories collectively known as "Tales from Beneath the Water Lily", which is popular through out the Rukongai's older population.
Nephthys was born in the ancient island city of Yebu sometime in 2648 BC in the same year that Djoser passed and was succeeded by the next pharaoh Sekhemkhet. She was the sole daughter of a man named Ahmose, a man of poor means that worked as a soldier at the fortress situated on their home island. He had little he could give to his daughter with regards to her upbringing, as he was too poor to have trained other fields, and so he passed on his skill in arms onto her with the hopes that she could find a way to bring herself higher in the Egyptian world than he could. By the time her father died, Nephthys had only ended up in the expected role, his own, she was a soldier posted on the walls of the island fortress with little means to procure herself other skills, but she learned bit-by-bit on her own as time passed.
Things changed one night as she had been returning home from a routine day guarding the walls. She found herself at the center of a conflict, a high priest of Khnum had been attacked, his guards slain, and his attackers seeking to finish him off. Nephthys had thought about simply letting it go but intervened against her better judgement and was lucky enough to be able to outfight the thugs despite their numbers. The priest questioned Nephthys on her skills and her role, and she clarified that she was a simple soldier. The man, feeling indebted to his saviour, and now lacking in protection, took her under his wing, giving her employment as the first of hew guards. They would leave Yebu for the city of Ta-senet some days later.
She would spend many years there and they proved to be fruitful both for her and the high priest. The high priest saw to it that she was given the proper teachings to fit her newly elevated status, studies on literacy, ritual practices and other things became a big part of her day-to-day and Nephthys was soon integrated into the pantheon that the priest devoted his life to. The man would become a target several more times in his life for one reason or another but he had little to fear as the captain of his guards sent them packing every time. Her skills became something of a local legend in Ta-senet, eventually stretching to other towns as stories of a beautiful protector blessed by Khnum.
Eventually word of her exploits reached the current pharaoh of the time, a man known as Khaba, the fourth pharaoh to rule in the current generation. He sought her out in order to confirm the stories with his own eyes. The display he was shown washed away any doubts, and he later sought her services from the priest who would acquiesce after a short negotiation. With this she had come as far as she could, a servant of the man closest to the Gods, the link between the spiritual realm and the physical plane. She stood in the court, not as a concubine, an advisor, or a guard, but as an observer. Khaba had given Nephthys the role of being his shadowy arm, an assassin that no one could know existed, it would look unfavourable on the pharaoh to have such a thing, but it was nonetheless necessary.
She served the pharaoh faithfully regardless of who sat on the throne, when Khaba was succeeded by Huni, she gave him the same allegiance she had to his predecessor. Through out the years she hunted down politicians, nobles, soldiers, even ostensibly innocent folk and the rare priest. All of it left her conflicted, she was doing a disservice to the Gods, but had been doing so in the name of the man closest to them. The frustrations would eat at her, though she would not speak of it and never abandoned the post she had taken. She was granted a respite from this duty during the rule of the first pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, that of Sneferu. Nephthys had been afflicted with an illness that sapped her of her strength and stamina, leaving her physically incapable of carrying out her duty, though Sneferu did not have her removed from court. Instead she served as his advisor in this time, she knew the tell tale signs of the corrupt and overly ambitious and could relay this to her king.
They never found a cure for her ailments though and Nephthys eventually succumbed to its effects, passing away in her sleep in 2585 BC at the age of 63, fairly long lived for her time. Her Soul would inhabit the palace halls for a few short months before she was found by a Balancer and sent on the journey to Soul Society through the Dangai. She was assigned to live in the relatively high quality Tenme (天目, Heaven's Eye) district, the 8th of the Southern Rukongai districts. Uncontent to just laze around with her time spent in the spiritual realm, Nephthys sought out employment that suited her skills.
She was found to very spiritually powerful making her a prime candidate to join the Balancers of Souls, though she refused after seeing the organization in action. Instead she sought a place among the fledgling Onmitsukidō, a group of agents acting on the behalf of the Soul King to keep the Balancers in check. It was a role that meshed well with her past, whilst there she became a great many things, a killer, a teacher, even a student. She learned a great deal from her peers, and taught them many things in turn.
Things turned sour in 115 BC as the Balancers had begun ignoring the Soul King's commands in favour of their own, leading to a series of disastrous events across the various worlds of existence as the order of "peacekeepers" asserted their dominance. Nephthys had been one of many sent in to attempt to take out their leaders, the Marshals, but found more than she bargained for in the Force-Marshal, the head of the entire organization. Their fight was short, and Nephthys had been defeated utterly. So sure of herself, the Force-Marshal didn't have Nephthys killed but instead had her thrown in with the other prisoners of the penal colony hidden in the Dangai.
She would be set free during the conflict between the newly born Gotei 13 and the Balancers, with her immediately picking up the former's cause. She was among those given a Zanpakutō and taught the method to coax out its power, she'd take the field alongside other newly christened Shinigami and the spirits of their weapons.
When the conflict was finally ended, Nephthys was offered a place as one of the thirteen Captains of the Gotei, taking command of the 2nd Division.
Powers & Abilities
Master Assassin: As the personal assassin for several Kings of Ancient Egypt and one of the earliest members of the Onmitsukidō, Nephthys is well versed in both the mundane and spiritual forms of assassination techniques. She is very skilled at concealing herself, having been able to keep a large number of Hollows from detecting her presence even while she was killing them off. She developed a technique utilizing Spiritual Pressure that could forcefully eject poisons from her body making her almost entirely immune to toxins without some degree of special property to counter act her. Despite the potency of her spiritual energy, she is very skilled at keeping it hidden, earning praise from Denkōsekka, a Vasto Lorde, who hadn't noticed she was nearby until she appeared before him.
Enhanced Strength: She is strong enough that she can easily dispel a Cero fired by the Hollow known as Fraguar with an effortless sweep of her hand.
Hohō Grandmaster: The title of grandmaster is placed upon those who have taken the mastery of a skill or technique to such a degree that they stand on a level far beyond any of their peers. Nephthys is the greatest practitioner of Hohō in her generation, earning herself such a title through the sheer prowess that she exhibits from utilizing the Shinigami art of movement. She has taken in thousands of years worth of study and training, embodying the concepts of Hohō in almost every action she takes to the point that one could claim she is a living personification of the technique and not be entirely wrong. She is the first being to carry such a title, putting her on a level even above that of whichever figure invented the art of Hohō, a testament to both her overwhelming skill and dedication to its study. Her mastery is well known and considered to overshadow those famous for their skill in Shunpo among the likes of Royal Guard Tenjirō Kirinji, otherwise known as "Lightning-Fast Tenjirō" (雷迅の天示郎, Raijin no Tenjirō). Nephthys herself has been subject of many epithets regarding her skills, each one applying more to one facet of her skill and thus falling short regarding the truth of just how much she encapsulates.
Master Swordsman: Nephthys is a master at swordplay, with a skillset that encompasses several forms. She fights with an unusual posture, appearing little more than slouching herself forward, giving the impression that she is tired or ill-prepared. She also only ever wields her blade with a single hand though she is capable of shifting between which she used in a fight giving her a great range of movement. She is not naturally ambidextrous, instead developing versatility in both hands over time. She fights with a reverse grip style and her attacks are often set up so as to create an omni-directional pattern, coming in from every angle to expose and take advantage of every weakness. She is skilled enough to fight on par with her fellow Captains using a much shorter weapon than they do, given the sealed form of her Zanpakutō is a kaiken, while there's are almost uniformally tachi. Her fighting skill has earned praise from Altan Kartal who is thought to be the greatest swordsman of their generation, and she could match Kagara blow for blow against his power to manifest weapons made of lightning, even as those weapons shifted into other forms. As the blade she wields is little more than a concealed dagger, the style she fights with is tantōjutsu (短刀術, Art of the Short Blade). She is no less proficient with a longer blade however, as proven during her fight with the escaping prisoners of the Dangai when she wielded a nameless Asauchi. She has also proven to be extremely skilled in sōjutsu (槍術, Art of the Spear), wielding the Shikai form of her Zanpakutō with great fluidity in spite of the fact that its length eclipses her height two-fold.
Hakuda Combatant: Nephthys has a great deal of knowledge of the human body, coupled with the training she received as a member of the Onmitsukidō makes her a fearsome opponent even when unarmed. Her fighting style relies entirely on the first strike, moving in unnoticed and delivering a single attack powerful enough, or in just the right place, in order to cripple her opponent and render them unable to fight back. She developed her own technique to further facilitate this in Teono (手を寝, Sleeping Hand), a deceptively simple palm strike that created a split-second connection between herself and her target during contact that allowed Nephthys to force her spiritual pressure through her opponent like a wave that temporarily knocked out their motor functions.
Great Spiritual Power: As Captain of the 2nd Division, Nephthys boasts a great deal of spiritual power on par with her fellows. Her spiritual power is extremely potent, often bathing her and her Zanpakutō in an aura of energy when exerted. She has an astounding degree of control over her spiritual energy, to the point that she is capable of matching the rhythyms of her soul and can even manipulate it to some degree. She could effectively keep it concealed in spite of its potency, remaining invisible to the spiritual senses of others so effectively that she was undetectable to a Vasto Lorde-class Hollow, and could even catch the mysterious and powerful figure Black Hood off guard. Her control was fine tuned enough that her body could control her spiritual energy on a subconscious level, releasing an invisible pulse through her body in order to purge foreign chemicals and dangerous toxins from within. When exerted as Reiatsu, her spiritual energy took on a mantis green pigmentation.
Kagemori (影銛, Shadowlance) originally took the form of a tachi, with a white hilt and sheath which was patterned by a flame-design in black all across the sheath. Its form was eventually changed to its current look, that of a kaiken with a black hilt and mount, with the same flam-design engraved through out though this time in white. The blade of the dagger is eight inches long and formed into a single-edged blade. Whenever the weapon is drawn, the blade becomes coated in a green aura formed by Nephthys' potent Reiryoku. When not in use the weapon is carried by a pair of straps that are attached to her left forearm. Kagemori is one of the rare spirits to have a different gender from his master, and the pair share a relationship that they refer to as being "of mutual regard". It is categorized as a melee-type Zanpakutō
- Nephthys, also known as Nebthet, is an Egyptian Goddess and a member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. Alongside her sister Isis, she is depicted as a protector of mummies.
- Her name literally means "Lady of the House" but specifically means "Lady of the [Temple] Enclosure".
- Nephthys' Bankai is meant to evoke an image of the Goddess from which she inherits her name, who is depicted as a woman with falcon wings outstretched as a symbol of protection.
- Her date of birth falls on one of the two dates for Ratcatcher's Day. This makes her a Cancer.
- In Japanese, Nepthys would refer to herself using the warawa (妾, child) pronoun, it is an archaic Japanese word used primarily by women in samurai families. Today it is used to represent noble female characters in fictional settings.
- The colour associated with Nephthys is Teal, a shade of blue which, in Japanese colour culture, represents coldness, rationality, peace, loyalty, life, and, money.
- Nepthys' theme as chosen by her author is Ta ga Tame no Sekai by Akiko Shikata.
- Images on this article were drawn by Luminent-Soul on DeviantArt on commission from the author.
|Captain of the Second Division|
99 BC - Current
| Succeeded by|